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Best Gaming PC for Battlefield 3

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July 19, 2012 11:41:29 PM

To the respected community of tom's hardware,

I hope this thread finds you well - I am looking for an amazing gaming desktop to run BF3 in high/ultra settings (preferably ultra) on a consistent and smooth 60+ FPS. I am new to building computers so I may have someone else build the computer for me. Please see the specifics below.

Approximate Purchase Date: ASAP

Budget Range: $1,200 - $1,500

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Sole Purpose: Battlefield 3, 60+ FPS on ultra/max settings (high settings if ultra/max is not possible with my budget), I would like my minimum FPS to be in the 50-60 range (e.g., explosions in my face) during 64 player online matches

Parts Not Required: Mouse, Keyboard, Speakers

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://www.newegg.com/ or any other reputable and reliable provider

Country: USA

Parts Preferences: I hear the GTX 680 and an Intel i5 may be best for me, otherwise, I have open ears

Overclocking: If necessary and not too much - I do not wish for my computer to overheat and die

SLI or Crossfire: If you think it would be best to achieve my goal

Monitor Resolution: I am looking for a great gaming monitor for BF3 as well

Additional Comments: Please let me know if you have any questions

I am eager to read through your builds, advice, suggestions and guidelines. Thank you for your valued time!

UPDATE: I found this build in a sticky thread... I think it may be a good starting point. What are your thoughts?

$1500 - Budget/Gamer - $1,463.91 w/o Rebates

Case : COOLER MASTER HAF 922
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6811119197

Motherboard : GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6813128512

RAM : Patriot Signature 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 92f28f601a

CPU : Intel Core I5-2500K (OC for best performance)
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applica [...] No=7073161 (Out of stock @ newegg)

CPU Cooler : COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6835103099

GPU : EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB $419.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6814130787

PSU : Antec EarthWatts EA-650 GREEN 650W ATX12V v2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6817371044

SSD : Crucial M4 CT064M4SSD2 2.5" 64GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6820148441

HDD: Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 6822136533

More about : gaming battlefield

July 19, 2012 11:59:14 PM

Do you know what monitor size/rez you prefer? What about MSAA?

I believe that, with GTX 680 at 1920x1200 (with all settings maxed except MSAA), BF3 will run 60+ fps without MSAA. With 2X MSAA, it will drop to 50 fps at times. With 4X MSAA, it can go below 50 fps.

Here are some fps at different rezs for BF3:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/msi-geforce-gtx-680-light...

Dave
July 20, 2012 12:10:22 AM

DavidY said:
Do you know what monitor size/rez you prefer? What about MSAA?

I believe that, with GTX 680 at 1920x1200 (with all settings maxed except MSAA), BF3 will run 60+ fps without MSAA. With 2X MSAA, it will drop to 50 fps at times. With 4X MSAA, it can go below 50 fps.

Dave


I am really open to your recommendations - I am looking for a beautiful presentation as I play the game, but if the higher MSAA settings do not deliver any noticeable graphic improvements then I assume it is safe to select a lower option. What are your thoughts? Please see below for a comparison of MSAA ON and MSAA OFF.

http://www.gamemunition.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/...

After viewing the above image, I would prefer 2X MSAA at the least due to the smoother edges (notice the cigarette). Should I switch to SLI and use 2xZOTAC GTX 570?
Related resources
July 20, 2012 12:18:42 AM

Very subjective IMO...suggest that you look at some videos of the different rezs with high end graphics cards like GTX 670/680, etc.

1920x1080 is a pretty popular size....19-24 inch monitors typically.

Dave
July 20, 2012 12:23:20 AM

DavidY said:
Very subjective IMO...suggest that you look at some videos of the different rezs with high end graphics cards like GTX 670/680, etc.

1920x1080 is a pretty popular size....19-24 inch monitors typically.

Dave


I was considering 1600x1200 since I am more focused on playing online matches - I have never played on 1920x1080, but if it is significantly better then I will go for it.
July 20, 2012 1:31:01 AM

How about this? I just picked the most popular 22 inch 1680x1050 monitor. Higher fps at this rez vs. 1920x1080 or 1920x1200.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czz5
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czz5/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czz5/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($141.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.86 @ Outlet PC)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VW224U 22.0" Monitor ($144.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.65 @ Amazon)
Total: $1386.41

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-19 21:27 EDT-0400)

Gigabyte GV-N670OC-2GD is suppose to be a good performer at a slightly lower price.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn670...

BF3 1680x1050 GTX 670 2GB ~80 fps 4xAA

This chart shows 1920x1080 4xAA...BF3 with GTX 670...72 fps avg, 60 fps min....so you can upsize to a 1920x1080 monitor if you wish (Personally, I would keep the monitor size down to 21.5 inches).

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/05/10/nvidia-gefo...

Comparison of various rezs with BF3:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...
July 20, 2012 1:39:43 AM

You have to live near a microcenter to get that, I think.
July 20, 2012 3:29:48 AM

DavidY said:
How about this? I just picked the most popular 22 inch 1680x1050 monitor. Higher fps at this rez vs. 1920x1080 or 1920x1200.

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czz5
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czz5/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/czz5/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($141.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($45.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($88.86 @ Outlet PC)
Hard Drive: Crucial M4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($49.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Asus VW224U 22.0" Monitor ($144.99 @ NCIX US)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($90.65 @ Amazon)
Total: $1386.41

(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-19 21:27 EDT-0400)

Gigabyte GV-N670OC-2GD is suppose to be a good performer at a slightly lower price.

http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-video-card-gvn670...

BF3 1680x1050 GTX 670 2GB ~80 fps 4xAA

This chart shows 1920x1080 4xAA...BF3 with GTX 670...72 fps avg, 60 fps min....so you can upsize to a 1920x1080 monitor if you wish (Personally, I would keep the monitor size down to 21.5 inches).

