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Would love a gaming PC under $1,300

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July 1, 2013 1:37:49 PM

I would love to be able to play Skyrim, but every component of my current PC is obsolete, and not even worth upgrading.

I know very little about computer components (I know the basics of what is required, I understand the importance of processor speed and cores, ram and a good video card, but that's it. I'm learning...) It is quite frustrating because I have no concept of what will and will not be best for my needs.

Approximate Purchase Date: Christmas 2013

Budget Range: UNDER $1,300 preferably

Preference: A pre-built PC that already contains the components I require, but is able to be upgraded if needed.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, to basically be able to play Skyrim without playability issues.

Preferred Websites for Parts: Bestbuy.ca or Futureshop.ca

Country: Canada

I happily welcome any and all advise.

More about : love gaming 300

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July 1, 2013 1:40:35 PM

Best Buy/Future shop, for a gaming computer? Surely you jest? Must it have monster cables and de-ionized pixels for maximum performance?

P.S. How about NCIX, or Canada Computers... NCIX charges 50 bucks to pre-build and install your OS for you so that it comes in a box ready to be opened up, take the packing stuff out of it and turn it on. For 1300 bucks you can usually get a pretty hefty rig, I take it you need an OS, Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse?
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July 1, 2013 1:57:58 PM
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July 1, 2013 2:01:00 PM

Yeah.. You should get your components through Canadas Computers or NCIX or Tigers Direct, because they mainly sell computer components and pre-built computers.
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July 1, 2013 2:05:15 PM

:)  Best Buy and Future Shop seems like the best places to start to look, as the first (and only PC) I have I got through Dell (I can almost hear groaning)

I'll check NCIX. Thanks for the suggestion.
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July 1, 2013 2:13:53 PM

This is what I would do and build it myself:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1cgnK
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1cgnK/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1cgnK/benchmarks/

CPU: AMD FX-8350 4.0GHz 8-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.98 @ Outlet PC)
Motherboard: Asus M5A99X EVO R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($113.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($64.80 @ Newegg)
Storage: Corsair Force Series GT 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($124.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB Video Card ($349.99 @ Newegg)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus USB-N13 802.11b/g/n USB 2.0 Wi-Fi Adapter ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Zalman Z11 Plus ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: LG GH24NS95 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($89.98 @ Outlet PC)
Monitor: Acer G226HQLBbd 60Hz 21.5" Monitor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1302.63
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 17:11 EDT-0400)
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July 1, 2013 3:34:24 PM

The trouble with Best Buy and Futureshop is that they build mainstream stuff to do everything for the general public, and their idea of a gaming machine is to throw a 7770 in to an i7 and call it a day. While it's a nice machine for certain work, it's by no means a gaming rig.

I've built so many machines through NCIX over the years I can't even count them any more, and they've always been good when you inevitably get something DOA (which should not be a problem if you have them build it). I just wish you could save shopping carts on their website so that it was easier to share builds on their website.

They generally have a weekly specials list that updates every Thursday morning (between Wednesday night and Thursday Morning) and sometimes have some great deals.

Since you mentioned Skyrim, you may want to avoid the AMD 8350 machines people have been linking, since most games run quite poorly on those CPU's with some specific cases where it does really well. Generally the cases that it does well are games where CPU matters very little. Skyrim specifically the 8350 does very poorly on: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev... . . . Notice the big jump when you switch up to Intel i5's. There is a reason their market share is dropping, and it's that they do bad in most games.

You might want to come back around the time you are ready to buy your machine so that it's easier to get an idea of pricing, a lot can change in 5 months. Who knows, maybe AMD will release something worth buying.
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July 1, 2013 5:25:21 PM

Traciatim said:
The trouble with Best Buy and Futureshop is that they build mainstream stuff to do everything for the general public, and their idea of a gaming machine is to throw a 7770 in to an i7 and call it a day. While it's a nice machine for certain work, it's by no means a gaming rig.

I've built so many machines through NCIX over the years I can't even count them any more, and they've always been good when you inevitably get something DOA (which should not be a problem if you have them build it). I just wish you could save shopping carts on their website so that it was easier to share builds on their website.

They generally have a weekly specials list that updates every Thursday morning (between Wednesday night and Thursday Morning) and sometimes have some great deals.


