Solved

Is this a good gaming build for the next year or so? Also, what are my options for upgrading?

Hi community,

First, I should explain that I am somewhat inexperienced in judging good PC hardware. I like to think that I know a good bit about what will run what, but when it comes to actually buying parts, I get cold feet. I have been on and off about getting a new PC for the past year or so, and it's a bit frustrating. Also, I'm not really good at organizing my thoughts, so forgive me if I'm a bit haphazard here.

This is my first gaming 'build' (albeit a bundle) and I'd like a few opinions on whether or not this is a good buy:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1552311

By looking at the price tag, you can probably tell that this isn't the most powerful build. However, I've done quite a bit of Googling and found that the FX-8350 is a very good CPU that can rival an i7 in most cases. (If I'm wrong about that, please let me know!) The 7870 isn't the most powerful of GPUs, but it will do for now, and 8GB of memory is more than enough.

What I'm concerned about is the possibility of upgrading this build in the future. I am a college student and live on campus; I can't work while taking classes - that said, I want to save up during summer break to buy a more powerful GPU, ideally some R9-series. I was about to purchase this bundle about half an hour ago, until I did a little more research on the mobo and found that it has PCI-E 2.0 slots. I understand that the latest iteration of PCI-E is 3.0. This is where I'm very weak in my knowledge of hardware. What I think I know is that PCI-Express slot is where the GPU goes, and that the slot has to match up with the card. Again, I did some Googling on the subject, but nothing I found was very clear on what PCI Express really is.

My questions are:
What would the difference be between PCI-E 2.0 and 3.0? (performance, compatilibity, etc.)

And the big one:
Is it feasible to attempt upgrading hardware on this motherboard for the next 1-2 years? Specifically, putting in the R9 2xx cards that I am looking at?

Other than that, there's really not much else that's stopping me from purchasing the bundle. The Battlefield 4 voucher is very attractive :).

Thanks for your time,

Kyle


EDIT: I think I found a better one that's only slightly more expensive. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1520885
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about good gaming build year options upgrading
  1. The motherboard is ok, but the problem you're going to run into with that build is the power supply is very poor. Definitely wouldn't be able to handle crossfire. Going to a different single card might be ok, but that's not a very good PSU at all. The other problem is the GPU and RAM. Dual channel RAM would be better, and the 7870 isn't what I would be putting in, but isn't the worst either.

    For what you're looking at, there wouldn't be a noticeable difference between PCI-e 2.0 and 3.0. There is double the bandwidth with PCI-e 3.0, but the high-end GPUs can't even use up all of the bandwidth of PCI-e 2.0 yet, so there really isn't a performance difference. A PCI-e 3.0 card is backward compatible with PCI-e 2.0 though.
  2. HiTechObsessed said:
    The motherboard is ok, but the problem you're going to run into with that build is the power supply is very poor. Definitely wouldn't be able to handle crossfire. Going to a different single card might be ok, but that's not a very good PSU at all. The other problem is the GPU and RAM. Dual channel RAM would be better, and the 7870 isn't what I would be putting in, but isn't the worst either.

    For what you're looking at, there wouldn't be a noticeable difference between PCI-e 2.0 and 3.0. There is double the bandwidth with PCI-e 3.0, but the high-end GPUs can't even use up all of the bandwidth of PCI-e 2.0 yet, so there really isn't a performance difference. A PCI-e 3.0 card is backward compatible with PCI-e 2.0 though.


    Oh. Thank you. I hadn't even considered the PSU. I looked up the 290X and found that it needs at least a 750 Watt PSU. I guess I'll have to add that to my list of future upgrades. But I am correct in stating that the supplied PSU would be sufficient for everything else though, right? Also, would it be feasible to Crossfire the 7870 and an R9 in the future (possibly a bottleneck?)?
  3. No, the included PSU is garbage, i can't recommend Raidmax at all, especially at lower wattages. You could easily do a quality 600w with a 290x. If you wanted to Crossfire in the future, you would need to go with something like a 750w PSU.

    You would also need to get another 7870 to CrossFire, an R9 card wouldn't work.

    What is your overall budget, and do you need to get a copy of Windows included in the budget? I'm assuming $650, as that's what the build you linked was.
  4. HiTechObsessed said:
    No, the included PSU is garbage, i can't recommend Raidmax at all, especially at lower wattages. You could easily do a quality 600w with a 290x. If you wanted to Crossfire in the future, you would need to go with something like a 750w PSU.

    You would also need to get another 7870 to CrossFire, an R9 card wouldn't work.

    What is your overall budget, and do you need to get a copy of Windows included in the budget? I'm assuming $650, as that's what the build you linked was.


    The very top of my budget is $700. Would like to go a little lower than that. I don't need a copy of Windows as I have a legal copy of Windows 8 I purchased that I can install. I'm used to doing medium-ish gaming on a laptop (tired of it), so I usually play games at modest resolutions like 1280x720, which is why I'm willing to be a little lenient on the GPU.
  5. Best answer
    Well for that price, here is my suggestion. I would take the i5 for general computing, and will be about the same as the 8350 for gaming, but will be cooler and less power consuming at idle and load. Also, the power supply and graphics card are better quality, and gets you better RAM. At 720p, you will definitely max out everything with room to spare. The 270x is great even at 1080p :)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.29 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-HD3 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($87.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: A-Data XPG V2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.00 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Xion XON-560 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $699.22
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-12 18:16 EST-0500)
  6. HiTechObsessed said:
    Well for that price, here is my suggestion. I would take the i5 for general computing, and will be about the same as the 8350 for gaming, but will be cooler and less power consuming at idle and load. Also, the power supply and graphics card are better quality, and gets you better RAM. At 720p, you will definitely max out everything with room to spare. The 270x is great even at 1080p :)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4430 3.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($184.29 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87M-HD3 Micro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($87.98 @ Newegg)
    Memory: A-Data XPG V2 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($72.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.00 @ Amazon)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon R9 270X 2GB Video Card ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Xion XON-560 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair CX 500W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $699.22
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-02-12 18:16 EST-0500)


    Thanks so much. I'll take this build into consideration. I'm a bit iffy on (what I believe to be) the relatively low clock speed of the i5, but you know what you're talking about, so I'll look into it. Thanks so much for all your help.
  7. Yeah, unless you plan on overclocking, the 4430 is a great CPU. You won't really notice the barely 10% clock difference, especially in gaming. The Haswell chip has great single core performance.

    For the same price, you can go with an AMD option as well, and get a bit more pure speed. For gaming and every day tasks you probably wouldn't notice a difference, but if you were doing things like video/photo editing, the 8320/8350 would be better.
Ask a new question

Read More

Gaming Windows CPUs Build GPUs PCI Express Systems