Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Complete noob looking to build 1200ish gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
Share
July 3, 2010 10:25:18 PM


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: This month.

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: Gaming, word processing, web stuffz.

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: Everything is required! I'm graduating from a laptop, so I'll need everything, monitor, mouse, keyboard, Windows, you name it. Even speakers, though these can be modest as I (and my girlfriend) prefer headphones.

PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: Newegg seems like the standard, but if it's better elsewhere you know better than me.

PARTS PREFERENCES: I seriously not knowledgeable enough to have a preference. I know the monitor does not have to be monster-sized huge but I'd like it to have a high-quality refresh rate and resolution. The keyboard should be be comfy enough for hours of writing (I'm a freelance journalist as well as a gamer).

OVERCLOCKING: As a total noob, I'd still shy about stuff like this. I honestly wanted to go prebuilt but these forums have convinced me that even an idiot like myself can build a PC. That said, the simpler, more Legos like the process, the better!

MONITOR RESOLUTION: (e.g.: 1024x768, 1280x1024, 1440x900, 1600x1200, 1680x1050, 1920x1080, 1920x1200) Haven't not chosen a monitor yet, I don't know. Obviously something that makes games look awesome is what i'd prefer.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Probably already obvious, but this is my first PC build (and in fact my first PC in years, I've just had Mac laptops for the past few). 1200 is my comfortable budget but since I'll be needing everything let me know if this isn't enough for what I want to be doing. And that would be: games! All the Blizzard and Valve games, and upcoming stuff like Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, FF14, are what I'm interested in playing with all the eye-candy sliders turned alllll the way up, running beautifully at a smooth 60fps. Again, if my expectations of this kind of performance at this budget are redic, please let me know.

Also as I stated, the simpler the building process the better, so stuff like overclocking, after-market fans, SSDs, all seem a bit advanced-level to me at this point. For now i'd like to just get over the hump of building my first PC.

Thanks in advance for your help with a build, it will be appreciated
July 3, 2010 10:46:03 PM

Well since you need a monitor, keyboard, headphones, and a mouse, Id leave at least $250 set aside for that. That would put you at $950 for your computer. If you need an operating system, I believe win 7 64 is $100 on newegg (correct me if im wrong) so that puts you at $850. With $850, I would get the following..

AMD Phenom II 955 Black edition ($160)
Samsung spinpoint f3 (500gb is $55, 1 tb is $70)
5850/5870 graphics card. ($300- ~375)
Cheap DVD drive ($20)
Cooler master haf 922 ($90, you can get a different case cheaper but this is known for its quality)
Corsair 650w or 750w PSU- 750w for future upgrades if your planning on doing so ($90-110)
Cooler master hyper 212 plus HSF. ($30)
As for motherboards, Im not too good with them. A good one is anywhere from $100-300.

For all of the stuff i just mentioned (the more expensive ones when i gave opentions) it totaled $955
m
0
l
July 3, 2010 11:07:40 PM

goalguy876 said:
Well since you need a monitor, keyboard, headphones, and a mouse, Id leave at least $250 set aside for that. That would put you at $950 for your computer. If you need an operating system, I believe win 7 64 is $100 on newegg (correct me if im wrong) so that puts you at $850. With $850, I would get the following..

AMD Phenom II 955 Black edition ($160)
Samsung spinpoint f3 (500gb is $55, 1 tb is $70)
5850/5870 graphics card. ($300- ~375)
Cheap DVD drive ($20)
Cooler master haf 922 ($90, you can get a different case cheaper but this is known for its quality)
Corsair 650w or 750w PSU- 750w for future upgrades if your planning on doing so ($90-110)
Cooler master hyper 212 plus HSF. ($30)
As for motherboards, Im not too good with them. A good one is anywhere from $100-300.

