First time builder - good all around system

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: this week BUDGET RANGE: $2,000-2,800 After Rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: VPN into work, Photoshop, gaming, video encoding, surfing the internet, watching movies

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS


PARTS PREFERENCES: Intel cpu (for 64-bit OS), ASUS mobo, ~$400-$600 video card (ATI or Nvidia from premium manufacturer), quiet case

OVERCLOCKING: No SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Single now, maybe later

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Dell U2711 (2560x1440)

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: No bling, I would like a rock solid, quiet PC, futureproof for 3 or more years...


The components I'm looking at:

CPU: Intel Core i7 930 Quad Core Processor LGA1366 2.8GHZ 8MB L3 Cache 130W 45NM Retail Box

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 LGA775/1156/1366/AM3 I7/I5/PHENOM Heatpipe Cooler W/ NF-P14 140MM & NF-P12 120MM Fan

Mobo: ASUS P6X58D Premium X58 ATX LGA1366 3PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI CrossFire SLI USB3.0 SATA 6GB/S Motherboard
ASUS P6X58D-E X58 ATX LGA1366 3PCI-E16 PCI-E1 2PCI CrossFire SLI USB3.0 SATA 6GB/S Motherboard

Memory: Corsair XMS3 CMX6GX3M3C1600C7 6GB DDR3 3X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 7-8-7-20 1T Core i7 Memory Kit
This is one component I'm not really sure about...

GPU: ASUS Rog Matrix Radeon 5870 2GB DVI-I HDMI DisplayPort Video Card
Open to suggestions, but don't want an inexpensive manufacturer with high end chip and suspect quality...

Case: Silverstone Fortress FT02B ATX Black Aluminum Unibody Case 4X5.25 5X3.5INT No PS
Quite sure I want to stick with this. Was looking at the Antec P193, but read too many complaints about trying to fit various CPU cooler into it. This one seems to be the only other case constantly mentioned for low noise.

PSU: Seasonic M12D 850W EPS12V 20/24PIN ATX Modular Power Supply Active PFC 80PLUS 8PIN PCI-E 120MM Fan

HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB SATA2 7200RPM 32MB Cache 3.5IN Hard Drive OEM
Plan on using two of these in RAID 1, maybe three in RAID 5

SSD: OCZ Vertex 2 Extended 120GB 2.5IN SATA2 Solid State Disk Flash Drive SSD
Not totally sold on using a ssd or not

Optical: Pioneer BDR-205BK BLU-RAY DVDRW 12X SATA W/ Software

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I've got a Dell U2711 monitor that I will be using, but may decide to go with multiple monitors in the future (which I think would work well for ATI). However I've read Photoshop can benefit from Nvidia (but noise is also a concern).
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  1. ^ You have a very good selection of parts IMO...
    Some suggestions...
    CPU Cooler - No overclocking, I dont see the need for such a big cooler...
    Any of these would do...

    Graphics card - IMO the Nvidia cards would better suit your requirements...Reason - CUDA -> Photoshop and many such apps take advantage of CUDA...
    GTX 480

    And for such a system, +1 for SSDs

    RAM - I would prefer to have atleast 12GB for such tasks...And preferrably this kit...
    GSKillz 12GB(3x 4GB) - Alllows for future RAM upgrades...
  2. ^+1, if you're going to do three way CrossFireX/SLI then you'll want the SilverStone Raven RV02 which has a similar airflow design to the Fortress FT02 but it has eight expansion slots instead of the FT02's seven.
  3. Okay, I'll bring the cooler down to the Noctua U12P and go with a GTX480.

    I'm new to this, so I don't know what is meant by +1?

    Regarding memory, if I go with 4GB sticks, should I be concerned about the latency compared with faster 2GB sticks?

    Regarding the case, I'm not of fan of the flashy Raven case, but I'm curious about the expansion slots. Wouldn't I still be able to do a three way SLI with seven slots? Or would eight slots just give you more room to work within?

    Thanks for the help.
  4. "^+1" Indicates that even they support that point...

    And as for the memory, It has very little effect on performance...
  5. And as the graphics card...
    1. You will not be able to do GTX 480 Tri-SLI with that PSU.
    2. IMO its not worth it also...Dual GTX 480 would suffice...
    3. Heat and power issues will be a major concern then...
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