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First time build, advice please? =) $500-600

Hi all! First off, thanks for any help. I really appreciate it.
(Sorry for the links, they all are correct but its hard to insert them corrdctl on mobile.)
I am looking to build a budget gaming/digital art PC for around $500, with $550 being the highest I would like to go preferably. $600 max. I have compiled a list of parts here for you, and need help answering if this would be a workable computer at the end of this, and if it would even be a good build!

I have some knowledge of PC workings, but for he most part my experience and knowledge is minimal.

The parts:
1.Case
Thermaltake V3 Black Edition Mid Tower Case - ATX, Micro ATX, 120mm LED Fan, 4x 5.25 Bays, 5x 3.5 Bays - $30

2.Power
Antec VP-450 450W ATX 12V v2.3 Power Supply - $38

3. CPU
AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3 CPU HDZ965FBGMBOX - 3.40GHz, Socket AM3, 6MB Cache, 2000MHz (4000 MT/s) FSB, Retail, Processor with Fan - $94

4.Motherboard
MSI 970A-G46 AMD 9 Series Motherboard - ATX, Socket AM3+, AMD 970 Chipset, 2133MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA III (6Gb/s), RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, SLI/CrossFireX Ready - $70

5.Disc Drives
Samsung SH-224BB/BEBE Internal 24X DVD Burner -Tray, SATA, 1.5MB Buffer Memory, 16x DVD-R Read, 48x CD-R Write (OEM) - $18

6.GPU
An NVidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti - $160

7. HDD
Seagate ST500DM002 Barracuda 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - 500GB, SATA-6G, 7200, 16MB - $40


Would this all work together? Or would I just spent my time constructing a
catastrophe!? :P

Also, I found a link to a Dell OEM 64 bit version of Windows 7 for $65.00. http://www.missionsofts.com/microsoft-windows-7-home-premium-sp1-64-bit-oem-dell/ - $60

As I said before, this is my first build. I am not looking for playing everything at extreme settings at 120 FPS, just to br able to play the latest games at medium-high settings at a decent, I dunno, 60-70 FPS. Also, to br able to make some cool digital art on Photoshop.

Any advice is appreciated, I want to know this is good before I forge ahead and buy the parts. If you have any recommendations, I would br glad to hear it. (Although if at all possible sticking to the budget).
Thanks so much!!!
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about first time build advice please
  1. Fixed the bad links and put in their names instead.
  2. I don't see any links. I'm throwing something together on PC Part picker, I'll get back to you in this post as an edit.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/p/A1Le

    CPU: Phenom 2 965 (Because you picked it)
    Modo: Asus M5A97 (Because I couldn't find your choice)
    RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series (Because it's a good deal)
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB (Because it's cheap, easy to add more storage)
    GPU: MSI Radeon HD 7770 GHz (Because it's better for gaming than your choice, and cheaper. If you need cuda, then stick with 650TI)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 (Because it should work great for you. (And I couldn't find your case))
    PSU: Corsair Builder 430W (Because they are a reputable brand. Note: Only 1 PCIe connector. It will hold back future upgrades)
    Optical: Samsung SH-224BB
    Total cost: $501.99 Before Mail in rebates.

    No OS, Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse included.
  3. PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($121.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Motherboard: ASRock H77M Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($38.50 @ NCIX US)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($194.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: NZXT Gamma Classic (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($31.99 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $568.41
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-28 00:00 EST-0500)
  4. I just posted looking for advice on my build.. I would suggest the Amd Fx 6300 Vishera over the 965 black.. It seems better on benchmarks.. and isnt much more.. Also the 7850 2gb Radeon video card is only about $20 more, and you will blow that nvidia away with it
  5. I would suggest the build I posted. The gtx660 will be better than the 7850 by a decent amount. The fx-6300 and the i3 3220 about about equal in gaming.
  6. Agreed! Dunno bout the gtx 660 v 7850.. just love the 7850.. But the 3220 beats fx 6300 in single core threading but in gaming the 6300 pulls ahead just a hair i think.. but they are about equal..

    On a side note.. Tiny will you head to my thread and tell me which u think i should build..??

