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My First Custom Build...Hoping For Confirmation and Suggestions

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March 3, 2013 12:33:00 AM

This is the first time I’m attempting to build my own computer, so I am hoping for some advice and suggestions.

I primarily use the computer for email and internet surfing. I frequently use MS Office, Quicken and QuickBooks. I occasionally use Photoshop, Visual Studio and Adobe Illustrator. That is about the extent of what I use my computer for, most of the time. So there is no need for high end gaming components.

Here is what I have researched:
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER Mid-Tower --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Power Supply: SeaSonic M12II 620 --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-M/CSM --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Processor: Intel Core i3-2100 --
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
RAM: Crucial Ballistix Sport (2) 8GB…totaling 16GB --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Hard Drive: Western Digital WD RE4 --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
DVD: Asus DRW-24B1ST --
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
Multi-Card Reader: Nippon Labs ICR-BB --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Windows 7 Home Premium...been running Windows XP Pro for nearly 10 years

I am opting to reuse my current:
USB Keyboard
USB Mouse
Monitor with DVI connection
SATA Hard Drive (plan to use this as a 2nd internal hard drive for file storage)…here are the specs --
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
USB Printer
USB Scanner
Cable Modem
USB external hard drive (primarily for backup)

Questions:
Is there anything I’m overlooking?
Can the mobo handle the IO ports on the front/top of the case?
The motherboard requires the CPU to have integrated graphics…does it? I’m fairly sure it does, just looking for confirmation.
Is everything compatible?
Is there anything that can be changed to cut the cost, yet maintain compatibility?

I’m open to any other thoughts or suggestions…THANKS!!!
March 4, 2013 8:58:21 AM

Anyone have other thoughts or suggestions?

Thanks....
March 4, 2013 10:15:45 AM

Hi there,

Since you use the computer for no graphical applications I see you've decided to leave out a video card, which is a good idea from a price stand point. However it means the power supply you've chosen is vastly overqualified. I'd choose a Seasonic offering more in the 400w range. Even then I'd be surprised if your computer drew half that. The one I linked is Gold Standard too, which saves you money on electricity bills. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

An SSD is an amazing investment, and makes the computer feel a lot more zippy, especially for stuff like Quicken and MS Office. For example this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I'm sure they can be had for cheaper if you searched though.

A 16gb kit like this one is probably better than buying to separate sticks, since you get more performance for the same price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... In fact for the sort of stuff you're going to be using the computer for I would recommend going for 8 GB or even 4 instead of 16 to cut the cost. 16 is only really necessary if you're editing super super high resolution photos or the like in PhotoShop or doing some 3D design work (which you'd need a graphics card for anyway).

Yes that motherboard will be compatible and does have integrated graphics. If you wanted to cut the cost of the motherboard, go for something on the H61 chipset, you won't notice a performance difference.

One other final thing to consider is do you really want a mid tower for such a basic PC? I think you'd be better off with a mini ATX or even mini ITX form factor. Mid towers are rather large. The Bitfenix Prodigy is an example of a quality mini ITX case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best of luck,

M
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March 4, 2013 4:55:36 PM

Quote:
Yes that motherboard will be compatible and does have integrated graphics. If you wanted to cut the cost of the motherboard, go for something on the H61 chipset, you won't notice a performance difference.


I wouldn't recommend H61 or B75. B75 is great for mATX and mITX builds but on an ATX build there's some outdated ports on it that you will never use.

Quote:
An SSD is an amazing investment, and makes the computer feel a lot more zippy, especially for stuff like Quicken and MS Office. For example this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820147163 I'm sure they can be had for cheaper if you searched though.


The Samsung 830 is a good drive, but if you're buying new there's no reason to get older hardware. The Samsung 840 Pro and OCZ Vector are the current best SSDs you can get on the market. The Vertex 4 (which I have) is also a great drive.

Here's what I would suggest:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3350P 3.1GHz Quad-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock H77 Pro4/MVP ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($87.55 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($219.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 300R ATX Mid Tower Case ($71.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $920.44
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-04 13:54 EST-0500)
March 4, 2013 9:10:47 PM

marshallbradley said:
Hi there,

Since you use the computer for no graphical applications I see you've decided to leave out a video card, which is a good idea from a price stand point. However it means the power supply you've chosen is vastly overqualified. I'd choose a Seasonic offering more in the 400w range. Even then I'd be surprised if your computer drew half that. The one I linked is Gold Standard too, which saves you money on electricity bills. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

An SSD is an amazing investment, and makes the computer feel a lot more zippy, especially for stuff like Quicken and MS Office. For example this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... I'm sure they can be had for cheaper if you searched though.

A 16gb kit like this one is probably better than buying to separate sticks, since you get more performance for the same price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... In fact for the sort of stuff you're going to be using the computer for I would recommend going for 8 GB or even 4 instead of 16 to cut the cost. 16 is only really necessary if you're editing super super high resolution photos or the like in PhotoShop or doing some 3D design work (which you'd need a graphics card for anyway).

Yes that motherboard will be compatible and does have integrated graphics. If you wanted to cut the cost of the motherboard, go for something on the H61 chipset, you won't notice a performance difference.

One other final thing to consider is do you really want a mid tower for such a basic PC? I think you'd be better off with a mini ATX or even mini ITX form factor. Mid towers are rather large. The Bitfenix Prodigy is an example of a quality mini ITX case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Best of luck,

M


Thanks for these suggestions. I will certainly look at them and see how much it will reduce the price. I sincerely appreciate the insights and explanations.

March 4, 2013 9:15:07 PM

g-unit1111 said:


The Samsung 830 is a good drive, but if you're buying new there's no reason to get older hardware. The Samsung 840 Pro and OCZ Vector are the current best SSDs you can get on the market. The Vertex 4 (which I have) is also a great drive.


