I'm starting a project I never thought I would do before

Posted by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

Alright guys and gals, I have always been a console gamer. My primary system is the PlayStation. I will get the PlayStation 4 when it comes out still. But in the meantime, I am going to buy computer parts and build my own computer. I have never built one before, but I want to put the blood, sweat, and tears into building it. Thanks to one of the members on here that posted a site called pcpartpicker.com I put in a parts list that I will put in the link. If you guys want to, you can tell me what i should change out and give me suggestions. I was going to buy the parts and just have someone do it for me, but that kind of ruins the fun in doing it. Feel free to buy me this stuff as well ;) Once I get all of the parts I will post again about me starting the build then show the final product.

Just Kidding.

PC Build Updated 5/26/13

#1 Edited by killacam (1278 posts) -

take out the optical drives and put it towards a better video card.

change that 1333 RAM. standard speed is 1600. 8 Gb is enough.

you don't have a "k" series CPU, so you won't be able to overclock and thus you won't need that CPU cooler. you know what to do with that extra cash!

that's a small motherboard. make sure it'll fit all your parts.

you're going to want more than 90 gigs storage as well. get an HDD along with the OSD.

#2 Posted by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

@killacam: For that site, it says everything is compatible. But I'll take your advice anyways on the optical drives. I just realized I'd probably download games from Steam anyways. I would rarely use the drives. Which motherboard would you recommend me getting instead?

I forgot to mention that I'm a complete novice at computer hardware. I can name components and all that but I don't know which parts go together to work better.

#3 Edited by WasabiCurry (425 posts) -

First off, what is your budget bro. I took one look at that build and was like, "Ah, hell no!"

#4 Edited by opp (39 posts) -

I pretty much agree with @killacam's suggestions. Although i still like to have an optical drive (i just pick a cheapo one). Though it looks like you have TWO optical drives. Just get one, and if you really need blu-ray, get one that will also read DVD's.

Also it looks like that motherboard only supports PCIe 2.0 (or some other weirdness), and since most modern videocards use PCIe 3.0 you should maybe take that into account if you pick a more beefy card, which I would also reccomend if you have the money. Another compatibility issue could be your RAM if you choose to upgrade them. What you have now is 204 pin SODIMM wich is fine for your current motherboard, but (like the video card) it could be a problem if you upgrade to different RAM (the most used format is DDR3 240 pin DIMM). I would probably get at least a micro-ATX mobo instead of your current mini-ITX, it's a bit bigger which means you have more room and more connectors.

You can probably also make do with a cheaper watercooler, like the Cooler Master Seidon 120M (also on that site, though keep in mind it uses up 2 fan connectors), which is half the price of your current choice.

Best of luck with your build :)

#5 Posted by killacam (1278 posts) -

@lord_xp: That motherboard won't support more recent video cards. The video card you selected needs to go, as Radeon is on their 7000 series now. You'll need a board with a PCI-E 2.0 or 3.0 slot. But again, that is not the only issue with that build. I'd recommend doing a bit more research before you commit to something. Checking other, similar posts on this site will offer invaluable info, and anything anyone will say to you here will just be a reiteration of what is in those older posts.

#6 Edited by JustinNotJason (422 posts) -

I recommend staying away from intel mobo's. This isn't based on any reviews or anything, it's just I've had a few issues with them and usually recommend Asus or Gigabyte. Also that's not looking like a MoBo you'd want. It has no expand-ability and supports really only mini/mobile componenets (laptop RAM/MiniPCIe). Based on the case you're getting, look at ATX MoBos. If you're on a budget go cheaper in terms of price not quality (Example).

Then get rid of the laptop RAM and get some good Desktop DDR3 1333MHz or better (I like G.Skill and Crucial personally). I'd say if you're on a tight budget get rid of the solid state and get a good capacity HDD that has decent speed (WD Black or Seagate XT drives). If not on a budget get a better capcity SSD (240GB) and pair it with a WD Green drive.