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/05/10/nvidia-gefo...

Comparison of various rezs with BF3:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...


Thank you so much! I will try to get more feedback for this build - as of now I think I want to buy this exact build. I found another build - do you think this build will perform a lot better than your build? The specs seem very similar...

Taken from g-unit1111:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($188.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Plextor PX-M3S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($417.55 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($189.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($76.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1672.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-19 19:48 EDT-0400)

The NZXT Switch 810 will allow you to install a nice liquid radiator should you decide to go the liquid cooling route. The PC Power & Cooling PSU is actually a rebranded Seasonic, and 750W will give you a bit more room to add an SLI setup. The Plextor M3 uses Toggle NAND - same as the Samsung, and is based on the excellent Marvell controller. You can add that monitor and still come in under $2K. I don't really recommend spending that much money on peripherals because you can always get those things after you get your build up and running.
July 20, 2012 4:07:30 AM

epoon317 said:
Thank you so much! I will try to get more feedback for this build - as of now I think I want to buy this exact build. I found another build - do you think this build will perform a lot better than your build? The specs seem very similar...

Taken from g-unit1111:

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.99 @ Newegg)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($188.49 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Samsung Spinpoint F4 2TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($119.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Plextor PX-M3S Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($417.55 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT Switch 810 (White) ATX Full Tower Case ($189.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: PC Power & Cooling 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Lite-On IHBS112-04 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($76.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit) ($99.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1672.93
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-19 19:48 EDT-0400)

The NZXT Switch 810 will allow you to install a nice liquid radiator should you decide to go the liquid cooling route. The PC Power & Cooling PSU is actually a rebranded Seasonic, and 750W will give you a bit more room to add an SLI setup. The Plextor M3 uses Toggle NAND - same as the Samsung, and is based on the excellent Marvell controller. You can add that monitor and still come in under $2K. I don't really recommend spending that much money on peripherals because you can always get those things after you get your build up and running.


It's all about $$$. My build stays under $1500 budget as originally posted. $200 case...ouch!

Dave
July 20, 2012 4:23:23 AM

DavidY said:
It's all about $$$. My build stays under $1500 budget as originally posted. $200 case...ouch!

Dave


Thank you for your responses. To clarify, you're saying that the other build is overpriced and the extra cost is not worth the minimal (barely noticeable) performance upgrades? It seems as if you would agree that the game would run equally well on both machines - please confirm.
Anonymous
July 20, 2012 5:15:54 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.55 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($134.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($94.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Sony DDU1681S-0B DVD/CD Drive ($17.00 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($154.36 @ Amazon)
Total: $1326.78
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-20 01:12 EDT-0400)

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 <--review of the motherboard
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Review <-- another review.

i also pick the full win7 OS so you don't need to worry about getting another if you switch motherboards.
July 20, 2012 4:39:40 PM

Anonymous said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($219.99 @ NCIX US)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($30.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($44.99 @ Newegg)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.55 @ NCIX US)
Hard Drive: Samsung 830 Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($134.95 @ B&H)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($409.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case ($94.98 @ NCIX US)
Power Supply: XFX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($74.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Sony DDU1681S-0B DVD/CD Drive ($17.00 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Full (32/64-bit) ($154.36 @ Amazon)
Total: $1326.78
(Prices include shipping and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-07-20 01:12 EDT-0400)

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 <--review of the motherboard
ASRock Z77 Extreme4 Review <-- another review.

i also pick the full win7 OS so you don't need to worry about getting another if you switch motherboards.


Thank you for taking the time to create a build for me! I have a few questions I'd like to ask - please see below.

Is there any difference between G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory and G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory? Ares seems newer, but the Ripjaws are probably more favored - correct me if I'm mistaken.

Comparing the Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case to the Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case, the price is doubled. Is this worth it? If so, why?

I'm still reading as to why the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard may be better than the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (besides the price). Please share your thoughts, but it is not necessary.

Thanks for the tip on the OS upgrade - it makes a lot of sense!
Anonymous
July 20, 2012 9:35:10 PM

epoon317 said:
Thank you for taking the time to create a build for me! I have a few questions I'd like to ask - please see below.

Is there any difference between G.Skill Ares Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory and G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory? Ares seems newer, but the Ripjaws are probably more favored - correct me if I'm mistaken.

Comparing the Antec Eleven Hundred ATX Full Tower Case to the Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case, the price is doubled. Is this worth it? If so, why?

I'm still reading as to why the ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard may be better than the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H ATX LGA1155 Motherboard (besides the price). Please share your thoughts, but it is not necessary.

Thanks for the tip on the OS upgrade - it makes a lot of sense!

you're welcome.

personally i do not know of any difference between the RAM in performance. the ripjaw may overclock higher but that would only show a difference in benchmarking and not gameplay.

the antec eleven hundred has front usb3 ports, "tool-less" drive bays and a little more room to work on components. it also has a much larger top exhaust fan to remove heat. and it has two 2.5" drive bays for SSDs. the rosewell is also a fine case for the price; with good airflow and enough room for graphics cards. the only real difference is no 2.5" drive bay which isn't a problem with an adapter bracket.

if put it this way about the asrockE4; if i upgrade in the next 6 months and will be looking a a i5-3570K that will be the board i am going to get for it. some people may want to point out that it is flimsy because it is slightly smaller than the average ATX board and that it flexes when plugging in the 24 pin power supply. but as long as some care is taken when doing that; it performs phenomenally and well worth a little effort.
July 20, 2012 9:44:40 PM

I think you only need HAf 912 Plus but HAF 922 is good too. GTX 670 may not run Ultra 1080+ in 60fps but at least 45-60 with dips at 35-40.
!