I've been lurking on this and other forums for a few months, finally getting close to pulling the trigger on the my first build in about 7 years. I'm close to settling on this mATX rig, which I plan to lightly overclock, nothing too extreme.:
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: within the month
Budget Range: $1000
System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, media consumption, video editing occasionally
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: All
Do you need to buy OS: Yes (Win8 for cheap)
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: best prices
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Overclocking: Yes (nothing too extreme)
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1200
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Replacing a 3 year old laptop with decent gaming ability for its time
A few notes:
1. I've already purchased the RAM ($30) and SSD ($60) for way less than pcpartpicker lists, and I plan to keep finding good deals... I'm nothing if not patient (and frugal)
2. I plan on buying the CPU and motherboard at Microcenter to take advantage of their insane prices, along with Win8 for $40
3. As the title mentions, I haven't totally decided on mATX vs ATX. I have a somewhat awkward desk with an 18.5" clearance where I'd put the computer, so the idea of a ~15" computer is appealing. Plus, I love the idea of reducing the number of pointless slots/bays/ports (I'll never SLI and the only add-on cards I can think of would be Wi-Fi or Sound).
That said, I could probably still be talked into ATX since there are a few shorter models that would give 1" clearance under my cheap desk, plus I haven't found the "perfect" mATX case ($100 for the Fractal Mini just doesn't sit right when I could get an Antec One or HAF 912 for a bunch less).
Other parts I've considered:
-Mobo: Maximus V Gene (mATX, best reviews but $70 more), Asrock Z77 Extreme4 (if I go ATX)
-Graphics: other makes of 7950 or various 660ti models. I don't want to go above $300 though, so I may swap the MSI for the Sapphire on sale right now for $270
-Power: I just want good quality with paying for too much power I'd never use, plus modular is appealing if I end up going mATX
-Case: Also considered Silverstone TJ-08 for mATX, HAF 912, Antec One, Corsair 300R, and InWin Dragon Slayer for ATX
What's everyone think? Should I go back to ATX? Am I crazy for going ATI over nVidia (I know this could start a flame war, not my intention).
And finally, is it worth waiting until Black Friday/Cyber Monday?