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First PC Build Advice

Hello everyone,

I've been looking into a pre build gaming PC but decided to take the challenge and build one from scratch. The only past experience I have is upgrading a graphics card. My budget is around $1800-2000 and would like to run games like Battlefield 3 and Rome Total war 2 (when it releases) on max settings.

I've built one on pc parts and would appreciate any experts to review it and offer improvement (and make sure everything is compatible) or remove anything that seems overkill. As the build I made comes out to $1748.15 I have a little wiggle room.

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/slack16/saved/#savedbuild_370127


Any advice would be greatly apprectiated!

Thank you!!
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build advice
  1. Things I would change:
    The green hard drive is pointless and slow . You will save virtually no power but slow file transfers a lot

    The sound card is no better than the sound built in to the mb , and definitiely not worth cosidering unless you also have $500 speakers

    The sparkle psu . Not a preferred brand . Seasonic , PC power and cooling , corsair , antec . 650 watts will be plenty if its a quality unit .

    Use windows 8 . Better license , better features , longer service life , and you can make it look like 7 for 0 dollars in 6 minutes using classic shell to add a start button
  2. What do you have by way of a screen?

    An i5 will usually perform just as well as an i7 in almost all games - get one if you want, but it may be a waste of $100. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/intel-cpu-bx80637i53570k

    16GB is generally overkill - 2x4GB is pretty much always enough. Also, as Win7 HP can't address more that 16GB of memory there is no point in getting 2x8GB over 4x4GB to leave slots free. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/crucial-memory-ble2kit4g3d1608de1tx0

    The 680 is more expensive than the 7970, but performs about as well. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-r7970tf3gd5ocbe

    PSU is a bit overpriced, and not from a particularly well-known brand. XFX is made by seasonic, one of the best out there. http://pcpartpicker.com/part/xfx-power-supply-p1850xxxb9

    Sorry if it seems like I'm nitpicking.

    EDIT: Mostly agree with those above. Missed the sound card - my rule of thumb is that onboard is fine until your sound system costs more than your computer.

    Windows 8 is a bob each way - even with classic shell it can be more irritating, and I think most of the speed ups are people running it on a clean install/new system with SSD cache. Sure, it's better, but I think it's exaggerated.

    Picked the 850W for future CF. Note that one 7970/670/680 is overkill on 1080p, and will handle 1440p fine for a while.
  3. Best answer
    You are on the right track.

    Conventional wisdom is probably that -

    -I7 offers little-no benefit over an I5 for gaming.
    -16Gb of RAM is potentially overkill, but then again, it's a reasonably cheap component so not the worst thing to overspend on.
    -A GTX680 is probably still not worth the money, given how close it is in performance to the GTX670, and how well priced the HD7970 is.
    -Unless you have a specific purpose/demand/need for it, a sound card is generally not needed, especially a cheaper one.
    -Even though you have an SSD, I wouldn't use a Caviar Green as a secondary drive. It's more for storage, and with only 128GB to play with, I'd imagine at some point you'll try and install some things to your secondary drive. In that case you are better off with something like a Caviar Blue/Black or a Seagate Barracuda which might cost you a little more but will be way more flexible.
    -Sparkle isn't a PSU brand I'm overly familiar with, and it's probably overkill on power. It's 80+Gold and has a 5year warranty which means it's probably fairly solid, but I'd be inclined to go with something with a better set of review data and lower power. Something in the region of 650-700W should be more than sufficient for a single graphics card with plenty of overclocking headroom.

    Also, you didn't specify your display resolution, so it's a little hard to be specific about the kind of performance you need and what you should achieve. It's pretty clear than an i5/7 and a GTX680 will stomp over most things, but if you are only running at 1080P, then you can afford to spend significantly less on graphics.

    As a side note, some guys at toms ran into several issues when using that specific cooler and motherboard, due to the cooler being very heavy and the board being fairly thin, and it caused some bending I think (was a while ago). I'm sure there are plenty of people out there using the combo without issue, but if it's your first build its the sort of thing that'd be good to avoid.
  4. Outlander_04 said:
    Things I would change:
    The green hard drive is pointless and slow . You will save virtually no power but slow file transfers a lot

    The sound card is no better than the sound built in to the mb , and definitiely not worth cosidering unless you also have $500 speakers

    The sparkle psu . Not a preferred brand . Seasonic , PC power and cooling , corsair , antec . 650 watts will be plenty if its a quality unit .

    Use windows 8 . Better license , better features , longer service life , and you can make it look like 7 for 0 dollars in 6 minutes using classic shell to add a start button



    What hard drive would you recommend?

    Thanks again for the advice!
  5. slack16 said:
    Outlander_04 said:
    Things I would change:
    The green hard drive is pointless and slow . You will save virtually no power but slow file transfers a lot

    The sound card is no better than the sound built in to the mb , and definitiely not worth cosidering unless you also have $500 speakers

    The sparkle psu . Not a preferred brand . Seasonic , PC power and cooling , corsair , antec . 650 watts will be plenty if its a quality unit .

    Use windows 8 . Better license , better features , longer service life , and you can make it look like 7 for 0 dollars in 6 minutes using classic shell to add a start button



    What hard drive would you recommend?

    Thanks again for the advice!


    The WD blue
  6. Anything 7200RPM - usually Caviar Blue or Barracuda.
  7. Rammy said:
    You are on the right track.

    Conventional wisdom is probably that -

    I7 offers little-no benefit over an I5 for gaming.
    16Gb of RAM is potentially overkill, but then again, it's a reasonably cheap component so not the worst thing to overspend on.
    A GTX680 is probably still not worth the money, given how close it is in performance to the GTX670, and how well priced the HD7970 is.
    Unless you have a specific purpose/demand/need for it, a sound card is generally not needed, especially a cheaper one.
    Even though you have an SSD, I wouldn't use a Caviar Green as a secondary drive. It's more for storage, and with only 128GB to play with, I'd imagine at some point you'll try and install some things to your secondary drive. In that case you are better off with something like a Caviar Blue/Black or a Seagate Barracuda which might cost you a little more but will be way more flexible.

    Also, you didn't specify your display resolution, so it's a little hard to be specific about the kind of performance you need and what you should achieve. It's pretty clear than an i5/7 and a GTX680 will stomp over most things, but if you are only running at 1080P, then you can afford to spend significantly less on graphics.

    As a side note, some guys at toms ran into several issues when using that specific cooler and motherboard, due to the cooler being very heavy and the board being fairly thin, and it caused some bending I think (was a while ago). I'm sure there are plenty of people out there using the combo without issue, but if it's your first build its the sort of thing that'd be good to avoid.


    Great thanks about the issue with the cooler, I'll have to look into it.

    Thank you all for the advice!
  8. Other option for the MB is the GA-Z77X-D3H, which seems pretty similar spec/performance wise. It's stiffer too, which would likely help.
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