PC Build Advice...

  • Thread starter VBR
  • 20 comments
  • 1,577 views

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
A mate of mine has given me a motherboard with processor & some RAM. Wanna build a PC with it, but, have never done this before. Will be using it mainly for video editing, & maybe at some point later on gaming. Not sure about getting a graphics card just yet, but, definitely need a case, power supply, & hard drive as well as an OS (need a capture card too). Also, I have no driver discs with the motherboard, so, where can I download them safely? This is gonna be a budget build, so, nothing too expensive please.


Processor is an i5 (not sure exactly what one).

Motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-Z77-HD3.

RAM is 3x kingston KVR13N9S8/4.


All advice welcome!


:cheers:
 

neema_t

Bearded Member
Premium
8,600
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
neema_t
SSDs are cheap now so I'd strongly recommend one, a Crucial BX whatever for example. You can get by with a 128GB boot drive but I don't think they even exist any more.

Seagate hard drives are cheap but I've never had one that hasn't failed so I won't recommend them (which isn't the same thing as recommending that you don't buy one, though, because my experience is anecdotal and I may just be unlucky), if I were you I'd stretch to a WD Blue drive at least if possible.

For a PSU, I like Corsair and they do have some good cheap ones. Aim for 450W, people like to exaggerate and overspec but for a budget build it's not likely your eventual graphics card will blow a 450W power budget. If they still make the CS450M, I ran an i5 4690k (I think yours might be a generation or two older if it's on a Z77 motherboard) and a GTX 960 with one with no problems so that might be a good place to start. Get at least a semi-modular one if you can, otherwise you end up with useless cables that you have to tuck and tie up out of the way of your fans.

The case... You can get ridiculously cheap cases but I wouldn't recommend it if this is your first build, bad cases can turn a normally simple build into a proper nightmare. I recommend Fractal Design's Core series, I had a Core 1300 which cost something like £30 and it was perfect until I bought a graphics card that didn't fit - that's not to say the case was unusually small or flawed, the card was literally the biggest consumer-grade card you could buy at the time.

I assume the OS basically has to be Windows, unless you think you could get by with Linux? Ubuntu is a good place to start if you've not used it before.

As for a capture card, I don't know anything about any of that so I'll leave that to you.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
SSDs are cheap now so I'd strongly recommend one, a Crucial BX whatever for example. You can get by with a 128GB boot drive but I don't think they even exist any more.

Seagate hard drives are cheap but I've never had one that hasn't failed so I won't recommend them (which isn't the same thing as recommending that you don't buy one, though, because my experience is anecdotal and I may just be unlucky), if I were you I'd stretch to a WD Blue drive at least if possible.

For a PSU, I like Corsair and they do have some good cheap ones. Aim for 450W, people like to exaggerate and overspec but for a budget build it's not likely your eventual graphics card will blow a 450W power budget. If they still make the CS450M, I ran an i5 4690k (I think yours might be a generation or two older if it's on a Z77 motherboard) and a GTX 960 with one with no problems so that might be a good place to start. Get at least a semi-modular one if you can, otherwise you end up with useless cables that you have to tuck and tie up out of the way of your fans.

The case... You can get ridiculously cheap cases but I wouldn't recommend it if this is your first build, bad cases can turn a normally simple build into a proper nightmare. I recommend Fractal Design's Core series, I had a Core 1300 which cost something like £30 and it was perfect until I bought a graphics card that didn't fit - that's not to say the case was unusually small or flawed, the card was literally the biggest consumer-grade card you could buy at the time.

I assume the OS basically has to be Windows, unless you think you could get by with Linux? Ubuntu is a good place to start if you've not used it before.

As for a capture card, I don't know anything about any of that so I'll leave that to you.


Thanks for all the great advice, it's very helpful. :) Yes, will be going with Windows; actually thinking of Win 7 as I have some older software I want to run on it.

