flukedrk the Shady wrote:
I'm not an enormous fan of AMD...mostly because for the longest time they were seen as the budget knock-offs for people who couldn't afford Intel and the image just stuck. I'm not saying that's the case...just my own personal prejudice.
The Sapphire Vapor-X cards are supposed to be quite nice. I just put together a new rig (build blog link in sig...all that's left to do is install the water cooling and tidy up the cables in the back) and the 5870 in general is a great card, but it runs hot
(88 degrees celcius under load) and the fan is noisy as all ****. The Vapor-X cooler is supposed to help with both of those issues. I'm very happy with the Caviar Black HD I bought last autumn (640GB) but I'd keep a very close eye on SSD prices as well. A 60-80GB SSD for Windows + a game or two is sweet. Very sweet. I tend not to have a wide array of games I play on a regular basis so for me, having an SSD where I can keep my OS + current favorite titles for performance and then another HDD (or in my case, 2 HDDs :P) for storage and media is very nice.
I'd also take a close look at cases. The Antec 900 was great for its time but I put all my new goodies in a Coolermaster HAF and don't regret spending that little bit of extra money for a larger case. This is the first PC I've had where the case received almost as much consideration as the main components. The extra space and performance-related features really do make a substantial difference. For an air-cooled system, a HAF 932 full tower will fit everything you'd ever want to put into it with a good amount of room for airflow around everything (and lots of stock fans to drive said airflow). My roommate has an Antec 900 and he's not really happy with it...especially once he saw the HAF
Edit to add: If you haven't already done so, I'd highly suggest taking a look at an aftermarket CPU cooler. There are some really nice ones on the market these days and the Intel i5/i7 processors love to be overclocked. I wouldn't overclock one on the stock heat sink + fan, but if you have a few extra bucks to throw at it you can get a beefy unit that will help you safely get the most out of your new components.
Second edit to add: Corsair modular PSUs are the cat's pajamas. If I had been able to get my hands on one, I'd be running my new rig on one right now. They had a 950W Corsiar PSU on the shelf the last time I was at the computer store but it was one of the non-modular models. Both the 850W and 1000W units are sold out in my area with a relatively lengthy waiting list. My sole consolation is that my new PSU has racing stripes. Edited, Apr 6th 2010 4:03pm by AureliusSir