2 computer builds: one budget computer system, and mid range gaming system. is everything compatible with each other?

I want to build a $200-$250 ultra budget computer system as my first build, to get the ropes, then after i get it working, and all, then move on and build another, much more powerful  $700-$750 gaming / video editing PC. however, i need help with making sure everything works together, as well as suggestions and tips please. i highly appreciate if you answer in detail everything i asked, that answer will get best answer from me. a will add details as i learn more about what i am really getting into. i bolded all my unanswered questions. (i decided on just making to separate builds,  originally i planed to make i cheap computer, with a good mobo, then expand on it. however i just decided it is better to make two separate builds.)

1) what advantages can i get out of a good housing/case? i prefer to use just the case i have right now, the old one from my old HP pavilion a1747c. it has several card readers and a few usb ports on the front, headphone jack, mic jack, some jack labeled 1394, 2 expansion bays (one of which with a DVD drive in it)

2) i plan on using a motherboard with a chipset that allows for: overclocking the CPU, RAM, and separate video card; as well as support for intel HD graphics; and of coarse uses the LGA-1155 socket. for less than $130.  ) is in any good? can someone list a few good afordable boards that will do what i listed above? her are a few i have in mind. is ASRock a good company?

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo <-- i am leaning towards this one.
ASRock Z77 Pro4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77                                     

3) for simple stuff like wifi, bluetooth, etc; do i need to buy those separably (for the motherboard)? do they use PCI slots? if not, can i use the old WiFi adapter from my old computer? id rather not use external but if i have to, i will. so i assume if i want front facing USB 3.0 slots i need a new case, right?

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4) here are the parts for my first build. please tell me if you see a problem with the selection
 
 CASE: ------Cooler Master RC-343-KKN1
 MOBO:------ ASRock H61M-DGS LGA 1155 Intel H61 Micro ATX (any better value out there)?
 CPU: --------Pentium G620 (lga-1155) (can you best it within  $60?) (stock)
 RAM:--------Team Elite 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333MHz
 OS: ----------Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit.
 HHD: --------the old HDD i have in my old computer, a 250gb 5400RPM drive.
 OPTICAL: -my current DVD drive in my old computer.
 PSU: --------will a 350W be enough power for this? i think so.

 [total cost]: >$250 including the parts i don't think i need. (optical, case, PSU, CPU, heatsink)

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5) my next build

 PSU: ------Rosewill Green Series RG630-S12 630W
 MOBO:----ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 ATX Intel Mobo (is it a good for the price)
 CPU: ------Intel i5 3570K
 RAM: ------Patriot Intel Extreme Master, 8GB, Cas Latency 9, 1600MHz  then overclocked?
 HHD: ------Western Digital Caviar Blue WD2500AAKX 250GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache
 OPTICAL: whatever i find cheapest. is a blue ray drive worth it? do PC game need it?
 GPU: ------Radeon HD 7870: or any cheaper card with similar performance

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FoolishSage5 years ago
1) The casing/housing gives you space to put everything and provide some good ventilation over the parts. Not much more to them. All the readers and ports you mention are pointless if you get a new motherboard.

2) it is true that there are many suppliers that build cards based on the nvidia/radeon chips but I dont think there is a "best" manufacturer. I suggest thoroughly reading reviews of specific cards you plan on buying.

3) Selecting a motherboard is something quickly overlooked but vitally important to your build. I dont think any motherboard can be ready to accept the new wave of technology (like DDR4 for example) but you can be "future proof" up to there if you plan well. Make sure everything you get is compatible with your mobo and you should be great. Things to look for are USB 3 (as many as you plan on using and then some), PCIe slots for everything you plan on using (and some some more), and enough space for all your memory (and then some), etc. Again, reviews are your friend.

