First ever build - preferably 800$

Approximate purchase date: One week

Budget Range: I would like to keep it at or under $800 if possible

System Usage from most to least important: Gaming, watching videos

Parts not required: OS, keyboard, mouse, speakers, monitor

Preferred websites for parts: newegg, amazon, tigerdirect

Country: US

Parts preference: Intel, nVidia

Overclocking: Most likely

SLI / Crossfire: No

Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional comments: I want this to last quite a while so I want reliability and future proofing to some extent if I can get away with it with this budget


I've bad my eye on a few parts to start off with. I was looking at the i5-3570k, GTX 480, NZXT Guardian black SECC Mid tower case. I would love your guys input on if you think these parts give good bang for my buck and would also greatly appreciate you filling in the rest of the parts with your own ideas and why you picked them. This being my first build I am open to suggestion and look forward to seeing what you guys come up with! Thanks in advance.

Sidenote: This will be replacing my broke laptop. I am currently posting on a phone which is fairly frustrating which is why I didn't include links to the items I had already picked. If you could provide links to your suggestions I would appreciate it.
65 answers Last reply
More about first build preferably
  1. PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8tDY
    Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8tDY/by_merchant/
    Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8tDY/benchmarks/

    CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($116.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($147.86 @ Newegg)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Low Voltage Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($72.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 448 1.25GB Video Card ($269.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Guardian 921 RB ATX Mid Tower Case ($74.40 @ Mwave)
    Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Microcenter)
    Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.97 @ Newegg)
    Total: $807.18
    (Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-05-18 22:58 EDT-0400)

    Since you are going to be using your computer mostly for gaming it is much better to stay with an i3-2120 which will do just fine and instead spend the money on a better graphics card. This motherboard is brand new and is part of the next generation, so you will be (currently) 100% future proof motherboard wise; if one day you need to upgrade your processor you will be able to, but for now it is more than fine.

    8GB of ram is all you are going to need and I assumed that you will be alright with a 500GB Hard Drive. The 560 ti 448 is an amazing card and the EVGA Classified version has amazing reviews and has a great performance/price ratio. The power supply is modular and for a low price compared to others of a similar quality.

    That is my recommendation, if you have any questions just ask :)
  2. Hmm better graphics? I think the gtx 480 performs as well as the 570 (a 300+ card). Also I would rather get a quad core
  3. Also does anyone know if the 480 will fit in that case? And since it is a power hungry card what would be the minimum safe PSU I could use
  4. Oh, my bad, I truly misread it and thought you meant a GTX 460...

    Never mind then, keep the 480 :)

    nVidia says that the requirement for a 480 is 600W, so I would probably just go with a 650W PSU just to be on the safe side (even though they usually overstate what you actually need).


    Also, that case that you picked should fit the 480 fine since the reviews for it say that it fit 2 GTX 570's which are the same length (10.5 inches).
  5. Hmm are you sure 650 that seems a bit high for non SLI
  6. The GTX 480 is pretty power hungry, you will probably be able to get by with a 600W if you want though.

    Now, the only thing is that a Radeon HD 7850 would be a much better choice than the GTX 480, only get the 480 if you really insist on nVidia. The 7850 runs cooler, consumes less power, has basically the same speed and overclocks just as well.

    I'm usually an nVidia guy, but unfortunately nVidia is kind of late on release this generation GPU's and AMD is just offering better products.

    This one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161406 is for the same price as the GTX 480 (after rebate).
  7. Is it true that radeon don't perform as well with blizzard games?
  8. It is kind of true. For some reason Blizzard games tend to work better with nVidia cards, so if you are going to be playing those a lot then yeah it's probably worth the GTX 480, as long as you have good cooling and airflow in your case the 480 is an amazing card.

    EDIT: Although to be completely honest it probably won't make any difference since you will be able to max out any Blizzard game with either of them.
  9. Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm ...
    Model #:CHALLENGER
    Item #:N82E16811147153
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $59.99 -$10.00 Instant $49.99


    Update

    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

    ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Model #:Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
    Item #:N82E16813157271
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $129.99 -$8.00 Instant $121.99


    Update

    HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

    HIS H785F2G2M Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card
    Model #:H785F2G2M
    Item #:N82E16814161406
    Return Policy:VGA Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card

    $259.99 -$20.00 Instant $239.99


    Update

    OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom

    OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandybridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom
    Model # OCZ600MXSP
    Item #:N82E16817341017
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock
    Mail in Rebate Card

