I've kind of reviewed my original components and switched some things around. My most important factor is production v cost. I feel like this build is a lot more solid than my original but if anyone has any insight, I'd love to hear it. If there are any glaring problems, also please point those out. I won't buy until I hear some sort of feedback from the excellent TH community! Thanks so much!
The 550 TI isn't going to cut it. The HD 6850 blows it away at the same price point. It isn't even close. The 550TI is like half the FPS of the 6850 or maybe 2/3. If you absolutely must have Nvidia, the 560 is close to the 6850 in performance, not sure about the price on it, but the 550ti is just not a good enough gamer card.
PSU - Rosewill isn't a great brand. If hardware secrets says that PSU is good it probably is, but nobody here respects the brand. The XFX 650w is much more respected and comes with Dirt3 if you care about racing games for only a little bit over with rebates.
CD Drive - The Asus 24x is the best in class, I would get that. The part number should be in my signature, I think it is DRW-24B1ST.
Thanks so much Raiddinn! I was beginning to think no one was going to help me out here! I hear what you're saying on the 6850 card. After doing a little digging I see what you mean. Only problem I have with that is I can't find a 6850 card with a VGA input. They all have 2 DVI's, an hdmi, and some with a displayport...my monitor is niether of those.
I looked at the XFX PSU, and I agree that it looks to be a little more reliable than the Rosewill I had picked out...not too much different in price either.
The Asus 24x drive...GREAT recommendation! Didn't even see it when looking for parts! Thanks so much for the feedback and please feel free to recommend anything else! Thanks again!
Many threads do slip through the cracks, especially if I am slacking (which I have been lately since I receantly got and beat Amalur Reckoning).
There should be a cheap adapter that can change DVI to VGA, probably $5 or less.
Anyway, I would think about a newer monitor as the next upgrade after this. They have a lot of benefits over the older ones, especially if you have a big fat CRT. I especially like the DELL monitors with the soundbar attachments.
Anyway, as I said before the rest of the stuff should do OK, anything else I would say is just nit picky details.
The motherboard may be a bit of overkill. A $125 Z68 would likely do just as well and it would free up the price increase from the video card if you wanted to get above a 6850 and more towards a 6950.