1st time build, so lost :P

By matrix86
May 27, 2013
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  1. Ok, so I'm a first time builder here with a budget of $600. I use my computer for web browsing (with a million tabs open I admit, lol), music recording/editing (normally about 6 or so tracks only), lite gaming (minecraft with heavy skin packs) and will be doing small video editing (like 4 boxes of video in one frame), and watching movies (both blue-ray and the occasional live stream). I use Windows themes/skins on my computer and have more rainmeter gadgets than I probably need :p

    I've come across some good barebones kits for $600, but they lack a few things which I may not even need, lol. I definitely need a wireless card (no cable running to my room) and obviously a blue-ray player (I don't burn music or movies onto CDs...if I need to, I already have a burner). I'm looking for a minimum 6GB of RAM. Do I really need an SSD? My mind keeps saying "YES" but my wallet says "nope, not in the budget." I do already have a 1TB drive for storage, I would just like an SSD for the OS and programs. But if that's not feasible, I have no problem with a small HDD. So what am I looking for that will meet the needs of my use and budget?

    Mobo, CPU, GPU, RAM, PSU, Case, SSD-or-HDD, Blue-Ray Player, Wifi Card, and after market cooler / heatsink (everyone always says stay away from OEM coolers...go after market).

    So if I'm not all that crazy and this is feasible, I appreciate any and all help, and hope to learn a good bit in the process (please, feel free to teach so I actually learn something). I'm not loyal to any brand so I don't care about any of that......at least...not yet :p Thanks!
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,765   +1,427

    I would only make that recommendation based on whether the person will be overclocking. Neither Intel or AMD will package their CPU with a cooler that not sufficiently adequate under non-overclock conditions.

    Have you assembled a parts list or are awaiting feedback first?
  3. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    I typically like the builds that techpot puts together. This one for example:
    http://www.techspot.com/guides/buying/page2.html

    You'd need to add a blue ray player, as that one is only a DVD. You'd need to add the Wireless card.

    As for the SSD, my vote is no. That said, I do have one. In my case, it is eye candy more than anything. Windows boots up extremely fast. Depending on how much video rendering you do, you may get more use out of it than I do.

    It is using pretty decent integrated graphics, which from what you describe, that is all you'll need. It does have an empty slot if you end up feeling you want more oomph in the future.

    See what some others say. You'll likely get many different system suggestions to choose from.
    LukeDJ likes this.
  4. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

    Do you need to spend money on an OS?
  5. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    +1 to Don's Suggestion, you can minus the monitor and peripherals and add an OS, plus get the wireless card and blue-ray player you need.

    If you don't need an OS, you MAY even be able to squeeze the Techspot Entry-Level Rig into your budget, as prices have dropped a little since it was put together.

    You probably can't afford an SSD right now, but it is one of the easiest upgrades to do in the future so you should be alright. If the 1TB drive you have now is of reasonable quality, then I see no real point in buying another HDD for the OS, and I'd be putting the cash elsewhere.
  6. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,705   +873

    This is a build I recently put together in another thread:

    Option 1, Intel (this will be modified when Haswell, the next generation of CPUs, is released):
    CPU: Intel Core i3 3220 ($130)
    Motherboard: ASUS P8B75-V ($85)
    Option 2:
    CPU: AMD FX-6350 ($140) - The 6 core AMD CPU will outperform the dual core i3, especially in more CPU heavy games.
    Motherboard: ASUS M5A97 ($100)

    Definite parts:
    RAM: Corsair Vengeance 2x4GB ($70)
    GPU: EVGA GTX 650Ti Boost ($170)
    Power Supply: Corsair TX 650 ($90) or Corsair CX500 ($60)
    Case: Corsair 200R ($50)
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

  8. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,705   +873

    I have tried that RAM and benchmarked it against competitors like Corsair Vengeance kits. I noticed it performed quite less (not noticeable) in some tests.
  9. matrix86

    matrix86 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 800   +8

    Thanks for your suggestions (and feel free to keep them coming...final decisions next week)! Oh, I did forget to mention that an OS and peripherals are not needed, sorry about that. Already have that good stuff :p

    As for a case (I did say in the OP I'd like to learn a few things through this process) is there a difference between getting an aluminum case vs a steel case in terms of air flow (which I believe is more of a design thing) and temperature?
  10. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,705   +873

    Steel is just more durable. There is no difference in cooling really. I think you should take my suggestions in post #8 since I put a lot of time research and I have found out that that is in fact the best value for the price. Any suggestions that may improve it are appreciated.
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    Aluminium vs. steel is a bit tricky. Aluminium is lighter, but steel is stronger. There will be some great aluminium cases, and some great steel ones. I wouldn't personally use that as a reason to buy a case, unless you plan on moving it around a lot. If anything, I lean towards steel, as aluminium cases tend to be much more expensive.

    So other than build quality (stay with a reputable company), the main things to consider for the case is airflow and noise. Since it doesn't sound like you plan on overclocking, basic airflow will be good enough. One fan in front sucking in air, and one fan in back blowing out air.

    The noise question. There are two schools. One is to minimize the number of fans (or the size and speed of the fans), and another is to build an insulated case. I personally don't pay too much attention to this point, but if it's an issue for you let us know.

    Another thing I look for is the input jacks in the front side of the case. How many usb ports, headphone jacks, are there usb 3.0 ports in the front etc. Another big point to look for is the air filters on the intake fans. If there are no filters, you're going to be needing to clean the inside of your case a lot more often.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
     
  12. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

    That's strange to me! In what areas? I'm not specifically recommending that one, it's on sale and it's the cheapest. I just mean to suggest one that is 2x4GB rather than 4x2GB.

    I'll give it to you that the Corsair 200R is a great case and a very low price point, but for something like this the cooling difference is not very significant compared to something not nearly as nice, and for me personally, looks would be more important. For a build like this, and not overclocked, the cooling difference is pretty negligible, nearly any decent case will do just fine with no problems.
    So basically my advice is that the Corsair 200R is a nice case but if you don't like the way it looks it's fine to pick a different one that you think looks better (I like the bitfenix Shinobi white).
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  13. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,705   +873

    I think the timings held it back. It performed like 2-4 fps less than the Vengeance in some games on average. Thanks for the alert, that 4x2GB was a typo.
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

    Oh I see, and now that I look at the link I see that it is actually 2x4GB, which is good ^____^
  15. matrix86

    matrix86 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 800   +8

    JC, I am looking at your build and considering the AMD one. I've surprisingly found parts cheaper on Amazon so that helps a lot. One thing I'm wondering, though. You have 2x4GB sticks for the RAM, but I've seen the 1x8GB stick for slightly cheaper. Is it worth getting a single stick, or is it a safer route to get 2 sticks of the 4GB?

    Oh, and nobody has mentioned wireless adapters. Is there really anything I should stay away from? A USB adapter vs a PCI Express card? Keep in mind that my room is directly behind the living room. My computer is against one side of the wall, with the router just on the opposite side...so other than there being a wall between us, there's only a short distance for the signal to travel.
  16. LukeDJ

    LukeDJ TechSpot Addict Posts: 414   +112

    I'd be going with the 2x4GB RAM so that you can run duel channel. The Motherboard has four slots so you can always get two more sticks and upgrade to 16GB.
  17. Coodu

    Coodu TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 179

    Hi Matrix,

    Personally I prefer PCI wireless adapters, just because at least in AUS, they are priced much better and offer a bit more bang for our dollar. But USB offers a bit more portability and the feature to take the USB dongle to any PC quite easily. Some good options are something from Linksys or TP-Link perhaps.
  18. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 3,565

    What is your internet speed in your home, and what is the wireless modem you have? If you have a really fast internet connection in your house, might be nice to get an adapter that can make use of it. That's what I'd do. However, it doesn't sound like you plan on doing anything internet intensive like online gaming. Just regular browsing is all you'll be doing?

    Like Norbur above, I prefer PCI as well, just because I like having my USB ports available for other things.
     
  19. matrix86

    matrix86 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 800   +8

    The only "heavy" traffic is from watching streamed movies, Minecraft, and the occasional high quality video upload (I do occasionally dabble in and out with Team Fortress 2 from time to time). As for my connection speed, I get anywhere between 60-80Mbps download speeds and a steady 11 upload. My wireless modem is from Comcast Xfinity. I's their standard wireless gateway...I've attached a picture:
    [​IMG]
    I have an AC charged 7-port USB hub, so not I'm not too concerned with hogging up ports on the computer itself :p
  20. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] I'm a TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 4,317   +117

    I prefer PCI slots to USB dongles, they seem to work better.
  21. hood6558

    hood6558 TechSpot Booster Posts: 292   +44

    "My computer is against one side of the wall, with the router just on the opposite side...so other than there being a wall between us, there's only a short distance for the signal to travel."
    Seriously? You're gonna spend $ on a wireless card when the router is only a few feet away? A hard-wired ethernet connection is faster and much more reliable - drill a small hole through the base of the wall and run a cat45 cable to the router. Wireless signals can be affected by RFI, cell phone signals, etc., so hard-wired is always better.
  22. Coodu

    Coodu TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 179

    Pretty good point being made here definitely!
  23. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,705   +873

    As Luke said, the 2x4GB stick is what you want since the motherboard takes advantage of dual channel which increases performance a ton. Believe it or not, the 1x8GB stick used to be more expensive a few months back, but with RAM prices on the rise, the more sticks you get, the higher the price.

    No one mentioned that I forgot a HDD on my build, that would be bad! LOL. This is the HDD you want: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136533
  24. matrix86

    matrix86 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 800   +8

    The reason I'm not running a cable to the room is because I don't have permission to do so. I'm living with my parents right now and they don't want holes drilled in their wall. This is why I'm looking for a good, yet inexpensive card. It may only get used for a year, and I am trying to stay within budget here, lol.

    But anywho, I think I'm just about ready to settle down on parts. Think this wireless adapter will be suitable enough? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=33-704-079&IsVirtualParent=1

    So I'll be taking out the SSD and the Blue-Ray drive (I have a birthday coming up in August, so I can't 2 months for the BR drive, lol) and will go with Luke's suggestion of setting aside some room on my current 1TB drive for the OS. In the 4 years I've had it, I've only used up 500GB so I'll be ok for a while. I'll be due for another bonus at work in about 4 months, so when that comes, I can use that money for an SSD. Just let me know what you think about that adapter, and then I'll put out a full parts list.
  25. JC713

    JC713 TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 6,705   +873



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