Trying to plan out my first build, ~$800 Gaming Build

I'm planning on doing my first build, and I could use some input. I've been researching components, but if anyone can give me guidance, that would be awesome.

Approximate Purchase Date: Can't build it for a few weeks, would it be cheaper to wait until after Christmas to buy parts?

Budget Range: ~$800 USD would be ideal, but I could go up to $900

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming, schoolwork/general use

Are you buying a monitor: NO

Parts to Upgrade: New build

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, but I should be able to get a discount through my university

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: preferably newegg/amazon/other bigger retailers, but I'm open to using any reputable sites

Location: Georgia, United States - I'm close to a Microcenter as well

Parts Preferences: I'm not really picky

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Playing Skyrim, Battlefield 3, and other similar games

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Made a transition from console to PC gaming, but only have a laptop with a nvidia gt520, so I'd like to try out a real gaming pc

Thanks for your help!
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  1. Yes it'll be cheaper to buy around Christmas/new year normally. Prices change so fast that I wouldn't get a parts list until a day or two at the most before you actually order. So ask again at that time otherwise it's just a waste of time.

    In general you'll be looking for these parts.
    i5-3570k (from microcenter).
    Motherboard, possibly ASRock or other Z77 motherboard.
    To keep costs down a Corsair CX500 PSU.
    Cheap optical drive.
    7870 GPU
    Case that you like around $50-75(depends on if you want a flashy or just plane looking one).
    CPU cooler- a hyper 212 EVO
    Then a WD hard drive 500GB to 1TB depending on what you need (I don't like the other brands).
    8 GB DDR3 1600 memory
  2. Basically: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/sD4M

    I don't like the MiR's, but it hits your desired budget after all is said and done. You can save a few bucks on RAM, but that ram is rated at 1.5v for 1866mhz. Same with the Motherboard, but, Asus is a top tier brand. I've heard good things about the case from some websites, but its definitely not flashy.
  3. Only problem with that is you should never recommend a PowerColor card they aren't known for being too good. These are all much better ones.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202010
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161404
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814125418
  4. I've had good luck with HiS cards myself. It's been a while since I've read a review on a Powercolor card though.
  5. Awesome, thanks for you help!
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