    $99.99 -$30.00 Instant $69.99


    Update

    Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120

    Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
    Model #:BX80623I32120
    Item #:N82E16819115077
    Return Policy:CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
    In Stock

    $124.99 $124.99


    Update

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

    G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Model #:F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
    Item #:N82E16820231314
    Return Policy:Memory Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $46.99 $46.99


    Update

    HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721050DLE630 (0F13178) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

    HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721050DLE630 (0F13178) 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
    Model #:0F13178
    Item #:N82E16822145531
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $79.99 $79.99


    Update

    SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE

    SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE - OEM
    Model #:SH-222BB/BEBE
    Item #:N82E16827151244
    Return Policy:Standard Return Policy
    In Stock

    $16.99 $16.99
    Subtotal: $750.92
  10. Do you have any experience with the case I picked? If not can you suggest one in my price range with decent airflow/cable management
  11. Matt1990 said:
    Do you have any experience with the case I picked? If not can you suggest one in my price range with decent airflow/cable management
    Actually the case you picked looks pretty nice to me i have never owned one so i couldn't say for sure it's good or bad i do know these are decent though COOLER MASTER HAF 922 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811119197 and Corsair Carbide Series 400R http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139008 i like the looks of the one you picked better though :lol:
  12. Seems like a decent bundle. I wonder how much it would be separately. How necessary is 2Gb VRAM or what kind of performance difference would I see between a 1GB and 2GB model of say a 560ti
  13. the part prices for the build bigcyco has on the tiger direct build is probably best bang for the buck, other then the fact that it pushes a pretty bad psu on you, so if you ever need to upgrade, changing psu will be a priority(as the ultra lsp model isnt that great)
  14. Matt1990 said:
    Seems like a decent bundle. I wonder how much it would be separately. How necessary is 2Gb VRAM or what kind of performance difference would I see between a 1GB and 2GB model of say a 560ti
    well the build would come up to 86.99 more separately for whatever reason :ouch: :lol: as far as the difference between 560TI 1GB and 560TI 2GB look here http://forums.overclockers.co.uk/showthread.php?t=18344284 i will find some better benchmarks and solid facts tomorrow bud ;) I am not so sure that fella in the above link knows what hes talking about i highly have my doubts so i will look into it all very closely and let you know :)
  15. Thanks bigcyco. I appreciate all of your guys' feedback keep it coming!
  16. I'm surprised the 560ti 1GB got such low FPS in BF3
  17. Was it multiplayer or singleplayer?
  18. Multiplayer. With a lot of people it's in that link that bigcyco just posted
  19. o.k. so pretty much the difference between the 560ti 1GB and 560ti 2GB is the 2GB is The video memory is a bit more important when you have very high resolution displays, or dual high def. displays, like 3 monitors at 1920x1080. Then the video card needs that extra memory (it helps somewhat). However, for single monitors, and many dual setups, 1Gb is enough for most games...I think that bundle is the best bang for your buck and if i was in your situation i buy it. ;)
  20. How is tigerdirects customer service / return policy? I've only bought a few things from there and never had any issues. But, I've never bought anything as expensive as this from them before
  21. Matt1990 said:
    How is tigerdirects customer service / return policy? I've only bought a few things from there and never had any issues. But, I've never bought anything as expensive as this from them before
    I been buying from them for years and it's been a good experience i have never needed to return anything though so i honestly couldn't say as far as that goes bud.
  22. I would get the ZS series of OCZ and no other OCZ PSU.
  23. As much as the power (Watts) requirement matters, the current requirement, measured in Amps is as important if not even more important. This is especially true if you have a or several dedicated video card(s). As a general rule of thumb, you’re aiming for the highest number on the 12V line.Power Supplies that are certified 80 PLUS have been independently tested for their efficiency. Now, there are 4 different 80 PLUS certifications, depending on how efficient the power supply is:

    80 PLUS: The power supply is at least 80% efficient at 20%,50% and 100% load
    80 PLUS Bronze: The power is at least 82% efficient at 20% and 100% and 85% efficient at 50% load.
    80 PLUS Silver: The power is at least 85% efficient at 20% and 100% and 88% efficient at 50% load.
    80 PLUS Gold: The power is at least 87% efficient at 20% and 100% and 90% efficient at 50% load.

    The 80 PLUS and highercertifications are the way to go when you are looking for an efficient power supply.

