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April 14th, 2014, 21:52
My Dell Studio 8000 XPS is dying and I'm gonna need a new rig. I bought it about a year before Skyrim came out, put a bigger PSU and GTX550ti in it for Skyrim and now I'm getting a large variety of blue screens. I know we have some pretty savvy desktop guys. I'd like to get a new pc for around $1200 US that will be good for gaming. I only play crpgs, so Witcher 3 might be the only thing coming out soon that may be graphically intensive. Looking at Win 8 makes me want Win7 real bad. I'm not sure if there's a huge difference between i5/i7 and I'm an Nvidia guy since forever. Should I get the OS on a SSD and keep games on IDE? These are the things I'm not sure about. As some here know, I play Skyrim and Oblivion with tons of mods, so something that maxes out Skyrim's graphics would be perfect probably.

I prefer an off the rack machine because I'm extensively lazy when it comes to personal IT stuff. I do IT for a living and hate to mess with it at home. I have the tech savvy to build one if it'll save me hundreds.

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April 14th, 2014, 22:15
Is it the OS or hardware that is giving you the blue screens?

I'd check the Event Viewer and see if you can see anything. Perhaps just redo the OS? Unless you just want an excuse to get a new machine which I can understand.
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April 14th, 2014, 22:31
Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
I'm not sure if there's a huge difference between i5/i7 and I'm an Nvidia guy since forever.
For gaming, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference between the i7s and the i5s. The i7 is the fastest CPU money can buy right now, but the i5 has a better performance/cost ratio.

No reason to change from being an Nvidia guy.
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April 14th, 2014, 22:39
Not sure what's changed with the i5/i7 over the past couple years but originally, the i7's main advantage was hyper-threading. Really not something games have taken advantage of yet. Slight performance boost vs higher price. I'd rather overclock an i5 personally.

With a $1200 budget, if you want a SSD, just use it for the OS and anything else you use a ton that will fit.

I always vote for build your own to avoid pointless software + the convenience fee, but a friend is currently having one built by Ibuypower. He said when the cost of the OS was added in, it actually turned out to be cheaper than buying parts and building it himself. I have my doubts that's universally true. I've heard good things about Puget, though i haven't tried them.

If you decide not to opt for the convenience fee, this is the laziest way I've seen to quickly put something together. Just beware, still have to add in price for OS if you don't have it already.
Last edited by greywolf00; April 14th, 2014 at 22:55.
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April 14th, 2014, 22:44
Most important thing for playing a fully-textured-out Skyrim is VRAM. So, get a GPU with preferably 4gb.
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April 14th, 2014, 23:25
I always vote for build your own to avoid pointless software + the convenience fee, but a friend is currently having one built by Ibuypower. He said when the cost of the OS was added in, it actually turned out to be cheaper than buying parts and building it himself. I have my doubts that's universally true.
Be very careful if expecting a pre-built computer to be upgradable. I went that route with my wife's computer expecting I could tweak it with a bigger power supply and video card;neither would fit. The power supply wouldn't even plug into the mother board. Needless to say I returned it. I then put it together myself and actually saved money if you add up all the components. An i-5 with 16 gig ram,video card and 27 inch monitor(that part made it real sweet) cost about 1000. Don't forget a large power supply.
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April 15th, 2014, 00:04
I would certainly recommend an SSD.

My new laptop has one and I love it.
I only installed a few games on the SSD as I don't mind waiting a teeny bit for lading in games. The SSD boosts Windows A LOT. I love being able to just start my laptop and immediately start up almost every program I want in a couple of seconds from startup.
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April 15th, 2014, 05:20
I just went through this myself over the weekend. Basically I nearly bricked my machine last November after my RAID failed after a MB firmware update and its been limping along since and I just had some odd behaviors. I could probably keep the thing going for some time but I would like a faster hard drive. Normally I upgrade a small number of components like video card or mb/cpu/memory and keep power supply chassis and drives. This time I decided to do a complete machine rebuild.

I started at newegg and it had some good deals but nothing great. I tried dell/alien and tigerdirect but couldn't find a good match. I ended up going to iBUYPOWER and they were having a sale and there are some coupon codes which got me a decent deal about equal to what I could build at newegg without OS but they can build and test it for me. I ended up over my budget but I'll live. Will likely be $1500 or so after mail-in-rebates.

I normally don't do these but here is the specs
Spoiler


I splurged on the GTX 4GB. Many package deals give out the 2GB version. The PS is larger than needed but there was free upgrade and if I want SLI it will help. I cheaped out on the MB but still seems like it has decent specs but would have prefered an ASUS. Not sure I needed to unlock the CPU which cost $40. Also the super quiet fan/ liquid cool stuff is another splurge. Interestingly, Windows 8.1 is cheaper than not picking an OS at all with the mail-in-rebate. I thought this was a decent build that should easily last several years or until mobile/laptops completely replace desktops which is pretty much already here.

