Planning for the future

Hi all,

I hope this is in the right section, but I'm planning to do my first build in about 5-6 months from now, probably when Windows 8 launches. Right now I'm using an Alienware M11x R2 with barebones upgrades and it struggles to even play WoW on medium settings at a decent framerate. For my new build, I want my budget range to be around ~$750 on the system not including the OS/monitor/peripherals.

I'm going to need this system for medium gaming use and standard internet surfing/movies. I would like it to be able to play almost any game, but I don't need tiptop graphics settings or over the top framerate. Around that time I forsee myself playing Diablo 3, WoW: Mists of Pandaria, SC2 expansion, and possibly an FPS.

I know a lot of you guys keep yourselves well informed with new technology on the horizon, so I have a few questions - some about the new technology coming and some just general questions since I know very, very little.

1) I know the i5-2500k is considered a really great CPU at the moment for the price. How relevant will this be half a year from now? Are there any Ivy Bridge processors that might be a better deal (I doubt I'd need an i7) coming up? Also, will any of these current processors have compatibility issues with Windows 8? I prefer to stick with Intel. Just for the record, I'll be considering minor overclocking since I've never done it before.

2) How necessary will an SSD be and what advantages will I get from it? If it's just faster loading times I'm not sure I'm sold, especially if I have a relatively tight budget.

3) I heard nVidia generally makes graphics cards which are best for Blizzard games (mostly what I play). Is this true? Around how much would I need to spend for my needs in about 6 months or so. Right now, I see some suggestions of builds around my budget range including graphics cards over $200 bucks, and then skimping out on the processor.

4) What's the exact purpose of a high-quality motherboard? Isn't one that won't bottleneck the CPU enough?

5) Same questions as #4, but with the case. This is another area I could see saving some money on. Is there any use to buying a case more than 50 bucks?

Thanks in advance for all your knowledge and time - I look forward to your replies. This is truly an amazing community.
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  1. Best answer
    1) I'm not sold on IB yet, especially after finding out they have heat issues when OC'ing. A i53500K should be good, and if that's what you think, I won't even try to say i7 2600K (just for hyper-threading, which game don't use.)

    2) Once you go SSD you'll never go back. But, it doesn't make the game run faster, only load faster (lauch and/or maps). Cost are comeing down, but think at least of a 120GB. 60GB will be limited with the OS, prgrams, and a large amount of games.

    3) No clue. I have used Radeon 4850, and 6850 for the past couple years.

    4) A quality motherboard will have more (useless?) features on it like WiFi, Bluetooth, Firewire, eSATA, and added SATA ports. USB 3.0 is becoming standard. But, if you don't need those "added" features, why get them? Even a Micro-ATX board can do the job! But, quality mobo have better voltage regulators, which means more stable overclocking, if you do that.

    5) Not really, an Antec Three Hundred case has plenty of space and ventalation, and is under $50.00. It's a matter of choice: some like big airy case with lots of fans and ventalation, some like portability, some like close professional looking towers.
  2. Best answer selected by Simplexity88.
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