I want an EXPERT opinion on the parts i'd need for a new i5/i7 build i'd want on my brothers rig - Mainly for gaming and photoshop work - emphasis on gaming.
CPU - I'm lost with the core i series - just too many 3digit numbers after the i5's/i7's
Mobo - Asus Maximus III Formula (open to suggestions but i'd want to stay within ROG specs )
Ram - Compatible, overclocking rams
HSF - Open to suggestions, looking for performance with size in mind - not cumbersome coolers
HDD - 2TB in raid but i cant choose a manufacturer, nor what raid i should have it in,
250GB WD caviar as boot drive
GPU - Crossfire or SLI thinking of getting 5850's
Parts in hand:
Case - Thermaltake Armor Jr
PSU - TR2 420W
any help/criticism/sarcasm is appreciated!
p.s : I live in bangladesh and would like to order the board-ram-HSF online, the rest, their available/cheaper here provided noone objects to transcends DDR3 overclocking modules
CPU - for gaming, your best options are i5-750 (1156 socket), the i7-920 (1366 socket), or the i7-930 if it's not too much more than the 920. None of the other socket 1156 CPUs are really recommended for gaming (based on price/performance), except possibly the i7-860, if you really need to stick with that socket, rather than moving up to 1366.
Mobo - the one you list looks good for socket 1156, this one would be a decent choice for socket 1366.
RAM - I'd say stick with 1333 MHz or 1600 MHz CAS Latency 7 (or 6) kits. Either 4 GB for socket 1156 or 6 GB for socket 1366.
HDD - if you don't know what RAID level you want to use, I recommend not using RAID at all. Right now, the best drives use 500 GB platter technology. This includes Samsung Spinpoint F3s (500 GB, 1 TB), Seagate 7200.12s (500 GB, 1 TB), and Western Digital Caviar Blacks (1 TB - WD1002FAEX model only).
HSF - The Hyper 212 + comes frequently recommended around here. I haven't used it myself, so I don't know exactly how big it is.
GPU - If you can afford 2x 5850, why not just get a 5870 or 5970 instead? There's little point in going CrossFire straight off the bat, as it cuts off an upgrade path later on. Furthermore, I'd want a bigger powersupply for anything more than one 5850.