I'd just like to say this is my first post, however, I have been perusing this site since it has been around. This is a great place with a TON of helpful ideas and people, thank you all for that.
Down to business...
I already have a number of parts spec'd out and I understand the "bleeding edge premium" ideas, so I'm not THAT naive. However, be it as I am young and bored for the summer with ample cash, I would like to build an excessively expensive computer(a little naive) definitely geared towards pwning Crysis at my monitors native 22"(1680x 1050 ws) with headroom for upgrading in the future. My budget is $3k.
Be it as I am very much into computing and optimizing performance, I wish to put a substantial amount of time and effort into my build.
Parts so far...
uprocessor: Core i7 930 (for overclocking)
gpu: Radeon 5970 (Most expensive item on my list. I figure if I overclock the 930, that will minimize overall system bottleneck)
Mobo: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 (Lower High-End Mobo with a lot of impressive overclocking features and new tech a la USB 3.0 & SATA III, it seems like the obvious choice if someone were to spend 295 USD on a mobo, any thoughts?)
Memory: OCZ 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) (Not a whole lot of thought put into purchasing mem as most seem to be suitable and OCZ is a reputable brand. I primarily made the decision based on a combo deal.)
maybe for the ssd change it to a ocz vertex 2, i heard those are better, but it is more expensive, but you still have alot left over, the ram should be fine but some people in the comments on newegg say that there are some defectives, so be ready to rma. also, you could try upgrading the video card to a gtx480 if you want, but if you want to sli or crossfire any of those cards, upgrade the psu, those are the most unenergy efficient cards ever! (maybe the 1kw version) you could use a hard drive for now, wd caviar green is getting pretty cheap. a heatsink will be good, maybe liquid cooling but i dont know much about that. if you dont watch movies, dont get the bluray. the mobo should be fine, ASUS is a good brand. and for the case, im using a cooler master haf 932, its pretty good, and its around 140.
Im not real happy with how much bios fiddling it took to get theOCZ RAM working in my latest computer. If I had it to do over I would get a different brand. It is finally working stable after manually bumping all the voltages and timings so I guess I should not be too negative. I think maybe getting 1.5V RAM to match the motherboards default voltage would be better.
If you like the looks of the Antec 1200, you wont find a more flexible air cooling case. HAF 932 is a good case also. The Silverstone Raven RV02 is unique and something you should look at also.
What CPU Cooler are you getting?
It wouldnt be much money ($70-100) to add a fast 1TB HDD like the Samsung F3, seagate 7200.12 or WD Black 1TB FAEX (not FALS).
I'll continue researching RAM then. No conclusion on that yet.
Thank you for suggestions so far by the way!
I haven't put much thought into CPU cooling yet, I suppose that question would rely on me knowing how far I want to/can push my 930? I've heard that stable, reliable clocks above 4Ghz are easier to achieve with the 930, esp. with air because of the 21x multi instead of 20x, Is that true?
My next question would then be, are all CPU Coolers created evenly? A stock cooler, I would imagine, can only bring me so far with OC'ing, and if I can keep my temps low I can push it harder right?
What key features should I look for in a cooler to give me the best chance of achieving and maintaining stable clocks above 4ghz(not much higher, maybe 4.2-.5)?
Are there websites that custom build just cases? Where one can select from a list of modular options? Anything like that? I haven't found any sites that only concentrate on modded or modding cases.
With a 930, the stock cooler wont handle much overclocking. Stock speed is all it was really designed for. Ill give you a list of air-coolers to look at, priced roughly lowest to highest. Any of them will handle a 4GHz overclock.
Coolermaster Hyper 212+
Sunbeam Core Contact Freezer
Scythe Mugen 2
Xigmatek S1283 Rifle cooler (also S1283V Dark Knight, SD1283 Balder or RS1283 Red Scorpion - color/fan LED is the main difference)
Prolimatech Megahalems (there is also a black version called Megashadow)
Noctua NH14 (140mm version of the NH12)
Prolimatech now has a 140mm version called Armageddon.
Frozencpu.com has probably the best selection of case mod parts and some custom cases listed. I dont know of any manufacturer that builds cases to spec, mods are generally either cosmetic by an artist or done for specific cooling or cabling purposes.
I too am regretting getting the OCZ...I haven't had the time to sit and get it running at its rated speed...but the little OC'ing I did do with it, i was having problems...I never got a chance to do voltage tweaking..
If I were to do it over again...gskill, corsair, mushkin...I'm actually looking into replacing my memory right now...
EDIT: I'm not having any problems with the OCZ...except that its not running at rated settings. And like I said...I haven't had a chance to play with the settings...
You might also consider the Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, or other coolers in www.frostytech.com 's Intel list.
If you have that much money available, I should point out that the 5970 is complete overkill for your resolution. You might consider jumping straight to a 3x1 Eyefinity setup, which will not be overkill for the 5970.
On the power supply, I assume you've been reading reviews at www.jonnyguru.com ? The HX750 is excellent, but it's not going to allow you to add much more to the system, especially if you're overclocking. If you plan to CrossFire in the future, you would likely need to replace the PSU at that point.
Though there have been firmware problems, you could look at the Crucial RealSSD line, the only SATA III SSDs available on Newegg at the moment. Or you could set up RAID 0 with 2 SSDs and get blazing speeds as well.
I'd second dndhatcher's suggestion to look at the Raven RV02, it's definitely an interesting case. I bought the Thermatake Spedo Advance recently, it has a good amount of features, but it might not be your style. It does have 2x 230mm fans though.