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TechPrince

My First PC - Tips, Advice, and Help Needed!

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Posted (edited) · Original PosterOP

EDIT: DO NOT REPLY, THIS THREAD IS NO LONGER IN USE.

 

Hey everyone, my name is Micah. (My-Kuh)

I have always been a pretty heavy gamer. I also love coding software, editing videos, interacting with online friends, making graphics like Minecraft skins, forum banners, and YouTube channel icons. I have an intermediate-advanced knowledge of software, while a pretty simple knowledge of hardware. I understand how to put ram in properly and that not all pieces of hardware are compatible with others, like ram or M.2 SSDs for motherboards.

I own an HP Z400 Workstation, refurbished on eBay for 200$. It runs Windows 10 Pro and has 12gb of ram with a FirePro 3D GPU. I've put in a WiFi card and it runs Minecraft very well, but has trouble with shaders and larger games like CS:GO and Fortnite.

 

Okay, enough babbling about stuff no one is going to read anyway. Here goes:

 

1. Budget and Location

My budget is between 500 and 900 dollars. I live in the US, and my currency is USD. I don't want to go above my budget, at least not by much. I mow lawns to earn my money (I'm 15 years old) and I also replace phone screens, so money comes a little harder for me.

 

2. Aim

I want to build my first computer. I'd like it to contain a powerful graphics card, like a GTX 1080 or at the very least a GTX 1050 ti. It needs to be centered around gaming for the most part, but have a CPU (Most likely an i7) that will work for gaming and editing/coding software with ease. I'd also like a good-looking, well-built monitor that is inexpensive, and includes a side window and maybe some LED's of some kind. My current computer has an Intel Xeon W3520 that has served me well, so I would be willing to go with a Xeon series CPU. If anyone can suggest an inexpensive yet just as powerful CPU, I'd be open to the option. In a simple, short sentence, my aim is to have a powerful computer for gaming while still being able to edit and code programs on it with ease.

 

3. Monitors

I plan to run one to two monitors, typically the second monitor only showing my file explorer, music, or web guide page. besides that, it's just there so I can see the clock and know when to go to bed if I've been playing a game since 10 am. (Just kidding, I'm not like that--at least not every day. >:D) I'm not sure about my screen setup, it'd take a lot of explaining as to why I don't know, so here's the short answer: I could use two smaller monitors that are either both 16:9 or square, or I may go back to my old setup with a 50 inch 16:9 monitor with a small 15-20 inch square monitor. I'm thinking about not using the big monitor as it seems to decrease performance on my current GPU, and it doesn't produce a very clear image, either.

 

4. Peripherals

I do not need to purchase a mouse or keyboard, or anything of the like. However, I may need to purchase at least one monitor. I also need help to create a bootable USB drive for my new, custom built computer.

 

Anyone that is willing to help me choose the right parts, explain to me things like, "What does GHz and MHz do for a GPU?" or, "How safe is overclocking?" would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks!

Edited by TechPrince
I don't want the thread anymore.

Main setup: Ryzen 5 2600x, overclocked to 4.3ghz, ASRock B450M Pro4-f Motherboard (No Wifi), 16GB 2x8 from TeamGroup running at 3200MHz, CM ML240L, EVGA 650 G3, RTX 2060 SUPER, NZXT H510i, Replaced all fans with AsiaHorse RGB 2,000 rpm 120ml fans. White PSU cables from Antec. Intel m.2 NVME SSD, 1.02TB. WD Black 1TB HDD. MSI Oculux NXG252R 24.5" 1920x1080 240 Hz Monitor with GSYNC, and 3 second-hand 1080p 24.5" monitors running at 60hz. Keyboard: Corsair K55 RGB, Mouse: Logitech G903, Mousepad: Logitech G903 Wireless Charging Pad, Headphones, Astro A10, Microphone: White Blue Snowball. Logitech C922 Webcam. Running on a 200mbps ethernet connection.

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A 1080ti basically will consume your entire budget, but probably wouldn't be worth plugging into your existing board.  So it'll have to be something less than that. 

