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Story: So, several years ago I built a computer based on the recommendations of this site. I probably missed out on several good deals because I was so impatient to just get it built! I was upgrading from a potato to a thousand dollar computer, and it showed.

Nowadays, I'm much more patient, and I find myself wanting a new computer once more. My latest computer is a laptop that set me back about $1700, but which meets most of my needs. The thing is, I bought it and limited myself to laptop quality because I was expecting to have to move about very regularly.

I find myself in a more stable situation now, not really expecting to have to move for three to five years at the least. Just as I've gotten my own hardline internet installed, I think I'm ready to move up from a laptop now. At this point, I've got an external monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard all connected to my laptop. I'm using it like it's a tower, and it's just not where it really belongs. So I want to build a right and proper gaming system to hook all this stuff up to (lack of USB ports is getting to be a serious problem!)

Actually Relevant Stuff: I'm thinking of a budget of around $2000. I have all the peripherals and such already, as well as an licenses for all the software like OS's and such. I just need to build the physical hardware.

Anyway, my problem is that this seems to fall somewhere between the highest Mid-Tier and the lowest High-End. I'm thinking maybe I should start at a Tier 7 and then start upgrading pieces until I've hit my budget? I'm also thinking of seeing what sort of deals will show up in a week or so for Black Friday and "Cyber Monday."

Any thoughts?

Edit: As an extra detail, I really don't care in the slightest for overclocking. I'm aware that you can get some tremendous gains out of it, I'm just not interested in it, so K series CPUs and similar aren't really worth any sort of additional expenditure to me. I'd rather just spend the money on better out of the box performance, even if it's a smaller overall gain.
what resolution monitor do you have?

2K is a really healthy budget.
My monitor is 1080p. I did seriously consider a 4K monitor, but even with relatively cheap ones being available now, such considerations as "the size of my desk" and "1080p already seems nearly excessively beautiful to someone who grew up playing Super Nintendo" made me decide it would be a needless expense.

This 27" monitor is plenty sufficient for me, though I might seriously consider purchasing another and running at 3840x1080. I received an absolutely fantastic deal for the monitor I have now and it has a very light bezel. Even that would probably require reshuffling everything on my desk in uncomfortable ways though.
I have no complaints about 1080p. I asked because if you had 4K then you need alot more graphics card.

If I were doing this I would price out in a spreadsheet four different systems.

1) core i5 6600K / GTX 970 / Z170 motherboard.
2) core i7 6700K / GTX 970 / Z170 MB
3) core i7 6700K / GTX 980ti / Z170 MB
4) core i5 6600K / GTX 980ti / Z170 MB

You decide if it is worth an extra $100 to $120 for the core i7 over the core i5.
And then decide if it is worth $300 to $350 more for a GTX 980ti

Once I chose the CPU and graphics card, I would see which AMD graphics card lined up price / performance wise. I haven't really paid attention to the R9 cards, but others can give good opinions.

Note: I listed the "K" models because they have faster base clocks and even if you don't overclock I think they are worth the price difference. Besides if you decide later you want to squeeze some speed out of them you can.

There look to be several really good Z170 motherboards but I would probably choose the same one for option 1,2,3 or 4 and choose based on the number and speed of SATA and M.2 slots, and if I thought I would run a second graphics card in SLI or not.

The rest of the system (in my opinion) is pretty much the same for any of the choices (1,2 or 3)
- top notch 650W to 750W PSU
- a great case with good airflow,
- some SSD storage,
- HDD storage,
- really good and quiet CPU cooler
- 16GB of RAM is probably fine.
All the other stuff listed on a Tier7 system

You might want to decide if you want the new super fast SSD (M.2 PCIe or PCIe x4 SSD) or if SATA III is good enough. With Skylake you'll have the option to choose now or later.

The next step up would be to a hexacore Haswell-E LGA 2011 system. If you really want to spend 2K this might be the way to go, but I haven't followed this enough to make any recommendations.

good luck
Hah! Wow, thank you very much. That's a very useful starting point to work with. I'm working in PC Parts Picker to pre-assemble the build so I can keep an eye out for deals over Black Friday and such.

