Basic idea to go with a Z68 board because it can use the iGPU and also be overclocked if needed later.
CPU: i7 2600K
Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboardhttp://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128495
Seems fine, but i would go with a different mobo ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
, out of 4 things (you might or not value them)
1) Bad past experiences with Gigabyte mobos on X58 with infinit resets and stability issues.
2) Asus comes with Intel Nic and XFi sound card, not the usual/common realtek, both huge pluses to me.
3) Asus has very nice UEFI bios and very nice fan controls (check this video
to get an idea, not the same mobo)
4) Could be a better overclocker, the maximus is Asus top line for Sandy Bridge 1155.
Here is a video in case you are interested, Official ASUS Maximus IV Gene-Z Motherboard Unboxing
Case: Antec mini P180
I would try to get an Fractal Design Define Mini
, very similar to the reviewed and recommened case, SPCR Fractal Design Define R3 ATX Tower
, just smaller as its an mico ATX factor. I read somewhere that newegg might get some in July, but not sure. I would also consider replacing the fans with Scythe SY1225SL12LM-P 120mm Case PWM Fan
(200rpm to 1300rpm) controlling them via Bios depending on what you are doing.
This is an overkill for your current setup, a SeaSonic X series SS-400FL
would be more than enough. Now if you do plan on adding a dedicated GPU in the future, then i would go with Seasonic X-660(SS-660KM)
(new line replacing the X650)
In order to keep the noise down, I would replace the stock cooler on
the i7 (I assume it comes with one) with this:
Antec KUHLER H2O 620http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835209049
I would avoid watercooling unless you are doing heavy OCing, pumps sometimes tend to be noisy, rads limit the airflow and ask for better static pressure fans that might or not be quiet, but check reviews for it. Since Sandy Bridge mobo can control fans via Bios, i would go with a cooler with PWM fan included, Scythe SCMG-3000 120mm Heat Pipe CPU Cooler
, the included fan can range between 300rpm to 1600rpm. Should be good even for OCing your cpu in the future. Here is the review of the past version of it, SPCR Scythe Mugen-2 CPU Cooler
. Crosscheck the case you buy has enough clearance for it and also depending on the mobo placement of rams you might need not so tall modules.
* 8GB of RAM .. does it matter what brand?
This more a personal choice, most rams will be fine, check the mobo for compatibilty. But ill throw a couple of suggestions that im also considering myself,G.SKILL Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBSR2
(not so tall heatsinks and low voltage).Corsair Memory Vengeance 8 Dual Channel Kit DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM CMZ8GX3M2A1600C8
(CL8 ram @ 1.5V, might have clearance issues depending on the CPU cooler you buy).
* A SSD drive in the range of 60-120GB for faster bootup and storage of frequently used programs
I would go with Crucial M4 for SSD, aviod Sanforce based ssds like OCZ, Corsair, etc. Depending on your needs and budget,Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
* A *quiet* fast 1TB HDD?
Check the SPCR HDD Recommended list
. Personally i favor laptop 2.5 drives over desktop 3.5 drives, tends to be a little more quiet and less prone to vibrations, also are design to stand in lesser cooling conditions as its very limited in laptops. But we havent reached 1TB mark on 2.5 (9.5 standard) drives, the biggest atm are 750GB like the Hitachi 5k750
, there are 1tb 2.5 drives out, just not the standard 9.5 but 12.5 this matters in laptops out of the limit space to place, but in it a dekstop it shoudlnt, here is one, not sure how is it in terms of noise/performance, Western Digital Scorpio Blue WD10TPVT 1TB 5200 RPM 8MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive
. Samsung is suppose to release 1tb (standard 9.5) 2.5 drives by the end of the year, i think all will follow shortly. If 750gb isnt enough, and your are fine with 3.5 drives, i would go with Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 5400 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive