My question: what does everyone recommend as far as graphics, case, ram, and power supply?
I'd like to keep the graphics card to around $150, so anything in that ballpark (could be slightly lower or higher) - I think the most intense game I'll be playing is Dragon Age, and possibly if I get sucked into the Star Wars MMO group a bud is trying to put together. But I also could not care less if I only get a few million frames per second instead of a gazillion (exaggerating, but I don't know what is a good frame rate vs bad anymore)
The case and power supply I'd rather keep below $100 altogether (I know that's probably just asking for trouble...), but I don't even know where to begin with looking for something that won't fry my new computer.
Both are very good video cards. If you plan to play games at higher resolutions (1920x1080 and up), I would go with the GTX 460. Also your motherboard supports SLI so you could add a second one later (if you ever feel the need).
I would highly recommend getting a 2GBx2 memory kit. The i5-760 has a dual-channel memory controller, and memory will perform much better in parallel. You really have no reason to add more memory for a casual gaming build, either. Games and general computing don't consume very much memory. You won't see any benefit from adding extra memory unless you are running one of a few professional type programs that are very memory intensive. Having more memory than you need doesn't really improve performance; the extra memory just sits unused.
There is a crazy deal on this Silverstone Case right now. Silverstone makes some of the highest quality cases. This one is pretty well made, reviews are positive, and has alot of premium features. It's hideous (in my opinion), but it's only $25 dollars with the promo code EMCYXYX52. Unfortunately you missed out on all of the good PSU combo deals that went with it.
i was going to say the same thing about the gpus, i would go for gskill ripjaws ram 2x2gb modules, welll i would be looking into the antec 200 or 300 case or the haf 912 as for the psu just make sure you get 1 of these brands, corsair, antec, xfx, seasonic and so on, the antec earthwatts 650 watt should be good enough to power your system and power 2 gtx 460s in SLI
the msi gtx 460 cyclone is a nice gtx 460 and as for the hdd i would go for a samsung spinpoint f3, i would stick away from OCZ ram, people are having problems with reliability, and i would get a gtx 460 1gb its worth it
That GTX with power supply combo might be a winner!
Instead of going with the 2GBx2 memory kit, I might go 4GBx2 (overkill? of course, but I'll eventually want to go all 16GB that I can just for the heck of it).
And you're right; that case is awful to look at, but at least it's not hideous with a ton of lights on it also (for some reason I want to avoid too many lights on it... just me though). I'm pretty much just looking for a plain box that can hold my stuff in it. Should my motherboard fit in likely any standard case? Any other suggestions out there for a case before I bite the bullet on this one?
And does anyone have any suggestions on hard drives? I was thinking of going SSD for the OS (just curious to see how this works) and then HDD for everything else, but I realized I have no idea how to install my OS just to the SSD…
you will only need cooling if you are planning on overclocking your cpu, which i would personally do with an i5 but that's just me. the performance difference won't be mind blowing but its nice to know you're getting the most from what you paid for.
as for ssd's, their speed is truly amazing and i would recommend getting one. its not hard installing windows onto it, when u put your cd in you just choose what drive you want to put it on and thats about it. it will give your computer that extra snap
DO NOT get 8gb of RAM it is overkill spend the money you would spend on the extra 4gb of ram on something else more useful like on your gpu, get a gtx 470 for $300 here is a comparison of the two http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/180?vs=160