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Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 2:51 pm
by cancel_man
I'm a big fan of Nvidia GPU's and services so I'm biased, but you should look into all the features when considering these cards, don't just compare hardware stats.

GeForce Experience and ShadowPlay are available for all modern Nvidia GPU's. It makes proper game settings & recording/streaming super simple with almost no performance hit. If you want to record or stream, it's a good alternative to using a software recorder which relies on the CPU and constant framerate.

PhysX is Nvidia exclusive which can add a lot of visual elements to a game. I'm playing Borderlands with a friend who recently switched from AMD to Nvidia and he's constantly remarking how much stuff is happening on screen that didn't on his AMD card.

Each has their own versions of AA/rendering technology, multi-screen support and now variable framerate sync. Both the cards you're looking at should have at least some level of DX12 compatibility.

Ultimately, though, you'll be fine with either. Recent discussion on the topic.

As for cooler- if you're planning to overclock you'll definitely want an aftermarket cooler. As for which one to buy- just read up some reviews and figure out what you want. Be aware, though, that fitting an after market cooler in your case can be tricky- some air coolers take up a lot of space over your cpu/mobo (height & width), closed loop liquid requires a space to mount the rad/fans and run the lines.

BlackIce wrote: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.

I'm not well versed in the whole argument but every time it comes up I see responses like this:
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-2449038/amd-8320-8350-intel-4460-4960k-showdown.html
Intel's processors perform better for gaming.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 4:21 pm
by CognitoCon
I haven't had a Nvidia card in ages, but I can tell you that AMD drivers never seem to work quite right.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:45 pm
by Mack
stay away from AMD!, buy Intel i5 procesor and Nvidia 960, MOBO ASUS z97, 8GB ram 1600-1866Mhz,SSD Samsung 250GB EVO and 650W PSU, but, I suggest i7 4790 and Nvidia 970 is a better choice, over a longer period of time you will have peace :thumbup:

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:13 pm
by Fields
3) @Fields
Yes, find a motherboard that is DEFINITELY a true AM3+ Socket. Anything that is an AM3 with upgraded BIOS doesn't actually make use of the CPU properly. I found this out the hard way, and that one I linked definitely works correctly for the CPU.

http://www.asrock.com/news/events/2011am3+/

5) Peripherals Personally, I'd splurge on a decent mechanical keyboard. You can get one for like $60-80 and I think they're magnitudes better to use than a membrane keyboard. It's obviously up too you.

8 ) Cooling The stock fan for the 8350 is crazy loud, speaking from experience. I always buy this cooler master cpu cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835103099
There's a reason it has thousands of perfect reviews; Quiet, great performance and very budget friendly.

Mack wrote:stay away from AMD!, buy Intel i5 procesor and Nvidia 960, MOBO ASUS z97, 8GB ram 1600-1866Mhz,SSD Samsung 250GB EVO and 650W PSU, but, I suggest i7 4790 and Nvidia 970 is a better choice, over a longer period of time you will have peace :thumbup:


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6819116987
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814127832

Well, there goes $650 of his $800 budget. I dunno if this is a practical solution for the problem.

EDIT: The Windows 7 key that came with that laptop is OEM and can be installed on this PC if you wish. Sometimes they have you call the hotline to get a validation key, but it will work.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:16 pm
by matsif
BlackIce wrote: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?


Both will be DX12 compatible, so that shouldn't be an issue. Each are current generation cards and I highly doubt that AMD and nvidia are going to not give them DX12 support, even if they release new hardware. Both should handle anything you want to throw at them, although since getting a GTX970 a few months ago I'm much happier with nvidia's "other stuff" than I was with AMD's on my 7850. Shadowplay and GeForce Experience are better than anything AMD had for my old card, and I much prefer it to Raptr or whatever AMD calls their optimizing thing.

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.


The main system bottlenecks in gaming end up being GPU and RAM more than the processor. The extra $60 may future proof you a bit better and save you some power, but either way you should do fine with either processor. The net difference in performance is not going to be noticeable having goofed around on a buddy's i5 4690 (not K) with a very similar build to my own other than the i5 vs my 8350. Anyone saying to avoid AMD is just circlejerking over maybe 10 fps tops, in which case spending the extra money on a better video card will get you a better performance boost anyways.

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?


