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building a gaming pc for my son, any advice help appreciated

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June 30, 2014 12:18:48 PM

Hello guys im building a gaming pc for my son, I think i've managed to source some decent parts at decent prices, any advice or information on what to or not buy would be greatly appreciated and taken on board below is the current list with prices as of 1 week ago

4.4GHz Core i7 Extreme 4930K CPU *Overclocked* ccl - £432
Gigabyte GA-X79-UD3 Motherboard Ebay - £103.99
XFX AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB Graphics Card ccl - £166.34
XFX AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB Graphics Card ccl - £166.34
16GB Corsair Vengeance 2133MHz Gaming RAM ccl - £123.54
240G Kingston SSDNow V300 240GB SATA 3 2.5 inch Solid State Drive Ebay - £89.44
Zalman Z11 Plus Gaming Case Ebay - £53.65
Aero Cool Strike-X 1100W Power Supply 80 Plus Gold ccl - £121.28
Corsair Hydro H100i Ultimate Liquid CPU Cooler ccl - £84.22
Microsoft Windows 8.1 64bit Ebay - £74.06
TOTAL £1414.86

thanks
June 30, 2014 12:22:38 PM

1 GPU vs 2. That's a BEAUTIFUL build that will last a very long time, but I would recommend a single GPU solution such as a R9 290 or 290x vs 2 280s. I know its cheaper but dealing with the crossfire is more of an enthusiast route and can hinder the "turn on and play" aspect of the computer in a lot of games that are not explicitly optimized for crossfire. The other thing is the 240GB SSD, I LOVE that a Kingston was chosen, but size may be an issue considering most new games push about 20GB of space on the disk.

EDIT: This is quite a high end build. and if your son complains for any reason, I give you permission to take it away and give it to me!
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June 30, 2014 12:29:35 PM

oh the SSD is only for his OS and updates he has 2 1TB HD's already so those are for storage
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 12:34:43 PM

I personally don't think your son would need such a high end computer. :) 

Suggestions for the build:

Instead of 2 r9 280s, you can get a gtx 780. It's less of a headache to have one single card than two cards, at least in my opinion.

120gb SSD is enough for a boot drive and still plenty of room to put stuff on there. Get a 1TB HDD as a storage drive. There will be no difference in gaming between an SSD and HDD frame rate wise.

Most games can play on an i5 just as well as an i7. If you want an i7 consider the new 4790k if you want to overclock. I think an i5 4690k would do just fine though if you don't want to get an i7.

1600Mhz cas9 ram is enough for most things. If the price to that ram isn't too much more, then it's your choice to keep.

Either way, the build will be pretty overkill for 1080p, but it'll last for a while also I'd imagine.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 12:34:50 PM

It would game good, but the price to performance ration isn't good for a gaming rig. Maybe if you did a alot of rendering/editing on the side. Also you need a storage drive. After an OS and few programs 240Gb will fill up fast. The PSU is a horrible choice Aerocool make garbage quality PSUs.
Here's better build.
PCPartPicker part list: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/PqX4Bm
Price breakdown by merchant: http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/PqX4Bm/by_merchant/

CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor (£256.99 @ Ebuyer)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler (£80.99 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard (£109.16 @ Scan.co.uk)
Memory: G.Skill Sniper Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory (£75.27 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (£92.99 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£35.94 @ Aria PC)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 780 Ti 3GB WINDFORCE Video Card (£497.99 @ Aria PC)
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 300R Windowed ATX Mid Tower Case (£64.13 @ Amazon UK)
Power Supply: EVGA 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply (£119.99 @ Ebuyer)
Total: £1333.45
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
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June 30, 2014 12:38:32 PM

so if i swap out the two xfx 280's for this, you say it would cause less compatibility problems for about £40 more, i can live with that


Powercolor AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB Battlefield 4 Ed £ 365.76
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 12:45:24 PM

If that's a reference cooler version, I'd highly recommend staying away from it. They'll be pretty loud. If you can find a good price on an aftermarket cooler version then sure go for it, but reference coolers are loud and will probably also have heat issues.

A single gtx 780 is more than enough for 1080p already.

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/msi-video-card-n780tf3g...

The r9 290 would also be a good choice as is. I believe it's still stronger than 2 r9 280s, someone will have to correct me on this.

http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/part/sapphire-video-card-100...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 12:50:15 PM

With your budget, I would do things very differently.
Particularly since you are looking at prices.

