Beginner's Build

Alright to start off, im only 14. My school is offering Computer Tech as a class, but am not interested so much in that as a career choice. I am interested in it as a hobby. Thus, to learn more about the computer, I have decided to make my own :bounce:
Only problem is, i dont know squat about buying it. I understand that basically you need a case, motherboard, graphics card, process, memory and stuff, but I don't know what to get. Im pretty sure I could find out from a retailer, but then again they might just be trying to make buy stuff i dont need.
In the end what i'm basically wondering is:
1. What is the best brand name components to buy
2. Where can I buy them
3. If possible, are there any good computer bundles.(Save time)
4. The general pricing for one.
In the end I'm looking for one that couples high-end graphics, but keeps the performance at top-notch as well.
And if possible some estimates maybe?

I understand I'm asking for quite a bit here, but the terms are :pt1cable:
Thanks in advance for any and all help :D
6 answers Last reply
More about beginner build
  1. It really depends on what your budget is etc, and a lot of other options. I suggest you fill out the template at the top of the forum, as that will make it a lot simpler for us to build you a computer. :)
  2. OH Sorry, my bad :??:
    APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Probably July, maybe August

    BUDGET RANGE: Really Just some good estimates Before / After Rebates

    SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, Performance, Functionality. I don't need any fancy stuff. Just a good clean computer, that will let me fly through games, hopefully, lagless.

    PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Monitor(Maybe)((1280x1024 I believe)

    PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Best Deals, Reliable


    PARTS PREFERENCES: Mid-Full Tower.

    OVERCLOCKING: Explain?

    MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1280x1024, may get a bigger one.

    ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Preferably quiet, high reliability, and case looks a bit above-average(i.e. not just a rectangle, maybe lights)
  3. Overclocking is simply making one component run faster than it is at stock speeds. It's really difficult to make a build without any budget - you also need to say whether you want to CrossFireX or SLI (run two or more graphic cards simultaneously). There are massive differences between a $800 or $1200 build, can you give any rough estimates at all?
  4. First thing to choose is your processor (CPU). You start by choosing the manufacturer/developer - so Intel or AMD are the two you look at. Intel tend to be 'the best' in terms of performance, however, it comes at a high price. AMD are the best 'bang for your buck' getting good price/performance.

    After you choose this you need to decide on dual core, quad core, or even 6 core. Dual core is outdated and 6 core is uneccessary if you are simply gaming and doing standard computer stuff (watching movies, browsing net etc.)

    If you are building a gaming computer, the best Processor is the Intel i5 750 (you can get 'better' processors such as the i7 but in gaming terms they give little extra and cost a lot more as they require an expensive motherboard and extra fancy RAM). If your budget is tighter, you would go with AMD and have their Phenom II x4 955. Obviously there are lesser CPUs which are cheaper and depending on needs may be worth looking into instead.

    Once you have the processor decided you can pick the motherboard (mobo) you pick the mobo based on the CPU you have picked (an i5 750 must have a mobo using the 1156 socket for example).
    There are lots of different brands of motherboard, the two most popular are ASUS and Gigabyte. Boards come in two types ATX (the standard sized mobo) and microATX, usually these have an 'M' in their name. Micro boards are smaller, tend to have less on them and are a bit cramped. Unless you REALLY want a small machine I recommend against this as they are more troublesome to work on and a smaller computer means the airflow wont be as good.
    With the motherboard you have two questions to ask

    1) do you want the ability to Crossfire/SLI? This is where you run two graphics cards for extra power, some people swear by it, I personally do not do it as I prefer to just have one powerful card as it is more dependable (no need to wait for driver updates to allow the 2 cards to work, no guarantee how well 2 cards will perform in some games). Losing the ability to Crossfire/SLI means the board will be cheaper

    2) 6gb/s SATA and USB 3.0. This is the latest technology which essentially means information can travel faster through the machine, this is in its infancy at the moment but is the future. You can sacrifice this and have the old technology (3 gb/s SATA and USB 2.0) to get a cheaper motherboard.

