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Building first budget system, need advice for foundation

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August 29, 2012 5:41:42 PM

Hi I'm planning on building my first pc and could use some advice on putting together the basics so I can upgrade and build on it in the future (as my budget increases as well :)  ).

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: appx. 3 weeks

Budget Range: 600-700 after rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: gaming (WoW/SC2), web surfing, netflix, putting my DVD's onto WD player, VoIP

Are you buying a monitor: No (at least not now)

Parts to Upgrade: nothing, starting from scratch as I've been on a laptop

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg/tigerdirect (best price really, but I plan on taking advantage of no interest/payments if over 500)
Location: SLC, UT

Parts Preferences: my limited understanding says intel makes the best CPU's right now so I've been leaning that way
Overclocking: Maybe (in the future as I want to learn and try it out, but not necessary)

SLI or Crossfire: Only if needed to meet my needs, I'd like WoW/SC2 to be at highest settings

Your Monitor Resolution: 1024x768 right now, but planning on upgrading in the future 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I'd really like to build a barebones to start to meet my budget and allow some room to upgrade (specifically get a good (250ish) GPU months down the road, but I want to be sure I get a good MoBo/PSU/cooling that will allow for that upgrade.)

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: my laptop overheats too much, 3 years old, and I'm out of school and don't need the portable aspect anymore. I'd rather upgrade at my convenience then replace when it dies unexpectedly, as well as being able to play my games at max settings.

This is the start I've put together:
i5-3570K CPU - $229

GIGABYTE GA-Z77M Intel 7 Series Micro-ATX - $105

Azza CSAZ-910 ATX Mid-Tower - $65

Apevia 680-Watt ATX PSU - $65

OCZ AGT3-25SATA3-120GB SSD - $90

Patriot G2 Series 8GB DDR3 1600MHz - $38

Total: $593

I'm not sure what to do for a GPU in the future and really what MoBo will be best in supporting a good future card? Or do I not need a real high GPU (as I know WoW doesn't put much strain on compared to other games) Also thoughts on additional cooling that might be needed or am I alright with the stock? Any thoughts/advice is appreciated!


August 29, 2012 7:53:57 PM

Firstly am in UK, and not familiar with your suggested case and PSU, so comments general. Always get reasonably robust case with decent cooling. A good case will last you years, a bad one will get hot, and have bits dropping off in six months. Similar comments apply to PSU. A bad one can fail, and destroy half your system, with it. Basically, be sure you've checked out some reviews on your choices.
To the rest.
CPU - Fine, probably the best, for gaming. Stock cooler is fine, provided you don't try to overclock with it. If you want to overclock, you will need aftermarket cooler. Which depends on how much you want to overclock, and how quiet you need it.
Mobo - OK. It doesn't have SLi, but you won't need that unless you want TWO or more nVidia cards, which you won't want, unless you want to run 3 monitors.
SSD- Sort of OK, but not the best. Samsung 830 or Crucial M4, much better.
RAM - OK. Personally prefer Corsair, but that's just MY preference.

On subject of graphics. WoW isn't hugely demanding, especially with your current monitor, so doesn't need powerful gfx. When you get 1920 monitor, and to play the most demanding games, your should be "aiming" at, nVidia GTX 660Ti or Radeon HD7870. Which is better? Personally prefer nVidia, cos it's better at games like BF3, but Radeon are better at some other games, so there is no right or wrong choice. You can, of course get even more powerful cards, but those will give you high settings, in more or less anything.
August 29, 2012 8:07:51 PM

PS You haven't included hard drive. You can, of course, put all sorts on SSD, but you'd very quickly use up 120GB, and putting general software, and data, on it, is a waste of an SSD. Also you don't NEED as powerful graphics, as I suggested, unless you want to play DEMANDING games on high settings.
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August 29, 2012 8:25:24 PM

Thanks for the tip on PSU/Case I'll make sure to do some good research on getting quality parts.

As for the HD I have numerous network and external drives for my movies/music so I'm in no rush, I'll pick one up when prices come down or I find a great sale. I think the 120GB SSD will be fine for OS/WoW/Browsers.

It sounds like the stock fans/cooling will be fine with no OC.

