Building my first PC!

Very shortly, I will begin ordering the parts to build my first home built gaming PC. My current PC is a Digital Storm, and is about 4-5 years old. After browsing their website and seeing that a new PC from that company would run me anywhere from $2000 - $5000... I decided to give this a shot and attempt to build my own system.

I would like to spend under $2000, and after doing quite a bit of reading and browsing, I came across 'build-gaming-computers.com'. They had a few suggested layouts for builds at different budget levels and claim that each layout has every component hand picked to be compatable and complement each build as a whole.

I am considering using their suggested set-up which can be seen at the following link http://www.build-gaming-computers.com/high-end-gaming-computer.html The 'high end gaming pc build' option for $1850 is what I'm looking at.

For those that would prefer not to click on the link, here are the suggested components.

Motherboard
ASUS Sabertooth P67 B3 TUF Edition ($200)

CPU
Intel Core i7-2600K ($320)

CPU Cooler
Corsair Hydro H100 CPU Liquid Cooler ($110)

RAM
Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600MHz 16GB (4 x 4GB) ($105)

Video Card
EVGA GeForce GTX 580 (1536MB GDDR5) ($450)

Sound Card
Creative Labs Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer ($40)

Hard Drives
Seagate Barracuda 1TB (7200rpm, 64MB cache) ($115)
OCZ Agility 3 Series Solid State Drive 120GB ($130)

Optical Drive
Lite-On Internal Blu-Ray Burner ($80)

Case
Cooler Master HAF 932 Full Tower ($160)

Power Supply
Cooler Master Silent Pro M 850W ($140)

Total Cost: $1850 (USD)


Any and all advice and constructive criticism is welcome with open arms from this community. I can not tell you how hesitant I am in attempting to build my own pc... It just feels like there are way too many things that can go wrong. Please review these components individually and as a whole to see if this system would be optimum.

One specific question I do have is about the hard drives. Why one SSD and one not? Is it simply a storage consideration. Would it be better to go with 2 120gb ssd's? Or even just 1 240gb ssd? I'm sure 240gb is more then enough for my needs (Just gaming)

Thank you all in advance for your time and I apologize for my ignorance in PC components.
18 answers Last reply
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  1. Use the 2500k as Intel recommend for gaming

    The cooler is expensive and unneeded when you can get great overclocks on a $30 Hyper 212 air cooler

    a Z68 mb is newer and more versatile

    No one needs 16 gig of RAM for gaming . Even 8 gig offers no improvement over 4 gig IN GAMING , but 8 gig will improve application performance .... slightly

    No need for a sound card . The onboard sound is very good

    The GTX 580 is spanked by the new Radeons which cost the same

    A $160 case is a personal choice . You can spend less and have just as good IMO

    The power supply is massive overkill

    That is a build you throw money at and get poor value
  2. ^+1

    The parts they selected are poorly chosen in my opinion mainly because you will never need to spend that much the H100 fails at the price point, some air coolers with a lower price perform better and quieter. The P67 Sabertooth is a ripoff specially with its "tactical armor" that barely cools anything in many cases it even gets hotter. You also never will need an i7 2600K for gaming, the i5 2500K performs just fine and the i7 is just a waste unless you're going to be using mulit-thread. Also 16GB is just overkill for gaming, 8GB is more than enough for less than half the price.

    Check out my $850 build here:
    http://www.squidoo.com/electronicandmore
    The only thing I'd add/change is:
    Get this Corsair Force 3 120GB, gives you SATA 3 performance but also at a low price, you also still have a rebate.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233206
    Wait a week to get the 7870 when it comes out on the 15th, gives you better performance the the 580 for less and you save power as well as runs cooler. More overclocking headroom as well
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-review-benchmark,3148.html
    Total: ~$1110

    You don't need $1500+ to get a good build anymore. You also don't need sound cards anymore, motherboard sound is good enough to support 5.1 channels and even 7.1 channels and still sound crisp. As for your storage question, just get one SSD, I'm not an expert but RAID shortens the life of the SSD by a large amount and you may or may not lose TRIM support.
  3. poor value meaning the performance will be sub-par? I don't mind spending a few extra dollars if it's worth it. As I said, $2k limit. I just want it to be a beast and last years like my last machine has.

    i5 2500k instead of i7 2600k. Understood, did some reading and because I only play games, 2500k will be more than enough and give same performance as 2600k. Thank you for that info.

