$1800 upgrade: scrap or upgrade, WWYD?

czglory

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Jan 27, 2008
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Cliffnotes: TLDR, first paragraph and system build is up front, any help is greatly appreciated.

-Goals/concerns-
1. Can/should I keep anything from my old system?
2. Can I possibly get my system cool enough to overclock? It is hot as hell here
3. I want to be able to upgrade the rig easily in the future, via crossfire or SLI GPU upgrade, and possibly upgrading the processor without having to replace the mobo/psu
4. Need to get as efficient a system as possible for $1800; most importantly running multiple programs at once that also read/write from SSDs simultaneously. Going over budget is not too big of a problem, but its a goal to keep it around $1800.
5. New case for better temperatures (how much of a difference will it make?) or old case to save money?
6. What to do with my existing two hard drives
----------------------------

New build?:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Lcyx
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Lcyx/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Lcyx/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($152.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Dell Small Business)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($388.07 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($118.96 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($149.98 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 3-Pack (OEM) (64-bit) ($409.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $2012.43
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-21 10:31 EDT-0400)

The operating system is in there to get the prices up to what they are here, I don't actually need an OS as I have win7 64 bit already. This is slightly over my budget, but I can't seem to find anywhere to cut corners.
----------------------------

possible things to keep from current system:
older mid-range coolermaster case
8 GB Kingston Hyper-x limited edition RAM (I feel I need 16 GB, so I would have to purchase 8GB of identical ram)
WD 1 TB HD
Intel 120 GB SSD
----------------------------
Use of computer:

1. I play poker and this is the primary use of the machine. This involves opening up 3-4 poker clients, and up to 20 poker tables will be run simultaneously. With these tables there is a program that collects data from every table and puts information in a real time HUD. I am guessing multi-cores and SSDs will be what I need for this.

2. I also want to do some gaming, currently the most intense games I would like to play are BF3 and SC2, will be playing on 2560*1600 resolution. I would like to play games that are come out in the next year or so, but I think I would like to just be able to stick in another card with SLI/CF if/when it is needed.

1. Should I keep anything from my curreny system?
-What to do with my HDs?-
SSD
1. Buy two SSDs, one to pair with my current in RAID0 and one as a boot drive
2. Buy one larger SSD and use my current as a boot drive with a few programs
HDD
1. Add another 1 TB drive and use 2x1TB
2. Scrap the 1 TB and buy a 2-3 TB
----

-Overclocking-
I would like to overclock, but I am not sure it is possible to do a decent overclock here. Thailand is quite hot and humid, and my idle temperatures are very warm
idle, with a zalman cooler, my proc runs at 122*F/49*C
GPU runs at 129-131*F/54-55*C at idle

If I can get the temps low enough to overclock, that would be a pretty big plus. Would changing to a better case and adding more fans and a better CPU cooler help enough to allow overclocking?

--so, What about my case?--
I can't figure out what my case is exactly, but it looks like a cheaper cooler master case and I purchased it about three years ago. I am leaning towards scrapping it and buying a new one, but if the price would only provide very minimal cooling benefits I will keep this one.
I think its worth buying a nice case, as it can last for years and I don't think the pricing or effectiveness of cases will dramatically increase over the next 3-5 years. I don't mind dropping up to $300 on a case as I would keep it for a long time, but it eats into my budget. Temperatures here are so hot that getting the best cooling system I can is a plus, if I want to do any overclocking. If I can't get good temps with a case/coolers, I may have to pass on overclocking and keep the old case and get a cheaper motherboard.
----------------------------

-I am not really sure what kind of MOBO to get, I am mostly just looking for an ASUS or Gigabyte mobo with good reviews. If I knew I could overclock I would lean towards a better MOBO, and if I think I can't get my temperatures good enough to overclock at all, I would go with a cheaper one. IDK.

-What about my PSU? I want to be able to add in a second GPU when the time comes, and possibly upgrade my processor down the road, and also add in some fans. Is 800w enough? There aren't really many options between 1000W, its 800w gold or 1000w platinum at a much higher price tag. Electricity here is ungrounded and theres always a weak flow of electricity on parts of the case, this can't be good for the life of the electronics; any sort of power supply able to help with this at all?
----------------------------

I am in Thailand and electronics are a bit more expensive here, and its harder to find specific parts, so some adaptability is a necessity. These are my two vendors to choose from.

http://www.jedicool.com/pricelist.php
http://www.invadeit.co.th/category/cpus-processors/

Alternative build?

