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June 18th, 2013, 13:45
Here is my current PC,

CPU - Intel i7 870 Quad Core (2.93GHz, 8MB Cache) - LGA1156
MB - ASUS P7P55 LX, LGA 1156 / ATX
RAM - 8GB 1333MHz Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM - ( 4x2GB )
GFX - 1GB NVIDIA Geforce GTX460
Case - ThermalTake V5 Black Edition Gaming Chassis
PSU - X-Power 700W
HD(s) - 1 TB HD, 128 SSD Drive
OS - Win 7
Misc - Blu ray and other on board stuff

I paid about £1000 for it in Nov 2010. Its about 2.5 years old now and I think its time for an upgrade even though this PC meets all my needs! As for needs, the PC is used to 70% gaming and 30% work(compiling Visual Studio apps).

My budget is about £1200 - £1300 and the PC I build/buy now should last another 2.5 years or more!

Anyone like to spec out a new PC for me please?

I do have spec in mind but I have the following conflicts in my mind,

CPU – I *think* I don’t want AMD. That leaves it with i5 or i7. Most people say there is negligible difference between i5 or i7 when it comes to gaming. The i7 has hyper threading but many games don’t make use of more than 2 cores these day. Will this be true in 2 years time? I5 is about £100 cheaper than the i7.

MB – these range in price between £100 - £200. I have no idea why some of them cost more than £150! What am I missing?

RAM – 8GB or 16GB? I am thinking of 16GB but do I need that much for games? May be I should spend the money on fast 8GB?

GFX – GTX 770 or GTX 780. It’s going to be a gaming PC that is supposed to last for 2.5 years so really tempted by GTX 780 but it cost £200 more than GTX 770. Not sure what to do here really.

CASE – they seems to cost between £50 to £180. Do case make huge difference? I don’t want very big case due to space issues in my room but the case should be good and should help with cooling etc.

PSU – I don’t believe the above PC will need more than 600W but there are so many different price points. What should I look for here?

Cooling – Most people use water cooling these days for CPU? I would like to OC my CPU if I can.
Last edited by lostforever; June 18th, 2013 at 14:07.
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June 18th, 2013, 14:57
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
CPU – I *think* I don’t want AMD. That leaves it with i5 or i7. Most people say there is negligible difference between i5 or i7 when it comes to gaming. The i7 has hyper threading but many games don’t make use of more than 2 cores these day. Will this be true in 2 years time? I5 is about £100 cheaper than the i7.
If you want to save a bit of cash, get the i5-3570K and overclock it a bit. If you've got cash to spare, get the i7-3770K.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
MB – these range in price between £100 - £200. I have no idea why some of them cost more than £150! What am I missing?
The most important thing is to make sure it has all the connections you need, such as the right sockets, support for enough RAM and so on. Once you're certain it has everything you need, stick with some recommended version like Asus or ASRock. I like the Asus P8 series myself.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
RAM – 8GB or 16GB? I am thinking of 16GB but do I need that much for games? May be I should spend the money on fast 8GB?
I recommend 4x4GB so you can run some background applications without games lagging. The price difference shouldn't be that big as you can get sets of 4x4 without it being too costly these days.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
GFX – GTX 770 or GTX 780. It’s going to be a gaming PC that is supposed to last for 2.5 years so really tempted by GTX 780 but it cost £200 more than GTX 770. Not sure what to do here really.
Well, you already have an idea here of what to go for. It's really down to your wallet. The 780 is simply the best buy right now if you want a high end card, but the 770 is the bang-for-buck winner. I'd pick the 780, but it really is down to your wallet.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
CASE – they seems to cost between £50 to £180. Do case make huge difference? I don’t want very big case due to space issues in my room but the case should be good and should help with cooling etc.
Depends - are you building it yourself? If so they make a huge difference. Some of them are so good you can basically just slot everything in place, pop pop pop, and be done with it. Others are.. bad. If you're not building it yourself it's basically just a matter of noise and cooling, which in turn depends on your setup. If you get the cheaper versions (i5 and 770 for example), heat shouldn't be much of an issue unless you overclock.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
PSU – I don’t believe the above PC will need more than 600W but there are so many different price points. What should I look for here?
The right connections. It needs the right pins to support your graphics card. Might want to get a 750 if you stick with the higher end choices (i7 and 780).

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Cooling – Most people use water cooling these days for CPU? I would like to OC my CPU if I can.
With the right case and no overclock, the stock coolers on the i5 and i7 will do just fine. It's only an issue in smaller cases or with overclocking.

