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High End Gaming PC Content Advice

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December 14, 2012 1:21:52 PM

Hey Guys.

I'm creating this as I'm looking into getting a gaming PC and gaming laptop and want some advice.

I'm looking at getting the Asus G75 for the gaming laptop, I need a laptop because I travel for work almost every month. Gaming desktop because laptops don't offer what desktops do, and they are unreliable. Have a Alienware M18X, 4500 bucks. Had it 2 months and I've had so many issues with it.

As for the desktop I've been looking around for a while and have chosen the following specs.

CPU: Intel Core i7-3820 $317

Cooler: Crosair CWCH-100 $155

Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme $499

Case: Thermaltake Level 10 GT WHITE $299

PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 900W 80PLUS Bronze ATX Power Supply $158.00

GPU: ASUS GeForce GTX690 4GB Dual GPU DP PCI-E Video Card $1,319.00

RAM: G.Skill DDR3 32GB 2400Mhz $334

Monitor: Asus PB278Q 27" 2560 x 1440

Storage: Samsung 128GB SSD $129 + Segate Barracuda 2TB 7200RMP $118

Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD PCI-E Sound Card $225.00

OS Windows 8 PRO 64bit $149

O, BTW, I'm in Australia so if the prices look funny that's why.

Are those parts good parts, reliable and good for their prices?

Thanks guys!
a b D Laptop
December 14, 2012 2:36:31 PM

if you're going with the best graphics you should get a better unlocked (K version) cpu like 3770k
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a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2012 2:48:57 PM

for gaming

-get a i5 3570k CPU. performs better in games. i7s are useless unless you do 3hrs of work aday
-get a 2x4 or 2x8gb of 1600mhz of ram. low profile would be good such as the gskill ares. fast ram is both useless and voids your warranty on the spot
-get a z77 extreme4 motherboard or the ud3h from gigabyte. pretty equivalent. if you want to spend more, get a asus z77-v pro.
-get noctua nh-d14 cooler. no fisher price watercooling
-reduce to a 550w if you are running a single card or a 750w if you are planning to run 2
-change to a 7970 (ghz edition if not too much more) from sapphire (vapour-x, dual-x or toxic),xfx or gigabyte. 690 is stupid
-get a 256gb 830
-get a asus dx 7.1 sound card. creative makes a ton of crap. if you find the asus maximus v formula motherboard cheaper than the z77-v pro + sound card, get that instead
-you dont have a touch screen, windows 8 doesnt make much sense
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Related resources
a b D Laptop
a c 271 4 Gaming
December 14, 2012 6:06:06 PM

Quote:
-get noctua nh-d14 cooler. no fisher price watercooling


Or go with an open block like the Swiftech Edge, or a full custom loop. But that can get a bit costly.

Quote:
-get a asus dx 7.1 sound card. creative makes a ton of crap. if you find the asus maximus v formula motherboard cheaper than the z77-v pro + sound card, get that instead


I'd just assume not pay money for a sound card.

On gaming you do not benefit from the i7-3820, and spending $500 on a motherboard is an absolute waste on a build. The Level 10 is a horrible case choice as well, go with something like the NZXT Switch 810. I definitely agree with Troll that the 690 isn't a smart choice.

Try this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($229.00 @ PCCaseGear)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U9B SE2 37.9 CFM CPU Cooler ($58.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP4 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($234.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Storage: OCZ Vertex 4 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($105.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 670 2GB Video Card ($499.00 @ Mwave Australia)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($129.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Power Supply: SeaSonic X Series 850W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($306.90 @ Mwave Australia)
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224BB DVD/CD Writer ($19.00 @ PCCaseGear)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 3-Pack (OEM) (32-bit) ($99.00 @ Scorptec)
Total: $1826.90
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2012-12-15 07:05 EST+1100)
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December 14, 2012 10:16:33 PM

Thanks guys.

