Figuring out what gaming PC to get.

#1 Edited by NeutralDensity (47 posts) -

Hi everyone. So after years of playing my consoles, I feel that I should finally buy a gaming PC. There just seems to be many great benefits with it over consoles. However, I have been intimidated a few times in the process. I am completely new at this and there is so much to choose from. I do not want to make any mistakes and it is a bit overwhelming. I also want to make sure the parts I get are current. I found this recommendation that looks fine and up-to-date: http://www.techbuyersguru.com/1500build.php

Does anyone think this should be fine or if there is anything better out there. I can afford a little more than this, but I want to be reasonable. I would still need to get the monitor, speakers, sound card, etc. Again, absolutely new at this. Any advice or input would be fantastic. Thanks for reading.

#2 Edited by JJWeatherman (14483 posts) -

Yep, that seems nice and current. Spending much more than that wouldn't yield significant results, either. I'd personally go with an Nvidia 770 over that AMD GPU, but that's just preference. Also, skip buying a sound card unless you're a crazy audiophile.

Also, I'd recommend these speakers.

Watch some PC building videos, read instructions when you feel you need to, and you'll be fine.

#3 Edited by NeutralDensity (47 posts) -

Awesome. Thanks for the advice. :)

Edit: What makes the Nvidia 770 preferable to you?

#4 Posted by JJWeatherman (14483 posts) -

Awesome. Thanks for the advice. :)

Edit: What makes the Nvidia 770 preferable to you?

AMD Radeon graphics cards have just always seemed chintzier to me. And driver support for them is often thought to be of lower quality than Nvidia cards, but they're actually fine most of the time. I can't vouch for it, but a 7970 should serve you just fine.

#5 Edited by MonetaryDread (1953 posts) -

@neutraldensity said:

Awesome. Thanks for the advice. :)

Edit: What makes the Nvidia 770 preferable to you?

Nvidia has a habit of tossing money towards developers in order to get exclusive access to the games code before launch. That means that ATI only has a few days to complete drivers in time for a games launch. Really, this mostly affects people who are trying to use crossfire (multi-GPU), but there are problems with single cards as well. A great example of this is the OG Bioshock. WHen that game launched on PC, there was a problem on some ATI cards where the geometry would not render if it was covered in shadows. So your character would step into a dark area (almost everywhere in that game) and fall through the world.

Edit: Really, there is almost no difference between the two cards right now, but I have been burned by ATI too often in the past, so I recommend Nvidia cards to others.

#6 Edited by Cameron (594 posts) -

I'd also go with Nvidia, but that's because I like a quiet PC and the 7000 series tends to be much louder than its Nvidia equivalent. If you don't care about that, then the 7970 is a hell of a card.

Don't bother with a sound card unless you also plan to buy super nice speakers.

For a monitor just get a well-reviewed IPS display. IPS displays tend to have slightly slower response times, but they have much, much better color accuracy and viewing angles, which I think is a good tradeoff. You'll be fine with 1080P, especially if you're going under 27", but with that graphics card you could go higher resolution if you want to spend the money.

#7 Posted by llamaegg (208 posts) -

I've had nothing but problems with drivers for the last, dunno, 6 years with AMD, crashing, everything from crashing, to game support, to having to brute force the drivers onto my PC as they wouldn't even install! Mind you, not everyone has these problems, but they do exist. The cards are typically high quality, and at a great price point, but frankly I'm done with dealing with that jank that comes with it, switched over to the nVidia 780 when it came out and never looked back.

Quickly looking through that guide the things that come to mind;

You'll only need a 3rd party CPU cooler if you overclock, and even then depending on how high of a overclock you're aiming for you might not even need one. If you plan to run at stock speeds you can save a few bucks by completely ignoring this, or if it's something you want to dabble in see what temps you get when overclocking on stock cooler, if you decide you want to push further you can grab one then (and depending on what case you get you might have access to the back of the mobo without even taking anything out).

Also, I can't stress this enough, that guide mentions you would be able to hit 4.0-4.2ghz on that chip, that is in no way guaranteed. You might end up with a god tier chip that overclocks with low voltages and is a godsend, or you might end up with one that requires you to bump the voltages through the roof for a small gain. Personally I love overclocking, it's a blast to do, but understand not every chip is made equal.

It mentions buying Windows 8, which honestly speaking, I don't see a reason to get yet. I would just say grab Windows 7 unless 8 has some feature that you just gotta have.

But otherwise you're looking at what you need, could tweak it a bit in either direction of that price point depending on what you want to do (ie. You don't need a SSD, they're nice, but still fairly pricey, it's a straight up luxury item).

Personally, a sound card or a dac/amp (which I prefer) make a difference even on lower quality gear, and can be grabbed on the cheap. On board isn't as bad as it use to be, so they're no longer a requirement, but it's a nice luxury to have.

I could go on, but would probably be easier to answer questions then to ramble on hoping to answer what you might want to know.

