I'm building a PC

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by garirry, May 15, 2015.

  1. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #1
    Yes, I am the guy who hated PCs for no apparent reason two years ago.

    Anyway, my iMac broke a while back so I need a new computer since I don't feel like repairing it for now. I just thought that a Mac might not be the right thing for me, it's a little expensive, hard to repair, and overall I don't really like modern Apple. Plus I'm a gamer, so...

    I have 700$ in my pocket and this is my first build ever, so I would like to have your opinion on the items that I gathered. Just so you know, if you recommend me a certain particular item over what I chose, it may not be available where I buy the stuff (Newegg Canada)

    Here's the parts:
    -MSI H81M-P33 motherboard
    -Intel Core i5-4460 Haswell Quad-Core 3.2GHz processor
    -Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 memory
    -EVGA 500 B 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified 500W power supply
    -SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 5450 1GB 64-bit DDR3 graphics
    -Cooler Master N200 - Micro ATX Mini Tower case
    -SAMSUNG 850 EVO MZ-75E120B/AM 2.5" 120GB SSD
    And the most expensive and most important part...
    -Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 fan (just kidding, although it costs 6$ so wynaut)

    I already own a 1TB WD Caviar Blue that I'll take from my iMac and I already have a cheap decent DVD writer from my 2008 PC (SATA). My only concern with my build is that there is no front USB 3 connector on my MB, while there is a USB 3 port on the front of the case. I personally don't care about USB 3, although I'd still like to be able to use it (as a regular USB).

    All for 732.86 CAD, (probably around 650 USD) although since it's my birthday in a week (yay), I might negotiate to get more money.

    What do you think of my choice? I know I posted this in the Apple section, but I have no idea where to post it else. A mod may move this wherever it is appropriate. Thanks to all in advance. :)
     
  2. Renzatic, May 15, 2015
    Last edited: May 15, 2015

    Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    #2
    At a casual glance, I'd recommend jumping up to the i5-4590 over the 4460. You get a little more bang for an added 10 bucks to your bottom line.

    The graphics card? Waste of money. If you're going to go purely functional, just use the integrated chip on the CPU. Save yourself $30, and use that money to get yourself a better motherboard. I've always been wary of MSI, and tend to go with either Asus or Gigabyte. I'll see if I can find you a better, but still low cost alternative.

    Tell me this, are you opposed to Mini-ITX cases? What do you plan on using this computer for?
     
  3. Rijstkoek macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2012
    #3
    I will probably never, ever again read this post. I don't even have a clue why I clicked on this one since I'm totally not active in this forum.

    But heck, I might aswel help you out with this one post.

    I made the same switch as you did around 2 years ago, but the other way around. I still work in the PC retail industry though, so I have a lot of experience assembling (gaming) PC's. And that's the part where you've made a mistake.

    All the components look fine, and you even listed a CPU which has the same socket as the motherboard, many people fail at that stage already.

    16GB memory might be a bit overkill yet, 8GB will do fine for 98,72% of the people out there but since it's not such a huge addition to the price you might aswel go ham. ;-)

    I won't judge on the USB3 port thingie nor the DVD writer, it all comes down to personal preferences. However, if you WANT this PC to last throughout some years, then that USB3 will come in handy. However if you've never used an USB stick in your past, skip it.

    The most important thing is that you said that you are a gamer. And yet you add a graphics card which is embarrassingly weak and doesn't even have GDDR5 memory. This is something that, if you are indeed a gamer (so no candy crush etc), will haunt you and make you regret this decision every second that you use the PC.

    I see you're 50$ under the budget, and you might even get additional budget? Pour it all into the graphics card. Even the 50$ will do. You've got a nice setup there already but the graphics card is really ridiculous.

    You could get an GTX 960 / 970 or and AMD 280x / 290, it all comes to personal preference here aswel. Don't look at noise levels because they probably will not make a huge difference when you're playing. Don't look at energy consumption because it's peanuts compared to your 700$ budget already.

    You could also wait for a while, AMD is going to release new cards which will make the current prices of graphics cards drop A LOT (even Nvidias' current line-up will drop greatly because it's just overpriced as ******* at the moment).

    That's my answer on your post. Great start, but terrible graphics card. Fix this, and you've got a badass PC which you won't regret.

    Again, I probably won't ever read this again so don't bother replying. But good luck / have fun with your computer anyway.