 

If we assume you need $200 for a brand new 1050Ti, assuming that's acceptable, then you're left with $500 to spend.

 

Figure another $200 for cheap screens.  So $300.

 

For $300, probably your best bet would be to find a Haswell or Ivy Bridge machine off of eBay with an i5 or i7.  I see a few examples for $300 or so w/128gb SSD, 8gb of RAM.    Doubt you could come anywhere near that even assembling your own parts off of eBay cost-wise.  

 

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Here's the thing, I don't want a 1080 ti, I want a 1080. That's about 300, which is quite high, of course. I am willing to go down to a 1050 ti, though. I'm not going to get my screens new, I'll be able to find some pretty nice ones cheap in my area for about 5 bucks a pop, so I'm not even counting the screens in on my budget. I'll get those later, as I already have two screens that will do the job. The one rule I have for all of this stuff is that I'd like it to have a box. Not plastic packaging or even bubble wrap. But I will get used parts. Obviously that means I may have to spend even more on the ridiculously priced ram as it is, but I feel it's worth it. If I still can't save enough I'll be willing to sell my current PC, which I have upgraded.

 

Oh, and by the way, thanks for your comment!

 

300 for the GPU,

200 is my max for the CPU,

50ish for the case,

30-100 for 8-12gb of ram,

100 on average for the motherboard,

27 for the PSU (Coming from Asia, It's a cheapo but I'm okay with it, but if anyone has a suggestion I may change my mind),

25-50 for 500gb-1tb hard drive, Seagate brand, I have it in my current PC and it's good enough for me.

60 for 250 GB SSD (Samsung)

50 for fans and extra parts (just a random price)

840-935 for total build, give or take.


Main setup: Ryzen 5 2600x, overclocked to 4.3ghz, ASRock B450M Pro4-f Motherboard (No Wifi), 16GB 2x8 from TeamGroup running at 3200MHz, CM ML240L, EVGA 650 G3, RTX 2060 SUPER, NZXT H510i, Replaced all fans with AsiaHorse RGB 2,000 rpm 120ml fans. White PSU cables from Antec. Intel m.2 NVME SSD, 1.02TB. WD Black 1TB HDD. MSI Oculux NXG252R 24.5" 1920x1080 240 Hz Monitor with GSYNC, and 3 second-hand 1080p 24.5" monitors running at 60hz. Keyboard: Corsair K55 RGB, Mouse: Logitech G903, Mousepad: Logitech G903 Wireless Charging Pad, Headphones, Astro A10, Microphone: White Blue Snowball. Logitech C922 Webcam. Running on a 200mbps ethernet connection.

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You're probably not going to get everything you're looking for at that price new. There's a huge performance difference in the 1050 Ti and the 1080, as well as a huge price difference. You need to decide what kind of performance you want, and then someone might be able to work around it. A 1080 is out of the question though, that card is pretty much 75% of your budget new.

 

Are the monitors part of your budget? If so, that makes it even harder still to meet your needs. They'll run you at least $100 each for cheap new ones. Better to stick with what you have if you can and focus on upgrading that later.

 

Can't really help with the bootable USB, all I can say is a legitimate retail copy of Windows 10 is about $100.

 

A lot of people will suggest used components, but I'm going to go a slightly different path here. I would personally look into a Ryzen 2200G setup at this budget. Figure you could forego the graphics card and just add one later as you come up with the funds. It'll game better than a firepro card from 10 years ago, and when the cost of regular graphics cards are fully back to normal, you can then consider adding one in. This is also potentially appealing because rumors are swirling around everywhere now that 1100 series cards may be coming as soon as next month from Nvidia, and I've also heard rumors that there may be oversupply of older cards. I think if you're at such a tight budget, it's worth waiting to see what happens there. 

