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.
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 newegg.ca (you shouldn't use newegg in canada - there are better deals plenty of places): http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1683...
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. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
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.