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First Build Ever

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February 13, 2013 6:23:40 PM

Hi all! This is my first build ever (obviously :D  ) and I wanted to double check with the geniuses at Tom's before I pulled the trigger.

I'm looking to build a gaming computer on a pretty tight budget. I've read tons of articles and endless forum posts (most here) and this is the build I've ended up with:

CPU - Core i3 3225 3.3 Ghz
MOBO - ASRock Z77 Pro3 ATX
RAM - G.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600
HDD - Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM
Case - Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower
PSU - Rosewill Stallion 500W ATX12V
Drive - Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Djeh

The computer would be used for gaming and simple day to day stuff. Games I'm interested in playing include BF3, Skyrim, Arma II (Day Z more specifically), Civ 5, and some older stuff (i.e. Far Cry 2, Darksiders, Red Faction Armageddon) and indie stuff. I opted for the Z77 board so that if/when I upgrade I could OC easily if I wanted to; just trying to keep my options open down the road (attempting to 'future-proof' if you will).

I can't afford to get a discrete graphics card just yet. I will be getting one around the beginning of April hopefully. That is why I went with the 3225 instead of the 3220, hoping the hd4000 will hold me over for a few months. Also, the mobo supports Lucid Virtu Universal MVP, which I think has something to do with integrated graphics, but I'm not really sure. Another side note concerning the ram, if I understand correctly, the i3's only support 1333Mhz but these 1600 sticks were cheaper than the same G.Skill 1333 sticks, so that's why I went with the 1600s.

I really can't go over $450 on this build. Knowing that, is there anything I should change?

Thanks in advance for the help!

More about : build

February 13, 2013 6:27:42 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($97.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($41.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $449.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-13 15:27 EST-0500)

Do this for sure.
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February 13, 2013 6:40:05 PM

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

CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($97.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock 880GM-LE FX Micro ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Hitachi 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: MSI Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($41.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $449.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-13 15:27 EST-0500)

Do this for sure.



I actually was looking at the Phenom, but the reason I opted for the i3 was for 'future-proofing'. I figured eventually I'd be able to afford an i5 or an i7 and, with that mobo, be able to just toss it in there.

Also, with the 7770, I'll be able to afford a better card than that in about two months. Would it not be better to get a little better hardware now and save up for the better graphics card later? Or is my configuration just not that much better than yours anyway? FWIW, my plan was shooting for either a 2gb 7850 or the gtx 660 in the next couple of months.
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February 13, 2013 6:42:33 PM

If you are cool not gaming for a few months then wait and get a better card. You aren't going to be playing any modern game at all on integrated GPU.
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February 13, 2013 6:55:55 PM

tiny voices said:
If you are cool not gaming for a few months then wait and get a better card. You aren't going to be playing any modern game at all on integrated GPU.



That's just it. This would be my first gaming pc. As is, I do most of my gaming on my 360 and ps3. Assuming those will hold me over the couple of months, does that make the original build a better choice?

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February 13, 2013 7:02:58 PM


Yeah, just get a 3220 instead of a 3225.

Get a PSU from antec, xfx, corsair, or seasonic

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February 13, 2013 7:23:52 PM

tiny voices said:
Yeah, just get a 3220 instead of a 3225.

Get a PSU from antec, xfx, corsair, or seasonic


Heard ya on the psu. I'll definitely change that.

I'm still not sold on the CPU. Is the hd4000 just not that much better than the hd2500? Would I not see some benefit through Lucid Virtu MVP? (I'm actually still a little confused on what that does actually...) I mean basically would the hd4000 make my couple of months a little more bearable? Would I be able to play some older titles and indie titles (ie hotline Miami and ftl) better with the hd4000?
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February 13, 2013 7:30:41 PM

It should be able to handle older indie titles. Anything modern really won't be running at all. Modern indie games? sure probably some will be ok. Anything like BF3, skyrim, starcraft 2, arma II, Farcry 2 won't run.
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February 13, 2013 7:46:33 PM

Hmmm ok. I think I'll stick with the 3225. It's only a $13 difference which is not a deal breaker.
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February 13, 2013 7:53:45 PM

I do wonder if you Can comment on the mobo. That's one thin I'm not real sure about, but from what I understand ASRock is at least a reliable brand.
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February 13, 2013 7:59:41 PM

ASRock is a great brand. You shouldn't have any problem with the board.
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February 13, 2013 8:30:27 PM

Sweet. Thank you so much for your help tiny!!! I know noobs are posting these threads all day every day so I appreciate you taking the time to help me out!!
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February 13, 2013 9:10:31 PM

Anytime. I'm always glad to be able to help!
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!