Approximate Purchase Date: Varies by price. By the end of the year however. (I know its soon, but I'm getting an idea and monitoring prices)
Budget Range: I'd like to keep it under 900$ anymore than that and it'll be very unlikely I can afford it.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming will be the main priority followed by coding/modeling then misc general computing.
Are you buying a monitor: No
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg or Tigerdirect are preffered, but not needed.
Location: Central Kentucky
Parts Preferences: Whatever performs well and is cheap. (Always been an Intel CPU fan, with nothing against AMD and always been an ATI/AMD fan for GPUs)
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I want a PC capable of gaming modern games at atleast high settings preferred. If price allows I may even add a small SSD for boot. With the coolers I have picked out, I've heard so much good stuff about the 212, but I know a guy who has an X4 with the V8 and it stays ultra cool. I am worried about them fitting in those cases though. I also thoughtt about a cheap i3 so I can upgrade to a i5 one day but I need it cheap as possible with good performance for the time being.
Here's what I have kind of looked at so far (Comments and recommendations needed):
The 7870 can be pushed even further with slight OCing. After pushing it to about 1GHZ you'll get a 7950 in performance numbers. A great well rounded card overall especially for the price. Lower TDP, lower temps, quieter than the 6950.
How much performance/features would I be losing going from a 3570k to say like a 3450? And I would prefer a modular PSU the more I think about it for neatness. As well I have always kind of preferred a full tower because of the natural air flow. I really like those two Azza cases I mentioned above, but I've heard that any cooler bigger than 110mm won't fit and that cooler is a 120mm. I also switched the ram over to G Skill because I have the exact same model in another desktop and it preforms absolutely phenomenal.
EDIT: I've never had any experience with MSI. I've heard good and bad, but thats the same with any company. Are they a good and quality brand?
MSI is one of the premier technology companies, and they make some of the best aftermarket coolers for GPU's.
Performance wise, you won't see any difference between the 3450 and the 3570k. However, you won't be able to overclock the 3450.
As far as the case goes, you picked really nice cases, but that would put you over budget. I wouldn't sacrifice the performance of the system by downgrading components to make up for the case. If you can stretch a little more to put in a full tower, by all means do so. If not, I would stick with the challenger. It has 3 fans that will be more than sufficient for cooling.
As far as cooler clearance, I don't have the AZZA case, so I am unsure if that is true.
Save some money especially before rebates and get a much better GPU. Plus you'll still get the ability to CF/SLI in the future. If you don't think you'll SLI/CF in the future switch to my $650 build and swap the 7850 for the 7950 and you'll be solid.
So between the 3570K and the 3450 there will be no noticeable performance differences? If I drop to the 3450, I won't be able to OC, so would you still recommend the aftermarket cooler? As for the case you make a valid argument. It is always something I can upgrade in the future. As for a CF setup, with either the 7870 or 7950 I do not for see myself doing it with those (Why would I need to with only one monitor?).
No there would be no need for a aftermarket cooler if you got the i5 3450. And yes, there will be no notable performance difference.
Well, games getting more demanding so there is a reason to have the option. But if you're not bothered that you can't run 16x AA/AF with ULTRA settings at 1080P. Then there is no reason.
This is good a thing, because I found some cheap mid towers with a large 200mm fan on the side that would prevent a aftermarket cooler. I plan on hopefully within a year of purchasing the i5 I wil be able to upgrade to an i7 which would obviously mean a different case and cooler but that'll be a while from now. And even with the i5 at stock 3.1 not in turbo mode it will handle 16x AA with the 3GB 7950 without any issues shouldn't it?
16x AA is pretty taxing. It's a pretty hefty request from a single card to run BF3 at those settings. Just because you have a high clock speed of 3.1ghz and a great card like the 7950 it's not all that you have to account for. Resolution, the games engine, DX11 vs DX10/9 are factors.... http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7970_GHz_Edit...
At 4X AA it's already pretty hard to run.
The i7 will bring you almost 0 performance gain in FPS. It'd be a waste of money to do so. The i5 3450 will last you awhile. i5's are equivalent to i7's in almost everyway EXCEPT multi-threading. I don't know that your coding and modeling would require so much as an i7. I think the i5 3450 could handle the load fine.
Alright. If anything then I could upgrade to the 3570k in the future if I feel the need to OC. Or just wait for the 7950s to dorp more in price and CF. I'll post the parts list that I've come up with after comparing everyones and see what you all think.