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Gaming Build 1000-1500 Budget

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January 13, 2012 3:06:18 PM

My gaming rig is now four years old and it's time for an upgrade.

Budget is 1000-1500. I would like to be futureproof for three years if possible.

This computer will be used for heavy gaming.
I will be OCing the processor.

Here is what I had in mind:

Crucial m4 CT128M4SSD2BAA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 137.27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ASUS P8P67 DELUXE (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 209.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo Boost) BX80623I72600K 319.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 F3-17000CL9D-8GBXM 74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec CP-850 850W Continuous Power CPX SLI Certified 80 PLUS Certified Modular 127.36
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1361-KR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 156.97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...




Parts already owned:

EVGA 01G-P3-1361-KR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

ENERMAX Liberty ELT620AWT 620W ATX12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


The reason I choose the GTX 460 is I already have one. My logic is buy another and go SLI.
Or should I just upgrade and go with a single GPU?

Do I need to buy the Antec 850W PSU or is my 4 year old Enermax 620 going to do the trick?

Is that cooler going to fit in my Antec nine hundred mid tower case or should I get another case? or choose another cooler?
I definately want the best cooler so that my processor runs at the lowest possible temp while being overclocked.
Though I am not ready for a several hundred dollar water cooled system as that still scares me.

What I really want this rig to do is fully max settings on Diablo 3 @ 1920x1080 when it comes out.

I am flexible on my budget, The last gaming rig I assembled with everyone's help on here lasted me four years. I would like to achieve that again if possible.
January 13, 2012 3:29:12 PM

gtx 460 SLi is a good setup.but no upgrades.i would suggest selling your gtx 460 and grab a fast single GPU.i don't think your psu is going to do fine with newer gfx(no offence).a 7970 is really attractive deal.
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January 13, 2012 3:32:31 PM

The Antec CP-850 PSU is a proprietary PSU form factor (I think they call it CTX) that only fits in certain Antec cases. I'm not totally sure but I don't think the Antec Nine Hundred is one of those cases. Double-check on that PSU as it won't fit in standard ATX PSU bays.

The rest of your parts look good. I'm sure you're aware that the 2600k is overkill for gaming - a 2500k will give you basically the same gaming results.

On the SLI or better single card: It's your call. I would sell the 460 and use the money plus what you were going to pay for another 460 to get a single powerful card (like 570 or 580 or 6950, 6970). Those cards give great consistent results at 1920x1080. 2 x 460 is certainly powerful and will do great, but a single card will avoid any SLI hassles.

Your 620w enermax will probably be fine if you stick with one graphics card. It might handle 2 x 460 but I wouldn't roll the dice. Since you are building anew, get a nice powerful PSU so you don't have to replace it when you want to upgrade again. Your CPU with a good OC will be a great gamer for many years - your upgrade path on this machine will likely be focused around graphics - more reason to get a powerful PSU.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
January 13, 2012 4:12:08 PM

Quote:
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.C 0F10383 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 137.27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822145304


I don't like Hitachi hard drives and from my experience these generally tend to have a much higher fail rate than anything else you can get. WD, Samsung, and Seagate are far more expensive but they'll last a lot longer.

Quote:

Crucial m4 CT128M4SSD2BAA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148525


If gaming is your primary focus you could easily drop this to a 64GB - store your Steam folder and everything else on the secondary, and then invest the difference in getting a Radeon 6950 2GB.

Quote:
The rest of your parts look good. I'm sure you're aware that the 2600k is overkill for gaming - a 2500k will give you basically the same gaming results.


Yes, I agree here. Drop the 2600K to a 2500K and invest the difference in either getting a better PSU, or you could really invest the difference in getting a really nice video card like the GTX 570.

Quote:

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler 79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835608018


That cooler will NOT fit in an Antec 900. When I was using the Xigmatek Gaia it barely clipped the edge of the case. I honestly wouldn't spend that much on a cooler, as you could probably drop that to the NH-U9B and still get the same performance and save $20. Or another good choice would be the EVGA Super Cooler M020.
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January 13, 2012 9:46:18 PM

Change HD to

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" 167.27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
If gaming is your primary focus you could easily drop this to a 64GB - store your Steam folder and everything else on the secondary, and then invest the difference in getting a Radeon 6950 2GB.

Gaming is my focus, but doesn't the 128gb ssd's run faster than 64gb models? Is that speed difference only relevant in Benchmarks?

After doing some more research I am now convinced change 2600k to 2500k save a little here. I won't notice any gaming difference.

