I want at least a 4 physical core Sandy Bridge based processor (AMD just doesn't seem attractive), but would really like the 2500K for overclocking
-Minimum: Stock HSF if not OC'ing
-Preferred: Good cooler for overclocking 2500K
Do not really care about brand, would prefer a 1-tower cooler (ex. not one of those split coolers with space for 3 fans)
I'll also take the nvidia equivalent (performance-wise) if the price is better, not partial to either company and I'm just using AMD's cards as a performance-level.
Targeting 1920x1080, want to be able to max out settings and maybe apply 2xAA for a few years.
I'm also looking forward to overclocking the card.
-I really don't know much about mobo's
-Preferred:OC support, CF or SLI(depending on gfx card) support (2 PCI-E slots), solid state capacitors
I know that you need a certain chipset (Z68?) to overclock, other than that I would like to be able to add a 2nd gfx card later, and solid state capacitors would be nice
All the 12GB kits I find seem to be for triple channel systems (ex. i7 920), so maybe 16GB is the only upgrade after 8GB. What is the performance difference of 1333 vs 1600 Mhz RAM? I value size over speed (so rather 12GB 1333MHz over 8GB 1600Mhz)
I bought a 500GB drive pre-flood, and used it as an extra storage drive, going to rip that out and use it as I don't want to spend $120 on a 128GB SSD and HDD prices are still through the roof
Mid-size tower (do not want full-tower)
Have good ventilation
Looking for 2 intake, 2 exhaust fans (or more)
Looking for larger fans (120mm) for less noise
Want a cheap mid-tower with good ventilation, 2 intake and exhaust fans (120mm) would be nice, willing to buy fans separately. However I note Tom's many complaints against the cheap case they used, definitely willing to spend an extra $40-50 on a better case. Looking for tool-less installation, rubber padding/dampening, and high build quality.
-Minimum: Enough for OC'd CPU + 7870
-Preferred: Have room for a 2nd 7870 (later on), at least semi-modular
I think any quality 400/450W PSU will be good enough, and a 600W PSU will probably be enough for a CF 7870. I am willing to play a bit risky with the PSU and get a lower wattage one than recommended by AMD
Any cheap DVD burner, the $16 one Tom's used will be fine
It can't be done on $900 with a 7870 unless you cut some major corners but then you get a motherboard that won't support the GPU - the 7850 might be a good bet for this build. If you up the budget to $1K then that would be doable: