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Building my First PC and need Expert Opinion

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May 29, 2013 1:18:15 AM

With the releasing of the next gen consoles just around the corner, I have decided that I'd like to swap from Xbox to PC.
I want to build a gaming PC that would also support music producing software (I know a mac may possibly be better for producing music but I can stil use FL Studio and Cubase on a PC).
I have looked around and did a little bit of research on what components to choose. However, I am new to all of this and would like an expert opinion on what I should be doing and if my list is good (or a horrendous crime to the world of PCs) :p 

Here's the list:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53570K

VIDEO CARD: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 OC 2GB GDDR5 PCI-Express 3.0 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/Displayport SLI Ready Graphics Card GV-N660OC-2GD

MOTHERBOARD: Gigabyte Intel Z77 Dual Thunderbolt ATX Motherboard (GA-Z77X-UP4-TH)

SSD: Crucial 256 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT256M4SSD2

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 3 TB 7200RPM SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST3000DM001

CASE: NZXT Phantom 410 Mid Tower USB 3.0 Gaming Case (Gun Metal)

RAM: Patriot Memory 8 DDR3 1600 Extreme Performance Viper 3 Series Kit (PV38G160C9K)

CPU COOLER: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler with 120mm PWM Fan (RR-212E-20PK-R2)

POWER SUPPLY: Corsair Builder Series CX600 600 watt 80 Plus Certified Power Supply ATX 700 CMPSU-600CXV2

I'm not sure what to do regarding an Optical Drive so I'm open to suggestions.

Many thanks :) 
a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2013 1:26:53 AM

Your budget being?

1 - I take it you're OC'ing as you picked that CPU? If not, then don't get a K one.

2 - Do you need thunderbolt connectivity on your motherboard?

3 - Will you want SLI on your GPU?

4 - You can save cash by going for a 128GB SSD instead.

5 - Really need a 3TB HDD?

6 - If you get a Full Tower you'll have more space/options. Not that mid tower is bad.

7 - You won't need a CPU cooler if you're not OC'ing.

8 - Your PSU is 80+ something certified. But neither bronze, silver, gold etc. Get at least bronze.

9 - If power is expensive where you live, an 80+ Gold PSU will pay for itself around the 3-4 year mark in saved power.

10 - Optical drives are cheap. Anything from Samsung or this http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lite-on-optical-drive-ihas... for a basic one.
May 29, 2013 1:32:31 AM

X79 said:
Your budget being? I dont have a budget at the moment but I am willing to spend over the £800 mark

1 - I take it you're OC'ing as you picked that CPU? If not, then don't get a K one.
I am planning on OC'ing
2 - Do you need thunderbolt connectivity on your motherboard?
I have absolutely no idea (What would having the connectivity mean?)
3 - Will you want SLI on your GPU?

4 - You can save cash by going for a 128GB SSD instead.

5 - Really need a 3TB HDD?
I probably wont need 3TB :/ 
6 - If you get a Full Tower you'll have more space/options. Not that mid tower is bad.

7 - You won't need a CPU cooler if you're not OC'ing.

8 - Your PSU is 80+ something certified. But neither bronze, silver, gold etc. Get at least bronze.
What would you reccomend?
9 - If power is expensive where you live, an 80+ Gold PSU will pay for itself around the 3-4 year mark in saved power.

10 - Optical drives are cheap. Anything from Samsung or this http://pcpartpicker.com/part/lite-on-optical-drive-ihas... for a basic one.


Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2013 1:59:36 AM

1 - Alright. Then you'll need a CPU cooler.

2 - Then you won't need it.


Over 800£ is a bit vague and I don't know if you need mouse, keyboard, etc.

Here's an expensive setup, that'll demolish games:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler (£49.67 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.77 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (£550.97 @ Dabs)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case (£96.37 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£67.97 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Total: £1228.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 09:50 BST+0100)


While I really wouldn't recommend OC'ing if you're just now getting into PC gaming, here's another

"complete" set build. Has it all, save a few case fans:


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling UCACO-AP11301-BUA01 Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler (£7.38 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.91 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card (£162.50 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case (£96.37 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Amazon UK)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-201 Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder X5 Wired Laser Mouse
Total: £777.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 09:57 BST+0100)

And since it's a HAF X it supports a lot of big fans:

http://www.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/full-to...

"Up to 1 x 230 mm red LED fan and 3 x 200 mm fans"

You get a great monitor too. It's all ideal for some pretty sweetspot gaming I think.

And due to things like the HAF X, it's easy to extend the life of the build. Personally I'd be

re-using the HAF X many times.
May 29, 2013 2:23:33 AM

X79 said:
1 - Alright. Then you'll need a CPU cooler.

2 - Then you won't need it.


Over 800£ is a bit vague and I don't know if you need mouse, keyboard, etc.

