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Old February 8, 2013, 06:59 AM
Strato Strato is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 15
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Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the great feedback so far. Even where I haven't accepted a specific piece of advice, it has given me something to think about -- and that will help ensure I am happy with whatever I end up with!

Here's where I currently am at on choosing components:

PCPartPicker list: Intel Core i5-3570K, Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970, Corsair 600T (Black) - System Build - PCPartPicker Canada

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($224.99 @ Amazon Canada)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler ($64.88 @ Canada Computers)
Motherboard: MSI Z77 MPOWER ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($194.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($95.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($149.79 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($245.99 @ DirectCanada)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($384.99 @ Amazon Canada)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar DX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($83.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Case: Corsair 600T (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($137.17 @ DirectCanada)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 850W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($144.88 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Total: $1977.44

Notes:
- Still looking at other cooling options. One that I am considering is the Arctic Cooling Freezer 13. However, I have to admit I am partial to Noctua simply because I've never, ever had a problem with any system that I've put one in.

- Still planning on the MPower mobo, though I'm trying to talk myself down to a cheaper model. :-) I like the USB and SATA capabilities of the MPower and the overall bang-for-the-buck.

- I've dropped to 16GB RAM. I know I'll use more than 8, but even with a RAMdisk it is unlikely I'll need more than 16 very often. Save the money now and buy more RAM later if I find I do actually need it. Thanks, everyone, for the reality-check!

- The noise / power issue for the Blacks is valid, but I do think speed on data drives is important, especially when very large data files are involved. I'm going to give it a bit more thought over the weekend, but I'll probably stick with the Blacks. My other (existing) HDDs are mostly Greens. That's fine for my archived stuff that doesn't get called upon very often. For the working files, though, I think I'll trade off noise for speed.

- After looking closer at the GPU options, I've gone with the AMD offering. Definitely better bang-for-the-buck. Any feedback on the specific 7970 model I've listed? Great price...

- The case is still a placeholder. It looks good, but there are several I'm waffling over.

- Can anyone confirm if the memory I've listed is suitable for the mobo? Any suggestions / feedback on alternatives? (I'm not particularly knowledgeable about RAM).

I'm likely going to order everything on Monday. Thanks again for all the assistance.
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