I figured this was as good a place as any to bring together my thoughts surrounding my still TBD PC build.

What are my Goals?
- I'm trying to do this at a little over $1k. The lower the better.
- I want to build something that will last me another 3-4 years. (Questions here about targets for future technology - USB 3, SATA6)
- I want reliability and performance.
- I want to achieve a measurable and tangible performance gains. If I don't see and feel this thing operating inline with its price tag, mission = failed.

What am I Replacing?
- Built Circa 7/2007
1 x ASUS P5K DELUXE/WIFI-AP LGA 775 Intel P35 ATX Intel Motherboard
1 x EVGA 640-P2-N821-AR GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB 320-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
1 x Antec SmartPower 2.0 SP-500 500W ATX12V SLI Ready Modular Power Supply
1 x Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80557E6600
1 x CORSAIR XMS2 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X2048-6400C4
1 x CORSAIR XMS2 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 Upgrade from 3/09
1 x TRENDnet TEG-PCITXR 10/ 100/ 1000/ 2000Mbps PCI Copper Gigabit Network Adapter
1 x LITE-ON 20X DVD±R DVD Burner With 12X DVD-RAM Write Black SATA Model LH-20A1S OEM BK - OEM
3 x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 ST3250620AS 250GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive (Perpendicular Recording) -Bare Drive - in RAID 5
2 x Scythe S-FLEX SFF21F 120mm Case Fan
1 x Thermaltake CL-P0114 120mm Big Typhoon CPU Cooler - This was pillaged from my previous P4 unit. Reduced temps from Intel stock cooler by about 10C, unreal when i saw that. Currently running 29C idle.

Why i'm hesitating on pulling the trigger
A good article over @ Anandtech.com about Sandy Bridge:

Some items FTA related to my 'to build or not to build' questions
- On chip GPU. ?How will this affect gaming performance?
- Obviously, Sandy Bridge means entire new chipset.
- So far, it appears USB 3.0 will not be supported natively.
- SATA6 may still be limited in # of onboard connections (2)? Hmm.
- PCIe 2.0 (or 3.0???) lanes will run at 5.0 GT/s, instead of 2.5 GT/s currently. ?How will this affect gaming performance?
- We are looking at second half of 2011, so what prices and performance will look like exactly is anyone's guess. It's wait and find out or bite the bullet now and upgrade knowing it is obsolete in 6 months... Gah!

I've started reading the post E-Male created back in 2/10 on his build. Some helpful advice to be had there.

SO. Now that is out of the way
I've actually been looking into this for a couple months on and off. It's funny. I had basically decided to wait until the next chipset came out considering the most intensive game i play is BC2 and I'm getting along just fine with it as it is. But then....
My lovely Antec PSU has decided to start acting up on me. It is making this ungodly electric pitch noise when i turn the computer OFF. Go figure. The only thing that stops the noise is cutting power, either the on/off switch, unplugging it or tripping my surge protector. Not a work around i'm willing to continue with more than a couple weeks. I'm hoping the thing doesn't crap out before then.

So I could pay $60-$70 on a new PSU, OR I could just upgrade to the PSU i plan on using down the road. The upgrade option seemed like a no brainer considering once i do build a new unit, this unit will likely cease being used. But now i'm forced to make a decision on the PSU... What am i going to be running? Was it going to be 2 GPUs? Another RAID 5 array or SSD?
To get some things out of the way;
- I'm definitely more comfortable with the Intel and Nvidia products. I know AMD has their advantages, but i'll be going with a Intel/Nvidia rig.
- I'm a EVGA fanboy. I purchased a couple 6800s back in the day, they still work in my old rigs. I purchased my 8800 from them, it too works like a charm. I'll be sticking with them.
- Seeing that this Antec unit has failed after 3 years, i'll be picking up a Corsair unit. Not that 3 years is bad, but i've decided it is time to try a new vendor with a solid reputation.

