superjawes wrote:Keep Calm and Read the Lastest System Guide.
That should answer most of your concerns regarding price/performance . Each system is built with price point in mind, and while some end up farther out of budget than others, you'll know where the value points are.
Now, I have questions:
1. What resolution are you aiming for? 1080p is going to require more power than 720p, and it's best to aim for your performance at native resolution for best results.
2. Is a monitor included in that budget, or do you already have something to use? This is important because the gerbils here will probably try to max out that budget.
3. Do you need to account for a copy of Windows in that budget? Same reason as 2.
4. Do you need any other odds and ends from this computer (mice, speakers, keyboard, etc.)?
Now, some comments:
1. You should probably get a SSD. You'll see explanations in the system guide, but the performance increase will be worth it, and even on the low end of your budget, it would be of great value.
2. Don't tie yourself to FPS. Here at TR, we focus more on frame times, which are much better indicators of smoothness. You can have high FPS with choppy animation. If you're going to join the PC enthusiast cult club, you should focus on smoothness over FPS.
3. Overclocking might squeeze more performance, but you don't necessarily need it. A solid GPU will be a better investment.
IBYCFOTA wrote:You're going to hear a lot of 7 around here...not a lot of 8 love. Make sure you check out any educational or home use progams your school/employer might have. You may be able to get a great discount on a license. If not, just be sure to have a copy budgeted.I do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
Research is one thing. Experience is another. Don't be afraid to bounce those off us, too. On the keyboard front, you'll quickly notice that we're fans of mechanical switches over the rubber dome designs found in most keyboards, but we can talk more on that later...Good question. I need all of these things as well. I didn't feel the need to include that here however since that research is pretty simple to do on my own.
FPS is tied to frame times, but those are averages over a whole second, which is a long time in this world (one second equals 60 monitor refreshes). A bunch of fast frames paired with a bunch of crappy frames can still average to high FPS but microstutter like crazy. When TR switched to these metrics, SLI/Crossfire setups were awful on this front, even though they often had excellent FPS averages (/soapbox).Gotcha. I guess I kind of assumed they were one in the same since every video I've seen of somebody overclocking with a ridiculous FPS number was ridiculously smooth. In any case, I'd like to have a machine that excels in both regards on the highest possible settings. If that means forking over a bit more for a higher quality video card or GPU, so be it. I just want quality.
Then check out three things. First, make sure you get the K version of an Intel processor. The "non-K" versions won't be overclockable. Second, investing in an aftermarket cooler will be better at cooling your system, and be quieter than the stock cooler. Finally, I don't think I see a lot of GPU overclocking, but manufacturers often have overclocked versions of cards that do squeeze more performance without requiring extra effort on your part.I've heard similar sentiments before and you might be right. I really don't plan on going nuts with Overclocking, I just want to have the option to do it, even if that means easing into it. I certainly don't want to overstep the limits of what my system is capable of and do damage to the computer.
IBYCFOTA wrote:Careful, you may be confusing the 840 with the 840 Pro which is one of the fastest on the market right now. However, the regular 840 isn't quite as fast. For just a little bit more, you can get much closer to the 840 Pro's with a Corsair Neutron or an Intel 335 (see the last graph on this page).Samsung 840 120GB SSD - SSD's seem to be very highly recommended, and none more so than the Samsung 840.
IBYCFOTA wrote:a case, a powersupply
IBYCFOTA wrote:perhaps a sound card.
superjawes wrote:IBYCFOTA wrote:You're going to hear a lot of 7 around here...not a lot of 8 love. Make sure you check out any educational or home use progams your school/employer might have. You may be able to get a great discount on a license. If not, just be sure to have a copyI do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
How about a 550W 80Plus Platinum PSU. You can use a PSU calculator to determine the size PSU you need. You can expect to see ~400W power draw with everything overclocked and 100% CPU+GPU load. (with a similar system to what you're building here) That 100% full system load will rarely happen, but the 450W recommendation of the PSU calculator can be your minimum target wattage for a non(or slightly) overclocked system. A 550W gives you ample headroom for overclocking, especially with a good quality PSU. There are many other 500 - 600W PSUs to choose from.
mortifiedPenguin wrote:IBYCFOTA wrote:Careful, you may be confusing the 840 with the 840 Pro which is one of the fastest on the market right now. However, the regular 840 isn't quite as fast. For just a little bit more, you can get much closer to the 840 Pro's with a Corsair Neutron or an Intel 335 (see the last graph on this page).Samsung 840 120GB SSD - SSD's seem to be very highly recommended, and none more so than the Samsung 840.
