First build! Help needed.

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First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:36 pm

Hey guys, time for my first build! My budget is somewhere in the 850 dollar range, but I will update if that raises or lowers.

I'm thinking about modeling the build off the newest econobox, with some slight modifications.

Rough draft:
Bitfenix prodigy (REALLY want this thing, looks stunning)
i3 3220
I have no mobo experience, so I'd like some recommendations in that category
Insert cheap RAM here
Nvidia gtx 650 ti
A solid 1-2 TB hard drive
PSU help needed as well

Peripherals needed:
A decent 1920 x 1080p monitor
A cheap but effective keyboard

The system will be used mainly for gaming, with some light video watching, editing, and browsing. What else should I get to help build the actual thing? Any specific multi-tools, or various accessories that will make the building process easier?

Thanks in advance.
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Black Applesauce
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:00 pm

I won't go into pricing- but a few things-

1. Stretch your budget for a quad-core Intel. Really.
2. The motherboard doesn't really matter too much- unless you need specific features or real overclocking prowess, focus on price vs. reliability.
3. Upgrade to a GTX660 Ti (or better), and look closely at AMD, and be very wary of the coolers.
4. Consider an SSD for the OS, but that is a much lower priority than making sure that you have the CPU and GPU angles covered.
5. You'll need no more than 450W- max. Focus on quality, size, and modularity/length of cables.

This isn't really that hard, but there's also a few angles you haven't covered- what about sound? Networking? Do you anticipate the need for any kind of dedicated interfaces like Firewire or Thunderbolt?

And what about cooling? The i3 would likely be fine with the included stock cooler, but I do highly recommend moving to a quad-core, and you'll probably want something a little more robust to keep the noise down and to better work with the Prodigy's ventilation.
Canon 6D|24-105/4L IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|24/2.8 IS USM|
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:35 pm

Isn't that case a miniITX one? You'll be sacrificing a lot of "function" for that "form" - tiny internal space might have a negative impact on cooling (yea, it has lots of air inlets but all of the components will still be cramped up), ease of installation and choice of motherboards... If you really want to have this case - I suggest getting something like an Asus Maximus Impact motherboard, it has pretty much everything necessary built in, especially a very good quality soundcard which is important because you won't be able to purchase a stand-alone soundcard in PCIe/PCI format for such motherboard format.

Black Applesauce wrote:Peripherals needed:
A decent 1920 x 1080p monitor
A cheap but effective keyboard

For monitor - if you like fast-paced FPS games I'd recommend a TN monitor with high refresh rate and compatible with "LightBoost trick", but they are less affordable and not really necessary. If you mostly play RPGs/MMORPGs/MOBAs then you should definitely stick with an IPS monitor - just go to Amazon or Newegg and do a search for "1920x1080 IPS", you'll find plenty of choices, buy whatever you can afford.
For keyboard - there are lots of choices, with rubber dome keys as well as with mechanical switches. Different types of mechanical switches will give you different "feel" so you must try them out by yourself to decide which one YOU like the best. Just find the local stores which sell various models and try them out before buying any of them. Or buy them from Amazon and abuse their return policy if you won't like the particular model :wink:

Airmantharp wrote:3. Upgrade to a GTX660 Ti (or better), and look closely at AMD, and be very wary of the coolers.

I agree. I'd say GTX760 or AMD 7950 should be a "starting point" if you want to play most of modern games at maximum settings. The 7950 series often goes on short sales, you can "catch" such sales if you visit http://www.slickdeals.net at least daily (they are usually listed on front page but you can also search their "hot deals" forum section, it does not require registration for that).
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:59 am

Black Applesauce wrote:What else should I get to help build the actual thing? Any specific multi-tools, or various accessories that will make the building process easier?

Thanks in advance.


Nothing extra is usually needed.
Assembly is just using a phillips (star head) screwdriver.
Zip ties to clean up the cabling are handy, most cases come with a couple these days.

