The computer I bought in 2003 finally died yesterday (I’m writing this on my Mac, to forestall any questions). The computer lasted 3 3/4 years, so I can’t complain too much, but it means that now thanks to my philosophy of “only buy things when you’ve run the previous version into the ground,” I am now able to justify spending money on a new one.
This time, rather than go typical route of just going to the store and buying what’s convenient, I thought I’d try having one custom built. The question now is what should I put into it. This is where you geeks come in. I’m open to suggestions on what I should put in this thing. Here are the parameters:
TYPE: PC, Vista Premium capable
PRICE RANGE: $2000 +/- 10%
PRIMARY USE: Multimedia/Gaming (it’ll really be mostly used for typing. You know. But even so)
USEFUL LIFESPAN: At least 2.5 years
To give you a little idea of what I’m looking at as a baseline (i.e., these are guidelines, not things I’m absolutely sold on):
CPU: (Sckt775)Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E6600 CPU @ 2.4GHz 1066FSB 2x2MB L2 Cache
MOTHERBOARD: Intel D975XBX I975X Express CrossFire Chipset LGA775 Supports Core 2 Duo CPU FSB1066 DDR2/800 Mainboard w/GbLAN, USB2.0, IEEE1394, &7.1Audio
MEMORY: (Req.DDR2 MainBoard)2GB (2x1GB) PC6400 DDR2/800 Dual Channel Memory (Corsair XMS2 Xtreme Memory w/ Heat Spreader)
VIDEO CARD: 2 NVIDIA Geforce 7950 GT 512MB 16X PCI Express Video Cards
HARD DRIVE: Single Hard Drive (250GB SATA-II 3.0Gb/s 8MB Cache 7200RPM HDD)
Optical Drive: 16X DVD±R/±RW + CD-R/RW DRIVE DUAL LAYER
SOUND: Creative Labs X-Fi 24-BIT PCI Sound Card
I’m treating the monitor as a separate expense, not to be considered in the price here. Also not considering labor costs at the moment. I have a single hard drive at the moment but will be adding the dead computer’s C drive as a slave, which why I have only one in there at the moment.
Any thoughts? Anything I should add, subtract, swap out for a better version. I particularly need help with case, power source and cooling. Please note that as regards cases, I don’t need it to look super-bitchin'; functional is a positive. With power source/cooling, quiet is better than not. Also, in terms of gaming/multimedia, I want my performance to be really good, but I’m not going to pay a stupid price premium so that I can crank out 10% more fps.
And one question for the true geeks out there: One reason I’m choosing the 975x motherboard here is that it’s my understanding that it’ll support the upcoming Intel Quad Core processors that will be coming out later, and I like the idea of being able to swap out the CPU at some point. Does this jibe with what you’ve heard?
Also, the first person who says “Get a Mac!” gets beaten. I already have a Mac and have decided the for the moment the Mac Pro is not how I want to go.
Okay, there you have it. Let have your thoughts and comments. And if any of you actually do build computers, I’m not opposed to entertaining bids.