Semi-final build (opinion seeking)

Well, I finally managed to pull together most of a system, so here's a nearly final check- I've yet to decide upon a Radeon 6870 or a GTX 560 graphics card, but I'm pretty sure it'll be one of those two shortly after the computer itself is complete. Other than those things (and honestly, I'm 50/50 on the GPU there. Could use some opinions from those who've got one and/or the other to help me make a decision), here's what I've got in mind for the PC itself. The unfortunate thing about the HAF 912 is that it doesn't have the USB 3.0, but that's not a dealbreaker for me right now. I can always find some way to install one in the future. - Cooler Master HAF 912 - GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 - Intel Core i5-2500k. Pretty standard, I figure. - XFX Core Edition PRO550W - G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) - ADATA 120GB SSD HDD - Windows 7 Premium 64-bit.

I'll eventually replace the side panel on the HAF 912 with this- , and then replace the top and front fans with 200mm CM blue led fans and add an additional fan to the side panel as well. I already have a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus on the way- the first part of the build to be purchased.

It's a bit more expensive than I originally thought I could go, but with combos factored in (and not including the side panel replacement, additional fans, or the CPU cooler), it comes out to just over $630, minus S&H. I could use some opinions on the build. The CPU and the motherboard are combo'd together for this build, but I'm actually glad I went with the Gigabyte over the Biostar or ASRock combos I'd been considering before.
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  1. Get a 7850, it's much better, cooler, quieter, and cheap for its performance.
  2. I think I remember reading something kinda strange about the 7850 here on tom's hardware and having issues with a Sandy Bridge CPU? Something like that.
  3. No such thing
  4. That's good to know. I was interested in the 7850 until I saw that in the 7850/7870 review, so I'm glad I either read it wrong or it was something else entirely. Or I was tired when I read it. That's certainly possible, and if it was, then my mistake.
  5. Sandy Bridge doesn't have PCIE3 but the cards are backwards compatible so no problem there.
  6. That's good to hear. The graphics card will most likely be purchased well after I manage to purchase the rest of the computer (which means I'll be settling for the onboard Intel HD 3000 for a few weeks or so after I finish making the PC itself), so right now I'm just trying to decide on which one to look around for and keep an eye on for any deals.
  7. I've been wondering- is there any major difference between micro-ATX and ATX, other than simply the size of the board and available number of PCI-E/expansion slots? I don't plan on doing anything along the lines of sound cards, or adding additional GPUs past the single that I'm still trying to decide on.

    Would it be worth going up to an Ivy Bridge CPU with a Micro ATX mobo vs. the Sandy Bridge with an ATX mobo? I realize that there's one or two i5-3550k combos that involve ATX motherboards, but those are the ECS motherboards that I have heard nothing about, so I'm pretty leery about 'em. I'd like to save a little cash if possible, but if ATX is better overall then I'm gonna stick with what I've already posted.
  8. Size of the motherboard does not affect performance.
  9. Size only affect expandability.
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