I've been lurking here for awhile now trying to soak up all of the knowledge on building my own gaming/work rig. So let me start by saying thanks to all the contributors. I wanted to get some feedback on the system I am looking at. Primarily, is everything compatible. Secondary, I have some choices when it comes to several of the components I am looking at and I would like your input.
1) Work (office, photoshop, internet),
2) Gaming (all games),
Do I need any extra cooling (fans, thermal grease, etc.)? What if I intend to OC CPU?
Will this system be able to run most games (excluding Crysis) on high settings with 1920x1200 resolution?
My preference is for the x38, but I want to have SLI option open--anyone have good experiences with 780i?
Is everything compatible?
Last but not least, I've tried to choose components (PSU, Case) that would run relatively silent. Are there any components that I have listed that will be loud as this will be going in my bedroom and my wife is a light sleeper.
There is no point in having the CD burner, as the DVD burner will burn CD's aswell anyway. With the RAM go for the patriot. And with the PSU go for the Silverstone. I also reccomend the MSI P7N Platinum motherboard. Check it out. That will bring you down around $100 - $150 - $200. Which you can then spend on a cheap fan. The artic silver fan is pretty popular. And you can upgrade your graphics card or get an extra graphics card even.
There's no point in having a SLI mobo and not utilizing SLI. Yes, I know you want to have the option, but do you realize that not every game will increase in performance in SLI? A better solution that works across the board is an X2 card like HD3870X2 or 9800GX2 which will boost game speeds. The 9800GX2 would be the best choice for now since it beats out most everything in games.
Save the money, pick up a P35/X38 board like ASUS P5K-E or P5E, 9800GX2, and you have a pc that wipes the floor with the one you listed above.
Instead og a GX2, I'd buy a second GTS if you really want top end performance. If you don't want to spend that cash (right now or later) then that's fair enough, but you want to make the most of a 24" monitor, a GTS should be OK for that, obviously the more the merrier though. Besides that I'd go for a nice dual core like an E8400 or an E3110 if you're not doing any video editing (I'm not sure what Photoshop utilises)
I'd probably go for the Silverstone PSU, but there's not too much in it. Two GTSs might push 650W, but you should be OK with either, they're both great.
I have to agree with the idea of using the Silverstone. You might also look into the PC P&C Silencer X-Fire, it has been given great stability reviews, and has 8 pin PCI-E connectors for future upgrades.
If you're not OC'ing RAM, get the Patriot. The difference in the CAS latencies will only be noticeable for synthetic benchmarks, not real use.
With using the less expensive components, you gain the budget room to add an additional 8800GTS for SLI. Also, you can switch brands around and gain some more wiggle room, either for savings or to put into a good HSF (Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme or Xigmatek HDT-S1283) for the processor or extra case fan.
If you are serious about overclocking (as in you really want to, not you're an enthusiast), think about a dual core, 45nm preferably. The quad core isn't fully utilized, and you could save money and ease overclocking by using an E8400, if you can find one.
Thanks for all the advice so far. Based on everyone's input, I have eliminated the CD-RW and the Corsair Ram.
I am still on the fence with the PSU. The reason why is I've read the Silverstone is a great PSU--very reliable. The only issue with the Silverstone is I heard it's loud compared to the 620HX which is almost whisper silent. Also, the 620HX is SLI certified. Is everyone still recommending the Silverstone?
Also, now I am questioning the 780i mobo. Is there a reason people consistently recommend the x38 vs. the Nvidia mobos? My reasoning for going with the 780i is that 2 years down the road if I want to do a cheap upgrade (less than $150) I can buy another GPU and SLI it. If I have the x38 then I have to spend at least $250-300 to get another top of the line card. Is this logic faulty?
Im just going to kill this thread. =[ New Intel Nehaelem Socket is coming out so the motherboard will have to be replace anyway. Thats only if you care and thats a year or so away from being consumer friendly. But at the moment I strongly recommend the SLi. Everyone who reccomends the X38 are not in the posisition of spending the money. Go with the 8800GT and SLi down the track if need be. Bottom line is get a reasonabley cheap priced 780i board. And you will love it untill everyone switches to the new socket. =]
The SLI user says they'll add a 2nd card when money is available, but most of the time they never did & sold the single-GPU SLI build. The SLI option is $150 extra. That's too much IMO. You can pick up a $70 IP35-E that overclocks better. If you want it to last a few years, look at X38/X48. The P5E is a bit more than $200. X38 overclocks better than P35.
Is the the SLI option worth $150 extra? Bearing in mind that you won't utilize SLI until 1-2 years later, but then many of the current cards will be discontinued. Oh yea, word is nvidia is gonna discontinue 9800 series. It was a rumor.