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Please help me with my first ever build!

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December 16, 2012 1:04:07 PM

I have decided to build my own PC, however, I am a complete and utter noob to all this so would really appreciate some advice as to how to go about it and warnings as to potential pitfalls, especially in the assembling side of things!

I will be using the PC for general Microsoft Office work, gaming (in particular Battlefield, Crysis and a bit of Minecraft), a LOT of streaming of videos and surfing the internet. I won't be using the computer for graphic design things or rendering videos and stuff like that. In an ideal world, I'd like to be able to play Battlefield 3 on max settings (apart from motion blur at medium) at around 60fps. If that is an unrealistic goal for my budget then I'll just have to lower the settings, but I'm looking for components that will facilitate that sort of performance.

I live in the UK and have a budget of £1,000 (roughly $1,500 I think). I already have a monitor and speakers. I don't have a suitable gaming mouse or keyboard so if that could be included in my budget that would be awesome but if necessary they can be sacrificed if it means having better components. I'd just have to make do with my old Logitech keyboard and mouse while I save up. :) 

I hope I've provided enough information there but sorry if I've left anything out, and please don't hesitate to ask if I have.

Anyway, I've been reading around on this forum, taking advice from a friend, and looking at online reviews for a quite some time now to try and research as to what will suit my needs best.

From what I've learnt so far here's what I've got in mind. Again, I'm completely new to all this so feedback would be really appreciated. I don't know if the links I've put in are the cheapest vendor, in honesty I'm only familiar with Amazon so if you know a UK vendor which supplies the part cheaper then I would be really grateful for that.

Processor: Intel i5-3570K - £166

I've also been considering the AMD FX8350 and i7 3770k as well, but I believe I have no need for i7 3770k because I'm not going to be editing video and that sort of thing and from what I've read on here, it seems to me the i5 3570k the most suitable CPU for gaming? I have read about overclocking the processor and it's something I'm interested in, once I know enough to be confident that I know what I'm doing. I can't afford to buy a new parts if I screw up!

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LX Motherboard - £79

I'm not too sure about motherboards, this is only based on recommendations that I've read about. I don't know if this is suitable for my budget/needs/other components so please put me in the right direction as to what motherboards I would go best with all the other components I've mentioned.

Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 - £308

I've researched graphics cards quite a bit and have opted for the GeForce GTX 670. That said, I have no idea if Asus is the right GTX 670 for me or, indeed whether the GeForce GTX 670 is definately the right graphics card for my PC so am all ears to other recommendations. I only put the Amazon link as I'm only really familiar with them (again, I'm a noob :(  sorry ) I don't know if I can get it cheaper elsewhere. What sort of money should I be looking to spend on a graphics card for my purposes?

RAM: Corsair CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9 8GB 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 Vengeance Memory Two Module Kit - £34

My friend suggested that I get the 16GB RAM option (£58) but I'm very doubtful whether I'll need that much. I don't think I'll be ever doing anything that will require over 8GB of RAM? I'd like decent RAM that suits the i5 3750k processor, not sure whether to go for Kingston, Corsair or another make.

Sound Card: I really am clueless in this category so would really appreciate suggestions, or at least pointing me in the right direction to good articles/resources so I can research it myself.

Solid State Drive and Hard Drive: I have done some research about this but am still unsure on certain things. As I understand it, having a good SSD helps to load games quicker and for boot up? So, budget allowing, it would be cool to have a decent SSD to run Windows 7, basically all my programs (like MS Office, Outlook, Chrome etc.) and computer games on the SSD to speed up my system. However, I also have a pretty sizeable video and music library which probably will require a HDD as well. I don't need a huge hard drive, 500GB would be fine (and if my budget could also incorporate a 1TB HDD that would be even better) but I would ideally like to have both. As to which drives to get given my budget, I'm afraid I haven't a clue.

Case: I have plently of room in and around my desk so size does not matter at all for this. If a larger case provides better cooling and a more efficient set-up then I would opt for performance over compactness. I obviously want a case that facilitates all the components I'm buying, and preferably a bad-ass looking one with a window and leds. :D 

Power Supply: My friend warned me that this is the component that newbies often get wrong so I'm anxious to make sure I get the right voltage and wattage. I presume it's best to decide the CPU, graphics card, motherboard, RAM and all the other components first before deciding one what power supply to get. I've come across Corsair being mentioned quite a few times but I don't know this market nor what I'm looking for.

Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO (120mm) - £28

I've put this cooler because I've seen quite a lot of positive reviews towards this, I don't know how suitable it is for my build. Also, according to a review on Amazon "If you have Corsair Vengeance RAM in the closest slot to the cpu, it will fit horizontally but you will have to move the fan up about 1.5 cm. that does NOT decrease performance. same with Dominator RAM." I'm not sure if that's something particularly problematic?

Water cooling is something I'd like to avoid. Water, electricity and noobyness don't mix. Besides, it most likely doesn't fit in my budget. However, I do want to make sure that the cooling system I have is really effective and fits well with the motherboard and other components.

How much should I looking to spend on the cooling by the way? It's just that £28 seems a little on cheap side. If a good cooling system is expensive then I'd probably prioritise it and cut back on the HDD/SDD if necessary for my budget. I am interested in overclocking the CPU and I really don't want overheating issues. I can't afford to replace parts on a regular basis.

DVD Burner: I honestly think I could do without one of these as my entire library is digital files and I haven't burnt a DVD in my life. If any, I'd probably go for cheapest is best on this.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I truly am grateful to people on this forum. This website has been a fantastic resource to research about all this stuff. I'm still pretty ignorant when it comes to computing but feel slightly more informed now thanks to browsing this website and the expertise on this forum. I'm keen to get this right so once I've settled on the components, I would also appreciate guidance for the actual putting all together stage. I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in return, unless you need something translating into French? :D 

tl;dr a noob is doing a self-build for the first time and really could do with some help.

More about : build

December 16, 2012 5:45:24 PM

Okay, here's what I've got so thus far. Are all these parts compatible and good quality?

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£161.94 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master V10 Hybrid TEC 90.0 CFM CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z77 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£171.98 @ Dabs)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£43.19 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£67.99 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
Storage: Intel 320 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£140.97 @ Dabs)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card (£308.68 @ Amazon UK)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar Essence STX 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card (£140.04 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer ATX Mid Tower Case (£70.78 @ Scan.co.uk)
Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Sony AD-7280S-0B DVD/CD Writer (£16.72 @ CCL Computers)
Total: £1122.29
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-16 19:45 GMT+0000)
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