I've built the last two PCs I've used, but I'm far from an expert - basically I just follow the discussions and user ratings at NewEgg, then put the pieces together like a Lego set. So far I've been lucky.
Sometime in January I will finally be able to upgrade from my poor old rig that's lasted me for 6 years. It came out a bit more expensive than I was thinking ($1,784 - I was thinking around $1,500, though I can go as high as $2,000), plus I want to make sure I'm not buying anything incompatible with other components, so I'd like to post it here and get some feedback from those who live and breathe this stuff.
Approximate Purchase Date: February 1st, 2012 Budget Range: $1,500-$2,000 System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Streaming Movies/TV Parts Not Required: None - I want to finally replace everything. Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg.com Country: USA Parts Preferences: I've had good luck with Asus mobos and Intel chips, but I'm open to anything as long as it's solid. Overclocking: Doubtful (I've never bothered before, so probably won't in the future). SLI or Crossfire: Not really sure. Monitor Resolution: Anything over 1440x900, which is what I'm at now. Additional Comments: Just looking for solid components that will assemble well and play together nicely, and a case large enough I don't have to have children's hands to get things installed.
Accessories: Keyboard, Mouse, Arctic Silver Thermal Compound, etc. Guess I might need a SATA cable or two.
Those are my initial thoughts, based primarily on NewEgg user reviews. Total final cost is $1,780 - which concerns me a little, mostly because it is higher than almost every single recommended build in the Recommended Builds by Usage thread, so I imagine I'm doing something wrong (though those systems don't have a monitor, OS, or peripherals).
It also seems like I should maybe get a SSD drive for boot, and reserve the 2TB HDD just for storage?
Very much appreciate any and all pointers - thanks for reading!
Mobo: That's one hell of a mobo. You can definitely cut some cash here. The z68's are the way to go if you are looking to upgrade in the future, and are more user friendly when it comes to overclocking. I don't think there is a need to spend over $180 on a motherboard though. I like what ASRock is putting out right now http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (175)
CPU: the i5 2500k is the best bang for the buck ever as far as a cpu goes, good choice (220)
Monitor: could cut back to a 20" monitor and save $100. I personally use a 19" Hanns-G that has been plenty for me. If you prefer the larger screen size than go with the one you have selected, it's a good monitor at a good price. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (100)
Optical Drive: Currently have that one and it performs its job with no problems.
Why cheap out on the graphics for a gaming rig with a max budget of $1500-$2000 you should easily be able to relegate around $500 to the GPU budget where it will tangibly count the most in a gaming rig.
16gb isn't needed on a gaming system - you can save ~$90 by going with 2x4gb set (Gskill is a good choice though). If you really want 16gb, do 4x4gb and you'll still save $35-40.
Buy a smaller HDD for now (or wait for those drives to go down) - before the flooding in Thailand, that was a $70 drive. I imagine once all the production facilities are back online, it will be again.
I highly recommend using those savings to up the GPU and/or get an SSD (something in the 100-120gb range if you want to put at least a few games on it - 50-60gb for just the OS). I'm a big fan of SSDs for boot times and overall snappiness.
HDD: WD Caviar Green 750GB IntelliPower SATA 6.0Gb/s - Bare Drive http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136950 Dropped down from a 2TB HDD to 750GB. Though my current machine has nearly 680GB of used space, I think the single 750GB will be plenty until a little further down the road when I buy a second one.
So, in an unbelievable stroke of good fortune, my roommates snagged my original list (OP, above) and actually ordered everything on it for my birthday/Christmas (same day!). I was floored, to say the least.
A couple of things though. First, I'll still need to wait until I order myself a SSD boot drive, as that wasn't on the original list (and I don't want to be arsed with building the thing now and then replacing the boot drive later). Second, the video card is the originally listed EVGA SuperClocked GeForce GTX 560 1GB, not the newly chosen MSI GeForce GTX 570 1280MB. Again, I think I'll just stick with it for now, and possibly upgrade the GPU in the New Year.
My main question though is the PSU - instead of the Corsair 850W from my OP, they inadvertently got a Corsair 750W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...). I'm not sure whether it's enough to power all the components from my OP comfortably? Or should I get a 850W when I order my SSD boot?
I decided, after all, to return/exchange the PSU (not because of W, but because the 850W is modular cable and the 750W isn't) and the GPU. I also went ahead and ordered a 128 M4 SSD for boot on my own (and a Hyper 212+ cpu cooler).
All I have to do is avoid bricking the thing during assembly and I should be one happy fella.