Where do I begin when building my first computer?

Hey everyone, I have always loved playing games, but now I'm at the stage where I want to build my own PC. I know the basics but I'm very new at building PCs. The reason I want to upgrade is because my laptop just isn't cutting it anymore. I can run games like Skyrim and Diablo 3 on lower settings but my graphics card is really holding me back (Intel HD Graphics), and I can't even start the game RAGE. I would like to build a computer that can handle most games on high settings. I am really just looking for some beginners advice and recommended parts. I will have help when it comes to actually putting the PC together from a friend that built his own last year.

Approximate Purchase Date: within the next month, i figure prices could be low here in the next few weeks due to after holiday sales.

Budget Range: ($1000 for now, flexible) After Rebates; After Shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Watching movies, Surfing the internet, photoshop. I'll use my laptop for school work and music storage.

Are you buying a monitor: Yes but i can use my old computer monitor in the mean time.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg, amazon, tigerdirect, any other trusted sites.

Location: O'Fallon, Illinois, US

Parts Preferences: Open-minded.

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: IDK

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050, Will upgrade to 1920x1080 when I buy a new monitor.

Additional Comments: Just want a computer that can handle long gaming sessions and will last for a long time, needs to be able to run most games on high settings.

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate any input
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  1. i would look at something similiar to this. that doesn't include the cost of a monitor or os. you could spend less on a case and probably find a cheaper psu on sale. you could replace the amd 7950 with something from nvidia like a 660ti.

    if you are not going to overclock you could get rid of the cpu cooler. you could also replace the 3570k with a 3470. depending how much you use photoshop you could get a 3770k for the hyperthreading but that costs $100 more. if you can afford it i would get a unlocked cpu so you don't limit yourself in case you decide you want to try overclocking in the future.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Amazon)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.20 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Intel 330 Series 180GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
    Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Total: $1027.11
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-23 18:52 EST-0500)
  2. good one
  3. This is a good place to start if you have'nt already read it.

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