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First Time Choosing, Buying And Building Computer Parts Need Help!

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October 26, 2012 6:22:06 PM

Hey everyone this is going to be my first computer build ever and just wanted to list all of my chosen computer parts to see what you guys think of it as this is all so new to me. I have a list of two builds the cheaper one is for if I can't sell my old pc in time then I am just going to go with the cheaper option but if I can sell it in time then I can afford the more expensive build.

Please tell me specifically if any what parts you find wrong and what you recommend to replace those parts within the same price range unless of course you think the whole build is bad. Thanks for taking the time to read this and respond if you do :) 



Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: Sometime before christmas as early as I can (waiting for my old pc to sell to determine what my budget is)

Budget Range: ($350-$650) Depending on if I can sell my computer in time and how much I get from relatives for christmas ;) 

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, (Lighter video editing at the moment but I plan to do heavier video editing in the future), surfing the internet, watching online videos, watching movies other than that really can't think of anything

Are you buying a monitor: No already have one



Parts to Upgrade: This is a fresh new build the only thing i'm carrying over from my old computer is a mechanical hard drive.

Do you need to buy OS: No I have Windows 7 I will install into my new build.


Preferred Website(s) for Parts: newegg.com, amazon.com

Location: City, State/Region, Country - USA

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel CPU other than that just the most reliable and trustworthy companies for each computer part

Overclocking: Yes- Later down the road I will upgrade to a more powerful intel cpu that I can overclock but for now i'm going with the cheaper option

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe eventually down the road but not in the forseeable future.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1366 x 768

Additional Comments: This computer is first and foremost for a cheap gaming rig I know it won't max out everything but it's definitely a huge upgrade from my current computer so that's whats really important to me for this build. Later down the road I would like to get a computer that can video edit and render decently fast but that's later down the road. Below I will be listing two different builds to show what i'll get as a cheaper option and a more expensive option depending on the money available to me before I buy

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Performance upgrade for playing games and just a better overall computer from my previous one also plan to do video editing in the future so need components cable of being upgraded in the future without too much hassle

Cheaper Gaming PC:

CPU: Intel i3-2120 + stock fan
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H61M-DS2 LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard
RAM: G.Skill F3-10666CL9D-8GBRL DDR3 1333 2 x 4 GB (8 GB)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHZ edition (1 GB 128-bit) 11201-00-20G
Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 500W RS500-PCARD3-US

More Expensive Gaming PC: (This motherboard is so that when I get a new overclockable CPU I have a mobo that is capable of actually overclocking it)

CPU: Intel i3-2120 + stock fan
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-Z77-D3H LGA 1155 Intel Z77
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 GHZ edition (1 GB 128-bit) 11201-00-20G
Case: Antec Three Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W Modular High Performance Power Supply
October 26, 2012 6:32:28 PM

I wouldn't go with either of those builds.

The first one is alright, but the power supply is pretty dismal. While it would suit your needs, there are more reliable units out there.

Personally instead of getting a motherboard that has the option of upgrading, I would get a stronger GPU.

The power supply in the second build isnt that great either.
October 26, 2012 6:43:38 PM

Deemo13 said:
I wouldn't go with either of those builds.

The first one is alright, but the power supply is pretty dismal. While it would suit your needs, there are more reliable units out there.

Personally instead of getting a motherboard that has the option of upgrading, I would get a stronger GPU.

The power supply in the second build isnt that great either.


Thanks for responding. So you think the i3 cpu i've chosen will do just fine for gaming so no need for upgrading the mobo? Do you have any recommendations for parts close in price that are more reliable than the ones i've chosen?
Related resources
October 26, 2012 6:48:41 PM

The i3 is a oddly good gaming processor. The i5 is really nice in terms of highly CPU intensive games, but for most gaming purposes the i3 is really nice.

Good power supplies come from Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, and PC Power & Cooling among some other brands. OCZ is alright, but they are very inconsistent. Some of their power supplies are excellent and some just suck.
October 26, 2012 6:57:45 PM

Sorry I forgot to mention that I do some lighter video editing at the moment but plan to do alot more in the future so I do want to eventually upgrade to an i5 or i7 for that that's why I chose that specific motherboard but yea for right now the i3 sounds good.

Ok I'll definitely be checking out those power supply companies. How much wattage do you think would be enough? 500 or 600W?

