First Time Builder / Gaming / ~$1200

Ive always played computer games but never got much into the science behind it. I decided I wanted to build my own computer good for gaming (FPS and MMO) and checked into it. I started some research and found myself on Newegg until 5 am. Computer building seems really fun and interesting so Im working on a build right now and need some suggestions. Keep in mind I want to run games on decently high level graphics with good frames but Im not worried about seeing the sweat on the forehead of the terrorist im about to shoot across the map.
Budget wise max I'd like to go is $1200 (but the cheaper the better) cause I have to get a monitor, gaming mouse, etc.
Also a major thing with me is reliabilty, I do not want anything to break anytime soon. Vid card is understandable.

The processor Im pretty set on seems just right for my needs. Not flippin amazing but good. And I want the K cause im looking into overclocking and it sounds interesting.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

The memory is just some I saw on Newegg that seems to be priced good and had exceptional reviews. But I might go with 16Gb, not sure if its necessary and if its not let me know.

G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Video cards seem to be the hardest to learn about quickly. I dont know what makes them better or who makes the better ones but this is one I found that seemed nice and I think had good reviews. If its not enough for good gaming let me know. If I need to downgrade let me know also.

EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

The motherboard is where Im having the most trouble. I dont want to spend too much but I do want have decently good room for expansion for the next 3 or so years. Ive looked at a few and im a little torn between the P67's and the Z68's ive been looking at. If you have any other suggestions for high to mid end gaming that would be great.

This is what ive been leaning towards -> ASUS P8P67 PRO (REV 3.1) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Not sure between differences in Z68 and P67 besides QRS and i prob wont have an SSD -> ASUS P8Z68-V LE LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Another Z68 -> GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

As far ar hard drives go I can probably figure that out. Knowing who makes the good reliable ones would be helpful though. I dont need over 500GB and 7200 rpm is fine.

A case and power supply I think I can figure out. But I have researched nothing on power supplies so basic info would be good.

Any help is appreciated greatly. Id also like to know if Im going for too much or too little for a upper mid range gaming pc. Thanks

And im in the Southeast US.
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More about first time builder gaming 1200
  1. MB - GIGABYTE GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 - $123
    --There isn't any reason not to go with Z68 as it has all the P67 features, plus some additionals, at the same cost.
    CPU - i5-2500k - $220
    CPU Cooler - Hyper 212+ - $30
    GPU - XFX HD 6950 2GB - $250 after MIR
    --Nothing wrong with the 560Ti...
    MEM - Corsair CMX3 8GB DDR3-1600 CL9 - $30 after MIR
    --Avoid memory with tall heat spreaders to avoid any clearance issues with an aftermarket CPU cooler.
    HD - Seagate 1TB - $125
    --Stick with Samsung, Seagate or Hitachi (and in that order). Skip WD unless it is the Black edition.
    OPTICAL - LG Black 24X DVD-RW - $18
    PSU - XFX PRO850W - $90 after MIR
    --Antec, Corsair, XFX or Seasonic... 850w is sized large enough to handle a second GPU if you decide to go CF / SLI down the road.
    CASE - Rosewill Challenger - $50
    OS - Windows 7 Home Premium x64 - $100

  2. nice post from sadams, a couple quick things to add:

    1) 16GB RAM is definitely overkill. 8GB is plenty.
    2) both the 560Ti and 6950 will be quite good for gaming. however, if you're building for longevity, an upgrade to a 570 or 6970 might be worthwhile. either card should perform well for the life of your computer.
    3) i personally would recommend dropping down to a ~650W power supply unless you really expect to add a second graphics card later. in my experience, people don't crossfire/SLI down the road nearly as much as they think they might. as far as the PSU itself, sadams' brand recommendations are spot on, but be sure to read reviews as some specific lines (the corsair builder series comes to mind) are a bit suspect.
    4) i would strongly consider adding a solid state drive in the 128GB range, to hold your operating system and some games. the difference in speed is astounding.
    5) do you need a monitor? copy of windows?
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