Working on my first computer build and am still deciding between AMD or Intel based. Both of my builds seem to be around the same price, maybe with a difference of $150 or so. I have started both as the absolute maximum that I want it, but I would like to lower the price but still retain the effectiveness of the build. The links to both of my builds are here.
With the new processors coming out and the 7000 and 600 series video cards coming out soon, I expect the price in CPU's and video cards to drop. Motherboards should follow suit accordingly. Thanks if you guys can help me on this.
It would be nice to get it sub $1500, but I'm shooting for around that price. If you can give me something around $1000 that will play BF3 at max settings and will be able to multi task and run for a long time, then that will be the ultimate answer. Thanks!
AMD is out of the question for CPUs, it will hurt performance even in lower budget systems.
Intel's CPUs have already dropped in price in preparation for Ivy bridge, they probably won't drop much more if at all any time soon.
Video cards may drop further but not by much right now.
I recommend waiting until Intel's Ivy bridge processors come out before building/buying a new machine. Like you said, new parts are coming out and older parts will be cheaper.
By the time Intel get's their stuff out AMD will already have most, if not all of their video cards out and Nvidia may have gotten their video cards out too.
Ivy bridge is looking to be able to overclock even better than Sandy do far. It's overclocking is a little more flexible since BLCK overclocking is back and the lower TDP could spell out more overclocking headroom. Couple the increased overclocking headroom with the increased performance per clock and we could see 20-30 percent gains in performance with cheap (sub $40) coolers because the heat generated would go down wit the lower TDP. Intel claims 10-15% performance per clock improvements and the TDP goes from 95w for the top quad core chips to 77w, an almost 25% improvement.
AMD's new arch (used in the 7700/7800/7900 series cards only, not 7600/7500/7400/7300) is also a large improvement over their current VLIW5 and even their VLIW4 (VLIW4 is used in the 6900 cards, VLIW5 is inferior to it and used in the rest of the 6000 cards, it was carried over from the 5000 series cards) in performance and performance per watt. For example, the Radeon 7970 has a 250w TDP (or very close, might be a few watts higher). This is about the same as the 250wish TDP of the 6970 yet the 7970 performs 15-25% faster (on average) than the GTX 580. The GTX 580 is significantly faster than the GTX 570 which is slightly faster than the Radeon 6970 most of the time. Keep in mind that the GTX 580, while being significant slower than the 7970, also uses more power than it... AND is about the same price. Also keep in mind that the 7970 will get better drivers sooner or later, improving it's performance by another 5 to 10%.
Nvidia's GTX 600 series will probably also be a huge improvement over thier current GTX 500 series but by how much, I have no idea.
With this budget an SSD is easily fitted in, no point getting everything else high end if you won't get an SSD to go with it. Other than adding an SSD I see no significant problem with your recommended build but a faster video card(s) may be in order for monitor resolutions above 1080p and that memory kit is a little overpriced.
I agree with danraies, a single 6970 can't handle 1080p maxed out settings in some games. However I would bet a lot that the 7970 can do all games maxed out settings at 1080p.
The 7970 is a great card and has much more value than the GTX 580 but two 6870s in crossfire should be comparable in performance and be about $200 cheaper. The 7970 is better performance, power usage, and price per performance than the GTX 580 but the two 6870s are way better price per performance than than even the 7970. Even two 6950s can be had for about the same price as the 7970 and they will be considerably faster than it.
I look at the 7970 the same way as I look at the GTX 580/590 and the 6990... Too overpriced right now. However, once more mature drivers come out it may be another 5-10% faster and probably won't get any more expensive so it will improve slightly, but still not beat cross-firing cheap 6800/6900 cards in price.
Two 6870s can be had for $280-$360 on Newegg.com ($140-$180 each) and will outperform all single GPU solutions handily except for the 7970 without huge price tags. If you're looking to spend a little less then you can get two 6850s and save a little but I don't think two 6850s can match the 7970. They will still beat the GTX 580.