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£1000/$1600 gaming computer

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July 1, 2011 7:06:24 PM

Hi all

Looking to buy a high end gaming pc for battlefield 3 in the hope of playing it on max graphics or at least high. I've been completely out of the loop when it comes to hardware for so long as I just haven't been keeping track so i hope you guys can help me out :)  I'm currently in the UK but gave you guys a USD amount just to make it easier. My budget is currently 1000, originally 700 but i won 270 at the casino :D , and i'll leave the rest below.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: £1000 or $1600

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming/internet/not too big

Parts Not Required: mouse, headset

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: scan (although i'm not sure whats good in the uk these days)

Country of Origin: UK

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Honestly couldn't tell you what i'd prefer as I have no idea XD this ones free for you to choose

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: if my budget can accomodate it, and if it's recommended, why not.

Monitor Resolution: As high as my budget can accomodate, without sacrificing gaming spec. preferably wide screen and preferably 22"+


Just one more thing, in your opinion, given the rate at which the market spits out new hardware, should i wait until BF3 release date so 2 months before buying? or shall i just buy now.
a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2011 7:14:07 PM

Hi there, welcome to the forums.
Quite a budget you got there! Granted it's with monitor and OS, but that still leaves us with alot to play with.

First, off, the absolute best thread to look at for ideas is this one right here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312822-31-bestconfigs...
Add in $100 for OS, $150-200 for monitor, maybe $100 for case and keyboard, and we are closely approaching your budget.

Let me know if any of the builds stand out to you, and we'll work from there.

Cheers!
July 1, 2011 7:18:35 PM

striker410 said:
Hi there, welcome to the forums.
Quite a budget you got there! Granted it's with monitor and OS, but that still leaves us with alot to play with.

First, off, the absolute best thread to look at for ideas is this one right here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/312822-31-bestconfigs...
Add in $100 for OS, $150-200 for monitor, maybe $100 for case and keyboard, and we are closely approaching your budget.

Let me know if any of the builds stand out to you, and we'll work from there.

Cheers!


cheers for the quick reply striker, but tbh with you, i've been so out of the loop that all these things make no sense to me anymore haha - to put it this way, i've lost complete track of gfx cards since hte 8800 gtx and that was a loooooooong time ago lol. Which one would you most prefer?
Related resources
July 1, 2011 7:23:46 PM

CPU: Intel Core i7 2600k $315
MoBo: ASRock P67 Extreme4 (B3) $160
PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSA00-80GAD3-US $200
CASE: Antec 900 $100
HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB $90
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series Model F3- 10666CL9D-8GBRL 8GB (2 x 4 GB) $70
Graphics: Radeon HD 6850 x2 (Crossfire) $320
Heatsink + Fan: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 $50
DVD-ROM: SONY Black 18X DDU1681S-0B $17
Total: $1322 w/o monitor and OS
Perfect =D
EDIT: Since you need monitor...do 2 6850 instead
a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2011 7:37:45 PM

Well you can't ask which one I'd prefer, because I'd pick mine :D 
Here's what I would do.
-Get the i5-2500k CPU. No doubt about it.
-Get a nice Z68 motherboard. One between $150 and $200
-Get a sexy case. Ranging from $50 to $150. Find one that you like the looks of, and we'll move from there.
-Get a fast 60GB SSD.
-A nice 850w 80+ PSU from XFX, Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, Silverstone, or FSP.
For GPU's, you should either get a pair of 6950's or 560 Ti's. They are the value kings right now.

There's your foundation. I will elaborate on each choice below.

CPU: The 2500k is the best value processor out there. Kick ass performance at relatively low price.
Mobo: Z68 is the latest generation board. Can't really go wrong.
SSD: fast bootup times! Everyone wants a computer that can boot up in 7 seconds.
PSU: 850w is the optimal wattage for 2 GPU's of that caliber. 80+ for efficiency, modular for prettyness :D 
Case is pretty much self explanitory.

