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Gaming PC for Battlefield 3 and 4, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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June 15, 2013 5:43:09 PM

I'm kind of new to PC Gaming, all these different parts to choose from overwhelms me. I'm looking for a build that has an intel processor in it that will cost me from 900 to 1100. Any help would be appreciated.
June 15, 2013 5:53:19 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Performa CPU Cooler ($37.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($57.60 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($76.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1067.49
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Best solution

June 15, 2013 5:55:32 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87 Extreme4 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($159.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($76.98 @ SuperBiiz)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Arctic White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: XFX 550W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($54.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1087.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-15 20:55 EDT-0400)

Order from Newegg if you don't have a Microcenter nearby.
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June 15, 2013 5:57:40 PM

slomo4sho said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS10X Performa CPU Cooler ($37.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Microcenter)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($57.60 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($76.98 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Rosewill Hive 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($59.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1067.49

Will I be able to run ultra on those games?
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June 15, 2013 6:28:54 PM

If you are wondering if you'll be able to run ultra on either of these configurations, your answer is yes. You'll tear through Skyrim, and Battlefield 3. However, I've seen some videos of BF 4 and it looks intense. I think that only a NVIDIA GTX 780 or 690/Titan could run it on Ultra, but that is yet to be seen. However, I would recommend The NVIDIA GTX 770. It's a better card than the AMD 7970 and here's why: If you ever plan on using crossfire with the 7970, you will regret it. AMD cards suffer from extreme micro stuttering issues in crossfire and the frame rate suffers as a result. The 770 has virtually no mircro-stuttering when used in SLI and gives better performance. PS, sorry for updating this too much, I didn't like my original answer.
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June 15, 2013 6:46:06 PM

wl589 said:
If you are wondering if you'll be able to run ultra on either of these configurations, your answer is yes. You'll tear through Skyrim, and Battlefield 3. However, I've seen some videos of BF 4 and it looks intense. I think that only a NVIDIA GTX 780 or 690/Titan could run it on Ultra, but that is yet to be seen. However, I would recommend The NVIDIA GTX 770. It's a better card than the AMD 7970 and here's why: If you ever plan on using crossfire with the 7970, you will regret it. AMD cards suffer from extreme micro stuttering issues in crossfire and the frame rate suffers as a result. The 770 has virtually no mircro-stuttering when used in SLI and gives better performance.

Okay. What exactly is crossfire? Would the NVIDIA GTX 770 run BF4 pretty good do you think? And would the processor still work good combined with the 770? Also, I'm not going to overclock so could I downgrade the processor?
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June 15, 2013 6:54:30 PM

Points:
I think both builds have nailed the essence of a build at this price so my comments will be minor and BUDGET will also factor in.

1) Either graphics card is fine, but if possible get this card ( Asus GTX770 DCU2). It's just awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24RqCK_Rhes

2) SSD.
The Samsung 840 is a great SSD for the price. If you can manage get it as well, but if you can't afford it AND the GTX770 my advice is stick with an HDD for now and get an SSD later.

3) GAMES on SSD/HDD?
An SSD isn't a huge deal for most games. I did lots of testing. If you do get an SSD and an HDD, put Windows/apps on a 120GB SSD, and Steam/other games on the HDD.

4) BACKUP IMAGE:
It's a good idea to have two drives and periodically create a backup IMAGE of your Windows partition.

5) POWER SUPPLY:
I don't recommend any lower than a quality 650Watt PSU. You can save a few bucks with a 550W but there are goods reasons to get a 650W or even 750W but that's beyond the scope here.
SHOP AROUND and READ REVIEWS for the PSU.

6) DVD drive:
Check the support site for any DVD drive you're considering and don't buy one if the firmware is older than 2012 or it will be more prone to create bad burns. I saw an Asus DVD drive that was 2013 and another one that was only 2009!

7) CPU Cooler:
Make sure it has a PWM fan as that's required for most motherboards to get fan control to work. 12cm fan recommended. My example:
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=70276&vpn=RR-H612-20PK...

8) HDD:
I recommend a 2TB drive. The price difference is very small compared to 1TB.

9) Windows 8 64-bit OEM

10) START8 ($5 from Stardock; bypass the new Start Screen and Charms.)
*Windows 8 is superior to Windows 7 except for the new interface.

