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Helping a Friend Build a Computer

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April 30, 2014 1:13:45 PM

My friend has had some horrible laptop for the past 8 years, so he's decided its time to upgrade. I'm the most technical friend he has, so he's asking me for advice on getting a new computer. Originally, he was going to just get an Alienware desktop, but I talked him out of it.

I haven't built a computer in a few years (I don't really have the money or time), so I'm a bit rusty and I would like some guidance. Can all of you more experienced people check out this build and tell me if I can get a better combination? By the way, my friend wants to use it for medium weight gaming, like DayZ and recording Minecraft.

Here are the parts:

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3
CPU: Intel i5 3470 3.2 Quad Core
GPU: Asus Radeon HD 7770 2GB
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series DDR3-1600 (2 x 4GB)
Storage: WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM 3.5"
PSU: Corsair ATX12V 600W
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid
Disk Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

I also have it as a build on PC Part Picker
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Orthokid/saved/4xfo

I'd also like to know if there is any way to cut down on the spending a bit, it might be out of his price range.

Thanks beforehand for taking the time to help me out :) 
April 30, 2014 1:19:48 PM

Maybe look for a cheaper PSU if you don't need the power.

[edit] you should only need 450-500W
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a b D Laptop
April 30, 2014 1:21:36 PM

theres some decent cases on newegg you can get for $40 after rebate... save you $60 there. duno if this build warrants a $100 case. just my 2 cents
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a b D Laptop
April 30, 2014 1:23:23 PM

Check out LinusTechTips and CareryHolzman on Youtube. They both have very informative step-by-step guides on the entire building process, to help get you back up to speed.

At this budget, you can get a 750 Ti, which I would definitely recommend. You'll get High settings at 1080p with it, and it draws less power. You had good quality parts in there, just a little unbalanced :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.94 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 350D Window MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Micro Center)
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) ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $776.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-30 16:22 EDT-0400)


Edit: Also went with a WD Black HDD, which is much faster than the Caviar Blue, so he can get some extra speed with everything :) 
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April 30, 2014 1:23:51 PM

lowriderflow said:
theres some decent cases on newegg you can get for $40 after rebate... save you $60 there. duno if this build warrants a $100 case. just my 2 cents


You can get the Rosewill Challenger U3 for $40. It's a pretty good case with decent airflow.
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April 30, 2014 1:24:59 PM

If you absolutely want a Intel build:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H87 Pro4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($91.48 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($51.98 @ OutletPC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270 2GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($174.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($47.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
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) ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $768.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-30 16:24 EDT-0400)
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April 30, 2014 1:36:09 PM

HiTechObsessed said:
Check out LinusTechTips and CareryHolzman on Youtube. They both have very informative step-by-step guides on the entire building process, to help get you back up to speed.

At this budget, you can get a 750 Ti, which I would definitely recommend. You'll get High settings at 1080p with it, and it draws less power. You had good quality parts in there, just a little unbalanced :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4440 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: ASRock H87M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($87.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.50 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($75.94 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 350D Window MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA 430W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Micro Center)
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) ($84.99 @ NCIX US)
Total: $776.35
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-30 16:22 EDT-0400)


Edit: Also went with a WD Black HDD, which is much faster than the Caviar Blue, so he can get some extra speed with everything :) 


I looked at it, and your build is much more efficient than mine and the others I've seen (money-wise)

Thanks again everyone for your help and consideration
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a b D Laptop
April 30, 2014 1:45:35 PM

No problem, glad I could help out. I would definitely suggest to stay with Intel, as it'll give better overall performance for general computing, and if Minecraft is a big consideration, Intel is definitely the way to go, as Minecraft is single-threaded.

Tell your buddy to enjoy whatever y'all end up getting him, I can only imagine the speed difference between this setup and an 8 year old laptop... lol
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April 30, 2014 2:04:22 PM

orthokid said:
My friend has had some horrible laptop for the past 8 years, so he's decided its time to upgrade. I'm the most technical friend he has, so he's asking me for advice on getting a new computer. Originally, he was going to just get an Alienware desktop, but I talked him out of it.

I haven't built a computer in a few years (I don't really have the money or time), so I'm a bit rusty and I would like some guidance. Can all of you more experienced people check out this build and tell me if I can get a better combination? By the way, my friend wants to use it for medium weight gaming, like DayZ and recording Minecraft.

