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Build a rig for CS:GO that achieves optimal performance without being wasteful

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March 6, 2014 12:36:18 AM

Title says it all. Build a rig that would likely achieve optimal FPS in CS:GO without overpaying.

Example: Sure I'd get optimal FPS with a 4770K and a 780ti etc etc, but where does can you draw the line and find a dip in performance to sub-optimal?

Appreciate any help!
March 6, 2014 6:37:32 AM

Without a budget, and just trying to be able to max CS:GO something like this should do the trick.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($70.66 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($165.66 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $560.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-06 09:36 EST-0500)
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March 6, 2014 4:07:34 PM

zared619 said:
Without a budget, and just trying to be able to max CS:GO something like this should do the trick.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz 6-Core Processor ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock 970 PRO3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($70.66 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Black 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: XFX Radeon HD 7850 1GB Video Card ($165.66 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair CX 430W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $560.25
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-06 09:36 EST-0500)


Let's say the budget now was like $1500...but obviously a $1500 rig would be MORE than enough. I like this build you've got particularly for people on a budget. I'd like to see what it would look like making sure you definitely got FPS of at least 120 on max settings (so it would probably end up being between 200 & 300 FPS on all low settings).

Also, let's do the above exercise with an Intel/NVIDIA setup. So rephrased...what Intel CPU & NVIDIA GPU (along w/ all other parts - memory, psu, etc) could handle getting around 120 FPS (I know it varies, but generally speaking) on high/max settings?

THanks for the help Zared. Looking forward to hearing more.
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Best solution

March 6, 2014 7:26:06 PM

This is just one of my pre-made builds that I use as general reference as a good starting point.
It actually should fit the bill for you though.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($194.79 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1328.69
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-06 22:25 EST-0500)
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March 6, 2014 11:56:11 PM

zared619 said:
This is just one of my pre-made builds that I use as general reference as a good starting point.
It actually should fit the bill for you though.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($64.99 @ NCIX US)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($194.79 @ Newegg)
Memory: Kingston Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($144.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Sandisk 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($80.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($57.99 @ NCIX US)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Video Card ($329.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($14.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1328.69
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-03-06 22:25 EST-0500)


Ha, awesome. This is almost identical to the build I've been planning for with the only difference being a few brands here and there (already have 2x8 Corsair Vengeance, Corsair 80+ Gold PSU) and then I had the Cooler Master Evo for CPU cooler.

I was dead set on the i7-4770K for a while since I've been told CS:GO is a more CPU intensive game rather than GPU, but I've read a lot of other places that there isn't a huge difference in CS:GO between that CPU and the i5-4670K.

One other question: would you recommend OC'ing the 4670 to like 4.0 or something? If so, what CPU cooler would you go with?

Seriously final question: How big a difference do you think there would be between a 770 2GB and the superclocked 760 2GB from EVGA?

Thx for all your help!
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March 7, 2014 6:46:50 AM

So to be honest. Overclocking is more of a hobby than a useful trait. I will probably catch some flak for saying that, but really it is. Overclocking does marginally increase performance by single digit percents. It's not really what makes a build viable or not. However, overclocking the 4670 to 4.0 with a CM EVO or the Noctua NH-D14 will not be an issue at all. I like the Noctua because it's like putting your CPU in a refrigerator, or as close as you can get with an air cooler. I personally have the CM 212 EVO because it's what could fit in my case. I love it, it works great, my cpu is never ever above 60 degrees C.

Now for the hard question: How much GPU do you want. Both will max CS:GO with no issues. But, I can't really tell what you exactly want because you are you and I am me. So I will let you figure this out for yourself. But I will point you in the right direction.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1038?vs=1037
(I know, there aren't any comparisons for CS:GO. This should give you a good idea though)
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March 13, 2014 2:33:59 AM

zared619 said:
So to be honest. Overclocking is more of a hobby than a useful trait. I will probably catch some flak for saying that, but really it is. Overclocking does marginally increase performance by single digit percents. It's not really what makes a build viable or not. However, overclocking the 4670 to 4.0 with a CM EVO or the Noctua NH-D14 will not be an issue at all. I like the Noctua because it's like putting your CPU in a refrigerator, or as close as you can get with an air cooler. I personally have the CM 212 EVO because it's what could fit in my case. I love it, it works great, my cpu is never ever above 60 degrees C.

Now for the hard question: How much GPU do you want. Both will max CS:GO with no issues. But, I can't really tell what you exactly want because you are you and I am me. So I will let you figure this out for yourself. But I will point you in the right direction.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1038?vs=1037
(I know, there aren't any comparisons for CS:GO. This should give you a good idea though)


Late response but just wanted to thank you again for all of your help/guidance. It really did make a difference in the research phase of the build process (a phase that lasted nearly 6 damn months lol).

