Here's what I'd like to do for the performance parts:
Processor: AMD Phenom 9950 Black Edition 2.6GHz Socket AM2+ (quadcore) - I've always been an AMD kind of guy, but if Intel offers better performance at a similar or lower price, I suppose I'd be willing to change...
Memory: OCZ Gold 8GB (4 x 2GB) - I'd really like to have 8GB RAM, as it's likely I'll be running lots of concurrect applications on a Vista machine. Of course, if it's absolutely necessary, I could downgrade to 4GB and remove Aero... but this would be sort of a last resort in price-cutting
GPU: ASUS Radeon HD 4870 512MB PCI-E 2.0 x16 - Seems to offer great performance and much more economical than the GTX 280 I was looking at before. There's another GPU I'm considering, though - see below
Sound: Creative SB X-Fi Xtreme Audio 7.1 - I may end up just using integrated sound if necessary to lower the price sufficiently. Not a big deal. If I'm going to get a sound card, though, I might as well get a [bleep] good one, since the difference between top and bottom end on sound cards is only about $30
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache - A good deal, plenty of space for me.
CD1: SONY combo drive (Too much info to post, Click Here to see specifics) - basically this one will take care of burning CDs and DVDs.
CD2: LITE-ON combo drive (again, click here to see specifics) - basically only getting this one so I can play Blu-Rays. If there were a drive like the Sony combo drive that could also read blu-rays, I would get that one and ditch the second CD drive.
Monitor: SAMSUNG 2232BW+ 22" 2ms Widescreen LCD - Considerably more expensive than I'd like and larger than I need. If I could knock more than $50 or so off the price by going to a smaller monitor WITHOUT trading in the 2ms response time, I'd do it. I'd also be willing to get a CRT, but it seems that most CRTs on the market nowadays are small resolution and low performance. I feel a bit silly spending the same amount of money on a monitor as a GPU...
I'm also considering this GPU as an alternative in order to reduce the investment I'll need to make in power and cooling systems. It's exactly the same price as the other GPU, has lower performance, but the reviews rave about its cooling technology.
HIS Radeon HD 4850 1GB w/IceQ 4
The total of these parts is $1044.92. This leaves me with about $500 to spend on a case, PSU, mobo, and cooling, which feels a bit too tight, especially for such demanding needs all these areas. I need a big enough case that is at least reasonably cool-looking and preferably has lots of fans, a great heatsink, truckloads of power for the quad-core processor and video card, possibly even more cooling components, and of course a mobo to accommodate all of this. That's why you'll notice most of my comments are about ways of reducing the price on these parts.
Probably the biggest hurdle in terms of price is the monitor. It's truly quite a bit more than I need, except that I really would like to have the best response time possible. Otherwise, any monitor (including CRTs) that supports a nice full resolution is fine.
So basically, I've got a few things I'd like to get some suggestions on:
--> I need to find an economical mobo that can handle all of this. This will probably be the hard part. Anybody know of some good mobos that can do all this that aren't extravagantly costly?
--> I have to make sure that I have a PSU that can meet the needs of all these high-performance parts. I have no idea of the wattage I'll need; just that it's going to be a lot.
--> Cooling needs to be more than just adequate. I want to at least have peace of mind knowing that I could put all the components under load and still have a couple degrees to spare before overheating becomes a concern. I don't know much about cooling. Is liquid cooling going to be necessary here?
--> I need a case to fit all this comfortably. If I end up not getting liquid cooling, if possible I'd like to have some room to spare to add it later if I decide to. It should have some degree of visual appeal as well, but this is by no means a huge concern. I don't need much in the way of cool fancy USB ports, LEDs, or fan speed controls.
--> I haven't even given much thought to a NIC. I could probably just steal the wireless card from my current PC... I have no clue what type of card it, though, is as it doesn't even work right now (due to my PC being a glorified boat anchor; I believe the card itself would work fine in another build). For a variety of reasons I won't bore you with, though, not having a NIC shouldn't really be a problem in any case, just would be nice to get one if I could afford it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Any replies, comments, or suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Edited by W-Unit, 31 October 2008 - 06:42 AM.