I'm hoping to buy the pats for a new PC this weekend, and wanted to check if the March 2011 feature would be a good starting point. If so what are some of the parts that are outdated or have been superseded by better option over the last 15 months?
I'm going to try to follow Mirado's guide for these posts (http://www.tested.com/forums/pc-and-mac/44063-need-advice-building-a-pc-read-this/)
Budget: $1200-1500 (I'm hoping that some items have gotten cheaper since the March 2011 build)
Current Parts: I have no parts right now, not even a mouse
Expected Use: Games, Adobe Lightroom, word processing, watching Blu-Rays and Microsoft Excel
Where I plan on buying parts: I've done business with Amazon and Newegg in the past and I'd prefer to just focus on using them
Preferred Gaming Resolution: 1920x1080
Games I'd like to Play on it: Racing games (Burnout, Need for Speed), Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Batman Arkham City, Hydrophobia, Battlefield 3. I'd prefer to play these close to maxed out, but solid 30fps is OK to me.
Other Points from the (basic research) I've done: I don't have air conditioning that runs relatively cool. When I'm not gaming I like to work in relative quiet so I'd prefer a machine that does not make a lot of noise when performing basic tasks like word processing and web browsing. I've heard that AMD chips are better on both of these counts.
Overclocking: I don't want to overclock the CPU or graphics card.
Any advice is appreciated. I hope that the redundancy of my thread is mitigated by my attempt to follow Mirado's protocol. http://www.tested.com/news/feature/2003-how-to-build-a-future-proof-1500-gaming-pc/
Do you have access to a copy of Windows? If you are a student, you might be able to get one cheap.
The list is imperfect, but it's more or less what I'd be looking at. it's missing a display... pick one at your leisure. Processor wise, I'd probably get a Sandybridge 2500 or 2600 (NOT 2500k or 2600k), since Ivy Bridge is mostly for integrated graphics. It's a good way to save some money. Sure, you could go Ivybridge, but I don't think the (mostly) modest performance jumps are worth it.
Keyboard: Amazon is selling Das keyboards right now for $99. I'd get one of those, because that's around 30% off or so. I love mechanical keyboards. I have the das added on the wishlist on newegg, but you could easily save $45 right there.
Mouse... it's the new-and-improved MX518, which was a pretty standard gaming mouse. They're good. I recommend. Can always switch for something cheaper.
I like AMD. The 6 series is quick and dirty. Cheap too. Should play all of your games fine. You can certainly spend more money here. I had a 610 (I think? it's late... -_-) in the cart earlier, but decided that you probably didn't need that much and would appreciate an SSD... which leads me to my next point. The computer has an SSD. It's been a while since I've read anything concerning computer parts, really... so I'm not sure how the SSD I chose stacks up. Hopefully another member can point something a bit better if such exists. You may want to look into purchasing a larger storage medium, as games tend to take up a lot of space. This is up to you. Western Digital Black series is king, FWIW.
Memory, Motherboard, Powersupplies were chosen mostly on brand name, for reliability/reputation. It's all fairly solid hardware.
I picked a generic case. You might be happy, you might not. It's an ok case... nothing special.
e: build as linked above has $70 in mail-in rebates and is missing a monitor and any other additional storage. I just added a bluray drive, since I remembered that was something you wanted to have.
e2: no speakers or headset in this build
@MAGZine: That is a good build. The only things I would do different are a) use Nvidia, but that's just personal preference, b) find a cheaper motherboard like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128545 or this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131820 (I don't think the Sabertooth is really worth an extra $40) and c) go to Microcenter for the CPU, if possible. They have i5-3570K for $190, so you get slightly better performance, lower power, and the ability to overclock for less money.
That's a perfectly good machine, and it's easy enough if desired.
@AwesomeAndy: totally down for the second motherboard. I don't buy Gigabyte anymore, as of all of the machines I've built, Gigabyte has been the only one to fail.
Thanks for the input guys. Would you advise going with a current gen graphics card or staying with the 560ti? How is the 560ti in terms of heat and noise performance compared to say this year's AMD cards?