Help Me Build My PC Catch-All

Dakuna wrote:

Okay, I really wanted to price out building my own pc, but it looks like a prebuilt from Futureshop is going to be my best bet

Im just going to buy this one and buy a solid state drive to put in myself.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/acer-acer-amd-fx-8120-3-1ghz-desktop-computer-am3450-ef10p-am3450-ef10p/10207075.aspx?path=26a83f3baebbd234cb97eaf771b2cbdben02

dangit how do I post this link in a less ugly fashion

Use the link button. New link here.

I'd be hesitant about that PC. I know nothing about that CPU, but that GPU is definitely underpowered, and not really suitable for modern gaming IMO.

Dysplastic wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

Okay, I really wanted to price out building my own pc, but it looks like a prebuilt from Futureshop is going to be my best bet

Im just going to buy this one and buy a solid state drive to put in myself.

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/acer-acer-amd-fx-8120-3-1ghz-desktop-computer-am3450-ef10p-am3450-ef10p/10207075.aspx?path=26a83f3baebbd234cb97eaf771b2cbdben02

dangit how do I post this link in a less ugly fashion

Use the link button. New link here.

I'd be hesitant about that PC. I know nothing about that CPU, but that GPU is definitely underpowered, and not really suitable for modern gaming IMO.

Hmm gaming work buddy says he has this one and it runs well... dangit. So I would still need a good GPU on top of this, and an SD drive? Any recommendations for a decent GPU ~$200?

Dakuna wrote:

Hmm gaming work buddy says he has this one and it runs well... dangit. So I would still need a good GPU on top of this, and an SD drive? Any recommendations for a decent GPU ~$200?

"Runs well" is a vague term - at what resolution, at what settings, at what FPS, with what games? A lot of games have lower requirements these days, and if you're not running at 1920X1080, then you could be ok with a cheapy card too.

I'll leave it to the pros to go more in depth, but my off the cuff suggestion at the 200$ price point would be for something like this Geforce 660 GTX or this Radeon HD 7850

So if I get this PC from futureshop, and then buy a video card and SD drive, it's going to be around the same price as building my own, with the added bonus of giving me another power supply, mouse, keyboard and case.

EDIT: oh, and actually it should be cheaper because I won't have to buy the OS

Dakuna wrote:

So if I get this PC from futureshop, and then buy a video card and SD drive, it's going to be around the same price as building my own, with the added bonus of giving me another power supply, mouse, keyboard and case.

EDIT: oh, and actually it should be cheaper because I won't have to buy the OS

Yeah, price comparisons when looking at pre-built vs building from scratch always depend on what you can salvage. If you have a case, powersupply, operating system, mouse/keyboard and monitor that you can use, it might be best to build from scratch.

But I'm biased against pre-built systems to begin with so you may want to get some other opinions

Dysplastic wrote:
Dakuna wrote:

So if I get this PC from futureshop, and then buy a video card and SD drive, it's going to be around the same price as building my own, with the added bonus of giving me another power supply, mouse, keyboard and case.

EDIT: oh, and actually it should be cheaper because I won't have to buy the OS

Yeah, price comparisons when looking at pre-built vs building from scratch always depend on what you can salvage. If you have a case, powersupply, operating system, mouse/keyboard and monitor that you can use, it might be best to build from scratch.

But I'm biased against pre-built systems to begin with so you may want to get some other opinions :)

I'm in full support of upgrading components now and then, but building from scratch seems like a complete waste of money

Dakuna wrote:

I'm in full support of upgrading components now and then, but building from scratch seems like a complete waste of money :(

If you're using it to browse the web, yes, it might be a waste of money to build. But if you're gaming, the cheap stuff you throw away is a waste. You often have to upgrade GPU, power supplies, memory, etc before it's really viable. And with a little shopping, you can get all the right stuff initially for similar money to the upgraded pre-built.

You can start with a guide like this one and tweak it to your needs.

Pricing it out on pcpartpicker.com/ca, I'm spending the same amount or more for less of a computer. I can get a premade at futureshop and replace the video card and add an SD card for about the same money, and get a few bonuses like new keyboard and mouse.

