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My First Build: $500- $650 + Advice please!

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June 5, 2012 2:20:33 AM

I have always wanted to make a computer and I've finally decided to make one as a school project! Even though it is a school project I want to make a decent computer which I could expand in the future. I do a little gaming, like Minecraft and Skyrim, but I don't need to be able to have Ultra settings or anything. In the end though, I want a good flexible PC which will last a while.

Approximate Purchase Date: April 2013. I know it's waaay out there but I'd like to have a goal I could look forward to until then and if I run into trouble I don't want to miss the due date.

Budget Range: $500-$650 Before Rebates, but the odd $30 wont matter too much as long as it's reasonable.

What I want it to do:

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I have used NewEgg a bit and I really like them, other sites are great if it is worth it in the long run (combo deals).

Country: Mid-West USA

Parts Preferences: None, but I like buying Japanese just because of my nationality, but it wont be a game changer or anything. I really want to avoid Seagate, the reviews on part sites I've checked out are horrible.

Overclocking: Maybe, it wont be a big factor as I probably wont need it.

SLI or Crossfire: If you could fit it in somehow without a big price change, yes. But do I need/crave for it? No.

Monitor Resolution: Made a deal with my mom so I will have a 1280x1024 monitor. It would be good to be able to use a dual 1080p setup.

Additional Comments: I am not the savviest person when it comes to building a PC as it is my first build, but I do have a rough idea of what to pick, maybe. I also already have a: keyboard, mouse, monitor, WiFi adapter, 2 optical drives (one is a reader-writer), and an old Samsung SP1604N 160GB Hard Drive. And also I am a 15yr old kid so money is a bit of concern for me, so don't say "Why all this cheap stuff?".
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Things I've picked out (you can change the whole entire thing if you want to):


Case:
Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-Front Blue LED 120mm Fan,Top 140mm Fan, Rear 120mm Fan
Mobo:
ASRock 990FX Extreme3 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
OR
ASRock 970 EXTREME3 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
Processor:
AMD FX-6100 Zambezi 3.3GHz Socket AM3+ 95W Six-Core Desktop Processor FD6100WMGUSBX
OR
AMD FX-4100 Zambezi 3.6GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4100WMGUSBX
RAM:
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL
GPU:
SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 6570 2GB DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card (100324L)
OR
HIS IceQ H657QO1G Radeon HD 6570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
PSU:
??? No idea yet ???
OS:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit - OEM

Thanks for reading this far! Any advice or opinion is greatly appreciated!

Thank you again!

More about : build 500 650 advice

June 5, 2012 3:43:45 AM

I think what I most need help with will be the PSU. I have close to no experience with them and I'm not too sure about how much power is a god amount. But, I probably need help with everything anyways.
June 5, 2012 4:03:53 AM

I'm an amateur trying to pick out parts at the moment and a site I found helpful with regard to the power supply size/type is

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article936-page4.html
The "REAL SYSTEM POWER NEEDS" was really helpful.

Pretty much everything there is helpful, really thorough reviews.
Sorry I'm not more help, not an expert.
Related resources
June 5, 2012 4:09:07 AM

Douglas Winterpeg said:
I'm an amateur trying to pick out parts at the moment and a site I found helpful with regard to the power supply size/type is

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article936-page4.html
The "REAL SYSTEM POWER NEEDS" was really helpful.

Pretty much everything there is helpful, really thorough reviews.
Sorry I'm not more help, not an expert.


This is really good even though it's an older guide. Thanks a ton, I think it will be really helpful!
June 5, 2012 4:16:47 PM

Just a little time saver, if you go the cheapest way with the options I selected it would be $450 with MIR and w/o a PSU and if you go the more expensive route it will be $522 with MIR and no PSU as well.
June 5, 2012 4:39:12 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M/U3S3 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($73.97 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($20.49 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($36.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $637.92
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-05 12:41 EDT-0400)
June 5, 2012 4:50:50 PM

Consider this RAM instead:

G-Skill Ripjaws X: Same price, same specs, just newer.

With a coupon code (EMCNDNE42), you can get the Blue version which has a faster CAS Latency for $4 more. Note, it only works if you're signed up for Neweggs subscription email.

The XFX 6770 is on sale at Newegg for $5 more than the GPU you chose.

The Zambezi 6100 also has a coupon code (EMCNDNE24) for $10 off. Again you need to sign up for subscriptions.

PSU:
Corsair Builder Series CX500 V2

Antec EarthWatts 500 Watt (more reliable)

If you want to expand later then:
Corsair Enthusiast 650 Watt


Total w/ most expensive parts and no rebates or discounts: $659.93
*forgot graphics card: New total: $590
June 5, 2012 4:55:32 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($20.49 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($36.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $637.95
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-05 12:57 EDT-0400)
June 5, 2012 8:34:50 PM

moornix said:
Consider this RAM instead:

G-Skill Ripjaws X: Same price, same specs, just newer.

With a coupon code (EMCNDNE42), you can get the Blue version which has a faster CAS Latency for $4 more. Note, it only works if you're signed up for Neweggs subscription email.

The XFX 6770 is on sale at Newegg for $5 more than the GPU you chose.

The Zambezi 6100 also has a coupon code (EMCNDNE24) for $10 off. Again you need to sign up for subscriptions.

PSU:
Corsair Builder Series CX500 V2

Antec EarthWatts 500 Watt (more reliable)

If you want to expand later then:
Corsair Enthusiast 650 Watt


Total w/ most expensive parts and no rebates or discounts: $659.93
*forgot graphics card: New total: $590


Thanks for the changes and PSU recommendations! Thanks for the total price too! What I have yet to figure out though is if I should put the memory size (1GB or 2GB) or the memory clock as a priority as there are tons of GPUs out there.
June 5, 2012 8:38:43 PM

bigcyco1 said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($20.49 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair 430W ATX12V Power Supply ($36.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $637.95
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-06-05 12:57 EDT-0400)


Thanks BigCyco for both of your recommendations! The website is really handy too!
June 5, 2012 8:57:34 PM

kbrink said:
Thanks BigCyco for both of your recommendations! The website is really handy too!
No problem your very welcome! ;) 
June 5, 2012 9:05:13 PM

kbrink said:
Thanks for the changes and PSU recommendations! Thanks for the total price too! What I have yet to figure out though is if I should put the memory size (1GB or 2GB) or the memory clock as a priority as there are tons of GPUs out there.


Memory size usually doesn't make too much of a difference unless you're going with a high end GPU. Medium to low end GPUs can't fully utilize the 2 GB effectively and you'll just end up paying extra for nothing. Given your budget, having 2 GB would be a waste unless you somehow fit a Radeon 7850 or something in there.

The clock speed does make a small difference. Whether the price difference between the similar models is worth it or not depends entirely on the buyer and his budget.

To help you choose, Tom's has an excellent article: Best Graphics Card for the Money May 2012

or you can wait another 10 days or so for the June edition.
!