Hope that helps. I can make a complete recommended setup if you want.
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June 18th, 2013, 15:45
Maylander, many thanks for the detailed answers

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
If you want to save a bit of cash, get the i5-3570K and overclock it a bit. If you've got cash to spare, get the i7-3770K.
Are you implying here that i7 will make some difference for games? From what I am reading it makes no difference.

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Depends - are you building it yourself? If so they make a huge difference. Some of them are so good you can basically just slot everything in place, pop pop pop, and be done with it. Others are.. bad. If you're not building it yourself it's basically just a matter of noise and cooling, which in turn depends on your setup. If you get the cheaper versions (i5 and 770 for example), heat shouldn't be much of an issue unless you overclock.
I am thinking of building it myself but I haven’t built a PC for well over 4 years now. Can you recommend a easy to assemble case please?

Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Hope that helps. I can make a complete recommended setup if you want.
Yes please, I like to see your build out.
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June 18th, 2013, 16:07
I would get GeForce GTX TITAN for sure, and save some on the rest of the rig

The PS4 has 8 GB super fast ram and special direct compute capacity, with the titan you'll be more than prepared for that.
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June 18th, 2013, 16:49
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
I would get GeForce GTX TITAN for sure, and save some on the rest of the rig
haha

I will be super pleased if you can spec me a *working* system which has the titan and comes under £1300!
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June 18th, 2013, 16:52
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
I would get GeForce GTX TITAN for sure, and save some on the rest of the rig
Can't find anything wrong in this logic. So… +1

Toka Koka
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June 18th, 2013, 17:02
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Are you implying here that i7 will make some difference for games? From what I am reading it makes no difference.
No, it won't make a difference. At least not today. However, it might make a difference once developers take advantage of the power of hyperthreading. I don't know whether or not PS4 and Xbox One uses hyperthreading, but it wouldn't surprise me if they did, and that might mean more games taking advantage of it in the future.

However, for the next year or so it's definitely $100 down the drain to get the i7 instead of the i5.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
I am thinking of building it myself but I haven’t built a PC for well over 4 years now. Can you recommend a easy to assemble case please?
What size are you looking for? I'd look into Corsair Obsidian 550D or Fractal Design Define R4 if you want a medium sized one that doesn't look too shabby and has all the right stuff.

Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Yes please, I like to see your build out.
Case: One of the two mentioned above. Whichever you prefer.
CPU: i5 3570K
RAM: 4x4GB Kingston HyperX, maybe even get the 2400Mhz Predator version if the price difference isn't too big.
Graphics: Let your wallet decide between the 770 and 780. I don't know enough about prices where you're at. I'd stick with the 780 myself as it's pretty much rocking every review I've seen so far of it, but that's just me. As for brands: All the usual ones should get the job done, ASUS, EVGA, Gainward, MSI. There aren't too many special versions of it yet.
MB: Asus P8Z77-V Pro is still a solid choice I believe. I haven't looked into MBs too much recently, but I doubt much has changed. Someone will have to correct me if I'm wrong.

Edit:
The GTX 780 is actually almost on par with the Titan. It's crazy, but it's just that good. There is literally no reason to buy a Titan anymore.

Edit 2:
I forgot harddrives. I'd go with a decent SSD for the OS + 1TB Western Digital 7200 RPM drive for games, movies and so on.

Edit 3:
You can probably just re-use your current HDD setup, blu-ray drive and maybe even the case itself. That'll save you quite a few bucks. Note: Removing a complete setup from a case is actually not as trivial as it sounds. The MB is usually very well attached.
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June 18th, 2013, 17:03
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Can't find anything wrong in this logic. So… +1
They could always glue it between two Ouyas, when they launch in the UK, and come in just under budget.
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June 18th, 2013, 17:19
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
CPU: i5 3570K
.
Any particular reason why you didn't mention the new Haswell version Intel Core i5-4670K 3.40GHz please
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June 18th, 2013, 17:27
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
haven't looked into MBs too much recently, but I doubt much has changed. Someone will have to correct me if I'm wrong.
Only thing I'd add suggest is going with this slightly cheaper Asus motherboard if they don't need on-board wifi.


P8Z77-V LK vs P8Z77-V Pro


That gives good side-by side spec comparison but I realize you're in the UK so I did check the prices on Amazon.co.uk; the LK is £55 cheaper.