Ended up opting for increased performance and more potential "staying power," by passing my loose original budget of $1000 (& ending up around $1200 after tax/shipping etc or $1100 if I find my friends extra copy of Windows). Realized that my laptop is getting older so I'll be doing more design work than I thought on this machine as well as playing other games like Dark Souls 2, Starcraft 2, Titanfall. Possibly even games like Battlefield 4 and Crysis 3 every now and again which I know are pretty graphically demanding. 80% of the time, however, will still be dedicated to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Sprung for an EVGA GTX 770 2gb, but controlled myself a bit on the CPU and went with the i5-4670K after realizing the difference between that and the i7-4770K wasn't worth the extra $80 or $90 for me personally.

The rest looks like this:
- 2x4gb Corsair Vengeance (can always another 2x4gb later if needed but I doubt it)
- Asus 'Plus' Z87 (iirc, I know it was one of the mid-range Asus Z87 boards)
- Seasonic 650w 80+ Gold Certified PSU (skimped slightly here as I trust Corsair PSUs but oh well)
- Samsung 840 EVO 120gb SSD (know a few guys with it and they love it so not too concerned)
- Western Digital 1TB 7200rpm HDD (not much to add here, my second WD, no issues w/ the first one)
- Cooler Master Hyper 21 EVO (won't be overclocking, was told I didn't need to drop a ton of coin here)
- Fractal Design Define R4 White w/ Window (no experience w/ the brand but oh my god I fell in love with the simple beauty of this case - big fan of minimalism done right, especially in a non-apple computing world that desperately needs it. Lately though I've really been digging the design/structure of the Corsair 250D Mini ITX case as well as the Corsair Air 540 - both more square, "lan box" style done simply, etc - may decide to sell the Fractal for one of the Corsairs, but not sure if all my stuff can fit in the micro ITX designed 250D)

Oh and the last component before I'm ready to tear shit up...and probably the scariest part considering I've been on Windows XP since it came out (refused to switch to things like Vista or 7)...Windows 7 or Windows 8???

Friend has brand new disks for Windows 7 (not sure which edition) that he's willing to sell to me for like $30, while I'd have to buy Windows 8 for retail price.

Might seem like a no brainer, but I care more about choosing the OS which suits my usage/needs. Here's a usage breakdown...knowing that this is how I'll spend my time on the machine, does Win7 or Win8 make most sense?
• 55% gaming w/ average-high graphical demand
• 30% surfing web/simple tasks (like word processing)
• 15% design work in Photoshop/InDesign/Illustrator // small amount of editing in Adobe Premiere

If you read through this entire post Zared, you are truly a legend and I owe you one! Can't wait to put the whole damn thing together (first real build alone...done a couple in the past but with my friend that pretty much moved my hands for me, treating me like a living puppet lol).

-protti
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March 13, 2014 7:01:36 AM

I'm using Windows 7, and I like it. I guess that Windows 8 is a little lighter performance wise, but I found 8 hard to adjust to. It seems like it works really well if you have a touchscreen laptop. They are dropping support for XP, so don't use it on a new rig lol. If your buddy has new discs for $30, get em. Windows 7 is a great OS.
I'm always glad that I can help. Again, if you have any more questions, just ask.
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March 13, 2014 10:31:18 PM

zared619 said:
I'm using Windows 7, and I like it. I guess that Windows 8 is a little lighter performance wise, but I found 8 hard to adjust to. It seems like it works really well if you have a touchscreen laptop. They are dropping support for XP, so don't use it on a new rig lol. If your buddy has new discs for $30, get em. Windows 7 is a great OS.
I'm always glad that I can help. Again, if you have any more questions, just ask.


Yeah I'm not going to load XP haha. I was hesitant about loading it in 2010 when I built my last budget gaming setup for CS 1.6 only.

I'm thinking Windows 7 as well. Seems like the safest bet all things considered. I may try to see if anyone has an 8 setup to try it out, otherwise I'd have a tough time blindly committing to it.
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March 14, 2014 6:48:05 AM

protti said:
zared619 said:
I'm using Windows 7, and I like it. I guess that Windows 8 is a little lighter performance wise, but I found 8 hard to adjust to. It seems like it works really well if you have a touchscreen laptop. They are dropping support for XP, so don't use it on a new rig lol. If your buddy has new discs for $30, get em. Windows 7 is a great OS.
I'm always glad that I can help. Again, if you have any more questions, just ask.


Yeah I'm not going to load XP haha. I was hesitant about loading it in 2010 when I built my last budget gaming setup for CS 1.6 only.

I'm thinking Windows 7 as well. Seems like the safest bet all things considered. I may try to see if anyone has an 8 setup to try it out, otherwise I'd have a tough time blindly committing to it.

Sounds great. Keep me updated on the build, and good luck putting it together!
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