Hope that helps a bit! I didn't give you an exact build because it's much more cool when it's been tailored yourself to fit your needs ;) 
July 1, 2011 7:40:58 PM

striker410 said:
Well you can't ask which one I'd prefer, because I'd pick mine :D 
Here's what I would do.
-Get the i5-2500k CPU. No doubt about it.
-Get a nice Z68 motherboard. One between $150 and $200
-Get a sexy case. Ranging from $50 to $150. Find one that you like the looks of, and we'll move from there.
-Get a fast 60GB SSD.
-A nice 850w 80+ PSU from XFX, Corsair, Antec, Seasonic, Silverstone, or FSP.
For GPU's, you should either get a pair of 6950's or 560 Ti's. They are the value kings right now.

There's your foundation. I will elaborate on each choice below.

CPU: The 2500k is the best value processor out there. Kick ass performance at relatively low price.
Mobo: Z68 is the latest generation board. Can't really go wrong.
SSD: fast bootup times! Everyone wants a computer that can boot up in 7 seconds.
PSU: 850w is the optimal wattage for 2 GPU's of that caliber. 80+ for efficiency, modular for prettyness :D 
Case is pretty much self explanitory.

Hope that helps a bit! I didn't give you an exact build because it's much more cool when it's been tailored yourself to fit your needs ;) 


what would you choose if the build didn't have the ssd? i've seen the performance of them and they are impressive however because they're so new they're extremely expensive - i don't think i could justify the lack of storage for speed.
a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2011 7:44:22 PM

Well, I would simply drop the SSD! I suppose you could go with 2x 6970's (more powerful cards) But 2 6950's is pretty overkill for one monitor as it is. I've always wanted to try Eyefinity (gaming with 3 screens) So I would probably give that a whirl if I liked it.
July 1, 2011 7:45:52 PM

I agree with striker, deciding your own system specs makes you feel better because you know You Built It. But remember:
-i5 2500k and i7 2600k doesn't have too much of a difference. Use the 2500k because it's cheap and you can easily meet the clock rate of the 2600k by OCing.
-As Striker said, a SSD can speed your boot up, which is always nice. If you don't want to buy a 60GB SSD, Choose a 16-20GB SSD (Minimum space for Windows 7). Boot from the SSD and store your info in the HDD
-If you are OCing, BUY A AFTERMARKET HEATSINK+FAN!!!
-PSU...DO NOT SKIMP OUT ON THIS!!! Buy 80+ certified PSUs
a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2011 9:48:57 PM

FREE DELIVERY FOR THIS ENTIRE ORDER

Dual factory overclocked gtx 560's in SLI, LED HDMI 2ms gaming monitor, after market cpu h/s (thermal compound included), Windows 7, etc...

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164961 £76.77 inc. vat
Coolermaster HAF 922 Mid Tower Case - No PSU

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/257233 £85.80 inc. vat
Corsair TX 750W V2 PSU - 80plus Bronze Certified

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/267506 £110.03 inc. vat
Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 Z68 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/251596 £161.10 inc. vat
Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/245376 £26.50 inc. vat
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Socket 775, 1156,1155 AM2, 1366, AM3 Processor Coole

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/264753 £79.99 inc. vat
G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600mhz Sniper Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.25V

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804 £42.99 inc. vat
Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/220986 £14.91 inc. vat
Sony Optiarc AD-5260S 24x DVD±RW & DL SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/254405 £179.02 inc. vat
Asus GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDM Out PCI-E Graphicas Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/254405 £179.02 inc. vat
Asus GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDM Out PCI-E Graphicas Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173791 £65.84 inc. vat
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/263935 £170.63 inc. vat
Asus VE247H LED LCD 23.6" HDMI Monitor 2ms

Total: £1,192.60 inc. vat
July 2, 2011 2:22:16 PM

r0aringdrag0n said:
I agree with striker, deciding your own system specs makes you feel better because you know You Built It

i do understand what you're saying but being in the situation i'm in and my current lack of knowledge, i really wouldn't know what's best and what i would actually want :p 

will take our advice on board though, thanks guys
July 2, 2011 3:51:11 PM

Why_Me said:
FREE DELIVERY FOR THIS ENTIRE ORDER

Dual factory overclocked gtx 560's in SLI, LED HDMI 2ms gaming monitor, after market cpu h/s (thermal compound included), Windows 7, etc...

