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First Time PC Build. Advice Please.

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April 2, 2014 2:52:07 PM

Hello, I am very new to all of this, so please don't hurt me!
Ok, so, I have been looking to enter the PC gaming world for a long time now and have finally come into some money. Previously I have played all my games on console and done all of my computing on my MacBook Pro. I used to have a Dell Inspiron a few years back but that obviously died on me.

So, looking at what I want out of this computer is purely gaming, I have an iMac which is for all of my design and editing software so all I want to be doing on this is gaming and sometimes recording. I will break down my targets:

    - I only have £600 to spend on this build which I think is alright. (around $1000 for you across the pond)
    - The only applications I will be running are games and sometimes recording software. (Editing will be done on my iMac)
    - I already have a monitor.
    - I already have the OS sorted.
    - I also already have a mouse & keyboard.
    - I have an optical drive too.

Over stuff that would be handy to know:

    - I have a 250GB HDD laying around, is it worth using that in addition to what I buy and if it is, why is it useful to have two HDD's?
    - I have an Xbox One (which I bought to play with specific friends) I would love for my PC to run games at much better graphics if possible.
    - I will not be playing many multiplayer games on my PC as I prefer competitive gaming on my console. (Not sure if this makes any difference)

Hopefully I get a response to this, I realize it is a very opinion orientated subject but I would certainly appreciate some advice or even some build lists. Thank you in advance!

More about : time build advice

April 2, 2014 2:57:30 PM

If you have 1000$ to buy a pc, I think you can buy this one:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($227.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Liquid CPU Cooler ($60.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card ($379.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1057.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-02 17:55 EDT-0400)

Seen in here: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/faq/id-1650456/recommended-builds-price.html

You can change the PSU Corsair for a XFX Pro 550W that I believe it's cheaper and it was recommended to me in this forum, and the case for one of your likes. The cooler can be changed to, I recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo for a cheaper choice.
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April 2, 2014 3:15:50 PM

vicesource said:

You can change the PSU Corsair for a XFX Pro 550W that I believe it's cheaper and it was recommended to me in this forum, and the case for one of your likes. The cooler can be changed to, I recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo for a cheaper choice.


Even with the cheaper options the prices of the parts are more expensive here in the U.K making it £780. More reasons for me to move over to the U.S haha.
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April 2, 2014 3:29:09 PM

TrivialTurtle said:
vicesource said:

You can change the PSU Corsair for a XFX Pro 550W that I believe it's cheaper and it was recommended to me in this forum, and the case for one of your likes. The cooler can be changed to, I recommend Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo for a cheaper choice.


Even with the cheaper options the prices of the parts are more expensive here in the U.K making it £780. More reasons for me to move over to the U.S haha.


Then try this one out:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($227.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($99.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $772.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-02 18:28 EDT-0400)

It's from the same list and made for a 750 US$ budget.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 2, 2014 3:53:21 PM

If you are ok with an AMD build and a little over budget you can squeez in a r9 280x (which will blow the console graphics away):

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor (£104.00 @ Amazon UK)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler (£25.45 @ Scan.co.uk)
Motherboard: Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard (£107.84 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£61.12 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card (£237.29 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case (£59.98 @ Dabs)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.98 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £683.65
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-02 23:52 BST+0100)

Edit: if you can get by with your 250gb HDD then it would put the build close to budget. Also the CX series is ok on a real tight budget but they do have lower quality capacitors that have a higher potential for failure than the xfx i posted (chinese capacitors on the corsair cx vs japanese capacitors on the xfx)
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a b 4 Gaming
April 2, 2014 3:59:31 PM

Here is an Intel build with no overclocking for under 700 pounds (if you remove the SSD) :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£149.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£74.15 @ Aria PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£61.12 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£60.79 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (£239.99 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Windowed ATX Mid Tower Case (£63.97 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.98 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £737.98
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-02 23:58 BST+0100)

If you decide to go with this build, try to squeeze in the SSD for your boot up and applications. If your 700 is a hard budget then you can drop it.

Edit: woops, was thinking your budget was 700 not 600 for a bit there.
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a b 4 Gaming
April 2, 2014 4:06:26 PM

Also for your information here is how I would list the video cards from best to good (slightly biased)

gtx 770> r9 280x>>>gtx 760>r9 270x

The 270x will get you better graphics than the consoles but the consoles tend to have more consistency over time since games are programmed specifically for their hardware. The 280x or 770 will destroy the consoles for their entire lifetime
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April 2, 2014 4:19:05 PM


Haha, no worries, I might just end up spending £700 but only if it ends up being considerably better.
This is my first time building a PC, is it completely necessary to include an SSD? Could you explain?

