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Asking for Build Advice: A Guide for New Builders V1.0

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  3. Asking for Build Advice: A Guide for New Builders V1.0

User Info: yohabroha

yohabroha
2 years ago#1
As custom-built PCs become a more affordable and accessible option for gamers, who either want more performance than the current generation of consoles or simply want the benefits of a PC along with gaming needs (such as word processing and full internet browsers), there are more and more requests for help picking out PC parts on this forum. While there are a lot of members here that are willing to help new builders pick parts, there are a lot of pitfalls I see when people are first asking for help - providing too much information where unnecessary, and providing too little information when more is needed.

This mini-guide will serve as the either the first or second stop for beginner builders. This guide will not cover what each computer part is and what they do. New builders may want to look towards guides or videos on other sites to help them identify the purpose of a processor or how an SSD works. I will cover 5 areas that will help these new builders get all the information they need quickly: Use, Budget, Have & Need, Expectations, and Considerations.

1. Use of PC

The first thing you'll want to note when asking for help on a build is what exactly this computer will be used for. Is this PC going to be solely for gaming, internet browsing and lightweight apps? Are you going to be editing videos or rendering animations? Part pickers on this site will need this information to assess the scope of parts needed to make your build.

Another item of note is where this PC will be placed. Are you in a dorm where size will be a limiting factor? Then you may need a Micro ATX or Mini-ITX build, as opposed to the standard ATX. Just note that it may be harder to find mATX and ITX parts that offer the full range of functions that ATX parts do.

2. Budget

Most likely the biggest factor in getting exactly what you want out of a PC. We will need to know how much you're willing to spend in order to assess if it's even possible to build a PC that suits your needs and fits your budget.

3. Have & Need

There are the must-haves to build a PC:

-Processor (CPU)
-Motherboard
-RAM
-Power Supply
-Hard Drive (HDD)
-Case
-Display
-Keyboard & Mouse
-Graphics Card (GPU) (if you plan on playing games)
-Operating System

These are some parts that aren't completely necessary but may be needed in your build:

-After Market CPU cooler (typically for overclocking or hot environments, processors before the new Intel Skylake series come with a stock cooler)
-Solid State Drive (SSD) (if you want faster load times for your OS and games, more expensive than HDD)
-Wi-fi card (if you don't want to use a wired connection)
-Sound card
-Optical drive (if you have programs or games that have to be run off a disc)

What we will need to know regarding these parts:
-Which of these parts do you have?
-Which of the optional parts are you going to need?
-Do you plan on using your PC with an existing TV or monitor?
-What resolution and refresh rate are you going to be playing at?
-Do you plan on overclocking your processor to achieve more performance?
-Do you plan on having a setup with multiple graphics cards down the road (SLI/Crossfire)?
-How much hard drive space do you believe you will need?
-Do you have brand loyalty to Intel, AMD or Nvidia?

These are questions commonly asked by helpers, it may be beneficial for you to answer them in your "Use of PC" explanation. The more information you provide, the more helpful we can be.
Sabertooth Z87|i5-4670k@4.4Ghz|H105|Corsair Vengeance 16GB|Gigabyte G1 980ti|500GB SSD|1TB HDD|Corsair 1000W 80+ Gold|CM Storm Stryker|Acer XB270HU||PS4, Wii U

User Info: yohabroha

yohabroha
2 years ago#2
4. Expectations

As with anything in life, setting reasonable expectations can provide positive experiences when doing something for the first time. Should you expect to run games at max settings, 60+ frames per second at 4k resolution with a $400 "console-killer" PC? Absolutely not. As opposed to consoles, which have a single price that enables you to play games at a set resolution and graphics settings for the lifespan of the console, PCs have costs associated with achieving higher performance. There are simply too many PC parts out there for developers to optimize games for every PC gamer. Realize that your $1,000 build may need some parts upgraded in the future to keep playing at the settings and resolution you enjoy.

Also realize that this is an endeavor you are taking on to educate yourself about how computers operate. You may only be thinking about the impressive graphics you're going to witness, but you'll soon realize there is a fair amount of homework you'll need to do to get everything up and running. You may run into errors, parts that were delivered Dead on Arrival, and visits to forums looking up specific issues you're having. This is the nature of the beast. It's helpful to note that consoles and all other devices run into issues as well, and they have people that know the ins-and-outs of the device and build them for a living. The difference is, you don't control the inner workings of those devices. You typically can't open your iPhone and assess what needs to be replaced and go fix it like you can with a PC.

