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KSP Computer Building/Buying Megathread


Leonov
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So, after taking pretty much all the advice given in this thread to heart(few pages back) I've bit the bullet, thrown down about $1500 and ordered my new machine. It'll have:

i5 4670K

Asus R9 290 4GB gpu

4x4GB RAM

500GB SSD

1TB HDD

Asus Z87-A Mainboard

Excited to get it now!

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I got myself a shiny new keyboard. After a disappointing affair with an Apple keyboard (types wonderfully, broke within a year) and a wireless keyboard that was a source of continuous frustration (Can you hear me now!?) I decided to go back to basic: a nice, simple wired office keyboard. Nothing fancy, but it should be fairly robust and reliable. If not, it was pretty cheap. It is an old model not in production anymore which I liked for years, but I managed to dig one up that is completely unused - only slightly dusty.

It is somewhat funny that in the last decade the keyboard that lasted the longest (4+ years) was also the cheapest and a no-name brand. Now I only need to replace the mouse with a wired variety and finally retire my Starwars mousepad (probably in use for over a decade) and I can finally wrestle my tasks, instead of the hardware. It is kind of silly to have a fairly beefy rig, only to ruin the experience with suboptimal peripherals.

My 600W PSU came today, I got everything hooked up and now my graphics card is working. Thanks for the help.

Glad that is solved. I guess the other PSU was dead or problematic. Fairly rare, but not unheard of.

Edited by Camacha
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So, I'd like to thank you all! I've finally finished my computer!

Leonov, I followed your suggested parts list pretty closely and got this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($222.00 @ Amazon)

Motherboard: MSI Z87-G43 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($103.89 @ Newegg)

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.98 @ OutletPC)

Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 4GB Video Card ($294.99 @ NCIX US)

Case: Corsair C70 Military Green (Green) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Micro Center)

Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($67.99 @ Micro Center)

Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ OutletPC)

Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-N15 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($27.98 @ OutletPC)

Keyboard: ROCCAT Isku FX Wired Gaming Keyboard ($89.99 @ Amazon)

Total: $1181.76

(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)

(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-04-15 15:10 EDT-0400)

c796uwc.jpg

EDIT: Yes, the SATA power cables, PCI-e to the GPU, and RAM placement was fixed, as I am posting from her right now.

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Before I get my new motherboard, I might have to give up one of my hard drives. Unfortunately, it is the system drive. So, what is the best way to transfer my OS from an older drive to a SSD?

Personally, I would not go that route. You might be fine, but it is a perfect recipe to inherit any and all existing problems. Doing a fresh installation is only slightly more work (at worst) and enables you to update everything and eliminate active and dormant problems at the same time. Not to mention that your system will probably be a little faster too, with all excess processes eliminated. Even intense housekeeping overlooks some of those.

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Thank you for the recommendation, but I would still like to know an answer on how to transfer the OS from one drive to another. You are likely correct that reinstalling is a the superior option, but I like to get all the facts before I make a decision. So, would anyone like to tell me a good method of transferring an OS from an old HDD to SSD? Also, as I run a dual-boot system, is there any problems with partitioning my SSD for the two OS's?

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Hi guys, first post in this section so please be kind!

Im plagued by an old, falling apart laptop at the moment, which has denied me my KSP fix. Im trying to learn about computer hardware, but im still in the early stages. I have put together a wish list for a potential build, but to be honest Im not too sure if it will be up to spec. I will need it for online web browsing, KSP, netflix/youtube and maybe a few other games (old dos type games, not FPS stuff). My budget is minimal, If Im being honest I would like to stay below £450. I have a moniter, key board and mouse already.

Would anyone mind having a look and telling me what they think? So far I have only played ksp on minimum everything, so any improvement on that is welcome.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3wIWe

Thanks in advance.

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If that is locally available for the amount of money mentioned, you are doing fine. The system looks pretty balanced and you have picked components of proper quality. I can not see much wrong with it and it is a system that should serve most people well. It will perform decently in all but the most demanding games - and even there you should get playable results with some settings fiddling. The processor is actually pretty beefy and should get you what you need for years to come.

One suggestion I might make is exchanging 8 GB of RAM for an SDD. Even though it is true that DDR3 RAM will only get more expensive from now on (how I wish I bought more when prices were low), an SSD means getting the most out of your hardware and day to day experience. 8 GB currently is more than enough for typical and even atypical workloads, whereas an SSD makes a real difference. If you can afford it both that might be an idea (like I said, prices of memory are only going up).

