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First Time Builder, need advice

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February 21, 2013 8:21:03 PM

Hello everyone. As the title suggests, I am planning to build a new pc soon and it will be my first time attempting to do so. I have consulted resources on a few different sites (including this one) to teach myself the basics on how to go about doing so and believe I am ready to try and put together my first pc. I would, however, just like to ask for not only general advice for first time builders, but advice on my part selection as well. I know myself well enough that i tend to glance over minor, yet important details, so i would like to make sure that everything i have selected is compatible. Also, any advice on selecting different parts than what i have suggested are not only welcomed, but encouraged (the more knowledge i go into this with, the better =D). So, without further ado, heres what i have so far.

Part list is here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/F1RE

Approximate Purchase Date: Once income tax comes in, so approx 1-2 weeks.
Budget Range: $1250-$1500, trying to stay closer to the $1250 side if i can but willing to go a bit over budget. (see comments)
System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming (MMO's in particular, but i do play other games online and off), websurfing
Parts Not Required: Monitor, mouse, keyboard ect...i just need a new tower.
Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com preferably, i was also considering Amazon.com for the free 2-day shipping since i have a prime account...but mostly where ever i can get the parts i need the cheapest >.>
Country: USA
Parts Preferences: Intel, Asus and Nvidia are what my current tower use and i've had no problems, so I tended to lean towards them when selecting. but again welcome to all suggestions.
Overclocking: Maybe
SLI or Crossfire: Maybe
Monitor Resolution: 1600x900
Additional Comments: I realize the price total in my parts list is already slightly above my budget, and the reason for such is I already have the video card. To make a long story short, I was originally going just upgrade my pc with a new video card. However, my friend that i called over to help with the installation (i knew nothing at the time) told me I needed not only bigger power supply, but I would need a few other parts as my current tower suffers heavily from overheating. I decided that i since i was buying so many parts anyways that I would just build a new one, so here I am (minus one helpful friend due to him having moved and I have lost contact with him). Since I do own the video card already, I might not be so flexible with changing that particular suggestion, but I am willing to sell the part and get something else if convinced.

Also, to help with the cost, I may skip the SSD for now and buy a Caviar Black instead of the Blue.

More about : time builder advice

February 21, 2013 8:31:23 PM

Your CPU is way overkill and your GPU is weak. Both are old generations also.

Get an i5 3570k
Get a $140 MAX motherboard
Get a PSU from Antec, XFX, Corsair, Seasonic. 600w will be plenty.
Get a Samsung 840 pro series SSD
Use the saved money to get a better GPU.
February 21, 2013 8:39:52 PM

here's my tweaks to your build:

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 ($32.98 @ Amazon)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5g Thermal Paste ($5.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Corsair Force Series GT 240GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($243.21 @ Mac Connection)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($73.56 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($277.94 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: Zalman Z5 ATX Mid Tower Case ($25.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($79.20 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Acer G236HLBbd 60Hz 23.0" Monitor ($110.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1282.77
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-02-21 17:38 EST-0500)

I switched to a much cheaper motherboard, an i5-3570K, a smaller case and XFX 550W Power supply, and added a 23" 1920x1080 monitor for you.
Related resources
February 21, 2013 8:41:23 PM

Get an i5-3570K CPU for $224
The Xigmatek Gaia CPU cooler is $20; comparable to the Coolermaster but quieter (per Frostytech reviews). Mine work quite well.
ASRock Extreme4 ($135) or Extreme6 ($142), the later includes 8GB of RAM free.
Rosewill Blackhawk case for $70 (with the $20 off promo code); much better than the Half-Ass.
Seasonic 550W SSR-550RM 80+ Gold Modular PSU for $90; beats hell out of any Coolermaster .

The graphics card is midrange at best, but you have it. If you're inclined to do so, sell it for a HD7870 or GTX660.

Edit: As you can tell, I'm not a fan of Coolermaster . ScrewySqrl's choices are good too (except for the cooler); you need to decide about selling your card.
February 21, 2013 8:58:55 PM

I had that gpu and it served me very well!
My biggest concern is that you have chosen a sandy bridge processor to go with your z77 mobo which is optimised for ivy bridge.

