New system build advise

I am looking to build a new computer. This is my first time. I have spent a few weeks reading up and hope that I'm not missing anything. Please help out if you have the time.

Approximate Purchase Date:

the sooner the better OR wait until April for cheaper prices / better hardware (I would like to build soon; please advise if waiting until April will have big benefits)

Budget Range: 2,000 or less without monitor

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Starcraft II, Diablo 3, and new games to come. I would like graphics that make me smile)

Parts Not Required: Mouse, speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

Country: USA

Parts Preferences:

Mother board: ASRock Z68 Extreme7

GPU: 2 x Gigabyte Radeon HD 6950 1 GB

CPU: Core i5-2500K

Memory: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8R DDR3-1600 C8, 4 GB x2 (8 GB)

System Drive: SAMSUNG 830 Series MZ-7PC128D/AM 128GB

Storage Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS 2TB

Optical: Lite-On IHES208 8X (BlueRay read, DVD write)

Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi OR Antec Three Hundred Illusion

PSU: Mushkin Joule MKNPSJL1000

Heat Sink: I want to spend about $35. What good ones are compatible with the CPU?

Sound Card: I want to use a sound card in the PCI that has a 1/4 inch stereo plug. I have no idea where to look for this. Pointing in the right direction would be great.

Keyboard: Logitech G510
Monitor: resolution 1920X1080 less than $300 dollars - I need help here.

Overclocking: Maybe in the future

SLI or Crossfire: Yes

Additional Comments: I'm not doing any overclock any time soon and I would like the system to not be super loud. If I overclock in the future, I can figure out how to address the noise issue.

I'm a super newb and want to build soon. Any advice would be used to maximize happiness in the world.

Thanks in advance.
8 answers Last reply
More about system build advise
    I recommend you Fractal Design Arc because if you have big video cards you can remove the HDD cage from the middle and after that the bigest GPU wil fit in your case.
    From the beggining buy one video card AMD 7950 or 7970 , with these you can play all games with a big smile. At this moment are the best. And if you need in the future you can add another one. Both of them can be overclocked verry well.
    SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit
    This with better cooling SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit
    HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit
  2. ASUS has the best z68 motherboards at this time.

    The power supply is just OK quality, and way overkill. More watts do not equal better quality. This one is better quality and will still be more than enough to do dual 6950 cards.

    Skip the sound card and get an adapter.

    The stock heat sink/fan will be fine for now. When you get ready to overclock, here is a good CPU Cooler -

    For the monitor, you really need to go look at those in person. The one your eyes like is the one you buy. You can still get it online if it's a better price. Most folks these days go with 23" LED. ASUS is very popular in monitor's also although I prefer Samsung.
  3. Based on your advice I am changing:

    Mother board: Asus P8Z68 Deluxe

    GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit

    PSU: XFX Core Edition PRO750W

    I'm kind of bumping this as well. Any other advice?
  4. Yeah the one powerful card over two smaller cards is great advice. Maybe consider the 7970 and sacrifice a little off some other component. That Hyper 212 EVO is a good cheap cooler, everyones mentioning it.
  5. Any of these other boards would probably just work as well for you.

    One word of caution on the 7000 series cards. If you still play any older DX9 games, the new cards seem to have a bit of performance trouble. this may or may not be fixed with future BIOS and driver upgrades.

    Other than that, I think you've got it.
  6. tlmck

    I am very much about backward compatibility for games. I still play Neverwinter Nights 1, Baldur's Gate, Diablo 1, Starcraft 1 and a lot of old games. I don't mind if these games don't have really high performance, but I would like them to be run decently. Do you know what I should expect? I was mad when I couldn't install Red alert on XP LOLZ!
  7. Look for Tom's recent review of the 7970 and 7950 cards. They show some older games with issues, but not as old as some of yours. you can also Google search the card number and DX9 to see more.

    I only had a AMD 6670 card before my current 550Ti, but never had any issues on even some old 2002 era games, other than a few that ran at about 500fps! :)
  8. Thanks to everyone for the conversation. I think I'm settled on getting my parts. Keep on rocking.
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