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  1. #1
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    Help 1st time PC builder

    So, I've finally got some money saved up for a new PC, and I thought I'd seek advice. I plan on building it myself, to save money, to learn more about PCs and know my machine inside & out, so I can set it up to be upgradeable, and just because it seems like (slightly scary) fun!

    It's going to be meant for gaming, and I've got about $800 (though if I can spend less without too much loss of capability, that's cool, too). I'm just going to use my old 19" 1440x900 monitor for now, I'll get a new one at a later date, so that's money saved right there.

    I want something that'll play today's games at respectable settings, with room to improve down the road.

    Here's what I'm thinking atm:

    Processor: i5 2500k (overclocking is something I'm curious about, too)

    mobo: ASUS P8P67 Pro

    power supply: I was thinking 750w, but maybe 650 is enough? Regardless, there's an astonishing difference in price for PSUs even of the same wattage from the same manufacturer so idk.

    GPU: GTX 560ti. Just a matter of picking which one. How much of a difference does 2GB memory make compared to 1GB? There's only like a $20 difference. Anyone have a specific card recommendation?

    RAM: 8GB. This stuff seems cheap enough, though I'm not sure how much difference there is between 1600 and 1333

    Hard Drive: I'll find something. I figure 500GB is fine for the moment. These seem more expensive than the last time I checked, though...

    Optical drive: I'll likely just pull my old one out of my crap PC. It ought to work, right?

    Case: Here I'm lost. I know i need an ATX, but beyond that... I want something inexpensive, but that has room for expansion. Never having built a comp before, I feel like this is one choice I could really screw up on my own.


    Tell me if I'm missing anything. Hmm, with just a quick eyeball guesstimate, I appear to be over budget. How'd that happen? I was sure the last time I mucked about on Newegg I came in below that. :/

  2. #2
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    Looks ok. You will be fine with 4GB instead of 8GB of RAM, it's an easy upgrade once you get more cash. 650w will likely be fine if you get a decent brand. Some people rant on about getting the best possible 1000w PSU but they're full of it. I generally buy corsair PSUs, I'm yet to be disappointed.

    Your optical drive will NOT work since it's old and will (probably) have one of these coming out of it when your mobo needs one of these (IDE vs SATA).

    Get any ATX case you like. It doesn't really matter, pick one you think is pretty. Cheap generally just means heavier and uglier. You only need to worry about size and 'expandability' if you're planning on having a 6-drive RAID. Make sure you're getting one without an included PSU though if you're getting that separate.

  3. #3
    Network Hub JohnnyK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigJ_A View Post
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16813157271
    This seems to be the most-recommended board for the i5-2500k wherever I check.

    power supply: I was thinking 750w
    Don't let wattage be the deciding factor; make sure you get a good brand PSU with cable management, eg. http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16817171052

    GPU: GTX 560ti. Just a matter of picking which one. How much of a difference does 2GB memory make compared to 1GB? There's only like a $20 difference. Anyone have a specific card recommendation?
    You won't need the 2GB at your current resolution, but at eg. 1920*1200 it could come in handy; you can't really go wrong with either a 560Ti or a Radeon 6950, although you could wait to see what the prices are on the 7950 (should be available next week I believe)

    RAM: 8GB. This stuff seems cheap enough, though I'm not sure how much difference there is between 1600 and 1333
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16820231314
    Timings are important

    Case: Here I'm lost.
    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16811119233 or the HAF 922 if you have a little extra.

    Not sure what the overall price comes out at now, but it should be a start. If you have a bit of money left, I'd strongly consider an SSD, but that will probably stretch your budget by too much.

  4. #4
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    It seems the best I can do, while keeping that CPU and GPU, after digging through combo deals etc., is about $960. (And that's with an "open box" mobo)

    @JohnnyK Thanks, that case had a combo deal with memory that dropped my cost by a good $30. The PSU, though, is only $5 cheaper than the same brand's 750w one.
    Last edited by thebigJ_A; 26-01-2012 at 11:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Network Hub JohnnyK's Avatar
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    Np. The case is a bit of a ricer, so if you like sleek then look elsewhere, but it's gottan rave reviews everywhere.

    The 750W-PSU is 99$ (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16817171053), and I doubt you will need the extra wattage at any point.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/45Is - here's a suggestion without drives; 800 bucks after MIR and without shipping.

  6. #6
    Network Hub The Tupper's Avatar
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    I'm continually on the brink of building my own PC but am shit scared of breaking something and not knowing what (especially installing and configuring the motherboard). Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyK View Post
    Np. The case is a bit of a ricer, so if you like sleek then look elsewhere, but it's gottan rave reviews everywhere.

    The 750W-PSU is 99$ (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16817171053), and I doubt you will need the extra wattage at any point.

    http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/45Is - here's a suggestion without drives; 800 bucks after MIR and without shipping.

    And the 650w is $95. I'm in the US, so the prices to some of the things you linked are different.

    Thanks for that pcpartpicker site. I've put in what you did on the American version and it comes up similar (after putting in Windows and a hard drive) to where I'm at. That is to say, mid 900s. I guess I'll just have to resign myself to spending somewhat more than I anticipated, which also means waiting a couple more weeks.
    Last edited by thebigJ_A; 26-01-2012 at 01:04 PM.

