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$600-$700 first time build gaming pc... need help... lots of help

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November 9, 2011 6:11:50 AM

I am very excited to build my first PC, my only problem is that I have no idea what to get.
Here is what I know:
Budget:$600-$700
I already have a case, keyboard, mouse, OS, Monitor (1080p Res) and speakers.
SLI:yes please
Over clocking: no thanks... I don't want to mess with voiding warranties
Preferred brands:Intel, Nvidia, etc. (good/well known brands if not super expensive)
I will be getting these parts around or after the holidays so if there are any specific websites to buy from then that would be useful too!
I would just like some suggested parts and pricing. Any help is great!
Thanks
November 9, 2011 11:15:32 AM

I'm decently new at this but i thought i would put in my 2 cents. Heres what i think -
1.) Most popular processors are meant to overclock. You sure you dont want to?
2.) SLI at start is not too great... so i suggest one powerful card, then get another later.
3.) Is newegg good for you to buy from? Where are you from?

-Cheers!
--Ariscov--
November 9, 2011 12:05:10 PM

A couple of other suggestions...
1+)Not overclocking is fine, just realize that today CPUs are a lot easier to overclock and with a good $30 cooler on your CPU, you can get some good power. A possible upgrade later on down the road, maybe after warranty?
2+) With your budget, unless you are doing tons of monitors, what if you just get a solid good graphics card, so that later on down the road, when you need more power, you can throw another one in the rig?
4) What is the purpose of the system? Gaming? What games? Other? What are your big hefty programs, if any?
5) Harddrives are VERY expensive right now. I suppose you don't already have one of those too?
6) Just to make sure of some things, what is your case?
Related resources
November 9, 2011 1:10:36 PM

ariscov said:
I'm decently new at this but i thought i would put in my 2 cents. Heres what i think -
1.) Most popular processors are meant to overclock. You sure you dont want to?
2.) SLI at start is not too great... so i suggest one powerful card, then get another later.
3.) Is newegg good for you to buy from? Where are you from?

-Cheers!
--Ariscov--


I am in the US, and yeah newegg would work just fine!
Is it also cheaper to get one powerful card?
November 9, 2011 1:14:14 PM

Delirious788 said:
A couple of other suggestions...
1+)Not overclocking is fine, just realize that today CPUs are a lot easier to overclock and with a good $30 cooler on your CPU, you can get some good power. A possible upgrade later on down the road, maybe after warranty?
2+) With your budget, unless you are doing tons of monitors, what if you just get a solid good graphics card, so that later on down the road, when you need more power, you can throw another one in the rig?
4) What is the purpose of the system? Gaming? What games? Other? What are your big hefty programs, if any?
5) Harddrives are VERY expensive right now. I suppose you don't already have one of those too?
6) Just to make sure of some things, what is your case?


I have a custom case that is a couple years old but it will have plenty of room. I also have a hard drive. This would be mostly for gaming and Entertainment.
November 9, 2011 1:17:29 PM

O and it would be pretty big titles: Battlefield 3, Possibly Skyrim, TF2, Minecraft so also some indy games.
November 9, 2011 1:46:21 PM

What settings are you trying to play these games? Basically would you care if you didn't do ultra or high?
November 9, 2011 2:23:01 PM

Do you live anywhere near a microcenter? They have smoking deals on CPU/MOBO combos. Like right now I think they have an intel i5 2500k for $179 and mobo as low as $230 plus tax. You can get some much nicer mobos for $10 or $20 more. I also agree with the notion of buying a nicer more powerful card now with the option to add another later. I'd shoot for 6870 or 6950 for AMD or 560ti for nvidia. Price ranges for these cards will run $150 to $250 probably. I just bought a hawk 460 OC from MSI and I love it (and the price was right- $115!!!).

Anyway, see if you have a microcenter near you! You can save a bundle on your build.

Also, black friday (and cyber monday!) are getting very close. You might land some killer deals then as well.
November 9, 2011 2:25:19 PM

I am going to set you up with a build where when you do decide to overclock, it will be easy for you to do it.

