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JonahUK

New Gaming PC advice (Budget: £500-£600)

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OK, let me start by saying I know fuck all about gaming PC's, period. I have only ever built PC's to do what I needed to do at that time and NEVER one for gaming.

Anyway, my Son has asked if he can have a gaming PC for Xmas so rather than buy pre-built, or splash out stupid amounts of money on unneeded hardware, I thought I would throw it to you guys to offer suggestions. He wants to able to play all the "usual" games if that helps plus use Steam etc

His gaming has been console only from Wii, 360/PS3 and Xbox One.

He doesn't need a monitor, optical drive or OS so it will be just the motherboard, ram, cpu, gpu, case and psu (anything else?).

Preferably a small, compact case (for under his TV so HDMI is essential on the gpu) but if not, a tower will be fine.

He has also mentioned a Razer keyboard and mouse but they seem to be very expensive just for a keyboard and mouse!! Are they needed or should they be treated as a luxury?

As I said, I know fuck all about what is good/decent/overkill for a gaming PC.

Anyway guys, throw in your opinions/suggestions!

Edited by JonahUK
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I thought someone would have answered this by now O.o

I can't really give much advice on building a computer, apart from saying that you should get a HTPC case if you want it for below the TV, something like this:
https://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=CA-025-FD&groupid=2362&catid=2282

Ram i think should be at a minimum 16GB, all that can be bought quite cheap, its the graphics card that will cost the most.

Maybe @Lucif3r or @BobbyBlunt can give better suggestions.

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The other day i was looking at that small cases, heheh, i like them too

Check this ones:

http://www.silverstonetek.com/product.php?pid=536&area=en

http://www.sharkoon.com/product/1680/CAI

Both are for mini-ITX motherboards, and standard ATX power supplyes, and are cheap

There are others similar (some smaller with SFX power supplyes, but after thinking a lot in it is better ATX for several reasons), but this 2 was some of my favourites (i think by now my winner is the silverstone in white/black colors)

Also, lian-li is a manufacturer i like a lot because the designs are like aluminium porn http://www.lian-li.com/en/dt_portfolio but prepare 100€ if you want a lian-li

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Hi i recently bought a gaming pc, what i did was i bought demonstration parts, and the price was not too bad.

My specs are 

I7-4790 non k(regret this the most, K is the best)
MSI GTX 970 4GB ram can run almost anything lagfree @ fake 3840x2160(downscaled to 1920x1080)
I run most my games with a PS3 Dualshock controller, emulating the xbox360 controller through Dinput or Xinput.
it cost about 700$ I think i will upgrade to an SSD and water cooler as soon as i have more money.
Disclaimer i had hdd, mouse and keyboard from my old computer.

I freaking love the design of the Cooler Master Elite 130-mini-itx it makes you feel like its a freakin console.
yes i know it limits me down to a Mini-ITX mainboard, but really do i need that many pci slots.
And yes this machine is more silent than my PS3 also more deadly!


 
 HyperX Savage DDR3 2400MHz 16GB -Demo
16GB 2400MHz DDR3 Non-ECC CL11 DIMM (Kit of 2) XMP
  Intel Core i7-4790 -Demo
Socket-LGA1150, Quad Core, 3.6GHz, 8MB, 84W, 22nm,
  MSI GeForce GTX 970 Gaming 4GB -Demo
PhysX, PCI-Express 3.0, "Twin Frozr V", D-DVI-I +
  ASUS H81I-PLUS, Socket-1150
Mainboard, mini-ITX, H81, 1xPCIe-x16, VGA, DVI, HD
  Cooler Master Elite 130 Mini-ITX 
Vifte: 1x 120mm Front, 1x 80mm Side, mITX, USB 2x
  Corsair CX 600M, 600W PSU
ATX 12V V2.3, 80 Plus Bronze, Modular. 2x 6+2pin P
  BenQ 24" LED GL2460 -Demo
1920x1080, 2ms, 12m:1, VGA/DVI

EDIT: The front panel of the cooler master Elite 130 does get somewhat dusty, and i don't like that...
 

Edited by vatomalo

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A work colleague has just sent me links for two pre-built systems which he says are pretty good:

System 1 - Intel Core I5 4460, 8gb, GTX 960 2gb

System 2 - AMD FX 6300 4.1Ghz, 8gb, GTX 750TI 2gb

What do you guys think, are they decent or not? For the RAM, I can add an extra 8gb RAM to make it 16gb for £40-£50 etc.

