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  1. #1
    Moderator Marest's Avatar
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    Marest's Sample Builds





    Updated: July 5th, 2014


    Disclaimer
    These are sample builds that you can use as a guideline when looking at a potential new computer (they may not be perfect for your needs; use them as examples). All components listed below are sold separately, which means you will have to assemble the computer yourself. Also mind that all builds below are without an Operating System, Keyboard & Mouse, Monitor, Speakers, DVD/Blu-Ray, Sound Card or any other peripherals you might need. A suggestion is to take a pre-made build here, research the components, do some edits and then make a thread asking for assistance so that the more knowledgeable members here can aid you with your planned purchase and make sure you get the best possible components and performance for your money.

    Note 1: Prices for each product are estimates and might not be correct.
    Note 2: Some parts (like for example the case) can be swapped out based on personal preference. A Case Catalog can be found HERE.
    Note 3: A SSD can speed up boot and software loading times tremendously and allow for smoother browsing in Windows. They remain optional in most builds below; add one to your desired build if you want to.

    Office 240 - Courtesy of Drunkenvalley
    MoBo: ASRock QC5000-ITX$98.99
    CPU: AMD A4-5000 APU – (Comes with MoBo)
    RAM: G.Skill NS 1333MHz 2x2GB$42.99
    SSD: WD Black 500GB$59.99
    Case: Rosewill RS-MI-01 250W$44.99
    --------------------------------------------------
    Estimated Total Price – $241.96
    Recommended for:
    Office work; e-mail, browsing, writing. Can also
    serve as a HTPC. A bigger case is recommended
    for inexperienced builders.



    Family/Office/Entry 320
    MoBo: MSI AM1I AM1 mITX$36.99
    CPU: AMD Athlorn 5350$64.99
    RAM: HyperX Fury Black Series 1600MHz 2x4GB$72.99
    SSD: Crucial M500 120GiB$71.99
    PSU: Sparkle ATX-350PN 350W$36.99
    Case: Antec VSK-4000$34.99
    --------------------------------------------------
    Estimated Total Price – $319
    Recommended for:
    A basic family home-computer that
    works great for office work and light/
    basic gaming. Add a HDD for storage.



    Extreme Budget Gaming 400
    MoBo: MSI H81M-P33$45.99
    CPU: Intel Celeron G1820$44.99
    RAM: HyperX Fury Black Series 1600MHz 2x4GB$72.99
    GPU: MSI Radeon R7 250X$99.99
    HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1TB$59.99
    PSU: Antec VP-450W$37.99 Review
    Case: Antec VSK-4000$34.99
    --------------------------------------------------
    Estimated Total Price – $397

    Recommended for:
    Budget gaming build that can handle most
    newer games. Offers great value for money.



    Budget Gaming 600
    MoBo: ASRock Z97M Pro4$99.99
    CPU: Intel Pentium G3258$74.99
    RAM: HyperX Fury Black Series 1600MHz 2x4GB$72.99
    GPU: Sapphire DUAL-X Radeon R9 280$219.99
    HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1TB$59.99
    PSU: Antec VP-450W$37.99 Review
    Case: Xigmatek Aeso$29.99
    --------------------------------------------------
    Estimated Total Price – $596

    Recommended for:
    Great gaming build that will be able to
    handle most games. Add a SSD for a
    smoother experience and faster loading
    times. Offers great value for money.



    Gaming 800
    MoBo: ASRock Z974 PRO3$99.99
    CPU: Intel i5 4690k$239.99
    RAM: G.Skill NS Series 1600Mhz 2x4GB$76.99
    GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 760$244.99
    HDD: WD Caviar Blue 1TB$59.99
    PSU: Seasonic S12II 520W$59.99
    Case: BitFenix Merc Alpha$49.99
    --------------------------------------------------
    Estimated Total Price – $832

    Recommended for:
    Potent gaming build that will take care of
    almost all gaming needs. Add a SSD for a
    smoother experience and faster loading
    times.



    Gaming 1200
    MoBo: ASUS Z97-A$143.99
    CPU: Intel i5 4690k$239.99
    RAM: G.Skill NS Series 1600Mhz 2x4GB$76.99
    GPU: Gigabyte Radeon 280X$299.99
    SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128GiB$124.99
    HDD: WD Caviar Black 1TB$89.99
    PSU: Seasonic S12II 520W$59.99
    Heatsink: Silverstone Argon AR02$27.99
    Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro$99.99
    --------------------------------------------------
    Estimated Total Price – $1164

    Recommended for:
    Gaming build that will take care of almost
    all gaming needs.



