First Attempt at Building a PC (Headphones vs Speakers)

#1 Edited by LazyEkans (68 posts) -

Hey, I made a post on Reddit, but I only got one reply and it didn't answer all my questions. Like Pat, who recently posted, I'm relying heavily on pcpartpicker, so I could use some help.

First off, has anyone ever not purchased speakers? I don't really see an upside to them unless I'm going all out. So, is it just personal preference? Like, if you don't like wearing headphones, then get speakers.

I already got some changes from my first part list. The CPU was changed with a recommended to be overclocked and a cooler was added along with a better GPU. I'm guessing I probably need a cooler.

Also, I'm unsure about most (all) decisions. So, feel free to change anything. Oh, also, the monitor is $20 until 7/9, no pressure.

First Build

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dYvVmG

Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/dYvVmG/by_merchant/

  • CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor ($69.99 @ NCIX US)
  • CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ OutletPC)
  • Motherboard: MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($71.88 @ NCIX US)
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($52.91 @ OutletPC)
  • Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R7 260X 1GB Video Card ($84.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 ATX Mid Tower Case ($27.99 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)
  • Monitor: Hannspree HE225DPB 21.5" Monitor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($17.95 @ Amazon)
  • Headphones: Microsoft L2 LifeChat LX-3000 Headset ($19.95 @ Amazon)

Total: $665.59

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

Note: Meant to be a gaming PC. The above build was determined to be counter-intuitive. AHHH! The cheapest 2x4gb of RAM is $180. Well, it was fun to make believe...

Okay, let's try again!

Second Build

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DdzYmG

Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/DdzYmG/by_merchant/

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz Dual-Core Processor ($112.00)
  • Motherboard: ASRock B85M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Amazon)
  • Memory: Kingston Fury Black Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($76.99 @ Amazon)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Newegg)
  • Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R7 260X 1GB Video Card ($84.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: Azza CSAZ-206 ATX Mid Tower Case ($27.04 @ Newegg)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Builder 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($19.99 @ Newegg)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) (Purchased For $0.00)
  • Monitor: Hannspree HE225DPB 21.5" Monitor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
  • Keyboard: Logitech Wireless Combo MK270 Wireless Standard Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($17.95 @ Amazon)
  • Speakers: Logitech LS11 3W 2ch Speakers ($14.99 @ Amazon)

Total: $563.92

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

#2 Edited by MB (13880 posts) -

I'd at least get an inexpensive pair of speakers around the $10-$12 mark just as a backup in case your ears get tired. I think you may regret not having speakers, but it's not as if you can't buy some later on if you find out you're really missing them.

Moderator
#3 Posted by Belegorm (901 posts) -

I have a friend who has a really high end PC and he has no speakers, he always just uses his headphones. My monitor has built-in speakers that sound super tinny, but whenever I don't feel like wearing headphones I just switch to them.

Whenever I get around to building a PC myself I probably won't get speakers.

Just wondering... do people just not buy sound cards any more? Are they unneeded, particularly if you only use headphones?

#4 Posted by Rorie (3329 posts) -

@lazyekans: I agree with MB here. Extended headphone wearing most likely isn't going to be super-healthy, and if you don't have to worry overmuch about disturbing someone with a little noise, even a decent pair of 2.0 speakers can both sound good and give you a bit of bass without being overwhelming. I bought these six years ago and they're still going quite strong; I prefer to use them over my Logitech G930 headset just on comfort alone. I'm sure you can find much cheaper speakers than that nowadays, though.

Staff
#5 Posted by Kidavenger (3855 posts) -

The CPU comes with a stock cooler, you certainly don't need an upgraded one for this build.

I think getting a dual core cpu at this point is a major mistake, quad cores have been standard for a long time now; take the money you were going to spend on the cpu cooler and get a better cpu.

#6 Posted by Corevi (6794 posts) -

@belegorm: Unless you are an audiophile a sound card doesn't add much, processors are powerful enough to do that work.

#7 Posted by 71Ranchero (3121 posts) -

I never considered speakers to be optional. I would get a basic set of Logitech speakers. If money is an issue then ask around, odds are somebody has a pair of PC speakers sitting in a box in a closest from an old PC.

Dual Core may not be the best idea either if you are looking to use this PC for a while without any major upgrades.

Online
#8 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (2054 posts) -

I have pretty much exclusively used headphones on both consoles and PC for the past 6+ years and have never had a problem. Neither my PS4 or PC is currently hooked up to speakers.

#9 Edited by LazyEkans (68 posts) -

Thanks ya'll! Very nice, I'll post a link to an edited build if anyone wants to look at it.

Edit: @ll_exile_ll: What headphones are you using/How much did you spend? I'm probably going to start off with speakers. That just seems safer. I'd still like to know what ya use.

#10 Posted by CornBREDX (6387 posts) -

First off, has anyone ever not purchased speakers? I don't really see an upside to them unless I'm going all out. So, is it just personal preference? Like, if you don't like wearing headphones, then get speakers.

