If geeks love it, we’re on it

Howdy, Stranger!

You found the friendliest gaming & tech geeks around. Say hello!

Building a PC this Summer (For Real)

IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy CanadianToronto, Ontario Icrontian
Alrighty so this summer, probably just before school starts after I have a large number of paychecks sitting around to fatten my bank account I'm planning to build a proper gaming rig and convert my crappy lappy over to schoolwork.

I don't exactly know what parts are good and what's not but I've got a budget of about $1000 with a little leniency. I've already found a Coolermaster case and Power Supply (850W) that go for $70 and $80 respectively but in terms of motherboard, RAM, GPU, Processor, etc I'm not sure what to get.

I'm definitely getting an intel processor but I'm open to suggestions as to model and speed.

The OS I'm planning to use is Windows 7 Home Edition 64bit, it works just fine on my laptop and it isn't terribly expensive. Consider this as part of the build budget or not I can spend a little extra on the OS but everything else comes first.

Thanks in advance.



  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    edited Jun 2013
    My assumption is this is a full ATX case.

    Intel platform for gaming on a budget of less than 1K? I'm not sure I'd advise it. I'd build around the AMD FX6300 and Save an extra $200 or so in cost when you consider the Haswell CPU and board. Take that money, dump it into your graphics card instead.

    When I add things up, considering a boot SSD and a high end graphics card it's over budget. If you paint yourself into an Intel platform, consider expanding your budget to at least $1300.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113286&Tpk=fx 6300&IsVirtualParent=1






  • ObsidianObsidian Michigan Icrontian
    Where are you getting the $200 number from? A good Core-i5 Haswell is roughly $100 more for what is a considerably better CPU and motherboard prices are virtually the same between platforms. A SSD may also be unnecessary, especially if you're getting 128GB just for booting.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    Go ahead and list the exact case and PSU you're looking at so we can include it in potential budgets. I don't think he "needs" to be on latest gen, but we should be able to craft a variety of recommendations at that price point which include latest gen of either CPU or GPU, but probably not both.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    An 850W PSU for $80? Which one is it? That price is a little concerning...if there's one component that absolutely shouldn't be skimped on, it's the PSU.
  • TimTim Southwest PA Icrontian
    And make sure it's a single 12 volt rail PSU.
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    edited Jun 2013
    I agree maybe $40 or so could be shaved off with a smaller SSD. I'd say at least 64GB for boot and daily programs. Having 128 can be nice, you can move your favorite game to it and get some improved load times. Still, I'd say an SSD of some kind at least for boot and daily programs is essential for any serious performance build.

    Haswell CPU's and their high end boards are more expensive. Given the budget, I'd say your money is better spent on graphics assuming gaming is the primary performance objective. The least expensive Haswell board with dual full bandwidth PCIE X16 2.0 or better I could find was $219 vs. About $128 so about $90 there. To me, if your serious about gaming performance, and your building full ATX, that's a feature that is non negotiable, you want a board that's capable of running two cards without putting them in a choke hold. AMD offers that for less.

    On to the CPU, if we are talking gaming, there is no practical reason to consider Haswell to remove a bottleneck for a high end graphics card assuming you would like to game at at least 1920X1080 with high details enabled on modern games. The only place Haswell win's handily is in core for core straight through performance on single threaded applications. Since he did not ask for a system that shines on single threaded applications and asked about building for gaming, I assumed saving money and putting it into the graphics card would generally be a better investment for a gamer. Assuming he get's an i5 4670 you are looking at about $100 more for the CPU right now, couple that with a comparable board, nearly $200 wasted assuming once again that gaming frame rate playing at high resolution and details is the goal.

    In short, if you are a gamer on a budget, balance what you can to graphics vs. CPU performance. You will get a better return.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    I agree that FX+better GPU is a better use of money in this case. I usually don't say that.
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    edited Jun 2013
    Some of the PSUs I'm looking at, sorry that $80 ones were 750 or 700W

    The Case:

    I don't want to build as high-end a PC as possible, I'm definitely going to be throwing in upgrades if I'm able to get additional spending money over the year.

    If the GPU/Processor is capable of playing Mechwarrior Online and Dark Souls 2 on near-max graphics at 1920x1080 then I'd be happy. I've never had an SSD before but I've never been particularly bothered by the speed of a 7200rpm 1.5TB HDD. I may add one in later but I'm not considering it part of the preliminary build as of this time.

    There aren't many games that I play and as I get into the new school year I don't expect to be doing much gaming. Really I just want to be able to play the few games I do enjoy as smoothly as I can without sacrificing graphic capability.
  • mertesnmertesn I am Bobby Miller Yukon, OK Icrontian
    I've never tried the Ultra or Cooler Master brand power supplies. Had very good experiences with OCZ though. Would buy again.
  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    Ultra = "strong meh" to "dangerous" on the quality scale. CoolerMaster = "solid meh" to "be wary" on the quality scale.