4) You dont list a motherboard (mobo). Keep in mind that a proper mobo will cost you in the region of another 200 or so. According to google the celeron g530 is not suitable for overclocking. I assume you have also excluded things like keyboard, mouse, speakers, etc. Dont skimp on the power supply!! A proper brand power supply will save you allot of heartache in the long run. Once you move to the power build you might want to invest in a better/larger/faster HDD and consider a SSD to boot from. You might also pay some attention to cooling. Measuring and controlling temperature will improve the stability of your system and being able to push it harder with less noise.

If you are having trouble finding good builds try googling for shopping lists or part lists. Some websites keep a monthly updated list of parts for Budget, Gaming and Performance computers (usually <500, ~1000 and >1500 respectively)
-max- (author)  FoolishSage5 years ago
i added more small questions to my question, like what is crossfire, SLI?

for simple stuff like wifi, bluetooth, etc; do i need to buy those chips separably, or are they included on most motherboards?

i ussume if i want front facing usb 3.0 slots i need a new case, right? is that what you mean by "All the readers and ports you mention are pointless if you get a new motherboard. "?

The readers and ports are usually part of the motherboard and not of the case itself. If you swap out mobo then the ports will be exchanged. If you have a standard ATX case then any ATX mobo will fit and will as a rule have the right openings. Lack of front facing usb 3 is not the end of the world, it might just mean reaching for the back of the pc to plug in a usbdrive or have a extension cable to have the usb on your desk.

As a rule things like wifi etc CAN be part of the motherboard but check before you buy. These items can be placed on a separate board but they will take up slots of which a mobo will have a limited number. I once had to abandon my sound card to get wifi for example..

Crossfire is a way of using two graphics cards on a pc rather than one. This will not double performance but will give it a definite boost. Once again, this will take up slots and if each card is double bay (extra thick) this issue might become critical. Check your mobo to make sure it can handle (double bay) cross fire if this is something you plan on doing. Review sites like Pcstats will often compare cheaper cards in crossfire with a single high end card.
-max- (author)  FoolishSage5 years ago
by the way: whats the difference between the Z77 and the Z68 chipset, they seem to do the same thing. ithink the difference lies in the fact that Z77's have more integrated support for the 3rd gen core series (ivory-bridge)
bwrussell5 years ago
SLi/Crossfire is a way to tie multiple, up to 4 i think now, GPU's together. For it to work the cards must have the same core, e.g. GTX 670, but it is best if they are the same card and your mobo needs to support it as well.

Basically it allows the GPU's to use a divide and conquer method to video processing. If you have two 1 GB, 700MHz cards it does not give you 2GB, I think that is the common perception, but it gives you the equivalent of one 1 GB, 1330 MHz card (1.9x clock speed). This means the cards can render the same scene nearly twice as fast.

SLI is nVidia specific, Crossfire is AMD specific.

Advantages
- Fast
- You can use to cheaper cards to equal or surpass a single more expensive card.
- Easy to add SLI/Crossfire later if your initial build supports it.

Disadvantages
- Expensive, if you do it with two expensive cards.
- Takes an extra PCI slot.

Keep in Mind
- You will need a suitable PSU to handle the two cards.
- Your case and mobo will need to be big enough to handle the size of two current gen cards which have gotten quite large.
- Two cards right next to each other will generate a lot of heat, make sure your case has adequate air movement.

I am currently running a SLi configuration on two ancient 9600GT OCs (512MB) but even though they are coming up on 5 years old I can still run current gen games at respectable levels (Medium or higher).
-max- (author)  bwrussell5 years ago
thanks. but now i have yet ANONTHER question, if you dont mind. (i am constantly adding more as discover more)

anyway, it is question 9)

Acorrding to intels site, http://ark.intel.com/products/52210?wapkw=i5%202500k#infosectionessentials the i5 2500k processer ponly suports up to 1333 MHz ram? what??? then why do many people who build computers use the same exact ram sticks if they can get cheeper slower RAM?
bwrussell -max-5 years ago
THIS thread might help explain why it does it and how to possibly get around it.

