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[Computer Build Thread] - Bitcoiners can't keep us down! 1440p or bust!

Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
Welcome to Part Shoppers Anonymous the Penny Arcade Computer Build Thread!
(this OP is shamelessly stolen/modified from our missing overlord alecthar, who may or may not be suffering heat stroke from quadfired R9 290X's)

This is your one stop source of all things regarding the purchasing and assembling of computer hardware. We do our best to provide advice about component choice, shopping for components, assembling the PC itself, and even a little bit of troubleshooting for new builds (if you're having issues). To my knowledge no forumer has ever left with a non functioning build. We'll get you there! All at a measly 250% of your original budget!

You're looking at me funny, so I can tell you have some questions. I invite you to stay a while, and listen.

"Why should I build my own computer when I could just have a bunch of underpaid assembly line workers do it for me?"
  • Knowledge: Building your own computer is a learning experience. To start with, you'll probably end up doing a lot of research on the current state of consumer computing hardware, along with learning a bit about how various computer components work within a complete system. You'll also gain valuable knowledge about the actual assembly of a PC, something that definitely comes in handy if you find yourself doing family tech support.
  • Quality: PCs from companies like Dell and HP are built cheaply. Sometimes this isn't a huge issue. Intel, for example, doesn't sell a separate "from the junk pile" line of CPUs. Hard drives are generally of fairly consistent quality among manufacturers. However, depending on the PC, you may end up with a fairly anemic, or even cruddy, generic PSU, along with motherboards that are generally pretty limited in their flexibility and feature-set, and don't even get me started on the cases they use. Building your own PC gives you complete control over the quality of the components you use.
  • Flexibility: A prebuilt PC sometimes comes with proprietary components, or in a case with a proprietary form factor with a weird sized PSU. When you build your own PC, you can select the components with an eye towards whatever degree of flexibility or upgrade-ability you deem appropriate. Because retail component design adheres to certain standards, you end up with a more modular system that can be changed more easily.
  • Value: When it comes to a PC with real horsepower, manufacturers believe we're willing to pay a serious premium. Building your own Gaming (or Workstation) PC almost always saves you significant amounts of money.

With all that said, I want to highlight a very important point. If all you need to do with a computer is browse the internet, consume media, and use productivity software like MS Office, there's admittedly little reason not to buy a pre-built machine. Because of the economy of scale, you will almost always get a higher specced computer for cheaper if your budget is less than $400 or so. Quality can still sometimes be an issue, and you won't gain any knowledge, but cheap computers are probably a better deal pre-built.

