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Help me build a pc

Discussion in Hardware Hangout started by Detonator, Nov 30, 2012

  1. Sep 25, 2010
    My friend wants to build a new pc. A gaming pc that is. Budget = up to 1.7k$ The cheaper the better.
    Games he wants to be able to run games such as BF3, HoN, Skyrim, WoW, dota 2, and future dx11 games to come.

    Things he doesn't need:
    Mouse + Headset + keyboard.

    So my dear friends what's the cheapest way to do this?
    Detonator, Nov 30, 2012 Last edited by Detonator, Nov 30, 2012
  2. Nov 29, 2010
    It's funny you mention that. I was building a random computer in math class for fun the other day.

    The SSD and Monitor can be removed/changed for personal preference
  3. Jul 14, 2010
    If he can afford up to 1.7k, intel + nvidia would probably be best, since AMD is more budget.
  4. Nov 29, 2010
    Unless you're planning to do CPU intensive projects, (Not gaming, but video editing and photoshop) You don't need Intel.

    Deto said the cheaper the better, however that works like a double edged sword. The more you skimp out, the more likely you're going to be rebuying parts
  5. Apr 9, 2012
    EDIT: For clarification and possibly misunderstanding aspects in my explanation, skip to Brett's posts instead which are better constructed and more informative.

    * I would go for a Sandy Bridge Intel i7 in any case (you never know if your gonna do something else than gaming (I didn't knew it before that I was going to do a lot of video editing and so on, I was firstly focussed only on games). i7 is the minimum, don't go for worthless i5's or i3's. They're not wothless but for gaming (especially for the nex gens that are coming) it's simply a minimum. Within the i7's there's a lot of possibilities. As long as it doesn't go into a bottleneck with your GPU your fine.

    * A good AMD from the 7000 series, preferrably a 7870 or 7970 (at minimum). Don't go for Crossfire X with AMD... And neiher for NVIDIA Sli (if I would choose I would go for SLI but I don't think multi-GPU is necessary nowadays, you gain like only 40% extra power, which is 40% of left-over power anyways). If you go fir Nvidia... Well I can't help you there. Both are great but have their pros and cons (I always say that Nvidia is quality and AMD all the rest... especially performance). You could wait for the next 8000 series to be released, but I'm not sure if they're already next-gen, and if they aren't, don't buy them and go for 7000 series instead or the current equivalent NVIDIA's.

    * RAM is nowadays so cheap that even 12GB of ram could go down to only paying 60 dollars for it... I had to pay €40 for a good 8GB of DDR3 ram (which is actually for gaming 4GB too much, but I need it for video editting)

    * A soundcard is useful for quality and opens a whole lot more recording possibilities. Unless you have a very powerful and qualitative Hi-fi system at home (and that doesn't mean 2 speakers and a subwoofer (= not quality but simply power and horrendous quality many people don't even comprehend that)) you're good with on-board soundcards.

    * The case is important, more important than many people sometimes think:

    • It has to be big enough (a high-tower or even medium-tower is more than enough) because those last GPU's are pretty long and take up a lot of space (= perfect canditates for cable clutter as a sidenote).
    • As I mentioned, a lot of space gives you the opportunity to manage your cables. Some people prefer it to do their own way and use the left-over space to manage cables, otherwise you can use a case that has support for cable managment support.
    • COOLING. I can't stand so many people who think cooling is not important... How many people don't even know that crashing can be caused due to overheating.... Anyways, COOLING. The case has to have (assuming these specs above are gonna be used) many openings and slots for either fans or water-cooling. Water-cooling is more complex and is imo less reliable than fans. It's better though... Otherwise fans is the best choice and certainly less expensive. If your case has at least 5 fan slots it's alright. I would suggest more but you better have 5 good arranged fans than 7+ worse placed fans. Make sure you also have fans that insert cool air from the front, and fans that remove hot air from the back.
    • If you have a case big enough, you NEED to buy a good CPU cooler. Stock coolers are never any good. My stock cooler let my CPU go to 85+ degrees... Now I got the Scythe Mugen v2 and it will on max capacity not go over 38 degrees. It's a gicantic CPU cooler though, so luckily I had a big case!