All in all, you did not do too bad :)

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Thanks for the fast reply, much appreciated. Do I need a CPU cooler? I cant figure out if it comes with one, or if I have to add one. I didnt add a SSD as I was looking at prices/GB and it seemed like a expensive route, will it really make that much of a difference? I forgot to add also, I can get windows 7 pretty cheap, but Im not sure if I need 64 bit/32 bit.

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You dont need a CPU cooler, you get one with your CPU. A SSD is probably the best you can do for a PC, as long as you have enough place to store your stuff, a SSD+HDD combo would be to expensive. Also you should take a 64 bit OS or you wont be able to use more than 4GB of Ram...

BTW: You want to save money? Buy only 2*4GB Ram, you wont need 16GB, even when you do all the stated stuff at once.

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Ah ok, I have cut back to 2x4GB of ram, and used the money saved to list a 240GB SSD. I think that will be enough, I have all sorts of rubbish on my laptop and it takes up 60GB. Thanks for your help guys, put my mind at ease.

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Just finished putting together a new build and installing all the software! Yay! Components are as follows:

Actual computer:

Case: Antec GX-500

Cooling: 4x 120mm fans (two front intakes, two top exhaust)

CPU: AMD Athlon X4 750k (OC'd to 4.4)

CPU Cooler: Thermatake Contac 30 (currently stock fan...)

GPU: MSI Radeon R9 270 (Core clock now 1050 mhz, memory at 1500, the max afterburner would allow)

RAM: 2x4 GB DDR3 1600 mhz (Patriot Viper 3 Red)

PSU: Corsair CX600M

Motherboard: Asus F2 A85-M Pro

Storage: Crucial 480 GB SSD, 250 GB Western Digital drive in dock for backups

Peripherals/other:

Monitor: 2x Asus VN248H-P on an arm

Keyboard: Microsoft Digital Media Pro

Speakers: Boston BA-735

Mouse: Logitech M705

OS: Windows 8.1

Other: DVD drive, card reader, UPS

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Edited by Weegee
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Hi,

So I just bought a new PC, fully built from a shop. however, I'm getting very low framerates (20 fps on battlefield 3 and 10 fps on crysis 2, both on medium graphics settings.) I'll be very glad if someone would tell me what I should upgrade to improve this, and recommend relativly cheap parts.

current PC specs (I hope I did this correctly, i know very little about PCs):

Operating System

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit

CPU

Intel Core i7 4770 @ 3.40GHz

Haswell 22nm Technology

RAM

8.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz (9-9-9-24)

Motherboard

ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. H81M-E (SOCKET 1150)

Graphics

V193HQL ([email protected])

Intel HD Graphics 4600 (ASUStek Computer Inc)

Storage

931GB Western Digital WDC WD10EZEX-00RKKA0 ATA Device (SATA)

Optical Drives

TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-224DB ATA Device

Audio

Realtek High Definition Audio

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Hi,

So I just bought a new PC, fully built from a shop. however, I'm getting very low framerates (20 fps on battlefield 3 and 10 fps on crysis 2, both on medium graphics settings.) I'll be very glad if someone would tell me what I should upgrade to improve this, and recommend relativly cheap parts.

current PC specs (I hope I did this correctly, i know very little about PCs):

Operating System

Windows 7 Enterprise 64-bit

CPU

Intel Core i7 4770 @ 3.40GHz

Haswell 22nm Technology

RAM

8.00GB Single-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz (9-9-9-24)

Motherboard

ASUSTeK COMPUTER INC. H81M-E (SOCKET 1150)

Graphics

V193HQL ([email protected])

Intel HD Graphics 4600 (ASUStek Computer Inc)

Storage

931GB Western Digital WDC WD10EZEX-00RKKA0 ATA Device (SATA)

Optical Drives

TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-224DB ATA Device

Audio

Realtek High Definition Audio

your graphics is what is causeing you problems

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Hi,

So I just bought a new PC, fully built from a shop. however, I'm getting very low framerates (20 fps on battlefield 3 and 10 fps on crysis 2, both on medium graphics settings.) I'll be very glad if someone would tell me what I should upgrade to improve this, and recommend relativly cheap parts.

current PC specs (I hope I did this correctly, i know very little about PCs):

~snip~

Yeah, your graphics card (well, lack thereof) is the biggest issue. Integrated graphics (esp. Intel ones) are very bad for games. What kind of price range are you looking at? If you haven't already, visit NewEgg.com and check out the graphics card section. You can get a really good card for $100-$200, but many of the mid-high end cards need another power connection via a cable, so you will need to check that your mobo can handle it. Also, what PSU (power supply unit) do you have? If you don't know off the top of your head, you'll need to open the case to figure it out.