And I'd definitely up the GPU to something like a GTX650 or HD7850 or better.

This is all just general advice. I'm assuming you're on A) a tight budget and B) you're using this for gaming

What is your intention with this computer? How much are you looking to spend?

This'll help people help you.

Just using your List and pricing as a framework I came up with something more like this.

Processor:Intel i5-3570

MoBo:P8Z77-V LK

PSU:Earthwatts 650w


HDD:1TB Western Digital Black

RAM:2x4GB G.Skill Sniper

OS:Windows 7 Home Premium OEM

ODD: Lite-On DVD Drive (for installing Windows mostly)

Total: Approx: $835USD

That still gives you roughly $165USD to play with for your Case and if you want to get an aftermarket cooler or SSD or ODD (Optical Disc Drive aka Blu Ray Drive)

Just shopping around you could probably shave a few more dollars off even.

As far as what components go good together. Best Option is to get an idea for what parts you want and read reviews. This is specifically important with Motherboards. MoBos and RAM seem to cause me the biggest troubleshooting headaches when I run into issues during a build.

#7 Edited by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

@justinnotjason: I want to do PC gaming. I wanted to play games like Skyrim on its best possible settings or very high settings at least.

@opp: Thanks for the tips. I'm not rushing into this project yet. This is all purely planning. Thankfully I brought this to people's attention before I did anything crazy.

@wasabicurry: I will be slowly buying parts so it's higher than normal. I'm going to say $1,200 is absolutely tops.

Taking in everyone's advice, I'm going to post an updated version of my list in a short time. Then you guys can tell me what I could do instead.

#8 Posted by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

Is water cooling an easy thing to do?

#9 Edited by JustinNotJason (422 posts) -

@lord_xp: Depends how deep you go. Unless you're over clocking probably not worth the money you'd put in. Unless you want to do one of those self contained Water cooling systems (only does CPU - Ex. Corsair H50).

#10 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

I think I may be headed down the path of building a gaming PC as well. I actually bought a graphics card on Saturday (the first such purchase I had made in maybe a decade) with the intent to install it in my current box, but after looking at the installation instructions and looking inside my PC, it appears that my power supply doesn't support it (the graphics card requires power supply cables that simply aren't there). This means I'd need a new power supply, which I'm guessing would lead to a whole chain of purchases of new gear from the motherboard to the case. All just so I can actually use the graphics card I bought.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

#11 Posted by 2HeadedNinja (1768 posts) -

If you can scrap up any extra moneyz I would highly recommend do get a decent sized SSD (128GB should do) to use as your OS drive.

#12 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@lord_xp said:

Is water cooling an easy thing to do?

i've built computers for a decade now, i've thought about watercooling but never actually went down that route.

It's just something you need if you are going to be running extreme overclocking, really,If you just want a quiet system, there are simpler solutions than going water cooling, like noise isolated cases and quiet fans.

i suggest you go straight forward with your first build, and then if you want, try some light overclocking, and then buy a water cooling kit if you feel like its something you want to do.

Unless we are talking those premade cpu loops, that's not actually "water cooling" in my book, they are just as simple to install as any other cpu cooler.

as far as components go,

go with two sticks of ram instead of 4, either 2x4 or 2x8, so that you have room to expand in the future, denser sticks aren't that much more expensive.

in a gaming machine, the most expensive component should be your graphics card, even when this is the case, this component will still be your bottleneck.

Right now, your cpu is the most expensive piece, that 650 will screw your frame rate over while your cpu is barely breaking a sweat.

I'd get at least a 660 ti or 7870 to even out the ratio there.

#13 Posted by StarvingGamer (8555 posts) -

@hailinel: A minor/worthwhile expense. Building a PC is stupid easy now. The hardest part is spending money/waiting for all the parts to arrive.

