Advice on new build...

It's been a while since I've built a system. It seems (since I haven't been keeping up with things) that everything is so different. I've been doing some research trying to get up to speed on things... First, I'll answer the requisite questions:

Approximate Purchase Date: (e.g.: this week (the closer the better))
ASAP ... As soon as I can reasonably get all the suggestions and have some experts check out my parts selection, I'm buying and building. Unless there's something coming out next week that changes the game... I don't think I want to wait months for Bulldozer or Sandy Bridge, though.

Budget Range: (e.g.: 600-800) Before / After Rebates
$1200-$1500ish? I want to put together a good performing system, but not get into the crazy expensive category...

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (e.g.: Folding@Home, gaming, surfing the internet, watching movies)
Gaming, maybe some video editing of home movies type stuff... Other normal tasks (office, music, web browsing).

Parts Not Required: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS) **Include Power Supply Make & Model If Re-using**
The only parts I'm thinking about reusing so far are the Power Supply (if it'll handle the new build, and a SATA DVD burner. Both are listed below as already owned. (Corsair CMPSU-650TX)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (e.g.:, -- to show us selection & pricing) ... Maybe Microcenter if it saves a lot.

Country of Origin: (e.g.: Grand Fenwick)

Parts Preferences: by brand or type (e.g.: I would like to use an AMD CPU & Biostar mobo with a 24" LCD and full tower case)
Prefer Intel and nVidia, for this build, but open to anything really. Whatever makes the most sense.

Overclocking: Yes / No / Maybe
I'm open to overclocking a little, but the goal is a stable system I won't have to tinker with much, once it's set up and running well. I guess that's a "Maybe".

SLI or Crossfire: Yes / No / Maybe

Monitor Resolution: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200)
1920x1080? I need a new monitor, too, I guess. The current LCD I have is 1680x1050.

Ok. Now on to what I'm thinking about building... Before I spend the money on all this stuff, I wanted to get opinions, potential issues, or ideas for improvement/savings. Here's the plan now:

CPU --- Intel Core i7 950 -- 294.99
Seems to be the sweetspot for i7. I keep hearing I can save a lot of money on Intel CPUs by going to Micro Center. (Looks like 229.99, I just looked it up). The i7 930 is only 6 dollars less, and the i7 960 jumps WAY up to 579.99 on newegg.

Motherboard -- Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R -- 188.99 w/ Promo Code

Memory -- Cosair XMS3 6GB (3x2GB) DDR3 1600 -- 129.99 w/ Rebate
CAS 7 --- 7-7-7-20

GPUs -- 2x EVGA GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB -- 479.98 (for 2)

Storage OS (SSD) -- Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB SATA3 -- 139.99

Storage Data -- 2x Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s -- 179.98 (for 2)

Case -- Cooler Master CM690 II -- 89.99

Power Supply -- Corsair CMPSU-650TX -- $0.00 -- ALREADY OWNED

DVD-ROM -- ASUS Black 18X DVD-ROM - SATA -- 17.99

DVD-Burner -- ASUS Black 24X DVD+R SATA -- $0.00 -- ALREADY OWNED

I'll probably buy and install Windows 7 on this system...
Total with rebates, but not including Windows 7 and shipping/tax so far: $1221.90

1. Will that Corsair Power Supply (650W) be enough for this? I did an online PSU calculator that said 540W, and recommended 580Ws for what I plugged in, but I'd much rather be safe than sorry...

2. Do I need a 3rd party CPU cooler? Will the stock Heatsink from Intel be sufficient if I'm not doing any crazy overclocking?

I really appreciate any advice or suggestions... You guys all have much more experience than I do, I'm sure. Thanks in advance!
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More about advice build
  1. If I went the i5 760 route, would there be a huge advantage to running two GTX 460's at 8x / 8x ... Instead of a single 16x? I've never SLI'd before... It just seemed like the two 460's are cheaper and offer a lot more performance (based on the charts I've seen) than a single 480. I'm not sure if that changes based on getting 16x / 16x vs. 8x / 8x ...
  2. ^ There are many articles which have proved that for the current gen graphic cards, running 2 in SLI/ Crossfire at x8x8 speeds doesnt hinder their performance...Here is an article that would help understand...,2696.html
  3. Awesome information! I really appreciate your help and linking that article. Let me start thinking about what I'd like in a i5 760 system, and see where that takes me. It never hurts to look at all your options...
  4. ^ And by the way, ATI will be launching their newer HD 6xxx series cards by this month,...
  5. I must have missed some cells or something in my spreadsheet, too.
    The total with Microcenter's i7 (without Windows 7 or shipping) was already $1451.90 ...

    I'm working on the price difference with a i5 760 build now... I want to see the price difference.
  6. Ok, so the processor difference at Microage is 229.99 vs. 169.99 for the i7 950 vs. the i5 760. $60.00 ...

    That ASUS motherboard you linked looks really nice, but it's only $9.00 less.

    Memory, if I was going with something comparable (
    would be $15.00 less, but I'm only getting 4GBs instead of 6GBs.

    With everything else the same, I'd save $84.00 ... Spending $1451.90 or $1367.90.
    Doesn't seem like a huge difference... Hm...
  7. ^ IMO if not overclocking high, then you wont need that memory...that GSKillz that I linked would suffice...
    But if $100 is not a big difference for you, then go with i7 build...
    Check this X58 board -
  8. UDR3 has problems when having multiple HDD/SSDs/RAID 0
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