I'm looking to build a new PC and I'm not really sure what parts to select and most of the budgeted builds don't include an OS which I need to purchase.
Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Within 2 weeks
Budget Range: ~$550 with a possibility of $600 if it would really help.
System Usage from Most to Least Important: I intend to play Starcraft II and watch some HD content and movies. I do some work in Photoshop and Dreamweaver and run some large data sets in Stata, Matlab and Excel.
Are you buying a monitor: No
Parts to Upgrade: Don't have any spare parts.
Do you need to buy OS: Yes, I'm not sure whether to get windows 7 or 8 and whether to get an OEM.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon or Newegg
Location: Berkeley, CA (note that they closed the local microcenter last July)
Parts Preferences: I would like to get something that I could upgrade in 2-3 years
Overclocking: Not at the moment
SLI or Crossfire: I don't fully understand if this would be useful for me, so probably not.
Your Monitor Resolution: 22" HD Monitor, I think its 1920 x 1200.
Additional Comments: I could go a tiny bit over budget for a sweet case. If there is a really cool looking while still practical case I'd like that. Also, I would like to use an SSD for the boot drive if that will fit within my budget as I don't intend on using too much disk space and I may be able to afford an HDD a few months down the road to use as a secondary storage drive.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I haven't bought a computer since Windows XP was the cutting edge OS.