You can see TR's Case and PSU section here. It really depends on how much you want to spend. Many people wouldn't ever spend more than $100 on a case but there are plenty of people that would pay extra for the aesthetics. I'd suggest looking at any of Corsair's lineup and Antec is always a solid choice. Both companies actually make solid PSUs (Corsair more so than Antec recently). You should also look at Seasonic. Your system looks like it could use something in the 500W range (use a calculator to be sure, though!) but I personally like to add a little extra on top for future expansion and long term degradation of the PSU.
If you don't have half-way decent speakers or headphones, you might not hear a huge difference between onboard audio and discrete audio. Personally, my X-Fi Titanium sounds great when coupled with my AKG K271 MKIIs but somewhat less so with the Logitech z5300-e 5.1 system I use for most of my gaming. TR's editors recently gave their Editor's Choice award to the Xonar DSX.
superjawes wrote:Follow the advice of the gerbils above. It is good.
Now if you want advice on cases...there are tons of options. What do you want? Personally, I'm looking for something like this for easier cable routing, good cooling, intake filters...but I'm going to be getting a lot of use out of my next case, so that might be a bit excessive. Pick out the bits you want most and any aestetic features you want and I am sure you can find something.
Dpete actually hit on something good as well. Full size ATX boards are a bit excessive these days. Most people only ever use one GPU, and mATX boards still leave room for more expansion cards (like your sound card). This also means you can shink your case a bit to have a smaller footprint, be more portable if you need it, etc. There's nothing really wrong with a full-sized board, but mATX sizes might even save you a bit of money.
JustAnEngineer wrote:A Blu-ray reader / DVD writer costs only $40. That's just $17 more than the old-fashioned DVD-only drive that you were considering.
Grape Flavor wrote:superjawes wrote:IBYCFOTA wrote:You're going to hear a lot of 7 around here...not a lot of 8 love. Make sure you check out any educational or home use progams your school/employer might have. You may be able to get a great discount on a license. If not, just be sure to have a copyI do. Right now I'm trying to decide between Windows 7 and 8.
The 7 vs. 8 thing is vastly overblown considering the generous array of free and paid software available that both re-enables the Start Menu and allows you to boot directly to the Desktop.
Under the hood Windows 8 is a superior OS. The TR Guide recommends you take the plunge and I'm inclined to agree. Having the latest version of Windows is in the long run going to be worth the temporary hassle of understanding Windows 8 and configuring the interface towards your tastes.
IBYCFOTA wrote:I would be surprised if you needed more than 38 amperes from the +12 volt DC rail (38x12=456 watts). Consider some of these power supplies:NVIDIA says the GeForce GTX660Ti requires a 550 watt PSU.
mortifiedPenguin wrote:You may be confusing the Samsung 840 Series SSD with the 840 Pro which is one of the fastest on the market right now. However, the regular 840 isn't quite as fast.
IBYCFOTA wrote:The slightly-slower SSD is still extremely quick (0.03 ms vs. 12.00 ms) compared to mechanical hard-drives. Given the pricing difference, the regular 840 series SSD looks okay to me.A bit tempting to go with the regular 840 at 250 GB which is the same price as the 128 GB 840 pro.
IBYCFOTA wrote:The cases linked above include sufficient cooling fans to get the heat out of the case. If you want to install additional fans, a 120x25mm fan with PWM speed control up to a maximum of 1350 to 2000 rpm is a good choice (assuming that your case doesn't have a mounting point for a larger fan).Most cases have some form of a cooler / fan - is this generally adequate for most mid level rigs or should I look at some kind of standalone cooler / fan? This is another aspect that has me a bit confused.
IBYCFOTA wrote:Don't forget the Sound Blaster Recon3D or Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium from Creative Labs. In this decade, sound cards are primarily useful for their superior analog output compared to whatever is built into your motherboard. If you were going to use digital output (HDMI, SPDIF, etc.) from your PC to a receiver, then a sound card wouldn't matter.Sound is of some importance to me, and sound cards appear to be fairly cheap so I think I'll look into purchasing one. The Xonar DSX looks good.
IBYCFOTA wrote:The $40 LG UH12NS29 drive that I linked reads Blu-ray discs, but it can burn DVDs and CDs. A Blu-ray burner costs another $30. Cyberlink's PowerDVD is the best software for Blu-ray playback on the PC. It was included for free in the Windows 8 deal posted on TR's front page. You should be fine with the PlayStation 3 if you don't want to spend more money for the Blu-ray drive.I already have a PS3. I still would need to purchase software to watch Blu Ray content. If it were a Blu Ray burner as well I'd buy it.