Building a GOOD desktop!

Bastrophian

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Ok! Sooooo....buying a new laptob from walmart didint work out....go figure. So now im gonna try my hand at building a decent desktop. Now dont get me wrong, i have absolutely no idea how to build a PC...that where a friend of mine comes in. But first i need to buy parts....and before that i have to find them. So, my budget is 500$ or under...i'll be using this for school, game dev, graphic art (makeing sprites and tiles and what not), and..lets be honest...gameing! I still want to "atleast be able" to run Skyrim on low to medium.

So, can anybody offer any advise or suggestions as i delve into the world of "finding parts to building a computer with" :D !? 
 

Nathanial

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Do you need to buy a windows license or do you have one you can use already? As in, a license that didn't come *with* your computer (assuming it wasn't store bought). It'll make it much harder to try to design one on a $500 budget if you don't have a license. 
 

Onomotopoeia

I don't know, nobody's told me yet.
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Back in the 'day, I mean the late 80s to early 90s, I was getting mail-order catalogs for electronics parts because I had it in mind to build a 80286-based PC. Those magazine retailers like Jameco and others were my go-to for looking up cases and components.

Nowadays, due to the prominence of the Internet, I wouldn't really know where to go if I were trying it on my own, except pay attention to one particular podcasting network based in Petaluma, CA -- the TWiT network, http://twit.tv, which has assorted tech-related podcasts/shows that can be viewed online or downloaded to watch or listen to later.

One additional site which might be useful is http://www.pcper.com/ which stands for PC Perspective, and also has a podcast and number of past videos to peruse.

Hope that helps.

Edit: Don't know for sure if the Linux WINE project is competent enough to support running triple-A Windows games like Skyrim through emulation, but it is an option to consider; if a Windows license isn't necessary or cost-affordable right now, that'd be one way to still play some of your other games without coughing up the dough for a Windows license itself, while saving up for it at a later time. I seem to remember the WINE project has a compatibility list on their website of many, many programs and games, worth checking out at least.
 
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Ralpf

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Do you need to buy a windows license or do you have one you can use already? As in, a license that didn't come *with* your computer (assuming it wasn't store bought). It'll make it much harder to try to design one on a $500 budget if you don't have a license. 
To add to that, do you have a monitor and mouse/keyboard?

With all that $500 is very doable, without it become more complicated.
 
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Bastrophian

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Do you need to buy a windows license or do you have one you can use already? As in, a license that didn't come *with* your computer (assuming it wasn't store bought). It'll make it much harder to try to design one on a $500 budget if you don't have a license. 
O_O ...oh dear, i didint even think about that. Nope, i dont believe i do have a windows license. T_T ....how much it that again....gotta look that up.

@Ralpf- I do :3
 
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Nathanial

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O_O ...oh dear, i didint even think about that. Nope, i dont believe i do have a windows license. T_T ....how much it that again....gotta look that up.

@Ralpf- I do :3
$99 for a Win 7 license (that can then be upgraded to 10, if you desire)
 

Nathanial

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Nathanial

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I just found this too, I think people might be trying to get rid of stock.
Most likely. I've never heard of either of the sites linked, I was just checking Newegg. But the first site linked looks legit as far as I can see.
 

Ralpf

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Yeah, me neither, but I looked around the one it linked a little and it looked legit to me. Newegg is always my go-to also.
 
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Bastrophian

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Interesting! Yeah, that will do it. 

If you don't need a CD/DVD/Blu-ray drive it gives you even more options. Also, are you willing to go a little beyond, say $50-$60 for shipping/small overflow? Could probably design something half-way decent with your budget... probably.
sure, i could probably just install a CD drive latter on anyway, right? And yeah, I could probably go over a little. 
 

Nathanial

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sure, i could probably just install a CD drive latter on anyway, right? And yeah, I could probably go over a little. 
Of course. I haven't bothered with a drive like that in... 10 years? In that time I've found maybe 5 times where I've needed one and I just used someone else's computer or found the files on the internet... lol

After I finish eating I'll see what I can design for you. Any specific form factor you're looking for? Medium sized ok? Micro? 
 

Bastrophian

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Wow, really?! Thanks :D , and mediums sounds perfect :D
 

odinnightowl

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My friend, i can be a great help for you. a few sites to use are Newegg.com and Pcpartpicker.com . Newegg has many good parts and prices and Pcpartpicker will allow you to build a pc and while building it will tell you then compatible parts and also has user reviews, Do you have a harddrive from your old computer (if it was a desktop) Having the harddrive will cut down on prices as you would not need to buy a new harddrive or operating system. If you want i can go about making a pc for you on the part picker so you will have a build set for you.
 

Rukiri

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If all you're doing is pixel art, rpg maker, and lets just at 3D, sound, etc to the mix you'll probably want to use intel's consumer line and right now that would be the z170 chipset which is for the core i7 and i5 skylake processors. 

You have a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 memory but maxed at dual channel and you have 4 dimm slots which means your ram dimms have to be 16GB to fill it to 64GB.  Right now you can't buy a 64GB kit but you CAN buy a 32gb kit in 2x16GB so you'd just buy 2.

