Getting a New PC


#1

So as most of you know, I haven’t had a computer, pretty much since I’ve joined Strats. Now I could easily have just gotten a laptop or a normal desktop from best buy, but isn’t what I really wanted. So now I have the money I was trying to save up and wanted yalls opinion on what I should get. I know a built computer is always so much better so I was wondering what website should I use/ what are some of the better parts to get. @Vocino, @tommy2118, and @Auth I would love to hear yalls thoughts, and anyone elses in the community for that matter. As of now don’t worry bout the price tag of what you suggest, but give me a ballpark of how much you think it’ll all cost if you can.


Any advice on first computers?
Strats Taxonomy (Organizing Content)
#2

I don’t know what is the best value, most affordable, or anything like that, but when I got my last PC I went to ibuypower.com

I was able to choose a complete PC that I liked and then change out some of the components for better options creating my ideal machine.

They put it together for me and I had it in about 3 weeks (not the fastest turnaround time but I wasn’t too upset about it.)


#3

I spent about a grand on my computer. I went AMD for everything. I ordered everything from newegg and put together myself.


#4

@Wayward thanks brother I’ll look into it.

@Dynamible yeah that’s what I’m figurin it’s all gonna come up to maybe a bit more. And that’s not a bad idea I can put it together if I have the parts, my only problem is having the time/space to put it all together.


#5

I recommend using http://pcpartpicker.com to build your own machine. They have saved builds there that you can work from as well. It automatically filters the list based on compatibility of your other components in your build (e.g. if you choose an intel motherboard, it will only show you intel chips that fit).


#6

I’d say that @Vocino’s got the best suggestion. Beyond the compatibility option that it has, it also finds you the cheapest retailer that sells that part.

Build a comp there and link us so we can critique you :smiley:


#7

Awesome, really appreciate it I’m gonna check it out!

@NVS_1 haha sounds like a plan :stuck_out_tongue:


#8

If you want to be super cool, use PC Part Picker to add the items to an Amazon wishlist, but then clear your cookies and go through the Support Us link to add them to your cart and buy :smile:


#9

Haha not sure how easy that will be on a phone, but if anything I’ll wait till I can get on a comp and do it that way :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

I used http://pcpartpicker.com as well. This is what I built over the summer. I’m not sure if the prices are current.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($325.75 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($34.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Formula ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($235.78 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($146.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($93.35 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($98.68 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB DirectCU II Video Card ($299.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair RM 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($102.98 @ Newegg)
Mouse: AZIO Levetron Wired Optical Mouse ($24.99 @ Directron)
Total: $1569.46
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-01-14 15:30 EST-0500


#11

I’m going to look into that exact build in a moment, this is what I have so far. And that price isn’t bad, bout what I was expecting, but means I’ll have to wait to the end of the month to put the order in. @Vocino, @NVS_1, @tommy2118.
http://pcpartpicker.com/p/Q9Jwpg


#12

I love that you got the thirty dollar case. That video card looks really nice though. II would recommend looking at the speed of the ram and what is compatible.


#13

Haha I might change the case :stuck_out_tongue: and ok will do.


#14

Looks like a pretty solid build so far.

You may want some additional storage though. The 120gb will be great for the OS, but if you plan on doing any video editing, or gaming, you’ll rip through it very fast. Might even suggest upgrading to a 250gb SSD and then find a reasonable WD 1TB drive as secondary storage.

The PSU although it has some great reviews, it does scare me with it being priced so cheaply. EVGA has generally been a solid brand, however I have no experience with their PSU’s. If you were to change the PSU, I’d probably recommend Corsair, or my own personal preference, SeaSonic. It also might be worthwhile looking into getting either a partially modular, or fully modular PSU. It really helps with cable management.

I just wanted to point out that a lot of your parts are being sourced from OutletPC. I’m not familiar with them, so I’m not sure if it’s a common site that a lot of your 'muricans use, but you can tell the system to filter out specific suppliers, so if you wanted to focus only on Amazon you can do so. If you wanted to only get suggestions from Amazon, Newegg, etc. Then you can do that as well.


#15

Thanks! I’ll look into it and repost.


#16

@tommy2118 I see you got some parts from outletPC, are they a trusted source?


#17

:slight_smile: I’ve built the last two gaming PCs I’ve had, and it’s been the best option in my humble opinion. I think you’re going about it the best way. You’re going to pay a fraction of what store boughts will give you and get twice the power.

The great thing about building a PC is that it’s like Legos: there’s only one way to fit everything together, so as long as you’re paying attention and watch a few tutorials, you’ll see it’s super simple. It seems overwhelming at first, but just be patient, and you’ll see it’ll be worth it in the long run.

You’ll probably get a LOT of varying opinions on parts to buy, and honestly, most of it really is preference (there’s not much that you’ll truly see is performance based) but take all information to heart, and go with what you feel is the best for what you’re looking for.

For your first question, I bought all of my stuff both times from NewEgg. For one, they offer a TON of credit that isn’t shown on your credit report, so even if you have bad credit, it’s still likely you might get approved. I’ve had around $5600 of credit from the first day I opened it which was MORE than enough for my PCs. Secondly, they almost always offer no interest over a certain dollar amount which is the best thing you can do. You never want to pay more than the face value of the PC, and spreading a $1200-1500 purchase over 12-18 months is awesome.