There are some minor differences but they are pretty much identical in terms of important components used and features. The pro has a TPU (controller on motherboard which can be switched on and will attempt to automatically overclock your system "intelligently"). Don't switch it on even if you get the pro, it's not very intelligent and you'll have much better luck finding a stable overclock yourself. The pro also comes with an integraded wifi adapter, but if you plan on connecting by ethernet cable or already have a wifi adapter then that's probably not worth the full price difference. Only reason I can see to go with the pro is if you plan on doing anything fancy with RAID setups - though even then I'd suggest a good pcie RAID controller rather than using the onboard solutions on either even if the PRO does have a slightly more robust one.
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June 18th, 2013, 17:34
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
CPU – I *think* I don’t want AMD. That leaves it with i5 or i7. Most people say there is negligible difference between i5 or i7 when it comes to gaming. The i7 has hyper threading but many games don’t make use of more than 2 cores these day. Will this be true in 2 years time? I5 is about £100 cheaper than the i7.
With the new consoles there is a possibility that games will be utilizing more cores in two years from now. Right now the only major engine that is very multicore-friendly is the CryEngine 3. If you are into Crysis 3 or into any upcoming CryEngine 3 titles then it might make sense to go for an i7 rather than an i5 or an AMD FX-8350. Otherwise an i5 will be totally fine.

MB – these range in price between £100 - £200. I have no idea why some of them cost more than £150! What am I missing?
The higher prices usually come from a variety of added features: Better power supply (more phases) for better overclockability, better onboard sound, better onboard NIC, more USB 2.0/3.0 ports, better SLI/CF capability, more SATA 6GB/s ports etc.
As a gamer -when buying Intel- you want to buy a decent Z87-based board right now. I have a personal preference for ASUS but YMMV.

RAM – 8GB or 16GB? I am thinking of 16GB but do I need that much for games? May be I should spend the money on fast 8GB?
Definitely 16GB. RAM prices are (finally) on a slow but steady rise again so better get more RAM for less while you still can. And with the new consoles it is possible that more RAM will be required by future engines/titles.

GFX – GTX 770 or GTX 780. It’s going to be a gaming PC that is supposed to last for 2.5 years so really tempted by GTX 780 but it cost £200 more than GTX 770. Not sure what to do here really.
If you are playing on a 1080p/1200p display then the GTX 770 should suffice for now. Maybe get a 4GB overclocked model (like the Gigabyte WindForce 3 GTX 770 OC 4GB) to make it slightly more future-proof.
The graphics card is always very easy to replace/upgrade. I wouldn't really recommend locking yourself into a "this has got to last me 2.5 years" mindset. Why not get a GTX 770 now and upgrade to Maxwell next year? If you sell the GTX 770 on eBay, it should be an affordable upgrade to get that shiny new GTX 870 or maybe even 880 in a year from now.

CASE – they seems to cost between £50 to £180. Do case make huge difference? I don’t want very big case due to space issues in my room but the case should be good and should help with cooling etc.
No, unless you are looking at a really cramped space case and a specific high airflow case, the temperature difference is nearly negligible (usually <5°C) when you are comparing "average" cases.
I would simply look for a case that has everything that is important to you and that offers the type of convenience features that matter to you.

PSU – I don’t believe the above PC will need more than 600W but there are so many different price points. What should I look for here?
I think I'd aim a little higher than 600W. Maybe get a 750W to 850W PSU to have more reserves. The more of a reserve -> the less strain -> PSU will live longer, run cooler, be more silent.
As for price point, you do kind of get what you pay for here. I wouldn't go with a cheap PSU. Better to get a well known brand like Thermaltake, Corsair, Seasonic, Enermax, Cooler Master, Antec etc. and don't get one of the cheap models of those suppliers either. Grab a decent one. It is one of the most important components since no juice = no game .

Cooling – Most people use water cooling these days for CPU? I would like to OC my CPU if I can.
I don't know if "most" people use water cooling these days. The all-in-one sets like the Corsair Hydro series or NZXT Kraken don't really have all that much of an advantage over good tower air coolers unless you consider overclocking as a form of sport and need to push your hardware to its utmost extremes while not giving a hoot about the noise levels.
In normal operations, however, watercooling kits are neither less noisy (quite the contrary in some cases) nor do they perform all that much better. The only advantage really is the lower profile so you don't have to worry about cooler vs. case compatibility so much (but then you have other worries like radiator vs case compatibility so…).

Anyway, a decent air cooler like a Noctua NH-D14 or many of Thermalright's models like the Archon (I got that one myself) or Silver Arrow will produce better or very similar results in the temperature department while often times being more silent even.
There is a review here at Guru3D where they have comparison charts of Noctua's latest with watercooling kits. Maybe that'll help…
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June 18th, 2013, 17:40
Edit:
The GTX 780 is actually almost on par with the Titan. It's crazy, but it's just that good. There is literally no reason to buy a Titan anymore.
Well, for the price difference I probably agree.

But 3 GB more of ram for example, is one good reason…..

