i have been using a laptop since 07. with a crappy integrated graphics card, i could not run many things well. now i want to invest in a computer to last 6-8 years that i can try building with a more experienced friend. if retail is cheaper, i'll just get that (pros/cons?). i want to be able to run some games and have fast speed in general. i'm preparing to spend $1000 +- $200. the thing is i know very little about computers. i cant tell if something is good or bad. can someone point me in the right direction? so far all i know is i5 or i7 is latest cpu goods, 4x4 ram seems good (do i need more)?, 1-2tb hd are common, PSU will be dependent on my components, VGA idk anything about, and monitor i'd like 20+ inch. motherboard i know nothing about too. i'd appreciate anyone who could give me some tips for finding good components, good prices, specs to look out for, best time to buy, best place to buy, or even a guide/popular site/suggestions. thanks!