Change CPU to

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) BX80623I52500K 229.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Add case as I am going to just sell my current gamer to someone.
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced 10-Bay EATX Full Tower Window Computer Case 112.49

GPU

I am really torn here and don't know what to do. All I know is I want to max everything out for as long as possible as far as gaming. If I went with a single GPU in the $300 range, won't the SLI'd 460's outperform it. I have never done SLI is it going to fustrate me? Is the $500 videocards worth it. I don't mind shelling out the money, but would rather not if something smaller will max out settings for awhile. I will not be going above 1920x1080 as I use a 40" tv as a primary monitor. Is there some good benchmark charts out there to help make this decision?

Change PSU to

Well I guess I need to determine what I am going to do about the GPU before deciding this.

Since, I am going to be selling my old gamer, I guess that means adding a Windows license?

Is Windows 7 the way to go for gaming? which version Home Premium?








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January 13, 2012 10:04:14 PM

Might change out the crucial m4 for a corsair force series 3 64g, then use the onboard smart response technology. This would give a significant increase over a mechanical drive, and it automatically improves load times on your most used programs. And you can also save about 70 bucks going to this motherboard, which has the important parts of the one you selected, but is MUCH cheaper. This would give you some room to get a really nice graphics card such as a gtx 560ti 448 or a gtx 570
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a b 4 Gaming
January 13, 2012 10:40:08 PM

You could future proof even more!

i5 2500K + Patriot 8GB DDR3 1600 $241
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $122
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Raidmax 850w 80+ Gold $102 ($20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Diamond 7970 3GB $550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Crucial M4 64GB $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair 400R + Seagate 500GB $165 ($10 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asus DVD Drive $19
http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD%C2%B1RW-24x8x16x-48x3...
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $27
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
Total: $1336 before rebates

You'll get a PSU that can handle CF 7970 (Mainly because the 7970's TDP is about the same as the 6970, only increased a little bit) The Motherboard can overclock pretty well, plus it has Gen3 so when you use an Ivy Bridge chip you'll have PCI 3.0 to use.
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January 14, 2012 2:28:26 PM

Quote:
Might change out the crucial m4 for a corsair force series 3 64g, then use the onboard smart response technology. This would give a significant increase over a mechanical drive, and it automatically improves load times on your most used programs. And you can also save about 70 bucks going to this motherboard, which has the important parts of the one you selected, but is MUCH cheaper. This would give you some room to get a really nice graphics card such as a gtx 560ti 448 or a gtx 570


Save 70 bucks by going to what motherboard?

Quote:
i5 2500K + Patriot 8GB DDR3 1600 $241
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Comb [...] mbo.805911


I like the price of this memory, but what am I loosing by going to the cheaper memory? My old school thinking has me believing that memory selection is very important.

I am really starting to lean towards a 7970. I am only going to be running 1920x1080. Is this card way overkill. I definately want to max out all settings in games. What am I gaining by buying a flagship card?

Quote:
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $27
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Maste [...] B002G1YPH0


While the price of this cooler matched with its performance is great. I think I want the absolute best air cooler available so that my cpu runs a the lowest temp possible overclocked without spending hundrends on a water cooled system. From what I understand the Noctua DH-14 is the best I can buy.

Quote:
Raidmax 850w 80+ Gold $102 ($20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] %20raidmax


I think I have found a PSU.

I know that I set a budget, but honestly there is not one.


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a c 278 4 Gaming
January 14, 2012 5:02:10 PM

Quote:
Gaming is my focus, but doesn't the 128gb ssd's run faster than 64gb models? Is that speed difference only relevant in Benchmarks?


Not necessarily. I have a 120GB Intel and I've found the Crucial M4 is a far faster drive. You might notice a slight difference only if you're doing some really intense benchmarks.

Quote:
I am really torn here and don't know what to do. All I know is I want to max everything out for as long as possible as far as gaming. If I went with a single GPU in the $300 range, won't the SLI'd 460's outperform it. I have never done SLI is it going to fustrate me? Is the $500 videocards worth it. I don't mind shelling out the money, but would rather not if something smaller will max out settings for awhile. I will not be going above 1920x1080 as I use a 40" tv as a primary monitor. Is there some good benchmark charts out there to help make this decision?


I don't think an SLI setup like that will outperform the newer cards on the market. SLI isn't frustrating at all to setup - you install one video card in one slot and one in the other, hook your connectors and that's it. The drivers do all the rest of the work for you.

Benchmark charts won't really help you decide what to go with, as magazines and internet sites can manipulate hardware to give them any results they want, they don't test real-world performance and what your actual setup will give you. Every system is different, and every system will give you different results.

Contrary to popular opinion around here, the $500 video cards aren't always worth it. Sometimes you can get better performance out of a 570, sometimes you can get better performance out of a 7970. It all depends on the other hardware you surround your system with as to how it will really perform.

