Building a New PC (I Know I Know)

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#1 Posted by johncallahan (859 posts) -

Okay guys. I know right off the bat that there are other threads that have been made about this and I've looked through them, but the most recent one I can find is about half a year old at this point. So I apologize in advance just bare with me.

Not much to this thread other then that I need help. I am very near remedial when it comes to all things PC related (on the hardware side at least), but I really want to build a nice PC which I can then use to play them nice looking vidja games we all love on my TV and mouse and keyboard. So I'm looking to build a system that will play everything as well as possible, I have enough money to go around $1,500 but I'd like to keep it around $800-$1,000 if possible.

So what I'm asking you, the Giant Bomb community, who I trust more than anyone else. If you could give me a list of what I need (keep in mind I know very little about this stuff) it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!

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#2 Posted by Dagbiker (7045 posts) -

I built a pc for around 800-1000 its possible. I got a gtx580, Intel I5. 1Tb black hd. Case. Wireless card. Mother board.

But whatever you buy, I suggest intel.

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#3 Posted by ajamafalous (13532 posts) -
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#4 Posted by FritzDude (2316 posts) -

I'm happy with my Intel i5 3570K core processor & GeForce GTX 680 graphics processor, so I would recommend those. You should also consider a solid state drive, since It almost eliminates loading screens in games. And get 8GB of random access memory, though it's fairly cheap to even go up to 16, or 32 for that matter, but for games 8GB suffice good for a while.

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#5 Edited by Asmo917 (640 posts) -

I built my first a little over a year ago, and just built a "Steam box" for my living room. To be completely honest, most of the parts on my first were from the Tested/Jeff build, and the part son this build I just finished were based on Chris Plante's recent series at Polygon.

For what it's worth, my own advice is as follows and is pretty basic: make sure you get a modular power supply even if it's a little more expensive, and avoid Asus motherboards. I'm sure Asus will have their defenders, but personally, I've started each build using one and RMA'd them both. I've had much better luck with ASRock.

Edit: yes, I know Asus and ASRock are related, but in terms of which brand I'll buy from here on out, the boxes I've gotten that say Asus didn't work, and the ones that said ASRock did.

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#6 Edited by johncallahan (859 posts) -

All right guys, thanks for the initial help so what I've got so far is basically as follows.

CPU: Intel i5-3570K (This seems to be the consensus among everyone)

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212

Case: Cooler Master Haf X

GPU: Here's an area where I'm kind of clueless. I hear good things about Nvidia Cards and this GeForce 660 Ti comes highly recommended. I'm open to suggestions here.

Memory: This stuff is so cheap I just grabbed 8GB of the G.Skill Ripjaw series. Looks good I think.

Motherboard: I hear Asus is a good route to go with this, but no idea where to start beyond that.

Storage: Western Digital Black 2 TB HDD

Power Supply: SeaSonic X750

Optical Drive: LiteOn Black 18X

So is there anything in there I should switch around or add. And like I said, open to ideas on the graphics card and motherboard. Thanks!

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#7 Posted by Enigma777 (6285 posts) -

Made an excellent HTPC build 3 weeks ago that could handle anything you could throw at it in 1080p for ~$1100 ( though you could probably save a $100 if you shop around - I was only using newegg). I can post the specs if you like?

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#8 Posted by PillClinton (3580 posts) -

@jonny126: It doesn't really matter for a gaming machine, but there's currently this Woot deal on 16GB of RAM for $70. For the mobo, Asus is definitely a good choice and I'd recommend going for a full size ATX board with SLI support for future proofing (most cheaper boards don't have this). A 660 Ti is plenty for 1080p--is that the max res you'll be using? I personally recommend Gigabyte's OC 2x "Windforce Cooler" 660 Ti, which has a a slightly higher overclock than that EVGA and is quieter and cooler according to a few different tests.

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#9 Posted by johncallahan (859 posts) -

@Enigma777: Sure man! That'd be great!

@PillClinton: Hey Pill, there's no difference in quality when it comes to RAM is there? If not I'll definitely hit that deal. As far as motherboards can you give a specific one you like. As far as max res 1080p is the max for TV no idea how that translates to to a monitor which I'll also be using. I'll be taking the Windforce into consideration.