Probably the best valued processor out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU will go for a SLi/Xfire setup if you decide to: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo with PCIe 3.0: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Single GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Price comes out to just under $800 if you can stretch your budget to that.

If not, use the same memory and GPU:

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But you wont be overclocking or doing SLi with that build for just under $700
November 9, 2011 3:01:11 PM

High Intel/RAM/SSD and Low GPU route:

CPU: Intel i5-2500K $220 can be overclocked later on down the road(K after the number means unlocked and can be overclocked)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*Possibly save $10 with Intel i5-2500, no overclock

Motherboard: MSI Z68A-G45 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel Z68 $130, $110 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 $45
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SSD: Crucial M4 64GB SATA III MLC $115
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: OCZ ZS Series 750W 80PLUS Bronze $100, $75 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU: XFX HD-677X-ZNFC Radeon HD 6770 $125, $95 after rebate
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

DVD: SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner $18
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total: $703 after rebates + shipping

This route is the higher end CPU/SSD and lower GPU way.
Reasons for this route...easier to upgrade GPU compared to CPU and get great increase in performance from SSD(your boot drive/OS drive).
*An SSD is also very easy to install for an upgrade, but that also means you have to reload your OS and programs.
Other variations...
No SSD, get Western Digital Blue 500 GB for $90, save $25 but lower performance(big difference)
Less RAM, 4GB (2x2GB) for ~$25, save $20 but lower performance(least noticeable) and very easy to add more later.
Lower CPU, Intel i5-2300 $180, save $40 or Intel i5-2400 $190, save $30, and again lower performance(medium difference)
Make some of those changes and you may be able to get a GTX 460($140) or GTX 560($165) or Radeon HD 6870($150), which I think is probably a touch better for your purposes.

To get a higher GPu build, I would go with...
less RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
lower CPU: Intel CPU i5-2400
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
new GPU: Radeon HD 6870
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
new Total: $705, I think?
November 9, 2011 5:26:17 PM

dalmvern said:
I am going to set you up with a build where when you do decide to overclock, it will be easy for you to do it.

Probably the best valued processor out: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU will go for a SLi/Xfire setup if you decide to: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo with PCIe 3.0: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Single GPU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Good memory: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Price comes out to just under $800 if you can stretch your budget to that.

If not, use the same memory and GPU:

Processor: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

PSU: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But you wont be overclocking or doing SLi with that build for just under $700



I am not saying this because I put out a build too and think mine is better and all that crap, but I just wanted to point out a few problems...

Mobo: TOO expensive for budget, and PCIe 3.0 useless for Sandy Bridge CPU

The whole build is too expensive and it is missing components...

Now on your "cheaper" build...

Mobo: a touch expensive compared to the rest of the parts, but acceptable-ish

PSU: Now he would have to buy a new PSU for when he does decide to do SLI/CrossfireX later on down the road.

CPU: No longer can overclock(one of your main points with your expensive build) at the expense of roughly having 8GB RAM instead of 4GB RAM, which having more RAM will make little difference in performance, and if he does want to add more RAM, that is the cheapest and easiest upgrade to do in the future.

Again, still missing components, HDD and DVD.

Sorry, I was not trying to personally attack you in anyway. I just wanted to point out flaws in your nice setup to first-time builders. And it really would be a good build given a bigger budget.

Speaking of RAM, is your OS 64-bit(I'm sure it is, but just want to make sure)? If not than anything above 3GB is useless.
November 9, 2011 5:40:09 PM

Delirious788 said:
I am not saying this because I put out a build too and think mine is better and all that crap, but I just wanted to point out a few problems...

Mobo: TOO expensive for budget, and PCIe 3.0 useless for Sandy Bridge CPU

The whole build is too expensive and it is missing components...

Now on your "cheaper" build...