    Do not trust specifications such as “Efficiency: 80% to 85% Efficiency Typical” that are not 80PLUS certified. 80 PLUS is an independent standard test. No 80 PLUS and “Efficiency: 80% to 85% Efficiency Typical” means that it is 80% to 85% efficient, according to the manufacturer that is, using their own in-house test, which may or may not so much represent real efficiency.Brand name doesn't really matter since almost all have made bad psu aside from seasonic imho.
  24. The above is 100% true!

    From Ko888:
    "For a system running with a single GeForce GTX 560 Ti graphics card NVIDIA specifies that a minimum 500 Watt or greater power supply with a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 30 Amps or greater and with at least two 6-pin PCI-Express Supplementary Power Connectors should be used."
  25. Well is the PSU offered in the bundle any good then?
  26. Which bundle?
  27. Put it this way the psu in that bundle is not great but if it dies they will replace for you free of charge i know for a fact their customer service is great you could always upgrade the psu later down the road
  28. hahaha i just checked my friends youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IFLI6TlihM&feature=relmfu and see even he says they have awesome customer service trust me that psu is not idea or great but you can rest assure they will replace it if you have any issues the bundle is the best bang for your buck i highly doubt anybody can put something together better for the money but i might be wrong anyway,that is my suggestion i wish you the best of luck with whatever you decide :)
  29. Hmm looks like I have some decisions to make thanks for the help. If anyone has more ideas or suggestions I welcome them. Here is what I made on partspicker, a bit over budget though...hmm.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8vI9
  30. looks good to me but 480 run pretty hot still it's a beast of a gpu so it's acceptable the case i wouldn't recommend it cable cable management is not very good it's o.k. though but i regret ever buying it and have since sold it
  31. The 560ti can't really compare to stock 480 unless the 560ti is heavily overclocked right?
  32. Matt1990 said:
    The 560ti can't really compare to stock 480 unless the 560ti is heavily overclocked right?
    the 480 is compared to the gtx570 the GTX 480 is better than 560ti. It uses a bit more power, has a loud fan and runs 5C-10C hotter though. http://www.guru3d.com/article/geforce-gtx-560-ti-review/18
  33. Im just wondering if it's worth getting a 2GB card since I'll be playing at 1920x1080 on only one monitor. Isn't 2GB only necessary for higher resolutions or multiple monitors?
  34. On a side note. I haven't ever bought MSI products and I don't know much about them. How is their reliability/reputation/customer service?
  35. Matt1990 said:
    Im just wondering if it's worth getting a 2GB card since I'll be playing at 1920x1080 on only one monitor. Isn't 2GB only necessary for higher resolutions or multiple monitors?
    Yes correct but never know how long that will stay that way i think for future proofing 2GB is the way to go but for now it isn't needed imo. ;)
  36. Matt1990 said:
    On a side note. I haven't ever bought MSI products and I don't know much about them. How is their reliability/reputation/customer service?
    as far as GPU go ASUS and MSI make the very best imo as far as their motherboards go they are decent asus makes better motherboards of course this is all just imo :lol:
  37. Do you have any experience with the bundled case?
  38. I just keep looking at the difference between the 560 and 480... It's like 100 cuda cores difference lol :( that makes a huge performance difference doesn't it?
  39. Matt1990 said:
    Do you have any experience with the bundled case?
    which one from the bundle i found at tigerdirect or what? Look here to get a good idea of the two cards vs each other http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CGMQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hwcompare.com%2F8867%2Fgeforce-gtx-480-vs-geforce-gtx-560-ti%2F&ei=Uze4T7qzNorYiALu8YCoBw&usg=AFQjCNFxeWadLpqVs6rR2_Vsw8irBGuzEA&sig2=gEagT6n96PgYu_ardbKzVA
  40. Yea the one you posted
  41. Matt1990 said:
    Yea the one you posted
    No i have never owned it or use it it cost 99.99 that's why and personally i would never spend that much on a case of that size unless i knew for sure it was worth it
  42. Matt1990 said:
    I honestly have not used any those mobo yet i always trust ASUS though i never regret anything i buy from them maybe someone else can answer that question better for you because i don't want to tell you something is good unless i have first hand experience with the particular product in question
  43. Do you know of any cheaper z77 boards? Less than 140 I mean. Which is how much most of the ones I've found are.
  44. The cheapest one i know that's good is ASRock Z77 Extreme4 here a review about it if you like to know more info on it http://www.vortez.net/articles_pages/asrock_z77_extreme4_review,1.html
  45. Microcenter doesn't ship does it?
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