Quote:

Add case as I am going to just sell my current gamer to someone.
Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced 10-Bay EATX Full Tower Window Computer Case 112.49


Cooler Master makes some good cases but you're better off going with the Corsair Carbide. It has one of the best cable management systems on the market.

Quote:
After doing some more research I am now convinced change 2600k to 2500k save a little here. I won't notice any gaming difference.


You won't really.

Quote:
I think I have found a PSU.


I don't want to get into this argument again but I will still stand by my claim that Raidmax is an awful brand. I've used a bunch of their cases where I work and after a while they fall apart easily, have no cable management and really bad airflow. If their cases are any indication, I wouldn't trust their PSUs.

Quote:
While the price of this cooler matched with its performance is great. I think I want the absolute best air cooler available so that my cpu runs a the lowest temp possible overclocked without spending hundrends on a water cooled system. From what I understand the Noctua DH-14 is the best I can buy.


It's a good cooler but I'd stick with the Hyper 212, and here's why. I discovered a huge flaw with gigantic heat sinks like the D14 when I installed my new motherboard a few weeks ago. The one I have is so big that it actually blocks access to some critical ports on the board including CPU fan power connector and even the 8-pin voltage connector. Check the layout of your motherboard before buying.

I'm actually planning to swap mine out for a smaller cooler like the EVGA or Noctua NH-U9B relatively soon.
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Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2012 8:31:20 PM

Alright well if you don't like the Raidmax, this would be my substitute.
Silverstone ST85F-P $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Silver rated, great PSU for the cost, modular gets great reviews.

As for your 7970 issue, here's a 580 vs 7970
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/508?vs=517
The 7970 wins in almost every benchmark for practically the same price as the 580, though the 7970 can overclock way more, and run way cooler. Plus the power consumption is less too, by a long shot.

128GB doesn't run faster than 64GB, it's all just space. In reality you couldn't tell the difference between a Crucial M4 64gb and a Crucial M4 128gb.

Your school is also lying to you about memory. I've been in programming at my school and it ran Eclipse with 4GB of ram fine. Also, I personally at home, use Photoshop stitching 30000px+ photos and they all are fine on 8GB of DDR3 1600 ram, it's relevant mostly to the CPU too.

The Hyper 212+ is a great cooler, honestly for the price it's much better in performance. If you don't think it's enough of performance you can always go with the Hyper 612H, the great thing about the CM Hyper XXX is that they don't crowd the ram space unlike the DH-14.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Share
January 14, 2012 8:37:13 PM

jnlp31 said:
Might change out the crucial m4 for a corsair force series 3 64g, then use the onboard smart response technology. This would give a significant increase over a mechanical drive, and it automatically improves load times on your most used programs. And you can also save about 70 bucks going to this motherboard, which has the important parts of the one you selected, but is MUCH cheaper. This would give you some room to get a really nice graphics card such as a gtx 560ti 448 or a gtx 570


Sorry about the messed up link earlier, was the board i meant to link is this.
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a c 278 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 4:40:08 AM

Quote:

Alright well if you don't like the Raidmax, this would be my substitute.
Silverstone ST85F-P $145
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817256058
Silver rated, great PSU for the cost, modular gets great reviews.


Silverstone is a much better brand, but you really should research the OEM behind the brand before you buy it. The OEM is really important as it can determine who makes a really good PSU and who makes a really bad one. Here is one I would suggest (I think this one is made by Seasonic but I'm not sure): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Quote:
The 7970 wins in almost every benchmark for practically the same price as the 580, though the 7970 can overclock way more, and run way cooler. Plus the power consumption is less too, by a long shot.


I've heard of people complaining about micro-stuttering with the 7970, but I think that's more of a driver issue than anything else. I think once AMD cleans up the drivers it will be fine.

Quote:

The Hyper 212+ is a great cooler, honestly for the price it's much better in performance. If you don't think it's enough of performance you can always go with the Hyper 612H, the great thing about the CM Hyper XXX is that they don't crowd the ram space unlike the DH-14.


That's my biggest problem with huge coolers like that. I discovered that the Silver Arrow was a bad purchase because on my new board it blocks access to critical ports I need (including the +-8 pin voltage connector), crowds the RAM, and at one point actually interfered with the top fan of my case. I'm swapping it with a much smaller cooler once I get the chance.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 4:49:43 AM

Umm... I don't understand what your point is about the OEM, because lots of OEMs have been criticized in the past, Sirtec being one but they've turned around. I mention Sirtec because that is the OEM of your PC Power & Cooling power supply you listed there. In my opinion it is OK to assume by OEM, but reviews are better to tell the difference from a good and bad unit. I access by that and not bias of brand names like most people.

Which brings me to the point of why I recommended Raidmax, if they've made a decent product, then I recommend it. The 850w was pretty decent, not fantastic but for the price it was solid.