--OR do I go with AMD FX-8350 and try to overclock?--

Now, my other idea is to go for an FX-8350 processor, a better case, more fans, and try to get a decent overclock going on the processor and the GPU, temperatures allowing. Although I don't think this processor would perform as well in games as an I7 3770k, I think it would be comparable for poker play (the tracking/HUD program utilizes multiple cores efficiently) and for general use. My current games (SC2, BF3) seem to run fine on this processor as I use a higher resolution, AFAIK 8350 is not quite up to par to the i7 3770k, but perhaps the upgradability and comparable performance in games at 25600*1260 resolution would make the FX-8350 a reasonable option. If I chose this processor, I think I would want a better motherboard, both for overclocking and I would anticipate keeping it for longer, since I believe AMD procs will still be compatible with current boards for at least 3-4 years.
Also considering a Corsair 660T case

I know this post is long, I tried to make it so only the first paragraph could get some responses with details being the bulk of the post. I really appreciate any in put, I have been asking around and nobody has offered me any real advice and I am about to pull the trigger in the dark so to speak.
 
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Termie

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
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Can you clarify something? On the PCPartPicker list, you link to stores in the US, but you said you're buying in Thailand. Did you pick parts that you know you can get in Thailand?

The reason I ask is that there are some parts that I certainly would not recommend if your were buying in the US, but if those are your best options in Thailand, then they might make sense.

Among these are:
(1) OCZ Vertex 4 SSD - old tech, way too expensive. Get a Samsung.
(2) CoolerMaster 800w PSU - average quality, overrated wattage, and far more wattage then you need anyway. Even for overclocked Crossfire, you wouldn't need more than 700w.
(3) The RAM (DDR3-1333) - too expensive for 1333.
(4) The 2TB Caviar Black hard drive - you won't get anything out of a Black drive over the Blue series that's 2/3 the price.
(5) The graphics card (very expensive for an HD7950)
(6) The case - kind of expensive for what it is, but perhaps you like the style.
(7) Motherboard - bad pick because it can't do Crossfire properly. Go with the next step up in the Asus line, the P8Z77-V LK: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837

And why do you have a 3-pack of Windows 7 when you don't need an OS at all? What was the reason for trying to get over $2000?
 
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Gronnie

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Jan 21, 2013
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Considering that poker is your primary income, I would suggest making a dedicated rig for just poker (security reasons.)

What you are considering building is significant overkill for poker. There is no way you need more than an i5-3570k, and could probably get away with less.
 

czglory

Member
Jan 27, 2008
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My budget in THB is 53,000, and I put the operating system in there to raise the prices up to roughly Thai prices (about $400 more.. ouch)

Termie - thats exactly right.

1. I would much rather get a Samsung 840, but parts like that are just not available here AFAIK. SSDs available are most OCZs, OCZ Vector, OCZ Octane, OCZ Vertex 4, Kingston drives, Plexor M5M, Intel 520, and Gskill Phoenix 3. Vector and octane seem to be the most expensive.

2. I was looking for an 800w platinum corsair or similar, but again I didn't find anything better than this. Other comparable options are Thermaltake 850w toughpower, SEASONIC X-SERRIES 850 W, GIGABYTE SUPERB 720W. I was worried that if I wanted to change my processor in the future and add a 2nd card that 720W might not be enough, is this not a real concern? I am worried that the Thai electricity is not grounded, so perhaps the psu's will tank more quickly.

3. I have some average Kingston Hyper-X ram@1600, I am thinking I should just purchase 8gb more of this as it is much cheaper. If I went for the FX-8350 processor, I feel like it could utilize faster ram.

4. I don't see any blue drives but I suppose red/green which are cheaper should be fine, the other options being Seagate Barracudas for roughly the same price.

5. Graphics cards here are apparently super expensive, the best deal I have found is the Sapphire 7950 boost for 9990 baht or about $344, or Gigabyte HD7970 OC for $462. If I stick with my old case and ram and HDs (adding in only one more SSD) I could go for the 7970oc, but I am not sure if its worth the price increase, any thoughts? I think I would need a larger power supply if I wanted to do 2x7970 in the future.

