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Build?: Upgradeable casual gaming, ~$600-$700 --wait for IB?

Approximate Purchase Date: 12/31/11
Budget Range: $USD 600-700 After Rebates
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Skyrim, data crunching, future HTPC
Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: None
Country: Continental U.S.
Parts Preferences: None
Overclocking: Yes, future
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: Will be crappy CRT for a while...

Additional Comments: I would like for this to be upgradeable to last about 7 years (obviously very dependent on economy/technological changes in that span) --can't imagine needing more than 32 GB RAM, Ivy Bridge is using 1155 socket, has PCIe 3.0 slots. I am not a hardcore gamer, and have difficulty imagining myself deciding I need an SLI setup...but the option is nice to have. That said, I am a newb at this; haven't tried building one since a friend and I built a 750Mhz Athlon OCed to 950Mhz for my mom...

Current specs and thoughts:

CPU: $220 i5-2500k
MOBO: $115 ASrock z68 Extreme3 Gen3 |
GPU: $95 XFX Radeon HD 6770 1GB 128-bit DDR5 |
PSU: $63 hec Zephyr MX 750 750W |
Case: $50 |
Optical: $17 |
RAM: $36 2x 4GB 1600 1.5v 9-9-9-24 |
Heatsink: $35 CM Hyper 212 Evo |
Total: $621 so far
I probably need a lot of help.

1)First, the CPU: I could grab a Celeron G530 for $45 and wait for Ivy Bridge and get the $220 IB. Is that worth it? Current benchmarks make me think otherwise...

2) I like a MOBO that can make use of future graphics cards. Does this MOBO have more than I need considering I am unlikely to use more than one graphics card at a time?

3) I won't be OCing until the performance seems too slow, which will be a while. Do I need that HS or is the stock with the case fans enough for now?

4) I'm clueless on cases. I don't need flashy--just airflow and the ability to fit my components. I see absolutely no water cooling in my future. Is this a good pick?

5) I could really use advice on a hard drive. 200-300gb seems enough for me (can always grow later). I don't store any video or many photos (actually none of those ATM), and have only a handful of games--most of my storage useage is audio podcasts. I'm not keen on bogging down my CPU with a slow drive, but I kind of want to go cheap on this part if I can get away with it. Should I just get an SSD big enough for Win7 64 and then grab a cheap HDD? The MOBO also has smart-caching for use with SSDs and HDDs--should I just grab one and let it do that? I figure it might figure which OS and game files would best be put on there through usage, thus providing more efficiency than me just throwing the whole game directory or all of Win7 on the SSD.

6) PSU: 750 gives me about 150W wiggle room, right? Is this a good purchase? I originally assumed future 1155 CPUs would require more power, but I just read the TDP for the Ivy Bridge units...also, I know nothing about buying PSUs. This one looked okay. I would like to not have to replace it for years if ever, so overshooting a bit seemed like a good idea. But I'm also not going to bling out my case with lights, use water cooling, probably won't ever have two hungry GPUs, etc.

Thanks so much for the help! I think that's all of my questions...I probably can't return the favor as my formal training is in clinical [psychological] science with some exercise science background :P
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build upgradeable casual gaming wait
  1. Best answer
    Nah its not necessary to wait for ivy bridge because it wont be a huge performance leap over 2gen Sandybridge
  2. Best answer selected by BattleshipLorenzen.
  3. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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