Author Topic: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town  (Read 1886 times)

Offline Quemaqua

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I'm fairly sure I discussed this with some folks before somewhere, but I couldn't find the thread, so figured I'd start a new one and lay it all out.

So I've been out of the loop for a long time. I built this computer I think in 2005, an AMD Athlon 64 X2. It has been slowly dying for some time, but has begun to pick up speed. I have 4 gigs of RAM, but CPU and RAM get eaten up rapidly sometimes, and the thing seems to slow to an absolute crawl pretty frequently. I can't figure out exactly why it's started doing this, as I didn't have this problem before and haven't added a ton of new programs, but whatever. What it boils down to is this system can barely even process video anymore, and it's gotten harder and harder to work. Gaming has actually mostly been okay, oddly enough, but general use is frustrating.

But I could really use some help. I've talked to a few people about stuff, but even doing reading online hasn't entirely gotten me the answers I'm looking for. I gather the Core i7 remains the thing you want if you're building a nice new rig, but I don't know if further revisions are on the horizon, or where prices or potential price drops are at, etc. I gather that the newest CPUs want DDR4 RAM?

I don't have an exact figure I'm looking to spend. This is a one-shot because some money will be coming to me, so while I'm looking to do things without spending a fortune, I'm also not at all interested in cutting corners. I will pay whatever I have to for a solid PC that's going to last me another decade (knock on wood, of course).

Any and all advice is totally welcome and appreciated. It's bad timing for me, as I'd rather be using the money for other stuff, but I don't really have a choice anymore. This PC has to happen, and I'll probably be sending Heather whatever money I don't end up using.

So with that said ... if you guys were to build a system right now or in the near future, what would you be doing?

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Offline Xessive

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #1 on: Saturday, October 31, 2015, 05:20:55 AM »
Awesome, man!

I'll help in any way I can.

With regards to the CPU, Intel just released the 6th Generation Core i7 (i5 & i3), so the previous gen CPUs have most likely got some price drops. To be honest the high end 4th gen Core i7 is still considered great particularly for gamer systems. But what's really going to the deciding factor is the rest of the components.

If you're going with DDR3 RAM then you can go with the 4th Gen but DDR4 RAM you've gotta go with the 5th Gen. Hree's an article from last year with some helpful info in the 5th gen vs 4th gen Intel processors: http://www.anandtech.com/show/8426/the-intel-haswell-e-cpu-review-core-i7-5960x-i7-5930k-i7-5820k-tested

Bear in mind, this will also determine your choice of motherboard to match the sockets and the RAM type. If you're going with the 5th Gen then I highly recommend a X99 chipset mobo.

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #2 on: Saturday, October 31, 2015, 12:21:49 PM »
My general thinking after a little research was that I'd probably go with 5th gen, but I'm still confused on a lot of this. Like I don't know which models are which or how to identify them. That article is pretty enlightening, and thank you for posting it ... later tonight I'll dive into it more and hopefully have time to start doing more real reading. But a lot of it is beyond me since I haven't been doing any of this in years now. I don't even understand how base clock speed and number of cores interact. I feel like I used to know a lot of stuff and have simply not paid attention in so long (due to not having the funds to play with it, or time to bother reading about it) that my brain just threw most of it out.

If you were building a new system and didn't want to do anything crazy as far as like liquid cooling and stuff like that, what CPU would you think would have the best speed/stability ratio? I want something fast, but I also want something that isn't going to end up causing me problems down the road. I don't plan to overclock. I want something that will perform, but raw performance isn't a huge thing for me: stability and longevity (I realize the latter is hard to predict) are more important to me. I don't care about getting 60 FPS in every game over the next 5 years. I care about them being playable and the computer not overheating, exploding, melting, etc.

EDIT - Okay, so I created a test build. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

https://pcpartpicker.com/user/Quemaqua/saved/#view=c7tTwP
« Last Edit: Sunday, November 01, 2015, 01:10:36 AM by Quemaqua »

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Offline MysterD

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #3 on: Sunday, November 01, 2015, 08:57:28 AM »
@Xessive
So, how much difference is there really b/t DDR3 and DDR4 these days for performance and price on RAM?

Side note: I have DDR3 16 GB in my PC. I have x58 mobo + i7 950. I'd guess my mobo/CPU combo likely don't support DDR4. I've had this PC since very close to Witcher 2 PC release.

