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#1 Phaedrus

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 11:16 AM

Sup. This here is a topic to discuss gaming PC builds, parts, tech news, tips and tricks, great deals and stories. It is not a topic meant to promote the 'PC Master Race' or to talk down to each other in any way. With that in mind, let's begin!

I've been putting together (with some help) my own gaming rigs since I had my first job at the age of 14. Since that jury-rigged bargain bin clunker I have built another more 'mature' system and have consulted on many of my friends' endeavours. Here are my current specs (to the best of my memory, don't expect product codes here):

ASUS GTX 770 2GB GPU
G. Skill Ripjaw 16 GB DDR3 1333 MHz RAM
Intel i7 3820 3.2 GHz processor
ASUS motherboard that I can't remember the details of
1TB HDD
64GB SSD
Creative SoundBlasterX sound card
650W PSU

There's a bunch of peripherals but that's the core system. Its done me proud for a while but at almost 3 years old and with the complexity of games coming out, its beginning to show its age. I plan on selling the majority of the system + case to help fund my next build which I have already begun compiling/purchasing. So far I have procured:

G.Skill RipjawX 16GB DDR4 3000MHz RAM
Samsung 250GB SSD (will likely buy another. One for OS + core programs and drivers, one for my most played games.)
EVGA GTX 980 4GB GPU
EVGA 750W Modular PSU

With the biggest purchase out of the way (graphics card) the rest of the build should come along quickly. I'll be getting a 6th gen i7 CPU and begin to experiment with overclocking and liquid cooling for this build. I'm really excited.

Share your builds, your stories and your methods!

#2 Herbert

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 11:41 AM

MSI GTX 770

i7-3770K (Even the old i7's are still overkill for gaming)

some motherboard or another

500GB SSD (need an ext: D soon, and for anyone building a PC, an SSD is the way to go, my computer still only takes 20-30 seconds to boot)

bunch of other stuff I can't remember.

 

I was giving strong consideration to upgrading my GPU this christmas, but decided against, all signs point towards there being a huge leap in GPU tech later this year. This is the first major change in the actual construction of GPUs in quite a while, and I want to see if they will be worth it. Admittedly, this tech jump was supposed to happen in 2015 and it didn't, so we will wait and see if it comes around this time. 


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#3 Ocelot

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 07:43 PM

My aging but still trusty PC:

 

2GB 670GTX

i5 3570k

8GB of some flavour of DDR3

250GB Solid State Drive for programs and games, then two HDDs for assorted storage (1TB and 750GB)

Basic Gigabyte motherboard

750W EVGA power supply (huge overkill for my system, but my old PSU died and EVGAs come with a 10 year warranty so I figured it'll fit whatever my next upgrade is)

1920x1200 monitor

 

It's definitely showing its age these days, and I had to give up the 60FPS dream long ago, but it still plays almost everything a little above PS4-level. The only thing it can't do is brute force good performance out of badly optimised PC ports like Arkham Knight or Just Cause 3, but it handle everything well-made just fine.

 

It'll be four years old when the new Nvidia cards come out this year, and I'm planning on getting a 1070GTX (or whatever they call the new equivalent of the 670/770/970 model). No interest in upgrading the entire PC for negligible benefits; my CPU is still perfectly fine. Maybe I'll get another 8GB of RAM, but I don't see myself doing a full motherboard/CPU/RAM upgrade any time soon.

 

I want to get a new monitor at some point, but I feel like this might be the worst time for it. Monitor resolution is far outstripping video card power, so while I'd love to get a 4K monitor I feel like it'd basically make my PC obsolete instantly because I'd never have the power to drive all those pixels at good framerates. Even something like a 980Ti isn't enough for a solid 60FPS at 4K (and games are only going to get more demanding), so unless those new Nvidia CPUs are really something, it seems like 1440p is probably the better bet. And then I still do most of my PC gaming with the GPU outputting to my TV, anyway, so do I really even need a snazzy monitor?



#4 Phaedrus

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:10 PM

Yeah when it comes to resolution, I'm still happy with 1080 for the time being, what really makes a big difference for me is refresh rate. My monitor is a killer 24" 1080p ASUS model that is made for gaming and has a refresh rate of 144Hz. Plus tons of other cool features, but the refresh rate is the kicker.

On newer, high-intensity games like the Witcher 3 that my rig barely keeps up with, it hardly makes a noticeable difference. But on games like Battlefield 4, Team Fortress 2 or SWTOR, everything is just so dang smooth, I can whip the camera around as fast as I can move the mouse and the monitor has no trouble keeping up. No visible tearing or anything. I'm gonna be sticking with this monitor for the foreseeable future.

#5 Ryoma

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:13 PM

My computer turns on. :D

 

I honestly don';t know the details of its specs. Hawk helped me pick it out from HP several months back. It's got an AMD Graphics card, 500 SSD Drive, 2 TB regular harddrive, 16 GB RAM, and other stuff. It ran Tomb Raider 2013 really well, though I keep the super-fancy hair off because I couldn't keep a consistent 60 FPS with it.

 

I don't play many graphically intensive games these days, so I don't forsee myself having any issues with it for some time. I did play Transformers: Devastation on it and that ran like a dream. I also got Metal Gear Rising as part of the Winter Sale, and I fully intend to play that there Witching 3rd game everyone likes at some point. Should serve me well.



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#6 Michaelangelo

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Posted 13 January 2016 - 08:33 PM

I'm poor and don't really feel like redoing my PC quite yet. Maybe I'll updoot my RAM from 8GB to 16. Maybe when the time comes to rebuild my PC I'll donate mine to my brother and buy him a new HDD.

I don't game as much as I used to but rather I work in Photoshop and 3-D more than I do video games. However, having a nice PC that can run those programs smoothly also helps with vidya. I'll post specs at another time lol

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#7 Ocelot

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 01:19 AM

On newer, high-intensity games like the Witcher 3 that my rig barely keeps up with, it hardly makes a noticeable difference. But on games like Battlefield 4, Team Fortress 2 or SWTOR, everything is just so dang smooth, I can whip the camera around as fast as I can move the mouse and the monitor has no trouble keeping up. No visible tearing or anything. I'm gonna be sticking with this monitor for the foreseeable future.

 

I've used a 144Hz monitor and absolutely loved it; I definitely wouldn't buy a 60Hz monitor again. There are just so many things to consider when shopping for a new monitor, though. You've got:

- Resolution

- Aspect ratio (aren't those 2.35:1 monitors neat?)

- Screen size

- Refresh rate

- G-Sync (I really want to see this in real life)

- Panel technology (TN, IPS, VA, and now OLED is becoming a thing)

- Glossy screen vs. matte screen

- Spend all this money on a monitor or feed yourself for a year

- Can your PC even push all those pixels that many times a second?

 

Makes my head spin :P



#8 Goldy

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 03:27 PM

r9 270X 4GB GPU

8 gig of DDR3

500gb + 1tb harddrives

Intel i5 760 2.8 GHz processor

not sure what motherboard is... a reasonable one when it was bought

 

I've had this machine for five years but it wasn't built my me - at the time I did the math and it wasn't much more money to order a custom build with the benefits of having 1 year warranty and professionals building it. Originally I ordered it with a Radeon 5850 GPU, 4gig ram and just the 500gb harddrive. I added the ram and harddrive two years ago and the GPU was swapped less than a year ago.

 

It plays reasonably well. My intention behind this machine has never to have it be one of these 60fps god machines but throughout it's lifespan it's managed to play the lower intensity games at max settings. I only actually swapped the GPU out once GTA V released as that was the first game that ran poorly on low-medium settings. 

 

Storage has always been an issue with this machine. I've set-up an NAS which obviously isn't for games but it helps free up some space and allows me access to files from all my machines and away from home. I'll probably swap a harddrive out... maybe the 500gb for an SSD? I've been tempted to go SSD but I am not sure about the benefits vs cost. I keep my machine on sleep mode when I'm not using it so fast boot isn't much of a benefit. Anyone convince me otherwise?

 

Latest purchases have been a Samsung 27- Inch monitor when my previous DELL was damaged when moving house. I also bought the HOTAS warthog and it is a bloody fantastic controller. Pricey but you've got to spend a lot to get a good joystick these days; my previous stick was a thrusmaster x and it was complete garbage.

 

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#9 Trevize

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Posted 14 January 2016 - 04:46 PM

Ooh boy here it is. I recently built my computer for the sole purpose of being able to play The Witcher 3 but it is a zippy machine in-game and out:

-8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
-120GB Samsung 850 EVO SSD
-WD Blue 1TB HDD
-Thermaltake Smart 650w power supply
-Asus M5A99FX Pro R2.0 motherboard
-FX-8320 processor @4.2 GHz
-XFX R9 390

It is a very capable machine and I foresee it continuing to be so for a few years, though I may get a new Zen CPU and AM4 motherboard some time after they are released seeing as the FX series processors aren't exactly the freshest cut of meat in the grocery store.

