A great and timely thread: Thanks to the OP for starting it. I'm in the process of moving from console (xbox360) to PC-based gaming. What I want to do is cannibalize my current general productivity PC (based on Intel i5-2400 Sandy Bridge CPU w Asrock M-ATX mobo) and retrofit it for an effective gaming PC. Note that when I built this PC a couple of years ago, I never intended to use it for gaming as I had the xbox for that. Indeed, the only reason I chose an i5 CPU is that I also use this box for movie and music CD ripping and my ripping software for music (DB Poweramp) can leverage multiple CPU cores for faster rips). However, space for the hardware sitting on a small part of my desk is tight so a large part of my motivation for moving to the PC is to eliminate the clutter of a AV receiver plus xbox and only use the PC with a SoundBlaster multi-channel card combined with a very compact five channel power amp (I'll save it's identity for later but it sounds great and has some unusual features)
Though I'm reasonably well-versed on hardware requirements for HTPCs, I'm not so knowledgeable on gaming hardware so I hope the community can offer some suggestions. My plan at present is to remove everything except the power supply (which I know is underpowered for gaming: ~ 400W) from my current M-ATX case and move it to a new, admittedly small case that can take standard sized power supplies. At present I'm leaning toward the 850W Seasonic DaverJ mentioned previously. Questions:
Does my current Intel i5-2400 Sandy Bridge CPU provide enough processing power?
The graphic card I have in mind at present is EVGA's NVidia based GTX-760. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DHW4HXY/ref=gno_cart_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
. Will it, combined with my current i5 suffice for quality gaming in the near-term?
I'll concede in advance that the new case I have in mind is small, but this is by design as desktop space is rather limited. It also visually compliments my amp nicely. Based on reviews I've read it should be just large enough to accept the EVGA and SoundBlaster cards: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005LIDU5S/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER
I'm going to have to think about storage. My current PC has two 120 Corsair SSDs (one primary one quasi-hot spare) plus a Samsung 250GB laptop drive for storing daily system images for backup purposes. In an ideal world, I'd like to get a relatively large SSD (~500GB and use it for the OS, apps (I don't have many) and games, then use either a 500GB to 750GB 2.5" laptop drive (given the tight interior dimensions of the case) or similar sized 3.5 drive for system backups. The only downside to this is the cost of the larger SSD. If I store, say, two dozen PC games do any of you know roughly what king of drive space is consumed?
How about RAM? At present I have 4GB of DDR3 PC1600 memory. How much is required for smooth gaming (8GB, 16GB)? Further, does speed matter PC1866, PC2400, etc.?
This new productivity/gaming PC will be connected to a 47" 1080P LG LCD TV that I use as a PC monitor at a viewing distance of 3-4 feet (big screen effect for sure)
I also have four (no physical room for fifth center channel speaker) low cost, yet decent Pyle full ranges satellite speakers combined with a Atlantic Technology 10" powered sub for surround sound playback.
Any parts I cannibalize from my current PC that can't be used for the gaming PC will go to use as a test PC I intend to build. I already have the open case frame for it so no parts will go to waste.
In summary, my main questions are:
* Can I use my current Intel i5 CPU successfully?
* What RAM is required?
* Will a single EVGA GTX-760 work well on the video side?
* How much storage space will I need for a couple of dozen downloaded, mainstream games (Bioshock, ME trilogy, Borderlands 1 and 2, etc)?
Thanks in advance for the feedback.