First off i am a AMD/ATI enthusiast. Always have been. This was the main problem i had when i built this system a few years ago, as i didn't have a big budget, and despite the performance gains from going intel, i couldn't justify the price, i was forced to adhere to a budget, and i went with AMD/ATI.
My current system is not bad per-se, it runs everything pretty decently (but not super crazy good) i primary play wow, and other mmo's (Diablo 3, Hearthstone, Rift, GW2) and i get pretty good fps in wow, most settings on high a few on medium, i raid a lot and i don't lag very often, but i also have never just maxed out all settings, i always end up tweaking them down to gain more performance
So my first step is narrowing down an Intel build and a AMD build but this time around i am fully open to doing an intel build if the performance vs price is warranted
My Budget (approximate....waiting on my tax return) 1000-1500
My current PC cost: ~550 in February 2012
My current specs:
CPU:AMD Phenom II X4 975 Black Edition @ 3.6ghz
RAM:Corsair 8gb (4gb x2) PC3 10700 @667mhz
MB:Gigabyte 970A - D3
HD:250gb Sata II (not ssd)
Power: Thermaltake 750
OS: windows 7 64 Ultimate
Video: XFX Raedon 6870 2gb
What i want:
CPU: at least 4-core, don't care about overclocking, not super power hungry, or run super hot (I'll get a heat sink too though) 4ghz or higher speeds or at least 3.6+ghz (my current cpu is 3.6)
Ram: 12gb (or 8 if price is right) fastest DDR3 (higher than the 10700, maybe the 1800?) If i go with an intel CPU was thinking i could run triple channel, if the performance would be better, 4gb x3 so that's why i said 12 gigs if that is optimal
Motherboard: Gigabyte, or Asus, or something similar in high quality enough to run everything above. Don't need super fancy board, no built on wi-fi or any of those bells and whistles, standard internet onboard, i plan on getting a sound card, so onboard sound is optional, board can hold 16 gig of ram, but not super important (as long as it holds 8-12) not looking for a board really that has a good upgrade path later, i typically run my builds 3 years+ and then use my old systems for my kids or other purposes, rather than upgrade them.
for Hard drive i want to finally get a nice SSD setup, as i have never had an SSD. I def want probably at least a 240 gig, if the price is decent, or higher if its not much more for say a 320. I dont know all the details and specs for SSD's but i want something that is very reliable, and fast and with good reviews etc, brand dont matter as i dont know anything about them.
For a case i am looking for a mid-tower, nothing huge but not small either, would like front usb/audio, tooless design or easy to put together, if it has extra fans or fan slots, be great, also the fans have mesh grills that can be cleaned. Main feature i would like to find this time around is something that is sound proof or super quiet...my current system when its humming at night is pretty noticeable, not super loud but if i can get something that has some noise dampening in it, when i hit power it doesn't sound like a jet taking off (fans etc) and stays relatively quiet, be great.
I also need a new power supply, as i am not going to be taking any parts from this PC to a new build, i am going to keep it for other purposes (kids etc)
my current monitor is an old Viewsonic, its pretty old LCD 19" (i think) its a VG910s model, its max resolution is only 1280x1024, so i have suffered for far to long with such a small resolution, despite my beefy video card, i would like to find a 2048 (or whatever) 1080 and i dont need 120hz necessarily but be ok to have. 20-25" would be ideal, unless find a really good deal on higher. Brand dont matter.
I'll need a DVD drive, but dont need OS
I would like speakers, and a sound card, gaming keyboard, and mouse (but that doesn't factor into the total budget i can get those later)
I am very experienced in building/researching all of this but i am not familiar as much with Intel and ssd's and newer technology so just need some good advice on getting the best gaming performance i can, budget can be moved up or down, but I'd like to stay under 1500, even 1200 would be great.
I'll also want a complete AMD setup, comparable part by part so in case i want to stick with AMD/ATI, but this year i am going to try making the switch to intel.