I'm planning out a new build to replace my current HP AMD Phenom QuadCore 2.2 GHz with an EVGA GTX 460. Here's the details:
I plan on purchasing items around end of August, 2012
My budget is under $1700, obviously, the cheaper, the better. This budget will include all parts for cpu and shipping, no periphials.
I'm building this system for a variety of uses.
1. I am a gamer. Right now I want to run Skyrim maxed out at 1920x1080 and running super smoothly. I may give Witcher 2 a try in the near future.
2. I am a graphic designer for work. I am doing all my work via contract basis with Creative Suite 6 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign).
3. I do some work in AutoCAD. From time to time I do contract work for a previous employer designing kitchens, baths, entertainment units, etc. I'm using AutoCAD 2010
4. I am in school for Computer Science. Most of my schoolwork is done online.
5. I run dual monitors. I prefer Samsung ViewSync and will be buying two soon (after I move, see next point) (at least 21").
6. I am limited in size because I am building this in the US, then taking it with me to Abu Dhabi (near Dubai) where I'll be living for two years, so heat may be a factor (obviously, we'll be running A/C, but it is the desert...it gets over 120 deg F)
The mobo I choose because of size and all the goodies that comes with it. I was originally considering a Z77 Sabertooth, but again, I wanted to shrink the size (even though the Define Mini is still a larger case compared to other mATX cases). I also like the fact that it has the thunderbolt headers.
I choose the Ivy Bridge i7 for it's cooler properties and it's better speeds at stock settings compared to the 3570k. I understand the Sandy Bridge can OC better, but I'm not trying to push limits with this build. I'd like to be able to OC to 4.0-4.2.
16 gig of memory for CS6, AutoCAD purposes.
CPU cooler is still in question. I want to run the evo in push/pull mode (hence the second fan). I've seen another build running a similar set up for the CPU fans and it allowed just enough space for the mem sticks. The case allows for 160mm height fans, so this cooler is pushing it, but it should suffice. Obviously liquid cooling may be better, but I don't think the extra $60 in liquid cooling won't make much difference vs the 212+
I'm open to suggestions for better performance vs cost. Let me know what y'all think. BTW, this is my first build.
Thanks for the advice. I wasn't planning on going SLI because a) space concerns, b) Thunderbolt requires the PCI slot at the bottom of the board (when they release the card). I can only have one or the other as there's not enough room for SLI & Thunderbolt card.
As for intel card, it's a PCIe card that fits the PCIe/mSATA slot on the board (top left corner, there's a header for a two in one card slot, pretty handy). This will allow me again to use the PCI slot at the bottom of the board for Thunderbolt card and still give me wifi. I think they designed a pretty nice mobo to think of all these issues.