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First time build, spending internship money!

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February 5, 2013 6:15:25 PM

Hey everyone,

I am very new around here, but I am coming to some of the best people in the industry for advice. I am a Mechanical Engineering junior currently and will be spending my summer on an internship in DC, and my dream for a little while has been to build my own workstation/gaming PC. I have a Sony VAIO laptop right now, which is surprisingly dependable, but I just want to pick up a cool hobby this summer and be able to get just a little more out of a desktop PC.

I've been scouring the internet for about a week now just looking at advice on a first time build, what kind of things you actually need to have in a desktop. The advantages and disadvantages of overclocking. All kinds of stuff, and just yesterday I discovered the partpicker website everyone seems to be using and just think it's amazing. So I put a build together, it's missing components (i.e a cooling system, PSU, and a monitor) because I really don't know what I want, or should be looking for in those departments. But I was hoping that by posting it here I could get some advice.

So here is the build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/BAvz

I am looking for my computer to run some intensive engineering programs with relative ease, hopefully being able to be expanded in the future so this is more of an investment, and possibly most important of all I want to be able to play some of my favorite Blizzard games (SC2 and WoW) on some graphics setting other than low...

Thanks for all your help in advance, and I hope I can pass some wisdom on in these forums someday as well!

EDIT: I think I should also add that this summer I will finally be within about a 15-20 minute ride of a MicroCenter! So if that factors into any of your decisions I thought I'd bring it up, certainly brings a smile to my face.

EDIT:
Approximate Purchase Date: Starting now, project to be finished by end of May-June

Budget Range: 1200-1500 After Rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Engineering applications (Solidworks, Catia, MatLAB, LabVIEW), Gaming (SC2, WoW)

Parts Not Required: Need everything, but emphasis is definitely not on the mouse, keyboard, and speakers.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Anything reputable, as I said I can pick up MicroCenter items

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Leaning towards the Intel i7 CPUs, and full tower case

Overclocking: No

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Monitor Resolution: Preferably 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I want this to be a hobby PC, so any flashyness I can add to it would be nice, but I think the guts are definitely where the "showing off" can be done as well
February 5, 2013 6:20:53 PM

You don't have a PSU
Your motherboard won't let you overclock (need z77 chipset board)
your memory should be 1600mhz
on this budget an SSD should be included
February 5, 2013 6:40:39 PM

I'm thinking overclocking isn't for me since this is really my first build ever. Also I didn't add a PSU because that's something that I need to fill in my other components for first isn't it? I mean I don't even know what cooling unit I'm putting in it, PSU should be a few steps away.

Thanks for the reply though!
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February 5, 2013 6:52:46 PM

Get any good 600watt PSU. Get one from Antec XFX, Corsair, or Seasonic. If you aren't overclocking, get a non k series CPU. Don't get a biostar motherboard. They are lower quality.
February 5, 2013 6:59:48 PM

I understand that I shouldn't get a k series CPU if I'm not overclocking, but it's actually $70 cheaper for me to just get the k series from MicroCenter instead of going down to the regular 3770 and buying it from Newegg.

Does it make sense to have the k series just because it is cheaper? Is it actually a worse CPU than the regular?

And thanks for the heads up on the Mobo, I really don't know the brands I should be looking for or anything, I guess I'll read some more reviews on PartPicker.
February 5, 2013 7:03:18 PM

Reviews are biased and not really useful. Get a board from ASRock/ASUS/Gigabyte.

The k series CPU is great and if you are doing the bundle deal get it. Get an h77 chipset motherboard. Make sure its full ATX. Which microcenter are you close to? I will help you out.
February 5, 2013 7:18:03 PM

I'm going to be in Washington DC this summer so I have the Beltway/Rockville one in MD to go to or the Fairfax VA one. Both are an easy drive away.
February 5, 2013 7:19:11 PM

I go the the rockville one all the time. Its great. Also, making a build now that you wont buy until the summer is pointless because prices will be so different and new tech is coming out on all fronts.
February 5, 2013 7:25:59 PM

Hmmm... I did hear that a new line of Intel chips are coming this summer, but that seems a little too high end for me.

I'd say my time frame of this build is to hopefully be done by the end of May, and I'd like to pick up parts when they are on sale or discounted as best I can. So I thought starting early would be a great way to save some money on the budget and put it towards a nicer GPU.
February 5, 2013 7:42:47 PM

You'll want to buy everything at once, or you'll want to buy pieces upgrading your current system. The reasoning, is if you don't put it all together you can't tell if it works. If it doesn't work, you want to return, not RMA. My 2 cents. I'd say be ready to buy within a week or two when you want a build. Things change too often (hell, I started last week, and the price of several pieces changed during that time)
February 5, 2013 7:46:51 PM

Alright, well I guess I'll just continue to hang here on the forums and learn as much as I can so this build goes as smoothly as possible.
!