Sign-in / Sign-up
Your question

Building my First Ever Gaming Rig - Advice Needed

Tags:
  • Build
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
November 10, 2013 11:57:48 AM

Hey everyone: I've been looking to build a computer to my own specs for a while now, and due to my roommate destroying my laptop that had been my gaming desktop-replacement system, I have the opportunity to do so.

Any advice on my proposed build would be welcome! I used the IBUYPOWER website as a basis to pick out parts, with a little research on my end to pick within categories. I then saw that a lot of people used the pcpartpicker.com site (which is amazing), so I transferred that list over and made a few changes along the way.

The proposed build is at the bottom if you want to skip the form-style Q/A.



Approximate Purchase Date: This month (Nov 2013)

Budget Range: $2250-2500 (before peripherals)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, watching movies, surfing the internet, schoolwork (I have a small laptop for schoolwork)
Are you buying a monitor: Yes. Looking at the ASUS VG248QE 24-Inch Screen LED-lit Monitor right now.

Parts to Upgrade: Whole new system, top to bottom.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes - Windows 7 Home Premium

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Newegg.com ; ibuypower.com if I let them build it.

Location: Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

Parts Preferences: I'll include a list below of my proposed build.

Overclocking: Yes, maybe. I want to have the option to do so. Addendum: What would be the difference between letting ibuypower do their 20% overclock service and just trying to do so myself? Is the $49 fee worth it to save me time and tinkering?

SLI or Crossfire: Yes, maybe. I want the capability to do so in an upgrade later, but not at this moment.

Your Monitor Resolution: 1920x1080

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: Roommate destroyed my desktop-replacement laptop.


Updated proposed build, much cleaner:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/20hV0

Updated build 2:
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/20kGh


Finalized my build!
Final build list (components ordered and on their way, except for the video card. Waiting for the 780 Ti Classy):
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/25JYQ

Let me know what you all think- this would be my first rig, and I don't know if I'm potentially overlooking something that I'll regret later, like adding a fan to get a push-pull system, or if there's something on my build that I should swap in for another brand, whether my PSU wattage is overkill, etc.

Proposed build (I drew up the build on ibuypower and copy+pasted it over, so if it looks wonky, that's why):

Case 1 x NZXT Phantom 410 Gaming Case-Black
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i7-4770K Processor (4x 3.50GHz/8MB L3 Cache)-Intel® Core™ i7-4770K
Motherboard 1 x Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H -- 3x PCIe 3.0 x16, 6x USB 3.0, Dual Gb LAN
Memory 1 x 16 GB [8 GB x2] DDR3-1600 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x AMD Radeon R9 290X - 4GB-Single Card
Case Lighting 1 x Cold Cathode Neon Light-Blue
Power Supply 1 x 1200 Watt - NZXT HALE90V2 1200W - 80 PLUS Gold, Full Modular
Processor Cooling 1 x Corsair Hydro Series H60 Liquid CPU Cooling System-ARC Dual Silent High Performance Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow)
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 120 GB ADATA SSD-Single Drive
Data Hard Drive 1 x 1 TB HARD DRIVE -- 32M Cache, 7200 RPM, 6.0Gb/s-Single Drive
2nd Optical Drive None
Optical Drive 1 x [12x Blu-Ray] LG BLU-RAY Reader, DVD±R/±RW Burner Combo Drive-Black
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
Operating System 1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel)-64-Bit
Flash Media Reader / Writer 1 x 12-In-1 Internal Flash Media Card Reader/Writer-Black

From ibuypower, it would cost $2520 before shipping and handling, and before a monitor and keyboard.

More about : building gaming rig advice needed

November 10, 2013 12:20:18 PM

I would do my own build -- it's easy and you can get plenty of help here.

If you are in DFW area, the only place to buy your CPU/motherboard is at Microcenter! They have a store in your area and are far cheaper than Newegg or anyone for those key items and they often have other great sales in store. HERE is their website. I still buy a lot from Newegg but they aren't even close on the CPU/motherboard combo prices.
November 10, 2013 12:35:48 PM

I'm going to update my post - I think I'll build it myself, or at least get somewhere local to put it together for me after I get the components. Methinks ibuypower has lots of markups hidden in their process...

I'll definitely look for the best price anywhere I can, including brick and mortars!
Related resources
November 10, 2013 1:06:03 PM

OK here are my thoughts:

- Given your needs an i7-4770K is not needed. The i5 4670K offers pretty much equal performance in gaming.
- A 1200W power supply is absolutely stupid overkill for what you need here get something smaller. Like 750W.
- 16GB RAM not needed, 8GB would be fine for your needs.
- Instead of the H60 maybe go for a good air cooler. Like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 evo or 212 Plus. It is a great cooler and much cheaper than the H60, which doesnt offer stellar performance when you compare the prices imho.

Here is what I suggest based on your needs here.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card ($727.27 @ TigerDirect)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1654.14
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-10 16:01 EST-0500)

Since your budget was $2500 max excluding peripherals this cost does not include the monitor and keyboard etc.

I added the GTX 780ti instead of the 290X because given your budget and the money saved changing a few things you can easily fit one in.
As far as monitor choice goes, perhaps get a 1440p monitor instead of a 144Hz 1080p monitor. Just a thought.

