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First Time Builder, Entry Level $675 PC w/ room to upgrade

Last response: in Systems
July 8, 2012 10:45:25 PM

Hi ! I am a first time builder and I was looking for feedback/compatibility checks on my first build.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 months from now (hoping to pick up daily deals or used parts rather than one big purchase)

Budget Range: $500-700 after everything, flexible because I want high value, not necessarily inexpensive

System Usage from Most to Least Important: casual gaming, coding, surfing the web, watching movies, all-around

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: All, build is from scratch

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg/second-hand

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I like Intel. I only looked at highly rated products (such as the Tom's guides, an a compendium on r/buildapc)

Overclocking: Maybe -- after reading the guide, I decided to get a mobo that would allow me to overclock if I upgraded in future (i5-2500K maybe)

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920 x 1080 (prospective)

Additional Comments: Intended to last me approx ~4 years with appropriate upgrades, the extent of gaming I do is 4v4 SC2 at low graphics, and some TF2, but I wanted multi-tasking, bootup, and SC2 to be as smooth as possible.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm upgrading from an ASUS-N61JQ that is slowly running out of harddrive space and seems to be sluggish, also BSoD's a lot, I would also like a desktop and a more portable netbook/laptop. Any suggestions to maybe milk the longevity of this laptop or repurpose it ?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2120 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G43 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($108.00 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1GB Video Card ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: OCZ 600W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $825.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
July 9, 2012 2:43:07 AM

Anonymous said:
on a budget this tight, it maybe worth dropping the SSD and getting a better graphics card
EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560 $179.99
$149.99 after mail-in rebate card
XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 $174.99
$154.99 after mail-in rebate card

or if that 6850 is enough for casual gaming, we can go the other way and get a quad core:
Intel Core i5 3450 $189.99

Thanks I will check those out. I think the 6850 is appropriate for my needs as Tom's benchmarks had playable framerates with an i7-920 set up on graphics setting much higher than I will be using. I would like to keep the SSD, however, for the faster boot-up time because it is one of my pet peeves, and is something I can carry over from build to build.

Do you think the PSU/Mobo I have is appropriate/compatible for the current parts + upgrades in the future, maybe to the parts you are suggesting ?
Related resources
July 9, 2012 2:47:14 AM

steer clear from that power supply. get the pc power and cooling 500w instead.

you do know that paying 30-40 bucks more and you get double the capacity and a slightly faster drive right?

just get a h77ma-g43 motherboard from msi. cheaper and has all the features you will need.

for the graphics card, if you are getting a 6850, just get the 560 se. cheaper and performs slightly better.
July 9, 2012 2:51:31 AM

if you have no interest in overclocking a cpu now or in the future, you may want to look at the H77 or B75 chipsets; they are a little less in cost or will have a few more features for the same price.