I'm looking for this to be my first "good" computer, essentially ever. Ever since the 286 days, I've always had a comp about a generation behind due to costs. I had a Pentium 2 up until about four years ago. <shudder>.
Are the 6850s in CF overkill? I'm not a upgrader, so more than likely, what goes into the case when it's built will stay until it breaks. I'd like this build to be viable for a long time, so I figured I'd go big.
Overclocking the 2500K. how much does that shorten component lifetime? If it's a big hit, I'd likely go to a stock 2400. If the 6850s are indeed overkill, would overclocking the 2500K make it less overkill and more futureproof (ish)? I don't think I'd need a non-stock cooler for a mild overclock (or so I've read), but is it a good idea anyway?
SSD. I'm gettin conflicting information about the vertex 3s. Are these a good buy?
I need new speakers and a new mouse. I currently have a very old optical "greateye" 7 button with two scroll wheels I love, but it's getting a little twitchy and needs to be replaced. I have limited desk space, but I'd like to have decent 5.1 sound if possible.
What's everyone's position on headphone 5.1 sound? I don't do the social gaming things, as I'm a bit of an misanthrope, so I don't need the microphone cluttering up my head.
Case: the one's fine, but I really like this one:
I just can't justify spending that much on a case. Most people will think thats an ugly monstrosity, but I like it. Very much "Alien" special effects with icecube trays glued onto flashlights to make them look sci-fi-y. Any suggestions for something a little less pricey, but not black-box-with-lights?
That build looks really good but i would try save save a bit of cash here and there for a graphics upgrade, since youre wanting it to last a while. The 6850's may be considered overkill at the moment since one would probably max out anything but that CPU is a beast so i would maybe look at getting the Antec 902 instead of the 1200 and possibly even lose the SSD since they seem expensive to me just to shorten load times. (I wouldn't fret too much about 'downgrading' with the case because the Antec 902 is a really awesome case, it's also massive so i don't even want to think how big the much bigger 1200 is.) If you dont mind losing the case and maybe the SSD you could get 2 GTX 560Ti's (or 6870's) which would be a lot better and still good value. You would essentially be losing a tiny amount of cooling power, space and load speed for a big graphics upgrade which would last a lot longer. With overclocking, yes it does shorten the lifetime of the chip but noone uses the full lifetime of a CPU chip, even on a big overclock it will likely be obsolete and useless by the time it dies.
EDIT: Another possibility is to get a 650-700W PSU and a cheaper motherboard and get one of those dual GTX 460 cards which is basically the same performance as 2 6850's but you dont need an SLI/Crossfire Suitable motherboard.
Yes I would swap the 6850's for a single 6950 2GB. It's a plenty capable card, will max almost anything you throw at it.
Also, get a 2x4 set of ram instead of 4x2. It leaves room for expansion that way.
I would lose the SSD. It's expensive, and I think the Spinpoint F3's are plenty fast.
I see you haven't included a heatsink. If you are going to overclock (which you better if you get a K series CPU ) then you would best grab an aftermarket one. The CM Hyper 212+ and the Scythe Mudgen 2100 are both excellent coolers.
I highly recommend the SSD hard disk for your OS and your primary games. Load, boot, install, and media access times are all increased a LOT. You will "Feel" like your computer is faster in all aspects with it. I say stick with a 6950 and don't go so crazy on the case. If you're patient you can get really good deals on the antec 600 which is much more affordable and has great cooling. Hell, if lan parties are your thing you could go micro atx and get a lian li case but for overclocking you wouldn't have much room.