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New to all this.... Need help

Last response: in Systems
August 3, 2012 2:33:44 AM

Hey everyone!

So I feel like getting into PC's and gaming on PC's now but I have no idea where to start or really anything about PC parts and components. So what im looking for is if someone can help me with picking parts (i.e pick parts for me :D ). Im looking to spend probably around $1200-1500.

Thanks for all the help.

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August 3, 2012 3:14:49 AM

Hi there,

I'm a newbie too, well not really I was very into PC's at one stage, then came work...and when i decided to go back it was like OMG Pentium 4 now Ivy bridge WTF...

Anyways, so coming from a newbie like myself this is what I did to approach.

1. Determine what the PC is used for, now I know you stated gaming, but depends on what games, ie. FPS, RPG, etc what are the sort of requirements for those games, how important is graphics, latency, size of these games etc. Then other that that what else are you going to be using it for? just simple web browsing and social netorking, or doing a bit of video editing and imaging?

2. After you have determined that then with your budget, source out depending on which country you're from there will be computer stores or online stores that offer competitive prices. Ensure that you read up either on this forum or google where people usually get parts. If you do choose to buy parts online make sure to read reviews by people who have purchased it, I know there is a lot of people who post reviews about what they think of the product but don't actually own or use it. Since everyone is different dependent on their expectations and budget.

3. Essential parts to building a PC:
Case, Power Supply Unit (PSU), Motherboard (MoBo), Central Processing Unit (CPU), RAM, Storage (Hard Drive or Solid State), Optical Drive (CD/DVD RW), Operating System (Windows 7 etc.), If you're running wireless networks you will need a Wireless adapter, VGA Card (Grpahics card, GPU)
Monitor, Keyboard & Mouse, Speakers
Anything else is up to your discretion and if your budget permits

4. Google or read on the forums for reviews, recommendations on each of these and pick the parts that suit your budget and requirements. Good idea is to do a search on 1000 or 1200 builds that others have chosen, read the comments and suggestions etc.

5. Are you building? If you are, the instruction manuals are very good to follow however if you are not confident, have a computer store or someone who is more knowledgable build it and learn. This is to avoid damaging parts to save on unecessary costs.

6. It is hard to help you pick without knowing where exactly you're from as prices will variate depending on the country as well as what sort of games you play.

But other than that here is what I think would be a general item list to go for

CPU: Intel i3, i5, or i7 / AMD (I have never used AMD so not gonna list any)

Motherboard: Depending on the CPU you will need the motherboard to suit the pin
(1155, 1156 etc) Z68 for Intel i series is sufficient

RAM: Your motherboard will state what RAM is compatible usually DDR3 you will probably need 4GB-8GB

Storage: Hard drives come in all sort of sizes 1TB or 2 TB this all depends on what you are using it for. Solid State Drives (SSD) are relatively new, if you're feeling adenturous read up on it and see if it suits you.

Case and PSU: Some cases come with PSU some don't, If you are buying one, consult with the store, whether the PSU is sufficient for your specs. If you are buying a separate one, general rule is that you'd rather spend a bit extra on a more well known brand. This is because the power rated advertised on PSU are not always accurate a 650W PSU could have a marginal difference in price between different brands, but in the end pay a bit more for piece of mind and performance.

GPU: It's hard to say because if you're looking to high end gaming you will need a decent GPU which can cost a bit. If you are going to buy one don't bother with the cheap lower end cards as most of the time they will give you the equivalent performance of onboard. (Correct me if I'm wrong this is what the store I bought it from said)

I just realised I typed a lot...this is what I have learnt coming from a complete newbie as well, reading is key and doing your homework.

Hope this helps.

If I have forgotten something can someone add to it, and any feedback is welcome as I'm just learning too.

a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 3:20:58 AM

Well, it's hard to come up with a better response than that, haha. But anyway, what games do you want to play? Are you using a monitor or TV? Elaborate a bit, and we'll definitely help.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 3:43:43 AM

Welcome to the forum.

I strongly suggest you search and learn more about computers.
August 3, 2012 5:12:49 AM

Approximate Purchase Date: December/January

Budget Range: 1200-1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (mainly FPS's.. a few MMO's), general web browsing

Country: Canada

Parts Preferences: no specific preference..

Overclocking: No? Not sure what this means/does

SLI or Crossfire: Again dont know what this is but im guessing no on this

Monitor Resolution: not sure what a good resolution for gaming (FPS's) would be

Additional Comments: Sorry i really dont know that much about PC's.. i need it to be dumbed down for me
August 3, 2012 5:23:50 AM

CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor ($169.99
CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H60 74.4 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($54.99
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($141.99
Memory: Mushkin Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($74.99
Hard Drive: A-Data XPG SX900 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($119.99
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($409.99
Case: Fractal Design Define R3 Black Pearl ATX Mid Tower Case ($114.99
Power Supply: Thermaltake 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99)
Monitor: ViewSonic VG2428WM 24-Inch 1920x1080
Total: $1,423.90
a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 5:39:50 AM

^Make that a $30 Hyper 212 EVO and a $190 3770K.
I don't know why that RAM is so expensive, but it should be replaced by something around $45.
I don't know about Thermaltake. That PSU might want to change to a TX750.
August 3, 2012 6:42:16 AM

Maybe a normal HDD? i mean for someone who has had no experience with SSD i think it may be a bit difficult for him to configure his computer correctly to run SSD efficiently.

Yeah agree with RAM, bit dear, 50$ max G.Skill

AsRock Z77 boards, slightly cheaper too i use to be a Gigabyte and MSI fan but AsRock seems to be performing quite well in my new setup.
a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 6:46:10 AM

It's not hard. Just follow guides.
a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 1:05:52 PM

Yeah, there's not much to SSDs, and they're definitely worth any minor bit of configuration that has to be done.
The ASRocks are very similar in both price and performance. It doesn't matter which way the OP goes.
a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 3:47:34 PM

I suggest spending a bit more for the i5-3570K, but it's pretty much the same as the 2500K, so you can keep the 2500K if you want. Like kajabla said, get the Hyper 212 EVO so you can overclock. Overclocking lets you run the CPU faster than it's supposed to, but it's not dangerous unless you get really high with the speed. Since you play at 1080p, get a 670 or 680, which are better at 1080p.
a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 4:21:30 PM

Right. I said 3770K, but I meant 3570K.
The dangers of OCing come with high voltages, not high clock speeds. Speed doesn't really matter, as long as you've got decent cooling. When you start messing with voltages to make higher speeds attainable, though, any chip's lifetime will significantly decrease.
The 670 is also right.
a b 4 Gaming
August 3, 2012 10:50:01 PM

Well, that's what I meant, haha. You mess with the voltages to get higher clock speeds, you know what I mean? :D 
August 6, 2012 3:53:22 AM

wow thanks a lot guys! This is really helpful getting me started. Just gotta keep doing research so i actually know what im doing but now at least i have somewhere to start
August 13, 2012 12:12:06 AM

Best answer selected by Dtot.