Computer Building Basics: Before You Place Your Order

Before you place your order it’s always a good idea to double-check on the compatibility of the parts you ordered and make sure you have any extras you may need.  You’ll also want to make sure that all your parts are available immediately to prevent any delays in shipment.

Join DIY All Day as we make sure everything is in order before you place your order.

 

[This guide is periodically updated to reflect then newest parts and technology. View the full tutorial on How to Build a Computer.]

Compatibility Check

Here are the primary things you can double-check on your parts to ensure everything is compatible and in line with the most current technological standards.

  •  Your motherboard socket must be compatible with your processor.  Usually this means they have to match like Intel’s LGA 1155, but some sockets are backward compatible like AMD’s AM3+ which can accept AM3 processors.

 

  • Your RAM speed should match the highest non-overclocked speed of motherboard’s RAM bus, usually 1333 or 1600 mHz.

 

  • Make sure your hard drive and optical drive are SATA.  You’ll want to avoid the obsolete IDE standard, and also avoid SCSI and SAS drives which are generally only used for servers.

 

  • Make sure your video card is PCIe 16x, not older standards like PCI or AGP. If your video card has power requirements make sure your power supply has the needed plugs for it.  The needed power plugs often don’t appear in the video card’s listing, but you can usually see them in them pictures. If not, try the manufacturer’s website or do a google image search for your card’s model number.

 

  • Make sure your power supply has enough wattage for your system.  If you have not done so already use a power supply calculator.

 

  • Make sure you have a connector on your PSU for your CPU power, typically an 8-Pin EPS connector, although on some low-end boards a 4-pin +12-volt connector is used.

 

  • If using a hard drive to install your OS on, get 7200 RPMs.  Avoid lower speed drives like 5400 unless the drive is only being used for file storage.

Other Components

In addition to making sure you have all the right components for your tower, you’ll also want to make sure you have any external components you need.  Generally this is a monitor, mouse, keyboard and speakers.  Some users may also want a headset, microphone, webcam, printer or other specialized component.

I also recommend everyone building a computer purchase some thermal compound. Thermal compound is applied to the processor to aid in heat transfer to your heatsink. Without it your system will overheat in a matter of minutes. There is a stock application on the bundled heatsinks that come with a retail processor. This can only be used one time. You don’t want to find yourself unable to use your computer if you ever remove your heatsink and don’t have some on hand.

 

Ensure Prompt Shipping

Not every item for sale on Tiger Direct is necessarily “in stock,” this goes for any online retailer.  Shipping times appear on “results” pages and individual item listings.  I prefer to just take a glance over my list for shipping time while looking at my cart.  Some items take 7 – 21 days to ship, this can really slow down your build.

Unless it’s an item that you just have to have it’s usually wise to sub out any items that have long ship times with comparable items that are in stock or ship within 24 hours.  If you’ve been working on your list for several days this is especially important to review in the cart because stock of items can change daily.

 

Other Thoughts…

So if your cart has all your selections hover your mouse over the “place order” link and pause for a moment to reflect on the gravity of what you are about to do.  By dropping your finger down that half-inch or so you are crossing a threshold.  No more paying more money to computer companies for lesser computers.  No more nonstandard parts to force you to drop loads of cash on a whole new computer every few years.

Clicking the mouse is freedom.    Click it.  Click it now.  Don’t you feel good about yourself?

 

 

<<Multiple Monitors/Multiple Displays<< >>Installing the Motherboard and Power Supply‏>>
How to Build a Computer DIY All Day Home

 

38 comments to Computer Building Basics: Before You Place Your Order

  • Jin

    First time building, hope everything is compatible. Making sure it runs games on ultra and also has the power for work, like video editing and 3D rendering. (not planning on burning blu-ray, just reading it)

    Motherboard: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2291300&sku=A455-2035

    Processor: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2372989&sku=I69-3770K

    Ram: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=154017&sku=C13-5724

    HDD: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=744345&sku=TSD-2000AS4

    Optical Drive: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2043563&sku=L12-1380%20OEM

    Video Card: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3734443&sku=G458-0660%20BORDER

    Wireless: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=788312&sku=T141-1062

    Power: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3276567&sku=ULT-LSP750

    Case: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1188005&sku=T925-7006

    OS: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5213932&sku=M17-7302

    and this for college: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6089863&sku=M17-1025

    feeling a bit nervous… do I really need the thermal compound?

