I originally started out to replace the aging Athlon FX64 machine I had put together eight years ago with a machine that has quick response for basic home computing and business use with improved video editing capabilities compared to my antique. I also wanted it to be able to play modern games and look good while doing it. With a $1000 budget in mind...maybe $1100 including an external drive for transfer and backup, I sent my PCPartPicker saved parts list around to a few PC enthusiast friends... You know the type...the ones whose computers are worth more than their cars... But I guess I can't talk. I'm driving a thirteen year old Hyundai! LOTS of advice and critiques came back encouraging me to dump my beloved eight-year-old Nemesis case and to get the best video card I could for my budget. The best advice was that the 7 series cards were about to come out and that, if I could wait a month or two, I might catch a deal on the current series and snag a 660ti or a 670.
Prices listed reflect some combo deals and/or mail-in rebates.
With the help of YouTube tutorials I got everything put together and have Windows 7 optimized for a small ssd for OS and key programs with a larger hdd for storage of documents, most programs, and larger files. I've made a few mistakes along the way as far as transferring user files from my ssd to the hdd but I'm learning and I've got a Windows Experience Score of 7.6 (7.9 on everything except "Processor:Computations Per Second")
Completely screwed my original budget with parts like the 670 and probably went overkill on the power supply (price dropped two weeks after I bought it) and the Zalman cooler and the Silverstone fan are pure eye candy, but they work well.
Haven't tried overclocking yet. I'll experiment soon and post some benchmarks if I can pry myself away from World of Tanks.