Building a new computer


I’ve never built a computer, but a friend said it is not hard and is the cheapest. My budget is ~$1000 for a gaming computer that will run at 1376 x 768. Here are the parts I am looking at:

Processor (CPU): i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo), $200

Graphics (GPU): Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 ti 1GB, $230

Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G45 LGA $129

Memory (RAM): Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4GB) 1600MHz DDR3, $45

Storage (HDD): WD5000AAKX SATA 500GB 6.0Gb/s, $70

Power Supply (PSU): Corsair CX600, $50

DVD-ROM drive, $20

Case: HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid Tower Computer Chassis Gaming Case w/Front Blue LED, $50

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit OEM: $100

Wireless network PCI card, $50

Any pc pros mind checking out my picks? Thanks!


Up it to an i7, trade the windows 7 for another gfx card for SLi and get a “free” copy of windows, upgrade the PSU, and you might want to get a new monitor because 3D is all the rage nowadays.


The price difference between the i5 and i7 doesn’t seem worth it to me.

There’s little performance increase.


BTW, Links are broken.
Personally, I’d spend a little more on the PSU. Headroom is a good thing, and dont be afraid to pay extra for a higher quality series. PSU is the one thing you should NEVER cheap out on.


Get a 2500K or 3570K, lose the OS, LAN card and BD drive unless you really plan on using it, and go all out on GPU (gtx6X0 or HD79X0)


He doesn’t need an i7 and if he’s only going to be playing at the resolution he listed in the OP, he shouldn’t need any better card than the one he listed. I would listen to what johnyo said though and get a 2500k instead of the one you listed as it’s probably cheaper and is just as good. Everything else looks fine to me though.


Thanks for the comments. Dropped the BD drive. What brand PSU should I be looking for - is Corsair decent? How many watts do I really need? The i5 2500k is $219, while i5 3450 is only $194.


That PSU is sufficient for that build which will never draw more than 350W. Accounting for expected efficiency you should be near the peak of the efficiency curve of the unit which means you aren’t at the top or bottom of the efficiency curve which means you won’t be wasting power.

Corsair is a VERY good brand known for making units that perform well even at their entry level.

I do like the potential increase between the chip you chose and the 2500k, however I wouldn’t go with that board. The power phase is a bit underwhelming and so overclocking ( which is the main reason for going with the 2500k ) will be limited ( especially since you didn’t go for an after market CPU cooler )

I would suggest taking a look at the TR back to school system guide. You would probably be looking at the ‘sweet spot’ build.

Just my thoughts.


Corsair is one of the best I think. I think 600 watts should be fine but you might want to look the card up on Nvidia’s site. If the 3450 is cheaper then just go with that, I don’t think there’s going to be that much of a difference, besides maybe more difficult overclocking if that interests you.



Don’t buy a 500 GB hard drive for 70 bucks, you are being ripped off at that price. Add 40 dollars to your HDD budget and get a 1.5 TB or 2 TB hard drive. Bear in mind that any hard drive over 2 TB cannot be fully utilized with Windows installed on it.

Also, optical drives are so unnecessary. I built my computer without any CD/DVD/Blu-ray drives. I use my laptop to read any discs and I put windows onto a bootable USB key using a web tutorial on the matter: I made ISOs of all my driver discs using my laptop. I know 20 bucks is cheap, but to me every penny saved was worth it. Plus windows installs really fast from a USB stick compared to installing from a DVD.

Personally I went with the AMD Bulldozer 8150 CPU (8 cores!) but some people hate AMD products for some reason I don’t understand.


Eh, an optical drive is useful for installing Windows (without having do do anything special) and for watching DVDs and Blurays. Unfortunately I don’t think things like WMPC-HC or VLC can natively play Bluray discs, you have to use the software that comes with the drive. You can also rip music with them which I do sometimes.

Nobody really hates AMD, they’re just typically less powerful than Intel, though more affordable. If you’re spending a decent amount on a PC there’s really no reason to go with AMD. And I heard those 8 core cpus aren’t all that good, at least for gaming. I don’t know if they’re any better for multithreaded programs but games nowadays still don’t even use quad core cpus to their true power, let alone 8 cores.


Every game I’ve played on this computer has worked perfectly on max settings so far at 60 fps. Also it handles very well in Lightwave 3D. In fact, I can run 3 or 4 instances of Lightwave doing different tasks simultaneously. Even cloth FX simulations run extremely quickly which is one thing that is usually painfully slow on most computers, leading to hair-pulling-out situations. 3D rendering is also quick

I read the reports that they’re not the best for gaming, but after using this machine for 3 months I have no complaints whatsoever. My chip is 3.8 ghz, overclockable to 5 ghz, and I think it’s lived up to the name Bulldozer so far.


I really can’t be bothered not to get a dvd drive and have to use a usb for everything. Booting from a usb has never worked for me before. I don’t even need 500GB, but there doesn’t seem to be anything smaller these days. What video card do you have Insomniak?


I opted for the Sapphire Radeon 6950, and it cost me about 230 dollars Canadian, or 250 with tax included. It’s slightly dated, but it still runs games on highest settings without a hitch. Crysis & Crysis 2 both work like a dream :slight_smile: . Just built my computer in early June. To be honest it was my first time building a computer myself, but it’s pretty easy to get the hang of.


Oh fuck, my sides.


Overkill? Care to explain Axmann? I do plan to upgrade to a full HD monitor in the future, but that won’t be for a few months.


He’s talking about the resolution. That graphics card is way overkill for that resolution and the resolution is low for the price. If you’re going to get a 1080p monitor soon then greath, it’s just when reading all of those things together it’s kind of humorous :stuck_out_tongue: .


The problem is that they aren’t really competitive at the upper range in price / performance. They can reach decent clock speeds now, which is all good but unfortunately clock for clock the architecture isn’t as efficient. That being said with the current stagnation in gaming technology lately few things will push even mid range processors. Even with an A8-3850 and 1080P resolutions you’ll probably still see a solid 60fps+ in most games.


It all boils down to how much money I had available to spend, and what I needed for my purposes. Considering the price tag, and the huge leap forward compared to my last computer, I’m quite happy with my purchase. I am not really concerned with having the absolute best, but am satisfied with something that performs very well for my purposes.