New computer help!

Off Topic Dicussion
Looking to create a brand new entirely custom computer with about 1,200-1,300. I'm not looking for anything to fancy or what not. I would just like to have a really good computer I can keep for years and maintain to play current high end games to new future ones.

~ The main purpose of this PC is to be able to run my favorite games and new games on at least ultra to max settings, very smoothly and without overheating. If I need to pay a little more for this to happen just post your ideas and we can talk about the pros/cons. Thanks!~

I would love some ideas...Since I really don't know how to build or what to buy...
Links would be very useful, details to putting things together, tips, warnings, anything and everything that can help me build this.

Thanks, hope to game soon ;)
So far this is what I got, but I'm looking to change the processor to an i7 and maybe get a better graphics card would I need to change anything to make it happen?

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

CPU Cooler: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7

Motherboard: ASRock Z68M/USB3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-8GBRH

Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Hard Disk: Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

DVD Burner:LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 - OEM

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 932 Advanced Blue Edition RC-932-KKN3-GP Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM
Honestly I'd like to install a radeon 7950 if possible, would anything have to change to accommodate it?

I know it seems a bit much, but I'd really like my computer to have as much performance as possible...
Similar to this build, but with an i7, different case, and memory
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/uCac
You have i5-3570k in that second build :o

It looks like one of my example builds, except you added RAM to it. You do not need 16GB of RAM.

You can probably find a cheaper Z77 board, but that works OK.

840 Pro should only be bought if you really want the top-end performance. Otherwise, you can find a 256GB SSD for much cheaper than that.
Alright, so I would like to change the i5 to an i7, change the ram(what do you recommend), change the motherboard(what do you recommend), keep a 1tb hard drive, and add the 7970 radeon. Can you help me improve this?

P.s. Yeah I used the second build from a link I found on your page I think the build was from the 1,300$ PC. The stuff I asked for above I would like to be added to improve into either the first build, or the example one you created. Which ever is better...
You don't need the extra sata cable since multiple should be included in the motherboard. I think there's 4 in the one you picked.

I recommend getting a power supply from seasonic or corsair instead.

For motherboard, I recommend getting the asrock z77 extreme4 motherboard.

For ram, get 2x8gb instead... something like this.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148545
Note most typical games won't have any additional performance with i7. Only very few specific games do right now, and will continue to be limited for quite some time.

You have two sets of RAM. Just remove one.

ASRock is a good board, as LIA mentioned.

HD 7970 should be of high quality -- like HIS IceQ X2 or some sort.

You can keep the power supply as it is -- changing to Seasonic would be silly since the power supply IS based on Seasonic platform.
Allright, listen to what hibachi says. I usually just recommend seasonic because I'm too lazy to check what each power supply is based on.
Okay so let me get this straight...i7 is okay, but not really necessary. Get an ASRock motherboard, remove one set of ram, keep the HD 7970, don't change power supply...Right? So with this said everything else listed on the first build would be fine?
Would this be the mother board to use?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293
And these for ram?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231428
Yeah, that ASRock board will work, but if you do, you MUST buy an extra SATA cable as it only comes with two.

Yeah, you only need that one set of RAM. Don't need more.

So I assume it looks like the pcpartpicker.com list, except all RAM removed and replaced with that one set of Ripjaws, and replacing motherboard with ASRock board.

If you want to save some $, you can get a different 256GB SSD for about $70~80 cheaper than what 840 Pro costs. While performance difference is there, it is not likely to be noticed by you.
I don't think I know how to install that extra SATA cable though, is it simple?

So I realize this is major noob question, but it is possible to have both a HDD and a SSD? What is the difference...?
Super simple. I would not worry about it.

Yes. You can have both. A typical setup involving an SSD will be like this:

SSD as main boot drive with Windows + programs installed on it.

HDD as a data drive that contains games (that you don't play often), movies, music, documents, pictures, etc...
Oh then that's perfect...The SSD can load programs faster while the HDD stores it all!
So all I have to do is install the operating system onto the SSD? How does this work?
You do it just like you did it for the HDD -- you simply direct Windows to install on the SSD. You can do this through Custom (Advanced) section during Windows 7 / 8 installation.
I am so lost... I think I'm going to have to look up a few things when doing this...

Okay, so the SSD on pcpicker.com link is a good one? Performance wise? I know it's a bit more expensive, but if it reduces the boot up time and loading then I wouldn't mind.
Samsung 840 Pro is currently one of the top SSDs money can buy.

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