Hi. I've fiddled a bit with adding parts to old computers, but never built one from scratch.
Welcome to the Tech Report. As DPete27 suggested, you should check out the System Guide
I'm looking to spend a max of $700- $600 prefered USA.
STRONG CPU - no older crap - i want newer technology more oomph for the money
MOTHERBOARD with 4 DIMM slots that can handle updating CPU in future perhaps?
16 GiB of DDR3 memory
STRONG GRAPHICS CARD (plan to eventually double whatever card i get as i save enough money)
No SSD because the budget is too tight
HARD DRIVE- at least a 1TB hard drive
Existing Blu-ray/DVD drives
POWER SUPPLY- at LEAST a 400-500 watt power supply (higher good if under 600-700 price range)
PC CASE - Durable enough for travel in a trunk 2-4 times a year - Roomy enough to fit stubby hands and upgrades inside (i do NOT want a laptop thank you anyways)
If you were closer to Chicago, you might visit a Micro Center
. They offer absolutely unbeatable in-store combination deals with the Ivy Bridge Core i5-3570K
processor and certain Z77 motherboards (like the ASRock Z77 Pro4-M
). This is the best bang-for-the-buck deal around but saving less than $150 wouldn't justify the 300-mile round trip. Otherwise, you'll probably want the Sandy Bridge Core i3-2120
CPU from the Econobox
in the System Guide.
A Z77 or H77 motherboard from Asus (most expensive), Gigabyte or ASRock should serve. Don't buy one that has only two DIMM slots.
2x8 GiB of memory is affordable if you're finding that 8 GiB is cramped on your current system. Using these high density DIMMs will let you expand to 4x8 GiB = 32 GiB of memory if you somehow need more RAM in the future. Note that Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit has a limit of 16 GiB. The Professional and Ultimate editions allow up to 192 GiB. I used this 2x8 GiB PC3-12800 kit
in my most recent build. With the H77 chipset, you might as well stick with less expensive PC3-10600, like this kit
from Kingston or this kit
In light of very recent GPU price cuts, you might want to upgrade from the Econbox's Radeon HD7770 graphics card to a Radeon HD7850
for $75 more or (even better) to Radeon HD7870
for $15 more than that.