Would my son be able to play the newest games without stuggling/lag etc on these?

Would I get a better system building it myself?

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A work colleague has just sent me links for two pre-built systems which he says are pretty good:

System 1 - Intel Core I5 4460, 8gb, GTX 960 2gb

System 2 - AMD FX 6300 4.1Ghz, 8gb, GTX 750TI 2gb

What do you guys think, are they decent or not? For the RAM, I can add an extra 8gb RAM to make it 16gb for £40-£50 etc.

Would my son be able to play the newest games without stuggling/lag etc on these?

Would I get a better system building it myself?

It should be able to run most games at maximum settings, though you can always check here for the requirements of each game:
http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri

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Yes i think you would be able to without lag, might have to fiddle with graphics settings and so on, but that would be good enough.
Computers are expensive and get "old" faster than consoles do. But they are capable of a lot more then our beloved consoles.
I am/used to be a console guy since the NES days, but i recognize that computers beat them in most ways. all thought i cannot get rid of a gamepad.
wasd + mouse just does not cut it for me. Also yeah i count the Razor mouse and keyboard as luxury and would not buy that even if i could afford it.
My younger brother thought swears to the Razor mouse.

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It should be able to run most games at maximum settings, though you can always check here for the requirements of each game:
http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri

 

@GregoryRasputin

Thanks for the link, that will help confirm what is needed for the games he wants to play and will make it easier to decide.

@vatomalo

Yeah, those Razer kb & mice are expensive so if he still wants them, he can buy them himself!

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Ok, Im too tired to actually read through everything thoroughly but... I assume you want something to game on with settings above medium.

You want 16GB RAM. They are so cheap theres no excuse not to go with 16GB.

You dont want a GFX card below 770GTX/970GTX(or whatever the AMD equilevent is). In fact, you dont want a GFX card with lower than 4GB VRAM, so that pretty much removes the 770GTX as an option.

The CPU is, in my opinion, the least important factor for a decent gaming rig. I mean, Im still rocking my old AMD X6 T1100(3.3Ghz/core, 3.7Ghz/core overboost, can clock it to 4.2Ghz) and that old junk is STILL not a bottleneck for me. Ironically my quite-new GFX card is more of a bottleneck(770GTX) due to only having 2GB VRAM than the CPU is.

An SSD doesnt help much in terms of gaming performance. That more or less only helps with reducing loading times. Although SSD's are also relatively cheap these days, and theyre nice to have for desktop work, so thats probably more of a personal opinion.

You also dont want to cheap out on the motherboard. A good motherboard does a lot more difference than most people are willing to admit. 

 

To put in perspective, my PC consists of an AMD X6 Phenom II T1100(good for 4.2Ghz if I wanted, my fan doesnt cope that good with that though), ASUS Crosshair IV Formula, 16GB(4*4) Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1800Mhz(they are good for 2200Mhz with my motherboard) RAM, GeForce 770GTX 2GB, and a 128GB SSD(model old) as system drive. Also running 1x1080p and 1x1680x1050 monitor.
With my rig I can, so far, play every game at max settings with an FPS higher than 30. I rarely reach 60FPS on the newer demanding games at max settings(ex. GTA V with tons of mods lol), but as far as Im concerned - anything above 30 is perfectly fine as long as its stable. Want higher framerate? Yeah, you better start shitting money then... :rotfl: 
I should point out that my 'gaming rig' is effectively an 8GB RAM one, since my chrome eats at least 8GB :D , as well as eating a bit of CPU(~10-15%) further proving even this old crap CPU can keep up just fine. On the few occasions I do close my chrome while gaming, the performance obviously becomes quite a bit better.

 

I will probably get flamed for this by all them "zomfg u needz i7 and a titan gfxzzzz"-people, but the above is my experience in the real world for the better portion of 20 years - not numbers on a spreadsheet, which I dont give a damn about, or a review sponsored by whatever manufacturer the review is about.
You dont NEED the absolute top-of-the-range things, as long as you stick with certain conditions. If youre willing to overclock as well, you can save a lot of money down the line, as you wont have to upgrade as often.

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Some changes i would make...