    * Power supply, simply has to be powerful enough for what you're going to put into it. Make sure cables are long enough, and especially that the fan of it isn't too loud... That's often an issue many people tend to miss and think it wouldn't matter, but later on when it's entirely quit at home, you'll understand how loud certain power supplies can be...

    * Motherboard... Well yea, it has to be powerful enough to manage all of your components. Usually, make sure that you have enough slots for all components, and of course make sure you have the right CPU slot for the model your gonna use. For GPU purposes, you need to make sure you have at least 2 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 Slots. This is useful for that situation that you still consider crossfire or SLI. This way you can maximize Multi-GPU in the future if you still go for it.

    * About Hard-Drives... It depends what budget you have and what kind of speed you want. Most would nowadays recommend SSD (Solid-State Disks) as they are super-fast and much more reliable than hard-drives.
    The main difference though, is in price and consideration. Do you need that extra speed, like 30 seconds faster windows restart... Do you really need that? Also, your games are gonna take NO time to load, but is the loading time in the end that long? And is it that hard to deal with it? Imo not at all, so your far better off having a very decent HDD of 1-2 or even 3 TB at half the price of an SSD which may only have 150gb or something.

    A good way to deal with this is to ONLY install your Windows and the most important programs on an SSD of arguably 100-200gb (200 would be nice in this case though if you can afford it), and for all the other space like video and audio files, Steam and so on, I would recommend having at least 1TB HDD's (Or just go for external HDD's but I don't like those and are very unreliable.). That's makes the best combo for price space and quality for your comp regarding this specific item.

    Screen/Keyboard/Mouse and speakers are another thing I will not adress. For the monitor, Full HD is a requirement, or LED. A simple mouse and keyboard is fine but if you want to have the psychotical idea that a mouse of 100+ bucks is better and 'smoother', then go for that which I highly disrecommend...

    Make sure to have a good optical drive which can read AND write. You can have one of the best at let's say 40 bucks or something.
    I have additionally a Blu-Ray drive installed to watch Blu-Ray movies from my PC to my TV, only requiring a program to run those and a HDMI cable. Those are much more expensive though.

    Btw if he has 1.7k budget, I would say you can easily get one of the best high-end PC's at a price even lower than that, considering your gonna buy your components at the best and cheapest price you can find. There simply are countries where you SHOULDN'T buy components at all. I live in Belgium and no way I bought a single part there. I bought all my parts back in the time in the Netherlands (they are very cheap there, one of the cheapest prices in Euro possible). My comp would cost 2000+ bucks in Belgium, while only around 1400 bucks in Netherlands = big difference.
    Also, don't simply buy the most expensive lastly released items, example: a computer with a very balanced combination of components at the price of 1000 bucks is and will perform much better than a computer with the latest components but badly balanced at the price of 3000 bucks (which may be like bottleneck or whatever.)

    I prefer to buy everything that is one generation older, since games and programs don't need the actual latest hardware at all to operate perfectly fine. Just make a good combi and your fine to go. With 1700 bucks I see no problem in that at all.

    That's about it...
    Post Merged, Nov 30, 2012
    Actually what Clam has there is a fine example. The only thing I would think over is the CPU, as I said that I prefer Intel over everthing for several reasons, but this is just depending on what you need. And if it's really really really for only gaming, than AMD will suit very well
    • Winner Winner x 2
      JorisCeoen, Nov 30, 2012 Last edited by JorisCeoen, Nov 30, 2012
    • Apr 9, 2012
      I think @Brett is probably the best person to ask this to, since he is the specialist of PC's.
    • May 14, 2011
      You picked an APU derp.

      Go for the:

      CPU: 3770k/3570k
      MOBO: MSI z77 Mpower / Asus z77 Sabertooth / Asus ROG Maximus
      Memory: Any 16GB 2x8GB will do nicely. A good test is the CL Timing divdied by the clock speed if you are comparing against the same type of memory.
      SSD: Corsair Neutron GTX
      HDD: Seagate 3TB 7200RPM
      ODD: Any Genreric CD-Drive
      GPU: Look at the Radeon 7970/7990 or the Nvidia 670/680 (Could proably SLI two 670s for the ultimate experience.
      Case: Whatever your friends fancy is. You would be looking in the Full Tower range.
      PSU: Look at the Corsair PSUs. XFX also look good. Gold rated is better, you would be aiming for 800W or more depending on GPU you choose.
      Montior: Any but I would reccomend BenQ 24". But any works.