October 26, 2012 8:34:59 PM

Ok so I looked up power supplies and this one caught my eye good price trusted company and is 80+ bronze certified good choice?

CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650 V2 650W
October 26, 2012 9:05:36 PM

That's a great choice.

If you are going to upgrade to an i7 or an i5, you are going to want a H77 motherboard to ensure it will work correctly.
October 26, 2012 9:30:02 PM

(This is including the OS and monitor)

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lq8G
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lq8G/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/lq8G/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.98 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($179.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion ATX Mid Tower Case ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($24.98 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH238H 23.0" Monitor ($171.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($91.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $841.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
October 26, 2012 9:35:26 PM

That's sorta out of the budget range by....$200.
October 26, 2012 9:41:29 PM

Alright great thanks for the advice much appreciated :) 

Yea I'm looking to switch processors in the future but depending on my budget I may just have to stick to the cheaper motherboard and then switch it out once I can get more money although that would be kind of a pain so hopefully I wouldn't have to do that :p 
October 26, 2012 9:45:39 PM

@entezio I appreciate your advice and trying to help but theres a couple a problems with that build:

1. I want an intel cpu only no amd
2. That's way out of my price range
3. I have no need for an optical drive, OS, hard drive or monitor for my build at this time

thanks for posting though I appreciate it :) 
October 26, 2012 9:49:24 PM

I'll post a build in a bit if you like.
October 26, 2012 11:05:12 PM

I would appreciate that alot Deemo
October 27, 2012 5:48:09 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3450 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($186.97 @ CompUSA)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Value Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($176.97 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($46.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $648.43
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

I know this is on the edge. If you want cheaper, that can be arranged.
October 27, 2012 2:02:48 PM

Huh interesting. I was only thinking of getting an i5 processor that was unlocked never thought getting a regular one.

Question though would it really be worth it to get that processor you chose over the i3-2120? Because since if i understand hyperthreading correctly the i3 can act like it has 4 cores but really only has 2? Unless you're suggesting that because it's an ivy bridge compared to a sandy bridge i chose.

Another question is will the 520W PSU be enough for when i eventually get into overclocking or would I have to upgrade the PSU again for that? I will be overclocking the graphics card right off the bat too. That's cheaper than my option so I would rather go with ur choice :p 

Third question is for that mobo does it allow overclocking? That graphics card looks beast btw 0.o

One more thing I should mention is that I have already purchased the case so that won't add into the budget.
October 27, 2012 5:49:30 PM

i can probably give you a rig that can play and game on med/high without lagg it costs 650$ here are the specs:-
CPU Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor $119.99

CPU Cooler SilenX EFZ-120HA5 86.0 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler $32.99

Motherboard ASRock H77 Pro4-M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard $89.99

Memory G.Skill Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory $39.99

Storage Hitachi 320GB 2.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $58.84

Video Card Sapphire Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card $199.99

Case Antec Three Hundred ATX Mid Tower Case $54.99

Power Supply Antec Basiq Plus 550W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply $55.99

Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer $19.99



Total: $669.71

have fun :D 
October 27, 2012 7:16:24 PM

@custom pc

first off thanks for the reply and advice. Secondly I won't be buying a hard drive or optical drive for this build and I already bought the case for my build.

Thirdly as of now I don't plan on overclocking i'm just going to use the stock fan but do plan on OC in the future. Also i''m glad you pointed out that processor it never even crossed my mind to use an ivy bridge i3 its barely any more money but better than sandy bridge so thanks for pointing that out.

Question, is that motherboard overclock capable? I ask that because although I don't plan on it in the immediate future I do want a motherboard that's capable of it so when I upgrade my parts months or years down the line I don't have to switch motherboards since that would be a pain.
October 27, 2012 8:07:32 PM

You won't be able to overclock anything unless you get a 'K' series processor. You are going to have to get a Z77 for that, which is more expensive.
October 27, 2012 9:37:14 PM

This is the cheapest z77 motherboard I could find on newegg good choice?

MSI Z77A-G41 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX
October 27, 2012 10:05:53 PM

Mmm it really depends on the amount of overclocking you would be doing.
October 27, 2012 11:25:52 PM

What do you think would be the maximum amount of safe overclocking I could do with say an i5 3570-K using a COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1?

