Use of the PSU depends on how hard you are going to strain it. SIlverstone is a quality brand, however PSUs do degrade over time - so I wouldn't push it to full load.
Heat sink is likely not compatible with a newer chipset, but if you post more detailed plans we can tell you for sure.
Tom's $600 build isnt necessarily the best deal you can get -- you should post it and get feedback here. Their $600 isnt meant to be kept and upgraded for 5 years -- your priorities should be different. (you should spend more on motherboard and less on graphics)
Thanks. I'll start putting together my kit, then, and post it on here. I will attempt to re-use the power supply for now unless some of the experts feel differently.
My goal is to upgrade my box to something with contemporary speed/power, with a nod to gaming and home video editing projects. However, I don't use this machine as much anymore with the transition to laptop and PS3, so I'm trying to avoid spending a lot of money.
i5 2400 ($189) (you didnt sound like you wanted to overclock - so this is the slightly cheaper version of the overclocked 2500k that many of us are using)
AMD 6870 ($170)
GSKILL memory ($75)
Z68 Mobo (price varies on if you want crossfire capability) I like Asus for their UEFI BIOS. Z68 will be a little more future proof.
Hard Drive -(variable)
OEM Operating system - $99
Edit: SSD would be nice, but harder to fit into the budget and not as cost effective. Also not sure if you would be reusing your old drive and OS?
Anandtech does a good breakdown of choosing your priorities in this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5184/holiday-midrange-sys... Some of the prices/models are slightly out of date now though. His systems are a little more balanced than the GPU heavy gaming systems that Tom's puts together. My suggestion above is relatively close to a stripped down version of his $1000 system.
Processor - i5 2400 - $190
GSKILL memory -$75 (what type and how much?)
ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 - motherboard - ATX - LGA1155 Socket - Z68 -$198
Sapphire 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1 GB - $180
(currently have a NVIDIA GEForce 7900, and am guessing that would have to go…)
I would re-use the two hard-drives I have for now, as well as the optical drive, and perhaps upgrade later. Have my Win 7 OS to continue using. So I'm coming in around $600 with this rig. Do I need an additional heat-sink even though I'm not really interested in overclocking? Thoughts?
This looks good to me, but you should still list it all out and post on the "new system build section" for input from others. They will inevitably get into arguments about $10 price differences on products, but I still think it would give both of us more peace of mind if others look at it. Be very clear with everyone about your intent -- a machine that doesn't require top level gaming performance, but that you will keep for a long time. You are looking for an adult machine with quality and reliability, not the best shooter FPS for the dollar like many on this site.
The 7900 does seem a little dated for everything else :-). The Sapphire is a good choice -- they tend to be a good quality for the price.
You shouldn't need another heatsink for a non-overclocking machine unless you want something really quiet.
Make sure your optical drive has the right plug for the motherboard. I had to buy a new dvd burner when I upgraded because my old one wasn't SATA.
I'm not sure what to tell you on the motherboard, since it doesnt seem like you would need most of the features. It seems like one of the $130-$140 models would work fine for you. While 2 graphic cards seems unlikely in your future, there is a possibility of using a second PCIe x16 for some other type of add-on like a custom SSD card. (Maybe someone else will have more clear guidance here.) (I personally bought way more motherboard than I needed, but I do like having some security in knowing that I could install a lot more stuff in this one before it fills up)
You should also buy an SSD boot drive whenever you upgrade this machine next, maybe in a year or so -- their prices are falling fast (Crucial M4 is now at 128gb for $150) and they provide much faster boot and load times. (although your laptop may actually be the place where this would be most appreciated)