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Official "Building a PC" Thread


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#71 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 08:53 AM

620W Antec HCG - $70 / $50
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 - $150
CM Storm Enforcer - $80
1TB Samsung F3 - $60
Core i5 2500K - $220
8GB DDR3-1600 Patriot Signature - $50
dvd burner - $20
GTX 560 Ti Gigabyte OC - $235 / $205
Hyper 212+ cooler - $28

Total about $920 minus $50 in rebates.

If that is too much for you, then you can

a) Swap out the video card for this GTX 460 MSI Hawk or this HD 6870 XFX w/Dirt 3 and Dues Ex.  

b) Drop the heatsink.  Pick one up later after you learn more and want to do some serious overclocking.

c) Drop the motherboard down to Asus P8Z68-V LE, ASRock Z68 Extreme Gen3, or Gigabyte Z68A-DSH-B3

d) Pick a cheaper case from the ones I listed earlier.  My top suggestions would be the Lancool K58 (currently $60) or HAF 912.

Do one or any of the above to meet your desired price target.
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#72 Mass Appeal

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:01 PM

View Postcusideabelincoln, on 25 August 2011 - 08:53 AM, said:

620W Antec HCG - $70 / $50
GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 - $150
CM Storm Enforcer - $80
1TB Samsung F3 - $60
Core i5 2500K - $220
8GB DDR3-1600 Patriot Signature - $50
dvd burner - $20
GTX 560 Ti Gigabyte OC - $235 / $205
Hyper 212+ cooler - $28

Total about $920 minus $50 in rebates.

If that is too much for you, then you can

a) Swap out the video card for this GTX 460 MSI Hawk or this HD 6870 XFX w/Dirt 3 and Dues Ex.  

b) Drop the heatsink.  Pick one up later after you learn more and want to do some serious overclocking.

c) Drop the motherboard down to Asus P8Z68-V LE, ASRock Z68 Extreme Gen3, or Gigabyte Z68A-DSH-B3

d) Pick a cheaper case from the ones I listed earlier.  My top suggestions would be the Lancool K58 (currently $60) or HAF 912.

Do one or any of the above to meet your desired price target.


You have been such a great help I really appreciate it! I liked all of your suggestions and did research on them. I decided to switch out the GPU and Case. I read reviews on all the GPU and I liked what everyone said about the HD 6870 and MSI Hawk. Which one would you prefer with the setup? I have read ATI drivers and cards are not as reliable as NVIDIA. Is that true? Also the 560ti people are saying the cards having problems. The Case I chose was the HAF 912. Everything else I like and will be buying soon. Thank you again!


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#73 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 12:34 AM

Either video card works fine.  My recommendation is to get the HD 6870 if you want Deus Ex and Dirt 3.  If you don't give a crap about those games, then go with the GTX 460 since it's cheaper.  Both cards have their pluses and minuses from a driver standpoint.  You may have read about some AMD issues but Nvidia has had them too; they released a driver that actually physically blew cards up.  In the end I would call it a wash.  As far as usability, AMD's driver control panel is pretty easy to navigate but Nvidia's is even more streamlined.  As far as features the biggest selling point for the GTX 460 is the ability to use PhysX acceleration in the handful of games that support PhysX.  Wiki it to find out more.  The biggest selling point for the HD 6870 is that you can drive four (theoretically up to six) monitors from the same card and it has a plethora connectivity options, and in terms of gaming this means you can play games in super-widescreen.  Google "eyefinity" to learn more. Both cards should be equally reliable; which is why I decided to recommend the small extra premium for cards with the custom dual fan coolers.
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#74 stanicle

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:36 PM

Just wanting to say a big thank you again to cusideabelincoln with all the help he has done.  [face_applause]

I am now posting from my new baby in its sexy corsair 600T case. Too bad verizon had to go on strike four days before my Fios install and now have to wait till Sept. 7... Thank you unlimited data plan on my verizon wireless for tethering!
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#75 armartin812

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:39 PM

I just have a quick question in regards to using two cards for SLI.  I have my first card already and was going to get the second one later on in the year (waiting on a drop in price).  What my question is, is do I have to the the exact same card for SLI?  Meaning I have the EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked so do I have to get the exact same card or would I be able to get the EVGA GTX 570 that is not superclocked?  Or even would I be able to get another 570 from another company all together?  Thanks for the help.
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#76 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 05:23 PM

You can mix and match different brands and clockspeeds for SLI, but the cards do have to be of the same model.  You can't pair a GTX 560 with a GTX 560 Ti.  Ideally you should have the cards run at the same clockspeed by overclocking one of them.
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#77 darkness35

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:48 PM

So after AMD's bulldozer processor, do you think AMD's current gen processors/mobos are going to be lower in price?  I'm thinking about building a new tower during the holidays, particularly before Black Friday.

