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First Time Build Advice Needed

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January 18, 2012 5:29:31 PM

Hey everyone, this is my first time ever looking into a build...I've always purchased systems but I think it's about time I do it myself. I do unfortunately have a budget this first time around, I mainly would like to set up a good bang for the buck system for gaming primarily. I'd like to stay under 700-800 if possible. I did do some searching around newegg and compiled a list of potential parts but as I said, I have never done this before...any advice would be greatly appreciated! The build will more than likely take place after my birthday in April since I will have a little bit more funding. But, anyway, here is my list so far:

CPU - AMD FX-4100 (Zembezi) 3.6 GHz - 109.99
Graphics Card - Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 (256 bit) - 139.99
Motherboard - BioStar TA990FXE - 129.99
Hard Drive - Hitachi 500GB - 79.99
RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) - 39.99
Power Supply - Antec HCG-620w - 74.99
Optical Drive - Basic OEM Sony/Asus - 19.99
Case - HAF 912 - 59.99
*Operating System? I looked at Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit - 99.99

Assistance would be wonderful as I am a noob with Hardware so far, definitely wanting to learn all I can though.
January 18, 2012 5:36:22 PM

looks like a great system.. *drulls*
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January 18, 2012 5:44:45 PM

You're a bit ahead of yourself, a lot will change by April.
I'd suggest you look at Intel - it's do-able on your budget. See the System Builder Marathon:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-overclock-p...

You can do this for $700 with OS.

There's a lot of new tech due Q1/Q2 which may alter things for you.
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January 18, 2012 5:45:50 PM

The system build that you have does look good but for gaming the Sandy Bridge cpu'd are much better then the AMD cpu. I'm not saying that so you have to go out and change to an Intel cpu but so you know that if you are primarily using the Pc for gaming that the Intel Sandy Bridge is a better choice.
I see that you said you looked at the Windows Hone Premium 64bit and you do know that for more then 4gb of ram to be used you have to have a 64bit version of Windows.
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January 18, 2012 6:56:50 PM

I honestly have always bought Intel based computers in the past and love the performance I get, I just didn't know if I could fit it in the budget since I'm having to pay for school and everything, I don't want to spend money I don't have and end up in debt lol. I have read a lot about the i5 Sandy Bridge set ups and they seem to be awesome performers. I honestly am a total noob though...I don't know what is compatible with what...what board supports what CPU, what graphics cards are good and work with the different boards and CPU's. I know a lot of things will change by the second quarter, I just am trying to atleast get an idea of things. Also, I know the i5 2500k is amazing for OC rigs, but I know absolutely nothing about overclocking or anything related to it. I'm relatively new to the scene so I'm in the midst of crash-coarsing myself with info. As to jeremyp1979, I totally agree, I just listed the Hitachi as it was something quick and generic.
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January 18, 2012 7:13:49 PM

If your not buying till April or so then by then Ivy Bridge may be out and the Sandy Bridge may drop a little in price and you may be able to pick one up at a resonable price. The Sandy Bridge is so nery easy to over clock that you should be able to get up to around 4.3 or 4.5 ghz without any trouble at all even with your lack of experience.
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January 18, 2012 7:15:52 PM

How exactly do you overclock a CPU and what exactly does it do? =/
Sorry for all of the questions...I just like to know the ins and outs of what I get into before I follow through.
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January 18, 2012 7:23:51 PM

For overclocking the 2500k, you just change to multiplier in the bios settings. It is very stable with overclocking, getting close to 5.0ghz on air cooling. You can also increase the voltage to overclock, though this creates a lot more heat, and generally needs liquid cooling. A lot of motherboards are coming with utilities where all you have to do is tell the Mobo you want a 10 20 or 30% oc in the bios, and it does it for you. It's very easy, and as long as you don't increase voltage and can keep it cool, won't affect the reliability of the CPU.
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January 18, 2012 7:25:04 PM

If your budget constrains you from purchasing an Intel system, you still don't want anything Bulldozer. If you go AMD, look for Phenom II X4 (while they're still available). While it would be nice to think that Piledriver will fix some of Bulldozer's problems, I'm not sure that's the way to bet, so don't feel compelled to get an AM3+ mobo if the higher price (vs. AM3) is too painful. I've got a 970BE, and it handles Skyrim just fine.
Since you aren't building until April though, there is way too much that might happen between now and then to give solid advice. Prices could be dramatically different. The parts we'd suggest today would no doubt build a decent system, but changes might either make something much better within your price range, or inflation or other factors may have priced our suggestions out of reach. I'd suggest starting a new build thread within a week or two of when you're actually ready to order parts.

