tl;dr - Did I make any stupid decisions modifying this 650 gaming build?
Ditched my last gaming rig a long time ago and been livin in laptop land since...but its never been the same. I'm not drowning in money or technical knowledge so looking for some advice on a rig. My goal is a gaming rig that'll deliver good bang for the buck (mostly SCII, Diablo, occasional BF3). When not gaming I'm doign web development and running ubuntu. (Primary Use: web Development (not image Editing), Secondary: Gaming)
3. Anything wrong with Motherboard Choice?
i5 is cheap at local microcenter, but didn't see any mobo combo's - or anything as cheap as this (relatively well reviewed) board. Ivy bridge doesn't seem to be worth waiting for given the build.
While upgrading to the 7850 would give you better performance, if it is out of your budget, than the 560ti should suffice for your needs.
The gigabyte MB is a good choice for a budget board that has good upgradability. Build looks good, the only variable is that the Fractal Design Core 1000 has enough room to fit a 560ti in. Other than that the rest of the build looks solid.
I would suggest getting the MSI Twin Frozr II OC version of whatever GPU you get (unless you get a 6870, in which case go with the Hawk). Here's the ranking of manufacturers, as I see it (meaning the higher, the more expensive, but the better performance... it makes a difference):
1. MSI Twin Frozr II OC (or Hawk on some cards)
5. Others (1-fan cards, etc.)
After the rebate, this card would be the same price and it isn't a refurb.
Ah - great tip, thanks
About the 7850 - its not budget breaking, but the review suggested it may have some issues with SCII, which will likely be my main game. Also, Nvidia seems to be more linux friendly, where I'll spend most of my time. Am I far off the mark on those?
Most issues are driver-related, and are fixed very quickly. Many reviews were done when the card first came out, and drivers are always so-so when a card just comes out.
I have no idea bout NVidia being more Linux friendly... I've never heard that, but it might be true. I think the differences between Radeon and NVidia are very subtle, and don't mean a whole lot. I just get the better card. At this point, Radeon seems to be dominating the price/performance, but Nvidia hasn't released their competition yet.
The best bang for the buck card out right now is the 7850. It will out perform the 560ti for the same price, and can overclock very easily to a 7870 which is performing in some cases better than the 570 is.