New to Building, Need Help

A long long time ago somewhere in Kansas, my dad and I built my first computer, which ran Red Hat Linux. I loved it. I think it used my TV as a screen, or the family room TV anyway. (I thought it was mine.) Eventually, I got my own, and performed a few upgrades on it over the years, but eventually, around 2005, I just stopped caring about my PC. Previously, I'd been a huge PC gamer. After that, I used consoles, or didn't play games. I ran Ubuntu and used my computer only for the things it needed used for.

In 2008, I got a 13" Macbook from my family as a graduation present. (Yay.) It was used for school and etc. I used it all the way through this year, actually, when I got a used iMac (early 2008 model, same year) as a desktop replacement (no need for a laptop anymore.)

Needless to say, I've been out of the game for a long time. I can barely understand what I need to do to build a PC. I've lurked on here a long time, made a few posts, and watched almost all of the build videos and a few DIY videos. I want to build a gaming PC sometime next year, and am in the middle of planning it. Here are my issues:

1. Cost vs power. I NEED the cost of the whole thing to be around $1000, preferably under. And before anybody starts a PC Parts Picker list, keep in mind that I mean that EVERYTHING needs to be under that amount. Monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, Windows, EVERYTHING. I don't have anything lying around to use- so I have to buy everything, start all over. AFAIK, AMD seems cheaper, but IDK if I can futureproof myself using AMD. Advice on this front?

2. AMD vs Intel. Like I said- i5 looks great, but some of the cheaper AMD 6-8 core CPUs look fantastic. Something cheap with maybe 8G of RAM that I can upgrade to an SLI'd 16G later would be fantastic to start with.

3. My knowledge vs tinkering. I am starting from complete scratch. I have hardly any idea what I'm doing. I am reading a lot. But I can't know everything- I do not know how to SLI. I will be following DIY videos as I piece my PC together. How can I make this build powerful- yet simple enough that I won't break it all to pieces while my Apple family laughs me to death?

4. What I want vs reality. My Mac is a 2.8Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo, with 6GB of 800Mhz DDR2 SDRAM. Essentially, I'm tired of it and it's somewhat pathetic video card (ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro, 256MB), and so when I make a build on PC Parts Picker, I go nuts and build it with i5 3570 (is that right? The 3.4 one.) and a GeForce 780, and a crazy Motherboard. I can't afford that, and I KNOW that I don't NEED it to play the games I play. (The most graphics intensive I can think of is Bioshock Infinite/Skyrim with mods (WHICH I CAN'T EVEN PLAY ON A MAC D: ), and what I'll usually use it for is basic web browsing, and basic gaming, GW2, TF2, A Hat in Time, etc. I'd like decent sound capability, but that's just for listening purposes. I have no idea if I need a dedicated sound card.)

Basically... I just need some help. If anybody can help me, I would really appreciate it. Thank you. ^_^

CPU: Really Good cpu for gaming.  Games are starting to demand more cores so this CPU will shine in those games.  Also there is a thirty dollar off promotion code on newegg.  

I threw in a hyper 212 to cool it, I run it in my system and it does the job really well.

Motherboard: It's a quality motherboard from ASUS Capable to tame that 8 core beast and you can fit a decent overclock on it thanks to some of the cooling.

RAM: Well it's the best price I could find on decent speed quality 8 gigs.  G.skill is a really good memory brand.  

Storage: 1TB 7200 RPM HDD, again, it's the same one I run in my system, it works and gets the job done well for the money.

GPU: Easy High-Ultra on most ganes on 1080P. And the ACX cooling is really good, used a GTX 780 ACX and it stayed very quiet and cool on full load even with an overclock.

Corsair 200r.  Quality case but this is one of those things where it is completely subjective.  If you like the looks and features of a different case then you can go for it as long as it supports the mobo. 

PSU: XFX PSUs are made by Seasonic, and they are really good, I have the 550W and is running strong with no issues and looks like it will live to see a couple more years.  

Monitor: Upgraded Version of mine,good for the price picture looks very good and games really nice.

Keyboard, good budget keyboard for gaming.

Mouse: One of the most comfortable mice i've used and a very nice build quality, can't count how many times this bad boy fell to the hardwood ground and still hasn't had a scratch.  It has profiles for games for some of the buttons so that is a plus.  

(As you can see I only recommend quality parts that i've used and I'm 100% into backing up.  Obviously i haven't used everything but when you do some research you can just tell the good stuff apart)

Hope I helped somewhat

This build will be more then enough for modern AAA gaming at 1080p.

I didn't include a keyboard, as you don't need a fancy, or even decent one for gaming, I'm sure you can scrounge up some old POS rubberdome for free.

You forgot the OS...

That does help quite a lot, thank you. :) Question, since I'm still looking/learning. That GPU doesn't have SLI support. Do you recommend another one which would?

That is a good point. Thank you very much!

performs wayyyy faster than the above builds

has 8 cores

1tb hdd

16gb pny xlr8  1600 mhz ram

2 crossfire 7870s

a sufficient 700w 80+ psu

decent mouse

decent keyboard

1080p monitor

and a wired xbox 360 controller

you can just download windows  free
 or use linux as it now has steam and tons of linux games are coming out soon

btw crossfire = sli



If that build is assembled, the power delivery to the CPU will throttle due to having inadequate power phase design for a eight core, the extra 8gb of ram will go to waste, the dual 7850s will overheat due to lack of adequate airflow in a cheap case with no extra fans, (not to mention all the issues with xfire) the PSU will be woefully inefficient, hot, and loud, and the cheap mouse, keyboard, and monitor will fall apart after a few months.

