So, I began to do a little reading (and I did some part searching on Newegg.com) to look at costs and such. Unfortunately, I have been out of the computer loop for a while and as a result I'm not sure exactly whats really good anymore. I think I have a decent grasp...but I wanted to ask around here (my brother recommended this place).
Anyway, I spent a couple hours over the weekend and just tried to piece a new system together looking at parts. This was a totally informal exercise...just trying to get my feet wet and see whats out there. My main goal is a decent gaming computer that will last me a while...hopefully a few years at least. I am probably going back to school in the Fall of 2008 (for dental school) and I would like a computer I can use for school but still have decent performance (so I can at least run games on lower settings) with minimal upgrades while I'm in school. I know its impossible to know for sure what will be a powerful enough machine in 3-4 years time...but here is the computer I came up with:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
ASUS Crosshair Motherboard, nVidia 590 SLi
GeForce 8800GTS 640MB
2x 2GB Sticks of DDR2 800 RAM (not sure what brand to get...but this is the speed of RAM for mobo)
Western Digital 500GB 7200rpm SATA Hard Drive
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Gamer 7.1 Sound Card
Logitech THX Z-5300e 280W RMS 5.1 Speakers
16x DVD-ROM SATA Drive
DVD-RW (18x DVD-R) SATA Drive
Windows Vista Home Premium
This is a little on the expensive side for me at the moment but I'm hoping that if I wait a few months (January?) the price will come down. Specifically, I have been told that the GeForce 9800 series cards are coming out in October so I would think those 8800 cards will drop in price in the months that follow. Also, I have a fairly new 250GB Hard Drive in my current machine but its not a SATA drive, and I feel I should convert to SATA as I heard its a big improvement. I figure if I'm making a nice machine I might as well do the whole thing. I probably don't need a sound card and new speakers, but I have a crappy 2.1 7 year old altec lansing speaker setup with integrated sound right now and I want something better. The price is a little worrisome, but I figure I can do it eventually. Does this seem like a decent setup that will last few for 3-4 years or so?
Also, one question I have is how large of a power supply would a system like this need? I have never been good at figuring that out and I don't want to mess it up. What are reliable power supply brands? All I need is something that will work and fit in a standard ATX desktop (or mid size tower) case. Also, possible upgrades down the road I was thinking about would be to add 4GB more of RAM (to the 8GB mobo max) and a second video card for the SLi function. So, I would need enough power for that possible upgrade as well (assuming SLi is worth it).
One more thing, what brand of RAM would you guys recommend. I used a Patriot RAM on Newegg as a price example, but is there a specific group of brands I should stick too?
One more thing, is it still a good idea to throw a floppy drive into machines...specially with the Vista OS. I have one in my XP computer so I can reformat the hard drive the old fashion way with a boot disk but is it really worth it anymore?
OK, so I know that is a lot at once...but I'm trying to get back into this as I begin the process of planning a computer. I have been out of the loop for a while so any help is really appreciated.