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Correct me if I'm wrong...
I'm not exactly new here. I've checked on this site from time to time for the past few years, and I've finally decided to give this thing a go.

I'll be needing a brand new computer however, and at the moment, I'm planning on purchasing a pre-built computer, from either Dell, Tiger Direct, or NewEgg (I still plan on shopping around for a few more weeks).
At the moment, I'm looking to spend around 1200, on a computer with atleast an intel core i7 860 2.8 ghz processor, and an ATI Radeon 5870.
According to the two benchmark threads you guys have put together, my framerate should, on average, run at around 60 fps, if I configure the emulator properly... Right?
Also, I'm not exactly sure how much memory I'll need with that set up; but I've currently considering 8 gigs of DDR3 RAM spread out over 4 slots. I think that might be overkill, but of course, I'll be using the computer for other things as well; and I do tend to multitask often so I figured I might as well start off with that. I'm not entirely sure of course, so if I'm wrong in any way, please let me know.
If it matters, I plan on running this on a 64 bit premium edition of Windows 7.

Now, with all that said, how far can I go to lower down the price and stay at a reasonable speed (around 50-60 fps)? Would I save more money choosing a less expensive processor or a weaker video card?
Could I save a significant amount by buying all the parts separately and building the computer myself? Would the trouble/risk of an over clocked but weaker processor be worth the price difference for someone unfamiliar with modifying computers?

I know the questions get really subjective at the end, but I would still appreciate any opinions you guys would have. Honestly, I've saved up two thousand for a computer, but I'm having second thoughts about spending so much on one, since I've already got a desktop and two laptops; one of which is only three years old (and it still performs comfortably for me). I'd love to have a powerful new computer, but being a college student, it might be a little smarter for me to keep a lot of this money saved for rent or tuition.

Sponsored links

Here's a list of what I'm saving up for, myself:

$39 Western Digital Caviar Blue WD1600AAJS 160GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0 Hard Drive (For XP & Win 7 Dual-Boot)

$115 Corsair XMS3 4GB DDR3 1600 Dual-Channel Kit CMX4GX3M2A1600C8

$105 GIGABYTE GA-P55M-UD2 (LGA 1156) mATX Motherboard

$195 Intel Core i5 750 CPU (I'm gonna overclock it to 3.8 GHz or 4 GHz)

$69 Zalman CNPS10X Quiet CPU Heatsink & Fan

What I Already Have:
$40 Cooler Master Elite 330 RC-300-KKN1-GP ATX Case

$20 each Two Scythe S-FLEX SFF21E 120mm Case Fans

$130 CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W Power Supply (70 amps on the single +12v Rail)

$230 GIGABYTE GV-N460OC-1GI GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB Video Card

Total Cost: $963 (not counting Shipping or Sales Tax)

Cool Link:
LGA 1156 Core i7 & i5 Overclocking Guide

Forgot to add the cost of an Operating System.
$100 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

$100 Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

You should be able to get a Student Discount on Windows 7. Ask @ your school.

Edit 2:
Money Saving Tips:
1. You probably don't need Windows XP, so don't buy it.
2. If you have any Spare Hard drives, use em, instead of buying new.
3. Same for Optical Drives.
4. Same for power supplies (just make sure to have enough amps on the +12v rail)
5. If you already own a copy of Windows 7, use that!
6. If you already have a good case, use it.
7. Can't skimp on the aftermarket cpu heatsink though, Ya need it for overclocking.
8. If you have at least an 8600GT Video card (active fan, not one of those silent ones), you can use it for now, and buy the GTX 460 later. However, the 8600GT can only handle up to 2x upscaling.

NOTE: The GTX 460 I bought needs lotsa room between the back of your case and your Hard Drive mounting area.
With the 2 PCIe 2x6 pin power cords plugged in, it's 9 inches long.
My PCSX2 Rig:Windows XP x32 & Windows 7 x64.
i5 2500k @ 4.0 GHz.
nVIDIA GTX 460 1 GB.
>Dun Click Here<

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