    Once you have picked those two items things are easier, the last big decision is the graphics card (GPU). Depending on what you play and at what resolution you may want different cards. Currently the best cards on the market are from ATI (6770, 5850, 5870, 5970). Though Nvidia also has some powerful cards (470 and 480) but for gaming they are just too expensive for the performance and they are too hot, noisy and require to much power.
    If gaming at 1920 x 1080 resolution you want to have at least the 5850 as it can play the games and will last a while. Less resolution you can go with a 5770 but know that if you get a better monitor it will likely need replacing. Though with your resolution even a 5770 would be more than required. Ideal resolution for gaming is at least 1920 x 1080

    With these things picked you are just getting the 'filler' the components which are fairly easy to pick.
    RAM - you need DDR3 with theabove CPU/mobo, you want it fast and with low latency. So you ideally want RAM that says 1600mhz and CAS7. G Skill is the common one picked as it is great performance and good price

    Hard drive (HDD) - you will likely not neeed more than a 500gb HDD, the most popular is the Samsung Spinpoint F3 as this is again great price and performance, allowing data to be read and processed more quickly.

    Power supply - you want to grab at least 500W for your computer, the more powerful the GPU the more powerful the Power Supplyneeds to be. If you plan on overclocking you also may need more power. You want a proper brand (corsair, Silverstone) do not buy cheap brands as if the PSU is dodgy it can ruin the system.

    Any DVD drive will do, usually $20.

    Case is personal preference, the HAF 922 is popular though is $90, there are cheaper ones you can get. The important attributes for a case are: It being long enough for the GPU, it being high enough for the CPU fan (if buying a seperate one as opposed to the one that comes with the CPU)

    If you give an estimate on a budget people can start giving you a build, or you can look yourself and post it and see what people suggest to change. I have put togethr an idea on things that tend to be considered for buying

    It is always best to build your own machine as it is cheaper and you know all the parts are good quality. Prebuild computers tend to have cheap crap inside them. They tell you the processor, the graphics card and then use cheaper stuff for the items that 'don't seem important'

    Newegg usually has some good combo deals which save money so it is a good site to use.

    If you can take a class that teaches more about computers it is well worth it even if they are just a hobby. Building is easy, it is when things go wrong afterwards which are a nightmare. I hate not knowing what to do when I have computer issues that are not hardware related
  5. For beginner and most importantly matching $$ to needs i.e 1280 x 1024 gaming:

    AthlonII X3 440
    785G/770 chipset
    HD 5670
    traditional mechanical HDD like Samsung F3 500
    80+ 500 watter PSU with active PFC

    that would make a fine beginner build that matches your need - note that GPU does not require 6 pin PCIe connector so just slot into PCIex16 2.0 slot and tadaa :P

    Once u want to move intermediate/advanced (not forgetting more demanding needs)look to hit a
    HD 58xx GPU
    you could research more in depth about 80 plus certtification, etc
    Solid State Drive (SSD) 50-80GB, for boot/OS drive <--once u go SSD there's no turning back :P
  6. Alright based on your advice I found this kit. Before I buy it though... Could anyone tell me if this is all compatable, and whether or not you think this would be worth it?

    Combo Discount: -$60.97
    Combo Price: $611.97
    $571.97 after $40.00

    Save $60.97 when purchased together
    NZXT LEXS - 001BK :$79.99
    ASUS P7P55-M :$107.99
    OCZ Technology OCZ700SXS :$74.99
    Intel BX80605I5750 :$199.99
    G.SKILL F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL :$109.99
    Seagate ST31500341AS :$99.99
    Combined Total:$672.94
    Combo Discounts:-$60.97
    Combo Price:$611.97

    This Kit Includes:
    Intel Core i5 750 (Lynnfield) 2.66GHz LGA 1156 95W Quad-Core Processor (Model: BX80605I5750)
    ASUS Socket 1156 Intel P55 Express Chipset Micro ATX Motherboard (Model: P7P55-M)
    G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit (Model: F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL)
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB 7200RPM 32MB cache SATA II 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (Model: ST31500341AS) - OEM
    OCZ StealthXStream 700Watt ATX12V/EPS12V SLI & CrossFire Ready Active PFC Power Supply (Model: OCZ700SXS)
    NZXT LEXA S Series Black Steel Mid ATX Tower Case (Model: LEXS-001BK)
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