Just wanted to ask has anyone had experience with windows 8?
Is it worth upgrading to that, or stick to 7? I'm going to have to buy a license anyway so cost wise its going to be the same. Might grab 7, MS is doing a 40 dollar upgrade to 8 anyway that way you get 2 licenses.

Really don't want to go with a ATI, iv'e had quite a few of them in the past and they have all gone up in smoke. They have the worst customer support as well, not to mention there always really late with their drivers and constantly have issues with them.

As for the 690 I need something with 4GB of video memory because if your going to be gaming at 2560 x 1440 it's going to take up quite a bit, plus lots of texture mods out there i'll use require 2GB on their own. I don't see the point in spending $1200 on dual 680s when I can spend a extra $100 and get a single card, saving room, and they run cooler.

That brings me onto cooling. Reason I went with water cooling is because where I need to keep the system is not exactly ideal for air circulation, under a desk in a confined space. Last computer I had ended up overheating. Obviously I don't want the same thing to happen so hopefully getting water cooling will solve the overheating issues.

i7 because it wont only be used for gaming, I'm doing a game development course ATM which requires 3D animation and video editing so it will come in handy.

It's hard, every shop I look at will only have certain parts I want. I chose the Creaitive for instance because for some reason every site I go to no one offers the Asus range.
Forgot to ask, I've got a Kingston hyper X SSD for my laptop, are there brackets you can purchase to turn it into a 3.5" bracket for use with a desktop? Saving me going and buying another SSD.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2012 10:49:13 PM

-690 only has 2gb of vram. the other 2gb is used for SLI
-ati driver team has been VERY busy the last month or 2. nvidia is kinda slow compared to amd
-well you arent going to overheat if you do things right, which you didnt before. i tend to run my computer in a silent case + folding all day long + dusty house and my system stays cool at 50c with a overclock
-you dont need brackets for the SSD. cases have them
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a b D Laptop
a c 271 4 Gaming
December 14, 2012 10:57:57 PM

Quote:

Just wanted to ask has anyone had experience with windows 8?
Is it worth upgrading to that, or stick to 7? I'm going to have to buy a license anyway so cost wise its going to be the same. Might grab 7, MS is doing a 40 dollar upgrade to 8 anyway that way you get 2 licenses.


I use Windows 8 on my laptop. Metro I can take it or leave it, the desktop is great though.

Quote:
Really don't want to go with a ATI, iv'e had quite a few of them in the past and they have all gone up in smoke. They have the worst customer support as well, not to mention there always really late with their drivers and constantly have issues with them.


Since the AMD merger you don't need to deal with ATI's customer support anymore, that's handled by the individual manufacturer. The cards and drives have been improved 10 fold.

Quote:
As for the 690 I need something with 4GB of video memory because if your going to be gaming at 2560 x 1440 it's going to take up quite a bit, plus lots of texture mods out there i'll use require 2GB on their own. I don't see the point in spending $1200 on dual 680s when I can spend a extra $100 and get a single card, saving room, and they run cooler.


As long as you have a card with D-Link DVI you'll be able to run ultra high resolution monitors. Any card like that can do that. Dual 670's will run that resolution and it's cheaper solution than a single 690 would be, and you get the same performance: http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/graphics/39605-nvidia-gef...

Quote:
-you dont need brackets for the SSD. cases have them


Yeah the Switch 810 I recommended has that, as does every Corsair case on the market.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 14, 2012 11:37:45 PM

about every case has hard drive trays have SSD mounts
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a b D Laptop
a b 4 Gaming
December 15, 2012 12:03:13 AM

muzzar69 said:
As for the 690 I need something with 4GB of video memory because if your going to be gaming at 2560 x 1440 it's going to take up quite a bit, plus lots of texture mods out there i'll use require 2GB on their own. I don't see the point in spending $1200 on dual 680s when I can spend a extra $100 and get a single card, saving room, and they run cooler.


The 690 does NOT give you 4GB of VRAM, because it's SLI-on-a-chip.

It works the same way as two 2GB VRAM cards.

