I went through all the hoops so if you want to skip some of this just skip to the line of dashes about midway through.
Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP when sales present themselves. Budget Range: I'd like to stay under $400 if possible System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming Are you buying a monitor: No Parts to Upgrade: [gonna move this to the end] Do you need to buy OS: No Preferred Website(s) for Parts: The cheapest price as long as it is reliable Location: Virginia, US Parts Preferences: Lean slightly toward nVidia, plan to continue using my AMD cpu if possible Overclocking: Maybe SLI or Crossfire: Not with current mobo, perhaps in the future Your Monitor Resolution: 1600x900 Additional Comments: The quieter the better, but price comes first. A window would be nice, not a deal breaker. And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Running on a 3-4 year old rig, want to get the a better experience from current and future titles
Ok now that the formalities are out of the way, down to the gnitty gritty. First are the parts of my old rig I'm hoping to salvage for the new one (at least for a time).
4GB of some no name Cas 9 1333 ram (I will probably upgrade this whenever/if I get around to upgrading the mobo for CF/SLI, which also raises a whole set of questions as to if I should get an Intel board and new cpu. But that's for another day. Or just put some 1333 cheapo 8g RAM as a temp, or maybe even some G skills if some money is burning a hole in my pocket)
OK, so onto the tough decisions that I came here for you fellows' expertise on. Let me know what you think of my choices here, which would be the rest, or if they are all terrible choices and what I should buy instead.
I think my preference of those 3 would be to get the COOLER MASTER HAF 912 and slap a couple of these on it, and rearrange the smaller fans they would displace from the original arrangement: COOLER MASTER Megaflow 200 R4-LUS-07AB-GP 200mm Blue LED Case Fan http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Well that's all, sorry for making it so long, this is my first real post here, and almost my first real build compared to what I was running on. So let me know what you think, all criticisms and suggestions welcome!
The good news is for single GPU configs, a PhenomII x4 is still a decent performer for games generally but @ your 1600 x 900 resolution all those cards are overkil unless you are planning a 1080p upgrade? If so Egg has an OCed HD 7850 with free game/ship as well http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
So would getting any of these cards as future proofing be a good idea or a waste? I would like to get high fps (or bearable in the case of stuff like BF3) on the highest settings for most games out right now. Would I be able to max out most games and get ~60 with say a 6850? Because if I could, I would definitely do that, and just buy another "bargain" gpu when the opportunity came around.