Approximate Purchase Date: This week ~ 1 month. Hopefully in time for BF3, but if costs will drop from new hardware released... than I'm willing to delay, or if there are good combos right now I'll do it now.
Budget Range: $1000 ~ $1300 USD
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming(BF3, SC2 and others, but these 2 have the highest reqs), programming, video/image editing
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, Monitor
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg
Country of Origin: USA
Parts Preferences: Intel / Nvidia
Overclocking: Maybe, I have to do more research
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future
Monitor Resolution: 1280x1024, 1920x1080
Notes: I switch between a CRT monitor (1280x1024) and my Acer H243H, depending if I want to play my ps3 while computer's running. I may also buy a 50''-ish TV and hook desktop up to that occasionally for giggles if that counts for anything towards the GPU.
Additional Comments: Price and quality are big priorities, shouldn't have a problem with cooling as I don't plan on OC'ing much. I've been lurking on the forums here for about 2 months seeing what people are building around this price range and I think I have most of my parts chosen... but I've got a few questions about a few parts.
This will be my second custom built computer, my first one was... interesting, I had a little help from a friend who I thought knew his stuff but apparently let me buy an 800w PSU when I really didn't need it (my fault for not researching thoroughly)
Warning, lots of notes as I like to provide information to get a better understanding.
Notes: If I don't OC the CPU, I can just go with the regular I5 2500 and save some money there.. Is there a noticeable difference between stock 3.3GHz and OC'ing to somewhere around 4.0Ghz or whatever people do nowadays? (I've never OC'ed before if you can't tell)
Note: I've read on a lot of posts that 8gigs is overkill, or future proof. Reason I want 16 is because I plan on doing development work (programming) and learning how to do video/photo editing, specific programs are UDK / blender / GIMP. UDK "recommended" is 8gigs, and blender is between 8~16.
Notes: I really want the 580 for a single card GPU, I 'might' SLI in the future, but it seems if I don't do it within a year or 2, I might as well skip SLI because everything will be outdated?
Also, do number of fans matter? Like the mobo, I don't have a particular reason for choosing this vid card either, although the $20 MIR is nice. If multiple fans make a difference in cooling or better performance or whatever, I'd go with that.
most reviewed case, liking it. Problem is it doesn't have USB 3.0, I would really like USB 3.0 as I forsee myself transfering a lot of stuff between the machine and external HD's.
Reason I chose the HAF922 is the $10 MIR, the dust filters look good, 3 fans, and can turn off the red LED(no offence to those who like red). But it seems a lot of the bad reviews say there's broken plastic parts at the top, or broken top fan, or malfunctioning top fan after a couple months and that worries me. I need some help here in choosing a case.
If you won't OC, then yeah, step back to the 2500. You can stick with the stock cooler too.
This board has PCIe 3.0, so that if you upgrade to Ivy Bridge, you can upgrade your graphics card to something next-gen. If that is your plan, I would get something more cost-effective now than the GTX 580, like a Radeon 6950 or a GTX 560 Ti.
EDIT: Hah, Sky03 beat me to the motherboard. But I wouldn't say the F3 is the fastest mechanical hard drive, just the most popular because it's relatively fast and reliable. The 2TB Caviar Black is faster, for example, and any 7200RPM 3TB drive would beat it. But for the price, I would recommend the F3 as well.
I also like the Samsung drive, but the Western Digital "Black" drives are even better "unless you get a dud of course, which is rare". I would not choose the drive you had listed. Trust me, there is nothing like an SSD. The Crucial m4 is one of the best and at a very good price. Try to get DDR3 1600 or better RAM. The motherboard will support speeds above 1333.