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Building a PC

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Building a PC

Postby V_ » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:17 pm

Hey everyone!

I'm beginning the process of building myself a computer, and I could really use some input. My target is $800, though that's just a goal. I'm using the Arkham Knight specs as a kind of reference for how well my pc needs to perform: http://www.pcgamer.com/arkham-knight-system-requirements-revealed/

Here's a link to my current build:http://pcpartpicker.com/p/jDwbf7
Update 1: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/6HDgmG

Obviously it's silly to try and future-proof things, but I also want to make sure that what I build won't be obsolete in a year or two. Do you think this pc accomplishes this, or do I need to aim higher?

Additionally, if anyone has some spare parts lying around that they'd like to sell me, I'd be more than willing to discuss a price with you.

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Re: Building a PC

Postby Jokerle » Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:50 pm

I am not informed right now what is going on on the GPU market, but I would try to make sure to have DirectX 12 support
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Re: Building a PC

Postby A Docile Sloth » Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:17 pm

You're at Uni/college right? Have you asked your department/college (idk how it works in America) if you can get free software? Some places have "deals" with Microsoft which lets their students have free MS software (Windows, Visual Studio etc.). A quick question could save you $100 that you can spend on better parts. Just a thought.

According to a test I read (Custom PC), the R9 280 is supposed to give one of the best "bangs per buck" for a card out there. It's a couple of months old though, so prices may have changed. Plus it's running on the same architecture as the HD 7000 series so probably isn't future friendly regarding DirectX 12. Also, are GTX 700s newer than GTX 600s? I get confused by numbering... According to the part picker site, you can get GTX 750 Ti or GTX 960s for less that $200 if you want to stick with Nvidia or R9 280s for under $200.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby Bock » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:12 pm

As Sloth said, you might be able to get a deal on/free operating system. I'm not super up to date on what the best bang for buck cpu/mobo and GPU are, but I can tell you it's not a $200 GTX 660. That was a $200 card 2 years ago. I can only assume the GTX 960, which occupies the same price point is a better deal. On the AMD side, I think you'll want to look in the R9 270 - R9 280x range. Find some benchmarks (using actual games, not arbitrary numbers from some random stress test) and see what gives the best performance/$.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby matsif » Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:36 pm

as sloth said, check your college comp sci department for a free copy of windows (and any other stuff like word or the like that you may want/need). my current desktop is running windows 7 that I got for free during my junior year of college. That'll save you a nice chunk of cash. even if it's windows 7 don't worry, everyone is getting windows 10 for free dollars when it releases. alternatively, maybe peek into getting the release candidate version of windows 10 or (disclaimer: pirating is bad don't do it) "acquire" windows 7/8/8.1 by other means - you'll still get windows 10 when it releases unless microsoft goes back on what they said previously.

I personally would get more than 600W on the power supply. That gives you some room to upgrade later if you want and will be more stable.

SSD is always worth it over a hard drive, that said depending on how many games you're intending to install it might not fit into your price range.

GTX660 is 2 generations old at this point. It'll work, but I would expect that by the end of this year it's going to be nearing obsolete. Any of the R9 series of AMD cards or the 700 series of nvidia cards or better should get you DX12 when that rolls around and are better cards. GTX660 is by no means bad but for that same price you can certainly get something better, GTX660s are old.

as to the processor, for less than $100 more you'll really future proof yourself a lot better with an i5 4690K. it's the same socket so mobo shouldn't be an issue with this change.

without doing any extra google-fu, your RAM and your mobo aren't going to play nice. RAM is DDR3-1866, mobo only lists up to DDR3-1600 supported. I'd do some more research to see if there's BIOS updates or some other tweaks to make that mobo work, or find a new mobo. otherwise you'll at best be running your RAM at a slower speed, or at worst it's just not going to work.

while looking at video cards, try to get some interior dimensions from your case and the card dimensions. ATX-mid towers and some of the newer cards can be a tight squeeze with the internal 3.5 bays and wiring. I had to move some stuff around in my case when I got a GTX970.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby InsanityRocks » Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:03 pm

Can't really contribute with regards to hardware, but have you looked at Libre Office (https://www.libreoffice.org/) I'm currently evaluating it as a replacement for Office. So far it handles Word docs just fine. Haven't tried Excel spreadsheets yet - OK: full disclosure, I'm forcing my son to do his homework with it as I use Google Docs. ;-)

I recently upgraded my PSU to 750w because the then current 450w wasn't beefy enough when I needed to replace my Vid card, which I upgraded to a R9 270x because of $$$.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby ViperXVII » Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:19 pm

Good general advice in the thread,

check this website http://www.logicalincrements.com/ (some of the items might not be available in your provider).

