By "Tier 2", I mean to say that I am willing to drop close to top dollar for the most current parts, but I'm not looking to get the top of the line for unnecessary and minimal performance boosts.
Also, this will be my first time building a system from scratch. While I do have ample experience working with components, I am still a bit apprehensive on doing the whole thing, so any and all criticism is welcome, Thank you!
Approximate Purchase Date: Mid-June/July.
Budget Range: $1000-$1500
System Usage from Most to Least Important:
Program Editors/compilers, Office Suite Programs, Web, will be dual booting with Win 7 and Ubuntu, potentially gaming in the future (Guild Wars 2 or equivalent).
Parts Not Required:
Monitor, Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers, Storage HDD (will be buying an SSD to boot OS), Battery Backup Unit, PSU (link below)
Intel i7 Ivy Bridge CPU, ASUS Mobo, Nvidia GPU, Full Tower Case
SLI or Crossfire:
Potentially SLI in the future if needed.
So I realize for what I'll be using it for it'll be a bit overkill, but I want to have the potential for if/when I decide to game and want to get another GPU for SLI. I feel I have my CPU and Mobo picked out, from the little bit of researching I did. They are linked below, any comments on my selection would be greatly appreciated.
I've always been behind the curve on knowing GPU specs, so any suggestions for what I should be looking at would be great. I'd like to keep it under $350 as I won't be gaming once I get the system built. That being said, which card has the best potential for SLI down the road? I would like to run an Nvidia card, but am open to ATI options. Also, what do I need to consider in compatibility with the Mobo/CPU?
This is something I've never even google'd (which I will do as soon as I post just to get a basic understanding). I would really appreciate someone's experienced advice on this as I am pretty nervous to install something so critical (dangerous?) as running water inside my computer!!
I think I'd like to install 2 x 4Gb sticks of DDR3 to start, and then double that if/when I add another video card. I can't imagine there is too much to consider when buying RAM, but I really want to do this right the first time and am sure someone has good advice
Thanks so much for your time in reading all this! Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
Since I will be getting the corsair H100 liquid cooler, I am leaning toward to corsair case since the radiator can be neatly mounted to the top of the case, but it does seem like that would be possible with these other 3 cases as well. I'm a bit on the fence with all of them, so I could use some opinion. Thanks!
If you're going to get an Ivy Bridge CPU, make sure you get one you can overclock, which are the ones with a "K" at the end. That regular 3770 is going to be stuck at or very close to stock settings.
On a related note, water cooling is a 100% waste of time and money unless you plan on doing overclocking - and serious overclocking at that. You'll probably do just as well with a $50 air cooler in this case.
Yes, skip the water cooler. I opted for the 3770 as well (non-k) and use the Hyper 212 EVO cooler. Depending on board and cooler, you might want to look into low-profile RAM... I used similar Gskills as you on an Asus P8Z77-V and the aforementioned EVO cooler, and it's a tight fit due to the RAM heatsinks... my air fan sits roughly 1/4" higher than the sink. Not perfect, yet no big deal and my CPU runs nice and cool. I don't want to install the fan on the other side to "pull". Anyway, had I known this beforehand I would've looked into getting different, low-profile sticks. I thought this only affected some Corsair RAM but didn't do enough research
Well I already had that 850 Watt PSU from my old PC, so I'll be using that. And I realize I could probably shave $50 off the Mobo, but I'm really hooked on the look of the Sabertooth and I wouldn't mind having the PCI-E 3.0 available for future cards that actually utilize its speed. The Sabertooth has a 5 yr warranty too, so that should last me.
I like your suggestion of the GTX 560 Ti 2GB, but I'm just curious why you chose that over the MSI card which is slightly overclocked for $10 cheaper (link below).