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Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
07-25-2013, 12:26 PM,
#1
Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
Hi All,

(This will be a long first post explaining what I am looking for and what I have looked at so far generally asking for help or advice. Sorry if it is too much!)

I have a Asus M70vn x-1 laptop that I got almost 4 years ago which recently keeled over and died on me (I still have hopes of repair but... cost, its old and starting to be out of date, etc). This has me contemplating a new computer but what to get and/or how to do it myself?

I am a moderate gamer (big Total War fan, some EvE, and contemplating Mechwarrior Online, etc) and like to have the new shiny stuff to play it on. I know that with my games I don't need the most high end gaming rig out there (although I want to play the upcoming Rome 2 on very high settings!) as I wouldn't use it properly and would just be wasting money. On top of that, I have 2 other concerns while looking at computers. 1) I want to future proof myself as much as possible as I would like this next computer to last a good 3-4 years without me having to do much to it or spend more money on it (while still playing the best and brightest total war games that might come out!). and 2) I want a computer that can perform the everyday stuff well too and not just a gaming rig that plays Metro: Last Light beautifully at 50 or 60 FPS but crashes when you try to run MS Word, Excell, or quickbooks.

SO... currently, while budget is a very big factor (trying to get around $1000 (call it max spend $1200) although as always, cheaper is always better) I am more looking at what I want or think I want first, then seeing how much that costs.

Here is a rough list of what I was thinking, anything not currently on here I either haven't researched or am not sure about.

-i5-4670/4670k (I am not sure about overclocking so not sure if it is worth it for me)
-MSI Gaming N760 TF 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 760 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Video Card or Geforce 780 (of undifined make) or PERHAPS (read: if I have the money) do a dual GPU of the GTX 760x2
-SSD probably 120gb (thinking Samsung 840 or 840 Pro but am open to suggestions for more space or different makes)
-HDD Thinking 1 TB or possibly 2TB (Just want something reliable)
-Thinking a mid or large-sized tower as I would like to have extra expansion slots in case I later decide to expand or upgrade and don't forsee myself having to move it all that much
-I would like a dedicated sound card as I have the perception that it is vastly better, but am open to suggestions either way

(I'm sure that I will come up with more as I get deeper into it, so this is just a starting point)

With all of this in mind, I am considering several options. 1) do I try to find a premade one with the things I want, 2) find the things I want and have a company who specializes in building comps build it for me or 3) do I take the leap with no past experience of ever having done more than open the case and dust and try to build my own?

What do you guys think is the best idea to do? And furthermore, whichever course you think I should take what suggestions would you make?

Thanks in advance for the advice!
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07-26-2013, 12:54 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-26-2013, 12:57 PM by PwnBroker.)
#2
RE: Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
sounds like you know what you want. if you can turn a screw driver and read a few instructions then i would build it myself. if you have someone else build it they are going to charge a 10-20 percent markup. if you choose an oem machine then they ususally use the cheapest components plus they dont allow for easy upgrades(most of the time).

you can get more for your money by building it yourself and use the components you want to use making it a more reliable machine.

good luck
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07-26-2013, 09:38 PM,
#3
Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
For the hard drive, a 2 TB Western Digital red drive is very reliable.
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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07-27-2013, 01:52 AM,
#4
RE: Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
Yeah, I lean towards building it myself (hence why I am posting on this website in the first place!), but I am a bit intimidated by the prospect.

What do you guys think I should grab for the processor? Is it worth the extra money to grab a K series card and compatible z87 board on the possible chance I might overclock? I would give it only a 10-20% chance I would do this although in a few years the chances would go up to overclock rather than upgrade...

And any RAM or Motherboard sugguestions or thoughts on if the sdd samsung 840 pro is worth it over the samsung 840?

Thanks!
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07-27-2013, 07:11 AM,
#5
Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
I have a Samsung 840 Pro and highly recommend it. The non pro version is also fast. You can't go wrong with either.
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 CPU: Intel Core i7 3930K CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 SE2011 GPU: EVGA GTX 650 2GB SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 256GB HDDs: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB and Western Digital VelociRaptor 500 GB Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro RAM: 8x8GB (64GB) G. Skill Ripjaws Z 1600MHz Optical Drives: two Asus DRWB1ST PSU: Seasonic X650 80+ Gold Keyboard: Das Keyboard Professional S Mouse: Logitech Performance MX Tablet: Logitech T650 Monitors: NEC P241W and NEC PA241W Speakers: Bose Companion 3 Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64 bit
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07-28-2013, 04:46 AM,
#6
RE: Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
Thanks Mwhals.

Does anyone have any thoughts good or bad on the Asus z87-A? (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6813131981)

Seems like a decent motherboard for the price. If you have alternative suggestions I would love to hear them!
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07-28-2013, 05:27 PM,
#7
RE: Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
the non pro 840 is being replaced by a new drive: 840 EVO. it looks to be a really good upgrade from the non pro model. it comes out this month.

cant go wrong with an Asus board. if it were me i would prolly go ahead and get a k series chip even if you dont overclock right now, it will give you a little better futureproofing, plus the benchmarks are favoring good increase in performance from overclocking this chip.
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07-30-2013, 03:10 AM, (This post was last modified: 07-31-2013, 01:51 AM by Katotonic.)
#8
RE: Building my first PC (Is this really a good idea?)
Just read up on the EVO. Thanks for the pointer on it Pwn. It looks really cool/big upgrade over the standard 840 and for the same price!! Any idea on longevity though? That seems to be the big failing point for SSDs and one that the 840 had beat. But with new product I am left a bit nervous on that front.

As for motherboards, I am looking for a bit of advice. I posted the Z87-A and like the look and features for the money, but that lead me to other Asus z87 boards like the z87-pro, z87 plus, Maximus VI Hero, Maximus VI Gene, and the Gryphon z87. (basically everything Asus makes for under $220!)

I have decided I really like the options that Asus puts in and THINK I will pick one rather than a different manufacturer (alternatives, and things I am not considering please jump in here anyone on this point or "forever hold your peace"!). But... which one do I choose?!?!?!?!?! LoL.

The Maximus ROG line seems to have really good sound quality making the need for a dedicated sound card a lot less important. Plus they are good at the rest.

The Gryphon seems to be the most reliable built for crazy longevity and durability which appeals from a long lasting value side of things.

And the others have options or price points that appeal.

So, please tell me what you guys think!

--------------------------------------------
Edit:
Ok, So I have narrowed it down to 3 options. 2 normal ATX and a MicroATX. All have their plus and minuses.

First, the ATX options.

1) Asus z87-pro. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6813131979).

In the reviews it seemed very capable. Overall outperforming the Asus ROG boards in some aspects, and being competitive in the ones that it couldn't outperform.

2) Asus z87 - Maximus VI Hero (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6813131989)

Reviews say good performer. Designed for gaming and some nice features that go with it (specifically the Internet protocol for gaming features first and the apparently amazing onboard Sound). The reviews point out that in some ways this card was amazing, and others fairly un-amazing. On some benchmark tests it was the top card or top 3 but in others mostly 2d stuff or general processing it was near the bottom.

3) Finally the Micro-ATX - Asus - Maximus VI Gene (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6813131975)

This card confuses me a bit actually. Despite being a Micro form AND cheaper than the normal ATX Maximus VI Hero it seems to have slightly better performance (looking at reviews) and a few more options (like the ability to take on higher clocked RAM). Other than that it is almost a clone to the Hero. Same great sound, similar options, etc

Please give me some feedback on what you guys think of these three cards and is the Micro form a better selling point?
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