1st Time Builder - Moderate Gaming and Coding - ≤$900

First my needs for this.

1) Gaming. I am a moderate gamer, but I've been playing on laptops since 1999. I hate spending money, but I have finally convinced myself to spend money on a system.

2) Light coding. Mostly simple scripting and data analysis. I can do this on my 5 year old laptop fine, but for the sake of completeness.

3) You know, stuff... will viewing cat gifs strain this system?


I know I can always put a little more money in and get a little more performance, but the set-up as is basically as much as I can afford to spend UNLESS there is something which would grant a HUGE return for a minor increase in investment. My research says NO, but I'm not expert.

On the other hand, is there anyplace here where I'm over spending, and a drop in price would yield only a minimal decrease in performance?

One specific question about the MOBO. I find a lot of older articles that prefer the p67 chipset with this CPU, but that seems to have fallen out of fashion(?). Otherwise in seems to be that it's worth the extra ~$20 to go from z68 to z77.

Finally, any other comments, questions, or concerns!

Thanks for reading, and here's the proposed build!

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor from NCIX for $199.99.
-This seems to be the best bang for the buck in quite a few books.

CPU Cooler: Rosewill RCX-Z90-CP 92mm Long Life Sleeve CPU Cooler From NewEgg for $12.99.
-This addition is made more out of noise than cooling concerns. I don't have any plans to overclock right away. Do I really need this, OR, should I just spend a few bucks extra and get a CoolMaster Hyper 212 plus?

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard from NewEgg for $147.86.
-This brand, as well as this board in particular, seem to get good marks on performance and build quality. However, there are a number of similarly spec'd boards for less money. My thinking is, as a new builder, it's better to spend $25 dollars more for reliability, but maybe I'm just overly cautious.

RAM: Mushkin Enhanced Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model 996995 from NewEgg for $43.99.
-This ram seems well reviewed, and anything more than 1600 isn't worth the cost I'm told. Maybe this comment is where people are going to release the wolves, but the differences in comparably spec'd memory seems arcane and confusing to me, so this is maybe my least thoroughly researched pick.

Storage: Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive from NewEgg for $79.99.
-Drives are expensive right now, and I'd rather get something BIG ENOUGH for now, and upgrade later. With that in mind, I considered dropping down to 250GB, but the savings didn't seem worth it. I don't have a lot of music or movies, and they will probably stay on my current computer anyways.

GPU: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card (100314-3L ) from NewEgg for $169.99.
-I had originally planned this out using an XFX card with the same GPU for about $20 less, but that card apparently has terrible, loud cooling, whereas people seem happy with the sapphire.

Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case from Amazon for $49.99.
-There seem to be a plethora of good options for cases in this price range, and I have to admit I didn't go over them all with a fine toothed comb. But my thinking here is as follows... HAS: Usb 3.0 on front, DOESN'T HAVE: Goofy (imo) LED fans.

PSU: Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply from NewEgg for $54.99.
-"BUY A QUALITY BRAND" is what I keep hearing about PSUs. Antec seems to be that, and if I've done my research right, this should supply enough power. Plus I like the modular aspect.

Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD+/-RW Drive (Black) from Amazon for $17.99.
-It's an optical drive that has good reviews and is cheap. Am I missing any concerns?

OS: Windows 7 64bit from lots of places for $99.99.
-There's no reason to consider 32bit on a new build-- correct?

Monitor: Hanns·G HZ251HPB Black 25" 2ms X-Celerate OD 1080P Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 X-Contrast 15,000:1 DCR (800:1 typical) Built-in Speakers from ME.
-I already own this, but I am adding it here in the case that it might cause a hardware issue that I'm unaware of.


OK. THAT'S IT! Thanks for reading and any advice you might have!

*Addendum I'm not in a position to feasibly visit a microcenter store, although I'm aware that would save me about $50.
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  1. Oh, and via the suggestions at the top:

    Purchase Date: This week.
    Budget Range: Implicit above, explicitly 900 soft-max.
    Not Required: Monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers (headphones), mic.
    Preferred Websites: The cheap ones!
    Location: NYC, USA. No car.
    Overclocking & Crossfire: Neither for now.
    Res: 1920 x 1080
  2. The monitor will work fine. Look to make these changes.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.910000 $269.98 save: $10.00
    ASRock B75 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel B75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450

    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=B75%20Pro3 <----- another look at that board along with a link to the latest bios update

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0348766 $59.99 + .99 cents for shipping
    Antec High Current Gamer Series 520W ATX Power Supply

    This case down below comes with front 3.0 USB ports which is handy seeing how all these new 1155 boards come with a front 3.0 USB header. This case also has better size and cooling.

    http://www.frys.com/product/6977417?source=googleps $69.99 Free Shipping
    Antec Three Hundred Two Mid Tower Case

    http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GeForce-Mini-HDMI-Graphics-GV-N560OC-1GI/dp/B004KM49WO $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1 GB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 DVI-I x 2 / Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Graphics Card, GV-N560OC-1GI


    http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Mini-HDMI-Lifetime-Warranty-01G-P3-1561-AR/dp/B004K1EUWO $229.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping
    EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti FPB 1024 MB GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 2DVI/Mini-HDMI SLI Ready Limited Lifetime Warranty Graphics Card, 01G-P3-1561-AR
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