Thinking about building a gaming pc for first time

Thinking about building a gaming pc. First time ever doing anything like this.

Was looking at one of those builds possibly. Those are on the high end of what I wanted to spend right now. Which is better, why, and does something need to be changed? Also which will last longer and be easier to upgrade later? Thanks for your input.

Here is my build
If I were to choose between your two builds I would definitely go with the Intel cpu.

The intel version is where i'd go for a starter PC. However, I think building your first PC as mitx might not be the best choice. That's FULL of frustrations waiting for you. You also don't NEED an SSD to start, it just makes your games load a lot faster. I wouldn't build a gaming PC without one, but it's still not a requirement.

Alternative Cases (These are all mid towers, they're not great, but they're cheap enough to consider)
Fractal Core 1000
Corsair 100R
NZXT Source 210

Alternative Motherboards:
ASRock H170M Pro4

380/X is going to be faster than a 960

also a better display here, mostly being an IPS panel vs a TN display, the TN one will make your eyes bleed

and if you're going to buy windows, don't buy an OEM key as they only work one basically

it's just a cube shaped microATX case

PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:

CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($196.88 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H110M-S2HP Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($65.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill NT Series 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.24 @ Directron)
Video Card: XFX Radeon R9 380X 4GB DD XXX OC Video Card ($215.49 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Core 1000 USB 3.0 MicroATX Mid Tower Case ($34.99 @ Micro Center)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply ($55.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Monitor: AOC I2269VW 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($99.99 @ Best Buy)
Total: $748.56
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-03-22 17:59 EDT-0400

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The only reason I kept the 960 was just because there are so many gameworks titles these days. You're not wrong about the 380/380x.

DX12 is probably going to end up more widely adopted then gameworks though, and the current gen AMD cards seem to get a pretty big advantage there compared to maxwell cards

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I would like to say "Welcome to the club!"
While i don't have the time right now to do a whole pcpartpicker build I agree with Streetguru's build for the most part (case is personal preference).
If you are going to get windows I suggest getting it from Kinguin as Paul's Hardware suggested (retail key there is like $40 iirc).

Read somewhere that having 2 4g memory sticks is better than 1 8g stick. I forget where I read it think they said it would be faster. Is that true? Also if I got rid of the monitor I could use my tv but I would have to go with a wireless keyboard/mouse setup and also would need to connect to Internet via wifi since router would be in opposite room. Would that work for gaming?

Apparently for skylake in CPU bound situations it can help, maybe 5% more performance or so in games, but getting a single 8gb stick makes upgrading to 16gbs much easier later on.

Also I'd avoid a grey market key, and just find windows in a back alley somewhere if you're trying to save money as it saves you additional money.

Thanks what about going wireless? I've read not to do it because of latency/lag issues but Xbox one seems to run fine? If I'll have constant lag issues I'll get monitor and just go with everything wired

$30 bucks, can be repositioned, and covers everything up to wireless AC

Streetguru is right about the ram. Skylake uses a dual-channel interface with the ram, so 2 sticks is a little better than 1. Something like X99 is quad-channel, and 4 sticks are usually better. But if you plan on upgrading the ram in a year when you might need it for big games, buyng 1 extra stick of 8gb is cheaper. But if you plan on running the gtx960, 8gb might be all you'll ever need. The way microsoft is trying to dumb down pc gaming instead of increasing what the xbone can do, that 8gb might last you until 2030.
That is what I have come up its after y'alls advice. Someone did say ssd drive isn't necessary in first build. What advantages are there when gaming to having this ssd drive and what would the disadvantages be? Thanks for all your input and help.

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Advantages of an ssd are all in the load times (which i don't find to be stupidly long in my rig without one yet). You're not going to see any benefit in the way of fps. Yes an ssd is a purely frivolous addition but many people (either from not knowing or being very highly impatient) will argue its necessity.

How hard would it be to install an ssd in a year or two and make it boot drive as well as transfer windows from the other had to it?

This is my recommendation


-Overclockable CPU & suitable cooler
-Full ATX w/M.2
-R9 390
-1ms Monitor


-Larger than Micro ATX
-Smaller Monitor (21.5")

For a gaming PC I really recommend putting a significant portion of the budget on the video card. This is really where the rubber meets the road imo. So long as the rest of the system is adequate, it all comes down to the GPU in games.

The case I picked is the one I currently use. It is of relatively good quality, and has a lot of features that are found on more expensive options.


I changed the motherboard. Which one would work better for my build and playing games like crisis. Is the more expensive motherboard a waste of money in this build?

The fetures of the motherboard aren't really things that will improve gaming performance there just more sata ports and usb 3.0 and a slightly better motherboard heat sink. I modified this build a bit and went with a much better power supply.

What makes that one better?

better 80+ rating means better power draw and fully modular which helps greatly in cable management and better air flow in the case.