Are you an audiophile? Are you rich and want to spend extra money? If not then it's not a big deal. You can get a decent speaker setup (5.1 surround sound) for PC for a decent price if you look, if you want- it is out there. If you like to wear headphones more than anything, though, going a step further on speakers is kind of pointless.

I already got some changes from my first part list. The CPU was changed with a recommended to be overclocked and a cooler was added along with a better GPU. I'm guessing I probably need a cooler.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a CPU cooler. All CPUs have a cooler- either fan or liquid cooling. I assume you mean you're going fan with heatsink- based on what your list shows- which has the least cons and is what most people prefer and I would agree with that decision for most people.

As for overclocking that is entirely up to you. Overclocking can be simple, but there are pros and cons to it. For one it does reduce the amount of time the GPU or CPU will "live" in a sense. It will burn out faster if you overclock it. Does overclocking actually matter to you? Are you comfortable with overclocking? Why are you overclocking and again does it matter in the bigger picture of the computer you are trying to build and why you're building it? Just some things to consider.

CPU: Intel Pentium G3258 3.2GHz Dual-Core Processor

Hopefully you are aware this is a slow processor. Actually it makes me wonder what you're building the PC for. Overclocking this looks pointless although it may squeeze out a little more from the CPU. So in essence you'll be killing your processor to make games run middling. I assume this is a super budget build with the intent to upgrade later? The mobo you chose seems to imply that so just a guess.

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler

From what I can tell this is only referring to a CPU fan and heat sink. It's not something you need to put a lot of thought into, but you should remember that some mobos have different size spaces for the CPU and make sure you buy the heatsink and fan based on your boards specification. The mobo does usually come with a cheap one already most of the time. Oh, and don't forget to use thermal paste (just in case, mentioning it).

Motherboard: MSI Z97 PC MATE ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

This looks like a decent motherboard from what I can tell of it's specs. It will give you room to upgrade later which is a super plus. Seems like a good choice.

Memory: Kingston Blu Red Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

This seems fine, but only thing I wonder if why you want to spend more on RAM than your CPU. You realize your CPU is the computers brain, right? It's one of the most important parts next to the mobo and the GPU. I haven't looked it up for the timings, because it technically doesn't matter on a budget build, but you should know that is something you want to look into as well as it's a waste to buy RAM with higher timing than the slots it's put into allows. It won't hurt anything, though.

Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R7 260X 1GB Video Card

Seems fine, although you could potentially do better. Although I'm still confused by the CPU being your bottleneck here.

Everything else is superfluous to tally just because it's not a big deal, but based on your needs, wants, and what you're wanting to spend. This looks like a budget build although I'm still a little hung up on the CPU being the worst piece. It seems to me you'd want a good CPU and save up for a good GPU or better RAM later (based on what your budget is). With this mobo you still have that option, but you're just doing it in reverse (CPU is low quality instead). I'm not used to seeing that.

Anyway, just my thoughts on it. Hope it helps.

#11 Posted by bananasbananasbananas (7 posts) -

What is this computer for?

Gaming? or just a computer for web browsing/movies?

If its for games, you need to save up more money and get a better CPU. That one is going to hold you back the minute you set it up.

#12 Posted by wemibelec90 (2074 posts) -

I live with other people and like to be considerate about the level of noise I make. Using headphones allows me to be perfectly quiet and not disturb others, even when playing a loud game or blasting some music. I have speakers for times when I don't need to worry about noise (when everyone is gone), but I'm so used to headphones at this point that I want to hear things through them. Also, my headphones are much nicer than my speakers ($20 speakers versus about $250 headphones) so I like using those for the best sound.

#13 Posted by LazyEkans (68 posts) -

@bananasbananasbananas: @cornbredx: Yeah, I forgot to mention that this is meant to be able to play games. The problem with posting to multiple places is I forget what I have and haven't noted.

I don't know if it's any better, but I originally was spending $80 and $70 on the CPU and memory respectively, Although I did just have one 8gb stick of RAM.

If you're so inclined, my budget max is $680. I realize it won't be an incredible build. Thanks for catching my mistakes!

#14 Posted by SgtSphynx (1767 posts) -

The way I see it when it comes to speakers vs headphones, is it really depends on what you are using the computer for. If you are only going to use it for playing games, then you could get away with just headphones, but if you want to listen to music or watch movies/videos as well, then you will want some speakers. That being said, I'd say go with both; you can get some decent headphones for under $100, and you can adjust your budget for speakers as you see fit. In my case, my computer is right next to my TV and hooked up to my sound system meaning I didn't have to spend money on speakers and bought some decent headphones instead.

As other have said though, you should probably get a better CPU.

#15 Edited by Mental_Floss (3 posts) -

Good headphones w/ a large soundstage and soundcard hands down....without a second thought.

#16 Posted by Ghost_Cat (1510 posts) -

I agree with Rorie, and it's nice to have some speakers to play audio (music or whatever else) externally while you are doing something else. The Klipsch speakers are, to me, the sweet spot between price and performance.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.