View PostGigersALIEN, on 17 April 2014 - 06:23 PM, said:

Apparently you're speaking about yourself as you supposedly have me on ignore yet you keep reading and responding to everything I say. This will be the last time I speak to you here on these boards. Any snide remarks from you will be reported. Good day.

#78 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 07:40 AM

I will suspect a few processors to go on sale.  The motherboards are already dirt cheap so they're overall not going to drop in price.  You could be lucky to grab one that goes on clearance, but I suspect most boards will just run out of stock before dropping in price.  But the good part is that Bulldozer motherboards will accept Phenom processors, so you'll be able to easily find a good board.
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#79 TheMaster52

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:16 AM

Current build:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 5600+ @ 2.9 GHz
ATI HD Radeon 4670 1GB
4GB DDR2 667 RAM

Very crappy; can't even run the Red Orchestra 2 beta.

Here's what I am considering:

http://secure.newegg...Number=23734148

But I already have a 400w PSU under the same brand and I have that exact HDD.

I'd be saving $90 right there, bringing the total down to $425.95.

And here's the case I was considering:

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811147153

That's $475.94 total. Perfectly within my budget for a new PC.

Couple questions, though:

1) Would a build like that max out The Witcher 2, Crysis 2, and Battlefield 3 at 1680x1050?
2) Should I opt for a 6850 over the 460?
3) I don't want the price of the PC to exceed $500, so if you can recommend a better GPU and motherboard brand without exceeding my budget, please do so. I'm a little iffy about that EVGA 460 and that ASRock motherboard.
4) Should I even purchase a new PC right now? Or is there a big sale in the near future that I'm not aware of?

Please don't suggest a Core i7 and a 6990. I can't afford something like that right now. Thanks.
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#80 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 11:30 AM

You should use the thread you created.  It says right in the OP to make your own thread.
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#81 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:06 AM

OK WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THE GOD DAMN TEXT EDITOR WHY DOES IT INSERT EXTRA (AND DELETES) LINE BREAKS AND SPACES (WHITESPACE) AT RANDOM WHENEVER I FUCKING POST SOMETHING OR EDIT THE POST TO FIX THE FUCKING PROBLEM WHAT THE FUCK THIS IS PISSING ME OFF.

Anyway, here are some changes to the OP...

SSDs:

64GB Crucial M4 - $115

80GB Intel 320 - $160

120GB OCZ Vertex 3 - $200

128GB C rucial M4 - $200



Building Tutorials



Newegg TV How to Build a PC

FAQs




Power Supply (PSU)
  • I want to learn the basics of power supplies.
JonnyGuru.com has a great FAQ covering all of the fundamental questions. Tomshardware also has an article ("Picking The Right Power Supply: What You Should Know") about how PSUs work and how, to achieve optimal efficiency, to choose a power supply that is neither too big nor too small for your system.
  • How much power do I need?
Every component is different, so you have to estimate. There are several resources available to help you do this:


-Use this chart from Tomshardware to manually estimate how much power your system will use, and then pick a power supply bigger than that.
-Use this post at overclock.net to manually and more accurately estimate what power supply you'll need.
-Use this PSU calculator to automatically estimate your power needs.
-Use my more labor-intensive method: Add the load CPU power from the latest Lost Circuits review with the *PEAK* power chart from the latest TPU review.  Then add 60W for the rest of the system components.  Multiply that number by 1.3 to get the PSU required.  Overclocking?  Add 50-100W for the CPU and another 50-100W for the video card.  The range is large because it depends on how much you overclock, so go a little bit bigger if you're unsure.
-Use my alternate method: Instead of using reviews you can just add the TDP of the CPU and GPU, then add 60W for the rest of the system.  Multiply that number by 1.2 to get the required power supply. AMD.com, Intel.com, and GPUReview can be used to find TDP (Thermal Design Power or Max Power Draw).  Google can also be used.
  • How do I know if a power supply is good?
You can look up reviews for power supply, but be sure to look at in depth reviews.  Not all reviews thoroughly test power supplies.  However these sites do a very good job dissecting power supplies and can be considered reputable:

JonnyGuru
Hardwaresecrets
Techpowerup
HardOCP
PCPerspective
Kitguru
Overclockersclub
A list of recommended power supplies at OCN - people have already done the research for you!
  • I want to find out who really makes a power supply.
Since a lot of power supplies are branded under different names, use these resources to find out who makes what:

Tomshardware "Who's Who in Power Supplies 2011"
Hardwaresecrets "How to Discover Your Power Supply’s Real Manufacturer"
JonnyGuru UL database
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#82 Rogue_Leader

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 03:15 AM

I am currently considering my own PC build.

