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First DIY PC Build - Budget System for Gaming ~$800

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July 1, 2013 6:44:12 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: TBA, possibly later on Q4 2013

Budget Range: ~$800 with shipping (I have Amazon prime, free 2-day shipping on "amazon prime" components)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Leisure (college student)

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: First PC Build, not an upgrade

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, Windows 7 preferably

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon (for "prime" free shipping deal), Newegg, and other trusted dealers

Location: South Carolina (USA)

Parts Preferences: No brand preference, looking for best price/performance ratio parts

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: As stated in the title, this is my first desktop PC build. I am primarily interested in building this PC to give me the best gaming capabilities/overall experience within my price point (~$800).

Below is a link to a list of components I've have earlier handpicked based on my own understanding from researching for parts based on the reasons for myself building a PC and having a limited budget.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1c4KJ

However, I would obviously not be posting a new thread regarding my future plans to build a new PC rig if I was already content with the components I have chosen. That is why I would like to get more opinions from experts in the forums that have previously dealt with constructing PC builds and are more knowledgeable about general component performance, price, and compatibility with each other.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Deciding to upgrade to PC gaming over next-gen console turnover.

I would greatly appreciate the support, tips, considerations, etc. in helping a PC gaming newcomer make a smoother transition from consoles with the help of you guys. Also, feel free to over-explain things in your post in justifying why I should do X over Y; I'd like to think I am somewhat capable in understanding reasoning behind building a PC, but seeing that it is my first build I would not take any chances.

Thanks :D 

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a c 392 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 7:00:28 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($77.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N180UBE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($12.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.03 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $781.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 09:58 EDT-0400)

Swapped CPU and motherboard because the i5 is VASTLY superior.
Ditched SSD to save money. (no gaming benefit anyway)
Better quality PSU
Ditched sound card (motherboard has a better one anyway)
Cheaper but still high quality case.
MUCH more powerful GPU.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 7:07:41 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M 86.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($64.80 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $833.31


I wasn't sure if the ~$800 budget included the OS since your parts list didn't include it. If it doesn't I would recommend picking up the 8350 instead of the 6300:

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
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July 1, 2013 7:19:56 AM

tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($77.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($84.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N180UBE 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($12.99 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.03 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $781.93
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 09:58 EDT-0400)

Swapped CPU and motherboard because the i5 is VASTLY superior.
Ditched SSD to save money. (no gaming benefit anyway)
Better quality PSU
Ditched sound card (motherboard has a better one anyway)
Cheaper but still high quality case.
MUCH more powerful GPU.


I understand that Intel processors are superior in performance to AMD, at the expense of the cost for Intel. In your experience gaming, will using an Intel chip give you a noticeable difference in frames for most games?

And also, I chose to pick up the SSD to serve as a boot drive for Windows. I have heard many good things about the snappy and vast jump in performance an SSD can bring over the traditional HDD. To be honest, I would rather speed up my OS by utilizing the SSD; the GPU I selected was deemed to be best for its price-level, and will run almost all games at 1080p, on higher settings @ 60 frames (which would be a vast improvement from what I am used to in current console specifications).

Thanks for the feedback! I might have to upgrade to that i5-4430, assuming I can allot the money for it.
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July 1, 2013 7:23:03 AM

slomo4sho said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M 86.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($64.80 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $833.31


I wasn't sure if the ~$800 budget included the OS since your parts list didn't include it. If it doesn't I would recommend picking up the 8350 instead of the 6300:

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)


I forgot to include the OEM Windows 7 is my build, thanks for pointing that out lol. So I would stick to the 6300.
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a c 392 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 7:23:28 AM

Yes in gaming the i5 will be many times better than that Phenom 2 x4 965BE. Its a new CPU vs. a 5 year old CPU. I upgraded from a 965BE to an i3 and there was a major difference in gaming power.

If you must keep the SSD, Change everything else like the case and ditch the sound card and get a better GPU. At 1080p you will be playing games at mix of medium and high settings with a 650ti BOOST.

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a c 392 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 7:26:03 AM

slomo4sho said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 120M 86.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($69.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($64.80 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($309.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $833.31


I wasn't sure if the ~$800 budget included the OS since your parts list didn't include it. If it doesn't I would recommend picking up the 8350 instead of the 6300:

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)


An fx 6300 with a 7970 is pretty unbalanced. I would honestly go for an i5 with a gtx770 instead for sure.
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July 1, 2013 7:29:54 AM

tiny voices said:
Yes in gaming the i5 will be many times better than that Phenom 2 x4 965BE. Its a new CPU vs. a 5 year old CPU. I upgraded from a 965BE to an i3 and there was a major difference in gaming power.

