Closed Solved

First build, could use some advice/critique on part selection

So after not being able to run Sonic Generations on my laptop, I decided it was time to upgrade and build my own desktop. I wanted a gaming PC that could handle Skyrim on mid-high settings, as well as type up and save some documents. I've never built a computer before, but am eager to learn how.

Purchase date: within two weeks
Budget: $700-850 (not including monitor and OS, those will be a gift)
Parts Not required: Mouse, keyboard, OS, speakers/headphones
Preferred website: Newegg, but I'm going to microcenter and will price check other reputable sites as well.
Country: wherever Newegg gets stuff from.
Preferences: Just the stuff below.
Overclocking: Yes
SLI/Crossfire: No
Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Parts I want:
GPU: SAPPHIRE 100314-3L Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP
CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core
MOB: ASRock P67 PRO3 (B3) LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2x2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
Mon: Acer S220HQLAbd Black 21.5" 5ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor 250 cd/m2
HSF: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm

(Not necessarily buying them all from newegg)

Additional Comments:
I plan to also get a 500GB 7200RPM (and at least a 16MB cache) HDD.

I only want a disc drive that can read CD's and DVD's, and probably write them too. What kind would that be? Do DVD drives handle CD's as well?

I plan to overclock my CPU to around 4.0MHz, maybe 4.2MHz, so I think I want to get an aftermarket heatsink fan and some thermal paste. Am I correct in assuming the stock one will not be enough if I use my computer often? Also, can anyone explain thermal paste and correct application?

How much RAM do I need, and what kind should I get? I think 4GB DDR3 1600 should be good for now, but I will probably upgrade in the future to 8GB. Does that mean I should get one stick of 4GB and another later? Or should I make use of dual channels now? If 4GB is not enough, I'll get two sticks of four GBs, but I don't want to spend too much.

I want to get a nice PSU, definitely 80+ approved, but for a moderately cheap price. I also have no idea how much wattage I need, for various wattage calculators have given me drastically different answers. Any recommendations?

Also, how big of a case do I need?

Finally, I'm fairly sure everything is compatible, but if anyone sees any conflicts, please let me know. If anyone has any other thoughts, questions, or suggestions, please reply. Thanks for the help, I really appreciate any time you may have taken to read this.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first build advice critique part selection
  1. Best answer
    DVD Drives do work with CDs just fine. The Asus one toward the end of my signature is very highly rated and with tons of ratings too, not like the drives with 1x 5 star review and nothing else.

    If you want to better understand cooling solutions including the thermal paste thing, look here,3053.html

    and here,3058.html

    that tells you all you need to know about how to mount heat sinks, how to orient fans, and how to apply paste.

    RAM = 2x 4GBs (8 total) is what I would aim for if you intend to use Windows 7 64 bit. If you have only a 32 bit OS then stick with 4 GB total because that is all you can use. The difference between 4 and 8 GBs really depends on how many things you like to keep open at once, but many times I have seen people's systems perform quite a lot worse when they approached their total RAM which is much easier to do with 4GB than 8 GB.

    The cost of RAM is not very high and the potential difference between 4 and 8 (with 64 bit OS) is high enough that only the strictest budgets should really consider going with 2 x 2GBs on a 64 bit OS.

    If you insist on going with 4 GBs, make it 1x 4GBs and start saving up for the matching stick after you buy the computer.

    If you want to OC the heck out of the processor and graphics cards then get an XFX 650w like me. It is rock solid and will have no problems with it.

    Case = It really depends. I would suggest most everyone get a mid tower case of some kind. The Antec 300 or 300 Illusion cases are good low end cases as is the HAF 912.

    The main thing for me is the RAM. Crucial has among the lowest failure rates in the industry and I would suggest you get some from that brand instead of other potentially cheaper brands.
  2. All right, I'll get the 8GB of RAM. I am going with 64-bit, and the 4GB in my current computer doesn't always cut it. I'm not a huge multitask-er, however.

    I won't OC the heck out of everything, just a little. Is 650W really necessary? Rock Solid is nice, but I don't want much more than I probably need.

    Thanks for the other stuff, I really appreciate it!
  3. Yes it is. More headroom is always good.
  4. Light OCing = xfx 450w
    Medium OC = xfx 550w
    Heavy OC = xfx 650w

    Ideally you want to keep the PSU at a max of about 2/3 load. That makes the PSU last longer and reduces your power bills.

    You can get different brands than XFX, but I wouldn't. If you insist on doing so I would stick with something made by Antec, Corsair, or Seasonic instead.
  5. Best answer selected by Rildey.
  6. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
Ask a new question

Read More

New Build Systems Product