      EDIT: On a more serious note I would look into something like this: Linky

    • Dec 6, 2011
      Alright where to start where to start. I skimmed through Joris's and the others, I just wanted to mention, even though it seems like Nvidia is on top, they're never "futureproofed". What do I mean by this? A lot of their cards are made for current generation games, not so much as preparing for the next. AMD on the other hand, really generalizes their GPU power for a vast variety of games. I wish I could explain it better, there was a Tom's Hardware forum post that was probably as long as a 5 page essay paper about AMD vs. Nvidia, and how both have their up's and downs. It was written by what I believe to be one of the greatest users on Tom's Hardware, this IT guy was amazing. I'll try scrapping through their forums to find it.

      Anyways, he has two paths to choose here. With and AMD card such as the 7950 (~$300) or 7970 (~$400), you're getting 3GB of VRAM, as well as a low core clock at 800MHz stock. Where as you have your GTX 670 (~$370-$420) and your GTX 680 (~$470-$520), with only 2GB of VRAM, but a stock clock of over 1000MHz. Now, what's this shit have to do with anything you ask? Of course, no games use 2GB of video memory today, but tomorrow, we can be damn sure they soon will be. GTX 580's are starting to get maxed out on memory with their scrawny 1.5GB, from games such as BF3 on maxed out settings of 1920x1080 and up. Another bonus to the low core clock speed for the AMD cards is the 'overclockability'. To put this in perspective, my XFX 7950 Double D that is currently on air, runs a stable OC of 1200core/1475mem, up from 800core/1200mem. Now, the GTX 670/680 are already at 1006MHz, so a OC to 1200MHz on the core won't boost performance as much as the AMD would. Another thing I like to point out to prove this explanation, is the release of the GHz edition of the 7970, proving its power to the GHz clocked GTX 680.

      Now what I usually recommend to those that want life out of their GPU's, is to pick up an AMD card, either a 7950 or 7970, then Crossfire it a year down the road, picking up the 2nd one for a lot cheaper, just before it runs out of stock. What you're doing here is getting the most out of your first card, boosting your GPU power, and keeping you running max settings for another 3 years on a 1920x1080 monitor, due to the 3GB memory. Another path to take, is pick up a GTX 680 now, let it run its course for 2 years or so, skip the next generation, and upgrade your video card to keep running maxed settings. A Third choice here is to go with a 4GB GTX 680, but you're going to pay upwards of $550-$600 for that, which I believe is quite wasteful.


      CPU: I'm pretty sure this is a no contest. For the best gaming CPU, you're going with an Ivy Bridge i5 3570k hands down. The previous generation Sandy Bridge i5 2500k was your perfect gaming CPU for the money. Anything better was mostly for things other than gaming, and up to the Sandy Bridge-E series, you're only going to get about a 10-15% increase in games for oh... $800 more. Makes sense right? :silly: Then you can also tack on the insane pricing on the X79 LGA2011 motherboards that are $300-$400, 3 to 4 times pricier than some nice Z77's.

      CPU conclusion: The Intel Ivy Bridge i5 3570k for the best gaming, let me know if he wants more than this.


      Motherboard: Now I got into an arguement with @Ghost about this, but ASRock has really been making a name for their selves, and I don't see a need to change. Currently not a single problem with my ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 board, the next generation version, the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 (which is actually currently out of stock right now and went up to $135 from $105 due to extreme popularity) is going to be any gamer's best choice. 4 SATA3 ports, room for add-on cards, as well as SLI/Xfire, this board is great for anybody looking to save cash. Last year ASRock made a name for themselves with the Extreme3 Gen3 Z68 board, and with a few adjustments, are now basically on top. Why you ask? Well, there's the $230 Asus board, then the $105(currently $135) ASRock board that has probably one less USB header or one fewer eSATA port. No joke. You tell me when you need more than 6 USB 3.0/8 USB 2.0 ports/headers for a desktop PC and I'll pony up the extra $100 MYSELF.


      GPU: Mentioned above. Basically your choices are an HD7950 with a crossfire down the road, an HD7970 with a crossfire down the road, or a GTX 670/GTX 680 and upgrading in 1-2 years. These will definitely fit your $1,700 budget, even WITH crossfire.