  8. #8
    Network Hub JohnnyK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigJ_A View Post
    I'm in the US, so the prices to some of the things you linked are different.
    Ah, you linked to newegg.ca in your original post, so I went from there :)

  9. #9
    Network Hub SMiD's Avatar
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    I know you mentioned OC'ing in your original post, but I didn't catch a proper heatsink/fan combo in your list of goodies. Might I recommend the Cooler Master Hyper-212+. It's a little large, but does an excellent job of cooling and is suprisingly quiet. I've taken my i5-2500k to 4GHz very easily with this thing. I'm at work at the moment, but I can get you some specific numbers later on when I get home.
    Game Library Completion: 174/223 - 78.03%

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyK View Post
    Ah, you linked to newegg.ca in your original post, so I went from there :)
    Did I? Huh, weird!

    Quote Originally Posted by SMiD View Post
    I know you mentioned OC'ing in your original post, but I didn't catch a proper heatsink/fan combo in your list of goodies. Might I recommend the Cooler Master Hyper-212+. It's a little large, but does an excellent job of cooling and is suprisingly quiet. I've taken my i5-2500k to 4GHz very easily with this thing. I'm at work at the moment, but I can get you some specific numbers later on when I get home.
    Yeah, I planned on getting one of those. I'm going to hold off on that, though. I'm breaking the bank as is. (Stupid question, you can replace the stock fan after it's installed, right?) I figure I'll get the thing up and running, maybe bump up the CPU a bit (I hear it's easier nowadays) and see how things go. A month or two from then, assuming I've not blown anything up, I'll look into OCing.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I've added it to my "wish list" on Newegg!

  11. #11
    Network Hub SMiD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigJ_A View Post
    ...you can replace the stock fan after it's installed, right?...
    Absolutely. You'll need to make sure you clear the old paste away from the CPU first, but it's a fairly simple procedure. Cooler Master also provides fairly comprehensive installation instructions, so you'll have no issues there.
    Game Library Completion: 174/223 - 78.03%

  12. #12
    Network Hub JohnnyK's Avatar
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    +1 for the Hyper, great fan; to be fair though, you should be able to get a fair bit of OC'ing done even with the stock fan.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    I had a lot of trouble finding a case that wouldn't look silly in my house and eventually settled on this one: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product...82E16811112328

    It's been quite good.

  14. #14
    Activated Node KilgoreTrout_XL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMiD View Post
    Cooler Master also provides fairly comprehensive installation instructions, so you'll have no issues there.
    Really? I have a CM Hyper-212 EVO, which I like just fine, but I thought the instructions were kind of useless. The ones I got required a magnifying glass and a basic working knowledge of hieroglyphics.

    Check out the NZXT H2. Great case, really easy to work with too. I have it in black (should have gotten the white one though):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811146071

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KilgoreTrout_XL View Post
    Really? I have a CM Hyper-212 EVO, which I like just fine, but I thought the instructions were kind of useless. The ones I got required a magnifying glass and a basic working knowledge of hieroglyphics.

    Check out the NZXT H2. Great case, really easy to work with too. I have it in black (should have gotten the white one though):

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811146071
    That's actually a really cool case. I don't get the big door in the front. Doesn't it block the air intake for the front fans? Regardless, it's a bit too pricey. My budget's a lot tighter than I'd thought (when did hard drives get so expensive?), so if the case is more than, say $60, and isn't also paart of a combo with something else I need to reduce my cost further, I can't consider it. :(

    I wish there were videos for every item. They're much more useful than a picture and list of specs.

  16. #16
    Network Hub JohnnyK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigJ_A View Post
    when did hard drives get so expensive?
    Floods in Thailand.

    Also, forget waiting for the Radeon 7950, indications are it will probably be around 400-450$.

  17. #17
    Activated Node KilgoreTrout_XL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigJ_A View Post
    I don't get the big door in the front. Doesn't it block the air intake for the front fans?
    Aw, bummer, because you would really dig the door if you saw one in person. It's magnetic and fairly heavy and shuts with a really satisfying "THUNK". There are two big intake fans behind it, and a big slit for air to get in where you pull the door open. With that CPU cooler, an extra case fan, and tidy cables, the CPU/GPU temps have been pretty astonishing so far.

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Smashbox's Avatar
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    Great looking case, too. Why didn't I buy that one?

  19. #19
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    Jesus i am so angry right now!

    I finally had everything just how I wanted it, got my tax returns deposited, ready to go. I had everything in my newegg cart (barring the processor, which I ordered for $50 cheaper somewhere else). I was just going over everything one last time to be extra certain I didn't fuck up.

    So, I pull out my credit card and load back up the shopping cart page.... HALF the stuff was gone. All the combo deals expired right as I got ready to pay. It's now like $80 more for the exact same items. I hate everything right now. >:(

  20. #20
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    How long are you going to be using your 19" monitor? If you won't be upgrading to a 1080p within a year or two, then you could save quite a bit of money on your video card at your current resolution with something like the 6850.

    You also don't need 750w PSU, any of these will do (compatible with the 6850):


    And modular:



    As for RAM get 1333.
    Last edited by gimperial; 01-02-2012 at 11:27 AM.

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