If I buy another stick of kingston KVR13N9S8/4 RAM, does it matter if it's made in a different country & has different stickers/markings on it?

Are generic/unbranded GTX 960's any good? Seen them very cheap...
 

neema_t

Bearded Member
Premium
8,600
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
neema_t
VBR
Thanks for all the great advice, it's very helpful. :) Yes, will be going with Windows; actually thinking of Win 7 as I have some older software I want to run on it.

If I buy another stick of kingston KVR13N9S8/4 RAM, does it matter if it's made in a different country & has different stickers/markings on it?

Are generic/unbranded GTX 960's any good? Seen them very cheap...

The RAM shouldn't matter so long as all the specs match - the speed, CAS latency and all that, even if you got a different brand it should be fine.

Unbranded anything is a bad idea, you'd be better off getting a used Asus, MSI or EVGA card than an unbranded one.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
Unbranded anything is a bad idea, you'd be better off getting a used Asus, MSI or EVGA card than an unbranded one.


GTX 960 looks like a good card for the money, does 2gb or 4gb make much difference?
 

neema_t

Bearded Member
Premium
8,600
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
neema_t
@VBR I had a 2GB version, it was great for the money - with it and a 4690k I was able to get 60fps out of GTA V quite comfortably.

I seem to recall the 4GB one was too slow to actually make use of the additional RAM as it couldn't read and write data quickly enough, but even so it would perform better than the 2GB version if you do exceed 2GB of VRAM use - but that's the only scenario in which you get more performance. Problem is, as the current generation of consoles have a lot of RAM most big games now easily exceed 4GB at 1080p on the higher settings.

As such you need to consider what you want to play then look at the recommended and minimum specs for those games - as long as the minimum says 2GB or less then go for it. You should be able to lower the settings on just about anything to get below 2GB, though, but naturally that will stop being true eventually.

On the other hand you could just go for the 4GB version and not think about it too much!
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
Will probably only want to run Assetto Corsa, & it will be on my 720p TV (with a 60fps lock on the PC). It doesn't say if the graphics card needs 2GB or 4GB though (specs)

Big price difference between the 960, 970, & 980. Choices choices!


:boggled:
 

neema_t

Bearded Member
Premium
8,600
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
neema_t
@VBR a 2GB 960 will do that quite easily I'd imagine, I never had problems with AC at 1080p on mine. Anything more than a 960 is a waste if you're only playing at 720p, you wouldn't get close to using the full capability of a 980 at that resolution with sensible settings.
 

TB

Watching. Waiting.
Moderator
32,781
United States
NoDak
Cy-Fi
At GTX 960 is only one tier down from my 2GB GTX 770 and it can handle anything I throw at it at 1080. You'll be fine if you're running 720p.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
Finally got around to putting it together today. The build went ok, but the PC will not power on. When I press the power on button there is a faint click in the PSU, then nothing. The front panel headers are in the right place, except for the reset switch: the cable was shredded. Gonna try taking out the extra stick of RAM tomorrow to see if it helps, but beyond that I have no ideas. I'm very tired now & feeling incredibly demoralized, any help would be much appreciated.


:banghead: 🤬 :irked: :ouch: :grumpy:
 

Danoff

Who is John Galt?
Premium
30,253
United States
Mile High City
VBR
Finally got around to putting it together today. The build went ok, but the PC will not power on. When I press the power on button there is a faint click in the PSU, then nothing. The front panel headers are in the right place, except for the reset switch: the cable was shredded. Gonna try taking out the extra stick of RAM tomorrow to see if it helps, but beyond that I have no ideas. I'm very tired now & feeling incredibly demoralized, any help would be much appreciated.


:banghead: 🤬 :irked: :ouch: :grumpy:

Check the PSU (see video below). Reduce the RAM, remove the video card. Make sure all of the fans (especially the CPU fan) are plugged in to the right spots. Sometimes the MB wants the CPU fan plugged into it instead of straight to the PSU.

