My First Computer Build After 8 Years.

Approximate Purchase Date: 1-2 weeks from today.

Budget Range: $1200-$1500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Main use is for web browsing, listening to music, watching videos, simple photo editing, and gaming (specifically CS:GO).

Are you buying a monitor: No (I have a 19' Samsung 720p)

Do you need to buy OS: Yes
Please note that if you're using an OEM license of Windows, you will need a new one when buying a new motherboard.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: All are coming from Newegg.

Location: Toledo, OH

Parts Preferences:

Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R $67 (Amazon). Budget: Less than $100. Preferences: Don't want any "rave" lighting, simple and classy look and front ports with usb 3.0 and headphone jack.

CPU: Intel Ivy Bridge i5 3570k $170 (Micro Center). Budget: Less than $250. Comments: I believe I am set here.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO $30 (Amazon). Comments: I leave my computer on 8-10 hours.

OS: Windows 8 standard version $85 (Amazon).

Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 $125 (Amazon). Budget: Less than $200. Comments: I only know about ASUS but ASRock appears to be praised well and cheaper too.

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) Dual Channel $40 (Amazon). Budget: Less than $100. Comments: I believe I am set here.

GPU: . Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB 384 bit $290 ( Budget: Less than $300. Comments: I want a gpu good enough for my needs and to be able to play CS:GO or future games.

Hard drive: Samsung 830 256GB $219 (

Optical: Lite-On 424 cd/dvd burner $25 (Newegg).

PSU: Seasonic M12II 620W $87 ( Budget: Less than $100. Comments: I just need something to run what I have safely.

Keyboard & Mouse Combo: Logitech MK120 $15 (Amazon). Comments: Super cheap but reviews are surprisingly positive.

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: No

Your Monitor Resolution: Unsure.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I have a 8 year old computer that is overdue and can't even listen to music and surf the web at the same time because of lag. I cannot have multiple programs or windows up or running; have to do things one at a time. Plus I cannot play CS:GO because I get 30 or less avg FPS.
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  1. Best answer

    CPU Intel i5-3570K
    CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 612
    Motherboard ASRock Z77 Extreme4
    Memory Crucial Ballistix sport 2x4GB DDR3-1600
    Storage Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
    Samsung 830 Series 128GB
    Video Card Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB GV-R795WF3-3GD
    Case Corsair Carbide Series 300R
    Power Supply SeaSonic M12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified
    Optical Drive Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

    Total: $1072.79

    There's no good reason to go Sandy instead of Ivy. Performance is pretty much the same between the 3570K and the 2500K, but power consumption is lower on the 3570K. Sure, they don't overclock to as high frequencies, but their higher performance per clock mitigates the slightly lower frequencies excellently.

    This cooler is a fiarly high-end cooler and should do quite well. It has combo deal, or else I'd have gone with a then cheaper Zalman Optima or Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, but that's me. Higher end coolers don't help a whole lot with Ivy because heat generation isn't the problem, it's getting the heat from the chip to the IHS and getting a better cooler won't change that much at all.

    This motherboard is a high-end board with a lower mid-ranged price. It's bang for your buck is great.

    With memory, I pretty much go for the cheapest reliable DDR3-1600 or better kit. This is that kit right now in USA, so it gets the recommendation from me.

    Normally, I'd skip recommending Caviar Black for Caviar Blue, but this model is on sale with a price that shouldn't be ignored if you're looking for a high capacity SATA hard drive. CAviar Black is among the fastest and most reliable hard drives that you can get for a consumer system, if not the fastest and most reliable for consumer systems.

    Samsung's 830 SSDs are among the fastest and most reliable SSDs available as well as least power hungry (although other SSDs use so little power that that isn't a big deal anyway). This model is cheaper than the comparable SSDs, so it gets the recommendation from me.

    This is easily the best 7950 at the price point and more than adequate for a 720p display. If you upgrade your monitor to say 1080p, then getting a second 7950 would be great and still within your budget.

    I went with the case that you wanted.

    This power supply is plenty for this system in power delivery, fairly efficient, and has the added conveniences of being among the more reliable models and modular cabling as well as a good price. However, if you do go for that second 7950, it will be inadequate.

    I just went with the cheapest Blu-Ray reader on this site as the optical disk drive.
  2. Can't you just buy the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade and do a clean install? I'm pretty sure you can.

    Nice system recommend Blazorthon! Except get them the blu ray player they want.

    That system will blow you away OP.
  3. cbag said:
    Can't you just buy the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade and do a clean install? I'm pretty sure you can.

    Nice system recommend Blazorthon! Except get them the blu ray player they want.

    That system will blow you away OP.

    Yeah, I forgot to put in a Blu-Ray drive at first. I fixed it, there's now a Blu-Ray drive instead of a DVD drive.
  4. Wow you're list is cheaper and looks better than what I had. Thanks.

    I have a noob question. If you have 2 hard drives, a ssd and hdd, how can you direct programs (firefox, chrome, ms office, etc), operating system, small games be saved in the ssd and huge games, files (music, vids, pics, documents) be saved in the hdd?

    Also, if you were to reformat the computer back to like when it was brand new do both the ssd and hdd lose files? Not sure if it's possible to reformat and keep files and programs so you don't have to download every single thing again.
  5. For installing programs, you can simply choose their install directory. If you want to install something to the hard drive, make a folder on it and use that folder as the programs installation directory. You cam make other folders on it for music, videos, and such. Using another hard drive for storage is as easy and simple as choosing it when you want to write files and such to it.