The apu and motherboard you suggested supports up to DDR3 2133 ram speed (i think all FM+ socket motherboards does)... so change the ram by 2133 ones (geil are good imo quality/price, but also the ripjaws, or corsair)

There is another APU from AMD similar, the A10 7800... both the one you choosed and the one im suggesting are kaveri series (i love kaveri, lol) but the one im suggesting is only 65W power consumption versus 95W from yours. The other difference is yours is 200mhz faster than mine but i think like lucif3r... the CPU will not be a bottleneck

And for the power supply i would change it by another with "modular" cables... you know the ones that can be unplugged from the power supply... this is very convenient for small PC cases

Edited by sandungas

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Some changes i would make...

The apu and motherboard you suggested supports up to DDR3 2133 ram speed (i think all FM+ socket motherboards does)... so change the ram by 2133 ones (geil are good imo quality/price, but also the ripjaws, or corsair)

There is another APU from AMD similar, the A10 7800... both the one you choosed and the one im suggesting are kaveri series (i love kaveri, lol) but the one im suggesting is only 65W power consumption versus 95W from yours. The other difference is yours is 200mhz faster than mine but i think like lucif3r... the CPU will not be a bottleneck

And for the power supply i would change it by another with "modular" cables... you know the ones that can be unplugged from the power supply... this is very convenient for small PC cases

I did already look at a modular power supply when I was picking out the parts as for a small computer it makes sense, but it would have been 5 bucks more. I figure he could have found a way to manage the cables or just snip the ones he didn't need (its a small computer, not much room for expansion anyways). None the less I have swapped it out for the PSU that I personally use (Corsair CX750M which is 5 bucks more but I guess its not so bad).

I swapped out the Snipers for some Ripjaws at 2133 (cant say I ever liked the Ripjaw's look and 2133 only benefits ever so slightly in games fps wise, its not like he was gonna benchmark the entire life of his computer but it makes sense that if you can get better why not).

I will not be touching the CPU as it makes no sense to change it. The 7800 performs lower than the 7850K (ofc) but on typical usage it consumes the same amount of power (~52W) and they both cost the exact same. I would rather have the potential for more performance when/if he needs it on demanding situation and use the power required those short temporary times than to need it and not have it. Furthermore he can squeeze more performance out of his system if he overclocks.

Edited by TizzyT

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Another PSU's (i like corsair PSU's too)... both are "80 plus gold" and "full modular"

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139055  (750W but 20$ more expensive though)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139054 (650W instead, not sure if the graphic card you choosed will have enought)

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

With ram imo is good to try to "lock" the motherboard to max specifications, because this way there is no need (or chance) to update it in the future

Specially with mini-ITX motherboards that has only 2 ram sockets... is easy and cheap to fill that sockets with the best ram available

And talking about best ram availables... the only thing that matters is the timings/latencies (and the size, but 16GB is ok for long years imo)... if you look for the brand/model with smaller latencies you will end in "corsair dominator platinum" series but the price is like the double or more than other brands

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820233401&cm_re=corsair_dominator_platinum-_-20-233-401-_-Product

In computers there is always parts that are "on top" of the specs lists (like in this example with the corsair dominator platinum rams) and doesnt makes much sense to choose them because is obvious the price has been bloated because the hype... so in most of the cases is better to step back and choose the part that is in position 2 or 3 in the "top spec lists"... and as far i know this ones are the ripjaws, or geil (or other models of corsair)... so good choice

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

The suggestion with the 7800 APU is something personal, i agree is a bit "risky" to lower it, but im not so sure if it will make some difference while gaming

But it will make difference when doing other things, is a gaming rig but probably will be used lot of time as a normal PC... this "low power" APU's can underclock to 35W iirc (is made automatically, the load of the system is detected automatically)... the A10 7800 is also the most newer models of kaveri series and the "top of the spec list" of the "low power consuption" of AMD, this is why is so expensive

Edited by sandungas

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The suggestion with the 7800

APU

is something personal, i agree is a bit "risky" to lower it, but im not so sure if it will make some difference while gaming

But it will make difference when doing other things, is a gaming rig but probably will be used lot of time as a normal PC... this "low power" APU's can underclock to 35W iirc (is made automatically, the load of the system is detected automatically)... the A10 7800 is also the most newer models of kaveri series and the "top of the spec list" of the "low power consuption" of AMD, this is why is so expensive

I have looked at both idle and typical use power consumption. On idle and typical usage the 7850k uses just a tad bit more power (about 1-2W) where the 7800 is at 39W and the 7850k at 41W average. The big difference from what I can see is only when the cpus are heavily taxed in which case both exceed their power ratings (over 100W) where 7800 uses 119W and the 7850K uses 124W. So given even on the high end of the spectrum the difference isn't by much the 95W rated 7850K is still really efficient and for its performance it rivals the 7800 in efficiency, in fact its efficiency is better than the 7800 (7800@35.9 and 7850K@36.6). If we take into account that the 7850K is unlocked and that the performance per watt is higher the 7850k is the clear winner. I see no real reason to get the 7800 unless you are indeed willing to save that 1-2W difference.