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/164961 £76.77 inc. vat
Coolermaster HAF 922 Mid Tower Case - No PSU

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/257233 £85.80 inc. vat
Corsair TX 750W V2 PSU - 80plus Bronze Certified

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/267506 £110.03 inc. vat
Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 Z68 Socket 1155 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/251596 £161.10 inc. vat
Intel Core i5 2500K 3.3GHz Socket 1155 6MB Cache Retail Boxed Processor

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/245376 £26.50 inc. vat
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus Socket 775, 1156,1155 AM2, 1366, AM3 Processor Coole

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/264753 £79.99 inc. vat
G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600mhz Sniper Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.25V

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173804 £42.99 inc. vat
Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/220986 £14.91 inc. vat
Sony Optiarc AD-5260S 24x DVD±RW & DL SATA Optical Drive - OEM Black

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/254405 £179.02 inc. vat
Asus GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDM Out PCI-E Graphicas Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/254405 £179.02 inc. vat
Asus GTX 560Ti DirectCU II 1GB GDDR5 Dual DVI Mini HDM Out PCI-E Graphicas Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173791 £65.84 inc. vat
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium - Licence and media - 1 PC - OEM - DVD - 64-bit - English

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/263935 £170.63 inc. vat
Asus VE247H LED LCD 23.6" HDMI Monitor 2ms

Total: £1,192.60 inc. vat


over budget unfortunately
July 2, 2011 4:15:02 PM

jonnym32 said:
over budget unfortunately



Not too difficult to remedy that:

1. Remove the second 560 Ti (£179 to £0) and buy from SCAN (179 to £168 SCAN):
http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/index.aspx

2. Change Corsair PSU to XFX (£86 to £72 SCAN)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-xfx-p1-750s-nlb9-pr...

3. Change RAM to Corsair dominator LP (£80 to £68 SCAN)
http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/index.aspx

4. Change the screen to Iiyama Prolite E2473HDS (£170 to £163 CCL)
http://www.cclonline.com/product/53811/PLE2473HDS-B1/Mo...

Saves: £223 minus £8 for SCAN postage:

Total Build: £970 (with other parts from Why_Me's build)

Leaving £30 or so for a keyboard.



a b 4 Gaming
July 2, 2011 4:27:22 PM

metal orient said:
Not too difficult to remedy that:

1. Remove the second 560 Ti (£179 to £0) and buy from SCAN (179 to £168 SCAN):
http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/index.aspx

2. Change Corsair PSU to XFX (£86 to £72 SCAN)
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-xfx-p1-750s-nlb9-pr...

3. Change RAM to Corsair dominator LP (£80 to £68 SCAN)
http://www.scan.co.uk/todayonly/index.aspx

4. Change the screen to Iiyama Prolite E2473HDS (£170 to £163 CCL)
http://www.cclonline.com/product/53811/PLE2473HDS-B1/Mo...

Saves: £223 minus £8 for SCAN postage:

Total Build: £970 (with other parts from Why_Me's build)

Leaving £30 or so for a keyboard.


i would HIGHLY reccommend against CCL, they have the most crappy customer services, an they charge £6 for postage too.

Aria.co.uk is another site i'd look into, both ebuyer and aria are my personal favourites, but scan, dabs, novatech are also good.
July 2, 2011 4:35:21 PM

ps3hacker12 said:
i would HIGHLY reccommend against CCL, they have the most crappy customer services, an they charge £6 for postage too.

Aria.co.uk is another site i'd look into, both ebuyer and aria are my personal favourites, but scan, dabs, novatech are also good.