If you're not overclocking, the stock fan will be fine. You're not going to burn anything up unless you are absolutely trying to destroy your system. If you do plan to overclock a bit, make sure your case has room (just like I said with the video card). Most aftermarket CPU coolers tend to be large and take up a ton of space. That said, the case you picked out looks to have mounting points for a CPU cooler on the side (would probably have to move the side fan - mind your video card if you do this).

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looking at your updated build, with that motherboard you could go for the RAM in your first build without any issue, as the motherboard supports DDR3-1866. I would also say to look for a mobo running the 990X chipset over the 970 chipset you picked. While I run the 970 and don't have any issues, the 990X is newer and any of those boards you shouldn't run into any issues that fields lists above. outside of that nitpicking, the updated build will blow your first build out of the water.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 11:22 pm
by THUNDER AXE
Ok I only have 2 things to say about your build.

Now be careful with windows 7, because that’s what I am running currently on my computer but i had to upgrade from windows 7 home premium to windows 7 ultimate because the home premium version only allows you to utilise so much ram and processing power. So if you ever upgrade your computer you will have to upgrade all that as well which can cause problems later on.

The other is I recommend getting just a small SSD drive to put only your operating system on. This just helps future proof it and makes it so everything just runs a little faster.

I just built my computer a month ago and they were some of the main things I took into account when building it, mind you I had a bit of a bigger budget as well.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:34 am
by King6moh
I think you need to take a look at Micro Center's bundles for CPUs + Motherboards. For AMD: http://www.microcenter.com/site/product ... ndles.aspx and for Intel: http://www.microcenter.com/site/brands/ ... ndles.aspx

Based on the PC Part Picker list, you can save $60 on the same CPU + Mobo if you go with that bundle. Something you should consider. The catch here is that you have to go in-store to buy these bundles but that shouldn't be a problem if you live near one! May as well buy everything from there to avoid shipping charges and have easy returns should something be broken.

Windows 8.1 using the Student route is my recommendation. Clean, legit, and you'll be able to upgrade to Windows 10 when it launches. However, funds are tight sometimes so it is what it is!

I have done a minor upgrade on the list you provided which included adding the new prices from Micro Center which opened up the funds for an SSD and a CPU Cooler: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/cGs3kL

I highly suggest getting a CPU cooler as that particular chip does get quite hot. The stock cooler is poor in terms of effectiveness and noise. If you have the extra $10-$20, I would suggest putting it towards a better case that will allow for cable management and stuff. Lots of good options in the $60 range like this one: http://www.microcenter.com/product/4207 ... se_-_Black

As for your dilemma between 960 and 280, as you can see they trade blows with each other in terms of performance. Regardless, I don't think you can go wrong with either. The 960 is more efficient and probably less noisy than the 280. If you really wanted, you could forget about the SSD and put the extra $$ into the GPU as you can always incrementally upgrade to an SSD later on. That extra boost in cash could net you in a 280X or 285 which are better than the 960.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:44 am
by Necromancer
matsif wrote:The main system bottlenecks in gaming end up being GPU and RAM more than the processor.

This is simply not true.
I have a 3rd gen core i5 and a friend has 4th gen core i5 and gets ~15 fps more, same GPU.

You may also check chris's video (battle nonsense) about the gtx 970, where he had to overclock his i7 to 4.5GHz to get everything out of the GTX 970.
phpBB [video]


CPUs are as much of a bottleneck as GPUs in heavy games like Battlefield or ArmA3.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:59 am
by Mack
buy a used video card r9 280x under warranty, a lots on market here around 150 €, i sold my Asus for 170 €, seriously, buy intel i5 you will not regret it, GTX 970 have cca 20 frames more on same settings vs 280x

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:38 pm
by V_
Thanks for pointing out MicroCenter, Kings6moh. Buying in person seems like the much better option. I'm still going to have to pass on the SSD though. I'd much rather prioritize GPU and CPU performance, since I could always upgrade later. In regards to your build, you switched my RAM from the Kingston Fury (2x4GB DDR3-1866) to the Corsair Vengence (2x4GB DDR3-1600). Any reason for this? I thought a DDR3-1866 RAM would be better.

Everyone here keeps throwing around the GTX 970, and I'm trying to figure out why. It's a badass GPU, sure, but it's also almost double the price of the GTX 960. Plus if what Necromance posted is true, then I won't even be able to use the entirety of its power unless I get an i7 CPU, which again is double the price of the FX-8350. If I'm trying to work within an $800 budget here, none of that is feasible.