 

Here's an example, with monitors and a Windows 10 key included for a total system cost:

 

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($149.99 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: ASRock - B450M-HDV Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($71.98 @ Newegg) 
Memory: G.Skill - Aegis 16GB (1 x 16GB) DDR4-2133 Memory  ($139.98 @ Newegg) 
Storage: ADATA - Ultimate SU650 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($79.89 @ OutletPC) 
Case: Corsair - 200R ATX Mid Tower Case  ($39.99 @ Newegg) 
Power Supply: Corsair - TXM Gold 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($58.85 @ OutletPC) 
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit  ($99.89 @ OutletPC) 
Monitor: Acer - G226HQLBbd 21.5" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor  ($79.99 @ Amazon) 
Monitor: Acer - G226HQLBbd 21.5" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor  ($79.99 @ Amazon) 
Total: $800.55
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-07-28 18:13 EDT-0400

 

This leaves you $100 of headroom to customize, pay for shipping+tax, etc., and the power supply is a good one that will handle a graphics card with no problems, even a 1080 if you decide to drop one in down the road.

 

6 minutes ago, TechPrince said:

27 for the PSU (Coming from Asia, It's a cheapo but I'm okay with it, but if anyone has a suggestion I may change my mind),

Never, NEVER get a cheapo PSU, especially from Asia, unless you want to see it blow and fry all of your components with it. Almost all of these will cut corners and exclude components that protect against component damage if the PSU were to expire. If take any advice from this thread, please reconsider this point and take a look at something from tiers 1 and 2 of this PSU tier thread

 

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Altered a few things in the above list. You stated you already have a dual monitor setup, or at least have another available monitor so I included one that should age nicely, and allow you to snag a mid to high tier GPU and see the FPS benefits of it.

 

Switched storage arrangement to a OS+Favored Game SSD and a mass storage HDD arrangement.

Moved from single stick single channel @ 16GB to a higher bandwidth 2x8 GB arrangement so your motherboard can run the sticks in dual channel also picked a higher clock speed kit.

Moved motherboard choice to a z370 board that will give you more options if you ever decide to dabble in Overclocking.

 

These changed the costs from the above list slightly with storage costs increasing ~$12, as as well as motherboard cost increasing another ~$15, RAM cost is $0.01 more. Monitor cost has gone up ~$21.00 with the change at the above benefits along with the downside that you'll at least in the short term be using one of your old monitors.

 

Would suggest once you have the opportunity to throw a discrete GPU in going with an option with roughyl equivalent performance or greater performance than a GTX 1070. Also as a possible future improvement on your system once you have a dedicated GPU is to move up to something like a 2600X or perhaps even a 2700X. In the future you might also want to look into getting an aftermarket CPU cooler.

 

 

 


PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2400G 3.6GHz Quad-Core Processor  ($149.99 @ Amazon) 
Motherboard: ASRock - X370 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard  ($86.89 @ OutletPC) 
Memory: Team - Vulcan 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory  ($139.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: ADATA - Ultimate SU650 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  ($49.99 @ Newegg) 
Storage: Seagate - BarraCuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive  ($42.69 @ OutletPC) 
Case: Corsair - 200R ATX Mid Tower Case  ($39.99 @ Newegg) 
Power Supply: Corsair - TXM Gold 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply  ($58.85 @ OutletPC) 
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home Full - USB 32/64-bit  ($99.89 @ OutletPC) 
Monitor: Acer - GN246HL 24.0" 1920x1080 144Hz Monitor  ($179.99 @ B&H) 
Total: $848.27
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-07-29 01:42 EDT-0400

 


Rawr.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Wow, thanks everyone! That's some great info. While researching, I decided to look up all the parts and get the actual amount I paid for my computer, which is $290 in 2016 refurbished on eBay. After all my research I discover my CPU is $15 new. The FirePro is $20 new. My motherboard is $30 refurbished only because it's no longer manufactured. The most expensive part is the case, 80 to a hundred bucks (refurbished) most likely just because it's metal. I look all the parts up on eBay used and learn, wow, I could have built this for about a hundred-hundred and fifty bucks! The CPU is literally $3.25 with Fast N' Free shipping... So now I'm kinda salty :P. Of course, back then I had little knowledge of computers, and that was only my second desktop I had ever had. My previous computers had always been two hundred or four hundred dollar laptops, or a cheap garage sale FREE box one that ran windows XP... So all this time I had been thinking I had an entry level or intermediate gaming system, only to learn that my computer was barely qualified as a computer to run Photoshop. It ran Minecraft at 300 FPS, so long as the game was the only thing on the computer... If I added anything it would go to about 60 or below pretty quick. So now that I know a good deal more, I'm thinking I'll go for more of a budget build. If any of you would like to see it, I'm making a post about that. But for now, this thread will be closing.