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#10 Edited by NachoBizNas (144 posts) -

Here's a build that I think would be a fit for your price range:

  • PCPartPicker part list:
  • Price breakdown by merchant:
  • Benchmarks:
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($214.99 @ Newegg)
  • Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-V LK ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($129.99 @ Newegg)
  • Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.99 @ Newegg)
  • Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($96.00 @ B&H)
  • Storage: OCZ Vertex 3 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($89.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Newegg)
  • Case: NZXT Tempest 210 ATX Mid Tower Case ($54.99 @ Amazon)
  • Power Supply: Corsair Professional 750W 80 PLUS Silver Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
  • Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ SuperBiiz)
  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($93.20 @ Amazon)
  • Total: $1257.12
  • (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

Here's why it's awesome:

  • You got your i5 3570k which is the best bang for your buck.
  • 120GB SSD for the OS and a couple games with the 1TB 7200rpm HDD for the rest of the junk (HDDs are finally getting back to their normal cheap price, so you're better off waiting until this gets full to buy another one.)
  • The Mobo, if you take anything from my post, must have a PCI Express 3.0 x 16 expansion slot so that the current and future video cards can be used fully. This the only future proofing you'll need imo. It's also got 2 Sata 6gb/s slots which will let you reap the benefits of the SSD and Hdd. I used this Mobo in my build.
  • The 680 is a beast of a GPU, But the 7970 is a great card as well. I've linked both Tom's Hardware reviews on them. Side note, I'd spend more money on 1 GPU rather than buying 2 different GPU's in SLI. Less hassle and worry about micro-stuttering and driver issues.

Fat that could be cut:

  • Mobo: for 50 bucks cheaper I bet you can find a board that has pci 3.0 x16 and 2 Sata 6gb/s slots. You won't be able to overclock it, but that's not that big of a deal (for me at least).
  • SSD & HDD: You could probably buy a 80 gb SSD for less and just not put as many games on it ( 1-2, depends on how big).
  • case: there are great $40 cases out there.
  • GPU: Tom's Hardware has a great list of the best gpu's for the money . If ya wanna cut costs in this department, that guide will get ya the best bang for the buck.
  • OS: run Linux ;P

Hope this helps! :D

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#11 Posted by PillClinton (3580 posts) -

@A_Deep_Mushroom: PCIe 3.0 is a given on Z77 boards, and most LGA 1155 boards for that matter. What I was getting at with the future proofing was that he could buy a cheaper video card now (I don't really see the sense in way overbuying for 1920x1080), and with a SLI compatible mobo, get a second one heavily discounted in like 1-2 years, save money and get quite the performance boost. Multi-gpu setups are a lot better now, too, in terms of scaling, drivers, power and heat, all that. Everything else I agree on.

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#12 Edited by NachoBizNas (144 posts) -

@PillClinton: Oh, duder I wasn't trying to be cross or attack you in any way. Sorry if I came across like that! D: Imo, sometimes people get caught up with future proofing and end up overspending. You just never know where the future's of tech is going to go. Your idea about going SLI in the future to get a cheap boost to power is a great idea. It's just a personal preference of mine to just use 1 GPU, which I why I recommend the 7970 with the given budget. Someone, like yourself, that's open minded to the idea of SLI card setups could recommend a better SLI pairing that would work as good if not better than my suggestion.

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#13 Posted by DetectiveSpecial (472 posts) -

If you go with the 660 ti, don't do the EVGA. They make otherwise wonderful cards, but their cooling system on the 660 ti is not up to snuff. I've got the MSI Power Edition 660 ti, and it's great.

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#15 Posted by Bell_End (1234 posts) -

@jonny126 said:

@Enigma777: Sure man! That'd be great!

@PillClinton: Hey Pill, there's no difference in quality when it comes to RAM is there? If not I'll definitely hit that deal. As far as motherboards can you give a specific one you like. As far as max res 1080p is the max for TV no idea how that translates to to a monitor which I'll also be using. I'll be taking the Windforce into consideration.

honestly it sounds like you should spend a few hours on a site like toms hardware or watching a few youtube vids on PC building just to bolster your PC knowledge.

it really isn't that complicated

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#16 Posted by johncallahan (859 posts) -

All right guys, I'm all set. You've been a great help! Thanks for everything!

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