Hi, this is my first attempt to build a desktop, so i thought it would be wise to consult your expertise .
Usage: Gaming, light computer simulation & coding, web browsing and downloads.
Budget:$700- $900 including monitor
Things I already have: student issued windows 8, mouse, keyboard, laptop.
Here´s how I´d like to prioritize:
1. Longevity (the computer specs will remain competitive for the next 3-5 years, and be upgradeable then)
2. Robust to long term use (will not break down easily due to overheating or other issues). I´m sick of my laptops
performing great for 2 years then slowly dying out (motherboard issues mostly)
3. Gaming performance and booting/loading speed (i don´t care to max out the most demanding games, but i´d like to play the arma series including arma 3, OFP, crysis on high settings at 30-40 fps). Also i´ll be playing multiplayer so a fast response time is needed.
Is there are reason why dual RAM channel works better? (i was thinking about single channel because i would upgrade another 8GB later so i would have 2*8GB = 16GB).
Your selection is nice, however, is the GTX 660 Ti worth it? It´s almost $100 more expensive than the HD7850, while the CPU seems not as fast (lower clock rate). Keep in mind ii´ll be playing on 20 inch screen, so not sure if the extra resolution will even be noticeable. I was thinking of a fast CPU because the speed at which i can run my coding simulations is almost directly proportional to the clock speed.
Finally, is a CPU cooler needed if i don´t plan to overclock?
With a motherboard with 4 dimm slots, you can always add later more 8GB, you can get cheaper dual channel ram in ncix us, so no point in getting single channel, and you don't need an aftermarket cooler, the stock cooler is fine, though, i'd get the z75 pro 3 from asrock and not that ecs board and not the sandybridge i5-2310, but a i5 ivybridge, the i5-3350p is cheaper and from the ivybridge architecture and a good psu for mid end/high end cards like the xfx 550 core edition, which is a quality psu made by seasonic.
The best bang for the buck card now is the 7870 xt, it's out of stock in newegg, but it will be back soon.
Also i wouldn't get the crucial V4, it's a slow old ssd and i recommend going with a decent case, like the bitfenix merc or nzxt 210.
I´ve been thinking and here´s a compromise i guess. While 660 Ti is certainly nice, it seems that the HD Radeon 7850 handles arma, battlefield 3 all on high settings with 30-40 fps or more. I game but i also do work on my desktop, which is why i´d rather have a slightly stronger CPU. Unless you have more compelling reason why the 660 Ti is worth the extra $100?
That ram is out of stock, it's not 39$, get the ram in ncix us, don't get the crucial v4, it's a sata ii ssd and a slow one, also get the z75 pro 3 not the ecs motherboard, it sucks in quality and features, i would get a better case, like the nxzt 210 or the bitfenix merc.
Also the 7870 XT is just 240$ in newegg, it offers two games, it's the best bang for the buck card nowadays.
I still recommend this : http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Gqey
^the cpu is actually less 10$, with the promo code, you can change the monitor for the aoc, if you like, but what i recommend is going the the z75 pro3, the i5-3350p, a good ssd and the 7870 XT.
The Bitfenix merc supports atx and matx motherboards, so it will fit the motherboard and it has enough space for any high end card, it's really a good case for the money.
There's the case in pcpartpicker, put it's more expensive than in ncix us.
Yes, it doesn't have usb 3.0, but 2.0 ports, i don't think you'll need an usb 3.0 port in the front, the motherboard has two usb 3.0 ports in the back.
The motherboard has usb 2.0 header : 3 x USB 2.0 headers (support 6 USB 2.0 ports)
You'll get usb 2.0 ports in the front(the case has two usb 2.0 ports), unless you have a device that takes advantage of the usb 3.0 bandwidth(which i doubt it), you don't need it.
Get the 128GB ssd and a 500GB, if you think you'll need more than ~200GB, if not get a 256GB ssd.