Building a gaming PC, does this parts list look okay?

#1 Posted by DoctorSage (154 posts) -

My friend is putting together a gaming PC, and neither of us have any idea what we're doing. We figured the members of the GB community would probably be a lot more knowledgable and friendly to PC newbies. Can you duders help us out?

#2 Posted by Xeirus (1279 posts) -

Just quickly passing over it, you'll want more than 4g RAM, and a better processor.

#3 Posted by MURDERSMASH (248 posts) -

I've always gone with Antec power supplies and have never had a problem with them, so i'd recommend that over something like SeaSonic, but from what i've heard, that's a pretty good brand as well. As for the processor, i'd say that version of the i5 you picked up is pretty good, but i'd recommend a better brand of motherboard. ASRock is Asus' value brand of motherboards, if i'm not mistaken. Asus makes some kickass boards, so i'd go with one of theirs instead. As for the RAM, i'd definitely go with more than 4GB as well. 8GB should be good for a while. Video card is pretty good, but i've always had a shitty time with the Radeon's video card drivers, so keep that in mind.

What kind of a budget are you looking at here? I could help further if you had a target budget to aim for.

#4 Posted by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

I say a better brand Mobo, but this comes from a person who has never owned a ASrock mobo. Everything else is perfectly fine and really up to personal opinion. I prefer Nvidia over AMD GPUs because of better drivers most of the time.

@Xeirus said:

Just quickly passing over it, you'll want more than 4g RAM, and a better processor.

No and no. 4 gigs is just right. Sure is RAM incredibly cheap at the moment and it might be a good idea to get more, but if he's price crunching then 4 gigs is just fine. The i5-3570k is one of the best CPUs on the market(for a reasonable price) and this is just the version that can't be overclocked. If he wants to eventually overclock then pay 5-10 dollars extra for the 3570k, but again under price crunch it's fine.

#5 Posted by jeffrud (380 posts) -

I'm an ATI/AMD graphics card guy, so I'll say you made the right choice. A lot of people would disagree; ignore the haters. Otherwise:

  1. I would agree with in that RAM is dirt cheap and you could double or quadruple what you have listed there for a nominal cost and an amazing performance threshold. Multitasking ahoy!
  2. Make ABSOLUTELY SURE that the motherboard you select has an LGA 1155 slot for that processor. I made the mistake of ordering an LGA 1156 slot board when I built my PC last year...and the CPU was the last component I tried to add to the board. That entailed me then having to disassemble the entire machine, RMA'ing the board, and waiting about week for the correct board to arrive. So, skip that part!
  3. Make sure your PSU also has enough power for your cumulative wattage total (I'm sure there's a technical term for this).
  4. Consider grabbing a DVD drive, the OS install process is pretty dependent on this
  5. Buy your monitor after going to a shop, looking at a few, and deciding on one that you're comfortable paying for and looking at for a while.
  6. Pick up a condensed air spray gun to keep this baby clean and cool.

Exciting times!

#6 Posted by Vormitag (8 posts) -

Looking at the list, I would recommend an unlock version of the chip (Ivy Bridge i5-3570k) for $5 more, leaving the option to overclock later. When you have the money, upgrade RAM from 8g to 16g or 32g especially for games like Skyrim, etc.

#7 Posted by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

You should of had the prices in the screenshot. It's always good to let us know what you are spending so we can recommend better items around the same price. Maybe be more, but could also be cheaper and save you money.

Also, I would go for 8GB. No reason to go for 4GB unless you are on a super tight budget. You can spend a little bit more now or more later, but to me I would prefer to have 2 4GB sticks than 4 2GB sticks later. And a quick biased opinion, I would never buy Crucial. I got burned twice by them years ago with their super expensive sticks dying on me. Crucial was awesome back in the day, but the fact that 2 different sticks from different batches died on me, I just cannot recommend them.

#8 Edited by Xeirus (1279 posts) -

@Jazzycola said:

I say a better brand Mobo, but this comes from a person who has never owned a ASrock mobo. Everything else is perfectly fine and really up to personal opinion. I prefer Nvidia over AMD GPUs because of better drivers most of the time.

@Xeirus said:

Just quickly passing over it, you'll want more than 4g RAM, and a better processor.

