Mid Range gaming system for wife... rate plz

Wife has a Core 2 duo E8300 with 4GB of DDR2 and a 38xx something ATI card, and its really starting to show its age, and I'd really rather not throw good money after bad, so I'm putting a new system together for her. I started out by picking up a couple of things on deals: a 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD, and an i5 3570K. The old system is going to a good home.

Approximate Purchase Date: Now or within a month or so.

Budget Range: 800ish for case, psu , mobo, aftermarket cooling, memory, graphics, HDD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: WOW (maybe different games in future,) Office (outlook), Web browsing. May transcode 1080 video from time to time.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Microcenter B&M

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, Fine with either AMD or Nvidia graphics.

Overclocking: Probably, but stability is important too.

SLI or Crossfire: Dont forsee it as being necessary.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1900x1080

Additional Comments: Interested in something relatively quiet, very reliable and with enough overkill for the existing use for it to have a bit of performance longevity.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Mists is beginning to choke a bit, and it seems like its time to do a complete system refresh, including Trim support for an SSD etc.

Current Plan

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz *1
Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory: G.SKILL Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBSR *2 *3
Graphics: SAPPHIRE 100352-2L Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
Case: Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower *3
PSU: XFX Proseries 850W 80 Plus Silver Modular PSU *3
SSD: Samsung 830 256GB SSD for OS and programs *1
HD: $100-150 for a 1-2TB Drive. Priorities are reliability 1st, performance 2nd

*1 Already purchased
*2 RAM is on Mobo qualified RAM list
*3 Currently on sale

All of the $100ish Z77 mobos seem to have scattered issues in feedback. The Asrock's issues seem to cluster around USB driver issues, but later updates and/or drivers seem to have mitigated the problems, and Asrock seems to be proactive in providing drivers.

I'm aware that 660Ti's are popular, but the 192 bit bandwidth seems to be an issue in some situations. The 7950 scales pretty well, and the Sapphire cooling solution is supposed to be very good. A small difference in potential frame rates doesn't really matter too much to me, so much as future proofing for games and potentially resolution.

I'm especially open to suggestions on the cooling, the PSU and the HDD. I like the idea of a modular PSU, but I've had a lot of experience with PC Power and Cooling PSUs (which haven't been modular.) There doesn't seem to be a no brainer 7200RPM good value, sizable HDD (looking at Newegg ratings and ... I can't believe how warranties on these have dropped.)
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  1. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($101.96 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $822.88
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-11-21 22:34 EST-0500)

    Hi, this is pretty much it. You don't need a 256gb SSD for OS and WoW but if you really want to get an Samsung 830. The Antec 650 is on sale and pretty much cheaper and still a quality PSU.
  2. The system you have specced out is quite good, only thing I can say is that the PSU is overkill unless your considering dual Crossfire later on. Also agree that the SSD is a bit large, but if you want the capacity go for it.

    Although if its just going to play WoW, it is quite overkill.
  3. Its really impressive that you were able to get that all specced for $800, but I guess I wasn't very clear. I already purchased the CPU (at microcenter, on that deal,) and the SSD drive (a 256GB deal at amazon, about $180 iirc)

    The $800 does not include that $350 so $1150-1200 is what I have to spend effectively. I have a spare SATA Lite-on Burner, btw.

    I'm wondering if that 850W will be enough should I at a later date stick in another 7950 when they are cheaper, for instance... or I probably wouldn't have gone for that vs a 650-750W unit.

    So, If you had an extra 270 to spend, what would you spend it on?
  4. Best answer
    I would just save. The 7950 already maxes out almost every game at 1080p and especially since you're only using a single monitor. It would be a shame to waste more money especially if the most demanding game is WOW.

    You were pretty clear. :) I just wanted to put the CPU there because the partlist doesn't look nice without it.

    The only reason I got the 650w is because it's on sale. The 500w would more than be enough.
  5. Best answer selected by priestval.
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