Not sure you can get this below $1200 and their sale may have already ended. Anyway the biggest negative now is that I have to wait probably 3-4 weeks for delivery. newegg would have been 3-4 days.
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April 15th, 2014, 05:59
Right now is a terrible time to be building IMO.

With haswell refresh, haswell-e, intell x-99, DDR4 and higher end nvidia 8xx parts just around the corner.

Also the next gen consoles are wreaking havoc on pc requirements. With watch dogs, shadows of mordor and witcher 3 claiming to need a gtx 780 to run at max settings. Even if you don't want to run max settings you'll want an i5/i7, 8 gigs of ram and a gtx760 minimum and an SSD would be nice. Also remember many games are requiring 64 bit windows so make sure you don't get stuck with 32 bit.

If you don't have hardware problems then a fresh windows install should solve your BSOD problems. If you can wait then you'll have all these new technologies to choose from. Even if you don't go with the new stuff the older stuff will be cheaper then and you can get more bang for your buck.
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April 15th, 2014, 06:25
Originally Posted by sakichop View Post
Also the next gen consoles are wreaking havoc on pc requirements. With watch dogs, shadows of mordor and witcher 3 claiming to need a gtx 780 to run at max settings.
The recommended requirements for Shadows of Mordor only call for a GTX 670, and nothing has been officially stated about the requirements for TW3 yet. Most sites list a GTX 560 ti as the recommened GPU for Watch Dogs, although I'm sure it will require something faster for "Ultra" settings.

I tend to agree about waiting a little longer before upgrading a motherboard and RAM right now, but there's little reason to not purchase a new GPU if it's needed.
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April 15th, 2014, 07:08
that's why I was very careful to say max settings. here's quotes:

Watch Dogs Creative Director Jonathan Morin revealed on Twitter what CPU and GPU you’ll need to meet the game’s “ultra” specifications.

“We expect a lot of different specs to run the game at a high,” he said. “But here are the ultra specs for the few who have them and ask for it. Ultra specs: Intel Core i7-4770K with a GeForce 780.”

Morin also said that the recently released PC trailer that was showing the game at its best was recorded on an Intel Core i7-3930K with a GeForce Titan.— from gamestop

for witcher 3 its unofficial. This is why I was careful to say "claimed"

"If it is up to Gametechs claims then The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be a harsh on the GPU title, so much that One 550 USD GTX 780 Ti already has a hard time to keep up with the game engibe, under the condition that higher levels of AA are enabled. The website mentions that the PC version runs HQ and 8xMSAA at 35-45fps on a GTX 780Ti at 1080p.

Naturally, a single 780Ti is able to hit the 60fps sweet spot in its current form provided MSAA is lowered. Moreover, it is said that the PS4 version will run at 900p/30fps while the Xbox One version will run at 720p/30fps. What's also interesting is that the console versions of the game will meet the minimum graphics settings of the PC version. Gametech claimed that The Witcher 3 on consoles will look similar to The Witcher 2."— From guru3D

For shadows of mordor its specs are more demanding than watch dogs according to Pc gamer so I assume it will also need a gtx780 to run at MAX settings.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/04/09/mi…an-watch-dogs/

As for my min. recommendations, if you want it to last a while you'll want to get something above current recommended specs.

If you recommend waiting on CPU/MB then why buy a GPU now? why not wait and buy everything together. You'll have more options and things will only be cheaper.
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April 15th, 2014, 07:11
Sounds like a lot of careful conjecture.
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April 15th, 2014, 07:13
Better to be careful now than have buyers remorse later IMO. Of course everyone is free to do what they please.
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April 15th, 2014, 08:12
I think sakichop is giving good advice in the "wait and see if you can at all avoid it" thing.
Even if you don't want to go for an absolute high-end system full of early-adopter new gen stuff (that usually has a pretty bad performance/price ratio) you can usually get a decent price on previous gen stuff if you time it right…

On the part of the new maxwells being around the corner I remain a bit skeptical though. Seems like TSMC is struggling a bit with the new node (hearsay ofcourse) and I am afraid that if the higher end parts are not a few months of, availability will be a bit sketchy (and even more so with the after market coolers I usually buy?). Not to mention that I am afraid Nvidia will just pull another "stretch it over two gens" like they did with Kepler.

Hence I decided to buy an Asus DirectCU II OC 780 a couple of weeks back and I am loving it (*). I am sure it will be enough for TW3 on max and in the meantime it lets me downsample to 1080p everything I own from 1800 to 1620p (particularly nice for MMX ) at fluid framerates (that being the reason I bought it now). I will be taking a look at 2nd Gen Maxwells hopefully by Christmas 2015 of course…

(*OCed it a bit more: TW2 maxed -AA 60FPS at 1620p, Skyrim with Cinematic Lighting ENB, HD textures ssao etc etc at 1620p, might drop to the mid 40s very rarely, and I fully expect to play DS2 @1800p 60FPS and that is before the new driver too…)
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April 15th, 2014, 08:26
Meh… it's always a waiting game with tech. If you feel like upgrading, go ahead and do it. No sense in waiting a few months for the sake of a few dollars… because if you do that, you'll be asking yourself to wait yet again in a few more months for Black Friday/Christmas specials.

