2-3k+ new system, seeking help/advice

Good Day,

Looking to build a new system to replace the failing athlon 4800x2(first edition) that i built 6 or 7? years ago. I have built many systems but it has been 4 or 5 years since I last did due to my deployment schedule. I am currently stationed in Afghanistan so I have been trying to use this time to catch back up with the current tech and have broken down and decided to ask the community. Down to buisness, some of this will no doubt be repeated below but I wanted to list my initial thoughts heading into this whole thing
-2500 soft budget cap - while I would prefer to stay within 2500, if the future proofing and/or price/performance value warrants I have the resources to go higher
-Considering my first system build ever was a 386 I have never tried overclocking but looking at all the forums and web sites I am eager to try it IOT improve my price/performance however, I need this system to last at least a few years and my main concern with OCing is the reduction in lifespan of parts. How valid is this concern? How far can I take the system before this becomes a concern?
-Silence... my system will be sitting on a desk not far from my head. I want it to be as quiet as possible
-to caveat that-water cooling, again something I have never done but coupled with the desire to OC I want to try water cooling in both an effort to keep things cool and quiet(is this a realistic expectation?)
-aesthetics - am not concerned with how pretty or ugly the system is, function > form

Approximate Purchase Date: Mid Mar-Early Apr

Budget Range: 2-3000 USD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming!! I am so ready to get home and try BF3 @ max, my wife runs Photosuites and does a pretty hefty amount of photo editing

Parts Not Required: keyboard, mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: price/reliability, I usually use newegg but am not closed minded to places I may not be aware of that offer better prices/reliability

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: none ..function>form I am adventurous

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Yes - while my initial build will include crossfire/SLI I am still on the wire as to wether I should dive now or later. I am seeing things like "2x580's or 2x7970's with a 2700k the CPU will bottleneck the GPU power etc."

Monitor Resolution: I am purchasing a yet undecided new monitor, 24-30" I want beautiful gaming and quality color reproduction at max res(for the wifes photosuites)

Additional Comments: 13 years in the armed forces, I have thick skin, please unaldulterated raw opinions welcome


my intial build *** These are just the parts I picked, I am wholey open to suggestions of complete part swap outs

MB - undecided, how worth it is the 2x16 pipe for crossfire/sli on the
ASRock Z68 Extreme7 Gen3 LGA 1155
otherwise my initial thoughts were to go with the
Asus P8z68 pro or delux gen3 based on reviews

CPU - i7 2600k(I have read a lot of conflicting theories 2500k vs 2600k vs xxx(name a cpu) this was my best guess

CPU Cooler - corsair H80 *again I have never done watercooling, based on ease of use and initial reviews this is what "I" came up with

RAM - 32gb Corsair Veng 4x8gb cas 10 (might drop down to 2x8gb to start just to save a few dollars)

PS - corsair hx1050 , is this enough or should i bump up to a 1200watt? is silver80+ a concern or should i be looking at gold 80+

HD - this is one of the dirty spots - initially was looking at either
SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC256D 256gb
Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F240GBGT (310$ w/rebate)

for our programs and then partition off 64GB to use for the SSD/HDD caching with either

Western Digital Caviar Black WD2002FAEX 2TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s
Seagate Barracuda ST3000DM001 3TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb

with the latter, I have read but am confused about, something to do with the use of HDD >2TB and there being issues with the marvel controller

GPU - The undecided monster, soo being an NVIDIA fan for soo long I am tempted to stray down the path to AMD looking at performance charts and what not i'm tempted. ATI's eyefinity? for multimonitor is being touted as best in the buisness? while NVIDIA has the better 3d software(is this correct) and sicne both of those features are second fiddle to me at the moment, I think I am just looking for solid resolutions with solid framerate with graphical settings turned up. Are there any other large differences I may be unaware of between the two card makers? (aside from physx)
-my other concern, i've always been a advocate of buying the best single card system you can get to increase latter upgrade paths @cost. IF what I am reading about the 580's/7970's in SLI/Xfire being bottle necked by cpu, how big of a bottle neck, how easy is it to alleviate that bottle neck? does it make more sense to dump down to the 570's?

XFX Double D FX-797A-TDBC Radeon HD 7970 Black Edition 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16

based on a couple websites this is being touted as the coolest(70degrees celcious) and quietest and fastest 7970 currently out? wihtout further mods or OCing

Nvidia -
EVGA 012-P3-1576-KR GeForce GTX 570 (Fermi) DS Superclocked 1280MB 320-bit


EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB

or even

EVGA 03G-P3-1595-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) Classified ULTRA 3072MB

Case - I would love to put all of this into a midtower however, I get the impression from reviews that the video cards and other items may not fit and still provide adequate cooling. With that in mind my intial case decisions were for either

Coolermaster HAF932 or


oor maybe even the

Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower

I would love one that comes with the sound insulation but the few I have seen seem to have great sound reduction and terrible cooling, maybe I am just out of the loop? regardless cooling > noise since noise wont kill a part and cooling will

Final Thoughts -
- will there be room for a sound card once I get(be it initially or after the fact) 2 video cards crammed onto the MB?
5 answers Last reply
More about system seeking help advice
  1. At the time of your buy, probably Nvidia would be launched some new cards. I think it's a good idea to wait to check the performance. Probably you shall buy the best card with your budget!
  2. Wait for Kepler and Ivy bridge release? Should be just around then and you can check out the next gen specs from nVidia
  3. why not try the x79 at this budget and wait for fermi GPU
    or go with 7970
  4. Thanks for the replies up to this point.
    Assuming Kepler is not a large upgrade over 7970 and based on past nvidia I presume it will be VERY exspensive.
    I know I wrote a book but tried to hit up all of the points in the lead post on requesting help.

    X79, I had considered but was under the impression that performance was on par with 68 despite quad channel memory. Have I missunderstood the data I have been reading? Also isn't 68 supposed to be compatible with the upcoming ivybridge?

    Aside from the other questions in my post what other benifits would x79 net me? over x68. (not counting the cost difference)

    Thanks for your time.
  5. make another post after mid march
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