Thoughts on my first build?

Hey guys, I am getting ready to build my 1st true gaming pc and have put together a list of parts that I am planning on buying, however, i thought before I make a purchase I would get some other opinions on my build

What I need:

First of all, I have around $1750 to spend on my machine, the less i can pay however, the better so i can buy more games and software. 

I play a lot of video games, anything from minecraft to BF4, so i would like to run these games on high(er) settings at 1080p

I also occasionally run game servers in the background while playing games.

 I would like to be able to record the games I play (with fraps or what have you ) and yes, i have an extra external hard drive to record them to.

I also like programming and messing around with unity as well as modeling (and occasionally rendering) in Blender

Most importantly, I would like my pc to last me a while, as I am just entering collage and will not be able to buy a completely new system any time soon, just maybe upgrade parts here and there.

i do not expect to overclock anything because i want all of my hardware to last as long as possible, and i want the best stability possible

Here is what I came up with: EDIT: I have modified my build after reading your comments

Notes on my choices:

- I am still unsure about the graphics cards, since i have edited the build i have a little extra money to spend on the graphics card. I currantly have an R9 249 listed (4gb so that it can keep more textures in the memory) but i was wondering if for some reason that i should switch to a Gtx 780 (ti?) or if that would even change the performance considerably---also, is throttling due to heat an issue?

- Any thoughts on the monitor i have (re-)Chosen?

That's really all i can think of to mention at the moment, as always I appreciate you guys taking time out of your day to help me. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me. Thanks!



Looks pretty good. You want to stick to Intel I assume? As far the 770 goes that's 100% correct, you would be wasting money for 4GB at 1080p. The i5 would do just fine, and I doubt you will even notice a difference going from an i5 to and i7 but that's up to you. That's a good monitor, 1080p 144hz, 1m response time, good reviews are what you want to see. Nice choice

Yes Ma'am, I would prefer to stick with Intel. I will probably be upgrading the graphics in the future to keep up with the change in video game tech, so i figure that the i7 will give me better longevity. And thanks for your comment!

that's a good config, but I would recommend maybe a 780 gpu and for the case and psu, don't cheap out on them. They'll last much longer if you spend a little money and give you less trouble. I would recommend a corsair power supply and maybe a corsair 200r or a fractal design r4 (which is what I it) although the fractal is near 90 dollars. They come with much more special features and bells and whistles that are totally worth it. Also, for the ssd, I would recommend a samsung 840 evo instead of what you have, they are usually on sale on newegg for very cheap (for an ssd).

interesting... which 780 would you recommend and how much of an fps increase do you think it will achieve?

Edit: and preferably the cheaper the better, especially if im going to look at getting a better power supply and case

The Monitor is not bad, but if you dont care about higher than 60 fps or 3d you might consider an IPS Monitor. The colours and viewing angles are super nice and you can get some with about a 5 ms response time, although you wont be able to notice the difference in response time of pretty much any modern monitor anyways.

You should definitely get 2 8 gig sticks of memory. It gives you more room to upgrade and is easier to overclock. Also, get the 4 gig version of the 770 if you can afford it. You should also consider the r9 280x and if you can spare the cash, an r9 290 would really kick ass. The internet does not know what is good for 1080p gaming. Texture resolution is getting a lot higher now that the consoles of 8 gigs of unified memory to play with. Not to mention a modded skyrim can easily crush my 2 gig 770 if I use too many texture mods by mistake. I know watch dogs suggests a minimum of 3 GB of VRAM for ultra textures. Here is an interesting read (be sure to watch the video at the end). There are also a few other games where 2 gigs isn't enough a 1080p all the time, and I expect that number to grow rapidly because if the vram available on the consoles. Most people only look at average frame rates. Unfortunately the minimum framerates tend to be more important than the average frame rates. In game frame rates vary widely and even small dips below 60 fps can become very noticeable and distracting. 

Be forewarned, this may result in a long post.

If you are not going to be overclocking, you don't really need an aftermarket cooler.  The stock intel coolers are actually pretty quiet.  You also don't need a Z-series chipset.  A cheaper board with an H97 chipset would work perfectly fine.

Since you're using a dedicated graphics card, you also don't need the integrated graphics on the i7.  The E3 line of Xeons are i7s with their integrated graphics disabled.

Your RAM is not in a kit form.  Usually with speeds over DDR3-1600, there can be some compatibility issues when mixing and matching random RAM sticks together(even if they have the same clockspeeds and timings).  I would suggest picking up a RAM kit(2x8GB will work just fine) so that they are matched at the factory to run together nicely.

Slightly cheaper SSD.  It should perform just the same, and you won't notice any difference in real world use.

Stronger GPU.  Why not?

Quieter case.

Better power supply.  80+ certification is a bit low.  I would go 80+ bronze or higher.

No real need for Windows 7 Professional.  Since microsoft is cutting windows 7 support relatively soon, I'd take Windows 8 instead.

Added a cheap ODD if you need it to install the OS.

As for the monitor. I would personally take a nice 60hz IPS panel as the color reproduction is much better than a TN panel.  If, however, you prefer a much higher refresh rate, then the 144hz panel you've picked should do nicely.

I personally like the asus gtx 780 but that's 500 dollars so I guess you could just stick with the 770. However, the asus r9 270x is only 200 dollars and really good or if you have a little more money, the r9 280x.

I rebalanced your build some. It is cheaper, same performance for gaming, better actually for games with a lot of high res textures (heavily modded skyrim) because I fit the 4gb gtx 770 into the build for a cheaper price. All the parts are quality parts with great customer reviews.

2 sticks of ram is easier to overclock with than 4 sticks, and it leaves you room for upgrading later.

I also think a xeon build is a good way to go if you dont want to overclock. Here is my take on that:


  • small form factor
  • gtx 780 for a lot of gaming performance at any resolution
  • win 8 for better performance (just get start is back.. its very cheap)
  • high quality parts with excellent customer reviews.

All in all, this will give you all the performance you need for gaming. If you really want to overclock, then get the i7, its not necessary for gaming, especially with this higher end hardware.

Not totally sure, but that B85 mobo might need a BIOS update.

I updated the build, how does it look now?


Change out the SSD to one that's like the Adata SP900.  The Kingston V300 is incredibly slow due to it's cheap flash memory.

So you don't think the graphics card needs to be swapped out? i am worried about it throttling due to heat, ive heard that that could happen.

I wouldn't worry about it, especially since it has Sapphire's Tri-X cooler on it.

Okay, one last question, I've been looking online and i cannot tell if the r9 290 or the gtx 780 is more powerful, it seems to me, even if the gtx is more powerful, it is only slightly therefore it is not worth the difference in price.

The GTX 780 is probably a little bit more powerful, but the price-performance of the R9 290 is much, much better than the GTX 780.

Well thank you sir, you've been quite helpful! It looks like i now have my final build for my pc. :)

From what I have been reading you just need to get the asrock uefi instant flash on a usb drive first. The refresh processors will let you get into the UEFI to update. Then all is well.

**it is important to read the documentation and instructions on the asrock page. for example. if something goes wrong. don't turn off the computer. just run the flash tool again from the uefi.