First time Gaming PC Build. ~$900. Suggestions Appreciated.

#1 Edited by joparnico (9 posts) -

Hey Guys,

I am tinkering around with the idea of making a custom desktop and I can use some suggestions! Here is the setup I am thinking about getting! Do you guys think this is a good setup? Is everything compatible with the each other? What would you change?

For starters, I have the computer case which is the Antec Three Hundred Two Gaming Case, Black

Or the Antec One Computer Case.

For the motherboard I picked the ASUS P8H67-I DELUXE <REV 3.0> LGA 1155 SATA 6Gbps and USB 3.0 Supported Intel H67 DDR3 1333 Mini ITX Motherboard.

The power supply, Cooler Master GX - 650W Power Supply with 80 PLUS Bronze Certification.

The CPU, Intel Core i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz 4 Core LGA 1155 - BX80637I53570K

With the memory, Corsair XMS3 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory (CMX8GX3M2A1600C9)

The graphics card, XFX AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB GDDR5 2DVI/HDMI/2Mini DisplayPort PCI-Express Graphics Card FX787ACDFC;FX-787A-CDFC

The Blu-Ray player, Asus Black 12X BD-ROM 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-ROM SATA Internal Blu-Ray Drive (BC-12B1ST)

And finally the hard drive, WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive: 3.5 Inch, 7200 RPM, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64 MB Cache - WD10EZEX.

Do you guys think that this is a good setup? This whole setup costs about $900 bucks. If you guys have any suggestions to make my setup a little cheaper? I would appreciate any help given!



#2 Edited by MB (13928 posts) -

Seems fine, do you have your operating system covered? You can also probably dump that Blu-Ray drive unless you think you'll really be using it.

#3 Edited by joparnico (9 posts) -

Yup! I already have a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium.

I am using a 32 inch LED TV as a monitor, possibly for the time being. So, I figured since I have the pc hooked up to the TV, I might as well hook up a Blu-Ray drive. Should I switch to a monitor? Or will the TV work fine?


#4 Posted by Casey25 (146 posts) -

Ever considered SSD for memory? Having a single large SSD is picey, but if you happen to have a leftover hard drive you can get a 240GB SSD paired with a larger HDD. Boot times and load times (especially with games like BF4 or other new releases) are decreased dramatically with an SSD, and if you are willing to manage your memory across two drives the budget SSD with another HDD can work well for their cost.

This may not be ideal for your first new rig, just an idea. I basically made a reasonably priced upgrade on my mid-end pc by doing just that, putting my win7 OS and whatever games i play actively on a new 240GB SSD I got on sale, and kept my 500GB HDD for my music and mass storage. It means i can't have every single steam game ever installed on the SSD at once, but for a little over a hundred bucks I wait 10 seconds instead of 100 seconds to load certain games, and all OS and app-related loading is extremely fast.

I would advise against getting a large SSD, they're very expensive. I'm sure other Bombers will have helpful opinions on your other components.

#5 Edited by Brendan (8686 posts) -

Hey OP, this is a Mini ITX build with a lot of parts well recommended by Anandtech. This build is in Canadian dollars and may be less expensive in your country. This is my cheap Mini ITX wish build off Newegg. It doesn't come with the cost of a disk drive or the cost of an OS. I figured I would install my OS off a stick, and since I don't know what kind of OS you want I left that off. Let me know if you think it's worth shit! The graphics card is stupefyingly quiet. And for those wondering about the PSU, there are Steam machines with GTX 780's slated to run off 450w PSU's, so you'd be surprised how small a PSU you need as long as it's not low quality!

