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Gaming PC Build Help

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May 29, 2012 4:45:01 AM

Hey guys from Tom's Hardware, the internet and beyond. I'm an excited and nervous 13 year old who I think is ready to build a gaming PC. I just wanted to ask some questions to ease my nervousness.

- First off, is it easy building a computer?
I've seen tons of PC building tutorials and spent hours reading computer components and their clock speeds, bandwidth (i.e., graphics cards), power consumption etc. But I'm afraid if my experience will be somewhat harder and different compared to others' experiences.

- Second, the budget of my first build?
Should I go with a big and fat budget to buy most high-end components out in the market like Ivy Bridge processors, nVidia's GTX 600's Series or AMD's Radeon HD 7000's Series? Or should I go with moderate $950-$1500 builds to get decent performance? Or should I go with cheap ass builds with outdated parts?

My mind keeps telling me to go with a large budget because of the awesome performance of the latest stuff out there (I can afford $2,500 to $3,400 builds if I save enough of my restaurant job salary) Oh, and I'm from Canada, btw.. (Canadian Bacon is awesome!! XD)



Thanks in advance to those people who answered my questions. Take care!

More about : gaming build

May 29, 2012 5:27:51 AM

No it really is quite easy to build a computer. The only thing to remember is to build your computer away from rugs etc. to avoid static discharge and ground yourself on the computer case when handling components. Watching videos, the only thing that I was not readily able to find was how to connect the case power/led/reset buttons to the motherboard, in my case the cables were very hard to read and I fumbled around with it for a bit compared to everything else.

In my opinion you should spend $1000ish on it. $2500+ is just plain overkill to be honest and would only be worthwhile to start spending that much once you have cut your teeth on your first build and learned the nuances of overclocking, troubleshooting etc.

My suggestions are:

-pick up an SSD for a boot drive/most used games and a HDD for a storage drive/other games. Or just a large SSD if you want to spend that much.
-z77 mobo, 3570k with an aftermarket cpu cooler
-Get a good motherboard, quality branded power supply 600+ wattage preferable.
-GTX 670 is the best card to get atm in terms of price and performance.

Going a bit quick here but cheers.
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May 29, 2012 5:44:27 AM

Good advice above. Don't pay more than $1500 and definitely use a SSD.

Do you already have a list of parts in mind, or are you still researching?
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May 29, 2012 6:09:35 AM

ohyouknow said:
No it really is quite easy to build a computer. The only thing to remember is to build your computer away from rugs etc. to avoid static discharge and ground yourself on the computer case when handling components. Watching videos, the only thing that I was not readily able to find was how to connect the case power/led/reset buttons to the motherboard, in my case the cables were very hard to read and I fumbled around with it for a bit compared to everything else.

In my opinion you should spend $1000ish on it. $2500+ is just plain overkill to be honest and would only be worthwhile to start spending that much once you have cut your teeth on your first build and learned the nuances of overclocking, troubleshooting etc.

My suggestions are:

-pick up an SSD for a boot drive/most used games and a HDD for a storage drive/other games. Or just a large SSD if you want to spend that much.
-z77 mobo, 3570k with an aftermarket cpu cooler
-Get a good motherboard, quality branded power supply 600+ wattage preferable.
-GTX 670 is the best card to get atm in terms of price and performance.

Going a bit quick here but cheers.



Is this config. good enough to run most of the latest games out there? Games like: BF3, Skyrim, Deus Ex, Diablo 3 etc.?



Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H ~ $150

Processor: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge ~ $250

Cooling: Corsair H100 Liquid CPU Cooler ~ $113

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz ~ $55

Graphics Card: EvGA Geforce GTX 670 FTW ~ $430

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 7200RPM 64MB Cache ~ $120

SSD: Corsair Force Series 3 120GB ~ $140

PSU: Seasonic X650W 80PLUS GOLD ~ $140

Optical Drive: ASUS 24x DVD Burner ~ $20

Chassis: Corsair Obsidian 650D ~ $190 (The design just looks awesome and it has 2x 120mm Fan on the top for my H100. Gonna sacrifice some money for this one.)

Estimated Total: $1600 (I think price is just right for a high-end gaming PC)
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May 29, 2012 6:52:30 AM

Wait.. change the mobo to a UD3H. D3H has PCIE 2.0 while UD3H have 3.0. so its $1,610
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May 29, 2012 7:14:08 AM

Yes very nice build.

Only thing I would suggest is a samsung 830 128 since it is an amazing ssd. When I did my research before buying an SSD I was afraid of SSD failures especially from ocz ssd's and sandforce controllers. Things are probably better now with firmware updates but I've heard/experienced nothing but good things about the samsung 830.

Looks good. Have fun with it and enjoy your first computer build!
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May 29, 2012 6:57:45 PM

ohyouknow said:
Yes very nice build.

Only thing I would suggest is a samsung 830 128 since it is an amazing ssd. When I did my research before buying an SSD I was afraid of SSD failures especially from ocz ssd's and sandforce controllers. Things are probably better now with firmware updates but I've heard/experienced nothing but good things about the samsung 830.

Looks good. Have fun with it and enjoy your first computer build!


Nahh.. I'll go with Corsair this time. There's hundreds of positive reviews of their Force and Force GT Series SSD's. And, they're faster too.


Corsair 120GB Samsung 830 128GB
85,000 IOPS. 80,000 IOPS.
555 Mb/s. Read 520Mb/s. Read
520Mb/s. Write 320Mb/s. Write
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September 25, 2012 6:11:58 PM

The devil is in the details: the Force 3 series is clearly optimized for random write speed, but trails the Samsung 830 series in every other area. I think it's fair to say that Samsung has an edge in reliability, being 1-0 over Corsair in terms of product recalls (the initial Force 3s were recalled last year).

Also, I don't recommend using a water cooler on your first build, even one as "easy" as the H100. I'd use the classic Hyper 212 instead. You can get similar (if not better) results with air cooling, without the maintenance or risk of water leaking onto your components.

Also a few alarm bells on that motherboard: some users are reporting difficulty booting/installing Windows with the (obsolete) bios it ships with. It also uses VIA audio drivers and Atheros LAN rather than Realtek... Kinda dodgy. I'd recommend looking at a different motherboard (AsRock's Z77 is worth a look)
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