Building my first desktop

By Spiritjoo · 13 replies
Oct 31, 2011
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  1. I am looking to finally build my first desktop, and it will be for straight up gaming, streaming, videos, and etc. Everything that you need to know is down below. Also, I know very little about computer hardware, so if you use hardware language with me then I will just be like "??" Just post the rigs here or send them via PM. If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them.

    Here are some specifics I can give you:

    Budget: $850-$925 (can go over a bit)

    Case: Nothing flashy want more power than looks.

    Monitor: Have it

    OS: Have it

    Power Supply: 600W - 650W

    Processor: i7 or equivalent, because I have no idea what the AMD equivalent is.

    RAM: 8gb - no less/more

    Purpose: Hard-Core gaming, basically the only thing I will use it for.

    Misc.: I need a wireless adapter as well

    Recommendations: Please put the price and item of anything you recommend I also get.

    I hope that can get you started. If you want to wait until Black Friday for any savings you can. Just want it before Christmas.


  2. Mirrorz3dge

    Mirrorz3dge TS Rookie


    im going to assume you want to use newegg or tigerdirect, so i'll list some nice parts:


    Power Supply:



    Hard Disk Drive:

    Wireless adapter:

    i hope i didnt miss anything. the total of all that is $663

    i put in a HDD too, but if you didnt need it the total cost would be $543
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,995   +1,316

    EDIT: my bad
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    WOW - A gaming rig with no mention of a graphics adapter. Thats the key element in a gaming rig.

    Since you estimated your budget around $900, I would assume you wasn't interested in the latest and greatest. Possibly something around $150 or do you already have the graphics adapter?
  5. Spiritjoo

    Spiritjoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That should answer your question.
  6. Mirrorz3dge

    Mirrorz3dge TS Rookie

    a graphics adapter (or graphics card, as it's more commonly known) is the part of a computer that is responsible far what you see on your monitor, and how fast/good looking what you see is.

    don't get confused between a CPU and a graphics card!!! roughly explained, the CPU for the computer is similar to a human brain. It is artificial but the CPU is where all the logic is applied. Everything that goes on in your PC at some point goes through your CPU. If you cannot get the idea, here is a simple example which will probably help you get the point.

    The computer code is basically mathematics. For example, imagine you want to do simple arithmatic. let's say you want to divide 12 into 2. What happens then? You will input 12/2 on the keyboard of your PC. The keyboard will then turn this information into a sequence of ones and zeros (the code, which the computer "reads").

    After that this will be registered and then sent to the CPU for analysis. The CPU will see that the addition logic is required and use this inbuilt logic to send the answer of 6.

    As the brain of your PC, the CPU allows you to operate software. And, of course, there is a connection between the power of the computer and the work of the CPU.

    The graphics card is the component used to display images to your monitor. It is used more than just for games. Without the graphics card, there is no output to your monitor. Back in the old days, we used to call these things "video cards", which made it more obvious as to what these things do.

    Now different graphics cards have different capabilities. Some graphics cards, as an example, cannot support games that uses DirectX8 and above. Some graphics cards support multiple monitors; others do not. Some graphics cards can do full-scene antialiasing; others do not. The capabilities of the different cards can vary; and how well they do it also varies.

    graphics cards range from $20-$1400, and are arguably the most important part of a computer if you're looking to do intense gaming.

    for games like BF3, MW3, Skyrim, Metro 2033, and other highly-demanding games, i'd reccomend you choose a card from the NVIDIA GTX 570 range.
    these cards are priced at around $300-500, but it'd definetely be worth it.

    if one card isnt enough however, you can choose to buy two, and then plug them both into your motherboard. then you would proceed to link them up simply by attaching a bridge (SLI or Crossfire- SLI Bridge is for NVIDIA cards, Crossfire is for AMD cards)
    however if you were to do this you would need to check whether your motherboard (the heart of your computer) has more than one PCI-E slot. a PCI-E slot is a slot on the motherboard, where your graphics card gets plugged in to.

    i hope i explained some key things, and that you are now less confused. if the exact opposite just happened, i am sorry.
  7. tussin33

    tussin33 TS Rookie

    Im a man of value, you dont need to spend 60$ on a case.

    an I7 is not required, you can get a 6 core of AMD for 170$

    its .2 less ghz ( big deal ) but you get 2 more cores for 130 less dollars, Yes the i7 is the best processor on the planet, but it is not 100% necessary

