Advice needed for new PC Build

I am looking for any comments or advice on a new system I am building...

I am building a new PC with the goal of using it primarily for playing a flight simulator game (X-Plane 9 and FSX) and playing video through my television set. I don't want a tower case because its going to be plugged into my Mitsubishi 52in LCD TV (1080p) and going to be sitting on my entertainment center. For connecting the computer to the TV I would like to utilize HDMI. I would love for the HDMI to support the audio (thought this isn't required) and not just video. Currently on my Macbook Pro I use a mini DVI to HDMI converter to get video to the TV but I have to play the sound through the laptop because my TV doesn't let me choose an audio source other than HDMI when I have that input selected. I really hate how when I change my input on the TV the HDMI there are not options to get sound to play through the TV by using a cable plugged into the headphone jack or something. So If someone knows how to get the audio to come out the TV while playing video that would be awesome! What is the best way to go TV out from the PC? Ok, so I need the case to be small so it will look nice on my entertainment system, HDMI out and SLI or Crossfire enabled video cards so I can run my games on Ultra High Resolution. I am also shooting for a budget of around $1500 or less.

So here is what I have thus far.

The Case
AeroCool Qx-2000 Black SECC 0.6mm MicroATX Cube Tower Computer Case (
I chose this case because it was smaller than a tower, looks pretty cool and has enough room inside for a full size video cards. I am open to ANY suggestions as to alternative case that might do that job (I would love for the case to be somewhat stylish... and I am open to using HTPC / Media Center Cases as well). Obviously, since I am using a smaller case I am going to be forced to use a MicroATX motherboard.

The Power Supply
Not much to say here. Its a great power supply and should do the job.

LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support (
It's a DVD Burner, under $25, nothing really special here.

Now for the fun stuff...

The 2 MicroATX Motherboards I have found... VERY open to any suggestions...

Motherboard / CPU / GPU Combo 1
Motherboard: EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR LGA 1366 Intel X58 Micro ATX SLI Micro Intel Motherboard (
This motherboard seems perfect, except NO HDMI! I love how it has 2-Way SLI x16/x16 so I don't have to worry about my GPUs bottle necking because one slot is 16x and the other is 8x or something slower perhaps. Since the HDMI is really important to me I was wondering if I could simply install a 3rd video card with HDMI out and use that? Please advise.
Processor: Intel Core i7-930 Bloomfield 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core (
The seems to be the cheapest option for the chipset required by the motherboard. Seems like a great processor so I can't really go wrong here. As always though open to any advice.
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) ( - Good price, awesome reviews.
Video Cards: EVGA 896-P3-1260-RX GeForce GTX 260 896MB 448-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI x 2 (
Since I have a budget of around $1500, these seems like a good combo, totaling in at $150 each. Any suggestions here?

Motherboard / CPU / GPU Combo 2
Motherboard: MSI H57M-ED65 LGA 1156 Intel H57 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (
This motherboard isn't nearly as cool as the one above, however it does have HDMI and supports Crossfire (No SLI). A customer noted this on a review on newegg,
"Due to constraints on the PCIe bus, I think this board is best suited to systems with an i3 or i5 processor with graphics onboard. Or a single PCIe x16 card."
I want to use dual video cards and the new i7 chip, so I am not really too sure how much a crossfire enabled setup would suffer. Therefore, I haven't even bothered checkout out a video card for use with this motherboard. This leads me to another question, if the Motherboard has HDMI, does this mean that I have to use onboard video to utilize it? Would adding a video card cause the HDMI output not to work unless the HDMI was located on the video card itself?
Processor: Intel Core i7-875K Lynnfield 2.93GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core (
Memory: Same as above... CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)
Video Cards: ????

So I am kind of stuck. I would love to go with the EVGA motherboard, but it would appear that I can't get HDMI and really plan on using the TV as the primary monitor while watching videos and gaming. What are the other options besides HDMI? Svideo (that would just look like crap)? I don't have a DVI input on my TV either :( I have Component cables however, so maybe there is some adapter I could use?
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  1. Ok a few things you should know first.

    x8/x8 will only bottleneck cards such as the HD 5970 for it to be noticeable, with the HD 5870 it's around <5% performance difference. I'm supposing you want HDMI from the motherboard. The X58 platform has no integrated graphics and you will need HDMI through the card. The H55/H57 platform needs a Core i3 or a Core i5 600 series processor for the integrated graphics to work. Besides, H57 is normally x16/x4 which will definitely bottleneck any decent setup.

    What I suggest is the first option, however, choose cards which have an HDMI output.
  2. FSX is very cpu intensive a d multi core enabled. The evga X58 card looks like a good one to me. Add a i7-930 with a mild overclock and you should be good.($199 at microcenter walk in).

    The H55 motherboard is oriented to the 32nm clarkdale duo cpu's which have integrated graphics. If you use a different i7 cpu you won't get the video output and will have to use a discrete video card like the 5870. That is sort of a waste, and a P55 motherboard might be better

    Your tv will be at most 1080P or 1920 x 1080 resolution. A 5870 should be all you need. The nice thing is that you can get hdmi output on the 5870 so your connection to the tv is a single hdmi cable. You will have the option to crossfire, but I would wait and see how you do with just one card.

    For a case, how about the lian li PC-V351 or V352?
    It is a good looking cube case with two 120mm intake fans for decent ventilation. The height of the cpu cooler is restricted so do some research there.
  3. Thanks for the advice everyone! Here is the build I finally ended up ordering yesterday. Newegg is the best, I already got the Case in... everything else will be in monday morning. I plan on putting together a complete step by step tutorial with pictures as I build it and overclock it. I will be posting benchmarks as built, then benchmarks overclocked.

    AeroCool Qx-2000 Black Computer Case (I just got this case in today, it is larger than I expected it to be. It seems to be well constructed and the 2 layers are quite cool. Can't wait to put all the components into it!)

    Scythe S-FLEX SFF21D Case Fan (This is to replace the fan that comes with the AeroCool case. It is much quieter than the one that comes with the case.)

    ENERMAX UC-8EB Case Fan x3 (The case has places for 3 fans of this size but does not come with any. These fans are also very quiet.)

    CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-950TX 950W Power Supply (I think that 950W will be enough to handle the CPU and dual video cards overclocked. I will find out soon enough!)

    EVGA 121-BL-E756-TR Micro ATX SLI Micro Intel Motherboard (Just an awesome mATX motherboard with a great bios for easy overclocking)

    Intel Core i7-930 2.8GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor (Great overclocker!)

    ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler (I will post stats as to how well this decreases temps)

    (I purchased this thermal compound to go along with the Artic Cooling Freezer due to some recommendations by friends)
    ARCTIC COOLING MX-2 Thermal Compound

    CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

    GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) GV-N460OC-1GI Video Card x 2 (This will be my first PC with SLI! Very excited to test these out!)

    Western Digital AV-GP WD10EVDS 1TB 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal AV Hard Drive

    LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support

    Rosewill RNX-N1 IEEE 802.11b/g/n USB2.0 Wireless-N 2.0 Dongle (Not sure how effective this will be in replacing a wired connection, but for $25 worth a shot.)
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