Thanks for the input. I'm just learning about the SSD's so this is very valuable information. Your recommended build is a very nice machine, but outside the price range I want to stay in. I realize I never posted that before...but I would like to stay under $500...considering what I use it for.
March 4, 2013 9:29:28 PM

fdegree said:
Thanks for the input. I'm just learning about the SSD's so this is very valuable information. Your recommended build is a very nice machine, but outside the price range I want to stay in. I realize I never posted that before...but I would like to stay under $500...considering what I use it for.


That's an incredibly tricky budget to work with.

If you don't need a GPU maybe try something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD A10-5800K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock FM2A75 Pro4 ATX FM2 Motherboard ($85.97 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Redline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory ($76.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Source 210 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($65.17 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($21.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $486.07
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-03-04 18:29 EST-0500)
March 4, 2013 9:45:45 PM

I would slightly modify g-unit's build to include an SSD (I think he can tell I'm quite a fan of them by now!) and get a slightly cheaper 8 gb kit to keep things under budget. My sample build is an idea if you want to go the mITX route rather than the Mid Tower form factor. It will be a bit more responsive than g-unit's build due to the SSD, but loses a tad of processing power especially in multi-threaded applications, and hasn't got an APU, which improves the 3D performance.

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Biostar TH61 ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($83.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($45.97 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $471.87

If you want a Media card reader in lieu of the Optical Drive (as in your original build) this can be swapped of course. One of the downsides of the Prodigy though is it only has one drive slot, so the best option would be to get an external USB card reader if you did go this route. I'll post a sample mATX build as well if you're interested.

Best of luck,

M
March 4, 2013 10:38:08 PM

Thanks for these suggestions...I'll certainly check them out. Once I add the OS to the mix, then I'm over the $500 mark...doesn't sound like I can get everything down under $500 when factoring this in...at least not unless I sacrifice performance.

Is the SSD really that much better than the traditional HDD? Just trying to learn more...I never knew there was any such thing as an SSD until I started looking into building my own machine.
March 4, 2013 10:43:35 PM

marshallbradley said:
I would slightly modify g-unit's build to include an SSD (I think he can tell I'm quite a fan of them by now!) and get a slightly cheaper 8 gb kit to keep things under budget. My sample build is an idea if you want to go the mITX route rather than the Mid Tower form factor. It will be a bit more responsive than g-unit's build due to the SSD, but loses a tad of processing power especially in multi-threaded applications, and hasn't got an APU, which improves the 3D performance.

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Biostar TH61 ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($83.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($45.97 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($104.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $471.87

If you want a Media card reader in lieu of the Optical Drive (as in your original build) this can be swapped of course. One of the downsides of the Prodigy though is it only has one drive slot, so the best option would be to get an external USB card reader if you did go this route. I'll post a sample mATX build as well if you're interested.

Best of luck,

M


I include Trinity because on that budget the integrated graphics on the low end Pentiums are incredibly slow. And you're trading a GPU for an SSD, I wouldn't really recommend it. You can always get one later.
March 4, 2013 11:33:00 PM

The thing is, or at least I have understood the requirements as, a build where there will be no gaming done and no 3D rendering, so since the Integrated graphics will be at most rendering a 2D desktop environment, it shouldn't be an issue. The G860 is a cheaper and (I'm pretty sure) cooler option, which is important for mITX form factors. Yes you can always get an SSD later, but you can also always get a GPU later too. Less of a hassle to install as well.

@fdegree Well there are YouTube videos and stuff out there showing the speedy boot up times etc, but I think it's one of those things you have to try yourself in order to "feel" the difference if that makes sense. I was very skeptical myself at first about something that on paper doesn't improve the performance of what I mainly use my computer for (gaming). I think for a pure productivity computer such as yours, it becomes even more of a key component.

Here's a mATX build:

CPU: Intel Pentium G860 3.0GHz Dual-Core Processor ($68.76 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($44.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($44.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Silverstone PS08B (Black) MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.90 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($16.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $330.60

You should have plenty of options from there. You can drop the SSD to save around $95. You could also upgrade to an i3 for another $45 (might be worth it if you like to have multiple windows open at the same time). Changing to a B75 motherboard will cost you $30ish at a guess, and means you have SATA 3 and USB 3 ports at your disposal if you so wish. It also allows for RAM to run at higher clocks (basically no performance difference though). You could change the power supply to the Seasonic I linked earlier ($35 more) if a graphics card is completely out of the question or if not add a HD 6670 ($50) which would be suitable for light gaming and other 3D tasks.

All the best,

M
March 6, 2013 11:21:06 AM

Thanks to both of you for your help.

Hers is what I finally settled on. It went over my budget by about $80.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HTrF
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HTrF/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/HTrF/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($118.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-M/CSM Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 361 (Black) ATX Mini Tower Case ($55.98 @ PCM)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 350W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($47.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Nippon Labs Delux 3.5" Internal All In One Card Reader/Writer ($20.00)
Total: $580.69
March 6, 2013 4:07:53 PM

Change the RAM to 2x4gb so it can run in dual-channel mode (effectively twice the bandwidth) and 840 Series SSD (cheaper and faster).

Here's the build with the changes applied:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 3.1GHz Dual-Core Processor ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Asus P8B75-M/CSM Micro ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 361 (Black) ATX Mini Tower Case ($55.98 @ PCM)
Power Supply: SeaSonic 350W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($47.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Other: Nippon Labs Delux 3.5" Internal All In One Card Reader/Writer ($20.00)
Total: $568.89

It's actually a bit cheaper since you get a discount on the RAM.

M
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