primarily using it for gaming and music
Get the latest ASUS motherboard model that can goes faster than ever!
-10,000 RPM boot drive
-OCZ memory with type and speed depending on chipset
-Geforce Series 8 GPU(higher end)
INTEL Core2 Duo 6600 or Higher
AMD X2 6000 or Higher
Geforce 7950/8800 GT or GTX 512 DDR3 or Better I would use the BFG Overclocked edition cards personaly. Also if you wanted to SLI them the 7950 cards are the best way to go. Two 8800 Video cards are just overkills for any computer.
2+ Gigs of Dual Channel ram, or 8 Gigs of Quad channel ram
A good mother board with a nForce chipset and SLI compatable preferd for higher end gaming abilities. Chipset wise the nForce 680i would be the best bet for INTEL based computers, and the nForce 590 SLI would be the best for AMD based computers.
For Storage space. Harddrive I wouldnt use a 10k rpm drive. alot of people I know that have them complain that they go out alot faster than the 7200 rpm drives. But definatly a SATA 3.0gig Drive would be the best idea. about 250 gigs or more depending on how much space you use, or plan on using.
Now Sound wise.. 99% of computers now have good sound built in. but if you have to have better the Creative Audigy 2 or better cards would produce the best sound.
and of course a DVD-RW/CD-RW drive would be a must.
along with at least a 600watt or greater power supply.
That there would be able to build a great gaming machine that would also double for anything else you wanted it to do.
$114 - Intel e4300 CPU
$40 - Copper tower heatsink
$100 - P35 motherboard
$80 - 2 x 1gb sticks of performance RAM
$260 - Nvidia 8800gts 320mb
$160 - 2 x 320gb Seagate SATA drives (one for storage / page file)
$62 - 2 x Pioneer 112d DVD/CD burners
$90 - FSP, Seasonic, or Silverstone power supply 500watt+
$110 - Lian Li brushed aluminum case
$20 - memory card reader
$50 mid range sound card
$40 to replace stock case fans with performance models, PCI slot fan to help cool the 8800gts, hard drive coolers, etc.
All from newegg.com.
If you currently have a Dell/Compaq or an old Pentium 4 computer, this would be like jumping from a Ford Focus to a Ferrari F430.
The e4300 CPU is clocked at 1.8ghz, but will easily overlcock to 2.8ghz+ and perform like a $350 chip (hence the aftermarket copper heatsink). A P35 motherboared will also support the newest quad cores that are rumored to drop in price to the $250-260 level later this year / summer. Heat is what kills electronic components, which is the reason I recommend higher performance fans (quieter too) and an aluminum case (it dissipates heat much fast than steel). And, brushed aluminum cases just have that high-end look. Besides, a decent cheap steel plastic case will run $50'ish and look like crap.