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My first build: Final revisions (budget build) [Updated]

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September 29, 2012 4:29:27 PM

After many posts and research, I think that I've found what will ultimately become my first custom build. I am on a tight budget so saving anywhere I can is very helpful. I've already posted this, and with the very helpful answers I've gotten, I've come up with an even better build than before - but there's still room for decisions.

Budget: Ideally $650 (preferably less).

Intended PC use: Chrome web-browsing with many tabs, YouTube, Gaming, Office applications, watching movies & shows, Photoshop, multitasking between these programs, etc (all in 1920 x 1080 resolution). I also want the computer to be ready for upgrades in the future.

UPDATED BUILD:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Other: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Other: Seagate Barracuda 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Total: $645.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

*TLDR*: Does my build look fine? I want to overclock. Would saving any money on anything be feasible, or is my build pretty much set? (updated)

I want to buy my build in November, probably around Thanksgiving, should I worry about prices changing or parts being out of stock?

I really appreciate you taking the time to read this and help! Thank you and have a great day.
September 29, 2012 5:31:41 PM

Overclocking is definitely worth it. If you don't get an unlocked CPU, you will be kicking yourself later. The only upgrade you would really be able to do is swap out or add your GPU's or add HDD's. (Significant power draw increases). You could easily downgrade to a 500 watt or less to save some cash. I would keep the case, purely for the USB 3.0, its really nice. I would also recommend a MSI 7770.
Here are some parts I would recommmend.
PSU-
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GPU-
http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=68459&vpn=R7770-2PMD1G...

Additionally, this build offers some different options. It has a better GPU, but less storage.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/iRJ0

Hope this helps!
September 29, 2012 6:04:14 PM

You wouldn't LOSE the ability to overclock by going to i5-3470, because you haven't got it NOW. You can't overclock with a H77 mobo. That's the board to use with i5-3470, because it doesn't overclock. Also the 2500K doesn't support 1600MHz RAM.
In terms of performance, you start off with a big lead, by using a 3470, so you HAVE to overclock a 2500K just to try and catch up. If you want an old Sandybridge processor, you need an old z68 mobo, to go with it, that will allow you to overclock.
Of course, what would be the ideal solution, is to use an unlocked i5-3570K, with perhaps ASRock Z75 mobo, but that does add nearly $15.
Of course, either way, to overclock, you would need an aftermarket cooler, like CoolerMaster Hyper 212Evo.
You could save half the $15, by using a 500w PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKlll. That has the advantage of being modular. as well.
Related resources
September 29, 2012 7:06:12 PM

malbluff said:
You wouldn't LOSE the ability to overclock by going to i5-3470, because you haven't got it NOW. You can't overclock with a H77 mobo. That's the board to use with i5-3470, because it doesn't overclock. Also the 2500K doesn't support 1600MHz RAM.
In terms of performance, you start off with a big lead, by using a 3470, so you HAVE to overclock a 2500K just to try and catch up. If you want an old Sandybridge processor, you need an old z68 mobo, to go with it, that will allow you to overclock.
Of course, what would be the ideal solution, is to use an unlocked i5-3570K, with perhaps ASRock Z75 mobo, but that does add nearly $15.
Of course, either way, to overclock, you would need an aftermarket cooler, like CoolerMaster Hyper 212Evo.
You could save half the $15, by using a 500w PC Power & Cooling Silencer MKlll. That has the advantage of being modular. as well.


So basically, you're telling me that I should get the i5-3570K with a mobo that will support it? Will it still be just fine without overclocking? I want to get the aftermarket cooler at a different time because of money constraints. Also, I'm trying to find where it shows the incompatibilities of the 2500K and 6000MHz RAM, for future reference, and I can't find it.

Also, would 500w be enough if I wanted to include two more HDDs? One 300gb, and another 500gb, both at 7200rpm? If so, would I still be able to upgrade anything else/crossfire?

Thank you so much for your help.
September 29, 2012 7:23:22 PM

If you want to have the ability to overclock, even in the future, yes, go with i5-3570K and either Z75, or Z77 mobo. There's nothing to stop you using stock cooler, until you want to actually overclock. If that's likely to be very soon, it can make sense to fit aftermarket cooler, from start, to save hassle of changing.
500w will be fine for set-up, and extra drives. It would only become marginal, if you wanted to add old, or very powerful graphics card, but that's unlikely, and cards are becoming ever more power efficient.
September 29, 2012 9:14:24 PM

malbluff said:
If you want to have the ability to overclock, even in the future, yes, go with i5-3570K and either Z75, or Z77 mobo. There's nothing to stop you using stock cooler, until you want to actually overclock. If that's likely to be very soon, it can make sense to fit aftermarket cooler, from start, to save hassle of changing.
500w will be fine for set-up, and extra drives. It would only become marginal, if you wanted to add old, or very powerful graphics card, but that's unlikely, and cards are becoming ever more power efficient.


