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Which is best for gaming?

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December 4, 2012 7:27:32 PM

I'm looking to build my first computer in the distant future and wondering what is the best processor for extensive gaming and moderate movies?
I've read that people prefer i5's over i7's either being quad-core.
Also mother board, and Graphic card.
Can someone give some suggestions and tips on what to look out for as I do more reading on components, compatibilities, and performances.
Are components plug-and-play and nearly universal?

Or if someone with extensive knowledge (which all here do but me) give say an "ultimate dream machine" setup, that way I can read up on the specs of those parts and further my own knowledge.

Much appreciated

More about : gaming

December 4, 2012 8:11:05 PM

Well, as of now, the best CPU for gaming would be Intel's i5 3570K, it performs amazingly well for a relatively low price. To make sure that everything fits on the motherboard, you need to check what socket the processor is using, in the 3570K's case it's the 1155 socket. Then you need to check that the motherboard has a compatible chipset. For 1155 sockets, it's pretty useless to buy anything than a Z77 board since they support both generations of 1155 processors out of the box.

If you're buying a modern day graphics card which you should (Nvidia 6xx series or AMD 7xxx series), they will all use the PCI-E 16x interface, so make sure that you have at least one of those on your motherboard. If you're getting an ATX size case and just one graphics card, compatibility will not be a problem at all.

Components nowadays usually use a plug that's only pluggable to the port that it's supposed to go into. SATA power and data cables only go to SSD's, HDD's and optical units, fan connectors only go to fan connectors, RAM only fits in RAM slots, it's very easy. One thing you have to make sure of is that you connect the correct power cable from your PSU to your CPU power connector and graphics card power, the one that goes to the CPU is much more powerful. It's usually labeled on the connector whether it's CPU, motherboard main power, PCI-E, SATA, molex. Hope this helped and don't be afraid to ask if anything's unclear.
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December 4, 2012 8:19:55 PM

I suggest a google of 'how to build a PC' will be good, the videos I watched when I was doing my first build went over compatibility and other factors. look at youtube series and webpages. most parts are universally compatible (if you buy the modern connections from the last 5 years or so)

with regards to the i5 vs i7, most people out there (including myself) believe that the i7s are overpriced for the performance gain in gaming, and is overkill for almost all other tasks other than large video rendering being the prime example.

one tip I'd suggest for 'serious' gaming PC builds (when I mean serious, I mean games like Battlefield and Far Cry, not Farmville or other web browser games)..is to spend the most money on the graphics card. 99% of the time it will be the graphics card holding the gaming performance back, even if it's the most expensive component in your build.

a few pointers for your shopping list, although you haven't given us a rough budget is:

Intel core i5 3rd gen, all models in this product range are quad cores. AMD isn't in a competing state at the moment so I'd advise staying with Intel on this build,

a motherboard with an Intel socket 1155 that takes 3rd gen CPUs, look for B75, H77 or Z77 type motherboards

8GB DDR3 RAM will be fine, I have 8 in my PC and the highest I've seen it is 5GB.

look at getting an SSD hard drive, they'll definitely speed up the time it takes to load the OS and applications. I can't recommend a size as I haven't got an idea of budget.

for a power supply all I can say is don't cheap out on this, if your power supply blows up it may take the rest of your PC down with it. we'd need to work out a rough parts list before we can recommend anything specific.
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December 4, 2012 8:58:00 PM

Thanks both for your replies. I suppose I should say I do have an "above average" knowledge on computer components and such. CPU basics, graphics, and other such things.
I guess what I become stumped on is the nitty-gritty details on processor specs, things such as hyper threading, HD technology, memory channels, and so on. But I suppose alot of them arent important or pertain to me.
Do people go with the i5 because its price point is cheaper than an i7 having relatively similar speeds? If you guys could, would you buy the i7? I see that i5 and i7 prices are only $100 difference, roughly, and to me it seems that it would just be better to get an i7 to have a more"up to date" component rather than a near out of date one.
And I am aware that graphics card are truly critical and I would definitely get a good one.
Games I play include Elder Scrolls and other such high demanding games.
My goal on this machine would be a wireless home server type, where games could be played in one room while watching a movie in another.
In regards of tower size, will a full or mid tower be better? Since ATX MoBo's are one size, how could one be better than the other, other than cooling?