I guess the final question then is what GPU to pick? I don't know what new games I may play in the future (and on the new monitor) but I know at a minimum I want WoW settings maxed out. Anyone able to suggest a good card to do that, and also give me some room for future titles at standard settings?
August 29, 2012 9:08:06 PM

A little difficult to know what is the best choice. Whilst you don't need anything much to play WoW, on current monitor, you probably don't want something that's likely to be useless at the next game you play. Something like a HD 7770 is a good card, that will "eat" WoW, and take you a good bit beyond. A cheaper option, at least adequate, for what you need now might be a HD 6750, but you would probably find yourself wanting to upgrade, sooner. Radeon are the better value, in that range.
August 29, 2012 9:22:19 PM

Find a 7770 or 6770 on sale at ncix or newegg and that should do the trick for you.
August 29, 2012 9:22:50 PM

ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$16.99

Rosewill REDBONE U3 Black SECC Steel USB 3.0, eSATA, 3x 120mm Fans Mid Tower Computer Case
$44.99

MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
$124.99
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$89.99

Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00
$40.99

ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$94.99

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
$124.99

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC 7mm Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$109.99

Subtotal: $647.92 not counting shipping or rebates ($25)
August 29, 2012 9:31:07 PM

maui67 said:
ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
$16.99

Rosewill REDBONE U3 Black SECC Steel USB 3.0, eSATA, 3x 120mm Fans Mid Tower Computer Case
$44.99

MSI R7770-PMD1GD5 Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
$124.99
$15.00 Mail-in Rebate Card

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W ATX12V v2.31/ EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC High Performance Power ...
$10.00 Mail-in Rebate Card
$89.99

Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model BLS2KIT4G3D1609DS1S00
$40.99

ASRock Z77 Pro3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
$94.99

Intel Core i3-2120 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 BX80623I32120
$124.99

Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD1 2.5" 128GB SATA III MLC 7mm Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
$109.99

Subtotal: $647.92 not counting shipping or rebates ($25)


I would find some room in there to improve on the Cpu, at least to a 2500k, otherwise that is a perfect build for him.
August 29, 2012 9:52:43 PM

Thanks I'll look for the 7770. I'm also looking at the corsair PSU suggested by maui67 and I have a question about modular PSU, do I want it to be modular? Would I gain any benefits from it?
August 29, 2012 10:13:08 PM

Consider this

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g0Ku

Not overclockable
Comes with a i5 ivy bridge processor; since the intel sockets are going to change next year, there is little room to upgrade here.
Comes with a SSD and you can add a HDD later if you want extra storage
Includes a 7870 now so you don't have to spend more money to upgrade in a few months/couple years.
Is $42.40 over budget
Comes with "Sleeping Dogs" game which you can keep or possibly sell to recover some of the money spent.
Worth every penny imho.

If you can't stretch your budget, I understand. For a more affordable build which you can overclock, you might consider going with AM3+ motherboard and a more affordable AMD processor and possibly upgrade to a trinity processors after they are released later this year.
August 29, 2012 10:13:48 PM

Non modular is not a HUGE problem, it just that, with modular, you only use the cables you need. Stick the others in a drawer, for the furure. With non-modular, they're all attached and you have to coil them up in the case. Looks c**p, and can effect airflow (depending where you stick 'em). Main thing is, whichever, get a good PSU. Corsair are excellent. They do modular versions, but bit more expensive (shop around for deals)
August 29, 2012 10:29:24 PM

kanoobie said:
Consider this

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/g0Ku

Not overclockable
Comes with a i5 ivy bridge processor; since the intel sockets are going to change next year, there is little room to upgrade here.
Comes with a SSD and you can add a HDD later if you want extra storage
Includes a 7870 now so you don't have to spend more money to upgrade in a few months/couple years.
Is $42.40 over budget
Comes with "Sleeping Dogs" game which you can keep or possibly sell to recover some of the money spent.
Worth every penny imho.

If you can't stretch your budget, I understand. For a more affordable build which you can overclock, you might consider going with AM3+ motherboard and a more affordable AMD processor and possibly upgrade to a trinity processors after they are released later this year.

Provided OP is SURE he's not going to want to overclock, certainly decent build. Probably save him money, in the long run. Personally, I would prefer to keep overclocking, as, at least, a future option. But that's me, it's his choice.
!