Buy Now OR Wait?

My current rig is nearly 5 years old. Matching the life span of a console! It’s reached the point where I just can’t play many current games anymore. So maybe I should build a new system, but first I call upon you hardware prophets to see if its a good idea to wait around the next bend for new hardware releases. With the release of Vista, DX10,…I figure there is new tech on its way down the pipe.

In any case, I picked out a bunch of stuff from newegg to see what I would get right now:

Motherboard: ASUS P5B Deluxe LGA 775 Intel P965 Express ATX Intel Motherboard $178.99 UPDATED
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz 4M shared L2 Cache LGA 775 $316.00
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 DOMINATOR 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel $274.00 UPDATED
Video Card: GeForce 8800GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP $399.99 UPDATED
Harddrive: Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD 150GB 10,000 RPM 16MB Cache $219.99 UPDATED
Power Supply: HIPER HPU-4K580-MS ATX12V v2.2 580W Power Supply 100 - 120V $89.99 UPDATED
Case: Antec Performance One P180 Silver cold rolled steel ATX Mid Tower $129.99 UPDATED

SIDEBAR

Monitor: Dell $329 UPDATED
Mouse: Logitech MX518 2-Tone 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB + PS/2 Wired Optical Gaming-Grade Mouse $39.99
DVD: LITE-ON Black 20X DVD+R etc…Burner with LightScribe Technology $37.99 UPDATED
Speakers: Creative Inspire P7800 90 Watts 7.1 $86.99
Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 70SB073A00000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface $69.99

SUBTOTAL: $2,192.90

Any suggestions? Insight? Am I missing anything?

Drop the 8800gtx and go for something cheaper. The bang for the buck is nowhere near worth it (are you driving a 30" monitor?), and video cards are trivially easy to upgrade later. Get the GTS if you must, but spend that extra money on something that matters. Like, for example…

  1. I recommend adding a 10,000 RPM Raptor drive as the boot drive and keeping the 300 GB drive for data/apps. You will notice a difference. And no, they’re not noisy. I am a noise freak and I have one in my PC.

  2. $550 video card with $40 power supply? I don’t think so. You don’t need a 1.21 jigawatt power supply (one of the biggest myths in the industry), just buy something quality around 400w.

  3. Consider a nicer case. Something from Antec, perhaps… and as a bonus, the Antec cases usually come bundled with decent power supplies, too.

Get an HDMI or DRM or whatever it’s called approved moniter.

HDCP is the ETLA you are looking for :)

Wait for 8600s to be released, perhaps? I’m sure they’ll be affordable and still
better than the previous generation. If you play Vanguard, there is no such
thing as ‘too much GPU’ :P

So basically get a 400w that costs more, rather than a 500w that costs less?

How bout this one?

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16824112005

Might be a decent alternative for the vid card

WTF? I was raised on the principle that the video card is paramount, and it must be powerful and ridiculously expensive. The higher the numbers the better…I don’t really plan on upgrading it for a long time.

I recommend adding a 10,000 RPM Raptor drive as the boot drive and keeping the 300 GB drive for data/apps. You will notice a difference. And no, they’re not noisy. I am a noise freak and I have one in my PC.

Good idea. I’ve heard my co-workers talking about doing this.

$550 video card with $40 power supply? I don’t think so. You don’t need a 1.21 jigawatt power supply (one of the biggest myths in the industry), just buy something quality around 400w.

So basically a 400w that costs more is better than a 500w that costs less?

Consider a nicer case. Something from Antec, perhaps… and as a bonus, the Antec cases usually come bundled with decent power supplies, too.

I like the look of this one.

I say stay with the 8800. I have one and it’s consistently blowing me away. Supreme Commander will make good use of it later this month anyway with its dual screens. I played the demo with everything maxed out and it made me a happy panda. I think it should last a good damn while, too.

A top-of-the-line vid card better blow you away! Otherwise, there’s a problem. ;)

If you have the money, going for top-of-the-line gives you some nice eye-candy right away without worries and it lasts for quite a long time. On the otherhand, buying mid-range allows you to upgrade more often to get newer tech without busting the budget. I bought my 7800GTX when it was the best card out there and am still using it to play everything on high settings on my current widescreen, but I know that there’s room to move now. I’d be more inclined to go with the 8800GTS rather than the GTX, this time, just because DX 10 is fairly new and by the time any substantial number of games that use it come along, it’ll be time to be looking at perhaps upgrading again.

I tend to accomplish this by buying the high-end cards, and financing it by selling my previous high-end card online for a fair price. After selling my 7900GTX, the 8800GTX cost me less, net, than an 8800GTS. It usually ends up costing me the same as buying new mid-range cards outright, but I get to play with the fastest stuff.

Yep, I do what Mono does, though I’m selling two generations behind nowadays thanks to the HTPC…

Looking at your list, here are the things I’d change:

  1. Consider the new P5B Vista edition motherboard. Comes with some ReadyBoost cache right on the motherboard, and some other tweaks.
  2. Corsair RAM instead of Super Talent.
  3. 8800GTS – doesn’t require two power connectors, easier to fit in most cases, still crazy fast
  4. Better power supply – Enermax or Antec
  5. Dell or Gateway LCD over ViewSonic. They have HDCP, and the 8800 card will as well, so you’ll be all set for HD video playback someday.
  6. Get a DVD drive with Lightscribe. Pretty cool for discs you make for others, and the Lightscribe feature is more or less “free” now. I have a $35 Samsung 18X writer that has Lightscribe.

Not criticizing your choices, just offering up what I’d do if I was putting together a similar system.

Ok updated list based on feedback. Looking pretty solid to me.

  1. I recommend adding a 10,000 RPM Raptor drive as the boot drive and keeping the 300 GB drive for data/apps. You will notice a difference. And no, they’re not noisy. I am a noise freak and I have one in my PC.

How does this work? You just load Windows on the Raptor and run everything else off the 300 GB drive?

I succumbed and just got this guy.

Good choice, roguefrog. That’s what I’m using right now in a dual-display setup with my old 2005FPW. Seems pretty decent overall, and I’m happy with it.

I just wanted to quickly say that many people underestimate how important the power supply is to ther overall stability of your system. Absolutely do not skimp on the power supply, especially if it is for a gaming rig with high energy requirements. Spend an extra $20-$30 for a rock solid PSU. Manufacturers are always slapping how much wattage the unit spits out all over the box, but less fluctuations and cleaner output is better than a high top end.

Comes with some ReadyBoost cache right on the motherboard, and some other tweaks.

The implementation is LAME. They put a usb thumb drive on the motherboard-- it routes to (and uses up) a USB port. Not a feature worth having. Just buy a cheap, fast USB key and save yourself some cash.

http://techreport.com/reviews/2007q1/asus-vistaedition/index.x?pg=1

Are there 10,000 RPM hard disks for SATA yet that have a reasonable capacity? I’d like to toss out the SCSI host adapter but if I do so I’d like a capacity upgrade at the same time, and those Raptors are just around 150 MB.

Why do you need two fast drives? The boot/primary drive is the only one that needs to be super fast. Get a 750gb 7,2000 RPM SATA drive as your secondary.