Main setup: Ryzen 5 2600x, overclocked to 4.3ghz, ASRock B450M Pro4-f Motherboard (No Wifi), 16GB 2x8 from TeamGroup running at 3200MHz, CM ML240L, EVGA 650 G3, RTX 2060 SUPER, NZXT H510i, Replaced all fans with AsiaHorse RGB 2,000 rpm 120ml fans. White PSU cables from Antec. Intel m.2 NVME SSD, 1.02TB. WD Black 1TB HDD. MSI Oculux NXG252R 24.5" 1920x1080 240 Hz Monitor with GSYNC, and 3 second-hand 1080p 24.5" monitors running at 60hz. Keyboard: Corsair K55 RGB, Mouse: Logitech G903, Mousepad: Logitech G903 Wireless Charging Pad, Headphones, Astro A10, Microphone: White Blue Snowball. Logitech C922 Webcam. Running on a 200mbps ethernet connection.

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17 hours ago, TechPrince said:

Wow, thanks everyone! That's some great info. While researching, I decided to look up all the parts and get the actual amount I paid for my computer, which is $290 in 2016 refurbished on eBay. After all my research I discover my CPU is $15 new. The FirePro is $20 new. My motherboard is $30 refurbished only because it's no longer manufactured. The most expensive part is the case, 80 to a hundred bucks (refurbished) most likely just because it's metal. I look all the parts up on eBay used and learn, wow, I could have built this for about a hundred-hundred and fifty bucks! The CPU is literally $3.25 with Fast N' Free shipping... So now I'm kinda salty :P. Of course, back then I had little knowledge of computers, and that was only my second desktop I had ever had. My previous computers had always been two hundred or four hundred dollar laptops, or a cheap garage sale FREE box one that ran windows XP... So all this time I had been thinking I had an entry level or intermediate gaming system, only to learn that my computer was barely qualified as a computer to run Photoshop. It ran Minecraft at 300 FPS, so long as the game was the only thing on the computer... If I added anything it would go to about 60 or below pretty quick. So now that I know a good deal more, I'm thinking I'll go for more of a budget build. If any of you would like to see it, I'm making a post about that. But for now, this thread will be closing.

Uhh, that's not how pricing works. If you bought refurbished two years ago, prices will have dropped since then, even for "new" components. Also I hope you're not looking at anything from China for pricing info.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'll grant you are right about the prices dropping, but I'm not dumb. I wouldn't even think about including Chinese pricing in it. I just did a special search in eBay for completed listings. I found listings for my CPU for 4 to 6 bucks, meaning you're very well right about it being a little more expensive two years ago. Still though, It would have been much more fulfilling and probably still somewhat cheaper to build it, especially since I would not have chosen the Z400 case that it came with. I'd have chosen a gaming 30 dollar plastic and metal case instead of a 100 dollar uniform business full metal one.


Main setup: Ryzen 5 2600x, overclocked to 4.3ghz, ASRock B450M Pro4-f Motherboard (No Wifi), 16GB 2x8 from TeamGroup running at 3200MHz, CM ML240L, EVGA 650 G3, RTX 2060 SUPER, NZXT H510i, Replaced all fans with AsiaHorse RGB 2,000 rpm 120ml fans. White PSU cables from Antec. Intel m.2 NVME SSD, 1.02TB. WD Black 1TB HDD. MSI Oculux NXG252R 24.5" 1920x1080 240 Hz Monitor with GSYNC, and 3 second-hand 1080p 24.5" monitors running at 60hz. Keyboard: Corsair K55 RGB, Mouse: Logitech G903, Mousepad: Logitech G903 Wireless Charging Pad, Headphones, Astro A10, Microphone: White Blue Snowball. Logitech C922 Webcam. Running on a 200mbps ethernet connection.

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