That being said, 680s are pointless - two 4GB 670s overclocked a little will perform just as well, if not better, than a 690.
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December 15, 2012 12:36:14 AM

First, I had the ASUS G74S-XA1 and I just sold it last week. I can tell you, the ASUS RoG laptops are beast and perfect value for money.

Now for the desktop: 32GB of RAM is normally overkill. Most people will be good with 16GB and still know that's a whole lot. For the processor: the 3820 is locked, but you can still overclock it no problem if you know your stuff. I have my 3820 OC'd to 4.5GHz stable and fine. I could easily push it more, but that's already overkill for me. For all the people saying get the 3770k, it will have the same performance as a 3820 but it is unlocked. If you get the 3770k, you will save some money because the Z77 boards are cheaper than the X79 boards, but X79 is a better investment for the future. I most definitely recommend X79 over Z77 unless you are short of money, so I think you did a good choice there. With that out of the way, gaming will take no advantage of an i7 over an i5 and unfortunately, there are no i5's for 2011. But I still believe that if you have the money, you should go X79. Don't do it if money is tight, but if you do have the money, I believe that this is where you should invest it. 1155 will probably last till Haswell, or if you're lucky, Broadwell.

One more thing: In my personal opinion, the H100i is better because it's not much more expensive (in the US at least) it comes with better fans and the tubing and CPU block look much better. I don't think there will be much performance difference though.

Well, that's all I had to say about your beast setup idea. Good luck building and have fun! :D 
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a b D Laptop
a c 271 4 Gaming
December 15, 2012 2:07:14 AM

Quote:
Now for the desktop: 32GB of RAM is normally overkill. Most people will be good with 16GB and still know that's a whole lot. For the processor: the 3820 is locked, but you can still overclock it no problem if you know your stuff. I have my 3820 OC'd to 4.5GHz stable and fine. I could easily push it more, but that's already overkill for me. For all the people saying get the 3770k, it will have the same performance as a 3820 but it is unlocked. If you get the 3770k, you will save some money because the Z77 boards are cheaper than the X79 boards, but X79 is a better investment for the future. I most definitely recommend X79 over Z77 unless you are short of money, so I think you did a good choice there. With that out of the way, gaming will take no advantage of an i7 over an i5 and unfortunately, there are no i5's for 2011. But I still believe that if you have the money, you should go X79. Don't do it if money is tight, but if you do have the money, I believe that this is where you should invest it. 1155 will probably last till Haswell, or if you're lucky, Broadwell.


Why? You don't benefit from going X79 on a gaming rig - too much investment for not a lot of payoff. Here's a chart that shows what I am talking about: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/523?vs=701&i=61....

If it were a production rig and you were heavily using Photoshop or rendering applications in addition to gaming then I'd agree with you.

You don't want to pay $500 for a board that you'll most likely be replacing in a generation or two, that's completely ridiculous. X79 will use Ivy Bridge-E, but it's only going to be a marginal improvement over Ivy Bridge, and Haswell and IB-E will be about equal in terms of performance.
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December 15, 2012 3:02:05 AM

Well, if I were to build a X79 setup, I would get the 3820 and the ASUS P9X79 Pro. That adds up to $590 at Amazon.
If I were to build a Z77 setup, I would get the 3770k and the MSI Big Bang Z77 Mpower. That adds up to $505 at Amazon. For that price difference, I would go ahead and get the X79 platform.

You are right though, there are little advantages to most people, so the Z77 platform would still be great and cheaper, but I would still get the X79 platform unless there was a $150 price difference or more.
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December 15, 2012 5:19:49 AM

I won't be replacing anything for a few years though. I might get a extra video card, or maybe a new CPU but that will be about it. The rest, case, sound card, motherboard, RAM, will have to last me 4 years minimum which is why I'm trying to push the boat out now so to speak.

As I said before it's not going to be used for only gaming I need a i7 for encoding and my courses.