11) CASE FANS:
- one or two low-speed INTAKE FANS at front
- one or two low-speed EXHAUST FANS
(Many PC cases have some. Many people forget the very important front INTAKE when building a gaming PC. Buy a case with one or add one. If possible, get one you can CONTROL but it can be hard to determine if your motherboard uses 3-pin Voltage or 4-pin PWM fans.)

SUMMARY:
Take your time and double-check all the components for compatibility. Read reviews for important parts like the PSU, Graphics card and Motherboard. Don't forget all the little things like a front intake fan (or USB3 on the front of a case).

Finally, don't forget the important MAIN CHIPSET driver etc from the motherboard support site (ignore the CD).
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June 15, 2013 7:04:44 PM

photonboy said:
Points:
I think both builds have nailed the essence of a build at this price so my comments will be minor and BUDGET will also factor in.

1) Either graphics card is fine, but if possible get this card ( Asus GTX770 DCU2). It's just awesome. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24RqCK_Rhes

2) SSD.
The Samsung 840 is a great SSD for the price. If you can manage get it as well, but if you can't afford it AND the GTX770 my advice is stick with an HDD for now and get an SSD later.

3) GAMES on SSD/HDD?
An SSD isn't a huge deal for most games. I did lots of testing. If you do get an SSD and an HDD, put Windows/apps on a 120GB SSD, and Steam/other games on the HDD.

4) BACKUP IMAGE:
It's a good idea to have two drives and periodically create a backup IMAGE of your Windows partition.

5) POWER SUPPLY:
I don't recommend any lower than a quality 650Watt PSU. You can save a few bucks with a 550W but there are goods reasons to get a 650W or even 750W but that's beyond the scope here.
SHOP AROUND and READ REVIEWS for the PSU.

6) DVD drive:
Check the support site for any DVD drive you're considering and don't buy one if the firmware is older than 2012 or it will be more prone to create bad burns. I saw an Asus DVD drive that was 2013 and another one that was only 2009!

7) CPU Cooler:
Make sure it has a PWM fan as that's required for most motherboards to get fan control to work. 12cm fan recommended. My example:
http://www.ncix.ca/products/?sku=70276&vpn=RR-H612-20PK...

8) HDD:
I recommend a 2TB drive. The price difference is very small compared to 1TB.

9) Windows 8 64-bit OEM

10) START8 ($5 from Stardock; bypass the new Start Screen and Charms.)
*Windows 8 is superior to Windows 7 except for the new interface.

11) CASE FANS:
- one or two low-speed INTAKE FANS at front
- one or two low-speed EXHAUST FANS
(Many PC cases have some. Many people forget the very important front INTAKE when building a gaming PC. Buy a case with one or add one. If possible, get one you can CONTROL but it can be hard to determine if your motherboard uses 3-pin Voltage or 4-pin PWM fans.)

SUMMARY:
Take your time and double-check all the components for compatibility. Read reviews for important parts like the PSU, Graphics card and Motherboard. Don't forget all the little things like a front intake fan (or USB3 on the front of a case).

Finally, don't forget the important MAIN CHIPSET driver etc from the motherboard support site (ignore the CD).


Wow dude, thank you for this post. I was going to get a different case that was a little bit more exciting. When you say backup image and create one, what exactly do you mean. And start8, is it like an addon for windows 8 that does that?
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June 15, 2013 7:21:16 PM

McDerpins,

a) I didn't specify a particular case. I just said you might want to get one with front USB3 outputs since your motherboard will likely support that (up to 600MB/second instead of 60MB/sec for future USB thumb drives etc.)

b) BACKUP IMAGE:
http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=...

I'm talking about creating a compressed IMAGE of your entire C-drive (Windows, apps etc) so you can RESTORE it in case of a failed drive, severe virus etc.

If you get a Western Digital drive you can get the free Acronis software. I have the paid version (Acronis True Image 2013) which allows automated backups which I have it do weekly. I do a FULL (compressed) backup of my 120GB SSD to my WD 2TB hard drive followed by four, weekly, INCREMENTAL backups (smaller to reflect any changes).

c) START8:
http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/
Start8 is a program you download from Stardock. It has some settings you'll want to change. When I first installed Windows 8 it took me to the new interface which I find unusable, and even in the normal desktop the CHARMS bar would open if my mouse went too far to the right.

Windows 8 also has no Start Menu. Start8 adds this back.