#10 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 06:34 AM

I have a gaming laptop, because I like to be able to take my rig with me when I travel. Recently when I was playing a game no more taxing than SW:TOR (poorly optimized though it is), my computer simply shut down in my face and wouldn't power up again. I tried removing components one by one until it booted up, and discovered the video card was the problem. My PC being long out of warranty, I decided to fix it myself. But rather than buy the same card, I figured I'd take this opportunity to upgrade so I could run The Witcher 3 better.

I thought it would be easy since the video card pops right out, but... well, I was wrong. First I realized my heat sink wouldn't fit until I ground down some parts of it with a dremel. So I did. Then I found out I couldn't install the new video drivers because I could not for the life of me convince the computer that it had a new card. I tried everything and started to wish I hadn't tried to upgrade... and then I tried installing Windows 10, and miracle of miracles, it installed the right drivers during the installation process!

Buuuuut now, after enjoying my new video card for several months, I've suddenly discovered I still can't upgrade the drivers. I'm still struggling with that problem. So, I guess the moral of this story is... either don't buy a gaming laptop, or at least never expect to upgrade one, unless you enjoy a challenge. :P

As for my specs, let me check...

 

Intel i7-2630QM

nVidia GT970m (6GB I think)

16GB of DDR3 RAM

1TB HDD (RAID 0, unfortunately)

1920x1200 external monitor plus the 1920x1080 monitor attached to the laptop, both non-glossy

 

and of course my beloved Logitech G700 gaming mouse, which has proven infinitely useful both due to the extra buttons and the on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. I never knew the latter was something I even wanted until I had it. It's actually really neat. Though, I will also mention that the wirelessness of the mouse is pretty pointless due to short battery life. Thankfully it has a USB cord you can attach to the front so you can use it like any normal mouse with a wire.


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#11 Michaelangelo

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 10:29 AM

I have a gaming laptop, because I like to be able to take my rig with me when I travel. Recently when I was playing a game no more taxing than SW:TOR (poorly optimized though it is), my computer simply shut down in my face and wouldn't power up again. I tried removing components one by one until it booted up, and discovered the video card was the problem. My PC being long out of warranty, I decided to fix it myself. But rather than buy the same card, I figured I'd take this opportunity to upgrade so I could run The Witcher 3 better.

I thought it would be easy since the video card pops right out, but... well, I was wrong. First I realized my heat sink wouldn't fit until I ground down some parts of it with a dremel. So I did. Then I found out I couldn't install the new video drivers because I could not for the life of me convince the computer that it had a new card. I tried everything and started to wish I hadn't tried to upgrade... and then I tried installing Windows 10, and miracle of miracles, it installed the right drivers during the installation process!

Buuuuut now, after enjoying my new video card for several months, I've suddenly discovered I still can't upgrade the drivers. I'm still struggling with that problem. So, I guess the moral of this story is... either don't buy a gaming laptop, or at least never expect to upgrade one, unless you enjoy a challenge. :P

As for my specs, let me check...

 

Intel i7-2630QM

nVidia GT970m (6GB I think)

16GB of DDR3 RAM

1TB HDD (RAID 0, unfortunately)

1920x1200 external monitor plus the 1920x1080 monitor attached to the laptop, both non-glossy

 

and of course my beloved Logitech G700 gaming mouse, which has proven infinitely useful both due to the extra buttons and the on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. I never knew the latter was something I even wanted until I had it. It's actually really neat. Though, I will also mention that the wirelessness of the mouse is pretty pointless due to short battery life. Thankfully it has a USB cord you can attach to the front so you can use it like any normal mouse with a wire.

 

Interesting, I woulda figured that maybe you could download the drivers from Nvidia and install them manually. :P Maybe your motherboard wasn't having it lol.

 

But a 970!?! :DD
 


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#12 Gentleman Psychopath

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Posted 15 January 2016 - 02:38 PM

So I recently upgraded my desktop who was an old custom build from a friend I got for free.She served me a god twoish years, which with the old parts that were in her I was more than happy with. So I upgraded from an Intel Core 2 Quad, running like 4GB of DDR2 memory on an Nvidia chipset mobo to:

Gigabyte H170M-D3H-CF

Intel Skylake series i3-6300 CPU (2 physical but 4 threads)

16GB (2x8) of DDR4 memory 

I kept my old Radeon 6850 in there(that and the PSU will probably be my next upgrade)

500W 80+ Bronze rated PSU

1TB WD Caviar Black HDD (wave three of upgrade will change over to a multi-tiered storage system with 1TB Blue, 2TB Black, and a Samsung 950 Pro 256GB SSD)

Somewhere along the line I'll pickup the Phanteks Eclipse P400s (after it releases of course) and swap my parts out of what looks like an over-glorified old Dell tower(that I pimped out with some paint and some custom fan mounts)


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#13 Phaedrus

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Posted 16 January 2016 - 07:59 PM

Argh, choosing a case and then finding a good liquid cooling system that is compatible with said case is such a hassle. Manufacturers need to stop with the whole 'proprietary design' stuff.