At any rate, this is just what I would personally have at that budget level. In fact with the money left in your budget why not get a 250 GB SSD and a 2TH HDD?
November 10, 2013 1:27:51 PM


Ronaldspiers said:
OK here are my thoughts:

- Given your needs an i7-4770K is not needed. The i5 4670K offers pretty much equal performance in gaming.
- A 1200W power supply is absolutely stupid overkill for what you need here get something smaller. Like 750W.
- 16GB RAM not needed, 8GB would be fine for your needs.
- Instead of the H60 maybe go for a good air cooler. Like the Coolermaster Hyper 212 evo or 212 Plus. It is a great cooler and much cheaper than the H60, which doesnt offer stellar performance when you compare the prices imho.

Here is what I suggest based on your needs here.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.98 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB Video Card ($727.27 @ TigerDirect)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($79.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($84.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1654.14
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-11-10 16:01 EST-0500)

Since your budget was $2500 max excluding peripherals this cost does not include the monitor and keyboard etc.

I added the GTX 780ti instead of the 290X because given your budget and the money saved changing a few things you can easily fit one in.
As far as monitor choice goes, perhaps get a 1440p monitor instead of a 144Hz 1080p monitor. Just a thought.

At any rate, this is just what I would personally have at that budget level. In fact with the money left in your budget why not get a 250 GB SSD and a 2TH HDD?


I looked at the CPU, and yeah, I didn't realize the i5-4670k was an option. I don't really run multi-thread processes, so the i5-4670k will do nicely.

On the PSU - I'm trying to allow room to keep this PSU through multiple upgrades, so would 750W be enough, or should I potentially look at 1000W instead of the overkill 1200W?

I made a few other changes as well:
-Corsair H100i swapped in over H60.
-Bumped up my SSD to 240GB. I don't really need a 2TB HDD - I barely even used up 500GB on my previous system. I don't have a huge music or video library, and I have an external HDD if I really need more storage.

I think if I were changing the GPU, I might look at a Crossfire 290x setup or maybe the 780Ti - from what I've seen, the Titan is still too dang expensive to really warrant buying it over these other options.
November 10, 2013 1:44:40 PM

Equitum said:

I looked at the CPU, and yeah, I didn't realize the i5-4670k was an option. I don't really run multi-thread processes, so the i5-4670k will do nicely.

On the PSU - I'm trying to allow room to keep this PSU through multiple upgrades, so would 750W be enough, or should I potentially look at 1000W instead of the overkill 1200W?

I made a few other changes as well:
-Corsair H100i swapped in over H60.
-Bumped up my SSD to 240GB. I don't really need a 2TB HDD - I barely even used up 500GB on my previous system. I don't have a huge music or video library, and I have an external HDD if I really need more storage.

I think if I were changing the GPU, I might look at a Crossfire 290x setup or maybe the 780Ti - from what I've seen, the Titan is still too dang expensive to really warrant buying it over these other options.


Even 1000W is crazy overkill. I wouldnt go higher than 850W if you plan on going crossfire in the future. The 750W should last you a good while on a single GPU and should even be sufficient for multi GPU set ups http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_r9_290x_cro...

So long as the PSU is corsair, seasonic or xfx it will be realiable.
As far as CPU cooling the H100i is great. Few friends of mine run them :>
November 10, 2013 2:01:24 PM

Ronaldspiers said:


Even 1000W is crazy overkill. I wouldnt go higher than 850W if you plan on going crossfire in the future. The 750W should last you a good while on a single GPU and should even be sufficient for multi GPU set ups http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/radeon_r9_290x_cro...

So long as the PSU is corsair, seasonic or xfx it will be realiable.
As far as CPU cooling the H100i is great. Few friends of mine run them :>


Thanks for your advice! I think I'll go with an 850W just to be safe - a 780Ti SLI setup will still be monstrous in a few years, and 850W should cover it nicely, according to the pcpartpicker estimate.

Oh, I had forgotten about the free games with the Nvidia cards, so bumping up to a 780Ti over a 290x should be covered by the price of those games, and supported further by the existence of G-Sync. :D 

November 10, 2013 2:08:05 PM

No probs, that sounds good. And yeah SLI 780 Tis will wreck everything. Thou for that kind of set up get a higher res monitor :D  or you will be runing 1080p games at like 40,000 FPS ;) 
November 10, 2013 2:20:44 PM

Ronaldspiers said:
No probs, that sounds good. And yeah SLI 780 Tis will wreck everything. Thou for that kind of set up get a higher res monitor :D  or you will be runing 1080p games at like 40,000 FPS ;) 


Yeah, lol. I can always dream of getting that setup down the road, even though it might be a bit far-fetched (probably more due to space and time concerns than anything else xD)


Anything else I should look into? A few things stand out to me that I feel like I should think about while I'm planning out my build:
-Mo-bo choice: is it fine? Could there be another better possibility due to layout or some other factor that would work better with my case or some other component?
-Air flow through my case, and if I need to get another fan.
-What kind of miscellaneous things I might or might not need to help me out when I'm going to be physically sticking everything together. I really don't wanna mess anything up!

November 10, 2013 7:04:31 PM

Updated my original post a little bit. Still looking for some input on my mobo choice, whatever else!
November 11, 2013 6:36:00 AM

I have used quite a few of the ASUS Z87 boards and would recommend them highly, the specific model depends on which features you want. I prefer THIS ONE and Microcenter has a combo deal on it with the i5-4670K for $319.98.