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/382244-31-need-deciding
  7. HD7850 vs gtx660 http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/549?vs=660

    The gtx 660 is decently better.
  8. Tiny Voices, that is quite a better build than what I have. JJ, you'll see a lot more performance from his selection than from mine. I built mine trying to be close you yours, if at all possible. Hope it works out well for you!
  9. Get this.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 975 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($82.18 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB Video Card ($172.08 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($53.99 @ NCIX US)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $528.18
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-28 04:14 EST-0500)

    975BE oem(no cooler), but you have hyper 212+ for that. Mobo to overclock 4ghz+ easy. 2x4GB Kingston hyperX ram. WD Caviar Blue HDD. XFX Radeon HD7850 2GB. HAF 912 case(great features for the price IMO). xfx 550w PSU(seasonic built). Save on shipping with this samsung burner at newegg vs the liteon at outletpc(18 free shipping vs 16+6 shipping). That dell copy of windows(that works for all computers) can ship free for 59 bucks.

    What drivers are used in comparing 7850 and gtx660? Should be hd7850 is faster with the latest drivers. Overclocks like a beast as well(unlike the gtx660 which generally sucks at overclocking). Hope this helps.
  10. Really, really, really helpful guys! Thanks soooo much!
    Like I said, it doesn't have to be close to what I listed, because I don't know tidbits about building PCs, so I just tried to throw that together for my own sake of learning a little bit about how everything is supposed to be. But I will follow your reccomendations!
  11. Alright, now here is my new question. Overclocking. What are the benefits of it? How would I do so? Which of these suggested builds could do it, and how would I do so? Is there some program I have to download or would I go into the settings of the PC once I boot it up and change it there?

    I am willing to overclock if I can to avoid spending more money.

    I know that I need a cooler then if I want it to last long and not burn out, so would I do jtenorj's build?

    Also, since I would have to buy the OS, I seem to find jtenorhs build more preferable because I would come in at just below $590 which would be good for my budget.

    Comparitively, is tinyvoices build that much better for the extra $40 I would spend?
  12. Best answer
    I tweaked my suggested build a bit. Better PSU for cheaper and a better GPU. Still under 600 with that copy of windows. Take a look:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 975 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor ($82.18 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 76.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($19.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2P Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($49.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($36.99 @ Amazon)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.48 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Newegg)
    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912 ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Antec Neo Eco 620W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB/RSBS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $534.58
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-01-28 12:45 EST-0500)

    This HD7870 is custom cooled so you can overclock while staying cool and quiet.

    This antec neo eco 620c has stronger +12v rail than the xfx 550w for future power hungry GPUs/CPUs. No power cord, but that's easy enough to remedy.

    You can overclock both the cpu and gpu for better performance(gpu for games, cpu for everything). The mobo should give you the options you need to tweak the cpu as well as some monitoring tools for when you stress test with something like prime95(free download). For gpu, you can use msi afterburner(free download) to tweak/monitor and furmark(free download) to stress test. You may consider a cooler master hyper tx3 cpu cooler vs the hyper 212+(same price). It doesn't cool as well for a few reasons(3 heatpipes vs 4, 92mm fan vs 120mm, less surface area for cooling due to less fins and smaller fins). It can still push a phenom II x4 BE to 4ghz and beyond while keeping cool and quiet. The main reason I might suggest it over hyper 212+ is with the hyper tx3 it is easier to mount the cooler. Here are a few links for hyper tx3 (also not dependent on a rebate, which is another plus) :

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835103064&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028Y4S9K/?tag=pcpapi-20

