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Help With First Time Build

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January 14, 2013 4:44:20 PM

Hello, folks at Tom's Hardware. I am planning on finally going through with my first build. Most my life, I've stuck with prebuilt for general usage and consoles for playing video games, but I would like to move onto PC gaming. I have some knowledge on how to put together the PC, but I'd like to see what you guys can say on it.

This is what I'm currently looking at:

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/xzvz

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
GPU: Zotac GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case
PSU: Antec Neo Eco 520W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
DVD Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer

As for the general questions:

Approximate Purchase Date: End of this month (January)/Early February

Budget Range: ~$850, at the highest (with shipping and without rebates

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, General Internet and Computer use.

Are you buying a monitor: No (I already have one)

Do you need to buy OS: No (I plan on using Linux and I have copies of Windows 7 and 8 from my University)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: NewEgg, Amazon, but I am willing to work with other trusted sellers as these are the only two I really know of.

Location: Upper Peninsula, MI, USA. There isn't any place locally I could go to buy.

Parts Preferences: For the most part, none. I would like an AMD CPU due to future upgrades and possible overclocking in the future (if I get into it), but I don't care either way. I'd also prefer an NVIDIA card because I've heard they tend to do better on Linux than ATI.

Overclocking: Maybe. Considering this is my first build, it's not something I'm interested in right now. I'd rather not make this too complicated and screw something up. Learn bit by bit. That said, I'm not ignoring it as a possibility in the future if I need more juice.

SLI or Crossfire: Probably not.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

Additional Comments: I would prefer if it's quieter and/or runs cooler, but I'm cool with it just working, too. I'd also like for it to last for about 4-5 years. I know that I probably won't be gaming at max settings for that long, but even medium.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Mostly, I just want to have a PC of my own that I can use and upgrade at will.

Mostly, I just want to verify that my parts are compatible and that I have a large enough PSU for my build (tried multiple calculators and I'm getting varying results enough that I'm not certain). I'm also worried about cooling for my build, since I have no clue if the fans that will come with it will be enough (I don't plan on overclocking any time soon, though, if I do, I will probably end up looking for extra fans. I just want to make sure that, at default, my system won't be too hot). I'd also like to know if it will be necessary for me to buy cabling for my parts, as well (I don't think I will, but it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion). Do I need any thermal paste or a static wrist band, or would I be fine without either of those things? Also, any suggestions, tips, accessories, or any way to get my PC cheaper is alright, too. I mostly want a second opinion on my build from somebody who knows a lot more about this stuff than me.

I suppose I should also note that, while not often, I do sometimes do things that could be somewhat CPU intensive, which is why I went with the CPU I did as opposed to an i3 or the cheaper 965 BE. I don't have the money to go above my current selection into i5 or the FX 8350 territory.

Likewise, I went with the GTX 670 since I can get great performance out of it from NVIDIA. I was going to go with the HD 7950, but I'm a little leery of ATI on linux due to things I've heard and I've heard that you really need to overclock it to get it to shine (something I'm not comfortable with doing right now). Likewise, I've heard that the 660ti wasn't worth bothering with, and the standard 660 isn't really up to par with what I want out of performance from some of the benchmarks I've looked at.

Thank you for your time and help.

More about : time build

January 14, 2013 4:51:28 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $846.48
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 13:52 EST-0500)

I would do this.
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January 14, 2013 6:26:37 PM

tiny voices said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Pro4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Gigabyte Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($289.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $846.48
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 13:52 EST-0500)

I would do this.


I wouldn't - I have an incredibly hard time purchasing cheap cases no matter what the budget is. The Elite 430 is an OK choice. You don't necessarily need an unlocked CPU if you're not going to overclock either. This would be a better setup (IMO) :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($127.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.98 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $844.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 15:26 EST-0500)
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January 14, 2013 8:12:18 PM

I can't actually go to a microcenter to pick up the i5, which pushes the price a bit out of my range for the latter build. Likewise, when I go to NCIX's website, it seems like a lot of those things are on sale for what appears to until January 16th, which I won't be able to buy any of this by. Likewise, the prices on PCPartPicker seems to include mail in rebates, which is something I'm not going to worry about either.

Other than that, I can't really give leverage on the 1 TB HDD. Beyond that, though, both of those seem really solid. Any particular reason for the increase in RAM and the CPU cooler? I was told elsewhere that the CPU cooler generally wouldn't be needed if I wasn't going to overclock because the stock one would be fine. I'm also not sure if I'll need that much RAM (then again, I suppose the increase would be good). The HD7950 seems like a good choice, though, but should I choose it over the GTX 670? Mind you, I don't have much experience with ATI (I guess they're AMD now) products. I know that apparently a recent driver update made the 7950 quite a bit better, though, which, along with benchmarks and price, are what originally made it my first choice. The motherboard choice makes me a bit nervous because I see UEFI on it, which is something I'm not quite sure how do deal with. I've heard that it locks out other OSs and I do plan on using Windows 8. Then again, maybe that was just on computers that come preinstalled with it.

Throwing out there that if any of this seems really stupid, I am pretty new at this and my knowledge on this stuff is pretty outdated, so I apologize for that. Thank you very much for the replies, though.
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Best solution

January 14, 2013 11:46:29 PM

Quote:
Mind you, I don't have much experience with ATI (I guess they're AMD now) products. I know that apparently a recent driver update made the 7950 quite a bit better, though, which, along with benchmarks and price, are what originally made it my first choice.


A lot of people have reserves about ATI/AMD but since the merger all those faults are pretty much thrown out the window. I'd go for a 7870 or 7950 - they're solid cards for far less money than their NVIDIA counterparts.

Quote:
The motherboard choice makes me a bit nervous because I see UEFI on it, which is something I'm not quite sure how do deal with.


That just means that the motherboard can be controlled through visuals and a Windows application - rather than the old text method.

Quote:
I was told elsewhere that the CPU cooler generally wouldn't be needed if I wasn't going to overclock because the stock one would be fine. I'm also not sure if I'll need that much RAM (then again, I suppose the increase would be good)


If you're not going to overclock then that would make a huge difference in the build, I'd actually suggest this if you don't want to overclock:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($149.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.98 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($35.57 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($61.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($22.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $738.47
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-14 20:44 EST-0500)
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January 15, 2013 3:13:48 AM

Best answer selected by protomog.
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