I'm building a new gaming system and I have some questions about which motherboard I should go with. Also, is the video card I chose going to be fine by itself or should I get a higher end one. Here are the items that are going into the system. Please feel free to give me any help and feedback you have on my choices.
Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Motherboard: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
Motherboard: ASUS Rampage III Formula LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
CPU: Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950
Memory: G.SKILL PI Series 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7T-6GBPI
CPU Cooler: Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler
Video Card(s): EVGA 012-P3-1470-AR GeForce GTX 470 (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
For the video card I would go for HD6870 because it is a bit cheaper, overall faster in games. Also consumes less power.
Swap out the case for a Cooler Master HAF 932 or Storm Sniper. These are much larger even though the Storm Sniper is a mid tower (because it only has 10 drive bays - still much wider and longer) resulting in better cable management and better ease of use. Stock airflow is on par with all of these, but these Cooler Master cases have better potential airflow due to the side fan mounts.
As for the motherboard - the MSI Big Bang XPOWER is the best choice. Overclocking potential is pretty much the same with this, the ASUS Rampage III Formula and EVGA X58 FTW3. But the MSI comes with a sound card and more PCI-E slots. It supports three dual slot video cards and a single slot card, for example Tri-SLI + dedicated PhysX/folding. Be sure to get a motherboard with a supplemental PCI-E power connector though - if they lack this, using a powerful multi-GPU setup can fry your 24-pin motherboard connector. The Rampage III Formula has a supplemental 4-pin molex connection for the PCI-E slots while the MSI Big Bang XPOWER has a supplemental 6-pin PCI-E connection.
As for the memory, this is a better deal. Cheaper, better tRAS timing and smaller heat sinks give you greater compatibility with large CPU coolers like the Megahalems.
Great choice of parts but I feel you'll appreciate the components I listed. The GTX 470 is a little bit faster than a 6870 especially if you overclock it but I've seen the opposite as well (Guru3D) and svins is correct - the 6870 uses less power and runs cooler. Either one is a solid choice.
Remember that the Prolimatech Megahalems does not come with fans but it does come with two sets of fan clips for dual 120mm x 25mm fans. So you might want to go with these. Plug them into a motherboard fan header (one fan header for each fan, or use a Y-splitter and connect them both into a fan header) so that you can control the fan speed in the BIOS. These have excellent static pressure, great airflow, low noise considering the speed at which they run, they undervolt exceptionally well and they have a very long lifespan due to the high end motor and dual ball bearings. Hell you can go with just one if you like.
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