    No need for a sound card is also good to know. I only use a headset when gaming and don't even plan to have speakers hooked up... will the onboard sound still deliver decent sound quality through a headset? and will ventrillo / team speak programs still be usable?

    I'm kinda partial to nvidia due to past experiences, but i will look into the new line of radeons.

    I didn't see any info on the hard drives in your response. Any oppinions on my comments about them in my original post?

    Thanks again for your time.
  4. Your hard drive is good - but your SSD could be better. Get the Crucial M4.
  5. Okay, so far this is what I have based on responses.

    2500k instead of 2600k

    Z68 MB instead of P67... I have a question on this, I looked them up and it seems like there are dozens of different Z68 MB's available. What am I looking for when trying to decide which to get.

    No sound card.

    Only get one hard drive and make it a SSD. I'de like to clarify this statement... Is it safe just to get 1 hard drive total and have it be SSD, and not even worry about the 1TB hd? If this is the case, I will go with the 256GB option here just to be safe on storage space and just stick with 1 SSD.

    Possibly wait untill 15th for new radeon card to be released. Is it confirmed that 7870 will be better and equal in price compared to the 580?

    Thanks in advance for the advice.
  6. Better in some cases, not all. And it comes out the 19th.
  7. Looks like I have most the info I need.

    I do have a few key questions...

    Most people are suggesting 1 ssd and 1 hd together for a build. Is there a specific reason for this other than storage room? If 256GB is enough for me, am I okay to run just 1 SSD without the second HD? I do not store movies and music on my PC.

    I think that is the last question I need answered before I pull the trigger on this thing!

    Thanks in advance for the input.
  8. If you don't plan to put ANYTHING as storage and just games and apps and OS on SSD, don't get the HDD.
  9. alrighty!

    MB: Z68 gen 3 (new egg $199 model)

    CPU: i5-2500k

    Ram: Corsair vangeance @ 1600

    PSU: cooler master pro m 850

    Case: cooler master HAF 932

    Optic drive: Lite-on blu ray

    HD: crucial m4 256GB

    GPU: gtx 580 3gb

    Take one last scan of this setup please. After reading a bit I figured I'de toss out the extra $70 for the 3gb gtx 580 over the 1.5 gb version. Thanks again, everyone that has responded I appreciate more than you can understand!
  10. Change the PSU. CM doesn't make good PSUs anymore. Go with Corsair, XFX, or Seasonic.
  11. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139025

    How is this for a PSU? Corsair, 800w.

    thx azeem, you have helped alot.
  12. That corsair is great! Seasonic makes the parts for the hx and tx serious, so the quality is superb!
  13. mpgrant said:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139025

    How is this for a PSU? Corsair, 800w.

    thx azeem, you have helped alot.


    If you're not going for SLI 800 watt isn't needed (less, in the range of 550-600 watt is sufficient for a single GPU setup). Around 650 watt is more than enough already.

    Also, the Gaming Series PSU's are non-modular (for some awkward reason as obviously gamers enjoy all those cables lying in their case...). I'd recommend picking a product from their enthusiast or professional series. In similar price range would be the Corsair TX650M, Corsair TX750M and corsair HX650. Modular PSU's offering 650 - 750W. Sufficient for the rig you're presenting, all modular PSU's allowing for a cleaner case, which in turn allows for an easier time achieving a good airflow.

    Only if you're expecting to maybe go down the path of SLI or CrossFire in the future I'd suggest picking up one of those 800/850 watt PSU's, considering as to how they last for years to come.
  14. "non-modular"???

    After reading more of the reviews on the corsair gs800, there are comments about an excessive amount of wires... BUT I would like to keep my options open for the possibility of going SLI.

    Is there an option from corsair that would work well with my proposed setup, maintain the option of SLI upgrade in the future, and not be 'non-modular' as you put it?

    I would be willing to purchase the corsair HX850 for the extra $50 if that would be the better option.

    I'm assuming being 'modular' has to do with using some type of universal wiring setup that is more efficient?

