I've never had a gaming PC that was able to play games with everything maxed out before, but I think now is the time. Heres my situation.
I have 1 credit card with $950 already used on it with a limit of $1000. I have a part time job that pays about $500'ish dollars every two weeks. I also pay rent of $150 every pay check (living with my parents ATM). I also have other bills like my Visa, phone and other essentials I buy. Here are the possible solutions I thought about, but was wondering about your guy's opinions.
1) Save up, wipe my credit card debt in one, swift payment, then max it out (or close to it) again by buying all the parts at once?
2) Get a second credit card and buy parts with that?
3) Ease my way by paying a chuck off at a time, and buying some parts one at a time?
I also will need a desk, keyboard, mouse, monitor down the road, so there is a lot Id have to save up for.
pay off your credit card first then get your parts. it is best to buy all of your pc parts for the tower in one shot. you can buy the monitor, perepherals and desk in another shot if you want.
just think of the next few weeks as your time to mix around parts to try to find a good system. it also gives you time to figure out what your needs are. a week before start picking out specific parts and brands but remember to check on go-day since sales can change daily.
since it appears you are on a rather tight budget:
desk: free is best. look for any free or cheap table such as the ones retail stores throw out that they displayed merchandise on. or pick up something that is sturdy but scuffed up bad for cheap. you can buy formica veneer for under $50 and make the table look like you paid $400 for it with a little work. i had the money to do otherwise but this is what i did and it works great. even better than products you could buy locally. do avoid buying those fold up plastic tables or anything of that nature. the $100 and below metal/glass desks at office stores will work but arent really the best.
monitor: on a budget you are most likely looking at a tn panel. bottom of the rung but its cheapest for a reason. bumping up the budget for a screen into the $250-300 might net you an e-ips screen which has the same quality but a much better viewing angle. see the perepherals forum and read some posts.
perepherals: any products will work temporarily. i've seem someone use a $5 mouse and keyboard combination for years and it worked fine. in your budget i would say stay under $50 if you can.
tower: you dont need anything fancy. stick to a barebones case for now to maximize the budget for what you put inside. do look for cases with 120mm fan slots. do avoid cases with power supplies included (or remove them). i wouldnt trust included psu's one bit, but do as you wish.
cpu: i7 preferably. even the older i7-920 model like i have. you might be able to get away fine with an i5 but again, not my first suggestion.
ram: budget offerings from mushkin or ocz or brand of your choice. you can get a great deal sometimes. minimum of 4gb
vid: this is going to be your biggest budget crusher. usually i suggest going one step down from the top end card at the moment. i prefer nvidia myself.
psu: do a power calc to determine load and add 10-20%. you are most likely looking at 500-550w minimum. i'd suggest 600-700w for expansion. corsair makes a good psu and i loved my older ocz psu. really budget psus from sparkle, fsp group (fotron source) might look ugly and feel cheap but they have been very reliable as noted by reviews. make sure your psu has all the cables you need.
mb: pick what you fancy here. preferably one with good onboard audio.
hd: suggest a small ssd in the 60-80gb range. you should be able to pick up one for $100 or less. this will be your boot drive. get a 1tb drive for $100, or smaller one for less if your budget is in jeopardy.
cooler: you dont need an aftermarket cpu cooler.
speakers: cheap $30 logitech 313 set is fine for starting out.
on a low buget you might want to look for "combination deals" or products with "mail in or instant rebates". it is entirely possible to build a gaming system including desk and perepherals for $1000 but personally i'd suggest a $900-1000 for the tower alone if you want to keep your system future proof for 3-5 years.