#1 Edited by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

I've only owned one desktop in my life, a gateway that I bought from Best Buy in late 06. Other than putting some extra ram in there, and replacing the video card, I have no experience picking parts or building a PC. It's well past time for me to upgrade though, and I've been doing a little research and reading reviews for stuff trying to figure out what to get. Because I know so little, I was hoping to get some advice from you duders. In terms of cost, I intend to buy this thing a part at a time, so I don't really care how expensive it gets. The only problem I can foresee is paying for the bigger parts, because it may be hard to get enough money together at one time. Obviously I wouldn't mind saving money where I can.

As far as gaming goes, I intend to use this machine for every PC exclusive game over the next several years, and I'd like it to run these games decently, but I don't really mind using lower settings in the future. I also intend to use this PC for some hobbyist game design. I mostly use Flash, but I'd also like to try out Unity, so I need it to run both of those programs capably. I may decide I want to run similar but slightly more intensive programs later on as well so I'd like to build for that scenario. Also I need it to have an HDMI port so I can hook it up to my tv. Other than that my only desire is for this thing to be as fast as possible, because I'm incredibly impatient.

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor Decided to go for the i7.

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler Switched from liquid to air, since air is apparently quieter, and from what I've heard easy to set up.

Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard I know nothing about motherboards. I've heard Asus is a good brand, that is why I picked this one.

Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory Downgraded and doubled the ram. Shouldn't be too expensive or difficult to upgrade so I could always replace it later on.

Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk Kept the brand, doubled the space, upgraded the type. Since it helps speed I figure it will be worth it. Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive My portable hard drive is a seagate, and it hasn't broken yet so I chose that brand.

Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card Upgraded the gpu, it wasn't even that much more expensive than the original.

Sound Card: Decided not to get one.

Case: Corsair 500R White Since led's aren't difficult to disable, and the other two were so big, I decided to get this one. Cheaper too.

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze Upgraded this.

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer

Edit: Meant to put this in the PC forum. Oops.

Edit 2: Updated the list of parts.

Online
#2 Edited by sander_dutch (49 posts) -

Your CPU, MB and RAM all look fine for a gaming PC. Good to get the new Haswell stuff!

I have a huge Silver Arrow air cooler for my CPU, and it very silent and pretty good at cooling. Though it would interfere with your high profile ram (which is why I just got some low profile Kingston RAM modules). Your pick for CPU cooler is probably pretty ok, maybe also check out Corsair water cooling. Before you buy this, check online forums to see if the cooling you buy has any issues with the case you select. 2 years ago Corsair's liquid coolers had some installation issues with NZXT Phantom cases, though this might have been resolved in those 2 years.

If possible, try to double the size of your SSD. I have the OS and some other key programs on my 128GB SSD and it only has space for about 30-40GB of games (2-3 games).

I have the Phantom case, its pretty good. The lights in the top fans can be disabled with an easily accessible button on the back of the case.

You don't need a sound card unless you work in music or have a high end sound system for your PC.

For video cards... They just released the 7 series cards from Nvidea. Get one of those so your pc can last a bit longer before an upgrade. The new 770 is slightly faster than a 680, and its cheaper. I would definitely recommend the GTX770 (if your budget allows for it) Though you might want to go for a 600W or 650W power supply if you take the 770. (I recently upgraded my ASUS DirectCU2 GTX570 to a Gigabyte GTX770 Windforce card, and its pretty sweet)

#3 Posted by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

@sander_dutch: Thanks, good to know there aren't any super obvious flaws, I'll definitely check out a better video card, I was pretty sure I didn't have the right one picked. Do you have an advice about which brand of SSD to go for?

Online
#4 Posted by Cameron (597 posts) -

If you only want it for games and not for heavy video editing or CAD, then you will be fine with an i5. The i7s have hyperthreading which is great for programs that take advantage of many threads, but it won't help you much in games.

A large air cooler like the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ will be almost silent and cool really well. I've heard they tend to be quieter than low-mid end liquid coolers because the radiator fans on those are often loud. I've never used liquid cooling though, so I can't guarantee that's accurate.

Your RAM and motherboard look fine. Motherboards are tough because there are about a billion of them, but just make sure it has all the features you want and it's from a reputable brand. Asus is quite good.

