I am new to toms hardware and to building a system entirely on my own. I had help from a knowledgeable friend in building my first rig which I am now replacing. The only things I am keeping from it are the case, hard drive and the PSU which is a Corsair TX 750w.
For a GPU I want the Radeon HD 7950 but am still a bit undecided as to which company to go with(powercolor, asus, MIS, etc.) and could use some suggestions as I don't know who is more reliable and who has a track record of issues. My main issue is that some brands are more expensive than others with little bit of difference I want the best specs(good cooling, graphics clock, texture fillrate etc.) but want to keep the price between $200-$230 at the most or lower if possible. Reason being if I don't spend so much on the cpu, gpu and mobo I could possibly buy a ssd to boost my system performance. But if I absolutely have to I could shell out some more dough on the better buy if it will help to minimize future problems.
But I was looking at these 2 because of the price but don't like the one fan as I think that might not be efficient cooling. PowerColor AX7950 3GBD5-2DHV4 Radeon HD 7950 Boost State MSI R7950-3GD5/OC BE Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit
As for a mobo I had 2 in mind one being the BIOSTAR Hi-Fi Z87W because of its cheap price. The other one the ASUS Z87-A I don't plan on ever using the NVIDIA Quad-GPU SLI or AMD Quad-GPU CrossfireX Technology. I plan on sticking to one GPU so besides the other specs maybe this is a reason to go for the other mobo?
These are the only 2 i've really look at so far as i've spent most of my time researching the CPU and GPU so any suggestions will help greatly.
Oh and I'll probably need a new O.S. as well cause I'm working off of XP right now lol.
The goal is to build a suitable system that will be able to handle the best of games at high performance levels for at least 3 yrs+ and keep my budget between $500-$600. Games like skyrim, starcraft 2 and all future expansions, assassins creed 3, sleeping dogs, borderlands 2, Battlefield 3, Guild Wars 2 etc. I know this might be a bit to ask of my modest budget but thats why I'm here to find out if I can make that happen but again if I absolutely have to I can increase my budget to $700. Simply put I want to get the best bang for my buck.
Also, if I did want to overclock my GPU at any point would I need to invest in a better PSU or cooling system etc.? I have never done it before but from what I've read the radeon 7950 makes it pretty easy to do and I might consider doing it if it won't cost me too much.
If you know of any good sales going on right now I'd be pleased to know about them.
Do you think a rig like this will reach my goals? This PC is being built in the U.S. I hope that covers everything. All helpful opinions and comments are welcome :-) Thanks in advance.