    When ou reformat the SSD boot drive, all of the files on the hard drive will still be there, but any programs installed on it will probably not work right if at all because they won't be in the registry on the SSD. Any data files will still be fine, but you'd have to re-install programs. To reformat the hard drive, you'd have to reformat it directly just like you do with the SSD.

    Glad to help.
  6. cbag said:
    Can't you just buy the Windows 8 Pro Upgrade and do a clean install? I'm pretty sure you can.

    Seeing as how that's a violation of the license agreement, no
  7. unksol said:
    Seeing as how that's a violation of the license agreement, no

    I've been told that it can be done, but IDK about licensing violation or not in this situation.
  8. I think I am pretty set with my pc parts. The only areas I am undecided is GPU and Hard drive.

    I was going to originally get a 180GB SSD, I use around 100 GB so that is 55%. But for $20 more I can get roughly 60GB more. So now I am thinking of the Samsung 830 or 840 or Corsair Force GS which all use toggle nand. Enlighten me if I will see a difference between a lower end or higher end ssd in terms of flash memory. Any other options I will of course consider. Also, I am pretty set on just using one drive because I have a external hard drive too.

    As for GPU I would like to spend $200-$300. I don't mind spending close to $300 if the card is worth it because I know how GPUs get so outdated. Blazorthon suggested the radeon 7950 but I personally like nvidia cards; not saying I would disregard a radeon. I would like to get more responses for that card or other cards I should consider.
  9. Right now, AMD has a significant advantage in value as well as having a more minor advantage in performance for the money, but if you want a Nvidia recommendation anyway, I'll give one.

    This is the best Nvidia card for at or under $300 AFAIK:

    What makes it the best is that it not only has a GPU factory overclock, but also a memory overclock and room for more if you manually overclock it too. It's not quite as fast as the 7950 overall, even worse in comparison with overclocking, and it has less value due to AMD's several free games, but it is the best Nvidia suggestion that I can think of.
  10. Well it seems after peeking around that the 7950 is a better buy. I guess I am going back to radeon; I started with radeon switched to nvidia and now to radeon.

    Now about the hard drive which of the 3 I stated would you pick? Or do you have any other ssds in mind?
  11. Those are SSDs, not hard drives. They're very different technologies.

    Of those three, I'd recommend Samsung 830, just remember that you will probably need a hard drive as a data drive too. SSDS make extremely good boot drives, but they simply don't have the capacity that most gamers need.
  12. I think that some free software such as VLC can play Blu-Ray media, although I could be wrong (I don't use Blu-Ray myself).
  13. Thanks blazorthon for the input.

    I was looking at blu-ray drives and burners and it seems that the only way to play blu-rays you needed a software bought separately which costs around $50. Apparently, most of the software that comes with the drive aren't updated. Is this really the case? I think I might just get a regular drive/burner.
  14. Well after looking around, I decided I will get a dvd drive to make things simple and save money. Also, I decided to pick windows 7 over 8 because I feel 7 has been tested and I see 8 working better on touch screens.

    The only thing left for me to decide is picking a keyboard and mouse; there are so many to pick from. I would like to have them both wired. What would be a good fit for my computer system? Also, laser or optical? and what dpi would be enough for gaming and general use?
  15. I'm not an expert of computer mice, but I think that a laser mouse with say 1600dpi or 2000dpi and above would at least be decent for gaming.

    For keyboards, I've never been picky. Just get what looks like it'd be most comfortable for your hands (maybe something said to be an ergonomic or gaming keyboard).

    Also, Windows 8 doesn't work any worse on a non-touch screen than 7 does and I speak as someone who has used both extensively. A lot of people troll about it, but most of them don't have a clue and the rest that do are far over-exaggerating any issues and ignoring issues in 7. I'm not saying which one to go for, they each have their strengths and weaknesses, just that I'd recommend giving both ample consideration.

    People whining about 8 mostly dislike Metro, but the truth is that you don't have to use Metro to use Windows 8. You don't have to use Metro at all if you don't want to, it's just there if you do want to use it. The rest are mostly people whining about the start menu despite the fact that you not only can get a start menu in Windows 8 for free in less than two minutes (literal time, that's not an exaggeration), but also despite the fact that even without a start menu, you can do almost everything in Windows 8 just as quickly as in Windows 7 and you can do some things even faster, so it's still a trade-off, not a trade-down.
  16. I have bought every item on my build except the GPU, PSU & optical drive. Do you think these will go any cheaper on black friday or cyber monday? If it is only a couple bucks cheaper then I don't think its worth it because I don't want to risk them going out of stock or possibly go up in price substantially.

    I have been going back on forth with windows 7 and 8 but amazon had windows 8 for $85 so that made my decision. I have been using windows xp this whole time so it will be an upgrade regardless. In addition, I decided to just buy a $15 cheapo keyboard and mouse combo which has majority of positive feedback. Plus, I have nothing to lose for the price.

    Thanks again blazorthon for directing me in the right direction, you really know your stuff.
  17. You might get a small deal on black Friday or Cyber Monday, but IDK how much it'd be.

    Glad to help.
  18. Best answer selected by DONx3.
  19. I still have not been able to do my build because the gigabyte 7950 is out of stock in all websites. What other 7950 should I look into?

    That one is close in performance and has a good cooler too.
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