    • dsb

      All nice parts, you’ve picked out some of the highest performing parts available, and have picked out top brand parts for mostly everything.

      Everything is compatible, your PSU has all the correct connectors, it all looks good. So don’t be nervous, there are no mistakes on the list.

      It will make for a top-of-the-line premium system.

      As for the thermal compound, you likely won’t need to apply any because you can use the stock application, but i would still buy some. If you service your own computer it’s just good practice to have some on hand, you never know when you may need it. Thermal compound begins to harden after just a few hours of use. If you remove the heatsink after that, you can’t use the same application.

      Best of luck,

      -dsb

      • Jin

        Thank you!!!!!! I’ll be following your building guides, also I have to wait a bit to make the payment, so if any of the parts go out of stock, I hope I can count on you for advice.

        Thanks again!!!

        I’m giving this guide to all my bros!

  • Matt

    [CASE]
    Antec – Three Hundred Two Gaming Computer Case.

    [POWER SUPPLY]
    Thermatake – TR2 Series 600Watt ATX Power Supply.

    [VIDEO CARD]
    EVGA – 01G-P4-2650-KR NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 1024MB GDDR5 PCIe Video Card

    [HDD]
    Toshiba – 1TB 7,200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive DT01ACA100 – OEM

    [CPU]
    AMD – Phenom II X6 1045T 2.7GHz Six Core Socket AM3 Boxed Processor

    [MOTHERBOARD]
    ASROCK – 970 Extreme4 Socket AM3+ 970 ATX AMD Motherboard

    [MEMORY/RAM]
    Corsair – Vengeance Series 8GB DDR3-1600 (PC3-12800) CL10 Desktop Memory Module

    [OpticalDrive]
    Sony – AD-7280S-0B 24x SATA Internal DVD Burner – OEM

    That’s it, other than those I have a wireless keyboard and mouse I am intending to buy along with the Windows 7 OS, I just wanted to ask and make sure that this setup will work and will it be good? Thanks.

    • dsb

      Everything is compatible. Phenom II is actually a discontinued AMD line but there are still a few models floating around out there, the price is pretty decent on that one, but there would likely be a small performance advantage going with a similarly priced Pentium or i3. The difference would not be huge for most applications.

      The parts would make for a budget/mid-end gaming system. You would be able to play any game out there, although some you not be able to turn the quality up on. It would also powerful enough for most professional applications that don’t require special hardware such as adobe suite, etc.

      Good Luck!

      -dsb

  • Dan

    Hi, this is my first build – would these make for a good computer?

    Intel Core i5-3570 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
    MSI Z77A-G41 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
    Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
    XFX Radeon HD 7870 2GB Video Card
    Xigmatek ASGARD PRO (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case
    Corsair CX 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply
    Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)

    Thanks!

    • dsb

      You have some very nice parts there that will assemble into a high end computer. I don’t see a wireless card or an optical drive on the list, but maybe you already have access to those.

      Your power supply is right on the borderline for your system. It’s a Corsair so it would probably still power everything okay but I like to have at least 100 watts of headroom. When I put your parts into the Asus PSU calculator it comes in at 600 watts which is exactly what your PSU has. If you added a couple more sticks or RAM down the road or aftermarket cooling or something like that you may end up underpowered. I would get something in the 700-750 range.

      I would also get Windows 8 instead of 7 unless you have some specific reason for getting 7. By specific reason I mean something hardware related, like you have a piece of expensive professional equipment that doesn’t have Windows 8 drivers, just as an example.

      Hope this helps!

      -dsb

      • Dan

        Thanks for the prompt reply!

        Personally I find Windows 8 counterintuitive for those not using touch screen – wouldn’t it also be more expensive than 7?

