Help building my first PC

Hello, everyone. I have owned pre-built PC's from several terrible companies, their horrific computers have caused me to follow this path. This will be my first time building a PC. My budget is about $600-$700.

I would use this pc for:

The basics- watching videos online, etc.
Google Sketchup
Lightwave (possibly)
Games- I don't see myself playing a lot of games. At this point I only see myself playing Minecraft and Shogun 2: Total War.
Movies- Blu-ray? I would need a recommendation for a Blu-ray drive with software to watch movies included.

I'm looking for a PC build that will deliver fast perfomance and that runs cool. I no longer want to worry about my PC shutting of because of overheating. I use my PC a lot! Heavy use!

I'm looking for help with an Intel build and AMD build. Depending on my budget in 2 weeks, I'll go with the one I can afford.


For Intel I'm interested in this:

I'm in love with the case. I don't want to go for a Z68 motherboard, because... what am I going to use the integrated graphics for? I don't plan on overclocking, but if I ever decide to then this PC will be ready for it.

Is this DIY PC combo too much for what I need it to do?

Would a GeForce GTX 560 Ti be good enough for this Intel build, or do I need a better graphics card?

I plan to add one 2 weeks after the PC purchase.


As for the AMD build... well I'm lost there. I'm hoping to get help. An AMD DIY combo perhaps? I don't know what AMD motherboards are best or what are the currently released models. I would also use this AMD build for the same tasks. I'm also looking for performance as stated above. I would still use the Storm Scout case.

I also need recommendations on a CPU cooler. I don't want to use liquid cooling.

Also a recommendation on monitor resolution?

All help is extremely appreciated.

Thank You.
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More about help building
  1. How about this build,...?
    i5 + PCP&S 650W

    Gigabyte Z68 + GSKillz 8GB DDR3

    CASE of your choice-

    Samsung F3 1TB

    And IMO this video card would suffice for your gaming needs, also you can add 1 more later on if you want to,...

    BD - Check this one - Though on costlier side, seems to have the needed software,...
  2. Does the $600-$700 include the monitor ?
    And does it need to include mouse and keyboard as well?

    Do you have some low end PCIe based video card to let you run the computer until you can buy the graphics card?
    because if you don't it is just simply worth it to wait until you do have the money and get the whole thing on one go.
  3. Well here is an AMD build:

    CPU: Phenom II x4 955BE $119.99
    Mobo: Asrock 970 Extreme 4 $104.99
    Memory: Gskill sniper 2x4GB 1.5V 1600Mhz $67.99 ( or something similar )
    GPU: None ( as you said you would get one later. I would also suggest the 6870, they are nicely priced at the moment for the performance. )
    HDD: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB $64.99
    Bluray: Asus 12x BD-ROM $69.99
    Case: Cooler Master Storm Scout $89.99
    PSU: Antec HCG-750 $94.99 ( before $25 MIR )

    PowerDVD 11 ultra: $89.95 ( or PowerDVD 10 ultra $59.95 ) from: Cyberlink website

    Total: $702.88 ( before $25 MIR )

    Lets you run a Crossfire setup for the 6870's as well.

    This is cheap and comes with everything needed including thermal paste
    CPU cooler: Coolermaster Hyper 212+ from amazon ~$30

    This is also cheap but needs thermal paste
    CPU cooler: Xigmatek Gaia from newegg ~$30 as well.
  4. The $600-$700 does not include the monitor. I have a mouse and keyboard.

    My cousin has a GeForce GT 520 (which sucks) that he can loan me in the meantime.

    The monitor I have to buy that separately. Currently have $200 aside for that. I don't care for 3D gaming.


    CPU cooler recommendations?

    Monitor resolution suggestions?


    I also found this DIY AMD combo:

    It comes with a CPU cooler, and Phenom x6.

    What do you guys think.


    Thanks for the help. I appreciate it.

    BTW, gkay09 I like that build.
  5. Ok that's good then my build should be ok for you as well.

    Resolution should be FullHD ( 1920x1080 ).

    For $200 you should be able to get a good 21.5"-24" monitor with LED backlight and <5ms response time.

    The problems with the combo are:
    - It doesn't come with a blu-ray drive
    - the PSU is not the greatest
    - the HDD is slow
    - it doesn't come with an AM3+ socket motherboard
    (- mobo doesn't support crossfire which of course is not a big deal if you don't intend to crossfire )
  6. rvilkman that AMD build is awesome.

    Even more now that I decided to skip on the blu-ray drive. For the price of the drive and software I can just buy a Sony blu-ray player. That saves me a bit of coin.

    I might crossfire, depending if any games catch my attention soon.

    What burner should I aim for?

    Monitor brand? I'll search my area for any deals on 1920x1080 Full HD monitors.
  7. DVD burner: Just get one from Asus, Lite-On or Sony - whichever happens to be on sale with free shipping. usually around $20

    For the monitor:

    Samsung is solid, but generally go see what looks good and use the <5ms response time, FullHD, and possibly LED backlit as guideline.
    AOC, ASUS, LG, Samsung and Viewsonic all have good quality displays.

    And yeah unless you need the bluray for something on your PC it's usually better to just get a PS3 or a regular bluray player to watch bluray movies :)
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