I'm interested in hearing more about the R9 280X, however. I've watched a few benchmark videos, and the 280x seems to either be the same as the Gtx 960, or lead by around 5-10 fps. The difference in price is negligible, as far as I can tell. I've heard that Nvidia is better in terms of support (PhysX, GeForce, etc), but does that make up for the extra 5-10 fps? Thoughts?

In terms of CPU, I'm currently leaning towards the FX-8350. If I can find a little extra cash somewhere, I'll go ahead and pick up the i5 4690K, but the difference isn't big enough to flat-out prefer one over than the other.

Current build (note: options listed under "Custom Parts"): http://pcpartpicker.com/p/8CnDNG

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:01 pm
by Jokerle
Do you plan to play Arkham knight? The series had always awesome physx support and gives you pretty particles.
http://www.arkhamverse.com/news/2014/09 ... am-knight/

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:25 pm
by Ghoul
For all my CPU / GPU decisions I refer to http://www.cpubenchmark.net/

You'll see on the Video card benchmark page the Nvidia 970 out performs the 960 by a margin of 25% hence the cost difference.

I'm a big Intel / nvidia fan and have been running a first gen I7 930 CPU since 2010 and still with periodic GPU upgrades saw 100+ fps in BF3 and 60+ fps in BF4 with my Nvidia GTX 670 (which is a couple years old now and about due for a replacement)

I usually upgrade my GPU every other generation so I am about due (I've had 4 different GPU's over the last 5 years with this same mobo / ram / CPU combo)

If I were buying a completely new rig soon I would be on the lookout for a motherboard that supports the new SSD hard drive interface (think its going to plug into a modified PCI express slot like a video card does to surpass the bottle neck that the standard serial interface is causing for SSD hard drives)

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:40 pm
by King6moh
Sorry BlackIce, I was editing the PartPicker list you put in the first post and didn't see that you changed the RAM. Based on the last one you posted, I have modified it to take into account Micro Center prices and an online store where you can buy refurbished GPUs for less while maintaining a 2 year warranty: http://gpushack.com/

I have then added a 280X card to your build, put in an i5 + mobo and changed the case to another option (the SPEC-01 is pretty nice and a bit cheaper than the Carbide 230T): http://pcpartpicker.com/p/tkNCVn

Note, that I did take out the cooler but that is mainly because the i5 runs cooler than the FX-8350 so you really don't need to buy an after market cooler until you start overclocking. When you do decide to, a $20 or so upgrade is a solid one to do.

Just as an FYI, XXXboss.com sites are not the greatest in comparing between two products. Looking at just the specifications for parts can be misleading. Usually newer technologies will be better. I would take a look at this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcVBqwlnmlM. Quite informative in a TL:DR manner.

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:38 pm
by cancel_man
BlackIce wrote:I've heard that Nvidia is better in terms of support (PhysX, GeForce, etc), but does that make up for the extra 5-10 fps? Thoughts?

If your monitor caps at 60fps then that's all you're shooting for and both of these cards will reach that on pretty much any modern game you throw at it. It doesn't matter if the 280X can get 90fps and the 960 gets 80fps when your monitor is only 60hz (60fps).

At 30fps, a 10fps drop is a big deal. At 60fps it's less so. And if you're doing 120+fps gaming, 5-10 fps is a natural performance variance and not very noticeable (for me BF4 runs anywhere from 80-144fps depending on map, action on screen, etc.).

Re: Building a PC

PostPosted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 2:57 pm
by MONGO_abaday
Just a few pointers from my experience using with my rig. I'm running full AMD so havent got much of a clue on what to go on with regards to Nvidia & Intel. But I can well recommend an FX-8350 as that is what I'm running currently. If you're willing to take the plunge and buy components second hand I would also recommend that as I bought my second HD7870 to Cross-fire with my first one for about £55 ($80 in your money) including delivery from ebay. If you do decide to go down the AMD route for CPU i would also advise getting a 990X chipset compared to a 970 as i had a problem where the 8350 was causing the chipset to run a little too hot for my liking and VRM was suffering too. If you can stretch the extra cash and will be running your pc a lot i would even go for an fx8370 as it is more efficient to run that the 8350 by around $20 a year according to what I have looked up about it.
I would also advise getting an aftermarket cooler as well for it just to help keep your temps a little more stable as I found the stock cooler can get a little noisy as well when at full load. The hyperevo 212 is probably the best bang for your buck there in terms of price for performance.