I want to build (or buy) my first real gaming desktop PC!

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#1 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

I don't have much knowledge about desktops (I am a laptop user). I believe I will figure out the building part. The thing I find confusing is what parts I should choose?

I should also say that I'm not in a hurry, and I may wait even a month or two before I buy. I've also heard that GPU prices are quite high now because of miners or something. But as time passes I realize it's inevitable that I eventually buy a proper gaming PC.

So, first of all, after searching a little, I've decided about the following:

Budget: around 1000$ I guess. Maybe more? Not sure.

GPU: GTX 1060 6gb GPU. I've also checked the 1060 3gb but some people say that after some years the low VRAM might be a problem so not sure.

CPU: i7 7700 - not 100% sure, some people suggest that it may be too much

Monitor: I will use a 1080p monitor

About other parts: Anything will do I guess, as long as it's compatible. And at least 8gb ram, probably 16. No need for SSD but may consider it later.

So, firstly, I'd like to ask, I see there are different brands of the same GPU e.g. Asus, gigabyte etc. How do I know which I should chose? There is some price difference.

Also, how do I know what motherboard I must choose? If e.g. I use a different brand of 1060 GTX, is it possible that it needs a different motherboard to be compatible?

Finally, any other advice on how to choose the parts I want?

Help a noob out. Thanks.

Edit: probably should be moved to "hardware" forum. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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#2 Edited by GTR12 (13212 posts) -

Grump marked this as the best answer

@grump: Its all good, I don't know why you think that's a bad PSU, they are mostly cheap and Corsair is a good brand.

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#3 Posted by MonsieurX (37871 posts) -

It's pointless to get a 7700 now unless you got a deal for it since 8700k is out. But yes, i7 are mainly overkill for gaming.

Main differences with GPU manufacturer are the coolers used, overclock and warranty.

Motherboard will fit any GPU

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#4 Posted by TryIt (10597 posts) -

I am going to take a very unpopular position on a gaming board but here it goes.

Just buy a prebuilt. I prefer 2nd tier prebuilts and be done with it and move on.

Yeah you dont save money but the difference really isnt that big of a deal.

when I say '2nd tier' what I mean is not Dell but something like maybe from Microcenter or Frys as an example

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#5 Posted by pyro1245 (3901 posts) -

https://pcpartpicker.com/ is a great tool.

You can also browse other people's completed builds for inspiration.

Only thing I can say about what you've listed is: I would definitely get an SSD. You don't know what you don't know. It's an incredible upgrade. I personally would not ever consider building a computer without at least a small SSD for the OS and programs. Do you value your time? Then get an SSD.

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#6 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

Hey, thanks for all your answers.

MonsieurX thanks, now I am less afraid of incompatibility

TryIt: I wouldn't mind buying a pre-build PC, but when I search for one, there is always one component I don't like. And most of the time it is the GTX 1060 where they always have the 3gb version for some reason... If you have any suggestion I would gladly hear it.

And pyro1245 it's funny, I was just using it :P Here is what I created:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/QZQFfH

As you see I chose i5-6600k because the popular opinion is that i7-7700 is too much for the 1060 right now. I may reconsider later, idk.

But what do you think overall? (Basically, I copied a recommended build I found somewhere and changed some components).

The things I have no idea and picked semi-random are the cooler (it said the i5-6600K needed a cooler) and the power supply (I've heard that if you have the watts needed + at least 25-50% you are fine, so I chose a random one with high watts).

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#7 Posted by TryIt (10597 posts) -

@grump

try Frys or Microcenter.

you can build to whatever spec you want. now granted Microcenter site is a bit 1990s and even their store is but they are great place to visit if you are in the Texas area.

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#8 Posted by MonsieurX (37871 posts) -

@grump said:

Hey, thanks for all your answers.

MonsieurX thanks, now I am less afraid of incompatibility

TryIt: I wouldn't mind buying a pre-build PC, but when I search for one, there is always one component I don't like. And most of the time it is the GTX 1060 where they always have the 3gb version for some reason... If you have any suggestion I would gladly hear it.

And pyro1245 it's funny, I was just using it :P Here is what I created:

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/QZQFfH

As you see I chose i5-6600k because the popular opinion is that i7-7700 is too much for the 1060 right now. I may reconsider later, idk.

But what do you think overall? (Basically, I copied a recommended build I found somewhere and changed some components).

The things I have no idea and picked semi-random are the cooler (it said the i5-6600K needed a cooler) and the power supply (I've heard that if you have the watts needed + at least 25-50% you are fine, so I chose a random one with high watts).

