First time building my own gaming PC, Could use some assistance.

Hey everyone.

I've been an avid gamer for a while (MMOs, RPGs, FPSs, etc.) but always bought rigs though boutique PC manufacturers. I always knew enough about the internal workings to be dangerous but certainly never felt like a pro (still have no clue how to OC). That said, I've always had the nagging feeling that I was overpaying for something that I could probably figure out how to do myself. With my current rig about 6 years old (I have several bottlenecks - my ASUS 680i SLI MB, e6600 dual core, 4GB ram, to name a few), I was contemplating just taking the leap and building my own rig this time around. My goal is to have a good gaming rig that will have longevity. I can't afford to buy/upgrade my rig that often so I am hoping to have this one last for another 5-6 years with the occasional upgrade (RAM, GPU, etc.)

To that end, I could use some guidance on several things: 1) is my current rig such an issue that I should upgrade, 2) am I crazy to try to build a gaming rig by myself for my first foray into custom building, and most importantly, 3) how does my first stab at a build look to the "experts". I took the following format from the recommended sticky for my proposed build post.

Approximate Purchase Date: June 2011

Budget Range: $1500-$1900 after rebates, including peripherals

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the internet, Office Productivity, Photo editing

Parts Not Required: Speakers (unless you would recommend a good deal, I have Klipsch but only 2.1), OS (have Windows 7)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:,

Country of Origin: USA

Parts Preferences: I would like to use an Intel CPU a LCD (LED backlighting) monitor and full tower case)

Overclocking: Yes, If I could figure out how to do it, so if its relatively easy to do, that would be a plus.

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 (unless you have better suggestions)

Additional Comments: Looking for a quiet PC, but essentially want to know if I am overpaying for certain parts, underpaying for others, and basically allocating my funds correctly. Would love to get this rig cheaper if possible without losing a ton of performance but don't know enough about whether this is even a good rig for the money, as $1900+ seems pricey and want to make sure I'm not in full on over-kill mode.

Here is my first cut so far:

MB: ($189.99) ASRock Z68 Extreme4

CPU: ($224.99) Intel i5 2500K

CPU Fan & Heatsink: ($39.99) COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus

MEM: (2x $94.99 = $189.98) 2 x G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB Kit (16GB total) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800)

GPU: ($249.99) EVGA GTX 560 Ti (single card)

PS: ($89.99) CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready

Case: ($154.48) COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced RC-932-KKN5-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower

HDD: ($84.99) Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5"

SSD: ($119.99) Intel 311 Larson Creek 20GB SLC SSD (for Caching)

DVD/BR Burner: ($84.99) LG Black 12X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X DVD-RAM 10X BD-ROM 4MB Cache SATA Super Multi WH12LS30 LightScribe Support - OEM

Media Reader: ($19.99) Koutech IO-RCM621 All-in-one USB 2.0 3.5" USB 2.0 Front Panel Multi-format Card Reader

LAN Card: ($27.99) Intel EXPI9301CTBLK 10/ 100/ 1000Mbps PCI-Express Network Adapter

Sound Card: ($169.99) Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD 24-bit 96KHz Sound Card


Monitor: ($209.99) ASUS VH238H Black 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor

Keyboard: ($64.19) Logitech G110 Gaming Keyboard

Mouse: ($37.99) Logitech MX 518 8 Buttons 1 x Wheel USB Wired Optical 1800 dpi Gaming Mouse

TOTAL COST: $1,971.10

Any help & guidance would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone has some counsel on the best guide/walkthrough on how to put a custom rig together, that would be great. Last thing I want to do is spend another $1000+ dollars replacing parts that I blew through due to my own ignorance/stupidity.

Thanks much!
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  1. Any love would be appreciated. I think my build is ok but really worried if I'm off the mark by selecting top sellers on newegg vs getting more technically sound feedback.
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