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Newbie PC Builder, Please Help! [full build list]

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August 21, 2012 7:00:58 PM

I have a budget of $750 and put together the following PC on pcpartpicker.com :

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ffaI
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ffaI/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ffaI/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-2310 2.9GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: AMD Entertainment Edition 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Western Digital AV-GP 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB Video Card ($137.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 550W ATX12V Power Supply ($68.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $728.45
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 14:55 EDT-0400)

Knowing that pcpartpicker's compatibility check isn't perfect, I wanted to ask here for a second opinion to see if the components of my system will work together, and if there's a specific change I can / need to make to optimize my gaming performance. Any feedback would be very very much appreciated. Thanks in advance :) 
August 21, 2012 7:16:04 PM

Your current build is decent, however, I feel that you are compromising on the GPU a little bit. Here is my parts list -

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($85.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Best Buy)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.06 @ Amazon)
Total: $805.46
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 15:15 EDT-0400)

It's a little overbudget but if you can squeeze in an extra $50, I would definitely recommend it.

If this isn't possible, please let me know and I'll be happy to make you another list :) 
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August 21, 2012 7:20:21 PM

mocchan said:
Your current build is decent, however, I feel that you are compromising on the GPU a little bit. Here is my parts list -

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($85.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($249.99 @ Best Buy)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.49 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($41.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.06 @ Amazon)
Total: $805.46
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 15:15 EDT-0400)

It's a little overbudget but if you can squeeze in an extra $50, I would definitely recommend it.

If this isn't possible, please let me know and I'll be happy to make you another list :) 


Thanks so much for the reply!

The thing is I live in Canada so even when I pay too much for shipping and handling there will still be additional border fees and taxes and such, which will probably raise this from $800 to ~$880. :( 

This is a damned nice system you put together though, I'm going to have to try and see if I can scrounge up some money from somewhere to throw at these computer companies.
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August 21, 2012 7:22:49 PM

Oh so you're in Canada! I apologise for not asking that ahead of time, there should be a "Canada" option on PC Part Picker :)  I'll make you another parts list, so you don't have to pay border fees :lol: 
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August 21, 2012 7:33:16 PM

Here's an updated parts list using the 'Canada' option :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($97.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $839.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 15:32 EDT-0400)

Boy things there are a little expensive (for some things). But I think $840 is reasonable if you take out the Border Fees you were talking about bringing things in from the USA.
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August 21, 2012 7:39:06 PM

mocchan said:
Here's an updated parts list using the 'Canada' option :) 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ NCIX)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($89.99 @ Newegg Canada)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($209.99 @ NCIX)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ NCIX)
Power Supply: Corsair 500W ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Canada Computers)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($16.99 @ Canada Computers)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($97.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $839.91
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-08-21 15:32 EDT-0400)

Boy things there are a little expensive (for some things). But I think $840 is reasonable if you take out the Border Fees you were talking about bringing things in from the USA.


Thanks again, your response times are unbelievably fast. :) 

This really does look well worth the investment, but I'm still not sure if I can come up with the money. Which part(s) of the system do you think I'd have to sacrifice on to lower the price a bit?
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August 21, 2012 7:41:11 PM

My rule of thumb for a gaming pc is to spend twice your cpu budget on the graphics card.
In your case, allocate $105 or so for the cpu and $210 for the graphics card.

Do not be put off by a strong intel dual core cpu. Few games use more than two cores.
A i3-2100 @$120 is a good gamer. Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-gaming-cpu-cor...
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

You should be able to find a 7850 for about $220.
For example: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...
If you could stretch to $300, look at a GTX660ti.
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I think 4gb is too small for today. Ram is cheap. Look at a 8gb kit of 2 x 4gb. Speed is no issue for current intel chips.
For example: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1682...
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Best solution

August 21, 2012 7:45:23 PM

JustPressW said:
Thanks again, your response times are unbelievably fast. :) 

This really does look well worth the investment, but I'm still not sure if I can come up with the money. Which part(s) of the system do you think I'd have to sacrifice on to lower the price a bit?


The most optimal sacrifice I would make would be to lower the CPU down to an i3-2120 (Geofelt has also mentioned this).

The i3-2120 is probably the best Dual Core CPU you could get for gaming purposes. Even though it's a dual core, the architecture is extremely fast so it can keep up with some quad-cores for gaming :) 

I think if you opt for the i3 instead of the i5, it would reduce the cost of your build by around ~$60, so I think it's a nice trade off :)  Also, if you would like a beefier CPU in the future, you can upgrade to an i5 or i7 later down the road if you wish to do so :) 
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August 21, 2012 7:56:20 PM

mocchan said:
The most optimal sacrifice I would make would be to lower the CPU down to an i3-2120 (Geofelt has also mentioned this).

The i3-2120 is probably the best Dual Core CPU you could get for gaming purposes. Even though it's a dual core, the architecture is extremely fast so it can keep up with some quad-cores for gaming :) 

I think if you opt for the i3 instead of the i5, it would reduce the cost of your build by around ~$60, so I think it's a nice trade off :)  Also, if you would like a beefier CPU in the future, you can upgrade to an i5 or i7 later down the road if you wish to do so :) 


Alright then, I think I'll do that. I was really scared of anything less than i5 (and I really didn't want to go the AMD route) but I guess I can always upgrade in the future if my games require it. I'll be playing on a 14" 1366x768 crap monitor for the next two months anyways, so it's not as if I need much performance to keep up 60 frames on it. Thank you very much for your time. :) 
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August 21, 2012 7:56:36 PM

Best answer selected by JustPressW.
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August 21, 2012 8:08:05 PM

You're very welcome!
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