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First time builder ($800-$1100 budget)

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Last response: in Systems
May 24, 2012 6:00:51 PM


I'm new to the art of building PCs. I've got lots of information from people telling me to buy one brand and others telling me to try others. I've gone on newegg and picked out some parts people have recommended/or ones I preferred. I primarily want to build this to handle new PC games coming out, especially Guild Wars 2. I think I've got a good starting point:

•Intel Core i5 2500 Sandy - CPU

•EVGA nVidia GTX560 ti - Graphics/Video Card

•8GB G.Skill Ripjaws X RAM

•ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 Mobo - M/B

•Cooler Master Hyper212 Heatsink

Now I'm not sure what case I should get because I don't how large it has to be for everything to fit, and I don't know whether to go with a case with a power supply already built in. As for the HDD, I was going to get a 500 GB drive, and if I had to upgrade in the future I always could. Question about the HD, does it matter what brand I go with? Are they all compatible with the parts I already have in mind? And what is SSD, and is it better than a HD?

Also I was planning on going with a Windows 7 OS, and I'm undecided on the sound card. Also I hear a lot of people talking about overclocking the CPU, but I'm not sure how to do it/what it is. Don't know if anyone could give me some insight on anything else I should get. My budget is somewhere around $1000, if I go over a little I think I can live with it.

Hoping anyone could provide me with some how to's/don't do before I start this project. Maybe someone could point me in the right direction of some steps of how to start the build or a list of compatible parts. I just want to make sure I have ducks in a row before I buy parts that I can't use or a case that everything won't fit in, or an incorrect power supply. Thanks for any help in advanced.

More about : time builder 800 1100 budget

May 24, 2012 6:51:00 PM

Sorry wasn't aware there was a form to fill out.

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next two-three weeks.

Budget Range: 800-1100

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming mostly (have another computer for work/internet surfing)

Parts Not Required: Monitor, speakers (But if you recommend either I'm up for suggestions)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: any, but i like newegg (reasonably priced)

Country: U.S.

Parts Preferences: Listed the parts I was planning on purchasing above.

Overclocking: Maybe (But not sure how to do it/why to do it)

SLI or Crossfire: Not sure

Monitor Resolution: probably the highest resolution

Additional Comments: Everything else is in the comment above
May 24, 2012 8:20:17 PM

Your parts list looks good however you might as well get the newest ivy bridge chipset (Z77 motherboard and i5 3570 processor)

Get 1.5V 1600MHz ram (G skill is my recommendation)
I think the antec 300 or Rosewill challenger cases would be fine and are a great deal.

You'll need a quality power supply - stick with something around 500-650W 80+ silver or higher IMO (corsair, seasonic, xfx)

Please specify your monitor resolution.

If you stick with the 560Ti Id recommend the MSI twin frozr version.

You may want to upgrade to the 570 or 7850
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Best solution

May 24, 2012 9:34:57 PM

First, do you have a microcenter near you? use google maps to check. If you do, they have excellent CPU deals atm and I would suggest you purchase your CPU from them.

This would allow you to get a very well performing system that only breaks your budget a tiny bit.

HAF 912 - 59.99 -Excellent and well priced case. If you don't like the look, there are tons of other choices.

7850 - 259.99 - good choice for you budget.

8GB GSKILL 1600mhz ram - 46.99 - reliable, cheap and look nice without having huge heat spreaders.

Combo Asrock z77 extreme4 with Crucial m4 SSD - 243.98 - excellent mobo with an excellent SSD. You install windows on the SSD and a couple of games. This makes boot times near instant and games load faster. Data and the rest of the games and apps go on the HDD.

Combo Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD with Samsung dvd burner - 101.98 - well priced items sufficient for your needs.

Windows 7 Home premium 64 bit - 99.99 - I can't see any reason you'd need professional or ultimate since they offer no advantage to most people.

That comes to $893.56 after shipping from newegg + $149.99 from microcenter.

Soundcards are useless unless you are an audiophile. Modern motherboards come with good ones onboard.

For a monitor you need a 1920x1080 one. If you don't have one, get something like:

The 7850 will play almost any game on max. GW2 will play perfectly. If you play BF3, you will need to turn the settings down just slightly (just below ultra).

If you want to break your budget, the gpu could be upgraded to a 670 for another $150. The 670 is excellent "bang for buck" and would serve to future proof the build a bit, though it wouldn't be incredibly useful outside of bf3 currently.

You don't need a cpu cooler if you aren't overclocking. Overclocking is for people who like tweaking to get the most performance out of their hardware. It requires patience and time and gives a decent boost in performance but isn't incredibly noticeable and certainly isn't necessary. If you enjoy tweaking, change the cpu to a 2500k or 3570k and grab the hyper 212+, otherwise don't bother.

and everything elayman said is correct. Except that you don't need a silver rated PSU, bronze is perfectly fine.