Long story short, If you want to stay with a asus board I would save a little and get the following components. It will be Ivy bridge and ready to upgrade your gpu to 3d gen if you ever choose (kepler... slightly better and more efficient)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
I think you would like the features of the ROG board. However, if you don't really have to have asus , this one is a great board as well...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Asrock is an Asus offbrand anyway and this board would save you some cash.

Both boards are z77 and would be ready for this processor which is more efficient and just as good for your mmorp gaming...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I would prefer the following power supply to the coolermaster supply you have in your list. A good rle of thumb for psu is go with corsair, seasonic,or antec for the most consistant power flow and long life. You can find some descent others as well, but one of the three will usually last you longer and be safer for your pc.
Any way, below is my pick for your build. It is more power than you need for 1 gpu,but since you may want to sli later,and overclock, as well as conserve a little headroom later... I think it would serve u well..

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
February 21, 2013 9:00:51 PM

The Coolermaster GX-650 was summarized by HardOCP as "a polished turd in a box." A 60GB SSD is too small; I'd suggest nothing less than 120GB, and 256GB is a LOT better. I'd get a Crucial M4, a Samsung 830, or a Samsung 840 Pro (not a plain 840).
February 21, 2013 9:03:25 PM

Also, I would eventually upgrade to a kepler gpu like gtx 660ti and maybe even sli them.
February 21, 2013 9:08:59 PM

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 ($32.98 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.49 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($212.95 @ Mac Connection)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 XT 2GB Video Card ($244.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Thermaltake Commander MS/I Snow Edition (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($79.20 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VH236H 23.0" Monitor ($149.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1245.53

Better GPU better price, cannot beat that....

EDIT: Didn't see you don't need a monitor,if you do not end up getting this one, cut off $150, then you can get a couple of fans a nicer case for ~$50 more, maybe a better CPU cooler to get the maximum performance out of your components.
February 21, 2013 9:33:10 PM

Well, so far is seems that the general consensus is I picked too powerful of a CPU for what I am going for and that I held on to this gpu for too long and I should prolly get a better one. Thank you so much for the advice so far! So, after reading everything and lookin at the suggestions so far, I have swapped a few parts for suggested ones and made a new list.

New list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/F32T

Further tweaks to the part list are always welcome, and since we are making progress on the parts could I ask for some tips any of you may have for a first time builder or should I post elsewhere for that?
February 21, 2013 10:28:36 PM

Jathryn said:
Well, so far is seems that the general consensus is I picked too powerful of a CPU for what I am going for and that I held on to this gpu for too long and I should prolly get a better one. Thank you so much for the advice so far! So, after reading everything and lookin at the suggestions so far, I have swapped a few parts for suggested ones and made a new list.

New list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/F32T

Further tweaks to the part list are always welcome, and since we are making progress on the parts could I ask for some tips any of you may have for a first time builder or should I post elsewhere for that?


2 things to change with that build.

1st is that the cooler comes with thermal paste already, works fine you can OC to 4.20GHz without a problem you DO NOT need extra its just an extra $10 wasted...

2nd in just about every benchmark of the 7870 XT so far the 7870 XT > 660 Ti, it's a lower price you really should go with that GPU over anything else at this price point. There are 2 models right now, the Powercolor Myst Edition and the Sapphire edition. You really should look into buying this card.

EDIT: Also the corsair SSD is not the best for price/performance, you should look into an OCZ vector 4 those are probably the best on the market right now for a 240gb SSD. Also the Corsair SSD series aren't really fantastic performers either with lower speeds low longevity and a high price.
February 21, 2013 11:36:16 PM

That list looks a LOT better.
February 23, 2013 3:45:59 PM

My concern is the zotac gpu. I have read allot of complaints with 500 series overheating etc. I would go with evga,asus,gigabyte,saphire.
March 5, 2013 7:49:27 PM

Thanks once again for everyone's help! I finally got my taxes back so I'll be ready to order my parts once the cash is in my account tomorrow. I read over all the advice again and took another look at my options and I think I finally settled on the following - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HKpq

As always any last minute advice is still welcome, and wish me luck on gettin my first build up and running =D.

March 5, 2013 8:32:05 PM

Jathryn said:
Thanks once again for everyone's help! I finally got my taxes back so I'll be ready to order my parts once the cash is in my account tomorrow. I read over all the advice again and took another look at my options and I think I finally settled on the following - http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HKpq

As always any last minute advice is still welcome, and wish me luck on gettin my first build up and running =D.


Its a good build!!!
!