It says free delivery on the site, but if they have bad customer support makes it a greater risk if something does go wrong.
July 25, 2011 11:44:45 PM

sorry, forgot to add img tags and i can't edit my first post



and

July 25, 2011 11:45:28 PM

*sigh i give up - can't delete or edit a post -.-
July 26, 2011 9:12:47 AM

So basically you're asking whether you should get a 6970 or a 580?

I personally would go for the 6970, it would have enough power to play games at very high settings for a few years and is £80 cheaper. Plus if you fancy using multiple monitors in the future it will be possible.
July 26, 2011 9:39:23 AM

I owuld ask why you chose that RAM though. It's over priced for slight latency increases that you won't see at all.

Get the corsair vengeance LP's
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/4gb-(2x2gb)-corsair-ddr3-vengeance-jet-black-lp-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-cas-9-9-9-24-xmp-15v

Hav eyou also thought how you will power the 6970 as that PSU doesn't have an 8 pin +12V line, unless you plan to use the 8 pin CPU one.
You could look a the CX600 which has 2 6+2 pin connectors.
July 26, 2011 1:18:39 PM

metal orient said:
So basically you're asking whether you should get a 6970 or a 580?

I personally would go for the 6970, it would have enough power to play games at very high settings for a few years and is £80 cheaper. Plus if you fancy using multiple monitors in the future it will be possible.

tbh i didn't even look at what the difference was :p  someone just posted it for me on another forum. I have no idea about computers any more these days - been out of the loop for so long
July 27, 2011 8:07:30 PM

Hi again,

I decided to give it a go myself choosing stuff - probably made a right mess of it lol - please could you guys let me know where i could make an improvement/save money? Thanks :) 



heres a picture but if you prefer names of stuff

Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3, Intel Z68, S 1155, PCI-E 2.0 (x16), DDR3 1866/2133, SATA 3Gb/s, RAID, ATX

Samsung WriteMaster SH-S222AB/BEBE 22x DVD±R, 12x DVD±R, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, SATA, Black, OEM

2GB Gigabyte HD 6970 OC, PCI-E 2.1 (x16), 5500MHz GDDR5, GPU 900MHz, 1536Cores, 2x DVI/ DP/ HDMI

850W Corsair Enthusiast 850TXV2UK TX V2 Series, 85% Eff', SLi, EPS 12V, 80 Plus Bronze, 140mm Fan

Intel Core i5 2500, S1155, Sandy Bridge, Quad Core, 3.3GHz, GPU 850Mhz, 6MB Cache, 95W, Retail

8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.50V

22" Iiyama PLE2208HDD-B, Black, Full HD Widescreen Monitor, 5ms, 1920x1080, 10,000:1, HDCP

1TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache, 8.9ms, NCQ

£846
July 28, 2011 9:22:15 AM

Doesn't look bad, if you're not overclocking why not stick to H67? It would be cheaper.

I would also recommend the XFX Core series 850W PSU over the corsair, again cheaper.

Don't know if the screen is the best, but i daresay it'll be fine.

Other than that, looks like a good strong build, some people might say drop down to 4GB of RAM but i'd say may as well get it, its so cheap these days.
July 28, 2011 1:19:40 PM

what's an h67?

also could you recommend me a cheap case (doesn't need to look fancy but i want it to have decent air flow) and a fan/heatsink for cpu if it doesn't come with one?

Cheers
July 28, 2011 1:38:37 PM

Was rather confused by the title £1000 or $1600, im guessing thats a rough conversion rate. However parts in the UK are ALOT more expensive than they are in the US.

For a £1000 budget, buying in the UK your looking at:
Z68 or P67 motherboard (£120-150)
i5-2500k (£160)
GTX 560Ti or maybe GTX 570 (£180/260) or ATI 6950/6970 @ similar prices
22" Monitor (£100)
Operating System (£70)
Case (£50-100)
Optical Drive (£20)
1TB HDD (£40)
8GB RAM (£60-70)

As for websites to buy from:
DABs
SCAN
Ebuyer are the main few.

