Gaming PC at $1500 - Moderately clueless builder

APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Soon - Within a week or two

BUDGET RANGE: (e.g.: 600-800): $1500 after rebates

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Exclusively gaming

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: (e.g.: keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, OS): Keyboard / mouse, monitor, speakers are not required. I have a spare EA650 Antec PSU (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371015&cm_re=Antec_EA650-_-17-371-015-_-Product) but am willing to kick it to the curb it if it can't be worked into an optimal build.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg, and I live near to a MicroCenter if there's a good deal to be found there.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA

PARTS PREFERENCES: by brand or type: No particular brand or type preferences

OVERCLOCKING: Maybe (Fully open to it but have no specific plans)

SLI OR CROSSFIRE: Maybe (Likewise to overclocking)

MONITOR RESOLUTION: Currently operating with a 1680x1050 display, but plan to upgrade to 1920x1080 a little later, separate from this build budget.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Basically I'm completely comfortable with the physical construction of my PC, but rather overwhelmed doing research on how I'll get the best bang for my buck. This machine is meant exclusively for gaming, along the lines of Starcraft II, DoW2, online FPS gaming, and MMOs like Warhammer Online, FFXIV, and eventually Guild Wars 2. $1500 is my maximum budget, but I'm not at all opposed to going under budget if I'd otherwise be spending money for the sake of it, nor am I opposed to spending a *little* over if it's worthwhile!

I should also add that I'd be happy to add an SSD if it fits naturally into my budget (I expect it doesn't), but I'd rather maximize the potential:money ratio otherwise and think about an SSD down the line.

Anyway, I hate throwing myself out here asking other people to come up with my parts list, but I figure getting specific advice for my purposes from knowledgable folks is the optimal place to start. Thanks!
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More about gaming 1500 moderately clueless builder
  1. i7, GTX 470 Build: I think this is a good match for your budget. The mid range i7-950 just dropped in price significantly, and you can get an excellent deal on it at Microcenter. LGA1366 doesn't have the same PCI-E problems as LGA 1156; Crossfire and SLI aren't crippled by half speed PCI-E slots. The GTX 470 is very capable and doesn't have the same noise, heat, and value issues as the GTX 480.


    Intel i7-950 (Slightly better for overclocking than an i7-930, only $20 more now)
    $250 from Microcenter

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0346210


    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (SLI, Crossfire, USB 3.0, SATA III)
    $189 with promo code MBTEN92

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128423


    Antec 900 Case (The standard gaming case, excellent build quality, 5 star reviews, great cooling capability)
    gkay09's suggestions would also be great choices.
    $90 after $20 in rebate

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129021&cm_re=antec_900-_-11-129-021-_-Product


    6GB OCZ DDR3 1600 CL7
    MSI GTX 470
    $369 after $50 in rebates

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.499475


    Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB (nice find gkay09)
    $60

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0340562


    $18 Lite-On DVD Burner

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827106289&cm_re=lite_on_24x_sata_dvd_burner-_-27-106-289-_-Product


    Total: $976 (including shipping and rebates)


    Optional Upgrade:


    Crucial RealSSD C300 128GB (Unmatched read speeds, Great value for the capacity)
    $279

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148348&cm_re=crucial_c300_128gb-_-20-148-348-_-Product


    XFX 850W Powersupply (Very high quality, 80 plus silver certified, modular) This is a great deal, and would provide plenty of headroom for you to add a second GTX 470 later in SLI.
    $107 with promo code XFXPOWER after $20 rebate

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817207001&Tpk=xfx%20850w


    LIAN LI PC-8NWX Black Aluminum ATX Mid Tower (Half the weight, Cleaner Professional Style, Exceedingly Well Built, Front Panel USB 3.0 ports)
    $140

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112263
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