The last time I did this was back in the day of the AMD Athlon XP3200, ATI Radeon 9800XT and the nVidia nForce2 motherboards. I used the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe and it was an awesome machine for it's day. The onboard nVidia "SoundStorm" (was that the name??) audio was almost as good, if not better then a dedicated sound card. I still have it and fire it up now and then. I even have a ABIT NF7 Series mobo, several AMD CPU's including XP2500 "Barton", XP2500M mobile Barton, and a few ATI Radeon cards including two 9800XT's,two 9700PRO's, a 9500PRO BIOS flashed to 9700 specs, some that I never got around to using, all either like new or brand new and still sitting in the boxes. (Watch for me on the "Discovery Channel" new series, "Outdated Computer Parts Hoarders")
But that technology is pretty dated now, so I'll probably retire it and use it as a dedicated "Folding@Home" machine. It can still do some good.
Now I'm ready to build a high end gaming rig based on the i7 2600K CPU, which I already have. I like to mess with overclocking and from what I've read, that CPU is pretty sweet for the price and can shoot past 4.0 Ghz on air without breaking a sweat. I'll definitely use an aftermarket CPU heatsink, maybe water cooled. I like the Corsair Hydro series. The only other piece to the puzzle I have ready is the OS hard drive, and for that I bought the 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. From the reviews I read it was one of the best of the bunch of SSD'd that have hit the market. I was gonna use it in my laptop, but I decided to wait for the firmware to mature a bit more and hopefully help fix the BSOD and whatever other problems some people were getting hammered with. So I saved it for this rig. Speaking of firmware, I think they just released a new version, 2.50 or something like that and I think it helps. We'll see. Either way, it's a nice hard drive option for the OS and certain programs you really want to fly. From there I need help, especially the motherboard. Too many choices! Feature wise, I guess what I'm looking for is a full featured solid performer with excellent overclocking ability, USB 3.0, SATA 6.0, SLI/CrossFire ready if I decide to go that route, and the new school UEFI BIOS is a HUGE plus. Is there a particular NB chipset that is preferred by gamers, or one that is just preferred because it's the best of the bunch? I see the dfferent ones available on these LGA1155 boards and I forget the differences. A few I was looking at were the ASUS Maximus IV Extreme boards, the MSI Z68A-GD80 (B3) and Z68A-GD80 (G3) and Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD7-B3.
Memory: Again, lots of choices but easier to deal with than the mobo. So far I'm looking at this G.SKILL Ripjaws set:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231473
Seems like a solid deal. Decent price, fast and stable at rated speeds according to most of the reviews. Corsair is also solid, so I'll be looking at them also. The big thing is compatability. I should buy the mobo first so it'll be easier to pick memory I know would be compatable and not have any issues with it. That's in a perfect world.
Brand name memory is usually not too much of a problem. It's when you buy questionable stuff trying to save a few bucks is when you can get yourself into problems.
A large storage hard drive is gonna be a problem. I have the solid state OS drive as I mentioned before, but a storage drive is gonna be big-time expensive because of all the flooding problems in the country where most of these hard drives are made. You use to be able to get a Western Digital 1TB or larger HDD for under $100. Now, at least from newegg.com figure on spending between $200-$300!!! Nasty. I'm gonna try BestBuy near my house.....I think I can score one of these drives for a lot less. If not, I have some older SATA drives laying around here I can use short-term.
Video Card: Not sure on this one. I want to keep my options open for a SLI setup. Right now newegg.com does not have much of a selection of Radeon cards....mostly nVidia. The GTX-590 dual GPU cards are sick. Expensive as heck but pretty much the fastest on the planet. There seems to be some issues with stuttering or something with the dual GPU cards. The GTX-580 may be a better choice, and the option is open to use 2 in a SLI setup.
***I just found this Radeon card on special this weekend for a great price. MSI Radeon HD6970. Factory overclocked, free Dirt3 game coupon, and marked down $40 on the price after the mail in rebate to $349.00 plus free shipping this weekend. Almost out of time so I'm gonna grab it now.***http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127581
**Edit** Anyone have x2 of these cards and try them in CrossFireX mode? Curious how it worked for you. (2) of these cards should be pretty dang powerful. My only other question would be: Has SLI and CrossFireX reached the point where they are worth the cost? Have most of the issues been worked out? ***
That's about all I have so far. The next few days I'll be researching a PSU, Blu-Ray/DVD writeable drive, full size tower case, CPU heatsink or maybe water-cooling for both the CPU and GPU if there is a nice quality, simple kit around to consider. A Windows 7 Home Premium OS should be fine and anything else I need to build my "GameKiller v2.0".
I appreciate any advice or comments you guys may have. The last time I did this the people here were a huge help to me and the advice I got was awesome. I built my first computer pretty much on the fly with no previous experience, just what I learned here from all of you and whatever I could find on my own. I was so "noob" to this stuff I was actually scared to turn on the computer after I finished assembly!! I waited almost 2 full days!!
Anyway, it worked awesome, as I hope this one does. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer. GERBILS RULE!!
Whoever said "A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work"..........
.............never caught anything.