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Djsnowboy267

Help me with my future PC

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Before I start, yes I realize there is a dedicated thread for this. I would prefer to be able to keep the responses to my questions separate though, to avoid confusion with other people.

Anyways, I've got a decent PC now and can run the majority of games I play. But I'm interested in a lot of new higher end games and would like to have a PC able to run them. Plus, I would like to get a little bit of PC building experience under my belt anyways. So anyways, the main thing the PC is going to be used for is gaming. I am not going to spend anywhere over $1000 at the very very max, and would like to stay below $800 if possible. Here are the parts I have chosen:

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/djsnowboy267/saved/HvMXsY

I don't have a hard drive chosen because I am going to use the two hard drives I have now and just transfer. For the most high end games I will be playing, I would have to say Arma 3, Planetside 2, possibly Elite: Dangerous or maybe Star Citizen.

Any recommendations at all are welcomed, as I have never built a PC and only have basic knowledge. Thanks guys!

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Some suggestions:

If you are okay with team red and are not planning on using linux:

R9 280 3GB, it's cheaper than the 660 and outperforms it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814202099

With the money you have saved, i would up the CPU to an A10 6800k. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113331&cm_re=a10_6800k-_-19-113-331-_-Product

Assuming you absolutely want to keep the AMD CPU.

If you are willing to spend a few bucks more, there is also the A10 7850k http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113359

Edited by ZedNova

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No, I don't care about companies that much, whatever works the best.

Also, I'll be running windows 8 just for future reference.

Edited by Djsnowboy267

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my i7 3770 works beautifully, if you can fit it into the budget.

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Is there a reason Intel CPUs seem to be a lot more expensive than AMD?

I'd honestly probably stick with an AMD processor because of the price difference, although I could be wrong.

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Is there a reason Intel CPUs seem to be a lot more expensive than AMD?

I'd honestly probably stick with an AMD processor because of the price difference, although I could be wrong.

Intel CPUs vastly outperform AMD APUs. It's not much of an issue when gaming, since most games use the graphics card heavily. But if at all possible in a couple of years, i would use an Intel CPU for an upgrade to this system.

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Alright, this is gonna be a long one...

First of all (mainly because I was bored) I put together an Intel build. It features a i5-4690k and a R9 280x. However, I've also made a build with an AMD CPU, featuring a Athlon 860k (an APU with a broken GPU, better and cheaper than a 5800k, on par with a 7850k) and a R9 290x. The Intel build is a tiny bit over $800, while the AMD is under $700.

The only major difference between the two is the Intel CPU is better, but because of the cost the GPU isn't as good. Looking at a benchmark database, (=2362&cmp[]=2284"]CPU Data, =51&cmp[]=2697"]GPU Data) the performance gap between CPUs is much higher than the GPUs. Now, for gaming (besides KSP and some others) the GPU is the most important. However, the CPU upgrade path in the future is practically non-existent on the AMD side of things (they are moving away from desktop APUs, and thus that socket in general), while the Intel side has one more generation left on the current socket. GPUs are much easier to upgrade in the future, as the hardware for them exists on both AMD and Intel boards.

So, in conclusion, I would purchase the Intel build (or a modified version), because the CPU performance now is better, and the upgrade path in the future is much better than AMD.

Now, as for explaining the Intel build:

  • CPU: i5-4690k - The go to intel CPU, can't go wrong here. Only upgrade currently is an i7, but you have no need and they are expensive.
  • Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO - About the same price as the other cooler you selected, but better. Also a go to.
  • Motherboard: ASUS Z97-K/CSM - ASUS is a good brand. This board has the Z97 chipset, which allows good overclocking, and has everything else you will need.
  • RAM: G.Skill NS Series - This RAM doesn't have a heat spreader, which is a requirement if you are using a Hyper 212, so the RAM fits. It is at a lower speed than the previous RAM, but there is a negligible performance difference.
  • GPU: XFX 280x 3GB: Very similar to the 280, but a bit better. Also more expensive, but worth it I think.
  • Case: Cooler Master Storm Enforcer - The case you picked. No problems with it that I can see.
  • PSU: Corsair CSM 600W - Technically not needed, but the wattage came really close. This is only $5 more than the CSM 430W however, so definetely worth it.
  • Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST - Also something you picked. An optical drive is an optical drive.

Hope that wasn't too confusing... Let me know if you need more help, and if anyone sees something to correct me on please let me know!

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Is $100 for a case (including shipping) not a bit high? If you're only spending $800 then 1/8th of the budget on the box seems excessive. The likes of the Corsair 200R look a lot less glamorous, but that could be $50 towards a better CPU.

You'll obviously want to research it yourself, but personally I can't see the point of getting a fancy case for a mid-range machine.

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I have Intel i7 3770 on my current PC. In the event that I can't quite shell out the cash to get a higher end Intel processor, I should be able to transfer it over to the new build, assuming I get the motherboard I need, correct? The lower CPU shouldn't be much of a problem should it?