Both new consoles has 8 GB of shared ram, on PC 3 GB might not be enough to compete, as I think some games will use at least 5 GB of that ram for textures, and 3 GB for the rest.
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June 18th, 2013, 17:49
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Any particular reason why you didn't mention the new Haswell version Intel Core i5-4670K 3.40GHz please
Haha because it just came out this month and we forgot?

With the 4670k you'll want to get a Z87 LGA1150 motherboard. Performance is slightly better but you will be buying a more upgradeable system since newer intel chips that come out later may actually be useable for you as opposed to the Z77 LGA1155 motherboards which are at the end of their product cycle. If you can put together a decently rated motherboard and that processor without spending too much more then yeah that's a good option.
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June 18th, 2013, 17:55
Originally Posted by jhwisner View Post
Haha because it just came out this month and we forgot?
hehe ok. The reason why I ask was, some people mentioned that Haswell are bad for OC and only about 10% faster. So I thought I might be missing a trick with CPU: i5 3570K

PS I don't really intend to OC.
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June 18th, 2013, 18:31
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
Any particular reason why you didn't mention the new Haswell version Intel Core i5-4670K 3.40GHz please
It uses the LGA 1150 socket, which is a completely new platform. New MBs, new CPUs, new everything really. I know very little about the new setups, and for some reason I haven't even seen a lot of tests or anything. The complete lack of hype is a bit worrying, so right now I'd still prefer an LGA 1155 setup, in case this turns out to be a dud.

The alternative is to wait a bit and see if the 1150 picks up speed.

Edit:
I just wanted to point out that I rarely recommend bleeding edge hardware. It tends to be somewhat unpredictable, and often has driver issues and what not. I only make an exception when the performance increase is too big to ignore, such as the 780. If the 780 had only been a marginal increase compared to the 680, I'd still recommend that one because we know it's rock solid at the moment.
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June 18th, 2013, 20:48
What are you doing with your old pc ?
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June 18th, 2013, 21:03
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
But 3 GB more of ram for example, is one good reason…..

Both new consoles has 8 GB of shared ram, on PC 3 GB might not be enough to compete, as I think some games will use at least 5 GB of that ram for textures, and 3 GB for the rest.
I don't think that it makes sense to get a Titan just for the 3GB more VRAM. Right now you have to run a multi-monitor setup with very high resolutions (5760x1080 and above) to even get close to the 3GB mark.
And once the new consoles arrive, you're most likely going to need more punch and not more volume. What good is the Titan's 6GB VRAM if you are limited by bandwidth, i.e. if your GPU can't push enough texels to fill that memory fast enough for every frame?
You're better off upgrading your graphics card then to the latest model with whatever amount of VRAM is considered "good enough" by then.
The new consoles will be around for a while and the first wave of games will certainly not even get close to using 3GB to 5GB of VRAM in full HD (1080p).
It will probably be 2015/2016 before we start seeing that kind of next-gen content that pushes the boundaries.
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June 18th, 2013, 21:21
Originally Posted by GothicGothicness View Post
Well, for the price difference I probably agree.

But 3 GB more of ram for example, is one good reason…..

Both new consoles has 8 GB of shared ram, on PC 3 GB might not be enough to compete, as I think some games will use at least 5 GB of that ram for textures, and 3 GB for the rest.
Are you talking about video RAM? If so, I think you're way off. A 2GB card is more than enough assuming it's fast enough and that you're gaming on a single monitor. 4GB or more of video RAM won't come into play unless you're gaming on multiple monitors or at ultra-high resolutions like 2560x1600 and beyond.

*Edit* Looks like Moriendor beat me to the punch.
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June 18th, 2013, 22:04
You're talking about today, he said for it to last 2.5 years, than we are already well into 2015, however I think 3d party vendors will have no problem with creating games that fills up 5 GB VRAM by the end of 2014, the next gen-consoels are very easy to work with, it's not like the PS3 Besides you're thinking only of graphics, with next gen consoles a lot of compute will be done on GPU, this will probably need to utilize a lot of GPU ram for certain scenarios, the titan is also better in this scenario on top of that it has higher compute power and more CUDA cores. On the other hand I think NVIDIA made that titan especially to counter the next-gen consoles and make numbers look extra good against those.

The titan will probably drop some in price now that the 780 is out so there might be some discounts to get it down to £150 price difference. Then I'd consider it, even if I agree that 780 is more price / effective. He'll probably get more out of that than slighty more powerfull CPU or ram above 8 GB….
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June 18th, 2013, 22:15
We're already halfway through 2013. We won't be needing 5GB of vram for PC games less than 18 months from now. I'll be surprised if we encounter that even by the end of 2015.
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