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The RPGamer Computer Rebuild/Building Help thread. ^^

maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The StarsSomewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
edited February 2014 in General Help & Advice
Ok. I'm just trying to plan ahead here. Been asking around about this but..

It's time for me to rebuild this puppy; I'm scrounging up the money now. Planned budget is anywhere from $1k-$2k, pref on the lower end. (That includes Windows 7.) I usually go with a midrange gamer when I do a rebuild; hoping I can play a few more games than FFXI and some RPGmaker indie games :).

Any comp nerds around here? I'm thinking a I7, not sure what's a good video card anymore (keep in mind I do want it FF11 compat if possible, so make sure you check that; some cards just hate FFXI) but any help in figuring out what would be some decent stats to go with would help me figure out a budget. ^^ Oh and yes, I mean to have at least 2 hdds; the one in this puppy and a bigger one.
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  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited February 2013
    This is the wrong site for it. You can go look at some other sites if you like.
    If you can wait until July, the next generation Intel processors will be out. I am planning on replacing two desktops with a desktop and a laptop when that happens.

    If you can't wait, then look no further:
    ARS Technica System Guide - they do not include the price of the OS. Be sure to factor that in. They do include the price of a monitor; you can subtract that out.
    Anandtech system guide
    This last one is kind of interesting. Anandtech advises you to, if you want a lower cost system, to design a system around AMD's A10-series processor, and run that "naked" without a video card. They advise that, if you want a video card, to get an Intel processor (and a video card, of course).
    Anandtech A10 guide
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited February 2013
    Thanks Flame. I've just been having trouble with getting ANY info so thought I'd ask. And by my estimation, it will be july before I have the $$. I'll keep a eye on that and come back to it once I have the moolah. ^^
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited February 2013
    I just did one late last summer. You should be able to do one that will play anything out now at maxed settings for the lower end of that budget, especially if you've got anything you can carry over. Are you planning on reusing your case, monitor(s), or power supply?

    I'm glad you said "at least two hdds" because I definitely would put in an SSD on top of the new storage drive you're planning to get. Your budget will easily handle it and the difference they make in boot times is phenomenal. I don't even mess with any sort of sleep modes on mine anymore, just full shut down every time because I'm launching into programs in seconds regardless. A small one that holds Windows plus some programs and a game or two you're currently playing is plenty.

    660 Ti seems to be the agreed upon sweet spot for video cards in mid range builds and a cursory google makes it seem FF11 friendly. I stepped up to a 670 from that and went with the i5 3570k with a mild overclock for my cpu and am ridiculously happy with it. Kills any game I've thrown at it so far without breaking a sweat.

    Edit: Those guides Flamethrower tossed out are solid, Anand's always got good stuff. I also like the Tech Report's guides as well.
    Reads street English and speaks in collegiate - Ras Kass
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited February 2013
    HyphyKezzy; Prolly not going to reuse the case ('Cat wants to take what's left for a linux box; the mb on this puppy has been a mac truck) so I'm already watching deals from Fry's for that. But I'm rescuing that HDD(It's a 500 gig; it's currently my main drive but I'll back up and reformat for the new system), the network card, and my monitor. I think I'd need a bigger PSU anyway than I got in this thing. (I think most modern video cards need more powah than that.) I'm not in love with the case; it's got a (cracked) transparent top window so that's a fair deal in my mind.

    Prolly going to look into Antec PSUs again, I've had good luck with those. But i'll consider the one on the guide they mentioned^^ Oh and I also plan on using ebates and FatWallet to help with costs if possible; well if there's a deal on what I want. :)
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited February 2013
    That's a decent amount of stuff to carry over, depending on what you choose I bet you can keep it real close to that $1000 mark. I needed everything except a monitor (grabbed an old one from my dad to save some $$$ at first) and went with pricier stuff anywhere it looked like it might make things easier since it was my first time building and I think I came in at just under $1400.

    Keep us posted on what you're thinking. I don't know how much help I can be since I'm still fairly new to it but I'm fascinated just hearing what other people are putting together and will throw in my two cents where I can.
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  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited June 2013
    So, I ended up ordering parts for a mostly new rig as well just recently. Most of the pertinent stuff has already been said here Mary, but if your location tag holds true, I'd suggest you give www.microcenter.com a try. They have really good prices on CPUs and Motherboard combos right now, but they are only available for in store pickup. I believe they have two locations in Atlanta, GA, so I figured why not give you a heads up just in case you're near one. They've even got the 4th Gen Intel Haswells for cheaper than anyone else.

    Intel CPUs:
    i5 3550k: $170
    i7 3770k: $230
    i5 4670k: $200
    i7 4770k: $280
    "Looks like Teach just got tenure!" - Teach
  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited June 2013
    I've heard great things about Microcenter, too bad the closest one to me is in SoCal.

    Also, dude, you can't just drop that you ordered parts and then not tell us what you're gonna be putting together. Inquiring minds want to know. :p
    Reads street English and speaks in collegiate - Ras Kass
  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited June 2013
    Fair enough Hyphy. I ended up getting: i7-3770k, GTX 660 Ti, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD, ASRock Z77 Motherboard, 8GB Corsair RAM, and a 700W Powersupply. Already have a really nice Acer Monitor and Logitech G7 Mouse, but still stuck with a terrible set of speakers and keyboard.

    Essentially my thought process was to read into the 4th Gen Intel Processors, and from what little I could gather they were only a tad bit better than what was currently on the market. If I went that route the Processor and Motherboard would have been about $100+ dollars more expensive, and I didn't really want to be an early adopter of an unproven product. I'm not at all a PC gamer, anyone who looks at the Completed Games list can attest to that. However, my current computer is about 8 years old now, so I felt it was time to get something at a fair price that will last for some time. That and I can live without the big 3 systems for awhile yet.
    "Looks like Teach just got tenure!" - Teach
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    From just looking, the closest to me is in Marietta, which is about 30 minutes away if the traffic isn't horrendous.

    I'll bookmark that though as well as Fry's; there's a Fry's in Atlanta too. In my mind, those had better be a pretty good deal for me to bother.

    Oh and if you didn't know; I'll have my target by the end of the week, tho I'll prolly wait a couple more trips to gran to make sure I don't drain my account fully; also a friend is going to sell me Windows 7 (hi2u Nimbex!) for a steep discount. Currently Windows 8 can eat my pants, seriously. It looks bad and I'd rather stick to what I know and need, since I don't have a touch screen monitor ^^ They'd have to make some really big changes in 8 before I'd even consider it.
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited June 2013
    Ageed. 8.1 is not enough. I'm looking forward to hearing about what you end up going with.
    ChickenGod wrote: »
    Fair enough Hyphy. I ended up getting: i7-3770k, GTX 660 Ti, Samsung 840 Pro 128GB SSD, ASRock Z77 Motherboard, 8GB Corsair RAM, and a 700W Powersupply. Already have a really nice Acer Monitor and Logitech G7 Mouse, but still stuck with a terrible set of speakers and keyboard.

    Essentially my thought process was to read into the 4th Gen Intel Processors, and from what little I could gather they were only a tad bit better than what was currently on the market. If I went that route the Processor and Motherboard would have been about $100+ dollars more expensive, and I didn't really want to be an early adopter of an unproven product. I'm not at all a PC gamer, anyone who looks at the Completed Games list can attest to that. However, my current computer is about 8 years old now, so I felt it was time to get something at a fair price that will last for some time. That and I can live without the big 3 systems for awhile yet.

    Nice! You're totally set for now with room to grow whenever things finally do get sluggish. Plenty of room in that PSU to slap in a second 660 Ti down the line. I'm hoping the 600's drop some in price by this winter so I can drop a second one in just for fun myself. Just in case you aren't aware, look into downsampling after you get yourself set up. I was really happy with my card already but when I found out about that months down the line it definitely made an appreciable difference.

    Are you planning to overclock your i7?
    Reads street English and speaks in collegiate - Ras Kass
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited June 2013
    The only reason to get K is to overclock. Get non-K if not planning to overclock.

    Mary, you are on a tight budget. I would get an AMD Trinity-based system. See conclusions here. Such a system will be much cheaper than Intel-based systems and nearly as good.
  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited June 2013
    HyphyKezzy wrote: »
    Are you planning to overclock your i7?

    Yeah, I'm going to. I'd heard of downsampling before just briefly, but I don't have Windows 7 yet. My Uncle agreed to trade me a copy of Windows 7 64bit for my old video card, but he's in the process of moving right now. I'm actually on my newly built computer right now, hurray!

    Anyway I didn't intend to topic highjack. Just wanted to let Mary know Micro Center had cheap processors, at least for the ones I was looking at. It may well be whatever she decides on is the same price at Fry's as it is there. Wish you luck in putting together your new computer when the time comes, Mary! :)
    "Looks like Teach just got tenure!" - Teach
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Flamethrower; I'll look into that. My goal savings for this was $1k but i hope to go under that so I can have some savings left to do things with. ^^ I almost got that.
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited June 2013
    The only reason to get K is to overclock. Get non-K if not planning to overclock.

    Mary, you are on a tight budget. I would get an AMD Trinity-based system. See conclusions here. Such a system will be much cheaper than Intel-based systems and nearly as good.

    I'll have to dig into that article after sorting through the E3 stuff next week but it looks like they did some real extensive testing just from skimming. I look forward to wrapping my head around it.

    I do totally agree that on a budget cutting down on the CPU and tossing those savings at a beefier GPU instead is the better move for a gaming PC. I am however under the impression MMO's are a bit more CPU intensive though I'm not positive about that since I don't play them and it wasn't an issue for my build. I would think that FF11 is old enough that even a less powerful but newer CPU would be fine but I figure it's worth her checking into it before paring down too much since playing it well is important to her.
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  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Actually when all is said and done, (I checked) what parts I ended up deciding I'd go for (INCLUDING a quad-core I-5) will run me about $870 all together from Fry's. (The parts are less than that, I'm getting there).

    I'll post the shopping list a bit later.

    Oh and Hyphy; any modern gaming pc can handle FF11 okay. You might have to install older drivers than you'd want to but it will handle it okay. (Remember, FFXI is 11 years old, ouch.) I just need to install older Direct X as well as the newer. ^^ However, some video cards hate FFXI and make it lag, so you have to watch it there and ask about it before you take the plunge. The goal is a PC that'll last me another 5-8 years and play me some newer games as well as FFXI! :)

    Anyway, I consider this the first piece of my new pc:

    P6120043.jpg

    The rest I'll get in a week or two.
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited June 2013
    Acer monitor? The bit we can see looks exactly like the one my dad gave me when I built so I could save some money at first and I'm still using it as a second monitor now.
    Reads street English and speaks in collegiate - Ras Kass
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Yep. Acer monitor. I got that one used from a friend b/c he no longer needed it when my old tube based monitor bit the dust, it's a keeper. Sadly b/c I use a PS/2 kb, I may need to buy a new keyboard though(Don't say adapter. I've had bad luck with PS2/USB adapters); I'm going to get me a cheapie one at Fry's then rep it with a WASD mechanical kb once I can save up the money for it; talked to 'Cat because of this, I'm giving him the cheapie for his consoles downstairs once I get the good one.. ^^
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited June 2013
    A nice mechanical keyboard and gaming mouse are on my list of things to add still as well. I've played enough older stuff to want them, just not enough to prioritize them higher.
    Reads street English and speaks in collegiate - Ras Kass
  • flamethrowerflamethrower Member Full Members
    edited June 2013
    So I'm posting today to say:
    Hey Mary, your choice of Win7 (over Win8) is interesting. I googled a bit and couldn't come up with anything. Could you link me to a discussion of what's good/bad with Windows 8 (esp. in comparison to Windows 7)? I personally was thinking Windows 8 for my desktop PC, in order to drag myself kicking and screaming into the 21st century (I am "upgrading" from XP on a 7-year old machine). I don't have a touch screen monitor and I'm not planning on upgrading to one.

    I'm just not sure the reason to get Windows 7 over Windows 8. There must be one. I am missing it. Articles I have seen say there's no difference in terms of game performance between these two (and both are slightly faster than XP).
  • smacdsmacd Full Members
    edited June 2013
    I think it's pretty hard to recommend Windows 8 over Windows 7 if you don't have a touchscreen. Functionally they are both sufficient for gaming, but the user interface is where most people have issues. Personally, I'd recommend Windows 7 and waiting until Windows 9 comes out to get the new style of Windows (when they've worked out the kinks). But in the end, try them both out and see which you like better before putting down the cash for a copy.

    As a side note, I really need to start thinking about a computer upgrade. I haven't upgraded since 2006 and I stopped paying attention to hardware around then. Not even sure where I'd start, but it'll probably be something I can't afford to start for some time.
  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2013
    Many people are going Win 7 if, for no other reason, that they find the new 'tile' set up to be less familiar and/or productive to work with overall. Hiding the Start menu that ppl have been using for a decade did not help thing either. :(
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    I don't think there is a particular page but lemme go into my reasons why I don't want Windows 8.

    1. WHAT THE SAM FREAKING HILL IS THAT? That..belongs on a fuggin' tablet. Not with a non-touch screen and a mouse.
    2. Not really enough of a change to really warrant me getting it. Yes, Kellar (one of my friends on FFXI) keeps singing its praises but..Sorry Kell, a little memory upgrade doesn't make me wanna get it...
    3. There's been some instances of Windows 8 not liking FFXI. I see a thread a week on FFXI related boards about, "Ugh, FFXI doesn't play well with 8!"..I think it has to do with certain configs but..
    4. Give me a REAL start button that actually works. I mean, just making it go to the start screen don't fly.

    BTW, I'd keep xp if I dared but XP is not getting any more updates after next April. I've had a chance to play with Cat's 7 compy and thought it was just fine..if hiding where FFXI is (you have to search for it). No security updates don't fly with me, and that was what forced my hand with this in the first place. ^^
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  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2013
    I'm still using XP on my main computer...it's better overall for retrogaming. I use Win 7 on my laptop. It's good for the DirectX10+ games.
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Hm. Maybe I should think of a dual boot sometime (and only use the XP boot for playing old games). Anyway..lemme go ahead and put out the pros and cons of Windows 8 as I see them. Mind, this is my informed opinion; I've been thinking about this for a while. (And not just cuz 'Cat hates 8.)

    Pros : Better disk management, esp the new ssds.
    Faster boot and shutdown time.
    Better resource management.

    Cons: Pain in the BUTT if you don't have a touch screen; Can be a awful learning curve to use. (Your grandma could not use 8 from what I've read, tbh.)
    Looks too much like a tablet op system; no start button (and even then they're not putting it fully back)
    Older game/FFXI issues.
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  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Sorry about the double post but I JUST ordered the parts. All I need to do is order 3 case fans from Xoxide and done. Here's the system: (All from newegg; after talking around I got a MUCH better deal:) )

    Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K – 219.99, Newegg

    EVGA SSC 01G-P4-3652-KR GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1GB 128-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - $149.99, Newegg

    ASRock Z77 Extreme3 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard (comes with 8 gig memory free) – $124.99, Newegg

    Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive-- 79.99, Newegg

    SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply –69.99, Newegg

    Corsair Carbide Series 200R – 59.99 newegg

    DVD burner -17.99 (LITE-ON DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model iHAS124-04 – OEM), Newegg

    Spent about 15 bucks on a cheapie washable b/c I can't get the exact one I want atm. Going to get about 3 case fans (A big one and two little ones): those run about 5 bucks each without shipping but there you go. ^^ Yes, it is possible to get a decent system without breaking the bank!
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  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited June 2013
    Congrats Mary, sounds like you got most of what you wanted. Newegg always treats me right, nothing has ever been DOA, and even though I live out in the middle of nowhere and select the cheapest shipping they're still pretty darn swift. Hope they give you the same great service.

    Are you going to add a Solid State Drive in the future? Its made a world of difference on my end. My computer is on in about 10 seconds after pressing the button, and other processes on it like Malware Bytes are done in no time at all either. The only game I've put on it has minimal start up times too, but I can't say for sure how much of an effect the SSD is having considering I've hardly played any PC games in the past 5 years to draw a comparison. Plus you never have to defrag it.
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  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Thinking about it tho right now no; but i'm sure I can get one and change the boot drive in the future. ^^ It is on the table for future upgrades. ^^
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  • HyphyKezzyHyphyKezzy The Best Full Members
    edited June 2013
    That's looking really solid Mary. I think you're going to like building in that case, the Corsair cases in general are really nice. SSD can certainly wait but my experience is similar to ChickenGod's with quick boot and load times. It really makes an incredible difference so it's worth prioritizing high up in the future upgrades list.
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  • JCServantJCServant Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited June 2013
    I added a SSD to my XP rig...zomg...it's like the difference between dial up and high speed. Pay a little more, but SOOOO worth it. Of course, the larger ones costs a ton o' money. So I got a 240gb SSD for windows and games I play a lot...and kept my 1TB standard drive for other games, media files, etc. It's a huge difference that you won't appreciate until you have it.
  • maryadaviesmaryadavies She Shoots For The Stars Somewhere east of Atlanta, GAModerators
    edited June 2013
    Then that'll be something I will save for then; there wasn't any good deals on one and I don't need one right away, I figured. This is the base that I will proly upgrade more as time goes by; that's what happened with this one. I upgraded it until I could upgrade no more then held onto it longer than I should of really. Microsoft saying they aren't going to support XP starting next April was the last straw since I did keep windows 98 past that and after a while, I couldn't install any new programs which believe me is a serious drag :/

    We're not going to throw my old rig out; Neko is going to linux box it eventually. It might become the family backup server. ^^
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