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The Ultimate 'Build-A-PC' Thread. Complete With Pricings & Recommendations (06/06/10)


#3481 Mako1215   Mr.OneOfWonder Banned   7273 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 03 December 2014 - 03:08 AM

I was offered a build by my friend recently for $600 that's less than a year old. He has a couple at home and wants to save up for another GTX 580 Black Ops Edition (I dunno why). Here's the specs:

 

AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz

Patriot Viper 8GB (4GB x 2) at 1400+ MHz (in BIOS)

EVGA GTX 660 x 2 (SLI)

Verbatim 120GB SSD + Samsung 2TB HDD

ASUS M5A99FX PRO R2.0 (flashed with latest BIOS)

XFX 550W PSU (this running an SLI 660 setup has me worried, but it seemed to pass power ratings at full force on both cards)

Corsair 200R Case

Windows 8.1 64-Bit

 

Here's the alternative for $670 new:

 

-AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz (4.1GHz Turbo)

-Crucial Ballistix 8GB x1 DDR3 RAM (1866 MHz)

-1TB WD Blue HDD

-EVGA 2GB GTX 760 SC Video Card

-ASUS M5A97 MOBO (Yes, I know it has the 970 FX, but if there's any good brands that are under $100 that offer up to and including 990 FX with USB 3.0 jumpers for the case, by all means)

-APEVIA 730W PSU

-Corsair 200R Case

 

He is interested in the ASUS G51JX-X2 laptop I have (it still works perfectly, and is upgraded from stock with a 750GB WD Black, 4x2GB DDR3 RAM; I was going to get rid of it cause they stopped updating the video card for the newest titles) and would be willing to trade for that and charge me $350 difference as I can get it to him over the next few weeks. But what do you guys think? $600 for a PC build that's been running for less than a year (and scores in the 7's across the board in 8.1's System Assessment Scoring)? Or $670 for the other just to have new parts?

Price compare to new, and on that second build I've never even heard of that manufacturer.



#3482 The Laughing Mann  

The Laughing Mann

Posted 04 December 2014 - 05:23 PM

Price compare to new, and on that second build I've never even heard of that manufacturer.

ASUS makes motherboards. They make laptops and desktops as well. 



#3483 elessar123  

Posted 04 December 2014 - 05:46 PM

ASUS is actually a very good company, as far as computer parts go. Really surprised you've never heard of them.

 

One of the best motherboard manufacturers, and still my go-to for motherboards, for the past 20 years. Their video cards are up there. They also make the Republic of Gamer laptops that big box retailers sell.



#3484 AceFan84   KEAK HEEM IN DA BALLS!!!! CAGiversary!   1795 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

Posted 04 December 2014 - 08:48 PM

Never heard of Asus wtf? That's like buying a TV and have never heard of Samsung.

#3485 Mako1215   Mr.OneOfWonder Banned   7273 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 04 December 2014 - 10:20 PM

I left out a keyword. PSU. Of course I've heard of ASUS. I had used them when I had my i7-970.



#3486 AceFan84   KEAK HEEM IN DA BALLS!!!! CAGiversary!   1795 Posts   Joined 14.6 Years Ago  

Posted 05 December 2014 - 02:45 AM

Ah ok lol. I was wondering how that was possible.

#3487 Jackofdiamonds  

Jackofdiamonds

Posted 07 February 2015 - 06:14 AM

I'm building a budget gaming PC, I haven't built a PC in five years or so I'm out of the know. I'm wondering if this is an OK build or not.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/z628CJ
I'm wondering if I can cut any corners going with a lower CPU and/or GPU. I'm also looking for MB suggestions, my only requirement is an optical output. I usually go for ATX not micro boards but I'm not finding much at a budget price.

#3488 hostyl1   Rejoice commoners! CAGiversary!   3052 Posts   Joined 14.2 Years Ago  

Posted 07 February 2015 - 04:25 PM

If you have a Micro Center nearby, you can snag an i5 for a little cheaper ( http://www.microcent...Boxed_Processor ).  

 

Also, if you're strapped for cash, you can get an R9 280/285 for a little less (AR) than the 960.  In the benchmarks I've seen, the difference between them is negligible. 

http://www.newegg.co...1-570-_-Product

http://www.newegg.co...2-099-_-Product

 

You didnt say what you're planning on doing with the machine.  If it's strictly gaming, you might be better served by going with an i3 and an upgraded GPU (R9 280x or 970).  However, if you're going to stream your gaming or do video encoding, the i5 is still the better play.  Any of these choices should serve you well for gaming @1080p with high/ultra settings.



#3489 option.iv   phantom fighter CAGiversary!   3156 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 08 February 2015 - 07:18 PM

Anyone have experience with RAID 0 Striping 2 SSDs? I understand the doubling of failure rate, but is the speed increase justified? Or should I just have the SSDs run independent?



#3490 elessar123  

Posted 08 February 2015 - 09:26 PM

No, it's not worth striping SSDs. When they first became available, you could set up RAID 0 to increase write speed, but even read speeds by that point wasn't going up much. Nowadays, you don't even gain much for writes.

#3491 option.iv   phantom fighter CAGiversary!   3156 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 08 February 2015 - 10:52 PM

Thanks for the input, changed my order from two 256 SSDs to one 512 SSD and an extra 2.5" hdd. I also forgot about having to load the RAID driver/array in the beginning will just add to the boot time. 



#3492 Leftykins  

Leftykins

Posted 10 February 2015 - 02:45 AM

Any advice for someone that is planning on building their first gaming PC? I'm looking to spend around $1200 - $1300? I've been messing around with pcpartpicker.com and watching youtube videos.



#3493 elessar123  

Posted 10 February 2015 - 04:26 AM

Get a good PSU. Seasonic (Corsairs are rebranded Seasonics) are worth the extra bit of money.

 

With that budget, you can easily get at least a GTX 970, but it depends on what else you'd really want in that budget.



#3494 Leftykins  

Leftykins

Posted 10 February 2015 - 01:53 PM

Get a good PSU. Seasonic (Corsairs are rebranded Seasonics) are worth the extra bit of money.

 

With that budget, you can easily get at least a GTX 970, but it depends on what else you'd really want in that budget.

I definitely want to get a 970, I'm not sure about everything else though. What is a good processor? People seem to be recommending the i5 4690k.

 

As for actually building the thing, it's not THAT hard... right?



#3495 elessar123  

Posted 10 February 2015 - 05:36 PM

It's a lot easier than it was 20 years ago. It was never hard, except back with stupid floppy drive cables that aren't keyed.

 

i5 4690K is a good mid-range chip, but the K means you can overclock. You can save maybe $10-20 getting the version that's not unlocked, if you don't actually care about overclocking.



#3496 option.iv   phantom fighter CAGiversary!   3156 Posts   Joined 12.6 Years Ago  

Posted 12 February 2015 - 01:19 AM

Warning though, the 970 is 3.5GB of RAM with slower cache on the last .5. Though this really only runs into problems when playing something like Skyrim with a lot of mods. You can read more about it by googling "GTX 970 scandal." But the card is still very good. Also, keep an eye on the 3xx series ATI cards.

 

I actually had the card since November 2014 but returned it to Amazon for a full refund claiming false advertisement. I was going to scale back and get a 750 ti because my monitors are just 1080p, and I'd like something quieter and consumes less power.



#3497 io   ... Super Moderators   24763 Posts   Joined 15.1 Years Ago  

Posted 12 February 2015 - 01:29 AM

I definitely want to get a 970, I'm not sure about everything else though. What is a good processor? People seem to be recommending the i5 4690k.
 
As for actually building the thing, it's not THAT hard... right?


I finally got around to building my son a computer for Christmas. It is overwhelming to pick all the parts and I kept changing my mind. At some point I just decided to go for it and lock it down and not even look at alternate parts any more. To me, that was the hardest part!

But putting the thing together wasn't too bad. There are tons of cables to deal with inside the case (all the various fans and such). And getting some of the peripherals to work was a little tricky. The drivers were not automatically included with Windows but fortunately the motherboard came with a disc that has the drivers. The tricky part was that the disc drive didn't work at first so I had to put the installer on a flash drive from another computer and then install the drivers that way. But out of the box, the Ethernet and optical drive required that installer to get them to work.

For the building part, I put it all together and then it was turning on and right back off again. Looking at various web sites that pointed to a faulty power supply. Wonderful... So I stripped it all back down again and started putting things in one at a time. Eventually I found a site that said a common mistake is not plugging in the CPU power to the motherboard. There were so many cables from the power supply and connections on the motherboard that are not used that I missed that one. It also doesn't plug in anywhere near the CPU itself. I just figured the giant power cable that plugged in should cover everything and that was some alternate cable. So that was my only real newb mistake and it only cost me an hour of undoing/redoing my build. The instructions that came with the motherboard were very sparse - it certainly didn't point this out. It was pretty much just a diagram of where stuff was.

One more thing: if you are using PC parts picker or one of those other sites, be VERY careful with their claims of rebate pricing. I went with OutletPC for three of my components. Two of them had $20 rebate offers that made them cheaper than Newegg/Amazon. But there's two problems: OutletPC charges even for their super-slow shipping. I had my Newegg and Amazon stuff in 2-3 days via free shipping but it took 10-14 days for the OutletPC stuff to arrive. Then to add insult to injury, their "rebates" are $20 coupons that can only be applied to different orders. Given that they charge $8 shipping for every little thing, those coupons are essentially worthless for me. I could have saved more money paying a bit more for those components on Newegg or Amazon and not dealing with the alleged "rebate". PC parts picker just deducted this $20 from the part price like it was an actual rebate. I'm sure the details were on OutletPC but it sure wasn't obvious when I put the order in. My "rebates" will either go to waste or I'll have to use them on something stupid like a 50-pack of DVD-Rs.

I went with this build to get it done for around $700. This was a Christmas/birthday present for my son. I've never had a computer with a dedicated graphics card so I'd really like to see how it differs from the integrated GPU stuff I'm used to (in iMac and PC laptops for example). But I have yet to really see it in action. He has it in his room ;).

CPU Intel Core i5-4590 3.3GHz Quad-Core $184.88 (Pricing factors in $20 Outlet PC "rebate")
Motherboard ASRock H97 PRO4 ATX LGA1150 $80.98
Memory PNY XLR8 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 $66.99
Storage Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM $59.99
Video Card MSI Radeon R9 280 3GB TWIN FROZR $183.98 (this has a real $20 rebate in the form of an AMEX rewards card)
Case Rosewill Galaxy-03 ATX Mid Tower $49.99
Power Supply Corsair 500W ATX12V $29.99 (Pricing factors in $20 Outlet PC "rebate")
Optical Drive Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer $14.98

That CPU is $184.88 at Outlet PC only if you factor in the $20 rebate that isn't a rebate. It is really $204.88 plus $8 shipping. I bought this thinking I'd save even with the shipping factored in over the $200 that Amazon/Newegg had it for. Because to me a "rebate" is a check sent that you can then cash and offset the original price. Not a stupid coupon applied to future orders...

Hopefully I did OK - wasn't sure if I should post here only to have people say I should have used this or that instead!

#3498 Donken   President & CEO CAGiversary!   3942 Posts   Joined 13.6 Years Ago  

Posted 12 February 2015 - 01:41 AM

Well I'm a console gamer and the last time I built a PC was in 2002 so I'm a bit behind the times. My wife wants a faster computer than a free one I got from work so she gave me the go ahead to build one. Hope I can figure out what's what these days. I haven't payed attention to this stuff in a long time!

What's the best sites to start doing research? I'm hopeing to keep it around $600-700 for the tower.

#3499 io   ... Super Moderators   24763 Posts   Joined 15.1 Years Ago  

Posted 12 February 2015 - 01:46 AM

What's the best sites to start doing research? I'm hopeing to keep it around $600-700 for the tower.


My build above is right smack in the range you are looking for!

Here's the link: http://pcpartpicker....ee/saved/JBzWGX

#3500 YBX87   CAGiversary! Banned   14405 Posts   Joined 8.2 Years Ago  

Posted 12 February 2015 - 11:08 PM

i also finished my build this week. man, ssd really does makes a difference in the boot up time. IO, why did you go for pny brand for your memory? i thought corsair, g skills, and crucial were the more preferred ones.

#3501 YBX87   CAGiversary! Banned   14405 Posts   Joined 8.2 Years Ago  

Posted 12 February 2015 - 11:13 PM

Get a good PSU. Seasonic (Corsairs are rebranded Seasonics) are worth the extra bit of money.

 

With that budget, you can easily get at least a GTX 970, but it depends on what else you'd really want in that budget.

that was a relief, i got my self the  seasonic  bronze psu. but had some hesistation, after reading alot of poor/negative reviews about seasonic psu product lines



#3502 Flowette   Level 112 Tea Drinking Royalty CAGiversary!   2166 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 13 February 2015 - 07:35 PM

Hopefully I did OK - wasn't sure if I should post here only to have people say I should have used this or that instead!

Seems a good, well-rounded build. Finding a cheap-ish build is sometimes hard. Unless you're going mega-cheap ("budget"), people tend to argue over where you should allocate your pennies. Your build will last a good while, and can be upgraded. All round sounds like you did a good job. Just don't be tempted to crossfire 280s on that PSU, they're hungry cards!

:whee:



#3503 Flowette   Level 112 Tea Drinking Royalty CAGiversary!   2166 Posts   Joined 8.6 Years Ago  

Posted 13 February 2015 - 07:37 PM

Ok, build log time: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/XcvV3C

 

This is the build I was piecing together in the run up to Christmas, and included a few price glitches which I posted here about. This is the finished product. I'm not happy with the look of the case but it plays well for now so it'll do.

 

Once again, thanks to the people in this thread for your advice. It's a good place to ask for some knowledge.

