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Rainbow Dash

When buying a new Gaming PC. Consoles around the corner...

17 posts in this topic

Hey AJSA! This was something that arose from some comments on a youtube video about next gen consoles, where I said I've had a 'next gen' console for over 3 years (A PC). People got angry but one person in particular told me he wanted to get his first Gaming PC. What are my specs and what should I get? So, a typed a long comment in reply to that and thought to myself: why not post it on the AJSA forums! Maybe some people could find it useful. So I've generalized the whole thing a bit and here it is, nothing special, nothing professional but handy for when you're getting a PC now, since next gen consoles (aka PC's) are also coming out.

''Now this will be extremely long so bear with me, I'll probably use this as a a guide more often and I might even flesh it out some more. For now, here's what I got.''

 

My specs: 

I have an Intel 3570k @4.2GHz (CPU), with an AMD HD7970 (GPU) which is just overclocked to maximum settings in the CCC, this along with Corsair Vengeance (8GB, DD3) RAM, CPU is cooled by a pretty standard Cooler Master hyper 212 evo all connected to a Gigabyte GA-z77x-ud3h (motherboard), powered by a Corsair TX650M (PSU) and inside a Corsair 650D (midi-tower case).

 

The PC:

Now if you're buying a (your first) gaming PC there is two things to consider beforehand.

1. Do you build it (generally cheaper)
2. Or do you buy a pre-made one such as an Alienware or choose your own specific specs and get it built for you. (usually more expensive).

Now one is more work but also more fun I find. You learn from it and its cheaper. If you do want to buy a premade PC that's fine too but avoid Alienware or other fancy 'pay for the fancy case and logo instead of what's inside' brands. Instead, find a computer specialist and pick specs that suit you and let the person do the work; assembling it for you. If you want to build, build! Don't hesitate, watch some videos and you'll be fine. I'll focus on specs.
 

General specs:

Specs wise there are many options. Budget gaming PC's (low end), 'mid end', high end and ultra high end. Their limitations vary and so do their prices. A low end PC will obviously not cost as much as a high end one ($400 vs $1000) but will be less powerful, playing on low-medium settings on new games vs playing on high-ultra.

I don't know what your budget is of course and I don't know how much you are willing to invest in a Gaming PC but generally if you really want to get something that will be ahead of the next gen consoles you'll have to throw in about 500 - 600 euros which is not that bad seeing as the Xbox One is $500. Now this may seem like a lot for people who are not familiar with PC prices and it might seem cheap to some of the ultra high end PC's out there but I'd say 600 euros is the sweet-spot.

But keep in mind, prices on PC hardware go down faster and harder than (very highly inappropriate joke which I will absolutely not make). My PC cost 1200 euros at the time I upgraded (mostly due to the ludicrous price of the HD7970 which was 500 euros when it came out.) but now it might even be half. It does still play pretty much anything on ultra so I'm fine for another half year but it's an indication of how fast these things go.

 

Advice, what to do (CPU, GPU)

So my advice, simply: wait. Wait until the new Nvidia series of cards are out and then either get one of those, or get a high end 700 series card which will drop down when the new series hits. Alternatively there is AMD, they produce brilliant cards too (the new 200x GPU's just hit so take a look at that too.) That is, in my opinion, your best bet for the GPU. The CPU is a slightly different story, there are 2 main brands. Intel and AMD, usually the story is: Intel when you have the cash and AMD when you're on a budget. Now I will say, this is in some ways true but not in all. AMD CPU's can be just as good as Intel for a lower price. I went for Intel because at the time it cost only a bit more than a similar AMD card and I'd hear very good stories about Intel.

So, what should you do? Intel or AMD? Well ultimately it's your choice, but I'll go with slightly altered version of the original assumption. Get an Intel card if money is not such and issue and get an AMD card when you want a good card but want something that's cheaper. Intel's a bit more ''premium'' (God I hate that word... but it works.)

