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First time builder needs big time advice

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May 6, 2012 3:16:33 AM

Hi. Originally, I made a thread about buying a pc from CyberPowerPC but I have changed my mind. I want to learn how to build my own. I would like to get my parts from amazon or newegg. it is primarily for gaming (SWTOR, Max Payne 3, GW2, BF3, Far Cry 3, etc.), and my budget is $1700 and change. Also, I'm in the USA and I don't need a monitor. I have ABSOLUTELY NO EXPERIENCE with this so I need as many building guides as possible. Help would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I'm not sure if this is pushing it but if someone is feeling super generous and helpful, after I get my parts I would really appreciate having a coach/hand-holder to get me through the building process lol. Thanks so much!
May 6, 2012 3:33:03 AM

I wanted to add, if you can spare 100-200 bucks on the build but still have it run all those games on max, I could probably use that extra money to have geek squad build it for me or something. Just thought i'd add it.
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May 6, 2012 4:59:49 AM

Building a rig may seem a little intimidating at first but it's really not difficult. The hardest part is deciding on all the components. And once you've built your first, you won't think twice about doing it again the second time. Skip the geek squad, put that money into your build. Enough geeks around here to help you through it, if need be.

As for components, when asking for build advice you can give people a better understanding of your requirements by following this guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/261222-31-build-advic...
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
May 6, 2012 5:16:11 AM

the hardest part about building a computer is fitting in a budget imo. in your case, its a bit easier, but really what decides how a computer is built is what you want, multiple screes/blu-ray addition etc/multiple monitors/surround sound and alot of optional stuff. there's a lot of tools on the internet that help the process i.e eggexpert's psu quality chart, extremes psu calculator and really, specs and goal.
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May 6, 2012 6:07:56 AM

Purchase Date - Wednesday or Thursday

Budget - 1700 after shipping

Usage - Gaming

Not Required - Monitor

Websites - Any.. Plus I have a 200 dollar amazon card

Country - USA

Parts Preferences - None really

Overclocking - idk how so I guess not

SLI/Crossfire - bad experience with xfire on a prebuilt so idk

Monitor Resolution - 1920x1080

There ya go. Thanks.



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May 6, 2012 6:13:21 AM

There are many youtube videos explaining the ins and outs of PC building.
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May 6, 2012 9:08:32 AM

I'm somewhat of a rookie in component selection, but some initial thoughts to get the ball rolling...

Case:
Corsair Carbide Series 500R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: corsair enthusiast series TX650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$199.98 (bundled combo, price before $25 rebate)

CPU: i5 3570k
MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$429.98 (bundled combo)

Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$34.99

Arctic Silver thermal compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$11.99

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x 4GB low profile
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$499.99

SSD: Samsung 830 - 128GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$169.99

HDD: Seagate 1TB 7200rpm SATAIII
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

CD/DVD Drive: ASUS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$17.99

OS: Win 7 Pro 64bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99

Total $1654

I just plucked everything from newegg... you can easily lower the cost by shopping around and opting for a motherboard with less features or going with Asrock, getting a Mushkin SSD instead of Samsung, changing Win7 Pro to Premium, opting for a cheaper case... above components are based on my own preferences. I just did a build with the same motherboard but 16GB Gskill RAM... the RAM heatsinks were slightly in the way of the cooler's fan. So my fan sits about 1/4" higher, which isn't really an issue - my temps are great. I could probably have lowered the fan more but didn't want to risk breaking off the plastic tabs holding it in place. Anyway, the low profile RAM will avoid this.

If you want to keep your options on crossfire open, the PSU would be a little tight - but there's room in the budget to go for a bigger one.

Unfortunately, the GPU is currently hard to come by. I barely play any games, but have a 560 Ti and do play some MW3 every now and then. Maybe I'd try to hold out for the 680... if not, plenty of other options with that budget.
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May 6, 2012 9:39:16 AM

Thanks for taking the time to help. I'll keep it in mind. I'm gonna post my own suggestion too and see if it gets peoples approval haha.
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May 6, 2012 9:49:59 AM

pdxalex said:
I'm somewhat of a rookie in component selection, but some initial thoughts to get the ball rolling...

Case:
Corsair Carbide Series 500R
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: corsair enthusiast series TX650
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$199.98 (bundled combo, price before $25 rebate)

CPU: i5 3570k
MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$429.98 (bundled combo)

Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$34.99

Arctic Silver thermal compound
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$11.99

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x 4GB low profile
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$49.99

GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$499.99

SSD: Samsung 830 - 128GB
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$169.99

HDD: Seagate 1TB 7200rpm SATAIII
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99.99

CD/DVD Drive: ASUS
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$17.99

OS: Win 7 Pro 64bit OEM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$139.99

Total $1654

I just plucked everything from newegg... you can easily lower the cost by shopping around and opting for a motherboard with less features or going with Asrock, getting a Mushkin SSD instead of Samsung, changing Win7 Pro to Premium, opting for a cheaper case... above components are based on my own preferences. I just did a build with the same motherboard but 16GB Gskill RAM... the RAM heatsinks were slightly in the way of the cooler's fan. So my fan sits about 1/4" higher, which isn't really an issue - my temps are great. I could probably have lowered the fan more but didn't want to risk breaking off the plastic tabs holding it in place. Anyway, the low profile RAM will avoid this.

