My first PC gaming rig

#1 Edited by codynewill (166 posts) -

So I'm thinking about making the jump from console gaming to PC gaming in coordination with my birthday next month. I haven't seen anything so far on the PS4 or XBone that has set my world on fire, and I think the time is ripe to make the switch. I'm thinking of spending $1100-1300 for the time being and upgrading the machine in a year or two to keep up performance. Here is a potential build that I've put together: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2GKw2

If anyone could give me suggestions based on this build, or give me a new build entirely in my price range that would be fantastic!

#2 Posted by Yesiamaduck (1069 posts) -

Downgrade the processor to an i5 and upgrade the graphics card to a GTX770

#3 Posted by crithon (3195 posts) -

sometimes just one generation or a model number back could save you a lot of money and the machine might be able to run games for 3 to 4 years. 3rd party cards are cheaper but mixed results so check some user reviews.

#4 Edited by Kidavenger (3548 posts) -

I'd dump the SSD and get a better videocard.

Moving game installs around to accommodate a small SSD is annoying, and I'd just rather my games looked better than worry about whether windows takes 15 vs 20 seconds to boot up.

and get Windows 8.1

#5 Edited by GreggD (4505 posts) -

@codynewill: This list is pretty close to what I built for myself, and I'm going to do it again, for a friend: http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/2L5G542C4PEMO/ref=topnav_lists_3

Now, the only issue here is picking a monitor, keyboard and mouse. Keyboards are fine, no matter what you go with. Just make sure it's sturdy. You'll want to try for a gaming-grade mouse, I personally use the Logitech G9X. Monitor you linked to as part of your build will do nicely, though with the build I've shown here, you'll have to save a little longer. Also, if you can, use a separate drive for the OS. Other than that, you're golden.

#6 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

Hello fellow brother!

I am thinking that there should be a bit of changes to your potential rig that I made on my assumptions.

Firstly, I downgraded the processor since there is not need for an i7, even if you are not planning to OC. Another thing was getting away from that awful power supply. You really have to make sure to read reviews on every product that you choose for any build. You want the best bang for the buck! I also downgraded the amount of disk storage that you need from 3 TB to 1 TB. Kinda no need for that space unless you are planning some heavy duty editing or just storing a lot of backups. The disk drive was also changed just for a cheaper price point. The Aftermarket Cooler was also changed just to be better. The Hyper Evo II is awesome!

As for the video card, I don't know whether you want to go with Nvidia or AMD. The choice is really up to you. I just enjoy Nvidia more. As for everything else, I really don't know too much about monitors so I believe it would be better to check up on some facts before making a purchasing decision. But I am a little worried that you case might not fit all of the components, but I always paranoid about those type of details.

#7 Posted by A_Deep_Mushroom (88 posts) -

Everything looks good except for the chosen PSU.

An established brand name (Corsair or Cooler Master to name two) or well reviewed should be used instead of the current one. Having that thing fail or be on the fritz is one of the more bothersome PC issues to have occur. The current wattage of the PSU is also far too high. Your graphics card's minimum requirement is only 450W and, for comparison, a GeForce 780 only requires 600W. While a 700W PSU is a bargain at $40, I'd question the quality of the product you're paying for.

Get a 500W or 550W PSU and you'll be fine for your gaming/overclocking needs.

#8 Posted by Yesiamaduck (1069 posts) -

Everything looks good except for the chosen PSU.

An established brand name (Corsair or Cooler Master to name two) or well reviewed should be used instead of the current one. Having that thing fail or be on the fritz is one of the more bothersome PC issues to have occur. The current wattage of the PSU is also far too high. Your graphics card's minimum requirement is only 450W and, for comparison, a GeForce 780 only requires 600W. While a 700W PSU is a bargain at $40, I'd question the quality of the product you're paying for.

Get a 500W or 550W PSU and you'll be fine for your gaming/overclocking needs.

I like those changes but think he should go for the 4GB GTX 770 instead, given the incoming increased texture quality, for the sake of $30 it's totally worth it.

#9 Posted by mikey87144 (1774 posts) -

I would suggest waiting on that SSD. Get a bigger one next year and use that money toward a GTX 770. I have a 250GB SSD and I'm already feeling a slight squeeze. 120 is too small.

#10 Posted by codynewill (166 posts) -

Thanks to everyone with the quick responses! I've revised the build with suggestions, so here it is.

I took @kidavenger's advice and dumped the SSD, @a_deep_mushroom's advice and went for a Corsair 500W PSU, and used @wasabicurry's fixes for the GPU, HDD, and other fixes.

I'm a little confused as to why I want Windows 8.1 though, @kidavenger. I was under the impression 7 was the way to go.