You really should try to accumulate more knowledge before attempting to help people with builds. (No offence intended, we were all noobs once.)

i assumed he could actually buy some case fans on his own, and 700w should power that just fine.  I did struggle finding the right motherboard however and do agree that the cpu will not get as much power as it wants .  the mouse monitor and keyboard will be fine. Infact i have a $1 mouse that has lasted 4 years. As long as he can buy some fans, not overclock and not treat everything like shit this build should last years. you need to realize that not everything that is lower branded is complete shit. he wants the most bang for the buck go with mine. assuming he can buy a few fans

I went a little over, but the parts I chose are really up to you, like the case and PSU.

I chose them because they're by Fractal Design (buying my case from them) and they have rave reviews from Logan and others.

Also, there is room for expansion. You can grab another 760 and have SLI with those puppies.

Samsung 840 SSD (You can chose what you want for SSD, just that is the one that I saw first. Thanks Wendell)

And, the RAM was pretty good Price/GB. Choose what you want.


SLI is the multi GPU solution for NVidia

For AMD, the multi GPU solution is Crossfire

I wouldn't recommend either one because they have more drawbacks than benefits.  

  • Extra Heat
  • Extra Power Consumption
  • Micro stuttering
  • Lack of optimization and driver support
  • Space Restrictions in some cases 
  • Extra noise

Obviously the benefit is potentially doubling GPU power, but if you were to upgrade just the sell the old and get a new single GPU card.   

I don't think you understand here. That build will perform worse in games, if it works at all, which isn't guaranteed.

Xfire will not work in games released more then a couple years ago, and games on launch rarely work properly with xfire. Most notably, Skyrim, which the OP wants to play, will receive no benefit whatsoever from xfire, and you are not going to be running too many mods with a single 7850. In addition, the CPU power throttling that will come as a result of the possible VRM overheating can cause dramatic performance drops and crashes in CPU intensive applications. Even if the 8320 does work properly with that cheap motherboard, overclocking will be impossible, which is reason enough to buy a better board. Furthermore, most games are 32bit applications which renders them incapable of using more then 4gb of RAM, 8gb is just for running other applications alongside games, and for future proofing. 16gb is a complete waste, the cheapest variant of windows doesn't even support that much. Also, decent case fans can be expensive, and your build is already over budget. That case doesn't have a lot in the way of fans by default, and the cable roughing in it sucks, so unless the OP buys a few nice fans to keep the GPUs cool, I suspect he may have quite the vacuum on his desk during the summer. Regarding the PSU, some power supply guru will no doubt soon discover this thread and explain to you why going with a POS unit is a bad idea in more detail then I can. Lastly, pirating software, even Microsoft's bloated monstrosity, is strongly discouraged here. 

If it were me, I would drop the power supply to a 500watt to save some cash for the OS. Also, you can find other cases for a lot cheaper; for example I have a Rosewill Galaxy-03 which is on sale for $35 and is a pretty decent case. Btw, I appreciate you switching from Mac to PC. It's a decision that you will not regret! Welcome to the community my friend.

that mobo is not compatible with the 8320

Nvm, I was being stupid, I was thing AM3+ was FM2+ I am dumb

I red what your needs are, and came up with this build. I think it would be a good bang for your buck, but it would go a littlebit over 1000$ :/ but that extra 20$ would be worth it, to help futureproofing this rig! The rig has the PC itself, OS, mouse, Keyboard, and some good speakers with subwoofer.

the build:

I chose the FX6300, because, for the money, you are getting a really fast 6 core amd CPU, wich you can easily overclock in the future, with the hyper 212 evo, CPU cooler. but if you are not into overclocking, it is really fast out of the box too :)

The Asus M5A99FX PRO R2.0 would be a great choise, because of it's overclocking capabilities, great power delivery, and great support for crossfiring that r9 270 in the future, if you want crossfire.

The R9 270 from asus is a great performing card for your money. It is very easy to overclock, but even from the box, it could play BF4 with ultra at around 30-60 fps

The corsair 400R is a great case, and not that expencive ether. It has Great ventilation and airflow, good build quality and great cable management. And if you are gona CF the 270, you would have the airflow needed to run them cool.

The CX 600W psu, is a good choice. It's quite cheap, but it is 80+ bronze certified, has a single strong 12V rail, it supports a R9 270 Crossfire, made by corsair, so it has great warranty.

1Tb seagate barracuda is a great HDD for you. It is fast for a HDD and has plenty of storage for you to store all your games, music, etc

The ASUS monitor would be a great choice. It is an IPS panel, 180p, has 5ms response time, wich is totally fine for gaming, beautiful colors, and great connectivity for you

The keyboard and mouse are quite cheap, but they are very well reviewed, and for the money, they are really good.

The speakers are quite good for the money, and they had good reviews, so those would be the ones i would pick.

Overall, this system would be good for you. It will allow you to play modern games with 1080p resolution and high/ultra graphics. It would be quite upgradable for you: you could swap an amd FX  83xx 8 core cpu in the future if you need, and you can CF the 270 for extra performance. Also you can pretty easily OC this system.

I hope i helped you and have a great time building :)

actually, i would prefer to get the 750W version of that psu, if u are looking for crossfire, but if you are gona use only single GPU setup, then the 600W will be more than enough :)

the monitor was 1080p...

And for skyrim, it runs ultra preset at 80 fps avg :)

I see... I will have to keep that in mind. :/ The only reason SLI-ing was an idea was because a friend of mine swears by it, but I don't wanna cook anything.