    If, in 5 months, you're happy that you listened to my advice: do me a favor and donate like 5 dollars to a local good cause. That's all the thanks I need.

    Cheers.
     
  4. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #4
    I somehow managed to glance over the fact you mentioned you're a gamer, Rij's advice is pretty sound. If you want to play games at least decently well, and still have a somewhat futureproofed machine, a Geforce GTX 960 or equivalent is about the minimum I'd recommend.

    They're a bit expensive, but you'll be happier with it in the long run. I'd recommend staving off for a couple of months, saving your money, and getting something that'll fit your needs a little better.

    I'm just a couple weeks out from building my own PC. It cost me $1208 once everything was said and done. It's capable of tearing up everything I've thrown at it, gaming and productivity. If you want, I'll post my parts list for you to check out.
     
  5. durruti macrumors regular

    durruti

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    Jersey
    #5
    Why not get a gold rated (or higher? platinum?) power supply?

    That'd be high priority if I were to build a PC.
     
  6. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #6
    Eh. Anything plus or bronze rated will be just fine for what he's aiming for. The ratings aren't so much about quality as they are pure efficiency, which will equal out more towards savings on your power bill than computer stability.

    Unless you're going for 3+ SSDs and an SLI configuration, it's not something worth fretting over, since you won't be going anywhere near max load on a 500w+ PSU.
     
  7. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #7
    Nice! :)
    I just built one myself for playing GTA V in 4k... couple of notes.
    Motherboard is a bit cheap but I'm sure its fine for your purpose, I went for the ASUS Z97i-PLUS, I overclocked my RAM to 2300Mhz that way.

    Oh, and don't make the same mistake I did, I bought the exact same i5-4460, what I didn't realise was that that is a locked processor. You can't overclock it. Best I've managed is 3.36Ghz. Get the cheapest i5 but with 'K' at the end of the model number. K processors are freely overclockable.

    GPU is way underpowered. I spent less on the CPU and spend as much as I could on the GPU, so I went for an AMD R9 290 with 4Gb RAM.. and would you believe it.. I want more!!!! :cool:
     
  8. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #8
    Thanks for the pretty fast replies everyone. I have gone through your suggestions and there are a few clarifications I have to make.

    First, yes, I am a gamer, however, I don't really play very intensive games. Most intensive games ran fine on my iMac (Core 2 Duo and ATI Radeon HD 4670). I found the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X graphics card, however I very very doubt that I need such power. Plus, I need a hell of a power supply in order to make it work, so I upgraded to a Corsair CX640M (600W). Also, forgot to mention, I just got an early birthday gift of 200$. Hooray! That makes my budget go to max 900$. No more, I still want to have something left. As for the processor, not interested in the 10$. It's practically the same processor plus only works with certain MBs. I also thought about whether it's worth just ignoring purchasing the graphics card and using the internal card and only buy one if it's too slow.

    Thanks for the tips again.
     
  9. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #9
    Hey, if you're not quite done yet, I can still take my computer and get it down below $900 by going with a smaller SSD, your processor (which should work on my mobo), the GTX 960 instead of the 970 (or maybe even nixing it altogether), and maybe a cheaper case. It's even watercooled.

    If you're interested, I'll dig up some links.
     
  10. CmdrLaForge macrumors 68040

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #10
    I did build my last PC in 2000. Switched to Macs in 2002. I used Windows in the Office until 2010. Still like both, PCs and Macs. Before 2000 I did build PCs on a regular basis. Anyways little story short - I can't help.

    What I would be interested so is building a great Hackintosh. I already have one - a Dell Netbook. Hacked this in 2010.
     
  11. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #11
    I would find the SSD too small for my use cases. I prefer keeping most data on my main, fast drive. Second tier drives are used for archives and media.
     
  12. MacLC macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #12
    First things first, Happy (early) Birthday!

    One important question: do the games you want to play run or come close to running on your existing 2009 iMac?

    They either had Nvidia 9400Ms or an ATI (AMD) that was nearly twice the speed. Both are slower than the integrated GPU of a 2012 MacBook Air. ANY GPU you add in will run circles around your 2009 iMac.

    Strategically speaking, in terms of your birthday, I don't want to assume anybody's financial situation, but some people such as myself, would rather spend $25 on a tangible gift than give $20 in cash. The timing is tight, but you and your birthday benefactors may be happier if you ask them to give you or pool in to give you a specific item (even a less expensive component such as a case or PSU).

