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  1. #1
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    Building a 1500-2000 gaming PC

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks


    CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor (239.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0564 101.6 CFM CPU Cooler (44.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (142.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (1 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (57.47 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (128.05 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (44.87 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (44.87 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (185.09 @ Ebuyer)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (185.09 @ Ebuyer)
    Case: Silverstone SST-RV03B-WA ATX Full Tower Case (93.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (81.19 @ Amazon UK)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (67.19 @ Aria PC)
    Total: 1315.08
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-17 21:03 BST+0100)

    I'm aiming to build a (baby) monster of a PC here. Hoping for a steady 60fps for the next few years, on the highest settings at 1440p, with the possibility of buying a second monitor of the same resolution later down the line. Am I on the right track here or is that a pipe dream?

    I'm at a bit of a loss over what optical drives to get, so a little help there would be appreciated (a single CD/DVD drive will suffice). Other than that I'd appreciate suggestions for a decent 1440p monitor that won't break the bank, 'good enough for a month or two' keyboard and mouse and some reasonable speakers or headphones (although I can live with my current shitty speakers for a while longer if necessary). General advice/constructive criticism is also welcome if I've gone way too high/low end for a component or two. Am I forgetting anything? Cables and thermal paste should be included, right?

    My original price goal was 1500. Doesn't seem like that's gonna happen any more, so I can stretch to 2000 and live off pasta for a week or two.

    Link to the identical Reddit post, in case anyone feels like double checking their advice too.

    Thanks in advance :)

  2. #2
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    Some of this is going to be what is siad time and time again:

    There's no (percepitble) gaming benefit for the i7 over the i5. So you can save plenty of money there.
    Equally, unless it's just what SLI motherboards cost, that mobo seems a bit expensive.

    Any reason for 2 x 1 TB drive when you could get a 2tb for similar?

    If you're going to build a monster, I'd probably say why not get 16gb of memory. Sure, it's not needed, but save the headaches. Also, there are performance benefits to getting 2 sticks over 1 (dual channel). Again, the memory seems rather overpriced.

    Depending on how much sound quality bothers you, might be worth thinking of getting a sound card? I can vouch for lower background hiss levels at least.

    Also, contact points make a world of differnce to your gaming/PC using experience. Get great mice and good keyboards, not ok or poor ones.

  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    You'll also want a pair of memory sticks to get a dual channel configuration. Here's my suggestion for some modifications, adding in a standard DVD burner:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (167.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0564 101.6 CFM CPU Cooler (44.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (106.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory (54.20 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (132.57 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (62.90 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (185.09 @ Ebuyer)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (185.09 @ Ebuyer)
    Case: Silverstone SST-RV03B-WA ATX Full Tower Case (93.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (81.19 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (12.46 @ Amazon UK)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (67.19 @ Aria PC)
    Total: 1193.95
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-17 23:22 BST+0100)

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Hmm, actually that motherboard only comes with 2 SATA cables, so you'd have to buy another if you don't have any lying around. May set you back another 2 or 3 quid (unless you go for the "SATA3 cable" scam).

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    This is just me, probably, but I'd not go with SLI or an i7. I'd get an i5 and maybe pop in a 770. But in general, i'd save the money and in 2 years time upgrade the video card again, selling the old one. That way you'll be able to do 60FPS now and in the future. Also, it saves you any SLI headaches (I hear it's wonky sometimes).

    It'll end up costing you about the same, but in my opinion gives you more value.

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node L_No's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Also, there are performance benefits to getting 2 sticks over 1 (dual channel).
    Sorry to highjack the thread for a bit, but could you explain why? I've heard it said before, but what is the advantage of getting 2 sticks instead of 1 exactly?

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    Sorry to highjack the thread for a bit, but could you explain why? I've heard it said before, but what is the advantage of getting 2 sticks instead of 1 exactly?
    It's a dual channel configuration, which doubles bandwidth.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    This is just me, probably, but I'd not go with SLI or an i7. I'd get an i5 and maybe pop in a 770. But in general, i'd save the money and in 2 years time upgrade the video card again, selling the old one. That way you'll be able to do 60FPS now and in the future.
    I've done the same for the past few PCs and done very well out if it. Th trick to getting a PC that will still peform well in 2-3 years time is not to spend crazy money now, but to have enough money left to keep it running well. Spending 150-250 on a graphics card now will get you graphics that are great for now, and spending the same again in 24 months time will get you a graphic card that would have left the 300-500 from 2 years ago in the dust. That said, if you're demanding 1440p performance today, you'll need power. But spending twice the money to get a 10% performance boost today is not futureproofing, despite what people seem to think.

