You need to Read the rules and Join the forums before you can post.

Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
11-03-2013, 08:00 PM,
#1
First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
Hi All,

First post on these forums, first time I'm thinking about building a computer. Applying to grad schools at the moment, and I'm looking to have something to do once my apps are in so I don't have to worry about them once they're sent (and so I have some games to play while I'm waiting...). Mostly just looking for thoughts/feedback on how I should go about ordering things. 1. Thoughts on which build is right for me. 2. Thoughts on what parts I should get, considering I'll likely be doing most of the build starting in a few weeks (e.g., is there something coming out soon that would be useful that I should wait for?)

I started out by checking out this (very helpful) article, and am intrigued by the build for "Tier 2," which I'm imagining would be my baseline idea, though I think I would like to upgrade the RAM and some of the other upgrade options listed also sounded nice to me. My budget is around 1000 bucks, but note that I also need to get a monitor. If I'm making something particularly awesome, I can stretch the budget if needed, but I'm not spending a ton more than that.

http://www.hardware-revolution.com/budge...n-geforce/

My goals for the computer, beyond basic computing:
1. I don't have a TV, so something that can double as something of a home theater would be nice (right now I have a macbook). Doesn't have to have a big screen, probably something like 21-23 inches will be fine. From my understanding, this just means I should get any reasonable. monitor with an HDMI input? Is this correct? I actually thought this looked nice, but let me know if you think this doesn't fit the above goals, or if something else would have a better quality/money ratio? http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AZML...B00AZMLIWW

2. I want to be able to play some games on it. Generally I'm not a fan of shooters or games that need insanely high FPS, but I do play some graphically demanding games from time to time such as Civ 5 and Diablo 3 (as well as some less demanding games). I'm looking for something that can handle those reasonably well, with fairly high graphics.

3. I think I want to run Windows 8, partially to try it and partially because I'm not a huge fan of Windows 7. Any suggestions here would be great too!

Will something like the Tier 2 option be able to handle that? Would it be possible to do something like this at the desired price point with a smaller box/system? If not, what alternatives should I be looking at? As you can see, I don't have any clue what I'm doing, so I thought I'd start here to get any expert feedback that I could. Thanks in advance!
Reply
11-03-2013, 11:56 PM,
#2
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
I spent some time putting together a tentative build, and would appreciate thoughts! I'm not sure how links work on this forum, but this is just a link to my spreadsheet in google drive.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?...sp=sharing
Reply
11-04-2013, 11:18 AM, (This post was last modified: 11-04-2013, 11:19 AM by Rapajez.)
#3
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
1. Tier 2 should be a good fit. It should have no problem running Civ V and Diablo 3 at 1920x1080. If you want to be a little more future proof, you could consider Tier 3, as it's a pretty major improvement in the CPU area, for not much more money. I'm not positive, but I believe Civ V is a little CPU-bound. (E.g., You can spend less time waiting for the Computer to take it's turn, maybe?) An SSD is also an excellent investment, as it will drastically improve game loading times, and overall system responsiveness.

2. If you can wait, Black Friday usually results in some huge deals on Newegg.com. AMD is also in the process of launching it's new series of "RX 2XX" cards this month, with the "R9 290" announcement this Wednesday. When AMD announced the R9 290X two weeks ago (different from R9 290 non-X), NVIDIA cut prices by hundreds of dollars. As a results, GPU prices should continue plummeting all month.

Other answers:

1. The monitor seems like a good buy. Here's the one I use, same specs, but 23" for a few bucks more: http://forums.hardware-revolution.com/sh...p?tid=5013

2. Windows 8 is fine. It's "8.1" with the latest patch. You now have the option to boot right to the Desktop, and they re-added the start button. It's a little hard to get used to, and is definitely optimized for touch-screens, but you might as well go for 8, unless you can get a much better deal on Windows 7.

I couldn't read your Google Drive from my proxy, but if you want to copy-paste into the forum, I'll take a look.
GPU: NVIDIA Titan X, CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz OC'd @ 4.5GHz, Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4, Mem: 2x Corsair Dominator 2133MHz 8GB, SSD: Samsung 850 EVO, Case: Corsair Carbide 500R, PSU: Corsair TX850M, CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14, Case Fans: 4x Cooler Master Excalibur 120mm PWM, Monitors: 3x ViewSonic VX2270SMH-LED in NVIDIA Surround
Reply
11-04-2013, 11:42 AM,
#4
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
Your build looks pretty solid to me.

Replying to the questions you asked in the google doc:

- G.Skill "ARES" is simply another marketing name for RAM sticks with different heatsinks than the RipJaws models. From a compatibility/performance point of view, it makes no difference.

- A Radeon 7870 at that price is a great deal.

