Taking the plunge, first time build

So I think I'm going to take the plunge and build my first system...

I've heard all the suggestions here about watching the newegg video's and others online. I've done my research on components, or at least somewhat, and watched through some tutorials online to see if I think it's do-able (although if I go through with it I'll put a lot more time into video's). I have a price point I'm trying to stay around, under $1000 including OS, and I think this is what I'm going with and I would love feedback. I have no immediate plans on overclocking (or ever) until I have learned more about doing so.

Here's what I'm looking at...

mobo: Gigabyte GA-z77-D3H
cpu: intel i5 3450
gpu: Asus Radeon 7870 1.1GHz
mem: 8Gb G. Skill Ripjaw 1600
storage: seagate 1tb 7200rpm
psu: pc power and cooling 600w 80 plus bronze
case: coolermaster elite 431 plus
with optical drive my total comes to about $808 on

Here are my noob questions...

- Cables? do all necessary cable's come with the specific components or do you have to buy certain cables separately?
- CPU cooling? if I don't plan on doing any signficiant (if at all) overclocking do I need a cpu fan?
- Win 7? I'll need to get a new version of Win7 since my previous version was from the previous manufacturer (is that what OEM means?). I'm seeing the full version is about $158... there's no way around that I'm guessing?
- What should I change, if anything, and why?
- From what I've read on this forum and elsewhere, an i5 with a better gpu is a better use of money than an i7 with a lesser gpu for gaming... is this accurate?
- An i5 3570 is about $35 more than the 3450 and scores slightly higher on passmark Would I notice the difference?

I'm not a complete dud, but I'm asking dumb questions because although I'm pretty sure I can handle a build, I've never done it before and I'd rather ask the dumb questions now than get halfway into my build and realize I have to order a certain cable or whatever. Anything else I should be considering? Also, is there a good tutorial or a forum specific to first-timers on Tom's Hardware I should be reading through?

So with a total (including OS for $150) I'm looking at about $950. I could have the exact same rig build by AVA Direct for $994. Outside of the pride involved and a part-by-part warranty (which I like the idea of replacing a single broken part instead of just sending the whole thing back to the manufacturer when 1 part is broken) what else am I getting out of this by building myself?

Thanks all, I've been ghosting this forum for a while now, finally joined up so looking forward to the feedback.
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  1. Best answer
    Most components come with all the cables yes. You can buy the oem version of windows for about 100 bucks. A gpu is important as most games utilize the gpu over the cpu. That is why you will get better performance with a cheaper cpu and a more expensive gpu. And most cpu's come with a cpu cooler in the box to install. Unless your over clocking in many cases the cpu fan that comes with the cpu is sufficient. Hope that helps.
  2. Best answer selected by slimgenre.
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