Mobo: a touch expensive compared to the rest of the parts, but acceptable-ish

PSU: Now he would have to buy a new PSU for when he does decide to do SLI/CrossfireX later on down the road.

CPU: No longer can overclock(one of your main points with your expensive build) at the expense of roughly having 8GB RAM instead of 4GB RAM, which having more RAM will make little difference in performance, and if he does want to add more RAM, that is the cheapest and easiest upgrade to do in the future.

Again, still missing components, HDD and DVD.

Sorry, I was not trying to personally attack you in anyway. I just wanted to point out flaws in your nice setup to first-time builders. And it really would be a good build given a bigger budget.

Speaking of RAM, is your OS 64-bit(I'm sure it is, but just want to make sure)? If not than anything above 3GB is useless.


I understand what you are saying, but I beg to differ on a few points. The reason I picked the more expensive mobo was because Ivy Bridge will still use an 1155 socket, so it leaves that upgrade path open and I believe they said that the new line of GPUs (Radeon 7XXX and GeForce 6XX) will utilize PCIe 3.0, so I was leaving that path open as well.

I would STRONGLY recommend the first build I linked because of these facts, but as I said, a bit out of the price range, but not too far.

Yeah, i didnt include a disc drive because I did not see that he didnt have one, and if he doesnt have one from an old computer, you can pick one up for under $20.

And ugh, I missed the HDD too. I need to sleep more. It is hard to choose now because all hard drives are so expensive because of the floods.


Also, good call checking the OS.
November 9, 2011 7:26:34 PM

dalmvern said:
I understand what you are saying, but I beg to differ on a few points. The reason I picked the more expensive mobo was because Ivy Bridge will still use an 1155 socket, so it leaves that upgrade path open and I believe they said that the new line of GPUs (Radeon 7XXX and GeForce 6XX) will utilize PCIe 3.0, so I was leaving that path open as well.

I would STRONGLY recommend the first build I linked because of these facts, but as I said, a bit out of the price range, but not too far.

Yeah, i didnt include a disc drive because I did not see that he didnt have one, and if he doesnt have one from an old computer, you can pick one up for under $20.

And ugh, I missed the HDD too. I need to sleep more. It is hard to choose now because all hard drives are so expensive because of the floods.


Also, good call checking the OS.



AHHH ok, makes perfect sense. Now see, I assumed this would be his only upgrade for the next few years, so Ivy Bridge didn't matter to him, and all he would have to worry about is adding more RAM and another graphics card later on down the road. I thought about telling him to get the cheapest Sandy Bridge CPU he could get by on, until Ivy Bridge came out, but was like meh, why complicate things.
Yeah, ODD is nothing special, and they are very cheap. I just also assume that he was probably like me and could be rocking an IDE ODD in his old pc, so he would need to get a SATA one.
But the big thing is the HDD, since he wants one and use his current one for storage. It really stinks that's they are so pricey right now due to the floods, it just kills trying to fit it in budget. That's why I figured to put the money towards a decent boot OS SSD and use your old HDD until HDDs come back down in price and you need more room.

So m1kerophone, how long are you trying to get out of this pc? Personally, I try to get 4 years out of my pcs, but some people do 1, 2, 4, 6, or even more years. It is all up to you, whatever you were thinking. This is including possibly adding in another graphics card for more power, or upgrading to an even more powerful GPU when they come down a LOT in price.
November 9, 2011 7:44:25 PM

Delirious788 said:
What settings are you trying to play these games? Basically would you care if you didn't do ultra or high?

No i wouldnt mind at all.
November 9, 2011 7:45:25 PM

christoj said:
Do you live anywhere near a microcenter? They have smoking deals on CPU/MOBO combos. Like right now I think they have an intel i5 2500k for $179 and mobo as low as $230 plus tax. You can get some much nicer mobos for $10 or $20 more. I also agree with the notion of buying a nicer more powerful card now with the option to add another later. I'd shoot for 6870 or 6950 for AMD or 560ti for nvidia. Price ranges for these cards will run $150 to $250 probably. I just bought a hawk 460 OC from MSI and I love it (and the price was right- $115!!!).