START8 allows you to NEVER, EVER really see the new features unless you want to by clicking a link.
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June 16, 2013 3:41:05 PM


This is a good build, but I have some simple suggestions. #1 Don't get windows 8, it's garbage. Almost everyone who has used it will agree with that. Stick with windows 7 instead so you don't have to download all these extra items and deal with the new interface. #2 Just some case suggestions Rosewill BLACKHAWK (has five fans), NZXT Phantom 410, Corsair Carbide 400R. To answer your quesiton about crossfire: It's when two or more of the same AMD graphics cards are linked together for better performance. However, this causes stability problems with micro-stuttering (AKA the frames delay and vary which hurts fps) . It's a big problem with AMD cards. SLI is the same thing, but with NVIDIA cards, and frame variance is almost non-existent. Check out the post on Tom's Hardware: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-770-gk1...

PS: Did you forget the cost of the OS? It will add about $90 to your total.
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June 16, 2013 6:17:17 PM

Windows 8 is not garbage. I own it. I also did a lot of research into the new features that make it more secure and reliable. Almost all the complaints are due to the interface. With Start8 it looks and feels almost exactly like Windows 7 but under the hood you get several benefits.

One important feature helps prevent boot-time viruses which are very serious and include KEY-LOGGING software (requires a UEFI BIOS motherboard).

START8 costs $5 and 2 minutes to setup. Not that hard.

Crossfire/SLI:
As mentioned above, micro-stutter is a serious issue. I also agree that the GTX770 is excellent at mitigating this issue. While a 2xGTX770 isn't in your current price category if you a single card and SLI-capable board you at least have the OPTION if in a year or two you decide to get another card.
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June 16, 2013 9:25:57 PM

photonboy said:
Windows 8 is not garbage. I own it. I also did a lot of research into the new features that make it more secure and reliable. Almost all the complaints are due to the interface. With Start8 it looks and feels almost exactly like Windows 7 but under the hood you get several benefits.

One important feature helps prevent boot-time viruses which are very serious and include KEY-LOGGING software (requires a UEFI BIOS motherboard).

START8 costs $5 and 2 minutes to setup. Not that hard.

Crossfire/SLI:
As mentioned above, micro-stutter is a serious issue. I also agree that the GTX770 is excellent at mitigating this issue. While a 2xGTX770 isn't in your current price category if you a single card and SLI-capable board you at least have the OPTION if in a year or two you decide to get another card.


Okay, I have come up with a build that's a bit out of budget, but I can still manage.


CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Combo or $229.99
CPU : Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing $29.98
Motherboard: MSI Z87-G45 Gaming ATX LGA1150 Combo or $159.99
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 $57.60
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" SSD $93.99
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Combo or $79.99
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 770 2GB $409.99
Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower $49.99
Power Supply: Rosewill 650W ATX12V / EPS12V $59.99
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHAS324-07 DVD/CD Writer $19.99
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) Combo or $99.99
Monitor: Asus VS238H-P 23.0" 119.99

Total: 1341.48
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June 17, 2013 9:40:30 AM

Looks like a good build! I'm just worried about the case having only one fan, other than that it's great!
PS: I think you can grab windows 7 for $90 at amazon. Also, where do you live? Newegg makes its users pay taxes if they have a distribution center in the state. I'm also curious where you found the 4670k for $229.99. Microcenter has a cheap price but it's store pickup only and the nearest price after that is 249 bucks.
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June 17, 2013 10:56:56 AM

wl589 said:
Looks like a good build! I'm just worried about the case having only one fan, other than that it's great!
PS: I think you can grab windows 7 for $90 at amazon. Also, where do you live? Newegg makes its users pay taxes if they have a distribution center in the state. I'm also curious where you found the 4670k for $229.99. Microcenter has a cheap price but it's store pickup only and the nearest price after that is 249 bucks.


I guess that the new case didn't show up in that list. I'm going for the rosewill blackhawk, lots of fans. I'm in Wichita, Kansas, so there's a microcenter in Kansas City. I can't remember what the i5 was on but it was on sale in a combo deal.
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June 17, 2013 11:08:21 AM

You're in luck then! Since you're near a micro-center you should be able to pick up the items and save tons of cash. This looks like it's going to be a great pc, you should send me some pictures of your build when your done. BTW the deal on the monitor ends today, after that it becomes 149 bucks. If I where you i'd buy it today even if you're not ready to buy the computer. Good luck!
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June 17, 2013 2:49:32 PM

wl589 said:
You're in luck then! Since you're near a micro-center you should be able to pick up the items and save tons of cash. This looks like it's going to be a great pc, you should send me some pictures of your build when your done. BTW the deal on the monitor ends today, after that it becomes 149 bucks. If I where you i'd buy it today even if you're not ready to buy the computer. Good luck!


