Who wants to help me build a PC?

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User_Undefined

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My birthday's coming up and I've decided to stop fighting with my 2009/10 abacus of a laptop and build a gaming computer. When I can't even play Gone Home because the framerate is too bad, something needs to change. The thing is, I've never built a PC before, so I don't know that much about it (like the difference between video cards other than bigger numbers are better and more expensive). I found pcpartpicker.com, and it seems to work really well, but I would still like some help.

I'd like for the price to be low, but seeing how I've been using the same laptop for five years, I'm also looking for longevity.

Here's what I've "built" for just under $1600.

Any comments or recommendations would be appreciated.

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mike

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Have you considered going with an i5 instead of an i7 and putting the extra money into more storage or a step up in GPU?

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ShadowSkill11

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Whatever you buy don't destroy any parts with ESD. It's easy to do and you could spend hours troubleshooting if you don't know what to look for.

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alternate

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I would argue that it is incredibly hard to destroy anything with static, unless you rub the parts up and down your nylon jumper for luck before installing them.

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test0r

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#5  Edited By test0r

So, there are a lot of things I would consider wrong with this list.

  • Get an i7-4770K instead of a i7-3770K. 4XXX series is the current one. It goes under the name Haswell. For games though, an i5-4670K will be more than enough.
  • That cooler is pretty nice. Nothing much to say about it. You do not need the extra tube of thermal paste though, there is some included with the EVO 212.
  • Regarding the Motherboard, you will need to buy a LGA1150 socket one for the Haswell CPU.
  • You don't need 16GB RAM. Buy 2x4GB for 8GB in total, and I would recommend at least DDR3-1600, if not faster. If you find you need more later, just buy another 2x4GB kit and install them.
  • SSD you picked is nice, just don't expect to be able to install a ton of games on it once Windows and the rest of your applications are installed.
  • That HDD is REALLY REALLY EXPENSIVE. Just go to the storage tab and sort by price/gb and pick a Western Digital or Hitachi HDD in an appropriate size.
  • GPU is fine. Easy to buy another 770 or replace later if you want to.
  • Case... Here's my tip, coming from someone who has built probably 20 or so computers in various cases. Get a semi-expensive case. Something like the Fractal Design Define R4 or so (I use that one). Words cant express how much nicer it is to build in a decent case. The things you get range from overall quality (cheap cases often have screw holes just slightly off) to nicely thought out cable management options. The Fractal case I mentioned is also really quiet, which I can not say about the tin can of a case my cousin spent roughly $40 on.
  • PSU... Similar to above. Buy an 80+ rated modular PSU from a company like Corsair, Seasonic, Silverstone etc. Having it be modular isn't a must I suppose, but I would highly recommend it. Just keep in mind that buying a cheap PSU is probably the worst decision you can make. If it breaks there is a good chance it will kill all of your components since it is wired directly to them.
  • Windows... I would pick Professional because then you will not be limited to 16GB of RAM. If Win8 is cheaper then get that, not as bad as people make it out to be and there are plenty of free or very cheap tools that gives you back the start menu.
  • I really do not know anything about monitors unless I am looking to buy one at the moment.
  • You do not need an extra wired network card, unless you know you need one in which case you will ignore this.
  • I don't like wireless networks so I don't really know anything about wireless network cards.
  • Rest of the stuff is so subjective that I don't want to comment. Would recommend buying headphones or, if you must, a headset instead of speakers.

Overall, from your list I gather that you don't really know a lot about computers. I would suggest going to http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc for help and I would suggest using http://www.logicalincrements.com/ for help picking parts.

EDIT:

Also, there are some good build videos on youtube that might be worth a watch.

Here's one of the ones I like, but there are many more. Just google "PC build video" and watch away. Might be worth adding stuff like your case to the search in case someone has a video using that specific component.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhkJLF3oyI8

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Slag

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@user_undefined:

I personally think everybody dropping the kind of money you are on a PC, really ought to have a Solid State Hybrid Drive instead of a HDD. Nearly the speed of a SSD, but basically the storage size and price of a traditional HDD. They are fantastic! I put one in my PC I built in August and managed to get my entire Steam Library on a 2TB for basically 100 bucks (it was on sale). The thing flies, my games load so quickly I don't even have time to read the load screen messages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solid_State_Hybrid_Drive

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822178340

I feel like I've been saying this a lot lately . People don't seem to know they exist yet despite Jeff putting one in his PS4 (pretty sure). Anyway check it out and see if it makes sense for you.

My advice would be to use your SSD for Windows and a SSHD for games/general storage.

as for rest @test0r has great advice

Get an optical DVD drive, they are dirt cheap (10-20 bucks) and make things like installing Windows pretty easy.

make sure you have enough SATA cables for all your drives, sometimes drives don't come with them.