Now for the parts. Please don’t take offense if I break things down TOO granular for you, I just want to be sure you know what you’re getting:

CPU - I personally have always used AMD. They are ahead of the curve with how many (physical) cores they offer in their processors. Intel almost always offers more stability, as you’ll find buying new tech in AMD too early, will run with it some risks. If you go AMD, never buy the first generation of any of their builds. If you go Intel, get as new as you want, but be prepared to pay a premium.

The cores are what separate the multitasking, and allow your processor to work faster. They have something called virtual cores as well, which is basically taking one core and splitting it into two. Think of it like a road that has two onramps to a four lane highway (virtual), vs a road that has four onramps to a four lane highway (physical). The speed definitely shows.

RAM - This is pretty straight forward – the more performance you buy, the faster things run. There’s a lot of different jargon about the firing of the RAM (similar to a car engine and spark plugs), but I never paid any mind to it. This is really scaled on price: the more expensive you go, the better it handles. 8GB is the minimum in a gaming PC, with 16GB being ideal. Go higher if you want to do your own video editing.

MOBO - I’ve not really found a whole lot of difference in my MOBOs. The only thing I say to do is keep your eyes on two things: the ports available that it can power to the front of your case, and the amount of RAM it can handle. The front ports of a case may have two slots for USB 3.0 ports, but if your MOBO cannot power it, they are useless. As for the second bit, you never want a MOBO that can’t handle less than 32GB of RAM. Call it future proofing. :slight_smile: You want the form factor to be ATX, and the port on the MOBO to match the port that your processor is going to have: AM3+ for AMD, and LGA for Intel.

HDD/SDD - The best thing I ever did was invest in a SSD. Keep it separate only for your OS, and use a HDD for all the rest of your storage. 120GB for the SSD should cover for Win 8.1, any updates, and maybe a game or two you play a lot that you want to run with lighting speed. HDD should be 7200 RPMs, and be about a terabyte for now. You can invest in more later if you want. OF NOTE: the shelf-life/usability of SSD is significantly lower than an HDD, especially if it is doing a lot of read/writing, so be warned. If you’re concerned, just do two HDDs (or one if you’re cutting costs.

Video Card - I’ve always been a big Nvidia guy, and never used an AMD card (ironic, right?), but from what I understand the two are comparable. What you really want to pay attention to here is the manufacturer. Ensure that whoever built the card is reputable, as you can get some really bum cards, which can bum you out right from the start. :frowning: PCI Express 2.0 cards will fit into 3.0 slots with no problem.

PSU - For my modest game computer, I used a 600w. For the one I have now powering an eight core and a 2GB graphics card, I’m using a 750w. More power is always better than less power, but they can get costly, and can really jack up your electricity bill. Try to find ones that are certified in their power efficiency. I’ve used bronze certs and it’s never been an issue, but the higher the cert, the more power consumption you’ll save, thus a lower bill. You also want to pay attention to what wires it has available so that it can power all of your accessories. Remember, the PSU powers the HDD, SSD, any optical drives, your graphics card (if it’s a power hungry guy), the MOBO, and fans (I think?).

Optical Drives - For the love of god, don’t buy a Blu-Ray readable drive only. I made this mistake and found that default players on Windows cannot play Blu-Rays due to missing a codec that was only licensed to some software, so out of the box you cannot play it (my mistake, not enough research). If you get a RW drive, however, you can use that. Otherwise, just stick to a DVD/CD-RW drive for your burning, and a CD-R or DVD-R for a quieter gameplay tray (if applicable).

Case - Mid or Full Towers, depending on your space. You want something that can support an ATX format motherboard, as Micro ATX boards don’t have the kind of functionality you want. Bottom mounted PSUs create more stable towers, but also stretch the wires the furthest. Find something with cable management slots if you’re concerned about that stuff, otherwise keep it a crazy mess like mine. More fan slots, the better for cooling, but again, make sure your MOBO has the power ports for the fans you want.

Cooling - I never got into liquid cooling, so I just buy as many fans as I can fit/power. I’ve never had an issue with heat or sound under normal conditions (no crazy overclocking or anything like that).

OS - If you don’t like 8, I recommend 7 Ultimate. If you don’t care about 8, then get 8.1. Make sure both are 64 bit only, and OEM editions (saves you some cash).

I think that’s all. If I find out anything else that is pertinent, I will edit this post. :slight_smile: Good luck!

-EDIT- See @NVS_1’s post below for more information that I missed out on!


#18

Thanks brother I love the breakdown actually really appreciate it, and you broke it down perfectly.


#19

Wow @PeterThomas6, I guess you were waiting to post on this one! I am nowhere near ready to build a PC of my own yet, but reading this stuff now makes me anxious to do it soon! Now, find some extra money…


#20

Haha! @PittInjury I talk a lot is all. I’m big on sharing knowledge I’ve learned so people don’t have to suffer through any of the mistakes I did doing the same thing. No sense in recreating the wheel, you know?

Hopefully it helps you in your endeavors when you choose to do it yourself. Maybe sometime I’ll take a picture of my rig. :smiley: