Very self-explanatory title, I've pretty much been waiting to get a new pc since last year but have restrained myself so i could focus on study. i want to be able to run games like starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 (when it finally comes out) on full graphics at 1920 x 1080 res (24" mon), up to some more graphically intense games like skyrim or potentially BF3 (which i understand will rinse most pcs that push it) on decent settings. I will also be using this computer for sound processing in Ableton live. My mate that i produce with bought a computer earlier in the year with a i7 870 which seems to be able to handle fairly competently, although it can get choked up in some of the bigger projects (we often use a lot of effects/synths simultaneously).
In terms of location, I live in Canberra, Australia. I have been using http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/ as a reference tool for pricing, although it seems like my local computer fair is a bit cheaper. My budget is up to $1500 AU, and I have no pre-existing components other than a 24 inch mon.
I have very basic knowledge of computers, from which most comes from PCpowerplay, an australian gaming/tech magazine i was subscribed to about 5 years ago. I've installed a number of succeeding video cards into my last desktop pc (a dell) which i found rather satisfying, so am leaning towards building the 'pute myself
In terms of components, I read AnandTech's review of the sandy bridge line and it pretty much convinced me to get a 2500k or 2600k cpu. At the fair i found the i5-2500K for $219, and the 2600K for $339, which seem to be reasonably good prices given my location. for GPUs, i saw a Sapphire 2GB HD6970 for $390, Gigabyte 1GB GTX560 for $210, Sapphire 2GB HD6950 for $290 and Sapphire 1GB HD6950 for $230 (just to give you some idea of pricing). if i've still got a bit of free cash i'll probably invest in another monitor, i saw a benq 24" LCD for $199 (2 monitors would be ninja for producing). other than that, i saw a Cooler Power Gx850 for $60 and the Gx500 for $35.
whilst i'm interested in building a computer myself, i could potentially find myself just buying a premade box. to give you an idea of premade comps from the fair, here's one that seems fairly reasonable given what i'm looking for:
Intel i5 2500K (2600K + $110)
gigabyte GA-Z68XP-D3 motherboard
8GB(2x4) DDR3 1600Mhz ram (16GB +$70)
SATAIII 2TB HDD
2GB ATI 6950
8 channel 7.1, Gigabit LAN
Blu ray dvd burner with software
CoolerPower 850W power
Aywun Gaming Tower
I'm also interested in overclocking, seems like something that would be rather fun. So if anybody could give me a short rundown on the additional considerations i'll need to take (better/extra coolers?) that would be great!
anyway thanks in advance everyone, very excited for the day i finally boot this thing up!