First Time Build, $2700 black friday budget, advice please!

Black Friday is coming up, and I would really appreciate some advice on a new build before I pull the trigger next week. I'm aiming pretty high for this project and my budget is $2700. I'm hoping that these upcoming specials and discounts will get me some good deals that would make, say a $3000 build, possible with $2700.

With that said, this will be my first build ever. I'm an architecture major (recently switched from bioengineering) and I will be mainly using this computer for gaming and probably also as a workstation when I'm not able to go to the lab.

I'm not too certain about the compatibility of my parts, so advice would be appreciated there. Also, could anyone please recommend a motherboard that would best fit the parts below? Any deals that I've missed? And any improvements would be much appreciated.

Approximate Purchase Date: The week of Black Friday

Budget Range: $2200-$2700

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country of Origin: United States

Parts Preferences: I stress quality over price, and would be very willingly to forfeit some of the budget for higher end, reliable, products.

Overclocking: Maybe. I've never overclocked before, but the performance boosts really tempt me too. If I were to overclock, it would be after I'm done the build itself.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe. I'm thinking about running 2 GTX 470s. Would they be better than a single GTX 480?

What I've picked so far:

Case: Cooler Master HAF X

CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz

Motherboard: Suggestions please? I was thinking the ASUS P6X58D premium, but is it compatible with everything and are there better, more reliable options out there?

GPU: 2 x EVGA 012-P3-1472-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) SuperClocked 1280MB

PSU: CORSAIR Professional Series AX1200 1200W ATX12V v2.31

SSD: Crucial RealSSD C300 128 GB - from what I've seen, there are firmware issues with a lot of the other brands, such as OCZ and Corsair. I'm told that the Crucial is more reliable, but a bit slower?

Hard Drive SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1TB

MEM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3

It comes out to be $2250 with windows 7 and a combo deal on ASUS P6X58D premium. Where can I improve performance (within the $2700 budget) and what motherboard should I get? How's the compatibility? What is a good sound card and what else am I missing?

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  1. I would get two HD 6870, who needs more?

    Those EVGA SC might be a little faster in some games than the 6870 but much more heat, noise and power consumption and isn't much faster than a stock 470:

    Also a 750W PSU will do, at least for the 6870.

    Crucial too has firmware issues.
  2. 1. Who ever told you that a C300 is slower was not well informed. The C300 is almost always faster than the Vertex 2:
    Crucial, Intel, OCZ, and pretty much every one else had firmware problems with their initial releases. These have been fixed for a while now.

    2. If you plan to spend this much, realize that Sandy Bridge is just around the corner. And there is a VERY good chance that a midrange SB CPU will outperform your i7 950 by a noticeable margin assuming the preview against the i7 980X is accurate:

    3. I recommend you cut your budget down to $1500-1700 or so if you want this build on Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Save the rest and upgrade when LGA2011/Bulldozer comes out.

    4. Overkill on the PSU. A Quality 750/850W PSU will work. A XFX 850 will do very well:
  3. I agree with the above posts, assuming you're not running a 1920x1080 or higher res; get a 750-850W PSU and CF 6870s. And with Cyber Monday deals, you should be able to buy these or comparable parts for $1300 or less. IMO, if you spend more than $1800 on a single tower, you can find better ways to waste money.
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