First timer needing help building a PC

  • Budget: $2K and under
  • The games or applications you wish to run: -Games: Apex Legends, Overwatch, Current Gen, and Future Gen games for the next 4-7 years
  • -Applications: Cybersecurity, Virtual Machines, Fusion 360, Autodesk, Mastercam, 3D printing applications.
  • Specific Requirements: Able to run multiple OS (Windows/Linux), Virtual machines for pen testing, etc.

Hello everyone!

I've been using my old Windows Surface Pro 4 for years, and I need to upgrade to a desktop for my next field of study into IT/Cybersecurity.

I would like to build a new PC that is capable of doing IT/Cybersecurity tasks like running VMs or crossing between different operating systems while remaining fully capable of playing current and next-gen PC games.

My budget for this build will be $2K and under, but, I have no experience building a PC and was going to just have Microcenter assemble the components for me and then pick it up.

My problem is that even using all the PC builder apps, I'm still running into either too pricey builds or components that could otherwise be cheaper and still provide the same performance expectations. There are too many parts to pick, and I tend to want to stay with mainstream components with reliability.

I will pretty much need everything including a monitor (dual monitor if possible), gaming keyboard, mouse, headset with mic, etc, to get fully situated at home. I just don't know what to stay away from, if anything, that could ruin this build.

I've been receiving mixed reviews from other sites on builds, and don't know what to believe anymore.

Can you guys help? I would be very appreciative of any feedback.


  • Lambdaben
    Lambdaben ✭✭✭
    First Anniversary 5 Likes 5 Awesomes 5 Insightfuls

    Just to clarify, is $2K the budget for the build, monitors, keyboards, etc., Windows and the fee for building the PC?

  • Dragonstrike

    Yes, give or take a couple hundred. If I keep below $2500, that's fine too, but I really just need the components to meet the needs for the build. If it can be done cheaper and still be a great gaming computer, then awesome. If I need to stay with pricier components for VMs or CAD software for just modeling parts and 3D printing at home, that's fine too. I just really don't know what is necessary vs. too high spec/overkill.

  • PowerSpec_MichaelB
    PowerSpec_MichaelB ✭✭✭✭✭
    First Answer 5 Insightfuls First Comment 5 Awesomes

    Not to shamelessly plug our own products here, but have you considered using a pre-built? Our PowerSpec systems for example, have offerings that can meet your requirements assuming you don't mind doing some of the leg work for setting up the multi-boot on the drive. The G714 for example, has a 2TB SSD that you can partition for dual booting both Windows and Linux, and the hardware itself supports VM's and bare metal hypervisors as configured.

    The CPU and GPU are solid enough for the games you've mentioned, and future support won't be an issue since we don't use any proprietary parts. If you are looking for 4-7 years of support, I'd recommend the G714 over our G443 since AMD has promised several years of AM5 platform support. Intel typically covers 2-3 years before moving on to a new socket.

    Would definitely give you the most bang for your buck since you save on assembly labor and you get the added warranty and remote support for a year if you find yourself needing it.

    If you do want to go the custom route, keep in mind that AutoCAD is primarily single threaded and favors clock speeds, while VMs like to have additional cores for parallelization across threads, so finding a balance between core count and frequency will be key here. Luckily both Intel and AMD are offering a lot of cores at a high frequency these days, so it's much easier to find something that will work. Gaming wise, most of what we offer is going to be overkill for the games you've listed. Most of those e-sports style arena shooters/battle royale's are relatively relaxed on hardware requirements. Overwatch ran flawlessly on my old GTX 1070 at 1440p, anything newer would be overkill.

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