        How would this be for a higher-powered PSU?
        Fractal Design Integra R2 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V

        Also, I was wondering – does Intel’s new processor line in June using the new LGA-1150 instead of the 1155 mean it’s a bad time to invest in a processor?

        Thanks again for the support.

        • dsb

          Windows 7 & 8 are generally the same price or occasionally Windows 8 is on sale and a little cheaper. I bought Windows 8 a few months ago and use it for my personal desktop and I prefer it to 7 now. I personally recommend buying the newest version for a new build, but a lot of people are still buying 7 so if that’s what you decide to do you’re not alone.

          Your new PSU will give you that extra headroom I was talking about…

          As for 1150, no it’s not necessarily a bad time to buy. It depends on if you need a computer right now or if you can wait.

          Potentially you can still do a processor upgrade down the road for 1155 since you’re not buying the fastest 1155 processor. At launch of 1150 Intel may discontinue only a few 1155 chips or possibly none at all. They phase out legacy sockets quite slowly because people still buy them for upgrades. Even when a socket is totally outdated they still make a few models for replacement parts for people who have a CPU fail that don’t want to replace the rest of their system. Essentially, 1155 users aren’t left out in the cold when the new socket comes out.

          1150 may very well come out in June or the launch could be pushed back, which is not all that uncommon for Intel. They pushed back their initial release dates for both of their last major releases, Ivy bridge and the LGA 2011 line (a few times.) Haswell’s release date has also been pushed back once already too. So if you do decide to hold out, just be prepared that it’s possible that the launch could end up being later.

          Thirdly, since 1150 will still take DDR3 and uses all the same slots and hookups, (sata, PCIe, etc.) when you get ready to do a processor upgrade, you can still get a Haswell processor and the motherboard would be the only other part that you would be required to purchase to move to the new architecture.

          Hope this helps!

          -dsb

  • HarW

    This will be my first time building a computer. Can you take a look at the parts below and tell me if they are compatible with each other, is there any bottle necks, maybe a certain brand I chose has a known flaw and I would be better with brand X. Also I am trying to plan for future and went with the bigger PSU if I want to throw in another GTX680. I plan of using Windows 7. Do any of these parts require a different OS? Is there any cables I will need that is not included? Tiger does not always put all the info you are looking for on the pages. Thank you and you have a great site.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7455566&sku=P725-3610

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1583413&sku=U12-41564

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2983973&sku=I69-3570

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2295396&sku=E145-0680

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7104116&sku=K24-9917

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1439959&sku=C283-7002

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5247114&sku=S203-8004

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3232686&sku=TSD-WD10EZEX

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2276156&sku=G452-2363

    On second look that power supply will be one connector short if I do go sli down the road. This one looks a bit better.

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=6391018&CatId=2534

    I do have another question though. Researching about PSU some say that having to much wats over what you need can take out your parts. Is this true? And using that PSU tool says if I go sli down the road I will need 850 wats for everything I am running. So do I need a higher PSU if I want to go sli later?

    • dsb

      I merged your two comments, since I hadn’t answered the first one yet.

      Everything is compatible, you have a lot of very nice premium parts and they will assemble into a powerful machine. I do recommend people get Windows 8, but as I’ve said in other comments, some people are still buying 7, so that advice is offered on a take it or leave it basis. Your parts will be compatible with either OS.

      As for having too powerful of a PSU, no that’s not true that you can have too much power and it will fry stuff. The actual power throughput will vary based on what you have hooked up to it. The power you see listed is the “peak power” but the normal amount of power any given configuration is using is almost always less than the peak. (in fact, PSUs are not designed to run at peak power for long periods of time)

      The voltage drawn from the PSU is variable and is controlled by the motherboard bios. These settings are auto-detected, that’s why if you say install an 80 watt processor at first and later switch to a 120 watt processor you don’t need to change any settings in the bios. They can be manually changed, which some people do when they overclock, but you never have to change them just to make a piece of hardware work.

      Having a higher watt PSU doesn’t even necessarily mean that you use more power, it’s what your components are drawing. So a 1000 watt PSU and and 800 PSU (assuming they have the same efficiency) powering components that draw 600 watts will both be running at 600 watts.

