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What I Need to Build a New PC

April 28, 2012

I guess this was a long time coming.  My current PC appears to basically be on its last legs.  Even if my friends are capable of helping me repair the current PC, the parts are all so old that, quite frankly, I may as well just buy all new parts.  The fact is, I need to either get the old computer up and running ASAP or purchase something entirely new right away, or else my job doing video reviews is totally blown.

Now, quite frankly, I’m lazy, and not a genius when it comes to building PCs.  I don’t want to work too hard.  So, I’ve come up with a couple of options here.  For starters, I could just buy a pre-built PC.  I know, that sounds awful.  I’m not thrilled with the idea, either.  But everyone who once helped me build PCs and once lived nearby sorta isn’t that nearby anymore.  That’s my lazy option.  I’ve thrown a PC that I’m okay with onto my Amazon Wish List.

My second option is to follow a guide and try and get something pretty great out for fairly cheap.  This seems like a likely option.  I’ve settled on following this specific guide.  If you don’t like it, sorry, this is what I’m sticking to because it’s clear and simple to follow.  I’m not going to start mixing and matching other things on a whim.

I’ve searched for the items on this list and have listed them on my Amazon.com Wish List.  Now, frankly, I may not even need every single piece.  Some pieces from my old PC may still be salvageable, such as my hard drives and my disc drive.  So, here’s the order of importance on each of these items:

Processor
Motherboard
Graphics card
Memory
Power supply
Case
Optical Drive
Storage
*Monitor (Maybe, if it was the cause of some of my problems with my current PC, which I’m not certain of) 

So, let’s say I get all of these things. Without the cost of a monitor, everything in that list, new directly from Amazon/Newegg, is $980.89.  If we cut out, say, the optical drive and the storage, we can get rid of about $138.94.  The rest I’m pretty sure I’d want new.  I know for a fact that my mouse and keyboard are fine, so I’m not concerned about them.  I’ll worry about the monitor last of all.  Despite some issues happening before my PC puttered out, I still believe it was actually functioning.

Until I get the parts I need, I’m going to be doing some very rudimentary video reviews.  Like, these things are going to be bad.  Like, real bad.  Of course, I’ll make sure that’s widely known.  Maybe it’ll even become a running joke.  But I’d rather not be doing that for terribly long.  I’ll be working hard on some side projects, like daily vlogs and extra reviews (as crappy as they’re going to come out), and my MarzGurl Hates Hats wall calendar is still available (those who’ve received theirs seem very pleased with it!).  That having been said, if you are able to help me get this functioning PC up and running again, I admit I will not turn down the help.  My Amazon Wish List with the things I need to build this PC is right here (and listed off to the side of this blog page) and my PayPal is open for donations, both here and on the side bar with the Amazon Wish List as well.  Any help you can give is greatly appreciated, and I’ll happily be personally E-mailing you if it turns out you can help.  

Hoping to be back in shape fairly soon!  I’ll keep you guys posted on how I’m functioning.  Until then, look forward to a vlog tomorrow and a new (crappy) review on Monday.

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15 Comments leave one →
  1. April 28, 2012 3:36 AM

    I’m in the same boat (one step ahead as of this posting, got my new CPU ready.) only because I want to make videos again and do some streams. I had a taste of that power from a friend’s laptop — that was awesome.

    You know, NewEgg supports Wishlists too. I think they might be a LITTLE more reasonable in terms of prices for getting you where you want to go than Amazon. Though I suppose that depends on the person/user in that case, as some Amazon deals MAY be better than NewEgg’s.

    • April 28, 2012 3:40 AM

      Yeah, I actually used Amazon’s nifty little function of adding stuff to my Wish List from other online locations, so I was easily able to add stuff directly from NewEgg to my list. In some cases, yeah, NewEgg had the better price.

      • April 28, 2012 11:49 AM

        Just a quick word of advice, do not buy a computer from a company (aka dell or hp for example) because you won’t have the ability to upgrade in the future. Besides, building a computer isn’t that hard (been doing it for 12 years with different configs for different company needs).