No and no. 4 gigs is just right. Sure is RAM incredibly cheap at the moment and it might be a good idea to get more, but if he's price crunching then 4 gigs is just fine. The i5-3570k is one of the best CPUs on the market(for a reasonable price) and this is just the version that can't be overclocked. If he wants to eventually overclock then pay 5-10 dollars extra for the 3570k, but again under price crunch it's fine.

Who said he was price crunching? He sure didn't.

4GB is not enough, get 6GB or don't even bother building one right now, just save up, it's like $10 more...

Don't listen to ANYONE who says 4GB is enough, it's flat out not true and there's zero reason to buy more RAM later.

EDIT: I think he updated his screen shot to 8GB, there ya go. Also, Crucial is good memory.

#9 Edited by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

@Xeirus: HA okay sure buddy. I was running 4 gigs on my machine for a year and a half before RAM prices got to the point they currently are. I could be streaming a netflix video while playing skyrim while downloading podcasts on Zune software and my RAM usage never went above 70%. Even GTAIV which is a notorious system hog which uses a ton of memory ran just fine. 4 gig is the standard and is perfectly fine for gaming.

Edit: If he wants to do heavy photo/video editing or graphics rendering that would be a different story.

#10 Edited by gizmo88 (94 posts) -

@DoctorSage said:

My friend is putting together a gaming PC, and neither of us have any idea what we're doing. We figured the members of the GB community would probably be a lot more knowledgable and friendly to PC newbies. Can you duders help us out?

That's a great list. The only recommendation so far that made any sense was the Ram one. A few people recommended a better processor, unless you need to overclock, the one you chose is perfect. Keep in mind, you have to install this. So purchase items you're the most comfortable with.

I think a user recommended Antec for your PSU choice? Seasonic is probably the single best PSU OEM on the market. Antec is very near the bottom. You would be making a mistake if you went for the Antec.

P.S. Be careful when taking advice, it's hard to judge a forum user's experience. They tend to have very slanted opinions that more follow a team mentality than anything else. Best of luck!

#11 Posted by Xeirus (1279 posts) -

@Jazzycola: I'm not going to argue with you.

He asked for help and I'm giving my advice, you can give yours all you want and that's fine, but in the long run it's smarter/saves time/easier to just spend a few extra bucks and get RAM that was produced and packaged together. That's just a fact.

#12 Posted by SoloReX (59 posts) -

I'm getting that sane exact video-card in the mail tomorrow! Abyway, seems like you pretty much found the cream-o-the-crop there. ASRock is fine, build-wise; however if you want a better user experience go for Asus, Gigabyte or Intel. Also, you shouldn't listen to them telling you to double/triple/quadru-whatever your ram. 8 GB is absolutely fine, even for a hardcore user, if anything you should maybe think about upgrading to 1600Mhz-approved ram, which isn't very exoensive either.

#13 Edited by DoctorSage (154 posts) -

@Xeirus said:

Who said he was price crunching? He sure didn't.

4GB is not enough, get 6GB or don't even bother building one right now, just save up, it's like $10 more...

Don't listen to ANYONE who says 4GB is enough, it's flat out not true and there's zero reason to buy more RAM later.

EDIT: I think he updated his screen shot to 8GB, there ya go. Also, Crucial is good memory.

It always said 8GB.

And I've got no clue if my friend is price crunching, but I highly doubt it.

Edit: Screenshot w/ prices

#14 Posted by Jazzycola (662 posts) -

@Xeirus: False advice is not helping anyone.

#15 Edited by mellotronrules (1170 posts) -

at a quick glance, specs look fine. it'll get you gaming no problem. just double check to make sure all your parts fit together (video card length conforms to interior space of case, enough power for the card, etc.).

many will argue different brands, but ultimately the SPECS look good.

#16 Posted by DoctorSage (154 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

You should of had the prices in the screenshot. It's always good to let us know what you are spending so we can recommend better items around the same price. Maybe be more, but could also be cheaper and save you money.

Also, I would go for 8GB. No reason to go for 4GB unless you are on a super tight budget. You can spend a little bit more now or more later, but to me I would prefer to have 2 4GB sticks than 4 2GB sticks later. And a quick biased opinion, I would never buy Crucial. I got burned twice by them years ago with their super expensive sticks dying on me. Crucial was awesome back in the day, but the fact that 2 different sticks from different batches died on me, I just cannot recommend them.

