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First time builder with a $700-800 budget

Last response: in Systems
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July 14, 2012 10:55:38 PM

Hello all! I am extremely new to the pc world, but have long known of a fiendish desire to own a gaming pc. I literally spend all last night informing myself the best I could of necessary components and can firmly say that I have a decent idea of what I should look for. However, being new to all this, I would love any suggestions and advice to choose recommended and correct parts for my system.

Approximate Purchase Date: Late-July

Budget Range: $700-800

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, surfing web, watching movies, etc.

Are you buying a monitor: No, nor a mouse

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: www.newegg.com

Location: California

Parts Preferences: Intel

Overclocking: Maybe, but very unconfident of my abilities

SLI or Crossfire: No

With the help of my friend, I was able to put together a build. How reliable and powerful the system will be, I am not too sure, but I was hoping for your input:

Video Card: EVGA 01G-P3-1556-KR GeForce GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) FPB 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card -- $134.99

Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V LK LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS -- $139.99

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450 -- $199.99

Memory: Kingston 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model KVR1333D3N9K2/8G -- $46.99

Computer Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case, comes with Three Fans-1x Front Blue LED 120mm Fan, 1x Top 140mm Fan, 1x Rear 120mm Fan, option Fans-2x Side 120mm Fan -- $49.99

Power Supply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power Supply -- $89.99

Harddrive: HGST Ultrastar A7K1000 HUA721050KLA330-PULL 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Hard Drive -Bare Drive -- $54.99

Optical Drive: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer - Bulk - 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS224-06 LightScribe Support - OEM -- $19.00

Keyboard: Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 -- $36.99

Total: $773.91

Again, I appreciate any and all suggestions, and thank you in advance for your help :) 
July 14, 2012 11:13:37 PM

Thanks so much for the fast reply! So the motherboard at that price will still be able to do the things that I would want it to do, right? Sorry if I sound like an amateur. I'm still getting used to everything.
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July 14, 2012 11:17:48 PM

What types of things are you trying to do? You can't overclock with the processor you or I chose anyway and you stated no CF/SLI. It has plenty of SATA and USB ports.
July 14, 2012 11:24:37 PM

Sorry, I just noticed the low price of the mobo and became a bit suspicious of the product. Again, I am a beginner and heavily rely on the prices to judge quality, and I know this is never always the case. Anyway, I believe your build to be undoubtedly better, especially for gaming. Thank you much! :D 
July 14, 2012 11:54:06 PM

If you want to save some $ and still have a good system, I've included a link to another system to consider. I usually order most of my parts from Newegg.com, so the items listed on other sites aren't always the best deal, but the price is close (after shipping is added).
Total build price ~$655
Link to system.
July 15, 2012 1:17:23 AM

Thank you for the build! Will that CPU with that video card perform better, worse, or really no difference in comparison with the other two builds mentioned? Thank you for your advice :) 
July 15, 2012 2:25:25 AM

PetKing said:
Thank you for the build! Will that CPU with that video card perform better, worse, or really no difference in comparison with the other two builds mentioned? Thank you for your advice :) 

It's a dual core CPU compared to the quad core ones listed above. It'll do fine for most situations, unless your doing some multi-threaded apps, where the quad's will do better generally. If you have any desire to OC (which I generally don't want to) I'd consider the 3570k CPU, otherwise a dual or quad core CPU will be fine for 95% of situations. If you want to save some $ now and leave room for upgrade $ later, than the Intel 2120 is where the best savings are at. You could also drop down to the G860/G870 for about $10-20 less, but that is up to you. If you do more CPU intensive tasks, then the 2120 would be a tad better than the G860/G870. If you look at the best gaming CPU's for June 2012, you can see what I'm talking about.
July 15, 2012 2:38:49 AM

lunyone said:
It's a dual core CPU compared to the quad core ones listed above. It'll do fine for most situations, unless your doing some multi-threaded apps, where the quad's will do better generally. If you have any desire to OC (which I generally don't want to) I'd consider the 3570k CPU, otherwise a dual or quad core CPU will be fine for 95% of situations. If you want to save some $ now and leave room for upgrade $ later, than the Intel 2120 is where the best savings are at. You could also drop down to the G860/G870 for about $10-20 less, but that is up to you. If you do more CPU intensive tasks, then the 2120 would be a tad better than the G860/G870. If you look at the best gaming CPU's for June 2012, you can see what I'm talking about.

Ah, I understand. I think i might go with your build actually and upgrade later on, because I am on the low side of money right now. If I were to upgrade, which parts would I look to get? I'm assuming a better mobo and cpu, right?
July 15, 2012 3:41:28 AM

Motherboard is good, but if you want more in the mobo, then I would buy it now and leave the upgrades to SSD/GPU/CPU, probably in that order. The SSD will speed things up and make things a bit snappier than with a mechanical HD. I'd recommend at least a 128 gb SSD or better yet a 256 gb SSD so you can load up your most used apps on the SSD and the rest on the mechanical HD. The GPU I'd upgrade when you feel your starting to lag a bit in the games you play (which most people don't usually notice much until 2-3 years out). The CPU is only needing upgrade if you feel you need more CPU related uses that you want more CPU power for (photoshop, video rendering, etc.). The CPU upgrade is only needed if you want to speed up those tasks or if you have the desire to have/need the quad core CPU's. The 3570k would probably suffice for this build until you change sockets in a few years.
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