Building first gaming PC, could use help

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by injected11, Nov 23, 2012.

Nov 23, 2012
  1. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    Hi guys! I've been wanting to build a gaming PC for quite some time, and I finally have the funds and time to get it done. My hardware knowledge is fairly lacking, and was hoping you all could lend me some of your expertise when it comes to different brands and choosing parts, namely a solid motherboard, processor, and video card, and then making sure there are no compatibility problems or bottlenecks that would hurt gaming performance. Price is not my biggest concern, and I value build quality (as in it won't break down after 2 weeks) and performance, but I'm not shooting for the high end, absolute end-all-be-all parts. I'm extremely indecisive, and all I have purchased so far is the tower case, so any advice you can give or anything you folks can recommend (ideally from personal experience with it) would be GREATLY appreciated. Now let's get to it.

    This is the video card I've been looking at, namely because it sounds pretty powerful, and is a whopping $120 off at the moment:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130758

    I've been looking at these 2 motherboards. The reviews on both seem mostly pretty good, but the negative reviews (stuff broken out of the box) makes me a bit uneasy:
    1) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2276156

    Thanks to my indecisiveness and the 'it's broken' reviews, the extended returns was appealing
    2)http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131837

    As far as processors, I just don't know. I've read that only certain processors can be socketed into
    certain motherboards, so I figured the mobo should be established first. I think I would prefer an Intel processor, but when I look through them, there are tons of seemingly slight variations, and I can't tell which would be best for me. I'm open to any suggestions.

    I've heard of people having issues during builds before due to parts not fitting inside the case. I think I bought a fairly roomy one, but here it is for your review, just in case:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811352007

    Are there any clear incompatibilities or bottlenecks?Anything that could be swapped for something of equal/more power for roughly the same price or cheaper?

    I hope to hear from you guys. I could really use the help. Thanks in advance!

    EDIT: Parts purchased and top prospects for the build so far...
     


  2. AceWarhead

    Member AceWarhead "Must Construct Additional Pylons"

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    For a good, reliable gaming comp.
    CPU: If you have the funds, go with an Intel i5 , Ivy Bridge. Not an i7, because it has no hyper-threading. Keep in mind these are fairly pricey.
    RAM: I'd go with this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231402
    That Case seems to be sold out, sorry bud :(.
    As for a PSU, get around 750-850 watts.
    Everything else looks pretty good.
     
  3. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    My local MicroCenter had sales 2 weeks ago and I had a $20-off coupon, so I actually already have the case sitting in front of me luckily.

    I've been seeing Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge and just want to make sure my understanding is correct. Ivy is basically the next evolution/better version of Sandy?

    Probably gonna look for a PSU tomorrow, so I'll keep those numbers in mind.

    Any opinion on which mobo might serve me better?

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. AceWarhead

    Member AceWarhead "Must Construct Additional Pylons"

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    Hey, no problem!
    Ivy Bridge is indeed the next-gen thingy. And of course, newer (usually) means better!
    I'm not much of a mobo expert, but I've had good experience with ASUS, and for the money, it seems better.
     
  5. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Ivy bridge isn't really any faster/stronger than Sandy bridge, it just has a reduced manufacture process, which theoretically means less power consumed, less heat produced, so it can be pushed further out of the box. In the end, it performs almost the same with a minor clock speed increase. In the beginning, it was recommended to save money and get the
    Sandy bridge version instead, but now the price has become stable so everybody should be going for the Ivy bridge.

    As for RAM, you want 1600Mhz minimum if you're going for that motherboard.

    The graphics card linked is very good (I've got one myself), however it's also now a generation old. I can't recommend anything newer because you've not told me what you need the system for. If its just for doing homework and browsing the Internet and watching movies, then you don't need any graphics card at all. If you're doing casual gaming, then you've picked the right graphics card. If you're going to be trying to play the latest games when they come out, such as Crysis 3, then you might want to consider the GTX 660 Ti or 670 instead.

    I can't give any more detailed advice right now since I have to head off to work, but I can post when I get home again. And this gives others a chance to comment.
     
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  6. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    Thanks for the help! Definitely gonna go for an Ivy bridge then. Seems to be the consensus. I've got my eye on this one at the moment:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819116504

    It is meant to be a gaming machine. I'd like to be able to play something like Skyrim on high-ish settings and still get a smooth framerate. I'm a late-adopter, so running brand-spankin-new and upcoming games on the highest settings isn't a big concern for me.

    As far as RAM, I stumbled across these, and they look to meet the 1600Mhz that you recommend, but beyond that, I can't tell which I should go for capability-wise. Any thoughts?
    1) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7114146
    2) http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7104116

    I'm thinking I'm gonna place the order for that graphics card in the morning, unless someone comes up with a very compelling reason not to. Your good personal experiences + the stellar reviews + $120 off and a $30 mail in rebate effectively halving the price are all making it hard to say no.
    EDIT: Damn damn damn. Knew I shouldn't have waited. It's now sold out... Here's hoping cyber-monday is kind.
    Been reading up a bit and it seems I should be looking for something with a little more VRAM (the one above has 1.25GB). Anyone have good experiences with any relatively cheap, yet well-built 2ish GB graphics cards? Lemme know what you recommend.
     
  7. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Almost all RAM of similar speed and timings will perform the same. I don't like Kingston much for flash media (RAM included) but some people swear by them. I prefer corsair, but at the end of the day patriot has near identical performance.

