I already have another HD from a 4-yr old prebuilt I may use instead of the Spinpoint F3 until prices settle.
Are the newer GEN3 Asus Z68 or the Pro motherboards worth getting? I don't plan on overclocking initially, not for a while, anyway.
This looks good to me. You're using a Z68 motherboard, do you plan to use the SSD for cache? That's what I would reccommend. It works pretty well from my experience, and 64 GBs just isn't enough for a full OS and any more than a couple programs installed directly to it.
As for your case, I would go with the Corsair 650D because I like the way it looks and a mid tower should be fine. But at 125, the Phantom is the best value definitely. So nevermind, go with the Phantom. They are both excellent but one saves you $60 and provides more than enough space.
Thanks for the reply. As for the SSD caching, I'm not too sure. This would be my first SSD I've owned- I'm buying it because many people recommend it for it's speed. But I'm not exactly sure what the best way to set it up, configure, etc.
Is 64GB really not enough? I would assume Win 7 64-bit doesn't take up more than 30 GB. I don't plan on putting much more on the SSD except for essential programs. Games and things that require more space I'll put on the HD.
As for the case, my first choice was the Phantom, I really like how it looks. I'm worried it might be TOO MUCH space. I'm concerned that my PSU's cables may not be long enough to reach around the motherboard tray, or that the case would just look too big in general. Is this the case with full towers?
The Phantom is also made with a lot of plastic, while the 650D is steel. Does the Phantom have a "cheap" feel to it?
I don't have any firsthand experience with the Phantom, but all the reviews I've read (on newegg and elsewhere) seem positive, so it probably doesn't feel or look very cheap. The only NZXT I ever owned was their Apollo mid-tower. Fine build quality, functioned well too. I only ended up replacing it because the CPU cooler I ended up buying wouldn't fit with the side panel on. So that's something else to consider when choosing a case.
And if you look at the detail tab for your power supply, you'll see: "Extra long cables support full tower size chassis", so that most likely won't be a problem.
I think the 64 GB SSD is best used as cache. If you look at your program files folder right now, you probably have over 100 GBs in there. I like the idea of a cache SSD because it can learn and adapt to your most used programs instead of you having to select a few, then manually uninstall from the SSD when it gets crowded or your usage changes. And the speedup is noticeable and satisfying when using the SSD as a cache.