"You've convinced me to build my own, what's inside the box again?"
In general there are 7 main components to a PC. I will briefly explain what each one is, and give you a little bit of info about the important details to look out for. Don't worry if this seems complicated, or seems to be lacking information, as this is just an overview. Once you post in the thread your fellow forumers will be there to make sure you have everything sorted out before you buy! If you want to know more there are many great resources online, but a great place to start is our very own Alecthar's blog.
  • CPU: This is the central processing unit. It is the heart of your PC build and is what controls how quickly your computer can perform various tasks. There are only 2 manufacturers (AMD and Intel), and these days Intel is dominating. Pro-tip, over the years CPUs are generally tracked by their architecture (which alludes to how they are designed) and each unique architecture is given a name (Newest are haswell for intel, and Jaguar for amd). There are a multitude of different specs for CPUs, but it's nigh impossible to use them for comparison across manufactures and often times even across different architectures. Generally you will want to go to a place like Tom's Hardware and look actual measured comparisons between the chips to decide.
    . . . . If you're looking for high end performance, and the best bang for your buck, you will also want to look out for unlocked CPUs that allow for overclocking. These days it is a very painless process, and can easily give you a 10-30% performance boost for the cost of a bigger heatsink. For intel CPUs, model numbers that end in a K allow overclocking.
  • GPU: This is the graphical processing unit. As the name implies it controls how pretty things will look, and what games you can play. The first important decision for your GPU is onboard versus discrete. These days Intel and AMD are offering combined CPU/GPU chips that are really pretty good. For everything besides gaming and graphic intensive work, these combined chips offer the best performance at the cheapest price. If you're building a HTPC for example this is definitely the way to go. Interestingly this is the one area where AMD is leading, as their APU line (their terminology for the combined CPU/GPU) tends to have better GPU performance with similar CPU performance than the corresponding intel products. A top of the line AMD APU will be good enough to stream any video content, watch blurays, and even play some older games at moderate settings.
    . . . . If, however, you are looking to game or do a lot of video editing/other graphics intensive work, then a discrete graphics card is the way to go. For the purposes of gaming, the rest of your system is mainly an effort to get out of your video card's way. The price of a solid video card reflects that; for gaming PCs the video card will be the most expensive single component you purchase. For discrete GPUs there are again 2 manufacturers, AMD (formally ATI) and Nvidia. Unlike CPUs the GPU race remains relatively tight, and there's really good deals to be had with either brand. To make things more confusing AMD and Nvidia don't actually sell graphics cards themselves, instead the sell the designs (or base hardware) to other companies who build them and sell them to consumers. This means that for any given GPU model (say the Nvidia GTX 760), there will be several different vendors selling that exact model (like this GTX 760 sold by EVGA). Different vendors can have different coolers, different amounts of overclocking, and different build quality, so be careful with who the exact card is coming from.
  • Motherboard: The motherboard is the complex circuitry that connects all of your fancy parts together. Buying a motherboard is all about quality, compatibility, and options. The two most important compatibility issues are getting the right socket for your CPU, and getting the right size for your case. Whatever CPU you are interested in getting should have a corresponding socket number (like LGA 1150 for Haswell based CPUs), and you absolutely must get a motherboard with that socket. Motherboards also generally come in a few different sizes (or form factors), with the most common being: ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ATX, and mini-ITX. The key here is to make sure that you Case specifically says it is compatible with the form factor you choose. For quality purposes you generally want to stick to the 4 main manufacturers: MSI, ASUS, ASRock, and Gigabyte. Finally, it's all about the options. Make a list of everything that you want to hook up to your pc and what type of connection it needs (USB 3.0 vs 2.0, HDMI vs DVI vs Display Port, esata, ect...) and find yourself a motherboard that has all the necessary connections. Other things to consider are SLI/crossfire compatibility (which allows you to run 2 GPUs simultaneously for Nvidia or AMD cards respectively), PCI-E 3.0 vs 2.0 (and x16 or x8), CPU overclocking compatible, onboard GPU compatible, soundcard capabilities, and Ethernet capabilities.
  • Memory: This is often referred to as the RAM or Random Access Memory, and it controls how many things you can do at once. These days there are basically 3 rules to follow when buying RAM. (1) Buy DDR3: Only legacy sockets from AMD and Intel support DDR2. This is a compatibility check with the motherboard so always look at the motherboard specs to verify, but almost everything these days uses DDR3. (2) Only 1 RAM specification is worth worrying about: 1600Mhz. Slower and you may seem some changes in performance for a cheaper price, and faster is mostly just a waste of money. Timings largely mean nothing. (3) Buy 4-8 GB and as many DIMMS (or sticks) as channels on your motherboard. So if your motherboard supports 2 channel memory, get 2 sticks of 4GB Ram (for 8GB total). RAM is cheap so lean towards more rather than less, but for most people anything more than 8 GB will be wasted.
  • Hard Disk Drive/Solid State Drive: This is where all of your software and data is stored. If you're budget can swing it the most effective setup is to use a smaller SSD (60-120 GB) for your programs and OS, and a larger HDD (500 GB - 4 TB) for media storage. Not all SSDs and not all HDDs are created equal. For HDDs the spindle speed (typically 5400, 7200, and 10000 RPMs) dictates how quickly you will be able to access your data, with higher RPMs giving faster access. For purely data storage the speed tends not to matter that much, but for programs/games loading will be much faster. Any SSD will be far quicker than even the best HDDs. Most importantly for both you want something that is reliable, so check the comments/reviews for any particular model. Just keep in mind that every single model ever created will have some small number of drives that fail and those will be the bulk of the people leaving comments.
  • PSU: This is the power supply unit, and as the name implies it powers your PC. There are 3 basic factors to consider for a PSU: modular/non-modular, wattage, and quality. A non-modular PSU will have all of the cables permanently attached and can be a pain to keep organized compared to being able to remove unnecessary cables. Wattage is the amount of power your PSU can supply and you generally want your computer to run close to but not at the maximum rating for your PSU. To see what that would be before you buy your PSU, just find any online wattage calculator, put in the parts you want to use, and viola. Finally there is the quality, which is sadly hard to determine and doesn't respond well to the kind of "pop it in our test rig and benchmark it" style of reviewing that most PC component review sites tend to favor. Alecthar's blog has a nice rundown on good review sites and a good vs bad listing of manufacturers.
  • Case: This is where you put all those things above. Don't underestimate the importance of a good case. A Good cable management system and layout can make building a PC a vastly superior experience, as well as giving longevity to your build through superior heat management. Also that shit should look badass. The only requirement though is that you find a case that is large enough to house all of your components (this is not a trick, often times GPUs, PSUs, certain types of memory, and some optical drives will not fit in a particular case), and can accept the form factor for the motherboard used.
  • Other: This is just a list of other parts to keep in mind, that you may or may not need. Additional fans, optical drive, soundcard, wifi card (or usb dongle), monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables (fan cables, sata cables, ect...), aftermarket CPU heatsink (necessary for overclocking), and zipties (or other cable management device).