  2. comter84 permalink
    April 28, 2012 4:36 AM

    I swear by Tom’s Hardware and they have a good article on a $650 gaming PC. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-gaming-pc-overclock,3159.html
    It lists a slightly lower processor (I’d stick with your i5 over an i3 though) and half as much ram. I’m guessing you’ll mainly be using this rig for video editing/gaming?

    Another place where you would be able to find great discounts is through Woot. They routinely have 24″ LCDs in the $120 range (in fact, I’m using one that I got from there now). Another place for LCDs is http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=980. Although refurbished (and some new), they usually hit the price sweet spot.

    I see that you have a SSD (for the OS/apps?) and a storage HD (for video?). I’d suggest going external with the storage (using either USB 3.0 or eSata) which will get you decent prices for 1TB+ HDs. Or you can just pull out your current HD and put it in an external case and keep using it (and maybe wipe the OS off it for more space).

    -the purring dork

  3. comter84 permalink
    April 28, 2012 4:45 AM

    I swear by Tom’s Hardware and they have a great article on a $650 gaming PC. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-gaming-pc-overclock,3159.html Most of the same specs as what you have going (they went with an i3 but I’d stick with your i5; they also went with half as much ram). I’m guessing you’ll mainly be using this rig for video editing and/or gaming?

    A great place for 24″ LCDs (when they come up) is Woot (using one right now too). Another spot is http://www.geeks.com/products_sc.asp?cat=980 (mostly refurb but sometimes new).

    Are you planning to use the SSD for the OS/apps and then the HD for video swap space/storage? You may want to consider going for an external HD (either USB 3.0 or eSata) to get the best price in the 1TB+ range. You may also want to take your current HD (which I assume isn’t an SSD) and put it into an external case and clear out some of the OS files on it for more space.

    -the purring dork

  4. April 28, 2012 5:16 AM

    Actually, depending on the budget, a MacMini would suffice just as good, plus it would be very portable if needed. I bought a new one for just over $650 w/taxes for the base i5/2GB-ram/500GB-HD/Intel HD 3000 model. The step up would be a just adding an additional 2GB-ram & a ATI Radeon HD 6630M for $799 w/o taxes. The bad part about it that is carries no CD/DVD drive, one can be added separately via a usb connection, or using a shared connection with another computer. Then again when was the last time anyone used a CD/DVD?

  5. April 28, 2012 5:39 AM

    you should do a kick starter.

  6. April 28, 2012 11:44 AM

    Well, for starters, it depends on what the hardware in your current PC is and if you can salvage certain parts from one onto the new box you would be building (though I highly doubt the monitor would be the real cause of your issue). Actually, that one video that Nash made a while back is pretty good for a first-time builder so that could be something to consider for your build. You could always buy on Newegg a “computer in a box” which is all the components for a new computer disassembled and you simply put it together yourself for a cheaper price (if you don’t want the trouble of researching which components work best with a particular motherboard/OS build). If you are building your computer, I wouldn’t worry about purchasing a monitor off the bat and start with the bare bones part of it (case, motherboard, ram (might be able to use your old ram depending on what kind it is), power supply (for now, just use the one that would come with the case for now), motherboard and processor. For everything else, salvage off the old system and use it until you get funds to upgrade, because that’s one thing that’s nice about building a computer which is you can build it one piece at a time. Just some ideas to get you started, but check out Newegg and other sites for flash sales and budget for what you need for your basics.

    I know that ran on for longer then it needed to be, but how old is your old computer? if its less then 5 years you can do some swapping off of it for now.

  7. Chris Smith permalink
    April 29, 2012 4:26 AM

    A few months back, I started a thread on Jason’s forum about what could constitute as THE BEST parts to get at an affordable price (And one that, for s**ts and giggles, was the most powerful and expensive), I’m posting the forum thread here because I’m about to update it for Q2, and I figure people might want to weigh in.

    http://www.lordkat.com/forum/4720/htdi-pc-builders-thread.html

  8. April 29, 2012 11:55 PM

    Tossed over some spare change, best of luck getting up and running again.

