I have been reading Tom's hardware for over a decade, but have never been in the forums. I decided to change that today after seeing how many people freely offer great advice and feedback on these forums. I assume I am not the only person who prefers to hang in the shadows, but still appreciates all the useful information on this site.
I'm posting the specs for my tentative computer build that I would like to purchase in the next few weeks. It will be replacing a Pentium 4 single core 2.6ghz w/ hyperthreading coupled with an Asus P4P800 Deluxe motherboard, 2GB of ram, and a ATI 2600 HD AGP video card. This set-up has performed quite admirably, I can still play most games and get things done in terms of image editing and programming... But... After the past few months I have had a few games purchased for me that I cannot run at playable frame rates, the YouTube HD option is for the most part unwatchable, and video editing has become a bit more time consuming (rendering, loading, etc) than I'd prefer.
That being said, I'm wondering if any kind souls could take a quick look at what components I have chosen and let me know if there are any compatibility issues, poor choices. or otherwise unworthy components. I'm also interested in suggestions for a decent CPU cooler. My aim was to balance price with performance while keeping power use in mind. I do wish to include a few next-gen components (i.e., SSD). I intend to overclock the CPU, but not very aggressively.
I have been toying with the i920 and an X58 mobo, but the recent article on Tom's seem to cast the i5 750 in such a positive light. It really is affordable and efficient.
4. Intel X25-M 80GB 2.5" SATA Solid State Disk (I was toying with getting the 160GB version, but my current C: is 40GB and I have 10GB free. I figure I can upgrade this when price are lower 5 years from now)
5. WD Green 1TB IntelliPower 32MB 3.5" SATA Hard Drive
6. LG LightScribe SATA Blu-ray/DVDRW Combo Drive, Black (I don't need to be able to burn BDs)
7. Diamond Radeon HD5870 1GB PCIe Video Card, Retail (TBH, I just selected the first 5870 I came across)
8. PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750Watt Quad ATX Power Supply, Blue (enough power for this system?)
9. Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64 (I could see no compelling reasons to get Ultimate)
The i750 is rated at 95 W, while the i920 is rated at 130 W. But the i920 requires a Northbridge chip which runs at about 30 W, whereas the i750 has the Northbridge capabilities already built into the processor. So you are right, the P55 will run considerably cooler than the X58.
Also the 5XXX series of graphics card also use considerably less power than the older generation cards. So much so that ATI recommends using a 500 W power supply with only one card, and only a 600 W power supply with two cards in crossfire. This means that you could downsize your power supply to save a few dollars, but if I were you I would stick with one you chose because it will allow to add additonal components (HDD, ODD, etc.) without having to worry about upgrading. By the way, you will not use any more power with your 750 W PSU because it is very efficient and will only supply the power that is needed by your system.
If you want something a little better, consider the Noctua ($75): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
This cooler will knock a few more degrees off the CPU processor, and give you a little bit more headroom for overclocking, but at over twice the price of the Hyper 212 you really have to be serious about overclocking.