$2k 1st home build review advice

First time builder 2nd post, but I have a much clearer view of whats around and what I want. Sorry for two posts but I was a bit clueless before so ignore my previous post
Purchase Date: Asap
Budget: $2k £1.3k or less
Usage: Gaming, Video Playback, Video & Photo Editing, Photoshop, Surfing, maybe a bit of work!
Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor, OS (Windows xp)
Overclocking: Maybe
Crossfire: Maybe later (when required and 975 isnt $1k)
Resolution: 1280 x 768 and up for games (xp is unreadable any higher)

Heres where I’m at so far:

Antec 300 Three Hundred Case

Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB

ASRock X58 Deluxe LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

SAPPHIRE 100281SR Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb

Sony BDU-X10S Blu-Ray BD-ROM SATA Internal Retail Kit

Sony Optiarc Black 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R

COOLER MASTER Intel Core i7 compatible Hyper N

GELID Solutions FN-SX12-10 120mm Silent Case Fan - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready

As far as I can tell everything here is ftw, but let me know if I should switch anything or add anything like zalman instead of cooler master. Don’t worry about the cost too much as I am in the uk so newegg is for demonstrative purposes only. May go for standard intel heatsink/fan to start as Im not overclocking it yet.

Im a bit worried that the 10.5’ hd5870 wont fit in that case (which I really like so have already bought)?

Current monitor is a 30’ sony lcd but it’s component not hdmi and doesn’t support 1080p, so I may upgrade it in the future. It has vga in though and most cards have dvi>vga adaptors. This is still ok right?

Any advice is welcome, but my main concerns are cooling, graphics card, and the mobo.
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  1. I am curious why you would want the 950 over the 920, if you are willing to overclock, but obviously the 950 is higher ranked for a reason.

    Also, are you stuck with Windows XP? Also, do you have the 64-bit version of XP? Two things about this. XP-64 had had some issues, and if you are going 64-bit, then Vista or 7 is a better option for stability and efficiency. Also, if you don't have the 64-bit version, but only have the 32-bit version, then you will be limited in the amount of RAM you can use - particularly capped at 4gb (including GPU ram). Just wanted to make sure you are aware of this limitation (if you weren't already).
  2. It doesn't make sense to get the 920 in the uk at the moment - it's like £200 $318.88 for that and £300 $478.32 for 950!! compare that to neweggs prices and you'll see what I mean.

    I don't necessarily want to overclock but if it becomes a necessity I'll do it. I'll see how it performs and if I need it.

    My xp is 32bit, Im waiting for 7 as I hated vista (who doesn't). It's out so soon I probably wont even bother with xp unless I go for cheaper upgrade option if possible.
  3. Alright, I may be crazy, but did you list a PSU?
  4. CarmineB said:
    It doesn't make sense to get the 920 in the uk at the moment - it's like £200 $318.88 for that and £300 $478.32 for 950!! compare that to neweggs prices and you'll see what I mean.
    I dont get it. They both overclock to about 4GHz so you end up with the same speed. Why pay more?
  5. Everything looks good. If you can get your hands on a better, aluminum case, you'll see much better temp levels, especially if your ambient temp is going to be high.

    I would recommend going with the i7 920. Almost every chip can be easily overclocked to 3.6Ghz - 4GHz. The heatsink you have would be fine for the overclock. Even if its less than $100 difference between the 920 and 950, you're still throwing money away on it.

    I'd recommend getting faster RAM PC16000 is fine, but you'll want some headroom, especially if you want to get the best value from overclocking slightly. The difference in cost is minimal. In fact, the money you'll save buying a 920 is probably 10x more than the price different of the RAM.

    Lastly, Remember that your Windows XP 32-bit won't recognize your 6GB of RAM. You mentioned getting windows 7, which would be a good choice, so the 6GB will help you there.

    Everything else looks good, video, hard drive, optical drivers, etc. The all look good. The aluminum case is a good buy though, especially if you're doing all air-cooling.

    My advice: Go with the 920 processor, spend slightly more on faster RAM and the rest of your savings from the CPU on an aluminum case.
  6. Antec 300 illusion case is one of the best small air-cooling cases available. The only upgrade is larger, not better cooling. Steel vs aluminum is a cooling issue? Never heard that one before.
  7. With a 2k budget I would definitely fit a SSD into your build somewhere.

    I also agree with DNDHATCHER about getting the 920 instead to save a few bucks.
  8. Thanks for responses.

    I did forget the psu somehow?! :ouch: I've added it in above it's the corsair 750w.

    I might think about the 920 if I can find one for about £160. I'd probably run the 950 without oc for now.

    I live in the uk so ambient temps will only be high for about 2 weeks of july! To be honest I don't think that'll be a problem where Im at, temperature rarely gets above 20c except those 2 weeks. Sorry no Fahrenheit

    With the ram is their a particular manufacturer I should pick or just get the cheapest?

    Im considering an ssd for the primary but it might be a push on my budget, so i'll leave it til last and see if I can afford one.
  9. Ripjaws for sure! Although, I am bias because I own them :). As for the PSU, the Corsair would be fine. Good quality. Let us know how the 950 goes.
  10. Kingston and PNY I would avoid. They are always the cheap discounted RAM at Frys for a reason.

    An SSD would speed boot time, game load time and map load time. It would have no FPS benefit during play. They have also been improving rapidly over the past year so my opinion is you will regret buying one today in six months when even better ones come out. You need to be really careful if you do buy one. There are only about 3 good models out right now, the rest are year old tech that is far inferior.
  11. Well Im nearly there probly gonna go rad 5850 as my budget is nearly gone! I went with G.Skill 3GB

    As Im staying mostly 32bit for now (3gb ddr3 + 1gb 5850 =4gb), I always have the option of upgrading later

    Am probably going to dual boot xp 32bit and windows 7 64bit and get the cheap 7 without xp virtualization :non:

    I'll let you know the finished results
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