I'm guessing there's nothing else that I can really reduce the price on at this point (that doesn't sacrifice function that is worth it)?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Other: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Other: Seagate Barracuda 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Total: $657.92
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Thank you very much. So far, you've really helped. (:
September 29, 2012 9:35:02 PM

Build looks pretty good for the $. Not much left to nit pick about. I would personally go with a z77 based mobo, which gives you more USB 3.0 ports on the rear and also usually has more option on the mobo over the b75 based mobo's, but that is just nit picking.
September 29, 2012 10:26:53 PM

obsama1 said:
The HIS 7770 is $115.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/his-video-card-h777f1g2m

Do not get a Seagate. They've had lots of failures recently. WD/Spinpoint is the way to go.


I'm confused. Is there any other difference other than company for the Radeon HD 7770? If there isn't, then damn, thanks for saving me a generous amount of cash (for my budget).

Also, reviews with the Spinpoint seemed to contain more failures than the Barracuda. How do you know they've had a lot of failures?
September 29, 2012 10:40:50 PM

HigginsHEre said:
I'm confused. Is there any other difference other than manufacturer for the Radeon HD 7770? If there isn't, then damn, thanks for saving me a generous amount of cash (for my budget).

Also, reviews with the Spinpoint seemed to contain more failures than the Barracuda. How do you know they've had a lot of failures?

The differences between GPU's usually is a few things: Clock speed, RAM size, RAM speed, etc.

WD, IMHO, has had a better record recently over Seagate, but to each his own. They both have issues here and there, but in the past few years the WD HD's have been more reliable, from what I've read and what I've experienced.

I'd still go with the z77 based mobo's, so if you want to OC later down the road, you can. Here is a link that explains the differences between the Intel chipsets. Ivy bridge CPU's should be mated up with h77,b75,z77 based mobo's for optimal options and usues.
September 29, 2012 10:53:35 PM

malbluff said:
If you want to have the ability to overclock, even in the future, yes, go with i5-3570K and either Z75, or Z77 mobo. There's nothing to stop you using stock cooler, until you want to actually overclock. If that's likely to be very soon, it can make sense to fit aftermarket cooler, from start, to save hassle of changing.
500w will be fine for set-up, and extra drives. It would only become marginal, if you wanted to add old, or very powerful graphics card, but that's unlikely, and cards are becoming ever more power efficient.


If I were to get an aftermarket CPU cooler now to overclock, which one would I get? I obviously want something that's not too expensive. I don't like the idea of going over $30 bucks, and $20 seems awesome, but whatever you think would work the best (factoring value as well), I'm open to hear.

Also, do I have to worry about getting anything else in order to overclock?

One more thing... What EXACTLY does overclocking do? All I know is that it makes one number turn into a higher number.....
September 29, 2012 11:02:41 PM

lunyone said:
The differences between GPU's usually is a few things: Clock speed, RAM size, RAM speed, etc.

WD, IMHO, has had a better record recently over Seagate, but to each his own. They both have issues here and there, but in the past few years the WD HD's have been more reliable, from what I've read and what I've experienced.

I'd still go with the z77 based mobo's, so if you want to OC later down the road, you can. Here is a link that explains the differences between the Intel chipsets. Ivy bridge CPU's should be mated up with h77,b75,z77 based mobo's for optimal options and usues.



So what do you think about these?

HDD:

Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Vs. Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

GPU:

HIS Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card Vs. Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB

I prefer the lower priced product of both the HDD and the GPU, but if the higher priced one is worth the higher price, then I'll take it into consideration.

And couldn't I get the z75 mobo instead for a bit less, and still be able to OC sooner or later? Does the z77 based mobo's really have that much of an edge over the z75?

Here's my mobo pick atm: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Thank you for your continued replies. (:
September 29, 2012 11:03:49 PM

It makes your CPU run faster. Your FPS goes up, you'll get better benchmark scores, etc. The Hyper 212 EVO is $28 @Amazon. It's a fantastic cooler, and many people buy it for overclocking. I have it, and it's a little bit loud, but nothing major.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005O65JXI/ref=s...
September 29, 2012 11:05:19 PM

I'd get the WD and whichever 7770 is cheaper. The Pro3 is nice, but for overclocking, I'd recommend the ASRock Extreme3 or MSI Z77A-G45.
September 29, 2012 11:20:08 PM

HigginsHEre said:
So basically, you're telling me that I should get the i5-3570K with a mobo that will support it? Will it still be just fine without overclocking? I want to get the aftermarket cooler at a different time because of money constraints. Also, I'm trying to find where it shows the incompatibilities of the 2500K and 6000MHz RAM, for future reference, and I can't find it.