      RAM: I'm never anal on RAM. I usually go for the low profile sticks when possible, there's no need for those giant ones with the heatsinks on top. You'll never need over 8GB, but I'll say just to grab 16GB for futureproofing.

      I have 4x4GB PNY XLR8, but I bought those back before 8GB sticks were common. You can probably just pick up a 2x8GB set and be good for 2 years without having to even think about adding more. These Low Profile Corsair Vengeance 2x8GB sticks should work out just fine. There's not too much hassle with RAM, all of these fancy shmancy sticks you see saying "OMFG LOLWUT L33T STICKS GAMING ONLY WARNING DANGER CAUTION AWESOME RAM 2800MHz OC'D TO THE MAX OMFG GAMERS BUY ME PLZ!!1!!11!!1!!1 but we cost 4 times more than the equally equivalent brand" are completely unnecessary. Most motherboards default your memory to 1333MHz anyways, I bumped mine back up to 1600MHz and haven't bothered to move it.


      PSU: Sadly, this is one of those reputation VS. price problems here. I'll start off with what I have, and why I bought it. The mighty Rosewill Bronze Series 1000W 80 Plus Bronze PSU. I got it for $109 back in early Spring, but the $130 is still an awesome deal for 1000W. First off, 1000W is going to be overkill even on a crossfire/SLI setup, which is nice to have extra room in case you go all out and upgrade to the max, or overclock everything. In perspective, my rig, i5 2500k @ 4.0GHz on a usual day, a 7950 OC'd, one 7200rpm HDD, two SSD's, a hefty CPU cooler, a few LED's, a 120mm fan, and three 180mm Silverstone Air Penetrator fans, with a 2nd 7950 in crossfire, with still run comfortably on a good 750W PSU, such as the AX750 from Corsair (the wattage isn't the main thing we want to look at here; when I say "good PSU", I'm talking about enough amps on the 12V+ rail). Now, myself would probably go for the AX850 (850W), just because I love having a bit of extra room to work with. If the Rosewill PSU doesn't satisfy you, you can go for the Corsair Professional Series AX850 80 Plus Gold PSU. Once again we're at the point where it's all about preference.


      CPU cooler: $1,700? Closed-loop water cooling at the least. Why? No reason to NOT move up to closed-loop water cooling. It will basically made CPU cooling sounds non-existant, as well as keep your CPU temps extremely low, lengthening the life of your processor. I'd say something along the lines of the Corsair H100, since the H100i (newer version) is having some problems and seems like a terrible pain to install + update firmware. Just make sure the case you choose has a dual 120mm fan mounting spot (almost every full tower does, as well as some mid towers too). If you somehow happen to not have a spot, grab a Corsair H80 instead. You don't have to worry about managing a closed loop system too, because it doesn't need any maintenance.


      Solid State Drive: There's quite a few to choose from, anything from the new Samsung 840's to the Corsair Force Series GS's. You should pick up a 240GB one, so you can fit the OS on there, as well as all of the current games you play. So far, the Force Series GS is the fastest, rock-solid SSD out there. I'd recommend it to anybody over any other SSD.


      Hard Drive: It's a hard drive, it stores porn and music. Not too much needs to be said. Just be sure it's a 64MB cache, not a 32MB cache, and runs at 7200rpm. The Seagate Barracuda or Western Digital WD Black seem to be what you should be looking at.


      Case: The case is all up to you. I'd pick a full tower for sure. Once again, it's a preference thing. Try looking at the Obsidian 500D, Tt Level 10, HAF X 942, HAF 932, Raven RV01, Storm Trooper, and really just any full tower that you'd(he'd) like on here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...7583 600006304&IsNodeId=1&name=ATX Full Tower


      I'd be happy to help him by talking to him on Steam, it'd make it easier on me to help him find what he likes. I put a good chunk of 2hours into this, I hope it helps out. :nerd:
      • Winner Winner x 4
      • May 14, 2011
        Asrock v Mpower (What I see)

