Hi there, first how much you are looking to spend?
I will suggest a quad core like q9650 which is a great cput with 9X multiplier which will make it easier to overclock. newegg sells it for $325 or you can get the cheaper Or Q9550 for $269. If you want to go for Nehalem like the popular 920, it will cost you more becuase of the expensier new DDR3 "still" and a board will cost more for it. You don't have to buy the extreme eddition chips just for the unlock multiplyer. A good board can do 1800FSB easy.
For video cards a gtx260 core 216 has the best value for performance wise.
Syetem that I have;
QX9650 clock at 3.8ghz on air
Evga 780i Board
8 gig of DDR2 800mhz ram cas at 4-4-3-10
with 2X evga GTX280
I disagree...as most of the I7 users out there will atest to.....go with the I7.....they all have 4 cores but add HT into the mix...8 cores. I have the 920 and it outperforms by far the Quad 4's. Gaming wise...eliminating the FBS logjamb and other refinements lead to a most satisfying game experience. I7 is the next wave...don't waste money on outdated tech.
My opinion ...of course
i was in the same spot as you Nate if u can can save a little more i would go the core i7 920 cost $440 .the cost of ddr3 is not that much more you can get 3gb ram 1333mhz $100AU or 6gb for $170 thats is by no means the fastest ddr3 (a lot faster then ddr2 though) but it will get u going for now till the price comes down. as for motherbords both ASUS and gigabyte have lower end bords starting from $270+. so if $800 to $900max for a CPU,MoBo,Ram is to much then u need to go oldschool a i7 system will last a lot longer too and if the need be the I7 920 is a mad overckocker it will hit 4ghz+ stable on good air cooling (about $100 for a good air cooler)and if you go water cooling ($200+)you will get even more iv hit 4.7ghz with mine.
Where are you getting your price from nuts? The 920 does not cost $440 they are a lot cheaper and it cost $280 on newegg. Get up to date, I don't have core i7 but I know what's going on. I'm planning on building a new rig next year with the new 32nm refresh of Nehelem.
I am not sure where to begin however, I want to thank you guys for giving me so much feedback to work with as I have finally made a decision. A couple of days ago I purchased the following:
Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
Smilodon Gaming Tower
Intel Core I7-920
Gigabyte Ex-58 Extreme Motherboard
Ocz Flex Liquid XLC Colling Memory Cas Latency: 7-6-6-24
Ocz 850w GamerXStream Psu
Lite-On 16xBlu-Ray Player/Burner
1 TB Seagate Barracuda/Raid
Considering the money spent, I dont think I could have configured this setup any better.
The moral of the story is, I couldn't possibly be any happier. I took a chance and spent more then I initally wanted to.
You really get what you pay for, especially when you put alot of time and effort into reasearch and review.
The funny thing is, the Pc I upgraded from is a Dell Dimensions 2400. I purchased it 8 years ago. Man has technology come a long way, indeed.
I would have been ecstatic with anything other then that primative machine but this, never would I have ever imagined the end result would be so sweet. Thanks for giving me a new way of looking at things, I invision Intel Core I7 is here to stay.
Unfortunately, my psu arrived dead. I had my buddy test his for me and used it for the day, was very pleased. I am awaiting OCZ to send me a replacement. I purchased the psu used. That is the only part of my build that was used and now I have to suffer the consequeces of waiting 2 weeks. I guess we learn the hard way, I was just trying to save a few bucks. Nontheless, my buddy is really tech savy and he suggests getting a water cooling kit to take it to the max. Any toughts on a good kit, I would like to go as far as 4.7ghz if it can be done safely? Also what kind of concerns are there when getting into oc?