Just a question, so are you saying the Hyper 612H is a big cooler?
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a c 278 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 5:07:36 AM

aznshinobi said:
Umm... I don't understand what your point is about the OEM, because lots of OEMs have been criticized in the past, Sirtec being one but they've turned around. I mention Sirtec because that is the OEM of your PC Power & Cooling power supply you listed there. In my opinion it is OK to assume by OEM, but reviews are better to tell the difference from a good and bad unit. I access by that and not bias of brand names like most people.

Which brings me to the point of why I recommended Raidmax, if they've made a decent product, then I recommend it. The 850w was pretty decent, not fantastic but for the price it was solid.


Ah I see the point on OEMs. But the thing is I've read a few articles on PSU's on the main page here and they all said that if a PSU has a higher wattage for the price range it's in, that should be a red flag (ex - a 900W PSU for $75 when the higher end models normally range $180 - $200). Is that not a correct assumption?

I'm not saying the 612H is a big cooler but in my general experience with working with big coolers, I've found that to be the case, especially recently.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 5:23:00 AM

Ahhh, just clarifying, but yes I do understand what you mean about the PSU.

The 612H IMO is not HUGE compared to the NH-14 at least. It's a big cooler I do admit.
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/cm_hyper612_s52...
Based on that picture though, you shouldn't have too much of an issue.
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January 15, 2012 7:59:57 AM

aznshinobi said:
You could future proof even more!

i5 2500K + Patriot 8GB DDR3 1600 $241
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $122
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Raidmax 850w 80+ Gold $102 ($20 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Diamond 7970 3GB $550
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Crucial M4 64GB $110
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair 400R + Seagate 500GB $165 ($10 MIR)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
Asus DVD Drive $19
http://www.amazon.com/Asus-24xDVD%C2%B1RW-24x8x16x-48x3...
Cooler Master Hyper 212+ $27
http://www.amazon.com/Cooler-Master-Hyper-Sleeve-RR-B10...
Total: $1336 before rebates

You'll get a PSU that can handle CF 7970 (Mainly because the 7970's TDP is about the same as the 6970, only increased a little bit) The Motherboard can overclock pretty well, plus it has Gen3 so when you use an Ivy Bridge chip you'll have PCI 3.0 to use.


+1 to that
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January 15, 2012 11:00:48 AM

Updated Parts List:


Crucial m4 CT128M4SSD2BAA 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) 184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" 167.27
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 129.86 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Intel Core i5-2500K BX80623I52500K
Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 PSD38G1600KH 249.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

SILVERSTONE ST85F-P 850W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V 80 PLUS SILVER 150.98
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

EVGA 01G-P3-1361-KR GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 156.97
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
in SLI, I already own one of these.

Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler, RR-B10-212P-G1 27.00
http://www.amazon.com

Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced 10-Bay EATX Full Tower Window Computer Case 112.49

Quote:
128GB doesn't run faster than 64GB, it's all just space.

The read speeds are the same, but the write speeds differ at least on the Crucial M4's.
I am sure this is dependent upon the controller used in the specific ssd.
For example, the 64gb M4 has a sequential write speed up to 95MB/s the 128gb 175MB/s and the 256gb is 260MB/s.
However, you are probably right that I will never know the difference in reality.

Quote:
Cooler Master makes some good cases but you're better off going with the Corsair Carbide. It has one of the best cable management systems on the market.

I don't mind picking another case, especially if it is because of better cable management. However I already own an Antec nine hundred and if I buy another case I don't think I want another mid tower, as I do not want to have to ever ask the question again if this huge hsf is going to fit in my case. I want to have the warm and fuzzy that anything I buy will fit.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 5:35:50 PM

Oh OK, so you will stick with the the 460s? If that's the case you won't need more than a 650w. A 750w is fine if you plan to upgrade in the future.
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January 15, 2012 5:58:02 PM

Since I have one 460 the price to go with another is just $160.
The price of a 7970 is about $550.

Nobody has convinced me that this extra money spent on the video card will be worth it.
They seem to be somewhat equal in performance, I think, and the price is way different since I already own 1 of these cards.
460 x2 vs 7970
$160 vs $550

The peformance increase of the 7970 doesn't seem to be worth an extra $300 is it?

Sure later on, if I went with the 7970 I could add another and go crossfire.

I don't mind shelling out the bucks, but I don't want to spend unnecessarily either.

I also want to make sure that I pick a psu that will enable me to upgrade a year down the road if necessary. I don't want to buy a psu and have to upgrade it should I change or add a few parts later.

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a b 4 Gaming
January 15, 2012 6:38:26 PM

True, I see what you mean. The 460 SLI is a great way to go.
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January 15, 2012 11:46:45 PM

Best answer selected by matrixinc.
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