For all of the stuff i just mentioned (the more expensive ones when i gave opentions) it totaled $955


I would go with a 750 PSU just in case or even higher if you want to add another graphics card and overclock it :kaola: 
m
0
l
Related resources
July 3, 2010 11:16:22 PM

^ Thats what i totaled it up with :)  I picked all the more expensive items from the choosing so that he knows that he cant get better performance with a little more money :p 
m
0
l
July 3, 2010 11:20:32 PM

^ Yeah you left him with a sizable amount of room :) 
m
0
l
July 3, 2010 11:22:00 PM

Before you even start your build your going to need to do a lot of research. When I built my first computer I read all of the threads in this sticky:

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/288241-31-read-postin...

You should especially read this so you get a feel if what you will be doing:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-g...


Once you read all of that YOU yourself can create your own build and post it here for more suggestions.

goalguy876 suggested great parts as for a motherboard selection this looks like a good budget option:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
m
0
l
July 4, 2010 12:47:44 AM

The "gamer" build in the sticky linked is pretty close to the one suggested:

Gamer: $1,055.90
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGMBOX - Retail

MOBO: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3 AM3 AMD 890GX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 HDMI ATX AMD Motherboard

RAM: G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO - Retail

HSF: COOLER MASTER Intel Core i5 & Intel Core i7 compatible RR-B10-212P-GP 120mm "heatpipe direct contact" Long life sleeve CPU ... - Retail

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power ... - Retail

GPU: XFX HD-585X-ZAFC Radeon HD 5850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card w/ Eyefinity

DVD: LITE-ON Black 24X DVD Writer Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support - Retail

Case: COOLER MASTER HAF 922 RC-922M-KKN1-GP Black Steel + Plastic and Mesh Bezel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail

Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound - OEM

I may just go with that as it is unless anyone has any other advice...

(although, edit: I guess I probably won't need thermal compound since I won't be overclocking)
m
0
l
July 4, 2010 3:44:11 AM

Get the thermal compound anyways. It will keep the CPU temps down and make the lifespan longer. No reason not to get it as its only $10. Swap out that HDD with a Samsung Spinpoint f3. Its supposed to be slightly faster. Also, look for combo deals on newegg. There tends to be some good ones that can save you a lot of money.
m
0
l
July 4, 2010 9:30:12 AM

Ok I'm with you on the paste and Samsung HDD. But what do you mean by combo deals?
m
0
l
July 4, 2010 3:54:02 PM

dont get arctic silver 5, the thermal paste in the hyper 212+ is rebranded mx-2, mx2>arctic silver 5.
here is my system for you
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
total : $908.91
optional: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... This heatsink performs better than the hyper 212+ by far and is in the leagues of a thermalright venomous(costs 70 bucks)
total after heatsink : $983.39
This rig has a gtx470 which with driver updates, it can be faster than a 5870 in dx11 games
The rest of your budget could be used for monitor,mouse,keyboard and a semi decent headset
m
0
l
July 4, 2010 9:47:42 PM

But, if I'm not going to overclock, I won't need a heatsink, correct?
m
0
l
July 4, 2010 9:54:55 PM

yeah, if your not overclocking you don't need a heatsink. make sure your cpu is bundled with a stock one though.
m
0
l
July 6, 2010 9:18:09 PM

So I've got in my Newegg cart everything ubernoobie listed except for the heatsink, since I won't be overclocking. Does anyone have a monitor/kb/m they'd like to suggest, or any other ideas/suggestions on the above build? I'll def. be going with that gtx470.
m
0
l
July 7, 2010 3:11:03 AM

I showed the build elsewhere and it was suggested I should get a 5870 instead, and that it wouldn't add much more to the budget. Any thoughts on that? Also was wondering if anyone had any ideas for a case that was as good as the one listed but a little less...spaceshippy looking.
m
0
l
July 7, 2010 6:35:18 AM

Also, the I5-750 is not significantly more expensive and was also suggested. From what I understand it also consumes less power?
m
0
l

Best solution

a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 2:02:42 PM

The i5 is a lot more expensive. Counting the more expensive motherboards, an i5 build runs $100 more expensive than a similar X4 955 build. The power saved isn't really significant.

