Posted by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

Hey GBer's,

I'm planning on building my first PC mainly for gaming (Steam and Origin) and maybe audio/video editing purposes if the build is good. If possible could you provide me with some help.

  1. The budget is $700 to $1,000 (including monitor and speakers if possible)
  2. My hardware expertise is slightly above average but I've been into software and coding most of my life. I'm not sure what hardware plays well with each other or if I should wait for any new hardware on the horizon.
  3. Could you provide me with a build (links would be a bonus) or a website that helps me put together the right components?
  4. I'm going to follow the PC build video from I like how Will took his time and explained basically everything. If you could recommend any other videos I would be grateful.

I'm going to use this blog and provide pictures and maybe video to document my progress.

Thanks in advance!

#1 Posted by Azteck (7416 posts) -

So are you going mainly for gaming or focusing more on the editing? Mostly this just comes into play for RAM and stuff. Also what size of monitor were you planning on fitting into the budget?

#2 Edited by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@azteck: To be honest it will be gaming. I'm going to purchase a laptop down the line for video editing. I was thinking if it's great for gaming it should be good for editing as the processor and video card would be what most of the money would be put into. RAM is fairly cheap so 8GB's or more. Not sure on the monitor but 24 to 26 inch, good refresh rate and resolution.

#3 Edited by Chop (2010 posts) -

Normally I would never link there, but is the place you want to be.

#4 Edited by TyCobb (2000 posts) -

If you really are planning on doing video editing and encoding, don't skimp on the CPU.

I wouldn't worry too much on refresh rate of the monitor. Just stick with 1920x1200 resolution and a 24"+ monitor. Movies are normally only 24fps anyway and I see no problem with having to turn on VSync for some games.

#5 Edited by MedalOfMode (314 posts) -

Buy a GT 9600 that can Play All Steam and Origin Games at Very Low

#6 Edited by Azteck (7416 posts) -

@phileskyline: If you intend to do editing, I would probably get an i7 and clock it up to 4GHz and up, probably with an aftermarket cooler. As you said, RAM is dirt cheap and most likely 8gb will be more than enough. I'm not entirely sure what the best bang-for-the-buck GPU is right now. I've always been more of an nvidia guy so my advice wouldn't be the best one. I'll leave that to someone else.

#7 Edited by mellotronrules (1469 posts) -

if you want examples of gaming builds at specific pricepoints with benchmarks, check out:



logical increments

those aren't gospel- like anything else, pc building is highly subjective. but they'll get you pointed in the right direction.

#8 Posted by Matthew_Otts (6 posts) -

Going to Newegg you can get some great deals on hardware. I have built a few computers and thankfully they have worked after putting them together lol. Its always good to research before hand. All of the post before me are all great ideas. The most expensive part of your build will be the Graphics card depending on how amazing you want it to run. I'll be honest I have a GTX650 and it does the job just fine. Good luck!

#9 Posted by thebunnyhunter (1513 posts) -

Logical Incriments is a good starting point

I can suggest some videos:

Tech Syndacate's Ultimate Guide

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Duncan has 2 good "Lets Build Series" but i wouldnt use his builds, they are good at showing how they all fit though

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#10 Edited by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

Thank you for the feedback guys, I really appreciate it.

I've been to logical increments and already spec'ed out a nice build not including the monitor.

  • GeForce GTX 660 2GB
  • i5-3470 Quad-Core Processor 3.2 GHz
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
  • MSI Z77A-GD55 Mobo
  • Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (will get 2 if I have the extra)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200 1 TB
  • Intel 330 60GB SSD (Might get this if I stay with 8GB RAM)
  • Samsung SH-224BB DVD Burner
  • Seasonic M12II-650 BRONZE ATX 650 Power Supply
  • Fractal Design Define R4 Case

Roughly $950

Not sure about the monitor. I'm open to suggestions.

#11 Edited by AiurFlux (921 posts) -

I worked out a pretty decent mid range spec build that should get everything to high on most games if they aren't unoptimized pieces of crap, but it's over budget buy 100 bucks. And that's without a monitor or speakers. Could you be more specific in what you want? Like how much RAM, how big of a hard drive, if you need an optical bay or not and if you do do you want Bluray on it with or without a burner, and how important a case aesthetic is to you. With that I could probably cut 150-200 dollars within reason.