"Ok I know what a PC is now, but where do I start?"
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when you're ready to start researching parts for your new PC. Once you have some answers to these questions, post them in this thread and others will jump in to fill in the gaps and get you well on your way to completing your order! Don't be intimidated if you don't know any of the answers though, as any questions (no matter how basic) are always welcome. In general though, the more information we have about what you want and how much you're willing to pay to get it, the better the advice you'll get.
  • What kind of computer do you need? The 4 basic categories are: standard gaming PC, HTPC, server, and a serious Workstation.
  • What's your budget for this project?
  • What needs to be included in that budget? Do you need a monitor, keyboard and mouse to go with it? Are there components from a previous PC that you are carrying over to the new build? What about an operating system (like Windows 8.1)?
  • What are your performance needs? For games, what resolution do you game at, and what kind of performance do you want to see there? For professional tasks, what are you doing and what kind of numbers would you like to see?
  • Do you have any partiality towards specific manufacturers, like Intel/AMD, AMD/NVIDIA, or perhaps specific vendors?
  • Do you have any specific needs? That is, are you looking for quiet operation, small form factor, significant upgrade-ability, or other specific features?

"I'm totes ready to buy, but everyone keeps posting this PC partpicker thing. Where do I actually get my stuff?"

US
There are a number of solid online purchasing options available to US consumers. My personal favorite is Newegg, though there are other options like Tiger Direct, and (of course) Amazon. Brick and mortar buyers can find some components at big box retailers like Best Buy and Fry's, though I've found that prices from online retailers are significantly better than these stores. The exception to that seems to be Microcenter, which often has great deals on processors and motherboards in particular.

Canada
From the veteran Canadian shopper an_alt:
when it comes to Canadian supplies, NCIX.ca used to be the undisputed champion. So far as I know, they're still a good company, but they didn't have the best price for any part I saw. Newegg.ca usually had the best prices including shipping on my current build, vuugo.com often had good prices though their website seems a bit sketchy, and directcanada.com has some good prices and worked fine for me in the past.

UK
Online retailers in the UK include Ebuyer, which apparently has a wide selection of components, Novatech, which also does custom systems and apparently has some fans in UK PC forums, and dabs.com, a site recommend by our very own Big Isy, who cited their frequent free shipping/free game deals.

Australia
Our very own Tef put together a very thorough buying guide for Australians:
Tef wrote:
Online retailers (Australia-wide)
www.pccasegear.com - Based in Melbourne, these guys are as close to an Australian Newegg as you will find. PCcasegear are known for their reliable service and good RMA (returning faulty equipment) policies. They have a somewhat decent range of equipment, for Australia and while generally pretty cheap, there certainly are cheaper options out there. For people in Melbourne, you can also visit their store front and pick up the parts personally.

www.msy.com.au - A cheaper alternative to PCcasegear that is still reasonably reliable. MSY does suffer from a limited range and volume of stock on occasion. As of October 2011, they do not have a delivery system in place (in progress, according to MSY) so you will have to pick up the parts from their brick and mortar shops. Fortunately, they have numerous store fronts around the country, so finding one nearby shouldn't be too hard to do. Be aware that when you're shopping online make sure you set your store location to the store that you'll be picking the parts up from. MSY filter their displayed products based on what shop you've selected and it's very annoying to get to the checkout and realise all your parts are only available in far north Queensland.