The power supply on that is only 300W. Keep that in mind while looking for upgrades.

The thing is, going by straight numbers isn't always going to give you the whole story. For instance, that Acer has an 8-core processor, that's pretty cool. The vast majority of programs aren't multi-threaded though, nevermind taking advantage of 8 threads.

Last time I checked, Intel was beating AMD by a fair amount in processor power. So a lower-Ghz Intel processor is probably still faster than a higher-Ghz AMD chip. So in day-to-day activity, an Intel i5 or i7 will probably still be better.

Of course, if you're not doing anything too CPU intensive, then it probably doesn't matter too much, and the AMD chip will do you just fine.

I'd say if you're set on getting that computer, just give it a try. The 7670 probably isn't a powerhouse, but it's mid-range, so it'll play a lot of games decently. Again, depends a lot on your resolution as well.

Oh, and check out mechanical keyboards. They're sweet.

DanyBoy wrote:

The power supply on that is only 300W. Keep that in mind while looking for upgrades.

Ouch, didn't notice that. Yeah, that might not be enough for a beefy GPU.

You know, Citizen86 might be right. Maybe that 7670 might be ok. What resolution is your monitor, and what kind of games do you want to play?

I totally missed that was an AMD. Yeah, you don't want to go that way. Intel beats them by a significant amount theses days. AMD is doing so poorly that they're really moving to different sectors to try to stay in business.

AMD might be OK for an HTPC, but I wouldn't build a gaming PC around them, because you'll be doing better even with some of the slower Intel chips combined with a better GPU.

You could make due with that updating the GPU/PSU, etc, but if I could build a similar machine with a Intel chip for the similar money, I'd do it.

So now that I just bought th Corsair Carbide 500r case for my future Haswell computer (hopefully in March) the ball is rolling on some things to get. The next step of research is CPU cooling. I am not even sure if it's a good idea to get one early since it's a different socket, but I have a feeling they will be the same or I just get it after it's been confirmed that the cooler will fit the new socket. One of the first things I will be doing when my computer is on, is of course OC it.

Coolers that I am looking at are:

ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro - Classic
ZALMAN CNPS9700 - The one I currently have
Noctua NH-D14 - The more expensive air cooler
CORSAIR Hydro Series H100- My first step into liquid cooling

Opinions one way or the other?

A friend is 'forcing' me to build him a computer, mainly for gaming. His only requirement right now is 'smooth as butter' for Guild Wars 2. I'm sure an i5 with 16gb of ram an an SSD will do that just fine. The only part I can quickly pick out is the video card. I'm seeing quite a few people mention the GTX 660 ti. What would be the step up from that?

TempestBlayze wrote:

Opinions one way or the other?

I've got a Corsair H80 and really like it, it seems pretty quiet (I can't hear it over my GPU, even when the fan is spinning slow) and I've overclocked my i5-2500k significantly with it without any problems, I tend to revert back though because a the 2500 running at it's base clock is plenty fast enough for me. The only difference if I recall correctly is that the H100 has a two-fan radiator, where the H80 only has one, so just make sure you have room for it before you buy.

wizard_in_motley wrote:

A friend is 'forcing' me to build him a computer, mainly for gaming. His only requirement right now is 'smooth as butter' for Guild Wars 2. I'm sure an i5 with 16gb of ram an an SSD will do that just fine. The only part I can quickly pick out is the video card. I'm seeing quite a few people mention the GTX 660 ti. What would be the step up from that?

A GTX670? o.O

TempestBlayze wrote:

ARCTIC Freezer 7 Pro - Classic
ZALMAN CNPS9700 - The one I currently have

I've had the arctic cooling one on my C2D pretty much since I first got it and it's done me well, and I tried the Zalman one for a while too. The freezer7 is lovely and quiet for non-extreme needs, and the zalman is just a little bit more noisy at idle but seems to shift heat a little better.

I've been anticipating haswell too, and intel are saying how energy efficient it'll be, although that might not translate into heat efficiency, but I think they're related. We won't know until after release though.