6. I don't really care much about the style, I keep my desktop under my computer, I just want the best cooling case I can get. Any better value cases? Corsair 500r or 660t are also high on my list, as well as HAF 932 (but its more expensive than HAF-XM).

7. Thanks for catching that, but that MOBO is not available here, I suppose the P8z77-V LE Plus is comparable? After that there is a pretty big price jump to the P8z77-v pro

The windows is just to get the prices up to Thai prices, I have windows already.

----

Considering that poker is your primary income, I would suggest making a dedicated rig for just poker (security reasons.)

What you are considering building is significant overkill for poker. There is no way you need more than an i5-3570k, and could probably get away with less.

I agree it would be better for security, but I can't imagine having a reasonable setup with two desktops, it just doesn't seem practical to me, my current setup is too "broken" to really save, so I would have to build the majority of two systems with the same budget. If I had a larger budget I definitely would go for this. (Any easy way to hook up two desktops to the same monitors?)

The tracking programs are surprisingly intense, but I do think an i5-3570k would be sufficient, which is why I am considering an FX-8350 which I think is a slightly better value, and its also going to be easier to upgrade the processor in the future with AMD sockets.


Thanks for the help guys I have been researching this for the last week or so and I have hit a wall, but the responses are already helping me a lot.
 

mfenn

Elite Member
Jan 17, 2010
22,400
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www.mfenn.com
OK, here's a build from JediCool that avoids wasteful parts:

i7 3770K 10290 Bht
ASRock Z77 Extreme3 3850
Bht
Kingston HyperX DDR3 1600 4GB x2 2100
Bht - add your existing RAM for a total of 16GB
Gigabyte 7970 3GB
13400 Bht - this is just a better value than the GTX 670 on that site
Reuse Intel SSD 0
Bht - 120 GB is a good amount of capacity and you're not going to "feel" an SSD -> SSD upgrade
Reuse HDD 0
Bht - it really depends on how much storage you need, your post isn't really clear in this respect
Reuse ODD 0

BhtSeasonic X-750 4990 Bht - this is only a 750W because you have a 2560x1600 display, otherwise a 650W is more than enough. Seasonic is the only non-junk brand that I saw on JediCool
Antec GX700 1690
Bht - incredible performer for the money
HR-02 Macho 1390 Bht
Total: 37,710

That leaves you 15,290 to play with on storage and accessories. I strongly recommend that you spend part of that on a UPS. The way you protect a computer from dirty power is NOT to buy a fancy PSU, it is to buy a UPS.
 

czglory

Member
Jan 27, 2008
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awesome mfenn thanks a ton for that. I also could pick up a 2 year old used Corsair HX850 for slightly less than 4990. I would pick up another SSD (256 GB probably) as I am out of SSD space and could use more.

Would the Antec Gx700 be an improvement over the CM stacker? If so it looks like a steal.

The only company that really sells UPS here is APC, I have tried two in the past and neither were able to support my system. How strong of a UPS would I need to run a 30'' monitor, that system, a router, an internet modem, and possibly an extension cable if there are not enough plugs?

thank you very much for the help :)
 

kbp

Senior member
Oct 8, 2011
577
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"SSDs available are most OCZs, OCZ Vector, OCZ Octane, OCZ Vertex 4, Kingston drives, Plexor M5M, Intel 520, and Gskill Phoenix 3. Vector and octane seem to be the most expensive."

I would get the Plextor M5 or the Intel.
 

mfenn

Elite Member
Jan 17, 2010
22,400
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www.mfenn.com
awesome mfenn thanks a ton for that. I also could pick up a 2 year old used Corsair HX850 for slightly less than 4990. I would pick up another SSD (256 GB probably) as I am out of SSD space and could use more.

I would pass on that HX850. Not only is it not as good of a PSU as the X-750 when new, it's spent two years dealing with dodgy Thai power.

Would the Antec Gx700 be an improvement over the CM stacker? If so it looks like a steal.

There are a bunch of difference cases called the Stacker, so it really depends on which one you have. In general though, the GX700 will be smaller/lighter and have better cooling due do its use of 140mm fans.