Other Australia-based Online Retailers
www.mwave.com.au www.megabuy.com.au www.umart.com.au - These are some other notable budget PC shops. They'll ship anywhere domestically and are usually competitively priced. Do note that they're budget resellers (particularly in the case of megabuy) and their customer support and shipping status/timeframes may not always be as great as what you'll find from MSY/PCcasegear.

International Purchasing
An option exists to purchase parts overseas and ship them in yourself, thus avoiding the mark-up from Aussie vendors. www.priceusa.com.au is the only vendor the writer has experience with and therefore is the only one this writer is prepared to recommend with confidence. There are several caveats associated with international orders, namely that support/returns will be more difficult due to distances and there is a potential for longer lead-times on orders (though this is not always the case). Recommendations for overseas shipping would be that you don't order cases and possibly PSUs from overseas, as the associated hikes in shipping costs make this expensive (it should go without saying that you should do your own research on this point though, as it may be more cost effective depending on where you can buy domestically).

There also exists the option of organising a deal through the PA forums. This will be more difficult as it will require the forumer to takes reception of your goods and then ship them to you themselves. You will need to organise such a deal between yourselves and please be aware that this is an imposition on people and you certainly shouldn't expect people to firstly jump at the chance to help you out and secondly do this for you without some kind of repayment (*cough*steam wish lists*cough*). Moral of the story is that it may be an option for you, but don't count on it. It maybe be worth your while sending an extremely polite and well-written PM to the lovely JWashke (his PA forum handle) as he has mentioned that he MAY be available to help out his poor Australian brethren.

Purchase Support and Services
www.staticice.com.au and www.ausprices.com are two good price comparison sites that you can use to find who's selling what and for how much. The former is probably the highest quality of the two; just make sure you're looking at the Australian version (i.e. .au at the end)

While ostensibly a forum for PC overlockers, forums.overclockers.com.au has a surprisingly good quality sub forum relating to the state of PC part purchasing in Australia. They are a good location for solid advice on retailers (after PA, of course!). The author recommends against the Whirlpool forums, as their wiki isn't really up to date and the quality of posts is, shall we way, subpar. Their wikis and forums sections on networking and all things internet are fantastic, however, and are highly recommended for questions pertaining these matters.

Failing all that, send a mention or a PM towards Tef or chrishallett83, both Australian forumers, who are usually more than happy to offer advice.

Below are some additional resources to help you out. Welcome to PC building!

Quick Links to Alecthar's Component Guides:
Processors and Motherboards
Video Cards
Memory
HDDs and SSDs
PSUs and Cases

Alecthar's List of Good Online Resources:
Anandtech - A great site with in depth reviews on loads of tech.
Tom's Hardware - Not my favorite site in the world, but their monthly roundups of SSDs, CPUs, and GPUs are useful, and they have some good comparison tools.
[H]ardOCP - Solid PSU reviews, and also some solid motherboard and video card reviews.
jonnyguru - Basically some of the best PSU reviews out there.
Overclock.net - One of my favorite non-PA forums. There's loads and loads of good info here, from optimizing SSDs to overclocking to in-depth information on motherboard VRM setups.

"The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
Jebus314 on
Pirusutoloveistorebel SnicketysnicktsmvengyEmissary42an_altIanatorRhalloTonnyIoloDisruptedCapitalistmsmyaSorensonSorce
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Posts

  • Jebus314Jebus314 Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Also, just as a quick note, I'm no Alecthar so if anyone has suggestions for the OP (or wants to point out errors), I can update it if needed.

    Edit - Nevermind icyliquid. I made something that looks ok.

    Jebus314 on
    "The world is a mess, and I just need to rule it" - Dr Horrible
  • anoffdayanoffday To be changed whenever Anoffday gets around to it. Registered User regular
    I apologize. I asked this in the old thread, so I'll repost here.
    anoffday wrote: »
    Guys, I'm looking to change cases for better airflow. What would you recommend right now? My motherboard is a gigabyte 2AC8 according to cpu z. Do you need you need to know anything else to recommend a case? Sorry, I'm still learning here.

