I am planning on building a Micro ATX / Mini ITX ""Lan Box"" Rig.
Before I proceed, here are my current specifications:
-ASUS M4A88TD-V EVO Motherboard
-AMD Phenom X4 975 OC to 3.8gHz w/ Zalman CPU fan
-8GB Crucial RAM
-HD 5970 GPU @ 850/1200
-Antec 750W PSU
-250GB Sata HDD Western Digital
-No name terrible DVD Drive
-Xblade case w/ fan control and temperature monitor Gage.
Also to note, I am building this as a gaming rig. However, I also compete in OC/Benchmark competitions with my buddies. Noise is NOT an issue, I don't care if it is loud of quiet.
Quilciri, I am new to water cooling, as every system I have had in the past has been air cooled.
The CPU water cooling I picked out seems pretty simple to install and use, I am not experienced enough to install a water block and hook up water cooling to it I dont think. I dont even know what I would need. But I am open to trying it out.
Asus is running a 8+2+2 phase converter, while the asrock has what appears to be 8+2+1. what that means is the Asus board has a bit more stable voltage going to either the RAM or the video card. Since you'll get far more game performance form overclocking your video card than RAM, I would wager that the Asrock board put the single phase on it's RAM, and left 2 for the southbridge (vid card).
Up to you whether or not that's worth the $65 premium.l
You won't see any noticeable performance gain by swapping a 5970 out for a 670. Really about the only thing you'd gain is dx11 support (and of course, physx).
Also, Asrock used to be part of Asus. They created the brand to compete with more budget oriented boards like foxconn, but asrock turned out higher quality boards than their competition and eventually bought themselves out. If rumors are true, Asus is looking to buy Asrock back, which would create a de-facto duopoly between Asusrock & gigabyte (with gigabyte a distant second). cross your fingers that doesn't happen.