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Looking for insight: My 1st Desktop PC Build

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December 7, 2011 3:30:12 PM

My objective is to build my very first desktop PC. I am open to any suggestions but, want to be sure the products come from respectable vendors with good customer support.

Budget:
-$1,400-$1,600 usd (inc. all new desktop PC hardware/software and monitor)

Capabilities:
-Stream content (movies, pics, home videos) to my TV (Sony KDL55HX820, built in wifi)
-Play WOW on ultra settings (in 10/25 man raids)

Assumptions:
-I have never built a computer before (most I have done is add RAM)
-I have a wireless router Sony KDL55 HX820 (w/ built in wifi

Concern:
-If something goes wrong, will the product manufactures support be able to help the novice? Dell has made billions off this concern and I don’t want to contribute to that.

Your insight/suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2011 4:52:45 PM

Intel or AMD? nVidia or ATi?
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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2011 4:54:08 PM

If you are looking to cut down on customer service woes, try to make as many parts as possible from the same company...
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 7, 2011 8:06:14 PM

Don't expect much tech support for parts. You're supposed to know what you're doing already when you get into building, as far as they are concerned. Luckily, you have us. What you want from the vendor is quick service and customer support, easy RMAs, and good prices. I use Newegg, usually.

A few thoughts:

Anything that will do WOW Ultra at 1920 will laugh at any video you throw at it, so shoot for the gaming. The two vital components, and the two the most variable, are the CPU and GPU. You want to balance the two while staying within budget. After you pick the cheapest mobo, case, OS, etc. that will do what you want and you can live with, look at Tom's Hierarchy Charts for CPUs and GPUs. Pick each component from the same tier, the highest tier you can afford with the money you have left. As a rule, you want more graphics card than CPU for gaming if you are faced with that choice. Another way to do it is to max out your CPU (because they don't resell well and are a pain to swap) and escalate the graphics card as time goes on---not everybody has $750 to buy a GTX 590 right off the bat. You can sell the old card as you upgrade. You can derive a rough equivalence between the AMD and nVidia cards with the Chart, too.

You might consider SLI or Xfire as a graphics card betterment option.

You want a monitor capable of 1080p HDTV, so it has to have a native resolution no coarser than 1920X1080---1920X1200 is usual for computer monitors like that.

Hardwire your ethernet.

Pull the power plug from the wall and wait a minute before even thinking about doing anything inside the case.

Check my sig---mine is a so-so enthusiast rig with a top-notch last-gen dual-chip graphics card. I intend to get a 590 as soon as my wife will let me.
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December 8, 2011 4:42:55 PM

Thanks for your input.

@H4wk377 - I have no preference although I have been pleased with Intel/nVidia from my old computer. Open to suggestion.

@Petrofsky - Are you suggesting I hardwire my TV? I prefer to keep as few wire as possible. My TV is wall mounted and I want to avoid adding another cable.

Re: Motherboards is there anything I should be looking for specifically?
Re: PSU is there a minimum for what I need? I am not a Crysis player or looking to do Overclocking. WOW and streaming video is the max. Would a low watt PSU (e.g. 450w) be enough?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2011 5:14:39 PM

padawan_808 said:
@Petrofsky - Are you suggesting I hardwire my TV? I prefer to keep as few wire as possible. My TV is wall mounted and I want to avoid adding another cable.


Oh, I missed that. I meant run a wire from your router to your computer, but you're feeding your TV through WiFi? I'm having trouble wrapping my head around that. You are not getting the best quality that way, I guess you know. I would definitely hard-wire that, too, since you asked. I do know what a pain that can be. It took me a whole afternoon to fish a wire to my upstairs office.
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2011 8:15:54 PM

You have two problems:
First, component selection. Do a new post here with budget, main purpose of computer, and any preferences you have.

Second, building the thing.

Build it yourself:
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-13-step-step...

And although this primarily a troubleshooting thread, the first part contains a checklist that will catch most noob mistakes:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261145-31-read-postin...

newegg has a three part video series on their website about selecting components and building a computer.
http://www.newegg.com/Store/Promotion.aspx?storeid=33&n...
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a c 78 B Homebuilt system
December 8, 2011 9:01:47 PM

If all you care to do is max settings on WOW on tiny raids (never played it, but I did play in EQ in 150 man raids) then a solid micro board with 1 video card and 2 RAM slots is going to be good enough.

This board for $75 should be good enough

ASUS P8H61-M LE/CSM (REV 3.0) LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

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

Next is the processor. You have the budget for it so you might as well go straight to a 2500k for $220.

Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 BX80623I52500K

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

As for RAM, you will want the standard 8GBs, as with this product for $30

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL

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

You will want to keep everything cool and have a lot of room for cable management and fans and stuff. I personally like my case a lot and I would suggest it for this application too.

LIAN LI Lancool PC-K59 Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

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

It sucks that you can't get it for $60 anymore since that was a 1 day cyber monday thing, but its still a good case for $100.

Not sure if you intended to have a monitor with this, but the budget is fine with one so I will suggest one anyway.

ViewSonic VA2448m-LED Black 24" Full HD LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers 300 cd/m2 DC 10,000,000:1 (1,000:1)

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

You will need Windows 7 64 bit which will run you about $110

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

It isn't a full version, but it is documented here and there on the internet how to install the full version off of an upgrade CD so it should be good enough.

The keyboard and mouse exact models aren't that big of a deal, but lets say you want to go fancy and we can budget $50 for both together.

That is about $780 shipped so far

This build doesn't have room for multiple video cards so a mid range PSU is good enough, like this one for $73

Antec BP550 Plus 550W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.2 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply

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

Antec is a really good PSU brand and you can trust it will perform like the label says and it is modular as well for good cable management.

The CD/DVD drive doesn't matter too much, I will just call that $30 and be done with it. You can get something for that easily that will be a good maker and model.

Hard drives are a big expensive right now so I will just stick with a good brand 1TB for $148

SAMSUNG EcoGreen F2 HD103SI 1TB 5400 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

That gives you about $400 - $600 left to pour into a video card. A 6950 is a really good deal at $250 after Rebate so I will go with that

XFX HD-695X-CDFC Radeon HD 6950 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity

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

You also get a free Dirt 3 game with it. I have it from when I recently bought my card and I like the game, personally.

You need wireless capability so here is a micro antenna for $10

Rosewill RNX-MiniN1 (RWLD-110001) Wireless-N 2.0 Dongle (1T1R) IEEE 802.11b/g/n, USB2.0 Up to 150Mbps Data Rates, WEP 64/128, WPA/WPA2, and IEEE 802.1x

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

That is about $1300 worth of PC right there including a monitor and windows and all that stuff.

You can use the extra to potentially buy a SSD for your boot drive and programs to ensure quick load times on things if you want or you can just save it for games or something instead.
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December 12, 2011 12:53:29 PM

Cheers to all of you for the responses. I will look into the links you provided and follow up with any questions.

@Petrofsky - To clarify, I will connect my TV directly to my cable line for TV signal and would like to stream content from my PC to my TV via wifi.
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December 12, 2011 1:56:05 PM

Cheers to all of you for the responses. I will look into the links you provided and follow up with any questions.

@Petrofsky - To clarify, I will connect my TV directly to my cable line for TV signal and would like to stream content from my PC to my TV via wifi.
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