    Steam: offday
    XBL and PSN: AnOffday
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    A budget would be helpful, but someone just mentioned the Corsair Carbide Series Air 540.

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
    toloveistorebel
  • anoffdayanoffday To be changed whenever Anoffday gets around to it. Registered User regular
    That looks nice, but I'd like to keep it around 50 bucks if possible.

    Steam: offday
    XBL and PSN: AnOffday
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    anoffday wrote: »
    That looks nice, but I'd like to keep it around 50 bucks if possible.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163199
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005869IUY/?tag=pcpapi-20

    You may want to make sure that your current power supply cables are long enough to reach from the bottom of one of these cases to where your CPU plug may be.

    steam_sig.png
  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    Is there any general wisdom regarding the different video card manufacturers? I'm most likely going to get a card in the 770/780 range but I find the choice between an Asus GTX 780 and a Gigabyte GTX 780 Windforce (and all the other variations) just leaves me very confused.

    Steam / Xbox Live: WSDX NNID: W-S-D-X 3DS FC: 2637-9461-8549
    sig.gif
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    Just get the one that has a warranty you find acceptable/isn't the one you have personal bad luck with (PowerColor!) pretty much. Other than minor overclocks, long as the models are the same the cards are going to perform pretty much the same regardless.

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
  • RiusRius Registered User regular
    Color schemes! Most important part of a video card.

    Also warranty and price, I suppose.

    toloveistorebel
  • ultimakayultimakay Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    So ran into computer trouble that has me stumped, this computer has been going fine for 1 year and is now not turning on.

    When I pressed the power button I got nothing this morning, so I decide to do a paperclip test with the PSU, I didn't have a fan that I could use so I tried it with my optical drive and it powered the drive just fine. I then plug everything back into the PSU and notice that I can see that the Ethernet light is lit up on the mobo port, my speakers have power and I can hear my HDD but no fans are moving and both the front power button and power button on the motherboard do nothing. The little 2 digit led readout where error codes appear is not even lit.

    Funnily enough when the PSU is plugged into everything the optical drive seems to not work, and I tried disconnecting everything non-essential and still no dice. Is my only next move to breadboard it and see if the issue can be found that way?

    ultimakay on
    hLeTR.png
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    I'd say the PSU is the culprit and try and test with a different one. Since you didn't have a fan I'm guessing you don't have a spare PSU laying around, but going to have to get a hold of one somehow probably. Unless it's something stupid like a short somehow or a cable came unplugged, I guess... double check those first :P

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
  • ultimakayultimakay Registered User regular
    Xeddicus wrote: »
    I'd say the PSU is the culprit and try and test with a different one. Since you didn't have a fan I'm guessing you don't have a spare PSU laying around, but going to have to get a hold of one somehow probably. Unless it's something stupid like a short somehow or a cable came unplugged, I guess... double check those first :P

    I ended up grabbing my dads multimeter and then found it wasn't even powering on at all. Turns out it was probably in the middle of dying when I was mucking with it cause I checked the board inside the PSU and there was definite leakage from something inside the PSU. I was able to get another PSU temporarily to try it out and everything works. Gonna contact corsair about getting a replacement and hope the process is relatively quick.

    hLeTR.png
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    Awesome, good to hear you at least confirmed what the problem was. Here's hoping Corsair is speedy and hassle free with a replacement.

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
  • SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit At the edge of spacetime lies a path with no end.Registered User regular
    Holy crap 290 series cards are priced stupid right now.

    nVidia must be loving this, since the people buying their cards are actually using them for gaming.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    I don't think Nvidia cares WHAT you do with the card, so it all depends on if people are buying ATI's stuff regardless if they love it or not.

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Everything ordered for this custom water loop...just gotta wait for it all to arrive!

    Actually, for those interested, here's my parts list:

    Case: NZXT H440
    PSU: Corsair AX760 - I specifically ordered this due to the plethora of sleeved cables available, which I also ordered, in white.
    Radiator: XSPC AX360
    CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm - I opted for the white faceplate, as well.
    Pump/Reservoir: XSPC D5 Photon 170
    Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT - in white
    Fittings: Monsoon Free Center Compression Fittings - I got these in matte black to accent the white tubing
    Rad Fans: BitFenix Spectre Pro - in white

    No GPU block for the time being, I want to get all this stuff installed first. Hopefully within the next week or two!