Edit: I think it will be unlikely that an unlocked-multiplier (i.e. "K" version) of Sandy Bridge will fit into your budget; it doesn't today (particularly without too many other sacrifices), and I doubt it will in April.
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January 18, 2012 7:29:28 PM

The i5-2500k comes with an unlocked multiplier on the cpu and you can access that in the bios of the motherboard. Let's say that at standard speed the multiplier is at x25 , then if you wanted to raise the speed (overclock) you would go to x26 , then x27 , then x28 and each time you adjusted the multiplier you would go into Windows and make sure that the OS is stable , run a benchmark and then go back into the bios and raise the multilier again. It's a slow repetitive process but you have to do it that way , you just can't go into the bios and crank it up to a number and expect it to just work. Once you get to a certian point raising the multiplier becomes only one part of the process and you have to add voltage. This is where it becomes challanging and you need some experience to go further , that's why I said before that even with your lack of experience you can overclock the Sandy Bridge. One thing you have to know though is that the cpu model has to be a K model , with the K meaning it's unlocked. i5-2500k , i7-2600k
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January 18, 2012 7:41:52 PM

@ jtt283: As of now, I see the Sandy Bridge i5 2500k is 229.99 on newegg (give or take with time) My question would be if I can make the jump when it comes time to order parts, what else would I have to switch to use the i5? I just want the finished product to run new games smoothly without lag/fps plummeting.
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January 18, 2012 8:12:27 PM

You would want a decent motherboard, most likely Z68, or possibly P67. Games are more dependent on the GPU than the CPU though, so an i3+GTX560 would demolish an i5+HD6770 in games.
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January 18, 2012 8:31:03 PM

jsek89 said:
Hey everyone, this is my first time ever looking into a build...I've always purchased systems but I think it's about time I do it myself. I do unfortunately have a budget this first time around, I mainly would like to set up a good bang for the buck system for gaming primarily. I'd like to stay under 700-800 if possible. I did do some searching around newegg and compiled a list of potential parts but as I said, I have never done this before...any advice would be greatly appreciated! The build will more than likely take place after my birthday in April since I will have a little bit more funding. But, anyway, here is my list so far:

CPU - AMD FX-4100 (Zembezi) 3.6 GHz - 109.99
Graphics Card - Gigabyte Radeon HD 6850 (256 bit) - 139.99
Motherboard - BioStar TA990FXE - 129.99
Hard Drive - Hitachi 500GB - 79.99
RAM - G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) - 39.99
Power Supply - Antec HCG-620w - 74.99
Optical Drive - Basic OEM Sony/Asus - 19.99
Case - HAF 912 - 59.99
*Operating System? I looked at Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64bit - 99.99

Assistance would be wonderful as I am a noob with Hardware so far, definitely wanting to learn all I can though.


I would start by "upgrading" your OS to Professional 64Bit for just around $20 dollars more, is well worth it because then you won't be limited for future upgrades like Memory, speaking of Memory since RAM is cheap this days, I would recommend to bump it up to 16GB (same, X2 = 16GB)

Take some time to recheck your list, starting with the Motherboard, make sure that this parts are 100% compatible.
. Motherboard
. CPU (CPU type must match the Motherboard chosen)
. Ram (must match type/speed/volts)
. Video card (must match the PCIex version 2.0/2.1)
Now move into the power supply (I would recommend a PC Power and Cooling) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
this would be a good and reliable choice ($100 after rebate)

The power supply is often "downplayed" by builders, odd because it is the one part that gives "life" to the whole system.
If not enough or not stable power is delivered to your system it could cause problems.

Lastly look for a case that can fit whatever Video card you have chosen, some are so tight, that if you need to add/remove another part like a hard drive you would have to remove the video card.... that's NOT a good case for you. Make sure that you read the measurements and the comments on Newegg from other users.

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January 18, 2012 8:58:30 PM

longpig said:
You're a bit ahead of yourself, a lot will change by April.
I'd suggest you look at Intel - it's do-able on your budget. See the System Builder Marathon:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-overclock-p...

You can do this for $700 with OS.

There's a lot of new tech due Q1/Q2 which may alter things for you.


not sure what is coming out in April that makes any difference, like does Intel come out with a $100 cpu that has great performance? not likely.

That said, it is always a problem that waiting for a few months or buying now, can lead to a disappointing wait.. :sol:  or buyers remorse.
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January 18, 2012 9:09:00 PM

@mmachin...I don't have the money right now, or I would be all over the order tonight. But I have to wait until April because I will have some money put back, birthday money lol, and a spare check to throw around.
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January 18, 2012 9:31:18 PM

Many prices, like CPUs, GPUs, hard drives, and mobos, are likely to be very different, and hopefully lower. Some things don't seem to change much, like cases and PSUs, and other things are so cheap it's hard to imagine them getting any cheaper, like RAM and optical drives. Keep an eye open for deals in the latter two categories, and you may be able to pick up a few things piecemeal (as you can afford it). For example, $40 for 8GB of DDR3-1600 looks unbeatable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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January 18, 2012 10:50:47 PM

In the case of RAM...which is better? Corsair Vengeance or G.Skill Ripjaws X-Series?
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January 19, 2012 12:04:12 AM

Well, I prefer G.Skill, but mine is low profile, which is less likely to be blocked by a large HSF. It's also low voltage; 1.35V DDR3-1600.
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January 19, 2012 12:36:01 AM

I prefer Corsair ram and I have had both and found Corsair to be a little better at overclocking.
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January 26, 2012 10:04:21 AM

Best answer selected by jsek89.
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January 26, 2012 11:42:45 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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