I am upgrading/building a new gaming system. Price is not necessarily and issue but at the same time, don't want to kill myself either. If the solution is a higher cost then I will do it.
CPU: Core i7 2600K over the 990x because over all it does better for gaming.
MOBO: ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z. Seems to be the best board available with the z68 chipset and the NF200. Wish the Rampage III Black had the 1155 socket. Wouldn't even be close.
Ram: to be determind but want to max out to 32gb. (open to suggestions)
Monitors: 3 Asus VE276Q 27" Widescreen HD LCD Monitor - 1080p, 1920x1080, 100000:1 Dynamic, 2ms, VGA, DVI, HDMI, Display Port (Would love to find a mounting stand to hold all 3)
Power Supply: Have not decided yet on power supply but know it needs to be 1200 or better. (Open to suggestions)
As I understand this motherboard, 2-way sli will do both cards at 8. If I do 3-way sli it will do 8,16,16. That makes 3 way sli very attractive to me.
Things I plan to do: Overclock cpu to 4.5 as appropriate. Want to be able to do some oc on video cards as well but not looking to take them to the edge but would't mind getting close with out having to get overly complicated.
My prefered video is nvidea. I have used radeon in the past as well. It's just a prefrence over all.
So all things being equal if I can stay below $350 per card or better yet under $300 per card great. If it comes out that I need to spend a higher amount then I am willing to do that, just will take me longer to piece it all together is all.
@joeman42_43 People of your aggressive nature should not be on this website; better yet, the internet.
Here is how I look at it:
1. Get an i5 2500k if you plan on just gaming. Get at most 8GB of RAM (4GB is more than enough though).
2. If you plan on video editing, rendering, etc., get the i7 2600k. The i7 features support for triple-channel RAM, so that is a bonus, but not necessary (you can get 12GB of triple-channel RAM, or 3x4GB).
As for the video card, the GTX 570 ($320) performs very well. That would be a great choice. That is, if you only plan on doing 2-way SLI. If you want 3-way SLI, an GTX 480 will do and for under $300. However, it can get hot.
The i7 features support for triple-channel RAM, so that is a bonus, but not necessary (you can get 12GB of triple-channel RAM, or 3x4GB).
Only old i7s (such as 990X or 950, for instance) with X58 chipset support triple channel RAM. 2600K or 2500K - aka Sandy Bridge - do NOT support triple channel, only dual channel.
Get an i5 2500k if you plan on just gaming. Get at most 8GB of RAM (4GB is more than enough though).
Budget is not an issue? Get the 2600K, extra $100 transform into Hyperthreading (hopefully games will use it one day, lol, and it will help with other work), 2MB more cache, more bragging rights and more future-proof. Go for it.
If you want 3-way SLI, an GTX 480 will do and for under $300. However, it can get hot.
If he just wants to game, the i5 2500K is enough. It would last 2 to 3 years from now. If he wants to spend the extra $100, then okay. He mentioned having 3-way SLI. He could use the extra $100 and invest in the GTX 580, maybe even buy another one for SLI. The only card in his preferred budget that supports 3-way SLI and offers great performance is the GTX 480. As for your PSU, I found a few you could consider:
Yes it's about gaming. it's also about power and over clocking etc... This system won't be right at the top but I am going to get as close as i can. So yes, gaming, some bragging rights and just plain old new knowledge on what I can really do with a solid high end system.
if I truly had an unlimited budget I would push the envelope as far as possible too.
At this point it is 2600K especially since Ivy has now been pushed to as late as March 2011.