First SFF Build: Questions on cooling

Hi everyone!

I haven't built a computer for about 8 years (the P4 just isnt cutting it for me anymore) and figured its about that time to put together another one. I really would like to go the SFF route but my biggest concern about this is cooling since everything is in a tight space. I'm still undecided on if I'm going to overclock or not due to more heat being generated from it.

The case I am looking at, NZXT Vulcan, has a 80/92mm exhaust port on the back of it and from what I've been reading, I wouldn't be able to mount a 120mm radiator on the top because or parts getting in the way. After looking around I saw the Coolit Eco A.L.C. C92 (link below) which has a 92mm radiator that I could mount on the back. I was also reading about the Corsair H50 and read that people have removed the front case fan and tray to mount the radiator there since it is 120mm. The build I saw had the gcard in the second slot so that it wouldn't be in the way of the tubes which leads to another question.

Does installing a single graphics card in the second PCIe slot degrade performance as opposed to putting it in the top slot? I downloaded the manual for the mobo and it says that it does but I don't know if that is bs or if performance is affected, that the difference isn't that much. If it isn't, then I will probably go with the H50 as a cooler for the cpu as I believe it would lead to cooler temps. Then I would get a 92mm fan to mount on the back and mount the fan from the front of the case in the second spot up top. I'm hoping that LCing the cpu and filling in the additional fan slots on the case would be enough to keep temps down.

Here is a list of parts below. Feel free to make comments and recommendations on those as well. Budget isn't really an issue and since I obviously don't upgrade that often, I was looking into getting parts that would last me a few years. I plan on buying from NewEgg except for the lc unit(unless I get the H50), which I would have to order from Coolit's site since it isn't released in the states yet. Thanks in advance!

NZXT Vulcan

Power Supply
XFX Black Edition 850W

Asus Rampage III Gene

I7 960

Coolit Eco A.C.L. C92


Corsair H50

6GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1333

Graphics Card
SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100281VX-2SR Radeon HD 5870

Hard Drive
Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB
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  1. It wont matter which slot you put hte GPU in... as they are both 16x. I could make some reccomendations for you to save money.

    You the i7 930 is half the price with all the same features... and you wont notice any real world difference with it. Theres a reason 90% of the people buy the 930... no reason to spend the extra $300 bucks.

    Also... GTX460's in SLI will smoke a 4870 for the same price.

    850watt power supply is overkill for one 4870...
  2. Also forgot to mention.. i've never used the Coolit unit... but I did install a Corsair h50 for a friend... and just as the Newegg reviews noted... they give you about half the hardware required to properly install it. If you're a stickler for putting a screw/bracket everywhere a screw is supposed to be, then you're going to have to make a trip to hardware store.
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