SO, final price of $1440 Can and list of components:
CASE: Thermaltake V3 Black Edition
PSU: Thermaltake 750W Bronze Modular
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 Rev. 1.0
CPU: Intel Core i52500K, 3.3GHz
GPU: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 Super-Overclock, 900MHz, 1GB
RAM: 8GB DDR3 Muskin Blackline 1600MHz (2X4GB sticks)
SSD: Kingston v200, 128 GB, SATA3
Cooling: Stock CPU fan/cooler, 3X Thermaltake Thunderblade Blue LED fans (1x Intake, 2 xExhaust)
DVD drive: Sony something-or-other
Multimedia reader: Generic
Network card: ASUS PCI-e Wireless adapter
Keyboard: Thermaltake eSports Challenger, red backlit
Mouse: Gigabyte M6900 Precision Gaming Mouse
Monitor: Acer 23" Ultra-slim LCD Widescreen
Powered it on, and everything hummed nicely from the start! Updated all the drivers, and eventually found out why it was running the RAM at 1300 Mhz instead of 1600, fixed that; and a couple weeks later, had a couple issues: sudden freezing with Skyrim (one of the two games I built this for)- solution: I forgot to update the BIOS! Did that, and everything's groovy now! Ran Unigine's Heaven DirectX 11.0 this morning;
Average FPS: 36.8
Min FPS: 10
Max FPS: 83.6
On 1920x1080 fullscreen, shades and textures on high, trilinear filtering, 4xAA, occlusions, refraction and volumetrics on, normal tesselation. CPU stayed at 30C, GPU rose to 64C.
I haven't run any other benchmarks; PCMark seems pointless as I don't see this having any issues with that, but I may set it for a night and see what happens. So far it runs Star Wars: The Old Republic at max and Skyrim at Ultra settings, with no glitches whatsoever, and since updating the BIOS absolutely NO stability issues, and as you can see, temps are excellent! The GPU gets no warmer than 65 after running a game for hours. Windows boots in about 30 seconds from powerup, including the GIGABYTE TouchBIOS screen that comes up first on startup. SSD for the main drive was definitely the way to go; the external 1.5TB drive from my old computer can handle the data, backups and unimportant programs. Skyrim and TOR are on the SSD as well.
If anyone wants to suggest other benchmarks to run, feel free as I'd like to start slowly overclocking the CPU and GPU (it does allow for a little more) just to see what it's capable of; but all in all for a first build, I'm ecstatic that this went so well! The 23" montior is gorgeous; I'll not ever go smaller! Thanks again to those that gave advice, and to Geeks To Go for all the great info on site! Next add-ons will be a soundcard and Corsair Vengeance 1500 headset; maybe an internal HDD.
Edited by northernCX, 26 January 2012 - 11:08 AM.