As far as people using 1600 when 1333 is what is supported and all that is really necessary, it can mostly likely be explained as people who have more money than brains. They want what ever has the higher number despite the fact that it does them no good. I think they think that it makes everyone else think they are cool when they post their computer specs as their forum signature. Kind of like those people that put huge spoilers on their regular cars despite the fact that it actually increases drag and would slow them down.
-max- (author)  bwrussell5 years ago
does this mean i should only get 1333 MHz, and what if i overclock either or both the CPU and RAM?

does the 1333 MHz vs 1600MHz make a big difference in gaming and light video editing?
Burf5 years ago
Based on my personal experience, I'd say you are approaching this build from the wrong direction. Determine what you want as your ultimate machine. Then work backwards, substituting slower, less expensive parts and eliminating those that are unnecessary, until you reach the bare minimum operable unit. You can't turn a Chinese moped into a Harley Sportster, but you can turn a Harley Sportster into a showpiece chopper.
First read some of the many internet guides for building your own PC. Then, start with the motherboard (which will be the most critical decision you make) and design your ultimate PC and work back from there.
In my opinion, I don't believe $250 dollars will be sufficient, even as a starter. I'd guess it will take at least twice that amount, but until you decide what you need and where to obtain the parts, no one can say for certain.
-max- (author)  Burf5 years ago
actually, i decided to beak the two builds apart so i have another computer, maybe i will find a use for it, maybe as a present. but anyway, ive redid this question, do you see anything wrong with my builds? if not, just say so.
-max- (author)  Burf5 years ago
do you think i should separate these into two completely separate builds?

i have no idea what i will do with the cheap crap-uter after i go to full $800 build. i don't have another monitor, or any other I/O devices (like keyboard, mouse, spkrs, Bluetooth, case, etc.)

so i thought it would be best to first build a fully functioning computer and then upgrade it to get a real computer.
-max- (author)  Burf5 years ago
well that is what i did with my initial build, and spent a long time selecting those parts. i tried to chose the best parts for 800 budget. that is what i came up with.

however, i never did this before and to prevent frying something expensive up, i plan on doing a very cheap 200 dollar build, but to save money, i am using the same motherboard, making the "second" build more like a sort of "upgrade"

i wanted to use the GTX 670, however it is a little too much $$$ and same with the processor, i wanted to use the next step up from what i chose.
bwrussell5 years ago
The simple stuff:
Bluetooth can be added with a very cheap USB dongle. Don't pay extra for a mobo with built in BT.

Standard wifi cards use a standard PCI slot but you can buy USB adapters for that too. If you game online you optimally would not use wifi but if you do I would consider a PCI adapter with several external antennas, and both the router and card should be running wireless-N.
-max- (author)  bwrussell5 years ago
i know the i/o ports on the back of the board, but how about the front? doesn't the case have a few USB 3.0/ 2.0 and card readers built in?

if so then what if there are more ports on the case where the board doesn't support them because it doesn't have the jack? would this be a problem?
bwrussell -max-5 years ago
Unused front ports on a case are not a problem, they just won't work. Usually front ports are connected to pins on the mobo with cords provided with either the case or mobo, it's been to long since I've done a ground up build to remember which.

I haven't looked at your exact case and mobo but if they both support front USB, 2.0 or 3.0, then you could plug bluetooth and wifi adapters into them if you wanted.

