Overwhelmed (first build in 15 years)

Hi All. Glad to be joining the forums after lurking for a while. Seems like a great bunch of people on here.

Anyway, I'm planning my first build since 1999 (yes, Age of Empires II days). I used to game a lot with my dad before I started working and got busy, and then moved to consoles for a decade. Pretty disenfranchised with the lagging tech being applied in the console domain so decided to return to PC gaming instead of going for the new-gen console upgrade.

I have a pretty broad style of gaming interests. I like RTS (Starcraft, Total Annihilation/Supreme Commander), FPS (BF) and RPG/quest based open world stuff (ES/Skyrim, Fallout, Assassins Creed, FarCry) as well as older games like Descent (does anyone remember that?), Red Faction, AoE et al. I'm really interested in the emerging zombie survival stuff I've seen on youtube too. DayZ looks great, if it ever gets released fully. I don't want to just play older stuff, and I do play FPS online on console, so want to be able to handle that (i.e. BF on high at least at 1440 as a vague goal).

I've spent about a month researching and learning about the tech that exists now, and I've hit a point where making a choice is overwhelming, especially with releases going on at this time from Intel recently with Haswell-E and the upcoming whatever it is from NVIDIA. I'm neutral to the NVIDIA/Radeon thing, but want an Intel chipset.

I've got a pcpartpicker mock-up to look over and would love some input. I'm Australian (hence the au.) and I've set a budget of around $1600AU and gone over it currently (without peripherals and OS costs). I want to overclock eventually, but as it'll be such a vast step-up from the 360 I don't know if I'll need to right away. Thanks in advance.


- Chipset: i5-4690K

- Motherboard: MSI Z97-G55

- RAM: 8GB Kingston Fury DDR3-1600

- SSD: Samsung EVO 840 250GB

- GPU: EVGA GTX780 6GB Superclocked ACX

- Case: Fractal R4 

- PSU: Corsair RM 650W

- Cooler: Corsair H100i

you could swap out the cooler with something much cheaper, or just stay with the stock one until you can afford it later, other than that i think that is a mean looking build, if you are looking to add another GPU then you will need a more powerful PSU so you may as well get a RM 750 now rather than later

Thanks for the quick reply. Would it be silly to hold off on overclocking and use the stock until I do, and then add a decent cooler and an additional 8GB of RAM? Do people do that? I'm fully expecting base-clock out the box to be amazing since so long on the 360, ha.

I'm not looking to add a second GPU in the coming year or two which I why I went with a 650W. Is 650W enough for that single card overclocked?

nice specs  ... good job .... that will game

may add a storage drive

drop the cooler for 16GB's of ram. I would also recomend grabbing an ASUS mobo over MSI but the price your currently looking at you would lose a lot of features for stability.

Maybe beef up the RAM a bit  $50 diffrence


and use a cheeper cooler like save you about $100



you could save another $50 with this MOBO



I also am not big on fancy cases Id rather save $100 and go with some thing like



But check to make sure your GPU will fit.




Is this a decent alternative?

I personally would not recommend ASRock boards from the experiences my brother and I have had with ours. (Fans stop working, USB 3.0 not working) The price for what you get is good, yes -- but we have found reliability and rigidity are not strong points.

Go for Asus and I'm sure you'll have no problems with one of theirs. Apparently Newegg delivery in Aus is a bit iffy so I would make sure you grab one from PC Case Gear.

I'm in Aus too, so I hope I can help you with making wishlists from Aussie sites. :D

This is what i come up with


I choosed for a Sapphire 290 TriX instead of an GTX780, the reason is simple, the 290 is cheaper, and performs slightly better in most games, then a 780.

For the mobo i choosed tha Asus Maximus VII Ranger, its realy a nice feuture rich board, with great onboard audio. For the cooler i choosed for Air cooling. In my opinnion the H100i is so overpriced down under for its performance. The Phanteks PH-TC14PE performs arround the same as the H100i, but for allot les cash. Case is offcourse personal taste!

