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My first home-made gaming PC (2012)

S. H. Wells
The list author says: "I had talked with some friends and did some research online, and I finally decided to give it a try. I am hoping to 1) build a better computer for the money than I could get "off the shelf" 2) earn a little sense of accomplishment for building it myself and 3) have a really awesome gaming computer. I am a total beginner. I will update this List as I buy each part. Please post any advice or tips below."
Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Aluminum and Steel Body (RC-1200-KKN1)
Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Aluminum and Steel Body (RC-1200-KKN1)
"I went for a massive case. It is pricey, but here's how I justified the cost. 1) It is big, so I can subtract the frustration from trying to work in confined spaces. 2) It is big, so any time I want to upgrade my computer, I know this case can handle it; in other words, I won't have to buy a case in the future--spent today and saved tomorrow."
Viewsonic VX2453MH-LED 24-Inch Ultra-thin Widescreen LED Monitor - Black
Viewsonic VX2453MH-LED 24-Inch Ultra-thin Widescreen LED Monitor - Black
"Great looking monitor at a great price. I would love to someday get a multi-monitor set up. But until then, this is a very good monitor"
Logitech Desktop MK120 Mouse and keyboard Combo
Logitech Desktop MK120 Mouse and keyboard Combo
"This a decent low-end, no-frills keyboard & mouse combo.  The plan is to eventually get higher end gaming keyboard or mouse (or flighstick, gamepad, etc)"
Corsair Professional Series  AX 1200 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold (AX1200)
Corsair Professional Series  AX 1200 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold (AX1200)
"I wanted a power supply that would be ample. There are many positive reviews of this PSU. I figured it will support pretty much whatever set-up I decide on."
LiteOn iHBS112-29 12x Internal SATA Blu-Ray Combo Burner 8Mb Cache, Black
LiteOn iHBS112-29 12x Internal SATA Blu-Ray Combo Burner 8Mb Cache, Black
"I am still a fan of owning a physical copy of a game, so I wanted a good optical drive. A blu-ray drive is also great for multi-media."
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)
Lite-On LightScribe 24X SATA DVD+/-RW Dual Layer Drive IHAS424-98 - Retail (Black)
"Even with digital gaming, two optical drives is handy for making back-ups of all kinds of things."
ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
ASUS Sabertooth X79 LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
"LGA2011 socket for modern quad and hexa core processors. The Sabertooth has many built in cooling features and has room for many great add-ons."
Corsair Vengeance Blue 16GB (4x4GB)  DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CML16GX3M4A1600C9B)
Corsair Vengeance Blue 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CML16GX3M4A1600C9B)
"16GB of RAM will be plenty for most modern applications. If you want to add some "future-proofing" you could get two of these kits."
PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE 5x?8mm Dual Heat-Pipes Dual 140mm Premium Fans and Quiet CPU Cooler with patented P.A.T.S coating
PHANTEKS PH-TC14PE 5x?8mm Dual Heat-Pipes Dual 140mm Premium Fans and Quiet CPU Cooler with patented P.A.T.S coating
"Heat tends to be the worst enemy of home-built computers. This is one of the best CPU air coolers on the market. H2O cooling is also a great way to go, but I was concerned after reading accounts of leaking coolant"
TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter,2.4GHz 450Mbps/5Ghz 450Mbps, Include Low-profile Bracket
TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter,2.4GHz 450Mbps/5Ghz 450Mbps, Include Low-profile Bracket
"This is the fastest wireless card I could find.  You will need a decent router to get the most out of it, but it is a good price."
Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD2
Crucial m4 128GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT128M4SSD2
"A SSD for the Operating systems should allow the computer to boot up very quickly. 128GB is ample for Windows and key applications"
Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD2
Crucial m4 256GB 2.5-Inch (9.5mm) SATA 6Gb/s Solid State Drive CT256M4SSD2
"A larger SSD is great for hosting the games and other frequently used programs because it has less loading time.  256GB should be enough for a while."
Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Processor 3.6 GHz 10 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73820
Intel Core i7-3820 Quad-Core Processor 3.6 GHz 10 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73820
"A quad-core CPU supports gaming perfectly.  Everything I have read suggests 6-cores are wasted on gaming."
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Classified 4 GB DDR5 Graphics Card (04G-P4-3688-KR)
EVGA GeForce GTX 680 Classified 4 GB DDR5 Graphics Card (04G-P4-3688-KR)
"An amazingly fast graphics card. The 4GB VRAM will support multi-display gaming if I go down that road in the future."
Windows 8 Professional System Builder OEM DVD  64-Bit [Old Packaging]
Windows 8 Professional System Builder OEM DVD 64-Bit [Old Packaging]
"I like the tiles (reminds me of the xbox 360 dashboard) and I have high hopes that MS has improved on all the things that made Win 7 a great OS. Also the "system builder" price was great!"
Atech Flash Pro-55U Internal Flash Memory Card Reader w/ Front USB 2.0 Port for 5.25 Inch Drive Bay, Supports the latest UDMA, SDHC and SDXC Cards
Atech Flash Pro-55U Internal Flash Memory Card Reader w/ Front USB 2.0 Port for 5.25 Inch Drive Bay, Supports the latest UDMA, SDHC and SDXC Cards
"A great multimedia reader. Uses 2 USB ports on your motherboard (but no SATA ports)."
StarTech.com 4 Port PCI SATA RAID Controller Adapter Card PCISATA4R1
StarTech.com 4 Port PCI SATA RAID Controller Adapter Card PCISATA4R1
"Extra SATA ports for a Hard Drive array large enough to store any media library."
Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop 3.5" Hard Drive
Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Internal Desktop 3.5" Hard Drive
"I have two of these units for very robust storage capacity at blazing fast speeds."