As for the GPU in that case I agree I think i'll go with dual 670s if I can find a overclocked version maybe the EVGA classified edition. Than upgrade to dual 770s or whatever Nvidias next series is called. Anyone know of any stores that sell non stock 670s? Any overclocked or higher end models, I can only find the Asus, gigabyte standard editions. Sorry I keep sticking to Nvidia, I have been burned way too many times with ATI. Another thing I have against them, well this is is nothing to do with them, but most games have specific features for Nvidia cards. Batman Arkham City for instance, you get a ATI card and your missing out on all the advanced physics they implemented for Nvidia cards. Some have specific features for ATI, but most are for Nvidia. My old gaming notebook had a ATI card, I was so surprised with the lack of features and software that supports it. Nvidia cards you can get software to do whatever you want. ATI are the GPU version of apple, very, very, closed.

I also have a Nvidia GPU book called GPU gems 3 its part of my course so I need a Nvidia card.
I really don't want to overclock anything anyway simply because all the stores around me refuse to do it, and I rather not touch it. Plus it will void your warranty. If I can find a store to do it for me, great and if its covered under warranty.

As for cooling, well I did do everything "properly". I never overclocked the system, and I did not even install anything everything was done by MSY. I even cleaned it out myself quite often because the house is carpet, it had a family of dust bunnies residing. It overheated because of where I keep it. Under my desk on carpet and close to the wall, I could not move it forward because then I could not get the chair under the desk. Every time I played a game, especially Battlefield 3, within 2 hours both GPUs would be up to 85 degrees and the fans running so loud the only thing missing was 3....2.....1...... we have liftoff.

That why I want to get a water cooling system that way I don't have to worry about how much dust is in the system, and is the case getting good circulation. It cant. What water cooling system should I go for? Some models and I can go research them.

Also are the Asus sound cards that much better than creative? Because I've heard the opposite, everyone tells me creatives are better. And there much more popular too, trying to find a Asus sound card is like trying to find hens teeth.

Would a 750W PSU be enough to run SLI 670 overclocked editions with a overclocked CPU? I've always been told its not really worth having anything below 800W, especially if you want SLI.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 15, 2012 10:26:09 AM

-i7 3770k is faster than 3820. no competition
-its bs how you say amd cant run phsyx because they can. at least ati doesnt lock down voltages like nvidia
-evga is no better than any other company. in fact, all their coolers are inferior to all the other manufacturers aftermarket coolers
-classified editons are also useless. how are you going to take advantage of the extra power phases when you cant increase voltage?
-overclocking doesnt void your warranty. i even asked gigabyte that when i RMAed my 670 from coil whine (common in reference type pcbs that evga uses). they encourage overclocking since it makes them look better
-you are to NEVER put a pc on a carpet surface. chokes your power supply and intakes
-creative makes crap. people who say they are better dont know crap. if asus can make sound cards suitable for audiophiles, they can make good cards
-it will run fine. 670s are pretty power efficient
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December 15, 2012 12:39:44 PM

Guess it depends on which company. I've only had EVGA and Asus cards and both told me overclocking voids the warranty.
ATI CAN run physics tech like what Nvidia does, problem is they don't push it like Nvidia does & they let developers create their own stuff like havok as seen in UE3. When developers decide to use physics library they don't want to go create something from scratch they have enough on their plate as it is, so of course Nvidias PhysX is going to get allot more support. It's like the Playstation 3 and background music. The PS3 CAN do it, but how many games actually allow it? Most don't because instead of Sony implementing it at a OS level, developers have to implement it in a game feature that's just more work for them. ATI gets left in the dark, because like Sony, they leave it up to the developers. They already have enough on their plate, so of course their going to go elsewhere, where the works already done. Look at Mafia 2 or Batman Arkham City, even Borderlands 2 is leaps and bounds better on a Nvidia card.

