51 yr old auto mechanic builds his first PC

Nothing much will make you feel older than hanging out in a tech forum. I decided I wanted to build a PC from scratch. (A first for me) I'm pretty far from being a tech expert, I work on cars for a living. But I've been disenchanted with the last couple of desktops that I've bought. They ship with bloated add-ons and software I'll never use. My current machine sounds like a Top Gear hovervan creation. I wanted something faster, quieter and future-upgradable. (I'm not a fan of the term "future proof")

My wife and I host a weekly AM broadcast radio program, so I need to be able to edit MP3 files for interviews, product reviews etc... We have future plans to start making some videos and uploading to YouTube. So, I need a little bit of power. Plus, I'm a bit of a geek for racing sims.

So, I've done some research and formulated a plan.

Case: Corsair Spec-O2 (Not the best case, but it was on sale for $49.99 and it will do what I need)
Motherboard: MSI 970 Gaming (I may have fallen victim to the red bling on this one.)
PSU: Corsair CX750 (I actually regret buying this one on sale. The price was right, but I think I may go for a different PSU with modular cable capabilities)
RAM: Patriot Viper 2x4GB (Had to continue the red bling theme)

That's what I've purchased for it so far.
Planned purchases:
CPU: AMD 8350
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master 212 Hyper
SSD: 120GB or so. (Plan to put OS and some games on there)
HDD: Probably will pick up whatever's on sale when I'm ready for that 1TB or so.
GPU: Undecided. I want to to step up big, but this will be budget driven.
OS: Windows 8 with the intent to upgrade to 10 when it releases.

I'd be interested in hearing any thoughts or constructive criticism from those with more tech know-how than me.


Keep us posted and take some pics of the build process if you can. I would enjoy seeing this. Good luck.

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If you could use pcpartpicker.com from here on in that would be nice.

I'd recommend getting a bigger ssd 240 minimum. I have a 120 GB ssd split between windows and linux, it's not enough.
a 4TB HDD is only about $200
8350 is outdated by now, I was considering it for my computer and eventually went with the 3570k. Has it's pros and cons.
Why windblows 8? stick to 7 it's just fine and doesn't piss you off.
up the ram to 8 gig sticks. no reason not to.

sry if I'm a bit brusque. It happens with me.

How's the reliability with those and their gazillion platters?

Mine came doa, but that happens with all drives. Haven't had it fail since. I've had a 2 TB fail on me like 5 times.

I may go for a bigger SSD, but I have no plans on running Linux. Honestly, I don't have any clue about Linux.

4TB is probably more than I need for a HDD, but I will consider larger.

I have already purchased the RAM, so going with 8GB sticks isn't an option. I do have 2 empty RAM slots, may add another 4GBx2 at a later date if needed. I thought 8GB was going to be enough, but it sounds like you're telling me it isn't.

It's a bit late for me to switch to an Intel CPU, I've already purchased a motherboard with AMD socket. 8350 may not be the latest or the greatest, but I do have a budget to consider.

8GB should be enough, don't worry about it. I'd bump the SSD up to 256GB though (if you have not opened it most companies accept returns, Amazon are very good with them).

Windows 8 is fine as long as you get a start menu program to avoid metro (although by summer this year you should get a free upgrade to Windows 10).

I consistently run out of ram just web browsing and playing minecraft and I have 16 GB.

I never said switch to intel or linux. merely that was what I was running. Wish I had gone with the 8350 just for the virtualization features (Another reason I run out of ram).

On another note you can check the youtube channel for linux info.

WHAT'S THE FUCKING BUDGET! (like I said brusque).

Hey Razz,

First of all, Congratulations! on choosing to build your own pc.
Second, Welcome to the community, personally I think you've joined the best online community out on the interwebs for tech enthusiasts.

I agree with @rollymaster on the SSD side of things, I have a 120GB which only has windows 7 on it and it filled up really quickly. Do yourself a favour and save up an extra week or 2 to get a 240GB, you'll thank us all later :)

8GB of RAM is good for now, my system has 16GB and it doesnt get used. But you said that you wanted "future upgradeable" so having the extra 2 slots for later is a good thing, you might find in 2 years you'll need them.

As for the OS go with what you are comfortable with, windows 10 looks like it should be what windows vista was meant to be and i'll be glad when it is here, but for the meantime like I said its what ever YOU are comfortable with. And another note if you are doing your podcasts and the like I would steer clear of Linux if you don't feel comfortable, Linux is great don't get me wrong but you will probably find better support for programs on windows than linux. You can always install a flavor of linux later, because its open source its free so it wont hurt your budget.

On the CPU side maybe consider going for an AMD FX-8320 instead. It's still an 8 core cpu and you can overclock it to about 4.6 or 4.7 GHz so that it will be on par and even above the 8350. This will save you some cash for the GPU and SSD. If you don't think you can overclock don't be scared, there are lots of resources on tek syndicate that can help you out.

GPU, I would consider the AMD R9 280 purely for the 3GB VRAM. This will help you with your racing sims and other games but not really for your youtube videos. If you're happy for the graphics in the racing sims to go down slightly the R9 270 is a good choice that will save you money.

Well thats it from me, all I can say now is good luck, I hope this helps, and if you need a hand let us know, I'm sure we would all like to know how you go.

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My budget is $1000 USD


With $200 wiggle room.

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thats an almost perfect build for what @RazzBarlow7 needs. Nice.

Thanks for doing that, but it looks to me like that power supply would be pretty close to maxed out according to what pcpartpicker says the demand will be. Am I reading that wrong?

Even at full load components won't draw what people think they draw you could toss a second graphics card in there and be close to the max I think.
If your uncomfortable pick another one.
The only time you need to worry about your pc overpowering the psu is on powerup.
You could have a power supply able to supply 200 watts lower than the max draw of the system, however if you do a staggared startup then you could certainly get away with it. Not reccommended obviously.

I'm 46 years old. :O) Building your own system will give you satisfaction! Good luck with the build! :O)

As a car mechanic i thought you might appreciate this case mod:

Have fun with your build!


For you GPU choice I'd recommend picking up another 970 (identical to the one you have) if you want a step up. You'll be able to run them in SLI which should be plenty of power for the racing sims you want to play.

That is simply badass! That satisfies my inner geek on so many levels.

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I haven't purchased any gpu yet. I doubt I'll be running more than one in my build.

Ah, misread! I saw MSI 970 and thought it was a GPU since there's once with the same name ;)