This is my first build with $900 max budget for now, but with the ability to upgrade a few months in the future to add missing/lacking components. My primary goal is to have a Sandy Bridge desktop that will soon be capable of playing modern games at good framerates (once I get more money set aside). Until then, it will be used for office applications and light graphics/design work, internet surfing/youtube.
There are some great deals on NCIX.com (canadian site) and as a result I am under budget and don't mind staying under budget. My main concern is to do this RIGHT so that I can upgrade properly in the future. The budget wiggle room I have at the moment means if something doesn't quite work in this setup I can change it easily even if that means more money.
My proposed build, for $737 (before tax and MIRs, shipping is free):
Intel Core i5 2500 Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB
ASUS P8P67 LE ATX LGA1155 P67 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E1 3PCI IDE USB3.0 Sandy Bridge B3 Motherboard
Antec Dark Fleet DF-85 Full Tower Gaming Case ATX 12 Drive Bay No PS Top USB3.0 USB Audio
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Edition 64BIT DVD OEM
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 16MB Cache 7200RPM 3.5IN SATA Internal Hard Drive OEM
G.SKILL Ripjaws X F3-12800CL9D-4GBXL 4GB 2X2GB DDR3-1600 CL9-9-9-24 Memory
OCZ FATAL1TY Series 750W ATX 24PIN SLI Ready Modular Cables 135mm Red Fan 80+ Bronze Power Supply
I plan to eventually add one, and then two, graphics cards in either SLI or CrossfireX, and possibly more RAM.
Main question: The motherboard specs say it is CrossfireX ready, whereas the PSU is "SLI ready". I think these are compatible with each other, but how would this affect my future graphics card choices? I chose that motherboard because it is in a bundle with the processor for roughly $50 savings, and that is my desired processor. I chose the PSU because it is $40 off with $20 mail in rebate and also has good reviews, seems powerful enough.
Second question: If anyone sees any other issues with this build, PLEASE let me know! Thank you all in advance!
If you're wanting to overclock in the future then spend another $10 on the processor and get the 'K' model of the 2500.
Asus P8P67-Pro is widely reviewed as the best SB board on the market, awesome upgrade capabilities for the future (I think Ivy Bridge will be on 1155, it ought to be).
Windows 7 Professional (x64) is certainly the best solution to Windows 7 in my eyes (longer Microsoft support, nice features etc.).
WDC-Blue 500GB SATA2: There are much better options, sure WD is awesome but you have the opportunity to get more "bang for your buck". For example, the Samsung HD103SJ is twice the capacity, speed and cache size but only $20 more.
As for the RAM, get a single 4GB stick now and buy a second as you said, in some months.
The OCZ Fatal1ty series of power supplies are of good quality but their coolers are cheap and made of plastic, very uneffective. Besides, it's really a 650w unit.
If the motherboard is CrossFireX ready, it means that it is optimized for CFX. The power supply being SLI-ready, meaning you may safely use two nVidia cards in SLI.