This is good advice for a pre-built system.
Quote:

Since you mentioned Skyrim, you may want to avoid the AMD 8350 machines people have been linking, since most games run quite poorly on those CPU's with some specific cases where it does really well. Generally the cases that it does well are games where CPU matters very little. Skyrim specifically the 8350 does very poorly on: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev... . . . Notice the big jump when you switch up to Intel i5's. There is a reason their market share is dropping, and it's that they do bad in most games.


This, on the other hand is a LOT of bad information. First, Skyrim is not that bad anymore, that was an early benchmark, since then, there have been some updates for drivers from AMD that have greatly improved performance to where it's now only a few FPS behind an Intel CPU(I happen to play Skyrim and it does just fine).

As for other games:















This is the results from a few benchmarks as well for Crysis 2, Crysis Warhead, and Metro 2033:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AgHEgqqaas...

I think that pretty well debunks the "bad for gaming" statement

Quote:
You might want to come back around the time you are ready to buy your machine so that it's easier to get an idea of pricing, a lot can change in 5 months. Who knows, maybe AMD will release something worth buying.


They already have.

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July 1, 2013 7:17:54 PM

8350rocks said:
wall of garbage


I couldn't help but notice you left out Skyrim, the one game they mentioned they are specifically buying the PC for, and that most of your benchmarks either show exactly what I said or leave out some specific info.

Tomb Raider, CPU doesn't matter once you get in to the the quad cores.
Bioshock, doesn't include haswell, 3570k is better than 8350.
Crysis, doesn't include haswell, doesn't include 3570k, 8350 just barely beats 3470
Metro, 8350 can't beat a 3570k . . . or 3470.
Farcry, doens't include haswell, doesn't include 3570k, 8350 can't beat 3470.
BF3, 8150 gets beat by 2500k . . . benchmark too old to matter.
Wow, 8350 can't get the 3470 or 3570k, doesn't include haswell

Also, they haven't posted near the time they are buying the machine, they want it for December, and unless AMD drastically does something major then there is nothing they have that's worth buying yet. That's why their market share is dropping, as word gets around how bad they are doing competing right now. Fewer and fewer people are willing to jump on board that sinking ship.
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July 2, 2013 7:20:25 AM

Traciatim said:
8350rocks said:
wall of garbage


I couldn't help but notice you left out Skyrim, the one game they mentioned they are specifically buying the PC for, and that most of your benchmarks either show exactly what I said or leave out some specific info.


I addressed it earlier, I play skyrim, the FPS is far from unplayable, and anything over 60 FPS is fine, because his 60Hz monitor won't allow him to see 80 FPS anyway. Since the 8350 and 3570k will both be well over 60 FPS, he wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Quote:

Tomb Raider, CPU doesn't matter once you get in to the the quad cores.
Bioshock, doesn't include haswell, 3570k is better than 8350.
Crysis, doesn't include haswell, doesn't include 3570k, 8350 just barely beats 3470
Metro, 8350 can't beat a 3570k . . . or 3470.
Farcry, doens't include haswell, doesn't include 3570k, 8350 can't beat 3470.
BF3, 8150 gets beat by 2500k . . . benchmark too old to matter.
Wow, 8350 can't get the 3470 or 3570k, doesn't include haswell


You purposefully didn't address the Metro 2033, Crysis Warhead benchmarks @ 1440p? That's curious...I bet it's because it does include the 3570k and 3770k and beats them handily. Also, in gaming, 4th Gen Intel is less than 2% improvement over IB, so a 3570k is more than sufficient comparison.

Even Wikipedia can see how "great" 4th Gen Intel is...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haswell_(microarchitecture)

Also, here is how 4th Gen stacks up:

http://us.hardware.info/reviews/4437/44/intel-core-i7-4...

Note, in Tomb Raider, which "doesn't matter beyond a quad core" according to you, the 4th Gen Intel is behind the 3570k...by 7 FPS.

Here are some more benchmarks:









Note: In these games, all the CPUs being discussed would be well over the 60 FPS a 60 Hz monitor from a pre-built system would allow.

In Dirt 3, the 8350 even beats the Intel's...


Quote:
Also, they haven't posted near the time they are buying the machine, they want it for December, and unless AMD drastically does something major then there is nothing they have that's worth buying yet. That's why their market share is dropping, as word gets around how bad they are doing competing right now. Fewer and fewer people are willing to jump on board that sinking ship.