 

Other hardware:

Now I won't go so in depth over all the other parts but generally this is what I try to think when I get the other PC hardware:

1. For the power supply (PSU), do not cheap out. People tend to make this mistake, don't. A good PSU is important in general, but, especially when overclocking. Preferably you want something that's modular or semi modular which means the cables aren't hardwired to the unit but the most important thing is quality (research the brand and model, watch reviews). Also, look for the certification: Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum. They factor into the energy efficiency of the unit.

2. The motherboard, also a known piece of kit people cheap out on. The most important thing here is to check compatibility. There are so many different brands and types. Check with all your PC components on what works with what and how it all works together. The motherboard connects everything. Take your time finding the right one.

3. RAM. Ram is usually cheap. This is simple: 8GB will most likely be fine for gaming. If you have a lot of editing/rendering/3d work etc to do, 16GB is better. Get RAM from a good brand (e.g Kingston, Corsair) and I suggest getting RAM running at 1600MHz.

4. The case. My philosophy is: Get something that works, not something that just looks pretty. The Corsair 650D is an example of a case that works, it's solid, big enough, very modular and has tons of cooling. < Features you want to look for in a case.

 

End notes:

Did I miss anything? I hope not. Just to summarize. Get something that suits your budget, be patient, don't rush and get stuff you will regret, have fun when building and stay up to date software wise. Do that and you'll have yourself a PC that is capable and unlike a console can be upgraded, because after 7-10 years again console players will be sitting on 7 year old hardware where a PC will be ahead.

(P.S: Other hardware like a harddrive, network card, OS are not mentioned. However, I will elaborate a bit more.

 

For your harddrive, SSD is faster but more expensive, HDD is much cheaper but slower, it can also hold tons more content. Generally people get an SSD to put the OS on and HDD for general storage. Some extra advice on HDD's provided by Eric is Raid: ''What can also be mentioned is making your HDD faster is putting them in raid 0, Yes it increases chance in failure (due to 2 harddrives becoming 1 and if 1 breaks you lost the data on the other drive. But if you only install games and that kind of stuff on it, It's not really big of a deal.'' Raid configurations can be quite daunting but it's a good way for faster HDD speeds. I'll link a website here explaining Raid better than I could. http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/dsichelp/ds8000ic/index.jsp?topic=%2Fcom.ibm.storage.ssic.help.doc%2Ff2d_raidimplementation_2tkmjp.html

 

For your OS: Get a hold of Windows 7. 8 is a disaster.)

 

Useful video guide for those who want to build their own PC, courtesy of: 

 

This is a great break down for computers like this. If you are looking to build a computer yourself or trying to show someone how to this is a good video to watch.

 

 

 

Edited by Rainbow Dash

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This is a great break down for computers like this. If you are looking to build a computer yourself or trying to show someone how to this is a good video to watch.

 

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Awesome advice man. I didn't notice any websites in your post so let me throw this out there. Try NewEgg

It has great stuff for low prices for the builders out there! :D

 

But Vinyl Scratch is best pony

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Quick and friendly guide nice!

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Awesome advice man. I didn't notice any websites in your post so let me throw this out there. Try NewEgg

It has great stuff for low prices for the builders out there! :D

 

But Vinyl Scratch is best pony

Yeah, thought as we are all in different parts of the world we have different sites and such but sure. You know I might just add some websites.

 

Grrr, Rainbow Dash does not agree.

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This is a great break down for computers like this. If you are looking to build a computer yourself or trying to show someone how to this is a good video to watch.

 

Oh yes it sure is, used to recommend this to people all the time. Very detailed, professional and interesting. I like this Newegg guy.

 

Quick and friendly guide nice!

 

Thank you! As mentioned earlier I might expand it and make it better generally as it's not really organized right now.

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What can also be mentioned is making your HDD faster is puting them in raid 0, Yes it increases chance in failure (due to 2 harddrives becoming 1 and if 1 breaks you lost the data on the other drive) But if you only install games and that kind of stuff on it, It's not really big of a deal.

