Seeing as many of the stickied thread are out of date, this might be more helpful. First when wanting to build a system, think CAN I DO IT? If you can't, then that's why you're probably here in the first place All jokes aside, the main two things to think about before you go buying parts are: What do I need it for? And is it really necessary (some people have an itch to upgrade when their parts are still fine!) What is your budget? Here I have made some systems based on what most people use computers for. Internet User $400-500 This is for the fellow who uses his computer to surf the internet, watch videos, do some basic tasks and that's about it. I recommend: CPU: Intel Celeron/i3 AMD: A6/A8/A10- These selections are all good because they have integrated gpu's meaning that you will not need to spend some cash on a dedicated card, but you still have the choice to add one if needed. MOBO: Anything in the 60-100$ range will suffice. Choose a brand such as Asrock, Asus, Gigabyte. Steer clear of names you haven't heard of. Memory: 4GB will be more than enough. If you plan on using an A6/A8/A10 CPU IT IS ESSENTIAL to buy a high speed (1600mhz) 2X2GB KIT OF DDR3 RAM. This way, the bandwidth will be much higher allowing the dedicated gpu to work better. HDD: Any 500GB from Seagate, WD and other good brands. PSU: 450W Powersupply from Antec, Corsair, Gigabyte, Thermaltake, CM. Any good brand Case: That's up to you. And then you need the usual such as a dvd reader etc. _____________________________________________________________________________ Next we have the low end gamer, for the person who plays on a small res screen or play games which are not demanding. Low End Gamer $600-800 CPU: Intel: i3/i5 AMD: FX 4xxx/6xxx Don't think that the i3 is a slouch. They are very fast and will play through anything. And the AMD FX chips are no dirt off the shoulder either, compared to what many people say they are very good performers. Choose what is within your price range. MOBO: Something in the $100-150 range, again from a good brand. Memory: RAM is cheap as chips these days. Any good 8GB kit will do either one stick or 4x2. You're choice. $50-70 HDD: I'd still recommend going with a 500-1TB mechanical drive. VGA: NV: Something such as a GTX 650Ti/GTX 650 or 660 if you can afford it. AMD: HD7700 and up. Max you'd want to go for is the 7850/70 PSU: 550W+ from a reputable brand! Case: Once again, your choosing. _____________________________________________________________________________ Mid End Gamer $800-1200 Usually plays at 1920x1080 or close to. Wants close to max, if not all eye candy turned on! CPU: i5/i7 Intel AMD FX 6xxx/8xxx K series intel cpu if you wish to overclock! Mobo: $150-200 range! Probably something with Xfire/SLi capability. Memory: 8GB is enough for all games, but you can go to 16GB if you wish. HDD: I suggest a 120GB SSD for OS+apps/games and a 1TB storage drive. $180-200 for both together. Look for a SATAIII SSD and make sure it is a reputable brand with good drivers. VGA: NVIDIA: GTX 660 and up. Max GTX 670 otherwise it's pointless you will hit vsync. AMD: 7870 and up. Max 7950 as stated above. PSU: 650W+ MAKE SURE IT IS A GOOD BRAND YOU HEAR ME OR YOUR WHOLE PC WILL SHIT ITSELF. 750W+ for SLI/XFIRE of the higher end cards. Case: Once again your decision. MAKE SURE IT CAN ACCOMMODATE THE GPU LENGTH _____________________________________________________________________________ PC Master Race. $1300 and up > The person who wants all games to be maxed no matter what at 60FPS. Usually runs 2 or 3 monitors. CPU: Intel i7/ Xeon AMD FX 8xxxx Remember K series for OCING! Mobo: $200+ You want a mobo with ATLEAST Xfire/SLi capability Memory: 16GB+ of high freq. ram HDD: 256GB SSD for OS and a couple 1TB storage drives possibly in raid. VGA: GTX 660 SLi or better! HD 7850/70 Xfire or better! PSU: 850W+ But since money is not problem here I suggest 1000W+ for future proofing. Case: Go wild CPU COOLERS BUDGET ORIENTATED: CM 212 evo is a great budget cooler. Excellent when another 120cm fan is added. Mid range: Gelid the black edition High end: Corsair H100 MONITORS: internet user: any size you want. Low end gamer: 18-21 inch. Remember that resolution will be limiting your gaming. Mid end gamer: 21-27 inch. Max res 1920x1200 High end: Usually multiple monitors or a single IPS. Use this to see if your card can support multiple monitors. Nvidia http://www.geforce.com/hardware/technology/3dvision-surround/system-requirements AMD http://support.amd.com/us/kbarticles/Pages/gpu50-ati-eyefinity-display-configs.aspx BRANDS Powersupplies: Corsair, enermax, xfx, coolermaster, antec, thermaltake, seasonic, ocz, silverstone, hiper Over time, brands tend to acquire reputations; sometimes earned, sometimes not. This page is the distillation of the opinions of a number of people familiar with the computer power supply industry. This list is neither definitive nor comprehensive, and it should not be taken as such. It is merely a guide; brands with a good reputation for quality are generally safer bets, and those with less pleasant reputations are often poor choices. Additionally, some brands make use of multiple OEMs, and most OEMs sell their products under multiple brand names, and so brand alone is not enough to