Community support: Computer building mega thread

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Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby Failhorse » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:34 pm

Per other thread. Thought we should create a mega-thread for those looking or needing advice on building a computer. Computer hardware is incredibly easy to install. There is no reason you should ever buy a pre-built computer. You waste money, and get shoddy hardware in most cases. This first thread will be expanded upon as others toss us their info.

This is based on advice for those building a mid-tier gaming PC. We are not talking about liquid cooling or expansive bullshit that makes the sand, dirt, and muzzle fire look better on screen.

Basics:
A build breaks down into 8 basic pieces.
Case, motherboard (mobo,) CPU, PSU (power supply,) GPU (graphics card,) Hard drive, RAM, and some sort of disc drive.

Additional things that may be necessary, based on your build could be: Additional or upgraded cooling/fans, extra drives, and extra inputs. Though picking the right mobo should negate needing any additional USB or firewire inputs.

You generally also have to buy your OS separately.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Sites like newegg.com and tigerdirect.com generally offer combo deals. When piecing your box together, be open to adjusting the details. Doing so can save some big cash. Especially things like the GPU, Mobo, and RAM.

Things to consider:

:Case:
I refuse to talk about this. You people with your fancy bling boxes. I have 25k LEDs in mine, but had to buy 6 fans to keep it from shutting down.
expand on this section

:Mobo:
expand on this section

:CPU:
expand on this section

:PSU:
The power supply is generally overlooked or under valued. A quality PSU is very important. You need to read up on your choices and look at the continuous power rating. That's very important. A mid level gaming PC with a mid-high tier GPU will use anywhere between 350-450 watts. You want headroom. Generally 40-80% more. I would recommend never buying anything less than 550, 600-700 being the sweet spot.
expand on this section

:RAM:
RAM, to me, seems like a giant industry inside joke. Especially with DDR3 RAM. Prices for near-same spec product can be all over the place. In reality there are very few microchip makers. You pay a premium for a fancy looking heat sink and a name. Many of the chips come from Japan. So you can get massive price fluctuations based on what is happening there. Problem with a nuclear reactor? Prices go 4x overnight. Base your buying experience on what combo deal best works, what you actually need, and the support the supplier gives after the sale. The 2x the price because: heat sink, is dumb.
expand on this section

:GPU:
The GPU is probably most important. As we play Source games, and 1 upgrade can kill your FPS. For what seems like no particular reason. Much like RAM, you have a lot of licensed product. The HDBlahfuck can very in price based on manufacture. And the heatsink/case the GPU actually sits in dictates the end price. The difference this time, is the heat sink and case matter. Do not. Ever! Buy additional cooling for a GPU. If you are doing that, you picked the wrong GPU.
expand on this section

:Optical Disc:
if you spend more than $20 dollars, you are doing it wrong.
expand on this section

:Hard Drive:
I highly suggest, if running an SSD (solid state drive) to also purchase a traditional drive. Or a traditional back up drive. I also do not suggest running ancillary programs or files from a SSD. Realistically you only need the OS, Steam, and other games on the SSD drive. Pictures, movies, and your porn stash can stay elsewhere. It's like putting a Porsche engine into a Saturn. It will never all fit, and it takes up A LOT of space. After you outspend your budget so you get a large enough drive, to hold your porn collection. You'll realize it loads just as fast on a traditional drive.
expand on this section

Other useful info down here.
A good writeup on dealing with heat.
whatever else you can think of. Will add as necessary.
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby Shotgunbob » Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:31 pm

CPU depends on user but the Phenom II Dual Cores still work incredibly well IMO, I'm running the 3.2GHz version. The black editions can OC to about 4GHz without issue, and if you get lucky you can unlock both of the deactivated cores making it a quad. The only one you can buy is the 560 which is the 3.3GHz model and it's fairly cheap ($80-$95)

The 3.4GHz Quad-core FX processor is also a great cost to performance CPU, it runs at about $100-$110 on newegg.


Also with RAM G.Skill DDR3 is typically the cheapest brand, but still shop around for the cheapest deal.
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby gewf » Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:40 pm

My 3.6ghz quad core was only 110 from newegg.

one thing I will say about my build, get a different motherboard. If there's a way to install an aftermarket heatsink on it, It's beyond my knowledge. screws were tighter than the virgin mary.

so I got the 700w corsair PS and it makes an annoying chirp sound all the damn time... has good reviews but I guess I got a faulty part.
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby Shotgunbob » Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:02 am

gewf wrote:My 3.6ghz quad core was only 110 from newegg.

one thing I will say about my build, get a different motherboard. If there's a way to install an aftermarket heatsink on it, It's beyond my knowledge. screws were tighter than the virgin mary.

so I got the 700w corsair PS and it makes an annoying chirp sound all the damn time... has good reviews but I guess I got a faulty part.



