post #31 of 31
My belief is that regardless of the rigs purpose, the PSU is the single most important piece of the puzzle. It's the one component that can in one fell swoop take out every other component in your rig. A quality PSU can make the difference between a rig that boots first time out, and has zero stability probs, and one that gives you fits on bootup, and creates difficult-to-trace reboot & stability probs.

All other components are secondary to the PSU.

In order from there:
2: Motherboard
3: Memory
4: GPU
5: HDD
6: CPU
7: Optical
8: Case

As far as percentages go, It's a little different, due to the relative cost of the components.

1: The largest portion of money in a new build (assuming a gaming rig) should go to the GPU. This is the Component that makes or breaks a gaming rig.
2: CPU
3: Memory
4: 2-way tie: PSU, Motherboard
5: HDD(s)
6: Case
7: Optical Drive(s)

This is from my experience in building rigs at the price point I'm capable of supporting. Someone with a $5K+ budget will have the financial priorities a little different, due to some components scaling in price faster than others (i.e.- PSU vs. CPU or GPU. A Top notch PSU is going to top out at between $200 and $450 dollars, while a bleeding edge CPU will easily top the $1K mark, and single GPU's can go for $500+ with Crossfire or SLi setups topping $1K as well).

As always YMMV.

I'm not including cooling in this, because I consider that to be subjective. The debate between Air vs. Water vs. Exotic Liquid (Peltier Block or Slushbox) vs. Phase vs. Multi-Stage Cascade can take up many threads on it's own. Personally, I believe the cooling costs should roughly be in line with the relative '1337ness' of the components used. Air would be a waste on an AMD FX series or Intel X6800, While Phase or Cascade would be wasted on a rig based on an Intel 805 D or AMD64 3000+.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 @ 3150MHz Gigabyte P35-DS3R Diamond HD2900XT 1GB 4GB DDR2-1000 G.SKILL 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 750GB 32mb + 3x 250GB Samsung SATA Windows XP SP2 Samsung 941BW (HANNS.G 28" on the way) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Old Dell Clicky-Type w/ Cherry Sliders PCP&C 510 SLI LIAN LI PC-7B Razer Lachesis 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
E4300 @ 3150MHz Gigabyte P35-DS3R Diamond HD2900XT 1GB 4GB DDR2-1000 G.SKILL 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Samsung 750GB 32mb + 3x 250GB Samsung SATA Windows XP SP2 Samsung 941BW (HANNS.G 28" on the way) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Old Dell Clicky-Type w/ Cherry Sliders PCP&C 510 SLI LIAN LI PC-7B Razer Lachesis 
Mouse Pad
Func F10.S 
  hide details  
Reply