SilverStone Sugo Series SG05BB-LITE Black SECC / Plastic Mini-ITX Desktop Computer Case with 2 x USB3.0 ports (Black): $49.99

ASUS H87I-PLUS LGA 1150 Intel H87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard: $119.99 -$5.00 Instant $114.99

ASUS R9270-DC2OC-2GD5 Radeon R9 270 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready: $219.99

SeaSonic SS-300TFX Bronze 300W TFX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply: $49.99 -$10.00 Instant $39.99

Intel Core i3-4330 Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 54W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics: $144.99

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Desktop Memory: $79.99

Crucial M500 240GB SATA 2.5" 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive: $189.99 -$25.00 Instant $164.99

ENERMAX T.B. Silence UCTB12P 120mm PWM Function Case Fan: $16.49

Subtotal: $831.42

#6 Posted by joparnico (9 posts) -

What about a Hybrid Drive instead? Like the Seagate Desktop 1 TB Solid State Hybrid Drive SATA 6 GB with NCQ 64 MB Cache 3.5 Inch (ST1000DX001)

For a 30 buck difference, will that greatly increase the speed of the drive?

The SSD might be something I get later on. Load times will probably suck, but I can deal with that for at least a little bit. Haha

#7 Posted by Casey25 (146 posts) -

I've heard okay things about hybrid drives but i would do a little more research to be sure. There's probably a youtube video with a comparison.

#8 Edited by pondwhale (111 posts) -

The motherboard is not compatible with the CPU. The socket is correct but the chipset is not. You will need a motherboard with the Z77 chipset for the 3570k. Also, unless you plan on overclocking, the Intel i5-3350p should be more than enough, it lacks the unlocked core and Intel HD integrated graphics, but you wont be using that anyway. I would also strongly suggest a regular ATX motherboard, unless your specifically going for a small form factor, in which case you should look at smaller cases.

EDIT: I can personally recommend this board, as it is what I use and in your price range. If you would like to cut down on the cost a bit more you could also try this.

Slightly better option for RAM, in my opinion anyway, it really doesn't matter though.

Cheaper PSU, though yours is fine.

I would drop the Blu-Ray drive, we live in the digital future, right? Unless you have a bunch of BR's and your BR player just broke, it's probably a waste. Your better off with the stock 16x ASUS drive everyone uses. Using your TV is fine, as long as your careful about screen burn-in.

As long as i'm making bold suggestions, I would also recommend a GTX 760 over the HD7870, it's about $30 more, but if your going to take my advice you've already saved more than that so hey, why not.

More than anything though, CHANGE OUT THAT MOTHERBOARD. I only hope I posted fast enough.

#9 Posted by andmm (221 posts) -

Personally, I would switch over to AMD on the processor front. Amd motherboards and processors are cheaper and for games they do the job just as well as any Intel processor and you save money that you can put towards a better gpu.

#10 Posted by joparnico (9 posts) -

Don't worry pondwhale, I haven't bought anything yet!

I only chose that motherboard because it came with built in wifi. Do you guys know of any good on board wifi cards that would fit my system?

I also got some help from some other guys who work on computers and they suggested this setup.

How do you think this setup will do? Is the ASRock Z87 Extreme4 an ok motherboard? I could probably get it a little cheaper if I was to go with your 2GB ( graphics card instead of this 3GB card.

And Andmm, I have actually never really liked AMD processors. Maybe it's been the ones I have had on my other computers, but Intel have always seemed to run better for me. If you have any suggestions, I'd be glad to hear them though!

#11 Edited by kcin (212 posts) -

I only have two pieces of advice, but they are crucial:

Get an Intel chip. Do not get an AMD chip.

Use a solid state drive for your OS and most-used programs.

EDIT: I have the Extreme4 mobo and it's very good. It has a really nice BIOS interface, has a code system for displaying errors on the mobo itself, and has given me no trouble with compatibility or drive priority on a computer that has 8 hard drives.

#12 Posted by TriBeard (140 posts) -

For the price, I would really consider going amd on the processor side and then going with a beefier graphics card with the money you saved. AMD chips aren't too competitive on the high end side, but for the price you are looking at you are going to get more bang for your buck that way.

