Need overall build help

Ok, so I'm considering a new build. I want to build a multi-purpose PC that I can use to play Battlefield 3(I've never been a PC gamer, but I love this game so much I want to play it on the best platform available), but mostly I want to use it as a HTPC and just to do some light(i mean very light)video/photo editing on it. Other than that, just your run of the mill everyday stuff you need a computer for-surfing the web, email, blah blah.

I need some help though. While I've used computers my whole life and trouble shot more than a few, I have never built my own system. I've done all your basic upgrades, but never pieced one together before. I particularly have a hard time figuring out what CPU and GPU I need.

I know I want a SSD for my primary drive. So any recommendations there for a good, reliable SSD would be greatly appreciated. I'm not a brand loyalist, so feel free to include whatever you want here. I've never had one, though, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to put one in this new build.

As for the CPU, my pockets are telling me to go AMD, but I have a few guys I know that game a bit on their PC's and they have told me time and time again that Intel is the way to go for gaming 9 times out of 10, but that I should always check to see where the best deal is. I've only had Intel CPU's my whole life, so I'm thinking I'll just stick with what works. But I could save a lot of money going the AMD route, and any little bit that I can save without suffering a performance hit will go a long way............both for my bank account and to appease my old lady. She can't stand the fact that I'm dropping another $1,200+ on a new machine. I think its funny and just shake my head.

The same thing is happening with the GPU. Like I said, aside from watching some Blu ray movies and doing some video/photo editing, I'm only planning to play Battlefield 3 on the machine. When I go to the's configurator they have this little rating thing for different games, and when I select BF3 I don't get a good rating for optimal settings until I hit something like a 2GB Radeon or something. Do I really need that much power for this game? I don't know since I've only gamed on consoles my entire life.

And then memory. Should I be thinking like 8GB or less, or would it help to have like 16GB to help run the game and the multimedia stuff? Are online games like music and photo programs that are super RAM hungry?

I guess my last question is whether I should build my own machine like I'm planning, or if I should just go ahead and go with a Dell or an HP or something like that. I really want to build my own, but if I'm going to get similar performance without a huge price increase I'd be more than happy to just buy from a larger manufacturer I can send the thing back to if it ever takes a steamer on me. Also, is ibuypower a good place to buy from? I built one hell of a system for about 1250 , but I'm worried about getting crappy, dead components from them. I've read mixed reviews about them, and I'm wondering if anyone here has any advice.

So thats it, and if you have read all of this, I thank you for your time. I could really use help. I don't want to waste money having to buy, and then re-buy. I've been saving up for about two or three months so I can buy this without credit as well, so I don't mind waiting for another month or two if there are some major improvements coming out.
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  1. Best answer
    Don't bother with ibuypower. I was in a similar predicament as you when I first decided to build my pc. If you have about $1000 dollars for a pc you can build a fantastic setup. You only need 9 things total~possibly 10 but I'll get into that in a bit.

    Since you're familiar with intel, might as well stick with it.

    $125-150ish Z77 Motherboard
    $180-220 i5 2500k (if interested in overclocking in the future) or an i5 2400
    $50 8gb RAM will be enough. You can always grab 8 more since it isn't really expensive.
    $25-60 A cd-rw or bluray drive.
    $50+ A computer case.
    $50-60 Get a good brand Corsair/seasonic/antec power supply 600watts would be good.
    $100 A copy of win 7 if you don't have one
    $260 A radeon 7850 should cover all your gaming needs.

    $100+ As far as an SSD, I originally built my computer without an SSD and used a 500gb HDD since I didn't have the budget at the time. Eventually I decided to pick up a Samsung 830 64gb SSD for my boot drive based solely on it's reliability and good reviews all around. I haven't had any trouble with it while my friend, who bought an OCZ agility, is enjoying his RMA process with them ATM because he wanted to save a couple bucks.

    Feel free to build a list on Amazon or Newegg since they have all you need for your parts. Cheers and good luck, feel free to ask away.
  2. Thanks so much. You've been a great help. Without even having a good idea where to start, all of this is surely going to help. Thanks again.
  3. This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
  4. Best answer selected by homiedontrightclick.
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