$1500ish First-time Build

Howdy hardware gurus!

Background:
I'm thinking of putting together my first computer. Money isn't a particular issue but I don't want to needlessly throw money around on parts that aren't going to improve my experience (I'm expecting around $1,500 but really $1,000 to $2,000 is fine by me if it makes sense).

If you can believe it, I'm currently using a compaq presario r3000 laptop which struggles with 480p youtube videos so I'm sure that as long as I end up with a computer that starts at the end of the day it's going to be a massive improvement :)


What I'd like:
In terms of what I'll being doing - mainly surfing the internet, Microsoft office, watching movies, and while I don't play many games, I would like to play dota 2 on very high settings (currently can't even run warcraft 3!). I tend to upgrade my technology on a ten year cycle (and cars on a 30 year cycle!) so I would like this computer to last for me a fair amount of time going forwards!

I'd like something quiet, something i can just "set it and forget it", and one with a lot of slots for hard drives (I'm worried about heat problems which may pose issues with my desire for the computer being quiet).


What I have:
- 28" off-brand monitor (I-INC), wireless keyboard and mouse, 64-bit windows 7 dvd (haven't seen this in years, but I'm sure I'll be able to dig it up!)
- dvd optical drive (see note below)
- 320GB and 500GB hard drives (see note below)

Note: I've had these devices sitting around in an unused computer for 5+ years, but I hope/believe they should work. I would really like to use them, but if it'll cause undue problems by all means let me know. I'm guessing a potential issue may be that the cord types and cabling used nowadays (I suppose on the motherboard) would not be compatible with what I've got (I've taken a picture of what they look like: http://i.imgur.com/blYopNz.jpg). Please let me know your thoughts!

What I'm thinking of:

CASE:
1. LIAN LI PC-Q08B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?cm_mmc=BAC-TomshardwareSBM-_-SystemBuilderEditorial-_-NA-_-NA&item=N82E16811112265&IsFeedbackTab=True&nm_mc=ExtBanner)
I saw this in the recent $1,300 pc build and I think it looks great! My concern is that while it does have room for 6 internal 3.5" hard drives, the close proximity of them and potential poor ventilation may pose issues. In the do-it-yourself review they used a Antec Kuhler H20 620 to cool down the system. (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mini-itx-do-it-yourself-pc,3509-2.html). I'm not super techie but the whole water + electronics freaks me out a bit.

I really like these corsair cases as well, and I think they'd resolve the potential issue of the Lian Li case getting a bit cramped. They're a bit big for my taste and given that I'm not planning on opening the computer up a lot, I don't know if the space is really necessary, but I'd love to hear your thoughts!
2.Corsair Obsidian Series 650D Mid-Tower Case ATX (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=58078&vpn=CC650DW&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1360)
3. Corsair Carbide Series 300R Black Gaming Case ATX (http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=66063&vpn=CC-9011014-WW&manufacture=Corsair&promoid=1360)

(note: I’m super picky about cases so I’d prefer to stick to the above three suggestions but feel free to kick around some other ideas if you got them)

MOTHERBOARD
I know nothing about these things (was thinking about cheaping out here), but I suppose I'll want it haswell compatible and it to have a lot of ports so that I can plug in a bunch of hard drives. Any recommendations for these? Would I be limited to slow RAM if I get a cheap one?

1. MSI Z77IA-E53 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?cm_mmc=BAC-TomshardwareSBM-_-SystemBuilderEditorial-_-NA-_-NA&item=N82E16813130673&IsFeedbackTab=True&nm_mc=ExtBanner)

2. ASRock Z87M PRO4 LGA 1150 Intel Z87 (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157368&nm_mc=AFC-C8junctionCA&cm_mmc=OTC-sho6b0tCA-_-Motherboards+-+Intel-_-ASRock-_-13157368&AID=10657534&PID=749547&SID=rfdcb-d725)


CPU:
I've seen the i5 constantly recommended. Is there much point in upgrading to the i7? I’m not planning on overclocking (well, maybe in a year if I’m bored… would this impact your recommendation?)
1. Intel Core i5-3570K

VIDEO CARD:
There seems to be a number of arguments over AMD and nvideo in the forums, but I've seen good things being said about the GTX 770. In one thread in particular, getting two of these videocards was mentioned. That's probably a tad excessive for my needs, but if I ever require a second video card - does it need to be the exact same make/model? i.e. could I have two different nvidea or AMD cards being used?
1. GTX 770

PSU:
No idea here what would be too much/too little power. If my computer is running 5 hard drives, could I run into issues regarding having to little power? I'm not keen to shell out $150+ here but if it means not having to replace the PSU when I want to do some upgrades, I'm all ears.
1. Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-750 750W ATX12V (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371049&nm_mc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r&cm_mmc=OTC-pr1c3grabb3r-_-Power+Supplies-_-Antec-_-17371049)

HARD DRIVE:
I'll get a 128gb SSD of some sort which should make my life easy as I'll be able to have all my applications and Windows 7 on it. Not too worried here but suggestions are welcome

RAM:
1. G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

COOLER:
Will I need a seperate heatsync for the CPU or fans/coolant for the case? I'm all ears! I've seen http://pcpartpicker.com/part/noctua-cpu-cooler-nhd14 being suggested. Will I need this? (assuming the i5 doesn't come with one?)