What brand would you recommend in their place?

#17 Edited by mellotronrules (1170 posts) -

after picking a mobo, i always go to the manufacturer's website to see what sticks they've tested in the board. in your case it's here-

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z77%20Extreme4/?cat=Memory

have a search on newegg and see which ones review well.

sidenote: you never HAVE TO buy ram that's on a company's 'approved' list- most works in most boards. but with these you know they've tested it, at least.

#18 Posted by SoloReX (59 posts) -

Seasonic is awesome. That is all. And I'm glad to see you've picked a great 620 watt psu, rather than a crummy 800-1000+ watt one, don't believe the hype! Anyway, ram: Corsair or Kingston. I actually don't have any experience with Crucial, just 'cause Corsair has never failed me. In case you're anxious, you definitely picked the right type of mobo. Z77 is the latest and greatest in Intel's line of chipsets. If you're not made of money you could even go down a step to, say, Q77, while only sacrificing OC-ability of ram, but, you know...

#19 Edited by Laurentech (127 posts) -

Based on your last post, everything looks solid to me. As far as RAM goes... In my opinion, bad RAM happens. I've gotten a few bad sticks from different brands over the years. Unless a particularly brand is getting an excessive amount of negative coverage, I wouldn't worry too much. Personally, I use G.Skill and haven't had any issues with them.

(Edit: And ditto what @mellotronrules said. Double check that everything is compatible and what not.)

#20 Edited by Moztacular (465 posts) -

 
 
Everything looks pretty good, are you getting an aftermarket CPU cooler though? Please correct me if I'm wrong but don't most people usually recommend using something a little more powerful than intel stock CPU coolers even if you don't plan on overclocking?  
 
Have you considered getting an SSD to boot from? Newegg has plenty of decent ones hovering around $100 or less right now for black friday. It feels like it's nearly the norm to boot from an SSD if you can afford to add one to your build at this point. It refreshed my experience on my 2 year old system considerably when I went to an SSD. EDIT: You might be able to find a 2TB hard drive for about the same price you're paying for that 1TB HDD on newegg over the next few days. Just something else to consider. Have fun with everything.
 
Also, does the intel/nvidia and amd/radeon recommendation still stand or does that not matter? I notice you have a radeon card with a intel CPU. I'm no expert I'm just wondering for my own reference as well about the cpu/gpu stuff. Cheers to those suggesting corsair memory.
 
Apologies for my ignorance on anything, it's been a while since I've seriously looked into these things.

#21 Posted by Laurentech (127 posts) -

@Moztacular said:

Have you considered getting an SSD to boot from?

Yea, that's worth mentioning. If you guys aren't on a tight budget, doing the whole SSD boot and HD storage thing is a good idea. It'll give you noticeable performance benefits.

#22 Edited by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

@DoctorSage said:

@TyCobb said:

You should of had the prices in the screenshot. It's always good to let us know what you are spending so we can recommend better items around the same price. Maybe be more, but could also be cheaper and save you money.

Also, I would go for 8GB. No reason to go for 4GB unless you are on a super tight budget. You can spend a little bit more now or more later, but to me I would prefer to have 2 4GB sticks than 4 2GB sticks later. And a quick biased opinion, I would never buy Crucial. I got burned twice by them years ago with their super expensive sticks dying on me. Crucial was awesome back in the day, but the fact that 2 different sticks from different batches died on me, I just cannot recommend them.

What brand would you recommend in their place?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233144

For $10 more, you get a pair of sticks with a higher speed and a 5 egg rating based on 451 votes. Corsair has never let me down. That's not saying you won't have issues (it's always gamble with anything you buy), but Corsair has only burned me once in 6 years of purchasing their products and the sticks were from the same batch whereas Crucial was on multiple occasions. I am probably just unlucky with them.

Edit: That's weird, the newegg search results show 451 ratings, but clicking into the product page only displays 449.

I just found this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233365&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL111912&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL111912-_-EMC-111912-Index-_-DesktopMemory-_-20233365-L015D

It's currently on sale for $62 if you enter promo code EMCJJJH46. It's part of Neweggs Pre-Black Friday sale.