I've got a few changes to the above builds, but mainly the last one you posted (gorgot). ubernoobie's build isn't a good idea. The 470 runs very hot and uses a lot of power. It's generally considered inferior to the 5850/5870 (and the 5870 performs better in most games). Also, the build isn't upgradeable as the board only has a single PCIe 2.0 16x slot. That means you'd be shelling out another $300-400 for a new GPU in the next 2-3 years.

First, here's a great combo with a great board (as the above deal is for the Canadian side of Newegg). Gigabyte GA-790XTA-UD4 and Corsair 750W Modular $225 after rebates. The 8xx chipset is nice, but completely unnecessary. There is no reason to spend more and get nothing for it. This PSU is also more efficient, which means lower power consumption.

Second, you may want to consider the Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB for the HDD. It's offers the same performance (maybe slightly better), and is at a great price. For an extra $20, you'd get double the space.

Third, the HAF is a great case, but you don't really need that much room. A great choice would be the Antec 902 (w/ Windows 7 for $180 after rebate. Another option is the Coolermaster 690 (w/ DVD burner) for $83. Either of these would be excellent choices, so go with whichever you like better. Or that reduces the total cost more.

Finally, here's a couple CPU/GPU combos to look at. X4 955 and HD 5850 for $425. X4 955 and HD 5870 for $520. Get the 5870 if possible.

Also, you really don't need the HSF or thermal compound unless you're overclocking. They won't make the CPU put off less heat, which is what would affect the useful life of the CPU.
Share
July 7, 2010 6:29:01 PM

Thanks for the response, MadAdmiral. Here's what I'm looking at now, going with your advice:

COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
(I'm assuming this is a simple enough case for a first timer? Either way I like the way it looks.)

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

XFX HD-587X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card



AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor 





CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active ...




GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard


As a college employee, I wound up getting Windows 7 for 30 bucks.

So all this needs now is RAM...would you suggest sticking with:

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9D-4GBNQ ?

This is all still well within my price range, which is awesome.

m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 6:40:56 PM

I would go with the Eco sticks you had above. They'll be faster and use less power. Or if the price has increase, the Ripjaws with the same specs (1600 mhz CAS Latency 7).
m
0
l
July 7, 2010 6:51:03 PM

They're the same price, so Ecos it is. Now just got to pick out the Monitor / kb / m and I should be good to go. This is exciting!

This is what I'm thinking of going with:

Hanns·G HW-191APB Black 19" 5ms Widescreen LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 700:1 Built-in Speakers
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 + Microsoft B2P-00011 4 Buttons Tilt Wheel Wireless Optical Mouse

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

I'm trying to think of what other stuff I'd need, or is this it? I'd hate to place the order and then try to put it together and think "Oh know, I forgot to add ____?!"

m
0
l
July 7, 2010 7:54:24 PM

Well...the grand total is 1194, which is exactly my budget right on the nose, amazing. Someone give me a thumbs up or two on this build and I'll pull the trigger on it!
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 8:02:04 PM

I wouldn't get that monitor. The low resolution would waste the power of the 5870. If you can squeeze the budget a little, this Asus 21.5" 1080p monitor would be a lot better at $150 after rebate or possibly this Asus 23.6" 1080p for $180 after rebate

Are you counting the combos? Promo codes? I know one that's on right now is MBJULY, but it might not work with every motherboard.