Also, would 500w be enough if I wanted to include two more HDDs? One 300gb, and another 500gb, both at 7200rpm? If so, would I still be able to upgrade anything else/crossfire?

Thank you so much for your help.

Re RAM suitability, if you look at mobo specs, when it talks about supported RAM speeds you will find there is a note/asterix, confirming that 1600 MHz requires Ivybridge (3rd generation), for support. 1333 MHz is the fastest, with native support, for Sandybridge.
September 29, 2012 11:24:22 PM

lunyone said:
Build looks pretty good for the $. Not much left to nit pick about. I would personally go with a z77 based mobo, which gives you more USB 3.0 ports on the rear and also usually has more option on the mobo over the b75 based mobo's, but that is just nit picking.

That's the Z75, not B75. Agree B75 is pretty rubbish. There's virtually no practical difference between Z75 and Z77. Only ASRock, as far as I know, do a Z75.
September 29, 2012 11:28:14 PM

obsama1 said:
I'd get the WD and whichever 7770 is cheaper. The Pro3 is nice, but for overclocking, I'd recommend the ASRock Extreme3 or MSI Z77A-G45.


Getting either of what you recommended would send my budget up higher than I really would like. Is the Pro3 still fine for overclocking? Or is either of the other Z77's really worth it?
September 29, 2012 11:29:05 PM

HigginsHEre said:
So what do you think about these?

HDD:

Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Vs. Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

GPU:

HIS Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card Vs. Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 1GB

I prefer the lower priced product of both the HDD and the GPU, but if the higher priced one is worth the higher price, then I'll take it into consideration.

And couldn't I get the z75 mobo instead for a bit less, and still be able to OC sooner or later? Does the z77 based mobo's really have that much of an edge over the z75?

Here's my mobo pick atm: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Thank you for your continued replies. (:

The Z75 board is virtually identical to Z77 (you'd be hard pressed to find the difference, except it's $10 cheaper). It's the "B" in B75 you don't want. Z75 overclocks just like Z77.
September 29, 2012 11:30:05 PM

Here's what my build looks like so far:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.98 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z75 Pro3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($74.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling Silencer MK III 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS90 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Amazon)
Other: Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Other: Seagate Barracuda 320GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Total: $645.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
September 29, 2012 11:37:04 PM

That looks good. Happy building.
September 29, 2012 11:45:50 PM

Would it be risky waiting around two months to buy the parts?
September 30, 2012 12:11:58 AM

Your guess is as good as mine, on prices. Of course, if you are in USA, there are often reductions, on black Friday, following thanksgiving.
September 30, 2012 12:49:26 AM

If you wait you will probably not have the same options in a few months, plus things will change too, so it's up to you. If you buy now you will be able to enjoy the system now and will be able to do what you want now.
September 30, 2012 12:51:22 AM

I bought a lot of stuff thanksgiving night on New Egg last year. Stuff was a ton cheaper. I bought a 32 inch tv that I use for my playstation, xbox, and a monitor on my computer. It was only $188, and still going. Stuff was so cheap.
September 30, 2012 1:00:30 AM

zared619 said:
I bought a lot of stuff thanksgiving night on New Egg last year. Stuff was a ton cheaper. I bought a 32 inch tv that I use for my playstation, xbox, and a monitor on my computer. It was only $188, and still going. Stuff was so cheap.

That is true, but finding all of your computer parts on sale for the same weekend, and in stock, is really hard to do. It's up to the OP on what he wants to do, but if I had the $ now, I would buy it soon and enjoy it now.
September 30, 2012 1:01:35 AM

lunyone said:
If you wait you will probably not have the same options in a few months, plus things will change too, so it's up to you. If you buy now you will be able to enjoy the system now and will be able to do what you want now.


I can't actually use the computer until Christmas because, well, it's a Christmas present. So I would want to buy the parts just a bit earlier than that so I can do a test boot. Although things could change, things could change for the better too, right? Plus, like a couple of people have said, I might find really good deals in November.
September 30, 2012 1:04:09 AM

Besides, if I do have to change some parts, it just adds to the fun of the journey. (: Hopefully I don't regret it...
September 30, 2012 1:32:29 AM

Just thought I'd throw this out there:

Is this a good monitor for what I want to use my computer for? I like the idea of 22"-25" (My budget is ideally $150)

Acer S231HLbid

Do you think there's a better monitor for that price?

September 30, 2012 3:12:20 AM

Looks pretty good. Not sure if there is a better monitor for the price. I've had good success with ACER branded items, so I don't have any issues there (monitor, laptop, etc.).
!