#1 Posted by Wess (92 posts) -

Greetings Duders,

I am in the market for a new desktop PC for my gaming needs. I've never had a particularly powerful computer, or built my own. I only know the very basics about computer hardware (nothing useful). So this will be a post with multiple questions - any and all advice would be appreciated.

First, after my initial research, I have come to this build:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/32lit

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor

CPU Cooler: Thermaltake Frio 101.6 CFM CPU Cooler

Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Memory: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive

Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card

Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply: Rosewill Capstone 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply

Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)

If I were to go with the building my own PC route, is this a good build generally for gaming for around $1200? Any problems/suggestions? Can anyone give me an idea of how this would perform with recent and upcoming games?

Second, is putting all of those pieces together simple enough for someone who doesn't know much? Any specifics I should worry about? Are there any options for ordering a pre built machine around these specs and price that anyone knows of?

That's basically it, but feel free to offer up any advice you may have, and thanks!

#2 Posted by mosdl (3267 posts) -

What resolution is your monitor? I would say you could save some $ and get a geforce 670/680

#3 Posted by MB (13294 posts) -

It's definitely simple enough to do on your own the first time. Just do plenty of reading, watch some tutorial videos on YouTube (even Tested has a series on building pc's) and then go put it together. With sites like pcpartpicker that stop you from picking components that won't work together, it's a fun and rewarding project that you will probably end up doing many more times down the road.

I am no expert, but I have built several PC's for myself and in fact just did a major teardown and upgrade of my own gaming PC last night, doing some cable management after I upgraded my video card to a Titan. Anyway, here are my thoughts:

CPU - The i5-4670 is probably the current best value as far as price-performance ratio goes. Great choice. You don't need an i7 and you may not be able to tell the difference anyway. It's plenty for gaming.

Case - that looks like a monster! Similar to my own HAF 912 ADV. The 500R is big and heavy, but as long as you have the room and don't mind the size, it's a great move. Big cases are great for first time builds, trust me on this. Not to mention it's going to provide great cooling and plenty of room to work in!

PSU - I am not familiar with Rosewill. However, for my last couple of builds I went with fully modular Corsair power supplies. They are a little pricey but I'm a bit of a cable management nut and they make for an easier, cleaner installation. You also want to research the PSU you're buying and see how many amps the 12v rail puts out to make sure your video card is getting the juice it needs.

CPU Cooler - You probably don't need an aftermarket CPU cooler, but I always get them because I overclock and they also look bad ass. If you're not going to go with a sealed water block/radiator type cooler, scrap that one you picked and go with a Noctua NH-D14. The price is close to the one you picked and it is an absolute beast. Check out the reviews.

Motherboard - You can't go wrong with Asus. I don't know anything about that particular board but you're on the right track, just read the reviews and compare the features to other motherboards in your price range. Consider if you'll need things like built in bluetooth or built in wifi, which you probably don't. I've been using Asus motherboards and components for years and have always been really happy with the performance and build quality.

Memory - Probably fine, nothing special. I think 8gb is still fine especially since you're going to have two RAM slots open if you want to double down later on. I know everyone always says 16gb+ is overkill, but more can't hurt.

Video Card: I went with a GTX 780 3GB for my upgrade from 6950 2gb 2x and it was a pretty significant performance improvement. You can't go wrong with a 770. That being said, do plenty of reading on the differences between all of the different manufacturer versions of the 770 because each is going to have pros and cons. Some will have higher out of the box clock speeds, different cooling solutions, and more. Just spend the time reading and you'll save yourself some disappointment later...you don't want to get that card and then find out a month later that the Asus version of the 770 is 10% faster and 5% cheaper, or something like that. But yeah, 770 is a solid choice. I think the 770 is going to absolutely kill any game you throw at it, especially if your'e not playing on a multi-monitor setup at ridiculous resolutions. PLUS Nvidia's Shadowplay feature is so cool and is probably the future of both video capture and streaming since it has a built-in h.264 hardware decoder! I spent quite a bit of time playing around with Shadowplay this morning and I really can't believe how good it is already, and it's still in beta. I was recording both Witcher 2 with ubersampling on and Metro 2033 at maxed out everything and I didn't detect any hits to system performance which is practically unheard of unless you have a separate hardware capture solution.

HDD: I think that drive is fine but you should strongly consider also getting a small to medium size fast SSD as your main OS drive. This is the one area I feel like this build could use some improvement. For $120-$180 you won't be sorry. Do some reading on things like Windows 8.1 boot times off of an ssd vs a platter drive, game loading times, stuff like that. Not to mention that ssd's never need to be defragged and are completely silent with no moving parts. Highly recommend getting an SSD and then using that mechanical hard drive for the bulk heavy storage you're going to need.

Anyway I'm sure I missed some things but you are well on your way! Just do plenty of research and watch some videos, particularly Tested's series. As always there are plenty of PC experts on the forums here at GB to help you out as well, and I'm positive some of them are going to come in and correct or elaborate on things i've said, too! Good luck.

#4 Edited by Jackentrote (43 posts) -

I haven't brushed up on my PC knowledge since I upgraded back in 2011, but I think your parts sound perfect together.

I think two things you should check is whether that mid tower case is big enough for the parts (in order to have good ventilation), and to make sure that the 650 Watts of your PSU are enough to power those parts. Thermaltake are badass at cooling, Seagate are a premium HDD manufacturer, and your CPU and GPU combination is deadly.

I think those parts can run the latest games smoothly for you for at least 4 years.I have an earlier generation of all your parts (Intel i5, Asus Z series, Nvidia GTX card), and I run the latest games on high with 40 to 60 FPS. However I do game on a 1680x1050 monitor, so if you're going 1080p or whatever, then I dunno.

I love the feeling of not knowing whether I'm spot on or completely wrong.

#5 Posted by Wess (92 posts) -

@mb: Wow, thanks for the awesome response! I'll definitely reconsider an SSD taking your advice in consideration.

@mosdl: I'm looking at getting a new monitor along with this. If you have any recommendations on that, they are welcome. I would assume a 1920x1080 monitor would be the recommended?

#6 Edited by Andorski (5394 posts) -

If you are getting that locked processor, then you can drop the CPU cooler. No need for anything other than the stock cooler if you aren't going to overclock.

#7 Edited by Wess (92 posts) -

@mb: @andorski: Interested that I got 2 responses saying I don't need the CPU cooler. That will save me a little bit if it isn't necessary - thanks!

#8 Edited by Andorski (5394 posts) -

Here's a build I put together: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/32rDs

Went with a cheaper, but still good, motherboard. Upgraded to an unlocked CPU and a good CPU cooler so you can try out overclocking if you want to. Got a better quality hard drive and PSU. Also went with a mATX motherboard and smaller case just due to my own personal preference.

#9 Posted by OurSin_360 (955 posts) -

It's super simple, but putting in the cpu can be a bit nerve wrecking the first time since if you mess it up you just broke the most important component. But it's honestly just plugging the pieces into the right places, i found it difficult to gauge how much force to push down on feeling like i was going to break something, but you get a feel for things after the first time.

Just read your instructions and look up everything on the net before you do it and you'll be fine.

#10 Posted by horseman6 (484 posts) -

SSD's have come down in price quite a bit, if you can't afford one or if you'd like more space, consider getting a hybrid drive. It's a combo HDD/SSD that uses the SSD for caching.