form a complete judgment. Being listed on this page is neither a universal recommendation nor a universal condemnation. Always read competent reviews of an individual product before making a purchasing decision. Contents Recommended Power Supply Companies and Brands Conditionally Recommended Power Supply Companies and Brands Not Recommended Power Supply Companies and Brands Recommended Power Supply Companies and Branda RECCOMENDED Corsair: Made by Seasonic Enermax Enhance: Affordable workhorses Fortron/Sparkle/FSP Group: Stick with units whose model numbers begin with FSP; those that start with AX are made by a different manufacturer, and use low-grade capacitors. Hiper: Big in Europe, they've been making their way into other markets. PC Power & Cooling: Expensive, no "bling", but they do Just Work. Typically rebranded Seasonic parts. Seasonic: Makers of some of the quietest, most efficient supplies on the market, and overall a very consistent track record. SevenTeam SilenX: rebadged Fortrons with quieter fans; not a great value, but still good products XClio: Newegg's (and ChiefValue's) "upscale" house brand, XClio rebrands some of the better mid-range supplies. Zippy/Emacs Conditionally Recommended Power Supply Companies and Brands Antec: Probably the best known name in power supplies, but their current products are a mixed bag. After a run of very questionable supplies built by ChannelWell, Antec now sells a number of products (the NeoHE line, Trio, Earthwatts) made by Seasonic. While reportedly not as good as some other Seasonic units, they are quite respectable. BFG: Yes they're just a rebrander, but they rebrand decent stuff. Currently they seem to be choosing Topower as their OEM, which is not bad at all. Essentially the same units but with a lifetime warranty (and a higher price...). Cooler Master: They cater to the cheaper end of the market, and some of their models are quite good value. OCZ: The PowerStream line is generally well-received; the ModStream has a much less impressive reputation. Older OCZ supplies are made by Topower; they are now switching to Fortron. The GameXStream is made by Fortron. Silverstone: Usually rebranded Enhance or Etasis units. Topower/Tagan/ePower: Respectable if perhaps unremarkable, and cheaper than the rebadged versions sold by others. Ultra: Early models were quite good (and cheap), but a generation of poor products made by YoungYear put a severe black mark on their name. Some products are now made by Andyson, and are much better. Not Recommended Power Supply Companies and Brands Achieve Aerocool Allied Apex Arrow Aspire Austin Codegen Coolmax Demon Deer Devanni Duro Dynapower Eagle EagleTech Foxconn Foxlink Hercules InWin (except FSP models) JustPC Key Mouse Kingwin L&C Linkworld Logic Macron Power MGE Mustang Okia Power-Man (except FSP models) Powerstar Power-Up Powmax QMax Qtec q-tec Raidmax (except Topower/Tagan models; absolutely avoid those sold with cases) Real PC Power Rhycon Robanton Rosewill Skyhawk Thermaltake (except the Thermaltake W0057 PurePower 500W) TMP-ANS Tsunami Turbo Turbolink US-Can Viomax X-superalien X-treme PC CASE AIRFLOW Essential to have some sort of moving air through your case. These are the most effective setups: Buy good quality fans if you wish for them to be quiet and only a whooosh sound be audible. Things to remember Building your PC! This is where the fun starts We all may feel a bit overwhelmed at first, don't worry it's normal! "Shit, what is all this stuff? SATA cables? Solid state drives? Terabytes? What the fu*% is a terabyte?! Do we -- do we not use gigabytes anymore? Is this like a VHS/Beta situation? God damn it. God damn it. Gary was right. You're not smart enough for this. There's only one solution ... You're going to have to get really, really drunk." (do not do this) As simple as some part installations may seem, always be very careful. Read those instructions, and if you have a question about something, stop and check the web for help. The most common mistakes people make when assembling their computers are installing the stand-offs for the Motherboard, not seating RAM all the way and not keeping track of what wire goes in what socket. All of these mistakes can be avoided by reading manuals carefully and being cautious. Always ground yourself before handling components by touching the computer case. More than a few systems have been hastily built and pressed into service. It's easy to overlook fundamentals, especially when projects stack up, but always take the extra time to secure all the components inside a PC. Ensure all power supply and data cables are directed away from cooling fans, including fans used to cool the CPU, video card, and the case itself. PCs have lots of moving parts, so prevent cables from shifting position by connecting them to the case's frame (or even other cables) using zip ties. Also take time to secure all drives and disks in their bays. Don't rely upon a single screw to hold a hard disk or CD/DVD drive in place; use at least two screws (one to each side) and preferably four (two to a side). Treat it like your friend. The better you treat your pc, the better it will treat you! Anything that needs to be added, fixed, don't hesitate to tell me. Together we can make this better.