And some info on Ivy VS Sandy (2xxx vs 3xxx).
Ivy gives about a 5-10% performance boot per clock depending on the test. So Ivy @ 4GHz = sandy @ 4.2-4.4GHz.
Ivy gets hotter faster when OCed and requires a more expensive cooler for the same overclocked speeds. But since it's faster per clock, this evens out to them being nearly the same when oced to the limit of the cooler.
So in conclusion: Ivy is better without ocing and Sandy is better with ocing since it's cheaper. There are plenty of exceptions, and I generalized a lot there but that's usually the case.

And this is how to build a computer:
May 30, 2012 12:13:51 AM

First off just wanted to thank both of you for the helpful information.

I actually do have a microcenter near me, but they don't have the ivy in stock. I think I've got a good list of what I want:

i5 3570 Ivy CPU

Z77 Motherboard

I'm still stuck on the GPU on what to get - Geforce GTX 670

or the MSI R7850 Twin Frozr (this ones out of stock, so I might be forced to go with the 670)

I'll also probably use the RAM, HDD, and the case slicedtoad recommended.

Originally I was planning on using my HDTV as my "monitor," but I might also purchase a reasonably priced 1920x1080 resolution one. And since I don't know how to overclock I probably won't and that's one of the reasons I decided on the 3570. I appreciate your guys' input, I'll probably purchase these parts before the end of the week, and hopefully I can start building by next week.
May 30, 2012 12:42:38 AM

lol, the 670 and 7850 are not in the same league.
If you can afford the 670, go for it.
If you don't want to pay that much grab or just about any other 7850 on newegg. Differences in brand are fairly irrelevant and that HIS has a nice cooler.

Personally, I don't like using TVs as monitors but it really depends on the quality. Many don't display text very well and one that's too has too low of a pixel density unless you sit far away. But you could always try it and buy a monitor if you don't like it. A decent 21" 1920x1080 monitor costs around $150.
June 1, 2012 11:53:12 AM

So I ended up calling that microcenter back, and they got the 3570 back in stock earlier this week. They had a deal for a motherboard and the 3570, so I reserved them and I'm going to pick them up after work today.

Intel i5 3570k Ivy Bridge CPU - $189.99

P8Z77-V PRO ATX Intel Motherboard - $169.99

Before I make a large purchase at newegg, I'll probably check the microcenter for any other good deals I can find. I'll most likely end up getting the case and the power supply here also. And maybe the RAM depending on the price. I know I won't be OCing, but do you think I'll need any extra cooling fans anyway?

I've decided to go with the HIS 7850 video card slicedtoad recommended, so I'll be ordering that tonight either from newegg or tigerdirect.

Now that I've got a complete parts list, I plan on recieving all of my parts and be able to start to build by Wednesday of next week. Before I start, any tips/tricks/comments you can give me that might be able to prepare me for any mistakes that I might make that are common.

I have noticed that there seems to be a lot of people on this forum that have trouble during/after their build. I just don't want to make the same mistakes they seem to be doing, I plan on triplechecking my work before I power this baby on because the last thing I need is to blow a $1000 on parts for a PC that I end up burning out. Well thanks again for your help, and I look forward to letting you guys know how I make out.
June 1, 2012 10:42:05 PM

Alright I just got home from picking up my CPU and motherboard from microcenter. Now I'm getting ready to order my other parts, and just wanted some reassurance.

Intel i5 3570k Ivy Bridge CPU - $189.99

ASUS P8Z77-V PRO ATX Intel Motherboard - $169.99

HIS IceQ Radeon HD 7850 Video Card - $249.99

Crucial M4 2.5" 128 GB STA III MLC Internal SSD - $123.99

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8 GB RAM - $46.99

Seagate Barracuda 1 TB 7200 RPM Internal HDD - $99.99

Windows 7 Home OS - $99.99

SAMSUNG DVD Burner - $16.99

CORSAIR Gaming Series 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS High Performance Power Supply - $89.99

COOLER MASTER HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - $59.99

ASUS Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor - $149.99

June 2, 2012 1:28:12 AM

ok, looks good. Just a few changes:

get one of these PSUs:
SeaSonic M12II 520 better quality, cheaper and modular, plenty of headroom, even enough for crossfire 7850s.
SeaSonic M12II 620 even more power.

If you have any special needs for your PSU, let me know and I'll find one that fits them. But basically either of those Seasonics are better than the corsair GS600 and are modular which makes it easier to build.

Also, with the $30 promo code, this is a better deal:
Or you could get this one, it's just come down in price and is pretty much best in class:
^that one isn't necessary at all since you have an ssd but if you like high quality drives, it's actually a decent price atm.

Anyway those are just some small recommendations, overall everything looks great.
June 9, 2012 1:27:51 AM

Best answer selected by FantasticFrank.