You're getting a 2gen old cpu and your PSU is overkill

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#9 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

@MonsieurX: Thanks for the reply.

It's my first time I attempt to build a pc so I'm still trying to make sense out of it. You say PSU is overkill, but what is the consequence of that? Will my motherboard burn, or will I waste electricity, or simply I can make do with a cheaper PSU?

About the CPU, I chose an i5 (6600k or, most probably 7600k) because I've heard it's more than enough (and it is a lot cheaper than 7700). Do you believe 7700 is a better option to go with a 1060 GTX? Or you have any other suggestion?

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#10 Posted by MonsieurX (37871 posts) -

@grump said:

@MonsieurX: Thanks for the reply.

It's my first time I attempt to build a pc so I'm still trying to make sense out of it. You say PSU is overkill, but what is the consequence of that? Will my motherboard burn, or will I waste electricity, or simply I can make do with a cheaper PSU?

About the CPU, I chose an i5 (6600k or, most probably 7600k) because I've heard it's more than enough (and it is a lot cheaper than 7700). Do you believe 7700 is a better option to go with a 1060 GTX? Or you have any other suggestion?

You are overpaying for nothing. You don't need that power for a simple setup like yours, 500w 40$ will do the job and spend the 30$ somewhere else.

Get the 8400

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#11 Edited by Mickeyminime (1412 posts) -

I decided to treat myself and go all out and i use the computer everyday so for me, i'm beyond happy with it.

I got the 8700K processor, 32gigs ram, 500GB SSD drive, 1080ti card, ASUS Maximus X hero motherboard, cooler, and a new power supply. For me, i consider it an upgrade, but for others, its a new build as i technically replaced everything apart from the PC case and most of the Hard Drives. The computer and games run perfectly and even starts up instantly unlike before. I'd say i spent £2000 on it. But as i use it a lot and it runs everything perfectly, i'm happy with how much i spent on it. I might have over done it with the ram, but the ram, motherboard and graphics card all lights up in different colours so for me, it was an added bonus, one i didn't know about until a few days later lol. The PC will last me for years as long as i give it the love it needs.

In my honest opinion, i spend very little apart from what i need and anything else on bills etc. I more or less save more than i spend so if you do the same and if you want something thats going to give you years and years without the need to upgrade, i'd go all out because budgets limit you with the best unless you have all the details and know lots about computers.

Before i had a 750ti, the processor is unknown, but it was nothing near the I5, but i could be wrong. I couldn't really play many games of today on high detail, but now i can and i can also play VR and everything in 4K which for someone like me who plays games a lot is money well spent, even if it was rather costly, but it all works perfectly and everything runs in ultra detail, even those games i had to play on low or medium settings a while ago.

I should also mention that if the Vat's where not included, the computer i built would have been so much cheaper -_-

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#12 Posted by GTR12 (13212 posts) -

Wrong board to post this on.

Just get a pre-built (if you're in the US), its cheaper.

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#13 Posted by Grump (11 posts) -

Thanks, I'm starting to get it now.

@MonsieurX The 8400 seems nice, and it's not expensive. It isn't on pcpartpicker, thats why I missed it. I'll definitely look into it. It seems I will need to choose another motherboard too if I'm not mistaken, because of coffee lake or whatever, so I'll switch to MSI Z370-A Pro.

Now, about @Mickeyminime's suggestion: I consider myself a casual gamer. I will even be satisfied even if I have to tune down the game settings in a few years, so I think the 1080ti isn't for me. It will be my first gaming PC after all :P

@GTR12 you are right, this is the wrong section. I read the "PLEASE READ BEFORE POSTING ABOUT HARDWARE" too late... And at the "Forums" dropdown menu (upper right corner) there isn't a Hardware section, so I missed it. And I live in Greece. I wouldn't mind buying a built pc if I find a good deal.

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#14 Posted by GTR12 (13212 posts) -

@grump: Maybe @PredatorRules will move it if you ask.

Ignore what I said then, you should have said you're from Greece, mining hasn't affected European GPU prices as much as the US. Building from scratch is better.

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#15 Edited by Mickeyminime (1412 posts) -

@grump: If you play games rarely and top notch graphics are not a bid deal, then maybe a 750ti might be ok. I had one and most games run well on it. It's the top games like GTA, Battlefield 1, BF2 and so on that might require a more demanding card/computer. Those last few games struggled on my previous computer. They would run, but i had little moments with them. I will normally play the games to the settings that will play best on it, so if GTA5 runs good on medium, i'll play it on that setting. But as i do play games a lot, i decided it would be best to go full out and get a computer thats built for top notch gaming.

