Building my First Rig


So as liberally discussed over in Discord, I’m looking at potentially building my own box to replace our current PoS Dell Tower and was hoping the fine folks here at Strats might be able to help a poor guy out.

Before I get into what I’m looking for, let me outline a few things are important to know:

  • I’ve never built my own rig before. While I’d like to think I have the technical know how to do so, or at least follow instructions/walk-through, my wife does suggest I don’t follow simple instructions very well if at all.
  • I’m Canadian. Don’t judge. But I’ll need to keep the CBSA out of it, so great deals on a US site or provider make my life somewhat difficult.
  • My proposed, non-wife approved budget is $1000 CAD.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, what I’m looking for is something that will allow me to actually play Star Citizen (you should hear the fan fire up in the current Dell PoS I have) & yet still accomplish everything the wife needs - like email. Or iTunes. Or FarmVille. Also, I’ll only be running one monitor as we don’t have the space for me to go crazy (or awesome depending on perspective) and have something else.

I’d also be interested in any tips you might have. Walkthroughs you’ve used. Stock tips. You know, the good stuff.

StratsCo, you’re my only hope!


When I built my PC back in 2013 I used the Tom’s Hardware Guide. When I was selecting my parts I used PC Part Picker. Every thing, save building your own water loop, is pretty much plug and play now-a-days. As far as the USD to CAD goes, I can’t really help you there. PC Part Picker has a whole cost thing, but I’m not sure it will be that useful for you. What I love about the site is that it will show you compatibility issues with the parts you choose.

  1. do you have space constraints for case size?
  2. require a certain number of hard drive slots?

Edit: so this is what i came up with based on what i could find regarding SC system reqs:

It comes to around $850 USD or about $100 more than your current budget. You can bring this down by cutting out the SSD and use a HDD, but I’d highly recommend keeping it.

GPU i think should get you mid -> high graphics, from my limited play test of SC my gtx 680 was in that range. Ideally a 980ti would be in this build, but that blows the budget. I did look at the Radeon 390 and 390X, ive heard good things about them, but ive always been an nvidia guy. Price is about $150-$200+, but both series offer 8GB vram, which might be important for SC. 970 would also be a good step up for a nominal cost increase.

Lastly, i didn’t include cost of OS. Not sure if you already have Windows or need it, so that is something to consider. If you do, you’ll want to also include or get a CD-ROM drive, internal or external.

I’d be happy to walk you through setup over skype or discord.


Possibly a good starting point, but keep in mind that those are deals in the US that we may not be able to get here.


Also, is that $1000 before or after tax?


I would check out the Hardocp forum. Hardforum I have built several systems they give great advice and will actually take into account all the concerns you have listed. I don’t keep up with hardware like I used to. Check the general hardware section and make sure to answer all the questions in the pinned post.


I supposes I do have space restraints for the case size, but didn’t consider that in the first place - will need to get a measurement of the space in the desk. Alternative would be placing it on a carpeted floor (bad news, right?). As to hard drive slots, don’t think I require a certain number - just my wife & I use it and at best she’s just saving pictures and stuff.

While I might have some wiggle room, that $1k CAD would likely be the hard cap. I floated this idea past the wife yesterday to get a temperature check and while she was okay with it, she definitely didn’t like the price point I set so not sure I’d be able to go much higher.


Not necessarily. Some of the bigger cases have feet that keep them high enough off the ground as long as you don’t have a shag carpet, and a lot of cases have air intake in the front, and output from the back… If you want a smaller case that intakes from the bottom or, heaven forbid, you have a shag carpet then you can always sit it on some sort of small platform.

Also, are there any peripherals (i.e. Mouse, keyboard, monitor, etc.) that need to be included in the budget?


Not initially. I’ll just harvest what I currently use and go from there. That said, I will need to consider a copy of the OS - but a minor detail.


There are ways to get a windows OS (ahem) inexpensively…

Do you live near a Canada Computers? If so… Which one?


As Mo said, carpet is meh. That case has feet and should have a dust filter at the bottom. Just be sure it can breathe and dust it from time to time.

What retailers are you intending to use?


The three good ones in canada are, (not ncixus), and


Alright @lyteforce, here is what I’ve come up with. It goes only slightly over budget ($1,044.04 after tax)


I’m out in Vancouver, so while NCIX is extremely doable (I actually live in Richmond where they are based), the only other option I know of is Memory Express.


Gah. That CPU is a REALLY good deal from Canada Computers, but it’s in-store only.


Is this the same one?


Thats it.

Mo, do you think a K sku processor is necessary? Overclocking is nice, but would star citizen benefit from a beefier gpu??


I understand the premise, but is this something I’d likely use?


Yes, that is the one.

Overclocking isn’t necessary, but when the CPU is like, $20 more for the overclockable version, it’s a no brainer IMO. Even with the stock cooler you should be able to squeeze out an extra 200-300MHz, and that will make a much bigger difference than allowing for $20 more in your GPU budget. Especially when it comes to CPU bound titles. I have 2x GTX980s in my system, and some CPU bound games still shit on my system (ARMA 3, Witcher 3, etc)


good point Mo.