#8 Edited by MonetaryDread (1953 posts) -

@llamaegg said:

It mentions buying Windows 8, which honestly speaking, I don't see a reason to get yet. I would just say grab Windows 7 unless 8 has some feature that you just gotta have.

Because almost all retail stores charge the same price for both Windows 7 + 8, since Windows 8 is faster, more stable, has more features, and is more secure than Windows 7, why would you get anything else? The only two real complaints are that some people prefer the start menu to the new layout - something that is easily fixed with a free download- or that the new layout is confusing - again, something that can be fixed with a free download, even though it only takes five minutes to learn properly. Hell, when you install Windows 8 there is a video showing you how to use the new layout properly.

#9 Posted by llamaegg (208 posts) -

@llamaegg said:

It mentions buying Windows 8, which honestly speaking, I don't see a reason to get yet. I would just say grab Windows 7 unless 8 has some feature that you just gotta have.

Because almost all retail stores charge the same price for both Windows 7 + 8, since Windows 8 is faster, more stable, has more features, and is more secure than Windows 7, why would you get anything else? The only two real complaints are that some people prefer the start menu to the new layout - something that is easily fixed with a free download- or that the new layout is confusing - again, something that can be fixed with a free download, even though it only takes five minutes to learn properly. Hell, when you install Windows 8 there is a video showing you how to use the new layout properly.

But yet there has been reports of games not working with Windows 8 that work with Windows 7. I have nothing against the change of the UI, and I know that Windows 8 is running off the same infrastructure as 7, but I always have a hard time recommending someone to be an "early" (subjectively that is) adopter of an OS.

#10 Edited by Kidavenger (3380 posts) -

None of the current GPUs support direct X 11.2 which in about a year will more than likely become the PC standard, I think right now is a terrible time to build an expensive gaming PC, I'd seriously just wait for next gen consoles and build a PC in a year from now.

#11 Edited by OurSin_360 (755 posts) -

This is just a personal thing, but i do not trust seagate. Almost every HDD i've bought from them died, but it could have just been a bad batch a few years ago but i've never gone back. WD black has been the most reliable for me, but i haven't tried one over 1tb yet.

Also i hate windows 8 (from the little time i've spent with it anyway lol)

Otherwise everything seems good, I've only ever used AMD (besides an old geforce card i had wayyy back but wasn't into pc gaming much at the time) and they seem to run pretty well. The lower end ones really give you value for your buck, but some people prefer the higher end Nvidia cards because of Physx and supposedly better drivers.

None of the current GPUs support direct X 11.2 which in about a year will more than likely become the PC standard, I think right now is a terrible time to build an expensive gaming PC, I'd seriously just wait for next gen consoles and build a PC in a year from now.

Damn, guess they want to force me to upgrade to win8

#12 Edited by MonetaryDread (1953 posts) -

@llamaegg said:

@monetarydread said:

@llamaegg said:

It mentions buying Windows 8, which honestly speaking, I don't see a reason to get yet. I would just say grab Windows 7 unless 8 has some feature that you just gotta have.

Because almost all retail stores charge the same price for both Windows 7 + 8, since Windows 8 is faster, more stable, has more features, and is more secure than Windows 7, why would you get anything else? The only two real complaints are that some people prefer the start menu to the new layout - something that is easily fixed with a free download- or that the new layout is confusing - again, something that can be fixed with a free download, even though it only takes five minutes to learn properly. Hell, when you install Windows 8 there is a video showing you how to use the new layout properly.

But yet there has been reports of games not working with Windows 8 that work with Windows 7. I have nothing against the change of the UI, and I know that Windows 8 is running off the same infrastructure as 7, but I always have a hard time recommending someone to be an "early" (subjectively that is) adopter of an OS.

I completely understand why you mention to hold off on a launch product, and that is why I am not going to buy a PS4 or X1 on launch. Windows 8 though, almost all compatibility issues have been worked out by now (apparently there was a .net framework issue) and it functions similar to Windows 7 - Windows 8 being a reworked version of 7.

Plus, it is designed from the very beginning to take advantage of an SSD. The speed difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 with an SSD is so great that Windows 8 should be considered a must-have when installing that hardware.

#13 Edited by TheHBK (5407 posts) -

@neutraldensity: I am gonna agree with the GTX 770 recommendation. The GPUs are quieter and I have that card and the the same CPU in this build. I went with a 50 buck liquid cooler from Antec and overclocked to 4.2 no problem, games so far do not push the temp of the CPU much, but video stuff does but only to like 50 C.

One thing I would consider when looking at graphics cards is that I might have gone this route myself, is the GTX 760. Now if you are aiming at 1080p, it will run everything great. But also, if you get another later on, put it into SLI, the combo of 2 GTX 760 apparently performs better than a GTX 780. Check it out. http://www.guru3d.com/articles_pages/geforce_gtx_760_sli_review,1.html

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