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Canadian Gaming/Programming PC $3000

Hi All

This will be a high end gaming and programming machine, I also might use it to watch movies/listen to music too (I have a pair of ATH M50s). I"m starting from scratch so I will need peripherals included in the budget (monitor, keyboard, mouse, and controller). Build will be assembled in late May/early June so any upcoming parts are acceptable. Room for upgrades is a pro as I will be using this machine for the foreseeable future. Aesthetics can be sacrificed for performance.

Games I will be running:
Skyrim (with as many mods as is possible)
Civ 5
Starcraft 2
Dark Souls 2
Kerbal Space Program

Thanks
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Here you go :)

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($359.98 @ Amazon Canada)
    CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($99.99 @ Canada Computers)
    Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($210.84 @ DirectCanada)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory ($174.98 @ Newegg Canada)
    Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($178.75 @ Vuugo)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($159.97 @ DirectCanada)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($769.98 @ Newegg Canada)
    Case: NZXT Phantom 530 (Black) ATX Full Tower Case ($134.99 @ NCIX)
    Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ NCIX)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer ($16.79 @ DirectCanada)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($105.84 @ DirectCanada)
    Monitor: Asus PB278Q 27.0" Monitor ($549.00 @ Canada Computers)
    Fan Controller: NZXT Sentry LX Fan Controller ($48.99 @ Newegg Canada)
    Keyboard: Cooler Master CM Storm Devastator Gaming Bundle Wired Gaming Keyboard w/Optical Mouse ($29.99 @ Canada Computers)
    Speakers: Logitech Z313 25W 2.1ch Speakers ($44.00 @ Vuugo)
    Total: $2999.08
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-01 03:12 EDT-0400)
  2. How high end? What resolution do you intend to play at? Are considering multi-monitor? The answers to these questions will dictate how much GPU power you need.

    As far as a CPU, I would recommend the i5 4670K with a corresponding decent motherboard. If you think you'll need more threads for your programming, then an i7 4770K should do the trick. Hyperthreading doesn't really provide any benefit for gaming, but it might for compiling.

    For RAM I would stick with a decent DDR3 1600 kit. Something from Corsair, GSkill, Kingston. Haswell doesn't see much benefit from higher frequency RAM (that said, I have a DDR3 2400 kit), so you can save some money there. For gaming and everyday desktop use, 8GB is enough. You may want to consider 16GB for programming, depending on the programming you intend to do.

    Definitely get an SSD for your boot drive. I suggest at least 240GB, and I have personal experience with Samsung EVO drives they are excellent. The boot time is amazing.

    Any decent HDD from WD, or Seagate will do. I would shoot for at least 2TB, but go bigger if you think that you'll need lots of storage for the programming you intend to do.

    As for Windows, I'd pick Windows 8.1 (64 bit of course) and install Classic Shell if the Metro interface bothers you (it did for me, so I got Classic Shell).

    I'd get an ODD as well. Sometimes it's still handy to have a DVD-R for making a CD / DVD and for installing software / Windows. Pretty much any old SATA ODD will do. Can't go wrong with Samsung there.

    Monitor(s) will depend on your answers to the questions at the top of my post.

    Keyboard and mouse. These are highly subjective items. There are plenty of good peripherals out there, but none of them are great for everyone. I personally like mechanical keyboards. If you intend to play any FPS (you didn't list any) then I would certainly stick to a wired keyboard and mouse. As for mice, there are many geared towards gamers; Razer, Logitech, Cooler Master, Corsair, etc, all make good gaming mice.

    As for where to purchase, I would consider Memory Express. They are excellent. They also have their Uber Price Beat which basically they will beat any advertise price (has to be in stock) by an additional 25% of the difference.
  3. techgeek said:
    How high end? What resolution do you intend to play at? Are considering multi-monitor? The answers to these questions will dictate how much GPU power you need.