    Quote Originally Posted by L_No View Post
    Sorry to highjack the thread for a bit, but could you explain why? I've heard it said before, but what is the advantage of getting 2 sticks instead of 1 exactly?
    Modern processors have 2 "channels" for memory (some have 3), two route to take data from memory to the processor. If you use both channels, you can therefore move twice as much data per memory cycle. The difference in speed between main memory and processor is one of the biggest performance drags in modern systems (hence the existence of 3 levels of cache on the CPU die)

  9. #9
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    Oh gods, I'm a pain in the arse. I appreciate all the responses, but may need my hand holding a little here :/

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    There's no (percepitble) gaming benefit for the i7 over the i5. So you can save plenty of money there.
    As in actually none, or just not enough to justify the price in your opinion? We talking 1-2 fps gains, or 10-20? I really am looking for a CPU that I can install and forget about until long after I've gotten rid of these graphics cards for something new.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Any reason for 2 x 1 TB drive when you could get a 2tb for similar?
    I was under the impression that single TB drives were less prone to mechanical failures. Is this untrue?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    If you're going to build a monster, I'd probably say why not get 16gb of memory. Sure, it's not needed, but save the headaches. Also, there are performance benefits to getting 2 sticks over 1 (dual channel). Again, the memory seems rather overpriced.
    That's a possibility. I'm not entirely convinced there's going to be any actual games that use 16GB (or even 8GB for that matter) in the next few years. Reckon it's worth simply getting 2x4GB sticks instead of the single 8GB?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Depending on how much sound quality bothers you, might be worth thinking of getting a sound card? I can vouch for lower background hiss levels at least.
    I'm not exactly an audiophile, but I do appreciate clear sound. Any specific recommendations for someone who couldn't name a single sound card? There's probably no need for a particularly expensive one though, this is the latest of all afterthoughts as far as I'm concerned. I'd also appreciate a suggestion or two for some reasonably good speakers/headphones if this is an area you know much about.

    Quote Originally Posted by CMaster View Post
    Also, contact points make a world of differnce to your gaming/PC using experience. Get great mice and good keyboards, not ok or poor ones.
    Any specific recommendations? I'm not really a fan of flashing lights or a thousand extra buttons. Elegance and responsiveness are more important to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    You'll also want a pair of memory sticks to get a dual channel configuration. Here's my suggestion for some modifications, adding in a standard DVD burner:

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (167.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0564 101.6 CFM CPU Cooler (44.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (106.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory (54.20 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (132.57 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (62.90 @ Aria PC)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (185.09 @ Ebuyer)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card (2-Way SLI) (185.09 @ Ebuyer)
    Case: Silverstone SST-RV03B-WA ATX Full Tower Case (93.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (81.19 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (12.46 @ Amazon UK)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (67.19 @ Aria PC)
    Total: 1193.95
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-17 23:22 BST+0100)
    Most of the questions I'd have had about your suggestions have already been covered above. Why that specific motherboard though?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    This is just me, probably, but I'd not go with SLI or an i7. I'd get an i5 and maybe pop in a 770. But in general, i'd save the money and in 2 years time upgrade the video card again, selling the old one. That way you'll be able to do 60FPS now and in the future. Also, it saves you any SLI headaches (I hear it's wonky sometimes).

    It'll end up costing you about the same, but in my opinion gives you more value.
    From what I can see (although I may be being dense, just got from work and haven't even had a cuppa yet) a 770 looks to be about 50% more expensive than a 760 for a small amount of extra power. Do you know of any decent benchmarks comparing the two that may help convince me otherwise?

  10. #10
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    No, that's why I said maybe, given that you come from 100% more expensive as a single 760 with the dual 760 setup. I wouldn't do it.

    The i7 adds over the i5 hyperthreading, which isn't needed. It's certainly better, but not 80 quid better. Not even remotely.

  11. #11
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    Made a few little changes here. I've resigned myself to 1080p after seeing the price of a decent 1440p monitor, although I may well grab a second monitor at some point.


    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks


    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (167.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0564 101.6 CFM CPU Cooler (44.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (141.99 @ Ebuyer)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (30.96 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 4GB (1 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory (30.96 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (124.98 @ Ebuyer)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (44.83 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (44.83 @ CCL Computers)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card (329.39 @ Aria PC)
    Case: Silverstone SST-RV03B-WA ATX Full Tower Case (93.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (80.52 @ CCL Computers)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (12.46 @ Amazon UK)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (67.19 @ Aria PC)
    Monitor: Asus VG248QE 144Hz 24.0" Monitor (275.09 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Total: 1489.82
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-19 03:27 BST+0100)




    Keyboard: UK Filco Majestouch-2, NKR, Tactile Action Keyboard (120)


    New total: 1609.82


    There's easily room to stick in a second 770 further down the line. I also need a good mouse (elegance and responsiveness trump flashy lights and thousands of buttons), some reasonable speakers and whatever it is that lets you connect to a home hub wirelessly (I've always used ethernet thus far).


    Any suggestions for those last bits and bobs, comments on the build or massively important components I've forgotten?

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lordcooper View Post
    Most of the questions I'd have had about your suggestions have already been covered above. Why that specific motherboard though?
    Because it's cheaper and just as good for most uses. If there are any features on the Pro you'd prefer to keep, then that's up to you.

    Since you're looking for wireless connection, the Asus Z87-Pro may be a good investment, since it has built-in WiFi and an included antenna.
    Last edited by Sakkura; 19-10-2013 at 12:35 PM.

  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    As for speakers, I really really like my M-Audio AV-40's. They sound amazing for the money. 100 quid on Amazon UK.

