First time gaming PC Buyer, Need Advice

May 1, 2013 at 19:57:51
Specs: Windows 8, 8-Core 4.00gHz/8GB Ram
I'm new to buying a PC for gaming. I found a site that allowed me to tweak they're generic build and this is what I came up with from www.ibuypower.com.

Processor: AMD FX-8350 (8X 4.00gHz/8MB L2 cache)
Cooling fan: Liquid cooling - Standard 120mm fan
Graphics: AMD Radeon HD 7770 1GB (I'll explain this later)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3
Power Supply: 400Watt (I'll explain this later)
Hard Drive: 1TB, 32M Cache, 7200RPM, 6.0b/s, Single Drive
Sound Card: 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Optical Drive: 24X Dual Format/Double Layer DVD+R/+RW + CD-R/RW Drive

Price Tag: $795 - $20 mail-in rebate + Free Shipping = $775


The PSU is low and the graphics card isn't super powerful, but I'll be using this for casual gaming. I also picked this specific motherboard because it will allow me to crossfire 2 AMD Radeon HD 7770 1gb graphics cards. I can pickup the card, the bridge, and a 600+ watt PSU fairly cheap some time down the road. So I think for the money it'd hold me over. BUT, I'm no expert by a long shot... so any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated (Trying to keep it under $800...)


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#1
May 2, 2013 at 00:59:12
How about switching that hard drive to a solid state drive? Less chance of lag when loading more of the game up.

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#2
May 2, 2013 at 03:59:24
If you would consider building it yourself, you could get something like this:
(note the i5-3570K & Gigabyte combo here:)
http://www.microcenter.com/site/bra...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
Just a thought.....

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#3
May 2, 2013 at 04:15:08
I have never worked with a SSD to be honest. Most I see are around 120-240GB. They're a little pricey (for the larger ones naturally) but that's expected, but I would probably end up filling between 250-350gb easy in the first year. That's really the only reason I went with a 1TB hard drive.

I have never built a computer from scratch, just replaced pieces here and there. Graphic card, ram sticks, PSU, etc... I could probably manage.

Also, seems people recommend the intel i3-7 series processor. I've always liked AMD but like I said, not an expert by a long shot. So my question is what's really the difference between say an i7 intel and a 8-core AMD?


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Related Solutions

#4
May 2, 2013 at 18:40:31
Look:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...
These should give you some idea on why everyone is going for i-5's and i-7's for mid to upper level gamers and performance computing.

Graphics:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews...

SSD's:
At this time, SSD's are best used for your operating system and your most important programs and games with all of your files as well as your virtual memory (paging file) on your larger conventional hard drive. This is primarily for space, but also for the durability of the SSD.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#5
May 2, 2013 at 20:35:21
Thank you for all the information given! I really do appreciate it.

I did price out everything I would need to build a PC

CPU
PSU
Motherboard
GPU
Ram sticks
hard drive
Case
Optical Drive
with, and without, a SSD

and the price has varied from $740-$875 based on Fingers recommendations. Just going based off the previous links to the parts listed, it ran up to around $840 (give or take $20) and still needed a optical drive and cooling system. I have literally wracked my brains trying to find different sites that would build it for me and even scavenging different retail sites and search engines for all the pieces to do it myself. The cheapest I was ever able to come up with is $740 if I did it myself and that's even limited my GPU. I easily hit $1700 just going for what I wanted lol and not even close to top end.

Like i said, I'm a very casual gamer and not really an online gamer. Diablo 3 would be the most online I'd go. But, even with that being said, I'd still like to play the upcoming Thief 4, Skyrim, and a few other said games. It's just really hard having a $800 budget and trying to work in everything I would need to do what I would like to do. And to try and afford a system to keep me going with minimal upgrading for the next few years. I have just had a lot of bad luck with nVidia GeForce cards since 2005. And I've never liked Intel... so I'm really biased. I'm sure by now they're better quality, and I might have just had a few bad experiences and it ruined it for me.

I think I just have to do a little bit more research and try to get the parts when they have a sale lol


And again, thank you for all the information. If you have any suggestions I'm sure I'll be needing as much advice as I can get lol


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#6
May 3, 2013 at 05:03:07
I am the opposite, I am mot comfortable with AMD (but I appreciate they are keeping the quality race going and the prices down) and I had a poor experience with a Radeon card, but the links I provided show approximately where they each line up with each other on the CPU's and the GPU's.

These are a reasonable compromise for price/performance (but still Intel):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...
http://www.microcenter.com/product/...
(I do not know AMD enough to recommend any in particular.)

And these sound about in your range for graphics:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

For direct comparison for graphics:
http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/h...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#7
May 3, 2013 at 08:21:37
I've also had an intel pentium processor in the past and paired it with GeForce cards. Never had a problem with intel, but the graphics cards were always horrible... Never played a game with more than 20fps. No matter which I got.

But all of my friends were running the amd Athlon or... I can't remember which honestly, but an AMD CPU with a radeon card and raved about it. I switched to a radeon card of the same price and there was a dramatic difference. Don't get me wrong, not saying GeForce is crap or anything of the sort. Just a couple bad experiences ruined it I think.


I think I'll stick with the AMD CPU/GPU, it may come back to bite me and you'll get to say an "I told you so" lol but I like the brand and really the price.

I figure in a year or so I'll be able to afford a better GPU like the radeon hd 7970 2gb... Which is currently about $100+ out of my price range lol

And again, thank you for all the information given!


