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PC Gaming build + Future upgrading questions

Last response: in Video Games
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January 5, 2013 12:48:42 PM

Hello everyone,

I've decided to game mainly on the PC for this 'next generation' of consoles, but there are some questions I have as far as the build I'm going with.

From what I've read in the forums, I've came up with the following: (budget of $1000 - $1500 initially, including shipping, warranties, etc)

i5 3570k
ASRock z77 Extreme4 (or 6) vs ASUS P8Z77-V LK
670GTX 2gb (EVGA seems to be the brand of choice)
8gb DDR3 RAM (undecided on the brand / speeds depending on mobo selection)
1tb HDD / 120gb SSD

There are certain areas that I'm undecided as far as brand selection goes, plus which case, and psu to choose.

My intentions are to play at high/ultra settings, at a resolution of around 1920 x 1080.

Some of the other questions I have are, as far as upgrading in the future,

What tends to be the average time for the next upgrade and what is often the first piece upgraded? I don't mind buying/upgrading every 2 yrs, as long as that isn't a $500-$700 upgrade every 2 yrs.

Is it safe to assume that with this setup, and in the upcoming ~2yrs adding SLI and an additional 8gb RAM, would I be able to achieve gaming on the settings I have mentioned?

I understand that none can read the future as to how games will be handled and the issue of next gen consoles and what not, but my questions are more in comparison as to what happened when the current gen consoles hit the market vs PC at the time.

Thanks for taking the time to read and for your help in advance.
January 5, 2013 5:42:09 PM

As far as the case goes, it's partially preference but things you should look for include; cable management, slots for storage (at least however many you intend to use), and make sure your motherboard is compatible with it. For the PSU, if you plan to SLI in the future I'd go with probably a 700W. Corsair is a great brand for power supplies.

Times for upgrades and what to upgrade first depend on what you originally buy and what kind of settings you would like to maintain. With the build you're looking at the SLI and more RAM would probably be the first upgrades, but you won't really NEED them for awhile I'd say.

DH1278 said:
Is it safe to assume that with this setup, and in the upcoming ~2yrs adding SLI and an additional 8gb RAM, would I be able to achieve gaming on the settings I have mentioned?


You could be alright with that setup.. but only time will tell.
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January 5, 2013 5:48:57 PM

Such Things as future proofing doesn't exist.

EXCEPT getting a pretty big case with good air flow and a great PSU, those will last for a long time. It is impossilbe to guess how long a build is going to last. If you don't trust me, then listen to the REAL proffesionals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK4ip08auGg Listen to Linus.

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January 5, 2013 9:00:33 PM

Thank you both for the replies. Any preference towards which of the two motherboards?

I do trust you lostgamer_03 with regards to future proofing. I was mainly looking at some input from the point of view of those who have had gaming computers long periods of time, and what have they normally seen in relation to how often to upgrade, etc.

Having had a console point of view for over two decades now (started with the NES) makes it very difficult for me to understand how the PC is hit as far as hardware demand with upcoming games (sans Crysis).

For example, when the current generation consoles released, the first year of games, did you had to upgrade heavily because the games automatically demanded more? If they did, how significant was the demand? Would it be like saying a 670gtx would automatically be upgraded to the 700series because it just couldn't handle high/ultra resolutions anymore?

Again, I understand the amount of variables involved in this discussion make it very impossible to determine anything, but I'm just looking for knowledge based on past experience of those who obviously know a lot more than me. Not gonna hold anyone responsible or say anyone made me do it, just curious about it, thats all.

Thanks again ^^
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January 5, 2013 10:42:34 PM

The console "competitor" PC is a tricky beast, not least of all because nobody knows how long consoles will last. If someone had said at the launch of the Xbox360 it'd be as popular as it is now (around 7years later), I'm not sure they'd have been taken seriously. Anyone who built a PC at that time will have been hit by a number of changing standards such as the progression towards multi-core processors.

In a way, it's a bit of an elaborate conspiracy. If PCs had a shelf life of something like say a washing machine or fridge, then companies would spend a lot more effort on ensuring things worked on older machines. That's not a criticism as such, just an observation.

It's worth pointing out that a key reason that the Xbox360 can still play seemingly challenging games is that it only outputs at 720P, considered a pretty low resolution in the PC world. Even a very basic entry level discrete graphics card (and maybe even the Intel HD on-chip stuff) can play a lot of games at that resolution.

My advice would be to forget any comparison with consoles, it's counter-productive. The items you have picked are perfect for a gaming PC for today, and will almost undoubtedly be good for a few years. Hardware specs won't shoot up dramatically upon console launches, but they might gradually change the way PCs progress. It's important to remember though, that they are on two very different progress trees. The Xbox360 and PS3 have 6 threaded processors and pretty limited graphics. PCs are almost always graphics limited and PC games function on (until now) two threads at most.

Enjoy your PC, but be aware that you might find yourself having to splash out on an entirely new machine at some point in the console mid-lifecycle if you want to continue to get top end performance. And I'd get the Extreme4 as it's the best value imo.
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January 5, 2013 11:16:40 PM

Thanks Rammy for your input.

I was starting to get the idea that the comparison to consoles was becoming counter productive. It makes perfect sense that hardware will simply just continue to progress for the PC, in a indirectly separate route as the consoles.

Also, about getting an entirely new machine at some point, that won't bother me. Considering what I've spent on the PC I had like 7 years ago, the upgrades I've done to it (which pretty much was a new one), and the subsequent parts I've had to buy, plus the costs of consoles and the ones that broke, I'd say I would've saved a bunch of money had I gone the PC route the past 10yrs, even if that meant maintaining a decent gaming rig.

Thanks
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January 6, 2013 2:12:00 PM

personally i used to buy only cooler master PSU's until corsair really took off with their line ups. i love CM's full tower cases, i have 932 black edition, and their cpu coolers are inexpensive and do a great job.

you may also want to look in to a modular PSU to also work with cable management since you can just add what you require as you upgrade.

future proofing is nothing that can really be done with Pc's and you can't tell when you will be able to run everything on max settings in games for the years to come. For example, My PC's hardware as per CPU and GPU they are quite dated, my GPU almost 2 years old and CPU at least 4 years now, they still hold up well in just about anything i throw at it, you just have to invest good at the beginning but also look at general performance compared to software that is being developed, i think i hit a sweet spot when i built my main rig for gaming, i can assume i will be able to max out most games for another couple years to come and if i really need to ill just overclock some on my GPU and CPU to pump out some extra FPS.

Another brand for PSU that i have liked is ThermalTake, my current system has a modular TR2 1000W and runs cool under load with nice red and black accents for asthetics.

being able to do SLI in the future also helps give you options to upgrade without having to switch out everything else and give you a good boost in gaming and helps "future proof" a little longer. that was one of the options i left myself with my current system, so when games get too harsh for my 6950, ill just buy a used cheap one and pop it in crossfire.
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January 6, 2013 9:23:19 PM

Best answer selected by DH1278.
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