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First Time Builder Looking for Advice

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January 10, 2013 7:58:41 AM

Hello, everybody.

Given that my crappy laptop is currently in its death throes, I thought it was time to get a new computer. And instead of plunking down money for another crappy computer, I thought it would be a good idea to invest some money and build one myself. I've done some reading online and it seems like a straightforward, but detailed process, but I'm still afraid of screwing it up and wasting a considerable amount of money.

My budget is $500, but I'm always looking for ways to save money.

What I'm looking to build is a good all-around computer for school work and non-online based gaming that works with Windows 7. I looked over the Best Configs thread here and switched some out with higher rated or less expensive parts and this is what I came up with. The end result came out to be $505.91.

Processor: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor HDZ965FBGMBOX
Motherboard: BIOSTAR A880GZ AM3+ AMD 880G HDMI SATA 6Gb/s Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
RAM: ADATA XPG Gaming Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model AX3U1600GB2G9-2G
Graphics Card: ASUS EAH6670/DIS/1GD5 Radeon HD 6670 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Case: Antec Three Hundred Illusion Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D Green 380W Continuous power ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Cooling: COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus RR-B10-212P-G1 "Heatpipe Direct Contact" Long Life Sleeve 120mm CPU Cooler Compatible with Intel 1366/1155/775 and AMD FM1/FM2/AM3+
DVD Burner: ASUS 24X DVD Burner - Bulk 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS - OEM

Based on that build, I had a couple of questions. I plan on using the computer wirelessly and was wondering if the above build has built-in wireless capabilities or if I would need to purchase an adapter? Will the above components work together? Should I add a sound card or is it not worth it? Are there any components that are overkill that can be switched out? Would the above build or any modified versions be easy enough for a first-timer to put together? All answers and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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January 10, 2013 9:54:49 AM

This would perform better


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($66.24 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($31.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $466.16
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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January 10, 2013 10:16:00 AM

i would drop the i3 for a pentium G860 and upgrade from 7770 to 7850
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January 10, 2013 10:18:24 AM

mohit9206 said:
i would drop the i3 for a pentium G860 and upgrade from 7770 to 7850



That would be good. Better for Gaming. :lol: 
But I suggest a i3 because he said he needs it for School Work too.

I was thinking for a i5 3470 with 6670 if he wants the Rig for Work.
But he mentioned Gaming too.
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January 10, 2013 12:41:25 PM

a quad i5 would be a significant performance upgrade but that is a healthy price increase as well. Might be a different build if the budget was $600
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January 10, 2013 6:53:34 PM

Sumukh_Bhagat said:
This would perform better


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: MSI B75MA-P45 Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($66.24 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($107.99 @ Microcenter)
Case: Zalman Z9 ATX Mid Tower Case ($31.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $466.16
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)


Thank you! As I said I'm a total noob when it comes to building a system and my method was basically going to newegg and picking out the highest rated parts that would work together that were somewhere near my budget. Your system seems more put together and less expensive, two things I'm always down with.

mohit9206 said:
i would drop the i3 for a pentium G860 and upgrade from 7770 to 7850

Thanks for the reply. While I'd really like a gaming computer, my main concern at the moment is creating a machine that will meet all of my needs and last me through college. In your opinion, will changing out the above components make for a better all-around machine? I mostly play WOW and my girlfriend plays sims 3 & watches a ton of movies and tv shows and if the parts you mentioned would make a better machine for those purposes, I'd definitely go for it.

game junky said:
a quad i5 would be a significant performance upgrade but that is a healthy price increase as well. Might be a different build if the budget was $600

Thank you. Right now, I plan on buying the parts over the course of a couple of months as my budget will allow. If I had the money, I'd go for it, but finances are a bitch.
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January 11, 2013 4:19:08 AM

Best answer selected by noobsgalore.
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