I would go with something like this:

Some of that is personal taste as far as case and brands for stuff goes, but it's a solid system that would out perform the one that you had spec'd in pretty much everything, especially in gaming. Let me know what you think.

Note: That doesn't include an optical drive or operating system, but you could change up the RAM for a little cheaper stuff and step down to a 550w power supply and probably pick up some of the slack there. As for the wireless internet, I would probably just get either a pci add in card, or a usb adapter. Easier, and you can use it on multiple computers. I have an old wireless-n card, standard PCI no less, that I have had in 3 computers now, and it serves me just fine when I don't have wired internet. You wouldn't be able to do that with something built in to the motherboard.

#13 Edited by pondwhale (111 posts) -

@joparnico: That all seems fine, compatible at least. The Extreme4 is a great board at that price point. Don't forget when using pcpartpicker, the price it shows doesn't really reflect the actual cost, because it has a hard time calculating shipping and tax, which can be significant on a new build. That card is more powerful than the one I suggested, but also more expensive. In that price range I would recommend a GTX 770, but you'll do just as well either way. I just prefer Nvidia.

EDIT: Wait on the SSD. You can always get one and drop it in later, start with the bare minimum, you're obviously on a budget.

#14 Posted by TriBeard (140 posts) -

@pondwhale: That's why I went with the larger hybrid drive. It'll be decently fast now, and when and if he adds an ssd later, it'll give him some nice fast storage.

You definitly could go 770, but I think those will be a little more, and I think performance is comparable, though probably a little higher on the 770. Just depends on what brand and features he likes. Also, some of the HSA stuff AMD is pushing would let him use the integrated graphics in the processor in conjunction with the dedicated card to speed up games. There's no way to know how good/widely implemented that will be at this point, though it does at least look promising.

#15 Edited by Bumpton (478 posts) -

First, congrats on getting a new computer! It's always exciting!

Second, I highly recommend the site PC Part Picker! It allows you pick each individual part you want, checks to make sure it's all compatible, then gives you prices from several online sites. Suuuuuper handy and it lets you do the following:

Thirdly, here's the list of parts I used to make my rig that I just built at the beginning of the month: I absolutely love it. I haven't had a new gaming pc in years and it works great. (Side note: building pc's is way the fuck easier than it used to be!) I didn't need a monitor, OS, mouse, keyboard, or speakers, so it's kinda just the bare essentials, but it looks kinda like what you're looking for! Granted, the price on this one is a little higher (~$960), but some tinkering can get it a closer to your ideal price. (Maybe slightly cheaper gfx card and lose the ssd?)

Anyway, best of luck! Hope this helped at least a bit!

#16 Posted by joparnico (9 posts) -

@pondwhale I was going to go with the GTX 760 that you suggested earlier anyways. $350 dollars on a graphics card seems a little too much for me.

@tribeard I am interested in your setup. I could probably try it out and see how I like it. Can you return processors and motherboard if you don't like how it runs? Have you used that AMD processor? I would assume you like it, since you are recommending it. I am kinda hesitant of AMD just because of past experiences. But maybe the higher end versions are better than the ones in my old PCs.

#17 Posted by TriBeard (140 posts) -

@joparnico: I haven't used it personally, but if you look around at benchmarks and such, it compares pretty well to the i5's and such. It's a little slower in some things that aren't optimized for that many threads, but more and more stuff is being optimized for more and more threads. I also have some faith in AMD's ability to make mantle and HSA something that will enable that processor to help you out down the line to boost your performance. That chip will let you play any game out without bottlenecking your GPU, which is what's most important in most games anyway. I wouldn't have recommended it if I didn't think you would be happy with it. I doubt you'd find anything that it didn't perform plenty well doing.

#18 Edited by TriBeard (140 posts) -

also, I wouldn't personally go with that GPU, especially not with the AMD platform. IMO, one of the pros of going with an amd cpu is going with an AMD gpu too, as some of the things they are talking about doing with integrating the two in games and the like to increase performance looks pretty promising, but that's just me.