Besides, tech doesn't depreciate in value as much as it once did; true technical advancement is little and far between so prices remain fairly static.
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April 15th, 2014, 08:34
Also a good counterpoint.

If you feel like it and budget is not a concern you can always go on ahead. I doubt the performance differences will be staggering. Efficiency though is expected to increase appreciably in the next gen, if the hype is to be believed.

I am usually like that myself (and I've never experienced buyer's remorse. But I always try to be 100% sure I want something and it will do the job required before laying down money for it )…

Then again I don't have a wife overlord in my life
( :Knocks on wood: )
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April 15th, 2014, 16:08
It's not the money, I've kinda always kept my pcs in the $1200 range so that I don't go spend crazy. If I give myself a budget, then I'm not keeping up with the Joneses. I just bought a $30,000 car, so I'm trying to not go crazy with other expenses. My HDD bombed, as in unrecoverable, so I've decided to replace. Should I put Steam on the SSD? I am totally about gaming, but remember I only play crpgs. Skyrim will be my benchmark for quite a while. Witcher 3 will be purchased, but I found Witcher 2 very boring and didn't finish it.

My feeling from reading the thread is i5/i7: I can save money by going i5.
GPU: I probably want a 4 gig card Nvidia for sure
CPU: I'm an intel guy, but still need some motherboard ideas if I have to build.
Off the Rack: Ibuypower got a couple recommendations
Memory: At least 16 gigs? 4X4?

I should mention that since my company buys thousands of pcs from HP and Dell, I get a discount from these guys. If anyone knows of a decent gaming Dell or HP, let me know.

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April 15th, 2014, 18:25
Okay, where can I cut corners?

Case 1 x NZXT Phantom Full Tower Gaming Case-Black
Case Lighting 1 x None-
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction 1 x Advanced - iBUYPOWER Harmony SRS Sound Reduction System-
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion 1 x None-
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i5-4670K Processor (4x 3.40GHz/6MB L3 Cache)-Intel Core™ i5-4670K
iBUYPOWER PowerDrive 1 x None-
Processor Cooling 1 x Asetek 550LC Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-1155]-ARC Dual Silent High Perfornamce Fan Upgrade (Push-Pull Airflow)
Memory 1 x 8 GB [4 GB X2] DDR3-1600 Memory Module-Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 - 4GB-Single Card
Motherboard 1 x ASUS Z87-K — 1x PCIE 3.0 x16, 6x SATA-III 6Gb/s, 2x USB 3.0-
Intel Smart Response Technology 1 x None-
Power Supply 1 x 700 Watt - Standard-Free Upgrade to 700W OCZ ModXStream Pro - 80 PLUS
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 128 GB ADATA SX900 SSD — Read: 550MB/s, Write: 520MB/s-Single Drive
Data Hard Drive 1 x 500 GB WD VelociRaptor HARD DRIVE — 64M Cache, 10000 RPM, 6.0Gb/s-Single Drive
Optical Drive 1 x [12x Blu-Ray] LG BLU-RAY Reader, DVD±R/±RW Burner Combo Drive-Black
2nd Optical Drive 1 x None-
Media Card Reader / Writer 1 x 12-In-1 Internal Media Card Reader/Writer-Black
Meter Display 1 x None-
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard-
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)-
USB Expansion Card 1 x None-
Operating System 1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel)-64-Bit
Monitor 1 x None-
2nd Monitor 1 x None-
Speaker System 1 x None-
Webcam 1 x None-
Advanced Build Options 1 x Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower-Basic Pro Wiring
Advanced Build Options 1 x Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower-Achieve exceptional airflow in your chassis
Case Engraving Service 1 x None-
Warranty 1 x 3 Year Standard Warranty Service-
Rush Service 1 x Rush Service Fee (not shipping fee)-[RUSH !!!], Ship Out in Next Business Day

'nut
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April 15th, 2014, 19:04
You could cut the raptor and get a wd black 7200rpm. I own 2 raptors they are nice but not worth the premium.

As far as putting steam on SSD, yes put everything you can on SSD. They are great but expensive.

I have my OS on an SSD and my games on separate raided SSD's. I'll never go back to putting my games on a HD again.

Other than a dramatic upgrade in GPU there really isn't a more noticeable upgrade than going from HD to SSD IMO.

Other than that building yourself would save cash.
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April 15th, 2014, 20:02
I have Steam on my media SSD… but it's mostly a luxury IMO - it doesn't make an overwhelming difference. As to your hardware, you could use some faster RAM.
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