@Que
Wow at that 8GB AMD video card. What a monster. I smell a beast of a card there. Good thing you have a high-watt supply (750W) - a lot of those 290's and 390's chew up some watts:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2015-amd-radeon-r9-390-8gb-review

Offline gpw11

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #4 on: Sunday, November 01, 2015, 12:30:48 PM »
Check out https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc - they have a ton of guides and info and will let you know where to go to look for sales, etc.


When I was in your situation in March the prevailing wisdom was that you don't need an i7 for gaming at all.  Save the cash, get a high end i5, and put that money towards the gpu. 


Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #5 on: Sunday, November 01, 2015, 01:50:35 PM »
Yeah, that's what a streamer I watch was telling me. I guess my thought was like ... futureproofing. Just sort of prepare for whatever bullshit may come in and surprise me down the road, and do it better without having to spend anything than I might do it otherwise. But I don't know if that's at all worth it because, again, I don't know enough about any of this stuff anymore.

I'm also afraid of heat with the R9 390X, but I was told that if I'm not overclocking, I really shouldn't even bother worrying about heat or longevity at all. I also heard that if I'm going Intel, I might be better off with a GTX 970, but that wasn't quantified so I have no idea why.

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Offline MysterD

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #6 on: Sunday, November 01, 2015, 04:34:18 PM »
I've seen NewEgg recently sell 970's for around $290 recently. It's surely gotten cheaper, in due time - I remember when they were often $330-400 when they came out, depending on what card w/ what cooler you wanted. I'd be curious to see what kind of sales that might hit when Black Friday Internet sales hit.

If you get a 4GB 970, you will have to deal w/ the 3.5 GB 256-bit + the split last 0.5 GB on 32-bit mess that doesn't always get accessed & isn't always found quick enough when it tries to look for it. In essence, it's really a 3.5 GB card on 256-bit bus. If you're one like me who does monitor + tweak stuff for games w/ MSI Afterburner, EVGA Precision, or some programs like it - you can pretty much avoid slowdowns, stutters, and other stupid shit by monitoring the game & keeping your games purposely under 3.5 GB VRAM usage.

I really wish more games had the VRAM meter Batman: AK does in its in-game Graphics Menu (which was added in that August patch). You can just keep throwing settings up + down in there and it in-game projects how much VRAM you'll eat up once in-game. More games should do that. Basically, the texture resolution setting is the biggest VRAM eater in there for Batman AK.

You'd definitely out-perform my 4GB 960 by a mile, when you're floating under 3.5GB. No contest there; check benchmarks. Basically, you might need to turn a few small things down or off, so it performs like it should be by not exceeding 3.5GB VRAM usage. Some games prone to go over 3.5 GB VRAM usage if you throw settings wicked high are Shadow of Mordor; UbiSoft PC versions of ACU, Far Cry 4, The Crew & Watch Dogs; and Batman AK. My 4GB 960 card's really built for 1080p, while that 970 can certainly perform well at 1080p & 1440p. I think from benchmarks, it depends on the game for how 970 card does w/ 4K (2160p).

Offline Quemaqua

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Re: Help Que Build a New PC - show off those tech smarts, be the coolest cat in town
« Reply #7 on: Monday, November 02, 2015, 02:31:05 AM »
I think this is what I'm set to buy tomorrow now: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Quemaqua/saved/#view=c7tTwP

It's a little overkill (especially that stupid ridiculous motherboard ... but I did a shit-ton of reading and watching reviews, I think it earned its spot despite the fact that it looks like it wishes it was the Batmobile), but from everything I read and watched, it seems like it'll be adequately futureproof and I won't likely have to fuck with it in any fashion for a very long time. There were a few things that added up to a bit more money in the end because it wasn't that much to upgrade to what seemed like either a better or more reliable model (I focused heavily on reliability here), so after doing that a couple times I moved things up about a hundred bucks and change.

Still, I feel like those extra investments will be worth it. I went in with that attitude building this PC, and it's really only been in the last year or so that I really started to feel the pressure of absolutely needing an upgrade. So hopefully the same mindset will get me a lot of mileage out of this new system.

Any thoughts? I think I'll likely put this order in tomorrow.

EDIT - As soon as I get back from the gym, this is happening. I'm so excited. I haven't built a PC in so long ... keep your fingers crossed I don't destroy anything!

EDIT x2 - Everything is ordered. Thanks for your help, dudes.
« Last Edit: Tuesday, November 03, 2015, 01:56:14 AM by Quemaqua »

天才的な閃きと平均以下のテクニックやな。 課長有野