NOTE: I posted here a few days ago but failed to read the posting guidelines and build suggestions, so i closed the thread and am restarting hopefully on better footing. No i didn't copy paste the guidelines but i did answer all of the questions below (i hope).
Alright here's what i got. I'm building this (my first) desktop computer cuz i'm sick of underpowered - overpriced laptops that only last 2-4 years. 2 weeks ago i knew nothing about computer hardware, though i've always been into computers. I want this baby to GAME (BF3, rift) on ultra settings with no lag issues and especially no cooling issues. I run CAD software as well.
Budget: up to $1200 give or take $100
DO NOT INCLUDE IN BUDGET: keyboard, mouse, windows 7, microsoft office, monitor, speakers.
CONCERNS: part compatibility. buildability (big concern). cooling (big concern). bottlenecking. I'd really like an i7, and i'd really like to save some money on the motherboard (big concern). Will everything fit in my case? (big concern). SSD firmware/integrity
Approximate purchase date: July 28 in USA, build in USA, use in USA
PROBABLY overclocking, don't want the desktop to lack in performance ever. Want it to last a long time. I am not looking to do multiple graphics cards so NO SLI or Crossfire or whatever.
Any commonly bought-from website...NewEgg NCIX Amazon etc...
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth Z77 ($239 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($95.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Twin Frozr 3GD5/OC Radeon HD 7950 3GB ($339 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master CM690 II ($69 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX Core Edition Pro 550 Watt ($73 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BC-12B1ST/BLK/B/AS Blu-Ray Reader, DVD/CD Writer ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Since your a first time PC builder, I highly recommend the Cooler Master CM690 II because you don't have to screw in hard drives,fully spray painted black inside and is quite roomy. If you just want to play Battlefield 3 on ultra you don't need A GTX 670. A HD 7950 will do fine. Why do you want a i7? If this computer is purely built for gaming then an i5 will do fine. If you use programs such as Photoshop and etc then the i7's hyperthreading will give you a boost. Have fun with your build.
The i7 and the GTX 670 are to ensure i will not have problems running games (or whatever i feel like running tbh) today or in 2 or 3 years at the highest settings. Plus i7s are just better in general...i don't really want to settle for anything second rate. I don't want to frequently swap out parts, i'll replace what stops being sufficient for my needs down the line. This is going to be my computer for a looong time. Obviously parts don't last forever; this way i only have to buy 2 or 3 parts every 3 years rather than a brand new laptop like i have been doing...
Only thing i'm willing to downgrade is the mobo.
An extra $20 for a case that's 160 sq. inch bigger than what i have? I have no idea how significant that is. I can live with screwing in stuff (built stuff before, just not a computer. I'd like to avoid power drills and saws and such though...) if it saves me $20 and IF the lost volume is negligible.