Let me know your thoughts.

Grtz Angel ☺

I'm also in a similar situation as the OP. I have been jamming on my PS3(mostly onlineFPS, sum driving games) for many years. I did not like what I was seeing w/ each next gen consol release so decided to bail on the PS4. I also traded my PS3 to sum dude on Craigslist for his old LGA775 C2Duo/8800GT rig, which is what I'm currently using. When I attempt to play sum of the games I wanna play my whole PC smells like its burning then craps out on me. I can play FarCry3(everything lowest) for about 20min till it heat-soaks & crashes.

So I'm slightly over whelmed on my upgrade path also. I heard Wendell state that the upcoming x99 platform could be the next '5 year' platform...I really like the sound of that.

What should I do?

1) Buy the best Graphics Card & Power Supply I can afford right now (sum kinda pcix3.0 DX12 beast) & just throw that in the pcix1.0x16 slot that my current 8800gt is in till I can get my hands on a Haswell-E setup to put them in?(seems like best solution)

2) Buy/Build the best z97 box I can afford? (seems like a waste of money at this point if you want to build it to be future-proof?)

3) Buy a 2nd used 8800gt & SLI them w/ sum liquid cooling for now & save money for a Haswell-E setup. Then buy new Graphics Card after I get my new platform setup because I will not be able to buy both at the same time. (This solution seems backwards for my needs(gaming), but who knows?)


This box will be my main "media center", all my gaming, listening & watching will go thru it.

It will also dual boot Linux as anything other than gaming I do w/ a DebOS, so I'd really like to stay away ATI graphics as I've had issues w/ their drivers in a UNIX setup before. (tho Nvidias obviously not perfect either, lol).

Also I hope the OP does not believe me to be hijacking their thread, as I think any answers to my question may also be beneficial to the OP. Tho I will not take offense if I'm asked to move it.

THNx yallz


i dont know your current rig specs, so its hard for me to give advice.

But forget about X99 platform, cause its over expensive, and it will not add any performance gain for gaming.matter of fact an i7-4790K will even be better in gaming, cause it has an higher overclock potential.

But yeah budget?

Take a look at the build i posted above.

i think this would be a very nice build for you aswell.

I've had an Asrock board for two years that's had 0 issues. Although, have you had Intel or AMD socket Asrock boards? From what I've heard, their Intel boards are pretty decent while their AMD boards aren't all that great.

This is what i was thinking OP.

The price/performance of the 290 is very compelling over the 780. However if you need CUDA acceleration then a 780 is a must (if you don't know wha cuda is, don't worry then)

This community will bring you up to speed rather quickly so ask away. :)

+1 here



Or maybe the Gigabyte Radeon R9 290 4GB WINDFORCE ... is $20 cheaper


The thing with all this is not to feel overwhelmed. There is no "right" way to build a rig, and there are so many options that will produce very similar results that you're often choosing between tiny percentages in performance for gaming. With GPUs especially you will probably find the performance will vary game to game, with different cards being better in different games (Skyrim favouring Nvidia being a good example).


Your build looks very solid, and whilst I'd add my support to going with the AMD R9 series (just on personal experience) it won't be anything awful if you go with an Nvidia solution.


So long as you get the best quality components you can and make sure you design your system to suit your needs (and you are clearly doing that) you will end up with a pc you can really enjoy. Buyers remorse is easy when you suddenly read a review where you see a few FPS difference in a system, but the in-game experience is very rarely noticeable so long as you've done a bit of research.

Don't worry about making a mistake, because you won't. Take all the advice you can get, pick only the parts that suit your needs (no need to overspend if you don't need to) and then just enjoy your system. The build part is also easy, as it's all just plug-and-play these days.

Good luck and enjoy. 

My love for Sapphire outweight my love for Gigabyte

Have to agree there, Tech Noob. I've had a few Sapphire cards recently and I've been amazed by the performance they've managed to get out of those AMD R9 cards.