Ive built desktop PCs in the past, but it's been about 4 years since my last build. Man, tech moves so quickly these days, Im starting to get why my parents used to get so overwhelmed with this stuff lol. Ive been reading forums, reviews, watching youtube vids and such for a couple weeks to catch myself up though, so Im feeling fairly confident now. Id still like to ask you guys for your thoughts, since you are the experts! Any advice or guidance would definitely be appreciated. Check it:
Purchase Date: Within the next week or two Budget Range: $900 to $1,400 USD System Usage: Gaming and graphic design; extensive photoshop, illustrator, etc. Parts Not Required: Im good on speakers; Keyboard and Mouse are optional, but Ive still included some I like Preferred Site for Parts: Newegg or TigerDirect Country: I live in Cali, USA baby! Overclocking: Yes SLI or CrossFire: No Monitor Res: Ive got two 27" monitors Id like to run at very high res
Parts Preferences: So after my research, Ive chosen the following parts. All sourced from Newegg.com at this point, as Ive had good experiences with them in the past.
Vid Card: SAPPHIRE FleX 100312FLEX Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NOTES: Im a fan of gpureview.com and did a comparison of the cards I was considering and ended up at the Radeon HD 6950 gpu. Any advice on brand though is welcome. Honestly, vid cards was the part I was most confused on.
MoBo: ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NOTES: Im sold on the P67 chipset and I liked the deluxe version of this mobo over the pro because of the 16 stage digital VRM as well as the full heat pipe array for better cooling. Also, I like the front module accessory for the USB 3.0 since the case Im considering only has USB 2.0 to the front panel.
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
NOTES: Considering going 16gig here, since I do some graphic editing on the work comp with 8GB of RAM and notice some bogging down after long sessions.
Get a credible PSU.
The case has these fans on the side that will probably create turbulences.
I don't agree with the motherboard since it is too expensive. Personally i would buy the bells and whistles on my own. But yeah, it is a nice motherboard, i just think it is expensive.
Since you are paying so much for motherboard you should also pay a little bit on the CPU cooler. It would be sad to see you hit a wall at 4.4 and big temperatures because of the CM 212.
Also you should consider totally flat low profile ram sticks because ripjaws might hit your heatsink.
If you are going for 6950 then you might want to check out this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Unless you are running more than one monitor setup for gaming you won't ever be using the 2gb. From personal experience i can guarantee you that this card is cool and silent while the performance is amazing.
GPU. For 2 monitors and graphics design, 2GB is probably a good idea. When choosing a GFX the higher the number the better the GPU is. EG the NVidia GTX460 is better than the GTS450. (the first digit is the generation of the GPU. NVidia GPUs are at the 5XX generation and AMD are at the 6XXX generation. I'd suggest a 2GB 6950 from ASUS or GIGABYTE such as this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121431
For 2 monitors and graphics design, 2GB is probably a good idea.
Hmmmm... I will refer you to the Tom's Hardware review for the 1GB version: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-6950-1gb-benchmark,3041.html
The 6950 is a good card. Get it. However, get the 1GB version and save the cash. Photoshop stores the documents in RAM or scratch disk, and only shifts to the VRAM for calculations on individual layers/compositing. It won't render anything multiscreen (3840x1080) with or without more RAM as a single card anyway.