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First Build Advice ($1200-$1300)

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November 19, 2012 11:08:49 PM

Hi Everyone,

First let me start off by saying how much I love this site and community. I've been lurking in the shadows reading up on builds & advice and this website is amazing. The reviews and comparisons of hardware, software, and everything about computers is exactly what I was looking for. You guys makes thing simple but no over simplified so you still have to use your brain, and I appreciate all that you do.

Now for my story. I've been thinking about building a new computer for a little bit now, waiting until around thanksgiving to see if I could get some good deals, and now the time is here. I've never built a computer before, but I've been doing a couple months of research and watching youtube and I think I'm ready.

Posted here is what I'm sort of looking at and since its not quite black friday / cyber monday a few things could change slightly, but after doing research this is pretty much what I'm thinking about, and wanted to know what your guys' thoughts are about what I've picked out. So here goes:


Approximate Purchase Date: I will be purchasing these items black friday / cyber monday, so next week

Budget Range: I'm looking to spend around $1200-1300 (preferably closer to $1200)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming mostly, normal use

Are you buying a monitor: Yes

Parts to Upgrade: As it is my first build, I need everything except mouse/keyboard

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, I was thinking Windows 8, but if you guys think windows 7 would be better I will definitely consider it

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I would prefer (not in any order) Newegg, Amazon, and CompUSA as there is a store a couple blocks away

Location: Raleigh, NC

Parts Preferences: I want Intel CPU, I would prefer the 660 TI GPU but am not against Radeon. As I'm still new to this I am mainly looking for quality brands

Overclocking: Yes, or at least in the near future. Not right off the bat as I'm mostly concerned with simply learning and hopefully getting a working build. But as OC'ing is something to learn I definitely want to do it.

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, once this build is up and running I plan on buying a second GPU in about 6 months

Your Monitor Resolution: I'm fine with 1080p, but as I'm still new I'm not sure if I should go up to take advantage of the SLI / CF in the near future


PCPartPicker.com
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/ooD6

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570k 3.4 GHz Quad-Core - $219.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/amazon/intel-cpu-bx80637i535...

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing - $26.29
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/ncixus/cooler-master-cpu-coo...

MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme6 ATX LGA1155 - $159.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/amazon/asrock-motherboard-z7...

RAM: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 - $39.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/crucial-memory-bls2ki...

Storage: WD Caviar Black 1TB 3.5' 7200 RPM HDD - $93.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/superbiiz/western-digital-in...

GPU: EVGA GeForce 660 Ti 2GB - $284.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/amazon/evga-video-card-02gp4...

Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Gunmetal/Black) ATX Mid Tower - $99.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/nzxt-case-caph410g1

PSU: Corsair Professional 750W 80 Plus Silver ATX 12v / EPS 12v - $114.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/ncixus/corsair-power-supply-...

Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer - $18.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/newegg/sony-optical-drive-ad...

Monitor: Dell ST2321L 23.0" Monitor - $134.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/amazon/dell-monitor-st2321l

OS: Windows 8 (65-bit) - $89.99
http://pcpartpicker.com/mr/ncixus/microsoft-os-wn700404

Total: $1289.18

Additional Comments:

A few things I'm concerned with:

- MOBO: I was considering getting the Gigabyte UD3H which would save some money, but as the Extreme 6 is Tom's Hardware Approved I went with that one :D 

- SSD: I considered getting a Samsug 830 SSD or the Crucial M4, but as they are $150-$200 I don't know if I can justify it. I would like one, but from what I've seen most people just get it to speed up windows boot, which I'm not really concerned with, so let me know what you guys think about this

- Monitor: I'm not 100% sure about the monitor, I plan on going SLI / CF in the near future, so I'm not sure if I should get a beefier monitor

- Case: I was debating between the Phantom 410 and Cooler Master Storm Enforcer (which would save some money) but I like the looks of the Phantom, and again its Tom's Hardware Approved haha :D 

- Windows 7 or Windows 8, will windows 8 have any effect on games (i.e. not running them properly, etc)

- the games I plan on playing are (not in any particular order) Farcry 3, Skyrim, Guild Wars, GTA V, maybe a FPS or two (never played one on PC before)

