The new Gaming Series PCs from HP seem to be cheaper than building your own PC. The HP H9-1355 is $1,299 and you get a water cooled i7 3770, 2TB hard drive, 12GB memory, wireless, Blu ray drive, 4 USB 3.0 and 8 USB 2.0, AND 7770 2GB, and Beats audio. I contacted HP and they have quality 600w PSU in the system and with Windows included.
I tried looking on newegg to build one from parts and it was actually more expensive than HPs, so much for saying building is cheaper now.
I agree with anonymous1. If you can reuse parts from a previous build then you may be able to do a bit better then the HP. Although, the copy of Windows typically skews everything in favor of the prebuilt $ for $, but it will be OEM so no transfer.
What you're not getting with that system is a K series i7, which mean no overclocking and potentially a case, power supply, and MB with proprietary portions that can not easily be repurposed in future builds.
A big plus for the HP over home built is support and a nice warranty.
CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer 81.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($66.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V PRO ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($208.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
I just put the i7 and a watercooler for price comparison, i doubt the watercooler that hp has is as good as this one, it has plenty usb 3.0 ports and sata ports, wifi, sli/crossfire, 660ti which is much better than the 7770, and a case i doubt the hp one is better and psu the same thing, total : less than that (and that is newegg only, if with other sites for parts you can get a 670 gtx.)
better performance in games for around the same amount. add in a $20-25 card reader, ~$50 wireless adapter, a $60-80 tv tuner and some cheap $20-30 keyboard+mouse combo, and you got some room to wiggle in a beats headphone.
or actually stick to what's practical to your needs in gaming, and you just saved up a few hundred dollars. maybe spend that on a better GPU or an SSD for more performance.
You have to keep in mind. Closed loop water coolers suck, air is better/quieter/cheaper. And I7s make zero sense for gaming computers. 12GB of memory makes no sense. It should be 8 or 16. A 7770 in a $1300 rig is ridiculous. For that price you should have a 7970. Really you can do so much better. And get 3year warranty on the parts from the manufacturer.