Hi guys, I'm looking to buy the best gaming PC I can with a $2,000 budget. I'm not even sure where to begin because I don't have a firm enough grasp of computers to build my own but I definitely don't just want to dump it all into some random alienware one. Any recommendations for either some sort of tutorial on building my own, or maybe just something you guys can come up with for my price range? I also considered buying a Asus g73jh laptop, would that be able to play any PC game to date, or would it just be better to go for a PC? Thanks for taking the time to read and help.
There are several self help/guide sites to build your own system, it helps if you have some experience with upgrading previous systems. I also take a lot of pride in building my own system, it's more than just a computer, it's something that you built.
For PC gaming, the most important pieces of hardware on the top of your list are the video graphics card and the speed & type of the CPU. As you select these, it's a good idea to get a capable motherboard that will take advantage of these. Other very important parts that are overlooked are the power supply, the memory, and the quality of your hard drive.
For the video card, one of the best places you can go to is Tom's Hardware. Take a look at this page: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-460-radeon-hd-5570-gaming,2697.html
Read it, but take note at the last link that is called "Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart". It's a long list of video cards and how they match up. The higher they are on that list, the better. Of course, it completely possible to get a card that is very fast, but is dragged slower by your other components. I would recommend getting either an Nvidia GTX 280,285,470, or an ATI 4870, 5870 or 5970.
For the motherboard, take a look at this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128425
Gigabyte makes good motherboards. That one is highly recommended by several sources for it's flexibility, long warranty and high quality. I have a Gigabyte mb, and it's damn good. Slip a processor in there such as an Intel Intel Core i3-530 Clarkdale 2.93GHz ($114 at Newegg) and you have a system ready for anything 5 years from now. Other comparable good mb's are Biostar and EVGA. If you prefer and AMD compatible mb, get http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128443.
Which should you get, intel or amd? It's a tough choice for me. Intel may have a few processors out there that are faster, but AMD's a generally more inexpensive and utilize power and heat very efficiently.
For memory, look into Corsair: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145260
Another good memory manf. is G.Skill. Kingston and Crucial are good, but only if you get the expensive ones.
For power supply units, go for Antec, Cooler Master, or Corsair. At the very minimum, go for a 550w, the higher the better.
The hard drive. Generally, it doesn't make too much of a difference as long as you stick with the known ones, such as Western Digital or Maxtor. But now that the prices have come down, get a SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" with at least 650GB, but 1TB or 2TB is of course, better.
The other things you'll have to cover as per your preference, such as the type of DVD drive, cooling options, operating system and case. If you want better sound than the one that comes with the motherboard, invest in a sound card. All of this shouldn't cost between $850-1,200, depending on your options.
Don't ignore those combo deals from Newegg at the bottom of the page, though. Some will lower your overall price.
That Asus does sound very good, and will play any game to date. I especially like that video chip that it has in it. But remember, a desktop PC will always be better at doing things, & is far more upgradeable, which is important for a gamer. Laptops are also more expensive.
As far as tutorial, I direct you again Tom's Hardware: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-your-own-pc,2601.html
Building your own PC is frustrating but very rewarding in the end. You'll have to sweat to installing the drivers, making sure wires are connected correctly, and sometimes hunt online for extra help when you're in trouble. My built PC is 3 years old, can run everything, and with just a few upgrades here and there, will still be a good PC 3 years from now. Plus, I'm making it do things my way, overclocked. There is no advertisements from the manufacturer, no crappy added software. There is no computer manufacturer in the world that can build a better PC than a self built one.