- Well I jumped on the deal that NCIX is running for the Define R4 at $69.99, so I'm going full ATX. Alot of the uATX boards I saw have mixed reviews and it looks like Fan Xpert 2 is pretty awesome so I'm going with ASUS P8Z77-V.
Well the price of the R4 is really good, i got mine on sale at $80, but $70 is the best i seen, so good buy, really well worth more than that. Now on the mobo, its up to you, $100 is a lot of money (cpu combo + LK mobo), as i said you got work arounds, fanxpert 1 is still good, just has some limiations. The R4 comes with 140mm fans and a frontal fan controller, you can lower the frontal fans with it, its not a big deal, the nice thing about fanxpert is that you can dinamically control all the fans depending on certain conditions, but for $100 saving... i would probably just deal with the manual fan controller that the case already brings for free. The CPU 4pin heathers are much easier to work with, as asus bios restricion is in my case drop down to 20%, so it should drop down the TY147 easily to 700rpm that most can (although on paper says 900 by thermalright). Overall I dont want you to go with neither, just that i would weight the $100 vs what else you gain besides fanXpert2, personally i do want fanXpert2 when i rebuild on a GENE VI, but i just waste money on this hobby.
- Also decided on the Samsung 840 Pro 256gb SSD and will hold off on a second harddrive for now. Will I have to reformat windows when / if I add another drive to the system, like a 3TB red?
This imo is a good call, there is nothing better atm, and i doubt we will see anything significantly better until we see SATA Express on Skylake. You don't need to reformat/reinstall windows, to add the 3tb, just go start>computer(right click)>manage>disk management, search on the bottom for the 3tb and initialize it as GPT (needed for 2tb+ hdds) and then just quick format it and windows should be fine to see it and use it.
- I'm now looking for a slightly less expensive PSU than the X-650 I had originally chosen, something in the $70-90 range. As mentioned earlier, Seasonic's G 550 looks like a good psu for this price. Any others to check out? SeaSonic G Series 550-Watt ATX12V/EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply SSR-550RMSeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Is a nice option, i just did a build on PS07 and no complains at all, very quiet, but worth mentioning that the fan is always on, very low on idle and still decently quiet under load with a similar setup as what you are building, but it wont be as quiet as X series in terms they are semi pasive PSU, i own a X660 and i never ever heard the fan, i do stand up sometimes to see if it is on, and very few times i see it spin... really nice PSU the X series. But if you are looking to save some, i think the G550 is the best choice at that price range. I was hopping we see a review from SPCR on it, but no luck, but they did review the lower Watt, Seasonic G360 PSU: High efficiency & performance, low price
. If you wish to read more reviews, checkJonnyGuru Reviews - Seasonic G Series 550WHardwareSecrets Seasonic G 550 Power Supply Review[H]ardOCP Seasonic G-Series: G-550 Power Supply Review
Weather the extra $30 is worth it its up to you, i do prefer the X series passive and very quiet design, not to say is G series is loud, but not the same. But one thing that can came up positive from the G series is if you do mount it with the fan down, as the R4 can and even has a fan filter on the bottom, i would prefer it like the G series that have the fan on all the time as it wont let the heat stall inside the PSU.
- Looking at Windows 7 Home Premium, OEM means I can only install it once, correct? Amazon has Windows 7 HP for $89. Any better deal out there?
A little cheaper if you are confortable dling and making USB bootable, Purchase Windows for your HTPC
, you can install it as much as you want, but only in one PC, and in my experience like the first 10 format no issues, after i had some times that i had to call microsft for them to validate it, but since then i dont reformat that often.