    When it comes to vRAM, don't listen. VRAM is used for bigger resolutions, nothing more. 1GB is all you need. 1.5 or 2GB is nice, but it says nothing about how strong the GPU is. Go by series number instead. Aim for GTX 560 or 660, or HD 6870 or 7870 (I forget if its out yet) or higher. Usually, the more you pay, the better it is. Afterwards, you encounter diminishing returns with the GTX 580 and 680.
     
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  8. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    I knew the kid at MicroCenter was full of it. I told him I was building a gaming PC or Skyrim and Arkham City-level stuff, and he says I'm gonna want at least a 3-4GB VRAM graphics card and he made no mention of the resolution. A friend also recommended against Kingston RAM, so those are ruled out. If I can find some discounted Corsair 4GBx2, I'll snap those up.

    I'm feeling quite a bit more confident in buying parts thanks to you and Ace. I vote a big "YES" on your "Guide for Selecting Computer Parts". This experience has been giving me headaches, and anything to reduce the stress for those less familiar with computer hardware would be very appreciated. Thanks again for the help!

    EDIT: The EVGA GTX 560 Ti popped up as in stock for a moment and I managed to snag it before it said out of stock again. Just hoping Newegg doesn't up and cancel the order on me...
     
  9. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    He's not totally full of it. The 3-4GB vRAM graphics cards are all high end flagship graphics that will play your games at ultra settings for years to come. They are also the ones that cost over £300/$400. He's just using a good sales pitch to convince those without much knowledge to purchase higher end stuff and give him more commission. As a salescat myself, I too try to convince people to buy things they don't really need. But computers for me are a different story, since people can usually tell me exactly what they need (my shop is for luxury good only, so there's a lot more challenge and a higher price point).

    Anyway, feel free to attack me with questions.
     
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  10. Master X

    Member Master X GBAtemp Regular

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  11. Celice

    Member Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Is this for real? All the advice I see says around 600 watts if you're gonna go for SLI along with some overclocking. If he's gonna run stock and a single card, I doubt he's gonna need overkill...
     
  12. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    Overkill is bad, since most PSUs are most efficient around ~80-85% load. If your PSU is constantly running 50-60% load, it's less efficient.

    For a single card, 500-600W is generally what's recommended (unless you're getting a really high-end card like an x990 or something, where 650-700W might actually be needed).
     
  13. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    Whoa. Now that's a price I can handle, looks to be just what I want, and 90% of the reviews (1250+ of em) are 4-5 eggs. Big thank you for that heads-up. Definitely gonna order. Now the question is should I order 2 packs? I've heard 8GB of RAM will be more than enough, but would 16GB amount to a noticeable difference for gaming?
    Whew. Glad I didn't buy a PSU yet. I think you guys just saved me a nice chunk of dosh. I've ordered the GPU (GTX 560 Ti) linked in the first post, so it looks like 500-600W is right for me. Any brand recommendations? Or will most PSUs perform about the same?
     
  14. Rydian

    Member Rydian Resident Furvert™

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    You get what you pay for in a PSU, and if a PSU dies there's a chance it'll kill other parts in your system as well, so the PSU is one area you never cheap out on.

    Nvidia recommends 500W min (for an average system with that card), so yeah 550W will be fine.

    Here's two higher-end ones, they're modular (so all the extra wires are detachable to make installation of parts easier and so you don't have too many dangling spare wires).
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817341022
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817371016

    Here's a non-modular one, they're a bit cheaper as you can see since they're a simpler construction.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171038
     
  15. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    Very helpful. Those are all less than half the $ I was expecting to spend. Modular sounds nice and tidy like what I want, so I'm going that route. Now I'm off to read a few hundred reviews. Many thanks for the advice!
     
  16. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    First rule of PSU club, you do not talk about non-branded PSUs. They explode.
    Second rule of PSU club, most systems only use about 380W on load, so 450W is minimum. 550-650W is recommended because a PSU running at 80% load has the longest lifespan, and going higher than what you need also gives you room to upgrade in future.
    Third rule of PSU club, you do not go for the cheap PSUs. The PSU and case are two parts that, as long as you pick good ones, you will likely never replace in the next 10+ years.

    Brands I like are Corsair, Tagan, Enermax, Antec and Seasonic. There are other recognised brands too like Coolermaster, OCZ, XFX and Rosewill, but I prefer to stick to brands which consistently perform well in CustomPC lab tests.

    I personally have a 1.2kW Tagan in a CrossfireX system built for my brother (he does high resolution animation and rendering, so the more TFLOPS the better) and a 1kW Enermax in mine (I did a lot of system and GPU testing in the past). It's on around 1/3 load now that I only have a GTX 560 Ti, but there's zero sense in me buying a downgrade when a 95% efficiency PSU like that will last me many more years.
     
  17. injected11
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    Member injected11 Crescent Fresh™

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    More great info to have. While I like explosions, this isn't a Michael Bay movie and I like my home best when it isn't on fire. I've stumbled across this PSU, but it has very few reviews so I'm unsure. Any thoughts?
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=17-151-119
     
  18. KingBlank

    Member KingBlank King of Nothing

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    Word of advice for the case, For your first gaming PC its a good idea to get a nice, roomy, high quality case with good reviews so that if you want to upgrade in the future you dont have to buy a new case.
    Ive got a Coolermaster case, and they are great!
     
  19. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Looks like a solid PSU. I go by reviews myself, so I can't say any more than that.

    Keep a note of it to compare against others you find.
     
  20. Master X

    Member Master X GBAtemp Regular

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    Its a PSU by a good company, but for your first time building a computer you'd be better off with something with more reviews.
     

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