It's in theory the most adjusted to price, although I haven't actually verified it in the last 6 months myself, so you might have to do some research.

Lastly, post here http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcforme/ for some advice, the people are generally very helpful and VERY knowledgeable.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby Fields » Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:55 pm

Here are the exact components I used for my most recent PC build:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 19-113-284
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813157582
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 24G2HM7572

My video card is so old that they don't sell it anymore, but I hear really good things about ATI R290 stuff.

I can run everything fine, except for BF4 which inexplicably crashes after 5-10 minutes for me ever since the last patch. Not I, nor EA, can figure out what the problem is but they have told me that they are aware of crash issues for some users after the last patch. I can't tell you if that's a problem specific to my hardware or not, so take it all with a grain of salt I suppose.

I also have an SSD, but can't really say that it makes a huge difference. BF4 launches maybe 25% faster, TF2 loads basically the same speed, but my OS loads in less than 1 minute now. I can't really say that I recommend a SSD, with the very paltry results I've observed from the swap.

Also, I know everybody loves Intel CPUs, myself included, but I honestly can't justify buying them anymore at their prices. For less than $150, I was able to get a CPU that outperforms my old i7 and has been running smooth and steady with no crashes or BSODs since I got it (A stark contrast to my previous unstable Intel CPU). Your mileage may vary, but with the money saved you could always buy a nicer video card or something. Or, a decent monitor, keyboard & mouse if you're currently lacking those peripherals.

Good luck! :thumbup:
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Re: Building a PC

Postby matsif » Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:45 pm

would have to agree with fields about the processor as well. an FX8350 is going to give you better performance than an i5 for the same price. no reason to not look at AMD, especially if you're on a tight budget. intel doesn't really win for gaming unless you start playing with overclocking (FX8350 stock clock is 4 GHz, you're talking a $500+ intel chip there, and it's still got room to OC with aftermarket cooling) or shoot for a higher end i7.

just make sure you really look into beefing up that power supply if you go AMD as all their stuff is power hungry. I've been running an 8350 for over a year now and the only thing it has ever hung up on was BF4 at release, which hung up everything anyways since the game is an unoptimized turd.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby InsanityRocks » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:30 pm

I'm also running with AMD, however mine is an FX-6300. I've had it for it almost 3 years. I'll probably upgrade to an FX-8* around Christmas time.

I've not had any problems with it, per se. I did go through a bout of BSODs and BF4 client crashes but replacing the memory seems to have fixed them.

Newegg has the FX-6300 on sale for 100 bucks: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product
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Re: Building a PC

Postby King6moh » Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:45 pm

Couple of questions:

1) Do you live near a Micro Center location?

2) Do you have the MSDN program with your uni/school as Sloth said?

If you can answer those questions, I can edit the part list for the best bang for buck $800 PC. Quick comments on things people have mentioned: 280/280X would be a good sweet spot as the 660 is way too old.

As for the 8-core AMD, don't be too fooled by it's speed and cores. While BF4 will benefit from many cores, the i5 does have an advantage when it comes to gaming with its 4 cores. I would say that a 600W is too much if you're going with a 960 but I don't think it makes too much of a price difference.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby Necromancer » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:14 am

Do you already have some parts like case, power supply, screen or keybord?

Processors are not all about clock speed. AMD processors give out less processing power per core then intels. Its a 32nm based processor as opposed to intels 22nm which consumes less power as a result of the smaller architecture and probably generates less heat too.

Rumors say intel going to launch its first 14nm based processors next month, which might cause a price drop on the current ones.

If youre going with AMD you could take the FX8320 which is basically the same as the FX8350 with lower clock speed, but it has unlocked multiplier so can be easily overclocked to the same and higher clocks and costs a few bucks less.

