I actually am familiar with the whole eastern sea board. My mom likes to take road trips a lot : P
I see you found a store near you. 77 miles might be worth it. The CPUs are almost always 30-40 bucks cheaper there, and if you get an i5 3570K, you can get a matching asrock z77 board for 100. With take it would put your at 300 where as newegg might run you 350.
Honestly. I would skip the notion of getting something cheap now and upgrading later. Just save up a bit more and get an i5 3570K an asrock extreme 4 z77 mobo, some samsung low profile memory, NZXT source 210, a 1TB segate drive, and a good AMD 7950 for 753.
You can get away with getting everything other than the graphics card for 450. Then I would overclock that ram, go into the BIOS and dedicate 1Gb of your ram for the integrated graphics, and hold out for a used AMD 7950 for like $230 or something.
I know that probably isn't going to be a good situation for you, but you will be saving money by getting the parts you need right off the bat rather than building it one upgrade at a time. Trust me. By the time I built my PC the way I wanted it, I dumped a good 300 to 400 extra into it than if I had just saved up and bought it further down the road.
I take road trips a lot as well haha - I just took one today! Driving allows me to focus and gather my thoughts. I think I have ADD and I always need to keep moving. When I focus on something, I move away from that thing. However, when I'm relaxed such as driving or hiking, I can focus and put thoughts together.
I was just wondering what I can do for $450 - I have a lot of room to grow with the budget lol.
I honestly didn't know you could even dedicate 1 GB of RAM to the Integ. graphics. I may have seen it before, but I haven't ever explored that area yet. Computer maintenance is so boring to me because I've done everything and I cannot learn anything new in college. I actually had to switch majors to something more challenging - behavioral neuroscience and neuropsychopharmacology. However, I guess I can explore and learn about overclocking.
But I have never explored the overclocking area because I don't play much video games, but I wanted a desktop instead of a laptop, and I've seen many good $600 builds and I asked myself if I could go lower.
What I meant of upgrading was not to buy junk parts now, but to buy good parts - and when technology changes and processors - I could upgrade without burning out a new motherboard. Also, if I do become game oriented, I can get a better graphics card. I was going to use a cheap one or on-board, for now for playing video games in medium quality - and then if it becomes an interest to me, I could buy a video card!
I do like your recommendations though! Thank you for helping me out!