The following are the parts I'm currently looking buying in the next day or two. This will mostly be a HTPC used for watching blu rays, surfing and rarely gaming. I have a $1500 budget and the spec'd parts below come in at ~$1200 out the door.
Case - Lian li pc-c33b
Mem - G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
PSU - COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 600
GPU - SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100284VXL Radeon HD 5750 1GB
MOBO - Asrock P67 PRO3 (B3)
CPU - Intel Core I5-2500K
OS - Windows 7 home premium
HDD - Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
SDD - OCZ Vertex 2 64gb
LG Black 10x Blu Ray Burner
Are there any pieces I'm missing? Cables I need to buy? Glaring flaws?
Last but not least - any recent first time builders have a favorite instructional video they used while doing their first build?
I highly recommend stepping up to the HD 5770. It's only a few bucks more, but you get a lot more power. I've got the 5750 when the price difference was $50ish when the 5xxx series launched, and I've regretted not shelling out the extra dough for the 5770.
Ditch the Coolermaster PSU. Coolermaster + PSU = POS. Instead, shell out for this SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold unit. It'll go a long way in making the build quieter.
I'd avoid buying a SSD right now, especially the Vertex 2 series. A while ago, it was found that OCZ wasn't promoting the Vertex 2 using it's actual specs. Instead, the reported numbers were inflated. Besides, the newer SSDs should be trickling down into the lower budget units fairly soon. You'll be able to pick up either a much larger SSD or a much faster one for the same price soon. Besides, there isn't much of a benefit to SSDs in general.
Other than that, it looks pretty good. You don't need anything else as long as you don't buy everything open box (which isnt' recommended).
As for building guides, I don't find videos very useful. You'll spend more time restarting them, and typically text guildes are better and more informative. The one on this forum (through the stickies at the top of the forum) is one of my favorite guides.
I read all the "Toms build your own" articles. You can compare and tweek them where you like. They are all tested and rated for you. You can't go wrong.
I built the $1500.00 job with a few tweaks. I'm not a hard core gamer, so I dropped one of the GPU's in my build. I saved $300.00. I upgraded the HD to larger and I got Corsair H50 cooler. I went on the Dell website and built the exact same configuration as the one i put together but I did it for $900.00 less.
Some more good advice that helped me a lot besides reading everything, watch a lot of you tube videos. Any parts you’re thinking of buying and assembling are posted. Somebody has done a home video on it. Both specs and how to's.
Take your time be patient and understand your motherboard manual completely.
Isn't the Core i5k an unlocked processor which benefits gamers? I was reading somewhere that the 2nd generation i7's have 2 distinct motherboards that have different chipsets. One better for gamers and one for video and general use. Check that.
The "K" versions are unlocked, but they're not just for gamers. There are two chipsets on the LGA1155 socket, the P67 and H67. The major differences are that the H67 allows you to use the integrated graphics of the Sandy Bridge chips, but doesn't let you do any overclocking. The P67 chipset doesn't let you use the integrated graphics, but let's you overclock. If you're going to buy a discrete GPU, there is no reason to buy the H67, and thus, no reason to not buy the "K" series CPU.
I ended up buying and installing as originally specified and it worked out great. When putting it all together I was very worried about plugging things in wrong but the connection sockets and plug orientations almost makes that impossible. I still double checked everything and read all the manuals. The mobo and gpu were easily configured and overclocked.
The only issue I've had so far is watching blu rays over 7.1. The software that comes with the blu ray player only supports 5.1. (BTW it's called Cyberlink PowerDVD but it does play BDs.) I ended up getting the arcsoft total media theatre 5 which supports 7.1. After watching my first blu ray movie it was choppy after 40 mins. After installing the latest drivers on the gpu the choppiness went away.