First Build - Need advice, Thanks in advance! :)

Hi there! I am a newbie in building PCs and have recently become interested in MMORPGs. Listed below are the parts I plan to use for my rig but I am not quite sure if it is enough or compatible. I would highly appreciate advice/feedback on how to improve it. My sister and i are splitting the cost in building this and our budget cap is at $1,000. Thanks in advance!

CPU: Intel i5 3570k

MoBo: AsRock Z77 Extreme 4

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 1TB

RAM: G.skill Sniper Series 2x4GB

GPU: Gigabyte GT 630 2GB

PSU: Seasonic (S12II) 520watts PSU 80Plus Bronze

Creative Soundblaster Xi-Fi Xtreme Audio card

Case: NZXT Phantom 

You should really get a better video card than that, especially if you're going to be playing Guild Wars 2. I would suggest at least getting an AMD Radeon HD 7850.

Thank you! I will check it out. :)

Other than that it looks like a great build! :D

Yey! thank you so much! :) More power to you!

No problem. If you really can't afford the 7850 though, I would suggest either a Radeon HD 6870, Radeon HD 6850, or GTX 460 at the VERY least. Those cards are starting to show their age a little, but they still pack quite a punch. They're starting to become more rare though, especially the GTX 460.

Nice! Hopefully I can catch a deal online or maybe wait a little for the usual sale in December. 

Thank you! :) 

IMO there is no reason to be getting a sound card, put that money towards your GPU

Ah I see. :) I plan on picking up a SteelSeries Siberia V2 too. So just the regular onboard sound card is enough? 

Thank you! :)

Hmm...well according to the specs, that headset is similar to my pair of Sennheiser 558 headphones.

Steelseries Siberia V2 Specs:

Frequency Response: 18 - 28,000Hz

Impedence: 40 Ohm

Sennheiser HD 558 Specs:

Frequency Response: 15 - 28,000Hz

Impedence: 50 Ohm

I'm using an ASUS Xonar Essence STX soundcard to power my headphones.

The only issue I see here is that the Steelseries headset has a USB connection instead of a 3.5 or 6.3mm jack, so I'm not sure if the headset would be able to utilize a descrete sound card in the first place. I could be wrong though, so someone please correct me if I am. Whether or not something can still utilize a soundcard through a USB connection is an issue I'm not too sure about, but I would generally think that you wouldn't be able to utilize the sound card unless you were plugged directly into it.

Not to mention that Steelseries says there's a sound card already built into the headset, but that becomes a debate of whether or not that sound card in the headset is a quality piece of hardware or not.

Wow! I better read up more then. I just mostly went with items that have reviews. I appreciate your help. :) 

No problem. Anytime.

You should post your refactored build so we can comment. Other than the underpowered GPU and the unneeded sound card, it looks fine, but if you can't feed enough money into getting a GPU around the HD 7870, you might want to consider cutting back on other components.

Yeah, it'd probably be better to just get that headset since there's already built-in audio hardware, drop the sound card, and get a better GPU.

Agree w/ other users about soundcard. Don't want to beat a horse to death, but that's something you can easily add six months, or a year after you build the computer and decide you want better quality sound. 

Moving on,

Intel 2400 and 2500K are still competent CPU's that you might be able to find for $200 or less. 

GPU needs to be improved. GT630 definitley won't get the job done, especially if you're just building the system now. Move up to a GTX660 or look at the high-value ATI 7850 and 7870. Logan had a vid recently w/ the HIS 7870 Ice-Q, which is currently $244 at Newegg and a very, very capable card. I'm prob going to buy one or two for my next build.

Good HD. Newegg has them on sale for as low as $70 every week or few weeks. Grab it then.

I love the choice w/ the NZXT Phantom. That's a GOOOOD looking case. But, it's definitely expensive and you can find a lot of really high quality, similar style, but less espensive cases. Xigmatek, Coolermaster, Fractal all make good cases.  Lots of choices though, just trying to save you $50.

I'd also recommend a more powerful CPU. Other people might disagree, but when you have a discrete GPU, especially a large on, they use quite a bit of power. Some require 400W PSU's. So, I'd go w/ at least a 630, probably a 700W. Again, OCZ, NZXT, Rosewill, Seasonic, I mean all of them make good products. You can get some 650's for about $60.

BTW, you need a CPU Fan/Heatsink. That chip will melt in a heartbeat. They come w/ a fan/heatsink, but they are shite. Invest $30 in a Hyper 212 or something simple.


Good build though. Good luck. If you have friends w/ experience you should work w/ them. Helps to have somebody w/ a bit of knowledge b/c videos online just can't over all the minor details.

I decided to buy a laptop primary for gaming, I am ready to use anything up to 2,5k, but not sure on what. Portability is important for me. My biggest candidate WAS the UX32 you upgraded, but now Asus designed the new u500vz, jump starting my brain to think why not buy the razer blade? I But I am not sure. Can you help me out on this. Maybe come up with some suggestions etc...

Thank you! I appreciate your help. :) Will definitely consider i5 2500k instead and hunt in Newegg. 

Considering everyone's suggestions, this is my updated components list:

CPU: intel i5 2500K

CPU fan: Deep Cool (Ice Matrix 600)

MoBo: AsRock Z77 Extreme 4

RAM: G.Skill Sniper Series 2x4GB

GPU: Radeon HD7850 

HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 1TB

PSU: Thermaltake TT 800W (TR 800PCUS) TR2 80Plus Bronze 

Case: NZXT Phantom (I really cannot let go because it really looks nice)

Additional fan: NZXT 200mm 

And I will forgo the sound card for now in favor of the Steel Series Siberia V2. :) 

Will do that. :) Gosh PC building is very interesting with all these things to consider. Thank you again! :)