 

Also to be know when you have a limited budget don't limit on the GPU if you have to chose between a good CPU or GPU see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIT9uLDjZcg

You don't need the best CPU to get good FPS in games, a lot of games just need a really good GPU. I even have in my guest pc a old Athlon x 4 640 with an GTX 660 and I't can still run BF3 @ Ultra.

Also if you guys need any tips I'm pretty sure you can ask OP or you can PM me.

 

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(P.S: Other hardware like a harddrive, network card, OS are not mentioned. However, I will elaborate a bit more. For your harddrive, SSD is faster but more expensive, HDD is much cheaper but slower, it can also hold tons more content. Generally people get an SSD to put the OS on and HDD for general storage. For your OS: Get a hold of Windows 7. 8 is a disaster.)

 

Well, Win7 is ok for gaming or you can look at Linux for a stable OS (better than windows IMO, if only it could run .exe...)

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What can also be mentioned is making your HDD faster is puting them in raid 0, Yes it increases chance in failure (due to 2 harddrives becoming 1 and if 1 breaks you lost the data on the other drive) But if you only install games and that kind of stuff on it, It's not really big of a deal.

 

Also to be know when you have a limited budget don't limit on the GPU if you have to chose between a good CPU or GPU see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIT9uLDjZcg

You don't need the best CPU to get good FPS in games, a lot of games just need a really good GPU. I even have in my guest pc a old Athlon x 4 640 with an GTX 660 and I't can still run BF3 @ Ultra.

Also if you guys need any tips I'm pretty sure you can ask OP or you can PM me.

You're right. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll put it in there. I think we can get a really good guide going on here honestly. As for the CPU, GPU thing, yes you're right. A good GPU is more important but CPU bottle-necking can be an issue. Especially on games like Arma which require tons of processing power as things are being rendered extremely far away in high detail. Games like these hit the CPU hard.

 

(P.S: Other hardware like a harddrive, network card, OS are not mentioned. However, I will elaborate a bit more. For your harddrive, SSD is faster but more expensive, HDD is much cheaper but slower, it can also hold tons more content. Generally people get an SSD to put the OS on and HDD for general storage. For your OS: Get a hold of Windows 7. 8 is a disaster.)

 

Well, Win7 is ok for gaming or you can look at Linux for a stable OS (better than windows IMO, if only it could run .exe...)

Linux, yes. You know the beauty with Linux though? It's completely open and easy to install. I for example have a small SSD with Linux installed which is extremely handy. For games, Windows 7 is definitely the better platform right now. The most important reason being: There is simply more. Yes, Steam works with Linux but the library is limited. Windows is much more compatible with a lot of games. We will hopefully see change in the future though.

 

(You might know already, but Wine is a brilliant software to run windows files on all kinds of BSD/Linux kernels. It isn't a miracle maker of course as it has limitations. But it works.)

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To be honest, I never regret buying an Alienware. I know its shit, but hey. With all the new computer parts coming out, upgrading is quite the neatest thing.

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(P.S: Other hardware like a harddrive, network card, OS are not mentioned. However, I will elaborate a bit more. For your harddrive, SSD is faster but more expensive, HDD is much cheaper but slower, it can also hold tons more content. Generally people get an SSD to put the OS on and HDD for general storage. For your OS: Get a hold of Windows 7. 8 is a disaster.)

 

Well, Win7 is ok for gaming or you can look at Linux for a stable OS (better than windows IMO, if only it could run .exe...)

I use Windows 8.1. Didn't have any problem with it so far. Its cooperating good with SSD. 

What i can imagine, is that the ui is a bit confusing or inconvenient for the first try.

 

(though i have 15+ years xp in IT)

 

 

In other hand its not a bad guide for beginners. My advise is that if you are not sure in something, put aside your pride and ask a professional. (or you can just learn by your mistake by getting incompatible, or not good equipment). And of course, do your research, google is our friend.

