Building a new Gaming Rig (under 1000); New to building

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

Country: U.S.

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?
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  1. 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.

    CPU: i5 2400 ~149.99 + tax prolly in the $165 range.
    Mobo: MSI Z68A-C43 Gen3 $99
    Memory: Gskill ripjawsX 2x4GB 1.5V CAS9 1600Mhz $29.99
    GPU: Gigabyte GTX560Ti $234.99 ( before $20 MIR )
    HDD: WD Blue 500 GB
    DVD: Asus 24x Writer $18.99
    PSU: XFX Core Pro 650W $89.99 ( before $30 MIR )
    Case: Antec 300 Illusion $49.99 ( before $10 MIR )

    Monitor: Acer 21.5" LCD LED FullHD $129.99
    OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM $99.99

    Total: ~$854 + $165(CPU) before rebates ~$950 after leaving you the $50 to get a mouse and wireless card
    the wireless cards run about $20-30.

    I'm sure some better deals can be found, but there is a decent machine that will not support SLI/Crossfire, but will run games at nice settings at 1920x1080.
  2. 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 also came across this monitor with descent reviews (Acer 23"): , maybe the $20 cut from the OS could go towards the bigger screen?

    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?
  3. 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.
  4. Anyone else have any suggestions? I had hoped I would have already decided on anything, but I am still confused as to exactly what to order or what should be modified of what was already suggested.
  5. 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

    That is my build at $700
  6. So this is what I've come up with so far.

    MOBO: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s [...] 7bib64anqo $209.99

    CASE: Cooler Master Computer Case RC-692-KKN2 [...] k-c1001-20 $83.29

    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti Superclocked 1024MB GDDR5 PCI-Express 2.0 Graphics Card - Lifetime Warranty 01G-P3-1563-AR [...] B004KZHRAM $241.50

    Monitor: ASUS 23" VH232H [...] 0vb9hisgrk $149.99

    CPU: i5 2500K [...] id=0354589 $191.24 in store (Microcenter) after tax

    RAM: CORSAIR VENGEANCE 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 240-pin 1.5V [...] 37v160ila1 $39.99

    PSU: CORSAIR ENTHUSIAST TX750W ATX 12v v2.12 [...] 6817139021 $104.99

    OS: WIN 7 OS 64bit [...] 6832116986 $99.99 with tax (can't get student discount)

    FAN: Cougar CF-V12HP Vortex Hydro (4pin power connector) [...] lcwj06xikn $17.99'

    Total: $1125

    HDD: I have no idea what to go with

    DISK DRIVE: No idea which to get as well

    OTHERS: Is there anything else I'll need in order to build or whatnot?

    So, now, I'm about $100 over budget, what should I cut back on and what should I do about HDD and my Disk drive?
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