My first build had a 240GT card, the next card was a 750TI and finally the 1080TI. The first two builds was a motherboard bundle which had everything in it. But my new motherboard is one i bought in parts. I honestly didnt like the idea of paying a lot for it, but with games becoming demanding, i decided it might be best to just do it. I'm no longer feeling the benefits and power from my previous builds.

If its your first build, go small and then over time, go big. I had to ask around before i bought my current build and now that i have it, i can't imagine myself needing to update it for a very very very long time. But either way, as long as your games run the way you want them too and it makes you happy, thats all that counts :D

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#16 Edited by PredatorRules (12190 posts) -

@grump: @GTR12:

Moved to Hardware forum

i7 is too much for gaming IMO unless you're into RTS games and editing, i5 8600 will do just fine, it also features 6 cores so it's more than enough.

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#17 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

@GTR12: Prices are high here in Greece too... Can't find any 1060 below 400euros.

The cheapest thing I've found till now is https://www.newegg.com/global/gr/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487261&cm_re=gtx_1060-_-14-487-261-_-Product

which, with shipping costs around 312euros.

For the rest of the suggestions, I'll think about them. Thanks

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#18 Posted by GTR12 (13212 posts) -

@grump: That's a great price for a 1060, that's RRP or very close to it.

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#19 Posted by Grey_Eyed_Elf (5861 posts) -

I would go with something like the following: LINK

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#20 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

@Grey_Eyed_Elf

For the motherboard, apart from coffee lake compatibility (coffee lake wtf is this name), are there other important things to take into account? I understand there are things about overclocking etc. and I know the concept, but I don't know much else about these (will learn eventually).

Is the Gigabyte Z370P about the same as MSI Z370-A PRO?

Also, would it be problematic if I just buy 2x4gb ram, and maybe later add another 2x4 later if needed?

About the PSU I see many people saying DOA or died shortly after :P Might be a coincidence, but I think I will look for another PSU with more favorable reviews.

Thanks to all your help, I think I understand how to build a pc. It's not that hard after all.

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#21 Edited by Pcmasterrace69 (294 posts) -

1060 3gb costs 100€ less than 6gb version right? if so Id suggest the 3gb version (or go to 6gb version if you dont mind paying 100 for minor improvememts.

i3 8100 is a 4 core and would run your 1060 without a problem (Even an older i3 7100 2 core 4 thread would game just fine but now for same price you have i3 8100 4 core so even better)

make sure the board is compatible to the cpu. i3 8100 requires different board from i3 7100).

ram go 2 x 8gb ddr4 2133mhz (just because your budget is so high. this way you dont need to close stuff to game so it will allow miltitask while gaming).

as for psu any 50€ psu 500w will be enough.

(just saw your last question. adding ram later can be troublesome. better go 2 x 8gb right away)

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#22 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

@pcmasterrace69: Hey, thanks for the reply.

The 3gb version is indeed a bit cheaper, but I've heard the low VRAM is less future proof so I'm a bit worried and will probably choose the 6gb one.

i3 8100 is an option I will consider.

Now, about the RAM, can you elaborate how will adding ram later be troublesome? Don't I just slap the extra rams in the motherboard and be done with it? :P I know each pair of RAM must be the same, but does that also apply for the second pair of RAM? (all 4 ram slots must have the same version of RAM?) Even then, I don't see how this would be a problem, but I am still a noob so I don't know.

Also, does the mhz of the RAM matter, or it's more or less the same? (I think it's more or less the same)

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#23 Edited by 04dcarraher (23035 posts) -

@grump:

Dont overlook AMD Ryzen 5 as a viable option. I would pick any Ryzen 5 over an i3 8100, Since they range from quad core with 8 threads to 6 core 12 thread options, their more future proof.

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#24 Posted by Pcmasterrace69 (294 posts) -

@grump:

mixing DRAM - even sets that are the same exact model can be and often is problematic.

Ram is sold in kits for a reason.

Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.

Some motherboards can be very sensitive to this.

That is why ram vendors will NOT support ram that is not bought in one kit.

Even the exact same model can end up being a pain to work together if you add them later on. you might be having to increase DRAM voltage as well as the VCCSA each time.

Some people claim that if you buy the exact same ram later on it will work 99% of the time.