- Going with a 600W power supply is wise if you want to overclock your CPU and/or video card.

- Case: Note that the motherboard that you selected does NOT have a USB 3.0 onboard header, so you won't be able to use the case's USB 3.0 ports, unless it's a USB cable that plugs into a USB port on the back of the motherboard.

You can pick pretty much any ATX alternative case in the Budget Gaming PCs article, pick whichever you think looks best.

- CPU Cooler: You most definitely need an after-market CPU Cooler to overclock a FX-8320. The Hyper 212 EVO is the minimum that I'd go with, but I'd highly suggest upgrading to the NZXT HAVIK 140 ($50 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005869XYK/ ) for better overclocking results. Simply put, the FX-8320 puts out a lot of heat, even more so when overclocked, so a poor CPU Cooler wouldn't be able to keep up with it and your overclock would be limited by it.

- Sound/speakers: The motherboard has onboard sound (see audio ports on the back of it). You can use earphones/headphones and/or speakers, that's up to you.

- Mouse, keyboard and screen are all recommended by me, so no issue there Smile
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
Reply
11-05-2013, 07:35 PM,
#5
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
A bunch of great points! Thanks for the thoughts and advice.

I think I will wait until black friday, that works well for me in terms of when I will be free, but I'll work on tweaking my build before then and see if I can get a few more thoughts on the various good deals once the end of November rolls around. So I'll be back :-).

One thing I will ask is how the micro cases work? You basically just need a smaller motherboard and (potentially) smaller graphics cards? Is there a substantial price difference? Are there other parts you'd need to switch, or other drawbacks (fewer fans?). Considering this, since saving some desk space would be ideal.

(11-04-2013, 11:42 AM)MathieuB Wrote: Your build looks pretty solid to me.

Replying to the questions you asked in the google doc:

- G.Skill "ARES" is simply another marketing name for RAM sticks with different heatsinks than the RipJaws models. From a compatibility/performance point of view, it makes no difference.

- A Radeon 7870 at that price is a great deal.

- Going with a 600W power supply is wise if you want to overclock your CPU and/or video card.

- Case: Note that the motherboard that you selected does NOT have a USB 3.0 onboard header, so you won't be able to use the case's USB 3.0 ports, unless it's a USB cable that plugs into a USB port on the back of the motherboard.

You can pick pretty much any ATX alternative case in the Budget Gaming PCs article, pick whichever you think looks best.

- CPU Cooler: You most definitely need an after-market CPU Cooler to overclock a FX-8320. The Hyper 212 EVO is the minimum that I'd go with, but I'd highly suggest upgrading to the NZXT HAVIK 140 ($50 - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005869XYK/ ) for better overclocking results. Simply put, the FX-8320 puts out a lot of heat, even more so when overclocked, so a poor CPU Cooler wouldn't be able to keep up with it and your overclock would be limited by it.

- Sound/speakers: The motherboard has onboard sound (see audio ports on the back of it). You can use earphones/headphones and/or speakers, that's up to you.

- Mouse, keyboard and screen are all recommended by me, so no issue there Smile
Reply
11-05-2013, 09:26 PM,
#6
First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
Black Friday is a great idea! I saved $400 on my build during last year's Black Friday.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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
Reply
11-05-2013, 11:36 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-05-2013, 11:37 PM by MathieuB.)
#7
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
For Micro-ATX cases:

You need a Micro-ATX motherboard.

Video card length isn't a problem with modern Micro-ATX cases.

The biggest CPU Coolers may not fit in them (double-check case width and CPU Cooler height).

You should be fine as long as you pick a Micro-ATX motherboard and a Micro-ATX case from the alternative Micro-ATX cases list.

Feel free to post your build with links to Newegg/Amazon before buying, so that we can confirm that everything is compatible.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
Reply
11-11-2013, 08:01 PM,
#8
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
I will certainly post back before I buy anything - probably some time around black friday. In the mean time, I've updated my build a bit, and come across a few more questions...

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?...sp=sharing

1. I want to understand graphics better. What is the real difference between the various series of G.SKILL? Does it matter (as in, is some series worse in some way), or should I just pick the one that is the best value at my desired 2x8GB level while still being 1866?

2. How do people feel about the 2x4GB vs 1x8GB RAM option. I'd consider going for the latter just for future upgrade-ability, though I don't think this is such a big deal to me. More just curious on thoughts on the difference!

3. Any recommended guides for the actual build process? I see the ones at the bottom of the article on budget PCs, but I'd like to have a few others available in case I need more references..

4. Do you need an optical drive? Can you just install the OS somehow through a disk image or the like? How does installing Windows 8 on a new computer work? Just don't want to run into any curveballs here.