    Pirusu on
    Riuschrishallett83toloveistorebel
  • RiusRius Registered User regular
    Very cool! I'd love to see a build log or album of that =)

    chrishallett83toloveistorebel
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    Ended up selling my HD6850 on Ebay for $80. Thanks guys!

    Pirusu
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Pirusu wrote: »
    Everything ordered for this custom water loop...just gotta wait for it all to arrive!

    Actually, for those interested, here's my parts list:

    Case: NZXT H440
    PSU: Corsair AX760 - I specifically ordered this due to the plethora of sleeved cables available, which I also ordered, in white.
    Radiator: XSPC AX360
    CPU Block: XSPC Raystorm - I opted for the white faceplate, as well.
    Pump/Reservoir: XSPC D5 Photon 170
    Tubing: PrimoChill PrimoFlex Advanced LRT - in white
    Fittings: Monsoon Free Center Compression Fittings - I got these in matte black to accent the white tubing
    Rad Fans: BitFenix Spectre Pro - in white

    No GPU block for the time being, I want to get all this stuff installed first. Hopefully within the next week or two!

    Remember, pics or it didn't happen!
    That's a schmexy radiator.

  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    Can I get some additional opinions on the GTX 780 vs the R9 290? Reading around seems to favour the R9 slightly in performance but the GTX in value. Here in the UK though it seems I can get either for about the same price so I'm kind of leaning toward the R9 290.

    What do people think of the GTX 780 Ti and R9 290x? I originally had the 780Ti written off as not worth the money but it has a pretty favourable review on Tom's Hardware. I'm okay with spending the extra money if it's worthwhile in performance/future proofing.

    Steam / Xbox Live: WSDX NNID: W-S-D-X 3DS FC: 2637-9461-8549
    sig.gif
  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    What resolution do you game at?

  • ConchyJasonConchyJason Registered User regular
    After weeks of poking about the tubes of the internet, and antagonizing over which case to get, I think I'm ready to pull the trigger.

    Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2UOxo

    Also, I'm aware that 4GB on the video card can be considered overkill, but I intend to heavily mod Skyrim, which can get a little crazy with enough textures. While 3GB would probably be ideal, no 770's come with it (at least, none that I can find.)

    With that being said, is there anything in the build that instantly sets off a red flag for anyone, or am I good?

    Thanks in advance!

  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    Pirusu wrote: »
    What resolution do you game at?

    I'll be keeping my current monitor for now which is 1680x1050. However within the next year I will be looking for something bigger and better, so I think it would be wise to assume a 1080p setup.

    Steam / Xbox Live: WSDX NNID: W-S-D-X 3DS FC: 2637-9461-8549
    sig.gif
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Rami wrote: »
    Pirusu wrote: »
    What resolution do you game at?

    I'll be keeping my current monitor for now which is 1680x1050. However within the next year I will be looking for something bigger and better, so I think it would be wise to assume a 1080p setup.

    A GTX760 is fine for 1080p, it should give you great performance on High settings. A GTX770 will let you crank things up to Ultra without suffering a framerate loss in all the best games. A GTX 780 is honestly overkill for 1080p. And going another step further and getting the 780Ti would just be silly.

    Pirusutoloveistorebel
  • RobesRobes Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Rami wrote: »
    Can I get some additional opinions on the GTX 780 vs the R9 290? Reading around seems to favour the R9 slightly in performance but the GTX in value. Here in the UK though it seems I can get either for about the same price so I'm kind of leaning toward the R9 290.

    What do people think of the GTX 780 Ti and R9 290x? I originally had the 780Ti written off as not worth the money but it has a pretty favourable review on Tom's Hardware. I'm okay with spending the extra money if it's worthwhile in performance/future proofing.

    Unless you are care about litecoin mining, I think the tier goes like this:

    Aftermarket GTX 780 Ti > Reference GTX 780 Ti > Aftermarket GTX 780 > Aftermarket 290 x > Reference GTX 780> Aftermarket 290 > Reference 290x > Reference 290 > 280s and 770s

    If you care about litecoin mining, and they are the same price, get the r9 290. For 1080p with everything at max settings, an aftermarket gtx 780 will probably allow you to skip the next cycle of gpus.