Here's an expensive setup, that'll demolish games:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 54.4 CFM CPU Cooler (£49.67 @ Ebuyer)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£41.77 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card (£550.97 @ Dabs)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case (£96.37 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£67.97 @ Dabs)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Total: £1228.78
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 09:50 BST+0100)


While I really wouldn't recommend OC'ing if you're just now getting into PC gaming, here's another

"complete" set build. Has it all, save a few case fans:


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling UCACO-AP11301-BUA01 Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler (£7.38 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.91 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card (£162.50 @ Ebuyer)
Case: Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case (£96.37 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply (£49.98 @ Amazon UK)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-201 Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder X5 Wired Laser Mouse
Total: £777.17
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 09:57 BST+0100)

And since it's a HAF X it supports a lot of big fans:

http://www.coolermaster.com/product/Detail/case/full-to...

"Up to 1 x 230 mm red LED fan and 3 x 200 mm fans"

You get a great monitor too. It's all ideal for some pretty sweetspot gaming I think.

And due to things like the HAF X, it's easy to extend the life of the build. Personally I'd be

re-using the HAF X many times.


That's £1200+ without peripherals?! That's gotta be one monster of a PC!
I wouldnt mind something kind of between the two that you just listed, though would the lower costing spec support things such as high end in game graphics mods without things lagging around?
a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2013 2:54:51 AM

Yes it would. It has a GTX 660.

Here look at this:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling UCACO-AP11301-BUA01 Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler (£7.38 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.91 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (£359.99 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case (£128.45 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£85.49 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-201 Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder X5 Wired Laser Mouse
Total: £1042.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 10:55 BST+0100)

Has one of the top of the line GPUs from the last gen (the new 700 gen was just released kinda).

The GTX 680 is awesome because it has GPU Boost 1.0 from Nvidia. Essentially it OC's the GPU

whenever the GPU has detected that it's possible. The new GTX 780 has GPU boost 2.0 and it's

superb, because if you can keep the temperatures low, you can tell the GPU that it can overclock

whenever it wants, as long as the temperatures are below what you put in. You also get a Gold certified

PSU and while many people will say Bronze is fine (which it also is) gold is more efficient in delivering power.

Thus if for instance power is expensive where you live, after a few years with this running, it'll have paid for itself

through the amount of cash you saved on power. Also, the motherboard supports SLI. So when the GTX 680

starts slowing down, you have the option of adding in another one (which may just be cheaper then too).

The mouse and keyboard are personal preference, so you can change those. But for gaming, mechanical keyboards

are adored by many, as they have a nice clicky sound, which means you won't doubt whether you pressed a key or not.

An i5 is the sweetspot for gaming, especially for MMOs and such. Coupled with that powerful GPU you'll run at max settings

easily, in most games. The monitor is Full HD and also has an IPS panel. IPS gives you better colors. You can chose to cut back

on the GPU however and then add a sound card, if sound is really important to you. Something like an ASUS Xonar. It's not like

you won't have sound though, but for audiophiles it's a must.
May 29, 2013 3:02:26 AM

X79 said:
Yes it would. It has a GTX 660.

Here look at this:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling UCACO-AP11301-BUA01 Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler (£7.38 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.91 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (£359.99 @ Amazon UK)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case (£128.45 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£85.49 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-201 Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder X5 Wired Laser Mouse
Total: £1042.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 10:55 BST+0100)

Has one of the top of the line GPUs from the last gen (the new 700 gen was just released kinda).

The GTX 680 is awesome because it has GPU Boost 1.0 from Nvidia. Essentially it OC's the GPU

whenever the GPU has detected that it's possible. The new GTX 780 has GPU boost 2.0 and it's

superb, because if you can keep the temperatures low, you can tell the GPU that it can overclock

whenever it wants, as long as the temperatures are below what you put in. You also get a Gold certified

PSU and while many people will say Bronze is fine (which it also is) gold is more efficient in delivering power.

Thus if for instance power is expensive where you live, after a few years with this running, it'll have paid for itself

through the amount of cash you saved on power.


Energy costs are definitely an issue in my area so power saving would be very kind on monthly bills (my curent laptop has to be constantly pluggd) which really raises costs.


I like the idea of having the clocking capabilities already there from the onset without having to go through the OC'ing process (Im likely to screw that up)
Also, I see that you recommend wired peripherals - Would you not advise going wirless?
Also, for internet, I will have to go wireless based on where I will have to store the PC. What would you reccomend I do for this?
Additionally, what would be the benefits of taking Windows 8 over Windows 7 as an OS?
a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2013 3:26:01 AM

I recommend wired things because wireless can be such a drag. Of course

it's lovely not having wires everywhere, but with a little bit of proper management,

that can be dealt with I think. Wireless is convenient, but signals can be disrupted by

other signals from god knows where. Perhaps in most scenarios this isn't really likely, but

I still find wireless to be easy to trip up. Whether it's a signal issue or devices not pairing or

whatever. Sometimes you'll also require batteries and batteries don't tend to last forever do they?

