Been doing some research of my own for a month or two and been looking at building my own PC. Here are the components I am looking to use. Some advice on what you guys think I could do to make it better for the same price etc.
I am also not sure which 6950 to get. Have looked around and decided that I want a 6950 as I know that a lot of you will tell me that this is overkill when I could get a GTX 560 Ti for £40 less. But I was wondering your opinion on that as well.
If you're not going to go SLI, you'll be fine with a good 500W PSU (Antec Earthwatts, $50 after rebate: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), or 600W if you go 570 or better.
Sandy Bridge doesn't really have temperature problems. You'd be fine with a $35 Hyper 212 EVO.
Drop the tall toothy heat sinks. The only cooling effect of these big coolers is that they "look cool". While they served a purpose (when they were effective) w/ DDR2, they are absolutely useless on DDR3.
At more than 2" tall in certain areas the Corsair Vengeance could pose a problem for users like me who use large coolers such as the Scythe Mugen 2. I was able to use the Corsair Vengeance only after I mounted the fan on my cooler on the backside. Size is definitely a concern with heat spreaders of this size and therefore I encourage users to check that they will have enough space under their heatsinks before purchasing the Corsair Vengeance kit.
The problem I have with the Corsair Vengeance is the same I have with many kits of RAM on the market. Companies insist on putting large coolers on their RAM and it limits the choice in CPU heatsinks that can be used within users system. DDR3 does not require these elaborate coolers with its lower voltages which translate to lower temperatures then RAM saw during the DDR, and DDR2 era. Corsair is correcting this with low profile versions of its Vengeance line but ultimately I would like to see the average size of coolers drop instead of having to look for specific low profile versions of a memory line.
If ya look at the factory OC'd models which are usually same price or close enough, the 560 Ti is clearly the betetr buy, especially when paired in SLI
Guru3D uses the following games in their test suite, COD-MW, Bad Company 2, Dirt 2, Far Cry 2, Metro 2033, Dawn of Discovery, Crysis Warhead. Total fps (summing fps in each game @ 1920 x 1200) for the various options in parenthesis (single card / SL or CF) are tabulated below along with their cost in dollars per frame single card - CF or SLI: