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Looking for advice on a new build for gaming

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January 16, 2013 7:15:47 PM

Hey everyone, saw some great advice given in some other threads so figured I would try the "building myself" route. I actually bought a new computer yesterday, but for some reason I feel like I paid too much for what I ended up receiving, unless I am doing something wrong.

Here is a link to my new PC (which I have 2 weeks to return if I get some great advice here):
http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/asus-asus-cm6870...

The specs seemed impressive on paper (2gb video card, 16 gb ram, i7 processor), but I am finding it is running rather slow. As well, when I game on WoW, I am at 30 fps on "fair" graphics settings with max resolution (1920*1080).

I also got a new monitor during a sale at newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The screen is rather large at 27inch, would it have any effect on a lower FPS?

Anyways, unless someone explains that I am doing something wrong, I'd rather return the PC and attempt to build my own, it has been an interest in mine for a while now



From sticky:

Approximate Purchase Date: This week

Budget Range: 800-1000ish after rebate, shipping, and taxes, but if you can recommend more bang for my dollar, 800ish is preferred.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Playing WoW with raids/leveling on decent settings and low FPS, watching movies, just general use. Likely some RTS games like Starcraft 2 , as well as Path of Exile. So, gaming.

Are you buying a monitor: No

Parts to Upgrade: ----

Do you need to buy OS: Yes, prefer Windows 7, do not like the look of Windows 8

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: Tigerdirect/amazon/newegg/any other companies that are available for shipping to Canada at a decent price

Location: City, State/Region, Country -- Ottawa, ON, Canada

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: I have always gone with Intel, but if AMD is more powerful/cost effective, I am open to trying it

Overclocking: Maybe, never really attempted this

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe, see above

Your Monitor Resolution: currently at 1920x1080, but again don't know much about how this impacts things.

Additional Comments: Quiet and somewhat energy efficient is preferred, but not overly concerned.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: See introduction. just not sure if the computer I ended up purchasing will be good for me, or if I should get the money back and make a more powerful model. As I said, quite disappointed with how it is preforming so far.


As well, if possible, could you add a brief explanation as to why i5 may be better for gaming than i7? I saw a few times people recommending i5s and i3s, I don't know much about it I just assumed i7 = king for everything.

Thanks for all your tips and help

More about : advice build gaming

January 16, 2013 7:29:05 PM

Although I prefer to build my own computers, this PC from ASUS seems like a pretty solid rig. Fastest processor in the i7 line, lots of memory and storage. I did not see a video card listed and that is a problem for a gaming PC as you are most likely using the onboard graphics on the cpu. You could build your own with similar specs for less or you could just get a video card for the ASUS and you would be set. There are benefits to buying a prebuilt PC with one warranty and support from the manufacturer. I still say return it and build your own, but that's me. If I get time later today, I will list some parts for ya.
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January 16, 2013 7:33:05 PM

Strange combination of different level of parts...making me scratch my head. The best scenario would be for media PC? I don't understand what is the target segment of this computer. Choices are either return it, or upgrade a few parts.

High-end CPU : you don't need i7 for gaming in general. i5 is enough.
Low-end HDD : 5400 rpm is way slow for desktop PC, let alone for gaming
Low-end GPU : this graphics card is not for mainstream PC gaming
High-end ODD : for blu ray movie or burning, not necessary for gaming
Over-capacity RAM : 8 GB is enough for all gaming at least for the moment

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January 16, 2013 7:39:37 PM

Thanks for the tips so far, Maestro it has a Nvidia GT620 2gb video card I believe. I got it from Future Shop for $850 (price matched with Tiger direct before future Shop lowered the price), so it has a good warranty, but I am leaning towards the returning it as well:)  I'd appreciate that list of parts if you have the time later on, I don't know much about choosing parts. Or maybe a low cost video card only. Guess I don't want to spend another 200-300 on a 850 machine to replace the video card.

MKBL: Ya, the blu-ray was just a bonus, I won't use it. Any video cards or HDDs you would recommend as part of a new build?
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January 16, 2013 7:43:54 PM

MKBL said:
Strange combination of different level of parts...making me scratch my head. The best scenario would be for media PC? I don't understand what is the target segment of this computer. Choices are either return it, or upgrade a few parts.