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December 4, 2012 9:44:18 PM

people tend to go with the i5 because it's cheaper yes. the $100 difference isn't worth the 2 FPS( frames per second) or so increase, whereas spending an extra $100 on a graphics card will give you 10s more FPS.

the i5s and i7s are not numbered due to age but are numbered/named after the model lines, so i5 is still very much in production now. the generation is how to tell the age, 3rd gen is the most recent.

tower size: ATX or mATX is fine, mATX (micro-ATX) is cheaper as it is a physically smaller board. full tower is for most people a complete overkill. you only really need a full tower if you're running 3 or 4 graphics cards and other flagship line products. in terms of hard drive space in standard ATX cases you can fit roughly 6 or more in the case (exact numbers depend on the case model) and a couple of optical drives, plenty for 99% of people.

have you thought or a rough budget? the nearest 100-200$ is fine for now so we could help suggest the best product lines for you.
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December 5, 2012 12:11:56 AM

Running multiple graphics cards is possible? I always thought there was a conflict when one runs over the other.
Price point...not sure yet, probably with how much things cost, my guess would be of $1K - $2K. but after looking up prices of some pieces, it doesnt seem as though it will cost more than $1,500....
When it comes to hard drives, would you suggest internal or external...As of current I have 2 500GB HDD hooked up to my router behind my couch and love that I can watch movies on the TV from my laptop wirelessly. Do towers have direct wifi capabilities rather than hooking it to a router?
Ill look up MoBo specs soon and ask about that later.
Thanks for all the replies, everyone has been very helpful thus far.
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December 5, 2012 9:33:04 AM

People prefer the i5 to the i7 because they are both quad core and the i5 is cheaper. Many other people prefer the i7 to the i5 because the i7 has hyper-threading, which allows for 2 threads to be run per core, instead of the 1 on the i5, effectively making the i7 have 8 virtual cores.

i5 lovers will advocate that games are not threaded properly beyond 4 cores and that the loads that are placed on the cores make it impossible to use the Hyper-Threading as it was intended. i7 users will argue that Hyper-Threading boosts performance and future proofs the processors.

The "Ultimate Dream Machine" is difficult to say. You can just slap on the most expensive CPU, or you can go within reason and have it perform closely.
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December 5, 2012 11:00:06 AM

multiple graphics cards are possible yes, although unless you're looking at the top end cards 1 faster card is better than 2 slower cards running in tandem. you can get issues with running multiple graphics cards called micro-stuttering, where the 2 cards aren't quite in sync and you can sometimes feel... well small stuttering every second!

for hard drives internal is always better than external. they can be accessed more directly (faster) by the PC and also has less risk of damage due to them being in the PC case. you MAY be able to take off your current hard drives case, take out the drive and connect it up internally, but it depends on the external hard drive case and you'll most probably end up breaking the case. I'd advise getting some new internal ones and use the external for backups.

tower PCs don't come with wifi built in, you need to buy a USB wifi dongle or a PCI slot card, which I'd guess at around $30. having said that a cabled connection to the router is better technically as it is faster and more reliable, it is just too impracticle for some to have a cable running along the floor.
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December 5, 2012 11:01:04 AM

multiple graphics cards are possible yes, although unless you're looking at the top end cards 1 faster card is better than 2 slower cards running in tandem. you can get issues with running multiple graphics cards called micro-stuttering, where the 2 cards aren't quite in sync and you can sometimes feel... well small stuttering every second!

for hard drives internal is always better than external. they can be accessed more directly (faster) by the PC and also has less risk of damage due to them being in the PC case. you MAY be able to take off your current hard drives case, take out the drive and connect it up internally, but it depends on the external hard drive case and you'll most probably end up breaking the case. I'd advise getting some new internal ones and use the external for backups.

tower PCs don't come with wifi built in, you need to buy a USB wifi dongle or a PCI slot card, which I'd guess at around $30. having said that a cabled connection to the router is better technically as it is faster and more reliable, it is just too impracticle for some to have a cable running along the floor.
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December 5, 2012 3:47:49 PM

On a MoBo, how many PCI-E slots will i need to fit all necessary cards? I can think of GPU, and Sound card
and whats the difference between mobo's when refering to Z77, B77, and such?
what socket for CPU's are better...1155 or 2011.......Ivy or Sandy bridge?
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December 5, 2012 9:36:56 PM

here are some parts Ive been looking at, can someone tell me what they think?
Intel i5 3570K 3.4Ghz LGA 1155 - $170
04G-P4-2673-KR GeForce GTX 670 Superclocked 4096MB GDDR5 PCIe 3.0 x16 Video Card - $440
Z77 Extreme6 LGA 1155 ATX Intel Motherboard - $160

When it come to power supply, how do I determine the power needed, do i add up the Wattage used by each unit?
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a b 4 Gaming
December 5, 2012 9:50:57 PM

This topic has been moved from the section CPU & Components to section Systems by Mousemonkey
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