EDIT: K, got something under 1000 bucks, still without a monitor and speakers but without any compromises.

All should be compatible. If the links don't work... ehh. And those are newegg links, so of course you should be able to save more money if you spend time and shop around for the best deal. Price is 971.92 without shipping, in Canadian funbucks. Eh.

EDIT 2: Well your build makes mine look like shit. This is what I get for staying up past my bedtime.

#12 Edited by Dauthi693 (131 posts) -

Used New egg and put together a good starting point for a machine for encoding and gaming

Case - Cool Master Haf 912 $69.99

PSU - Sea Sonic 620W - $69.99

Motherboard - Asrock z77 pro3 $89.99

CPU - Intel 3570k $219.99

RAM - 2x4GB Cosair vengence $54.99

CPU Cooler - Cool Master Hyper 212 plus - $30

GPU - His Iceq 7870 - $219.99

HDD - Seagate barracuda 1TB - $74.99

DVD Drive -$16

Monitor - ??? $149.99

Total - $996*

*does not include an operating system or speakers

Can anything be reused hardrives, os and will you be overclocking?

#13 Posted by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@aiurflux: Thank you for taking the time to work on a build and provide the links. Nothing is final by any means. I still need to shop around for the best price. As much as I would like to get them all at once it will more than likely be purchased in parts over a few months.

#14 Posted by Dauthi693 (131 posts) -

the 3570k /2500k are recommended as a cpu with a K sufex with a z77 motherboard is overclockable the 3470 will not be.

#15 Posted by DirkDeadeye (14 posts) -

#16 Edited by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@dauthi693: No HD's will be reused. My last desktop PC is from's just collecting dust at this point. I'll purchase Win 7 Home. Debating on overclocking. I've never done it but heard a lot about it. I'll need to read up on it first.

#17 Edited by Dauthi693 (131 posts) -

Buy them close t
@phileskyline said:

@aiurflux: Thank you for taking the time to work on a build and provide the links. Nothing is final by any means. I still need to shop around for the best price. As much as I would like to get them all at once it will more than likely be purchased in parts over a few months.

cheers and buy them close together or in usable sections as its easier to sort out any duff equipment if you can test them there and then.

#18 Edited by Dauthi693 (131 posts) -

Overclocking is alot easier than it was as all you can really do up the multiplier for example in laymans a 3570k might run at 200hz with a multiplier of 17 to get its 3.4ghz. You just up it slowly to make sure the CPUn can handle it and if it gets to a multiplier 20 its now at 4ghz.
If you decide to not overclock you can save money by not buying a K sufexed CPU, an aftermarket CPU cooler and maybe even the z77 motherboard. But if you will their well worth the money.

#19 Edited by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@dauthi693: Do I need a sound card? If so, what would you recommend?

#20 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

@phileskyline: Unless you intend to drop some coin to get a good sound card and need one for editing, don't waste your money. You can get some USB speakers that mimics surround sound via software, or better yet invest in some good headphones. Since your on a budget consider a monitor with speakers, but I would just plug in whatever headphones you use already and save your money. If you want a standard good monitor consider a Asus VS24(insert final model digit). They normally range between $150-$200. These are the standard "good" gaming monitor used at a lot of e-sport events. It doesn't have any fancy frills but does they are cheap and do a good job as TN paneled monitors go, if you want to spend more look for an IPS monitor.

#21 Edited by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@djou: Thanks! Since the video card has a 4 monitor limit I'm probably going to start with one and then add a second monitor later on. I'm really getting excited about this build.

#22 Posted by Dauthi693 (131 posts) -

Sound card not needed really for gaming don't use built in speakers i just find it detracts from the experience.

#23 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

@phileskyline: NP, this is a very popular multi-display setup since its so affordable. If you look at Amazon people are constantly showing off their set ups. (link).

#24 Posted by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -
#25 Posted by djou (895 posts) -

@phileskyline:That's a pretty great price for that level of PC. I don't know if you will overclock but I have the same CPU and have had no heating problems with the stock cooler, no OC.

