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Hey! A couple of years ago now, a few months before the first DirectX 10 video cards were released, I built my first gaming computer. It was and is still a nice machine capable of running, at least, most of the games that are coming out, but I've reached that point where I know it just can't keep up much longer. Thus the time has come for a new machine. I'll admit upfront that ever since I built my machine, I haven't paid a bit of attention to the computer/hardware scene and as I've started looking about, that inattentiveness has really come back to bite me. Looking through reviews I see all kinds of processors with all kinds of multi-core setups. I see tri-video card SLI set ups with 2 cores each, etc. I'm totally confused as to what makes a good rig nowadays.

To answer the questions in the sticky:
1. Budget: I'd like to have about as much performance as I can possibly get for $2600-$3000 not including monitor and peripherals.

2. Brands: I've had lackluster experiences with ASUS and Creative, but I don't really harbor any resentment and would (have) to buy their products.

3. Multitasking: Extreme multi-tasking for me is having firefox open in the background while I play a videogame.

4. Gaming: The system's core purpose is high end video gaming.

5. Calculations: I do not anticipate it.

6. Overclocking: OCing is something I was always interested in, but never really did for lack of knowledge and fear of damaging something - realistically I made OC my memory a tad bit but nothing more really.

7. Storage: I rarely have much on my PC so I don't need much storage space. I used a <100 gig harddrive for a long time and was perfectly happy with it.

8. Legacy Support: Not really

9. Operating System: Vista

10. Case: I think one of my mistakes last time was buying a crappy case that looked cool, but ended up being gimmicky. I would appreciate help in this area. Size is not really an issue for me beyond say a cubic yard (even then it's not a big deal).

11. Accessories: I can handle this :wink:.

12. Recycled Components: No, this current machine will become a back up.

13. Monitor: Please do not include this in the budget. I will eventually be getting a new monitor as I still use a CRT (*gasp* - but it looks great and has always worked). I'd like a widescreen monitor - those 21" ones have always seemed fine to me.

14. Stores: I've bought from Newegg in the past and they've always been great. If at all possible I'd like to support them.

15. Location: Texas! Er... I mean the U.S.! :1angel:

Thank you very much for reading this and for any help you can give me towards getting started on a build.
 

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Okay, here is a base layout that would probably be a good start. Note that this board does not support 2 nvidia cards, but you will have the power of the 9800gx2. Another thought I have is to wait a month to see what happens with these new graphics cards that are about to be launched.

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128336

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145197

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115042
You could also get this if you don't want to OC: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115036

HDD (x2 for RAID 1): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136150
If you want to blow some cash here, get this instead: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136260

VGA: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130338

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151027
Yes, it's a lower wattage supply, feel free to burn some more cash and get this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151031

OS: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116204

DVD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136142

HSF: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186134
If you want to spend more: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835118019
Or go WC

A couple case options (I like the P182 best): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119138

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129025

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&DEPA=0&Description=thermaltake+armor&x=0&y=0

Hope that helps...

~P
 
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