My First PC Build
  • It's summer vacation and I want to try and build my first PC this summer, I have a few questions.
    How is it for a total noob to build a PC?
    and is this build good? My budget is $400-$450

    AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor- $108.99
    ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard- $84.99
    Pareema 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory- $21.99
    Sapphire Radeon HD 6670 1GB Video Card- $61.97
    Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive- $62.05
    Rosewill Blackbone ATX Mid Tower Case- $39.99
    CoolMax 650W ATX12V Power Supply- $36.99
    Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer- $16.99

    I plan on downloading the windows 8 release preview, and then buying windows 8 when it comes out.
  • I would suggest a different power supply. Alot of people skimp out on them (not saying you are, or that is a bad PSU). But that is was keeps your system going. And you'll likely love building/modding your own PC, so eventually you'll need more watts. I'd suggest going with a 600+ PSU.

    Just my personal opinion though.
  • Thanks for the advice. Edited first post
  • If you can afford an HD7770 you should TOTALLY get that, do NOT skimp on your videocard spend at LEAST 100 bucks on it or you WILL be lost in the dust of new releases within a half a year if not when you buy it all together... and the HD 77xx series is just awesome, something like this an open box videocard is fine, an open box motherboard however is unacceptable. If your gonna get a sub-100 dollar videocard than you might as well go integrated and save a boat load of money you can use elsewhere (like on an Ivy Bridge Intel box).

    You got such a GREAT deal on the PSU! otherwise I'd totally downgrade but...

    I've seen so many 128gb SSDs going on sale recently for less than 100 bucks! I suggest you scour for a nice SSD. trust me, with a budget build, an SSD is a GODSEND otherwise you'll be feeling sluggish very quickly. If you don't like having just 128gigs you can at least get this 500gb hybrid for 69 bucks both any SSD you'd find and this drive are 2.5" drives not 3.5" drives however, but modern cases will have proper enclosures for them or if you have an old case I do suggest you modernize. old cases suck. Unless ofc your old case came from a pc enthusiast lol than maybe it's ok :) but if the PSU doesn't sit on the bottom of the case I'd chuck it out the window.

    WTF is Pareema?? get some at least decent RAM, heatsink is not mandatory, but brand name is. undependable ram, not to mention cheap bad overclockers, is the PITS. I hat to raise the price of your system but here's some trusty Corsair XMS for 27.99

    I see your case and I don't mind it so much... but you'r MUCH better off puttin in an extra 10 dollars and getting a more highly acclaimed one here more highly acclaimed ALWAYS means more future proof and if you don't future proof your case you'll end up buying a new one for your next build and you don't want to do that. So put it this way, spend ten dollars now so you won't have to spend an extra 50 bucks in a few years when you upgrade! Cases are the one thing you can NOT skimp on, some ppl use theirs for 10 years!

    You'll also want some kind of third party cooler. especially if it's an AMD build. here ya go bro, 29.99 w/ 10 dollar rebate just a cheap one will do, it's WAY more efficient than the peice of crap AMD throws in with their processors plus if the proc you buy is OEM you'll need to buy one anyway.

    I'll put all this together in an edit (cuz I'm totally anal retentive like that) PLUS make an Ivy Bridge build that, while it won't have a great gfx system at all, will BLOW you out of the water. I mean AMD stuff is 3+ years old whereas Ivy Bridge just came out! In the computer world that's like something from the stone age vs something modern. AMD makes decent stuff though if your on a strict budget.
  • A quick change to your system (to give you money to spend on your videocard!) you don't need a Phenom 2 it's way overkill for what you want to do (I'm assuming gaming, maybe schoolwork) get an Athlon II and a dual core! You might be able to unlock those other two cores so you'll get it all for half the price allowing you to get a 7770!! Plus I suggest some toys like a controller... and who really games on a two button mouse?? I won't add those but just holler if you want them. BTW the videocard I suggested JUST sold out... I shoulda' known :) I also went with the LG Burner as it's free shipping.

