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Advice on building my first gaming PC

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January 14, 2014 10:50:38 AM

AM I crazy for wanting to build my own gaming PC? I have no clue what I'm doing! I've been looking around to see if I can get what I want in a pre-built, but it seems the best value is in building your own PC.

My concern is, if I do it wrong, I am pretty much SOL! Can you take a look at this parts list and perhaps offer some advice on anything I may be doing wrong, or if I can swap something out.

I was hoping to stay within a $1200 budget, including the new monitor but I'm having a hard time fitting it all in with these components. Or, maybe I can get all of this in a pre-built and I just don't know where to look? Or, maybe I'm selecting parts that are overkill? I would like to keep the GTX 760 and a 24" monitor, but am open to other suggestions for everything else!

http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Henrietta26/saved/3qY5


CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core $319.99
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing $29.98
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 $137.99
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 $84.99
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM $87.97
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB $298.40
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower $59.99
Case Fan: Cooler Master Blade Master 54.8 CFM 92mm $7.98
Power Supply: Corsair 850W ATX12V / EPS12V $104.99
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $16.98
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) $82.99
Monitor: LG EB2442T-BN 24.0" $169.99
Total: $1402.24 <-- a bit over budget :/ 

I plan to use this pc as a significant upgrade from the usual off-the-shelf HP PCs I'm used to killing within 2 years. It will be for gaming (I want to be able to run games such as LotRO, GW2, Rift, etc on ultra settings with no lag) and work (general photo editing and multi-tasking).

Also, I also plan on adding a SSD eventually and I'm not sure if I'm supposed to buy a separate sound card and wired internet port, or not? I don't plan to use this PC wireless but can always add that later. And, at some point, I'll need to add a card reader.

All that being said, (sorry for the book!) do you even advise a novice (errr, clueless) person to even consider building their own PC? Thank so much for any help/advice!


More about : advice building gaming

a c 269 4 Gaming
January 14, 2014 11:00:29 AM

Here's one with an upgraded GPU (770) and the monitor for right at $1,200 :) 

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2Bd7l

An i7 isn't needed for gaming, but the 8320 is still an 8-core and great at gaming for cheaper than the i5. And the 770 will max everything at 1080p :) 
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a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2014 11:07:18 AM

Hi! I cut some costs and managed to include a GTX 770. Any questions feel free to ask. Hope you like it!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($87.97 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($73.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($82.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1218.85
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-14 14:06 EST-0500)
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January 14, 2014 11:14:37 AM

are you crazy? maybe, but not for wanting to build your own PC.

it's actually pretty tough to really screw it up.

here's a lifehacker article that might be helpful

http://lifehacker.com/5828747/how-to-build-a-computer-f...

now for the advice- I think 850W is wayyyy too much power. For your system, go for a 550-600W unit (I'm really happy with my FSP G550) and take the savings for a better video card. That alone probably is enough to get you to a $335 GTX770
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D3F7CFK/?tag=pcpapi-20

The jump to a 780 is unfortunately pretty huge.

The one other thing I'd recommend is forgoing some stuff and investing in a 120GB SSD (maybe a Samsung 840 Evo) for the OS. Doing that also frees you to use a slower, green 2TB HDD for storage, which would be about the same price as the 1TB caviar black. Easy stuff would be using the stock HSF, using a lower end z87 motherboard, maybe using a Corsair 200 case, maybe less expensive RAM. But the SSD is worth the sacrifice.
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a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2014 11:27:29 AM

modified your original rig. check it out.
removed i7 processor as only gaming doesn't need anything more than an i5, included an ssd for speed improvement and also changed the PSU as 850W is quite an overkill for your current rig.
if you strictly want to stay within the 1200 dollar mark, you can remove the ssd from the build.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ SuperBiiz)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($33.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($104.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB Video Card ($298.40 @ NCIX US)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Case Fan: Cooler Master Blade Master 54.8 CFM 92mm Fan ($7.98 @ OutletPC)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($75.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($82.99 @ NCIX US)
Monitor: Asus VS247H-P 23.6" Monitor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1233.24
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-14 14:23 EST-0500)
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a b 4 Gaming
January 14, 2014 11:45:47 AM

A few notes if you are on a budget =

* The 4770K is a very SMALL improvement from the 4670K once overclocked for gaming performance. Your games would run faster if you took the 100$ out of the CPU, went to a 4670K, and spent that extra 100$ on a better graphics card.
* Don't buy a 4GB GTX 760 - it's a complete waste of money. Buy either a 2 GB 760 (and save 50$), or spend another 30$ and get the much superior 2GB GTX 770.
* The power supply is too big. You need a 600 watt and nothing more, unless you are going to sli at a later date.
* Not sure on the case you are selecting or why you are buying fans separately. FYI this case is a steal right now and I love it : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
* This looks like a smoking deal right now. The power supply isn't the best of the best, but I'm sure it would work just fine. Everything else looks top notch, just get a CPU cooler and you should be all set.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/MappingPrice2012.aspx?Com...

Edit : If you are going to overclock, don't forget to buy some good thermal compound like Artic Silver 5 or similar.. Also, if you buy that Antec 900 I linked make sure to buy a case speaker!
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January 17, 2014 7:42:04 AM

I'd like to say Thank You to everyone for all of your advice and parts lists! I really took it all to heart and thought about how to implement many points. In the end, I have decided that my budget was meant to be blown, a little bit at least! Especially since I wanted to include a nice monitor and a case that I fell in love with! I hope this is a PC that will last me many years and that I'll have fun upgrading and adding to in the future, when the time comes! Here is my updated parts list - I plan to order my parts this week! Eeeek!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($360.91 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.00 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Other: NVIDIA Gift - Assassin Creed4
Other: SQUARE ENIX Gift - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Base Total: $1479.61
Promo Discounts: -$15.00
Mail-in Rebates: -$55.00
Shipping: $5.92
Total: $1415.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-17 10:39 EST-0500)
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a b 4 Gaming
January 17, 2014 8:03:40 AM

Etta79 said:
I'd like to say Thank You to everyone for all of your advice and parts lists! I really took it all to heart and thought about how to implement many points. In the end, I have decided that my budget was meant to be blown, a little bit at least! Especially since I wanted to include a nice monitor and a case that I fell in love with! I hope this is a PC that will last me many years and that I'll have fun upgrading and adding to in the future, when the time comes! Here is my updated parts list - I plan to order my parts this week! Eeeek!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($6.73 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($88.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($360.91 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Arc Midi R2 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.00 @ Amazon)
Monitor: Asus VE248H 24.0" Monitor ($144.99 @ Newegg)
Other: NVIDIA Gift - Assassin Creed4
Other: SQUARE ENIX Gift - Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Base Total: $1479.61
Promo Discounts: -$15.00
Mail-in Rebates: -$55.00
Shipping: $5.92
Total: $1415.53
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-01-17 10:39 EST-0500)


Well I have to say that at the end you really put up a very good gaming rig.
Request: If you really found our advices helpful then go ahead and pick a best solution amongst these. It will help us to build some reputation in the community.
Thank you.:) 
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January 17, 2014 3:12:31 PM

One of the best parts of building your own is that you know exactly what's in there and when time comes that one subsystem or another needs a little upgrading, you don't have to buy a whole new machine or wonder if the rest of the subsystems will become a bottleneck.
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