How to tell if i'm picking good PC parts/ PC build?

I've never build a PC before and i'm not to familiar with PC components either. How can i tell if i'm picking up a good motherboard, ram, CPU, graphics card, case etc? Do i go by the model number, reviews, GHz, or brand? I'm just lost here. I would like to learn enough about computers to a point where i can pick out my own build instead of having people recommend one to me.

Example: Lets just say i'm choosing between two CPU's and one of them is a Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor and the other one is a AMD Athlon X4 AD750KWOHJBOX 100W 3.4Ghz Processor. Which one would be the better one and how would i be able to tell? This also applies to other PC parts.

Also could you give me a build? I would prefer a PC where i could just keep upgrading it.

Budget. How much are you willing to spend?


Where do you live (what country),  and what currency do you use?

I live in the United States. I use dollars

is there a retailer you prefer?

No as long as it's good.

Do you need or already have peripherals? (this can add to costs)

I need peripherals.

What will you be using your future computer for? Gaming? Rendering? Mix of both? Or is this a home media PC?

Do you overclock or want to get into overclocking?

Do you plan on going for custom watercooling now, or in the future?

OS. Do you need a new one?

If this stands for Operating System then yeah i'll have to buy one. 

If you Game-

What kind of settings do you like or what FPS do you want to play at?

People say a game should at least be 30-60 FPS so i guess anything between that or above it.

What resolution will you be playing at? //or would like to play at.

I heard this is decided by your graphic card so i guess i would like to max out my resolution. 

What kind of games do you like to play?

What specific game will you be playing (if you only really play one)

I don't really have a specific game. I'm mainly going to be playing games that fall into the above category. I'm not limited to those though and would like something that can play several other genres of games. 

Screen resolution depends on your monitor's resolution - if you have a 1080p monitor, it would probably be best to run it at 1920x1080, being the highest your monitor could display it anyways. Do you have one, or is that considered as part of the budget?

Most parts (that interconnect, at least) will say if they're compatible or not. A motherboard needs to be compatible with the CPU that you get, and the pin size of the RAM needs to match the board, and the board needs to fit the case, etc. While I'm not an experienced builder, I would look for the component you're most definite on and try to build off of that.

Now, I know this site is kind of used and abused a lot here, but it really is a useful tool for getting a build together: PCPartPicker. It will tell you if any of your parts are incompatible, and so solves at least one part of the equation.

Beyond that, it's looking into different parts, what gets good reviews, what's new and hot, and that sort of thing. It will take a lot of research to understand all the moving parts (or lack thereof), but it can really help you make an informed decision.

Yeah, just go through sites looking through benchmarks, and what experienced people recommend.

Almost everyone uses PcPartPicker.

The Athlon X4 750k is a good CPU for the price, but the i5-4670k is still much, much more powerful.

As for the build, peripherals are indeed a lot of money.  Nothing spectacular here:

always look at benchmarks thats how i learnt how good anything was when i was learning and yes use pcpartpicker its great.

i would look at 1080p for monitor im new to pc gaming havnt really seen 720p but i would get 1080p

For games like bf4 i see no differnce between high and ultra i have a amd r9 290 and play on high for more fps but i regret getting a really powerful card like mine for 1080p i came from a xbox360 and i cant see a differnce between 60+ fps but when it hits 20 and under its really bad.


for mid range gpu's i would get a 270x, 760(plays at ultra), 7870 (same as 270x kinda),750ti, 670 these cards can play on high at good frames. for what ever card you get look at benchmarks for a game you play.

for high i would get 770,280x,680.7970 for a 780 or 290 ther the cards you would get if u want to max out every bit of the game like fully modding skyrim and gta4 etc.


for cpu i would only get a i5 3570 or 4670k (k means you can overclock) if u going to get a high end card but my friend gets more fps than me on minecraft with shaders 32 chunks maxed with 4.2ghz and 7870xt oc and i have a stock 3.5ghx fx8320 with 290 i wish i got a i5 now but i still need to oc my cpu it does bottleneck some games single or double core games because amd have more cores but less power per core and intel have less cores but more power per core i really wish i got a i5 cpu still runs games like bf4 and games with more cores really good.

get a amd fx 8350/8320 if u get a mid ranged card or a fx6350/6320 for lower cards id perfer a fx6350 than a i3 for gaming.


