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we really need to get a sticky for this sort of thing.
Any who, a good mid-highish end build is very doable on a $1k dollar budget. How good the build is really depends on the accessories you need. A copy of Windows is going to run you $80-$100 a monitor will run you $150ish, decent speakers or headset is another $80 or so, a keyboard and mouse will cost you say $50 for a decent bundle. As you can see you can easily spend $300-$400 just on the accessories leaving you with $600-$700 for the PC parts itself. If you have a monitor and a few other things sitting around it can give you an additional few hundred dollars to spend on the good stuff.
So lets say you got $700 to spend, when I do a build I break that down into thirds, or roughly $235 chunks. With this number in mind you want to find a CPU and mother board that costs roughly that combined. A GPU that runs you roughly that, and then the final $235 on tower, psu, hard drive, optical drive, and RAM. This will give you an overall very well built computer. You need to keep in mind a few things as special deals/sales can throw this number off.
here is a base build where I would start.
It comes in at $704. You may want to do some tweaking to your own preferences. I picked an average mid tower, find something you aesthetically like in that price range. Preferably made of a decent material as it protects your system. I also went a bit big on the power supply, ensuring it has enough power that you could go SLI in the future if you would like. This computer will run most anything currently on the market at near maxed or maxed out settings. In a year or two you may need to turn that down a bit but it will still chew through games at above average settings.
We're sorta like 7-Eleven. We're not always doing business, but we're always open.
Steam - palor700 XBL - LooneyPilot paxgaming.com
Glad to hear you're ready and willing to do your own build. You're right about saving money this way, but furthermore you'll ensure the system is as quick as it should be by giving a clean Windows install void of bloatware - and of course you'll learn a lot along the way.
The persistent rapid advancement of consumer hardware means the "best" rig you can throw together for any given budget is constantly changing, even from one week to the next. The key to getting the biggest bang for your buck, is patience. Keeping an eye out for high quality components at fairly discounted prices, scanning for rebates, combo discounts and coupon codes.
Anyhow, it's been several months since I've pieced a build together so... standby, I'll probably post an example build with some notes before this time tomorrow.
Edit: Oh, I didn't even see Palor had already responded by the time I published - cheers mate.
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Thank you so much for the fast feed back, I am definitely taking both suggestions into account. I saved that link for future reference and looking for good discounts. I do not have the funds to buy a system just yet but it never hurts to start my research early!
You can save yourself money by watching for sales as you save up. For the most part there are 3 parts that should be purchased together, those are the mother board, processor and Ram. Everything else is mostly universal. Any SATA hard drive will work, any SATA optical drive will work. Power supplies are universal. Any mid or large tower will work, if you get a micro tower you need a micro MB. Lastly most any common GPU will work as PCIE 2.0 and 3.0 are standard and backwards compatible.
Here are a few notes to keep in mind. If you have the desk or floor space stay away from micro towers. They just add a headache in terms of installing and upgrading components, also tend to have poorer cooling.
Buy a Silver or better rated power supply. A bad power supply can fry your entire build if it flakes out, it is best to spend another $20-$40 just to be safe.
Spend roughly the same amount on both your CPU and MB. A common mistake many people make is they spend $300 on a CPU and then place it in an $80 MB. The MB is the backbone of the system, all data at some point transfers across the MB either from the hard drive to the CPU or CPU to ram, etc, etc.
Palor's got some great stuff going although I think I would suggest a 660ti instead of 660.
Some things to look for:
-Power Supply: 80 PLUS Gold certified is the best quality PSU, although silver and bronze are also great. Try to get something that's at least bronze. 650 watts should be fine.
-Graphics Card: 660ti or Randeon HD 7870 will run almost all modern games at good graphics levels.
-Processor: 4 cores is enough, and is the most demanded by most games(minimum requirements often only need 2.) Intel is generally faster but more expensive than AMD.
-Motherboard: don't spend much more than $100, unless you actually plan to overclock. Also make sure the SLI slots are compatible with anything you're going to put in them (Graphics card, sound card, wifi card, etc.)
-Memory: 8GB is plenty, considering most games barely take advantage of it.
-Case: make sure it can fit your power supply, generally this means ATX compatible.
-Optical drive: don't spend more than $20.
-Hard drive: pay attention to the rating on whatever site you're buying from. Cheaper hard drives are more prone to failing or even arriving broken. Get a quality drive.
I always buy from Newegg or Tigerdirect as they generally have the best prices and they consistently have sales.
It'll tell you everything you need to know and people are real helpful.
I found a great website that explains the different parts of a PC and gives you a good idea of what to buy. Go here, www.logicalincrements.com