High-end CPU : you don't need i7 for gaming in general. i5 is enough.
Low-end HDD : 5400 rpm is way slow for desktop PC, let alone for gaming
Low-end GPU : this graphics card is not for mainstream PC gaming
High-end ODD : for blu ray movie or burning, not necessary for gaming
Over-capacity RAM : 8 GB is enough for all gaming at least for the moment


It's not a strange combination at all. The issue is that Asus is not a gaming system, it's a workstation. I7 & 16gb are absolutely necessary for a workstation, and the gt620 is there to support multiple monitors for productivity, not gaming. The BD player and the HDD are there for capacity (large projects).

...fail on the part of futureshop for not describing it as such, but they're far from alone in that failure.
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January 16, 2013 7:44:46 PM

That pc has a really low end card, that's why you're getting those fps, you need a much better card, that pc also has a crappy psu, return it, and do it yourself.
As for what you need my suggestions are : an i5 and a 660 gtx, the asus card is really quiet, which will be more than enough for wow.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3470 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ NCIX)
Motherboard: MSI B75A-G43 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($69.99 @ Canada Computers)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($39.34 @ DirectCanada)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ NCIX)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card ($199.99 @ Canada Computers)
Case: Antec One ATX Mid Tower Case ($43.99 @ Computer Valley)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 450W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($34.99 @ NCIX)
Optical Drive: Asus DVDE818A7T/BLK/B/GEN CD Reader, DVD Writer ($18.70 @ DirectCanada)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit) ($96.99 @ Computer Valley)
Total: $763.97
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
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January 16, 2013 7:50:24 PM

Yes, return that computer. The only thing it would be decent for is editing sound... it's bad for gaming. Very bad.

You can get WAY better performance for way less cost by building it yourself - here's a breakdown of what you should be looking at, roughly:

CPU: i5-3570k. The only difference between it and an i7 is hyperthreading, which games don't use anyways.
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master 212 EVO. The old standby.
Motherboard: AsRock z77 Extreme 4. It's a very well built motherboard, and MORE than sufficient for a gaming computer. This can be switched around, but I'd stay close to the $150 price point. And don't buy a Sabertooth.
Hard Drive: Get a 1TB western digital blue or black, or spinpoint / barracuda. I'd also get a 128GB SSD to put windows on; it makes a HUGE difference. The Samsung 840 pro is the fastest out there right now, and the OCZ Vertex 4 is by far the best price/performance - both are extremely reliable.
RAM: Get 8GB of 1600MHz, Cas 9 ram. Using Battlefield 3, Photoshop, and 50 tabs in chrome, all at once, you won't need more than 8GB.
Optical Drive: Blu-Ray is a waste of money... get a normal CD/DVD drive if you think you need it - keep in mind that windows can be installed from a flash drive faster than from a CD, so a lot of people won't need a cd drive for anything.
Power Supply: Get a 550w power supply from a reliable company. Corsair is the best, but they're expensive - Seasonic and Antec are equally reliable for less money.
Graphics Card: Put the most money you can here. Even if it means getting a non-overclockable CPU, a h77 motherboard, and dropping the CPU cooler... Try to get a 660ti or 7870. If you can afford them, a 670 or 7970 would be even better. Once you get the rest of the parts, talk to us again, as this is the most confusing part of a build.

As for your monitor: No. The size of the monitor doesn't make a difference; resolution does. Playing at 1080p on a 11" monitor is equally as hard as 1080p on a 42" TV... though it'll look better on the 11" monitor, because the pixels will be smaller. If you lower the resolution in a game, you'll get better fps, but the game will look way worse. (You'll be telling the graphics card to render a million fewer pixels or so, which is easier, but means you have fewer pixels to see.)
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January 16, 2013 8:01:12 PM

thanks for all the suggestions so far

quilciri: Yes, that does make alot of sense as a work station. I am part to blame for not looking into it a bit more, but it was the best selling desktop on tiger direct both american and canada sites, and it mentioned superb gaming performance, so definitely did not expect subpar.

djangoringo: Thanks so much for that build, it looks pretty bang on, and a great price.

Darkstable: thank you to you as well for a great list. Do you know if the windows 7 often comes with a flashdrive to install? Cause I definitely do not need an optical drive if I can just use USB all the way.
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January 26, 2013 1:07:18 AM

Best answer selected by Crenz.
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