Okay. I'm about 3 hours away from KC but luckily I have an aunt who lives there. I just bought the monitor and I will send you some pictures.
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June 17, 2013 3:13:03 PM

wl589 said:
You're in luck then! Since you're near a micro-center you should be able to pick up the items and save tons of cash. This looks like it's going to be a great pc, you should send me some pictures of your build when your done. BTW the deal on the monitor ends today, after that it becomes 149 bucks. If I where you i'd buy it today even if you're not ready to buy the computer. Good luck!


So it turns out that I'll only be buying the CPU and mobo. Everything else they didn't have or it was cheaper on other sites. But I saved a whole $90 from buying it there. And on my case since you can remove the drive cages, Would you recommend putting my SSD and my HDD in the bottom cage and taking out the top 2 for better cooling and room?
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June 18, 2013 5:30:30 PM

Yes, that will increase airflow.
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June 18, 2013 7:13:55 PM

wl589 said:
Yes, that will increase airflow.


Should I put the drives in the middle top or bottom. I'm thinking that the bottom would be most logical. My build will take an extra 3 months to complete, so I was looking at the parts and could you recommend a different GPU that's a bit cheaper? I don't plan on using SLI or Crossfire in the future, so that won't be a problem.
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June 19, 2013 6:45:37 AM

I'd put it on the bottom. If your needing to go a little cheaper then I would not lower the graphics at all. An SSD doesn't add much to the experience so I would ditch the SSD and keep your graphics. But it you really want to know what would be a better option, then I would wait till the new lines of NVIDIA and AMD come out (the lower models of NVIDIA and the whole set of AMD) . If you just can't wait, get the AMD 7870 2gb and call it a day. However, it will be worth the wait. However, I'm sure the 8780 or the 760 ti will be better options. Just keep an eye out.
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June 19, 2013 7:46:35 PM

McDerpins said:
wl589 said:
Yes, that will increase airflow.


Should I put the drives in the middle top or bottom. I'm thinking that the bottom would be most logical. My build will take an extra 3 months to complete, so I was looking at the parts and could you recommend a different GPU that's a bit cheaper? I don't plan on using SLI or Crossfire in the future, so that won't be a problem.


*IMPORTANT CHART*
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/ASUS/GeForce_GTX_770...

The SUMMARY BENCHMARK indicates that an HD7870 will give you 56% the performance of the Asus GTX770. An HD7950 will give you 74% the performance. So an HD7870 costs roughly HALF that of a GTX770 but it also only gives HALF the performance! That may seem a logical value compromise but if you look at the TOTAL COST of your parts, games and Internet that changes things a lot.

There are SEVERAL options for graphics cards below the $420 mark. Which games you plan to play is also a factor. While I thin you'd be happiest with the GTX770 in the long run if you simply can't budget it then get an HD7870 or HD7950 ($225 and $325 roughly).

Some games run at full quality on an HD7870 (or close with a little tweaking) but don't forget how LONG you intend to keep this PC. There will soon be games making you wish you had the GTX770.

Anyway, the HD7000 cards have some free digital games which is why I put the value towards those so I recommend one of THESE cards if one fits your budget:

$225 (HD7870 2GB) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$320 (HD7950 3GB)
3-slot solution: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2-slot solution: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 19, 2013 8:59:12 PM

I was simply offering a cheaper solution. Yes, I know a 7950 would be better but it's not as cheap. If his budget can allow a 7950, I'm all for it. BTW when will some moderator make this thread solved?
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July 7, 2013 2:17:12 PM

wl589 said:
I was simply offering a cheaper solution. Yes, I know a 7950 would be better but it's not as cheap. If his budget can allow a 7950, I'm all for it. BTW when will some moderator make this thread solved?


Okay, so I got the system up and running and I played some bf3 and the frame rate was horrible. Everything was choppy and laggy. I put the settings all the way down and all the way up and it was horrible. Are theye any solutions that you could think of?
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July 7, 2013 2:50:04 PM

Set the bios to use PCI-e graphics instead of integrated.
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!