    Back up the thread someone suggested a single 2TB drive, it's a bit cheaper than 2x 1TB. Also, I'd still go with a 760 and upgrade to the (probably called) 960 in two years time.

  14. #14
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    For the record, wired networks are pretty preferable to wireless if you can run the cables. More reliable, less traffic effected, easier to set up.

    Also, note that Sakkura recommended the 840 Evo over the 840. Performance is better on these, cost difference is fairly small at the prices you are looking at.

    The cooler is really expensive too, although it may well be quiet and good enough to be worth it, I have no idea.

    Also, if you aren't going SLI, you don't need a power supply half that big: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/p...ulatorlite.jsp for more info.

    As for the reliability, of hdds, no idea. I probably wouldn't be buying Seagate if reliability or performance were my concerns however.

  15. #15
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    I made a few revisions.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks


    CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor (167.99 @ Aria PC)
    CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler (62.99 @ Ebuyer)
    Motherboard: Asus Z87-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (141.99 @ Ebuyer)
    Memory: G.Skill Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory (144.40 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk (129.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (44.83 @ CCL Computers)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (44.83 @ CCL Computers)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card (239.76 @ Dabs)
    Case: Silverstone SST-RV03B-WA ATX Full Tower Case (93.64 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Power Supply: XFX 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply (80.01 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (12.46 @ Amazon UK)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) (67.19 @ Aria PC)
    Monitor: Asus PB278Q 27.0" Monitor (458.72 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Speakers: Creative Labs Inspire T3130 25W 2.1ch Speakers (48.49 @ Overclockers.co.uk)
    Total: 1737.29
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-10-20 19:55 BST+0100)

    I'm throwing caution to the winds a bit and going for what appears to be a pretty good 1440p monitor, have upped the RAM (I muck about with video editing and 3d modelling/sculpting from time to time, so it might actually see some use) and jumped ship to the R9 280X (it's far cheaper than I expected and seems like a decent choice right now). I'll likely be adding a second R9 280X in a couple of months if my framerates leave much to be desired (two of them shouldn't struggle with m/any games at all even at 1440, right?) so would you still say the PSU is going overboard by much? I've opted for some well reviewed cheapass speakers for the time being so that I can get a feel for the low end and assess whether I actually want to splash out on anything better. Can't say I see much difference between the 840 and 840 EVO, but the price increase is tiny, so why the hell not?

    Adding in the keyboard, mouse, a new desk and a decent chair.

    Keyboard: UK Filco Majestouch-2, NKR, Tactile Action Keyboard (120)
    Mouse: Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse (89)


    VIKA KAJ
    Leg, adjustable, silver-colour
    Min. height: 60 cm
    Max. height: 90 cm
    Max. load/leg: 75 kg

    Article Number : 601.053.01
    10 X 8 80

    LINNMON
    Table top, black-brown
    Length: 120 cm
    Width: 60 cm
    Thickness: 3.4 cm

    Article Number : 002.513.43
    15 X 2 30

    MARKUS
    Swivel chair, black
    Tested for: 110 kg
    Width: 62 cm
    Depth: 60 cm

    Article Number : 201.031.01
    125 X 1 125

    LINNMON
    Table top, black-brown
    Length: 100 cm
    Width: 60 cm
    Thickness: 3.4 cm

    Article Number : 002.513.38
    9 X 1 9

    Gonna L shape the desk and the extra tabletop is purely to keep my tower off the carpet. Is it worth getting a fifth leg for each table to provide extra support, or is that just ikea trying to make me spend more money?

    Desk parts and chair cost 262 including delivery.

    Grand total for everything I'm likely to need for the foreseeable future: 2208.29

    I spent a few hours thinking I should dial back on furniture and peripherals to invest in some even better parts, but in all honesty they're likely to be in use years after this PC gets replaced so it's probably worth the expense.

    Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to help so far. I get paid in just over a week, so I'm still open to suggestions in the meantime.

    Do I need to buy thermal paste, or will that come with the CPU?

    Edit to add: This PC is gonna be two floors above (and on the opposite side of the house to) my hub. There's no way I'm running a cable that far.

  16. #16
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Thermal paste comes with the cooler.

    With a pair of 280Xs, you might consider stepping up to an 850W PSU. But 750W should be enough. CMaster just pointed out that 750W is a bit much with a single graphics card - when you're going for two it's a lot more reasonable.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    With a pair of 280Xs, you might consider stepping up to an 850W PSU. But 750W should be enough. CMaster just pointed out that 750W is a bit much with a single graphics card - when you're going for two it's a lot more reasonable.
    I'll look into that. Better to be over than under, right?

  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    Yeah. No reason to go WAY over though (that makes the PSU less efficient, though it'll still work fine).

  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    Spend 1k and 1k again in 2 years. Seriously.
    I'm failing to writing a blog, specifically about playing games the wrong way
    http://playingitwrong.wordpress.com/

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heliocentric View Post
    Spend 1k and 1k again in 2 years. Seriously.
    The actual PC itself is only 1230.08 and the rest is comprised of peripherals and furniture, so I'm more or less doing that already.

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