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TrickyDickie

Help a non-gamer build a gaming rig...?

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I have decided to build a "gaming rig", but thre problem is that I'm no gamer, so I would greatly appreciate any advice you could give me.

Also, I will probably not ever want to overclock - I just really want to play GTA IV and GTA V when (/if!) it comes to PC, and just use the PC for PC-like things.

 

I have compiled a list of stuff that I think I want (OK, I copied it from some gaming rig specs I found, but it looks good enough) - Could you give me your opinions as to whether it is good enough, or over-kill, and whether all of the parts 'match' nicely?

 

 

I will recycle (as in re-use!) the following (unless advised otherwise):

 

2x Samsung SSD, which are in RAID-0 (Or striped, whichever that one is) - That's 2x128GB that I use for the system drive.
My 800-watt "WinPower Plus" PSU
My LG DVD reader / writer (Are games still on DVDs...?!)
My InWin DragonSlayer gaming case.
16 GB of Corsair Vengance RAM (4x4)

 

I will get the following (again, unless advised otherwise)

Asus MAXIMUS VI GENE Intel Z87 Socket 1150 Motherboard
Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Socket 1150 Quad Core Haswell
NH-U9B-SE2 - Noctua NH-U9B SE2 Dual Fan Quiet CPU Cooler
EVGA GeForce GTX 770 Superclocked ACX Nvidia Graphics Card

 

(This might be a good time to mention that that InWin case is mATX...)

 

As for budget - well, because I really only want these games, I want to spend the least possible to get something that will play 'em with good settings. In my current rig, I had an ATI Radeon HD5450 1GB card, and had to lower all of the in-game settings alot to make it playable. (Also, the current PC is AMD

based)

 

I was also thingking of getting 3 "Seagate 3TB Performance" SATA 3 Hard Drives so I could use this Storage Spaces thing in Windows 8 with mirroring / parity, but the PSU only has 3 sata and 4 four-pin Molex power connecters, and there are 3 case fans that have molex power plugs, so I was thinking about

getting a converterer to allow me to power 2 or 3 case fans from a single plug.

 

I don't think this will be a problem for air flow - the case has a fan in front of the 3-bay hdd space, and a 12-cm fan above that with nothing in the way.

 

Anyone use Storage Spaces? Good / bad?

 

Also, the PSU has 2 six-pin pcie plugs, and the new card wants 1 six-pin and 1 eight-pin - It looks like it comes with some converters, so I can use the existing 2 six-pin plugs in a converter to the eight-pin, and 2 molex for the other.

This means that I may have to double-up power on some other stuff (like the case fans, as mentioned above) - will I have any problems with this? 

I think that is all there is to say for now, though no doubt I've missed out loads of stuff!

Thanks for at least reading this!

 

 

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Storage spaces are fine, but what are you using for Raid 0 (you mentioned doing mirroring/stripping) I don't recommend software raid if you plan to use it for gaming. 

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The 2 SSDs are (currently) set up striped, and is the system drive.

I was thinking of just keeping it like that. With a good backup, of course!

I would use the 3TB drives for Storage Spaces.

Any games would be on the system (SSD) drives, of course.

 

Storage spaces are fine, but what are you using for Raid 0 (you mentioned doing mirroring/stripping) I don't recommend software raid if you plan to use it for gaming. 

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The 2 SSDs are (currently) set up striped, and is the system drive.

 

Setup by what? Windows or a raid controller card? Using windows to perform raid functionality can/will cause reduced drive performance because you are allowing the OS to perform the raid operations itself. You want to offload those operations by utilizing a raid controller card.

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Yeah, sorry - it's hardware raid, set up in the BIOS.

 

Setup by what? Windows or a raid controller card? Using windows to perform raid functionality can/will cause reduced drive performance because you are allowing the OS to perform the raid operations itself. You want to offload those operations by utilizing a raid controller card.

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sounds good then, i really like your choice in the mobo. And I have that same video card and it works well for casual/hardcore gaming. For your budget, i think you will come out with a nice system, you can always replace some of the used parts as you come into more money down the road.

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You may(best that you should) have to redo your RAID and reinstall your OS for this new setup.

 

I'm not overly sure about your PSU or if its 80% Efficiency on power output.