    Sorry for my ignorance in this matter, and thanks in advance for any help.
  15. Check out the options in my sig as well.
  16. well... your spec is very good nonetheless.... but poor value means you can get same performance for much less money....

    first... while saberbooth p67 is very good... but priced at $200 it is abit too much to pay for what you need.... for as low as $120 you can get a good circuitry board for overclocking and even support for sli/crossfire which is the main features you need from a motherboard.... this board should handle 4.0ghz overclock with ease which is the perfect speed because anything higher than that you won't get much in return performance for gaming instead you will ended up using more power and heat output which eventually requiring a better cooler such as h100... not to mention your system lifespan will be shorter....

    second... since an average overclocking won't output as much heat... you don't need cooling power of h100... instead... a $30 air cooler is up for the job...

    third... gtx 580 will be a very compelling choice for six months before.... because right now amd has hd 7950 for very much the same price and it is faster and more efficient... not to mention nvidia is about to release its next series of cards starting next month.... gtx 580 has poor value...

    fourth... while i've never used a dedicated sound card before... and i don't think i will... since the onboard sound is much better than the old days....

    fifth.... an i5 2500k is the best cpu for gaming since it has unlocked multiplier(which is a must for oc ) to get higher performance from cpu... spending more on i7 2600k which has hyperthreading only brings little improvement to frame rates.... hence... poor value...

    as for storage... it depends on how you do or what you're doing with it.... if you don't store much data in your computer and only have a few games... sure... 256gb is very compelling.... but most people prefer ssd+hdd for storage in case one of your drive is dead at least you can backup your important data and also allow for more storage capacity....

    as for blu-ray i found very little for usage since most pc games is either in dvd format and downloadable from internet.... plus... dvd is the cheaper way to backup your data...

    as for haf 932 it is one of the best case in its days... but having no dust filter at all even on its latest revision means your pc can be dusty box in just short period of time... there are better choices out there...

    as for psu... i think i'm only one of the fews that think coolermaster has good power supply.... but for price you can get cheaper nonetheless....


    cpu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
    Intel Core i5-2500K - $225

    mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130572
    MSI P67A-GD53 (B3) - $110 after rebate

    ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231546
    G.SKILL Ares Series 8GB F3-1600C9D-8GAB - $45

    hsf: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181011
    CORSAIR CAFA70 - $30 after rebate

    odd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827136236
    LG DVD Burner 24X GH24NS70 - $19

    ssd: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820249015
    Plextor M3 Series PX-256M3 256GB - $350

    psu: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817116016
    NZXT HALE82 HALE82-850-M 850W - $110 after rebate

    case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139012
    Corsair Obsidian Series 550D - $120 after rebate

    gpu: whether amd or nvidia... since we're close to april... isn't hurt to wait little longer to see what nvidia will bring to the table with its kepler architecture.... before deciding what to buy... as it may shake market prices... and since this is your new build... getting the best value out of it....


    total: $1009 after rebate excluding shipping....


    one more thing... about the psu... modular or non-modular thing.... a modular psu features partially or fully removable power connectors that you don't need to use to reduce cable clutter and improve airflow within your pc....
    actually.... if your cable management skill is good... you don't really need a modular power supply... because i found this is a very good deal for its price....

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817703028
  17. You should just go with this PSU MP:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341052
    Gives you plenty of power for Crossfire 7870 if you want to. But it's also modular and provides excellent power.
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story5&reid=262
    Great price point

    MPGrant, I just showed you the benchmarks and it's been confirmed everywhere that the 7870 WILL be better than the 580 for $80-100 LESS
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7870-review-benchmark,3148.html

    Corsair overprices their PSU, they're good but not for the price they are at. Examples? The HX series are priced $20-$40 above the other power supplies that are provide the same watts and are also modular. OCZ offers GREAT psu's now and so does Enermax and Rosewill.

    Modular is easier to cable management, you don't have to have clumps of cables. But it's not worth the price the HX models are priced at.

    Go with the Asrock Extreme3 Z68 Gen3, you don't need anything more than that OP. The capabilities are great and it's solid motherboard for a great price, you don't need to spend hundreds for a great price/performance.
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