    AMD Athlon II X2 260 Regor 3.2GHz- 57.99

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus- 29.99 (w/ 10 dollar rebate)

    CORSAIR XMS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333- 27.99

    LG DVD Burner 17.99

    MSI R7770-2PMD1GD5/OC Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition 1GB- 124.99 (w/ 15 dollar rebate)

    Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA- 89.99 (w/ 20 dollar INSTANT rebate)

    Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case- 49.99

    I have NO idea where you found this power supply BUT
    CoolMax 650W ATX12V Power Supply- $36.99
    (is it this one? if so it's 79.99 w/ 20 dollar rebate DO NOT think of a mail in rebate as instant it is NOT)

    Total (and I'm assuming you have a 64-bit copy of Windows to put on there, and a monitor/ keyboard/ mouse) about 550 bucks plus 45 dollars in rebates

    NOW since your new to enthusiast computing (and WELCOME :) you will LOVE it!... if you get a 100 dollar video card) you might not know the difference between a MAIL IN rebate and an INSTANT rebate. Realize that MAIL IN rebates take about NINETY DAYS to get back to you! PLUS some come back to you in the form of like a gift card! NOT KIDDING and I wish I was, their CHEAPASS SKUMBAG SCAMMY MOTHERFUCKERS just out for your dime bag so DON'T AUTOMATICALLY THINK OF IT AS A DEAL!!

    NOW I will edit this post with a core i5 ivy bridge system that would be better used if all you want is to run year old plus (WoW, Minecraft), indy games and stuff.


    All the same things BUT take out the processor, motherboard, videocard and 3rd party cooler

    now add
    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) - 229 (hella expensive but this is basically the processor, video card and 3rd party cooler)
    MSI Z77A-G43 LGA 1155- 104.99

    Total is (if you can afford this you'd have the makings of a MUCH better computer...) 600 dollars... wow that's better than I thought ^.^

    as an alternative there are TWO more paths! 1 is you can downgrade to a Sandy Bridge (thus allowing you an i3!). For this you take away the processor only and replace it with this
    Intel Core i3-2105 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 3000 - 134.99

    or a total of.... about 500 bucks. now the graphics on this will suck! you won't get much better than Minecraft here... but for some ppl that's enough! Plus it's always upgradable TO an ivy bridge or a discrete graphics card! regardless you better off here I think.

    The last alternative is a Llano machine... this is basically the machine you were going to build just... newer. So it SHOULD be under 500 bucks! You'll like it more than the i3 but it won't be NEARLY as upgradable, you'll be shelling out almost a completely new build when you want to upgrade. For this we want to take out the processor and the motherboard and replace it with
    AMD A8-3850 Llano 2.9GHz Socket FM1 100W Quad-Core Desktop APU with DirectX 11 Graphic AMD Radeon HD 6550D- 89.99

    COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 Plus- 29.99 (w/ 10 dollar rebate)
    GIGABYTE GA-A75-D3H FM1 AMD A75 (Hudson D3) - 89.99 (w/ 10 dollar rebate)

    total is just 335!! yeah it's dirt cheap, but you'll grow out of it quick! It never pays to buy cheap.
  • I'd actually suggest you upgrade the ram to something like this
    for 30 bucks... heck for 30 bucks you might as well just get it in the first place

    I don't particularly like the cheapest one JUST because the A10 Trinity is JUST around the corner. get the best of both worlds and just wait for that (won't be more than a month). It won't be quite as fast as the 600 dollar Ivy Bridge OR the 550 dollar Athlon II we started with (that one would play games best, the Ivy Bridge would do stuff like encode movies best) BUT it'll be VERY close to it for about 400 no more than 450 gauranteed (as if I could back that up :o)

    oh to unlock cores all you need is an amd motherboard, a processor with latent cores, and access to the bios. maybe 10% of all procesors like this won't work with the unlock, but it's been a highly known and very popularly used technique! just turn an Athlon or Phenom x2 into an x4 all you need is a motherboard with an amd chipset.
  • wow that is an excellant deal!For the last quote I didn't add the processor to my shopping cart lol. BUT with the RAM I changed it to and the PSU you stated, it's still only 405 dollars.

    I forgot the cooler too! so that makes it 435 :/ not that great of a deal but still it's better for games than the 500 dollar i3. won't be as good as the 600 dollar i5 (if you can afford that) and it can't TOUCH the 550 dollar Athlon II than again it's easier to upgrade.