Since you dont have a specific prefrence for parts, check out SCANs "Today Only" deals, you can often pick up some really great deals and save yourself a fair amount.
July 28, 2011 1:48:28 PM

H67 is the intel motherboard chipset that allows use of the integrated graphics, but does not allow overclocking like Z68 or P67.

The Retail version of that processor will come with one, and you won't really need an after market heatsink as you're not overclocking.

Don't know much about cases other than the fractal R3 and Antecs p180 range, £75 and £100 respectively. But if i were to buy a budget case i would get either antec 100/300 (£45/50), possibly cooler master Elite range (~£31). before you get a case though it's worth checking on manufacturers or reviews what the dimensions are and what you can fit in it.
July 28, 2011 5:31:38 PM

Hey, thanks guys.

Adrianperry - how much cheaper are things in the US? would it be worth me shipping stuff over from the US? or are voltages different?


Metal Orient - I was thinking about these two cases, one at the upper range i'm prepared to pay for a case and one at the bottom of the range i'm prepared to pay (although i'd obviously pay less if there's an offer but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for)

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/thermaltake-dokker-black...
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-elite-334-b...

I'm thinking the more expensive one could be good if I ever need extra cooling as it looks roomier and more importantly has more fan slots and fans aren't going to break the bank should i decide i need one down the line
July 28, 2011 6:29:56 PM

Legally - i think you have to pay import tax and VAT ect on all the items and after the fairly costly shipping fee's anyway (not to mention finding an American supplier who will actually ship to the UK) i dont think the saving would be significant enough to warrant doing it.

As for parts, i THINK the PSU is the only component that varies in voltage required but most either have a switch built in that will do it automatically (115 or 230v), or will have a switch you can manually change. As for parts like graphics cards and RAM ect, i dont THINK it makes any difference but im not 100% on that.

IF you could avoid the tax/vat from importing from the US it would be extremely worthwhile i believe.

Example of price difference:
ASUS P8Z68-v Pro Motherboard

UK Price: £150 (ebuyer)
US Price: $209 (NewEgg) = £127 on conversion rates

Basically your saving anything between 15-25% which is more or less the 20% VAT we get stuck with in the UK.

If your spending like £1000 on a PC, chances are if you could buy in the US then after conversion rates the same build would cost about £750-£800



July 28, 2011 8:01:31 PM

It would be more expensive to buy from US, while i haven't bought computer parts i have bought other things and import tax is hellishly expensive. If you have a friend or relative in the US though....

I guess i should put in a disclaimer of not encouraging you to avoid import tax, because that's bad.

Anywho, i'd get the coolermaster case out of the 2 there, based purely on looks and that the thermaltake has that ridiculous SATA dock on it, which will have cost money that would be better spent on making the case better. I;d suggest antec 100 over those 2 though.
July 28, 2011 8:44:30 PM

metal orient said:
It would be more expensive to buy from US, while i haven't bought computer parts i have bought other things and import tax is hellishly expensive. If you have a friend or relative in the US though....

I guess i should put in a disclaimer of not encouraging you to avoid import tax, because that's bad.

Anywho, i'd get the coolermaster case out of the 2 there, based purely on looks and that the thermaltake has that ridiculous SATA dock on it, which will have cost money that would be better spent on making the case better. I;d suggest antec 100 over those 2 though.

do you mean this one?

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/antec-vsk-1000-black-mid...

never saw that before :ouch:  thanks :D  really like the look of that
July 28, 2011 9:06:25 PM

Right, i've had another play around and come with this.

Decided to stick with the corsair as i've heard good things about corsair all round. Plus i've always heard that the PSU should be something that you shouldn't skimp out on too much because if the PSU goes, it can take everything else away with it.

