I have never built a computer before, and am completely lost on where to start in terms of picking parts and what exactly to buy/spend the most amount on. I'd appreciate any help on getting this done very soon, as I'm looking to have it built before or around the release of SW:TOR and would like to be able to play it on Ultra (if that is possible). I'm also looking forward to the release of D3 and other games that should be able to easily run on their highest settings.
Thanks A TON in advance, as there is no way I'd be able to do this alone in this short of time!!
Approximate Purchase Date: In the next couple of days/ the sooner the better (hopefully tomorrow)
Budget Range: $800-$1000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming mainly, with little web surfing and movie watching
Parts Not Required: keyboard
Additional Parts Required: mouse, monitor, speakers (possibly; I already have cheap ones from a while back), a wireless card (I could use ethernet, but that'd be a slightly bigger hastle), Operating system, any other suggestions (since I'm building this from scratch with no prior PC for years)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NEWEGG!, Tiger direct or Micro Center (have both near my house), or any other suggestions
Parts Preferences: the only preference I have is that i'd like i5, since i've heard great things about them
Overclocking: Maybe (not too familiar with overclocking)
SLI or Crossfire: I have no idea what these are
Monitor Resolution: I don't currently have a monitor; need suggestions on something great to go with the system
Additional Comments: I'll also need to buy an OS cd, I'm guessing, since I've been using a MacBook Pro 17" (2009) for the pass couple of years, and haven't been in the Windows world for quite some time.
Additional Concerns: Am I going to need to purchase any sort of tools, etc. in order to piece it together?
Microcenter is probably your best bet for the CPU, even with taxes their prices beat others by a good margin.
If they are running some kind of CPU + Mobo deal then those are good as well. I for example got $40 off of my mobo when I got it from there.
But they are not running that one all the time.
On your budget the i5 2400 is probably the way to go. Although you won't be getting a very fancy motherboard.
Since gaming is important to you, try to get GTX560Ti or Radeon 6950 1GB to fit into your budget. Both are in the $190-220 range after rebates and will run your games at 1920x1080 with high settings, in some cases max. GTX560 or 6870 are cheaper alternatives and still provide a nice gaming experience.
However to be realistic and looking at that you need everything there is only about $700 or so left to put together the actual machine.
While $300 will go to Win7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM ( $99 unless there is a sale or you are a student in which case that would be great since students get it for like $30 ) A reasonable monitor 20-21.5" FullHD LED Panel with 1920x1080 resolution ~$120-150. And about $50-70 for the mouse and wireless card.
Overall this wouldn't be an issue if the HDD prices weren't 2.5-3x what they were in the summer.
Thanks for the response, rvilkman! This is much appreciated. I am a student, actually, so I guess that knocks $70 off of the price of Win7 (if that helps at all). Maybe that could go to upgrading the CPU to i5 2500...? The wireless card is also unnecessary at the moment.
I will definitely be checking out Micro Center tomorrow. Do you suggest I check specifically for the parts you listed there?
I'm also very willing to upgrade this machine as I go in the coming months (I can put in a few $100s every couple of months), so it may be more worth it to get a better MOBO for this purpose. Any thoughts on that?
If you are going the upgrade route then yes, get a better Z68 based mother board and leave out the graphics card for now.
MSI Z68A-GD65 G3 is good, but quite a bit pricier than the one i said. There is something in between too Z68A-G45 G3 or something like that which supports SLI/Crossfire.
If you want the best bang for buck, the i5 2500k is the way to go. Since you can also overclock it with an aftermarket HSF.
And the chip graphics are nothing to write home about, but they allow low settings gaming, so maybe get all the rest now and graphics card on the next round in a month or two.
As for the screen, i just pointed something that fits the budget, if you have more money feel free to splurge on the component you think you need most.
Check prices and availability between the stores, most likely 80% of the stuff will be cheaper from newegg than from microcenter.
Ok you aren't overclocking. Cross out P67 and Z68 boards.
You don't SLI. So you don't need a huge case nor a ATX Motherboard.
Best bet: Save money on motherboard by going for a H67 or H61 m-ATX board and a mATX Case.
To save more money: Core i3 2120
Graphics Card: Monitor dependant. For a 1920 x 1080 I'd suggest a GTX 560 Ti
Anything smaller and ATI 6870 will be fine. Get a pre-overclocked card since you arent going to overclock.
Processor: Intel Core i3 2130
Motherboard: Asus P8H67 V
Graphics Card: Gainward GTX 560 Ti Phantom 1Gb
Memory: Corsair 8Gb 1333Mhz
Hard Drive: Seagate 500Gb
Power Supply: Corsair CX500W