i have the stock heatsink its so nosiey and is really hot im going to get a hyper 212 ull get a good oc(if u want) and is quet.ther is sealed liquid cooling but it is noisyer and more expinsive 


for gaming you only need 8gb of ram also theres a speed called mhz ull want to get 1600mhz you can get more but ther not that great improvement .all the new cpus need ddr3 ram two


this depens on ur case ther is a atx,miro atx and itx and mini itx i think (this is all on the top of my mind) amd dont do matz or lower

so if ur not going to oc u wont need a powerful motherboard im not good with intel motherboards but for amd ull only a need a 970 chipset but if you crossfire or sli (2 cards combine) ull need a 990fx


now for a case do want slient case or one with tones of fans or the size all up two 

have at least 2 fans at front or on the bottum and 2 at back or top for startes put 1 in front and 1 in back 


get a 80+ powersupply try to get at least a bronze one and a good warrenty get good brands also


ssd r for speed. u install windows on this 2 and some main aps(not alot of gb).u dont really need one you could always get a western digital black 1tb becuase ther faster than blue and green.

only get a ssd if u want speed

try to get a t least 1tb or more get a western digital bluu,black or green or a seagate burracuda 




also try to get a good cheap second hand monitor too but not keyboard and mouse you could get a standerd microsoft one first too

1080p sucks. Don't even suggest it. Smart people choose 1920x1200 or 1680x1050.

That is the first time I've heard anything like that. Is there any reason why?

No, it is simple a sketchy user.

He makes random statements without backing anything up with any kind of validation for his information.

1920 x 1080p is more than fine and I don't see a reason why a 1920 x 1200 is significant better to the point 1920x1080p is sucks.


I don't see how it's better at all, as it doesn't use the industry standard 16:9 aspect ratio... but who needs standards? :P

There is actually no definite answer to the OP's question. The reason being; there are many various combinations of components that will provide more or the less the same gaming performance within a certain price range. There are so many options and so many things to keep in mind, it can get very overwhelming for the new PC builder. 

What I would suggest is looking at benchmarks, but ONLY to give you a ball-park estimate as to how each component performs relative to the others. Results will vary depending on other parts of the system and what task or game is being run. 

Keep in mind you do not need an overly powerful CPU for gaming. Set aside a good chunk of your budget for the GPU (graphics card) as that will have the biggest impact on gaming performance. 

If you are not planning to overclock, do not buy a K-processor from Intel (i5-3570k, 4670k, 4770k etc.) If you do, you're spending WAY more than necessary for a feature you don't need. Seeing as your budget is $500-600, I would advise against going with an Intel build at this price point. AMD CPUs provide much better value and performance per dollar in this price range. Do not judge CPU performance by GHz. AMD have most of their CPUs running at higher frequencies, but are often out-performed by most Intel CPUs running at lower frequencies in most tasks. Again, it depends on the specific task being performed, but a good rule of thumb is; you get what you pay for. So when you look at the price difference between an i5-4570 and a Athlon X4 760K, there's a reason the i5 costs twice as much. 

Stick with 1080p resolution. It will be around for a very long time yet and it provides the best visuals per dollar at the moment. With GPUs like the GTX 750/ti and R7-260/x you can have pretty good 1080p gaming without spending an arm and a leg.

You should also be aware of diminishing returns. It goes both ways - for the extreme low-end parts and extreme high-end parts. What this basically means is your performance and value per dollar is drastically low. For example, if you buy a cheap $70 graphics card, it'll perform so poorly that you'll barely be able to play any games, even at a lower resolution. But, if you spend a little more, say $120-150, you'll get a card that has more than twice, or even 3-times the performance of the cheap card and thus you'll be getting much higher value per dollar. The same thing goes for the high-end. If you buy a $700 card, sure it's the biggest and the baddest, but it also only performs slightly better than a card you can buy for $400-500 and the differences are undetectable anyways because both cards will be able to run any game well beyond the frame rates discernible to the human eye anyways. So there is this rather wide array of parts throughout the mid-range where you should select from - which ever best suits your budget. 

One of the best budget gaming CPUs is the Athlon X4 760K. I would suggest starting with that, combined with a decent FM2+ motherboard and go from there.


I don't have a monitor so that's also part of the budget. How can i tell if a motherboard and CPU are compatible without using PCPartPicker? The reason why i ask this is because someone recommended PCPartPicker to me and i created a build, but the person said that it had significant problems to it despite the fact that i used PCPart Picker. I would just like to be able to tell whether something is compatible on my own for reassurance. Same goes with the rest of the components i would also like to be able to tell how they're compatible.

So if the cases go by ATX Mid-Tower, ATX Full-Tower, Micro-ATX Mini Tower, Mini-ITX Tower. I read somewhere that a ATX Full-Tower motherboard wouldn't fit in a Micro-ATX case. A Micro-ATX motherboard CAN fit in a Full-Tower case. Is that true and could you explain the compatibility between motherboards? 


"The Athlon X4 750k is a good CPU for the price, but the i5-4670k is still much, much more powerful."