If you want to keep your options on crossfire open, the PSU would be a little tight - but there's room in the budget to go for a bigger one.

Unfortunately, the GPU is currently hard to come by. I barely play any games, but have a 560 Ti and do play some MW3 every now and then. Maybe I'd try to hold out for the 680... if not, plenty of other options with that budget.



you can change the SSD for the Crucial SSD 128gb =

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

saves a litle money.
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May 6, 2012 10:46:04 AM

I appreciate everyone helping me pick the parts but there is still one issue. I have no idea ow to build a pc out of them. Can someone direct me to a resource for noobs to build one?
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May 6, 2012 10:46:10 AM

ahawkeye419 said:
I'm gonna post my own suggestion too and see if it gets peoples approval haha.


That looks really good, I'm sure it will :D 

I'd consider swapping that Samsung HDD for the Seagate though as the Samsung is only SATA 3 Gb/s. Might as well make use of those two SATA 6 Gb/s ports you'll be sporting and the extra $20 also gives you double the capacity and cache.
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May 6, 2012 10:56:08 AM

ahawkeye419 said:
I appreciate everyone helping me pick the parts but there is still one issue. I have no idea ow to build a pc out of them. Can someone direct me to a resource for noobs to build one?


Everything comes with instructions and it all kinda just falls into place :D 

It's really not difficult, just a little intimidating the first time. I'm sure there are ample assembly guides online, but if you can't find anything suitable we'll put something together based on the components you'll be getting.

I'm not a gamer and don't really keep up with the news... what's the scoop behind the GTX 680s? I read somewhere they were planning on increasing production, but is there any estimate on when they'll be more readily available again?
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May 6, 2012 6:37:34 PM

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
Item #: N82E16827135204
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$17.99


COOLER MASTER Storm Scout SGC-2000-KKN1-GP Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811119196
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$20.00 Instant
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate
$99.99
$79.99


Seagate Barracuda ST31000524AS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822148697
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
Recover Your Data(expand for options)
-$10.00 Instant
$109.99
$99.99


CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX850 V2 850W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
Item #: N82E16817139022
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$25.00 Instant
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$159.99
$134.99


Microsoft SIDEWINDER X4 Keyboard
Item #: N82E16823109191
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$13.00 Instant
$59.99
$46.99


Logitech G500 10 Buttons Dual-mode Scroll Wheel USB Wired Laser Gaming Mouse
Item #: N82E16826104318
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$12.00 Instant
$69.99
$57.99
1

Logitech Gift - Blacklight Retribution
Item #: N82E16800996801
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$23.50 Saving
$23.50
$0.00


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9Q-16GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231315
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$89.99


ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157271
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$8.00 Instant
$129.99
$121.99


Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 ...
Item #: N82E16819115072
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$219.99


Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM
Item #: N82E16832116986
Return Policy: Software Standard Return Policy
$99.99
1

Tuneup 1-User For System Builder - OEM
Item #: N82E16832620050
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
-$29.99 Saving
$29.99
$0.00


COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel ...
Item #: N82E16835103099
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$34.99


Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Item #: N82E16820148441
Return Policy: Limited Replacement Only Return Policy

Came out to $1100 and change without the video card. All the 680's are sold out but I can't decide on which brand for the 7970. They all seem to have a couple people complaining about each one lol. It can come from amazon (200 dollar gift card + the rest of my budget) or newegg, either one is fine. Can someone help me with this last decision and then give me a last piece of advice for the actual building?
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May 6, 2012 7:14:30 PM

I've been watching a bunch of pc building videos, mind if I ask if I have this right? I'll go through it step by step and I'll see if I get something wrong.

1. Start with motherboard

2. Attatch RAM

3. Attatch CPU

4. Attatch CPU Cooler to CPU with thermal paste

5. Screw motherboard into case

6. Mount PSU

7. Connect PSU wires to motherboard

8. Attatch GPU and connect it to PSU.

9. Cable management for good airflow

10. Attatch HDD, SSD, and DVD/Blu Ray Drive

11. Start up and install Windows 7


Anything I missed before I'm ready to use the PC?