Basically I just want to overclock as much as I can don't have a specific set number in mind. If it's not something moderate to extreme let's say for example 100 or 200 mhz more for each core than I would rather not bother and just wait till my next build to get an overclocking capable computer.
October 28, 2012 12:09:10 AM

I wish I could but with my budget can't really afford a overclocking build at the moment just trying to buy a "future overclocking build" if you will.

So basically later on just replace some parts with little effort and have a legitimate overclocking build.
October 28, 2012 12:42:46 AM

ringbearer90 said:
Huh interesting. I was only thinking of getting an i5 processor that was unlocked never thought getting a regular one.

Question though would it really be worth it to get that processor you chose over the i3-2120? Because since if i understand hyperthreading correctly the i3 can act like it has 4 cores but really only has 2? Unless you're suggesting that because it's an ivy bridge compared to a sandy bridge i chose.

Another question is will the 520W PSU be enough for when i eventually get into overclocking or would I have to upgrade the PSU again for that? I will be overclocking the graphics card right off the bat too. That's cheaper than my option so I would rather go with ur choice :p 

Third question is for that mobo does it allow overclocking? That graphics card looks beast btw 0.o

One more thing I should mention is that I have already purchased the case so that won't add into the budget.


The 520W PSU I chose is of good quality and should last awhile, even if overclocked.

If you want an overclocking build, we might have to drop some things, but you don't need a case or HDD or optical drive.

October 28, 2012 12:22:44 PM

Ok I thought about it and i'm perfectly fine with no overclockable motherboard i'll just get a new one in the future when i'm ready to make that leap. Well ok here is my edited build taking advice from you guys what do you think?

CPU: intel i3-3220 + stock fan
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1 GB
Power Supply: Antec NEO ECO 520C ATX12V / EPS12V 80+ 520W

By the way the case I bought was the Antec Three Hundred.
October 28, 2012 12:31:28 PM

i can probably give you a build that can run any game at 1920x1080 no lagg at high settings NO AA

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks


CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.99 @ Mac Mall)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($25.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($209.98 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill REDBONE ATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Antec 450W ATX12V Power Supply ($35.83 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $506.75

:)  enjoy
October 28, 2012 1:00:05 PM

Hmm that cheaper motherboard is tempting but I'd rather have more PCI slots to add stuff in later
October 28, 2012 1:43:56 PM

ringbearer90 said:
Hmm that cheaper motherboard is tempting but I'd rather have more PCI slots to add stuff in later


what are you thinking to add in the future exactly??
October 28, 2012 3:01:57 PM

CustomPc said:
what are you thinking to add in the future exactly??


No idea to be honest but i'd like the extra pci slots so i can add more stuff in the future even if i don't use them.

Honestly I really don't wanna switch motherboards for a while so I'd rather be a little over prepared just in case.
October 28, 2012 4:52:38 PM

ringbearer90 said:
No idea to be honest but i'd like the extra pci slots so i can add more stuff in the future even if i don't use them.

Honestly I really don't wanna switch motherboards for a while so I'd rather be a little over prepared just in case.


i suppose if you get a B75 MOBO
Core i3
GTX 660
and 8gigs of ram you should be fine =)

EDIT: of you are thinking of overclocking i really recommend that you get a 500PSU not 450 too :) 
October 28, 2012 6:44:23 PM

If you want a future overclocking build, just go lower on the GPU, and get a nicer processor, so then in the future, you just have to upgrade the GPU.
October 29, 2012 1:18:26 PM

This is my new and improved/edited build using your guys advice. I posted it earlier but it was an edited post so just in case you guys missed it im posting it here.


I have a 520W PSU listed here so don't worry I have that covered :) 

Ok Deemo i'll follow that advice and try to get a better cpu but if i can't afford it i'll just have to wait for my next build to get into overclocking :( 

CPU: intel i3-3220 + stock fan
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP
RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 1 GB
Power Supply: Antec NEO ECO 520C ATX12V / EPS12V 80+ 520W

Case I bought was the Antec Three Hundred
October 29, 2012 5:29:36 PM

Looks pretty good.
October 31, 2012 3:16:15 PM

Alright that's it then I have my build!

Thanks to everyone who helped and gave me advice on this, this is all really new to me so all the help is greatly appreciated :) 

I can't wait until christmas and build this pc up and running :D 
!