    Too many factors, too many different makes and models of gpus really. It's kind of crazy how many choices there are.

    Robes on
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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    After weeks of poking about the tubes of the internet, and antagonizing over which case to get, I think I'm ready to pull the trigger.

    Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/2UOxo

    Also, I'm aware that 4GB on the video card can be considered overkill, but I intend to heavily mod Skyrim, which can get a little crazy with enough textures. While 3GB would probably be ideal, no 770's come with it (at least, none that I can find.)

    With that being said, is there anything in the build that instantly sets off a red flag for anyone, or am I good?

    Thanks in advance!

    That motherboard seems a bit overkill-y, especially considering you're not going to be utilising most of its "1337 GAMORZ" features.

    How about this one which is $81, which leaves you $69 with which to upgrade the size of your SSD, or perhaps if the onboard Sound Blaster chip from the mobo you picked was a thing you were keen on, you could buy quite a nice actual proper soundcard for that kind of money?

  • IanatorIanator Delightfully mediocre! Registered User regular
    I may be seeing a third monitor in my near future. The surrounding circumstances also dictate that I'll be in a city with a Fry's Electronics for once, though there's no guarantee I'll be buying from it. I'd like to stick to a single card if possible, one monitor for gaming and the others for other stuff. My current card is a GTX 560Ti - would a 760 be a suitable upgrade?

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  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    Rami wrote: »
    Pirusu wrote: »
    What resolution do you game at?

    I'll be keeping my current monitor for now which is 1680x1050. However within the next year I will be looking for something bigger and better, so I think it would be wise to assume a 1080p setup.

    A GTX760 is fine for 1080p, it should give you great performance on High settings. A GTX770 will let you crank things up to Ultra without suffering a framerate loss in all the best games. A GTX 780 is honestly overkill for 1080p. And going another step further and getting the 780Ti would just be silly.

    A 770 sounds good to me, it's a decent saving over the 290 or 780. Would it still be suitable if I went with a dual screen setup?

    I'm very much a gaming enthusiast but (to my shame) I know very little about hardware. I'm also looking into doing more things with my PC (e.g multi-screen, streaming to other devices, possibly setting up NAS) so I'd like to much sure I don't lock myself out of these options.

    The other thing I notice is the 770 seems to come in 2GB and 4GB variations, with a price difference of about £40. 2gb of memory seems like a lot to me, but is it likely to be wasted overkill?

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  • ConchyJasonConchyJason Registered User regular
    That motherboard seems a bit overkill-y, especially considering you're not going to be utilising most of its "1337 GAMORZ" features.

    How about this one which is $81, which leaves you $69 with which to upgrade the size of your SSD, or perhaps if the onboard Sound Blaster chip from the mobo you picked was a thing you were keen on, you could buy quite a nice actual proper soundcard for that kind of money?

    I concur with the MSI I chose being a bit over the top, I was going to get the ASRock Extreme4, but it's only through third party sellers on Amazon, all of which have the price above what it really should be going for (Though I suppose hitting up Newegg is a choice.) I know a guy who grabbed the G45 and was happy, so I just sorta defaulted to it.

    Questions regarding the Mobo you linked, it's an H87, which means it's not OC-able, correct? I'm not looking to make my system beg for mercy, but I'd certainly like to fiddle a tiny bit just to try it (who knows, might get addicted.)



  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    I believe you want a Z87 for overclocking.

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  • ConchyJasonConchyJason Registered User regular
    That's what I figured, was a little confused as Chris suggested the H87 to go with the K-processor. Which would just be a silly combination.

  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Ianator wrote: »
    I may be seeing a third monitor in my near future. The surrounding circumstances also dictate that I'll be in a city with a Fry's Electronics for once, though there's no guarantee I'll be buying from it. I'd like to stick to a single card if possible, one monitor for gaming and the others for other stuff. My current card is a GTX 560Ti - would a 760 be a suitable upgrade?

    Yes, that is a very solid upgrade.

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  • PirusuPirusu Pierce Registered User regular
    Rami wrote: »
    A 770 sounds good to me, it's a decent saving over the 290 or 780. Would it still be suitable if I went with a dual screen setup?

