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Building Gaming PC Help


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#1 xmonke   Members   -  Reputation: 101

Posted 31 July 2012 - 09:21 PM

Hi, I'm trying to build my own gaming PC for the first time and I need some professional opinions. I want to be able to play games at their highest settings and I'd also like to be able to run game engines and modeling software like Unreal Engine 3 and 3ds Max. What do you recommend for CPU's, graphics cards, motherboards, memory, cases, power supply, etc? I'd like all the details, please. Also I don't want to have to spend a ton of money($1000+). Right now my price range is around $800, but don't only recommend the best for under my price range, if I really should invest more I guess I can keep saving. I just want to know what you think. I've read a bunch of guides online for building gaming PC's, but I don't really trust those, I want to hear the opinions of people who actually have the products, not just a bunch of reviews. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you. Posted Image

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#2 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2668

Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:23 AM

I built this system from Ars technica only difference was that I ended using a different case to house it in. Runs all the games for me at high or ultra level graphics as well runs the cryengine 3 software with no issues that I have run into so far. I cannot speak to modelling software such as 3ds Max as I don't handle that side of things. The prices quoted on this link should be cheaper than shown due to time passed. In terms of cost Versus performance I have no complaints.

Edited by Stormynature, 01 August 2012 - 10:24 AM.


#3 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 594

Posted 01 August 2012 - 10:25 AM

If you want to save money go with AMD and Radeon Graphics card, They usually have sales like 50$ off if you buy the processor with a compatible motherboard. Outside of those tips I say just shop around for compatible pieces and read reviews on newegg or tigerdirect.

My PC cost me Id say like ~1200$ to build, I have...

a 750 Watt power supply [Corsair] (Youll need it if your going to have a beefy graphics card)
8 Core Processor [AMD FX 8120] (I think it makes more noise then necessary tho)
16 Gigs Of Ram [Crucial Ballistics] (4 x 4 gb sticks)
256 Solid State Drive [Kingston HyperX]
2 Graphics card, A Radeon Spaphire Card 2GB crossfired with Some Generic Radeon 6100's
and I forget my motherboard, plus a spacious tower

I would also recommend you get a nice big tower case with good ventilation and wire management, My old PC kept freezing on me I believe it might of been because It was in a really small case with not much room to breath and hence it started over heating in the hot summer/spring days.

#4 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6765

Posted 01 August 2012 - 11:04 AM

$800 is certainly a workable budget, but it can be tight. Personally, I tend to spend a baseline of $150-$200 on each of the major compnents: Case, Motherboard, CPU, RAM, and Graphics card. A good quality PSU runs about $70-80 per 500w. So, for me, my 'baseline' system budget is between $800 and $1100. From there, you still need to add / recycle drives. These days I'd also recommend an SSD drive, you can get mid-range models that still beat the pants off spinning disks for less than $1/GB now; higher-end SATA3 models tend to run about $1.50/GB. Next to RAM and CPU, an SSD is the best thing you can do for your system.

After that I allocate money where I see fit -- Better CPU, better GPU, depending on my budget and what I'm intending to do.

#5 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2140

Posted 01 August 2012 - 03:45 PM

Next to RAM and CPU, an SSD is the best thing you can do for your system.


Actually, I'd go further than that. The difference between varying cpus and ram is measured in microseconds. The difference between an SSD and a platter is measured in seconds.
if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#6 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6765

Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:05 PM


Next to RAM and CPU, an SSD is the best thing you can do for your system.


Actually, I'd go further than that. The difference between varying cpus and ram is measured in microseconds. The difference between an SSD and a platter is measured in seconds.


Depends on the workload and what the proposed delta between base and upgraded CPU and RAM are -- If you're compute limited and your app is multi-threaded I'd spend same money on more cores if its feasible (but I'd not spend the same money on a few hundred Mhz clock bump), likewise I'd spend same money on 8 or 16 GB of RAM if I were hitting swap all the time (say you had only 2 or 4 GB). Similarly, I might be limited by disk latency or throughput, but the rest of the system is not taxed, then an SSD would be the choice move. But all things equal, only if I've already got a decent enough CPU for my purposes and enough RAM to not be a problem would I opt for an SSD (presuming one's budget requires a trade-off to be made).

Personally I just spend enough that I don't make any significant compromises, but not everyone can do that.

#7 Bacterius   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 8162

Posted 01 August 2012 - 07:43 PM

If you want to save money go with AMD and Radeon Graphics card, They usually have sales like 50$ off if you buy the processor with a compatible motherboard. Outside of those tips I say just shop around for compatible pieces and read reviews on newegg or tigerdirect.

My PC cost me Id say like ~1200$ to build, I have...

a 750 Watt power supply [Corsair] (Youll need it if your going to have a beefy graphics card)
8 Core Processor [AMD FX 8120] (I think it makes more noise then necessary tho)
16 Gigs Of Ram [Crucial Ballistics] (4 x 4 gb sticks)
256 Solid State Drive [Kingston HyperX]
2 Graphics card, A Radeon Spaphire Card 2GB crossfired with Some Generic Radeon 6100's
and I forget my motherboard, plus a spacious tower

I would also recommend you get a nice big tower case with good ventilation and wire management, My old PC kept freezing on me I believe it might of been because It was in a really small case with not much room to breath and hence it started over heating in the hot summer/spring days.

Since he said he's building a desktop for the first time I would assume he has no generic spare parts lying around that he can reuse, this adds a significant overhead to the price tag that cannot be ignored. Monitor, keyboard, mouse, maybe speakers, network adapter (if applicable), dvd drive, possibly sound card (although most people don't need one) etc... that easily adds another $200 to the total. And you probably want a 500GB-1TB hard drive in addition to the SSD, so throw in another $50. Perhaps an external hard drive too, to share data with your laptop/work/other? Etc...

Also, do you have an OS to install it with? That's also a consideration, since you mention playing the latest games at highest settings this automatically means either Vista, 7 or 8. I suppose 7, so do you have a license available, or some kind of discount/special edition, etc...? Software costs money too (or at least, it is meant to).

I certainly recommend an SSD to put the OS on however, even a small 80GB one (although I would consider 120GB the minimum so that you can actually put other stuff on it). The difference really is night and day. I would also have a minimum of 8GB of RAM, I was constantly hitting swap with my 4GB until I upgraded to 12GB, and memory is relatively cheap nowadays so why not? (but then I make heavy use of virtual machines, so YMMV)

The slowsort algorithm is a perfect illustration of the multiply and surrender paradigm, which is perhaps the single most important paradigm in the development of reluctant algorithms. The basic multiply and surrender strategy consists in replacing the problem at hand by two or more subproblems, each slightly simpler than the original, and continue multiplying subproblems and subsubproblems recursively in this fashion as long as possible. At some point the subproblems will all become so simple that their solution can no longer be postponed, and we will have to surrender. Experience shows that, in most cases, by the time this point is reached the total work will be substantially higher than what could have been wasted by a more direct approach.

 

- Pessimal Algorithms and Simplexity Analysis





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