    OCZ pretty good. Legit-ass warranty, plus homegrown support right here at Icrontic.
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA Icrontian
    The only way you'll need anywhere near 800 is if you plan to run crossfire eventually. I believe you'll be amazed enough by the huge upgrade that you won't need it, but we shall see. If you want "high end" of current gen, it appears to me that you'll end up running around 1200. I REALLY want to stress how awesome having an SSD is, but you may not place as much value on near instantaneous booting, loading of levels, etc. I dump my most commonly played games on SSD and everything else on either an old raptor 300GB, or my slow 7200rpm 2TB drive. If you go with a 128GB drive, that's around $130-150. I would like to upgrade to 256GB at some point, but that's just an uber-luxury.

    http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/12zKR - $1200 ish, 128GBSSD, 7970 GHz edition, 8GB RAM, FX-8350, corsair 850W PSU, HAF912 (that is "last" gen for their case, btw)

    http://ca.pcpartpicker.com/p/12A0g - ~$900, same SSD, 7870GHz, same RAM, FX-6350, same PSU, same case. "last gen" or step-down on parts. As usual, if you are trying to future proof as much as possible, GPU is probably your primary consideration. Trading the GPU out to 7970GHz puts it up to ~1100.

    Full builds are usually expensive for trying to future proof, but it's nice when they last you years and years.
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    My old desktop ran a 6850 Radeon and a 2.2 Dual Core processor.

    I gave it over to my little brother because I was heading to university. I had no gripes with it other than load time, the inability to overclock it, and the fact that programs were starting to bottleneck on the old processor (My laptop on Win7 home Premium boots in less than a minute this is perfectly fine with me. I imagine a Desktop running a 1.5 TB drive with a large boot partition and Win7 would be equal to or faster than that)

    I don't need the highest end components on the market nor do I plan to run an SSD or crossfired GPUs. I won't have the time to play games that would throttle a mid-high end PC nor do I suspect I would.

    Maybe when I'm finished university and working a proper job/not having to deal with student fees I'll consider making a true high-end high performance rig but for now a PC that can run my favourite games smoothly that I can believably build within a student budget is really all that I'm looking for.
  • fatcatfatcat Mizzou Icrontian
    I wouldn't go without an SSD, but here you go

  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    Mech Warrior online and the original Dark Souls, both games require some graphics muscle, but maybe not to the point of a 79xx series card. Hard to say about Dark Souls 2, I'm not sure requirements are out yet? If you want to save a little up front, my bet is an FX6300 paired with a single 7870 will perform brilliantly. If you get an 990FX capable board, with a fat power supply like you were talking about investing in, you are not going to have a problem popping in a second 7870 later if you feel the itch. That's what I run, and I'll tell you for a fact, two 7870's will play EVERYTHING! Dollar for dollar it's the one to beat.
  • shwaipshwaip bluffin' with my muffin Icrontian
    I'd say the SSD investment is well worth it. Not even for the gaming load times, but everything you do on the machine tends to feel snappier.
  • IlriyasIlriyas The Syrupy Canadian Toronto, Ontario Icrontian
    I'm definitely going to throw in an SSD later in the year. Reinstalling everything won't really bother me I've done it 5 times this year with my laptop (Broke my registry a lot when MWO was in early alpha) I just don't want to get one now because I'd end up throwing about $200-$220 on both an SSD and an HDD. Who knows a 7870 may save me enough cash that I can afford both without breaking my $1000 mark.

    What I really want to do is build a solid base that can be upgraded as needed or as more money comes in. I'm definitely going to start with a moderately fast storage unit and powerful GPU but those two, in my experience are the easiest to upgrade. Who knows if I get enough work between now and September I may be able to up my budget to $1500 and get the full package but that remains to be seen.
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    As you are eyeing up sales, a case, power supply and drives are normally safe bets to collect early if you see a deal you can't resist. Even RAM which DDR3 appears to be the standard for the forseeable future. They don't loose value at the same rate of processors and graphics cards, buy those last if you plan to piece it together over time.
  • edcentricedcentric near Milwaukee, Wisconsin Icrontian
    So you have a case and PSU and about $850 left to work with.
    Memory is pretty stock, 2 x 4GB should be good, $60 is about where it is today.
    This would be my HDD suggestion, I have been running the older MXT and like it.
    Seagate Solid State Hybrid ST1000LM014 1TB 64MB Cache 2.5" SATA 6.0Gb/s, $110
    Video cards, if you are only going to 1080 then a HD7950 may even be overkill, they run $300

    If you want Intel here is where I lean;
    Intel Core i5 3470S Ivy Bridge 2.9GHz LGA 1155 65W Quad-Core Desktop Processor for $198
    Asus, Gigabite, and MSI all make nice Z77 mobos for about $110, unless you need special features.

    Well this list comes to $780, leaving you about $70 to either add (Blur-ray drive) or upgrade (mobo or video).
    My suggestion would be better CPU cooler and better case fans.
  • BlueTattooBlueTattoo Boatbuilder Houston, TX Icrontian
    I like the hybrid drive suggestion although I love having an SSD in my desktop box.

    If you use a regular HDD with the plan to add an SSD later, you won’t have to reinstall anything. Create your “C” drive partition the size of or smaller than the SSD you are planning to use. Install the most used programs on "C". The rest of the drive is “D” or something. When you get your SSD, clone “C” to the SSD (I used Ghost when I did this) and change your boot drive to the SSD. It will become “C” and other drives stay the same as before. The old “C” gets a new letter. Nothing has to be reinstalled. You may have to reregister Windows because of the hardware change.

    Good luck with the build.
Sign In or Register to comment.

The 5¢ Tour