$900-1200 Programming/Gaming Build

Approximate Purchase Date: Second half of Dec 2.011. Expected to be put together in January 2.012.

Budget range: $900-1300 (no rebates)

System usage: Programming, gaming, video editing

Parts not required: Keyboard, Mouse, OS

Prefered website(s) for parts: amazon.com, newegg.com

Country: Venezuela

Parts preference: Starting off with and Intel CPU & Chipset. Anything else that's compatible/optimized for those will do.

Overclocking: Yes (once I get my hands on a proper cooling system)

SLI/Crossfire: Yes (eventually)

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional comments: My first build ever. I'm intending to build a powerful, future-proofed, Intel-based rig that can be improved further whenever I get enough cash to do so.

Parts I have in mind right now:

Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4 GHz 8 MB CacheSocket LGA1155 Processor

My comments:
The i7 line caught my attention. Excluding the Extreme series, this seems to be the "Second" best Sandy Bridge CPU available right now. The difference between this one and the 2700k is insignificant as far as my rookie eyes can tell, so I might stick with the "cheapest" of the two. Thoughts?

Side note: My gut tells me I should just wait for Ivy Bridge and get one of those instead but by the time Intel releases
them, the chances of building my rig without exceeding the given budget will be gone. Sure, by next year I will have more money saved but then I'd have to spend nearly %50 extra on International Shipping fees. Yay for weird currency exchange restrictions...

Anyway. According to my research, the biggest downside of not waiting for IB is that I won't be able to take advantage of PCIe 3.0 (the 2600k doesn't support it afaik). Is there anything else I'm missing?

ASRock Z68 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

My comments:

Why I chose it:

LGA 1155 socket. Allows me to eventually upgrade to Ivy Bridge when I see it fit.

Z68 chipset. I don't have it too clear when it comes to currently available chipsets but this one looks solid enough and full of features since it combines the best of H67 and P67. SSD caching is a nifty extra that caught my attention even more.

PCI-e 3.0. With this I would be pretty much just leaving the door open here. My current choice of CPU doesn't support it and there are no PCIe 3.0 compliant GPUs on the market as of now. However, fixes for both issues are around the corner so it's just a matter of time (and some cash ofc) until this gets solved. The wait won't kill me.

I do feel that with this MB I would be turning myself into an early adopter of the new standard which, afaik, is still being worked on. This is where I'm doubtful. Once the final revision is fully released, I'm afraid I might lag behind with a shaky implementation of it. Should I wait?

Either a huge chunk of it @reasonable speed/bandwidth:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model

Or half that amount in exchange of higher speed/bandwidth (after OCing; Sandy Bridge tops @1333 on stock settings)

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL11D-8GBXL

Western Digital Caviar Blue 500 GB SATA III 7200 RPM 16 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Desktop Hard Drive - WD5000AAKX

My comments:
Decent enough. Good size, Sata III & 7200 rpm. Relatively small cache though, but that can be fixed by replacing it with a small SSD. That'd also give me a nice increase in performance. Too bad I can't afford something bigger/better but I'll manage.

Corsair Enthusiast Series 750-Watt 80 Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply Compatible with Intel Core i3, i5, i7 and AMD platforms - CMPSU-750TXV2

I just started to learn about the tidbits of PSUs but this looks like a quite reliable PSU for the buck. Not much to comment here for now.

SAPPHIRE 100328L Radeon HD 6770 1GB

Meh. Things were getting tight money-wise so I'm resorting to a mid-low discrete card for now. It's better than nothing for now.

Last but ot least:

COOLER MASTER Storm Enforcer SGC-1000-KWN1 Black SECC / ABS Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case ATX PS2

Big, durable, good-looking, water-cooling ready & affordable. Is there anything better?

The following parts will be bought next year so I'm holding off on picking candidates for at least 1-2 more months. Suggestions are more than welcome.

* Optical drive (BD Burner)
* Water Cooling system
* LED Full HD monitor

Well, that's it for now. Don't forget I'm a first timer on building rigs when commenting/criticizing/suggesting, so have mercy if you notice anything flawed in my choices/line of thinking.

Thanks a lot in advance guys.
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More about 1200 programming gaming build
  1. Depending how serious you area about video editing at the moment, you 'might' want to consider getting like a 120GB SSD for now instead of the HDD and getting a HDD once the prices come back down to an even remotely reasonable level in about 6 months.

    But this very heavily depends on your usage, but in many cases it would provide a much better bang for buck at the moment now that HDD prices have nearly triple due to short supply caused by the floods.
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