    The ram and power supply looked good for what he was suggesting

    now you didnt say that you wanted to max the games out on ultra? if you dont care about playing the top of the line games at high or ultra with 30-40 FPS

    then i recommend the HD 6870 it's the "best card for your buck"

    But in your case you sound like you dont plan on upgrading soon i would deff spend the 250-350$ on a graphics card, but if it's not in your budget the 6870 is the way to go!

    also you need a motherboard
  8. Spiritjoo

    Spiritjoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I didn't know graphics adapter and graphics card were the same. Also, the specifics I have were the things I know I want. I do want to run games on at least "high" settings, because I have done "low" settings all my life. I will show you what somebody else has come up for me.

    Case: Thermaltake Commander Mid-Tower Gaming Case

    CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-2600K 3.40 GHz 8M Intel Smart Cache LGA1155 (All Venom OC Certified)

    Cooling Fan: Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling System 120MM Radiator & Fan (Enhanced Cooling Performance + Extreme Silent at 20dBA) (Single Standard 120MM Fan)

    Coolant for Cyberpower Xtreme Hydro Water Cooling Kits: Standard Coolant

    Motherboard: [CrossFireX] Asus P8Z68-V LX Intel Z68 Chipset DDR3 ATX
    Mainboard LucidLogix Virtu and Intel Smart Response Technology & 7.1 HD Audio, GbLAN, USB3.0, 2x SATA-III RAID,2 3 PCIe Gen2, 2 PCIe X1 & 2 3CI (All Venom OC Certified)

    Memory: 8GB (2GBx4) DDR3/1600MHz Dual Channel Memory Module (Corsair XMS Gaming Memory with Heat Spreader)

    Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1GB 16X PCIe Video Card (Major Brand Powered by NVIDIA)

    Power Supply Upgrade: 700 Watts - XtremeGear SLI/CrossFireX Ready Power Supply

    Hard Drive: 60 GB OCZ Agility 3 SATA III 6.0Gb/s SSD - 525MB/s Read & 475MB/s Write (Single Hard Drive)

    Optical Drive: 24X Double Layer Dual Format DVD+-R/+-RW + CD-R/RW Drive (BLACK COLOR)


    Network: Onboard Gigabit LAN Network

    Keyboard: Xtreme Gear (Black Color) Multimedia/Internet USB Keyboard

    Mouse: XtremeGear Optical USB 3 Buttons Gaming Mouse

    Flash Media Reader/Writer: INTERNAL 12in1 Flash Media Reader/Writer (BLACK COLOR)

    Internal USB Port: Built-in USB 2.0 Ports
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    You should have a basic understanding of what all the parts are before you decide to build.
    The basic PC component list:
    • Computer Case
    • Power Supply Unit (PSU)
    • Motherboard
    • Processor (CPU)
    • Memory Modules (RAM)
    • Graphics Adapter (GPU)
    • Sound Adapter (usually the integrated sound on the motherboard is sufficient)
    • Hard Disk Drive and/or Solid State Drive (HDD SSD)

    Many motherboards have integrated graphics. The newest idea is to integrate the graphics into the CPU. Integrated graphics doesn't have enough power for playing games, therefor a dedicated card would be needed for gaming.

    The motherboard is the backbone to the entire build. Everything else must be designed to work with the motherboard. If the motherboard doesn't support the device, the device would then need a dedicated card to support it. You should decide what devices you want the motherboard to support and then find a motherboard that supports them.

    • Do you need a standard ATX layout or would MicroATX work for you?
    • What generation CPU do you want?
    • What speed RAM modules?
    • Do you want SATA 3.0?
    • What about USB 3.0?
    • How many SATA or USB ports do you need?
    • Do you only need one PCIe x16 card slot or do you need more?

    One of the biggest questions is how much graphical power do you need for gaming? Do you need one card or two cards connected in SLI/Crossfire?

    Once you have an idea about all the components you plan to use, you can then decide how much power you need in the Power Supply Unit. A crippled down PC with only 300W's of power is fine for general use. Anyone that games would need better graphics and processing power. A PC with 300W's is not enough power for a gaming rig.

    If all this is confusing to you, I'm sorry. Anyone planning on building a PC should have all these questions answered in their head before they start to build.
  10. Spiritjoo

    Spiritjoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Umm. Please look at my specifics. I kind of have a lot of information there about the parts. I also have a basic understanding of everything now, but as I said this is my FIRST desktop. Give me a break. If you are going to do nothing, but lecture me on what I should know, and not help me build a computer then don't reply.

