*First Build ~1500 Gaming

I am building my first gaming rig. I have no prior experience with computers, but after a little research this is what I have come up with Money really isn't an issue if the incremental gains are worth the cash but I can not justify spending more than 1500+ on a gaming rig before buying duel monitors etc... I will be playing D3, SC2 and heavy modeling in excel. I have no idea how to build my own rig nor do I have the time to follow all the tutorials. I'll will spend the extra money having a site assemble it. Unless anyone else has any other ideas.

CASE: Coolmaster Storm Sniper Mid Tower (Looks cool + liquid cooling option for sound reduction)
CPU: I5/2500k 3.30 GHz OC
COOLING: Astek 510LLC Liquid Cooling
Mobo: Asus p8z68-V Pro
Memory: 8gb (4gb x 2) Corsair Vengence
Video Card: Either GTX 560 Ti EGVA super clocked/ SLI or single
SSD: 30gb boot or OCZ 120gb vertex. Is 30gb even large enough for windows / 2+ games? It would get too expensive to have a 120gb
Data: duel 1TB 7200 16mb catch raid 0
Power: 850 Watt Cosair Gold Power series

Let me know what you guys think or point me in the right direction. Much appreciated.
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More about first build 1500 gaming
  1. Typically when you have a boutique build it for you (which can be a good option), you customize the build based on a list of components they give you on their site.

    I recommend taking a look at Maingear and Puget Systems and customizing a build based on their offerings.

    Good luck :)
  2. Thanks, but those sites seem a little pricey compared to cyber power or i buy ... If i can be convinced to build my own system and the money I will save and the performance I will gain is substantially worth it, I am totally up for it.

    I'm really just deciding between 1 gtx 560 ti with a 128 gb ocz vertex or 2x gtx 560 ti with a 30gb boot
  3. You can probably build a system yourself for maybe $200 or $300 less than the same system from a boutique (ballpark estimate, and the difference is generally greater the more expensive the system). You'll want to factor in customer service, parts and labor that they provide in addition to building it for you (tested and guaranteed to work). Whether building yourself is worth the savings is a personal choice -- learning to build a system yourself can be fun, and gives you the skills and comfort level to upgrade and build again in the future, saving you money down the road. On the other hand, it can be time-consuming and frustrating if something goes wrong, and there are lots of little details that are easy for a new builder to miss (though there are great guides out there!).

    I personally favor a single graphics card setup with a 120gb SSD, for a few reasons. First, one gtx 560 ti should be enough for your current needs. Second, Windows will barely not fit onto a 30gb SSD with 8GB of ram, and you get the best value with 120/128GB SSDs (in terms of GB per $). Having 120GB will be great since you can install several games to the SSD, and benefit from highly reduced load times.
  4. Definitely build it yourself. If you have the time to work the extra hours to earn the extra money the boutique will charge you, you have time to read the tutorials.

    I second the 128/120GB SSD as well, and if you think next year you need more graphics muscle you can add a second card in SLI. And if you're going high end you might as well get another 8GB of RAM for cheap, it can help in some situations and you can use driver programs like Fancycache to enable some RAM to be used to cache your drives and reduce writes to your SSD
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