~$1200 i5 System

Hi everyone,

Just looking for some feedback to confirm I'm not missing something obvious here as I'm far from up-to-date on the more minute details of the current crop of mobos/GPUs etc. I'm in desperate need of an upgrade and am looking to do a a new system that can play anything out there (Skyrim, D3, the usual culprits) at max settings while remaining relevant for a couple of years before I have to think about upgrading. I am a little flexible on the budget if there is an obvious upgrade I should incorporate that would bring a significant boost, otherwise I'm looking for good values rather than total top-of-the-line stuff. I'm looking at newegg and amazon (I have prime so this works great), but will shop anywhere and I live 10 mins from a microcenter.

Here's what I have to start with:

CPU: i5 2500k from Microcenter for $180. I'm not sure what hyperthreading is, so I probably don't need it. The 2500k seems to give me all the power I need.

CPU Cooler: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103099 $45 - From what I read, this is plenty potent to allow a good amount of overclocking on the 2500k.

RAM: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233196 $49 - Any reason to go above 8gb here?

HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148442 $181 - 128gb Crucial SSD to use as a boot disk. I have an older mechanical drive that will work for surplus storage for now.

MOBO: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128512 $154 - This is where I get unsure. This one gets good reviews, but I'd appreciate any input regarding if there is a superior choice out there.

GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127615 $294 - Again I'm not sure exactly where the sweet spot is with GPUs these days. I hear good things about the 560 ti but I can upgrade to a 570 if that would be worth the jump.

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139008 $99 - I really like the low key look and the cord organizing functions here, but I'm open to other recommendations.

PSU: A little hazy here. Something like: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010 $120 - I may want to SLI down the road once prices drop so I want a pretty beefy PSU. Willing to jump to 850w if that would be more prudent.

OS: http://www.softwaresupplygroup.com/microsoft-windows-7-home-premium-64-bit-oem-branded.html $70

Optical: I have an old DVD burner that will work fine.

Those set me at 1190, but I'm willing to wiggle a little bit. Thanks in advance everyone, this forum is a great help for those of us not as up to speed on these things and I really appreciate it.
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  1. RAM - read this:

    The Ti-448 is so close to the 570 that a 570 isn't worth it. The downside is that the Ti-448 is a crippled 570 (448 cores instead of 512 cores). Apparently, nVidia held back 570's that failed testing and when they had enough -448's, sold them. If you are going to SLI, you might want to consider buying two now. They may be be available later.

    PSU - For one video card, a good 650 watt PSU will be more than adequate. A 750 will be very marginal for two video cards. If you are certain that you are going to SLI, you may as well get an 850 watt PSU now. If you do go SLI, you will not need a modular PSU. You will not have many unused cables.

    Optical drive - If your old one has an IDE interface, you will need a new drive. The motherboard has only SATA drive connectors.
  2. Hi jsc, thanks for the info!

    Let me make sure I'm following:

    Re: RAM, Essentially there is no point to go over 1333? Would that actually void the warranty if the stock speed is over 1600, or is it just that there is no tangible performance boost?

    How about this as a replacement: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231402

    And you're saying the 560 TI's are essentially limited release so either grab an extra one now or forever hold my peace? In that case I may just pay the extra bump and get a 570. I imagine one will hold me for quite some time. I was only thinking of doing SLI a little ways down the line when prices have plummeted.

    That leads me to another question: is there a noticeable difference for gaming between a 1gb and 2gb GPU?

    My old optical is sata so I should be OK there. I do have a few old IDE drives that I'd like to pull some info off of if it's possible, though. Are you aware of any good modern boards that have even 1 IDE slot?

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