    Personally speaking, my old iMac, similar to yours, recently bit the dust and in a pinch I got a used PC on Newegg for $250 and put in a cheap GPU. $320 ($360 CA$?) and it ran circles around my old iMac. Sadly the bios is not OSX-compatible. In case you hope to run OSX on there in the future, even if not now, you may want to make sure the components you want are compatible. I think most Gigabyte motherboards are, but not sure about MSI...
     
  13. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #13
    Thanks for the wishes! I don't play a lot of 3D games really, but from what I have played occasionally, TF2 runs well on 1080p resolution (rarely lags), Minecraft lags a lot if the "depth of camera rendering" (I don't remember how it's called) isn't low. I tend to often play either old games (late 90s early 2000s) or games on emulators, and most of my Steam games are 2D. All work fine. So, I assume I don't need something extremely powerful. Will the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X be a good choice? However, it costs 150$, which is a little expensive.

    Honestly, my data on my computer contains boulders in sand (is that even a thing?), meaning that I have 650+ GB of data that is utterly pointless and can easily go live on my 1TB hard drive. 120 GB should be more than enough for me to store all my applications, my OS, and most of my files.


    Also, I still haven't got any feedback regarding the power supply. The one I listed before does look fine, however the GPU needs 500W, so I assume it's safer to get a 600W power supply instead? I found the Corsair CX600M so far.
     
  14. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #14
    Yeah, Corsair's a solid brand, and 600W will provide far more than you'll ever need.
     
  15. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #15
    Thanks. What do you think of the graphics card I chose? I mean the Sapphire Radeon R7 260X, is it a good card (for my needs, as I listed before)? My concern is that it requires a 500W PSU according to the specs, does that mean it consumes up to 500W or is it just the recommended capacity?
     
  16. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #16
    It's more like what it needs to fit in alongside everything else that requires power in your system comfortably. I have a GTX 970 on a 500W PSU (which, in retrospect, I probably should've opted for a little higher), and from what I've seen, it peaks at about 140W when you're really stressing it. But when you consider that the CPU takes around 70W under load, along with your ram, your HDD/SSD, and all that good stuff, you'll obviously need a bit more. That 500W is a minimum for that GPU in a basic setup.

    As for the card itself, it seems pretty decent, especially considering what you want to use it for. It's a solid performer for the price.
     
  17. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #17
    Alright. As a quick reminder, my friend will come on May 20th to check in detail my choices and I will most likely order then.

    Here is the final line-up of what I gathered. In bold what has been changed since I first posted this:
    -MSI H81M-P33 motherboard
    -Intel Core i5-4460 Haswell Quad-Core 3.2GHz processor
    -G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 memory (the other ones jumped in price, so I chose this one)
    -CORSAIR CXM series CX600M 600W power supply
    -SAPPHIRE 100366-2L Radeon R7 260X 2GB graphics
    -Cooler Master N200 - Micro ATX Mini Tower case
    -SAMSUNG 850 EVO MZ-75E120B/AM 2.5" 120GB SSD
    Obviously added to that is the 6$ LED fan, existing 1TB hard drive, and maybe existing DVD writer, if it doesn't make the case look too ugly (otherwise I'll just stick to an external).

    I'll order the case (and maybe some other components) from another website since it's cheaper. What do you think of this lineup? Again, I have till May 20 until I finally click the order button.
     
  18. RCAFBrat, May 17, 2015
    Last edited: May 18, 2015

    RCAFBrat macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #18
    Couple of quick points:

    (1) you don't say which province you live in - I order from NCIX or Direct Canada to save on taxes (only pay GST) plus you can often get free shipping; NCIX will also price match

    (2) you also don't say what you'll be doing for an OS; Windows costs about $100 and some of the components you've picked may not play nice with OS X if you are inclined to build a Hackintosh (motherboard is not on recommended list at tonymac86 and Nvidia GPU seem to be best bet right now too)

    (3) [deleted]

    (4) consider an i3 instead of i5 since many games are not multi-thread; the Pentium 3258 is even a decent two core CPU

    (5) consider Crucial MX200 SSD if there is a savings (not sure if 120 GB version is available though)

    (6) spend whatever is left in your budget on the GPU like others have said!

