Solved

My First Desktop building...

I'm going to build a desktop PC for the first time! and I have some questions about it.

I'll be using it for:
-Everyday stuff
-Games (specifically The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim when it comes out. I don't intend to play it on extreme graphics, but at least moderate graphics)

I've found all the parts I need (I think). I'm really new to this so I'm not sure if the compatibility is correct and/or these are all the parts necessary. I'll put a link next to each part for the details on it.

Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit ($100)
link

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-870A-USB3 ($88)
AM3 Socket
Chipset- Northbridge: AMD 870 Southbridge: AMD SB850
6 x SATA 6Gb/s and 8 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0
link

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition (Quad Core) ($120)
3.2 GHz
Comes with heat sink and fan
link

Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws 8GB (2 x 4GB) ($47)
240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM
link

Case: Antec Three Hundred ($57)
ATX Mid Tower
link

Power: Antec earthwatts + cable ($55 for power, $5 for cable)
430W continuous power
80mm low noise cooling fan
link to power and cable

Hard Drive: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 ($60)
1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache
SATA 3.0Gb/s
link

CD drive: LITE-ON DVD Burner (SATA) ($19)
link

Graphics Card: Radeon HD 6850 (1GB) ($145)
Memory type: GDDR5
Memory interface: 256-bit
Has 1 HDMI port
link

WLAN Card: Rosewill RNX-N300X (PCI) ($25)
Up to 300Mb/s
link

TOTAL COST WITHOUT MONITOR, SPEAKERS, AND KEYBOARD: $721

Keyboard: Rosewill RK-800G PS/2 wired ($10)
link

Monitor with Speakers and HDMI cable (Speakers and HDMI cable are added in the 'customize' section)
Dell 2230MX 21.5" ultra-slim monitor with LED I have a $15 coupon for Dell.com ($170 for monitor, $20 for speakers, $25 for cable, subtract $15 because of coupon, totals to $200)

TOTAL COST INCLUDING MONITOR, SPEAKERS AND KEYBOARD: $931

Any tips? Are those all the right things? Do I need anything more? Are they all compatible with the motherboard or whatever? Are all those components good for the quality?
39 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about desktop building
  1. Hmm... for better use of $800, check the $600 build in my sig (Core i3 2100 + HD6870). Add your monitor + kb and it'll still be under $800.
  2. Hi there! Welcome to the forums.

    Well, I'll start off with just a few tips and pointers.

    -Get a better mobo! As far as I know, ECS is NOT a good brand. There are much better options available.
    -Upgrade the CPU to at least a tri-core. Right now, games show SIGNIFICANT improvement when going from a dual core to a tri-core. Tri is really the minimum nowadays.
    -Your PSU link goes to the case. But, I wouldn't trust a Rosewill. An Antec 380D should be more than enough.
    -You really only need 4GB of ram, but 8 is still a good idea for future proofing.
    -That hard drive is a no-no! Expensive. Spinpoint F3 1TB is they way to go, to be sure.
    -For just $10-20 more, you could get an HD monitor. That makes sense to me! Your call.

    These are all pretty minor things. You did a GREAT job making a first draft! Here's what I would pick though: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-ii-overclock-graphics-card,3032.html (like $530)

    Monitor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009261 $130

    That, plus keyboard and mouse, equals $790 :D and you get quite a bit more performance. The build can certainly be tweaked a bit (Add a 1TB HDD instead of 500GB, or add 8GB of ram) and the case isn't as good as the Antec 300, but it's still a pretty good one.

    Well, I've rambled long enough. Hopefully that gives you something to think about :)
  3. Thanks! I made quite a few changes, including the motherboard, hard drive, monitor, processor (changed dual to quad for just 30 dollars more!) and PSU.

    The grand total came to... $844, including speakers, HD monitor, and wireless keyboard.

    Anything else I can change? Is 844 dollars a good deal for this build? Any modifications to this to save money? $844 seems like quite a bit.

    Also, are there any good guides on how to assemble all the parts? I'm having trouble finding a good one (or at least one that doesn't use 10 advanced computer jargon words per sentence... I'm new to this, so I'd prefer a guide that explains what everything means, what it does, and stuff. Part of why I want to build my own PC is because it'll be a nice learning experience to get to know the inner workings of computers)

    Thanks,

    TheRedStorm
  4. I'd wait, Bulldozer (Next AMD platform) is releasing in 3 days and it's going to be priced around the same prices as it is now. With that said the new FX-6110 is only expected to be about $180 and the FX-4110 about $125 So just wait it out imo.
  5. aznshinobi said:
    I'd wait, Bulldozer (Next AMD platform) is releasing in 3 days and it's going to be priced around the same prices as it is now. With that said the new FX-6110 is only expected to be about $180 and the FX-4110 about $125 So just wait it out imo.