    As far as a CPU, I would recommend the i5 4670K with a corresponding decent motherboard. If you think you'll need more threads for your programming, then an i7 4770K should do the trick. Hyperthreading doesn't really provide any benefit for gaming, but it might for compiling.

    For RAM I would stick with a decent DDR3 1600 kit. Something from Corsair, GSkill, Kingston. Haswell doesn't see much benefit from higher frequency RAM (that said, I have a DDR3 2400 kit), so you can save some money there. For gaming and everyday desktop use, 8GB is enough. You may want to consider 16GB for programming, depending on the programming you intend to do.

    Definitely get an SSD for your boot drive. I suggest at least 240GB, and I have personal experience with Samsung EVO drives they are excellent. The boot time is amazing.

    Any decent HDD from WD, or Seagate will do. I would shoot for at least 2TB, but go bigger if you think that you'll need lots of storage for the programming you intend to do.

    As for Windows, I'd pick Windows 8.1 (64 bit of course) and install Classic Shell if the Metro interface bothers you (it did for me, so I got Classic Shell).

    I'd get an ODD as well. Sometimes it's still handy to have a DVD-R for making a CD / DVD and for installing software / Windows. Pretty much any old SATA ODD will do. Can't go wrong with Samsung there.

    Monitor(s) will depend on your answers to the questions at the top of my post.

    Keyboard and mouse. These are highly subjective items. There are plenty of good peripherals out there, but none of them are great for everyone. I personally like mechanical keyboards. If you intend to play any FPS (you didn't list any) then I would certainly stick to a wired keyboard and mouse. As for mice, there are many geared towards gamers; Razer, Logitech, Cooler Master, Corsair, etc, all make good gaming mice.

    As for where to purchase, I would consider Memory Express. They are excellent. They also have their Uber Price Beat which basically they will beat any advertise price (has to be in stock) by an additional 25% of the difference.


    The main part I'm having trouble with is the monitor. I won't be buying more than one originally but I'm definitely considering grabbing a second one in the future. As for resolution I'm finding all my research to be very ambiguous, every review seems to say something different. I want good a good quality picture but I don't want to sacrifice gaming performance (response times and frame rates). I've heard IPS monitors look good but is sacrificing 120hz for 60hz worth it? What monitor are you using?

    Thanks
  4. For gaming, I would suggest getting a TN monitor. They have the lower GtG timings and higher frequencies. Just one note, if you plan on playing FPS's in particular, a two monitor set up isn't good. The bezels will be right in the middle where you are looking/aiming. So you want an odd number of monitors (3,5). So when you go multimonitor (if you do), expect to buy 2 more.

    If you can afford it, 144Hz monitors are great. Or if you plan on going nVidia for graphics card, look at getting one that supports their G-Sync technology. From what I've read its quite the nice experience. No tearing or stuttering. Size is one of the main factors that determines price. I like 27", which is what I have. Most people will tell you not to get above 24" at 1080p because the DPI is too low and you can see the individual pixels. I have a 27" at 1080p and unless my eyesight is really terrible, I certainly can't see individual pixels unless my face is pushed up against it. However if you go that big and you can afford it, 1440p would definitely be better.

    As for IPS, they are nice looking monitors, but they are more meant for professionals that do image editing who need to see as close to possible the exact color of the image. They aren't ideal for gaming due to the higher GtG times and lower frequency. VA or PVA, or M-PVA are a compromise between speed and image quality. They are almost as good as IPS as far as color gamut, but generally have a better GtG time than IPS. This is what I have. It's good for me, but if your primary use is gaming, go with a TN display. Literally, unless you are a graphic artist, photographer, or a image enthusiast, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in color reproduction between the two. Especially when gaming and everything is whizzing around.