        Mpower Pros
        • Perfect matt black PCB.
        • Voltage Checkpoints on mobo.
        • Additional Power to GPU via Mobo.
        • Proven to work via Prime95 burn-in test. (Although every reviewer is getting a bit overexcited about it)
        • Heatsinks are good for passive cooling.
        • Very well established brand. (I dont ever expect issues on RMA etc)
        Mpower Cons
        • Costs £10 more for me than the ASRock Extreme 4
      • Apr 9, 2007
        Which Country?
      • Dec 6, 2011
        Thanks for thinking of me @JorisCeoen . I'm not trying to be mean here, but your large paragraph is misleading and not well explained. You're dead on with some aspects of it, but some things need clarifying. I'm not going to reply to every single bit, but I just wanted to put in that actually anything OVER a i5 3570k is useless unless he's big time on video/audio/etc., then he'd choose a 3770k. Still, the performance difference is far too slim to meet the price difference. Please don't classify something as "worthless" unless you actually know what it does.

        An explanation on the 3570k vs. the 3770k. The 3770k has Hyperthreading, which can basically be described as an extra virtual core for every physical core. Now, since just about every game out there hasn't any use for more than 3 cores, and won't for quite some time, hyperthreading is useless to gaming. The other two advantages are a little bit larger 8MB cache, and the small speed boost that's just 0.1MHz higher than the 3570k.

        This is exactly the competition between the 2500k and the 2600k. EXACTLY. So to make the $100+ worth it, you need to do huge video/audio work. I'm not talking about Joris's video work (to use as an example), I'm talking even bigger.

        All in all, the 3770k is basically rendered useless unless you're a fan of large video/audio/etc. work.
        Post Merged, Nov 30, 2012

        I didn't consider the MPower, although it is nice, because of the $200 price here. It may as well be cheaper over there.
      • Jan 10, 2009
        cut some of the cost and go with the Samsung ram. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147096

        you can't beat it when it comes down to it that a LOT of overclockers use those because they oc nicely with good timings for so cheap. 16gb = the price of the 8gb sticks that @Brett put up

        same price.. 4x4 samsung vs 2x8 corsair... but good ram either way.
        • Like Like x 1
        • Apr 9, 2012
          Haha well I knew you were going to know much more about this. It's been a while since I actually checked on Hardware CPU aspects because I've been too busy with other PC stuff. I didn't knew the Sandy Bridges were that expensive (yet)... I only hear most of the time it are 'the' CPU's of today, outmatching that o-so-popular i5 XXXk by now. Well I c it's popular for a good reason now. I'm happy your here to clarify most of my basic knowledge about this, but ey, I tried to help him out a bit.

          However I knew the thing about NVIDIA and AMD thought, that Nvidia is more concerned for today's requirements, and not really future-proofed. I should have mentioned that but I forgot it.

          Thanks for helping Deto out in any case!
        • Dec 6, 2011
          Those are 4GB sticks, I was just tossing the 8GB sticks his way so he could fit 2 more in when the time comes, years down the road =P

          I've always been iffy about RAM without heatsinks though. Just kept me away from them really.
          • Like Like x 1
          • Agree Agree x 1
          • Jan 10, 2009
            yeah i noticed that right after i posted. and that ram runs on pretty low voltage so there are no worries of it overheating. as long as the case has airflow you're good to go.

            edit// really wont need more than 16bg anyway. so go with the corsair 2x8gb only populate channel A you'll get a more stable overclock than populating both channels.
          • Mar 29, 2012
            get an i5-3570k
            Polynation, Dec 25, 2012 Last edited by Polynation, Dec 25, 2012
          • Aug 18, 2006
            Uh, i5's are perfectly fine if you want to save a few bucks. They are far from worthless. The i5 does not have hyperthreading like the i7 does, which, in the real world, makes a negligible difference. That is literally the ONLY difference between the two parts.

            If he wants to go CrossFireX or SLi, why not let him? AMD has fixed their scaling issues starting with their 7xxx series cards. Although you're not likely to notice a difference unless you're running a resolution higher than 1080p

            There are more benefits to SSD's than normal loading times. SSD's can even increase framerates in games as the games does not have to wait for disk I/O's to continue processing. SSD's are one of the best computer upgrades you can do, especially now that SSD prices are dropping like a rock..
          • Dec 6, 2011
            Unnecessary bump.... -.- @Detonator really should've given us some type of feedback though to let us know what he was doing. I'm quite curious to what he went for.
          • Sep 25, 2010
            My apologies. Here is what we went with.

            Detonator, Dec 26, 2012 Last edited by Detonator, Dec 26, 2012