    Not to criticize, but it's SUPPOSED to come out in 3 days :p They've done this, what, 3 times so far?
  6. TheRedStorm said:
    Thanks! I made quite a few changes, including the motherboard, hard drive, monitor, processor (changed dual to quad for just 30 dollars more!) and PSU.

    The grand total came to... $844, including speakers, HD monitor, and wireless keyboard.

    Anything else I can change? Is 844 dollars a good deal for this build? Any modifications to this to save money? $844 seems like quite a bit.

    Well, that's a costly mobo. Granted it's loaded with features, but it's still a bit expensive. A cheaper mobo might be in order, we'll see.

    That disc drive is over priced and is IDE, not Sata. Try this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118040

    Remember the monitor has a promo code, knocking $20 off.

    I would upgrade the graphics, as that's the weakest link. Fall back to a tri-core if you have to.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161389 $165, or $155 with rebate. GREAT deal.
    If you still can't swing that, this one is definitely preferable to the 6770: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161384 For only $20 more. Nice!

    TheRedStorm said:

    Also, are there any good guides on how to assemble all the parts? I'm having trouble finding a good one (or at least one that doesn't use 10 advanced computer jargon words per sentence... I'm new to this, so I'd prefer a guide that explains what everything means, what it does, and stuff. Part of why I want to build my own PC is because it'll be a nice learning experience to get to know the inner workings of computers)


    For this, I have 2 guides. Tom's own: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/274745-31-step-step-guide-building And an excellent, highly detailed video series by Newegg: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls Both are pretty good.
  7. Any other suggestions besides waiting for 'Bulldozer'?

    Also where can I find a great guide for desktop building?
  8. Check out above post
  9. Thanks. Any suggestions for a cheaper Motherboard? Also, what do I look for when searching for motherboards besides AM3 socket? What do all the other features mean and do?

    As for graphics, I'll look into those you suggested. I have a question though - the PSU you suggested was 380 watts. And those video cards say 500 watt minimum. I'm new to this so it could mean something different than PSU, but not sure. Should I get a 500 watt PSU?

    As for the OS, I don't happen to have one lying around.
    And I'll take a look at those guides.

    Thanks for all the help, striker!
  10. If you wait for Bulldozer, you are going to be getting an AM3+ board.

    As for Striker you're really out of BD loop then XD Microcenters and my local Fry's already has the FX-8110 ins tock.
  11. Well it all depends. I would look for USB3/Sata3, and lots of USB ports. That's basically it!

    This is the cheapest, quality board with those features: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157195 But it's still kinda skimpy on USB ports. It's not much cheaper than that Gigabyte board, though. (unless you include shipping)

    This is the baseline board: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138179 I wouldn't go under this.

    And yes, they do call for a 500w minimum. However, they set that restriction with crappy PSU's in mind. As you can see here: http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-6850-6870-review/10 The cards (the entire systems in fact) never reach over 300w. That PSU can EASILY feed those cards. The real issue is connectors. If you go with the 6870, you'll need a to bump up to the Antec 430D just for the extra 6pin cable.

    Hope that helps!
  12. aznshinobi said:
    If you wait for Bulldozer, you are going to be getting an AM3+ board.

    As for Striker you're really out of BD loop then XD Microcenters and my local Fry's already has the FX-8110 ins tock.

    No way, really? Wow, I am outta the loop -_-
  13. TBH If you go with AM3+ go with this board.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157262&Tpk=970%20extreme4
    Leaves you with the option to run SLI or CF (8x/8x) plus it's Bulldozer compliant and you get USB3/SATA3
  14. Ok. What exactly is SATA? What's it do? Sorry I'm new to this stuff. Also, with the 6770, will I be able to use my the current PSU too? Or do I only need a better one for anything higher?
  15. TheRedStorm said:
    Ok. What exactly is SATA? What's it do? Sorry I'm new to this stuff. Also, with the 6770, will I be able to use my the current PSU too? Or do I only need a better one for anything higher?

