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First Time Multi-Purpose Build $800 - $1200 AUD

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July 20, 2013 12:13:50 PM

* I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I hope by offering as much information as possible I can get the best advice :)  *

Approximate Purchase Date: probably this week if all goes well as my laptop is on its last leg

Budget Range: AUD$800 - 1200 (lower would be better but I don't want to compromise too much on performance)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: (not really in order of importance as I'm a bit all over the place) Photoshop, gaming, a little 3D modelling, video editing, general purpose (surfing the web, schoolwork etc.)

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, probably Windows 8 as I want some longevity

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: no real preference other than an ability to ship to Australia at a reasonable price

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Parts Preferences: At the moment I am favoring an Intel i5 3570k and Nvidia GeForce GTX 660ti 2GB, but am open to suggestions

Overclocking: Maybe (just a little bit scared)

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not

Your Monitor Resolution: Don't have one, but probably looking for a 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Preferably quiet, and with a sleek/unobtrusive appearance (I'm thinking a white case). I use Photoshop CS6 quite extensively for school and would like to get into video editing however I would be a complete beginner so I cannot comment on specific programs. The 3D modelling is just a casual hobby I pick up every now and then, so I'm only working with Blender and Milkshape. As far as games go I primarily play Sims 3, WOW and Civ IV and V(because that's about all my current computer can handle at VERY low settings/performance), but I would love to be able to play Bioshock Infinite, GTA V and Skyrim as well, all on high+ settings if possible.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I am upgrading because my current computer is ancient and about to die. Although there is a good chance I will purchase a MacBook Pro next year when I start university and can take advantage of the discount, I do want this PC to be reasonably future proof as I will probably continue to use it for gaming and/or pass it on to my mother when I move out.


I'm not exactly confident with the idea of building my own PC as it's something I never would have imagined doing and don't really have any real life resources for help as I don't have any techie family or friends, however I really feel this is my best option in terms of budget and performance. With this in mind, any advice is welcome and would be much appreciated, with respect to both parts and the actual build. Detailed explanations (that a beginner can understand) about recommended parts etc. is also totally welcome - I love reading long posts so feel free to ramble!

I have done a little research and have come up with this so far, but am open to alterations (especially if I can lower the price):
http://au.pcpartpicker.com/p/1iIKx

Finally, sorry again for the ridiculously long post.
July 20, 2013 12:39:33 PM

Looks good, except, an SSD would improve the responsiveness of your computer by a lot. I would recommend the Samsung 840 (250gb preferred).

Also, you psu is enough for the system, but it will be running at near full capacity and that's not a good thing. Try going for atleast a 700w

as for playing games, the 660ti will handle anything you throw at it for a while in 1920x1080
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July 20, 2013 12:55:47 PM

You've got a nice looking build! You probably don't need 620W; I'd recommend going with something that has less wattage and a better 80 PLUS certification, such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I'm not sure if you can get that unit in Australia, but if you can it's a good PSU). Other than that, I'd say it looks good. You could consider getting a 1TB or 1.5TB hard drive and picking up a 64GB SSD or some other small capacity, just for your OS.
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July 20, 2013 12:56:29 PM

oczdude8 said:
Looks good, except, an SSD would improve the responsiveness of your computer by a lot. I would recommend the Samsung 840 (250gb preferred).

Also, you psu is enough for the system, but it will be running at near full capacity and that's not a good thing. Try going for atleast a 700w

as for playing games, the 660ti will handle anything you throw at it for a while in 1920x1080


Thanks for the reply.

I am tossing up over the SSD because I'm already pushing it with my budget so it might have to be a future upgrade despite the hassle.

Advice about the PSU is also appreciated. I've been reading about how first-timers often overestimate their needs here, I guess I've overcompensated.
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July 20, 2013 12:58:34 PM

@oczdude8 PCPartPicker says the estimated system wattage is 336W. 550 should be more than enough to fit the bill, even if there is some overclocking.
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July 20, 2013 1:04:29 PM

Edward Gelernt said:
You've got a nice looking build! You probably don't need 620W; I'd recommend going with something that has less wattage and a better 80 PLUS certification, such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I'm not sure if you can get that unit in Australia, but if you can it's a good PSU). Other than that, I'd say it looks good. You could consider getting a 1TB or 1.5TB hard drive and picking up a 64GB SSD or some other small capacity, just for your OS.