I am debating several major questions though!

First I need to pick a CPU. I am thinking the I7 2600K or perhaps waiting for the Bulldozer CPUs or this rumored I7 2700K. Any thoughts on that?

Secondly I need a GPU: What is the best single affordable GPU out there right now? The GTX 580? I had thought of others cards like the GTX 590 and the HD 6990, but those cards are too damn much.

Lastly, is now a good time to buy? I am afraid I might buy a computer and kick myself for not waiting because something much better is right around the corner. However, I really want a new computer to play BF3, Rage and Skyrim.
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#83 forsayken

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 08:10 AM

At this point, quite a few things are "just around the corner". Bulldozer could release any time between now and December. AMD are also releasing new videocards before the end of the year. The 7970, on paper, looks to be around 25% faster than the 6970. It's a safe guess to say it'll be $380. This means the 7970 will be ~10-15% faster than the GTX 580 (since the 6970 is, on average, 10-15% lower than the GTX 580).

I don't think Intel or Nvidia are going to release anything too interesting before 2012. The i7 2700K is definitely not interesting. It'll be the same as the 2600K but perhaps clocked 100-200mhz faster. If it's $320 and pushes the 2600K down to $290 or something, then fine.

#84 Rogue_Leader

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 03:59 AM

View Postforsayken, on 19 September 2011 - 08:10 AM, said:

At this point, quite a few things are "just around the corner". Bulldozer could release any time between now and December. AMD are also releasing new videocards before the end of the year. The 7970, on paper, looks to be around 25% faster than the 6970. It's a safe guess to say it'll be $380. This means the 7970 will be ~10-15% faster than the GTX 580 (since the 6970 is, on average, 10-15% lower than the GTX 580).

I don't think Intel or Nvidia are going to release anything too interesting before 2012. The i7 2700K is definitely not interesting. It'll be the same as the 2600K but perhaps clocked 100-200mhz faster. If it's $320 and pushes the 2600K down to $290 or something, then fine.

I am hearing the 7970 may not make 2011 now. It may be 2012 after all.
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#85 tgo

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 03:56 PM

O.k, so I think I might finally attempt to build my first computer. Need some help on suggestions for parts as I'm not very knowledgeable on this. This will be something I buy piece by piece so I wont be buying everything right away, but having it done this way will make it easier on me with my tight budget.  This will be basically for gaming, I don't need something that is the best, something that is a noticeable jump from the current consoles will suffice, but also something where I can upgrade later to something better with flexibility would be great.

What I already have is the case, the monitor, keyboard/mouse.  Don't have the OS or anything else.  The case I bought was bought quite a while back, at least 2 or 3 years ago I think, so I'm not sure if this case will be good enough for today's standards.

#86 dualhunter

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 04:11 PM

Based on what you already have, just put the money aside until you have enough to get everything at once. Upgrading piece by piece is only worth it if you can use each piece as you get it. If it just sits in the box while you wait until you can afford the other parts you risk missing out on lower prices and/or better parts.

The case should be fine unless you want something with better cooling, more ports, etc. One thing you should check is your power supply. Find out its rating and make sure it has a 24 pin connector, an 8 pin EPS connector (not to be confused with an 8 pin PCI-E connector) and make a note of how many 6 pin and 8 pin PCI-E connectors you have.

#87 tgo

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 05:24 PM

My case doesn't have a PSU with it.  So I will have to buy one of those as well.  Though aren't these recommended to buy anyway?  It's a pretty cheesy looking case, even has a slot for a zip drive it looks like lol.  It would be a waste to not use this case since it's never been used, so I'll probably stick with it if I can.  

I thought it might be good to buy it in pieces since there could be a good deal that I would miss if I waited for me to have all the money.

One thing to make note of if your helping with recommending me parts.  I'm Canadian, so will have to be limited to Canadian sites.

