For all intents and purposes let's pretend I know nothing about computers, or how to build one. And that I have no supplies for building a rig except for a static band, and some case/expansion screws and screwdrivers.
It's a gaming rig.
I don't plan on overclocking anything this time. I think a Conroe plus 7900 will destroy WoW at high settings. I also already have a 200GB WD with a 16MB cache, a 127GB Max with a 8MB cache that are somewhat old, but chkdsk hasn't noticed any bad sectors as of yet so I figure I Can keep em going with a fresh full format.
Also... this PC currently as a Radeon X700 Pro 256MB in it, but I think I may have burned it, OCing it for well over a year. A couple problems.
One includes When im playing WoW in windowed mode, if a popup comes up(like windows update telling me updates need to be installed, or if I mouse over something on the taskbar and a pop-up info panel comes up)... The entire system lags up. WoW will drop to >15FPS, and the rest of the PC is also lagging this way, when the pop-up dissapears things go back to normal.
The major problem right now is that my limit is >$1000. Im thinking about possibly building the new system without a new video card. Swapping in me X700 for right this second, then grabbing a late 7 series geforce after the prices go down(or possibly if a gt/gtx is on sale at black friday).
Another note, this current rig will be outfitted with a cheap HDD and be turned into a server 2K3 box to play around with for my MCSA/MCSE class.
Current rig details:
Athlon 64 2800+ OCed to 2.2Ghz, 1.5MB corsair XMS pc3200 RAM OCed a bit, The HDD's and VCard i noted above. has a DVD/RW but I need to stick a floppy in it. Has ample cooling and airflow, BIOS usually shows a 35-45 degree CPU temp. I think with a cheap 7200RPM <100GB HDD i should be fine. And I should be okay with onbourd video(DFi Lanparty UT 300GB mobo) to run server 2K3 with the sole purpose of running labs, studying, etc.
So im thinking about ditching the vcard in the newegg links above, springing for some xms2 800 RAM. With shipping I think that may hit me around a grand. Then pickup a sweet 7/8 series around black friday/post-xmas sales.
P.S. How is the onboard sound on the PB5-E? Im a bit of an audiophile. I cant tell the difference between 320kbs mp3's, and files that were jusr SAMPLED for 320kbs, but I have a 150Watt 2.1 pc sound system that I don't want to be cracky or crappy at high volumes. Also how is the onbourd nic? The onboard networking in thie dfi board has alot of problems I Swear. Should I spring for a nice $50 NIC, or just ay **** it and reserve that for the 2K3 test box.
***EDIT*** bleh, forgot to add. any advise on how to reduce cost while keeping high performance? or am i already in the grey area. Also, is there anything im missing. as far as I can tell ive got a good setup, with all parts able to run together. Am I missing an accessories that I just keep skipping over?