So here's what I've made this time round

note: i waas completely clueless about the mobo so if anyone has a mobo which has more value for money, please suggest it :) 



Antec VSK-1000, Black, Mid Tower Case w/o PSU
Samsung WriteMaster SH-S222AB/BEBE 22x DVD±R, 12x DVD±R, DVD+RW x8/-RW x6, SATA, Black, OEM
2GB Gigabyte HD 6970 OC, PCI-E 2.1 (x16), 5500MHz GDDR5, GPU 900MHz, 1536Cores, 2x DVI/ DP/ HDMI
Asus P8H67-M LE Rev3, Intel H67, S1155, PCI-E 2.0 x16, DDR3 1333, SATA 6Gb/s, RAID, MATX, VGA
850W Corsair Enthusiast 850TXV2UK TX V2 Series, 85% Eff', SLi, EPS 12V, 80 Plus Bronze, 140mm Fan
Intel Core i5 2500, S1155, Sandy Bridge, Quad Core, 3.3GHz, GPU 850Mhz, 6MB Cache, 95W, Retail
8GB (2x4GB) Corsair DDR3 Vengeance Jet Black, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC, CAS 9-9-9-24, XMP, 1.50V
1TB Samsung HD103SJ Spinpoint F3, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200rpm, 32MB Cache, 8.9ms, NCQ
22" Iiyama PLE2208HDS-B2 Widescreen LCD, 1920x1080, 5ms

£902

Also one other thing I would really like is if you guys could explain what I should look for in terms of RAM, GPU (for example there's loads of 6970s but what makes brand Xs 6970 better than brand Ys 6970) and PSU please.

Reason I'm asking is because scan have a today only deal and as so if something pops up that's worth the swap, it'd be great to make that decision without running the risk of it going out of stock :p  I'd probably prefer to leave the processor and mobo alone though as I don't want to screw up the fundamentals especially when you guys are much more knowledgeable about those things than I am

Cheers


Oh and also roaringdragon mentioned swapping a 6970 with two 6850s. Could someone please explain the pros and cons of going for one or the other apart from price? Thanks
July 29, 2011 10:10:31 AM

Well you could get 2 6870's for the same price as that 6970, they would destroy most games at pretty much all resolutions and leave the 6970 in the dust:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/GPU11/188
I'd recommend these:
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-msi-hd-6870-hawk-420...

However their ability to do this is based on the crossfire firmware and the compatibility of the game. If they don't work well you could end up with greatly reduced graphical performance.

Check review websites, the difference tends to be the coolers put on them. This will affect how hot and how loud it will be. The one i put above has an excellent cooler on and better parts, that will make it run cooler and thus last longer.

Also you'd need the PCI-e slots to do it, which that board does not.

This is the cheapest board i could find that has a second x8 PCI-e slot :
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-p67a-g45-(b3)-intel-p67-s-1155-pci-e-20-(x16)-ddr3-2133-xfire-sata-6gb-s-sata-raid-atx

But it's MSI, if you had your heart set on ASUS, and £10 more expensive.

I would recommend the XFX PSU though, they're made by seasonic and have had very good review. Potentially better build quality than the corsair as they are less well known.

RAM, the best spot atm seems to be 4/8GB of 1600MHz Cas 9 anymore is a waste of money, you could drop down to 1333MHz as it seems to make little difference to performance .
July 29, 2011 1:16:55 PM

So would it be better to just buy one card? I'm guessing that card is no slouch when it comes to games so it should be able to handle majority of games for the next couple of years without having a problem - plus with guaranteed compatability, i can't go wrong

Also i'm a bit confused with your post about the mobo.

You say you'd need the PCI-e slots to do it

does that mean the mobo i chose wouldn't work with 1 card? or did you mean to say

you'd need extra pci-e slots?
July 29, 2011 1:36:40 PM

You'd need extra, the board you've chosen has a single PCI-e x16 slot.
July 29, 2011 8:34:40 PM

so does that mean the original mobo would be fine with just one 6970?
!