#88 dualhunter

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 05:35 PM

Ah, I thought you were reusing the case from an old system. If it's a normal ATX case it should be fine if you're satisfied with it. For stores have a look at Newegg.ca and NCIX.com (especially the weekly specials). Try to get an idea of how much you want to spend.

#89 tgo

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 06:03 PM

I'm thinking like $600-800 is what my budget will probably be once all the parts are bought.

#90 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 04:49 AM

Take some pictures of the case.  Get some good ones of the inside.  Or if you have a link, post it.
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#91 tgo

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Posted 21 September 2011 - 11:37 PM

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#92 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 05:22 AM

What about the sidepanel?  What does it look like.  There doesn't seem to be ventilation on the sidepanel, which means it would be best to choose components that more efficiently expel heat out of the case.  Also i was hoping for more a straight on view of the inside of the case, like this, so we can see what the dimensions are like.

Posted Image
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#93 dualhunter

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 08:53 AM

Looks like an old generic case. The back panel has room for parallel and serial ports, you can see the PC speaker on the bottom and the front assumes you'll use a floppy drive :sick:

You're better off getting a new one with front USB ports and that is more cooling friendly.

#94 tgo

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:36 AM

I think I will just go with a new case, yeah.  I don't want to limit myself with what parts I can get and having inefficient cooling options, and this just looks like ass.  Maybe I can sell it to someone, or maybe not.  :P

So what I have is just the monitor and kb/m.  Will have to get everything else.  Would like to get it piece by piece so I can look for sales and take advantage of them when I see them.

One thing I thought about is setting up a HTPC that I can have in my living room hooked up to my HDTV as well.

#95 Spawn_of_Apathy

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:02 AM

I've got so many questions as I haven't looked at building a PC since HL2 came out. So everything is pretty much new to me.

One thing I'm thinking of is not using a Monitor, but instead simply using my Tv for everything. I've been using laptops for years, and no longer have a dedicated spot to set up a desktop, and I don't plan on setting one up either. I want to game from my couch, and with HDMI I can with ease.

One question (or set of questions) is that I've seen MoBos with onboard HDMI and some without, and it seems pretty much all video cards have HDMI. Does the HDMI on the video card output sound too, or will that require something else? Is HDMI on a MoBo pointless if I am planning to use the HDMI on a video card?

Does a MicroATX MoBo only fit in a MocroATX case, or can it mount in a mid sized or full sized tower? Is there a big difference between Mid sized and full sized towers?I

What is the general life span of graphic cards these days? For example, say I get a graphic card that costs around $200, like one of the lower end HD 6870s. How long until that card is bellow the "recommended" system specs for games (if it isn't already)?

#96 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 05:51 AM

View PostSpawn_of_Apathy, on 24 September 2011 - 05:02 AM, said:

I've got so many questions as I haven't looked at building a PC since HL2 came out. So everything is pretty much new to me.

One thing I'm thinking of is not using a Monitor, but instead simply using my Tv for everything. I've been using laptops for years, and no longer have a dedicated spot to set up a desktop, and I don't plan on setting one up either. I want to game from my couch, and with HDMI I can with ease.

Should be doable.

Quote

One question (or set of questions) is that I've seen MoBos with onboard HDMI and some without, and it seems pretty much all video cards have HDMI. Does the HDMI on the video card output sound too, or will that require something else? Is HDMI on a MoBo pointless if I am planning to use the HDMI on a video card?
All video cards of the past two generations transmit audio over HDMI; AMD cards have done so since 2006.  So you don't need a motherboard with HDMI at all.  The video cards have their own audio processor in them for the specific purpose of sending audio over HDMI.

Quote

Does a MicroATX MoBo only fit in a MocroATX case, or can it mount in a mid sized or full sized tower? Is there a big difference between Mid sized and full sized towers?I

MicroATX motherboards will mount in mid tower and full tower ATX cases just fine.  Full towers are simply bigger than mid towers.  More room to work inside, probably more hard drive slots, more optical slots, more space for the PSU, etc.

Quote

What is the general life span of graphic cards these days? For example, say I get a graphic card that costs around $200, like one of the lower end HD 6870s. How long until that card is bellow the "recommended" system specs for games (if it isn't already)?
Hard to say.  Recommended specs have slowed down this generation, but they might speed up again.  I'd say count on two years as a rough estimate for a $200 card.
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#97 Spawn_of_Apathy

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 01:42 AM

A few more questions...