Power supplies are fairly complex part of a computer, but are quite necessary to consider for any upgrades. For a dedicated graphics card, you'll (probably) want at least a 500 watt PSU, with a high amount of amps on the 12v rail (mine has 46, how much you need varies by CPU and graphics card). Hope this helps :)

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your graphics is what is causeing you problems
Yeah, your graphics card (well, lack thereof) is the biggest issue. Integrated graphics (esp. Intel ones) are very bad for games. What kind of price range are you looking at? If you haven't already, visit NewEgg.com and check out the graphics card section. You can get a really good card for $100-$200, but many of the mid-high end cards need another power connection via a cable, so you will need to check that your mobo can handle it. Also, what PSU (power supply unit) do you have? If you don't know off the top of your head, you'll need to open the case to figure it out.

Power supplies are fairly complex part of a computer, but are quite necessary to consider for any upgrades. For a dedicated graphics card, you'll (probably) want at least a 500 watt PSU, with a high amount of amps on the 12v rail (mine has 46, how much you need varies by CPU and graphics card). Hope this helps :)

thanks for the replies

I checked and my PSU is the corsair cx430, which goes up to 430 watts. will I need to get a new PSU along with the new graphics card?

also, which graphics cards at the 150$-200$ price range would you reccomend?

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thanks for the replies

I checked and my PSU is the corsair cx430, which goes up to 430 watts. will I need to get a new PSU along with the new graphics card?

also, which graphics cards at the 150$-200$ price range would you reccomend?

Well, especially if you get a lower end card or one of the power efficient Nvidias, you might be fine, but most cards recommend a 500 watt PSU or higher. As for cards in that range, just do some research. It isn't as simple as get the best performing card possible, because then you have to worry about heat output (and therefore the card's cooler) and how much power it needs. I do think you'd want to upgrade your PSU, but once you figure out what graphics card you want, check around to see what level of PSU people have used with a similar setup to yours.

I personally have a MSI Radeon R9 270 (which is ~$200, I got it on sale for $180), which I haven't had for very long and works well, but that doesn't mean it would be right for you. Also, an important point is that all cards with the same GPU (for example, an R9 270) are not equal. Some come pre-overclocked (which is only a bonus if you don't want to fiddle with that kind of thing by yourself, usually they just cost a bit more), and some companies have better coolers than others. Also some versions have larger amounts of RAM and different memory buses (ex. 128 bit or 256 bit -- more helps speed).

Look at sites like Tom's Hardware and PC Gamer Magazine for reviews, and to figure out the best card for that price range. You could also just browse through the Newegg page and check reviews for each card. Hope this helps, and good luck. :)

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thanks for the replies

I checked and my PSU is the corsair cx430, which goes up to 430 watts. will I need to get a new PSU along with the new graphics card?

also, which graphics cards at the 150$-200$ price range would you reccomend?

I run an Nvidia GTX660 (which should be roughly $200 i think, and has a max power usage of 140w) with an Intel i3 on a Corsair VS350, it's just fine, so your CX430 should be too.

If you want some margin though, get the GTX750Ti, should be roughly $150, and is a very capable card, and uses just 60w of power

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You wont need an PSU-Upgrade, 430W are enough for all but the High-End GPUs. I run an overclocked HD 7970 and an overclocked i5 3570k and i only get over 400W usage with Furmark, which simulates unrealistic powerdemand you'll never see ingame...

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I'm looking for a modest improvement in KSP performance.

I just upgraded from a slug of a computer to the following system:

-CPU Intel Core i3-4330 processor

-Gigabyte GA-H87-D3H mobo

-8 GB Kingston Hyper DDR3

-Ubuntu 12.04 OS / Windows 7 Dual Boot on an SSD

Note that I have KSP running on the Linux side, since it has almost no other software loading at boot and is running very lean.

The i3 has given me a huge improvement on frame rates at max physics settings and graphics settings, even using the integrated graphics, but I'd like to add an entry-level graphics card (new or used) and see if I can bump performance up a bit more.

I'm interested in a sub-$100 card that plays well with Linux and will give me a marginal improvement in KSP. If that's asking too much for that price range, please let me know.

Thanks!

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