Caveat - I've picked up just enough to get myself into trouble and not enough to dust myself off...
Approximate Purchase Date: The sooner the better
Budget Range: Up to 2k$, though preferably between 1-1.5k$ (I get to shop on a Mac-sized budget )
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (WoW & DIII primarily), web browsing (I regularly run Firefox sessions up to ~2GB of RAM), multimedia
Are you buying a monitor: Not now (I run 1680x1050x2, but will undoubtedly upgrade at some point)
Parts to Upgrade: Everything except a storage hard drive & peripherals
Do you need to buy OS: No
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, TigerDirect, Amazon, Fry's, anything reputable and reasonably priced really...
Location: Mountain View, CA (Willing to drive up to an hour or so if it gets me an awesome deal, I have a Prius and a lot of spare time)
Overclocking: Probably not. I'd be starting from scratch and it seems like it wouldn't be worth the trouble for me.
SLI or Crossfire: Not currently, but potentially in the future - as I understand it, it's a great way to get a performance boost without "completely" replacing your GPU.
CPU - Yes, i7 is overkill for a mostly gaming machine, but it's what I've decided I want. Saving $ on not needing to buy a storage drive, OS, or peripherals in any case... 3770K seems to have a marginal speed boost over 3770, but is that worth ~70$ assuming I can get the 3770 for the discounted in-store price MicroCenter's running?
GPU - Leaning towards Nvidia, because WoW seems to like them better and that's what I play the most. GTX 670 seems to offer the best performance/price combo.
Motherboard - Less familiar territory here, running mostly on reviews and ratings. Want the option of running SLI later on, and like gobs of USB ports (I tie up 4 at bare minimum). Perfectly happy to be pointed in some other direction on this one.
Memory - Given the (comparatively) minimal increase in price, don't see a reason *not* to spring for 16GB rather than 8. Don't know enough to be sure how to weigh better speeds vs. better latencies - this page seems to suggest Ivy Bridge CPUs like faster speeds so I went with that.
Hard Drive - Don't need a storage drive, but I've been informed I ought to get an SSD. Most stuff will (of course) be dumped on the secondary or external drives, but I can think of ~30GB of "stuff" that'll end up on the SSD in addition to Windows so I snagged the drive listed here as a compromise between space and price.
Optical - Got a couple DVD burners for a second drive, but threw in what seems like a decent Blu-ray burner for potential future use (cost increase was negligible over a Blu-ray reader, so why not?).
Case - Seeing a lot of neat looking cases, but for a first pick went with the one recommended inthe most recent case round-up. (Cross-referencing measurements from that round-up and Newegg's page for the GPU I'm look at makes it look like the card might be a tight fit - is that the case and/or is that going to be an issue?) Open to suggestions though, with a few restrictions... I want at least one USB 3.0 reachable up front, and the more of either flavor of USB the better. If it has a front panel door, it can only be top-half (desk support would block full doors) and preferably would open to the right (facing it). There is also the possibility of a cat sleeping on top of it, so if it has top-mounted fans they need to not include kitty bits in their diet.
PSU - 750W seemed a decent balance between current usage levels and a bit of padding for future-proofing...
CPU Cooler - I picked something modestly priced that I've seen in a few other builds around here, but again open to suggestions.
(Thanks in advance! )
The 3770K doesn't have the $50 off mobo deal microcenter is running. Yes, you've decided on i7, but I still suggest an i5. However, if you want an i7, get it. If you're just playing WoW and DIII, a 670 is a bit too much, since those games aren't that GPU intensive. Again, if you're just gaming 8GB is better. You won't even use 2/3 of that RAM gaming, so 16GB isn't needed. Willy you overclock? If so, get the CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO.
Other people buy giant SUVs or overpowered sports cars... Me? I buy hyperthreading. The 670 and RAM are aimed in part at hopefully ending up with a system that will last me some while. I've got the budget for the 670 (or the 680 for that matter, but meh) and doubling the RAM makes me happy and only adds around ~50$. Doubt I'll overclock, and pretty sure the i7 3770 can't even if I change my mind, but I'd already thrown on what looks to be that exact cooler already just to be safe (had some probable overheating issues with my current desktop recently).
Made a few changes based on feedback from friends-of-friends locally... They suggested a different brand of RAM, I said "Sure why not"; they suggested a couple SSDs they were familiar with through their work, I said "Sure why not".
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/bZXU <-- that's what I'm considering at the moment... Will everything I have there (including the Asus mobo listed above, had to add to the list as a custom part so it's not linked on there) work well together and not sit there in mocking non-functioning silence?