System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (Starcraft 2, Dawn of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress 2. Want to get the Mass Effect series when there is a cheap boxed set. Maybe Battlefield 3. Also do DVD conversion with Handbrake and general browsing etc.
Parts to Upgrade: Motherboard, RAM, CPU, Case, GPU
(Planning to get a 6850 first to run on my current system while I save for the rest of the parts, but if someone can recommend me something better for now and future i'll get that.)
Case must be extreme minimalist - something like the Corsair 300R - must have dust filters, good cable management and be quiet.
Not Required: Operating System, Display, PSU, DVDRW, HDD. I have a Corsair 500 CXV2 sitting spare that i bought new from a friend, but I don't mind buying new If i have to.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: (Any UK based vendors Amazon No1, then Novatech or Scan).
Location: Edinburgh, UK
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1366x768
Additional Comments: I want something quiet. And futureproof
Why I'm Upgrading: No real upgrades for my current system. I want something that I can upgrade to keep up in the future, So having a good upgrade path would be good. I want to spread the cost so I'll be buying parts on a month by month basis. Will hopefully have the box built by Christmas.
Approximate Purchase Date: Spread over the next few months.
I don't want the H77 chipset. No overclocking and limited expandability. I want to be able to futureproof my system so that in a year or two's time I can overclock to keep up, or replace the CPU, PSU and add another gfx card to upgrade.
Does anyone else have any suggestions? I'm totally confused by all the intel chipsets. AMD is nice and easy to understand, and I can make a good budget system with AMD stuff, but I fear I may be missing on on performance versus intel.
As I mentioned in the original post - futureproofing is important to me. I want to be able to replace/expand components and overclock in the next few years, rather than having to go all out on a new system again.
Also, could my Corsair 500W run a 6950 if i went for intel? Their chips draw a lot less power.