    Plan to add:
    - Overhaul of some builds when the new GPUs hit the market (late 2013).
    - Links to reliable reviews for most products (the motherboards and PSUs primarily).
    - Peripherals suggestions.
    - HTPC "Basic" and "Advanced" sample builds.
    Last edited by Marest; 2014-07-05 at 03:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Marest's Avatar
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    Disclaimer:
    Below is a list of gaming and computer peripherals you might need and/or want for your new (or old) computer. Please note that this list is a personal list made by myself with input from others; all items listed might not be perfect for your personal intentions or needs - they are just suggestions. As always, creating a new thread and asking before buying something is always a recommendation. Also note that all prices below are estimates and might not be correct.


    Monitors:
    Below are suggestions of good, reliable computer monitors. For fast paced FPS games (like Unreal Tournament) a 120Hz TN-panel with as little ghosting as possible (and low latency) is the best option, but for most other gamers a good IPS monitor will offer the best image as it has more accurate and better quality colours. As always, feel free to ask if you want a more personal recommendation.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    ASUS VE228H
    21.5" 1080p TN, LED
    $144.99
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    ASUS VW246H
    24" 1080p TN, LED, 2ms (GTG)
    $199.99
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    DELL U2412M
    24" 1200p E-IPS, LED
    $309.99 - Review
    X
    Suggestion D:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    BenQ XL2420T
    24" 1080p TN, 120Hz, 2ms
    $419.99 - Review
    Suggestion E:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    ASUS VG278HE
    27" 1080p TN, LED, 144Hz
    $499.99 - Hands-on
    Suggestion F:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    DELL U2711
    27" 1440p IPS, 8bit
    $999.99 - Review



    Gaming Keyboards:
    Picking the right keyboard for your gaming needs is not easy. Below are suggestions of keyboards that are reliable and tested, but I still recommend that you ask for a more personal recommendation. Please also note that some gaming keyboards are not good for writing.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Microsoft Sidewinder X4
    USB, Rubber Dome
    $49.99
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Logitech G110
    USB, Rubber Dome
    $59.99 - Review
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    CM Storm QuickFire Rapid
    USB, Cherry MX (Multiple)
    $79.99 - Review
    X
    Suggestion D:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Corsair Vengeance K90
    USB, Cherry MX Reds
    $109.99 - Review
    Suggestion E:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Ducky DK9008G2
    USB, Cherry MX (Multiple)
    $129.99 - Review
    Suggestion F:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Das Keyboard
    USB, Cherry MX (Brown/Blue)
    $129.99 - Review



    Gaming Mice:
    What computer mouse to pick for gaming depends greatly on what games you intend to play and how you play them. Some prefer mice with a lot of buttons (for MMOs) while others want a sleek mouse with a reliable sensor (for FPS). Below are suggestions of reliable gaming mice. As always, feel free to ask if you are looking for a more personal recommendation.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Logitech G400
    8 Buttons, 3600dpi
    $34.99 - Review
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    CM Storm Spawn
    7 buttons, 3500dpi
    $39.99 - Review
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Zowie Gear AM
    5 buttons, 2300dpi
    $49.99 - Review
    X
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Corsair Vengeance M60
    8 Buttons, 5700dpi
    $49.99 - Review
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    SteelSeries Sensei
    8 buttons, 11400dpi
    $89.99 - Review
    Suggestion F:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Mionix Naos 5000
    7 buttons, 5040dpi
    $89.99 - Review



    Computer Speakers:
    What speakers to pick can differ a lot from person to person, but below are suggestions that cater to general use and non-audiophiles. If you are looking for a more personal recommendation, feel free to create a new thread and ask.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Logitech Z623
    200W, 2.1
    $131.99
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Corsair SP2500
    232W, 2.1
    $216.99 - Review
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Mackie MR5MK2
    2x 85W, Active
    $299.99



    Headphones:
    Picking the correct pair of headphones for your needs and intentions isn't as easy as it might seem; below are suggestions that cater to gaming primarily. If you are looking for a more personal recommendation, feel free to create a new thread and ask.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Samson SR850
    Semi-open, 32 ohm
    $59.99
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Audio Technica ATH-AD700
    Open-air, 32 ohm
    $102.99 - Review
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Beyerdynamic DT 880
    Semi-open, 32, 250 & 600 ohm
    $332.99



    Headsets:
    Generally, headsets offer less sound quality for your money compared to headphones (which is why many choose to get a table/clip-on microphone together with a pair of quality headphones instead of a headset). If you are looking for a headset due to comfort reasons or simply because you prefer them you can find good suggestions below.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    AKG GHS1
    Over-ear, foldable
    $54.99 - Review
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Sennheiser PC 360
    Open design
    $239.99 - Review
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Beyerdynamic MMX 300
    DT 770 (32 ohm) + mic
    $299.99



