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Please help me build my first computer. $700 budget

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August 21, 2013 11:36:52 PM

Hello, I'm looking to build my first computer and I would like a bit of advice on components. I would like to spend around $700 (not including the OS) and would mainly be using it for gaming, watching videos online, and writing.

I am quite confident in my ability to build the computer itself, but picking out the parts is another matter. I have been doing research on my own and would like to learn more, but I am pressed for time since my previous computer died and I am having to borrow the one I'm using to write this. Any help you can give is very much appreciated.


What I need/would like:

-Around $700, preferably less since there will be tax, shipping, etc. I have already set aside $100 for the OS, so no need to include that. If you have a good build for a bit more feel free to post it as long as its not over $800.

-Must have Wifi. I can not get an ethernet cable to where the computer needs to be, so this is critically important.

-Would like a small SSD to run the OS and maybe some frequently used programs from, and a larger hard drive for everything else.

-Good quality power supply, preferably a modular one since I don't mind spending a little extra here to make things less of a hassle.

-Case with a good amount of room to make it easier to put together and have room to upgrade in the future if I want. Preferably with filters since I have a cat that sheds.

-Just a cheap, standard DVD drive. Should be able to figure this one out fine on my own, so don't worry about including if you don't want to.

-A good processor and graphics card. This part gets a bit tricky. I want to get nice parts that wont go outdated for quite awhile, but at the same time I don't want to break the bank. I will very likely not be overclocking, so that isn't really a concern. Also the games I play are not the most graphically demanding games out there, though I would like to try out some of the nicer looking games.The real goal here is to just get high framerate on high-max settings for my current games, and high framerate on medium-high settings on newer games I may end up playing. The speed is honestly a bit more important to me than the visual quality.

-EVERYTHING MUST BE COMPATIBLE. This is one of the major reasons I'm here asking for advice. Would really like to avoid having to stall the project to send something back or get new parts. I know that this is a risk of building your own computer, especially for the first time, but I would really like to build it myself so all I can do is ask for help to minimize that risk.


Thank you so much in advance for any help you are able to give me, and sorry about the big wall of text. I understand I have been a bit specific in some areas, and if its not realistic in this price range just let me know. Also if you have any questions or anything for me I will be sure to answer as soon as possible. Thank you again :) 

August 23, 2013 1:49:24 AM

Hello there,

Welcome to PC gaming, browsing the internet & general fun :) 

Sure man I'll help you

Here are my suggestions:

PSU: Corsair 80plus 500W
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster hyper 212 evo
Chassis: I leave this blank because just Google a cheap chassi you like
Ram: Corsair Vengence 8GB 1600MHz (two 4GB sticks)
Optical Drive: Look for a nice cheap LG Dvd Drive (there are plenty for great prices) example:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/LG-GH24NS90-AUAA50B-SATA-Intern...

Just make sure the drive is x24

1TB Western Digital BLUE 7200RPM HDD


^ those items are static won't change regardless of choice. (see below)

Now we come to the fun part AMD or Intel, ATI RADEON (AMD Radeon now) or Nvidia Geforce...

For your budget I would actually recommend going AMD (they are actually really good)

So a :
AMD FX 6300 Six Core CPU
MSI 970A-G46 970GX Motherboard
MSI HD 7870 (you can also replace with EVGA if you want they might be cheaper)

or

MSI Z87-G43 Motherboard
Intel i5 4570 CPU
You can try a Nvidia 650.

Although remember that you will have to upgrade the graphics card in 3 years to be able to play anything. (You will also be playing on medium - low)
with this build (the i5)

or

i3 3220 CPU
MSI Z77A-G43 Motherboard (same as the i5 one) as mentioned above compare with EVGA prices between MSI and EVGA.

Some cards to consider:
GTX 660
Radeon HD 7850
AMD HD 7770

August 23, 2013 4:11:54 PM

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated. I've been doing some research on the processor in particular and I've decided that I'm pretty set on the Intel I5-3570k. I don't dislike AMD or anything like that, just been looking at framerate tests in some of the games I play and the intel processor seems to come out on top (for a price of course). I understand this will probably put me a bit over budget, but that's alright with me.

Does this change any of your advice? It uses an LGA 1155 socket like the I3-3220 you suggested so I'm assuming the same motherboard would be ok? The build would look like this:

Processor: I5-3570k
Motherboard: MSI Z77A (couple different models all about the same price, currently comparing)
Graphics Card: undecided as of right now
Ram: Corsair vengeance 8GB 1600MHz (2 sticks of 4GB)
CPU Cooler: Coolermaster hyper 212 plus (its not the evo, but I found a package deal that makes this practically free with my case)
Case: Coolermaster HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower (a little on the expensive side but found a good package deal+discount)
PSU: Corsair 500w
Storage: 1TB 7200RPM HDD
Optical Drive: cheap DVD drive like suggested

Would still like an SSD, though maybe at a later point since I'm probably going to end up a bit over budget. Any recommendations on that front?
August 24, 2013 3:46:45 AM

The stuff you mentioned - definitely over the budget but that's not a bad thing. In fact it's clever rather spend an extra $100 or $150 than have to upgrade a year sooner.

My recommendation with PC gaming it this:
You buy a decent mobo, CPU (like the i5)
Then what you do is you buy a mid range GPU (graphics card, also called VGA )
after 3 or so years you just upgrade the Video card again to a mid range (should cost around $200-$300 depending on choice) and you get to play all the latest released on full graphics all the time. (unlike consoles where you have to play with below par graphics.)

Now you can stick with the medium - low graphics for a while longer (4-5 years) but you will probably not like that, some people do this. :)  you will be saving so much money on games if you use steam right that the GPU purchase in 3 years will seem normal.

Maybe look at the 660Ti for a graphics card I use it, alternatively look at the HD 7950 or one of these:
760, HD 7870, HD 7850 (HD's are Radeons and the 660Ti, 750 are Nvidia)

Glad I could point you into the right direction your specs seem fine :) 
!