The only company that really sells UPS here is APC, I have tried two in the past and neither were able to support my system. How strong of a UPS would I need to run a 30'' monitor, that system, a router, an internet modem, and possibly an extension cable if there are not enough plugs?

APC makes a lot of different UPS systems, so one of them will be suitable. I would look for a true double-conversion unit with at least a 1500VA (>900W) rating.
 

czglory

Member
Jan 27, 2008
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I have am ordering the parts within two days, but I am having some second thoughts about purchasing right now; short of it is I am dissapointed with the $/upgrade value over my current weak system.
I wasn't really considering keeping my i7 920 and my sata 2 motherboard; but the benchmarks even make the upgrades look pretty pale, both from the i7 920 -> i7 3770k, and from sata 2 to sata 3 with SSDs. I imagine even less of an upgrade would be "felt" compared with how the benchmarks score.

would the funds possibly be better spent on "futureproof" parts that could help push the 920 into its grave fighting with all it's got, a nicer case and a watercooling system which would be beneficial and last for many years? (when is haswell 8 core processor in the $300 range gonna come out?)

I do spend far too much time on the computer and earn my living on it, so it is pretty valuable to have a faster system, and I will almost certainly still upgrade now, but its making me want to think more about making future builds more adaptable.




about the UPS;

the APC 1500w "APC BR1500GI power-saving back-ups pro" 865 watt 1500 VA
unit is the cheapest UPS I could find with a 1500 rating, it is 13,350 baht or about $460. I looked up what a double-conversion UPS and it sounds like thats what I need (to "clean" the electricity). I looked up the model specs on APC website and it says this:

Surge Protection and Filtering
Surge energy rating
441 Joules
Filtering
Full time multi-pole noise filtering :10% of IEEE surge let-thgouh : zero clamping response time: instantaneous
Data Line Protection
Analog phone line for phone/fax/modem/DSL (RJ-11 connector), Network line - 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)

I couldn't really tell for sure if it is a double-conversion but it does sound like it filters the electricity quality. Is this worth picking up? I am pretty surprised at how expensive they are, I was expecting $80-$200, any way to quantify the benefit of a UPS?

thanks again !
 

Steltek

Diamond Member
Mar 29, 2001
3,047
756
136
There is absolutely nothing wrong with incremental upgrading -- in many circumstances, it makes great sense. I don't think I've built a single new system since 1999 that didn't carry forward at least some components of my prior build. Your system may not always be the absolute highest end available, but it will never be close to being a dog, either.

If you do it, concentrate on high quality upgrades you can carry forward, like a high end video card, a good quality Seasonic power supply, a nice SSD, or your dream case for your next build.

Concerning APC UPSes -- you are paying extra for the name. However, their support is usually good and high quality replacement batteries are always available. A good UPS is an investment that will last for years with proper battery maintenance and care.
 
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mfenn

Elite Member
Jan 17, 2010
22,400
5
71
www.mfenn.com
I have am ordering the parts within two days, but I am having some second thoughts about purchasing right now; short of it is I am dissapointed with the $/upgrade value over my current weak system.
I wasn't really considering keeping my i7 920 and my sata 2 motherboard; but the benchmarks even make the upgrades look pretty pale, both from the i7 920 -> i7 3770k, and from sata 2 to sata 3 with SSDs. I imagine even less of an upgrade would be "felt" compared with how the benchmarks score.

would the funds possibly be better spent on "futureproof" parts that could help push the 920 into its grave fighting with all it's got, a nicer case and a watercooling system which would be beneficial and last for many years? (when is haswell 8 core processor in the $300 range gonna come out?)

I do spend far too much time on the computer and earn my living on it, so it is pretty valuable to have a faster system, and I will almost certainly still upgrade now, but its making me want to think more about making future builds more adaptable.

An overclocked i7 920 can certainly hold its own today. There's nothing wrong with keeping it IMHO. That being said, if you see your case & cooling costs creeping up to $300, then you might as well just buy the faster and cooler i7 3770K in the first place.

about the UPS;

the APC 1500w "APC BR1500GI power-saving back-ups pro" 865 watt 1500 VA
unit is the cheapest UPS I could find with a 1500 rating, it is 13,350 baht or about $460. I looked up what a double-conversion UPS and it sounds like thats what I need (to "clean" the electricity). I looked up the model specs on APC website and it says this:

Surge Protection and Filtering
Surge energy rating
441 Joules
Filtering
Full time multi-pole noise filtering :10% of IEEE surge let-thgouh : zero clamping response time: instantaneous
Data Line Protection
Analog phone line for phone/fax/modem/DSL (RJ-11 connector), Network line - 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)

I couldn't really tell for sure if it is a double-conversion but it does sound like it filters the electricity quality. Is this worth picking up? I am pretty surprised at how expensive they are, I was expecting $80-$200, any way to quantify the benefit of a UPS?

thanks again !

