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First time building a gaming computer - Seeking advice!

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April 22, 2012 11:50:06 PM

Approximate Purchase Date: Unsure. Probably this summer.

Budget Range: $500-$800~ (Possibly up to $900~)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Surfing the web, School work

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Mouse pad, Monitor, Headset, HDMI cable.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg, Amazon, Ncix, etc. Whatever is more affordable.

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: Intel CPU, whatever is most reliable.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe in the future.

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080 - I have a 19'' Visio TV.

Additional Comments: I would like it to run Guild Wars 2 and other games at good settings while streaming video. I want to be able to upgrade it in the future. Basically, I'm looking for the best quality I can get for my price range. I could really use some advice when it comes to choosing the right mobo and PSU. Also, I don't have a copy of Windows. Any tips on obtaining it for less than the normal $100? Thanks in advance!


I have included two builds I created while learning:


Here's the first build I came up with. I learned that it isn't for overclocking, but is more affordable.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P61-USB3-B3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($91.45 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $730.38


This second build is what I came up with (with help from you guys) for potential overclocking.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($22.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.86 @ Newegg)
Memory: Patriot Viper Xtreme Series, Division 2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($42.99 @ Microcenter)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 660W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($124.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $826.78


Here's a link to my Reddit post regarding these builds:

http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/smiem/build_h...
April 22, 2012 11:56:01 PM

Daddytaco said:
I am learning to build a computer for the first time. I would like it to run Guild Wars 2 on good settings and stream video at the same time.

My price range is $500-$800~ at the moment. I would really like to save as much money as possible with these builds while keeping them good quality and upgradable in the future. I would be building a new computer any time between now and September.

Here's the first build I came up with. I learned that it isn't for overclocking, but is more affordable.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P61-USB3-B3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($91.45 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $730.38


This second build is what I came up with for potential overclocking.

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock P67 Extreme4 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.93 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($52.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair 650W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $848.85


Here's a link to my Reddit post regarding these builds:

http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/smiem/build_h...

please fill out this form, then we will be able to help you further
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
April 23, 2012 12:06:12 AM

The second one for sure. Same GPU + i5-2500k > same GPU > i5-2400.
Related resources
April 23, 2012 12:18:38 AM

i agree with azeem40, the second build is the way to go, but get 1600mhz ram, the slight price increase(i haven't checked) if any is well worth it

also, overclocking the i5 should be a breeze the hyper 212 is a good cooler, i have the evo version

and finally, do you have a copy of windows, if not you must include that in the price
April 23, 2012 12:25:35 AM

blistactor said:
i agree with azeem40, the second build is the way to go, but get 1600mhz ram, the slight price increase(i haven't checked) if any is well worth it

also, overclocking the i5 should be a breeze the hyper 212 is a good cooler, i have the evo version

and finally, do you have a copy of windows, if not you must include that in the price
Unfortunately I do not have a copy of Windows. I might be able to figure something out through the university here though. Currently, I have a laptop with Windows 7. Is there a way I can just get it from my laptop onto a new computer? I'll change the ram to 1600 mhz. How much of a difference does the 1600 make compared to 1333?
April 23, 2012 12:31:48 AM

Daddytaco said:
Unfortunately I do not have a copy of Windows. I might be able to figure something out through the university here though. Currently, I have a laptop with Windows 7. Is there a way I can just get it from my laptop onto a new computer?


unfortunately no, there is no way to legally get windows off of another pc, but im sure if you looked into it you could find a way to get windows either for free or vey inexpensive from your university
April 23, 2012 12:35:12 AM

getting the 1600mhz ram is basically just for lazy or newb overclockers, it basically just makes things a little easier, but if u decide not to overclock stick with the 1333, but again, i highly recommend the overclock
April 23, 2012 12:41:11 AM

Alright. I swapped the 1333 for the 1600. It was only $2 more anyway. Do you have any thoughts on the motherboard and power supply? I have the most trouble when choosing those.
April 23, 2012 1:03:26 AM

Alright cool. The extreme 3 gen 3 z68 is cheaper than the one I had. Swapped it out. Thanks! Do you think this is the best build I can do for my price range?
April 23, 2012 1:30:09 AM

Here is my suggestion:
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K $199.99 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $22.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $129.86 @ Newegg
Memory Patriot Viper Xtreme Series, Division 2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 $42.99 @ Microcenter
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $74.99 @ Amazon
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB $189.99 @ Newegg
Case Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case $52.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply SeaSonic X660 Gold 660W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $124.99 @ NCIX US
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $17.99 @ Newegg

For memory you get $10 and for GPU $30 mail in rebate, for MoBo shipping is $7.87. Base price is $896.78, stated prices above are with rebates counted in. Here's what and why is different than your system.
CPU - If you plan to overclock it go with K suffix because they have unlocked multiplier and thus can be overclocked.
MoBo - has 8+4 phases thus CPU gets much more cleaner and and stable power, important if you are going to overclock it, than 8+2 configuration, and is cheaper.
Memory - it's 1600MHz thus faster
HDD - it's SATA III and a bit faster than SATA II you have picked, and cheaper too
VGA - $30 mail in rebate and I like more how it's cooler looks, otherwise it's same as what you've picked
PSU - it has 80+ Gold rating, it means that it will run at 87%+ which less heat from it and in long run lower electric bill compared to PSU you have selected for which I couldn't even find whether it has any 80+ rating which means it works with less than 80% efficiency.
April 23, 2012 1:42:31 AM

if getting an os is a problem, if you are in a computer science class and your college/university has a Microsoft Developer Network Academic Alliance program, you can get windows 7 professional for free(along with other programs as well)
April 23, 2012 1:54:52 AM

hetneo said:
Here is my suggestion:
CPU Intel Core i5-2500K $199.99 @ NCIX US
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus $22.99 @ NCIX US
Motherboard ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 $129.86 @ Newegg
Memory Patriot Viper Xtreme Series, Division 2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 $42.99 @ Microcenter
Hard Drive Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $74.99 @ Amazon
Video Card Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB $189.99 @ Newegg
Case Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case $52.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply SeaSonic X660 Gold 660W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply $124.99 @ NCIX US
Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $17.99 @ Newegg
I took your advice with the power supply. I like that it's a gold rated one rather than bronze. The extra $20 spent would be well worth it in the end it sounds like! Also, the couple extra bucks spent on the RAM sounds good because of the way it deals with heat. Thanks!
April 23, 2012 6:40:19 PM

sorry for the late response, your third build with the 1600mhz ram, the asrock gen 3 board and whichever powersupply you choose (one of the above listed) will be pretty much the best build that you can get in that price range, also, i find that gskill ram is often times cheaper than other companies, and works pretty muh as good, if not better in some cases, also make sure the ram with the heatsink will fit into your case, they can get a bit tall and in the way of the hardrive cages.

finally, when you choose which store your buying your parts from try getting them all from the same place, as it can save on shipping
!