Could be a bad motherboard. Could also be a bad CPU fan.

 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
Make sure all of the fans (especially the CPU fan) are plugged in to the right spots. Sometimes the MB wants the CPU fan plugged into it instead of straight to the PSU.

This was very helpful, thanks. :cheers: Turns out I'd plugged the case fans into the MB as well as the PSU. :dunce: :lol:
 
Last edited:

Danoff

Who is John Galt?
Premium
30,253
United States
Mile High City
VBR
This was very helpful, thanks. :cheers: Turns out I'd plugged the case fans into the MB as well as the PSU. :dunce: :lol:

Glad it worked out. Welcome to the custom PC building world. 👍 It will change the way you approach computers. Also, in case you don't already know, linux is amazing.

Don't blame everyone else if you find yourself hoarding old PC parts and buying used broken laptops to fix off of ebay. :D
 
1,764
United States
Columbus, Ohio
Don't blame everyone else if you find yourself hoarding old PC parts and buying used broken laptops to fix off of ebay. :D
Be warned though, this leads to a slippery slope if you start getting into anything more than a few years old. One minute you're replacing keyboards in IBM-era Thinkpads to flip for a profit, the next you're trying to figure out just how many half-broken Amiga 1200's you can bid on "for a project" and still make your rent payment the month.

I've seen it happen. It ain't pretty.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
I already bought 3 Apache Black fans pre-owned for £1.55 - £5.45 delivery. Almost bid on an untested i7-3770k & MB combo in order to flip the MB & upgrade my processor cheaply. Looking to wheel & deal my way to upgrades.

Be warned though, this leads to a slippery slope...I've seen it happen. It ain't pretty.

Nah, it'll be fine. *famous last words*

:lol:
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
I'd like some advice on cables; I prefer thin cables, but are thin cables not shielded & would that cause problems? What are the best quality cables to by, does it really even matter? I need a display port cable, & a couple of HDMI cables...
 

Rallywagon

what a long strange trip
Premium
7,689
United States
Michigan
Rallywgn81
VBR
I'd like some advice on cables; I prefer thin cables, but are thin cables not shielded & would that cause problems? What are the best quality cables to by, does it really even matter? I need a display port cable, & a couple of HDMI cables...
Quality really only comes into play when your looking at the bottom of the barrel or have long cables. If you are using a typical length cable, as long as its not super cheap, you'll be fine. If you are worried about interference, just be sure you keep the AV cables separate from ethernet separate from power. Thats best practices anyway.
 

VBR

Meme Dissident in Exile...
Premium
7,586
England
London
Had to remove some hardware, & found out that my MB is chipping the gold fingers off devices when I plug them in & out. :ouch: They still work thank goodness. I'm very careful & gentle when doing it, but it doesn't seem to help. Is there any way of stopping this from happening?
 

Rallywagon

what a long strange trip
Premium
7,689
United States
Michigan
Rallywgn81
VBR
Had to remove some hardware, & found out that my MB is chipping the gold fingers off devices when I plug them in & out. :ouch: They still work thank goodness. I'm very careful & gentle when doing it, but it doesn't seem to help. Is there any way of stopping this from happening?
Sounds like the contacts weren't well burnished. Might try getting a bit of emery cloth or sand paper in there to smooth out sharp edges.
 

neema_t

Bearded Member
Premium
8,600
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
neema_t
VBR
I'd like some advice on cables; I prefer thin cables, but are thin cables not shielded & would that cause problems? What are the best quality cables to by, does it really even matter? I need a display port cable, & a couple of HDMI cables...

Depends on the resolution, refresh rate, HDR and other features and cable length. You can push a 1080p30 signal through probably any HDMI cable out there at 30cm but when you get to 5 metres, you need a fat cable or a repeater to get 4K, 4:4:4 at 60Hz with HDR. Actually I couldn't get that with either when I tried.

Also you can get active cables that can be much thinner, but I couldn't find one that would carry 4K when I last looked.