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My first build, could use advice

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July 12, 2013 9:55:35 AM

Having grown jaded with the console war, I've been buying more and more PC games recently (Yay currently going on Steam Sale!). My laptop is only about 3 years old, and was top of the line when I got it, but it was never optimized for gaming. I can play pretty much anything on it, but not with the best settings, and it heats to the temperature of the sun when playing a newer game.

I also recently got myself an HD projector and a 92 inch theater screen, which I can use as a monitor with it. It's gorgeous, but stationary, so portability is no longer very important to me in a gaming machine. The solution is obvious; build myself a nice desktop PC which can run games well, can output to my projector (i.e. needs HMDI output), and doesn't double as a groin incineration device.

Problem is I've never actually built a computer before. I've upgraded them, but never assembled one from scratch. So I figured I'd better ask for some build advice before I buy anything.

Here is my build. Rather than pick parts from scratch, I started with the one in this article, and went through part by part replacing components when I thought I needed something better (the original only had 8Gb RAM, I wanted 16) or could get something just as good for cheaper.

Does it look good? Anything wrong with it? Any areas that need more power, or could do with less? By my calculations, it should have a significant leg up on any next-gen console, and be able to play the latest releases for years to come.

I'm not opposed to further upgrades if necessary, but I'm trying to keep the total somewhere between 700 and 900 dollars.

EDIT:
Thanks guys, for some very useful advice. I went from 16 gigs of RAM to 8, as recommended, and used some of the savings from that to get a better processor.

New build is Here. Price went up overall, but I note that Newegg carries all the parts, and getting from them would actually be about $80 cheaper.

More about : build advice

July 12, 2013 10:05:23 AM

dkormos4 said:
Having grown jaded with the console war, I've been buying more and more PC games recently (Yay currently going on Steam Sale!). My laptop is only about 3 years old, and was top of the line when I got it, but it was never optimized for gaming. I can play pretty much anything on it, but not with the best settings, and it heats to the temperature of the sun when playing a newer game.

I also recently got myself an HD projector and a 92 inch theater screen, which I can use as a monitor with it. It's gorgeous, but stationary, so portability is no longer very important to me in a gaming machine. The solution is obvious; build myself a nice desktop PC which can run games well, can output to my projector (i.e. needs HMDI output), and doesn't double as a groin incineration device.

Problem is I've never actually built a computer before. I've upgraded them, but never assembled one from scratch. So I figured I'd better ask for some build advice before I buy anything.

Here is my build. Rather than pick parts from scratch, I started with the one in this article, and went through part by part replacing components when I thought I needed something better (the original only had 8Gb RAM, I wanted 16) or could get something just as good for cheaper.

Does it look good? Anything wrong with it? Any areas that need more power, or could do with less? By my calculations, it should have a significant leg up on any next-gen console, and be able to play the latest releases for years to come.

I'm not opposed to further upgrades if necessary, but I'm trying to keep the total somewhere between 700 and 900 dollars.


Do you really need 16 GB RAM ( Do you edit videos or do stuff like that)....
If not then get this....It has a much better cpu and gpu and will be much better at gaming...

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1fUPr
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July 12, 2013 10:06:22 AM

this is how i would do it
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/19cqP

the ram can be price matched for 54.99 at us.ncix. the SSD is also optional, but i can gurantee that will majorly impact the speed of how fast the computer loads
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July 12, 2013 10:08:27 AM

TheBigTroll said:
this is how i would do it
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/19cqP

the ram can be price matched for 54.99 at us.ncix. the SSD is also optional, but i can gurantee that will majorly impact the speed of how fast the computer loads


Why recommend a hd 7950 when a gtx 760 performs similarly (if not better) and costs 50$ less....
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July 12, 2013 10:09:22 AM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
You only need 8 gigs of ram.


Yeah, wasn't sure about that. I suppose it's one of the easiest things to upgrade later if necessary.

TheBigTroll said:
the SSD is also optional, but i can gurantee that will majorly impact the speed of how fast the computer loads


I definitely want an SSD to load the operating system on.
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July 12, 2013 10:12:03 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 Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($118.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.13 @ TigerDirect)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($56.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition 2GB Video Card ($215.91 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case ($114.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($66.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $879.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-12 13:11 EDT-0400)
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July 12, 2013 10:18:59 AM

It looks like a very nice build to me. Imo the only real points of debate are the CPU and RAM.

16GB is a lot of RAM and you might be able to do with just 8GB but since you're planning on buying an ssd have a look at this article first. Also, if you plan on doing lots of photo/video editing, go for the 16GB anyway. It usually give better performance when performing such tasks.

And then we come to the CPU. I'm not sure but I think the 7870 might be slightly held back by an fx4300 (unless you plan on oveclocking) though I'm not sure that will actually be the case. And then there's alse the eternal AMD vs Intel discussion, there are literally thousands of threads on the topic so I'm not going to try and convince you to buy a certain processor. The only think I can recommend is to read some reviews about CPU's in your pricerange (the "Best Gaming CPU for the Money" articles on tom's can certainly help you) and then just pick whatever feels best for you.

I'm almost absolutely certain that the build you have will give you countless hours of wonderfull gaming pleasure. Of course, you can keep asking yourself wether you have all the right components and if you couldn't have gotten better value if you had done something different. In the end however you will have to choose and I think, looking at your build, that whatever PC you end up buying will satisfy you.

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July 12, 2013 10:29:59 AM

Buy the Mobo/CPU from Microcenter.

Since it is on your list for buying the SSD. Mobo/CPU is 40$ off when bought in store.
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