The biggest thing is patience and a good workspace to assembe it all in (static free as possible, like not on a carpet) I use my kitchen table.

if you hit an issue you get stuck (ie something will not fit), don't force it and ask questions... on here is good with pictures.
Arvald
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:55 pm

Intel Core i5-4670K...................$239.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116899

GIGABYTE GA-Z87-HD3...................$119.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813128618

ADATA XPG V1.0 series 8GB...................$57.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820211457

HDD: Western Digital Black 1TB...................$89.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822136533

Case: LIAN LI PC-K65 Black Aluminum / Steel ATX Mid Tower...................$74.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6811112354

SeaSonic M12II 620 Bronze...................$79.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6817151095

SAPPHIRE 100354OC-2L Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition...................$184.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814202025

Total: 847.93

Note i did not check any reviews of the recommended motherboard, nor did i include an after market CPU cooler, monitor or keyboard. Imo those can be purchased at a later date in time. You could sell your current PC and buy the monitor and CPU cooler and later buy a keyboard and an SSD.

I should also mention i did not check the custom cooler of the graphics card and i don't know if it has heatsinks for the VRMs and GDDR.

You mentioned this is your first build and i presume you're quite new to the DIY scene, hence you should have questions regarding how to put the components together, fear not TR has a helpful guide:
http://techreport.com/review/23624/how- ... port-guide
Last edited by Arclight on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Disclaimer: All answers and suggestions are provided by an enthusiastic amateur and are therefore without warranty either explicit or implicit. Basically you use my suggestions at your own risk.
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:18 pm

The econobox from the TR system guides looks like it's right up your alley. Costs $570, so you have $230 extra to spend on your keyboard and monitor, plus upgrading the case to that Bitfenix Prodigy.
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Tue Aug 27, 2013 1:19 pm

Ok, so Bit Fenix Prodigy = ~$90 = $760 remaining budget.

1) Do you have any components (ie optical drive or hdd) that could potentially be recycled to this build?
2) Where do you live? Near a Microcenter?
3) I would also suggest getting a quad-core CPU. i3 is fine for now, but probably not for long. i5-4430 for $190.
4) For an mITX rig, you need to play close attention to your specific needs. Keep in mind that mATX allows a few expansion slots besides the GPU, mITX...not so much...unless you've got an open mini card slot. Therefore, I'd recommend one of these boards since they include WiFi. The biggest difference is that the AsRock mobo has an additional unpopulated mini card slot around back. Whether or not you need that is your decision. Most popular use for that slot would be an mSATA SSD, but you have room in the Prodigy for a 2.5" SSD anyway. Let's call that $145 for the budget until further notice.
5) RAM: One 8GB stick for $60. That thing is 1600 CAS8 @ 1.35V and low profile to clear any future heatsinks. Having 1 stick now will still give you the ability to double up down the road without having to toss this purchase out the window.
6) 23" IPS monitor for $150. Has good reviews, low price, better color than TN. I have this 5ms IPS monitor and have never noticed any motion blur / ghosting
7) 430W modular PSU. IIRC, newegg often has these on sale for $30. 430W will get you to a 7950 / GTX670 GPU for future upgrades. Modular is nice for mATX / mITX builds.
8 ) AMD 7790 for $125. Good power-efficient card, quiet cooler, good price.
9) 1TB hdd for $70 Save up for an SSD in the future, they're worth it. Then you can use this hdd as data storage.

System total including case, but without keyboard/OS = $870. You can get this lower by watching for sales.

I'm not going to make keyboard recs. I use a cheapo, others will probably try to sell you on mechanical ones. Optical drive....I don't use one. If you seriously consider it and think you need one, add $20 to my total above. Also you said nothing about an OS/Windows license. Does that need to be factored into the total?
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, Asus GTX660 TOP, 120 GB Vertex 3 Max IOPS, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 8GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, Silverstone PS07B
HTPC: A8-5600K, MSI FM2-A75IA-E53, 4TB Samsung SSHD, 8GB 1866MHz G.Skill, Hand-Built Wood Case
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Re: First build! Help needed.

Postposted on Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:07 pm

Thanks you guys for the incredibly helpful replies!

Sadly, I don't live near a microcenter. Keyboard and OS won't be much of an issue in the long run; I'll find a way to get my hands on them.

Thanks for informing me about the things needed for the build. I've read stories about people walking over some carpet in socks without thinking and ruining expensive builds in a second.
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