pro tips for cheaper high end pc building

Narsaku Profile Options #1

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~This is a long post due to the build at the end, it's still to the point with not much explaining, but it is probably to long to read for people just passing by, sorry!~


I see a lot of people these days going around wondering what they need in a pc to max out current /next gen games or TERA. The most common issue I read about is the ignorance involving what you need in terms of hardware. I wan't to let everyone here know a top end gaming pc does NOT cost 4000 dollars. Much more like under 1500 dollars. I will go over every vital hardware part you need for a gaming pc, explain the myths and what you SHOULD buy if you want the best. Just remember, there is a worlds difference between gaming parts and hobby/professional parts.


I will also do a build at the end of this post to give example of a high end pc for cheap.


-CPU-


Basically the pc brain, this leads people to believe it's the biggest upgrade. It is not. Do not buy more than a quad core. It's a marketing gimmick to fool gamers, only high end 3d designers need that many cores. Also overclocking to 4 or 5 ghz is not important, no game uses more than 3.4 ghz frequency right now, anything higher is people, "benchmarking", just to say they have the sklil to push the hardware further.



-Video Card-


Common misconceptions. "I need 3 ghz video card ram, I need 3-4 cards for maximum power, and being a fanboy. Get 2 nice cards MAX, any higher causes more trouble than it's worth and costs a ton for no performance. The human eye at it's best and only rarely can see up to a MAX of 60 fps. Getting 4 cards to get a theoryetical 300 fps is pointless.

Some may argue, "but its futureproofing!" No, by the time games finally challenge the power of 4 cards they are obsolete, many visuals will not be available to you with next gen games due to technology limitations of the cards. You end up paying double the price for nothing, buy 1-2 cards then wait till the fps lowers below what your standards are then re buy.

CPU helps with video card ram, so don't go buying into paying more for nothing. 1080p resolution on any game is perfect right now with a 1.5 ghz vram card. Get a 2000 mhz vram video card and your set for next gen games.

Also overclocking a video card is a must for performance increasing. If you can do it safely this is the number 1 by FAR to tinker with. I have done up to 30% higher fps just by applying some sick video card overclocking. ~Remember to know what you are doing, if you fry your card going crazy with the voltage/temperatures it's your fault for not educating yourself.~

And lastly, don't be a fanboy. Nvidia is great, but AMD has almost the same performance while being half price.



-RAM- Don't buy into the 1333+ mhz frequency or 8gb of ram fads. At the best a game will use maybe 5 gb of ram, get 8 to maximize multitasking like gaming with music/movies and programs open. And going past 1333 frequency is near pointless. With 8gb of 1333 ram at best you might see a 1% fps increase vs 12 gb of ram 2000+ mhz. Not to mention more ram makes overclocking less stable.


-Motherboard-


Grab a 1155 socket p67 motherboard with 2 video card slots that run 16x pci, a few usb 3 ports and a normal design. Don't buy into them 300 dollar motherboards claiming to be the gods for gaming, its more or less just for cpu overclocking which I explained about earlier.



-Cooling-


Don't buy into watercooling, it's stupid expensive, difficult to setup, wieghs alot, a constant worry of a seal breaking or alge buildup. Get a nice air cooler for your cpu, its cheap, easy to setup, lighter and does the job perfectly. Temps are important, but hardware will last many years, as long as your 20 degrees below max temps at most you might lose 3 years our of the 10 year lifetime most pc parts last. You will upgrade LONG before that.



-Power supply-

Don't buy into the 1200 watt power supply rage. if you have 2 video cards no matter how high you overclock you will not see power usage go beyond 650 watts. Grab a 800 watt just incase, 80+% certified.



-Harddrives-


Get a nice 7200 rpm mechanical drive, they last a long time and are often reliable. SSD is way to expensive and although booting up into windows or loading a level in a game faster is nice, other than that it's really not that useful.



And that is it, sorry for the long post I hope people can bear with it. Stuff like cd/dvd burners, extra computer fans, case, lights, accessories, are all very cheap and user preference, get what you want, its cheap anyways. I hope this helped. And here is the build I promised.






SAMSUNG 22X DVD Burner SATA Model SH-222BB/BEBE - OEM
Item #: N82E16827151244
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$16.99


GIGABYTE GZ-KF03B Black SGCC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
Item #: N82E16811233067
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$25.99


Samsung by Seagate Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ/ST500DM005 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
Item #: N82E16822152181
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
-$10.00 Instant
$99.99
$89.99


Thermaltake TR-800P TR2 BRONZE 800W ATX 12V V2.3 / EPS 12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active ...
Item #: N82E16817153130
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$127.49


G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9Q-8GBRL
Item #: N82E16820231323
Return Policy: Memory Standard Return Policy
$54.49


ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Item #: N82E16813157271
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
Protect Your Investment (expand for options)
$149.99


COOLER MASTER DK9-7E52A-0L-GP CPU Cooler
Item #: N82E16835103087
Return Policy: Standard Return Policy
$9.99



Subtotal: $474.93

Add 2 6970 video cards, you end up paying 1200 subtotal, with shipping and tax, maybe 1500 dollars, but still this is till very top end and you will have NO problem playing TERA, this gen OR next gen games.



Happy gaming.



Narsaku Profile Options #2

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Oops forgot cpu

Intel Core i5-2400 Sandy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.4GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2000 ...
Item #: N82E16819115074
Return Policy: CPU Replacement Only Return Policy
$199.99

Still though, thats a complete build, its beyond what games would EVER need for the next couple years, and if you buy smart, it should still not go over 1500 bucks :D
Silisya14 Profile Options #3

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This is a great post O-O, thank you for this. I saved it in notepad just in case tera's forums explode one day x3. I just upgraded my vid card and it's on its way right now to it's new home.