- PSU: I always hear its important to get a good quality PSU, and read that Corsair is a solid brand, but I'm kind of clueless when it comes to PSU (even after researching) so if you guys have some thoughts that would be appreciated

- Purchasing Websites: I'm not sure how reliable some websites are for ordering parts (i.e. NCIX US), so I included a few in the pcpartpicker list that I'm not sure about

- Mouse / Keyboard: I plan on buying a new mouse and keyboard, but am not including them in the build budget above. I've heard that getting good solid keyboard & mouse makes a big difference, so what do you guys suggest? I've heard mechanical keyboard is the way go, but I also saw the Microsoft Sidewinder get good reviews, but I honestly don't know. Do gaming keyboards / mouse make a difference? Are they worth it?




Thanks in advance for taking a look, and don't worry about tearing the build apart if something is off, this will be the first build and I'm still learning, so feel free to help out however.

Thanks Guys

(sorry for such a long post haha)

More about : build advice 1200 1300

Best solution

November 19, 2012 11:57:53 PM
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Quote:
- MOBO: I was considering getting the Gigabyte UD3H which would save some money, but as the Extreme 6 is Tom's Hardware Approved I went with that one :D 


I have the UD3H - it's an excellent board. The Asrock is no slouch either.

Quote:
- SSD: I considered getting a Samsug 830 SSD or the Crucial M4, but as they are $150-$200 I don't know if I can justify it. I would like one, but from what I've seen most people just get it to speed up windows boot, which I'm not really concerned with, so let me know what you guys think about this


You don't need a 256GB SSD if you have a 1TB secondary - you can get a 128GB of those models for around $100.

Quote:
- Case: I was debating between the Phantom 410 and Cooler Master Storm Enforcer (which would save some money) but I like the looks of the Phantom, and again its Tom's Hardware Approved haha :D 


I'd pick the Phantom 410 without thinking about it.

Quote:
- Windows 7 or Windows 8, will windows 8 have any effect on games (i.e. not running them properly, etc)


No. Anything Windows 7 can run, Windows 8 will also run.

Quote:
- PSU: I always hear its important to get a good quality PSU, and read that Corsair is a solid brand, but I'm kind of clueless when it comes to PSU (even after researching) so if you guys have some thoughts that would be appreciated


Yes, with PSUs you get what you pay for. You do not want to go cheap in this area or it will end badly. Seasonic is an excellent manufacturer as well. Make sure your power supply is certified and rated 80+ Bronze or better, or don't buy it.

Quote:
- Purchasing Websites: I'm not sure how reliable some websites are for ordering parts (i.e. NCIX US), so I included a few in the pcpartpicker list that I'm not sure about


I've had no problems with Newegg or NCIX.

Quote:
Thanks in advance for taking a look, and don't worry about tearing the build apart if something is off, this will be the first build and I'm still learning, so feel free to help out however.


The only thing I'd suggest is getting a Radeon 7950 as it's better than the 660TI. otherwise that setup looks pretty good. You'll probably get a lot of replies telling you to get a cheaper PSU - ignore them. Don't skimp on the power supply especially for that kind of build. I've seen what happens when you go cheap on the power supply, it sucks. Believe me.
November 20, 2012 10:06:38 PM

Thanks for the response.

I still might go for the UD3H as there is a deal nearby for $115 or $120 at compusa i believe, so that might be the deal breaker lol

As for the SSD since i've never really gamed on PC's before would a 128GB SSD hold many games? Or would I like just be able to put like 1 on there (after windows)?

Does it make a big difference when gaming when they are on the SSD?
Related resources
November 20, 2012 10:13:49 PM

kmac2233 said:
Thanks for the response.

I still might go for the UD3H as there is a deal nearby for $115 or $120 at compusa i believe, so that might be the deal breaker lol

As for the SSD since i've never really gamed on PC's before would a 128GB SSD hold many games? Or would I like just be able to put like 1 on there (after windows)?

Does it make a big difference when gaming when they are on the SSD?


No it doesn't - I use mine for OS and main programs only. The game files these days are so large that an SSD won't be able to hold them all. A game like Black Ops II or Assassin's Creed 3 takes 16GB of data, while BF3 takes a whopping 25GB.
November 23, 2012 2:37:40 PM

Well I ended up buying everything during the thanksgiving specials and sales and I'm looking forward to the first build!