For gaming an i5 is fine, but i'd use an i7 for any intensive task.

For your graphics card, if you're not gaming a 960 or even the upcoming 950 will suit you, but a 980ti is great as you have 6GB of GDDR5 memory which even matches up to a Titan-X(which is what I have), but SLI Titans will beat a 980ti even in sli but going to a 3rd Titan-X or even 980ti and you won't see much difference.  

You'll also want a good case, eff mass produced cases, they're crap to be honest and the quality is not great... go with caselabs, but be warned they're not cheap but as the saying goes you do get what you pay for.  

You're also going to need a power supply, 1000 watts is generally what I recommend as it's better to have more headroom than non or just being at where you need to be.

It's also wise to have a UPS and a power conditioner and always match your watts to your PSU!  

Have fun!
 

Nathanial

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If all you're doing is pixel art, rpg maker, and lets just at 3D, sound, etc to the mix you'll probably want to use intel's consumer line and right now that would be the z170 chipset which is for the core i7 and i5 skylake processors. 

You have a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 memory but maxed at dual channel and you have 4 dimm slots which means your ram dimms have to be 16GB to fill it to 64GB.  Right now you can't buy a 64GB kit but you CAN buy a 32gb kit in 2x16GB so you'd just buy 2.

For gaming an i5 is fine, but i'd use an i7 for any intensive task.

For your graphics card, if you're not gaming a 960 or even the upcoming 950 will suit you, but a 980ti is great as you have 6GB of GDDR5 memory which even matches up to a Titan-X(which is what I have), but SLI Titans will beat a 980ti even in sli but going to a 3rd Titan-X or even 980ti and you won't see much difference.  

You'll also want a good case, eff mass produced cases, they're crap to be honest and the quality is not great... go with caselabs, but be warned they're not cheap but as the saying goes you do get what you pay for.  

You're also going to need a power supply, 1000 watts is generally what I recommend as it's better to have more headroom than non or just being at where you need to be.

It's also wise to have a UPS and a power conditioner and always match your watts to your PSU!  

Have fun!
Skimmed this post, but right away, he said $500 budget. Your GPU recommendations are incredibly overkill. He could happily game on something as low as a 660 (even lower than that). No need for a 960 or 950. The 980 is damn near top of the line (before you get into Titan territory... but that's just ridiculous and becomes borderline who has the biggest.........you know what) :p
 
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For gaming an i5 is fine, but i'd use an i7 for any intensive task.

For your graphics card, if you're not gaming a 960 or even the upcoming 950 will suit you, but a 980ti is great as you have 6GB of GDDR5 memory which even matches up to a Titan-X(which is what I have), but SLI Titans will beat a 980ti even in sli but going to a 3rd Titan-X or even 980ti and you won't see much difference.  

You'll also want a good case, eff mass produced cases, they're crap to be honest and the quality is not great... go with caselabs, but be warned they're not cheap but as the saying goes you do get what you pay for.  

You're also going to need a power supply, 1000 watts is generally what I recommend as it's better to have more headroom than non or just being at where you need to be.

Have fun!
hi this is wrong 

your bottleneck is almost ALWAYS your gpu, not you cpu. an i5 CPU is just fine and will last you plenty of time down the road. an i7 is overkill.

i also highly doubt you have two titans because that's completely unnecessary and a waste of money. lets not show off and give unnecessary info when the guy needs some basic help
 

odinnightowl

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Skimmed this post, but right away, he said $500 budget. Your GPU recommendations are incredibly overkill. He could happily game on something as low as a 660 (even lower than that). No need for a 960 or 950. The 980 is damn near top of the line (before you get into Titan territory... but that's just ridiculous and becomes borderline who has the biggest.........you know what) :p
Yep i agree with this enormously. The OP said a 500$ build and that he could possibly go a little higher. So say $600 and you said intel i5. cheapest intel i5 listed on pcpart picker which compare many sites includign amazon is $177 for the i5-2320 model. that is nearly 40% of his original budget and almost 30% of the enhanced budget. with the graphics card you say the cheapest version is a 960 with 2gb memory for $179. 177+179= 356$ so nearly all his budget with no harddrive,ram,case, os, or power supply. doubt he could go with these suggestions.
hi this is wrong

your bottleneck is almost ALWAYS your gpu, not you cpu. an i5 CPU is just fine and will last you plenty of time down the road. an i7 is overkill.

i also highly doubt you have two titans because that's completely unnecessary and a waste of money. lets not show off and give unnecessary info when the guy needs some basic help
You could be surpised there are many folks on youtube showing off with 2-3 titans among other things. Though i think they were sponsored
 
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Ralpf

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Yeah, all he needs is something that can run art programs well and light gaming (Skyrim at medium is light at this point, you can almost do that with some integrated chips).

Edit, just to get things started (Nathanial seems ready to do most of this but I have a suggestion.) I just (5 months ago) built my first computer with this case (It also comes in red) it just about as cheap as you can find and I had no trouble with it. Only complaint is it says it has two slots for fans on the side, while strictly true you can only use one, because the spaces overlap, unless you want the fans held on by 2 screws or you widen a hole. But 1 fan should suffice there anyway.
 
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