+1
Narsaku Profile Options #4

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PS, I'd like everyone to ask themselves something. Say xbox 720 comes out. Buy the console 600 bucks, 4 controllers 60 bucks a piece, new console hdmi cord 40 bucks, a couple years of live 300 bucks, anything from a 300-1000+ dollar tv, 30 dollar charger kits, replacement controllers, more espensive games, replacement games due to scratches, etc and the list goes on, "kinect 2.0 cost maybe 200+ dollars?"


In the end even a average-hardcore console gamer pays anything from 1700-2500+ dollars for their console, and thats before buying games that are often way more expensive, is a gaming pc that can do the same, do it all, look better, last longer and cost less not a better investment?


If you can afford to be a console gamer, you can afford this pc.
arwis Profile Options #5

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Of course more than quad core is overkill and not necessary but OC'd CPU in MMO's specially running on UE 3 gives performance boost in heavy situations like towns or mass events. Tested on EU beta stock 2500k and 4.5Ghz OC. With OC I've been running 60FPS in every scenario sometimes drooping to 55 or so. Put settings to stock and FPS drooped to ~50-55 in same scenarios. It's not that noticeable but given heavier situation where FPS might droop even further OC'd CPU will give you better overall performance.

The rest seems pretty ok just AMD vs nVidia lil bit silly. No nVidia doesn't cost twice as expensive and performance of both AMD and nVidia changes with every new series. 500 series performance wise were superior to amd's 6000 while 400 series were crappier than 5000.
tomvs Profile Options #6

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I think the people that know what this thread means don't need help with building a gaming PC, however SLI/Xfire video cards aren't needed in almost all situations. 2x 6970 video cards really? that's overkill for anything for the next 8 years. The average person won't see the difference between 2x 6970s and 1x 6850 in Tera at max settings (6850 at $140 vs $700 for the 6970s).

HDD prices are also highly inflated at the moment. I got a 3tb 7200rpm drive for $99 less than a year ago. And now a 500g costs the same? Give it another 6 months.. Unless you really need pr0n storage, get an SSD. I have an SSD for my boot/gaming drive and will NEVER EVER go back to using a mechanical drive.

If interested in building a gaming PC, this isn't the forum to do it. Check out:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i5-fx-6100-overclock-benchmark,3099.html
http://www.anandtech.com/tag/guides
Narsaku Profile Options #7

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More cpu clock above 3.4 ghz will only give performance increase in games with heavy loads yes, mostly stratagy games. But you need to understand, that you will never have a fps hit if you have a decent video card, if you do it's server issues, not you. The issue is to not bottleneck. A 3.4 ghz cpu will never bottleneck on a game right now, but a video card will. If you card/drivers/other hardware/internet etc are not up to date or running well, by upping a cpu clock you might see a difference, but it's not because it was the cpu was the problem.


and about amd and nvidia... I don't think it was silly at all, I have had AMD's 6970/6990 and Nvidias 580/590, "currently using 590, personal preference for 3dvision"

all I am saying is a AMD 6970 costs around 330 dollars, or 660 for 2 cards. Nvidia's 580 costs 530 for the 1.5 gb vram addition or around 800 for the 3 gb addition. Anything from 1060 dollars to 1600 dollars.

Not to mention AMD has higher dual card scalability, yes nvidia's cards have superior power, but the gab is closed greatly when using multi cards, "for this current generation at least"

Narsaku Profile Options #8

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I agree Tomvs, that's why I did a build at the end, so at least people who couldn't get it could get an idea of what they should go for.


And as for the cards being overkill, I explained very clearly that 1-2 cards at most, I never said 2 cards were a must, just that it will max not only TERA, but current gen games AND next gen games. Next gen games WILL challenge 2 6970's in the upcomming years, and they are very cheap. Far better than going say a single 3 gb vram addition 580 for 800 dollars.


And I agree the tsunami did destroy hhd prices, but its still far more expensive to go SSD, I do agree if you can wait for prices to drop, "if they ever do again", do so for a harddrive, "sometimes you can find super cheap sales that almost rivaled old prices", but generally at least for now it's crappy hhd prices :(
Narsaku Profile Options #9

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And ps that is a nice review... but that is NOT an upgrade friendly built.

60 gb ssd sounds good at first, but after u do OS system install, get your program files in, you don't get a lot of room to use that terribly expensive SSD for anything other than bootup speed and a few small programs load up a bit faster. May as well at least get a 120 gb SSD to be of some actual more important use, "yes I do have ssd as OS, I know." Tera will be over 30 gigs in a few years with xpacs, that alone is 1 game, you may not even get that on a 60 gb SSD. In the end you will be unsatisfied and want a new upgrade, the power of peer pressure wins.

And the power supply is 650 watts for a 2 card build. Yes for this gen that works, wait till next gen, when dual cards, more advanced pc parts/games spike power usage up to 700 watts and crashes your pc. Far better idea to do a small futureproof and go up to 800 watts to be safe next gen and save needing to buy 2 power supplies in the next few years vs buying 2. Not to mention near maxing power supply does reduce it's lifetime, not by alot but it's something to remember.

arwis Profile Options #10

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I personally prefer single GPU set ups therefore when upgrading always take more powerful single card. As long as it can play games 40-60 FPS I don't see a reason to SLI/xfire. Also selling 1 card is easier than 2.

As for CPU speed, MMO's are heavy load games therefore CPU speed matters. Put 100+ players in town and you'll notice big hit in performance.