First attempt to build my own PC (Help please)

Hello Everyone!

I am planning on building my own computer after a horrible string of PC's from dell. I am a bit timid in attempting to build my own, as if anything goes wrong I wont have more money to buy additional components. I am looking at $1,000-1500 price range for components, excluding the monitor. I will have additional money to spend on a 22-24" Monitor. The only thing I really know, is the case I would like:

Would anyone with much experience, be so kind to suggest a build within my price range? I will be using this computer for gaming (WoW, EQ2, WAR maybe..) and graphic design, in addition to the general use. I would be very greatful for any help.

Thank you!
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More about first attempt build help please
  1. Graphic design is quadcore optimised and RAM intensive (iirc). So a Q6600 is low cost CPU and 8GB of RAM along with Vista 64bit Operating system. None of this will hurt your gaming, so it's a good place to start.

    CPU - Intel Q6600 retail $190 Good CPU, good price
    Motherboard - a P45 Asus P5Q E $160 reasonable price, stable, has 8x/8x crossfire as an option if you want it, up to 16 GB RAM
    RAM - Mushkin DDR2 800 1.8v 8GB 2x2x2x2 $154 (1 rebate, 1 no rebate)
    Power supply - 610w PC Power and Cooling $90 after rebate and an additional 20% off with promo code "PCP20" (ends 9/17) a quality power supply sufficient to run this system and possible crossfire in future.
    Hard Drive - Western Digital SATA 640GB $85 good speed, good amount of storage.
    DVD burner - Lite on SATA retail $29 comes with a cable and software
    Graphic card- HD4850 Sapphire $150 after rebate Good cooling solution, cheap
    Operating system - Vista home premium 64 $100 will use all that RAM

    About $1000 depends on shipping and taxes (if any) not including case can add another HD4850 for better gaming performance
    Could also substitute a Q9550 for the Q6600 if you want, it's supported by the motherboard
  2. I should have added that if you don't intend to Overclock (from your post it looks like no) The Q9550 at $325 might be a better option for you.
    get this FREE!!! with that purchase! whoopee
    alternative graphic card HD4870 $260 although i'm a bit hesitant about crossfiring 2 4870s with a 610w power supply and 8x/8x socket.
  3. Since you're gaming I would recomend the e8500 cpu.
  4. I appreciate your help dirtmountain! I know a little bit about various components and have opened up and moved around video cards and ram. Aside from that, I have never attempted to build one. It was suggested I do so in several forums I have visited inquiring about a new PC. I have grown frustrated with ordering computers from Dell, and other companies, so Im throwing caution to the wind. I have a co-worker who has built systems himself, and I may get his assistance to assure I dont make any fatal mistakes.

    I definatley think I want to go with the Q9550. I also think I want to spend a little more money in other components to add to what you had suggested. Here are some items I have set aside at Newegg:
    This case looks good (least I think so) and it looks like it could keep things cool. Your thoughts?

    The Q9550 CPU looks like ill go with that.
    This Motherboard has received several good reviews and I was curious what you all think of it?
    I was wondering if this would be a good choice for SLI / Crossfire? (should I go that route)

    I have also selected the DVD Burner you had suggested for my optical drive.

    Also, I am interested in crossfire with the HD4870 cards you had suggested. Do they match the above mentioned MB well enough, and is there a bridge I would have to buy seperate to crossfire? (sorry I am a newbie)

    I also selected this corsair ram and was wondering your opinion on it?

    I also was considering this harddrive and was wondering if it would be a waste of money or worth it?
    Due to being involved with graphic design and gaming, would the speed difference enhance those programs and games, or is it not worth the money?

    This has all added up to about $1800. Its over the selected range I had originally offered, but it is doable for me. I may have a 22" LCD monitor to use rather than purchasing a new one. If thats the case, then 1800-2000 would be sufficient for components.
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