    Soundcards:
    Most modern motherboards come with a very capable integrated sound-chip that is enough for most headphones, headsets and speakers. In general, you only need a soundcard if you are looking at high quality sound peripherals. As always, feel free to create a new thread and ask before making your purchase.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    ASUS Xonar DX
    7.1, PCI-E x1
    $82.99 - Review
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Audioengine D1
    24-bit, USB, Headphone AMP
    $169.99 - Review
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    ASUS Xonar Essence STX
    7.1, PCI-E x1, Headphone AMP
    $187.99 - Review



    Microphones:
    The microphones suggested here are primarily with VOIP in mind. The slightly higher-end suggestions work well for entry-level professional recordings (e.g. if you want to do some video commenting or some serious audio conferencing). For your average Skype-call, anything above the first suggestion is superfluous.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Zalman ZM-MIC1
    Clip-on Microphone
    $3.99
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Logitech 980186-0403
    USB Desktop Microphone
    $26.99
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Blue Microphones Yeti
    USB Desktop Microphone
    $99.99



    Operating Systems:
    The Operating System, OS for short, is the base software that runs on your machine. The most common one is Microsoft Windows. Other alternatives is Linux (though several different distros) and Apple's OSX. Note that MSDNAA or Project DreamSpark can offer students software, e.g. Windows, for free or at a great discount.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Suggestion A:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
    32 and 64-bit, Linux distro
    Free
    Suggestion B:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Windows 7 Home Premium
    64 bit, OEM, SP1
    $99.99
    Suggestion C:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Windows 8
    64 bit, OEM
    $99.99



    Others:
    Below are items that you might need when building a new computer. Some of the above are nice things to have, although superfluous to most. Note that some cases come with a fan controller, making the need for a separate one fairly moot.
    ----------------------------------------------
    Fan controller:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    NZXT Sentry Mesh
    5.25", 5x 30W Channels
    $24.99 - Review
    DVD Burner:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    Samsung SH-224BB
    S-ATA, OEM
    $17.99
    Blu-ray Drive:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    LG UH12LS29
    S-ATA, OEM
    $54.99
    X
    Power Surge Protector:
    --------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------
    CyberPower 850
    Surge Protector, 8 outlets
    $19.99
    Last edited by Marest; 2013-07-07 at 01:08 PM.

  3. #3
    The Patient Muya's Avatar
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    If you're using a dual channel motherboard, is it ideal to get 8GB of RAM in 2 slots vs all 4? Is there a big performance difference? Reason being I have 4GB right now, and I'm wondering if I should grab an 8GB kit of G.Skill 8CASL 1.5v RAM for the same price as 4 gigs of my current RAM. ($54.99)
    Last edited by Muya; 2011-09-27 at 07:23 PM.
    Intel i5-2500k @ 4.6GHz 1.36v | Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler | ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Rev 3) | MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III
    Corsair AX 850W PSU | Mushkin Blackline 8GB 8-8-8-24 1.5v | Coolermaster HAF 922 | ASUS VH238H 23" LED Monitor
    Crucial m4 256GB SSD

  4. #4
    not good with computers
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    2 slots is better for OCing stability, but not a major deal at all.

  5. #5
    The Patient Muya's Avatar
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    OCing stability of the RAM or the system?
    Intel i5-2500k @ 4.6GHz 1.36v | Noctua NH-D14 CPU Cooler | ASUS P8P67 Deluxe (Rev 3) | MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozr III
    Corsair AX 850W PSU | Mushkin Blackline 8GB 8-8-8-24 1.5v | Coolermaster HAF 922 | ASUS VH238H 23" LED Monitor
    Crucial m4 256GB SSD

  6. #6
    The ASUS P8P67 PRO from the $1500 is getting some really bad reviews over on Newegg something about some really common bios failures, if there's any validity to that I'm curious if there are any comparable boards that I could consider and maybe substitute for it? I want to make sure it's going to fit the DCii 3-slot video card properly, and I don't want to get a motherboard with the wrong kind of processor socket or some other stupid mistake like that. This will only be the second computer I've ever bought and personally assembled so I'm not exactly brimming with confidence at my own judgment.

