Need help with a New $1000 Gaming Rig

HI Folks,

I've been checking Tom's for sometime, its that time to build a new system. My Current E8400 (3.0) 4GB RAM , 1TB HDD, 9800GT GPU. 700w PSU. w/ Samsung 24" 2253bw (8000:1) 2ms. I do have a preference for Intel/Nvidia. The debate rages on.

Best Bangs for bucks?
I5 - 2500k = $230
I7 - 960 = $300.00


RAM: Now I'm planning on using 1600 Ram...given that the variance between it and 1333 is small, but this could change?

Motherboards I'm totally confused on. I mean does it really make a big difference? Aside from matching cpu to socket?

GPU: I'm debating on the value....the heaviest thing I play is WoW. Maybe Diablo III when it kicks out. But the biggest monitor I'm considering is a 27" Asus ve278Q, but even the monitor has a max res of 1920x1080, 10M:1, 2 ms response. But when I review the GPU's they can all surpass that resolution. Also I get confused with the minor variances here's what I mean? At what point does the increase in GPU performance vs Cost create a diminishing return. Asus 560 DC II 1GB $185 Asus 560 TI 1GB $230 Asus 570 DC II 1280mb $325 Asus 570 2DI 1280mb $330 Asus 580 DC II 1536mb $470 Asus 580 2DI 1GB $520

By the way, I'm up in Canada :)).

Thanks for your input?
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  1. Best answer
    For gaming there is no difference between the i5-2500K and the i7-2600K. The difference is hyperthreading and as of right now games aren't heavily multithreaded so it won't make a difference.

    The stock heatsink on the sandy bridge processors are pretty bad but they do a fine job of cooling the processor at stock settings. However, they are very loud. You'll want a replacement if you're overclocking or if you find yourself annoyed by the noise. There are plenty of choices but the fan favorite is the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 for $40 on (you shouldn't use newegg in canada - there are better deals plenty of places):

    You should definitely use 1600 RAM. If nothing else, only because it's usually about the same price. 8GB in your price range should be about right.

    Motherboards do make a difference. There are nuances in how the power is delivered and how the data is distributed among the components, and some other things. However many users won't notice a big difference except in features and reliability of manufacturer - you can look up the littler details for yourself. Support is important for both troubleshooting and for RMA. My favorite manufacturer is ASUS (although I get a lot of argument here) and the ASUS P8Z68-V line is really nice. However the motherboard that I've found has the most features for the price is the ASRock Rev3 Extreme3. It has PCIe 3.0 for a future upgrade to ivy bridge, it supports x8/x8 mode for future sli/crossfire, and it's cheaper. The port cluster is not that exciting and there's no usb 3.0 header on the board, though.

    Basically whichever of those cards will fit in your budget is the one that you want. At your resolution and your price range, I recommend the 560ti.
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  3. Best answer selected by steelbiker.
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