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First Time Building a Desktop

This is my first time building a PC, and I just want to make sure that all the parts mesh together well with a motherboard. I'm honestly kind of clueless on buying a motherboard right now, so what would you guys recommend given these specs?

Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime this month

Budget Range: $1000-1200 should be fine

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Watching Movies, surfing the internet/work

Parts Not Required: Keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS (currently Vista, but will upgrade to 7 sometime soon)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Generally Newegg, unless there are other trusted vendors with better deals

Country: U.S.

Parts Preferences: Generally prefer popular/trusted brands

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1600x900

Additional Comments: In the future, I may want to think about adding a SSD or RAID hard drive. Also, I'm on the fence about overclocking and SLI/Crossfire, but I want to have that option available for the future. I'm trying to make this as "future proof" as I can for the budget, so how would you guys estimate the lifespan of this computer based on these specs? Also, would/should I have to buy some extra cooling fans? Thanks a lot for taking time to help me with this.

CPU: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

MOBO: I have no idea as of now.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

HSF: I'm not planning on OC any time soon, so I didn't pick one.

HDD: Prices are jacked up because of flooding, so I looked on Amazon instead of Newegg. I might look into buying a SSD in the future when prices drop.
Western Digital 1.5 TB Caviar Green SATA Intellipower 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive WD15EARS

PSU: I think 750W should suffice, right?
CORSAIR Professional Series HX750 (CMPSU-750HX) 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

GPU: I'm torn between
HIS IceQ X Turbo H695QNT2G2M Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

and

SAPPHIRE 100312-3SR Radeon HD 6950 Dirt3 Edition 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

DVD:
ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

Case:
Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Thermal Compound: Never used this before- should I really bother to pick one up?

Here are the specs on my current desktop that I know offhand, though it was a store model at a Staples, so there's no knowing how long this computer has been used before I even got it. Given that, I don't think there's a whole lot that I want to recycle.

CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+

MOBO: Don't know offhand.

RAM: 3 GB (1 GB + 2 GB) DDR2 RAM

HDD: 320 GB

PSU: All I can remember is that it's either 350W or 450W

GPU: GeForce 9600GT

DVD: Some generic DVD/CD Lightscribe combo

Case: In-store Compaq Presario PC case- probably won't use this.


Again, thanks for taking the time to read this and for giving advice/information!
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Take the CD and HDD off your old drive, everything else can be thrown away or even sold if you want on Ebay or what now.

    Case: Antec 300
    CPU: I5 2500k (~$225)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z68 (~$124)
    RAM: G.Skill 8GB (2x4gb) DDR3 1600mhz, 1.5V
    CPU Cooler: Hyper 212+ (~$26) or Hyper 212 EVO (~$35)
    HDD: You can use your old one and grab another 1TB if you want or what not
    GPU: I would go with the HIS 6950 over the other one, IMO.
    PSU: is a good choice as well and gives you the ability to add another 6950 and not worry about not having enough power
    ROM: use your old one to save money (if you want)
  2. case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129178
    Antec Eleven Hundred - $130

    cpu: http://www.amazon.com/Intel-BOX80623I52500K-Core-i5-2500K-Processor/dp/B004EBUXHQ
    Intel Core i5-2500K - $237

    motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157271
    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 - $115 after MIR

    ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231461
    G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2 - $50

    hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181011
    CORSAIR CAFA70 - $19 after MIR

    psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341044
    OCZ ZX Series 850W Fully-Modular 80PLUS Gold - $140 after MIR

    gpu: as it is the most important part that affects gaming's fps... and also by this time it is very close to new year... leading to next gen cards release in 4-6 months time... hey.... 6 months is not a long time to wait you know... in the mean time you can use the built-in graphics in the cpu... however... should you cannot wait that long... this is a recommendation...

    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-012-P3-1570-AR/dp/B004EHZD5W
    EVGA GeForce GTX 570 1280 MB - $351

    total: $1042 after MIR excluding shipping
  3. Best answer selected by wav3dave.
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