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A gaming and technology blog by TWHL admins Penguinboy and Ant. A music blog by TWHL users Ant and Hugh.

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avatar Habboi 1st March 2013, 11:19 AM

Ok guys this looks like the PC I'll be getting based on your feedback. Feel free to crit.

http://upload.habboi.co.uk/case.jpg

http://upload.habboi.co.uk/newpc.jpg

Comments

avatar DiscoStu says: 1st March 2013, 19:33 PM
I'm not much of an expert, but I hear that it's better that all RAM slots are fitted with an equal capacity. I think it's because of something about addressing.
avatar Habboi says: 1st March 2013, 19:46 PM
Thanks that's a start. Every step helps.
avatar Blitzkrieg says: 2nd March 2013, 00:02 AM
yeah. keep RAM the same across the slots. don't mix brands either.

Also, you can't go wrong with a 670. 680's are really expensive, and 690's are even more so.

I just picked a 660 yesterday because it was on sale, and I'm getting between 80-150 frames in Crysis 3 on high. My shitty CPU is to blame for the deviance. The 670 would probably add 10 to that, but you can't ignore your CPU and MOBO and stuff like that.

My friend just bought a pre-made, and it's actually baller. Better than my built one. An i7, a 7980, and 16gb ram. I'm jelly. You could get one, but the one thing you DEFINITELY need after you do is a second HDD. Keep all your shit on the second, big HDD and your OS on the first one. That way you can clean whipe your windows every once in a while without spending four days downloading your games again. Nothing like a squeaky clean windows install.
avatar Penguinboy says: 2nd March 2013, 00:40 AM
This is what I would buy if I was building a gaming PC for myself today (and taking your requirements into consideration). I'm listing my prices in AUD, so you'll need to look up what they are over there. You don't seem to want to build it yourself, but it might help you out anyway.

Case: I really like Fractal Design's cases. $150 for their mid-size case in black or white.

PSU: I always go with Antec. 650W should be enough for any standard gaming setup. The best reference for choosing a PSU is on this site. I'll choose one of the Antec 650W models for around $100.

CPU: As much as I like AMD, Intel CPUs are winning out right now. I'd probably move towards the i7-3770, $310. Don't get the more expensive "K" versions of Intel CPUs unless you plan on overclocking. CPU Benchmark is a good site to compare value and performance of CPUs.

RAM: 16GB is where it's at. Stu is correct that balance is better, but omitted the fact that there's no issues with empty slots. The general sensible guidelines are to keep the same sized DIMMs in all slots, and keep an even number of DIMMs (unless you are using triple-channel RAM!). 2x8GB is good because it's leaves you open to add a nice upgrade later! RAM is cheap after all. I'll pick 2x8GB Corsair 1600MHz DDR3 for $110.

Motherboard: Intel CPUs are painful because they change their socket every six months. Take careful note of the socket of the CPU you get. The 3770 is socket 1155. These days it doesn't really matter what motherboard you get unless you have special requirements, they should all have the inputs and outputs that you want. Be sure to check the manufacturer website to check the compatibility of the CPU and RAM speeds with the motherboard, though. I like Gigabyte motherboards, so I'll choose their "GA-Z77X-D3H" because it's available at my store, and costs $150. Don't be suckered in by expensive $300+ boards.

GPU: The Nvidia GTX670 looks like the one I would go for. It's somewhat pricey at $450, so maybe the GTX660 is an option as well (see Video Card Benchmark). I usually go for Asus or Gigabyte video cards.

HDD: I'm not a fan of SSDs, I think they're still too expensive and error-prone for an everyday PC. But I have a OCZ Vertex3 in my HTPC, so let's choose the 120GB one (that's plenty for an OS drive IMO, you might need a larger one if you plan on putting apps and games on the SSD) for $120. For the regular hard drive, how about two 2TB Seagates at $95 each?

Disk: Disk media is dead, but you never know when you'll need an optical drive. I would just choose a cheap DVD burner drive for $20. Add another $100 if you want a Blu-Ray drive.

Windows: I'm a lucky bastard with an MSDN subscription and so I have a free copy of Windows 7 Super Ultra Mega Ultimate 64-bit to install on my new computer.

And I think that's it for a very high-end gaming box. It ends up being $1600, which is a bit rich for my tastes. I would start cutting it down at this point, I think first the CPU and GPU would get cut down a bit, then I would see how much it was then. For me, my budget for a new gaming PC is usually around $1200-1300.
avatar Habboi says: 2nd March 2013, 00:50 AM
Alright Penguin thanks for the long reply. Really useful. No matter what, I have to go with pre-built and I'm not too fussed with the overall price. If I have to pay more for some guy to come down and set it all up and make sure it's working along with 3 years cover then I'll gladly pay for it. I'd be on the edge of my seat all the time if I had no cover ;D

Keep in mind I want this PC to last a long time as well so no overclocking and I primarily use it for modelling, working in UDK and gaming so having all these high end programs open at the same time so I can multi task is the most important thing to me.