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a b 4 Gaming
April 2, 2014 4:38:12 PM

It is considered more of a luxury item but it is pretty sweet. Essentially the read/write speed of the drive is really high so powering up your computer and loading your OS would be lightning fast, opening your browser/itunes/various everyday applications would be almost instantaneous. But there is only a slight benefit to games, it would reduce loading times but not affect the actual gameplay.

Did you want to overclock your cpu? Overclocking will give a slight performace increase but generates more heat and uses more power so requires an aftermarket cooler on the CPU. Overclocking would also require an unlocked cpu (i5-4670k) and an overclockable motherboard (z87 vs h87 mobo) which are more expensive. Personally I consider overclocking more of a hobby/tinkering activity rather than a necessity.

If not overclocking then i say go with the above i5 build with these options for budget/personal choice:
- gtx 760 - less powerful than the above. This will run everything out now at high or ultra settings this year. The 770 is everything at ultra and will age better than the 760

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (£179.99 @ Novatech)
Total: £179.99

- Case - The case is a personal choice, look at various corsair, coolermaster, nzxt cases to pick one you like.

- SSD - Drop it if budget does not allow. There are a few at a bit cheaper, one alternative is the crucial m500 but it is only 6 pounds cheaper and the samsung evo 120gb is the most reccomended/trusted in the price range

Edit: I currently have a gtx 760 and love it, but I also plan to upgrade it in 1.5 years (bought it last winter, going to buy a new gpu winter of 2015). If i had gone for the 770 I would have probably waited for another year after that.
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April 2, 2014 5:17:07 PM

numanator said:
It is considered more of a luxury item but it is pretty sweet. Essentially the read/write speed of the drive is really high so powering up your computer and loading your OS would be lightning fast, opening your browser/itunes/various everyday applications would be almost instantaneous. But there is only a slight benefit to games, it would reduce loading times but not affect the actual gameplay.

Did you want to overclock your cpu? Overclocking will give a slight performace increase but generates more heat and uses more power so requires an aftermarket cooler on the CPU. Overclocking would also require an unlocked cpu (i5-4670k) and an overclockable motherboard (z87 vs h87 mobo) which are more expensive. Personally I consider overclocking more of a hobby/tinkering activity rather than a necessity.

If not overclocking then i say go with the above i5 build with these options for budget/personal choice:
- gtx 760 - less powerful than the above. This will run everything out now at high or ultra settings this year. The 770 is everything at ultra and will age better than the 760

Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (£179.99 @ Novatech)
Total: £179.99

- Case - The case is a personal choice, look at various corsair, coolermaster, nzxt cases to pick one you like.

- SSD - Drop it if budget does not allow. There are a few at a bit cheaper, one alternative is the crucial m500 but it is only 6 pounds cheaper and the samsung evo 120gb is the most reccomended/trusted in the price range

Edit: I currently have a gtx 760 and love it, but I also plan to upgrade it in 1.5 years (bought it last winter, going to buy a new gpu winter of 2015). If i had gone for the 770 I would have probably waited for another year after that.


This is what I have put together just now, I changed the RAM out because of shipping and I changed the 770 to the 760 to fit my budget better. I think you are spot on with the overclocking, I'm not too fussed as this is only my first build, maybe in the future when I create my second build.
I think this may end up being my final build tbh. I am not getting any money until about 2 weeks time so plenty of time to change things up.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£158.00 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£84.00)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£64.52 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£42.99 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (£179.99 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Windowed ATX Mid Tower Case (£63.97 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£44.98 @ Amazon UK)
Total: £638.45
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-03 01:17 BST+0100)
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a b 4 Gaming
April 2, 2014 5:25:34 PM

Looks solid, enjoy building and playing on it!

Also just wanted to make sure you were ok with that case and the way it looks since case choice is a personal preference. I personally like the look of it (i prefer the non-windowed one since I'm not great at managing my cables but could not find the corsair 300r non-window on pcpartpicker)
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April 2, 2014 5:43:26 PM

numanator said:
Looks solid, enjoy building and playing on it!

Also just wanted to make sure you were ok with that case and the way it looks since case choice is a personal preference. I personally like the look of it (i prefer the non-windowed one since I'm not great at managing my cables but could not find the corsair 300r non-window on pcpartpicker)


I like the case you shared, although after looking I think this one is more my thing: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-cah230ib1
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a b 4 Gaming
April 2, 2014 11:44:52 PM

Yeah that is a pretty nice looking case, should work great :) 
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