I need to try find a store that stocks the 4GB 670s and Asus Xonar cards. Annoying thing all the stores around me only stock standard gear, only place I've been able to find that stocks the OC cards is PC gear which is in VIC I'm in NSW. MSY, TX, DD, practically every PC store in NSW does not stock them.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 15, 2012 4:14:49 PM

borderlands 2 is a prime example of nvidia being a f@ggot. they took out running water and a moving fabric animations. a amd card can totally do that, but this is nvidia stepping in and making sure that you buy their video card

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December 16, 2012 9:22:01 PM

Just needed to ask about water cooling maintenance, I've never had a water cooling system before so are they something that is easy to maintain?
Also which manufacture makes the more reliable cards, ASUS, EVGA, or Gigabyte? I've always had ASUS parts and they have been fantastic, same with their support. But I don't think ASUS do a 4GB variant of the 670, only Gigabyte and EVGA.
So which should I go for? The Gigabyte is $500 and the EVGA is $580.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 16, 2012 9:31:44 PM

well, generally you clean the loop every 6 months to a year or so to flush out the fluids and replace it with some new coolant. if the tubing is fogged up and is bothering you, you should replace it

get the gigabyte. its better than evga anyways. their support is pretty good too
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December 17, 2012 3:06:55 AM

^^ I agree. If you want a quality card with a great aftermarket cooler and good performance, get a gigabyte card. EVGA is good only for reference designs and ASUS is great, better than gigabyte even, but it's very expensive. All in all, go for gigabyte. For the price of a good ASUS 670, you can get a 680 from some other brand.
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December 17, 2012 11:23:46 AM

Asus don't offer the 4GB 670 variants though do they? I havent been able to find them. Anyway, I'm going for the 4GB 670 because of the high resolution I want to game at. 2GBs of VRAM is not going to be enough, as I said a few posts up allot of the mods I play on their own use 2GBs.

Ok Gigabyte it is. Regarding the water cooling is cleaning the loop difficult?

Dunno if I'm going to be able to get this new system after all. I was planning on sending back my faulty M18X for a refund and using that to get the desktop, but now Dell are refusing to refund it even though they said they would after the last repair was not successful. Sigh, so angry with them now they have beaten me around the bush so much! Failed my programming course too because the stupid laptop kept shutting down corrupting both my HDDs and I lost all my programs thus I couldn't meet the assignment deadline.

Anyway, thank you very much guys for your advice and help on this matter. And hopefully I will be able to put it to use!
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a b 4 Gaming
December 17, 2012 3:06:44 PM

asus does make 4gb 670s but they costs as much as 680s.

just have to dis-assemble the loop and flush things out
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December 18, 2012 11:19:55 AM

They do? Havent been able to find them anywhere. Gigabyte and EVGA are pretty much charging what 680s are also.
I think im going to switch the 3930K to the 3770K and the motherboard from the Rampage to the Maxumis. Ends up being about $400 bucks cheaper, with very similar if not better performance because the 3770K can be clocked higher.
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a b 4 Gaming
December 18, 2012 8:18:40 PM

i have been saying that for quite a while. but no. no one listens
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December 18, 2012 8:42:52 PM

Yeah, you can't go wrong with any intel quad core IMO. Be it X79 or Z77, all that will change is the amount of money you pay for the MOBO.
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December 18, 2012 11:08:47 PM

Dude, I didn't listen because I kept saying I want a ROG board so I can do my own overclocking, you kept on insisting with the sabertooth or other boards which I did research on and everyone's complaining how hard they are to OC with. If you told me to get the 3770K with the Maximus I would of switched to that in the first place.
Anyway, it's done now I just need to wait for Dell to pull their finger out.............
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a b 4 Gaming
December 19, 2012 2:19:09 AM

well first of all, i didnt say anything wrong going with a maximus board. just that they are pricy

i did not suggest a sabertooth. they are total scams

and second, the board makes literally no difference when you are overclocking on air. on water, tops 100mhz. literally tops. the CPU will go bonkers anyways after 1.35v (which is necessary for most chips to hit 4.6ghz) since thats when the temps go sky rocketing.

im comparing a v-pro to a maximus for the overclocking thing. their bioses are pretty much identical as well, just that the maximus has some extra features for things like LN2
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