Edited by TizzyT

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Not sure where are you looking and if what im going to say is correct, but i was looking at this before and the difference is one is 65W... and the other 95W

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/405/AMD_A10-Series_A10-7800_vs_AMD_A10-Series_A10-7850K.html

See the link: A10-7800 seems to be 32% more energy efficient than A10-7850K

With low system workload of course

Edited by sandungas

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Not sure where are you looking and if what im going to say is correct, but i was looking at this before and the difference is one is 65W... and the other 95W

http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/405/AMD_A10-Series_A10-7800_vs_AMD_A10-Series_A10-7850K.html

See the link: A10-7800 seems to be 32% more energy efficient than A10-7850K

With low system workload of course

yes those are the TDP. Though of course those are not min nor max nor constant power consumption numbers. As for where I was looking:
http://www.guru3d.com/articles-pages/amd-a10-7800-kaveri-apu-review,7.html

as for my calculations for the efficiency, I just grabbed a benchmark number and divided by the power consumed. The numbers I used were from 3D mark scores iirc.

Edited by TizzyT

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I was loking at it again and found this, long article about kaveri series in general, and the A10 7800

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-a10-7800-kaveri-apu-efficiency,3899.html

 

While looking at google i found some mentions about more kaveri models that will be released in next months (and will be the last of kaveri series), not sure if is true, i need to look at this

 

 

 

 

 

Edit: (click in the "current generation specs" to see a comparison)

http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/processors/desktop/a-series-apu#

AMD A10-7870K seems to be the top of the series, same price than A10-7850K but a bit faster (and both in the 95W TDP range) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113393&cm_re=A10-7870K-_-19-113-393-_-Product

 

 

Btw @JonahUK im not sure if you are interested in what we are talking or if we are going offtopic with this build using an AMD APU with graphics integrated, but if we are talking about them is because the PS4 and XBONE uses a similar APU

So technically... this APU by itself (without the need of a PCI-e graphic card) should be enought to run most modern games in "medium/high quality" (the ones published multiplatform for PS4/XBONE/PC)

Im not telling to remove the dedicated graphic card and use only the graphics from the APU... but in the paper the performance is close to consoles... in the practise i dont know

 

 

 

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

More edits:

http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Bulldozer/TYPE-A10-Series.html

Note the "not released yet" and other models at bottom based on "godavari" (the replacement of "kaveri")

Edited by sandungas

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AMD

A10-7870K seems to be the top of the series, same price than A10-7850K but a bit faster (and both in the 95W TDP range)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113393&cm_re=A10-7870K-_-19-113-393-_-Product

Well from the listing its actually 10 USD more at 139.99 (as of this post).

So technically... this APU by itself (without the need of a PCI -e graphic card) should be enought to run most modern games in "medium/high quality" (the ones published multiplatform for PS4/XBONE/PC)

Im not telling to remove the dedicated graphic card and use only the graphics from the APU... but in the paper the performance is close to consoles... in the practise i dont know

I wouldn't be so sure on the performance claims in a PC environment but the integrated graphics should be pretty decent. If he chooses to he could hold off on the dedicated GPU for when he has the money to spend and use the integrated graphics temporarily. Who knows he might not need to even buy the dedicated card depending on the games played.

Edited by TizzyT

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@sandungas / @TizzyT

I used an A8 6600K for my last build (that was the highest available when I built it). I went that route as I don't personally do gaming on a PC.

Full specs posted here.

I wasn't sure if an APU was the way to go for gaming performance but as stated, a dedicated GPU can always be added later if needed.

There is a lot of good info posted so thanks everyone for taking the time to answer!

 

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@sandungas / @TizzyT

I used an A8 6600K for my last build (that was the highest available when I built it). I went that route as I don't personally do gaming on a PC.

Full specs posted here.

I wasn't sure if an APU was the way to go for gaming performance but as stated, a dedicated GPU can always be added later if needed.

There is a lot of good info posted so thanks everyone for taking the time to answer!

 

ALL DAT SPACE..... :'( I wished I had more. As for the rest of the system, as you said its for business so as long as it does what you need, its a great system lol.

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