Hello everyone. I've built my own computers in the past, but it has been a while and (despite recent efforts) I'm a bit out of touch with current hardware and what kind of performance to expect out of it. I was hoping you guys could help stear me to a CPU & GPU. I'll give you as much information as I can, but I've been avoiding compiling complete builds since several things are up in the air. I'm willing to put together a complete build after choosing the CPU & GPU, but I certainly won't turn down advice on other parts.
* Desired use: Aside from playing games, I'd also like to record (FRAPs) gameplay, do some video editing, programming, and learn 3D modelling (Blender).
* Games: I'm a heavy MMO player, but I do enjoy games from other genres. (Mechwarrior Online, Skyrim, etc.)
* Resolution: I currently have two monitors (old 1600x1200, and a Dell ~2007 1680x1050). I'm entertaining the thought of trying out a 3-4 monitor setup (3 for gaming, 1 for non-gaming).
* Reusable parts - Pretty much nothing aside from the keyboard, mouse, [edit: speakers], and monitor(s). My current system has parts ranging from 4-6 years old.
* Budget: I expect to spend ~$2,000 for the system itself (excluding extras like new monitors), but willing to entertain a higher budget.
* Other comments - I'm planning on a 1 ssd, 2 hdd setup. One hdd for infrequently used / performance indifferent apps and storage. Second hdd for FRAPs recording. I'm thinking 16-32gb of RAM. [edit: I'm planning on placing a blu-ray optical drive in, as I'll be watching movies on this system.] Given my past history, it's likely this build will be used with minimal changes for quite a while.
With that said, I see three different CPU paths and three different GPU paths:
(Not starting a discussion / flame, but I prefer Intel & Nvidia products.)
* Intel I7 3770k - As I understand it, this is a very good CPU and has a lot of bang for it's buck. What I don't know is how being limited to dual channel will affect performance.
* Intel I7 3820 - A weaker CPU, but it supports quad channel. Generally inferior to the 3770k except with absurd overclocking, right?
* Intel I7 3930k - Extremely expensive for the performance. Extra cores most likely won't be utilized in any gaming situations, but are very useful for video encoding & 3D modelling. Like the 3820, it is quad channel. Choosing this will pretty much gurantee blowing the initial $2k budget.
* GeForce 670 - The 3770k of GPUs.
* GeForce 680 - The 3930k of GPUs. (Well, that'd be the 690, which is basically two cards in one.)
* SLI (no idea on which card I'd use) - The main reason I've even considered this option is if I decide to damn the torpedos and go with a 3-4 monitor setup and single GPU can't handle it. What I worry about is wasted money / performance with non-SLI games. I've only ever built single GPU systems, so I'm not familiar with how different architectures (dual / quad channel) interact with SLI, if at all. I do understand the difference between CPU (like most MMOs) & GPU limited games.
So, with that wall of text out of the way (but hopefully still read), what would your opinions be on a CPU/GPU for a dual monitor setup vs tri/quad monitor?