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The big picture

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September 16, 2010 8:14:31 AM

Hey everyone, I am planning to build a computer (first time) around January 2011, and I am in the process of doing research.

I am posting to ask if anyone can point me in the direction of good resources that explain the inner workings of a computer from the standpoint of someone who is about to build a gaming PC. I'm not talking necessarily about an exhaustive, bare-metal understanding of how a computer works (I realize people take years of school for this), but rather something that will help me make smart decisions when purchasing components.

So, when I see a statement like "DDR3 1333Mhz 7-7-7-20 would be better or equal to DDR3 1600Mhz 8-8-8-24," I know what all those numbers really mean. Not just their definition, but how they relate to the entire scheme of things.

I'm also interested in things like why a game might bottleneck at the CPU, or the GPU, or (if I'm playing online), my internet connection.

I appreciate it!

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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2010 8:42:01 AM

A better way of going about this is start a thread titled something like "Planning to build gaming computer - budget $nnnn". That will lead to answers to all your questions.


So, when I see a statement like "DDR3 1333Mhz 7-7-7-20 would be better or equal to DDR3 1600Mhz 8-8-8-24," ... said:

So, when I see a statement like "DDR3 1333Mhz 7-7-7-20 would be better or equal to DDR3 1600Mhz 8-8-8-24," ...

Actually, the DDR3-1600 RAM is an insignificant bit (250 picosecs) faster. :) 


I'm also interested in things like why a game might bottleneck at the CPU, or the GPU, or (if I'm playing online), my internet connection.
said:

I'm also interested in things like why a game might bottleneck at the CPU, or the GPU, or (if I'm playing online), my internet connection.

Most current games are GPU bound. Above a certain CPU speed and number of cores/threads, the performance of the GPU becomes the limiting factor.

After a certain point, online games are limited by the internet connection. No matter how fast your computer is, it can only process what the internet connection can provide.
September 16, 2010 8:54:21 AM

Hmm, I appreciate it, but at this point I am not necessarily looking for straight-up build recommendations. I would rather start at the beginning, build understanding, and work towards choosing the right parts (with some help from those on these forums :D  ).
a b B Homebuilt system
September 16, 2010 11:04:07 AM

It has been shown rather clearly that More RAM will always >>> higher freq In practice though someone not looking for HC clocks would thank the stars for a pair of value RAMs that run right out of the box as advertised :p 
!