My biggest problem right now is picking the motherboard. I've narrowed it down to a few choices, but there's a forty dollar difference between the two and I'm having trouble distinguishing why one is supposedly worth the extra investment. I'm considering the MSI Z170A Gaming M5 and M7 models, specifically, though I'm open to other suggestions.

Both of them support two card SLI (the most I would reasonably consider in the future), three PCIe16 slots, four DDR4 slots, two USB 3.1 connectors, and two M.2 PCIe x4 slots (oh my god I want ultrafast SSD eeeeek).

I'd appreciate any thoughts on why one model would be preferable.
I would also look at Gigabyte and ASUS motherboards.

This is the Z170 version of the board I have.

8 phase digital VRM, an M.2 slot (though z97 is only 10Gbs compared to the newer faster PCIe 3.0 x4 on Z170)

The two boards above and the MSI features are very close. The Gigabyte boards are highly regarded by the folks here and I've found good reviews.

complaints: Gigabyte fan control software is lame. I ended up using SpeedFan which works fine. I have read there is a new version of SpeedFan out for the Z170 controllers.

here is a comparison. Not sure the link will work.:

I think I'd buy the Gigabyte Gaming 5, but I'd read up on them all abit more.

good luck.
Interesting... here's my tentative build so far. Before turning off mail-in rebates (in recognition that I never remember to use them...) it just happened to come out to almost precisely $2000, my exact desired budget. I'll definitely take a look at the Gigabyte board too.

(Rule #9 prevents me from linking directly, so just head to PCpartpicker and throw this after the URL to see the full build if interested.) /p/BPD4cf

I look forward to seeing if I can get any good deals on some of this stuff over the next week. And of course, I'm definitely looking for any suggestions on how to improve it, or even suggested alternatives, all the way up until I actually order a given part.

I'd also appreciate a quick glance with an eye towards compatibility from anyone with time to spare. I'm reasonably sure the current setup would function correctly in every respect, but I'd hate to be wrong.
CPU: Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($399.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($97.48 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z170A GAMING M5 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($162.36 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4 Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($102.11 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 950 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($347.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ Video Card ($619.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Thermaltake Core V71 ATX Full Tower Case ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Cooler Master 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($156.79 @ Newegg)
Total: $2044.81

I pasted the parts in so it is easier to see.

Personally, I like the Gigabyte Gaming 5 over the MSI and it is on sale at newegg for $129 after MIR.

I almost bought the Noctua D15...

Here is a review for the PSU you listed.

EVGA has a line of PSUs built by SuperFlower and they are getting fabulous reviews.
the "P2" or "G2" is the indicator it is built by superFlower. the "G1" is built by FSP and is not as good.
There is also a "GS" built by SeaSonic, but not a 750W GS version.

EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2 80+ GOLD

EVGA SuperNOVA 750 P2 80+ Platinum

Or a Seasonic X-750

Overall it looks like a fantastic system.
Those are some absolutely stunning power supplies, and at an absurdly good price! I've already swapped out the PSU part for the SuperNOVA 750 P2 you linked above. I would never have noticed such an amazing part on my own, so thank you very much! It's an even better value at Newegg right now.

The Noctua D15 might honestly be overkill for my needs, but it was recommended in the HR build guides, and every review I've found suggests fantastic things about it. It seems like if I ever do want to take up some mild overclocking it's a fantastic air-cooling solution.

As far as the motherboard, I'm having trouble finding a decent enough side by side comparison of the two. They're very similar in scope, so I'm wondering if there's any particular reason you favor one over the other? Prior experience with the product or brand? The price? Some aspect I haven't discerned?
I'm not a Motherboard expert. I've read a lot and asked for advice.

I have had more recommendations suggesting Gigabyte than the other brands. ASUS is up there too but beyond my price point, and their lower-end model that matched the one I bought had less features. Same with MSI. Less features at the same price point when I was buying. But, ... this was a Z97.

Here are some side by side comparisons:

And here is a review of the Boards from each MFG.

So what I'm trying to say is I don't have a strong opinion, but I think I'd buy the Gigabyte Gaming 5.