First Build

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First Build

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:54 pm

Looking for some advice on my first desktop build
I've done quite a bit of research and know just a bit about what I want and have found some of the things I may decide to use.
I'm trying to stay in a budget of around $400-$500 (considering that I may be able to get a small discount from my job :D )

Not too much gaming as I am still in school and I already play on an xbox 360 but occasionally I do and in the future I may decide to play some games on the desktop.
Mostly school work (MS Office, Internet, Email, etc)
HD capability, I will be using my HD TV as a monitor so lots of movies and media (online until I get an optical drive)
maybe some photo editing
not sure if what i'm looking at has a WiFi card or not but need that for wireless printing



Right now, I'm looking at this list of components:
$129.99 - Intel Core i3-3225
$139.99 - Asus P8Z77 V LK (Not gonna be doing any overclocking so looking for an alternative. considering the P8H67 V, if i can find it)
$75.99 - Corsair 16gb
$56.99 - Western Digital 320gb 7200RPM
$64.99 - Corsair 300R (200R is no longer available)
$59.98 - Antec 550w
$527.93 Total (Before possible employee discounts)

In the future I plan on also putting in a SSD, a graphics card, and CD/DVD writer.
I'm looking for any suggestions/alternatives/recommendations/etc.
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:01 pm

1) It looks like a pretty good start.
2) Where do you live? (this will help us suggest places to shop, for example newegg.com or Microcenter)
3) Not saying that a 320GB hdd isn't sufficient, but would you be intersted in a 1TB hdd for only $13 more?
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DPete27
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:23 pm

When you say "HD," you do mean 1080p and not 720p, yes? I know you aren't necessarily going to game right now, but your budget is very close to the Econobox, especially if you leave out the GPU for now.

DPete definitely made a good point about HDD. I can survive on a lot less if I needed to, but 1TB for just a little more will last a lot longer.

You should have case options at this price range, but you might be able to get something that works well in mATX or mITX sizes, which might make things easier for a college environment. Consider that as you're piecing things together.
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:02 pm

booooyet wrote:Looking for some advice on my first desktop build...
Welcome to the Tech Report!

booooyet wrote: $130 - Intel Core i3-3225
$140 - Asus P8Z77 V LK (Not gonna be doing any overclocking so looking for an alternative. considering the P8H67 V, if i can find it)
The Asus P8Z77-M Pro has pretty much the same features as the P8Z77-V LK but in a micro-ATX form factor.
The ASRock H77 Pro4-M or ASRock Z77 Pro4-M are slightly less expensive.
You can save $12 with a combination deal.

booooyet wrote: $76 - Corsair 16gb
Make sure that's two 8 GiB DIMMs rather than four 4 GiB DIMMs. I suggest PC3-14900 (DDR3-1866) or PC3-12800 (DDR3-1600) memory that runs with CAS 9 at 1.5 V.

booooyet wrote: $57 - Western Digital 320gb 7200RPM
That's just way too small to bother with in this decade. Get a 1+ TB hard-drive.

If the budget can stand it, a 90 to 256 GB SSD for your operating system would be a great upgrade. You may want an optical drive, as well.
$25 LiteOn iHOS104-06 BD-ROM
or $50 LG CH12LS28 BD-ROM/DVD-RW

booooyet wrote: $65 - Corsair 300R (200R is no longer available)
$60 - Antec 550w
Take a look at something like the Antec NSK3480 (includes PSU) or the Silverstone Temjin TJ08B-E if you go with a Micro-ATX motherboard.
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:24 pm

You can save yourself some money by going with 8gb of RAM rather than 16gb. Unless you have a specific reason for 16gb then there will be little benefit to 16gb over 8gb.

I also recommend a SSD. They make for a dramatically better computing experience.
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Thu Dec 06, 2012 8:30 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Antec NSK3480 (includes PSU)


If your budget is fixed, saving money by getting that case to get an SSD is the best thing you can do. Drop to 8GB if you have to;

Machines without SSD's are almost obsolete already, and whilst there are some who disagree with this statement now, just wait a couple of years and even the OEM's like Dell/HP will be using flash storage in their whole lineup (not just the high-end stuff).
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:00 am

Chrispy_ wrote:If your budget is fixed, saving money by getting that case to get an SSD is the best thing you can do. Drop to 8GB if you have to;

Getting the Antec NSK3480 only saves the OP ~$25 over the original Case + PSU. If you wait for deals on RAM, you can get 8GB for $30, so now you're up to only $75 savings which is tight for getting a decent sized SSD (I would recommend something between 90 and 128GB).

I'd still like to know where the OP lives that they can't get the Corsair 200R. (I know it's currently sold out at newegg, but patience is key. It will come back) I've seen the 200R on newegg for $30 after MIR, pair that with this 430W PSU that is regularly on sale at newegg for $20, now go with your 8GB of RAM for $30 on sale and you've saved $120(ish) off the original build list which is plenty for a decent 120-128GB SSD. (SSD prices are up a tad right now I see. I hope that's not a direct result of OCZ not being so aggressive with their pricing)

The key for purchasing a system right now is to have a couple choices in mind and wait for sales. There are plenty of sales around Christmas time.

