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First build, please critique/advise before Cyber Monday deals end?

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December 2, 2013 5:59:49 PM

This is mainly meant to be a gaming PC, but I also work with VMs a lot for college courses. The drives will be in RAID 1. I couldn't find the exact listing for the memory I planned to buy (x2, 4 sticks total) on PCPartPicker. (EDIT: I've decided to get 2x 8GB memory instead, to allow for future expansion) Also, I'll hopefully be getting Win7 through my college for far less than Amazon. Is there anything I'm missing, or any big bottlenecks? Do any of the components require extra skill/care that a first-time builder shouldn't mess around with? Thanks in advance for any help.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Respire T40 68.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($159.99 @ Amazon)
UPDATED Memory Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800)
Original Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 500W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($19.49 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.00 @ Amazon)
Total: $973.41
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-02 20:58 EST-0500)

More about : build critique advise cyber monday deals end

December 2, 2013 6:24:54 PM

Why no SSD?

For someone with a $1k gaming PC budget, you're really shooting yourself in the foot getting a 7850.

Do you have plans to crossfire it in the near future?
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December 2, 2013 6:44:23 PM

CepheiA said:
Why no SSD?

For someone with a $1k gaming PC budget, you're really shooting yourself in the foot getting a 7850.

Do you have plans to crossfire it in the near future?


SSD: Fear of drive failure, mostly. I've got a large media library I don't want to risk losing, and I'll be fully utilizing the 3tb (my current system only has 1tb, so much of my media is currently stored on an external drive). Also, my game collection is much too large to fit on a reasonably-priced SSD, it would just hold Windows (plus a Linux distro or two) and a handful of my most-played games. I know RAID 1 doesn't compare to even an entry-level SSD, but thought the performance hit wouldn't be too bad compared to the redundancy advantages.

GPU: Like I said, this is my first time. The graphics card was one of the last pieces I selected, so it was sized to fit the budget. How much would it cost for a card more suited to the other components? Do you have a recommendation? I wasn't planning to crossfire.

EDIT: After looking around a bit, the R9 270X seems like a large improvement while still fitting within my budget, would that be a good choice?
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