  7. #7
    Moderator Marest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuma0 View Post
    The ASUS P8P67 PRO from the $1500 is getting some really bad reviews over on Newegg something about some really common bios failures, if there's any validity to that I'm curious if there are any comparable boards that I could consider and maybe substitute for it? I want to make sure it's going to fit the DCii 3-slot video card properly, and I don't want to get a motherboard with the wrong kind of processor socket or some other stupid mistake like that. This will only be the second computer I've ever bought and personally assembled so I'm not exactly brimming with confidence at my own judgment.
    Actually, that was a bad on my part. At $1500 you should definitely get a Z68 board (there is little reason not to). I swapped it out for the Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3P. If you want a P67 board there are numerous good ones - it all depends what features you are looking for.

  8. #8
    Titan DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    I'd put some slower RAM on the $400 build. I don't see any reason for 1866MHz for a family PC. >_> Try 1066 or 1333MHz.

    ---------- Post added 2011-10-11 at 09:42 AM ----------

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820146746

    $26! :P

  9. #9
    Moderator Marest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltrusDisc View Post
    I'd put some slower RAM on the $400 build. I don't see any reason for 1866MHz for a family PC. >_> Try 1066 or 1333MHz.
    You have to realize that the Llano performs better the faster RAM you feed it (1866Mhz vs 1600Mhz is about a 15% difference).

    Read more about it here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review/4
    Last edited by Marest; 2011-10-11 at 10:56 AM.

  10. #10
    Titan DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    You have to realize that the Llano performs better the faster RAM you feed it (1866Mhz vs 1600Mhz is about a 15% difference).

    Read more about it here: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4476/amd-a83850-review/4
    I stand corrected! I was not expecting that. O_o

  11. #11
    Might I suggest taking the Vertex 2 off of the SSD list? They're fairly notorious for early failures.

  12. #12
    Titan DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Deux View Post
    Might I suggest taking the Vertex 2 off of the SSD list? They're fairly notorious for early failures.
    I'll back this up.

    This is actually true, OCZ back in the mid-late summer stopped making them how they used to... and well, you can assume... Just check out the newer reviews on newegg.

  13. #13
    Moderator Marest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Deux View Post
    Might I suggest taking the Vertex 2 off of the SSD list? They're fairly notorious for early failures.
    Care to elaborate as to why it should be removed? Maybe back up your claims?

    In my eyes, the 40Gb Vertex II is a good choice for a budget, Windows-only drive (or a drive for SRT). It isn't the most reliable or fastest, but that's clearly reflected in the price.
    Last edited by Marest; 2011-10-17 at 09:50 AM.

  14. #14
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    The Crucial 64GB is only + $15 and you gain extra space. You chose same controller for basically all the other drives and just because it's $15 cheaper I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, I mean a broke drive will end up costing you more. The reviews are not great.
    Last edited by Notarget; 2011-10-17 at 03:18 PM.

  15. #15
    Titan DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    After further consideration I'm kind of surprised at the price/gigabyte on that 40GB SATA II SSD. There are SATA III SSDs you can get now for less than $2/GB.

  16. #16
    Just look at tall the reports of failures:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...scrollFullInfo

    23% give 1 egg on my SSD? No thanks, I like my data. Also, surf around on a few big forums like anand,toms, or hardocp. They would never suggest a Vertex II.

  17. #17
    I am Murloc! Cyanotical's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marest View Post
    Care to elaborate as to why it should be removed? Maybe back up your claims?
    it's a good choice if it isn't DOA, or dead within a few months, it's very well known that OCZ has no quality control, even their enterprise drives are crap, i just had to replace two of them, you should remove it from the list

    i7-4790K | Z97 Class. | 8GB DDR3-2133 | GTX-690 Quad SLI | RAIDR | 512GB Samsung 830 | AX1200 | FT02
    Dell U2711 | Ducky Shine3 YoS | Steelseries Sensei Wireless | Xonar Essence One | KRK RP8G2s

  18. #18
    OCZ has basically outsourced their quality control to customers, that's why they sell stuff cheaper than anybody else. On the other hand the failure rate is not 23% or anywhere close to the number of whiners in Newegg. Only semi-reputable statistics I've seen puts it to somewhere between 6-8% (while other manufacturers are in 1-3% range).

    If you can accept the risk of getting DOA device and going through the RMA hassles, OCZ gives unbeatable gb/$.
    Never going to log into this garbage forum again as long as calling obvious troll obvious troll is the easiest way to get banned.
    Trolling should be.

  19. #19
    Immortal Notarget's Avatar
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    Return a few empty cans and you can spend $15 more and feel safer, might even cost you less in the long run.

  20. #20
    Titan DeltrusDisc's Avatar
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    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820148442

    Crucial m4 128GB for $198

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820227706

    OCZ Vertex 3 120GB for $210

    While one is faster than the other that still doesn't equal "unbeatable GB/$." =/

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