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Re: Building a PC

Postby matsif » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:38 am

the performance difference between an 8350 and an i5 friendly to his budget isn't going to be noticeable in most games, unless you are sure the really small (if any) difference is going to get you to a threshold area (like getting 60 fps on high to 60 fps on ultra), which you'll get easier by spending the processor money on a better video card and just getting the 8350 anyways. an 8350 will easily be within 10% difference of a budget minded i5 in all applications for a similar or less cost, which you will be hard pressed to notice any difference at all. there is absolutely no reason to disregard AMD unless you have worries about power usage.

while my next tower upgrade will be a swap to intel now that I have a job and money to get really high end stuff, anyone on a budget really should look at the AMD 8320/8350 (stick to vishera core). any performance difference between an i5 once you throw the rest of the computer together is going to be negligible at best unless you are really trying to squeeze 120+ fps out of new games on ultra at 1080p while streaming/recording or bumping up to 2k/4k monitors, which with a budget video card you're not going to be doing anyways.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby cancel_man » Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:31 pm

If you haven't already, try http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/ - good community of people willing to review and give options/alternatives; often pretty good at staying within budget. Also make sure you specify any regional or retailer restrictions (like if you prefer to buy from some companies, can't buy from others).

A Docile Sloth wrote:you can get GTX 750 Ti or GTX 960s for less that $200

Go with the 960. Similar price, better performance and features.

Most people don't need an optical drive. Unless you have a specific need, save the $15 and download Windows (from Microsoft) to install from USB. That's $15 you could put toward a better PSU, GPU or HDD.

Definitely recommend an SSD for your OS, though it's a hard to fit one in a new build budget. You could get a BX100 250GB for $80.98 and fit Windows, BF4 and a few other things on it... but if you download a lot of games, movies or other content you'd need another storage option. If you need the storage right away, get the HDD and upgrade to an SSD later. If you don't need storage, get the SSD and add more storage when you need it.
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Re: Building a PC

Postby V_ » Sat Apr 25, 2015 1:28 pm

Thanks for all the help guys! Here's a few follow-up responses and questions:

1) Gtx 960 - Thanks for pointing this one out to me. I had assumed that a lesser GPU would drop in price, but apparently the gtx 660 is just crap. I'm now using the GTX 960 as my new baseline.

2) GTX 960 vs R9 280 - I've looked at some benchmarking, and these two seem to flip-flop pretty frequently which has the higher framerate. From what I can tell, the R9 280 can handle more, but the Gtx 960 runs faster/more smoothly. At this point I'm leaning towards the R9 280, unless I'm missing an obvious problem here. Are either DX12 compatible? Are there any compatibility issues to watch out for when considering a mobo?

3) @Fields: Those three components seem to fit well together. My updated build has those three, and I'm still deciding between the 960 and the 280. However, pcpartpicker is showing the following compatibility warning: "Some AMD 970 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Vishera CPUs." Is this something I should be worried about?

4) @King6moh
1) Yes, I'm near Chicago so I can get to a Micro Center relatively easily
2) The best deal I can find on Windows is a student offer for $70. It's 8.1 Pro for Students, and one of the comments mentioned it's 64-bit. I'm certainly open to... other options.

5) Peripherals - I've already got my hands on a monitor, though no keyboard/mouse yet. I'm not looking for anything fancy enough to factor into my budget though. I can always pick up something cheap now, and upgrade to nicer stuff later.

6) SSD vs HDD - I'm going to go with an HDD. I've got 300GB on my laptop, and I constantly have to uninstall and reinstall games. It just doesn't make sense to spend $70 on 128GB when I could spend $80 on 2TB. I acknowledge that SSD's are simply better in every way, but on my budget it doesn't make sense.

7) CPU's - The FX 8350 is $160, and the i5 4960K is $220. That's a pretty big difference, but I'm not seeing much of an upgrade in performance, especially with overclocking. I know people love Intel, but I'd need some pretty serious persuasion to spend that extra money.

8 ) Cooling - What kind of CPU cooling should I get? I've got no idea how to shop for one of those. Should I look into any additional fans? Suggestions?
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