      Basically you have up to the peak at a maximum, but your actual power used will vary based on your other components.

      Hopefully I’m explaining that well enough…

      As for needing a higher PSU to run two 680s, you would want to get one around 1000 – 1100 watts.

      Hope this helps!

      -dsb

    • dsb

      Everything looks good compatibility wise. You have all very nice, top-end parts from top-end brands there. They’ll assemble into a powerful computer.

      Good luck!

      -dsb

  • Nathan

    Hey,
    I am going to be building my very first computer. This is going to be a very basic computer for my dad. He only uses a couple programs (very small ones) for work, and word and excel. Other than that, just very basic online work. No gaming. All he wants it to be is very fast. I am going to list all my parts I have and would like some suggestions and feedback. Also, which wireless card do you suggest I get? And any wires that I need to buy that I will need? And for the OS, I know you always recommend windows 8 over 7, but my dad refuses to use windows 8 haha. Thanks a lot for your help and I love your site!

    Case: ZALMAN ZM-T2 Black Steel / Plastic MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

    Motherboard: ASUS B85M-G LGA 1150 Intel B85 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

    Monitor: Acer S220HQLAbd Black 21.5″ 5ms LED Backlight Widescreen LCD Monitor

    Hard Drive: Western Digital WD Black WD5003AZEX 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive

    Optical Drive: ASUS Black SATA DVD-ROM Drive Model DVD-E818AAT – OEM

    Power Supply: FSP Group FSP450-60GHS(85)-R 450W Micro ATX12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Intel Core i3/i5/i7 Compatible Power Supply

    Speakers: Logitech S120 2.3 Watts (RMS) 2.0 Speaker System – OEM

    Processor: Intel Core i5-4570 Haswell 3.2GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics

    OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 32-bit – OEM

    RAM: Kingston 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 ECC Registered Server Memory SR x8 Model KVR16R11S8/2

    If there is anything I can easily downgrade and save some money on, please let me know. Have a great day!

    • dsb

      Glad you like the site. Thanks!

      Your parts are all compatible. As for being “fast,” if you father only runs programs with minimal hardware requirements a sandy or ivy bridge Pentium will run them quite smoothly. It would be unlikely that he would notice the few second longer startup time or perhaps second or two difference in load time for office suite programs. If you were looking to save money I would move to a lower-end processor. Moving to Ivy or Sandy Bridge would also require swapping out your mother board.

      2GB is too little RAM, even for a low end system. I would get at least 4GB. Also, I would switch to desktop memory instead of server memory. They are compatible, but for a desktop computer it is not generally not necessary and is also more expensive.

      As for a wireless card I generally buy the lowest cost internal card available. In my various home computers I have two Encores, an Edimax, a Linksys, and a TP link. All function just fine.

      Hope this helps!

      -dsb

      • Nathan

        Ok I took in your suggestions and here’s my new list.

        Case: same

        Motherboard: BIOSTAR H61MLV2 LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

        Monitor: same

        Hard Drive: same

        Optical Drive: same

        Power Supply: same

        Speakers: same

        Processor: Intel Pentium G2120 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz LGA 1155 Dual-Core Desktop Processor BX80637G2120

        OS: same

        RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-4GBRL

        Wireless Card: Rosewill RNX-N250PC2 (RNWD-12001) IEEE 802.11b/g/n, PCI, Wireless-N Adapter (2T2R) Up to 300Mbps Data Rates, 64/128 bit WEP, …

        Thanks!

        • dsb

          Those parts are more in-line with a basic system build, and I don’t see any compatibility issues. I’m sure it will be amply fast for your dad.

          Good Luck!

