Hmm, I think it should be manageable. I don't wanna tell you what you need, but I can give you some ideas.... Lurk this thread: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312822-31-bestconfigs... It has tons of great builds, and most of them have a common theme. Many render rigs are also great gaming PC's, so keep that in mind.
Wow for my first build, it is remarkably similar to some in the link you gave me. And I just did mine without looking too much at other builds.
I do have a couple concerns, one is the PSU, I have a 520 watt listed and everything I have read says that should be enough. But I keep seeing similar builds with 650-700watts. Which do you suggest I go for?
Well, you did do an excellent job haha. I chocked it up to research xD
The reason you are seeing 750w as the most common, is that will allow you to SLI. SLI is the act of adding a second GPU in, effectively doubling performance. A 520w is plenty for a single card, but you won't be able to add another in the future.
I would also substitute the card for this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... Runs cooler, clocked higher.
I would suggest a Z68 board. If you want high end, the Asus Gene-Z is as good as it gets.
Might consider getting a few 2TB 5400RPM drives, and maybe an SSD or single fast drive. Not needed, but I know CAD projects have big files and you may want the storage.
I love the CM 690 II, one of the best looking cases around.
For a heatsink, look at the CM Hyper 212+. $30 from amazon, a top rated cooler.
Hmm, tough to say. I love the Gene-Z's color and features, especially when comparing the price. It's a MicroATX board, but it has 2 PCI-e slots which is all you need IMO.
Just to throw it out there, you might look at Gigabyte's Z68X line: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
1) For gaming, the graphics card/s is all important. The GTX560ti is appropriate, but consider shifting more of your budget here if you find savings elsewhere.
2) I see some confusion about sli and future upgrades.
In my opinion, a single good card is a better option when it will do the job. Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, or a 2560 x 1600 monitor would dual cards be appropriate.
To plan for sli, you will need a more expensive sli capable motherboard up front, and a more expensive psu.
To my mind, I would save the difference to get a better card up front. The upgrade plan would be to sell the initial card, and then get the next best thing.
At the end of the year, the 28nm cards will appear, making them cooler, faster, and cheaper to produce. It will not make much sense to pay top price for an obsolete card for sli.
3) Since there is only a small price premium for a Z68 based motherboard, I would go for that.
4) Is there some reason you need windows 7 professional? Most home users only need the features in home premium. Go to the windows 7 web site to see a list of differences.
5) Seasonic is one of the top brands, along with Antec, Corsair, XFX, and PC P&C. 550w is appropriate for a GTX560ti or a GTX570.
If you are planning on an upgrade, consider that :
GTX580 needs 600w with 42a on the 12v rails plus one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCI-E power lead.
6) Of the two motherboards you listed, the cheaper ASUS is a micro atx board. That's fine, but with only 4 expansion slots, any sli configuration will have the two cards located next to each other. That will make the top card run much hotter. I see no need for a very expensive motherboard unless your objective is record seeking overclocks. For the gamer, a simple OC to 4.0-4.5 is all you need. Any Z68 motherboard will do that.
How about this Asrock for $115? It is the budget brand for asus. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
8) Cases are a personal thing. Get the CM if you love it; you will be looking at it for a long time.
But for pure functionality and quality, look at the Antec 300 illusion model for $70 with free shipping . There is a reason for so many glowing reviews: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
9) Gan you fit a 80-120gb SSD in your budget for the OS and apps? Everything you do will feel so much quicker. Expect to pay $1.50 to $2.00 per gb.
10) For your first build, I suggest you download and read, cover to cover, the manuals for your case and motherboard. Now. Many questions will be answered.
I went for the professional version for the remote desktop access as well as its better back up and encrypting abilities.
I think I have everything that I need down. I am just caught up on which mother board to choose. I really do like the Asus and the Z68s are all good. I just need to nail down what exactly I want. Whether its a cheaper board that just does what I need it to do or one thats slightly more expensive board that has greater expandability and fancy things like blue tooth 3.0.
About two weeks ago it was priced $179.99, now it has gone up to $229.99, but still only $10 above what you have. Just notice that you need to order it for in-store pick-up, so this advice only applies if you have a local store.
Also, I upgraded from my stock cooler to the Cooler Master Hyper 212 plus. Someone else already made this recommendation, but I just want to give you my experiences. I ran prime95 tests with the stock cooler and had to stop them after 10-20 seconds when core temps got into the 90s (and were still climbing rapidly). Now I run for hours and stay steady around 68-69. My idle temp (~40) did not change noticably. I am very pleased with the value of this product.
Edit: also you can run the CM Hyper 212+ with two fans instead of one to (potentially) increase cooling performance. Not sure how well this works.