My son's first custom PC... comments?

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My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:40 pm

Hi all,

My son is so proud to have gathered enough money to buy his own PC (x-mas money helped! :wink: ). He is autistic, so that's a decently big deal for him. We already bought a nice 23" monitor, and now we are going to order the parts and build his PC. Gonna do this together, so I'll show him how it's done at the same time. Mainly he will be doing digital drawings and play Star Wars TOR on it. His budget is $500, so I realize it's a bit tight for a gaming rig. But worst case, he'll upgrade different parts in the future. Here's what I've come up with, that cuts it to about $500 CAD. What I need help with is with compatibility between PSU/Mobo/VGA, to be sure I have all required connectors.

Antec three hundred case $50
Intel Core i3 3220 $110
Gigabyte B75M-D3H $70
Asus Radeon HD 7770 $100
Thermaltake TR2 500W Power Supply $38
Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200RPM SATA3 $70
LG DVD-writer $13
Kingston KHX1600C9D3B1K2/8GX $37

Total $487 before taxes. Any comments? I know it's far from a powerhouse, but it's definitely much better than what he currently has (a Dell Vostro with a 8600 GT VGA). I'm hoping it'll be decent.

Thanks for any comments.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:08 pm

That's a decent selection of components for the price. I might choose an H77 motherboard, but what you've picked out will work together.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:45 pm

Thanks JAEngineer. I think it's what I'll order then.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:03 pm

Looks like a pretty decent built, the only thign I could suggest is this 650ti which will give a nice boost over the 7770 and will probably extend the time before he has to upgrade:

http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=76827 ... omoid=1033

but even with the 7770 that should be enough for the tsks you mentioned.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:22 am

ernestox11 wrote:Looks like a pretty decent built, the only thign I could suggest is this 650ti which will give a nice boost over the 7770 and will probably extend the time before he has to upgrade


The 650Ti is only about 15% faster than the 7770 and may not be worth the 25% price premium (although with the mail in rebate you linked it's only 15% more, and would just crest the $500 budget). Having said that, I'm currently running a 5770 (10-15% slower than the 7770) and it's been adequate for my gaming needs until now (replacing it with a 660 which is being shipped as I type).
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:19 am

The 7770 might look good in those, but the frame time issued that popped up with the 7950 vs. 660 Ti reviews makes me a little weary on recommending the AMD over the Nvidia. That boost might seem more significant in real applications.

The other thing I would consider is the size of everything. The linked motherboard is mATX, and a 650 Ti is pretty small (and will tend to run cooler). You might be able to get everything into a smaller form factor and have some portability on the machine. Just an option you might consider.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:11 am

There's not much improvement one could bring, you did a good job.

Just a reminder to look up some reviews of that PSU, as i don't know much about it and Tt was at some point in a downward spiral in terms of quality.

Also try to get an aftermarket CPU cooler, i don't imagine that CPU runs hot but i bet the stock cooler can be noisey if the machine is runing games for hours.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:30 am

I would also consider the 650ti it performs a good bit better then the hd7770. Newegg has a 1gb galaxy card for 134$ Then even better you can get a HD7850 1gb for 165$ they are a killer cards for 1080p and you wont have to sacrifice much if any quality to get good frame rates. Both those prices are from newegg.

As for the cooler the stock one should be just fine with a 55 watt dual core. Fully loaded i bet it wont even come off idle RPM fan speeds.

As for the PSU I remember reading reviews saying they had major quality issues.
This 400watt Antec has a nice single 12volt rail with 30 amps for 40$ http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817371029
I only rec this since the earthwatts 380 watt psu is out of stock at newegg...............antec has been making good PSUs for a while.

Remember the video cards these days do not use the power of the older ones and AMD and NV inflate the power supply needs tremendously.

You could probably run a GTX 680 on that 400 watt psu. That 7770 uses probably 80 watts loaded. I think my 7750 uses 50 watts
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:38 am

superjawes wrote:The 7770 might look good in those, but the frame time issued that popped up with the 7950 vs. 660 Ti reviews makes me a little weary on recommending the AMD over the Nvidia.
Are you weary or wary?

Did you actually read the reviews of the Radeon HD7770, or have you magically extrapolated a few results from a cut-down Tahiti GPU and a cut-down GK104 GPU to also apply to a Cape Verde GPU?

Radeon HD7770 is by far the best-performing graphics card available for CA$110 -10MIR or CA$115 -40MIR.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:44 pm

Arclight wrote:Also try to get an aftermarket CPU cooler, i don't imagine that CPU runs hot but i bet the stock cooler can be noisey if the machine is runing games for hours.

Intel's current stock heatsinks are geared toward quietness rather than lower temps. (whereas AMD stock HSFs tend to be the opposite) I would try it without an aftermarket HSF first, especially since you can't overclock. The biggest gain in going with an aftermarket HSF over an Intel HSF is you'll have lower temps at roughly the same noise level.
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Sun Dec 30, 2012 3:01 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Arclight wrote:Also try to get an aftermarket CPU cooler, i don't imagine that CPU runs hot but i bet the stock cooler can be noisey if the machine is runing games for hours.

Intel's current stock heatsinks are geared toward quietness rather than lower temps. (whereas AMD stock HSFs tend to be the opposite) I would try it without an aftermarket HSF first, especially since you can't overclock. The biggest gain in going with an aftermarket HSF over an Intel HSF is you'll have lower temps at roughly the same noise level.


Agree with stock cooler option. Aftermarket coolers on a $99 CPU are a poor investment. I'm actually running the stock AMD HSF on my AII X4 640 since it turned out my case was too shallow for the Tuniq cooler I bought, and I still can't hear the CPU fan in a cheapo OEM case with no insulation. This from a former noise freak who undervolted casefans and CPUs (maybe my ears are just getting old?).
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Re: My son's first custom PC... comments?

Postposted on Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:25 pm

Thanks all again for your comments and suggestions. I had thought of an after-market cooler, also for the look. Then after I realized that the Antec case had no side window! :lol: so I decided to skip. But there is always the option to add it in later.

Should be fine like this, and I'll keep an eye on the PSU, making sure it works correctly. I payed for express RMA so if I need it, it'll come in handy. Good to know also that I could have chosen a lower powered PSU, that way I know that this one, if it works properly, will have no trouble powering this computer.

Cheers!
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