I would say 60GB SSD is way to small. I have a 128GB Samsung 830 and find myself constantly moving stuff around for space. 60 GB wouldn't even be enough to store the OS, TF2, and Left for Dead. If you plan to play any games that depend on respawns, eg Planetside/CoD, you will want them on the SSD. 128GB should be the min, you can probably find one for a Samsung 830 for below $120 sometimes you can even get a free game with it. I can't speak to the rep of Intel SSDs, but I know many are cheaply made and its best to stick with something good. WD Black Caviars are considered among the best HDD, you should have a good SSD as well since it stores your OS. I hear good things about Crucial M4 and certain OCZs but I have an 830 and love it.

I find an optical drive completely worthless. I borrowed an external from a friend to install the OS and never needed one again. My PC is connected to a monitor and a HDTV and I thought I would want one to watch Blurays, but find myself using a regular player or PS3.

#26 Edited by Sooty (8195 posts) -

@phileskyline:Might I suggest springing for a 120GB+ SSD (Corsair Force are cheap, if I remember right) and ditching the Antec PSU for a Corsair, I only say that because I know Corsairs come with 5 years of warranty which is nothing to be snuffed at. (highly regarded brand too) Not sure if Antec do the same but just bringing up that point. You'd be surprised how annoying it can get managing what games you have on your SSD, even with my 120GB drive which only has a few small apps + Windows on it I find myself getting low on space quite quickly. Damn all those 12-18GB games these days.

If you are planning to overclock then get a cheaper model i5 and simply clock it up to 3.4Ghz, I believe the vast majority of i5s will happily clock up to or slightly past 4Ghz anyway, if you aren't then don't bother with a CPU cooler, put that $30 towards a bigger SSD. (retail boxed processors already come with a cooler, which is more than adequate for stock or even light overclocking)

Also, buy a surge protector, they are like $10 and act as an extension brick too. At that price it's crazy not to. I have my more expensive stuff plugged into the one I have, amp, plasma, PC, monitor and then my PS3.

edit: I'd personally ditch the optical drive too, I unplugged mine accidentally and didn't bother plugging it back in, if you need Blu-Ray and don't have a PS3 or other player then sure.

#27 Edited by djou (895 posts) -

@phileskyline: I would consider ditching the optical drive also depending on the specs of your motherboard. I have an Asus P8Z68 and it only has two PCI 3 slots. Since I have two hard drives I didn't have space for the optical unless I plugged it into a slower port. My PSU was also semi-modular and there were cables sticking out everywhere (it looked like a rat's nest until I looked at a few guides on cable management) it may make plugging all three in tough. Not sure if this is your first build but I find this is an under discussed topic. Its fun pick out parts but when it comes to actually making all the connections in an organized way to reduce overheating its not as intuitive. I wanted both my drives by a fan which took a lot of wrangling.

#28 Posted by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@djou: @sooty: thanks for the suggestions on the optical drive and PSU. Updated to the Corsairs and removed the drive. I can pick up an external usb drive. I'll hold off on the SSD for a later time.

Below is the updated build specs. Thanks again!

#29 Edited by djou (895 posts) -

@phileskyline: np, 16gb of RAM seems like overkill, but that's your choice. RAM is probably the easiest thing to upgrade later if you see a deal, its as simple as popping new matching stick into the MB. Keep in mind that if you upgrade later to an SSD you will want to reinstall your OS which can be a pain since you need to transfer all your programs. I love my PC but the one thing I regret was not going for a 256GB off-the-bat even though it was outside my budget it would have saved a lot of headaches.Good luck on the build.

#30 Edited by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@djou: Agreed on RAM. It's cheap and very easy to install. I'll remove the SSD for now since I won't have the remaining money for another few months. It would be a pain re-installing or transferring the OS over. Hopefully SSD will come down in price from now until May/June.

#31 Posted by Dauthi693 (131 posts) -

Did some playing around with your parts while waiting on the bombcast

Note: If you go with your original choice of Keyboard and mouse you will get a 120GB SSD for an extra $15 from your latest spec.

#32 Posted by PhilESkyline (874 posts) -

@dauthi693: Thanks for the build. I actually made a few adjustments with RAM, GPU, case, and dropped the speakers. Shaving off things here and there. Nothing is set in stone and the motherboard might just switched up too.