          -dsb

  • Richard

    Hi, I am try to build a budget gaming desktop to replace my old laptop. I want to ask if these parts are compatible.
    CPU- Intel Core i5 3470
    Motherboard- ASUS P8Z77-V LX Intel 7 Series Motherboard
    RAM- Kingston HyperX Blu HS 8GB
    HHD- WD Blue 1TB Desktop Hard Drive
    Optical Drive- LG WH14NS40 14X Blu-Ray Burner
    Case- COOLER MASTER Elite 430
    GPU- EVGA GeForce GTX 650 02G-P4-2653-KR Video Card
    Wireless Card- TP-Link TL-WDN4800 450Mbps Wireless-N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
    PSU- SolidGear 650W Power Supply
    OS- Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit
    Thanks

    • dsb

      Everything looks good compatibility wise. Good mid-end/budget setup that will do just fine for gaming. I would encourage you to get Windows 8, as I have for others, but some people are still buying 7. Otherwise all looks good.

      Good luck!

      -dsb

  • John

    This is my first attempt at building a computer I wanted to do one that will last and be able to be upgraded in the future. This is what I have come up with but I don’t know if if they are my best options or if they will work together.
    Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V LK Intel Z77 DDR3 LGA 1155
    Processor Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ 8 MB Cache BX80646I74770K
    RAM Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB (2×8 GB) DDR3 1600MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory CMZ16GX3M2A1600C10B
    Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower 750W 80 PLUS Gold ATX12V 2.3 and EPS12V 2.92 Power Supply TP-750P
    Case Nzxt Technologies Phantom with Green Trim (Green LED) Enthusiast Full Tower Case – Phan-002Gr (Black)
    Optical Drive Samsung Optical Drive SH-224DB/BEBE
    Hard Drive Seagate Barracuda 2 TB HDD SATA 6 Gb/s NCQ 64MB Cache 3.5-Inch Internal Bare Drive ST2000DM001
    SSD Kingston Digital 60GB SSDNow V300 SATA 3 2.5 (7mm height) with Adapter Solid State Drive SV300S37A/60G
    so far everything comes to $950 but I still need a graphics card I would appreciate any input as far as a graphics card or anything that seems out of place or might be a better option and any compatibility issues
    Thank you

    • dsb

      You’ll want to get a 1150 motherboard to go with your 1150 processor. For a video card I would get a high end Geforce 700 series or an R9 Radeon.

      Hope this helps!

      -dsb

  • Bill

    Hi,
    First I would like to say thank you for this site. It, and some YouTube videos, has taught me about 99% of what I know about computers. Well anyway, I am building a computer for the first time and wanted to make sure my build was good for what I will be doing with it.

    It needs to be a computer where I can:

    Record, edit, and upload videos of game play (I am planning to start a YouTube gaming channel) and also be able to hold about 2 weeks of videos

    Play Minecraft, especially online minigame servers, and some other games like Elder Scrolls Online when that comes out in Spring. (but not games as computer-intensive as BF4 or games like that)

    Web search, do homework, etc. (common stuff)

    This is my computer parts list:
    I would consider it a Budget Gaming Build (my budget is $700 -$725)
    Case:
    Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case
    CPU:
    Intel Core i3-4130 Dual Core Processor
    Motherboard:
    MSI Z87-G41 PC MATE Intel Z87 Motherboard
    Ram:
    Corsair Vengeance CMZ8GX3M2A1600C9B Desktop Memory Kit – 8GB (2x 4GB)
    Video Card:
    Sapphire 11202-00-20G Radeon HD 7750 Video Card
    Hard Drive:
    WD Blue 1 TB Desktop Hard Drive
    Power Supply:
    Corsair CX430 V2 Series CP-9020046-US 430W Power Supply
    Wireless Card:
    TRENDnet TEW-649UB Mini Wireless N Speed USB Adapter
    Optical Drive:
    LG 24X DVD Burner
    Operating System:
    Microsoft WN7-00404 Windows 8 Operating System Software – 64-Bit, OEM

    I wanted to ask a few things about the parts:
    1)Is it all compatible?
    2)Are the CPU and video card good enough to play games like Minecraft and ESO?
    4)What would be the AMD equivalent of the Intel 4130 both price wise and performance wise?
    5)What would be the Nvidia equivalent of the AMD 7750 both price wise and performance wise?
    6)Is 1TB of hardrive space enough to hold around 16 videos (about 20 minutes each)?
    7)Is the 430 watt power supply enough for this build?
    8)I will be adding a some case fans (Cooler Master R4-L2R-20AC-GP Case Fan – 120mm, Blue) later in the future. How many could I add with this power supply?
    9)Should I go with the modular version of the power supply, the Corsair CX430M?
    10)Is anything bottle-necked?

