Hello everyone! I'm going to upgrade my computer as a Christmas gift for myself. My plan is to buy a new CPU, MoBo, GPU, Memory, HDD and keyboard. My current PC is as follows: CPU: Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 2.4 ghz. MoBo: Asus P5Q-E. GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 512mb. Memory: DDR2 Hyper X kingston 1066 mhz 4 gb. HDD: Seagate barracuda 500GB 7200 rpm. Display: Samsung SyncMaster T220 22'' Monitor (1680*1050). CoolMaster 650w PSU. My Budget: Somewhere in between $1000-1200 US dollars. I could maybe strech this a bit, but this is what more or less I want to spend and not feel guilty about it, LOL. Main uses of intended build: The usual computer stuff AND gaming (I play Starcraft 2 the most, also shooters, weird thing is that shooters now a days run the smoothest, The Witcher 2 feels heavy). Will you be overclocking: Probably not, I don't upgrade my computer very often, usually like every 4 or so years and I don't want to risk my computer integrity. Any motherboard requirements: I'm curious about SLI/XF, but there are stuff I don't understand, like what is the difference in performance between a MoBo that can handle 2 GPUs both at 16x/16x and another Mobo that can handle it at 8x/8x? dual GPUs is not something I'll include by December as I want to purchase the best video card I can afford in that moment, but is something to maybe consider in a year or so. Also, is it true that some games have problems with SLI/XF? Any enlightenment in the subject will be much appreciated. Important note: My computer knowledge is... well it isn't great, I understand that usually, more expensive the components are more awesome performance wise. I wish to understand this technology better and that is one of the reasons I'm asking for advice, something I didn't do previously. So thanks in advance. This is the system I'd buy if I were to acquire my new PC today, as I understand it, Intel has the upper hand in terms of CPUs atm, Asus motherboards are awesome and Nvidia delivers better video cards. I do tend to favor products that I had good experience with, like the Asus MoBo I currently use, or the CPU I'm also using right now, but Also I have the feeling Intel comes up with new sockets every time they upgrade their CPUs a bit, and AMD does not. Also AMD is supposed to ship a new CPU in mid-September code named "bulldozer" or so the rumors say, would that be better?. Anyway without further talk, here it is: CPU: Intel i7 2600k 3.4 ghz (would like to know how much better is it than i5 2500k for gaming, if at all). MoBo: Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z (as I see it this guy is all about performance, saves cost by cutting stuff I'll probably never use, but, would it be better to consider a socket 1366?) Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (read a review somewhere that stated that 16gb or RAM would make games slower? if true I'll go for 8GB) GPU: If I buy a SSD I'll get a GTX 570, if I don't buy a SSD I'll go for the 580 1.5gb version. Testimonials from newegg seem to favor EVGA ones, are those the better choice? I would stick with AMD Ati but I have to say PhysX sounds cool and nvidia seems to be doing better currently if benchmarks mean anything. HDD: I would buy a Seagate as the current one worked well, but nobody seems to even consider those for gaming, everywhere I read says, -get a caviar black from WD- so Western Digital it is. Although if they are the same, I'll go seagate for loyalty sake. (can anyone put some input?) SSD: I got the feeling these things are build for laptops and are not built to be in use for long periods of time, also they are VERY expensive and can store so much less. These are supposed to last 1 million hours but I have read testimonials where they die 3 months later. Also, are sometimes unstable? If anyone can provide some feedback about these things being used all day, for at least a year, I'll consider them. If my math is correct my current PSU should be fine. I think. Finally I want to get a gaming keyboard, always wanted one of these, I'll probably get the Logitech G110 and I'll be getting a CM inferno mouse later this week.