So to me, that's incurring an extra fee, for no reason. If they're rechargeable it's different though.

Go with what you wish mate, it's up to you really. You can select a different mouse and keyboard too,

as it has a lot to do with personal preference.


The benefit of Windows 8 over Windows 7 is one where you won't have to go through the hassle of upgrading

your OS so soon. What MS does (nasty company) is that they force people to upgrade, by saying "hey, we're stopping

support for this and that OS, so if you want to be able to get support and get security updates, you'll have to upgrade your

OS to XXXXXX". So while most people prefer Windows 7 (and it's good) I'd like to set you up for the least hassle-filled experience.

Of course Windows 8 requires some getting used to, but I could find you a video which explains the main differences in under 5

min and you'd be set. Windows 8 also performs slightly better (and slightly worse) in some games. MS ought to be stopping

support for Windows 7 in 2015 and the "extended support" in 2020. It'll drop XP in 2014 too, April or so. Here's a Windows 8

video that lasts under 5 min, so you can make up your own mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi8NpwiEuzc

Here's a longer, slower one. But it has one crucial element; the guy is British!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE9kLn3G1t0


I didn't understand your second question though. Do you mean if you can go wireless too? I think you can.

If not, a wireless card can be added. But the motherboard at least has wired functionality already.

May 29, 2013 4:10:58 AM

X79 said:
I recommend wired things because wireless can be such a drag. Of course

it's lovely not having wires everywhere, but with a little bit of proper management,

that can be dealt with I think. Wireless is convenient, but signals can be disrupted by

other signals from god knows where. Perhaps in most scenarios this isn't really likely, but

I still find wireless to be easy to trip up. Whether it's a signal issue or devices not pairing or

whatever. Sometimes you'll also require batteries and batteries don't tend to last forever do they?

So to me, that's incurring an extra fee, for no reason. If they're rechargeable it's different though.

Go with what you wish mate, it's up to you really. You can select a different mouse and keyboard too,

as it has a lot to do with personal preference.


The benefit of Windows 8 over Windows 7 is one where you won't have to go through the hassle of upgrading

your OS so soon. What MS does (nasty company) is that they force people to upgrade, by saying "hey, we're stopping

support for this and that OS, so if you want to be able to get support and get security updates, you'll have to upgrade your

OS to XXXXXX". So while most people prefer Windows 7 (and it's good) I'd like to set you up for the least hassle-filled experience.

Of course Windows 8 requires some getting used to, but I could find you a video which explains the main differences in under 5

min and you'd be set. Windows 8 also performs slightly better (and slightly worse) in some games. MS ought to be stopping

support for Windows 7 in 2015 and the "extended support" in 2020. It'll drop XP in 2014 too, April or so. Here's a Windows 8

video that lasts under 5 min, so you can make up your own mind:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wi8NpwiEuzc

Here's a longer, slower one. But it has one crucial element; the guy is British!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE9kLn3G1t0


I didn't understand your second question though. Do you mean if you can go wireless too? I think you can.

If not, a wireless card can be added. But the motherboard at least has wired functionality already.



The second video was good, I hadn't realised that the UI had changed so much, quite a modern, sleek layout in my opinion.
In regards to the wireless internet: I wont be plugging a cable in the back of the PC so (and this is the only comparison I have) is there hardware that plugs in the back that will then connect with a hub in the house like the device they use on the older model Xbox360s?
a b 4 Gaming
May 29, 2013 4:28:46 AM

Well since I never used an Xbox much, I can only refer to the motherboard:

http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8Z77V_LK/

I'm sure if there's an ethernet and USB port, that anything will plug right in.

Added a network card, even though I'm not sure if it's truly necessary.

Eitherway, I'm sure you'll be connecting no matter what!

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (£167.99 @ Aria PC)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling UCACO-AP11301-BUA01 Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler (£7.38 @ Amazon UK)
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (£101.89 @ Aria PC)
Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (£38.91 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (£74.99 @ Aria PC)
Storage: Mushkin Chronos 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£65.69 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card (£359.99 @ Amazon UK)
Wired Network Adapter: Intel PWLA8391GTBLK 10/100/1000 Mbps PCI Network Adapter (£21.83 @ CCL Computers)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case (£128.45 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (£85.49 @ Ebuyer)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer (£11.47 @ Amazon UK)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
Monitor: Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor
Keyboard: Rosewill RK-201 Wired Standard Keyboard
Mouse: Microsoft SideWinder X5 Wired Laser Mouse
Total: £1064.08
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-29 12:28 BST+0100)
!