Parts Preferences: I prefer the video card and motherboard to be Asus brand. The other parts I do not have a high loyalty to. I have been with AMD for the past 4 years and they have served me well. 5 years with Intel Pentium 4 before that.
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe (let's go with no for now)
Monitor Resolution: 1680 x 1050 (new monitor suggestions welcomed, but do not include as part of budget)
Additional Comments: I want it to be upgradeable in the future if I choose to (within the next 2-3 years, but you never know what will come out), able to function well in the future with new games and software that comes available as well. I currently have a system built 4 years ago that is perfectly functional, but I feel it's time for an upgrade (parts for my current motherboard are not available).
My current thoughts are on these parts:
Asus EAH6870 DC/2DI2S/1GD5 DirectCU AMD Radeon HD 6870 Chipset (915MHz ) 1GB (4.2Ghz) GDDR5 Dual Display DVI/DisplayPort PCI-Express 2.1 Graphics Card (179.99)
Asus P8Z68-V/GEN3 Socket 1155 Intel Z68 Chipset Dual-Channel DDR3 2200(O.C.)*/2133(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1600/1333/1066 MHz 2x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 1x PCI-Express 2.0 x16 GLAN 8-CH High Definition Audio 4x SATA 3.0Gb/s 2x SATA 6.0Gb/s 4x USB 3.0 DVI/VGA/HDMI Bluetooth v2.1 ATX (179.99)
Intel Core i5-2500K Quad-Core Socket LGA1155, 3.30Ghz, 6MB L3 Cache, 32nm (Retail Boxed) (BX80623I52500K) (229.99)
Corsair Gaming Series 600W 80PLUS Certified Power Supply Power Supply (CMPSU-600G) (79.99)
Crucial (CT128M4SSD2) 128GB SSD m4 2.5" SATA 3 6Gb/s Solid State Drive Read: 415MB/s , Write: 175MB/s (159.99)
Hitachi Deskstar 5K3000 2TB 3.5" SATA3 6Gb/s 32MB Cache OEM (0F12117) (139.99)
Antec P280 Performance One Series Super Mid Tower (104.99)
Corsair Vengeance Low Profile 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600MHz CL9 1.5V DIMM (CML16GX3M4A1600C9) (89.99)
This build totals around $1300 after taxes and rebate. Some parts were on sale and the prices reflect that in the brackets, others were not on sale. If possible, if you find better parts to replace them or suitable substitutes at a lower rate but with the same or close to the same quality, please suggest it. The case and RAM are subject to change if I find a better deal/sale on them.
I could live without the SSD, but I would love to have one incorporated into the build; I know that makes it even harder to stay under budget.
Let me know what your thoughts are on this build, whether there is a greater improvement for a little more ($10 range) or ways to save money on it. I was told the i5 2500k was the best processor out there right now for something of this budget.
Shipping rate will not be included of the budget.
**Forgot the DVD/CD Writer, anything decent will do. Video card improvement suggestions up to $75 from where it's at is plausible.