I can't speak relative UPS prices in Thailand, but that unit isn't all that great for the money. The APC product page tells you what you need to know:

Topology: Line Interactive


Waveform Type: Stepped approximation to a sinewave

Both of those are signs that the unit is built down to a price. A high quality unit will be Topology: Double conversion and Waveform Type: Sine wave. APC makes a huge range of UPS systems, some excellent and some that are built down to a price. This one is the latter.

This is your gold standard, but it is probably too expensive: SRC1000I.
Stepping down to a line interactive, but pure sine wave gets you this guy: SUA1500I
 

czglory

Member
Jan 27, 2008
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I found that unit at a shop, it was well over $2000. The line interactive one was over $1000 as well, I don't think I can afford one.

And I am dissapointed to find out that no shops have the 7950s or 7970 cards in stock and they don't know when they will be restocked... nothing else really seems viable, I suppose I will go with a GTX 670 if I have to.

I never noticed until today, but I hear ivy/sandy bridge really don't like the 1.65 voltage RAM like the kingstons, is that a real concern?

I am very grateful for all the help I have been given, thanks guys, I really appreciate it!
 

aaksheytalwar

Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2012
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0
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CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Good, though a 3570k is fine for casual gamers. But it will help with bf3 etc so keep it.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Good

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
I recommend asrock extreme4 but this should be fine as well. Good.

Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Nope. Get 4x4gb Samsung 30nm or other 2x8gb ddr3 1600+ mhz

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($152.49 @ Amazon)
Good

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Dell Small Business)
Get a Samsung 840pro 256gb. Don't go for coz esp at that price.

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($388.07 @ Amazon)
Too expensive. Can be had around $300.

Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($118.96 @ NCIX US)
Fine I guess

Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($149.98 @ Amazon)
Get a seasonic x650 which is more than enough for you even with insane oc

Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Get a writer if possible

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 3-Pack (OEM) (64-bit) ($409.99 @ Newegg)
get Windows 8
 

mfenn

Elite Member
Jan 17, 2010
22,400
5
71
www.mfenn.com
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Microcenter)
Good, though a 3570k is fine for casual gamers. But it will help with bf3 etc so keep it.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Good

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
I recommend asrock extreme4 but this should be fine as well. Good.

Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Nope. Get 4x4gb Samsung 30nm or other 2x8gb ddr3 1600+ mhz

Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($152.49 @ Amazon)
Good

Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Dell Small Business)
Get a Samsung 840pro 256gb. Don't go for coz esp at that price.

Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($388.07 @ Amazon)
Too expensive. Can be had around $300.

Case: Cooler Master HAF XM (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($118.96 @ NCIX US)
Fine I guess

Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($149.98 @ Amazon)
Get a seasonic x650 which is more than enough for you even with insane oc

Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Get a writer if possible

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Professional SP1 3-Pack (OEM) (64-bit) ($409.99 @ Newegg)
get Windows 8

OP is in Thailand with limited selection.
 

mfenn

Elite Member
Jan 17, 2010
22,400
5
71
www.mfenn.com
I found that unit at a shop, it was well over $2000. The line interactive one was over $1000 as well, I don't think I can afford one.

Well that sucks. Some UPS is better than no UPS though.

And I am dissapointed to find out that no shops have the 7950s or 7970 cards in stock and they don't know when they will be restocked... nothing else really seems viable, I suppose I will go with a GTX 670 if I have to.

A GTX 670 is a good alternative if you can't find a 7970 in stock.

I never noticed until today, but I hear ivy/sandy bridge really don't like the 1.65 voltage RAM like the kingstons, is that a real concern?

Which, your current RAM? It is a concern, but you can always run ad DDR3 1333 1.5V.

I am very grateful for all the help I have been given, thanks guys, I really appreciate it!

Glad to help! :)