Typically front ports provide less current then back ports meaning the front ports won't power a portable external hard drive, or anything that needs much more than a couple hundred mA.
-max- (author)  bwrussell5 years ago
ok then. i hope i have all my front ports connected, as i like to use those.

however, i still prefer at least a wifi chip 'build in' to my computer. mainly because so i can have more useable ports.
bwrussell5 years ago
For future upgrades consider a separate SSD for the OS. This will make a huge difference on the speed of the system and I've noticed in the past couple months the prices have plummeted. You only need one big enough to install the OS and nothing more.
-max- (author)  bwrussell5 years ago
i thought of doing this but the price of a decent SSD? i see hard drives prices are still quite high. (i see computer builds on YouTube getting big 7200RPM HHD for $50-$60 i havent found a drive cheaper than $90.)
bwrussell -max-5 years ago
You can get a 32 GB Crucial SSD for under $50 on Newegg and if you wait for a sale then you can do better than that. I'm not sure what the install size on Ubuntu is but the largest windows install (Win 8) is around 20 GB. It's not the best GB/$ but it will noticeably help your system.

Using a SSD for just the OS frees up your HHD from the constant read/write that the OS needs and makes the OS run so much faster. We're talking full boot times w/ a login under 20 seconds.
go to TECHSPOT.COM , much valuable incite on various budget to high end builds can be found there,as well as upgrade ability.

Good Luck on your build

Tragic
  1. You'll have to check out the current case carefully and make sure the mounting holes for the motherboard are ATX compatible. There is a good chance they are a proprietary design and you won't be able to fit a mini ATX in there. 
  2. Nvidia and AMD/ATI are the 2 main makers of GPUs. They manufacture the chips and sell them to the other companies to make the video cards based on Nvidia's or AMD's reference design. Decide weather you want Nvidia or AMD and pick whatever manufacture you want. The manufactures that sell the cheaper cards are buying the lower grade GPUs and RAM which may not have the peak performance characteristics of the higher grade chips. Not every chip that comes off the line is perfect. There are some errors in them and they get tested buy the manufacture and separated by the quality of the chip. Ut to start with and to keep things cheaper you should stick with an on-board solution then upgrade to a video card down the road. 
  3. There is no such thing as future proof when it comes to PCs. New technology is coming out all the time. New RAM is being developed and prices are dropping on newer technology. Every couple of years or so there is an all new CPU design that prompts a change in the socket. RAM and socket changes quickly make a motherboard outdated. Overclocking is fun to do but makes your PC unstable. You also have to worry about keeping things cooled and having enough power to support everything. 
  4. 350W is too low especially if your trying to reuse the one that comes with the case. You will want to get a better PSU. Since you will need to buy one now get a good one. Don't go with a generic PSU or you will run into stability problems as you upgrade to higher power parts or try to OC. You don't mention what motherboard your using. The motherboard that comes in that old case is an AMD board and won't work with an Intel CPU. The Heatsync that comes on that HP is made for an AMD CPU and doesn't have the proper mounts to fit on an Intel CPU. 
  5. If you want to end up with a gaming and graphics design system eventually you'll want to be running Win 7 64 bit, more then 8Gb of RAM, and a good name brand PSU. Its hard to find games that will run on Ubuntu or any other free OS.
Bottom line is your better off saving your money now and getting the PC you want. Trying to upgrade to the PC you want almost never works out. Any hardware you get now will have a limited upgrade path. By the time you get the money for your upgrades the top of the line for your system will be the new low end. But what you could by for about $800 in a year or 2 will really out perform what you can get for $800 now. BUt right now you won't be able to build a PC for $250 anyway. You really need to look at this like your starting with nothing but a keyboard, mouse and monitor. Then start planning your build, cause you will need to start from scratch. That being said you should have a look at what you can build and how much it will cost. Then look at Dell, HP and other manufactures to see if you can get something similar or better for the same price from them. You'll find that going for a boxed system is probably your best and most affordable bet here. 
-max- (author)  mpilchfamily5 years ago
by 'upgrade' i mean to the better components today. make the $200 build first, with a good motherboard, and then after i get that working, just replace/add RAM, CPU, GPU, PSU, HHD (small SSD?), stuff like that.

that's why i want a decent board with many features in the board.

i dont mean quite sometime in the future upgrades. at that point i might just either make another computer to those mid/high standards or just buy one.

so my main concern is everything listed compatible with what board?