Right...that's why their market share grew more than 4% last year in Desktop sales, and is continuing to grow this year...because it's a "sinking ship no one wants to get on" right?

http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/cpu/display/20120316164155...

http://www.pcworld.com/article/254503/amd_gains_x86_pro...

http://www.crn.in/news/hardware/2013/03/18/how-did-amd-...

How about you stop spreading your opinion as if it was fact. Skyrim is your only argument, and the OP wouldn't be able to tell the difference between 58 FPS and 60 FPS on the 60 Hz monitor his pre-built system would come with. I do love the gloom and doom sensationalism though, that was quite melodramatic.

@OP: Take a lot of the information you hear with a grain of salt. I am providing you with information that's accurate and factual. When you see what someone says on here...if it sounds very one sided to you, do some research. A lot of people here spread their opinion as if it were fact, and a lot of them are very biased toward Intel.

I am not telling you Intel is not better at some things. In fact, I have provided evidence showing the gaps are there, though they are quite small in 95+% of the circumstances. The question you need to answer is, are you willing to pay a premium price to get a few FPS increase (in many cases you wouldn't even realize the gains because of Monitor limitations)?

Some good sites to do research on would be the following:

behardware.com
tomshardware.com
us.hardware.info
techreport.com
cpu-world.com

Those sites are all generally unbiased and report on what the performance is accordingly. I prefer sites that don't slight their review with biased and subjective perspectives. I think it allows you to form your own opinion accordingly.

Hopefully all this at least helps you to see that there is a wealth of information out there at your fingertips, and you need to look at the information. Opinions abound here, and you can certainly form your own from the information available to you.
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July 2, 2013 1:45:04 PM

8350rocks said:
Random AMD shilling


You can take your random AMD shilling out of here. I did address ll of the benchamrks you linked and AMD does terribly comparatively.

Then you link Deus X with the 4670k, which shows again the 2500k destroying the 8350 and it just getting worse from there on up. Dirt, where CPU doesn't matter very much the AMD is within a few percent of everything hovering around 105fps, just like I described before that games where CPU don't matter it does just fine. Then again you show two other games where the 8350 just can't keep up.

All to show that the 8350 is 'just as fast' when limited by some external arbitrary frame limiting source which wasn't even asked about by the OP.

Shill harder. You're failing like AMD does.


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July 2, 2013 1:48:40 PM

Traciatim said:
8350rocks said:
Random AMD shilling


You can take your random AMD shilling out of here. I did address ll of the benchamrks you linked and AMD does terribly comparatively.

Then you link Deus X with the 4670k, which shows again the 2500k destroying the 8350 and it just getting worse from there on up. Dirt, where CPU doesn't matter very much the AMD is within a few percent of everything hovering around 105fps, just like I described before that games where CPU don't matter it does just fine. Then again you show two other games where the 8350 just can't keep up.

All to show that the 8350 is 'just as fast' when limited by some external arbitrary frame limiting source which wasn't even asked about by the OP.

Shill harder. You're failing like AMD does.


Now you're just showing that you're a troll...read the links...I didn't go through the trouble of posting them for you to simply ignore or dismiss them.
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July 2, 2013 1:57:28 PM

8350rocks said:
Traciatim said:
8350rocks said:
Random AMD shilling


You can take your random AMD shilling out of here. I did address ll of the benchamrks you linked and AMD does terribly comparatively.

Then you link Deus X with the 4670k, which shows again the 2500k destroying the 8350 and it just getting worse from there on up. Dirt, where CPU doesn't matter very much the AMD is within a few percent of everything hovering around 105fps, just like I described before that games where CPU don't matter it does just fine. Then again you show two other games where the 8350 just can't keep up.

All to show that the 8350 is 'just as fast' when limited by some external arbitrary frame limiting source which wasn't even asked about by the OP.

Shill harder. You're failing like AMD does.


Now you're just showing that you're a troll...read the links...I didn't go through the trouble of posting them for you to simply ignore or dismiss them.


Yeah, your links show that Intel had 80.3% market share in 2011 and 80.2% in Q1 this year. Yet if you look at the steam hardware survey you can clearly see AMD dropping 1.8% in the past year on gamer machines, since gamers know how poorly they perform in games.