 

The Motherboard does not have to be too high end to do everything you could possibly need a GIGABYTE GA-Z87MX-D3H or ASUS GRYPHON.

 

If your not going to overclock get the Intel Core i5-4670

 

Is the RAM you have now DDR3?

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To save yourself a few more dollars, you could just get a GTX760 instead of the GTX770.

you will also still get 2 free games "Splinter cell: Black list, and Assassin's Creed IV".

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You should go with an i7.  And your building yourself a gaming rig but you're not a gamer?  What are you going to do with it?  Also, unless you are using programs that take advantage of a Raid system, i dont think its worth it just for games.  Game FPS does not improve with RAID, you'll only notice a slight faster loading times.

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Stick with the stock cooler, there is no point in buying after market coolers unless you plan to overclock your CPU for some reason (please don't do this).

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Stick with the stock cooler, there is no point in buying after market coolers unless you plan to overclock your CPU for some reason (please don't do this).

he seems to want to get the unlocked CPU, so why shouldn't he overclock?  He doesn't have to achive a record, but he can definitely overclock it a bit without any harm

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You should go with an i7.  And your building yourself a gaming rig but you're not a gamer?  What are you going to do with it?  Also, unless you are using programs that take advantage of a Raid system, i dont think its worth it just for games.  Game FPS does not improve with RAID, you'll only notice a slight faster loading times.

 

Game FPS don't really improve with i7s either. IDK why this myth is circulating that they do. There are almost no games that will peg a cpu and the HT in the i7 ain't getting you much even if you do manage to find something that does. If you were going to do anything, it would be better to purchase a higher-clocked i5 than to go to an i7 because that stands more chance to give you better single-core performance if you do manage to peg some cores.

 

EDIT: scratch that, that's bad advice. If you were going to do anything, you should keep the i5 you have and shell out more cash on the GPU. That's going to give you more FPS for the money.

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he seems to want to get the unlocked CPU, so why shouldn't he overclock?  He doesn't have to achive a record, but he can definitely overclock it a bit without any harm

 

Because he is buying a system for gaming and over-clocking the CPU is going to be basically useless in terms of FPS for such a scenario. It is also worth noting that he is unlikely to be doing CPU intensive loads regardless (just as most people are unlikely to be doing CPU intensive loads)...

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Because he is buying a system for gaming and over-clocking the CPU is going to be basically useless in terms of FPS for such a scenario. It is also worth noting that he is unlikely to be doing CPU intensive loads regardless (just as most people are)...

Really depends on the application.  Try playing Flight Simulator X on an i5 with everything maxed out. i7 will achieve better FPS results in AAA games that take advantage of it, but is it really worth 5 to 10 etc frames?  It depends how you feel about it.

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Really depends on the application.  Try playing Flight Simulator X on an i5 with everything maxed out. i7 will achieve better FPS results in AAA games that take advantage of it, but is it really worth 5 to 10 etc frames?  It depends how you feel about it.

 

Yup, that's my point- you have to pick out a contrived handful of games to see a benefit. There are some RTS games where you can have battles with thousands of units that will also see benefits -- but at the end of the day The majority of modern games won't see any difference in FPS. For example, if you throw any modern shooter at it, you aren't going to see any benefit from throwing an i7 into the mix. This is one reason why the XBone and PS4 both opted to have what amount to netbook AMD cores (read as: low-end cores).

 

And as I said before, you might as well find a higher clocked i5 at that rate because the HT on the i7 isn't going to be giving you much of anything; especially since games are unlikely to over-subscribe threads.

 

EDIT: For example, I run a 2600k and get worse performance than my brother's i5 in the various tests we have done because the only thing that really matter once you have a sufficiently decent CPU and system memory bandwidth is the GPU. That is where the bottleneck is at.

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Just to back up what I say with a bit of benchmarking, take a look at these results. What you'll notice is that there is effectively no difference in performance once you crank up the settings in the games. The variation in the platforms only comes into play when you aren't pegging the GPU -- i.e. on low settings. It is only really at that point that the CPU can end up as a bottleneck. 

 

http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1061&page=4

 

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. The CPU matters MOST when you care the LEAST (at low settings and high FPS) and it matters the LEAST when you care the MOST (at high settings and low FPS).

 

I apologize for the capitalization there.

