First build ever. help me not screw it up.

Hi there,

I've been reading forums and reviews for day, and getting more confused each day. This is my first build and want to build something that will be good for the future. So far this is what I have component wise. I still need a video card and a hard drive. Is Linux a good option for this build?
I'm already over budget, so if I'm wasting money on something please let me know.

I am replacing a broken down HP pavilion a1710n. It has a 320gb hard drive, 9 in one card reader, light scribe cd/dvd burner, PNY XLR8 GeForce 9800 GT GDDR3 1gb PCIe 2.0, but I don't know if should reuse some of the old parts.

Components so far:

RAIDMAX SMILODON ATX-612WBP Black 1.0mm SECC Steel ATX Mid Tower Foldout MB Computer Case With 500W Power Supply $89.99

Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K $230

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard $134

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL9D-8GBXL $59.99

ADATA S510 Series AS510S3-120GM-O 2.5" 120GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) - OEM $95
12 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first build ever screw
  1. I personally would not suggest getting a case with a psu installed in it already. those are usually of low quality and is aimed for users who either are using low power cards, or not using a gpu at all.
  2. How much power will a system like this need? I plan on putting a video card with 1gb of ddr5 and a HDMI port.
  3. sethclary said:
    How much power will a system like this need? I plan on putting a video card with 1gb of ddr5 and a HDMI port.

    it depends on the specific video card. because the worst thing that psu mounted cases dont give info to is the specification on the psu. the wattage is not whats important on a psu, its the quality of the 12v rail and if the psu can hold that power continuously, which cheaper low end psus cannot do.

    I went on newegg to look at the photographs. the 12v rail is only 22.5amps, which is terribly low.
  4. yea the PCU is a pretty key part and getting a shitty one can kill your other parts you did put $$$ into.

    im in the same boat as you cause I too am building a gaming rig at the moment. It can be pretty overwhelming but here are some sites/links that helped me

    Newegg's youtube site really help with there 3 part vids about PC parts, what they do where they go and how to set up after that you build it.

    This link will give you a more detailed run down of the parts and what to look for more to the T

    Also try

    For an alt to a site like this try or
  5. Thank you. Power supply and cooling are the two areas that I'm having a hard time figuring out. Can I have to much power? 650w is what I see recommended most. I'll do some more looking into what makes a good psu.
  6. sethclary said:
    Thank you. Power supply and cooling are the two areas that I'm having a hard time figuring out. Can I have to much power? 650w is what I see recommended most. I'll do some more looking into what makes a good psu.

    i'll give you some of the good rule of thumbs when purchasing a PSU.

    1. Single card build = 430w bare minimum on low power cards, 500-600w recommended
    Crossfiring/SLI 1 6pin cards = ~600-650w (i.e HD 6850)
    Crossfiring/SLI more than 1 6 pin cards = 700-750w
    any more is aimed at 3 or more cards usually.

    2. 80+ Certification is good to look at. It shows you that the company cares to pass some form of psu regulation before selling off the product

    3. 12v rail is the most important rail to power the computer

    4. This site gives you reviews of several psus use it to your advantage and purchases.
  7. you need a new HDD and i suggest seagate 2TB 7200(not LP 5900 version)
    other component are excellent , i don't know if 9800gt is enough for you but if you want something better try 7850.
  8. Best answer
    Hello there Seth, me again.
    I'll try to not overwhelm you, so here goes. You mentioned already being over budget and not wanting to waste money on anything. I don't think that you'll be wasting any money by getting the parts you've suggested, as long as you pick out a good PSU. Dudewitbow gave you a good resource on PSUs. Definitely do your research. You don't want to regret the psu you end up with. But I'm not exactly sure what you want this build to do. Linux isn't great for gaming, so Windows 7 will cost you more, but you can put that off for a while if needed.

    I do see a couple of ways that you could save some money if you really need to. I'm wondering is how set you are on having a SSD. I hope that I don't get any super negative feedback from others for this, but I know they are nice and fast but not necessary for everybody. I know that my build boots pretty fast for me without one (i'm guessing around 30-45 seconds, I can verify if you really want to know), which is much faster than the laptop I was replacing, so I'm happy with the performance I'm getting right now. You can always upgrade later to an SSD when you get the cash. If you don't need your old HP for anything, you can always cannibalize some of the parts off of that like the DVD drive, and even the HDD if you really want to save some money. HDDs these days are expensive. I checked the model number on your HP, and you are in luck that it isn't too old that the HDD and DVD drive use IDE connectors instead of SATA, so you should be able to use them if you want to put off buying those for a while. But who knows when those parts are going to die on you, and what headaches they will cause when it happens. A DVD drive isn't so bad, but losing a HDD, even with a backup for it, is a headache.
    Also, when it comes to the graphics card, I'm not sure what kind of performance you are looking for. Oxford's suggestion for a 7850 is an excellent one. Good bang-for-buck card. That's what I plan to get eventually. I'm waiting until I really need it, or until the GTX 660 comes out as it could affect pricing a little on the HD 7850. But you may find that your 9800 GT meets your needs if you decide to use that for a while to further decrease your initial spending. Hopes this helps at least a little.
  9. Thank you for all the help,

    The links were very helpful. I followed the advice on the power supply and case. I also discovered the reason my desktop crashed. A buddy of mine installed the 9800gt on my stock 300w power supply. I went ahead and pulled the HD it was a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, 320gb so that along with the 120gb ssd should get by until in need more space.

    This case and psu should work well: OCZ ZT Series 650W Fully-Modular 80PLUS it has a single +12v rail and 54 amps, Rosewill BLACKHAWK Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, come with Five Fans, window side panel, top HDD dock. The case looks like it has good wire management, fans, and pretty lights!

    I'll have to wait on the video card. Was trying to stay under $700 and I'm at $709.
    I'll add more later on as needed.

    Thank you all again this has been an educational experience,

  10. Best answer selected by sethclary.
  11. glad you found what you wanted
  12. Looks like the makings of a nice build. I'm glad we all could help.
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