In theory I am liking the idea of using a Micro ATX case. They look kind of nice, are easy on a budget, and Micro ATX boards are as well. It's not so much for the portability of it, as I cannot see myself carrying it around. But it would be easier to put it in, with, or next to my Tv and other components. I really do not plan on going "top of line", nor do I intend of overclocking anything. So provided I do not stuff it inside a entertainment cabinet I would imagine cooling wouldn't be an issue. So is the only thing I'd really be missing is expansion opportunities? Is there generally any kind of taboo against building a micro ATX, mid range gaming PC?

Also, I do not plan on getting everything right away. Hell, I may not even start buying components until next year, maybe spring or summer. What order is it recommended to start buying parts, piece by piece? And how long is considered too long to take to finish building a PC from start to finish, taking into account how technology ages for computers?

As somebody who is fairly new to gaming PC technology, say I go with an i5, with 8GB RAM, with a sub $200 AMD 6870 video card. Best guess, how long until I would need to upgrade each to stay keep in the mid range (if this would even be mid range at all)? I'm aware the estimate given to me before on the card was something like 2 years.

#98 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 02:58 AM

View PostSpawn_of_Apathy, on 25 September 2011 - 01:42 AM, said:

A few more questions...

In theory I am liking the idea of using a Micro ATX case. They look kind of nice, are easy on a budget, and Micro ATX boards are as well. It's not so much for the portability of it, as I cannot see myself carrying it around. But it would be easier to put it in, with, or next to my Tv and other components. I really do not plan on going "top of line", nor do I intend of overclocking anything. So provided I do not stuff it inside a entertainment cabinet I would imagine cooling wouldn't be an issue. So is the only thing I'd really be missing is expansion opportunities? Is there generally any kind of taboo against building a micro ATX, mid range gaming PC?

For what you want to accomplish MicroATX will be of no negatives.  For the most part microATX means you get less PCI expansion slots.  That's about it.  Cooling shouldn't be an issue either.

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Also, I do not plan on getting everything right away. Hell, I may not even start buying components until next year, maybe spring or summer. What order is it recommended to start buying parts, piece by piece? And how long is considered too long to take to finish building a PC from start to finish, taking into account how technology ages for computers?

Start with the case, optical drive, and power supply.  They don't change in price very much over time.  Next up would be the hard drive and motherboard, they don't change in price that much typically.  Motherboards change in price the most when they first launch, but then they stabilize for a bit.  In your price range and your time frame, motherboards should be in a very stable pricing segment for quite a while.  RAM right now is already ridiculously cheap, so next year it won't be a big deal if you buy it before you use it.  Almost last up would be the processor.  It will be one of the more expensive parts so you might as well hold off just in case a price cut happens.  The last thing you should buy is the video card, no doubt, as they change in price and come and go the fastest of any component.  Try not to drag out your purchases any longer than three months.  I'd advise buying the case, optical, psu, and hard drive first in whatever order/grouping you desire.  Then I'd strongly recommend buying the motherboard, RAM, CPU, and video card at the same time, so you can use the computer once you buy the parts.  If you can't do that, then get the RAM first.  Then try to get the mobo/CPU at the same time.  Finally get the video card.

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As somebody who is fairly new to gaming PC technology, say I go with an i5, with 8GB RAM, with a sub $200 AMD 6870 video card. Best guess, how long until I would need to upgrade each to stay keep in the mid range (if this would even be mid range at all)? I'm aware the estimate given to me before on the card was something like 2 years.

The i5 will most likely last you a while.  I'd say up to 4, maybe 5 years for the i5 to stay in midrange territory.  The 6870 is actually around $175 -- $150 after rebate.  I'd give it two years.  But if you're not buying these parts until next year, then at $200 you will be looking at a lot more powerful video cards.
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#99 Spawn_of_Apathy

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 04:50 AM

You have been fantastic. I'll keep my eye on recommended system specs for games, and prices/models of PC parts. I'll likely by the bulk of it with a chunk of my tax return next year. I'll run my intended set up by you guys. I know it won't impress, but it would be nice to get any tips, or approval.

A software related question. Since this PC will pretty much be purpose built and intended only for gaming, is there an easy way to set up Windows to run in kind of a bare basic mode, where it will run the games, and couple of programs I'll use while using a fraction of the resources Windows usually runs? On my new laptop with 3GB of ram, windows uses nearly 30% after booting, without me doing anything on it.