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#8
May 3, 2013 at 17:02:37
You are quite welcome. There are many who prefer AMD and/or Radeon and there is nothing wrong with that. At this time, Intel is ahead across the board and NVidia is ahead in the $130. and up price range, but from what I read, Radeon is ahead in the lower price ranges. As long as you get the best you can afford and not too cheap on he stuff that is harder or more expensive to replace, you should be fine.
Here is a power supply that can handle most single graphics cards you will probably consider for a long time, is high quality, and is really quite reasonable:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
May 4, 2013 at 17:42:03
One other question, may be a dumb one.

I went with building my own, and I believe I have everything I need ordered.

Psu - 600w single rail
CPU - amd fx-8320 3.5gHz 8-core
Gpu - amd radeon hd 7770 1gb
Mobo - gigabyte ga-990fxa-ud3
Optical - DVD/RW+
Case - case suggested at newegg
Hard drive - 1TB (also one suggested)
Ram - 8gb ripjaws ram (again, the one suggested)
Cooling - CORSAIR H55 LIQUID COOLING KIT
OS - windows 7 builder

I know I'll have an answer when all the pieces arrive... But my question is, do I need to order a wiring kit/harness or a power cord? Or does the board/psu come supplied?


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#10
May 5, 2013 at 04:23:49
If you are interested in any advice on chosen components, please list exact makes and models.
A quality air cooler is generally a better choice than a liquid cooling system, even for moderate to mid level overclocking.
Power wires are part of power supply for all components.
Case wiring comes with case (power button, front USB ports, etc).
Hard drives and DVD drives will have SATA cables UNLESS they are OEM versions (lower price) and then you will need to supply SATA signal cables.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#11
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#12
May 5, 2013 at 16:07:45
Not sure why so many sources, i hope you do not end up paying too much shipping.
The hard drive and optical drives do not come with SATA cables, but your motherboard should come with two of them. The power supply appears to be a decent one, but I would lean more towards the Corsair model over the Coolmax model (3 or 5 year warranty rather than the 2 years that one has).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#13
May 5, 2013 at 16:27:41
I paid about $14-$18 shipping total. But I went that route due to pricing. Who had the best deal for what I was looking for. I literally don't have much more to budget over $800, but with this I went to about $865 and I have $30 in rebates... So I only went $35 over really, wife approved it lol

So, unless I screw something up in the install process... I think it'll work. I did end up paying a bit more on the CPU/mobo only because the combo you recommended was only in store pickup. Unfortunately there isn't a micro center within 180 miles of here. And with amazon I have free shipping and half the pieces offered free shipping. Sadly the case did not and was $7 shipping lol


I've been looking up how to build a pc and the only thing I did not get was thermal paste for the CPU but I did order that too.


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#14
May 5, 2013 at 19:33:53
Don't skip the bench testing step:
http://www.techsupportforum.com/for...

Careful of the rebates, most must be post marked by certain dates, all require bar codes from the packaging, BUT once you cut off the bar codes, they are no longer returnable from where you purchased them so if they prove defective, they would have to be returned to the factory for replacement. Therefore wait until all is working, but not too long.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#15
May 5, 2013 at 19:54:23
Oh, don't worry. I looked deep into that, orders between 5/1-5/31 are eligible and I have 30 days from receiving to mail in. Also, I found 4 testing sites online for benchmarking. From memory testing to CPU usage to heating verification.

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#16
May 6, 2013 at 05:08:09
Benchtesting is not benchmarking. One is to verify that hardware is working before complete assembly to avoid you saying "I just put it all together correctly, but it is not working. Now what do I do?" The other is to get performance numbers which really do not matter once you already purchased hardware and are not about to purchase more hardware to replace new hardware to squeeze a tiny bit more out of it.
Look at the bench testing link above and also look at this one:
http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods...
Select your processor and follow directions.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#17
May 21, 2013 at 17:07:24
Well sir, I got everything together and had it going. 3 days after I started (off and on) I got everything installed. Two games downloaded, antivirus and anti malware setup, windows installed etc... I noticed its running rather sluggish... So I update all of my drivers and update the BIOS.. Runs ok until I restart it (installing updates) and a friend suggests I run a hard drive diagnostic. It never finishes, it pops up with "cannot finish scan, too many bad vectors"....

Needless to say, it's sent back and I'm waiting for the replacement. I'm just hoping my windows key still works, I only ha a one use activation key.

Otherwise it said it was all hooked up and running great....


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#18
May 21, 2013 at 19:45:44
You will probably need to verify a few settings manually in your BIOS, typically your CPU settings, memory settings, SATA to ACHI, PCIe/graphics, and probably a few more to get the most out of the system.
As long as the motherboard is the same, Windows will reactivate with the same key and MS will not complain.
I tend to do it in this order:
Boot into BIOS and verify settings. Watch temps in BIOS for a few minutes to make sure that they do not climb (you can do this while the hard drive is not in the system).
Install Windows.
Download all drivers from component mfg's sites and install.
Do Windows updates until all important updates are in, repeat to make sure.
Install Antivirus Program and update.
Make a second user, the first is your admin user and is for installing and maintaining, the second one is for daily use. This is for better security. Use a different background for both so you know which one you are in.
Customize personal settings.
Install all basic programs you need, including an Office Suite, EMail Program, Reader, Flash, Java, etc. then configure and update as needed.
< I might have forgotten something, but I think I got it down for you >

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#19
May 21, 2013 at 21:01:43
I appreciate it! Any advice is always welcomed. When I had it all running before the temp was 42c idle and 52c while running far cry 3. I think that means its ok.

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