    Computer case; Nothing flashy want more power than looks.

    PSU: 650w


    CPU: i7 intel

    Ram: 8gb no less

    Graphics Card:

    HDD: 1TB at least

    SATA 3.0: Yes

    USB 3.0: Yes
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    OK, goodbye

    BTW: I was only trying to show how unprepared you were for building a PC without actually stating the fact. You have to ask the questions before we can answer.

    The statement about how little you know makes it very difficult for someone to answer you.
  12. Spiritjoo

    Spiritjoo TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Then, don't ask me all these questions I don't know. Instead point me in the right direction or explain.
  13. Mirrorz3dge

    Mirrorz3dge TS Rookie

    ok once again i will try clarify things for you.

    you want to BUILD your own computer for gaming, video streaming, etc.
    for these tasks you will need a fairly powerful computer.

    first of all, it might help to learn each part of a computer, and what it does. also watch some YouTube tutorials on how to assemble all the parts, to make a computer.

    if you haven't done that, I highly recommend you do. Computers are expensive and if you're stuffing around saying you want to build one, but you have no idea what a graphics card is or does, you might wanna take a couple weeks to do your homework on computers before you even think about buying the parts and building one.

    To build a computer, you need:

    - a case (to house and protect all your components. think of the case as the skin of your computer)
    - a CPU (also known as a Processor, or Central Processing Unit. This is the most important part of a computer- think of it as the brain of the computer)
    - a Graphics card (responsible for all the visuals on your screen, and how fast and nice looking they are. think of it as the eyes of the computer)
    - a HDD (also known as Hard drive or Hard Disk Drive. this is where all the programs and data from your computer are stored.)
    - RAM (also known as Memory, or Random Access Memory. Ram does not do the same thing as a HDD. HDD's permanently store your data, until you physically delete it. think of RAM as an empty workbench, and when you start up programs (e.g. internet explorer), the program sits on the workbench, ready to use. when you close the program, it's process is deleted from the RAM. it's confusing, but it makes sense)
    - a Motherboard (also known as mobo. think of this as the heart of your computer. all the parts of the computer are plugged into the motherboard)
    - an optical drive (also known as ODD or disk drive. this is the little slot that pops out of your computer, which you place a disk in. this is essential if you want to build a computer, because you need to insert a windows 7 disk to get windows onto your computer)
    - a power supply (or PSU. think of this as the petrol for your computer. what it does is take the unruly AC current from a plug in your wall, and transform it into nice clean usable electricity, to power all the parts of your computer)
    - a Monitor (the screen)
    - a keyboard
    - a mouse
    - an OS (or Operating System. there are many OS's, like Windows, mac, Linux, and others.)

    now that ive listed all the parts of a computer, the next thing you have to do is pick one part from each category. you have already mentioned you want a 650W PSU, an i7 CPU, and 8 Gigs of RAM.

    you have to pick all the parts you need, then make sure they're compatible.

    making sure they're compatible is a process that takes too long to explain so i wont bother.

    once you have double and triple checked everything is 100% compatible, and matches your needs, you can go ahead and buy the parts.

    putting them all to build the computer is a long story, which i once again, cant be bothered to write.

    please do some homework before you consider building a computer.

    hope i helped
  14. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I think it's fairly obvious that many people here (including me) insist that you know enough about computers before you try to build one.
    There is plenty of information already posted here and plenty of information to be found elsewhere.

    SAPPHIRE 100312-1GDP Radeon HD 6950 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card with Eyefinity
    Antec High Current Gamer Series HCG-620 620W ATX12V v2.3 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified ...
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
    ASRock Z68 PRO3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    Intel Core i5-2500K Sandy Bridge 3.3GHz (3.7GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80623I52500K

    Total is about 700 USD.
    In addition, you'll need a case, optical drive, and a harddrive. I'm sorry, but you're probably going to be ripped off for the hard drive at the moment. Maybe you'll consider getting an SSD now, and picking up a mechanical HDD later.

    Don't ask me if I want to wait for black Friday deals, ask yourself. If you're planning to buy this around Christmas, just toss all your plans out and start a new thread around December. It's too early to be listing up parts. IMO spend the rest of November learning.

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