If you can't find any way to lower the price without changing the parts, I'd drop the 5870 to a 5850 to afford the better monitor.
m
0
l
July 7, 2010 8:12:03 PM

I can afford to squeeze out a few more bucks for a better monitor, especially at those prices, yeah. The 23.6 would be the better of the two (it has a stand, for one), but I could go smaller if there was one that was as good or better. Otherwise, the 23.6 looks like a nice monitor.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 8:20:38 PM

There's a 23" from Asus for a little less as well. I just put up the ones I knew would be decently priced.
m
0
l
July 7, 2010 8:26:03 PM

The 23" and the 23.6" are priced exactly the same, the difference being the smaller one has is 2ms as opposed to 5ms, which if I understand properly is superior, correct?
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 8:34:11 PM

That's correct, but the 23" is $10 cheaper (after the rebates).
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 8:45:12 PM

That's the one. The 23.6" only has a $10 rebate, while the 23" has a $20. That makes the 23" one $10 cheaper, assuming you count rebates.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 7, 2010 8:48:06 PM

gorgot said:
The 23" and the 23.6" are priced exactly the same, the difference being the smaller one has is 2ms as opposed to 5ms, which if I understand properly is superior, correct?


In theory, 2ms response time is better than 5ms. However, humans can't actually tell the difference, and there's a high likelihood that both the 2ms and 5ms are exaggerated claims based on various testing methods.

If you google "anandtech lcd thread", you'll find a lot (probably more than you need to know) of information about LCD monitors, along with some recommendations.
m
0
l
July 7, 2010 8:58:55 PM

Ok, so I'm gonna go run some errands and do a little thinking about the 23" vs 23.6" monitor size, but this is what I'm looking to place my order probably later tonight:


COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case


SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

XFX HD-587X-ZNFV Radeon HD 5870 (Cypress XT) 1GB 256-bit DDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card



AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor 



CORSAIR HX Series CMPSU-750HX 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified Modular Active 

GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3 AMD 790X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard

G.SKILL ECO Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL7D-4GBECO

ASUS VH236H Black 23" 2ms(GTG) HDMI Widescreen Full HD 1080P LCD Monitor 300 cd/m2 20000 :1 (ASCR) Built-in Speakers

Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000

Microsoft B2P-00011 4 Buttons Tilt Wheel Wireless Optical Mouse

Any final input would be great. As I said, I have a copy of W7, so I'm set with that. Anything else I'll be needing? Any other suggested changes? Thanks again everyone for all the advice!
m
0
l
July 8, 2010 3:52:54 AM

I forgot to add, that with the case I got a combo deal on:

SAMSUNG 24x DVD Burner - Bulk SATA Model SH-S243N/BEBS LightScribe Support - OEM

So I didn't forget that...
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 8, 2010 12:12:37 PM

Looks great.
m
0
l
July 8, 2010 5:19:45 PM

Best answer selected by gorgot.
m
0
l
July 9, 2010 12:30:28 PM

OK, so parts ordered, and in the meantime I've been reading /watching all the building tutorials I can, but here's something that just occurred to me, and don't laugh coz it's the most noob question I've got for y'all: how do I connect wirelessly to the internet? I'm assuming there's some sort of adapter but every computer i've owned has had this built in. Since the parts are already shipping, is it something I can just run out and buy at a store or is Newegg still the best bet? Please don't laugh, and thanks in advance!
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 9, 2010 1:16:33 PM

You need a wireless adapater. Get either a PCIe x1 card or a USB adapater. I'd check prices online and offline.
m
0
l
July 9, 2010 5:24:47 PM

Do UBS adapters work well enough for online gaming?
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 9, 2010 5:26:05 PM

It's just the same as an internal wireless card. Though if speed is an absolute priority, you should always be using a wired connection, either through an ethernet cable or a power line adapter.
m
0
l
a b 4 Gaming
July 9, 2010 6:09:39 PM

Depending on the location of your router & how many walls/floors it has to go through, an internal card may get a better signal, as generally they have more antenna surface area.

On the other hand, USB wireless adapters are a lot more portable and can be moved to a different machine/device (XBOX? Tivo?) if you end up moving your computer to somewhere that it's convenient to cable it up.
m
0
l
!