#14 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@hailinel said:

I think I may be headed down the path of building a gaming PC as well. I actually bought a graphics card on Saturday (the first such purchase I had made in maybe a decade) with the intent to install it in my current box, but after looking at the installation instructions and looking inside my PC, it appears that my power supply doesn't support it (the graphics card requires power supply cables that simply aren't there). This means I'd need a new power supply, which I'm guessing would lead to a whole chain of purchases of new gear from the motherboard to the case. All just so I can actually use the graphics card I bought.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

look that up before you whip out your wallet next time.

this time you were just going to upgrade your current rig, so that's fine, apart from you not looking up if the graphics card was compatible in every way with your current components.

But if you plan to buy a whole computer down the line, dont buy one part a month,
Try to buy everything at once, it'll be cheaper since you will be buying everything later, and everything will be more up to date as well.

only time you should be buying stuff separately is if there is a 50% sale on something a couple of weeks away from your planned purchase.

#15 Edited by WasabiCurry (425 posts) -

@lord_xp: Buying pieces at different times can be a savior or a demon in it's own right. It is really a weird time to be building a PC since Haswell is literally around the corner (Next week I believe?). I doubt it will actually bring anything new in terms of gaming, however, we will not know until those benchmarks are no longer NDA.

Additionally, new Nvidia 700 series cards are coming out. The 780 came out this week, but with a hefty price (I have been hearing it is around 680 plus for the cards). Who really knows how much the 770 or 760 will cost or what their performance gains will be.

Building a good PC is not only about having the correct parts, but also timing. You can find yourself getting a really good sale on a number of products (such as I did with my new system) and if you go with AMD on their graphic cards; you can score some AAA titles as well. I got Metro Last Light for free with my MSI TwinFrozen 660 card and it runs like a beast.

There are more questions I would like to ask you, but it is a matter of preference than anything else.

I know it can be confusing to learn pretty much everything about computers, but it is well worth it in order to make a reaffirming purchase decision.

#16 Edited by WasabiCurry (425 posts) -

@hailinel: If you could post your system specs, we could see what you need to upgrade as well. I know that GPUs today need at least a six pin power adapter and enough watts to power up the card itself.

#17 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@wasabicurry: that dude in the video could have basically said, if you want physx, get an nvidia card, if you dont want physx, consider an amd card.

instead he just babbled on for ten minutes saying alot of false things along the line, 3 GB 680's?
He should know that, that would be tricky with the busswidth on the card, its either going to be 2 or 4, and regarding that, almost all the sub vendors have 4 GB variants of the 680, not only EVGA.
He even said that there is a chip on the nvidia cards that handle physx, that's not the case, it's handled like any other instruction, utilizing the whole card.

There is nothing preventing you from running Physx on and amd card, other than restrictions in the physx drivers, once in a while, there is a glitch or a loophole that allows users to use hardware physx on amd cards.

Good production values, but didnt actually seem to know that much.
A 680 does fine with 2 GB's for most things, if that wasnt the case, Nvidia would have equiped it with more out of the gate.
you only really need more memory when you run multiple cards across huge resolutions.No need to get a single 4 or 6 GB card, since they are too weak to power any situation needing that much memory by themselves.

#18 Posted by WasabiCurry (425 posts) -

@devildoll: Man, I am just using this as an example. Not looking for a Nvidia vs AMD fight.

#19 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -

@wasabicurry: i wrote the guys own TL;DR and then i addressed some of the misinformation he spouted during the rest of the 10 minutes, i wasn't trying to make some versus battle either.

#20 Posted by WasabiCurry (425 posts) -

@devildoll: Glad you did point that out though, I won't be using this example of misinformation anymore. Thank you duder! :3

#21 Posted by Lord_Xp (606 posts) -

I have updated the parts list on my system I want to build in the future. I may end up not being able to do it unless someone buys me the stuff. I've come to realize that I need the money towards other things. Such is the many troubles of being a responsible adult :/ But please critique my planned build anyways, because who knows, maybe I'll run into some money and blow it on a PC.