 

EDIT: it really is worth going through the different games. There really are some interesting variations in performance at low-end settings.

 

EDIT2: I also just noticed that is the i5 he has listed. lol... that was unintentional.

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Yeah, sorry - it's hardware raid, set up in the BIOS.

 

Are you sure? Just because it's set in BIOS doesn't make it hardware RAID. Did you spend hundreds of dollars on a real RAID controller card?

 

SSDs are already so fast I doubt you'd see any noticeable improvements by RAID0ing it anyway.

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Are you sure? Just because it's set in BIOS doesn't make it hardware RAID. Did you spend hundreds of dollars on a real RAID controller card?

 

SSDs are already so fast I doubt you'd see any noticeable improvements by RAID0ing it anyway.

 

Sorry if I missed it but I thought he was using RAID for redundancy (boot drive) but maybe I'm wrong...

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Judging from a summary google search, WinPower has a terrible reputation and you should not keep this PSU for your new build. Especially not try to power the card using a molex adapter for the missing 8-pin connector. Get a PSU from a reputable brand with the proper number of PCI-E connectors.

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Sorry if I missed it but I thought he was using RAID for redundancy (boot drive) but maybe I'm wrong...

 

That would be RAID1 (mirror).

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Is the RAM you have now DDR3?

 

Yes, it is.

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Are you sure? Just because it's set in BIOS doesn't make it hardware RAID. Did you spend hundreds of dollars on a real RAID controller card?

 

SSDs are already so fast I doubt you'd see any noticeable improvements by RAID0ing it anyway.

 

Sorry - I meant it is already on the board... POST, then RAID setup.

 And, I also meant 'striped' - The system drive already is, and has been for a while.

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Thanks for all of your advice, peoples!

 

 

Perhaps I rambled a bit too much at the start there - All I want is to play the GTA games (perhaps others if they come with the card?) at some half-decent settings, rather than having to lower all of the settings to the almost bare-minimum like I did last time round.

 

I stress again that I don't want to overclock (I think that it would be a bad idea for me to try!), and I thought that the CPU choice was one of the ones that is locked. Perhaps I should read more carefully...lol
 - @PeterUK - I'll look into those boards and that other chip now, thanks.

 

The other uses for the PC are just general things, except that I have a few virtual machines that run in Hyper-V.

 

Someone suggested the 760 instead of the 770, but a few people have mentioned that the GPU is important here (which I thought anyway), and on the web there is talk of some ATI card that performs the same, but costs less.

Is this right?

 

Thanks again. For your advice so far!

 

EDIT - While I think of it, that CPU cooler choice was only because it is the same height as the one I have now, and that only just fits in the case! lol

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Now I can't edit lol!

 

 

I've always had the impression that stock coolers aren't up to much - Is this not the case anymore?

 

 

Been looking at PSUs - How's about Akasa AK-PA085AM05-UK Cobra 850W Hybrid Modular Power Supply?

         Does "6+2 pin" PCIE power mean I can use it for this new card (1 six-pin, 1 eight-pin)?

 

 

Also followed advice and looked at the board / CPU: How's about the Gigabyte GA-Z87MX-D3H and the i5-4670?

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I stress again that I don't want to overclock (I think that it would be a bad idea for me to try!), and I thought that the CPU choice was one of the ones that is locked. Perhaps I should read more carefully...lol

 - @PeterUK - I'll look into those boards and that other chip now, thanks.

Intel "K" processors (e.g. 4770K, 4670K) are all unlocked processors for people who want to overclock. You can usually find an equivalent locked version (e.g. 4770, 4670). If you're not overclocking, you don't need anything more than the stock CPU cooler that comes with an Intel. It's not the best cooler, but it certainly will do the job for a locked processor.

 

Someone suggested the 760 instead of the 770, but a few people have mentioned that the GPU is important here (which I thought anyway), and on the web there is talk of some ATI card that performs the same, but costs less.

Is this right?

If you want to go Nvidia, go for the 770. There's <$50 between the 760 and 770 these days, and the 770 is a far better card. The ATI card you're thinking of is probably the R9-280X, which is about the same as the 770 in terms of performance, but comes with more VRAM and is slightly cheaper. The R9-280X is a better deal than the 770 at this time, especially if you're intending on playing any games with Mantle (e.g. Battlefield 4) in the near future.

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