First Time Build: Part selection check/help $1.5k-2k

Hello everyone,

After 5 years of meaning to build my own PC, I'm finally doing it. I've got a fair bit of time for MIR/rebate shopping so I'm mainly looking to see if there's any glaring mistakes I've made in part selection, or something I should change out/watch out for. This is also my first build, so I'm quite excited about this. I've spent a good bit of time researching things on Tom's as well as other places, so I think I've got a decent idea of how to start.

Thanks in advance!


Approximate Purchase Date: Started, I'm picking up pieces as they go on sale/MIR. I should have all the parts by November.

Budget Range: $1500-2000 US

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming(LOTRO, New Vegas, CIV 5, etc.), Video/Media PC, Internet, School/Programming

Parts Not Required:

ASUS VH236H 23 Inch Widescreen LCD Monitor - Black (1920 x 1080)

Keyboard: MS Ergonomic 4000
Mouse: Logitech G9x
Headphones/Speakers: Have several, happy with them.
Windows 7 Professional(64-Bit) OEM

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,, TigerDirect.Com

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I'm going with a LGA1336 build, prefer NVIDIA/INTEL, no real preference otherwise.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: SLI when card prices drop some.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: This is a build in progress. I'm grabbing stuff as MIR/Discounts pop up. Final build date in November/December at latest. I'm looking for the core of this system to be capable of playing games decently for 3-4 years with some upgrades(GPU, more RAM, SSD) I'll start overclocking if I need it latter down the line.

Parts I already have:

OCZ 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model OCZ3F1600LV6GK

MSI N460GTX CYCLONE 1GD5/OC GeForce GTX 460 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-1000HX 1000W ATX12V 2.2 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS

HD: System drive until I get a SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Parts I'm planning on getting:

GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

CPU: There's a MicroCenter nearby that is showing this as ~$50 less for in store pick up, plus with the recent price drop makes this look pretty nice. I don't want to OC initially, so the extra speed is appealing.
Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

CPU Cooler: I'm slightly paranoid about heat after having a laptop burn out on me. Not enough for liquid yet.
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler

OCZ Freeze for the thermal compound, has good reviews.

Fans: 3x, two for push/pull on the cooler and another for the GPU shroud. I have NO preference on these. Quiet is preferable, but cooling is a priority.
Scythe S-Flex SFF21G 120mm Case Fan

Case: I like the look, and it's giant.
COOLER MASTER HAF X RC-942-KKN1 Black Steel/ Plastic ATX Full Tower Computer Case

DVD Drive: I'd think it would be hard to mess this up.
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM

BluRay: Later down the line I'd look into this, but I don't watch movies much, so unless they start offering games on them more often I don't need it now.

Sound Card:
I'm completely lost on this one. I'm planning on just using the integrated audio at first, but if it's not good enough/sound is "poppy" I'll look into this. I'd figure that anything with a front bay control would be fine.

Storage: For bulk storage, add as I need more.
Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
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More about first time build part selection check help
  1. ^ CPU Cooler - Maybe this one ? Current best...

    Mobo - Check this ASUS board - with HDD combo...

    And case fan - The Thermalright has the same tech and is cheaper
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