    Generally for games, gpu performance is more important than cpu performance(especially if you crank up the resolution and settings which switches any bottleneck to gpu). However, when you have a decent gpu you want to make sure that the processor is not a bottleneck to performance as well. For OCing the cpu, I suggest using the bios to adjust cpu fan speed to the highest sound level you can tolerate and adjust the multiplier for 3.7ghz clock. Test with prime95 for 20 minutes, looking for no errors and decent temps. If good, bump multiplier another notch. If temps get uncomfortable, you are done. If temps are still good but you get errors, bump the voltage a hair and try again(this helps to stabilize the overclock). If you get to the point where temps are still good and several voltage bumps don't help, back off the voltage and a multiplier step and test overnight(for the 20 minute tests, you want to allow a 20 minute cool down between them). If overnight temps are good and no errors, you should be good(prime 95 will stress the cpu far more than any normal program). If overnight testing isn't successful, lower the multiplier some more and try again. Something to note about voltage and power use. When you raise clock speed, power use increases in a linear fashion. When you increase voltage, power use increases exponentially. If you increase both clock speed and voltage, you combine the two. For example: If you raise the clock speed on 975BE from 3.6ghz to 4ghz, that is an 11.1% increase in power use. If you increase voltage by 10% to get there, that alone is an increase of 21%. 975BE is a 125w cpu. If you simply raise voltage that goes past 150w. Combine with clock speed increase and that's over 165w. It's more like 166w or 167w. For the longevity of your cpu, you want to limit voltage increase(a good rule of thumb is not to exceed a 10% increase over stock voltage). Voltage doesn't really increase performance but clock speed does. The former is more detrimental to the life of your cpu and the latter is less so.

    Video card overclocking has many similarities to cpu overclocking but some differences as well. You want to start with overclocking the GPU(versus the GDDR5) since it will give you the greatest impact in most games(at this level, anyway. If you had a lower end card that had low bandwidth as a bottleneck, you might find overclocking the vram a substantial amount provides more notable gains). Ideally you want to try and overclock both gpu and vram, but for 7800 series cards we'll start with GPU.

    First set the fan speed to the highest noise level you can tolerate. Then try bumping clock speed by 25mhz intervals and test each time with 20 minutes of furmark, leaving 20 minutes of cool down between tests. If a test is error free and temps are good, bump the clock some more and try again. If temps get high(I'd say 80c and above), you are done. If temps are good and you get errors, try to up the voltage a smidge(note that not all cards let you change voltage. Also, some tweaking software doesn't have the option or is limited in which cards it can change those settings. There are other good free tools besides msi afterburner, but that is the first that comes to mind). If you still have good temps but get errors and 1) can't change voltage, 2) a few voltage changes don't do anything, or 3) you reach that +10% limit on voltage increase for safety, back off 25mhz(and maybe some voltage too if applicable) and test overnight. If temps are ok and no errors, you're good. If not, back off another 25mhz and try again. That is the basics for cpu and gpu overclocking. Google guides for OCing these parts for suggested max temps/voltages.

    Overclocking GDDR5 on modern dx11 cards is a little different. In these newer cards, a form of error correction is built in. That means if you raise the clock speed too high, you won't see errors but performance will slow down because the ram is taking extra time to fix errors. So what you want to do is increase ram speed by 25mhz at a time and test similarly to how you did with gpu, but looking for a drop in performance. Once that happens, back off 25mhz and try again. If you get what seems like a decent performing ram clock, test overnight to make sure performance stays high. If so, you are done. If not, back off another 25mhz and try again. You might have the option to mess with vram voltage. If so, give it a try(using some of the same procedures as when overclocking cpu or gpu). Hope this helps.

    Oh, yeah. Temps in the 70s are tolerable for a gpu, 60s are better and 50s are great. 80s for gpu is uncomfortable to me and 90s is just asking for trouble. For cpu it can vary. generally I'd say you want lower temps than on a gpu. 60s might be pushing it, but 50s are good and 40s are better.
  13. Best answer selected by JJordawg.
  14. Wow thats a wealth of info. What do you mean by no power cord? And thanks for the complete rundown on OC'ing
  15. You know that thick cord where one end plugs into the back of the power supply and one end plugs into an outlet(preferably in a surge protector or something like it)? That's all you need. You may have one lying around(old computer or monitor), or you can get one super cheap(like a few bucks) at various stores like Radio Shack. You should still be under 600 total(after various rebates of course).

    Really more of a primer on overclocking. I still suggest googling guides to overclock phenom II x4 (975BE in particular) and overclocking hd7000 series graphics cards(hd7850 and hd7870 in particular, but perhaps not the few 7870s that are based on the tahiti gpu in hd7950 and hd7970. More focus on the pitcairn gpu which is the one in all hd7850s and almost all hd7870s). Glad I could help out.
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