I used the stock on mine, but don't all AMD mounted fans/heatsinks use that latch/socket on the motherboard rather than screws?
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby Sundaybrawl » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:10 am

There are two other websites I believe have some decent prices, although since I'm in Canada the prices are different. ncix.com and directcanada.com, ncix is in America while the other one, if you haven't figured it out yet, is not, duh.

I'm not sure about combos however. I bought my PC from ncix for a little around $1,300, a bit much but satisfied. directcanada some pretty cheap prices for some of the same stuff on ncix, but different selection, I don't think as much as other sites.
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby GoDM1N » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:46 pm

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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby Failhorse » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:24 pm

Is anyone going to contribute?
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby VoltySquirrel » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:14 pm

Failhorse wrote:Is anyone going to contribute?

I wish I could, but I only have a basic understanding of what the components of a computer are, let alone how to put those components together into a working machine. But I'm learning.
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby GoDM1N » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:47 pm

Failhorse wrote:Is anyone going to contribute?


Heres my thoughts on computer components

:Case:
A good case will last you multiple builds, will be easier to work with as well as keep your computer running cooler (via cable management and fan options). Make sure the case has a bottom mounted PSU, lots of room, pass throughs for your cables and lots of places to mount fans. This doesn't mean you need to go out and spend $300 on a case, there are many options within the $100 range.


:Mobo:
Theres not really a lot to say about mobos in my opinion for this type of guide. I suggest getting something that's a full ATX size and has a upgrade path (ex. 4 ram slots, 2 PCi-e slots etc) that priced around $100-150


:CPU:
I feel the CPU isn't as important as people generally say it is when it comes to gaming. A lot of people will go out and buy the "best" CPUs on the market, but when it comes to gaming they're equal with slower models. Sometimes you even end up with fewer FPS when buying the higher end CPUs. The reason for this is games don't take advantage of the technology that makes those CPUs faster in the type of applications they were made for. When they cant rely on that technology it hinders their performance in applications that don't use them to their fullest. Truth is most games don't even use more than two of your CPUs cores, and most games are also GPU dependent. So don't blow all your budget on the best CPU you can buy and expect it to run faster.

:PSU:
When it comes to a PSU personally I just go straight to the Corsair section. They're good PSU's, they're all 80PLUS Certified and they have any size you need at good prices. I suggest something around 750watts. If you want to upgrade later with a 2nd GPU you have the room to do so and the price difference between a 550w and a 750w is about $20 so its not going to break the bank.


:RAM:
When buying ram you don't need to do anything crazy really. You WILL NOT see a difference between 4gb of ram or 32gb of ram in a video game. I suggest buying whatever has the lowest latency with the highest speed your mobo supports. A important note is if you buy a motherboard with the intel 1155 socket the ram must have a voltage of 1.5 or lower or it won't work.

:GPU:
This is the most important part of a gaming computer, it is where most of your budget will go because it is where you'll see the most performance the more you spend unlike RAM or a CPU. A general rule of thumb to use is you want to spend 50-100% more on the GPU than you did on your CPU to get the most bang for your buck.

:Optical Disc:
Buy a external and pull it out whenever you feel like playing older games that aren't on a digital downloader of some sort or to install windows. I haven't used a optical drive in god knows how long, I think the last time I used one was for installing windows 7 actually.

:Hard Drive:
SSD drives have come down in price so much if you're making a computer today and don't buy one somethings wrong with you. Buy a good SSD thats around 64gb-128gb and then buy a normal 1tb hard drive of at least 7200rpm for storage.
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Re: Community support: Computer building mega thread

Postby GoDM1N » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:07 am

Shotgunbob wrote:CPU depends on user but the Phenom II Dual Cores still work incredibly well IMO.


The reason for this is because generally the fewer cores a CPU has the more effective each core is. Meaning in games like TF2 where the game isn't optimized for multicore CPUs it isn't able to take advantage of all the power a quad CPU has to offer. This can confuse some people because they look at benchmarks showing that the quad was much faster in something like a encoding test or a synthetic benchmarking program that was made to test every inch of the CPU.

If you look here you'll see a AMD PII 555 vs a intel 2500k. The quad beats the dual core everywhere until you get to games. With the exception of Farcry which was made to run on quads the two cpus are very close. The closest being Fallout3 with only a 4 FPS difference. If you were to calculate that out you'd be paying something around $25 for each extra frame when playing Fallout. To add to this, if you were to buy a i7 975 EXTREME, you'd be paying something along the lines of $250 for each extra frame, and if you compare it to the 2500k, you'd be paying $800 for LESS performance.

This all said today it is better to get a quad because more games are being optimized for multicore as quads become more mainstream. However it generally is better to stick to i5's. Atm they're the best option for gamers unless you're building a APU based system which is a whole nother topic.
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