We have an Antec 850W that performs better than a Signature that appears to cost less than a Signature. We have a unit that was promised to do 80 Plus standard, but ended up doing Bronze. No, the unit didn't quite match the Signature in terms of voltage stability, but it came real close. And to be honest, the differences in voltage readings were so small you could put them down to connector resistance. And since the ripple and noise suppression more than made up for the slightly less stable voltages... [Performance Rating =]10.0
If the CPX form factor [which the 1200 uses] catches on, the CP-850 will be flat out untouchable. It is completely unmatched by any ATX unit on the market I can think of. You'd have to spend twice as much as this thing costs to find the next best thing, performance wise. I'd like to see some better capacitors in there, but you just can't fault the CP-850's performance here.
I don't know how Antec managed something this awesome for such a low price, but they must really want the CPX form factor taking off if this is the performance we're getting.
The Antec CP-850 is a superlative power supply by almost any standard. Its electrical performance is up at the level of its more expensive brethren, the Signature 650 and 850, and Seasonic's flagship, the M12D-850: Voltage regulation is extremely tight for all the lines at all loads, and the ripple noise is amazingly low.
The noise performance is excellent, with the <400W performance matching or bettering virtually every PSU tested thus far. Above 500W load in our heat box, the noise level goes over 40 dBA@1m, or about the norm for PSUs rated this high. It has the virtue keeping itself extremely cool, however, cooler than any other PSU we've tested at such high loads.
A serious consideration is that in each of the three compatible Antec cases, the CP-850 mounts on the bottom, and the intake for the PSU is quite separate from the rest of the system. Our atypical spot check with a room ambient thermal test showed the CP-850 would reach only 24 dBA@1m at 700W load in a 27°C working environment. This is ridiculously quiet for such high power output.
For the quiet-seeking computer gaming enthusiast, the CP-850 (along with any of the three compatible cases) is something of a godsend. Fantastically stable power, super low noise at any power load, long expected reliability due to excellent cooling, modular cabling, and all at a price that's no higher than many high end 6~700W models.
I built a box last year with my son w/ the Antec 1200, Antec 850 PSU, Rampage II Extreme and 295
CPU - You will get a lot of advice saying that the 975 is a waste since you can OC a 920 well past 975 stock speeds for a whole lot less. What's ignored tho is that you can OC a 975 way way beyond a 920.
MoBo The R2E is a great OC and combined with the CP-850 you will be guaranteed extremely stable voltages....however the R3E is supposed to be right around the corner.
Memory - You'll want two 3 x 2GB sets not three 2 x 2 GB sets. DDR3-1600 will get you all the OC ability you need and can be had down to CAs 6. Best available is the Mushkin 998692's w/ the Ascent coolers but they are extremely hard to find. tHE 998691'S are the same thing but w/o the cooler sand they can be used in 12 GB configurations whereas the coolers on the 962's might give a problem on some MoBos. Both are extremely hard to find atm. These are the next best thing:
Hard Drives - Check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):
GFX - You'll get a lot of flak on the 295 but to my mind, it's still a viable choice of you can get one for the right price and you don't keep GFX cards for more than 2 years till you upgrade. It doesn't win its category on the THG January roundup.
But then neither did the 5850, 5870, 5970 .... they all won the same "honorable mention" as the 295 so apparently I'm not alone in my thinking. I liked the card better at it's $450-465 price tag which it had until the 5870's / 5970's prices went up.
Despite ATI's new Radeon HD 5970 taking its place as the fastest graphics card on the planet, Nvidia's GeForce GTX 295 (with SLI-on-a-board) remains an extremely powerful graphics card. Essentially two conjoined GeForce GTX 275s, the GeForce GTX 295 offers very notable gains over a single Radeon HD 5870 in the great majority of game titles
Still, it's quite a bit of money to spend and you should take a hard look at the 5870 / 5970 especially if you have no interest in PhysX or expect to keep the GFX card for more than 2 years.
Heat Sink - For performance and ease of installation, the Prolimatech Megahalems fits both criteria. It's in the top 3 performance wise and is extremely easy to install. Here's what I'm putting in new builds Mega w/ IC Diamond TIM and twin Scythe PWMfans (make sure ya MoBo can handle the fan wattage). ($95 for the HS, TIM. two PWM fans and a Y cable splitter))