This is my first time building a PC. And after much research this is what I came up with. I simply wanted some input from the fine minds on this forum.
Approximate Purchase Date: By the End of the month (April 30th ish)
Budget Range: $500 to $1000 including monitor and keyboard/mouse (after rebates)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Photo Editing and Everyday use (surfing the web, word processing, etc)
Parts Not Required: I need the whole deal
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.ca
Parts Preferences: The only preference is an AMD processor simply because they generally are a bit cheaper and deliver enough power
SLI or Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050 or 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I'm looking for a mid-range budget PC. I will probably run Linux Mint 12 because I hate dishing out an extra $100+ when I don't have to. This does bring a few issues in terms of gaming however I have had success running games in Linux before but at a reduced FPS. I'm not sure what I should upgrade (CPU or GPU) to increase the FPS since it could be caused by the increased demand of the emulator.
I do like that build a lot and seems like it would deliver everything I could ever need. However, even with the 7850 it's beyond what I can afford. I'm looking at a budget of no more then $1000 including Monitor and Keyboard and this build, including monitor and keyboard puts me at $1200.
Where can I reduce the cost?
And do I really need a 750W power supply? I don't want to SLI.
I like serial's build, this should work well for you. If you have a dedicated GPU you could probably get by with a p67 mobo, but if the z68 fits in the budget then stick with it.
SSD caching is only useful in a small handful of situations. If you cannot afford anything more than a 60GB SSD, and already have a HDD that fits all of your programs then SSD caching will give you a nice speedup. Otherwise there are plenty of cache drives (like synampse) which do not require the z68 Intel RST technology in order to work. In general however you want to simply buy an SSD that is large enough for your use, and the way that SSDs are dropping in price these days it will not be long before you can get a good one for a decent price (I just snatched up a 240GB Agility 3 for $220 after rebate)
Quicksync is crap. It makes large files of marginal quality. Fine for an iPod or other low quality devices, but if you are doing any serious work then stay away from it. It is almost always worth it to just take the time to do a real render. Plus Virtu is a resource hog, and not all rendering software will even let you have access to quicksync in the first place.
If you are not in a huge rush then you may want to wait for Ivy Bridge to come out. It will have onboard video good enough for most production work and some gaming. This way instead of buying a dedicated GPU you would be able to purchase a better CPU (like an i5) which would be much better for productivity work than an i3. However, if you are big on gaming the onboard video may not quite be up to snuff for that...
And lastly, absolutely stay away from the mATX boards. There is nothing wrong with them in particular, but they do limit future expandability and upgradeability. If this was a "specific use" machine (like a HTPC, or a business machine) where you knew exactly what was going in the box, or you were limited on size, then mATX is perfectly fine. But for gamers and those who do productivity work there are any number of add-on cards that you may want to throw in there (SLi/xFire, extra USB3 ports, firewire 400/800, lightpeak/thunderbolt, better RAID controllers, PCIe SSD cards, extra Ethernet ports, wireless cards, 10gbps Ethernet when it comes out, etc), so you want to keep your options open for expandabilty.
I think I will have to go with the H61 Mobo to fit in my budget. I also downgraded the GPU to a 6870. But I'm not sure if that's a good idea because I would like a PC that is as future proof as possible. I realize that this GPU can run any game today but it most likely will not be up to snuff as long as the 7850.
Ideally I am looking for a good around PC that can edit and render large photos quickly enough, play the latest titles at high quality and last me a few many years before I feel I have to upgrade. In your opinion, would this PC do this or necessary to invest another $500 to get the lates components (i.e. i-5 or i-7, z68 mobo, HD 7870, etc...)