Please help a newbie PC builder with a gaming build

Hi guys,

I have never put together a computer before and have only really ever opened up a PC to install additional sticks of RAM. I've read up a fair bit about putting a PC together and in terms of best parts/compatibility (such as certain motherboards supporting certain processors).

I would be really grateful if you could have a look over my current build (missing parts) and make any suggestions. I'm not looking to exactly break the bank but I would like to play games quite well. I'm based in the UK so anywhere that ships to UK is good:

Spec list (unfinished)

£75 - Asus P8Z68-V LX Socket 1155 Onboard graphics output 8 Channel Audio ATX Motherboard
£40 - G-Skill 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz RipjawsX Memory Kit CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.5V
£157 - i5 2500k (unlocked) from Amazon
£16 - Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 CPU Cooler (Amazon)
£165 - EVGA GeForce GTX 480 1536MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card
£95 - Corsair 120GB Force 3 SSD CSSD-F120GB3-BK w/ 3.5" bracket mount
£1.79 - Xenta SATA 3 Cable 6Gbps - 64cm (to connect SSD)
£40 - Arctic Power 700W PSU - 4x SATA 1x PCI-Express (ebuyer)


£590 so far without a case added...

Already have a 500GB hard drive so no need to add to that list...

I have a Windows 7 installation disc, will this be sufficient to install 64-bit Win 7 on my new SSD?

already have a DVD RW, guess I can just transfer that over too

I figured out the 700W PSU using a calculator and plugging in all the components (came out just under 550W).


Is the motherboard I cite reasonably good/suitable for my setup?

Fans- I have no clue about the number/quantity required, given I have listed a well reviewed cooler up there. Any ideas?

Anyone know a good case that might house all this for not too much money and also maybe have USB 3.0 ports? Would a decent midi ATX case (I think that is the size that will accomodate my motherboard) potentially have a bracket/space (if it has 2.5" internal space) for my SSD so I don't need to use the one it comes with?

Hopefully this will result in a not too expensive / loud PC...
18 answers Last reply
More about please newbie builder gaming build
  1. Why are you getting an i5-2500k without an aftermarket cooler. Get the Hyper 212 EVO and ditch the thermal paste.
  2. The GTX 480 is a strange choice . Its reasonably powerful but it is an older design that basically failed because it uses a lot of power and gets too hot .

    A card like a Radeon 7850 would be considerably better , and you can offset the cost by installing a 500 watt power supply

    The freezer pro cpu cooler is ok , but the CM Hyper 212 is better


    The motherboard will include a couple of SATA cables . You should not need to buy additional

    There are plenty of good mid tower cases that are suitable .
    My favourite budget gamer case is the Antec 300 two . It has excellent cooling and USB 3 front ports .
    The only problem is that the motherboard you have selected does not have internal connectors for USB 3 so it cant run them in USB 3 mode
  3. Outlander_04 said:
    The GTX 480 is a strange choice . Its reasonably powerful but it is an older design that basically failed because it uses a lot of power and gets too hot .

    A card like a Radeon 7850 would be considerably better , and you can offset the cost by installing a 500 watt power supply

    The freezer pro cpu cooler is ok , but the CM Hyper 212 is better


    The motherboard will include a couple of SATA cables . You should not need to buy additional

    There are plenty of good mid tower cases that are suitable .
    My favourite budget gamer case is the Antec 300 two . It has excellent cooling and USB 3 front ports .
    The only problem is that the motherboard you have selected does not have internal connectors for USB 3 so it cant run them in USB 3 mode


    What he said ^

    Also, get a z77 MoBo if you want to use the USB 3.0 front ports in the case he recommended. When you're looking just make sure that it states in the description that there are USB 3.0 connectors onboard, not the back plate. Something like this board: Gigabyte z77-Ud3h.
  4. Oh, cool. I chose the GTX 480 simply because it was fairly cheap and scored higher than the one you just suggested on here: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html (not sure if this relates to actual graphical performance though)

    But I guess if the difference isn't too huge and it's better in terms of heating/power consumption then I could go with that. I'm finding the 7850 tends to not be one of the most commonly bought cards and comes in around £200, would this make mincemeat of games though?

    Thanks for the case recommendation, I already had my eyes on the antec 300 two with it being reasonably priced and having USB 3.0, looks good.

    I'll change my motherboard choice too so I can make use of that.
  5. I made a mistake, sorry .
    I was thinking 7950 performance

    The GTX 480 is a little more powerful than the 7850 , and the price makes it a decent bargain . It will use more power but that might not matter too much .