Anyway so basically I'm limited by the options on PC Specialist so going by those specifics lets see, so far we have set in stone:

----------------------

Processor: Intel I7-3770 (3.4 Ghz) 8 MB cache

Memory: 16GB Samsung Dual DDR3 1600MHz (4x4 GB) - I think I'll stick with balanced for now.

GPU: Nvidia 2GB Geforce GTX 270

------------------------

I'm unsure about several things.

http://puu.sh/2ayb6

Which Motherboard should I get? What's the benefit of each one?

http://puu.sh/2ayd4

Same with Power Supply, which one is worth getting?

http://puu.sh/2aymT

Which fans should I get? Should I get the extra fans?

http://puu.sh/2aydu

And finally which sound card should I get? I have a logitech 5.1 surround sound from my previous PC which I'll be using.

Oh yeah and my friend said to set the primary harddrive as an SSD so I can load the OS on to it and tell it to use it as the primary drive to boot it up and set the secondary as storage. Is this the right way to do it? He's not 100% expert so I take his words with optimism.

Thanks for the help so far.
avatar Penguinboy says: 2nd March 2013, 01:23 AM
My choices would be:
Motherboard: Bottom one (assuming that's cheapest), you don't need any SLI/Crossfire stuff.
PSU: The Corsair 650W. Under no circumstances choose one of the top 3 unbranded ones.
Fan: I would stick with the standard one. No overclocking means no need for a different cooler.
Sound card: I wouldn't bother, onboard audio is fine in my opinion.

And it depends on how the company builds their PCs, but yes I would choose the SSD as your first hard drive and the other one as the second. It makes sense logically for the OS to go on the first hard drive when they set it up, and it makes even more sense to put the OS on the SSD. Perhaps if you are allowed to enter comments, put something in there about how you want the OS on the SSD, just to make sure they do so.

If you install the OS yourself, it doesn't matter which order you choose. When you install Windows you are given the option the pick, then Windows configures the bootloader to boot into that drive, no extra work necessary.
avatar Habboi says: 2nd March 2013, 01:28 AM
Ok one last thing, a PC with those specs would last how long in your eyes? The hardware market gets better all the time but I'm not too fussed as I've used this 4GB, 285 GTX, Intel Core Quad 2 (2.66 Ghz) for a while now and even then I'm able to get on with my work but a lot of time is spent waiting for stuff to load or export / render so that's why I'm upgrading because it's affecting my daily work production.

Oh and thanks a lot. I'll have to pay you back somehow. Maybe a little reference in the game I'm working on ;>
avatar Penguinboy says: 2nd March 2013, 01:37 AM
Hmm, it depends really. I usually incrementally upgrade my computer parts so I'm not really sure how long it would last without making any changes. A new build usually lasts around 18 months until I get the urge to upgrade it, but building computers is a hobby of mine so usually it's just because I feel like it rather than any need to actually upgrade :)
avatar Kurosaki Ichigo says: 2nd March 2013, 03:14 AM
If you've got quality headphones/headset/speakers ssomething as cheap as $30AUD you could get an Asus Xonar DG sound card granted that you've got a spare PCI slot and it doesn't break the budget.

There are PCI-e alternatives as PCI slots are becoming rare nowadays, however skip it if you're fine with on-board as Penguinboy has stated.
avatar potatis_invalid says: 2nd March 2013, 05:00 AM
The suggested motherboard has a Realtek sound chip. Even the sound from an old Sound Blaster from the turn of the century is audibly cleaner than the audio from Realtek's circuits (including their latest versions). I suggest that you get a sound card from Asus. Even a really cheap one will sound better than what you'll get from the motherboard. Asus because Creative's software can be a pain.
avatar Habboi says: 2nd March 2013, 11:34 AM
Alright thanks for the suggestions. I've added pics up top of the PC I'll most likely get but if you have further suggestions please share.
avatar Skals says: 3rd March 2013, 13:40 PM
I have an Asus Xonar DG and i3770k for a while now :)
avatar Habboi says: 3rd March 2013, 16:18 PM
Pleased with it? :D
avatar Striker says: 3rd March 2013, 23:13 PM
I've got an Asus Xonar DS too, and believe me, it does make a difference( well at least it does on my 2007-old onboard sound). Plus it has headphone amplification for the front panel. Also, it uses mechanical switches for switching between front and back panel( you will hear a click when doing this from the software). This means better audio quality.
avatar Habboi says: 3rd March 2013, 23:25 PM
Well good, I have a pair of Sennheiser headphones that are begging to be used to their maximum.
avatar Skals says: 6th March 2013, 01:06 AM
soundcard doesn't do much for speakers, maybe does for headphones, don't use headphones on pc. CPU is awesome ofc, was and probably still is the best quadcore cpu on market.
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