Posted by yoshisaur (2646 posts) -

Hey there Duders,

I'm returning to college this semester (already started) and pursuing my Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering. One of the class requirements in my third semester is a computer capable of running CAD and other software needed for the career. I know I don't need a super-computer or anything, but I felt this was a great time to upgrade my current computer for gaming as well (and use them in tandem). I've never built a computer before, so I've been running around Newegg with "best rating" applied without much knowledge of each part. This is where this wonderful community comes in! If you could check out this PC build and tell me if there is are any pieces that don't fit, aren't the best bang for my buck, or you know of something better, I would really appreciate it.

I'm working with a $1,500 (before taxes and shipping) budget and cannot really go much higher. If possible, any help or advice needs to stay in that range unless there is something really fantastical and worth an extra pay-check or two to save up for.

*Note: I do not plan to play with SLI or O/C unless I feel comfortable with it. Most of my parts will focus on a casual approach to a computer that is mainly just for gaming and hopefully as much future-proofing as possible. Also, I'm not really interested in any pre-built computers! Thanks :).

Thanks in advance, everyone!

BUILD:

* I have a seperate HDD I already own, the SDD is simply for the OS and a couple of programs I'll be running for school.

** Is there a point to getting a sound-card? I didn't include one as I've never actually used one before

*** Is wire-less included in this build or do I need to find a seperate wire-less card?

Please feel free to critique and throw your advice at me! This is my first computer build and I'm excited, but I don't want to run into any holds if it's possible not to!

Thanks duders!

Online
#1 Posted by yoshisaur (2646 posts) -

Hey there Duders,

I'm returning to college this semester (already started) and pursuing my Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering. One of the class requirements in my third semester is a computer capable of running CAD and other software needed for the career. I know I don't need a super-computer or anything, but I felt this was a great time to upgrade my current computer for gaming as well (and use them in tandem). I've never built a computer before, so I've been running around Newegg with "best rating" applied without much knowledge of each part. This is where this wonderful community comes in! If you could check out this PC build and tell me if there is are any pieces that don't fit, aren't the best bang for my buck, or you know of something better, I would really appreciate it.

I'm working with a $1,500 (before taxes and shipping) budget and cannot really go much higher. If possible, any help or advice needs to stay in that range unless there is something really fantastical and worth an extra pay-check or two to save up for.

*Note: I do not plan to play with SLI or O/C unless I feel comfortable with it. Most of my parts will focus on a casual approach to a computer that is mainly just for gaming and hopefully as much future-proofing as possible. Also, I'm not really interested in any pre-built computers! Thanks :).

Thanks in advance, everyone!

BUILD:

* I have a seperate HDD I already own, the SDD is simply for the OS and a couple of programs I'll be running for school.

** Is there a point to getting a sound-card? I didn't include one as I've never actually used one before

*** Is wire-less included in this build or do I need to find a seperate wire-less card?

Please feel free to critique and throw your advice at me! This is my first computer build and I'm excited, but I don't want to run into any holds if it's possible not to!

Thanks duders!

Online
#2 Posted by loyalroyal1989 (43 posts) -

the only thing I would say is that you are spending the same money on your cpu as your graphics card you are normally better off saving some money on the cpu and spending it on the gpu. but it will be a very good rig even if a little light on gpu.

#3 Posted by Toxeia (728 posts) -

@ck1nd: Get a i7-3770 LGA1155 and a board that supports it. You're building a computer that's far too expensive that will last you no longer than if you go with the 1155 socket.

Your motherboard has integrated sound. There are some issues you might notice (mostly noise on the line) but it'll do fine. You can also get a set of headphones that are USB and basically have their own soundcard.

Your motherboard does not have integrated WiFi. You can get an Asus Wireless-N card for like $25 at NewEgg if I recall. Been working great on the computer I built for my mother.

I also see no after-market cooler. If you really intend on going with a processor that is rated 130W you'll want something better than what comes with it. The Cooler Master Hyper 212 is good. I use a TPC-812 which is god damned amazing. Overclocked I have trouble getting it above room temperature.

