I wanted to say thanks to Blaze, MrB, and Assailant.9 for their help in picking out what to go with. It was interesting to see differing opinions on what to go with, but in the end I had to make some compromises because of parts being out of stock, or my own wishes. I also used Ars Technicas Hot Rod guide as a base line of what I was interested in. I wanted to remain pretty close to what they recommended, just to see how it would turn out.
Here's the part list.
- Case - NZXT Zero Black/Silver Aluminum ATX Full
- Motherboard - Gigabyte GA-P55-UP4P LGA 1156 Intel P55 ATX
- Processor - Intel Core i5-750 Lynnfield 2.66ghz 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1156 Quad-Core Processor
- Graphics Card - EVGA GeForce GTX 275 1792MB
- Power Supply - Corsair CMPSU-620HX 620W ATX12V
- RAM - Corsair XMS3 6GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1333
- Hard Drive - Western Digital Caviar Black 640 GB 7200 RPM
- Optical Drive - LG Black 22x DVD+R
- Grand total of $1,250.
It only took about three hours to assemble, which surprised me. The basement of strewn with parts and pieces, and I was admittedly nervous when I hit the power button for the first time and nothing happened. However, MrB reminded me that there's a toggle button on the power supply that needed to be flipped as well. I installed Windows XP to start off with, but will probably switch to Windows 7 in 2010 sometime. The case is very quiet, I hardly notice when it's running, and it's big enough to expand and upgrade in the future, since I see myself owning this particular case for at least 5 years.
But the best part? I can play pretty much any new game at 1920 x 1280 with settings nearly maxed out. It's AWESOME. I've never tried benchmarking before, but I ran 3DMark 05, and it came up with scores of 23731 3DMarks and 15116 CPUMarks, which seems pretty good since I haven't overclocked anything yet. But both Modern Warfare 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 look and run perfect. And that's what matters to me.
So yeah, there's my baby. Check another thing off my resolutions!