I used the Fractal Define R4 case in my build and it's super easy to work in. If you've never built before you want to consider the case carefully to make sure it's one you operate comfortably in. This a component you don't want to go cheap on. Cheap cases are loud, can get hot and in the worst scenarios may be tough enough to work in that you might accidentally damage a component.

Whatever case you buy, there are usually build videos on youtube tailored to your specific case. I found those to be extra helpful since not ever case has wires etc in the same spots.

personally I think modular PSUs are worth the money especially for a new builder. Really simplifies cable management which can't be undervalued for the new builder looking at could be an intimidating mess.

I think i7 CPU is overkill unless you plan to overclock and that i7 is old gen too . I went with an i5 from the Haswell series, it runs like a champ. If you go Haswell you'll probably need to change your mobo. Personally I like ASUS mobos a little better than ASrock although I have friends who swear bay ASrock. Just a personal preference thing. ASUS boards tend to come with Q-connectors which make connecting some of the smaller wires to the Mobo much easier. I don't know if ASrock has those now or not, but I don't think they used to.

your CPU should come with Thermal Paste, but it never hurts to have extra.

I'm not sure about the GPU, I've heard conflicting things on how cards might be changing now the consoles are out. You may want to consider going mid-range with the idea of replacing it in 2-3 years in case there is a major leap if you are looking for an area to save some cost. You've got an Nvidia card which is good, their driver support is excellent. In my opinion worth the extra money over the AMDs, but they are very close for most people.

Not sure if you actually need the network card stuff. I personally skipped that.

The monitor seems nice, but those can often be had on sale too if you're patient. Of course if you don't have a monitor you'll need to get one, but if you have an extra you could probably use that and wait for a back-to-school or black Friday sale.

Hope that helps and have fun! Once you are done I think you'll be very happy you built it!

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Tyrrael

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Just a few things:

1) If you're ok with using the previous gen processors, then that's fine. Just letting you know there are newer versions of Intel's i(X) line available. Also, you don't really need an i7 for gaming. You could save a little more money and go with an i5 3570k. I have this processor, and it's amazing. I haven't done much overclocking, but from what I've read, it overclocks like a champ. Also, there's nothing wrong with using previous gen CPUs, especially since the Ivy Bridge series' performance is nearly identical to the Haswell series.

2) Unless you absolutely have to have the increased performance of an SSD, I would eschew it altogether and either bank the money or put it towards a 1TB HDD. Western Digital Black 1TB drives are very popular, very reliable AND you can get one for roughly the same price as the 750GB drive you have selected.

3) 16GB of RAM is overkill. It won't hurt anything, but it isn't necessary. 2 x 4GB sticks (8GB) is fine, and you can expand later if necessary. Also, I would recommend 1600Mhz memory. You don't really need anything higher, as there is a pretty hefty diminishing returns once you get higher than that. However, there's no reason not to get 1600Mhz memory, since the cost is almost the same in most cases.

4) Some other people already mentioned the importance of a quality PSU, and I concur completely with everything they said. The one thing they didn't really touch on was the wattage. I would recommend getting at least 750W so you have some extra breathing room, especially if you plan on adding a second graphics card later. One usually isn't a problem, but two can run you a little too close to your PSUs max which is a bad idea, especially for long periods of time. I have the Corsair HX 750W. It's semi-modular, meaning the CPU and motherboard power cables are permanently attached, but you always need them, so it isn't really a problem. It runs beautifully too. It's very quiet, runs very cool, and is 80+ Gold certified. The only problem is that it costs about $140-$150 on Amazon, which is about 4 times more than the one you have. You could also get the 850W version for about $20 more. Keep in mind that if you ever plan on running two GPUs or are going to add other hardware, it is a good idea to plan ahead. There are some wattage calculators out there on the internet you can use, and I would recommend giving them a look just so you don't paint yourself into a corner later. Even adding another 770 is going to put you a little closer to the 650W PSU's max than I would recommend, and 750W would give you the breathing room you need to not make it a problem. One last note on power supplies. There are probably going to be people that tell you that you need a 1250W (or higher) PSU, and while it will most definitely future proof your system, it is a level of overkill that simply boggles the mind. 99.9% of people are never going to need anywhere near that much. Unless you're rocking 4 Titans and a bunch of other crap, it's borderline insane to waste money, no matter how small the amount may be. So, if anyone tries to convince you to get something ridiculous like that, they are either morons or lying to you. Unless, you can get a good one for like 150 bucks, I wouldn't even consider it. Just figured I'd mention it as it really bothers me, especially when sales people talk about how you "need" like 1500W or some such nonsense.