I've had it with pre-builts, but the task of building a system myself has always been rather daunting considering how much money can be wasted if something goes wrong. Even in this day and age where there are countless instructional articles and videos on how to put together a rig, I still shudder at the thought of something breaking off, pins being bent, or any manner of error that can come from silly mistakes. To make me feel just a little worse, there are YouTube videos of 12 year-olds manually building a high-end system without a hitch. In my mind if I could build a system without the fear of having any money lost should I make a mistake, I wouldn't hesitate to do so.
Part of my apprehension stems from the seemingly delicate nature of components, and even during basic upgrades I've had to apply more physical force than I would have liked, although I'm sure they're more durable than I presume. My experience with the internals of a system amounts to changing a graphics card, installing an additional hard drive, installing extra RAM, and changing the CPU heatsink and fan (though only removing thermal paste, as ACF7 had pre-applied paste).
With the psycho babble aside, I'm looking to build a system for moderate gaming and multi-tasking at 1440 x 900, but I want the system to last at least 2-3 years without having to upgrade. I've been deliberating between the Q9550 and i7 920, along with their respective motherboards and optimal quantities of RAM. With regards to overclocking, I may wish to overclock in the future to increase performance, although that will increase the cost of certain components (e.g. motherboard) and I'd prefer to keep costs down, hence my reason for choosing the Q9550 in the first place.
- RAID 1 hard drive step for data security, at least 750 GB.
- GTX 260 Core 216
(I will not go with ATI for now due to my negative experience with Catalyst and my current 4850)
- Vista Home Premium 64-bit (I won't bother waiting for Windows 7)
- Antec 902/Cooler Master HAF 932
- Modular PSU preferred, but I can try and work with cabling if it's cheaper
- Affordable and efficient CPU cooler
Note I do want the system to last 2-3 years without the need for upgrades, hence my choice of the GTX 260 over a GTS 250 despite running at 1440 x 900. I don't play first person shooters and full adoption of DX11 will most probably take a good few years, so I think I should be fine in the graphics department.
I'm open to all opinions, suggestions, tweaks, modifications etc. and appreciate any feedback.
I usually shop at Ebuyer