I haven't built a pc in about 3 years now and I'm a little unsure of what I should purchase but spent the past week trying to get a grasp on all the new stuff out and found that I needed some outside assistance. Thanks in advance!
Approximate purchase date: Within the week
Budget Range: $1600
Parts not required: I have keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, dvd burner
Preferred website: www.newegg.com Only because I'd prefer to buy all parts from one store and didn't really know where else to shop.
Parts preference: None
Overclocking: have never done it, but if it would extend the usefullness of my PC I may have to start.
SLI or Crossfire: not anytime soon
Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050
Additional Comments: I came up with a base listing of what I "thought" would be good, but my lack of knowledge may have me making bad decisions. Also I have Vista Home Premium 64bit, wasn't sure if it was worth it to upgrade to Win 7 or not. If there's places that I can save money in order to possibly get a 24" monitor that would be nice. Here's what I've come up with so far.
Audio recording/editing really isn't that CPU intensive for most people, any modern quad core really would blitz it, I'm not sure the i7 is necessary. I would go with an i5 personally.
I would imagine you would want a quiet PC for audio too so I would rule out SLI and Crossfire. It is pretty unnecessary anyway, a GTX 570 is fine on a single monitor even at 1080P and by the time it isn't enough you would just buy a better card rather than SLI an old card.
If you were to not SLI you could save some cash on the PSU and motherboard too.
I wouldn't bother with the raptor either personally, it just can't compare to an SSD as a boot drive and they're pretty noisy.
As you said, overclocking can give you a huge boost when you need it so I would recommend gearing up for that.
If you do a lot of audio editing/recording it may be nice to go with dual monitors.
I hope this helps
EDIT: Which kinds of cases do you like in terms of looks? Do you prefer aggressive looks and lights like the HAF series or something understated like a Define R3? Or a nice aluminium case like a Lian Li or Silverstone? Or a Shuttle cube case or something?
I currently dual monitor off of a GTX 9800+ I've had for 3 years. lol.
I will most likely not SLI after giving it more thought.
I've been looking into SSD's all day as a possibility since they run in the same price range as a raptor.
As far as cases go, I'm not particular to how they look at all since I can't see mine, just want it to stay cool. I do know I don't like Thermaltake. I am currently using the V9 Black Edition and every fan in it died the first year.
That gives you much better gaming performance while still being fine for audio. Also that SSD will be a hell of a lot faster than that raptor. Should be a bit quieter too since you won't have the nasty vibrations from the hard drive.
They are a different brand, that's pretty much all there is to it. You still just plug in the card and install the drivers as normal and you're away. I just chose that card because it's a bit better than a GTX 580 for the same price. It also consumes less power than the GTX 570. This is because it's a brand new card, Nvidia's new cards aren't due out until April as far as I'm aware.
Besides drivers and architecture, the reason you would want one or the other (Nvidia or AMD) depends on which one has the newest (fastest) cards, right now is kind of tricky because while the 79xx series is showing great performance, it is still quite pricey. After Nvidia releases the new Keplar cards, it will drive down the price of the AMD cards, and that is usually the best time to buy.
A few things I would do different starting with the vid card. This card down below runs neck and neck with the gtx 570 yet when both are over clocked it mops the floor with the 570 while using less power and less voltage. It's also on a newer die. If you do decide to stick with the 570 (no idea why you would), you want an 850w psu in order to have some juice left over if you decide to add another card later on. A 750w psu can easily push dual's 560 ti 448 though.
Here's a nice cpu h/s (can be found for cheaper @ amazon). This h/s allows you to add another fan for a "push - pull effect" although I doubt you will feel the need to add another fan. Also keep in mind that anything past 4.4GHz on these Sandy Bridge cpu's is a total waste with zero gain.