So after playing on prebuilt rigs my entire life I decided it's time to put on my big boy pants and build my own toy. The only problem is I know next to nothing about compatibility between parts. I have been doing a lot of reading on the subject of building, mostly on this hardware forum and over on Tom's Hardware but I still feel like I know jack when it comes to picking parts that are quality and will work together which brings me to this post.
I'm looking to spend about $2000, give or take a bit. I've complied a list of things I need, don't need, am not sure of and concerns but am at a loss when it comes to the specific parts to fill those categories with which is why I am here.
Additional Fans, Cables, Wires, Heat Sinks, etc etc.
Anything else I don't know about.
-Purpose and Specifics-
Gaming. Net Use. Possibly some music recording.
Battlefield 3, Guild Wars 2, Skyrim are the targets. Would like to be able to run these on at least high settings. Yes I know there are not really system reqs out for these. Just kind of ballpark it based on current gen system reqs.
I don't want to skimp when it comes to the RAM, CPU and GPU. If I have to spend a bit more than 2k to make sure I have good quality in these areas so be it.
No over clocking. I'm not sure I want to step into this realm just yet since this is my first build.
Single GPU. Preferably Nvidia. I had initially thought of doing an SLI config but the heat 2 high end cards would put out coupled with the problems of case size and driver issues as well as cost vs reward have changed my mind on this.
Intel processor with compatible mother board. I've been looking at the i5 processors specifically. From what I've read they make for a better gaming processor than the i7 and are cheaper as well but I am open to any suggestions.
I know nothing about mobos other than the processor and board have to have compatible pin configs. Also on the topic of processors, I'm quite worried about putting this in correctly. The thought of messing up the thermal paste and ruining the processor/mobo if probably my biggest concern with attempting this. Any advice on this topic would be greatly appreciated.
At least 8 gigs of ram. Maybe more if possible/necessary.
A 120g SSD for the OS and possibly whatever current game I cam playing.
At minimum a 500gig 7200 rpm HD for mass storage. I also have a 1.5tb external for additional storage.
A decent sound card. It doesn't have to be the most amazing thing ever but I'm not looking for bottom of the barrel either.
I think that about covers anything I can think of at this moment. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.