If you must keep the SSD, Change everything else like the case and ditch the sound card and get a better GPU. At 1080p you will be playing games at mix of medium and high settings with a 650ti BOOST.



Now if you have previous experience (or have the big picture from other users) with using an SSD for your OS and don't think it proves to be worth it, then I will ditch the SSD to put the money towards a better CPU/GPU. I would be fine with that, seeing that I am not ever really frustrated with the speed/performance of Windows 7 on a 7200rpm HDD.

Appreciate the feedback and explanation. Thanks!
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a c 392 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 7:32:53 AM

Unless you want better boot times, I would ditch the SSD. I just sleep my computer instead of shutting it down so I have no use for one.

The GPU/ CPU is really what you want to spend money on. I suggest you get a cheap an i5 4430 and an h87 motherboard. OR, you vould get an i5 3350p and an h77 motherboard and save even more money. Then get a gtx 760.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 7:39:16 AM

dbinette03 said:
tiny voices said:

Swapped CPU and motherboard because the i5 is VASTLY superior.


I understand that Intel processors are superior in performance to AMD, at the expense of the cost for Intel. In your experience gaming, will using an Intel chip give you a noticeable difference in frames for most games?


This is such a misconception.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHnsfIJtZ2o


tiny voices said:

An fx 6300 with a 7970 is pretty unbalanced. I would honestly go for an i5 with a gtx770 instead for sure.

Cut the fanboyism and provide some proof backing to your claims.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6934/choosing-a-gaming-cp...



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July 1, 2013 7:51:41 AM

slomo4sho said:
dbinette03 said:
tiny voices said:

Swapped CPU and motherboard because the i5 is VASTLY superior.


I understand that Intel processors are superior in performance to AMD, at the expense of the cost for Intel. In your experience gaming, will using an Intel chip give you a noticeable difference in frames for most games?


This is such a misconception.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHnsfIJtZ2o


tiny voices said:

An fx 6300 with a 7970 is pretty unbalanced. I would honestly go for an i5 with a gtx770 instead for sure.

Cut the fanboyism and provide some proof backing to your claims.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6934/choosing-a-gaming-cp...





http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

According to these studies done by this domain site, it clearly shows that the Intel processors out perform the AMD chips.

Not necessarily fanboyism, I always understood this to be a general fact. If you have the money, go Intel.
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a b 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 8:01:36 AM

dbinette03 said:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

According to these studies done by this domain site, it clearly shows that the Intel processors out perform the AMD chips.

Not necessarily fanboyism, I always understood this to be a general fact. If you have the money, go Intel.


So you provide a link to the "Best Gaming CPUs For The Money"... Maybe you should do some research instead of believing a "general fact" for which you have no comprehension. The budget provides doesn't afford you the ability to blindly recommend Intel without having a better understanding of performance/price.
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a c 392 4 Gaming
July 1, 2013 8:04:20 AM

slomo4sho said:
dbinette03 said:
tiny voices said:

Swapped CPU and motherboard because the i5 is VASTLY superior.


I understand that Intel processors are superior in performance to AMD, at the expense of the cost for Intel. In your experience gaming, will using an Intel chip give you a noticeable difference in frames for most games?


This is such a misconception.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHnsfIJtZ2o


tiny voices said:

An fx 6300 with a 7970 is pretty unbalanced. I would honestly go for an i5 with a gtx770 instead for sure.

Cut the fanboyism and provide some proof backing to your claims.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6934/choosing-a-gaming-cp...





I have no fanboyism at all. I have an AMD GPU and have had AMD CPUs before as well. nothing against them at all. Look at it this way. In certain games an intel CPU is superior. BF3 for example. That that case a gtx770 + i5 would be better than an fx6300 and a 7970. It about scaling. Some games will perform better with the 7970 and fx6300 but generally I would venture to say that the 770 and i5 is a more rounded combo than the 6300 and the 7970.

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/699?vs=702

That is the 6300 vs. the i5 3470 (not even the most powerful i5 by a long shot) And ion CPU intensive games, the i5 sweeps the floor. The single thread performance just cannot be matched by the 6300.
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