5. Anyone have any strong thoughts on keyboards? Not something I know anything about (and I sort of picked one at random).

6. How does the SSD + HDD setup work? Is it significantly more work, or do you basically just plug in both and explain to the OS how to handle it when it boots? Does it require a lot of manual maintenance in terms of telling the OS where to install or maintain what information (beyond the basic "Install this program on this drive" kind of maintenance).

7. I haven't thought about or upgraded the cooler setup at all because I don't fully understand it. So cases in general come with built in fans that are fairly weak, and have space for additional fans that you add? You recommended a 140mm fan, but the challenger case only has space to add 2 120mm fans, correct? Do you replace the fan that comes with the case instead?

8. Are there any specs you would recommend changing in order to make this computer more oriented towards more of a home theater PC (with the ability to also play some games)?

I'm sure I have more questions, but these are my main ones right now. Thanks in advance!
Reply
11-11-2013, 10:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-11-2013, 10:07 PM by MathieuB.)
#9
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
1. Different heatspreaders, that's about it. In other words, different looks. Just pick the one with best value, without too tall heatsinks (as those will prevent the installation of an after-market CPU Cooler).

2. 2x4GB, in order to have your memory run in dual-channel, which allows your CPU to access both sticks of RAM at the same time, which results in higher performance. With two installed sticks, you'll have two RAM slots that will be still free if you want to add more RAM in the future.

3. The video guides from Newegg and the text guides from arstechnica are really good in my opinion. These can be useful too: http://www.hardware-revolution.com/how-t...-computer/ and http://www.hardware-revolution.com/10-qu...-builders/

4. There are ways to install Windows with an USB stick, Google is your friend here.

5. What do you want from your keyboard? What's your budget?

6. You plug in both. In the UEFI/BIOS, you set the boot priority so that your PC knows to boot from the PC. In Windows, you'll have different drive letters (C:, D:, etc.) for the SSD and HDD. When you install something, you specify where you want it. You'll want to move your documents (Pictures, Songs, etc. to the hard drive, to save space on the SSD. See this guide on how to do so: http://forums.hardware-revolution.com/sh...p?tid=3141

7. The cooler is for cooling the CPU, hence why it's a CPU Cooler. You install it on top of the CPU, the CPU Cooler comes with instructions.

8. A dedicated sound card perhaps, a wireless keyboard/mouse would be a good idea to control it from your couch. Wireless adapter if you want to use WiFi. Just keep in mind that a LAN cable is usually faster and more reliable.
Laptop: MSI GS30 Shadow-045 Dimensions: 12.6" x 8.9" x 0.8" 2.65lbs CPU: Intel Core i7-4870HQ Quad-Core + Hyper-Threading OC 2.5-3.9GHz RAM: 16GB DDR3 1600MHz Video Card: Intel Iris Pro 5200 Storage: 2x128GB SDD RAID0 Audio: ASUS Xonar U3 USB Sound Card + Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones Screen: 13.3" - 1920 x 1080 IPS + 27" Dell P2715Q IPS 3840 x 2160 Keyboard: Filco Majestouch MX Cherry Blue Mouse: Logitech MX518
Reply
11-11-2013, 10:32 PM, (This post was last modified: 11-12-2013, 11:30 AM by MathieuB.)
#10
RE: First Computer Build, Advice Appreciated!
All very helpful! I took some time to watch some of the build videos, so I have a better sense of how things work now (including the CPU cooler).

I've worked a bit on my build, and reformatted it so it's on this site:

(edit: link was removed? Not sure I understand how it violates rule 9! I added a space..)

The problem is, it's a bit pricier than my budget (though I could spring for it, if it's worth it!). Any ideas on where i could save money? I'm sure black friday will help a bit, but any thoughts on where I'm not getting full value in the sense that my other parts are holding back something expensive from really being at its best?

Also a few other things I realized by putting the build on this site:
1. I have bluetooth speakers I want to use, do I need to do something in particular to make these work?
2. Do I need to get a separate wireless network adapter?
3. Does the thermal paste that is used with the CPU cooler come with the cooler, or does it need to be bought separately?
4. Still no clue on keyboard. I don't want to spend a ton on it, but honestly don't have really strong preferences. I use a macbook pro keyboard now, which I like, so something of a similar style would make sense for me.
5. Is this too much power in the power supply (I put it because it looks good/is a good deal with the CPU)? Is there such a thing as too much power, or does this just allow for more future upgrades that may be power hungry?

What parts would I need that aren't listed here (such as cables, etc.)? So far, I think I may need:
Case Fans
SATA Cable
Keyboard
Wireless Adapter
Sound card?!

Tons of questions, sorry about that! Trying to learn some stuff as I do this :-).
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)