i am working on spending between $1000-$2000 on a gaming PC for myself. i was wondering if these specs are ok. my main thing is the graphics card being up to date and can handle games such as battlefield 3 and other games such as that. are these specs okay?
Microtel Computer® TI9081 Liquid Cooling Gaming Desktop Computer with Intel 3.4GHz i7 2600K Processor, 16 GB DDR3/1333, 2TB Hard Drive 7200RPM, 24X DVDRW, Nvidia N550 GTX-TI 1GB GDDR5 Video Card, TZ68 Chipset, Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full Version CD - 64 bit + WiFi
To answer your question: Yes, the computer will game at moderate settings.
However, this is a serious waste of money.
Games do not use hyperthreading, so stick with an i5 processor of the 2000 or 3000 varieity. K means it can overclock, without the K means that what you get is what you got. An easy overclock with a $30 cooler will get you to 4.5GHz, and if you really know what you are doing (and get lucky with your mobo/chip selection) you can hit 5GHz.
There is very little price difference between 1333 and 1600 RAM, and when on sale the 1600 can even be cheaper than 1333. 4GB of ram is plenty for most people, 8GB will get you some future proofing, 16GB is overkill for gamers, but not enough for doing video editing, 32GB is enough for moderate video editing and other memory heavy applicaitons, 64GB is only needed for ultra high end builds doing lots of media work. Always buy RAM in sets of 2 or 4 (or 6 or 8 if your mobo allows for it). For stability and future upgradeability only purchase 2 sticks of ram. For intel rigs make sure to purchase 1.5V ram.
For a $1-2K build I would consider a GTX670 graphics card, with an option for a 2nd one down the road. The cost of a 680 is not justifyable. If planning to do tripple head or 3D gaming I would stick with AMD for the GPU as they scale better on performance for multi-screen rigs, and have easier compatibility for 3D monitors. Otherwise stick with nVidia as their drivers are better, and the products run cooler.
Get a quality motherboard (ASUS) with a z77 chipset in the $120-200 range that has features that you want. Remember that mobos help with features, longevity, and overclocking, they do not effect the speed of the computer (well, unless doing massive overclocking).
Power Supply (PSU) should be ~700W for SLI, 500W for a single card. 80+ Bronze should be a minimum requirement, silver or gold are a nice plus, but not a necessity. Corsair makes some great power supplies
Case: Get something you like, but make sure it has a bottom mount power supply slot, and 120mm (or larger) fan slots. 80mm fans are noisy and do not push air very well. You want at least 1 front fan, and 1 rear exhaust fan, anything else is gravy. Personally I like Fractal Design and Corsair cases, but there are several other good manufacturers if you like something a little more flashy.
Audio: onboard audio is pretty good these days, optical output is great if paired with software like Creative's MB2 suite, but can be dry if used plain. Avoid Creative sound cards as they are overpriced and buggy. Stick with ASUS if you want dedicated autio
wireless: If you need wireless (I suggest wired though) then look at ASUS. Linksys use to be great, but is now crap. I have heard good things about Netgear lately, but I have had bad expierences with them in the past.
With your budget you should absolutely get a 240GB (or larger) SSD for your system drive. I have had good luck with OCZ, and am highly impressed with Mushkin, but Corsair, Intel, and Crucial is better quality stuff.
If you need more space then consider a RAID1 of 2 HDDs (1TB or larger). This will give you a relatively secure place to put your large documents, and a backup of everything else. I like Seagate for my HDDs, but am looking at Samsung for my server. Cheap Seagate drives can be noisy, so get 5900RPM drives which will be much quieter, or spend extra for the more expensive Seagate drives with will have less whine without sacrificing performance. Large Samsung drives are 5900rpm by default, and are pretty quick for their lower spindle speed, specificly the F4 is pretty good, but rumors are saying that some of the current drives are rebrands and not true F4 drives, so buyer beware.
CPU cooler: If running stock then the stock heatsink is fine, but if OCing at all (and it is so easy why wouldn't you?) then consider a Hyper 212+ or EVO. The + is the stock version. The EVO has a quieter but less airflow fan, and also includes clips to add a 2nd fan (a feature I love on mine, replaced the stock fan with 2 even quieter Enermax fans). Water cooling can be fun, but is really for the quiet factor, not the extra cooling, and it is always more expensive than an air cooler.