#22 Posted by PillClinton (3295 posts) -

@lord_xp: What resolution will you be playing at? If it's 1920x1080 or above, get at least a 660 Ti or 7950 (they both sit around ~$300US for the most part). Balance out that cost with a considerably cheaper case, ditch the CPU cooler outright (you really just don't need it unless you're overclocking, which you won't be with a non-K i5). For the SSD, get a regular Samsung 840 (not Pro) 250GB drive; it's better and cheaper than that Corsair.

#23 Posted by Rorie (2987 posts) -

@lord_xp: My 100% recommended advice is to be absolutely certain to have someone around who's built a PC before when you start putting this together. Maybe that's not necessary in the era of YouTube tutorials, but I found it invaluable when I was constructing my first PC. Good luck!

#24 Posted by TyCobb (1973 posts) -

You can save $42 by removing the CPU fan. Box CPUs come with fans and are more than adequate for stock CPU speeds.

You can save $100 by skipping the SSD and just getting a 7200RPM HDD that will be much larger.

SSDs are nice, but they are still a luxury that can be ignored and not needed. If you want to save money or put it towards a better GPU, get the HDD.

#25 Posted by PillClinton (3295 posts) -

@tycobb: Yup, just realized he only had an SSD on his list as far as storage. Agreed 100%, if money's tight, don't bother with an SSD yet. You can always install one down the road.

#26 Posted by demonknightinuyasha (476 posts) -

If you have a Microcenter near you, they have the 3570k for $170 but it's in store only.

#27 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

@hailinel: If you could post your system specs, we could see what you need to upgrade as well. I know that GPUs today need at least a six pin power adapter and enough watts to power up the card itself.

Here are the basic specs. It's a low-end system that wasn't built with gaming in mind.

#28 Edited by Devildoll (909 posts) -


that doesnt tell us much.

Luckely you got the model number in the picture there, i went over to HP's website and looked it up,here
it has a 300 watt powersupply, and a graphics card that i would only use to watch movies, (hd 6450)
To get this thing moving fast, you would need a new graphics card first and foremost
That will require you to buy a new powersupply as well.
The ram is plenty, albeit a tad slow, but i dont think its going to be a problem.
The CPU might need changing as well, im not familiar with it at all.
The motherboard only supports up to 65 Watt cpu's, according to HP, the best you can get is a 2600S, which should run all games today pretty decently.

first priority is Graphics card and powersupply though.
Unless you want to jump on the haswell train and build a killer rig from scratch in the coming months.

#29 Edited by WasabiCurry (425 posts) -
#30 Edited by Dalai (7069 posts) -

I guess this is as good a spot as any to say I'm going to embark on my own PC project very soon.

This is the current setup I'm looking at building right now, but I've changed it numerous times already so it's not final. I'm looking to stay below $1000 and I'm wondering if I can compromise on anything like the CPU or PSU. Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm also not sure if I should wait until the 700 Series graphics cards roll out or just stick with the 660 I plan on building this PC around.

And so I don't completely ignore @lord_xp, I would suggest getting a smaller, cheaper SSD (or skipping it altogether) and buy a decent 1TB HDD. I still believe SSDs are more of a luxury at this moment, but if you insist on having one, make sure you have a HDD with ample storage.

#31 Posted by PillClinton (3295 posts) -

@dalai: Looks pretty solid to me. For cutting some cost, like I recommend for OP, ditch the CPU cooler and I'd say those extra fans too. That case comes with 2 fans preinstalled, which should be plenty for a stock speed i5 and a more modest GPU, like the 660. And for the RAM, you'll want to go with 2x4GB, rather than 1x8 to take advantage of the dual channel memory operation.

And yeah, you may want to wait a bit for the full 700 series to release, if not to get a 760, then at least to pick up an inevitably cheaper 660 or 660Ti.

#32 Posted by Dalai (7069 posts) -

@pillclinton: Thanks for the advice. Waiting a few weeks or months might either save me money or at least move me up a generation. As for the fans, I might buy them just for show, not for any real practical use so I can always drop them to save a couple bucks.

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