#100 tgo

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 03:25 PM

I'm trying to understand some of the benefits of a mobo that costs a little more.  What is the difference from a $99 mobo to one that is $125?  What are the main features that makes this a little more?  cusid you made the recommendation to me to get the MSI 970A-G45, but is there a benefit to going with something like this? http://www.ncix.com/...acture=Gigabyte


I'd just like to know what benefit there would be to go with the one that may cost $25 more, I don't mind spending $25 more if it has features that will benefit me in the long run.  Just trying to understand the difference in a $99 mobo to a $125 one.

#101 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 06:42 PM

View PostSpawn_of_Apathy, on 25 September 2011 - 04:50 AM, said:

You have been fantastic. I'll keep my eye on recommended system specs for games, and prices/models of PC parts. I'll likely by the bulk of it with a chunk of my tax return next year. I'll run my intended set up by you guys. I know it won't impress, but it would be nice to get any tips, or approval.

A software related question. Since this PC will pretty much be purpose built and intended only for gaming, is there an easy way to set up Windows to run in kind of a bare basic mode, where it will run the games, and couple of programs I'll use while using a fraction of the resources Windows usually runs? On my new laptop with 3GB of ram, windows uses nearly 30% after booting, without me doing anything on it.
With 8GB of RAM you won't have to worry about Windows hogging too much.  So long as you get a decent processor you don't have to worry about running a bare basics mode either.  Just normal Windows will do.


View Posttgo, on 25 September 2011 - 03:25 PM, said:

I'm trying to understand some of the benefits of a mobo that costs a little more.  What is the difference from a $99 mobo to one that is $125?  What are the main features that makes this a little more?  cusid you made the recommendation to me to get the MSI 970A-G45, but is there a benefit to going with something like this? http://www.ncix.com/...acture=Gigabyte


I'd just like to know what benefit there would be to go with the one that may cost $25 more, I don't mind spending $25 more if it has features that will benefit me in the long run.  Just trying to understand the difference in a $99 mobo to a $125 one.
Why yes, there are differences between those two boards.

1. The Gigabyte offers more bandwidth for the PCI-E x16 slots.  Gigabyte offers three PCI-E slots at x16, x8, and x4.  MSI offers two at x16 and x4.  This would be helpful if you intend to run dual video cards.  If you intend to run a single video card, there won't be a difference to you.

2. The gigabyte offers more ports while the MSI does not.  It also has more USB3 ports.  And it has more USB2 ports.

3. The Gigabyte board is much better for overclocking.  It has a more robust VRM design.  VRMs are what converts the power coming from the PSU to power the CPU can use.  So for overclocking the Gigabyte board will provide more stability.  Also if you have a power hungry processor and you overclock too much you actually run the risk of blowing up the VRMs on the MSI board, making the board dead.  

Those are the main differences in features I see.
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#102 tgo

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 07:34 PM

I don't think I would use 2 videocards, overclocking I doubt I'd do as well. But what about upgrading cpu's in the future.  Will the Msi be able to handle upgrades in the future without any issues?  Like what if I went with a AMD Phenom II X4 965 now, but later went with something better, will the MSI board be able to handle that upgrade well, or is the gigabyte more reliable for upgrading?

How reliable is MSI compared to Gigabyte?  I was reading some reader reviews on newegg about another MSi board that sells for like $60 that had an issue of the 2nd ram slot not reading ram in some units.  I'd hate to run into any issues like this with this board.  In terms of reliability, would you say Gigabyte or even Asus is more reliable than MSI?

Also, if not overclocking, is using the stock heatsink with the cpu you buy good enough?  Would I be extending the life of the mobo at all by going with a 3rd party heatsink or would the stock unit suffice?

#103 cusideabelincoln

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 08:34 PM

They should both offer the same upgrade path.  MSI and Gigabyte are both good at updating the BIOS.  Reliability differs from board to board.

Stock heatsink will work fine.  Aftermarket cooler won't extend the life of the mobo.
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#104 tgo

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 08:37 PM

Thanks, cusid.  Just bought the PSU, mobo, Ram, and a coolmaster case.  :)  About half way there and I can build my first gaming computer once I get the rest.  :D

#105 Spawn_of_Apathy

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Posted 27 September 2011 - 09:41 PM

So after a little research it would seem that since I plan to game just on my Tv, I do not even need to worry about SLI/Crossfire cards. Something that reenforces my decision to use a Micro ATX Mobo and case, since I won't need that many PCI Express slots.




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