~1200 Gaming System

I am on the computer all day since I play online poker for a living, but I want to be able to run new games without any problems. It would be nice to have upgrade-ability to be able to drop in another 6950 in crossfire or something sometime in the future. I game at 1900x1280, but could possibly upgrade to a higher resolution monitor sometime in the future.

I already ordered these during a Black Friday sale:

Antec Earthwatts Green 750W Power Supply ATX12V V2.3 EPS12V Active PFC 80PLUS Bronze 135mm Fan

Corsair Carbide Series 500R Mid-Tower Gaming Case ATX 4X5.25 6X3.5INT USB 1394 No PS White

Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K2/8GX 8GB 2X4GB DDR3-1600 XMP Dual Channel Memory Kit

And the rest I'm looking at:

Powercolor Radeon HD 6950 800MHZ 2GB 5.0GHZ DDR5 2xDVI HDMI 2x Mini DP Dual Fan PCI-E Video Card

Intel Core i5 2500K Quad Core Unlocked Processor LGA1155 3.3GHZ Sandy Bridge 6MB

ASRock Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 ATX LGA1155 DDR3 2PCI-E16 2PCI-E SATA3 USB3.0 SLI CrossFireX Motherboard


Gigabyte P67X-UD3-B3 ATX LGA1155 P67 DDR3 3PCI-E1 2PCI 2PCI-E16 CrossFireX SATA3 USB3.0 Motherboard

Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA1155 LGA1156 120MM

Mushkin Chronos Deluxe 120GB 2.5IN SATA3 Sandforce SF-2281 SSD Solid State Disk Flash Drive

Will be re-using old 500gb storage drive and DVD drive.


So my questions:

Should I stick with that 6950, what sort of differences are there between the 6950 models available, there seems to be a big price range...

Which of those two motherboards should I get?

Is the CM Hyper 212 sufficient? I want to overclock, but haven't built a rig in years so I don't know much about cooling.

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More about 1200 gaming system
  1. 1. I would go with the gtx 560Ti, it's comparable to the 6950, but is a little better frame rate wise. Also the different companies make different fans and heatsinks for the gpu, so the cooling might be different. Also different companies have different warranties. Since the actual GPU is the same, I would look at which has the best warranty.
    2. ASRock Extreme one because it can CF AND is a z68 chipset.
    3. Yes, the CM Hyper 212+ allows you to OC the CPU to around 4.1-4.4GHz and run stable.
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