#14 Saber-Scorpion

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 11:29 AM

But a 970!?! :DD

 

lol, yeap, occasionally I like to splurge on myself. :D

 

The problem with installing the drivers has something to do with the notebook's BIOS or something... There's a bunch of info in this thread if you're interested: http://forum.noteboo...-thread.765058/ That's the thread I had to follow for the upgrade...

I think I might be able to get drivers to install if I disable digital driver signing in Windows 10, but I haven't gotten around to trying it...


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#15 Herbert

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Posted 17 January 2016 - 11:37 AM

I tried installing Windows 10 and it caused driver shenanigans the likes of which I had never seen. I rolled back to Windows 7 and am gonna sit here for a while, until DX 12 becomes commonplace or something.


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#16 God-Emperor Thrawnie

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 01:37 PM

My incredibly inept self somehow managed to slap a new system together without botching anything. I have no idea how.

 

-AMD FX8350 8-Core 4.0 GHz Processor

-Radeon R9 380 4GB

-Crucial 240GB SSD

-WD 1TB HDD

-Corsair CX750M PSU

-ASUS M5A99FX Motherboard

-Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 RAM

 

I was so shocked when I turned it on for the first time and it actually POSTed that I just kind of blanked out for a while.

 

Anyway, now dealing with the fun part - redownloading all my games and figuring out why Windows Update is stuck in a perpetual loop of looking for updates and hogging one of my processor cores.


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#17 The Captain

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 05:51 PM

I've had a $550 stock Dell (A buffed-up Inspiron 620) for YEARS that was pretty much all muscle and no graphic power. Last summer I decided to give it an actual graphics card (I kid you not the on-board graphics card didn't even have a name other than 'HD graphic enhancer' and was this horridly ugly little chip about 2"x3") solely to play Killing Floor 2, but now apparently I can run almost anything on the highest settings, so I'm a happy camper. It meant upgrading my PS as well, so a $280 upgrade altogether. 

 

I'm gonna coast until the older stuff starts dying (Again, stock Dell, so the case is complete crapola but some of the parts like the motherboard are literally glued to the inside so I can't exactly move everything out. On top of that I have no idea what the specs of my motherboard even are) before I build myself a new rig. In the meantime here's all I've got (The important stuff at any rate):


- Intel Core i5-2320 CPU 3.00 GHz Processor (Dem quad cores making it all happen)

- 8 gigs o' RAM 

- NVIDIA GTX 960 

- Stock motherboard 

- Dell E207WFP monitor (Yes I do plan on upgrading as soon as I can so I can actually see the shiny in my videogames) 


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#18 Wang Fire

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 06:22 PM

A Dell? I pity you man, truly I do.


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#19 God-Emperor Thrawnie

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 09:31 PM

Ditch the motherboard ASAP. Dell mobos are garbage.

 

How many years have you had it? If it's more than 3 I'm shocked it hasn't died on you. Same for the monitor.


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#20 The Captain

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 11:05 PM



Ditch the motherboard ASAP. Dell mobos are garbage.

 

How many years have you had it? If it's more than 3 I'm shocked it hasn't died on you. Same for the monitor.

 

They probably are but, again, it's been 5 years and everything's still running really well: I have no idea how they married a Kalashnikov to a motherboard but apparently that's what I have inside my computer. I do plan on replacing it as soon as it craps out but at this rate I think I'll day of old age before it does. But I mean full-time summer work is on the horizon so in the middle of that I'll probably put some dosh to the side because a rig-worthy motherboard is pretty much the cheapest part of the whole thing besides a case. And more importantly when I do that I can move it into a significantly more breathable and roomier case when I need to make another graphix card update two or three years down the line. 

 

And same, it just won't quit on me or even show any signs of struggle. The monitor on the other hand has been kicking around the house for a while and it shows. It's definitely getting replaced as soon as I can manage because it's the most readily offensive to my eyes than any of my internals will ever be.


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