Help Me With My First Build

Hello! I'm getting close to building my first PC and I have made a list of parts I would like to use, but I would like to get the cost down a bit. I don't care about how it will look, I just want a really good PC.

  • Budget. How much are you willing to spend?: $1700-1800
  • Where do you live (what country),  and what currency do you use?
  •   -Is there a retailer you prefer?: U.S. No retailer preference, at least at this time.
  • Do you need or already have peripherals? (this can add to costs): I need a monitor, but I have a nice mouse, keyboard, and headset.
  • What will you be using your future computer for? Gaming? Rendering? Mix of both? Or is this a home media PC?: The main use will be for gaming, but I may do some video editing with it.
  • Do you overclock or want to get into overclocking?: I would like to get into overclocking.
  • Do you plan on going for custom watercooling now, or in the future?: No.
  • OS. Do you need a new one?: Yes

If you Game-

  • What kind of settings do you like or what FPS do you want to play at? As high as I can get within budget. Preferably max settings of course.
  • What resolution will you be playing at? //or would like to play at. 1080p. I would like to go to a higher resolution, but I don't think I can fit in a monitor like that into my budget.
  • What kind of games do you like to play? A variety. Primarily RPGs, but I do enjoy the occasional shooter from time to time as long as it isn't Call of Duty. Games I am playing at the moment: Watch Dogs, Dark Souls II, The Witcher series, and I plan on getting back into modding Skyrim.


 If you don't have peripherals -

  • What size monitor are you looking for, and what resolution? Screen type (IPS, S-IPS, TN, etc.), hertz (60, 120, etc.) 1080p, IPS, at least 60 hz, and at least 20 inches.

This is the part list I currently have:

I want to stick with the case I chose, but other than that, I'm fine with making some other changes.


Cooler: The D14 doesn't perform much worse, maybe 1 degree, than the D15. It is also much cheaper.

Motherboard: Went with a Z97 Pro from Asus. Very nice and cheaper. Lots of features. You really don't need an ROG board.

SSD: Went with an 840 Evo. Little more money but much faster.

GPU: Stepped down to an R9 290. Over $100 cheaper for maybe 3-8 FPS less.

PSU: Went down to a 650W unit from Corsair. No need for 850W and it is much cheaper.

ODD: Ditched it. You don't need one.

$1710.91. Right in budget and more than enough for 1080p gaming.

Really you could save even more by stepping down to an i5-4690k. No HT but that makes no difference in games. It can be a little slower in video editing but it won't be much of a difference. I don't think the 4790k is really a very good value. Also could go to a smaller SSD.

I made sure to fit in a nice 1440p monitor and the 280x will make playing at that resolution fun. Went with a cheaper but still good quality psu and only 8GB of ram, for light video editing this is fine because I do it with my own rig. You could save some cash by downgrading the cpu some but that's up to you.

Tower, OS, Mouse, KB, Headset.

Hey, I made some slight changes from your starting build

First I changed the CPU cooler, 2nd I changed the motherboard to a msi gaming 5 z97 board.  Next I changed to a Samsung 840 evo ssd.  The final changes I made were a MSI GTX 780, changed the psu to one that is still good but lower cost, changed the monitor to one I personally own and am quite fond of no issues with it. and finally I added a wifi Adapter.  The only choice I feel like i need to explain is the wifi, with having a 780 you can get a nividia shield, if you have a wifi Adapter.

Thank you for the replies! Do you guys think getting a 1440p monitor is worth it?

If you had a higher budget, yes.  At 1440p though, you're pushing around a lot more pixels and you may need to add another graphics card or reduce some settings.

Can anyone recommend a good monitor? I'm willing to spend up to around $250 on it. And any arguments against IPS?

IPS has a slower refresh rate and response than what TN can OFFER.  60-72hz can be enough though, which is what IPS can offer.

Question: Sapphire says to get a 750 watt PSU with the card, but I've seen people say that's too much and the estimated wattage on PCPartPicker is like around 451 watts, so what size PSU would you recommend?

Sapphire and pretty much all GPU vendors will overestimate their wattage due to the amount of very, very cheap power supply units out there(many of which can often only handle up to 50% of their advertised wattage).  If you only go with one GPU, 450w sounds about right for the maximum load.  It's not the greatest idea to run a power supply at maximum load, so it's a good rule of thumb to add about another 100w of safety room.  A 550w power supply should work pretty good.  Just make sure it's one that's of quality.  Here's the ones I would recommend(from highest to lowest)

SeaSonic S12II 620 Bronze

XFX P1-550S-XXB9

EVGA 100-B1-0600-KR

Corsair CX600

Rosewill Hive-550

Any thoughts on the cooler master VSM line?

I changed the build around a bit myself using input from various sources and some more research. The PSU I was thinking of changing to the 650 watt version to save ten dollars, but I may go with one of your recommendations.

Cooler Master's VSM line is relatively high quality.  I would recommend them as well.

If you want to add another graphics card in the future, go with 850w.  If you don't, you can probably go with a cheaper motherboard that doesn't have a 2nd or 3rd PCIe x16 slot, and go with a 650w power supply just fine.

I downgraded the ram to 9 cas latency to save a couple dollars. Are there any changes that anyone would make? I'm about ready to order the parts.

And the 750 watt Cooler Master VSM PSU is the same price as the 650 watt right now for whatever reason.

As long as you stick with one GPU, 650/750w will be fine.  Looks good to me.  And as I stated before, if you want to add another R9 290 in the future, grab a 850w power supply.

So before I actually buy anything, I want to ask one last time if there is anything you would change. I've got to make sure before I drop a bunch of money haha. Anything maybe to save a bit more money?

You could probably go with a motherboard with less PCIe lanes.

Otherwise the rest looks good to me.

Okay, so now I'm starting to think about maybe needing to save some more money since I'm in college... Thoughts about the FX 8350? And a motherboard to go along? And thank you, you've been very helpful and I know I've been asking a bunch of questions haha.

FX-8350 is a pretty decent chip, although for gaming I would prefer the i5-4690k.  However, since you might be dabbling in video editing, the 8350's rendering capabilities are very good.

FX-8350 + Asus M5A99X Evo R2.0