- 71 months ago
First of all, this is my first post (I created an account just for this), so I apologize in advance for doing anything the wrong way. I've never personally done a build before, but I have helped my brother and a friend choose parts/assemble their own, and I've spent the past few days researching on Newegg, PCPartPicker, UserBenchmark, Google, etc. My budget is around $1000 total, with some wiggle room on either end to get the best performance for my money. I have a $500 Amazon gift card, so I would like that much of the build to come from there, but not to the point where I'm paying significantly more just to use the gift card. My OSs will be free (thank you, Microsoft Dreamspark and Ubuntu). This computer will mostly be used for gaming; I won't be doing other intensive tasks like video rendering. If it helps, I'm majoring in Computer Engineering, so don't hesitate being technical.
Here is the build I'm currently looking at, and my comments/questions below:
CPU: I was originally looking at an FX 8350, but after some research it looks like even with 8 cores AMD is still lagging behind Intel, especially for gaming. I chose an i5 over an i7 because it looks like hyperthreading won't help much at all with gaming, at least not to the point where I can justify spending another $100 for an i7-4790.
CPU Cooler: Do I need this? I'm currently under the impression that the answer is yes if I want to OC, and no if I don't. I haven't decided yet, so if someone wants to try to convince me one way or the other, I'm all ears.
Motherboard: This is the component I'm least sure about. If I want to OC, I need a Z87/97, so I chose this one to err on the safe side. Newegg is also running a $15 off promo with this board, so it seems like a pretty good deal and future-proof.
Memory: I originally thought I needed 16GB, but I've since backed down to 8GB. Since RAM is so easy to upgrade, should I hold off until I find that I actually need 16GB? The only thing I'm worried about is how much RAM prices have risen in the past year, and I don't see any sign of that slowing down.
Storage: Getting an SSD was a no-brainer, and the 840 EVO has really good reviews/benchmarks (I almost fell into the Kingston trap). I think 120GB will be sufficient for my OS and main programs. This obviously isn't enough for all my games, so I went with a Barracuda as well. I think 1TB will be enough for a while; I'm currently using about 450GB in games on an external HD.
GPU: I'm also torn about this. The GTX 770 seems great, but for that price I could probably get an R9 290. One thing I'm worried about is Linux drivers for Radeon cards. Does anyone know how Nvidia and Radeon compare on Linux currently? Also, is it worth the extra money to upgrade to the 770/290, or should I save my money and possibly Crossfire down the road? From what I've read a single strong GPU will outperform two weaker GPUs for the same price.
Case: I don't have strong feelings about this; I just want a decent case that isn't flashy. It looks like Newegg also has the NZXT Source 220 on sale for $30 after a rebate, so I might go with that.
PSU: I'm not too sure about what my power consumption will be. PCPartPicker estimates my build to be around 450W, so I figured 630W will give me a high enough ceiling if I decide to overclock.
BD-Drive: I could go with a plain DVD drive for under $20, but it would be nice to have a Blu-Ray player for movies.
OS: I'm surprised at myself for picking Windows 8, but it looks like 8.1 has fixed a lot of major gripes, and it will have better support going forward. Is there any reason to choose Win7 over 8? (I'm currently using 7.) Either will be free. I'll also be using Ubuntu 14.04 for sure, but not as often.
Network adapter: Simply because I don't know if I'll always have access to ethernet, and it's cheap.
It might also be worth mentioning that I will be playing on a 23.6" Asus monitor at 1920x1080. I might get a second monitor if I can get this build cheap enough.
I'd appreciate any and all suggestions/criticisms. I want this build to be the best that it can. Thanks!