#11 Edited by StarFoxA (5157 posts) -

@codynewill: I'd recommend still getting an SSD as a boot drive, it's an awesome thing to have. Don't get the Kingston V300, because they changed the internals without changing the version number, so you'll get significantly reduced performance as a result. I got a Samsung 840 EVO 120GB for $90 and it's been a fantastic investment. You could also probably find a cheaper 770 if you really wanted (I got a PNY 770 for $290). You could probably ditch the optical drive, and I highly recommend getting an IPS monitor and mechanical keyboard.

Also, if you're a student you can get Windows for a discount (or even free).

#12 Edited by TriBeard (129 posts) -

It might be different now, but last time I checked the 4770k was also 249 there. If it's the same or only 10 bucks or so more, it might be worth it. You could step it down to an i5, and put that extra cash into a better GPU, which would be my recommendation.

SSD boot drives change your life. They are simply amazing. Corsair neutron is, IMO, a better drive than the samsung EVO series. It has a longer warranty (5 years vs 3) is 5 bucks or so cheaper, and uses MLC instead of TLC flash memory, which means (probably) longer life. It also comes with corsair's customer support, which is almost always fantastic. IPS monitor would also be my recommendation. I don't play twichy shooters, so that's what I went with and I have been loving it, and if you are similar in your tastes, so will you.

Check out this build and see what you think. http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2MwBb

It's about 150 more expensive on the website, BUT if you buy the processor at microcenter, it will be 40 bucks less than that, so only about 125 or so more. You're getting better storage, a much better power supply, and a substantially faster video card as well. I would even go as far as to go with an AMD processor and motherboard before I would give up the 770 for the 660, but that's just my preference.

I am also running windows 8.1 on my gaming machine, as well as my laptop. I installed start8 to get the start menu back, and it's better than ever. It's good in it's stock form, but with that addition, I think it's better than windows 7 in basically every way. Performance is better, there are new features like the tweaked file manager that are awesome, and it supports a newer version of directx, which doesn't mean a lot now, but it may down the road.

#13 Posted by Hone_McBone (144 posts) -

You've selected a micro atx motherboard & a full tower atx case. Not sure that was on purpose?

I'd get a ssd for a boot drive like people have mentioned, paired up with windows 8 so there's no/minimal wait times. There's usually enough space to have the OS & a few games too, it's really easy to have steam over a couple of drives now, when you install a game it asks which one you want it on. Really good for the multiplayer games you always play & the single player game you're going through at the time.

Ditch the optical drive if you can, I haven't used one in years, especially now as usb flash drives hold way more.

After a couple of months I'd replace all the accessories too, I started off with the cheaper ones after moving & it makes a huge difference gaming with proper gaming keyboards/mice. Also I bought DJ/mixing speakers from a music store as the quality is way better than computer ones, it's actually a big deal if you listen to music/watch movies/game.

Personally I'd sacrifice the 770 for a 760 for the changes I've mentioned since you're planning to upgrade in a year or two & the next series of graphics cards are coming out late this year.

#14 Edited by VACkillers (1063 posts) -

Dump that GPU... the 660s are just going to be underpowered faster than you can blink this year, and the 3GB VRAM wont save you either because it lacks the core clock as well as the cuda cores. You would be better off going with a GTX 760 which has 4GB VRAM at practically the same cost. I'll post what I did for someone else, though if you have the money like 1100 or more than yes go with your intel still... AMD isn't as bad as people think, but if you have the money, go with intel... I would suggest an 8-core AMD over any I5 though... This GPU has 4GB VRAM in it and also my current GPU as well....

#15 Edited by codynewill (166 posts) -

Here is the updated build list. I'm thinking that I will stay with the i5 and learn how to over clock at some point in the future if I feel that it is necessary. Thanks to all for the suggestion that I bump up the GPU to a 4GB card. It really didn't change the cost of the rig that much once I shifted some other parts around. Also went to a mid-tower case instead of the full one. Windows 7 also ditched for 8. I'm thinking of saving up a bit more to shell out for a good sized SSD as well to cut out any waiting time.

#16 Edited by Ben_H (3355 posts) -

Don't dump the SSD. Just don't use it for games. An SSD as a boot drive is a must. Booting isn't just faster, everything is faster, significantly faster. For games it doesn't make quite as much of a difference since most will load quite fast even on a 7200 RPM drive, but for everything else it is substantially faster. Get a 120-256GB SSD for Windows and non-game software and then get a 1-2TB drive for your games and music and stuff like that. That allows you to have the speed of an SSD where it counts without being crunched for space.

Stick with mid tower. Full tower is gigantic, much bigger than the extreme majority of people need. The Fractal Design case you selected is quite nice. I was going to get one myself before I decided to go with the Fractal Design Define mini when I rebuilt my machine.

And yeah, the i5 will be fine for games. Right now games only use 2 cores/threads so hyperthreading or getting more than 4 cores won't really get you anywhere. I have that exact i5 and it is great for games. The only reason to go i7 over it is if you will be using well-threaded, CPU heavy software.

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