    Suggest looking at the weekly sales and not paying full price on anthing; what you're looking for or something equivalent will come on sale.

    Cheers
     
  19. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #19
    1) I live in Quebec. Taxes are 9.5%, so in total I need to pay nearly 15%. I like websites like Newegg or NCIX since I only have to pay GST (5%) and cheap shipping.

    2) I'm planning to use Windows only. No Hackintosh because it's too much hassle and I'd rather buy a Mac for that. I already have some legal copies of that so there's no problem there.

    3) I'll take that in mind, thanks, although I never put my computer to sleep (leave it on for the whole day and shut it off at night)

    4) Could you elaborate on what do you mean? I'm pretty sure i5s are faster than i3s, but I may be wrong.

    5) I'll try to find cheaper SSDs on sale if I can, thanks.

    6) I'm afraid not, the cost of the computer is on the borderline of my budget, I can't really get more.

    Thanks for the comments though.
     
  20. Renzatic Suspended

    Renzatic

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    #20
    This is the first I've heard of that. I've got a CX500M and a Haswell chip, and I haven't experienced a single problem. In fact, I just woke it up from sleep not even 5 minutes ago.

    It's possible it could be some CX series PSUs manufactured before a certain date, maybe?
     
  21. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #21
    CX series is listed as TBD on Haswell compatibility chart:

    http://www.corsair.com/en-ca/blog/2013/may/haswell-compatibility-with-corsair-power-supplies

    I don't recall off hand which PSU had issues per tonymac86 forums. Perhaps then I was too cautious in my comment, this was something I ran into when building a Linux based computer for rendering with Blender and decided to steer clear of just in case.

    Double checking Corsair website this morning I agree my comment was too strong (I thought CX series was a hard NO) and I'll edit it.

    Cheers
     
  22. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #22
    Agree with you 100% on (1), avoid that PST and shipping charges wherever possible. I didn't realize that Newegg was the same as I've only ordered from NCIX and Direct Canada based on recommendations of some friends (NCIX customer service has been excellent by the way).

    For the CPU, try to get price match with Microbytes online prices (except for on sale items they seem very competitive but you want to avoid that PST).

    For item (3), see other posts.

    For item (4), the Pentium, i3 and i5 have two, two plus hyper threading and four cores respectively. Many applications only use one core at a time so there may not be significant difference in speed at same clock rate; check reviews of the 3258 and you'll be surpised. The Pentium may have some RAM limitations (1333 only perhaps) but other than that is a solid chip. You'll likely get more gaming experience with lower spec CPU coupled with higher spec GPU than system you are proposing. If you are doing any video conversion / editing then you would want as many cores as possible since these applications are highly optimized for multi threaded operations.

    For item (5) the Samsung is a superb choice; Crucial would be another option if you were looking to save a little. Whichever way you go, check online reviews of course.

    For budget, you have that $200 extra and may save a little on CPU, RAM, SSD, etc; put whatever you can into the GPU!

    Cheers
     
  23. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #23
    I often do things other than gaming such as video editing. I do a lot of it, so I'm pretty sure I would need a multi-core processor to work with it smoothly. As for (3), I understand. Other than that, I'm currently looking forward to saving the most money using sales and all of that. Thanks for the comment.
     
  24. AJClayton macrumors 6502

    AJClayton

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Dorset, England
    #24
    This won't help you in the slightest.

    I'll get shouted at, but I'm going to say it anyway.

    You do realise you'll have to look at Windows every time you use your machine? Half (possibly more than half) of the reason for having a Mac is OS X.

    When I ran Windows everyday my life was full of stress. Running OS X for the last decade has been a far calmer and more stable experience by a long way. Apple are far from perfect (and OS X isn't as polished as it was a few years ago) but give me a Unix based kernel any day of the week. If the time came and I had to move away from OS X I'd rather go to Linux than back to Windows.

    Just saying'. Each to their own. :D

    (PS. don't bother replying/flaming or whatever the term is, I'm not planning on subscribing to this thread. Just commenting - against my better nature - and then moving along. This is just my opinion.)
     
  25. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #25
    I understand how you feel, I felt the same two years ago when I switched to Mac. However, it's been a while and Windows works quite well, even on my horrible laptop. I agree, OS X is more stable, but due to compatibility issues, I'd rather run Windows. No Linux because it's too complex for me.
     

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