Please let me know if there's anything else I'm missing. There's been some tremendously useful information in another thread here: http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1706500/feedback-high-end-gaming-build-approx-budget.html - what it doesn't address is my questions regarding the cases and the thick cables (EIDE?) of my hard drive and dvd reader and whether I'll be able to use those in this build.
Thanks again for all your help!!
15 answers Last reply
More about 1500ish time build
  1. Ok time to get you a new system!!

    If you only plan on upgrading every 10 years (?), then you'll want some future proof internals. These include the i7-4770k for its overclocking capabilities, 8mb cache, and hyperthreading technology, 32gb RAM, a GTX 770 (at least), and a motherboard that supports SLI so you can add a second video card in the future... Another thing to keep in mind is that you will want a CPU cooler even though the i7 includes one, as it will provide superior cooling; especially when/if you overclock. I chose the Noctua based on a review made by tom's hardware where they compare it to closed loop water coolers, which aren't as good as the noctua. Hope this helps you out!

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/18Etw
  2. IDE hard drives are very much outdated. I doubt you could find a Z77 motherboard with IDE hard drive controllers.

    Samsung, OCZ, Crucial all make decent SSDs, one of these would do well.

    ASRock Z87m is not compatible with your chosen chip. Z87 boards support LGA1150 chips, such as the i5-4670k

    Getting an aftermarket CPU cooler is a must for a silent computer, as well as any overclocking you might do. A popular choice is the Hyper EVO 212 at $40, the Noctua is about $70 and cools a bit better. Boxed processors will come with coolers, but these are merely adequate.

    You can mix brands of video cards, but the model (and gpu chip) must match. A GTX 770 will basically only be able to SLI with another GTX770 (gk104). The slightly older GTX670 and 680 are also gk104, but they use a different memory controller, so I am not sure they are SLI capable with a GTX770. Either way it makes more sense to get matched cards.
  3. Some good combos will save you alot of money The 4670k saves you $80 at $360 total http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1352787 And this combo saves you Save: $20.00 though i know you had mentioned you're picky about cases so you might not like that one lol http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1327117 I will do a whole build for you just throwing some ideas out there first.
  4. IVY BRIDGE BUILD This quad core powerhouse delivers all the processing power a gaming machine really needs while residing in a budget friendly zone. Why not the i7 3770K you may ask? Well the i7 3770K merely adds Hyper-Threading and a higher clock speed to the equation. Though these two improvements are fantastic in CPU intensive tasks such as video encoding and 3D modeling, in gaming scenarios it doesn’t really do a whole lot. Games these days are much more graphics intensive than CPU intensive, so it’s a much better idea to invest the extra dough into the graphics card.

    That said, if your looking to do live streaming or other tasks which require any sort of video encoding, feel free to pick up an Intel Core i7 3770K instead. The part is 100% compatible with this build and will give you better performance for these tasks. However, with all things higher performance, expect to shell out a $100 premium for the processor. Anyways here what i came up with for a ivy bridge build CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($76.98 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($389.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1306.87
    That's just some suggestions we can tweak what ever you like or don't need or want it's up to you let me know if you prefer Haswell build you can go that route it's up to you bud.I am just throwing some ideas out there.
  5. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($349.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($62.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($144.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) ($399.99 @ Amazon)
    Case: Corsair C70 Military Green (Green) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 850W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($131.17 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1833.05
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-21 03:02 EDT-0400)

    If you want it to last for 10 years , then a i7 is a must. The Motherboard offer is great , will save 100 bucks. A GTX 770 in SLI will be great , will last longer than a single GTX 780 and is the best setup for the money. 16GB of 1866MHz RAM is quick enough and will last long. A Vector SSD will give you a Far Cry 3 copy , and is one of the best SSDs in the market. That M12II PSU is 80Plus Bronze and Semi-Modular too. The Case should probably be good for you.
  6. The system you are going to build will be obsolete in 4-5 years.
    Better get 1k pc and save the remaining 1k for future upgrades. That way you will be "up-to-date".

    I5-4670k is plenty,
    750w leaves you the option for sli
    Gtx 770 is plenty for all recent games and upcoming titels.


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($404.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.50 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1139.42
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-21 06:23 EDT-0400)
  7. I agree with Marcopolo123 go for his build if you want it fits your budget best and is very good.It will serve you well for many years to come.
  8. Marcopolo123 said:
    The system you are going to build will be obsolete in 4-5 years.
    Better get 1k pc and save the remaining 1k for future upgrades. That way you will be "up-to-date".

    I5-4670k is plenty,
    750w leaves you the option for sli
    Gtx 770 is plenty for all recent games and upcoming titels.


