I'm planning on building a system for the second time. The first time was over 5 years ago, and I'm still using the old system. My current motherboard has a swollen capacitor and is unstable, so I thought I would take the opportunity to build a new computer. I'm posting here to see what you experts think of my hardware choices, and if you have any suggestions or other input.
I'm not a huge gamer (though the wife would disagree with that statement), but I do like to game now and then, and really do appreciate nice graphics and smooth playability when I game. I don't need a screaming fast gaming machine, but rather just one that can hold its own against the new games that are out there. Upgradability is important so that I can still use the machine in a couple of years. Besides gaming we use the computer for watching movies (netflix and DVDs), internet, and Office software--I'm an English teacher so I use Word and PPT fairly often.
I thought I would use my old case. It has two fans, one on the side above the CPU and one on the back. What are the advantages of getting a new case, other than the cosmetic advantages?
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K
The research that I did suggested that the $90 more for the i7 is not worth it for most users. Since multiple threading is not necessary for good graphics, I don't think I need the i7--gaming will be the most intensive activity that I'll be using the machine for. I think that $90 would be better spent toward a nice gpu. Agree?
Mobo: ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3
I like this motherboard because it is SLI ready. I won't be getting a second GPU right away, but I'd like the option to do so in the future. Likewise, I'll be starting with 8 or 16 gb ram, but the possibility of 32 in the future is nice. I've never done any overclocking, but it might be fun to try it out, and it seems that this board allows that with relative ease.
I would like to have an on board graphics card for emergencies and troubleshooting, but it's not strictly necessary. I chose this board because the rating was good and it had all the things I wanted.
A side note about motherboards: is it me or do about 10-20% of motherboards arrive DOA? It seems to me that all motherboards can be bad before you install them. A mobo with only 10% one star (or egg) ratings seems to be the best we can hope for. Crazy! Can you imagine if 10% of the Hondas we bought just didn't work?!?
GPU: Something like: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti
There are so many 560/550 Nvidia cards out there, it's often difficult to decide which one to buy. They are all sli ready and seem to be good. I'll probably choose a card that has a high rating and is around $200-$220.
I'll probably also get a BD combo drive, since my dvd drive door is getting kind of sticky, and so my daughters can watch their blue ray disney disks when I can pull myself away from the screen.
I'll also get a relatively cheap after market cpu heatsink/fan, to keep that cool while I'm overclocking.
I'll start with 8 gb ram; not sure from who, I'll probably look at the ratings and the price again.
I have a 500w power supply. If my calculations are correct, it should be enough for now, but if/when I get the second gpu, I'll probably have to upgrade the power supply to 700w also.
I have a 1 Tb hard drive that I'll format (saving data before, of course) and install Windows 7 Home Premium 64. I have a 1 Tb external hard drive that will make that easy.
I'm going from 32 bit XP to 64 bit Win7. I've heard conflicting things on whether I'll be able to run most of my old software or not (old versions of photoshop and adobe, Office 2007, etc).
What do you think of this system? Are my assumptions mostly correct? Do you have any suggestions or advice?
Thanks! (Sorry it turned out to be such a long message!)