#23 Posted by SoloReX (59 posts) -

Boxed coolers have come a long way and today, unless you're mad OC'ing, there's really no need for an afternarket one. Even overclocking you should be fine going up to 4 jiggas or so. SSD is definitely a great idea. Although, beware, the market is like a minefield full of unreliable units. The samsungs and corsairs have a good reputation for being fast and reliable, but if you want the cream-o-the-crop you go Intel. No issue having AMD graphics card on Intel chipset, other than losing you soul, that is :-)

#24 Posted by Laurentech (127 posts) -

@SoloReX said:

No issue having AMD graphics card on Intel chipset, other than losing you soul, that is :-)

Indeed! It doesn't really matter. I think people should go with the best card, regardless of brand, in their price range. Nvidia is a little better about their drivers, but I've never run into any major issues with my AMD card (none that didn't get patched or couldn't be worked around). AMD CPU's usually don't hold a candle to Intel's, so it's easier to make a recommendation there.

#25 Posted by Slaegar (626 posts) -

Here I got you this. You should be very happy with those parts.  
 

#26 Posted by ajamafalous (11592 posts) -

I'd recommend a Western Digital Caviar Black over the Seagate. Mid-high end, reliable, and has a five year warranty. The only way you'd get better would be a Velociraptor or an SSD, but those are both way more expensive.

#27 Posted by gizmo88 (94 posts) -

@jeffrud: You should be concerned with value, not brand loyalty. That's for sheep.

#28 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

Thats a pretty good build. I have that exact Motherboard and so far it has been fantastic. Fast boots on an SSD and the menus were a breeze. I am more of an Nvidia guy but its not a big deal. The one thing I would suggest is getting the unlocked version of the intel 3750 processor. Its the one with the 'k' on the end. This will give your friend the option overclocking in the future. Though if you are going to overclock, I would suggest getting an aftermarket CPU cooler. Other than that, an SSD at least for the OS would be nice. I have no knowledge about the case, and the power supply is from SeaSonic, so that should be fine. Have fun building with your friend, and check out some of the build videos from Tested.com and other places.

#29 Posted by jeffrud (380 posts) -

@gizmo88: I actually agree with you. I'm only bristly on this point because I've wound up buying three ATI cards in my life as they were the best value at the time, and have since been heckled on reddit repeatedly for not buying nVidia products. And as they seem to support OpenGL and Linux nonsense with a little more umph than AMD, my next card will probably be an nVidia one at this rate.

#30 Posted by Landmine (518 posts) -

The parts look good and will make for a very good gaming pc. I agree with others that are suggesting an smaller SSD for the OS. I will give you this bit of advice, I bought an i5 3570k recently and the thermals were ok but the stock intel cooler is garbage as I prefer the processor to sit below 30c at idle and 60c under full load in my stock benchmarks. A simple aftermarket cooler will do the trick and leave plenty of room for overclocking in the future. I chose to water cool my setup and I'm very impressed with the performance.

#31 Edited by rahulricky (203 posts) -

Hey, hope you don't mind me jumping in and posting my own parts list. I'm looking to build my first gaming PC but am pretty clueless so was hoping to get some help.

This is what I'm currently looking at, I'll post some questions I have at the bottom.

Case

CORSAIR CARBIDE SERIES™ 200R COMPACT GAMING CASE

Processor (CPU)

Intel® Core™i5 Quad Core Processor i5-3570K (3.4GHz) 6MB Cache

Motherboard

ASUS® P8Z77-V LX: USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs, ATI®CrossFireXMemory (RAM)8GB (2 x 4GB)

Graphics Card

2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 660

Hard Drives

120GB KINGSTON V+200 SSD, SATA 6 Gb (535MB/R, 460MB/W)

2TB WD CAVIAR GREEN WD20EARX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE

Power Supply

450W Quiet 80 PLUS Dual Rail PSU + 120mm Case Fan

Processor Cooling

INTEL SOCKET LGA1155 STANDARD CPU COOLER

Price: £792

1) I'm sure 450W is enough for this build but if I wanted to add a second video card at some point in the future would I be better off going for a bigger power supply?

2) do I need a sound card? (easily my stupidest question I'm sure)

3) is this actually good enough to play games reasonably well? Have I cheaped out on the wrong parts? What would you add/remove?

Thanks for reading all that and for any help you might be able to give me :)

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