Two things to be wary of: Computer monitors and televisions are both capable of HDMI these days, but know that monitors read blacks differently than television sets. Your colors will most likely appear washed out if you use an HDMI cable. You can correct for this in the NVidia control panel thou, but unless your monitor is also giving you sound I'd recommend just using DVI (it's the same signal). Also, when you install your memory know that all DDR3 is actually 1333MHz. You'll have to enable what's called XMP on your motherboard to use the overclocking profile that is programmed on your memory.

#4 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@ck1nd: I agree with @Toxeia: Although unless you use the front 3.5 jack on your case, you shouldn't have too much of a problem with interference, so don't even worry so far as that. Sound Cards aren't needed at all, don't worry about that.

I'd also say that the SSD isn't that important either unless you restart a lot or plan on using big programs like Photoshop and care about those loading fast. Honestly, an SSD for the OS isn't worth more than $40 if you ask me. It only changes the speed that your PC boots at and how quickly applications start, unless you have space to actually keep other things on it. If most of what you're using the PC for will stay on there and you do a lot of drive intensive stuff (unlikely if you can fit it all into 150 GB). On top of that, if you go with WIndows 8 (I would suggest it, it's a fine OS and it's much cheaper than Windows 7 right now, so unless you have W7 already, it'd be the wise move IMO) your boot times will be great regardless. They are crazy fast on even HDDs, because of the way they handle booting with the OS now. And why would you turn your PC off when sleep is just as good an option. If you go for an SSD, get a decent 512GB one that you can actually put more than a bit of stuff on, including games, unless you really can put most of your important stuff on that 180. Keeping in mind that will leave you room for only a few games, depending on how much stuff (I for example have dozens of gigabytes of textures and the like for my 3D work, and work a lot with large images from friends cameras, stuff like that. It adds up and it's all stuff I'd want on an SSD if I had one). Programs are already quick to load, and those that aren't are usually only going to take 30-40 seconds and not be opened and closed frequently. It's up to you, and you have a decent budget so maybe you can splurge, but I'd save some money by "downgrading" to a 3770 and getting away from 2011 (which has very little in the way of benefits beyond being easy to get in PCI 3 and more channels of memory) and getting rid of the SSD, and put that money towards a better GPU. At least a 680.

Also, why are you buying two 200mm fans for your case? It doesn't run 200mm as far as I can tell. Those are excellent fans, but you won't find any use from them unless I'm wrong.

#5 Posted by yoshisaur (2646 posts) -

Appreciate all the help guys, I really do. I'm looking into changing out the CPU and looking to upgrade the GPU. I'll most likely end up switching to a HDD now that you guys have made a couple of good points, and I'll get rid of those fans. I don't know much about the jargon when it comes to building a computer, so I really appreciate you pointing it out.

@MordeaniisChaos: I have Windows 8, and I love it. I think people who aren't willing to switch over are just stubborn or settled with Windows 7 - which is reasonable. If I plan on only using around 90gb for school/windows (CAD ws and etc) would you recommend the SSD then? I have a 1TB HDD for games and other stuff.

@Toxeia: Appreicate the WiFi point out. It's all I can run on now due to the retarded positions of coaxials in my (rented) Town-house. Also, can you explain the whole monitor part again? I'm not sure I understand what you were mentioning there.

@MordeaniisChaos: @Toxeia: If I change out the CPU to 1555 and motherboard, will everything else still work with the new pieces?

I appreciate all the help! :)

Online
#6 Posted by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

@ck1nd: Again, it really depends on how much of that stuff is really using the SSD. Not a lot of things really heavily use the drive, so unless you're working with a lot of files like images or what have you, or games, you won't see a huge boost, in my opinion, and certainly not one worth that much money. You'd be better off, in my opinion, just using your 1TB. If your CAD work is very data heavy, then it might be worthwhile to get an SSD if you're willing to move things around occasionally. But if you aren't using a large number of assets, I have my doubts.

If you switch to 1155, everything else will work just fine, the only way it could be a problem is if you tried to push 4 channel ram, which you aren't, so you'll be fine.