Samsung makes very good SSDs, but go for the 840 series unless you can get the 830 for a lot cheaper. I'd also suggest getting a 240GB or 256GB drive if you can afford it.

You should look at a 7 series card, either the 760 or 770, depending on your budget.

As for the case, I have the Phantom and I really like it.

The power supply is fine, if you ever plan on going SLI you might want to bump up to a 750W just to be safe, but I think 500W should be fine for a single card setup.

#5 Edited by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

@cameron: Do you happen to know whether or not Flash and Unity might benefit from hyperthreading?

Online
#6 Edited by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

@hunter5024: An i5 would probably be fine in your situation - but the delta in cost for the overall build is not that large and there is some decent benefit in multi-threaded titles, so its not necessarily bad to spend a little more on the CPU. Especially when GPU upgrades down the road are usually cheap and lead into drastic performance improvements (maybe you buy a 4k monitor in 2016, because that is the cheap normal resolution). With the CPU side you are going to be limited on that front anyway.

Getting the "K" version is not so important if you are not planning to overclock though. But its also a relatively small delta in the grand scheme of things, and will be slightly faster in games where CPU performance matters. One other item to note: SSD performance is dependent (to varying degrees) on the drive's full capacity, and what % it is being filled to. So you'll really want the 240GB+ type drives to fully take advantage. Cost on these for something like the 840 (or even better - 840 Pro), Crucial M500, Intel 335 series, or SanDisc Extreme II types are not to bad - though I personally do not like the TLC memory used in the Samsung 840 (non-pros versions - worse durability than MLC NAND).

#7 Posted by Andorski (5287 posts) -

If this was solely a gaming rig I would say to drop the i7 and get an i5. Since you plan on using developing in Flash and Unity though, you should do some research on whether the i7 is more beneficial (my guess is that it would).

If you have some extra cash to spare (or if you decide to go with an i5 CPU), then upgrade your card to a GTX 770. When it comes to gaming, having a better GPU will almost always be a better buy than having a better CPU.

Don't see the 2133 RAM being worth it. Both synthetic and real world test show minimal improvement past 1600. It's better to use the allotted to get 16GB for your development software.

As for CPU cooling, I'd get a Noctua D14 or a Phantek PH-TC14PE. At stock voltage these air coolers will be more than enough to keep your CPU running even in very hot environments. They'll also run quieter and you will not have to worry about pump failure or possible leaks.

#8 Edited by cbk486 (181 posts) -

@hunter5024:

These two websites will be helpful:

http://pcpartpicker.com/ < this site helps you find the cheapest possible prices (including shipping, tax, and newegg combo deals) and helps to make sure that everything is compatible on your pc (this includes checking the cpu sockets, ram frequency, wattage for your psu, etc...)

http://www.logicalincrements.com/ < this site provides basic pc configurations at every possible price point, and is just generally a great jumping off point for builds

Hope these help!

#9 Edited by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

Okay, thanks a bunch duders. I updated the list based on all of your feedback. Is there a good time to buy the more expensive parts in order to save a little money, or should I just keep my eyes open for sales?

Online
#10 Edited by envane (1162 posts) -

@hunter5024: black friday sales perhaps ? otherwise you look good to go .. bit more psu juice ... (definately 600+ with a gold 80+rating or higher ideally) and you should be set.

gl building a kickass pc .. if anything these parts are too good for a first time build ehehe .. just be careful :)

#11 Posted by Cameron (597 posts) -

@cameron: Do you happen to know whether or not Flash and Unity might benefit from hyperthreading?

Sorry, I don't know. I don't think either of those are particularly demanding on the user's end, but I have no idea on the developer's end. I'm sure you could find out by googling it.

#12 Edited by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

Oh I just remembered, I have like no tools whatsoever. Can anybody recommend a good set for me to buy that will have everything I might need over the next few years?

Online
#13 Edited by IrrelevantJohn (1062 posts) -

@hunter5024 said:

Okay, thanks a bunch duders. I updated the list based on all of your feedback. Is there a good time to buy the more expensive parts in order to save a little money, or should I just keep my eyes open for sales?

Honestly, you should buy the system anytime you want. Waiting for sales can just delay your purchase for a very long time. Prices for these things fluctuate all the time, especially RAM (for some odd reason).

