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Help wanted fine tuning an i3-2120 build

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August 16, 2012 2:30:04 PM

Pretty well decided to get NCIX (Canada) to build an i3-2120 system for me.

I am wanting to future proof it in case I want to change CPU and/or add a GPU.

This is where I am at present

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/eMdZ
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/eMdZ/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/eMdZ/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($114.25 @ DirectCanada)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.79 @ DirectCanada)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($62.29 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: XFX 550W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS70 OEM DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($98.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $553.28
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-16 10:21 EDT-0400)

Does the h77 mobo give me ability to add change parts in the future, anything else I could consider, cheaper that would do the same?
Regarding PSU and HD it seems there is way to much choice for a novice like me and everyone seems to have an opinion on what and what not to use. I guess are the items I picked okay or do they have faults that I am unaware of.

Is the case overkill should I be looking at cheaper? I want USB3 in the front and this one has that plus ability to give great ventilation. I was impressed by the video describing it. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
Regarding upgrading the system in the future, if I changed the CPU does that mean a complete reinstall of the OS?
August 16, 2012 2:50:55 PM

You've not said what you intend to use the system for, although if you are possibly adding a GPU down the line then I'm guessing maybe some gaming. The only concern I have immediately, factoring in a possible GPU upgrade, is that the 550W PSU may be a tad low...you could up it to 600W. XFX are a good brand, and Corsair also do a System Builder 600W PSU for a reasonable price.

Your system is future-proof as you're using the S1155 architecture, which means you could realistically stick in a high-end Ivybridge i7 CPU later on. I don't believe you need to reinstall the CPU...I had my HTPC running on my i5-2500K a while ago, and it was quite happy just being swapped out. However, a fresh OS install from time to time is a good idea, so if you were upgrading the CPU just coincide it with an OS reinstall.

The only other issue on future-proofing is whether or not you'd want to overclock. If you do, then the H77 motherboard isn't suitable as you can't overclock on it. However, if you don't want to OC or use multiple GPUs then it's fine. Bear in mind that OCing isn't necessary for a good gaming system, though.

If you wanted to make your build more powerful for gaming, a 7950 or 660Ti with an i5 CPU would see you well for the forseeable future.
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August 17, 2012 7:00:44 AM

If you're not gaming, then why add a GPU later?

That's the PSU I'd go for.
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August 17, 2012 7:33:02 AM

If you are not planning to play games I would recommend buying a H77 since it has integrated graphics.
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