    OK I'll put this into like a graph. well two graphs:

    Best gaming machine (price)
    1. (BY FAR!!) Athlon II ($550)
    2. i5 Ivy Bridge ($600)
    3. (and just barely) Llano (<$450)<br />4. i3 Sandy Bridge ($500)

    Easiest to upgrade
    1. (again BY FAR!! Just add a graphics card ~100 bucks) i5 Ivy Bridge
    2. (Just upg to IB plus add graphics card ~300 bucks) i3 Sandy Bridge
    I won't even rank the AMD systems cuz they are hardly upgradable BUT if I was too...
    3. (Barely upgadable, but upgrade to A10 Trinity plus you can add a graphics card but it won't add as much ~$200) Llano ($435)
    4. (not upgradable at all beyond buying all new components ~N/A) Athlon II ($550)

    Again the best deal is to wait for trinity, it would slot in at #2 on the first graph and though it's practically disposable like the Athlon II it won't cost you more than half a grand.
  • and just to PROVE to you how anal retentive I can be here's some graphs to show you how right (or wrong) I was! I was off on the Ivy Bridge estimation. in gaming it should be #3 easily... intel sucks at graphics.

    just to show here is the 7770 in action

    now note this following graph is the same resolution as the last but MEDIUM settings not ultra... so DOUBLE the 7770's score

    what you get is
    Athlon II system (7770)- 90+fps
    Llano system (6550D)- 40+fps
    Ivy Bridge system (HD4000)- <30fps<br />Sandy Bridge system (HD3000)- stutters (anything under 30fps will stutter)
    now perhaps you don't play dirt 3 perhaps this means nothing to you :P unfortunately I couldn't find a more popular game in common in the last few days of reviews... so this should at least show you in a typical game the 7770 will be 2x as fast as anything here and where the other procs just might fall in line. I say just might cuz every game is different, BUT the order typically stays about the same. The Trinity processor will be some 15% faster than the Llano graphics I think.

    ok now I been doing this all day, time to do something else :/ oh, this IS at just 1680x1050 so if your monitor is like over 19" and you will be gaming OVER that resolution than you're pretty much SOL unless you get the Athlon II. (or add a 7770 to the ivy bridge or sandy bridge machines... you'll get about the same result though...)
  • I'd stick with a quad core. You may not use it right now, but once software/games start to really use the extra cores, you'll be glad you spent the extra bucks on it. Rather than having to buy another CPU again.

    On a side note, I upgraded my video card last year to a HD6850 and I've had no problem running games on ultra settings with plenty frames per second.
  • Hmm... Decisions decisions. I'm gonna do most of my gaming on consoles, this build will probably be for steam/indie games and bigger games just for PC, so I don't think I need to run it on ultra setting.
  • certain chips, Athlon x2's, Phenom x2's, both x3's, the Zostra core (I think it's called) Phenom x4 and so on, can be 'unlocked' that entails just turning the latent cores on. a small percentage of latent cores are actually broken, but most are just turned off to fill supply. Thus even if he's buying an x2 he's really getting an x4. Again this is a very popular 'hack' probably 90% of reviews on the Athlon chip will mention it being 'unlocked'. All it entails is a flip of a switch, which is in the bios.

    If he's ok with a slightly slower system since he mainly games on consoles, I would suggest a Llano system... or wait for Trinity! It won't be a long wait... I think June 20th is a big day coming up if that's not it I'd drop on a Llano and just upgrade to a Trinity or even whatever else they got next year. You can't go wrong either way.
  • Alright I'll wait for trinity and re-evaluate. Thanks for all th advice knowname
  • There's some deals going on right now, and this build isn't as expensive but the i5 and MOBO aren't as powerful.

    MSI Z68MA-G45 Intel Z68 1155 Motherboard- 99.99-30= 69.99

    Intel Core i5-2500 Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost)- 209.99-15= 194.99

    CORSAIR XMS 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333- 27.99

    LG DVD Burner- 17.99

    Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" SATA- 149.99-80=69.99

    Rosewill CHALLENGER Black Gaming ATX Mid Tower Computer Case- 59.99-17.5=42.49

    Total(including shipping)- 429.28

    Just noticed that the HDD is a laptop hard drive, will it be okay for my build?