My current hardware that i'm going to keep (HDD and GPU) is: WD 500GB Black Caviar, Sapphire Radeon HD 5670 512MB.
I have a pretty slim space available for my setup so a HTPC case in the microATX format would be perfect for me. I don't games that are very gfx heavy, and i think my current graphic card would suffice.
Do you think this is a fair upgrade and will it do everything i need it to do?
Nice case, full size cards fit. Some people swap the fans out.
I prefer i5 to i7 -- I also run an i7-920 with hyperthreading turned off, so there is some bias in my thinking.
2560 x 1440 is a lot of screen for a 5670 512MB to drive gaming. A low power 7750 @ 50w if you feel the need. (5670 not a bad card).
You could go with a much smaller PSU which might be quieter. That rig barely pulls 200w. A nice 350 instead of a 600w? maybe Antec EarthWatts 380W http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This is quiet. Or maybe something with modular wires to keep wire mess out of your case.
Thank you for your answer, i really fancy the case and i think it will be perfect. I've had a HTPC chassi for an ATX build earlier and it was to big (imo) to classify as a HTPC really. The mATX format will surely be a lot nicer.
I actually already own a 400w PSU, which is somewhat new. And i may not need to replace it then! I did not know how much power i would need to run the CPU! Does the i7 require more power than the i5's? If not, this makes things easier, and cheaper.
I'm considering getting a PSU with modular wires like you mentioned, they seem to be a little more expensive though.
Do you think it would be a good idea to upgrade the graphics card as well then? I actually run dual screens sometimes at the same resolution and i've noticed that the card may have been having a hard time keeping up.
With the i5 CPU and no extra PSU i would be ready to spend a little extra on a decent card as well. Is there any in particular you can recommend?
You linked an i5-2550K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) for $243. 95W.
Consider also an i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) for $230. 77w.
3570K is slightly faster per clock than 2550. Since clocks are the same its a bit faster. And lower power consumption means a bit less heat in your case. Ivy Bridge hd4000 Integrated video is best intel has (but is still cr@p). Your z77 based MB will run both ivy bridge adn sandy bridge.
Any quality 400 watt PSU is fine. Even a weak one should be OK unless you load up on video. An i7 ivy bridge can range from 65W to 130w depending on what you get. But you are well enough within power envelop of 400w that you can pick whichever you want w/o worry.
If you overclock (assume you will from the K skus ) then watch temp really carefully on the 22nm ivy bridge processor. It will go up sharply as you OC. IF you don't plan to OC you can get a cheaper board (not z77) and CPU (not K) and get same results.
Cons for i7 vs i5: Slightly higher price with no noticeable performance difference unless you do video editing or really heavy highly threaded applications. The hiperthreading in the i7 makes it go faster for thread heavy applications.
...Do you think it would be a good idea to upgrade the graphics card as well then? I actually run dual screens sometimes at the same resolution and i've noticed that the card may have been having a hard time keeping up....
HD5670 should have no problem driving screens in 2D. Not sure a different card would do better. 5670 is also a solid $70 gaming card. If you cared about 3D gaming (call of duty, etc.) then you'd be spending $150+ on video. But for normal application dual screen the 5670 should be quiet and effective. Plus you get DirectX 11, Eyefinity, and bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio formats. Not a bad card, just not a midrange gaming card.
Aside max power in an hd5670 is 61W. When added to the (77W to 95W max) of your CPU you can see why the 400W PSU will work fine.