I have been out of the computer game for about 4 years and after recently coming back into it, I was blown away. Anyway, I've been slowly chipping away at everything but now need help on finishing up a few things. I basically need a case, ram, hard drives, extra cooling?.
APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Next 2-3 weeks
SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Photoshop, music/video server, visual studio programming, small amount of video processing
Going to purchase i7-920 or 930 in 2 weeks from Microcenter Brick and Mortar store.
PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Any reputable site that has a good deal on my part. I am also visiting microcenter and have a fry's 20 minutes away.
OVERCLOCKING: Yes - some but not hardcore SLI OR CROSSFIRE: No
ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Quiet case / components please.
RAM: I think I'm going to just go with 6gb of ram. I think it should be enough for what I'm doing. I have no idea on all these different speeds, brands, CAS, latency, whatever... can somebody recommend an affordable tri-channel set that is a good deal (preferably less than $150 but will spend more if it's worth it)
CASE: Any recommendations? Looking for a normal looking, quiet case without LED lights. I don't want a disney light parade in my front room. I'd also prefer having a front panel usb 3.0 port.
HARD DRIVES Uh, I'm throwing the idea around of an SSD for booting and a fast drive for storage. Or just putting a raid 5 together and that way my 100's of gb of photos would have another level of data recovery. There are all these fancy named and 'colored' hard drives now. The last internal hard drive i bought was IDE!
COOLING I think I'm going to OC but not push the limits. I have never OC'd before so don't know what parts/cooling I would need to achieve this.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm probably missing something here.
Case - I don't really like recommending a case, as it's largely up to personal preference. The HAF 922 gets recommended around here a lot, and you can turn off the LEDs, but I don't like how it looks at all. Tom's just did a review of the Silverstone Fortress FT02 and recommended it, but most people will find it a little much for their budget.
Hard drives - An SSD will really improve your computing experience, loading programs will be lightning fast. The Kingston SSD Now series are the entry point for most people. I think the Corsair Reactor/Nova series are a good blend of performance and affordability. The 80/160 GB Intel X-25 Ms are stil king of the hill by many measures, though and should be considered.