Also, their newer ones, though not the fastest processors available on the market (you have to pay a lot more for those, and they come from intel) are going to be almost certainly a lot faster than whatever is in your old computer now.

#19 Edited by GaspoweR (4094 posts) -


Also just a suggestion on the PSU, I'd recommend you getting this one: It is 30W less than what you listed in your build and is also about $10 more expesnsive but Seasonic other than Corsair is one of the best when it comes to PSUs. It's also Semi-modular. It's just unfortunate that its expensive now. I bought this at around $70-$80 last year.

Plus, if you want more options to compare parts with other prospective builds with your budget than go here:

Also just some food for thought in terms of what hard drives you would want to buy. This is an article detailing the results of hard drive failure rate tests done over several years/months:

#20 Posted by joparnico (9 posts) -

So here is what I have decided so far on what I am definitely getting.

I decided that I am going with an Intel Processor, just because I have always had good luck with them. Now I haven't decided which Intel Processor I want, but MicroCenter has the Intel Core i5-4670K for $179.99. That is the same price as the Intel Core i5-3350P on Newegg. And I have a Microcenter 20 mins from my house. So I might as well get that one.

I went ahead and ordered all of this and got it all for about $400. Which is $100 cheaper than what PC Parts Picker suggested.


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

Motherboard- ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard

Memory- G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

Storage- Seagate 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive

Video Card- N/A

Wireless Network Adapter- Asus PCE-N15 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter

Case- Antec Three Hundred Two ATX Mid Tower Case

Power Supply- Corsair Builder 600W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply

OS- Windows 8 64 bit OEM --- (Already owned)

Now If I get that processor, my total will be about $579, not including taxes for the processor.

I still am not exactly sure on what I want yet for a graphics card. I am looking at the Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card for about $260. Or the XFX Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card for about $225. I am still willing taking other suggestions as well!

As of right now, my system is sitting at roughly $800, again, not including taxes on the processor or graphics card.

#21 Posted by GaspoweR (4094 posts) -
#22 Posted by TriBeard (140 posts) -

The 760 is going to be ever so slightly faster than the 270x, but I would pretty much just consider the performance a wash. Both will be fine at 1080p. Which one has more features that interest you would be the deciding factor for me. Better multi-monitor support, mantle, and TrueAudio and better OpenCL and GPGPU performance are the big selling points of the AMD, shadowplay, game streaming, g-sync and phys-x are the biggest selling points of the nvidia.

#23 Posted by joparnico (9 posts) -

Just to be clear, the 760 comes with all of those features or has better features than the 270x?

The only real reasons I was going with the 270x was the price, and that it came with Battle Field 4. The 760 comes with the new Assassins Creed, but I don't really care for those games. But for right now, I ordered the Refurbish EVGA 02G-P3-2617-RX GeForce GT 610 2GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card for $30. Just to hold me off until I can afford/decide on which graphics card to go with.

On a side note, I got all of my parts today. Well everything but the graphics card. I'm gonna start my install tomorrow. Do you guys have any tips for a first time builder?

#24 Edited by VACkillers (1171 posts) -

Here is my thoughts on this... I just made a reasonable build for you for 900$, it doesn't have the blue ray which is why its only 850$ for which you can dump the DVD-RW for a BluRay and it'll still be 900$. This has a 4GB VRAM GTX 760 with 1866 RAM as well.....Case is just a case, you can always change that.... People say AMD aren't as good as Intel while this is completely false when it comes to real live gaming performance there is almost nothing between them. AMD can handle twice as much data as an Intel while an Intel CPU can handle data twice as fast as a rule which is good for things like cinebench / Desktop publishing / Video Rendering and encoding, stuff like that but in actual games there difference is miniscule, youtube it if you don't believe me. Here you have an 8-Core CPU as well which is comparable to at least a mid-ranged i7 for half the price, this is almost the exact setup I'm currently using, just different case and 16GB of RAM instead of 8.

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.