Thanks for the help. I don't think they were gaming at 1080p, because they had a 4670, but I know that they would like to. The case is a first generation SOLO - I need to see if it will fit a current model Powercolor 7850 - thanks, I hadn't thought of that.http://www.powercolor.com/us/products_f ... cification
Looks like only 8". Called me surprised. If you do opt for the passive, it's more likely than not that you'll need to strap a low rpm fan to it to control heat. The Solo isn't great for airflow. Also note the heatsink extends to the backside of the graphics card
...so that may conflict with CPU cooler.
... but I noticed today that NCIX has the latest gen Intel stuff. Should I consider an i5-4430 and an ASUS Z87M-PLUS mb? how long does it usually take to shake out initial bugs/incompatibilities?
The Haswell stuff just intro'd this weekend. Figure 2-3 months before BIOS updates slow down and to determine whether any hardware bugs might surface. Also note, the Southbridge shipped now has a bug where USB3 connected devices may not wake from sleep. For example, if you have a doc on a thumb drive opened up and your PC goes into sleep mode....when the PC wakes up, it might not see the doc. You lose what you didn't save and you have to reopen the file and/or possibly remount the drive. The rev'd chip is supposed to be released end July and then the mobo mfgrs/retailers have to work through their inventory. I'm holding off on my build until ~Sept.
Also, It seems that I am clueless about power supply connectors and graphics cards. Are you saying that the G 450 will not work if I go to a 7790? Will the G450 work with the 7850? What about the G550? If not, which PSU?
The rule of thumb for gaming cards: <100W use PCIe power only. 100-175W needs a 6 or 8pin graphics power connector (sometimes call PEG connector), 175-250W uses two of these. Both the G450 and G 550 comes with two PEG connectors. Specifically, the 7790 and 7850 are less than 150W TDP and only have 1 PEG connector.
More on gaming at 1080p. The HD 7790/GTX 650 Ti (~$140 US) is as low as I would go. For a small bump in price ($10-40) you can get the 7850/650 Ti Boost and get a significant bump in fps. I also like the GTX 660 @ $200. It'll let them turn on more eye candy features. Also, a lot of models are reducing costs by lowering the amount of VRAM from 2 to 1GB. At 1080p, this is fine for most games. If they use texture packs for Skyrim, it'll bog down.