  9. Josh D. permalink
    May 4, 2012 2:13 PM

    Woot is a great idea actually. I got two pre-built re certified computers through them and they both have performed very well out of the box. Me being a hardware snob though, it wasn’t long before I replaced my RAM, video card, and power supply on both (in fact I bought the upgrades at the same time as the second re certified machine.)

    Just last night though, I replaced the case on the first machine I got from Woot (yes I still have it, and in fact it’s my primary computer). The reason for the replacement was due to overheating issues. Unfortunately, the overheating went on for too long and it appears that I need to replace the video card once again (sicks to be me).

    The main thing I would advise you of though, is that you won’t want to forget fans or heat sinks in your machine if you build it yourself. Also make sure not to forget the arctic silver compound to put between your heat sink and your processor. Forget that piece, and you can kiss your processor goodbye.

    Nash also put out a video detailing how to build a machine (I believe it’s on tgwtg, if not it’ll be on his blip account), and that will definitely help you build a machine on a budget.

    Long comment I know, but this is one topic I enjoy quite a bit. If you have questions on anything, I’d be more than willing to help out.

  10. May 7, 2012 12:30 AM

    I know this might sound odd, as I am not up on the whole TGWTG site and various drama, but have you considered asking LordKat or Skitch?

  11. Sean permalink
    May 17, 2012 6:44 AM

    Hey Marzgurl, I know that this may be a bit odd. But I just bought myself a new computer. My old computer still works, its not necessarily a top of the line system. It’s a Dell XPS computer, it runs well enough just not well enough to handle any of the modern games that I wanted to play and I had upgraded the memory as much as that systemboard would allow (which was 4 Gig of RAM, still in that system BTW).

    I know you may still want to build your own computer, but this would at least allow you to get back to it right away until you are able to get the computer that you want/need. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll see about getting it sent out.

    Right now, all it is doing is sitting beside my desk collecting dust.

  12. May 25, 2012 5:11 PM

    Hey, I just grabbed this deal on CompUSA for myself. It occurred to me that if you do have the funds. It has everything you want except for the graphics card, but it DOES require assembly. Still, putting it out here. http://www.compusa.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=2826919&sku=B69-0567&SRCCODE=LSCMPUSA&cm_mmc_o=-ddCjC1bELltzywCjC-d2CjCdwwp&AffiliateID=lw9MynSeamY-NP4BLeLHnahCj1EX.8YJvw

  13. MGTX permalink
    June 11, 2012 7:48 PM

    Unless you have already bought parts and built the machine, you should really update that wish list with the modern equivalents now that Intel has released it’s new range of processors.
    I’ve personally built 4 machines with the following in the last month:

    i5-2500k -> i5-3570 You do not need the K series to overclock reasonably, only for extreme professional overclocking, besides, the Ivy Bridge parts do not overclock as well since the dies size is smaller. Also with the K series you lose advanced virtual features like vt-D which will be very useful if you want to run VirtualBox or the like for playing older games in an older OS.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007SZ0EJW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=toddsus-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007SZ0EJW

    ASUS P8P67-M -> ASRock Z77 Pro4-M
    Native USB 3.0, PCI-E 3.0 etc.. as well as support for Virtu which allows you to use both integrated and discrete graphics capability.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007RS70YW/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=toddsus-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B007RS70YW

    Corsair 650 -> Corsair CX 600w – The Pro series is definitely nice, but likely overkill. Also the new components take less wattage so you can get a 600w rather than a 650w.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004W2T2UQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=toddsus-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B004W2T2UQ

    As for Graphics, I would get either a Radeon 7770 or Geforce 570 (last gen-high end and prices are getting sweeeet) for midrange graphics, or a Geforce 680 for high end-not-replacing-this-in-forever.

    The Samsung 830 is great, I have it in a laptop right now, but I would seriously look at the recently released OCZ Vertex 4. Also, if you go for the 830, find the box with the free copy of Arkham City 🙂

    As for Ram, basically any DDR3 Kit should be fine. I recommend G.Skill as a brand. Value or Performance series do not matter, its basically all the same RAM with different default timings, you can always overclock it later

    Personally I would suggest a Seagate Sata3 1TB drive instead of the WD.. look about, sometimes the 1.5 TB drives are only 10$ more.

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