PS. If you later add an AMD 7870 GPU to this build, you only need a 380W PSU.
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DPete27
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:23 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Machines without SSD's are almost obsolete already...


don't know if they are or not but they oughta be. An SSD boot drive is the single best investment you can make in a new machine, particularly for the uses the OP describes.

It's one of those improvements that, until you experience it for yourself you really can't appreciate how much better the whole system will feel and respond. Humongous programs like AfterFX that used to take 90 seconds to open now are ready in less than 10. Firefox, Chrome, Notepad, etc.? Instant access - seriously.

I would sacrifice [at least] half the RAM you propose buying, follow the recommendations on the case/PSU combos (wait for sales) and get any SSD for your OS. I realize this means you'll likely need a 2nd HDD but that's where sales come in handy again - a 2TB Caviar Green was $90 on newegg yesterday. It's back up to 109 today but it'll be on sale again soon I'm sure.

Good luck with the build!
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:25 pm

Thanks for all the advice.
The build is not set in stone or anything and I'm looking for suggestions.
I think I am gonna go with the 8 gb instead of the 16gb cause I probably wouldn't even use that much and if i need it i'll just upgrade later.

DPete27 wrote:1) It looks like a pretty good start.
2) Where do you live? (this will help us suggest places to shop, for example newegg.com or Microcenter)
3) Not saying that a 320GB hdd isn't sufficient, but would you be intersted in a 1TB hdd for only $13 more?

I live in Sothern California. and I work at Best Buy so I might be able to get some of the parts pretty cheap.
the 320gb hdd does seem a bit low now but maybe I could get by with a 500 gb or 720gb and a 80-100gb SSD?

superjawes wrote:When you say "HD," you do mean 1080p and not 720p, yes? I know you aren't necessarily going to game right now, but your budget is very close to the Econobox, especially if you leave out the GPU for now.
You should have case options at this price range, but you might be able to get something that works well in mATX or mITX sizes, which might make things easier for a college environment. Consider that as you're piecing things together.

Yea I saw the Econobox and I like that setup as well. I'm not too worried about the college environment thing. I have enough room for a full sized computer.

I'm looking at getting most of the components from best buy to get my employee discount but I haven't price checked anything yet. The build might not even start till after christmas.
I was trying to find some cases that came with PSU but I want one with front usb drives and the ones i found only had one or the other.

So now the build looks like i'll get a SSD & HDD and less ram 8gb,
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:22 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
booooyet wrote: $80 -8 code "CorsairDec12" -10MIR - Corsair Carbide 300R
or $60 -6 code "CorsairDec12" -10MIR - Corsair Carbide 200R
$68 Antec BP550 Plus
Take a look at something like the $110 Antec NSK3480 (includes EA-380 PSU) or the $113 Silverstone Temjin TJ08B-E if you go with a Micro-ATX motherboard.
The cost savings aren't huge. I recommended those two micro-ATX tower cases as being decently-built, quiet and compact.
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:41 am

Great choice on the i3 3225 - it is blazing fast in my HTPC. The integrated graphics do the job for older games. I've got Company of Heroes and Red Faction: Armaggedon (thank you THQ Humble Bundle) running on mine, though only at the lowest settings.

Do you really need that 550w power supply? Doesn't seem like it unless you are going to toss in a massive graphics card.

I have the Antec Earthwatts 380w and it works great and is about $15 cheaper. Toss that $15 toward a SSD. Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but with his setup, 380w would still leave plenty of juice for a decent graphics card down the road. I think its the same powersupply that comes with the Antec NSK3480 case.

Also, be sure to check out the Orange County MicroCenter if you are near it. Tons of motherboards that are significantly cheaper than the one you listed. Microcenter is running a deal where you get $40 off a motherboard when you buy a compatible processor. Tons of savings to put towards other parts. The same basic combo you had (i3 plus Asus) would be $243 at Microcenter after the discount instead of $270. See Processor and motherboard - the $40 discount shows up when you put both in your cart.
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HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: First Build

Postposted on Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:17 am

southrncomfortjm wrote:Anyone please correct me if I'm wrong, but with his setup, 380w would still leave plenty of juice for a decent graphics card down the road.


The Antec Earthwatts 380W is a classic, high-quality PSU.

Not only is it reliable and quiet, it's also perfectly capable of powering a 95W quad-core, a 150W graphics card and plenty of disks, even when it's already several years old. What it lacks it efficiency it makes up for in value - especially when purchased as part of an Antec NSK case.

It is a testament to clever/dishonest marketing that people are buying 750W+ power supplies for their single-socket, single GPU builds, and it's backed up by the fact that Dell only put 525W PSU's in their dual-socket (Precision) workstations. Their more standard mATX builds (Optiplexes) happily run Ivy-bridge i7's and GT640s with just 265W PSUs
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