    I’m planning to upgrade the parts in the future as I save up the money. Also, I am open to any suggestions. Thank you again for the website.

    • dsb

      1) Everything looks compatible to me.
      2) Yes, your video card and CPU will easily push both of those games.
      3) It looks like you skipped 3.
      4) The FX-6300 Vishra processor is close in price (slightly cheaper) it’s performance would be roughly equal to the i3 chip, the AMD would perform moderately better in gaming applications and moderately worse in most everything else. If we look at performance averages, they would be quite close with the i3 having a slight edge in average performance. Some of this depends on your intended use for your system, many users would rather have a cpu the runs a little faster for games and a little slower for say archiving and un-archiving files. This is just one small example of the types of performance that Intel would win on. That’s the story of most similarly price Intel and AMD chips- AMD is slightly better at gaming metrics, and slightly worse all-around.
      5) The GTX 650 would be the closest and would be pretty comparable to the AMD.
      6) That’s determined by the bitrate of the video file, but unless they’re raw IMAX, in general yes, you could store several hundred 20 minute videos on a 1TB.
      7) Possibly. Try running the parts through the PSU calculator. It seemed a little low to me just looking at the parts, but the PSU calculator will tell you for sure. I have a link to the Asus one in my “selecting a PSU” article. I would guess your parts require pretty close to 430, and you should overshoot the minimum by 100 watts or so, sometimes more depending on your future plans.
      8) I believe most case fans use about 7 watts, not a lot of power, but it adds up if you have several. USB devices use about the same amount. Most motherboards have 3 or more spots for case fans. Additionally you can use an adapter to run them off moltex plugs on the PSU. The Asus PSU calculator I referenced has a field to specify how many case fans and CPU fans you will run, again I would direct you to use that for your best answer.
      9) Modular PSUs are neater inside the case, and it’s easier to service a computer when it’s not jam packed full of wires. Wires can also restrict airflow. I’m not personally picky about whether the PSUs I buy are modular of not. It would matter most to people with side panel windows showing off their parts, overclocked setups where case airflow is very important, people who frequently service their computer. A disadvantage is that the extra cords can get lost.
      10) There are hardware limitations to every build, but there are no glaring bottlenecks in your system. Your parts are all around the same performance quality and none of them compromise each other’s performance.

      Good Luck!

      -dsb

  • Bill

    Hello again,
    I decided to stay with the Intel processor and AMD video card. I also ran the PSU calculator and with all the parts, 4 case fans, and 5 USB devices, it came out to be 400 watts. Also, after reading some reviews on the case, many people said that it doesn’t have much cable management room. Because of those factors, I’m changing to the Corsair CX Series CP-9020059-NA 500W Modular Power Supply. Thanks for the help.

    • dsb

      I was thinking your parts would put your power requirements right around there. Now you know the what your parts are using and you have 100 watts of headroom with your current psu selection which is good.

      Good luck!

      -dsb

  • Todd

    Building my first computer and found your article extremely helpful, both in understanding the different components and actually selecting what was right for me. Basically went with the budget gaming build. Right now our desktop use is pretty limited: email, music and photos, some internet gaming for elementary school daughters. I do some higher end graphics gaming on another computer and may move it to this one. I would like the ability to upgrade if needed as my daughters get older. Can you comment on my part selection – any compatibility issues and any place where I went too low/high end. I don’t think we will ever use blue-ray on the computer.