#7 Edited by yoshisaur (2646 posts) -

@MordeaniisChaos: @Toxeia:

Okay, so I checked around on Newegg.com and found a couple of the pieces you guys pointed out:

* For the Motherboard, I went with a Micro ATX this time. When I looked at the Video-card, I noticed that it (looks) like it uses two ports and I was wondering if that sort of thing would work with the MB I chose.

** The GPU is a bit out of my price range, but I can make up for that. It's a 680gtx and it doesn't really look like the extra $75-$100 for a little better is worth it.

*** The CPU I chose was the i7-3770K and I couldn't really find anything much cheaper than those that still met the same rate on the comparison charts. Just for reference, I really want to be able to play games like Planetside 2, which right now on the currently computer I'm on, doesn't work. If the 3770K can really handle something like that, it's worth it.

**** I chose to go with the Seagate 1TB. After some research, the SSD benefits just aren't really worth the cost right now and I felt it would be better to get more storage space instead of speed.

***** The RAM is a DDR3 1333 this time. Should I worry about that?

****** I went with the fan you recommended!

******* For WiFi, if I only have basic Comcast cable I feel that a 300/300 should suffice, right?

Again, I appreciate all the help duders! I'm glad I made this post or I wouldn't have noticed those flaws :).

Online
#8 Posted by Aterons (198 posts) -

GPU is kinda "too much" imo, but I'm not a guy that require everything to run on max setting so i guess it's fine... if there's a piece of a gaming PC that you want to invest in not to bother with later is the GPU.

CPU and RAM... the hell ? You don't need that for games, you won't even need a quad core for any game up until a few years later, but even if you buy one go for a cheaper one, same for the RAM... 8 gb of RAM is more than enough, 6 or even 4 should do actually and the price will only drop. Why for baby Jessus sake buy 16 now ?

The motherboard is to expensive as well, a 75-125$ one should do just fine for any gaming pc that intends to be able to run all games come the next 5 or so years, why exactly chose such an expensive model ?

The source ? I personally dislike Corsaire because i had a very expensive power source from them and it failed in 1 year... go they money back and bought a second hand no-name company one for 1/5 of the price and 2 years in it keeps going, overall however i know corsaire as being great power sources and if your source goes to shit you risk your whole computer going to shit so I agree with this one, better a good source than a burnt PC.

The SSD ? What is it for exactly, you are spending 4 times the money so that you can load games 50% faster ?

The cooling/case... it depends where you PC is gonna sit, how cold/hot your are is and so and and so forth so i won't discuss that, they seem reasonably cheep.

So to TL;DR

If you want to stream and edit/render high quality videos than it's a good machine for that.

If you only want to play games you can bank half the money, use a cheaper machine for about 5 years and buy a new one than and/or buy new components for this one when you fell like it resulting in you saving about half the money since you literally only need the GPU in that thing, the rest will only be "needed" to run max setting games at over 60 FPS in about 2 to 4 years.

#9 Posted by Toxeia (728 posts) -

@ck1nd: I'm running 16GB myself. If I'm playing a game I haven't seen anything above 6GB being used. I have it because I run virtual machines, but if you're using CAD software that memory will serve you well.

If you want to get 1600MHz memory, look at the Corsair Vengeance LP series. I use a 2x8GB kit. Runs great. I also see you're looking at the 812 that I have. One thing I should warn you of: It's massive. I'm not joking. You'll need low-profile memory (like the Vengeance LP) and I'm not sure that the GSkill Ripjaw will fit the bill. You can see here it sits over one of my memory modules. Also, the second fan on there was optional and I had to order it. It was definitely a good buy though. My CPU run at 45 celsius during stuff like Far Cry 3 or with Skyrim and the tons of mods I have. And it looks like I need to blow out my case a little bit :(

And take a look at this. The 3770 does everything the K does and more, so if you can save money on it it's an option. Unless you're virtualizing machines though you're fine. 3770 vs 3770k

And finally, you're concerned about the video card requiring two slots. It's pretty standard, and I don't believe it will cover the PCI-E slot just below the one for your graphics card. It'll just take two slots on the back of your case and require two screws to hold it in place.