Generally speaking, more power = more heat; one of AMDs problems with it's power-hungry CPUs.

Also, just saw, Newegg has the H100 on sale for $90 right now.

wizard_in_motley wrote:

A friend is 'forcing' me to build him a computer, mainly for gaming. His only requirement right now is 'smooth as butter' for Guild Wars 2. I'm sure an i5 with 16gb of ram an an SSD will do that just fine. The only part I can quickly pick out is the video card. I'm seeing quite a few people mention the GTX 660 ti. What would be the step up from that?

Pretty much no reason to buy a 660Ti right now the 7870 is just about the same performance for less.

Unless you're an nvidia fan boy like me :O

TempestBlayze wrote:

Opinions one way or the other?

As an in-between option, I have the ARCTIC Freezer i30, and though it's rather large, I really like it. It's much quieter than the ARCTIC Freezer 7 and pushes more air to boot.

Dysplastic wrote:
DanyBoy wrote:

The power supply on that is only 300W. Keep that in mind while looking for upgrades.

Ouch, didn't notice that. Yeah, that might not be enough for a beefy GPU.

You know, Citizen86 might be right. Maybe that 7670 might be ok. What resolution is your monitor, and what kind of games do you want to play?

I wound up simply buying a GTX 560 and putting it in my old quad core; this has resolved my issues (for now). I am running an 800w power supply, so I have plenty of power for it.

Dysplastic wrote:
DanyBoy wrote:

The power supply on that is only 300W. Keep that in mind while looking for upgrades.

Ouch, didn't notice that. Yeah, that might not be enough for a beefy GPU.

You know, Citizen86 might be right. Maybe that 7670 might be ok. What resolution is your monitor, and what kind of games do you want to play?

My monitor supports up to 1680 x 1050 resolution, unless I hook up to my TV. The most graphic intense game I would be playing is Skyrim, although I mostly play that on PS3. Diablo 3 and Fallout: NV are the other games for now, but who knows what's coming next. I'm going to take a look at some prebuilt systems on tigerdirect and newegg in the new year though I think.

I got the Corsair Carbide 500r White case last night and I am very impressed. It looks great in person and everything I can think of in making computer building and wire management easier is on this case.

Looking forward to putting PC parts in it months from now.

Ouch...

http://m.hardocp.com/article/2012/11...

Drive seems interesting but I haven't been following how rocky things are at OCZ recently. Given how important and often SSD's need firmware updates I would be cautious buying anything from OCZ right now..

Hello friends! Is there any way to upgrade old laptops? by upgrading it parts.

dougjones wrote:

Hello friends! Is there any way to upgrade old laptops? by upgrading it parts.

It depends on the laptop, but usually the only things you can upgrade are the RAM and hard drive, maybe the CPU. You'd have to open it up and check to make sure though, and depending on how old it is, get the right stuff for it. DDR, DDR2 or DDR3 RAM, SATA or IDE hard drive, etc.

dougjones wrote:

Hello friends! Is there any way to upgrade old laptops? by upgrading it parts.

See if you can find the service manual on the manufacturer's website.

For the guy building a PC for a buddy to play guild wars 2... it is extremely CPU bound. I play sooth as butter on my 5770 while my wife has input/graphical latency with her 6950. I'm at 1680, she's at 1920. Both Clarkdale Core i3 540.
I recently swapped in her extra 6950 to my machine, had latency, dropped settings back down to previous, back to smooth.

There are a lot of factors to getting "smooth" but CPU is very important for GW2.

Got our new machines put together this weekend. Only one snag that I didn't think of - the CPU cooler is so friggin' big it blocks putting the RAM in.

Buuuut, since we're not overclocking, and these cases move air pretty well, made an executive decision and put in the coolers that came with the i5's. Hopefully that's not a mistake... Now, to look into RMA'ing the coolers.

Other than that, holy s**t this machine is rockin'! Every game I've loaded up has said, "Uhm, well, why don't I just set everything to 'ultra'?"

If you aren't oveclockng, the stock CPU coolers are actually really good.