The chipset path i'm travelling
The more i think about future proofing, the less a 1156 chipset seems to be a viable option. I'm concerned about SATA6 and USB 3.0 impacts on the PCIe lanes. My feeling is that i will go with a single 470, then add another 470 in 6 (or so) months down the road. Thus i'll be saturating the available throughput with those cards if i go with an 1156 - I think. So with that, i guess i'll be looking for a 1366 board with SATA6 and USB 3.0, or a board able to accept expansion cards down the road. I'd like to keep it on the board, and avoid possible driver issues.

After hours on newegg this morning and afternoon, i'll be picking up this lovely lady: CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-850HX 850W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
Almost pulled the trigger on a EVGA 470. I mean, i'm already buying something, why not just pick something else up ;) But i didn't. It pains me so!

Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer;bt1320
GTX 460 is comparable to the more expensive 470 you almost bought.

... and it's a mid range.
That is something i've wrestled with and is where I keep waffling.
The 460 Good:
- Rough and tough: Is about 25% less expensive than a 470 (Many different cards, OC'd and not)
- It's SLI performance is phenomenal, and rivals or beats a 480 in many benchmarks.
- Power / Heat / Noise also go to the 460. If I went with a 470, I wouldn't go with a reference cooler. Currently i'm not finding any EVGA's with nonreference coolers. SO, perhaps i bail on EVGA. Gah.
The 460 Not Good:
- Slightly higher initial investment (Though I could go as planned with the 470 and buy one later, but can't see doing that)
- Rough and tough: Is outperformed only by about 20% by the 470 ( ^above )
- I plan on gaming at 1920x1080 or higher. This is about the tipping point where the SLI'd 460's start to slip significantly against the 470 SLI
Damn you Delta. The more i do think about it, the more i consider the heat/noise aspect. My PC is only a matter of 8 ft from my bed. Perhaps I shall indeed go with the 460s. I'm now leaning this way. Thks ;)

Originally posted by Flarfignuggen;bt1321
Current software hasn't remotely gotten to the point that a 1366 processor is insufficient (and for the most part, PC gaming is slowing to a plateau right now on performance requirements due to the console market), so I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Case-in-point, your, and my old, E6600 is still pretty damn good for most of what's out there.
-I concur. Had my PSU cooperated we wouldnt be having this conversation ;) I still love this machine.
Originally posted by Flarfignuggen;bt1321
PCIe 3.0 will be "twice" as fast as 2.0 but in terms of overall gaming performance? You're not liable to notice it; video card performance, as related to gaming, hasn't actually fully utilized PCIe 2.0 in a meaningful way.... This forum thread on XtremeSystems.org sort of discusses it.
- I agree. In the benchmarks i've seen with 3 SLI'd 480s the conclusion is that the CPU simply can't provide enough umph to max them out.

So if i've decided on SLI'd 460s, now i have the information i need to go after a Mobo. I think cost and performance automatically enlist a i7 930 for the CPU.

I did look at your board Flarfignuggen the GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128423
What has put me off are the high volume of bad ratings on NewEgg. Of 392 reviews, 82 were 1 egg and complained about DOAs and RMAs. That's 21%! You can't even astroturf that... Add its attractive cost-to-features and i'm certain something is amiss... I could be wrong, there could have been a fix, but i'm steering clear.

I want to get some gaming in before i have to pass out for work tomorrow. A quick pass on Newegg and i see an Asus and a EVGA board i will look into more.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813188065 only 1 yr warranty... :(
Saw this one, was turned off due to no Sata6 or USB3. Turn on by lifetime warranty...

See you in PR.

Civ 5 came out. It's good. Nothin crazy different from 4. I hadn't played 4 in a while, and i'm not a 'serious' Civ player, so what do i know.

So i'm deciding between these boards. I have to go lookup more reviews or specs, just loking at NewEgg isn't enough to make a decision, they state the same specs just about.
Asus - Leaning away from. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ab=true&Page=3
Asus - Leaning towards. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131666
MSI - Not sure. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813130289
Gigabyte - Another similar model has issues previously discussed in comments, still unsure. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128422