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ NCIX US)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($404.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.50 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer Mk III 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $1139.42
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-21 06:23 EDT-0400)


    Anonymous said:
    I agree with Marcopolo123 go for his build if you want it fits your budget best and is very good.It will serve you well for many years to come.


    Love the build but am I the only one that thinks this build won't be good enough ten years down the road? While this is a phenomenal gaming rig today, if our friend here actually only upgrades every ten years, then maybe some pumped at specs (more ram, 4th gen i7 etc) would really help. Of course this is assuming it will not be upgraded a couple years down the road... Just a thought
  9. Hi Guys, thank you ALL so much for your feedback! I've made some adjustments to my original list. Can you let me know if anything seems silly or out-of-place? Please note that I've used tigerdirect as my reference as I'm thinking of dropping by there to see some of the parts in-person.

    Case:
    Corsair Obsidian Series® 650D Mid Tower Case
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7134880

    Processor:
    Intel Core i5-4670K Processor
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8037045

    Motherboard:
    Asus Z87-A Motherboard - ATX
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8139496&CatId=8586&SRCCODE=MDOTCA&MobileOptOut=1

    Video Card:
    Asus GeForce GTX 770 OC Video Card
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8245492&CatId=7387

    Hard Drive (SSD):
    Samsung 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 120GB
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5247113&Sku=S203-8003

    Hard Drive:
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1310560&CatId=4357


    RAM:
    Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A1600C9 16GB Memory Module Kit
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2952373&CatId=4534

    Power Supply:
    Ultra X4 750-Watt Modular Power Supply V2
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1583410&CatId=5440

    Optical Drive:
    LG 24X DVD Burner - M-Disc Support
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7752199&CatId=89

    Perhaps I'll take some of your advice and try to upgrade a bit more frequently :) Please let me know your thoughts!!
  10. Great job with your parts choice. There are a few things that definitely have to change. Those are:

    The SSD - While the 840 series is a good entry-level offering, you'll definitely want to opt for the 840 Pro from Samsung

    The Video Card - The 770 you chose is a bit of a rip-off. It's really just alot of marketing. You will be better off with the normal version which costs $60-70 less

    CPU cooler - you'll need one of those. I'd suggest the Noctua...


    The PSU - I'd suggest maybe a higher end Corsair of Seasonic which are 80 + Silver or Gold rated

    I put those changes into a PCPARTPICKER list for you... Tell me what you think!

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/18RWA
  11. sSchizo said:
    Hi Guys, thank you ALL so much for your feedback! I've made some adjustments to my original list. Can you let me know if anything seems silly or out-of-place? Please note that I've used tigerdirect as my reference as I'm thinking of dropping by there to see some of the parts in-person.

    Case:
    Corsair Obsidian Series® 650D Mid Tower Case
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7134880

    Processor:
    Intel Core i5-4670K Processor
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8037045

    Motherboard:
    Asus Z87-A Motherboard - ATX
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8139496&CatId=8586&SRCCODE=MDOTCA&MobileOptOut=1

    Video Card:
    Asus GeForce GTX 770 OC Video Card
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8245492&CatId=7387

    Hard Drive (SSD):
    Samsung 840 Series MZ-7TD120BW 120GB
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5247113&Sku=S203-8003

    Hard Drive:
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1310560&CatId=4357


    RAM:
    Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M2A1600C9 16GB Memory Module Kit
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2952373&CatId=4534

    Power Supply:
    Ultra X4 750-Watt Modular Power Supply V2
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1583410&CatId=5440

    Optical Drive:
    LG 24X DVD Burner - M-Disc Support
    http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7752199&CatId=89

    Perhaps I'll take some of your advice and try to upgrade a bit more frequently :) Please let me know your thoughts!!


    Stay far away from Ultra. Very far away. They're a tier 4 or tier 5 power supply vendor at best. Among the absolute worst you can get.

    Most of the suggestions are good but I would definitely go with Haswell. No reason to get the previous generation. This would be a better use of money:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($239.99 @ NCIX)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($55.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ NCIX)
    Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.09 @ Newegg Canada)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($419.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.71 @ DirectCanada)
    Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($18.90 @ DirectCanada)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($97.99 @ NCIX)
    Total: $1279.63
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-21 18:50 EDT-0400)
  12. Newegg is offering a promo on the new Haswell processors. http://promotions.newegg.com/intel/13-2602/index.html
  13. tspcpp said:
    Newegg is offering a promo on the new Haswell processors. http://promotions.newegg.com/intel/13-2602/index.html



    Wow nice deal
  14. Once again thanks everyone who helped me out! My parts should be coming tomorrow :)

    In terms of the installation of drivers, should I connect everything to the computer (i.e. motherboard, videocard, SSD hard drive); then install windows and then the individual drivers or is there another way to go about this? Also, is there any order I should install the drivers (i.e. motherboard first) or is it largely irrelevant?

    Thanks again!!
  15. Ok you will want to watch this video for information on how to build your computer:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls

    And then watch this video for how to install the OS and drivers

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxaVBsXEiok

    Hope this helps and good luck!
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