I've been a fan of the site forever, but never really got involved on the forums. With my old rig finally reaching it's end of life, it's time for a rebuild on a new platform. I'm currently on an old C2D E6550 with an 8800gts (320). I play on a single monitor @ 1080, and the last few games I've attempted to put at higher settings forced my pc into taking a dump on itself and the frame rate took a nosedive. The last game I really played a lot of was WoW and that was back in LK xpac, which it did fine in. Just started up on SWTOR and this machine just can't keep up anymore. It has lasted me nearly 3 years now, but I think it's time to retire it to file server status and build a new one.
That being said, here is what I'm thinking -
i5/7 - k edition to support MILD overclock (keep in mind the last build I held onto forever)
6950/70 - If I get the 6950, I will more than likely find an unlocked one here and buy it.
SSD for system with spinners for storage
Matx form factor mobo that can keep consistent voltage for oc - been looking at the asus maxiumus as it seems to be the go-to for anything under standard atx boards
Portable case - doesn't have to be super small, but I currently have a ridiculous over-sized behemoth case and would love nothing less that to run it over with a truck when I take it to my buddies' for lan groups. I like the newer fractal define mini, but I can see issues with getting the bigger cards to fit without having to cut on the case. I'm open to suggestions for a case style that won't force me to spend 200+ on a case. I'd like cable management build in since I'm a nazi when it comes to cleanliness on a build.
As far as budget is concerned...I'm not a bleeding edge tech guy when it comes to playing games, but don't really have a budget. Think of it as...I have kids and a bleeding edge gaming pc is on the Non-practical side of the line for me
What I'd like input on is -
Ivy Bridge just around the corner...any point in waiting? I know the efficiency difference, but I can live with a degree or two higher. I'm looking from a longevity standpoint.
Assuming SB...is the 2600k even necessary in moderate gaming? I edit photos now and again for the wife, but by no means professional requirements are needed here.
What cooling options are better in small cases - closed liquid loops like the h50/70 or should I just stick with a big noctua air cooler and push a ton of air through the case?
I REALLY need some help on finding a good case that has the airflow and room for a bigger card, but still small enough that it isn't a burden trying to go to a friends house to play in a group.