    Do check that your PSU is a good quality unit . Ideally 80+ bronze rated or better . A small red voltage switch on the back is a sure sign that its an older and inferior design
    Is this it?
    http://www.ebuyer.com/124927-arctic-power-700w-psu-4x-sata-1x-pci-express-p2-arctic-700td

    If so it doesnt have the pci-e power connectors it needs to run a GTX 480 . Potentially they can be run from molex connectors with an adapter , but that limits other components you might add .
    It also only has a 4 pin cpu power connector , and while this will run a mb with an 8 pin connector its not an ideal solution either
  6. The above suggestions are good!!!

    The Hyper 212 cpu cooler is not only better but probably more budget conscious.

    If you want an "nvidea" gpu that really rocks get a evga or asus 560 ti

    Make sure to go to VIRTU sight after getting your system up and running and upgrade virtu to mvp edition... It really enhances the fps performance of your card in benchmark tests as well as games...

    Watch these vids before you build for pointers...

    http://www.newegg.com/Store/Promotion.aspx?storeid=33&name=DIY-PC-Combos&cm_sp=ShoppingGuide-_-DIY-_-100111

    If you want Asus, this is the best value out right now if you ask me...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131830&Tpk=asus%20maximus%20v%20gene

    If you want a good board for less, check out these...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157300

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157298

    You might also check out any of the z68 gen3 boards that will accomplish the same and may be slightly cheaper.

    Good luck and enjoy !!! :pt1cable:
  7. The GTX 480 still outperforms the 560ti. The extra heat dissipation isn't a big concern.
  8. Yeah according to here the GTX 480 seems to be quite a bit better:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/309?vs=330

    I don't like the sound of this overheating issue, lol. How many fans would you think I would need to install?

    Thanks for the newegg suggestions but I'm UK based and they won't ship to me.

    Not really sure about the VIRTU sight thing you mentioned, is that relevant to the GTX 480 also? Could you explain more? :)

    Thanks for warning me about that ebuyer listed 700W PSU. Would you mind suggesting a decent 700W (or whatever I would need to have my setup with the GTX 480) that would be compatible and hopefully doesn't completely break the bank?

    Thanks ever so much.
  9. 650W ZS series OCZ PSU.
  10. Quote:
    Yeah according to here the GTX 480 seems to be quite a bit better:

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/309?vs=330

    I don't like the sound of this overheating issue, lol. How many fans would you think I would need to install?

    Thanks for the newegg suggestions but I'm UK based and they won't ship to me.

    Not really sure about the VIRTU sight thing you mentioned, is that relevant to the GTX 480 also? Could you explain more? :)

    Thanks for warning me about that ebuyer listed 700W PSU. Would you mind suggesting a decent 700W (or whatever I would need to have my setup with the GTX 480) that would be compatible and hopefully doesn't completely break the bank?

    Thanks ever so much.


    Yeah, I knew newegg was us based but the intention was to suggest the boards from whatever vender you may want to use.

    I suggested the 560ti because it uses a little less power, can usually be found for less, and performs well enough.

    I would try and stick with antec, corsair or seasonic for a psu but ocz and ultra have some good ones as well. Just stay in the 650w + range and make sure there are enough cables to sli or crossfire in case you want to later. Go with 80+ efficiency and for neatness in your case...Go modular.
  11. Virtu comes with most boards as the software that makes use of you processor graphics. It is a great feature that allows your board to use the proc graphics when not gaming and gives you gpu a break, It also enhances gaming and other graphix intensive applications. Most boards will come with software on the disc for virtu but it may be an older version of virtu. MVP is the latest and best version and can be upgraded at their website
  12. Thanks for the advice guys.

    My head hurts from motherboard hunting though. I'm sure some that were said here not to have USB 3.0 support for the front case say they have USB 3.0 connectors on the mobo (I'm not sure I'm reading things properly here).

    I don't suppose one of you could kindly point me towards a good mobo with USB 3.0 connectors so that I can use them with the antec 300 two case that is perhaps £120 or less (closer to £100 the better). Thanks.
  13. which web site will you be buying from?

    Then you can be steered to an appropriate motherboard
  14. Quote:
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    My head hurts from motherboard hunting though. I'm sure some that were said here not to have USB 3.0 support for the front case say they have USB 3.0 connectors on the mobo (I'm not sure I'm reading things properly here).

    I don't suppose one of you could kindly point me towards a good mobo with USB 3.0 connectors so that I can use them with the antec 300 two case that is perhaps £120 or less (closer to £100 the better). Thanks.