Unlike most people here, I will say stick with the i7 since you stuck with your old PC for a very long time. Unity can get quite heavy depending on what you are making especially if it's in 3D.

EDIT: As for tools people seem to love the iFixit kit

Online
#14 Posted by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

@irrelevantjohn said:

@hunter5024 said:

Okay, thanks a bunch duders. I updated the list based on all of your feedback. Is there a good time to buy the more expensive parts in order to save a little money, or should I just keep my eyes open for sales?

Honestly, you should buy the system anytime you want. Waiting for sales can just delay your purchase for a very long time. Prices for these things fluctuate all the time, especially RAM (for some odd reason).

Unlike most people here, I will say stick with the i7 since you stuck with your old PC for a very long time. Unity can get quite heavy depending on what you are making especially if it's in 3D.

EDIT: As for tools people seem to love the iFixit kit

Yeah I've decided to go for the i7, I'm going to be using this thing for at least half a decade, and it seems like for such an important part it's probably best not to hold back, even if I'm not getting that much more for my money. Thanks.

Online
#15 Posted by believer258 (11808 posts) -

@hunter5024: Are you sure you want to stick with a 500W power supply? That sounds too low to me. You don't need to go insane and get a 900W one, but I'd suggest going for at least a 650W.

Other than that, check your dimensions (is your case big enough?) and you should then be good to go. Sounds like a really good PC.

#16 Posted by IrrelevantJohn (1062 posts) -

@hunter5024: Are you sure you want to stick with a 500W power supply? That sounds too low to me. You don't need to go insane and get a 900W one, but I'd suggest going for at least a 650W.

Other than that, check your dimensions (is your case big enough?) and you should then be good to go. Sounds like a really good PC.

I second this advice. 500W is really borderline enough.

Online
#17 Edited by JJWeatherman (14558 posts) -

@irrelevantjohn said:

@believer258 said:

@hunter5024: Are you sure you want to stick with a 500W power supply? That sounds too low to me. You don't need to go insane and get a 900W one, but I'd suggest going for at least a 650W.

Other than that, check your dimensions (is your case big enough?) and you should then be good to go. Sounds like a really good PC.

I second this advice. 500W is really borderline enough.

Having just bought a 770, I know that they call for a minimum of 600W power supply. So yeah, these fine folks are right. And try to find one that has at least 42 amps on the +12 volt rail. This should all be listed on the details pages for each PSU.

Edit: Being a SeaSonic fan, I'd recommend this PSU. SeaSonic's a great company that makes quality products, and that PSU exceeds your requirements. All for less money than the Corsair.

#18 Posted by Hunter5024 (5639 posts) -

@irrelevantjohn said:

@believer258 said:

@hunter5024: Are you sure you want to stick with a 500W power supply? That sounds too low to me. You don't need to go insane and get a 900W one, but I'd suggest going for at least a 650W.

Other than that, check your dimensions (is your case big enough?) and you should then be good to go. Sounds like a really good PC.

I second this advice. 500W is really borderline enough.

Having just bought a 770, I know that they call for a minimum of 600W power supply. So yeah, these fine folks are right. And try to find one that has at least 42 amps on the +12 volt rail. This should all be listed on the details pages for each PSU.

Edit: Being a SeaSonic fan, I'd recommend this PSU. SeaSonic's a great company that makes quality products, and that PSU exceeds your requirements. All for less money than the Corsair.

Alright thanks for catching that guys, I updated the power supply. Anyone know how I can check the dimensions? I can find them for the case, but most of the pages I'm looking at don't list them for any of the innards.

Online
#19 Posted by Subject2Change (2966 posts) -

PSU Dimensions? As long as it's a standard ATX PSU it will fit in your case. I'd personally look at a Modular PSU, your setup doesn't seem like you plan to put much in the case. Going Modular would remove all the random PSU cables that you don't need hooked up.

It's a bit more than your current PSU, but you should never skimp out on the PSU. A bad PSU going can fry an entire system. Otherwise your system looks quite good.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010&Tpk=Corsiar%20750%20Modular&IsVirtualParent=1

#20 Edited by JJWeatherman (14558 posts) -

@subject2change: While you're completely correct in stating that skimping on a power supply is a bad move, buying a SeaSonic S12II is not skimping. There's little to be gained in paying more for a power supply like the one you've suggested.