    Motherboard http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8041589&sku=M452-1159

    Processor http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8526345&sku=GNT-101773986

    RAM http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3865543&sku=K24-0107

    Hard Drive http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3232686&sku=TSD-WD10EZEX

    Optical Drive http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8528704&sku=LQR-101777441

    Video Card http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=8573345&sku=RLH-102014207

    Wireless http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7348860&sku=U12-42421

    Power Supply http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4278583&sku=C13-2760

    Case http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2617303&sku=U12-42125

    • dsb

      Everything looks compatible. The parts will assemble into a zippy fast machine with modest gaming abilities. If you’re looking to play the most intensive new games, your current card would probably push them on low quality. Most games you could run on normal without issue.

      Because you’re building a custom system, it’s quite easy to upgrade and if you do it every 2 to 3 years the cost is generally pretty minimal.

      It’s okay not to purchase blueray now if you don’t think you’ll use it. Eventually as programs get larger we will start to see games and applications come on bluray disks, but that may still be a ways out. For now DVD is sufficient for many users.

      You can certainly upgrade down the road if you feel you’re missing out on something or need more power.

      Hope this helps!

      -dsb

  • Timothy

    Would this system work? Trying to build my first based on what I read here, but I’m new to this and have been out of the loop on parts for about 8 years and things have progressed a lot since.

    TSD-3000AS2 ::Seagate ST3000DM001 Barracuda 7200.14 Hard Drive – 3TB, SATA III (6Gb/s), 3.5″, 7200RPM, 64MB(1.35 lbs)

    V261-0802 ::VisionTek 900490 Modular Series Power Supply – ATX, Modular, 800 Watt, Dual Rail, 120mm Fan, Black(6.25 lbs)

    M501-4020 ::Sabrent 802.11n Wireless PCI Controller Card – 802.11n/g/b, 300Mbps, 40/64/128-bit WEP encryption(0.4 lbs)

    L49-8018 OEM ::LG WH14NS40 14X Blu-Ray Burner – SATA, 4MB Buffer, 3D Playback, OEM(1.2 lbs)

    C13-8404 ::Corsair Force GS 128GB Solid State Drive – 2.5″ Form Factor, SATA III 6 Gb/s, Up To 560 MB/s Read Speed, Up To 535 MB/s Write Speed, SMART Support – CSSD-F128GBGS-BK(0.25 lbs)

    T925-8132 ::Thermaltake Urban S31 Mid-Tower Case – 3 x 5.25″ Drive Bays, 7 x 3.5″ Drive Bays, 7 x Exp Slots, 2 x 120mm Fan, 2 x USB 3.0 Ports, 2 x USB 2.0 Ports, Black (VP700M1W2N)(19.65 lbs)

    I69-4670 ::Intel Core i5-4670 Processor – Quad Core, 6MB L3 Cache, 3.4GHz, 84W, Fan, 1200 MHz Graphics Core Speed – BX80646I54670(0.1 lbs)

    B145-2408 ::BenQ RL2455hm 24″ Class LED Gaming Monitor – 1920 x 1080, 16:9, 12000000:1 Dynamic, 1000:1 Native, 1ms, 2x HDMI, VGA, DVI-D, Built-in Speakers, Energy Star – RL2455HM(12.95 lbs)

    I69-2280 ::Intel Motherboard – ATX, Socket LGA1150, Intel Z87 Express Chipset, 2400MHz DDR3, SATA 6.0Gb/s, RAID, 10 Channel Audio, Dual Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, (BOXDZ87KLT75K)(1.15 lbs)

    GAT-102109600 ::Patriot Viper 3 Series Black Mamba Desktop Memory Module Kit – DDR3, 2x 4GB, 2400MHZ (PV38G240C1K)(0.15 lbs)

    EVG-101770838 ::EVGA GeForce GTX 760 Video Card – 2GB GDDR5, PCI-Express 3.0 (x16), 1x Dual-Link DVI-D, 1x Dual-Link DVI-I, 1x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI, DirectX 11.1, SLI, Dual-Slot, ACX Cooler, – 02G-P4-3765-KR(2.65 lbs)

    FIC-101766738 ::Windows WN7-00578 8.1 Operating System – 32-BIT/64-BIT, English, DVD(0.21 lbs)

    Sorry they aren’t links, but I spent hours selecting different pieces based on prices and seem to have lost the link to the list, luckily I copied down the information as I went.

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