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I have Intel i7 3770 on my current PC. In the event that I can't quite shell out the cash to get a higher end Intel processor, I should be able to transfer it over to the new build, assuming I get the motherboard I need, correct? The lower CPU shouldn't be much of a problem should it?

If you have an i7 3770 I would go with that. It is faster than most AMD processors and still almost as fast as the new Intel top models. For gaming, there is not that much that is better. I seriously doubt you would notice any difference between a 3770 and a newer i5 or i7 and in specific cases the 3770 should actually be faster.

I do not know what motherboard you have, but you might want to consider upgrading rather than building new. You could spend the difference on a nicer video card, which is typically more relevant for performance anyway.

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I considered upgrading, but I have kind of a small case and not a very good power supply. Here is what I have right now:

i7 3770 3.4 GHz

Geforce GT 630 2GB

16 GB RAM

This is the most detailed info I can find on my PC, I bought it pre-built from Best Buy. This is the link to the PC on the ASUS website: http://www.asus.com/Desktops/Essentio_CM6730/specifications/

I was considering just upgrading but the case is a little small, I would need to get a new power supply, and I thought the CPU could be a little better, although honestly I probably didn't think it over too much.

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Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST - Also something you picked. An optical drive is an optical drive.

I'd go with something else. I have a DRW-24B1ST drive - I know, because it's sitting on my desk here. I usually buy LG drives (I've had literally half a dozen of 'em and used to use them for heavy duty backup/data export purposes with extreme reliability), but when I was building my current system, the DRW-24B1ST was like half the price of the LG offerings, and I thought the same - "an optical drive is an optical drive". However, this unit had trouble reading not only backup discs but also commercial discs and such that worked fine in any of the LG units (or the Panasonic or Pioneer or Sony units). Random read errors, stalls, poor performance, etc. I bought a random LG unit to replace it (Windohs says it's a GH24NS90 device), and all the problems went away.

Granted, these things are slowly becoming obsolete (you can even install windohs from a USB stick these days...finally), but you might as well buy one that works.

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I considered upgrading, but I have kind of a small case and not a very good power supply. Here is what I have right now:

i7 3770 3.4 GHz

Geforce GT 630 2GB

16 GB RAM

This is the most detailed info I can find on my PC, I bought it pre-built from Best Buy. This is the link to the PC on the ASUS website: http://www.asus.com/Desktops/Essentio_CM6730/specifications/

I was considering just upgrading but the case is a little small, I would need to get a new power supply, and I thought the CPU could be a little better, although honestly I probably didn't think it over too much.

Well, you have a good basis, so I would blend old and new parts. The motherboard could be good or decent, but as long as it works it cannot actually be too bad. This processor will not overclock anyway, so if you have all the ports and slots you need you should be good. The processor and the RAM are pretty much as good as it is going to get anyway. If the PSU is actually 350 watt and made by a decent party it should be enough, unless you invest in some crazily powerful card. Noise could be another reason to upgrade, but a fairly quick modern GPU combined with that CPU should not require a much larger PSU.

I would add the proper parts that are missing now and be happy, you could assemble a pretty awesome computer with that. Add a SDD, a video card and maybe a new case and I think you are pretty much there, after checking the PSU out. You could think about a CPU cooler, again, to mitigate the noise. Building a PC with these parts will definitely result in better performance than the AMD system you initially posted and since you save money that you can now spend on a better video card, it will also be faster than a new system with an i5.

Can you see any brand or manufacturer on the PSU unit?

I've had literally half a dozen of 'em and used to use them for heavy duty backup/data export purposes with extreme reliability

Are you making backups to CDs or DVDs? If you do, I have to warn you. Those are not ideal backup media, as they deteriorate over time, and unpredictably so. This makes prevention and detection hard. If you are serious about backups I would look for some other way of storing your data.

Edited by Camacha

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Are you making backups to CDs or DVDs? If you do, I have to warn you. Those are not ideal backup media, as they deteriorate over time, and unpredictably so. This makes prevention and detection hard. If you are serious about backups I would look for some other way of storing your data.

Well, ALL media has a 'best by' date. I'm well aware of the limitations of modern optical media in terms of shelf life. The data stored is validated by multiple types of checksums (CRC32, md5sum, sha1sum), plus PAR1/2 data is lavishly provisioned on each and every disc. After a decade (I write the month and year on each disc with a marker), the data is verified, and moved to a new disc (which, to date, has been a reduction in the number of discs as between 2000 and 2005 it was mostly CD-ROM)*. The retired discs are retained as added insurance. The most valuable data is also backed up to multiple sets on media from different vendors.

* - unless I decide I don't really care about that data anymore at all, in which case it just moves to the retired discs box.

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Cracked open the case and had another peek inside to see if I could find anything new... power supply is an AcBel HBA008-ZA1GT 350 Watt power supply. As for the motherboard, not sure.

I took a picture with my iPad while I was at it... quality isn't great, but here is the link because its a pretty large image when I try to fit it on here. http://i.imgur.com/H6XBqAs.jpg

Edited by Djsnowboy267

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