New Build for <$800

Approximate Purchase Date: Within the next couple of weeks

Budget Range: $700-800 after rebates and shipping

System Usage from Most to Least Important: internet browsing and some gaming (Strategy and RPG/FPS [e.g. Total War, CIV, Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, Borderlands 2 etc])

Are you buying a monitor: No, I have a 1920x1080

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (I plan to get Windows 8 unless there is some reason to get 7)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Amazon, Newegg, or any other reputable online retailer

Location: City, State/Region, Country - Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Parts Preferences: Intel quad-core

Overclocking: Maybe but not essential

SLI or Crossfire: No (I'll get a newer card if need be in the future)

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: Don't need a flashy computer as it is just there to run my monitor. Simpler case would be better

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: my 4 year old laptop is ... well ... getting old

Here is what I was thinking. I used pcpartspicker (

CPU: i5-3470 for $184.99 from Amazon
Motheboard: MSI Z77A-G41 for 59.99 MIR from Newegg
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaw 2x4GB for 24.99 from Newegg
SSD: Samsung 840 120GB for 98.99 from Amazon
HDD: old 320 GB drive for $0 from my bookcase
GPU: HIS 7850 2GB for 155.98 MIR from Newegg
Case: Rosewill Challenger for 39.99 MIR from Newegg
PSU: PC Power & Cooling Silencer 400W for 49.99 MIR from Newegg
Optical: Samsung DVD burner for 15.99 from Newegg
OS: Windows 8 64-bit for $80 from Amazon

Total: ~$705 (would prefer to stay in this price range)

Any comments are appreciated as I have only install video cards, RAM, and Harddrives in the past.
12 answers Last reply
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  1. Not bad, however would change psu to a 500 watt one, maybe not as good as the pc power one but good enough to run a 7870
  2. However if you just want to buy a 7850, I would keep your current psu.
  3. Would you like a mid-tower or a small form factor? For you I'd recommend a small form factor, simply since the size would be nice.

    The build is good, but here are a few recommendations:

    1) That motherboard, while cheap, isn't a good pick, plus you only need an h77 board. I like this Gigabyte, for the built in wifi:

    2) Get a 128GB Samsung 830 instead - it's faster and only six bucks more.

    3) How reliable is that drive? If you're storing important data, I'd be careful about it.

    4) 7850 is overkill for what you want - I'd go with a 7770.

    Other than that, it looks good. Nice to see a new builder that's done their homework. :)

    As for assembly, both Newegg and NCIX have wonderful youtube videos on how to do it. Watch them both once, decide which you like better, and play it as you build, pausing to do each step.
  4. I realized you might want to save money by changing you motherboard to this


    Also, since they only support sandy bridge, get a i5 2310 for $150
  5. Looks decent. Two questions/concerns I see...

    I would question the 400w power supply. AMD recommends a 500w psu for a reference 7850 (check the sys req on the AMD 7850 page). So you might want to verify what the third party (HIS) recommends.

    The Samsung 840 SSD for a few reasons. The non "Pro" version is a little slower performance-wise for that price point in certain aspects. There is some disagreement over the longevity of the drive due to the use of TLC (or 3bit MLC), which may or may not be a valid issue. And the 840 series seems to be priced a little higher as they just came out. As someone else said I would probably go with the 830 if you want to stay around that price point.
  6. Thanks for the comments so far.

    Size of the computer is not a major issue for me as it will sit beside my desk.

    What chipset should I be looking for for a 3470? h77, z77? I picked a low end z77 as I don't need the overclocking potential, but assumed it would have better build quality than low end h77s.

    I was just going to wait for a good sale on Samsung or Intel drives around $100 so I'll look out for the 128 version over the 120 gb.

    My old drive is just for storage, and I have an external that does backups so I am not worried about it when it dies.

    I thought I would get a 7850 so that it would be a little longer before I upgrade to another midrange card (3 or 4 years)

    Also should I be looking at the older intel quads? I picked the newer version because its a little bit more efficient and in the same price ballpark.

    Also thanks for the note about the youtube videos. I looked at the newegg ones previously just to make sure the process was something I could do. I'll check out the NCIX ones as well.
  7. I change your build to a mini itx one, like how DarkStable said.
  8. Didn't see that you wanted a radeon hd 7850 :??:
  9. Mini pcs are nicer and are around the same price.
  10. I'm not tied to the 7850 or amd for that matter. I just think I saw that it was the recommended card for my price point in the GPU round up on Tom's.

    As for the PSU, all the PSU calculators I checked said to get something in the 400 range, but I can get something larger just to be safe.

    either something like SeaSonic G Series SSR-550RM 550W (

    or the Corsair listed above.
  11. You really couldn't go wrong with either of those PSUs. Seasonic makes a lot of Corsair's PSUs. However, I think the CX series is made by CWT, which still makes good PSUs. Personally, I'd probably go with the Seasonic, for the 80 Plus Gold rating and the fact they specified 105 degree caps (normally if they leave that out, it means they went with the cheap caps). But depending on your budget, the $10 saved, after rebates, may be the deciding factor.
  12. Well as everything I had looked at seems to have changed price over night (plus a little extra thinking), I did a little more work this morning and came up with the following.

    Its a little bit more expensive, but it has a 3570k instead of a 3470. If anyone has any thoughts I would appreciate it. I would use the intel cooler until I decided it was time to possibly overclock, then I would buy an aftermarket one.

    ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX
    Gskill Ripjaw X 8 GB
    Samsung 840 120 GB
    Diamond 7850 2GB
    NZXT Gamma Classic
    OCZ Fatality 550W 80 Plus
    DVD Burner
    Windows 8

    ~$800 after rebates. If something is wrong I can always go back to a 3470 instead of the 3570K.

    Thanks for any thoughts.
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