Help please :D

Hey all, I'm a 1st timer at custom builds. 

This is what I came up with:

Can anyone let me know if I did a decent job? Also, I have this note at the bottom, "Some Intel H81 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Haswell Refresh CPUs."

Can someone let me know what that means? Is it better to just pick a different CPU?

Thanks for all the help :]

What are you planning to do with this build? just play games or something else? also what is you favorite color. What size do you want it?

Here is what i made you. its overclockable and very powerful. if you cant swing the extra 120 id wait for the new Nvidia GTX 960 that should be coming out in the next few weeks.

I'm looking to be able to casually game and maybe do some hobby recording for youtube/minecraft. 

I'm also a CS student at my University, so I would like it to be reliable. I'm a fan of midsize towers, but not gonna be too picky about it. 

I guess my favorite color is red/black. 

I'm hoping to use the harddrive from my current pc, so i pulled that off the picker. This is what I've kinda changed in the mean time.

My budget is ~800-850 USD.

Thanks for the reply :D

I didnt relize the price of what I posted at first :O that build is a little out of my budget :\ but i appreciate the help :D

Sorry about that.

its ok. 

look at you buget id get an amd system

the case pretty nice but if you really want to save money then you can get that case on your build 

Thank you, that looks siick and for an awesome price. Thank you a ton :D

Give me a little while and I'll come back with a design that should suite what you are doing. Ive spent alot of time designing and comparing hardware. But It takes a while to do effectively. You're in the clear cash wise though because for what you are doing It doesn't need too much power. 


might as well make the best we can for his money right now. He could save $50 on the motherboard and another 50 on the case, I just wanted it to look good.

Ive spent some time shopping around and looking. It wasn't easy and potentially I could find a better deal If I had a whole day to commit to it. But basically the build I'll link below is actually more than enough for being a strong 1080p gaming contender. If anything you could actually let off the gas a little on some of the parts which Ill explain more.

I selected an 870K for a few reason. First being that for standard gaming your CPU isn't going to be as much of a critical point as your GPU. Which is one reason why I selected AMD over Intel for this specific situation. When it comes to getting started gaming (or basic editing if you go with the 6 or 8 core) It's best just to stick with AMD. But there comes a point though where AMD isn't strong enough, when people are trying to have ultimate power at their finger tips is when I recommend using Intel (Extreme gaming or extreme editing or very low power PCs). The 870K is likely a bit more than enough. The 750k like what I have would probably actually be enough. It also doesn't come with unneeded graphics cores which is personally why I choice the 750K a little while back. It's a quad core instead of one of the 6 or 8 core AM3+ processors because many games will only leverage 4 of the cores anyway. 

So for standard gaming I think the 870k Is more than just a good contender without paying for more power than you need. 

In the event that you do need extra power for editing and wished you purchased an Intel who's greater computational power excels at it you can always upgrade to a stronger and more core AMD processor.

So summary for CPU

-AMD fits the criteria better for standard gaming without having excessive computational power that will not be needed for gaming.

-870k provides great power with some headroom for future proofing and upgrades. 870k does not have graphics cores that will be unused. Further reducing waste. Price of build could be reduced by lowering to a 750k comparable processor. 

-Affordable choice

-Can easily be substituted for more or less computational power while remaining affordable and unwasteful.

-Get an 8 core and take the side panel off your pc and you have a tiny space heater. 

GPU section

I selected the R9 285 for alot of reasons. Choosing the best graphics card to try to get the best price-performance-reliability is difficult especially in a small amount of time. But the R9 285 is a very good contender for a gaming pc card without being too expensive or too weak and the msi one seemed the be the safest choice. The critical reason why I selected AMD for graphics is because of AMD's Mantle and Free-synch technology. Both of these open source technologies are important market game changers. Free synch allows you to actively synch FPS with a monitor without requiring technology like Nvidia's expensive proprietary G-Synch. although It's not need one day you might decide you want to use it if you are running a game that has been done poorly with tearing. AMD's Mantle technology is basically drivers that are being developed that will improve CPU and GPU efficiency and communications making games run at higher resolutions easier. By selecting an AMD graphics card not only will you have access to this very useful technologies but you will in a way be supporting their further development. 

GPU selection summary 

-AMD GPUs give you access to very useful open source technologies such as Free synch and Mantle 

-The R9 285 is a mid range powerful GPU that can also be relatively small form factor

-Price could easily be drastically reduced by selecting an R9 280 or 270x 

-Easily upgrade to a R9 290 and have great performance gains while still having open source technology like Free-synch and mantle 

-Get an R9 290x and take the side panel off your computer and have a mini space heater. 

Other notes to include 

Thermal Take makes great cases with usually really great internal layouts. If you wanted to get a really good case I'd save for a Fractal Design personally. But Thermal Take is more than enough. 

If you want to upgrade the CPU cooler I'd go with Thermal Take as well but there are alot out there. 

If you were to water cool, water cool the GPU not the CPU. The GPU generates more heat and heats up more when gaming. 

1866 ram would be more than enough for gaming 1600 works fine. 

Try not to skimp heavily on the motherboard, you can regret it when it has an ugly attribute and It's the base of all your parts. 

The expensive Modular power supply was selected for your benefit. A non modular power supply is a pain in the ass to modify with adapters to get all the useful connectors and not like a million molex and sata connectors. 

With more information and time I could probably design and even more efficiently prices gaming PC but this is what I got for now. This build would be a very hardy contender for standard 1080p gaming with easy upgrades. And I know if price was an absolute concern I could absolutely crunch the shit out of this price, picking parts so they match exactly closely with what is needed without leaving much headroom. 


Price for a 1080p gaming rig could easily be crunched to about 500. But this gives some extra power to work with without having unreasonable extra waste 

very good writeup, but.....

1. why no ssd? they are soooo cheep why not 

2. no cpu heatsync. my friend has the 760k and when he uses it the stock heatsink gets pretty loud, and the 212 evo is cheep. 

3. case. he said that he wants a decently small case. 



Well to start with for SSD's they are actually kind of expensive when you consider what they hold. They are just a luxury. You don't need an SSD you can still play games fine and you're computer runs fine. If he wanted to drop alot more money to play his favorite game quickly then fine. Also I use a stock heatsink on my 750k, It works for keeping the cpu cool and It isn't too loud that It's a bother when wearing headphones and having the case closed. Upgrading the heatsink after the fact is also a luxury but should be done after a while when we can afford it. 

Lastly then he can select one of Thermal Take's midi or mini atx cases. On the high end Fractal design also makes some.