    As for brand, ASUS has very good monitors (some dud's, but for the most part good) and they have a model that supports G-Sync if you are thinking of going that route. Samsung also have good monitors too. I don't have much experience with other manufacturers. My company used Ben-Q for awhile, but I found them to be cheap, but I can't say if that generally about the brand, it could have been just the monitors we had. Not a big LG fan, or Acer.
  5. Best answer
    Did some looking around and it appears that G-Sync enabled monitors are hard to find. Have a look at this page:

    G-Sync Monitors

    From the list it appears only ASUS has one available now, however I couldn't find any one who had it. This monitor can be upgraded to it with a kit:

    ASUS Monitor

    However you have to buy the kit and then feel comfortable enough to take your monitor apart to install it.

    In the list above there are several announced monitors. The 2560X1440 from ASUS looks very interesting, however who knows if it will be available when you go to buy.

    The monitor I listed above from Memory Express is a very good monitor all on it own even without the G-Sync module. At 24" and 144Hz, with 1mS GtG, you won't find much better.
  6. techgeek said:
    Did some looking around and it appears that G-Sync enabled monitors are hard to find. Have a look at this page:

    G-Sync Monitors

    From the list it appears only ASUS has one available now, however I couldn't find any one who had it. This monitor can be upgraded to it with a kit:

    ASUS Monitor

    However you have to buy the kit and then feel comfortable enough to take your monitor apart to install it.

    In the list above there are several announced monitors. The 2560X1440 from ASUS looks very interesting, however who knows if it will be available when you go to buy.

    The monitor I listed above from Memory Express is a very good monitor all on it own even without the G-Sync module. At 24" and 144Hz, with 1mS GtG, you won't find much better.

    This is exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks!
  7. techgeek said:
    For gaming, I would suggest getting a TN monitor. They have the lower GtG timings and higher frequencies. Just one note, if you plan on playing FPS's in particular, a two monitor set up isn't good. The bezels will be right in the middle where you are looking/aiming. So you want an odd number of monitors (3,5). So when you go multimonitor (if you do), expect to buy 2 more.

    If you can afford it, 144Hz monitors are great. Or if you plan on going nVidia for graphics card, look at getting one that supports their G-Sync technology. From what I've read its quite the nice experience. No tearing or stuttering. Size is one of the main factors that determines price. I like 27", which is what I have. Most people will tell you not to get above 24" at 1080p because the DPI is too low and you can see the individual pixels. I have a 27" at 1080p and unless my eyesight is really terrible, I certainly can't see individual pixels unless my face is pushed up against it. However if you go that big and you can afford it, 1440p would definitely be better.

    As for IPS, they are nice looking monitors, but they are more meant for professionals that do image editing who need to see as close to possible the exact color of the image. They aren't ideal for gaming due to the higher GtG times and lower frequency. VA or PVA, or M-PVA are a compromise between speed and image quality. They are almost as good as IPS as far as color gamut, but generally have a better GtG time than IPS. This is what I have. It's good for me, but if your primary use is gaming, go with a TN display. Literally, unless you are a graphic artist, photographer, or a image enthusiast, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference in color reproduction between the two. Especially when gaming and everything is whizzing around.

    As for brand, ASUS has very good monitors (some dud's, but for the most part good) and they have a model that supports G-Sync if you are thinking of going that route. Samsung also have good monitors too. I don't have much experience with other manufacturers. My company used Ben-Q for awhile, but I found them to be cheap, but I can't say if that generally about the brand, it could have been just the monitors we had. Not a big LG fan, or Acer.


    Oh, one more question. Are the viewing angles on VN monitors that bad? That was my main concern with VN vs IPS.
  8. The ASUS monitor I linked has a view angle of 170 degrees from side to side (H) and 160 degrees top and bottom (V). IPS and VA monitors normally list 178 degrees on both axis, which is essentially looking at the edge of the bezel with only a sliver of screen visible. In academic terms the ASUS monitor which is a TN (Twisted Nematic) will have a slight disadvantage being viewed at extreme angles. However it's very slight and very unlikely that you would be looking at it from that angle. Even if you had some one beside you watching you, they would be at an angle much less than these extremes.

    For all intents and purposes they are pretty much equivalent since no one is going to be looking at your monitor from that extreme angle.
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