Keep on shilling though, I think it's working. It seems really genuine that you would get great unbiased advice from someone names 8350rocks who has room heater for an avatar.
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July 2, 2013 2:12:23 PM

Traciatim said:
Spoiler
8350rocks said:
Traciatim said:
8350rocks said:
Random AMD shilling


You can take your random AMD shilling out of here. I did address ll of the benchamrks you linked and AMD does terribly comparatively.

Then you link Deus X with the 4670k, which shows again the 2500k destroying the 8350 and it just getting worse from there on up. Dirt, where CPU doesn't matter very much the AMD is within a few percent of everything hovering around 105fps, just like I described before that games where CPU don't matter it does just fine. Then again you show two other games where the 8350 just can't keep up.

All to show that the 8350 is 'just as fast' when limited by some external arbitrary frame limiting source which wasn't even asked about by the OP.

Shill harder. You're failing like AMD does.


Now you're just showing that you're a troll...read the links...I didn't go through the trouble of posting them for you to simply ignore or dismiss them.


Yeah, your links show that Intel had 80.3% market share in 2011 and 80.2% in Q1 this year. Yet if you look at the steam hardware survey you can clearly see AMD dropping 1.8% in the past year on gamer machines, since gamers know how poorly they perform in games.

Keep on shilling though, I think it's working. It seems really genuine that you would get great unbiased advice from someone names 8350rocks who has room heater for an avatar.


If you're quoting steam numbers...which are predominantly laptops with dual cores, as your source for decreasing market share...that's like saying the price of corn is cheap based on a survey taken in Iowa (where they grow most of it).

Those numbers are far from representative of any large scale portion of PC users around the globe. There are about 7,000,000,000 people on this planet. Steam has maybe 50,000,000 users, you're really going to base your conclusions off of 0.7% of the world's population?? That's a fool's errand in it's own right. What if the other 6,950,000,000 people (99.3%) on earth who aren't on Steam have a completely different result?
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July 2, 2013 3:45:32 PM

Would this build be satisfactory? Would you suggest any changes?

Processor: Intel Core i5-2310 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz (3.2GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Hard Drive: WD WD Blue WDBAAX5000ENC-NRSN 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail kit

Memory cards: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Video Card: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX650G GOLD 120-PG-0650-GR 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Power Supply

Tower Case: ZALMAN Z11 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

DVD/CD Writer: LG 24X DVD Burner - Bare Drive 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH24NS95 - OEM
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July 2, 2013 4:12:23 PM

Varekai said:
Would this build be satisfactory? Would you suggest any changes?

Processor: Intel Core i5-2310 Sandy Bridge 2.9GHz (3.2GHz Turbo Boost) LGA 1155 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

Motherboard: ASUS M5A99X EVO R2.0 AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS

Hard Drive: WD WD Blue WDBAAX5000ENC-NRSN 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Retail kit

Memory cards: G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBRL

Video Card: SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100351VXSR Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA NEX650G GOLD 120-PG-0650-GR 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Power Supply

Tower Case: ZALMAN Z11 Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

DVD/CD Writer: LG 24X DVD Burner - Bare Drive 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model GH24NS95 - OEM


You picked an Intel CPU and an AMD motherboard. You either need an AMD CPU or an Intel motherboard. As the 2 you have now are not currently compatible.
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July 2, 2013 4:39:12 PM

Thank-you very much for all the help. I'm trying to learn as I go :) 

What about this combination?

Intel Core i5-3350P Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.3GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 69W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80637i53350P

BIOSTAR TZ75B LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
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July 2, 2013 6:54:48 PM

Varekai said:
Thank-you very much for all the help. I'm trying to learn as I go :) 

What about this combination?

Intel Core i5-3350P Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.3GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 69W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80637i53350P

BIOSTAR TZ75B LGA 1155 Intel Z75 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS


The 3550P is a pretty popular choice for gaming rigs since you'll be using your dedicated video card and the 3550P doesn't support the on board video that the other chips do. Generally you would pick the 3570k for a gaming rig unless you don't ever want to overclock at all, in which case the 3550p is a fine choice.

Biostar however is kind of known for being entry level stuff, being cheap to buy but also cheap in construction.


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