Here are the parts:

Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro3
CPU: Intel i5 3470 3.2 Quad Core
GPU: Asus Radeon HD 7770 2GB
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws Series DDR3-1600 (2 x 4GB)
Storage: WD Caviar Blue 500GB 7200RPM 3.5"
PSU: Corsair ATX12V 600W
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid
Disk Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium

I also have it as a build on PC Part Picker
http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Orthokid/saved/4xfo

I'd also like to know if there is any way to cut down on the spending a bit, it might be out of his price range.

Thanks beforehand for taking the time to help me out :) 


you only really need the i3 it's not neccesary in most games even cpu intensive ones like dayz. The 760 is a nice jump up as it is going from med/high with 30/40 fps to high/ultra 40/60 fps. the hybrid drive is bigger faster and all round better you need more space with how large games are getting these days. the PSU I changed to only 500w and is about 1/4 of the price and last of all windows 8 because it's faster but if he wants 7 it's a personal choice in my opinion. the case is also a personal opinion though I recomend choosing somthing a little cheaper and this one is about half the price. hope this helps the gpu is a best and runs cool I have it hope your friend will be happy with this :)  forgot the link the first time lol

pcpartpicker.com/parts/partlist/
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a b D Laptop
April 30, 2014 2:13:11 PM

You forgot the link the second time too lol

And an i3 will hinder performance in CPU-intensive games, especially BF4 multiplayer and DayZ. Average frame rate will be only slightly lower, but the i3 is much less capable of handling framerate drops and lag due to heavy CPU usage, due to only have 2 physical cores. The 760 will give better performance in DayZ and BF4 and those kinds of games, but the experience will be worse.
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April 30, 2014 11:57:58 PM

HiTechObsessed said:
You forgot the link the second time too lol

And an i3 will hinder performance in CPU-intensive games, especially BF4 multiplayer and DayZ. Average frame rate will be only slightly lower, but the i3 is much less capable of handling framerate drops and lag due to heavy CPU usage, due to only have 2 physical cores. The 760 will give better performance in DayZ and BF4 and those kinds of games, but the experience will be worse.


just copy and paste the pcpartpicker thing brings you to the right place. then your build is good maybe go with the hybrid drive but yours will do the job
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a b D Laptop
May 1, 2014 6:28:19 AM

No, copy/pasting that will take me to whatever the last build I was personally working on. If you want to link your build, either copy/paste the BBCode (button in the top-right) or copy/paste the 'Permalink' (button in the top-left)
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May 1, 2014 7:42:55 AM

HiTechObsessed said:
No, copy/pasting that will take me to whatever the last build I was personally working on. If you want to link your build, either copy/paste the BBCode (button in the top-right) or copy/paste the 'Permalink' (button in the top-left)


http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3BuzA

sorry I didn't relise it worked like that brought me to the right place but I was logged. Thanks for telling me I won't make that mistake again
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a b D Laptop
May 1, 2014 7:51:53 AM

There we go :)  that's a fine build, I love the 760. It's a great price/performance card. I would still recommend an i5 though, as games are getting harder and harder on CPUs now.
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May 1, 2014 8:23:50 AM

HiTechObsessed said:
There we go :)  that's a fine build, I love the 760. It's a great price/performance card. I would still recommend an i5 though, as games are getting harder and harder on CPUs now.


sorry for the inconveniance I feal like an idiot
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a b D Laptop
May 1, 2014 8:27:32 AM

Gracodana said:
HiTechObsessed said:
There we go :)  that's a fine build, I love the 760. It's a great price/performance card. I would still recommend an i5 though, as games are getting harder and harder on CPUs now.


sorry for the inconveniance I feal like an idiot


Lol don't feel like an idiot. I did it my first couple of times using it. It's not the most noticeable thing.
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May 1, 2014 8:49:10 AM

HiTechObsessed said:
Gracodana said:
HiTechObsessed said:
There we go :)  that's a fine build, I love the 760. It's a great price/performance card. I would still recommend an i5 though, as games are getting harder and harder on CPUs now.


sorry for the inconveniance I feal like an idiot


Lol don't feel like an idiot. I did it my first couple of times using it. It's not the most noticeable thing.


i've been using this for months though and this is the first time it seems to have happened XD
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