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May 6, 2012 7:36:35 PM

If you'll be purchasing some of the kit on newegg, keep in mind a lot of stuff can be bundled. You can get your Storm case with a Seagate 750gb 6gb/s drive for only $140 before rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Or your motherboard and cpu in combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$328

Check for other combo possibilities. May still be cheaper elsewhere, particularly if you're near a Microcenter.

The 850W PSU is overkill imo... you can drop it to a 750W with plenty of overhead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Either way, I'd take a Corsair over the Antec PSU from the video you linked to. There was hardly any sleeving, save for the power connector. A bit messy. Made for a nice breakfast viewing earlier btw.

I would definitely stick with a 128gb SSD seeing as how you'll be gaming, and that tune-up software probably does more harm than good. I'd much rather spend the $ from that software on some better thermal paste, like Artic Silver which is much recommended on these boards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the building itself, yeah, that's pretty much it... the sequence is in the MB's instructions as well. The only thing to consider is that in the video he mounted the heatsink after installing the motherboard so he'd have more room to connect the power cable on top of the board.
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May 6, 2012 7:48:25 PM

pdxalex said:
If you'll be purchasing some of the kit on newegg, keep in mind a lot of stuff can be bundled. You can get your Storm case with a Seagate 750gb 6gb/s drive for only $140 before rebate:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Or your motherboard and cpu in combo:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...
$328

Check for other combo possibilities. May still be cheaper elsewhere, particularly if you're near a Microcenter.

The 850W PSU is overkill imo... you can drop it to a 750W with plenty of overhead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Either way, I'd take a Corsair over the Antec PSU from the video you linked to. There was hardly any sleeving, save for the power connector. A bit messy. Made for a nice breakfast viewing earlier btw.

I would definitely stick with a 128gb SSD seeing as how you'll be gaming, and that tune-up software probably does more harm than good. I'd much rather spend the $ from that software on some better thermal paste, like Artic Silver which is much recommended on these boards:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

As for the building itself, yeah, that's pretty much it... the sequence is in the MB's instructions as well. The only thing to consider is that in the video he mounted the heatsink after installing the motherboard so he'd have more room to connect the power cable on top of the board.


I took every bit of your advice and it saved a few bucks, thanks. Now literally all I have to do before I order is figure out if I wait for the gtx 680, pay an extra 150ish now, or get a 7970 (still not sure which brand).
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May 6, 2012 8:06:25 PM

http://www.newegg.com/Store/Computer.aspx?name=Computer...

Here is a good video and it's on newegg. The only thing most sites don't go over is how to connect your case switches, PWR LED RESET to your motherboard so google those up as well. It's not difficult but it did throw me for a loop my first time building.

As far as getting a 7970, I say you should go for it. The GTX 680 is better but the margin of better is really minimal. It won't be like night and day IMO. The scarcity of them at present alone does not make them worth a $150 premium for them. As far as brands for 7970 Sapphire, XFX, ASUS, Gigabyte are all good. Other brands are good as well to be honest. Although reading through Sapphire 7970 reviews there appears to be a coil whine sound issue with it. GL and cheers.
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May 7, 2012 2:35:33 AM

4 months ago i was in the exact same position as you; wanted to buy a pc from cyberpower to run bf3 but i then realised i can save a lot of money if i build my own.

i learnt everything i needed to know through this guide:
http://lifehacker.com/5827145/
It literally taught me everything i needed to know.

As for assembly, youtubes videos show you step by step how to build.

The satisfaction you get from gaming on a machine you build yourself is second to none.

good luck
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May 8, 2012 2:16:47 AM

Unless anyone can direct me to the best one that is. Price difference is no big deal. Considering this is the most important part I'm going to buy, I just want to make sure.
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May 8, 2012 2:22:44 AM

Lol one more thing, I have a side budget of 200 bucks for the keyboard and mouse. Suggestions?
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May 8, 2012 3:02:34 AM

ahawkeye419 said:
Lol one more thing, I have a side budget of 200 bucks for the keyboard and mouse. Suggestions?



just buy a wireless logitech mouse & keyboard for 50 or even less i think. i bought one in radioshack at 30 dollar i think.
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May 8, 2012 4:14:03 AM

I use two of these for two rigs:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Illumination dims off when not in use, hover your hand over it and it switches back on. Kinda neat... in a geeky way heh. Battery life is ok, comes with rechargeables built in and charges via usb.

For gaming though I've been reading quite a few recommendations on the mechanical keyboards.
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May 8, 2012 6:50:21 PM

Hi again. I'm starting to read now that the i5 2500k needs to be OCd with the 7970 for it not to bottleneck and decrease performance in most of the games I have mentioned,specifically bf3. Is this true, and if so, why is nobody telling me lol? Like I said, I'm a pc noob so I don't want to spend 1700 bucks and then be surprised by something like this..
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!