1. Few games use more than 2-3 cores so the extra on a 6 core cpu will go largely unused.
I would use a i7-4790K. Running at stock 4.4 turbo, you will have all the cpu power you can use.
2. A decent noctua or Phanteks cooler with a 140mm fan is all you need. It will run quieter and be more reliable.
3. Most any sli capable Z97 based motherboard will do.
4. R9 cards run hot. I would buy a single GTX780ti with a titan blower instead.
That is all you can use with a single monitor at 2560 x1600.
A single card will have fewer stuttering and tearing issues.
If you get into triple monitor gaming or use a 4k monitor, then add a second.
5. Aerocool is a tier 4 psu on this list; not recommended. https://community.newegg.com/eggxpert/computer_hardware...
buy only a quality psu like Seasonic.
6. Buy windows only from a proper store, not from ebay. Otherwise, you are likely to get a copy infected with malware or a pirated copy.
7. make certain that ram is the low profile version.
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 12:53:37 PM

w4rn3r said:
so if i swap out the two xfx 280's for this, you say it would cause less compatibility problems for about £40 more, i can live with that


Powercolor AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB Battlefield 4 Ed £ 365.76


That uses a reference cooler and should be avoided at all costs unless you plan on buying a waterblock for a custom loop, or an aftermarket cooler like the accelero.
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June 30, 2014 6:51:05 PM

ok i've taken the advice so far on board and revised the list, let me know what you think

Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor OCUK £267.73
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard Scan £244.76
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Ebuyer £130.00
Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Amazon UK £108.33
XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Video Card Ebuyer £324.99
Corsair RM 850W 80+ Gold Modular ATX PSU CCL £104.99
NZXT Phantom 410 (Black/Orange) ATX Mid Tower Case CCL £75.41
Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler Aria £80.99
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Amazon UK £79.89
TOTAL £1417.14
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 6:59:38 PM

w4rn3r said:
ok i've taken the advice so far on board and revised the list, let me know what you think

Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor OCUK £267.73
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard Scan £244.76
Corsair Vengeance 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Ebuyer £130.00
Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Amazon UK £108.33
XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Video Card Ebuyer £324.99
Corsair RM 850W 80+ Gold Modular ATX PSU CCL £104.99
NZXT Phantom 410 (Black/Orange) ATX Mid Tower Case CCL £75.41
Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler Aria £80.99
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Amazon UK £79.89
TOTAL £1417.14


Looks better, but I would change the ram to 2x8G(less stress on the memory controller 4 sticks can cause instability and force higher voltages and a higher CAS to stabilize it). I would shy away from the 850w Corsair RM PSU it uses some cheaper caps(gets ranked as a 3rd tier unit), and you can usually find the EVGA 850w G2 cheaper and its a Tier One unit.
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1804779/power-su...
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a b 4 Gaming
June 30, 2014 8:31:15 PM

Much better.
Dual channel is as good as you get, so 2 x 8gb will work out better.

Corsair RM 850 is so so on this list:
https://community.newegg.com/eggxpert/computer_hardware...
Look for Seasonic or XFX. It should cost no more. Don't chase gold efficiency, at least at any significant price premium.

The i7-4790K are well binned chips that run at 4.4 stock.
You need no more for good gaming.
If you OC, you can get to 4.6-4.7 with a good cooler and a good chip.
I don't think that is worth so much.

My canned rant on liquid cooling:
------------------------start of rant-------------------
You buy a liquid cooler to be able to extract an extra multiplier or two out of your OC.
How much do you really need?
I do not much like all in one liquid coolers when a good air cooler like a Noctua NH-D14 or phanteks can do the job just as well.
A liquid cooler will be expensive, noisy, less reliable, and will not cool any better
in a well ventilated case.
Liquid cooling is really air cooling, it just puts the heat exchange in a different place.
The orientation of the radiator will cause a problem.
If you orient it to take in cool air from the outside, you will cool the cpu better, but the hot air then circulates inside the case heating up the graphics card and motherboard.
If you orient it to exhaust(which I think is better) , then your cpu cooling will be less effective because it uses pre heated case air.
And... I have read too many tales of woe when a liquid cooler leaks.
google "H100 leak"
-----------------------end of rant--------------------------

I suggest a noctua nh-D14 or phanteks with dual 140mm fans.
Your pc will be quieter, more reliable, and will be cooled equally well
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July 2, 2014 6:39:16 PM

ok heres the latest revised list

Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor OCUK £267.73
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming G1 WIFI-BK ATX LGA1150 Motherboard Scan £327.56
Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 CCL £124.88
Plextor M5S Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive Amazon UK £108.33
XFX Radeon R9 290X 4GB Video Card Ebuyer £324.99
EVGA SuperNOVA 850w G2 Gold Power Supply Unit CCL £97.48
NZXT Phantom 410 (Black/Orange) ATX Mid Tower Case CCL £75.41
Corsair H100i 77.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler Aria £80.99
Microsoft Windows 8.1 (64-bit) Amazon UK £79.89
TOTAL £1487.82
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