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Norman Barrows

getting a new PC for DX development

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I'm shopping for a new PC for DX development.

 

What should I look for?

 

I'm planning on a i7 6700K 4core @4.2Ghz, and a GTX 1080.

 

I'm thinking of getting a 1Tb SSD drive.  i have a 500G ata drive, and am only using 2/3rds of it right now.

 

I'm also thinking about getting the on-board SSD for the OS, as well as the 1Tb SSD drive for everything else, and no ata drive. no problemo? or bad idea?

 

I assume I should get the intel overclock insurance?

 

And heat sink glue of course.

 

What about the foam filled case for shipping?

 

what about blue ray? might as well if its cheap?

 

flash card readers? other gizmos i should consider?

 

a basic i7 6700K gtx 1080 box is looking to be in the $1700 to $1900 range.

 

and what about a monitor? right now i have a 1600x900 flatscreen LCD.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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This looks more like a gaming PC. For DirectX development all you need is a potato with the Target API of your choice. Some really low-end GPUs aside (Think intel hd) it's actually not a bad strategy to tune your projects to run well on systems running a *50/*40 gpu, and lower end processors.

 

I do recommend a monitor upgrade if your going with that GPU. Otherwise you can just settle on < 1060, and probably be fine at 60fps on ultra in most titles. Basically no point in putting a 425cc big block in a hot rod, and only taking it on Sunday drives to church in busy commutes.

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You should upgrade to a 27" 2560 or 32" UHD Dell UltraSharp or similar IPS display. Better yet, buy two. The 27" 2560s are running around $400 right now, I believe.

Edited by Promit

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I'm also thinking about getting the on-board SSD for the OS, as well as the 1Tb SSD drive for everything else, and no ata drive. no problemo? or bad idea?


No problemo. My home PC has a 240GB SSD for the OS and apps and a 960GB SSD for games and my hobby projects. It works great.

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I went exclusively SSD a few years back; the only downside I can see is that at the rate prices are falling, you'll always be able to get a better deal if you wait a few months.  Otherwise I can't foresee myself ever going back to spinning pieces of rusty iron.

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You might want to consider going for more CPU cores. One option would be something like the the i7 6800K, which has 6 cores. The extra cores can help significantly with compile times, as the compilation process is easy to split across multiple cores (although it won't help link times).

 

You do sacrifice clock speed to get the extra cores though, so they aren't always faster, and they are more expensive.

 

Here's a review of the latest set of desktop CPUs with 6+ cores: http://www.anandtech.com/show/10337/the-intel-broadwell-e-review-core-i7-6950x-6900k-6850k-and-6800k-tested-up-to-10-cores

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although it won't help link times

VS 2015 now uses multicore for linking (I can see 100% utilization on 4 cores for 1 instance of link.exe).

I do not know when they added this feature, but VS 2015 Update 3 do it well! :)

Edited by Happy SDE

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I personally would go for an X99 platform build. Its close(ish) to the cost of a 6700k and a Z170 board but you get 2 more cores for workstation tasks. 

 

Basically the 6700k would perform better in a gaming workload as it as much better single core performance but anything to do with a multithreaded workflow a 6800k or 6850k does a fair bit better in any multithreaded workload. http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/core-i7-6950x-6900k-6850k-and-6800k-processor-review,9.html

 

Also as Promit stated 2560x1440 resolution monitors are extremely nice to have, as well as having multiple monitors can help boost your productivity. I personally use 2 BenQ GW2765 monitors and a BenQ XL2730Z. The GW2765's are fairly cheap too (also they're an IPS panel so their colour reproduction is fantastic). I payed $400 CAD a piece for mine but assuming you're using US currency they're about $329 USD a piece at the moment. http://pcpartpicker.com/product/YZn2FT/benq-monitor-gw2765ht

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This looks more like a gaming PC.

 

Evaluation of competitor's products is a necessary part of any business.  a casual survey indicates an i5 6600K and a GTX970 are the highest minimum specs for PC titles released so far in 2016.  If the competition has that kind of hardware spec to work with, maybe I should too.   This rig should meet minimum spec for 2-3, or maybe even 3-4 years.

 

 

 

For DirectX development all you need is a potato with the Target API of your choice.

 

But you still need the target platform for testing. 

 

 

 

Some really low-end GPUs aside (Think intel hd) it's actually not a bad strategy to tune your projects to run well on systems running a *50/*40 gpu, and lower end processors.

 

I won't be requiring  4 cores, 4.2Ghz, or a GTX1080 in my current projects.  But I will be requiring more than an AMD 1.3Ghz E300 and AMD HD6310 (what I'm using now), at least for Caveman 3.0.

 

If i went 2 core multi-thread with background terrain chunk and collision map generation on the second thread, sure, i could probably get it to run on a dual core @ 1.3Ghz.   But 1.3Ghz is a joke these days, so why bother? its time for a new PC.

 

Something like half the folks on the steam hardware survey are running 4 cores at 3Ghz and a gtx900 series card or better.

 

 

 

I do recommend a monitor upgrade if your going with that GPU. Otherwise you can just settle on < 1060, and probably be fine at 60fps on ultra in most titles.

 

So i can spring for a big screen or suffer along with what i have, eh? that's what i figured. 

 

 

 

Basically no point in putting a 425cc big block in a hot rod, and only taking it on Sunday drives to church in busy commutes.

 

In real life i put a 688Hp, 489 CID (8.0 liter) big block in a chevelle and  drove it to 7-11 for cigarettes! <g>.


The 27" 2560s are running around $400 right now,

 

I hadn't really started looking at monitors yet, but i did notice prices seemed a bit lower than i expected.  

 

 

What about these 3 foot wide curved screens?  any good?   seems like it might be a little weird to use for coding....


 

 

the only downside I can see is that at the rate prices are falling, you'll always be able to get a better deal if you wait a few months.

 

Tell me about it!

 

AMD just cut MSRP on their 460 and 470 cards....     Zen is about to come out....    there's always something better or cheaper due out in 6 months.  But you have to buy sometime.  I guess I'm sort of betting Zen won't outdo the i7 6700K - maybe / probably a safe bet.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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You might want to consider going for more CPU cores.

 

I don't do a lot of mutli-core stuff with apps, just a little modeling in blender. And my multitasking is limited to the IDE and the todo list (notepad or wordpad) at the same time. Cores will only help on compiles. all ~150,000 lines of Caveman 3.0 compile in maybe 15 seconds.  But the link is about 2 minutes.

 

Once again, its a bet of sorts.   In this case I'm betting that games won't go to 6 core minimum required in the next 3-4 years.  I'm trying to spend no more than necessary to remain productive and competitive long term. I can live without lots of cores for development as long as the tools don't require them. But i do need a rig i can use to at least see what the jones's are doing, even if i can't always keep up with them.   Right now, the jones would be defined as battlefield 1, with an i5 6600K required, and Forza Horizon 3 and Halo 5, with a GTX 970 required.  BTW Forza also requires 3.4 Ghz or better minimum.

Edited by Norman Barrows

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