So i started a thread a while back and got some great advice. My plan was to go with a I7-950, but i took some of the advice i got and changed to go with a sandy bridge (2600k). However, i received some RAM as a gift the other day -- 3 x CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 -- or 24 GB of RAM. Looking at all the MOBOs available i guess i'm maxed at 16GB. So my questions is what would you do? Would you get a LGA1366 or would you still go with sandy bridge and just have an extra 8GB of RAM sitting around(cannot return)?
What full ATX motherboard would you get by the way?
1. Not that it really matters, but i plan on using an SSD as my OS drive and running windows 7 ult
2. System Usage from Most to Least Important: (Lots of number crunching but mainly with Office products, Gaming/surfing the internet, watching movies)
3. Country of Origin: U.S.
4. Overclocking: At some point i might
5. SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
6. Monitor Resolution: (1920x1200)
Either of these boards will support crossfire or SLI. If you want to scale back a bit on your budget, try an MSI P67A-C43 for $138. With this selection, you are limited to a single video card, but if you put in a whopping GTX570, you may be outstripping your monitors anyway.
Stick with Win7 home premium to save $40, unless you have special Networking requirements or Windows XP support for some legacy apps. There are other freeware choices for encryption and back up. If you really need the ultimate version, note that Jack's link takes you to Win-Pro.
You should also consider your need for SLI - this configuration has a bigger PSU than you need for a single card. If you are going to upgrade your monitors, then consider it.
I would go back to my current machine and see if it could be upgraded with anything that would 1) carry me over to April and 2) carry forward to the new build. For example, the SSD will likely spice up any old machine, and also be usable in the new build.
I have taken old, tired machines and added a heat sink - either the Cooler Master 212 plus or the Scythe SCMG that JackNaylor recommended - then overclocked the heck out of them. Makes a real difference.
If your old machine can carry you forward, maybe you can even wait until AMD's Bull Dozer is realeased, and see if that platform can pull off a miracle and leapfrog Intel (hey, it has happened before).
If I could not wait, then the core I7-950 it is. This is no slouch of a chip, either. I have an I7-920 for my personal machine and am very happy with it.