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Newegg is a great site to save money but you can save a bit more if the item that you want if it is available at best buy with the Best buy low price guarantee 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Payment-Pricing/Best-Buy-Low-Price-Guarantee/pcmcat297300050000.c?id=pcmcat297300050000 (there is a small list of major online site like amazon and newegg)

 

Why get it at best buy? You get the shipping free (shop pickup) compare to newegg (depend on what you buy on newegg. You can pay a  small 5$ or 40$ maybe even more) So your are paying the price of newegg and you don't pay the shipping and in best buy canada they beat the price and they remove an other 10% (more saving yay) but not sure if that 10% can be apply in the US or other contry. (btw im not trying to sell you to best buy maybe other store do a low price guarantee but i dont know any electronic store (excluding best buy) in the US)

 

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I guess it the right place since we are talking about building and building a PC cost a lot of money :I

Out topic : Octavia is best pony

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I use Windows 8.1. Didn't have any problem with it so far. Its cooperating good with SSD. 

What i can imagine, is that the ui is a bit confusing or inconvenient for the first try.

 

(though i have 15+ years xp in IT)

 

 

In other hand its not a bad guide for beginners. My advise is that if you are not sure in something, put aside your pride and ask a professional. (or you can just learn by your mistake by getting incompatible, or not good equipment). And of course, do your research, google is our friend.

It was actually not the UI that bothered me that much as I got rid of the silly crossbar Windows Phone start screen and replaced it with a regular button to bring up the old 'Start', it was the fact that Windows 8 crashed my whole system to the point where I had to run a virtual machine with Linux for a while before buying a whole new copy of Windows 7 (since I lost the old one and no way I was re-installing 8) and having to format my entire hard drive to install it. 

 

And yes. Although I know my way around system building and PC in general quite well I am no ''professional'', still experience sometimes beats professionalism and doing your own research like you said never hurts. I am open to questions as well though for anyone who has a question. 

 

Newegg is a great site to save money but you can save a bit more if the item that you want if it is available at best buy with the Best buy low price guarantee 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Payment-Pricing/Best-Buy-Low-Price-Guarantee/pcmcat297300050000.c?id=pcmcat297300050000 (there is a small list of major online site like amazon and newegg)

 

Why get it at best buy? You get the shipping free (shop pickup) compare to newegg (depend on what you buy on newegg. You can pay a  small 5$ or 40$ maybe even more) So your are paying the price of newegg and you don't pay the shipping and in best buy canada they beat the price and they remove an other 10% (more saving yay) but not sure if that 10% can be apply in the US or other contry. (btw im not trying to sell you to best buy maybe other store do a low price guarantee but i dont know any electronic store (excluding best buy) in the US)

 

Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I guess it the right place since we are talking about building and building a PC cost a lot of money :I

Out topic : Octavia is best pony

 

Thanks for the info. I am not in North America or Canada so I'm not familiar with the various stores and prices there. Great tips for someone who is though, thanks :D.

 

Oh wow. We got some fierce competition here. Octavia, Vinyl, RD. Such diversity.

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Pretty good general advice for someone looking to buy a pc.

 

Definitely skip windows 8... It's terrible and should never be used by anyone (unfortunately practically everywhere you buy a pc from they try to bundle it in). Few days ago was the last straw for me with windows 8, it did the typical update bullshit, restarted, and when it booted back up "os could not be found." So essentially something with the update screwed up and corrupted my hard drive, fantastic.

 

Safe to say I switched back to windows 7 after that happened. It's not the first time something like that has happened while using windows 8 but it was by far the most severe.

Rainbow Dash likes this

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But where to get Windows 7?

Microsoft have stop selling windows 7 soo people are forced to buy windows 8

I have windows 7 but if my hard drive fail, I have a huge problems... I dont have the CD of windows 7 So the only thing I have is the key.

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But where to get Windows 7?

Microsoft have stop selling windows 7 soo people are forced to buy windows 8

I have windows 7 but if my hard drive fail, I have a huge problems... I dont have the CD of windows 7 So the only thing I have is the key.

You can try amazon, newegg, or a lot of the other online retailers that sell pc hardware/software.

 

Both of those places have it in stick currently for around 100 dollars.

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Going to update this tomorrow to make it a bit more extensive since the build/buy question still keeps coming up.

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