Haha wow thanks! Bit of a boost to my confidence knowing I'm doing something right to begin.

Not a bad idea, downgrading the hard drive to help fund the SSD. The 2TB was a kind of just a spur-of-the-moment thing based on the minimal price difference.

Already conflicting info on the PSU though. Confusion.
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Best solution

July 20, 2013 1:10:11 PM

-bubblegum- said:
Edward Gelernt said:
You've got a nice looking build! You probably don't need 620W; I'd recommend going with something that has less wattage and a better 80 PLUS certification, such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (I'm not sure if you can get that unit in Australia, but if you can it's a good PSU). Other than that, I'd say it looks good. You could consider getting a 1TB or 1.5TB hard drive and picking up a 64GB SSD or some other small capacity, just for your OS.


Haha wow thanks! Bit of a boost to my confidence knowing I'm doing something right to begin.

Not a bad idea, downgrading the hard drive to help fund the SSD. The 2TB was a kind of just a spur-of-the-moment thing based on the minimal price difference.

Already conflicting info on the PSU though. Confusion.


actually the 620w is okay it is a good brand, after all. I do agree, that if you can go for 1tb and get a small ssd, it would be great.
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July 20, 2013 1:12:08 PM

Edward Gelernt said:
@oczdude8 PCPartPicker says the estimated system wattage is 336W. 550 should be more than enough to fit the bill, even if there is some overclocking.


yes you are right, I guess I like to play it really safe. I still think that the 620w seasonic is a better choice then a 550w though.:p 
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July 20, 2013 1:24:17 PM

Thanks, you've both been really helpful!

If the components are looking ok, do you have any advice on the actual build process? I am still a little worried about taking the plunge because it is rare that I have any disposable income like this and I will die a little inside if I mess something up irreversibly. I pick things up pretty easily, but I'm completely inexperienced.

Also, is overclocking a viable option given my lack of experience? I was going to go for the Intel i5-3570 until I read about the Intel 'Performance Tuning Protection Plan'.

Edit: Also, any suggestions about how I might cut back on costs without compromising the current level of performance would be really helpful.
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July 20, 2013 2:15:54 PM

only thing I would say is GO SLOW. Don't worry if it takes 5 hours, its worth it in the end.

1.Be careful about placing the cpu in the socket, make sure you align it properly(you have to place the cpu in a certain orientation into the socket), and be careful with the cpu pins in the mobo.

2. take care in connecting the case connections to the mobo. Carefully check and double check the manual to make sure you are putting in the case pwr button and leds and usb cables in the correct pins and in the correct orientation. I have burned a usb port in the past due to carelessness.

3. handle the components as if you didn't want any fingerprints on them. try to touch them as least as possible, and make sure you ground your hands before starting.

4.again take your time!! your next build will go faster I promise. If you are unsure of something, head to the good ol' google

if you want to save money, I would try to find store that sell these components cheaper in your area, or to some extensive online searches, as to some store may sell for cheaper. also you might be able to find a xfx or pny 660ti for cheaper as opposed to an evga brand.

good luck!
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July 20, 2013 3:00:42 PM

Two things:
1. oczdude8 SeaSonic is definitely a great brand, but you'd be surprised to discover the quality of a Rosewill PSU. They get great reviews--all of them do--and their prices are way better than those of say Corsair or SeaSonic. -bubblegum- I'd recommend trying to land your hands on the Rosewill 550W Capstone--it is a great unit. If you can't get it, though, you've chosen a good PSU in your build. You could consider getting the same type of unit, but at 550W.
2. -bubblegum- If you're nervous about the building process, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls . It is a great tutorial that taught me all I needed to know for my first build. I'd recommend also watching Part III, just to pick up on a few little things for installing your OS. (It can't hurt to watch Part I as well, but since you already have your parts picked out, it's not really necessary.)
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July 24, 2013 9:03:49 AM

Sorry about the late reply, I've had a busy few days.

I just want to say thanks to you both for helping me out, you've definitely put my mind at ease on a number of points.
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July 24, 2013 1:43:47 PM

-bubblegum- said:
Sorry about the late reply, I've had a busy few days.

I just want to say thanks to you both for helping me out, you've definitely put my mind at ease on a number of points.


No problem! That's what this forum is for. When your done with your build, why don't you post some pictures of the machine?
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