Here's what I ended up getting:

CPU: i5-3570k - $219.99 ( with $20 newegg giftcard)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
GPU: Sapphire 7950 - $299.99 (with $20 rebate) (with the 4 in 1 game coupon! $179 value! haha)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
MOBO: ASRock Z77 Extreme 6 - $159.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
RAM: GSKILL Ripjaws X series 8GB DDR3 1600 - FREE with motherboard ($39.99 value)
MONITOR:: ASUS VS Series 23" HDMI LCD - $139.99 (with $20 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
PSU: Seasonic 750W 80 PLUS Gold - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CASE: NZXT Phantom 410 - $99.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
CPU Cooler: Hyper 212 Evo - $29.99 (with $5 rebate)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
optical drive: ASUS dvd burner - $19.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Storage: Crucial M4 128 GB SSD - $99.99
NCIX.com (can't find a direct link)
OS: Windows 8 - $89.99
NCIX.com (can't find a direct link)

Total (no rebates) - $1259.9
Total (with rebates) - $1194.9

so I'm pretty happy with not only the price but also the components. thanks for the advice about the 7950 GPU, I think i'm going to love it. Also I'm happy I got a SSD. I plan on using the $20 newegg giftcard to get a WD Black 1TB HDD, but it will have to wait until all this stuff arrives and I get the gift card.

I'll make sure to post some pictures so you guys can see how it comes along!
November 23, 2012 4:57:49 PM

Quote:
so I'm pretty happy with not only the price but also the components. thanks for the advice about the 7950 GPU, I think i'm going to love it. Also I'm happy I got a SSD. I plan on using the $20 newegg giftcard to get a WD Black 1TB HDD, but it will have to wait until all this stuff arrives and I get the gift card.


Yeah that should be a kick ass build!
November 25, 2012 11:10:46 PM

Alright I have one more question.

I'm going to have to use wireless for this build (most likely for about a year)

Should I simply get a wireless USB as it is basically hassle-free? Will these work well enough for online games (i.e. planetside 2)

Or since I'm building this from scratch should I get an actual wireless card that I attach to the MOBO?

if you guys think I should get an actual wireless card do you have any recommendations? Do you know if it will work properly with this build (i.e. enough room inside, fit properly with the case, etc.)?

I've spent most of my time researching main components, and can't really find a ton of useful info on this topic.

Thanks in advance.

November 26, 2012 3:05:48 AM

kmac2233 said:
Alright I have one more question.

I'm going to have to use wireless for this build (most likely for about a year)

Should I simply get a wireless USB as it is basically hassle-free? Will these work well enough for online games (i.e. planetside 2)

Or since I'm building this from scratch should I get an actual wireless card that I attach to the MOBO?

if you guys think I should get an actual wireless card do you have any recommendations? Do you know if it will work properly with this build (i.e. enough room inside, fit properly with the case, etc.)?

I've spent most of my time researching main components, and can't really find a ton of useful info on this topic.

Thanks in advance.


You can get either or. I like USB adapters myself because they're easy to install. The downside is they break easily (I know from experience :lol:  ). The wireless card are easy to install but you can't remove them should you need to transport your system.
December 3, 2012 10:48:35 PM

Hey Guys,

Well I built my computer this weekend and just thought I would post some pics for you to see

So far I love it, its the best computer I've ever used (and i'm not just saying that because i built it either haha)

so here are the pictures of my build:

First stages: Putting in the CPU (pretty scared about doing this part, not going to lie haha), the cpu cooler and the ram



IT'S ALIIIIIVE! The frankenstein picture, plugged in the video card, hooked everything up to PSU and did a test run to make sure everything works (very relieved this worked right)



This is everything wired up and basically all finished (except my optical drive, I nearly completely forgot about it lol)



and here is the final build (with a little bit of the new monitor on the side)



Again I absolutely loved it, thanks a lot to G-UNIT1111 and the tom's hardware website for telling me everything I needed to know to complete this build!

December 3, 2012 10:50:36 PM

Best answer selected by kmac2233.
December 3, 2012 11:01:12 PM

Oh yea here's this picture for those who like these:

!