I work in Computer Forensics, so I should have no problem putting this beast together, however, I am not arrogant enough to think that I know everything about all the pros and cons about each individual component. Because of this I would really appreciate any help the community can give with regard to the entire build. I have a few ideas in my head, but have not bought anything at all yet. If people can give me what they think is the best build for under £1,000 (without VAT as I can get it through work) that would be much appreciated!
Approximate Purchase Date: Mid-November
Budget Range: £1,000 without VAT and after shipping.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Playing Guild Wars 2 is the main reason.
Pretty sure those prices are including tax, so yes I would definitely spring for an SSD (it'd probably be worth it anyway)- Samsung 830 series got a good write up on Toms, and I'd recommend the 128GB model.
If you're only running one 1080p monitor I'm not sure it'd be work your while upgrading the graphics card, though others might disagree - the MSI you've got should blow you away, and it's got mad overclocking potential. You could save a bit of money on your PSU too, but it's a good one and leaves you plenty of room to upgrade in future.
That build is basically the same as the one I've been getting together for the last few months, can't fault it!
One more thing - if you do alot of CD/DVD duplication you might want to spring for a LightScribe drive - it'll only set you back an extra five quid or so over the bog standard one.
Annoying you can't edit. My next question was going to be "does this have enough power/space for future upgrades", but you already answered that to some extent!
I think I will certainly go for the SSD as I checked and the total (without tax) is £775 so still have a little bit of money to spend. However, there is obviously no need to spend all the budget so the setup above looks great.
I am certainly planning to overclock so is there anything I need to focus on to allow this? Maybe a stronger fan or some thermal paste?
Grab an aftermarket CPU cooler - even if you don't intend to overclock straight away it's going to be miles easier to install it from the start rather than hauling everything out of the case again at a later date. I picked the Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO for my build, but there are lots of other good choices.
The thermal paste you get with the CPU/cooler should be fine. As for fans, I think there are four more spaces for 120mm fans in that case - if you wanted to invest in another one or two it wouldn't hurt (though I think you'll be alright without unless you're going to really push it).
On a related note, shop around for cases. The Antec is a great understated look, but you might want something flashier according to your taste - and a bigger case obviously gives you better cooling.
Great idea on the CPU cooler. The EVO looks good and easily fits in budget.
The case is perfect as I want an understated look with no flashing lights etc, I know there is quite a good Corsair case about that is a bit pricier but also maybe a bit bigger, cannot remember the name though.
Any particular fans that you can recommend for the case?
I've heard good things about Antec Truequiet, though I'm sure any reputable brand will work fine - just make sure you get the right size.
Yeah, it's a great case, just wanted to make sure you'd weighed your options. A full tower is too bulky for a lot of folks (I'm probably going to go mid-tower myself), but there are pros and cons - as always!
The Toms articles on gaming cases are really good, worth a look at, and the Antec Three Hundred series scores really well on cooling and noise. I hear the Corsair is a dream to build with - the tool free drive bays are really easy to move, the cable management's excellent - but once you've built the thing that perk is pretty much used up. The Antec gives you two 2.5" bays which the Corsair doesn't, but you can get brackets for 2.5" drives to fit in 3.5" bays if you need them (and I don't know if they're stand-alone bays or if it means taking space away from the 3.5" ones). I personally like the look of the Corsair better (painted black interior), but that's a personal preference - maybe you prefer the industrial look!
In the end, the case has to be your choice I'm afraid!
Xigmatek XLF fans are good. 400R is good but I'd spend more for the 500R. Otherwise I love the bitfenix shinobi,for understated. Needs extra Spectre Pro fans though and it's stealth drive bay to work well.