I've done lots of upgrades and tinkering, but I've never built a system from scratch or installed a motherboard before. So I have a couple general questions and then some specific questions about this build.
This will be a jack of all trades system. First, it needs to be very stable, and I would like to find a good balance between snappy yet relatively quiet. On a daily basis this won't be used for much more than web browsing/music/movies/etc. However, I do photography part time and will need reasonably good performance with Lightroom/Photoshop. I'm not an avid gamer, but there tend to be 2-3 games per year that I really get into that tend to be graphically intensive and I'd like them to run well.
I will not be doing any video transcoding or anything like CAD or anything like that... some games and photoshop should be the most intensive things I run. I've tried to make reasonable compromises on the components and I hope that it will be a balanced system overall. For instance I chose the P8P67 LE mobo over the P8Z68 because it was a little cheaper plus there was a combo deal making it around $50 cheaper overall.
Here's a link to the components:http://secure.newegg.com/WishList/PublicWishDetail.aspx?WishListNumber=17034152
CPU: i5 2500k
GPU: Radeon HD6870 (Recently already purchased)
RAM: Corsair Vengence 8GB
PSU: SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W
Case: NZXT H2
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
OS: Win7 x64
I also have some other HDDs onhand for storage, haven't decided what configuration but likely 2x WD 1GB Greens in RAID1 for data storage. I forgot to order an optical drive but likely won't need one for the initial build anyway. I also won't need a discrete sound card at this point either.Questions:
How quiet might this system be? Any chance it will be at or less than a new PS3 slim? Not really sure what to expect here.
Which of the 6Gbps connectors should I use for optimal performance of the SSD? This is where I really splurged on this system and I'd like to get the most out of it that I can. I think it should be reasonable for it to hold the OS, Lightroom, Photoshop, Winamp, Firefox, and hopefully Steam and whatever game I'm playing at the moment.
Overclocking: It sounds like I can do some pretty decent overclocking with this CPU/Mobo without much hassle or reliability concerns... maybe up to 4.2-4.3ghz without any real concerns or much effort. Is it really likely to be as simple as setting the multiplier and only maybe
a couple other slight tweaks? Is setting up the mobo really as easy as the guides are making it look? Back on old AGP systems I remember there being a lot more fiddling with jumpers and stuff before even messing with the BIOS.
I'm assuming this will come with some sort of heatsink for the CPU. With (what I believe to be) a modest overclock of up to 4.3ghz, will I be ok with the stock CPU cooler? Or do I need to consider an aftermarket solution? Will it come decently outfitted with thermal compound or do I need to pick that up too?
What else might I need? I'll probably end up getting an optical drive soon enough. I'm good as far as keyboard/mouse/monitor/card reader as well. The only other things I anticipate I might add relatively soon is a UPS device and I might upgrade my data drives to 2x 2TB in RAID1.