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Beginner needs help with gaming PC

Last response: in Systems
May 16, 2011 5:39:29 PM

Hi all, ok I am a complete beginner when it comes to PCs. I'm used to buying pre built laptops but since that cant run any games, I'm now in the market for a PC that I will attempt to build myself. After a few hours of research this is the build I have come up with.

My budget is flexible but I dont want to spend money for parts that only give a marginal boast in performance and I dont think I am willing to spend money for top end components like GTX 590s for example.

I'm also trying to keep this system as compact and small as possible, as I move alot and I want to overclock but I'm afraid in a small setup things are going to heat up and explode on me haha.

So here it is:

1. ASUS P8H67-M EVO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H67 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

2. Antec Mini P180 Black Steel MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

3. EVGA SuperClocked 015-P3-1582-AR GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support

4. Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

5. Western Digital Caviar Green WD7500AARS 750GB IntelliPower SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

I know I am missing a few things like fans or water coolers? And an ethernet card? Sound card?

I have no idea what a good ethernet card is or the types of fans I need for this thing. Also do I need to buy a sound card like the old days or are they already on the motherboard or graphics card. And how much memory should I get?

Any advice about anything would be greatly appreciated.


More about : beginner gaming

May 16, 2011 6:23:11 PM

If you are looking for a hard core sound for your build you can buy a sound card but you can easily get away with keeping the sound card that is on your motherboard.

As for the memory most people go with 4GB but you can easily go higher since RAM is so cheap these days.

You can go with something like this:

As for fans, if you go with a case that is small you might want to purchase some extra fans but a lot of cases are big and roomy and have a bunch of fans already attached to them, I use a Cooler Master HAF 932, its a really big case but the 922 is very good as well.

And as for a Power Supply you will want to go with one that is powerful enough to support your video card, so something 700W will cover you just fine.

I built a couple PCs and thats what I've gone with so hope it helps and anyone correct me if I am wrong :) 


a b B Homebuilt system
May 16, 2011 6:45:13 PM

For portability/moonlight flits, why not look at Lan cases?
That Antec 180 case you listed comes with 2 fans already fitted so all you would want/need is two decent 120mm fans for the front 'optional' fittings
As mentioned, get a decent psu, as cheap ones may not take the moving about often as well as a solid unit (as well as just plain being crap)
You have a gigabit lan adaptor built onto that Mobo so no ethernet card or soundcard, unless as mentoined, you want to hook up some serious tunes
looks good build though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
May 16, 2011 6:51:17 PM

The H67 motherboard will not give you the ability to overclock your CPU. If overclocking is something you want to do, then switch to ASUS P8P67 PRO-M, which is a micro-ATX P67 board.

But really, I would suggest getting a full ATX board and putting your build in this case:

Cooler Master Storm Scout

It's got handles for moving around a lot, and it won't be so cramped that you'll have airflow issues as you might with the mini P180.

The MSI GTX 580 Lightning is the fastest, most overclockable version of the GTX 580 and is $525, which isn't much more than the superclocked EVGA.

For HDD: Grab a 500 GB WD Caviar Black (FAEX not FAELS) The ones with the X in the model number use 500 GB platters. Or you could grab a Samsung Spinpoint F3 1 TB or 500 GB, which also use 500 GB platters. Whichever is cheaper, which I think is the Samsung.

For CPU cooler, I recommend the Thermaltake Frio

Or this new Zalmann, which is apparently pretty badass:

See for reviews of more heatsinks. They don't have the new Zalman on there yet, I don't think.

Or you could just get the Cooler Master Hyper 212, which is pretty cheap and sufficient for getting your i5 2500k up to 4+ GHz.
May 16, 2011 7:24:30 PM

We could make better suggestions if we knew what ur budget is around
like $800 - $1200 / $1400 - $1600 / $1800+
Also what resolution is ur monitor?
Do u also need a monitor for this?
Good Luck.
May 17, 2011 12:54:48 AM

Well I think am sold on the GTX 580 and the 2500K so that acocunts for a big portion of the budget but perferably nothing more than $1500 and Ill be willing to spend a few extra hundred for I guess 'future proofing' if there is such thing in this case but not as I said the best and most powerful hardware available. Here is my revised setup below, thanks to everyone with thier great suggestions, some of the things you guys suggested I surely would have missed or never even heard of so thanks a lot for your time.

I'm wondering if I am missing anything or if something can be done more efficient.

NZXT Crafted Series Vulcan Black Steel / Plastic Gaming mATX Computer Case

1. CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

2. GPU: MSI N580GTX Lightning GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

3. MOBO: ASUS P8P67-M PRO (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

4. HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

5: PSU: COOLER MASTER Silent Pro M700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE

6. Memory- still deciding, too many to choose from

7. Cooler- Thermaltake Frio Overclocking-Ready Intel Core i7 (six-core ready) & i5 Compatible Five 8mm Heatpipes Dual 120mm Fans

I think I'm going with the smallest case possible as I would like this to be as portable as possible, and I believe everything is going to fit. As for the monitor I have no idea I would like at least 1080p but nothing too big less than 20 inches maybe? or even smaller 17 inch if 1080p is even possible on a screen that size. As always any input would be greatly appreciated!

a b B Homebuilt system
May 17, 2011 1:21:15 AM

It's rare to find a 20" 1080p monitor and I don't think you'll ever find one at 17". I could be wrong, though. Here's what I would recommend:

It's a 23" with 2 ms response time and only $160 after mail in rebate. I think it's a great deal.

For something closer to 20", I'd go with this 21.5" LED backlit model from ASUS

Which is $140 after rebate.

Also, with a budget of $1500, I would go with a bit better power supply than that Cooler Master. I'm not sure who exactly makes the Silent Pro, but I do know Cooler Master's PSUs are either not good or just okay. In general, excellent brands include: Seasonic, XFX, Corsair, Antec, and Enermax.

Here's a site with thorough reviews of a wide variety of PSUs: