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New to building, tips needed!


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#1 MsImAQuickStudy

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 05:09 PM

Hi everyone, I'm looking to build a gaming pc for the first time with a budget of about 1500 total. I don't have experience, so obviously I'll have to research loads, but right now I mostly want to know what my best options would be with regards to my budget.

Gaming is my priority with the desktop I'm planning on building, graphic designing would be my second use for it. I'd really want to be able to play GTA V, Just Cause 3 and Witcher 3 in high res on it, and was wondering if that's possible with my budget and what the best combination would be at the moment.

I'll be reading through general tips on building, but what I need most is solid advice on what to spend my money on efficiently at the moment. Thanks in advance!

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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 05:43 PM

1.  Pick your CPU first.

2.  Find a motherboard that works with that CPU and has the features you need or want.

3.  Pick your video card.

4.  Pick your power supply that will power everything and give you a little room to grow.

5.  Pick your case and drives.

 

Put it all together and enjoy.



#3 YeahBleeping

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 06:16 PM

Hello, Yes please watch a lot of youtube videos on building your pc.  Please use an anti static wrist band and / ground yourself by touching the PSU often while you build and before you install a part especially memory.

 

You have a very good budget for a gaming rig.  But, if you can, I would hold off for a month or so as Skylake processors (Intel) will be released soon which (should) drive some prices down for some CPU's..

 

Soooooo if you can wait ... I would wait... Solid advice on what to spend your money on would be a Good Monitor ( I suggest BenQ ) The OS is unlikely to change in price Win 7 64 bit and an intel processor as Intel based system builds are simply faster than AMD.  8 GB of ram is sufficient for gaming really.  Try not to go below a 650 watt PSU I like the Semi Modular models from a top named brand.  My son found that he spent more time trying to figure out what case he wanted more than anything else when we put his system together.  I reccomend not going crossfire or SLI but simply get a good graphics card which will take up a good portion of your spending money a GTX 960 would be plenty good for The Witcher etc..(be sure to turn off Hairworks for best FPS).  Feel free to ask more questions as I am sure you will have them !



#4 saw101

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 06:27 PM

Helpful: http://www.maximumpc.com/build-a-pc/


I never make the same mistake twice....I always make it 5 or 6 times just to be sure!


#5 SEANIA

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 03:13 AM

Here are my top 5 tips of common mistakes I see people spend more money on then they need to that don't really effect performance. 

 

Tip #1- This is a big tip to, and a common mistake I always see when people try to spend their money as efficiently as possible. For that, I shall bolden this.

 

If you are building a desktop with a Intel CPU, and you don't plan on overclocking, do not pay the extra 60$ for a overclocking enabled motherboard, and do not buy any of the 100$+ boards in general unless you're planning on using the OC feature. Seriously, you will not gain any tangible performance increase, or stability increase, from using a 350$ motherboard over a 60$ motherboard. The incredibly small performance difference it makes is under 1%. The more expensive boards generally have more problems and a higher fail rate to because there is extra stuff on them to fail. 

 

Part two- Even if you do overclock your CPU, the max overclock difference between a 100$ OC board and a 350$, nigh, 400$ OC board is all of 5%. That's in the best of circumstances to. A long time ago Intel moved most power related things for CPUs chip side. Means your two biggest limiting factors are if you randomly got a good chip to OC out of the silicon lottery, and if you have proper cooling to keep your chip cool. That's it. The 400$ boards only really matter for people trying to burn money, and people trying to break records (or just OC fanatics). 

 

Tip #2- The 2nd thing I see people over spend on is RAM. Having fast RAM will only make a noticeable difference if you're running mass server-esque emulations. It has been shown, in gaming, to have a maximum performance difference of all of 3% (*edit* unless you're using a integrated GPU for gaming). Most cases it won't even do that, and it's even been shown to decrease performance that much cause some games don't like the high latency. Just buy whatever RAM is cheapest in the amount you want, don't worry about speed as long as it's compatible.

 

Part two- Having more RAM then you need will get you a net gain 0% performance increase. So...buy whatever you think you'll need to max out what you're doing, and then add maybe a couple gigs more if you want to be safe.

 

Tip #3- 3rd thing I see people overspend on is their Power supply. Having a high quality power supply is very important, that's true. Much like RAM though, having a power supply with more wattage then you need is a waste of money. In fact more then just initial costs, because power supplies run at their optimal efficiency under a heavier load. So if you're drawing 50% of a higher wattage PSU, you're actually drawing more wattage from the wall then if you were using a smaller wattage one that's running at 85% load. 

 

Tip #4- This is a small one, but the 4th most common thing I see people over spend on is their computer case. Having a 300$ case won't make you're computer perform any better then if you had have used a 50$ case. Honestly the only real reason you should buy a 100$ case is if it has a part mount area the cheaper case didn't have that you need, or if you want a quieter case optimized for silence (most have built in sound damping foam everywhere that costs extra money add). 

 

Tip #5- Another small one. Add storage space as you need it. Go ahead and buy a bit more then you need initially, but be aware that every year the price per GB on storage drops. So buying it when you need it is the cheapest way to go. 


Edited by SEANIA, 24 July 2015 - 03:22 AM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#6 MsImAQuickStudy

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 03:31 AM

Those tips are really good, thanks! Especially the comparison of importance was something I needed, so I know how to divide my budget, approximately. And waiting a month would be no problem indeed, definitely worth the price drop :)

I'm going to look into all of these things and most likely come back to ask more detailed questions soon.

#7 SEANIA

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 03:35 AM

Gaming is my priority with the desktop I'm planning on building, graphic designing would be my second use for it. I'd really want to be able to play GTA V, Just Cause 3 and Witcher 3 in high res on it, and was wondering if that's possible with my budget and what the best combination would be at the moment.

 

Oh, you should make a separate thread for that honestly. Only thing that can be said as fact, is that to run 100% of current games you need atleast the following-

 

CPU- Intel i5-4440 (180$) or AMD FX-8320 (180$)

RAM- 8GB (55$)

GPU- GTX 960 (200$) or R9 280 (200$)

 

Those are the highest minimum requirements there are. So whatever you do end up choosing, make sure they meet or exceed those to be able to play 100% of all PC games. 

 

*edit* added their average corresponding prices at the moment. 


Edited by SEANIA, 24 July 2015 - 03:41 AM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#8 Kilroy

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 08:59 AM

I have to disagree about spending $300 on a case.  I have a Cooler Master Cosmos II.  Granted it isn't for everyone, it is what I needed since I'm running 12 drives internally and tons of room if I ever wanted to water cool.  There is a huge quality difference in some of the more expensive cases, the biggest one I've found is a lack of sharp internal edges.  I can't tell you how much blood I've donated to cheap cases.

 

It isn't necessary to spend a lot of money on your case, but when you're working inside it, you will appreciate the extra details.  Find a case that works for you.  Read some of the reviews to see if it has the features you want/need.  A case can be much more than a box to hold your parts.  Personally I'm more into functional than looks.


Edited by Kilroy, 24 July 2015 - 09:01 AM.


#9 Buzzsaw

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:48 PM

Those tips are really good, thanks! Especially the comparison of importance was something I needed, so I know how to divide my budget, approximately. And waiting a month would be no problem indeed, definitely worth the price drop :)

I'm going to look into all of these things and most likely come back to ask more detailed questions soon.

 

QuickStudy,

 

Great tips by Seania.

 

Here's an example of a computer build based on what Seania suggested.

 

I did pick out a slightly more powerful processor, but an i5 4440 will do just fine as well.

 

My preferences with new computer builds is to put in at least 16 GB of system RAM due to some software being RAM dependent. Also, it's good to have this amount of RAM for down the road, let's say 3-5 years from now.

This is assuming you do keep the computer that long. You will be thankful to have 16 GB of RAM at that time.

 

 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($92.98 @ Newegg) 
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 960 4GB Video Card  ($222.98 @ Newegg) 
Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($49.99 @ NZXT) 
Total: $784.07
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-07-24 15:43 EDT-0400


#10 Buzzsaw

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 02:54 PM

I have to disagree about spending $300 on a case.  I have a Cooler Master Cosmos II.  Granted it isn't for everyone, it is what I needed since I'm running 12 drives internally and tons of room if I ever wanted to water cool.  There is a huge quality difference in some of the more expensive cases, the biggest one I've found is a lack of sharp internal edges.  I can't tell you how much blood I've donated to cheap cases.

 

It isn't necessary to spend a lot of money on your case, but when you're working inside it, you will appreciate the extra details.  Find a case that works for you.  Read some of the reviews to see if it has the features you want/need.  A case can be much more than a box to hold your parts.  Personally I'm more into functional than looks.

 

Kilroy,

 

What Seania pointed out is almost what you just said.

Not everyone needs that overpriced case that is priced over $300.

It might be right for YOUR needs, but not for the needs of this original poster in this thread.

 

In my computer build suggestion, I recommended a $50 NZXT that is a solid computer case that will suit the needs of this original poster for years to come. 

 

I ought to know... I'm using the same identical computer case and I love it. I've been building computers for a long time.



#11 MsImAQuickStudy

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 03:45 PM

Thanks Buzzsaw that's a really awesome list! Exactly what I could use :)

#12 MsImAQuickStudy

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 04:34 PM

Quick question though, to upgrade to GTX 980, would I need a better CPU for it to truly make a difference? It would make sense to upgrade the CPU too, but in case I would have a higher budget, would you recommend inventief in the best GPU, or spread the extra budget more?

#13 SEANIA

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 04:56 PM

Would just like to point this out as a example.

 

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($92.98 @ Newegg) 

 

That's an OC board. Marked down really cheap, but-

ASRock H97M Pro4 (67.99$ Newegg)

Only notable things it's missing is that it can't OC, and it can't do Nvidia dual GPU SLI (Nvidia charges a 15$ licencing fee on every board that has it). However it can do AMD crossfire and retains most of the other nice features it has.

Then if you drop all the other luxury features like 7.1 surround sound support, only single GPUs, 2 RAM slots instead of 4, and various other ports-

MSI H81M-P33 Motherboard (45.99$ Newegg)

 

The FPS would be the same across all three boards (within a margin of error). Only thing you get out of buying a more expensive board is more ports to plug more stuff in and OC options. Since it doesn't effect FPS, it's a good place to cut money from to get the best FPS per dollar. 


99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#14 SEANIA

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 07:49 PM

Quick question though, to upgrade to GTX 980, would I need a better CPU for it to truly make a difference? It would make sense to upgrade the CPU too, but in case I would have a higher budget, would you recommend inventief in the best GPU, or spread the extra budget more?

 

If it's in the budget, you always get the biggest FPS boost out of dumping any extra money into a better GPU.

 

A i5-4690 (225$ Newegg) is enough to drive any single GPU (and that i5-4440 should still handle the 980). If you really want a better CPU then that, the i7 variant (only real difference is it has hyperthreading) is the i7-4790 (309$ Newegg). There aren't any games yet that really benefit from its hyperthreading, but I'd point it out as the highest performing gaming CPU out of the box. The six core and eight core CPUs Intel makes actually perform worse then it. As they're clocked lower to compensate for the extra core heat and games that try to use the those extra cores run worse then when they only use 4 (weird right?). 


Edited by SEANIA, 24 July 2015 - 07:50 PM.

99% of the time, I edit for type-o's and grammar. I'll note it if that's not the case. 

I write near essays for most my responses, and then try to condense as best I can to the introduction of one. Less is more. Let me know if I post to much. 

I do a lot of spacing for readability. Let me know if that makes my posts seem to big. 


#15 Buzzsaw

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 09:00 PM



Quick question though, to upgrade to GTX 980, would I need a better CPU for it to truly make a difference? It would make sense to upgrade the CPU too, but in case I would have a higher budget, would you recommend inventief in the best GPU, or spread the extra budget more?

 

QuickStudy,

 

The CPU in that build will be sufficient for your needs if you do decide to go with the GTX 980. For gaming purposes, it's better to invest in a graphics card over a more powerful CPU. 

 

That's NOT to say that you need to downgrade the CPU, no, what it does mean that you still need a strong enough processor along with a higher end graphics card if you plan on doing some serious gaming.

 

As Seania pointed out, you can go up to a i5 4690k or an i7 4790k, but for strictly gaming purposes, those faster CPUs won't help that much... a little, but for the jump in the prices... it's hard to justify it unless you have it in your budget. 

 

Regarding Seania's advise about the motherboards, those are valid and good reasons *IF* you really want to save money, you can go that route.

 

I have a different opinion on that... I look at how much of an investment that end user will end up with that new build.

I am looking for that person to use the computer 3-5 years.

I want to give that end user the opportunity to upgrade to a more powerful processor that have overclocking capabilities in it.

Whether that end user overclocks or not is not relevant, what's relevant is future upgrade possibilities.

I am of the mindset that why do I need to limit that end user's options to upgrade in the future?

That's where I'm coming from. That's I have learned from my experience of building computers for 20+ years.

 

That's what I have to be mindful of... what is the user's budget and what is he/she going to use it for? 

 

Here's my computer build with the GTX 980 in it. You'll see the difference in the total price. Almost a $300 jump in the total price. 

 

 
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard  ($92.98 @ Newegg) 
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB ACX 2.0 Video Card  ($499.99 @ Amazon) 
Case: NZXT Source 220 ATX Mid Tower Case  ($49.99 @ NZXT) 
Total: $1061.08
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-07-24 21:51 EDT-0400





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