    Sata is simply a cable protocol. It's the cables used to connect the hard drives & disc drives to the motherboard, that's it.
    Sata3 is nice to have, simply because you can upgrade to a speedy SSD in the future. Sata2 will work just fine with conventional hard drives though.
    Yes, either the 6770 or 6850 will work quite well with the 380D. They are fully compatible.
  16. I made some changes to the parts list on my first post based on your replies.
    I didn't change the graphics card or motherboard though -
    I don't think I'll need something better than Radeon HD 6770, unless I have to (is it compatible with the other stuff?)

    As for the motherboard you suggested, it wasn't much cheaper than the one on the list currently and didn't have many USB ports.

    So, is everything else ok, and compatible with the other parts (like the memory and motherboard, etc....)?

    I also have a question about sound cards: will I need a dedicated sound card, or will the sound system that comes with the motherboard be sufficient?

    Also, the motherboard says it has "6 x SATA 6Gb/s". Is that SATA 2.0 or 1.0?

    Thanks for all the help!
  17. That's SATA 3.
    You don't need a dedi card the mobo sound is good enough.
  18. Ok, thanks aznshinobi!
    So everything else is good?
  19. Yeah looks solid.
  20. Best answer
    TheRedStorm said:
    I made some changes to the parts list on my first post based on your replies.
    I didn't change the graphics card or motherboard though -
    I don't think I'll need something better than Radeon HD 6770, unless I have to (is it compatible with the other stuff?)
    Thanks for all the help!

    Alright, cool. Glad you got it all worked out! :)
  21. One additional item to consider for your build. Do you have a microcenter relatively close by? Check out www.microcenter.com to check if one is anywhere in your area. The have simply unbeatable deals on motherboard/CPU bundle deals. I don't know how they do it, but no one else can even touch them. That is where I got my CPU/MOBO. I got a Phenom 965 and nice MSI MOBO for ~150 after tax and minus rebates. A STEAL.
  22. There is one a few hours (2 or so) away from where I am, but it might be too far if I have to go there multiple times (returns, etc.)

    And striker, so everything's fine in my list of parts? Nothing to be changed or added?
    If so, thanks for the help!
  23. The build looks real solid, you should wait for BD honestly. It'll be out in 3 days.
  24. I kinda agree with shinobi. Not because you should get the new chip (would make things more expensive) but because of price drops on current gen. Either way, I would make just one change. Drop the $20 for a 6850. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/296?vs=291 Worth it for sure.
  25. Ok, I probably won't be buying the parts anyway for a few weeks anyway, as I won't have time to assemble everything and make sure everything's working.

    I just wanted to find out what parts in advance. And I'll consider getting the 6850, if the price of the CPU drops when the new AMD cpu comes out.

    And the antec 380 PSU will work with the 6850, right?
  26. Yes it will be. The 6850 would be a huge performance increase. Well worth the extra.
  27. Ok thanks shinobi, I'll change it to 6850 :)
  28. I just noticed something on the Antec 380D features - it says no power cord included. Will I have to buy a power cord too?
  29. Haha, yeah you will. Kinda gimmicky, I guess it's supposed to be "green".
  30. I guess I could find another PSU that does come with a cord.


    Is this psu any good?
  31. TheRedStorm said:
    I guess I could find another PSU that does come with a cord.


    Is this psu any good?

    Yeah, but more money.... http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812201007 Done. If you have one from any old PC, that will work also. It's a very generic cord, lol
  32. Yeah the 380 is a great PSU.
    This Corsair CX430 is also a good buy at the same price.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139026&Tpk=CX430
    It'll come with a cable but produce about the same power.
  33. Oh, the cords are only $5, I guess I'll just get that too.

    And thanks for all the help, that's everything I'll need right?
  34. You might want to update your list a bit, it's a bit hard to read without opening all the links. Something like this, but a bit more details would be better. I would up the PSU though, specially if you are looking to upgrade at all in the future.

    MB:GA-870A-USB3
    RAM:G.SKILL Ripjaws 8gb 1333 9-9-9-24-2N
    PSU: Antec EarthWatts 380w
    HDD: Seagate 1TB 7,200RPM 32MB Sata6.0
    GPU: HIS 6850
    Hannspree HF225DPB 21.5 5ms

    My two cent.
  35. woops, Made this post by accident when editing my first one (I clicked the quote instead of edit...).
  36. Oh, I have a question-
    I have to wirelessly connect to my internet connection with this desktop.

    Do I have to buy a wireless LAN card too?

    And how come for some reason every post on this thread has the number '18' at the end of every person's post?
  37. Yes you do, I'd recommend a cheap USB one.

    As for the 18, it's a mess up in the system.
  38. Ok, thanks!
  39. Best answer selected by TheRedStorm.
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product