    The Asus maximus v gene board I linked says it has internal usb3.0 ports as well as 2.0 ports, under the details tab

    under i\o internal as folloows

    Internal I/O Connectors
    Onboard USB2 x USB 3.0 + 4 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors2 x CPU Fan connector(s)
    3 x Chassis Fan connector(s)
    1 x S/PDIF out header(s)
    1 x 24-pin EATX Power connector(s)
    1 x 8-pin ATX 12V Power connector(s)
    1 x Front panel audio connector(s) (AAFP)
    1 x System panel(s)
    8 x ProbeIt Measurement Points
    1 x Power-on button(s)
    1 x Reset button(s)
    1 x Go Button(s)
    1 x mPCIe Combo header(s)

    I think it is a single port for each 3.0 and 2.0 but each port will handle multiple plugins

    Also the Asrockz77 professional m says the same under details as follows

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors1 x IR header
    1 x CIR header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector
    SLI/XFire power connector
    Front panel audio connector
    1 x Dr. Debug with LED

    And finally The Asrock z77 performance series under details also has 3.0 connectors on board as follows

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors1 x IR header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector
    Front panel audio connector
    1 x Dr. Debug with LED

    All of these boards also sport usb 3.0 ports on the rear of the board as well.
  15. Thanks for the advice but those motherboards are around £150 or more on most UK sites. I don't suppose you know of one perhaps around £110 or so that has USB 3.0 and SLI support as well as the socket to connect an i5? Thanks.
  16. Quote:
    Thanks for the advice but those motherboards are around £150 or more on most UK sites. I don't suppose you know of one perhaps around £110 or so that has USB 3.0 and SLI support as well as the socket to connect an i5? Thanks.



    These are the best prices I can find here and should , I would think be the best in UK as well to the best of my knowledge.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157293

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0 Other Connectors 1 x IR header
    1 x CIR header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector
    Front panel audio connector
    1 x Dr. Debug with LED

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157314

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 4 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors
    1 x IR header
    1 x CIR header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157306

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors
    1 x IR header
    1 x CIR header
    1 x Print Port header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157294

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 6 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors
    1 x IR header
    1 x CIR header
    1 x Print port header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157302

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 4 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors
    1 x IR header
    1 x CIR header
    1 x COM port header
    1 x HDMI_SPDIF header
    1 x Power LED header
    CPU/Chassis/Power FAN connector
    24 pin ATX power connector
    8 pin 12V power connector
    Front panel audio connector
    Front panel audio connector
    Front panel audio connector
    Front panel audio connector

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138355

    Internal I/O ConnectorsOnboard USB 2 x USB 3.0 + 4 x USB 2.0
    Other Connectors
    1 x Front Audio Header
    1 x Front Panel Header
    1 x S/PDIF-OUT Header
    1 x CPU FAN Header
    2 x System FAN Header
    1 x Serial Header
    1 x CIR Header

    All of these should make a fine board for your new build and for less than the afforementioned boards.
    Again I don't have a link to your vendors so I am limited to mine for searching.

    The main point is to find the board that will satisfy your needs and find it at your vendor for the right price...
  17. So grateful for the help

    In terms of finding these on UK sites, I did find this one:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z77x-d3h-intel-z77-s-1155-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-sata-raid-pcie-30-d-sub-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

    It mentions internal USB 3.0 (1 of them). Is this a connector to connect the front case USB 3.0 ports? Would it only cover one of them? And is the motherboard otherwise decent (I see it supports SLI)
  18. Quote:
    So grateful for the help

    In terms of finding these on UK sites, I did find this one:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/gigabyte-ga-z77x-d3h-intel-z77-s-1155-ddr3-sata-iii-6gb-s-sata-raid-pcie-30-d-sub-dvi-d-hdmi-atx

    It mentions internal USB 3.0 (1 of them). Is this a connector to connect the front case USB 3.0 ports? Would it only cover one of them? And is the motherboard otherwise decent (I see it supports SLI)


    Also a good board and a good price as well. The case you pick , if it has more than 1 front usb 3.0 ports , should combine the wires into 1 internal plug and both ports should work off of the 1 internal plug.

    Some of the first cases to come out with usb 3.0 front panel support, did not have a on board header, but instead came with long usb cables to run through your case and out the back and plug into your i\o port on the back.

    So make sure you research your case to make sure you don't waste the trouble finding internal header and then the case requiring external connection.

    Just google the case mfg website and look up the case and read all about it before you buy. You can usually download the manual from the mfg website for your mobo as well which is really handy when planning a build around it.

    At times I have gotten cases that had 3 pin fan plugs, others had four pin plugs and still others had molex plugs. Some have a combination of different plugs for the fans.
    Depending on your preference you may want to plug all of your fans to the mobo to have on board fan control, in which case you need to make sure which (3 pin,4 pin) plugs your board supports. You may pick a case that doesn't accomodate those plugs but can order addapters along with your supplies.

    It is really handy for reasons like this to get and read all info you can on your case and mobo.
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