    I'm very much a gaming enthusiast but (to my shame) I know very little about hardware. I'm also looking into doing more things with my PC (e.g multi-screen, streaming to other devices, possibly setting up NAS) so I'd like to much sure I don't lock myself out of these options.

    The other thing I notice is the 770 seems to come in 2GB and 4GB variations, with a price difference of about £40. 2gb of memory seems like a lot to me, but is it likely to be wasted overkill?

    What are you using the second screen for? If you plan on using 1 screen for games and the other for, say, web browser, steam chat, voice chat, etc, then there's nothing really extra the GPU has to render, so yes, it will be fine.

    If you want to basically "combine" the two monitors for a much larger screen resolution, you'll run into more problems.

    As for 2gb and 4gb, at 1080p, 4GB of VRAM is kinda overkill. This is mostly for people who are running at extremely high resolutions (like running 3 monitors using nVidia 3D Surround or whatever they call it).

  • RamiRami Registered User regular
    Yeah most likely a screen to run games and another to keep web browsing/chatting/webcam kinda stuff easily accessible.

    Thanks this has been really helpful, hopefully I'll have a rough parts list ready by tomorrow and can start getting things locked down.

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    That motherboard seems a bit overkill-y, especially considering you're not going to be utilising most of its "1337 GAMORZ" features.

    How about this one which is $81, which leaves you $69 with which to upgrade the size of your SSD, or perhaps if the onboard Sound Blaster chip from the mobo you picked was a thing you were keen on, you could buy quite a nice actual proper soundcard for that kind of money?

    I concur with the MSI I chose being a bit over the top, I was going to get the ASRock Extreme4, but it's only through third party sellers on Amazon, all of which have the price above what it really should be going for (Though I suppose hitting up Newegg is a choice.) I know a guy who grabbed the G45 and was happy, so I just sorta defaulted to it.

    Questions regarding the Mobo you linked, it's an H87, which means it's not OC-able, correct? I'm not looking to make my system beg for mercy, but I'd certainly like to fiddle a tiny bit just to try it (who knows, might get addicted.)

    http://techreport.com/news/25017/asrock-enables-cpu-overclocking-on-h87-b85-motherboards

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  • ConchyJasonConchyJason Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    You're a gentleman and a scholar, Chris.

    Is that a safe/reliable way to go about it? I don't doubt that it works, and I certainly don't see anyone claiming their mobo burst into flames because of it, but I also see a lot of people still being absolute in saying the Z87 is the only one for OCing.

    EDIT: Apparently Intel issued a statement saying it was going to lock down the H87 and B85 sets from being able to OC.

    ConchyJason on
  • italianranmaitalianranma Registered User regular
    I didn't want to start a new thread for this, and I figured that it's related enough to this thread. I recently replaced the HDD and GPU on my computer: both just quit on me. What's the proper way to dispose of them? I'm pretty sure there's no personal info on the HDD, but I can't tell since it won't boot anymore.

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  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2014
    I didn't want to start a new thread for this, and I figured that it's related enough to this thread. I recently replaced the HDD and GPU on my computer: both just quit on me. What's the proper way to dispose of them? I'm pretty sure there's no personal info on the HDD, but I can't tell since it won't boot anymore.

    Before you write it off, throw it into your PC as a secondary drive and see if it shows up. From there you can try retrieving data that was on the drive, then formatting or using a program to write 0s if you're really paranoid.

    Assuming that works, check around to see if there are any tech recycling centers in your area before you throw it away. If not, you can work on physically rendering the drive inoperable with nothing more than a decent magnet, a power drill, or even just some concrete and a good arm.

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  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    And don't forget there some handy magnets you can scavenge inside.

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  • JeixJeix Registered User regular
    Found out the ram I bought at microcenter last week went on a sale for presidents day. Called them up and got $20 taken off, so with the bundle my 16gb of Ballistix Sport was $99.99 :D

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  • SynonymSynonym Registered User regular
    So all of my shiny new components are arriving this week for my new build, and I am at a loss at how to properly assemble this thing. Does anyone have a favourite guide or video walkthrough? Anything specific I need to know about installing multiple drives (I have a SSD, HDD, and a BD)? I discovered my mobo only came with two SATA cables so that's something, but any other 'check in advance' suggestions would be very appreciated.

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