Anyway, see if you have a microcenter near you! You can save a bundle on your build.

Also, black friday (and cyber monday!) are getting very close. You might land some killer deals then as well.

I live near a Fry's
November 9, 2011 7:47:56 PM

m1kerophone said:
No i wouldnt mind at all.


The 560 Ti I linked in my build will almost max out all current games with a few noteable exceptions, so you could save a good $100 or so and go with the 6870 as delirious has suggested and still run almost all games with good setting with a good framerate.
November 9, 2011 8:00:14 PM

m1kerophone said:
I still need a power supply and a hard drive.


The two PSU I linked in my builds are both good, it just depends what you want to do. If you want to possibly do SLi in the future, go with the Antec 750W, if you want to leave it a single card setup (which I suggest) go with the Corsair 500W.

For a hard drive, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is a very good HDD.

If you do some HDD comparisons, dont get hung up on whether it is SATA II 3.0 Gb/s or SATA III 6.0 Gb/s because HDD do not have a fast enough transfer rate for it to even matter. Go whichever has the better price, but as we said before, the prices are very high right now and you should definitely check out any deals you can find in the HDD arena.
November 9, 2011 8:02:55 PM



You are at $660. What is your new budget now? You are roughly going to need around $70 PSU and HDDs are extremely expensive now, again I would suggest nothing more than $90 for a Western Digital Blue 500GB or get an SSD.

Oh and also if you are thinking about overclocking, you are going to need after market CPU Cooler, like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+, only $26.
November 9, 2011 10:33:29 PM

Im still trying for around 600-700 i had originally thought that I had a hard drive but I dont. I just so happened to try and find these parts right after prices took a big jump. I need at least 550 watts for power. Im not trying to overclock anytime soon. Im going to try and buy during a holiday sale so hopefully I'll be within price range.
November 10, 2011 12:15:05 AM

Ok well then maybe we should look at this a different way. Instead of finding exact parts and hoping they go on sale sometime soon for dirt cheap, lets give you an idea of what you want, and you can watch prices throughout and try to find it cheap. I've listed the item about what you want and the current price and then the current price and then a target sale price to aim for. Some you may not be able to hit, while others with no problem.

CPU: Intel i5-2500K
Actually: $220
Sale: $180
MB: Intel Z68 or P67 1155 Socket ATX Crossfire/SLI support
Actually: $170
Sale: $130

RAM: 8GB(2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (12800) 240 Pin
Actually: $45
Sale: $25
HDD: Western Digital Blue or Black 500GB
Actually: $90
Sale: $60
or Samsung 1TB
Actually: $150
Sale: $100
PSU:750watt(if future SLI/Crossfire) 80 PLUS Certified: Bronze
Actually: $100
Sale: $70
or 550watt(if no SLI/Crossfire) 80 PLUS Certified: Bronze
Actually: $70
Sale: $50
ODD: SATA DVD Burner 22x
Actually: $20 (Do you need one of these?)
Sale: $15
GPU: GTX 560Ti
Actually: $230
Sale: $200
or ATI HD 6870
Actually: $160
Sale: $130
Both GPUs will serve your purpose, like dalmvern said, one will do game settings high while other medium, so I think this is where if you can't make the sell prices take it out in the GPU. It is easy to add a second 1 down the road to boost performance.

If you hit around those sale prices you will get $710 (I used the first item listed if multiple items are listed for one part). GOOD LUCK!
November 10, 2011 2:38:23 PM

Because you arent going to be overclocking and you arent going to be doing SLi/Crossfire, the Corsair 500W I originally linked is going to be perfect for you. It is a very good quality PSU and its 80+ certified, efficiency is always a plus.

500W will be fine because the 560ti peak power is around 285W, plus 95W for the CPU, plus USB devices and fans, etc, you come in just over 400W, so a 500W PSU gives you a very safe 20% buffer.
!