This is also where i'm kinda confused at too. What exactly does "Athlon X4 750k" mean? I already know that the K means it allows overclocking and i'm assuming Athlon is the bran or model of the CPU but what are the numbers and letters mean? Is it the series the CPU belongs to or something? 

Also could i upgrade the PC whenever i want? You said it wasn't anything spectacular, but were you referring to the PC itself or the peripherals? 

Like i said with the other comment i don't understand what the numbers and letters mean when it comes to PC components. like amd r9 290, i5 3570, and 4670k. If i recall i5 is a CPU and the 5 stands for how many cores it has, correct? I don't know about the other ones though. Like in amd r9 290. Is Amd the brand? What's r9 290? 

There are basically 3 main sizes of motherboards you'll have to worry about when building a gaming PC. From biggest to smallest: 

-ATX (or full ATX)

-micro ATX

-mini ITX

Unless you want a small form factor PC, the ATX and micro ATX bords offer the best value per dollar in terms of features and options. 

As for cases, a case that will fit a full ATX motherboard will fit the smaller size boards as well, but not the other way round. A mini-ITX case will not fit the larger sized boards etc. 


It sounds like you're starting off from the very beginning in terms of learning what CPUs are compatible with which motherboards, etc. On the most basic level, it boils down to matching up the socket types. Each CPU and motherboard will have a socket type. For example an Intel Core i5 CPU has an LGA1150 socket. So technically any motherboard with an LGA1150 socket will work. Beyond that you should learn about the different chipsets and features available for each socket type because that can have an impact on how long the component lasts and for future upgrades.

Unless you follow every new generation of CPU that hits the market, it can be really confusing indeed. 

There are two main desktop CPU manufacturers: AMD and Intel. Each have their own range of series. It would take a while to describe and list each series and what each part of the name means. It wouldn't be a bad idea to actually go into their websites and look at the desktop processors. They will have a list showing all the specifications (number of cores, hyperthreaded or not, GHz, wattage etc.). 

Just as a quick example: For the Athlon X4 750K - Athlon is the series, X4 is the number of cores, 750 is just a model designation and "K" as you know means unlocked (able to be overclocked).

For the i5-4670K - i5 is the series, 4670 is the model designation and "K" you already know. 

With both manufacturers, the name of a processor doesn't necessarily tell you how many cores it has. For Intel, the Core i3 series are hyper-threaded dual-core CPUs. The Cor i5 series are straight 4 core CPUs and Core i7's are hyper-threaded 4 core CPUs. There are more differences than that, but those are the key differences to worry about.

I mentioned the CPU naming convention in my previous reply, so I'll just stick with GPU (graphics card) naming here...

Graphics card naming conventions are probably the most confusing of all for someone new to PC's. All you really need to know about the latest generation GPUs is that, again, there are two main manufacturers - AMD and Nvidia. 

With AMD, they have just overhauled their entire graphics card naming convention, so for the sake of time and space, I'll just stick with the latest. The first part of the model number is the series (R7, R9 etc.) the higher being the more powerful. The second number is where the card fits within the series. Again the higher the more powerful. For example, an R9-290 with be faster than an R9-280 and an R9-280 will be faster than an R7-260. Some models have an "X" at the end (R7-260X or R9-290X) which basically means its a slightly faster version of that card. 

With Nvidia, they use three numbers. The first indicates the generation (6 is older than 7 and 5 came before 6 etc.) The second number relates to performance (the higher the better the more powerful). So a GTX-770 is faster than a GTX-750. You will also see on some they have added "Ti" or "Ti Boost". (GTX-750Ti). Just like the "X" on the AMD cards, it signifies a slightly faster version of the same card. 

To find out which AMD and Nvidia cards compete with each other, you'll have to look at benchmarks and cost. Some will offer better performance per dollar even though they may perform slightly less than it's direct competitor.   

What's an FM2+ motherboard? Everything before that was really good information and i was able to comprehend some of the PC terms. Thank you! 

FM2+ refers to the CPU socket type. It's the newest socket from AMD that is compatible with the Athlon X4 760K CPU I suggested and will allow for more future upgrades. So when you're choosing your motherboard using PCpartpicker, select "FM2+" on the right hand side to significantly narrow down your choices. That way you won't be bogged down sifting through other older boards you don't want anyways.


Just stop with your bullshit posts thanks!

What about the build someone above recommended to me?

Is it good? Also how can i tell if a build can be upgraded multiple times? Since this build is using a FM2+ motherboard, and it's the newest socket. Does that mean that all of AMD's newer PC components are going to be compatible with FM2+ sockets, and i could keep upgrading this PC?