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First build/gaming PC - Please point and laugh at what I did wrong

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July 30, 2013 9:07:33 AM

I asked for help about a month ago, but was scared to pull the trigger. After spending the last month doing some research, I might be at the point where I can actually feel comfortable building my first PC. Intel inside. :)  Games include D3, Skyrim, Neverwinter at the moment. As always, thanks for your help.


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4570 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($159.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($92.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($62.13 @ TigerDirect)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($162.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($263.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.50 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($45.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1042.52
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-30 12:02 EDT-0400)
July 30, 2013 9:09:20 AM

Do you plan on overclocking, or do you want the option of overclocking in the future?
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July 30, 2013 9:17:46 AM

Get the unlocked core ('K') version of your i5, it's about $10 more but allows the option to OC might you EVER need it.
If you would like to overclock even more, get a 650W bronze/silver/gold PSU but you probably don't need it.
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July 30, 2013 9:18:04 AM

No, I do not want to overclock. It sounds very difficult and far beyond my abilities.
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July 30, 2013 9:20:40 AM



verno71 said:
No, I do not want to overclock. It sounds very difficult and far beyond my abilities.


Normally modern motherboards will have a one click overclock setting in the BIOS.
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July 30, 2013 9:24:13 AM

verno71 said:
No, I do not want to overclock. It sounds very difficult and far beyond my abilities.


In that case, your rig is great, there is nothing that i can really change that is major.

Minor possible changes (but this is just nit picking):
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($92.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($56.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($162.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: PNY GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($239.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.50 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($45.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1028.39
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-30 12:23 EDT-0400)
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July 30, 2013 9:24:13 AM

verno71 said:
No, I do not want to overclock. It sounds very difficult and far beyond my abilities.


There's a difference between maxing OC and light OCing. Light OCing can be easily done without changing any voltage settings and should generally be very safe. The light OC can be very well worth it.
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July 30, 2013 9:24:31 AM

Overclocking isn't particularly difficult, since many motherboards automate much of the process, at least for "basic" overclocking. Still, it is by no stretch something you "have" to do.
That said, I'm not going to niggle this build. If you don't want the option of overclocking, it looks very good.
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July 30, 2013 9:27:59 AM

I would throw in an aftermarket CPU cooler so it runs cool and quiet...mainly for noise reduction, those stock ones are horrible.
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July 30, 2013 9:30:25 AM

Thanks so much to everyone. The response time on this site is amazing and the people are very helpful. 5 stars.

Now I am off to learn about overclocking.

Edit - Aftermarket CPU cooler - do you have one to recommend for this system?
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July 30, 2013 9:30:51 AM

The Intel stock cooler isn't too bad, for stock operation.
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July 30, 2013 9:35:07 AM

For aftermarket CPU coolers (will be handy) :
Hyper 212 evo or http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Will both do fine tbh.

I do recommend an aftermarket CPU cooler because even though the stock cooler isn't too bad usually, the Haswell produce more heat than the Ivy Bridges.
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July 30, 2013 9:48:28 AM

Couple of points:
On Overclocking:
.. Yes it is very easy.
---- Bare in mind a "mild OC of say 10% does not result in a Noticable system performance gain. Remember the CPU is only one part of the equation for overall system performance. To be noticable need at least 15% or greater.

.. Yes You need a "K" Cpu, BUT you ALSO NEED a "Z" series MB. Yes CURRENTLY some of the non Z MBs alow OCing. HOWEVER intel is working to Disable Overclocking on Non-Z MB. They are pushing the MB venders to come out with a Bios update that would accomplish this and if that doesn't go over then they are looking at a "push" of a Windows Update that would effectively prevent OCing on non Z MBs.

.. On HSF. I do recommend a 3rd party HSF, EVEN for as stock operation. Remember the Cooler the CPU operates the Better. The Intel stock HSF is at the bottom of the performance heap!!. Not make a diff at idle, but when the cpu is operating full bore a 3rd party HSF will lower your core temperatures by 5 or more degress C.
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July 30, 2013 9:48:52 AM

Onus said:
Instead of CM, I recommend the similarly-performing (within 1C but quieter, per Frostytech reviews) Xigmatek Gaia, as it is considerably cheaper: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... at only $25. I use them myself, and have no issues with them.


As a side note the rig in your signature is pretty awesome :) 
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July 30, 2013 9:53:38 AM

Thanks. It runs well for me (cooled by a Gaia), but the HD7970 is a really big card for that case. It's overkill for my needs (I don't play FPS because I'm deaf in one ear), but I built it to be very future-resistant and not need to be replaced for a LONG time. I may move it to the AMD rig (also cooled by a Gaia) as the case is larger and has better airflow.
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July 30, 2013 10:06:03 AM

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

Here's another build close to your budget but features a GTX 770. Though some parts is compromise such as an SSD, if you feels like you need it, your build is perfectly fine. Now, some people might say a 760 is a better budget performance than a 770 but, according to your build, it doesn't seem that you'll be going SLI, as a fact, I suggest getting the better one because the likelihood that the 760 to perform well in next gen games as my guess would be around ~40fps for decent High graphics.
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September 10, 2013 8:55:09 AM

So I put this all together and it didn't work. This has been the most frustrating experience with regards to technology I have ever had. I ended up handing this off to our IT dept and they couldn't get it work either. I felt some satisfaction in that. :) 

One thing to note about this board, it doesn't come with a speaker, so you can't hear the error beeps at posting.

CPU and RAM had to be RMA'd. Still waiting on the RAM to get here. That new Dell computer is looking pretty good right now/ lol
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