 

:grouphug:



#3504 DragonClaw   Splendiferous CAGiversary!   140 Posts   Joined 14.0 Years Ago  

Posted 14 February 2015 - 08:52 PM

i also finished my build this week. man, ssd really does makes a difference in the boot up time. IO, why did you go for pny brand for your memory? i thought corsair, g skills, and crucial were the more preferred ones.

Yeah those ssds are sweet: Lightning fast bootup, loading and saving. It's like living in the future =p.

 

I recently did my much needed build.  Very standard $650 build(i5, r9 270, ect). Total overkill for the games I am playing(CS Go, Dota 2, indies, ect). I could of went much cheaper($450 maybe), but I feel one encounters such a high  unfront cost (Mobo, power supply, case, cooling system, operating system, ect) before the performance making items on these builds that I felt like I should just go for the gold on the processor and gpu.

 

Now I am getting so many frames that my primitive 60hz moniter can't handle it. I have little incentive to spend the money for a 120hz moniter. I guess I will have to be content with 60 fps.



#3505 YBX87   CAGiversary! Banned   14405 Posts   Joined 8.2 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2015 - 12:38 AM

Yeah those ssds are sweet: Lightning fast bootup, loading and saving. It's like living in the future =p.

 

I recently did my much needed build.  Very standard $650 build(i5, r9 270, ect). Total overkill for the games I am playing(CS Go, Dota 2, indies, ect). I could of went much cheaper($450 maybe), but I feel one encounters such a high  unfront cost (Mobo, power supply, case, cooling system, operating system, ect) before the performance making items on these builds that I felt like I should just go for the gold on the processor and gpu.

 

Now I am getting so many frames that my primitive 60hz moniter can't handle it. I have little incentive to spend the money for a 120hz moniter. I guess I will have to be content with 60 fps.

wait till 4k monitor to come down in price. i got the samsung evo 850 250gb ssd for $99.99 from amazon, lowest price yet. glad i wait till now to get back into pc gaming. those games you listed  can be probably be played on intel pentium g3258, with gtx 750ti. lol

you could of went for r9 280/290. you would of been able to play newer high demanding games coming out in 2015 in high settings.

right now, i am having problems with my monitor from waking up from power saving mode after let the monitor idle for duration.



#3506 DragonClaw   Splendiferous CAGiversary!   140 Posts   Joined 14.0 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2015 - 01:50 AM

wait till 4k monitor to come down in price. i got the samsung evo 850 250gb ssd for $99.99 from amazon, lowest price yet. glad i wait till now to get back into pc gaming. those games you listed  can be probably be played on intel pentium g3258, with gtx 750ti. lol

you could of went for r9 280/290. you would of been able to play newer high demanding games coming out in 2015 in high settings.

right now, i am having problems with my monitor from waking up from power saving mode after let the monitor idle for duration.

Those monitor sleeping issues are usually caused by defective display drivers. You might need to reinstall them.

 

The g3258 is a great chip, but alas the specter of future proofing overtook me, as I was worried that there would be a game that I would want to play in the future that would require more than two threads, so far two of my cores sit idle, while the chip slowly depreciates in value.

 

I doubt I would get much use out of a 4k setup. I am perfectly content with 1080p for video, hell I would settle for 720p. My computer would be grossly inadequate for 4k gaming if it came out and I doubt I would even care if it did.



#3507 YBX87   CAGiversary! Banned   14405 Posts   Joined 8.2 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2015 - 02:32 AM

Those monitor sleeping issues are usually caused by defective display drivers. You might need to reinstall them.

 

The g3258 is a great chip, but alas the specter of future proofing overtook me, as I was worried that there would be a game that I would want to play in the future that would require more than two threads, so far two of my cores sit idle, while the chip slowly depreciates in value.

 

I doubt I would get much use out of a 4k setup. I am perfectly content with 1080p for video, hell I would settle for 720p. My computer would be grossly inadequate for 4k gaming if it came out and I doubt I would even care if it did.

when you said display drivers, do you mean drivers from my graphic cards?

this is my first build , so i was just happen that it turned on, and posted. LOL

i am running win 7, and the microsoft updates took almost like 3-4 hrs. that was almost how long it took to put my computer together.



#3508 DragonClaw   Splendiferous CAGiversary!   140 Posts   Joined 14.0 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2015 - 03:08 AM

Yes. The display drivers for your graphics card. You should be able to get the latest version from the video card manufacture's website.



#3509 YBX87   CAGiversary! Banned   14405 Posts   Joined 8.2 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2015 - 03:23 AM

Yes. The display drivers for your graphics card. You should be able to get the latest version from the video card manufacture's website.

thanks, i am going to see if it helps.



#3510 dravack   For the Red Eagle! CAGiversary!   301 Posts   Joined 6.9 Years Ago  

Posted 15 February 2015 - 10:35 PM

Anyone have a recommendation on a case. The OP post is kinda out dated. 2009 >.>