Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com is my go-to
Location: Kirkland, WA, USA
Parts Preferences: I prefer Intel and Nvidia over amd as they seem to have fewer driver compatibility issues with new games.
My current case is an Antec 900 and my PSU is an Antec Neopower 650. I've done some research and put together a tentative replacement parts list:
gpu: gtx 670
cpu: intel core i5-2500k
mobo: asrock z77 extreme4 (I'm not exactly sure what I should be looking for in a mobo other than the right cpu socket and PCIe 3.0 for the gpu, although it sounds a z77 chipset would get the most out of the mechanical HD+SSD setup)
ram: 2x4gb ddr3 2133
ssd: ocz vertex 3
Overclocking: I plan some conservative amateur overclocking where I can, but it's not a focus. I put in the K version of the cpu so I can OC, but I haven't included an after-market fan because I'm not planning on trying to push it very far yet.
SLI or Crossfire: Not at the moment and not an essential feature, but it would be nice to have the option down the road.
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080
Additional Comments: I'm trying to make efficient use of my money to build a gaming computer that will last for a good amount of time. I don't necessarily need the latest and greatest, but I am willing to spend a little more now for parts that will last me a little longer later on. My main concerns boil down to:
Have I correctly picked parts that will work together?
Am I wasting money anywhere?
Can I improve the build anywhere without a significant price hike?
Will a gtx 670 last me significantly longer than something like a gtx 570, or will they both start to feel dated at around the same time? (I appreciate that this is speculative)
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: My current computer is 4-5 years old and its starting to show.
Thank you in advance, any help/criticism is much appreciated.
There is no need to spend that much on RAM. Faster RAM has little to no effect on your system. Faster RAM is really only helpful with overclocking.
Get the Asus P8Z77-V LK as your motherboard. Things to look for with motherboards are quality of capacitors, number of fan PCI-e and PCI ports, whether there is a PS/2 port, number of fan headers on the motherboard, is wireless/bluetooth built in, number of SATA II and SATA III ports, BIOS options, and overclocking potential.
The mobo would be about $30 dollars cheaper for me after bundling it with the cpu, so that's pretty nice. For my purposes the specs seem largely the same though, so are you recommending it because Asus has better manufacturing quality?
Could you recommend an alternate for the ram? Would this be a better choice?
So I built it, and so far everything works. I had a bit of trouble getting sound until I figured out my x-fi card doesn't have drivers that work well with windows 7. I also realized that my optical drive doesn't have the right kind of connector for my mobo, but I have an external dvdrw that's more convenient anyway (my tower is a bit hard to get at, so it's nice to have the optical drive on the desk).
Overall it only took a couple of hours to put together and went swimmingly. Thanks again for the help!