Finally, expectations of the helpers on this website should be appropriate to the situation at hand. Understand that some people on the site work full time jobs and may not be able to answer your questions immediately. Have patience, these people are sincerely trying to help; If someone is not quite understanding your needs, find a different way to ask the question. There are also a lot of members with different opinions on this site. Some are diehard Intel/Nvidia supporters, some swear by AMD. It may help to visit different websites to look at others' opinions from time to time. At the end of the day, trolls aside, everyone here is doing their best, and we want you to succeed.

5. Considerations

So you have this carefully crafted list from PC Part Picker, and you're reviewing everything before you decide to take the plunge and purchase it. A couple of questions and thoughts may and should cross your mind:

-Is this really everything I need?
-Now that I think about it, maybe I will want to Overclock.
-Should I save money to get a more expensive part that might be worth it?
-Should I wait until something better comes out?
-Is this build balanced? Am I pairing an i7 with a 750ti when I would be better off pairing an i5 with a 970?

Having questions and doubts is a good thing. It will keep you from making rash decisions that can lead to disappointment later on. Always be responsible and make sure you know the capabilities of what you're buying and assess whether or not certain purchases are practical and affordable. It's also good to note that what you may end up spending on more expensive PC parts will be more than made up for by buying games at a discount from Steam, Green Man Gaming, GOG, Humble Store and other digital vendors. There are plenty of places to buy PC games for cheap, don't limit yourself to Steam!

We can only recommend parts and offer building advice here, we're not the ones who are going to be spending our hard earned money on your computer. That's not a deterrent by any means, instead it's a realistic view at a big purchase and lifestyle change you are making (yeah, I went there). We want you to succeed so you can come back in a few months and help the current group of new builders!
Sabertooth Z87|i5-4670k@4.4Ghz|H105|Corsair Vengeance 16GB|Gigabyte G1 980ti|500GB SSD|1TB HDD|Corsair 1000W 80+ Gold|CM Storm Stryker|Acer XB270HU||PS4, Wii U

User Info: yohabroha

yohabroha
2 years ago#3
This is it. Apologies to mods for any confusion. Sticky request this topic if you believe it should be a sticky. No more revisions after this.
Sabertooth Z87|i5-4670k@4.4Ghz|H105|Corsair Vengeance 16GB|Gigabyte G1 980ti|500GB SSD|1TB HDD|Corsair 1000W 80+ Gold|CM Storm Stryker|Acer XB270HU||PS4, Wii U
(edited 2 years ago)

User Info: yohabroha

yohabroha
2 years ago#4
Bump.
Sabertooth Z87|i5-4670k@4.4Ghz|H105|Corsair Vengeance 16GB|Gigabyte G1 980ti|500GB SSD|1TB HDD|Corsair 1000W 80+ Gold|CM Storm Stryker|Acer XB270HU||PS4, Wii U
Sticky requested
https://pcpartpicker.com/user/pandaforest/saved/
- BEST possible gaming PC builds for the $$$ -

User Info: almightydun

almightydun
2 years ago#6
Stickied!

Good stuff
DO NOT BE ASHAMED FOR PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.
Embrace the experience and share it with everyone you can.

User Info: MasterFeeler

MasterFeeler
2 years ago#7
Great Guide!
i5-3570k, 8gb ram, R9 270
Gaming never felt so good.

User Info: yohabroha

yohabroha
2 years ago#8
Successful sticky! Hopefully newbies aren't used to glazing over Eagle's guide and skip past this too.
Sabertooth Z87|i5-4670k@4.4Ghz|H105|Corsair Vengeance 16GB|Gigabyte G1 980ti|500GB SSD|1TB HDD|Corsair 1000W 80+ Gold|CM Storm Stryker|Acer XB270HU||PS4, Wii U

User Info: Death_Born

Death_Born
2 years ago#9
I think there may be a small error, it says that "Skylake" processors don't come with a stock cooler but it's likely that it only applies to the unlocked ones (e.g. the ones that are overclockable and you don't need a stock cooler for anyway).

Also, a set of speakers or headphones should be included in the "must haves".
(edited 2 years ago)

User Info: Sum_quod_eris

Sum_quod_eris
2 years ago#10
A nice guide overall. There are a few things I'd alter or add, but this is brief and to the point.
http://myanimelist.net/profile/Caidezes | http://www.goodreads.com/Caidezes | http://www.last.fm/user/Caidezes
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