My friend and I are both looking into building computers this summer, we want to know where to get started component wise in order to run most modern games, he has a bit more money to spend on his as noted below...
Approximate Purchase Date: this summer, just want to get ideas on where to start
Budget Range: $500-600, $700-800 for my friend
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching YouTube etc., Schoolwork
Are you buying a monitor: Yes
Parts to Upgrade: everything, we literally are building from scratch
Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: No preference, wherever i can get it cheapest in the US
Location: CA, USA
Parts Preferences: I like Intels but I'm open to AMD, again, its all price dependant
SLI or Crossfire: No
Your Monitor Resolution:None right now, whatever we can get with the price we set
Additional Comments: We'd like to be able to run newer games (i.e. AC3 and Far Cry 3) and that's about it, not using them for any video processing/recording or photo editing. Basically, we want the most powerful gaming PCs we can get for our price ranges.
And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: We want gaming computers, I have a laptop but its built for schoolwork more than anything else.
I don't see how to squeeze in a better video card without a larger budget but this card can game at 1080p with some settings turned down.
Total price before taxes/shipping/mail-in rebates: $596.91
(click to enlarge)
EDIT: Oh right if you're not buying to the summer this could all be meaningless because Intel will be close to having their next gen Haswell chips out and nVidia and AMD could have the 7xx/8xxx series out by then rendering this stuff obsolete.
^what he said. This summer is a LONG LONG LONG time away in tech years. By then a whole new generation of stuff comes out making everything from this "era" a bit cheaper. If you are waiting that long, just keep an eye out but don't make a build yet.