Building First New PC in 8 Years (<$1200)

Hello Forumites,

I've put together a new computer build to replace the dinosaur I've been using for the last eight years. I'm pretty much out of the loop when it comes to computer technology, and would like to avoid making as many stupid (and costly) mistakes as possible. Thus, I've tried to stick closely to the forum's asking-for-new-build-advice guide. Here goes:

Approximate Purchase Date: as soon as possible.

Budget Range: < $1,200 before taxes

System Usage: photo editing, image editing, word processing, video editing, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: No

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Websites for Parts: ncix, memoryexpress

Location: Ontario, Canada

Parts Preferences: None

Overclocking: Yes

SLI or Crossfire: Don't know

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Because the 8-year old (1.7Ghz, 1Gb RAM, GeForce 5500 AGP 256MB) desktop I currently have struggles to play Youtube videos, and generally runs like a geriatric snail.

My planned build so far:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard

Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory

HD: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

SSD: Kingston HyperX 3K 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk


OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk

Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card

Sound Card: (integrated)

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04

Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply

Case: Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case

Any thoughts, opinions, criticisms or suggestions are appreciated. I've browsed and searched through the forum to catch up on my eight years of computer technology neglect, but nothing beats a trained eye to give things a look over.

I'm especially curious about:

1. the motherboard and its two (2) SATA III. Some of the other motherboards I've looked at have four (4) SATA III, but I'm not sure whether I'd ever need that many.

2. the graphics card. Is it overkill, or will it come in handy when using graphics editing software? I'm not much of a gamer, but I do sometimes work with large image files.

3. a sound card. Do I need one or can I stick with whatever comes integrated on the motherboard?

I'd like to end up with something that will last me another eight years—the last few maybe at a crawl. Is that wishful thinking?


8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about building years 1200
  1. I'd suggest getting this PSU instead:
    It's a steal on Newegg and it's fully modular so you won't have to hide all of the cables you don't need.
  2. Best answer
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ NCIX)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($27.99 @ NCIX)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Canada Computers)
    Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Canada Computers)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX)
    Storage: Crucial M4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($179.99 @ NCIX)
    Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($214.99 @ Canada Computers)
    Case: Corsair 400R ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Memory Express)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ NCIX)
    Total: $942.91
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-28 23:14 EST-0500)

    can upgrade ram to 16GB but not really needed.

    Chances are, you already have an optical drive from an old computer and you can just use that because people rarely use the optical anymore
  3. RexdogHD: Thanks for the heads up. It's certainly a great price. Unfortunately, it's not available at (our price is $159.99) and doesn't seem to want to ship all the way up here.

    boulbox: Thank you very much for the suggested build. It's quite a bit cheaper than mine, and I'm liking the motherboard and especially the case. Is the difference between 8GB and 16GB of RAM so small that it doesn't make sense to go for 16GB? And the difference between 1600Mhz and 1866Mhz RAM?
  4. the difference is, the 1600 will not warrant the i5 3570k but the 1866 will, not much of a speed increase also
  5. For video editing i would recommend upgrading to a CPU with hyperthreading, it will help a lot. 3770k are great. 2600k & 2700k are good too.

    For SSDs the best price when it comes to speed/reliability are the M4 or the Samsung 830s. M4 256gb for a great price right now.
  6. just bought mine tonight and I took my stuff from NCIX Canada and Direct Canada

    take a look at it ...
    keep in mind that I bought a 220$ monitor 115 Keyboard-mouse....
  7. Best answer selected by norm2.
  8. boulbox

    thanks for your input, you gave me some new ideas concerning my first build, now i am collecting all the parts, and then I will try to assemble my new computer... let's see what happens :)

    thanks to all,
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