About a month ago I started buying parts for my first gaming PC since 2004. The last one I had was from ibuypower.com and while it was custom I didn't build it. For the first time ever i'm building one from the ground up. With every pay check I plan to buy one or two parts, and at the moment I have three pieces all of which have been purchased over the past few weeks. Once I do have all the parts I might upload a few pictures of the build process and talk about how it went. I've been using LogicalIncrements.com as a guide on what parts to look at, however I have yet to buy anything actually listed on the site. My budget lies between the Excellent and Exceptional tiers, so between $1000 and $1500. Either way after its finished whenever someone asks "But can it run Crysis"? The answer will be "Yes. Yes it can run Crysis." If you're interested, come. Take a journey with me down this magical road of technology and power. The first three parts I have are the Case, Motherboard and gaming mouse (which came free with the motherboard, so i'm not complaining). Case: Rosewill Legacy QT01 $60.00 This one wasn't actually on L.I. (Logical Increments from here on out), but I wanted something that didn't scream "GAMING PC! LOOK AT THE LIGHTS", so I kept it clean and simple. It also has some sort of sound dampening material on the sides of the case, so I'll see how well that works. Its also worth noting it was much cheaper than anything listed on the higher tiers on LI. Money saved! http://www.rosewill.com/products/2529/ProductDetail_Overview.htm Motherboard: MSI Z97 Gaming 7 $180 Got this one because it has the new Z97 chipset and was only $10 more than the previous Z87 board. http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z97_GAMING_7.html#overview Mouse: MSI Interceptor DS100 FREE! I know the mouse isn't the most important thing or really what I should be worrying about at the moment but it came as a free gift with the MoBo so I wasn't going to say no. 3500dpi which I guess is good???, has a nice matte rubbery feel and a nylon covered mouse cord. http://us.msi.com/product/mm/Interceptor_DS100_GAMING_Mouse.html#overview Thats it for now. I probably won't be getting parts on a super regular basis. I'm going on vacation in about a week so I'm going to try to be frugal about money til after that. When I get back the update probably won't be all that exciting since i'm planning on getting a power supply, or maybe some RAM and/or HDD (I do plan on getting an SSD as well). Future future plans I'm starting to seriously look at the nVidia GeForce GTX 770 and Intel i7 4770. But because those are the most pricey bits it might be another month or two before one of those comes home with me. I'm also up in the air about what version of Windows to go with. I know Windows 7 is awesome and works, but 8 is the future and with the 8.1 update its supposed to bring back the Start Menu and make it a little more like 7. Just trying to figure out if it'd be worth it. UPDATE 1: 7/13/14 RAM: Kingston HyperX FURY 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 $66.99 8 Gigs (two sticks at 4gigs each) might be a bit overkill, but if used for work it'll definitely be appreciated. I didn't go nuts though and spend an extra $100 on 3300 MHz sticks and stuck with the 1600 which was very reasonably priced. It costs a little more than whats recommended on the L.I. site but Kingston has a really good reputation HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD 7200 RPM $52.92 + Free Shipping Nothing much to say other than I think 1 Terabyte should cover everything I install for a while. I also plan on getting a SDD to run the OS off, i'm just debating what else to put on the SDD and if I want to run games or anything else off it or keep it strictly for the OS. UPDATE 2: 8/25/14 Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 Haswell Quad-Core 3.6GHz LGA 1150 $309.99 + Free Shipping I thought about overclocking for a while, but in the end decided against it. I'm not sure I want to deal with the hassle of making sure its adequately cooled that comes with overclocking, plus I'm not sure confident in the airflow of my case. While it has a decent amount of fans its not full of holes like most gaming cases (because its not one). I just hope the stock heat sync fan that came with it will be good enough. So I didn't get the "K" version of the processor, but I did get an extra .2 GHz for the same price as the 4770 I was looking at. Also saved myself $40 from what was listed on the "Exceptional" tier of LI. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116987 UPDATE 3: 9/23/14 Graphics Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 WindForce 3X $309 + Free Shipping with $20 rebate Again I think this had a pretty good performance to price ratio without breaking the bank. I also went with Nvidia over ATI in part because I have an intel processor and I wanted to try something different from my last PC which was AMD/ATI based although that was about 9 years ago. I can't wait to plug this thing in. Another plus is that the box it came in is really nice and has molded foam surrounding the card. Dumb (although probably functional), but looks cool. Saved about $250 from what was listed on the exceptional tier of the L.I. website. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10440897&PID=5961731&SID=0 Game: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. FREE! I've only played a little bit of the first Borderlands and rushed through it split-screen with a friend. So we didn't sit and watch any cut-scenes or read any dialog but I remember liking it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16800995216 UPDATE: 10/12/14 Graphics Card: MSI GeForce Gaming 4G GTX 970 4GB $350 with $5 Newegg gift card. This thing is a beast. Without a doubt the best card out right now, while not as powerful as the 980 its still up there and with a price only $50 more than the 770 I had. So close to getting this computer running finally. (All the 970 cards, 3 weeks later are still totally sold out on Newegg) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127832 UPDATE: 10/23/14 Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 750w G2 Full Modular 80 Plus Gold Certified $129 + $15 rebate I didn't know choosing a power supply could become so in depth with entire websites dedicated to reviewing power supplies only. I also checked with some Power Supply Calculator websites and got numbers all over the place. One even went as high as saying I needed a 1200watt supply (which is ludicrous), but the average number was about 650w. To play it safe I went with 750w. It was also important to me that the PSU was modular so I could do away with the unneeded connectors and keep things nice and organized. This one was listed on the Exceptional tier on the L.I. website http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817438017 UPDATE: 11/01/14 SSD: SanDisk Extreme II 120GB SATA 6.0BG/s $86 + Free Shipping! The plan is to install the OS and other Applications onto the SSD for speedy launching while keeping all the other data such as save files, images, videos, etc on the HDD. Maybe my least researched item I've bought, but the reviews are really good and so is the price. I got 120GB instead of something larger because I don't see myself needing more than that especially if I wont be saving other files onto the drive. Up to 550mb/s Read and 340mb/s Write speeds. I got this right off the Excellent Tier of L.I. UPDATE: 11/05/14 Optical Drive: HP 24x Internal Double Layer DVD/CD RW $40 + $2 bus fare Ended up running to Best Buy and buying a $30 DVD drive. A Bluray would be nice but I don't think I need it at the moment and more and more PC games are downloadable anyways. Maybe one day down the line I'll get one, but for now this should do the job. The only part i've bought from a brick and mortar store. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-24x-...rive/1371147.p?id=1219050755280&skuId=1371147 UDATE: 11/18/14 Monitor: Asus 24" LED VS247H-P $160 Didn't put a whole lot of research into monitors but knew I wanted at least 24" with a good response time which I got at 2ms. 1920x1080 resolution, HDMI, VGA and DVI ports as well. This was also purchased at a physical location from the store in the link. http://www.abt.com/product/61365/ASUS-VS247HP.html UPDATE: 05/31/15 Heatsink Fan/CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L12 Low Profile CPU Cooler $60+Free Shipping! I did some research and for about a week I couldn't decide between this fan and the Scythe Shuriken 2 B. Both are low-profile downblower fans designed to fit in smaller cases such as ITX and Mini-ATX. My Mid-Tower ATX case can fit a cooler up to 160mm high I didn't want to take up all of that room. The Shuriken was $20 cheaper and looks a lot better, but only came with one fan, was supposed to be very hard to install, and didn't cool quite as well as the NH-L12. The downside to the NH-L12 is that its slightly bigger and it has the trademark Noctua poop brown color so visually its hideous. In the long run though the Noctua reputation is what sold me, on top of having two fans. I'm expecting it to arrive on Wednesday. COMPLETE! All in all i've spend about $1400 in total since I started 5 months ago. If I had an existing computer before I started I probably could have saved on the case, optical drive and possibly the monitor which would have taken off a few hundred dollars. Even though I didn't completely follow the L.I. guide I still managed to stay within the Exceptional Tier which was my goal. I'd say it was a good experience and now that i've done it once I feel I could build another computer in half the time. Building a PC is just a lot of plugging things in and sometimes using a screw driver. If you're thinking about it, I say go for it and don't be intimidated when its time to put everything in the case. Just be patient and double check everything.