System Usage from Most to Least Important:Work (Transcrbing physicians dictations into electronic records.) School, Multi-tasking (Lots of internet windows, music, low-end games.) Gaming
Parts Not Required: Keyboard, Mouse, OS, Monitor, (Monitor is a 32 inch LCD TV. Not sure of the resolution, but I can edit this post once I get home.)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Any, I prefer to shop from one single source.
Country: United States of Ameriac
Parts Preferences: Considering using a SSD either as a primary drive or an accesory drive.
SLI or Crossfire: I honestly dont know what this is.
Monitor Resolution: I think that it's 1920 X 1200, but I'll have to get back on that one.
Additional Comments: I don't need a high end PC, but I would like to option to play a variety of games. I do heavy mutli-tasking, but very few CPU intensive tasks. My computer is basically an all purpose machine. It's a bit of a home theatre, it's a bit of a jukebox, it's my work station and my leisure station. Since I spend the majority of time infront of my computer, I am flexible on the budget. Value is the key.
I'm also trying to study coding and electronics. I have no idea what the demans of running code on a computer are, so just keep that in mind.
This is my first build, and I like to consider myself computer savvy. With that said, however, what I know could fill a glass. What I don't know could fill a bucket.
You have a few routes you could take with this:
1) Dual-core i3 + Better GPU (~560Ti) - better at games, not as good with CPU-intensive applications
2) Quad-core i5 (~2400) + Medium GPU (560/550Ti) - lower game performance, but better work capabilities
3) Quad-core i5 (2500K or better) + Low power GPU - poor game performance but great for CPU-heavy work applications
It sounds like most of what you'd be doing will eat up RAM as opposed to your CPU, so the i3 + 560Ti would be my choice for your budget. You'll get great game performance (your TV is a max of 1920x1080 resolution), and your work will run normally.
As for your coding, it depends on the complexity. If you're a full time dev, I'd suggest a low end quad core because you'll benefit from the extra cores. If it's more of a hobby, I'd start with an i3 and consider and i5 upgrade if your work requires it.
If you want to "feel out" your usage, you could get the appropriate CPU for you and a H67/z68 motherboard for the integrated GPU. If you decide you need a GPU, you can add it later, and you'll have a better idea of what you need (medium vs. high-end).
I apologize for my lack of response to this thread. My computer at work crashed just as I attempted to post this, so I was under the assumption that I had never posted anything! That is, until I got an e-mail saying I let a thread go inactive. With that said, I'm unable to review your suggestions currently. I'll be able to check out the information this evening or tomorrow, and thanks for your replies!