Contrary to the above estimate of 99% for it working as you suggest, I'd place it at more like 20% (if that), and that would be a very, very hot mobo/DRAM combo

To put it simple. Id recommend you get the 2 x 8gb ram

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#25 Edited by 04dcarraher (23035 posts) -
@pcmasterrace69 said:

@grump:

mixing DRAM - even sets that are the same exact model can be and often is problematic.

Ram is sold in kits for a reason.

Ram from the same vendor and part number can be made up of differing manufacturing components over time.

Some motherboards can be very sensitive to this.

That is why ram vendors will NOT support ram that is not bought in one kit.

Even the exact same model can end up being a pain to work together if you add them later on. you might be having to increase DRAM voltage as well as the VCCSA each time.

Some people claim that if you buy the exact same ram later on it will work 99% of the time.

Contrary to the above estimate of 99% for it working as you suggest, I'd place it at more like 20% (if that), and that would be a very, very hot mobo/DRAM combo

To put it simple. Id recommend you get the 2 x 8gb ram

You can mix ram, all the ram will revert to the least common common denominator between the speeds and timings... however using different brands or even kits could potentially cause issues with stability, but it is rare thing these days to see issues. I've mixed ram brands, speeds and different amounts and never seen any issue in the past.

As long as you match speeds and timings the chances you seeing issues with mixing ram is remote

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#26 Posted by GTR12 (13212 posts) -

@grump: 2x 4GB is fine, adding RAM later is also fine, the faster RAM will just slow itself to match the other set.

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#27 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

Hey, thanks to your advice and my search, I think I have a complete understanding of building a pc.

I made a market search in my region, and I concluded at the following items:

https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/vX7pgw

What do you think about the items, maybe I forgot something? I know the RAM and PSU brand/models aren't top quality (not garbage either) but I believe they will work? Also, the ram I'll buy is called Mushkin Enhanced Blackline, not sure if it is different from the listed one.

For PC case I'll buy local trustworthy brand. I made sure it has space for GPU (up to 370mm) and ATX motherboard

P.S. I live in Greece. Some of the listed items, e.g. ram, I will buy locally.

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#28 Posted by GTR12 (13212 posts) -

@grump: If you wanted to save 10 euros, you could go with the Asrock Z370 Pro4 motherboard instead of the MSI.

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#29 Posted by Grump (11 posts) -

@GTR12: Thanks,

I forgot to mention that I have already chosen the cheapest z370 motherboard, 16gb RAM, hard disk of 1tb and SSD of 240gb I could find (taking account where I live). If, at the time I make the order, find something cheaper, I will consider it :P. Only for PSU I've chose a slightly more expensive, brand name (but still cheap model) PSU, to avoid burning my PC.

The final price, including shipping taxes and everything is 898euros. What u think, should I buy them now?? I'm a bit worried that the 324euros 1060 6gb may be there for long!

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#30 Posted by npiet1 (1179 posts) -

I recently built mine about a month ago. It cost me $1006 Aud including postage
I got the same GPU you want 1060 6gb (its fantastic) $400
But I got a ryzer 5 1400 3.2ghz
8gb ddr4 ram
Mortar Artic B350M mobo
Case and 500W Psu

It plays Assassins creed Orgins @45fps on High-Ultra
The need lord of Rings game everything was Ultra except one setting because of the VRAM @60fps
I use win 10.

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#31 Posted by CrillanK (270 posts) -

One important thing to consider: does your motherboard have all of the proper ports to plug everything into? You'd be surprised, but some motherboards come with only one USB header, which isn't enough depending on what other components you get. Make sure it has enough USB and fan headers, otherwise you need to start adding USB hubs and fan splitters. Make sure the back panel has the ports you want also. Make sure there are enough sata ports for drives. My wife and I just finished our new builds, and it was nice to have a spot to plug everything into.

Our builds

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#32 Edited by Grump (11 posts) -

Hey, I received all the parts ( https://de.pcpartpicker.com/list/vX7pgw ) and I built the PC 2 days ago. Here's the result: (pictures)

Some of the cables are cramped at the other side of the case. I hope that doesn't damages anything...

Luckily, the botherboard (MSI Z370 A-PRO) had all the cables I needed for fans, usb etc.

Anyways, I still haven't tried playing games because I am waiting for my new screen (right now I have my old VGA, using a converter to display-port), but so far everything looks great.

Thanks for all your help, it helped a lot.

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#33 Posted by 04dcarraher (23035 posts) -

you need to get an exhaust fan for rear