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Hardware Thread, Gaming PC - 700 Budget, what should i get? in Technical; Is it too late to throw my 2c in? The first question is - are you replacing an existing system ...
  1. #16

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Is it too late to throw my 2c in?

    The first question is - are you replacing an existing system and if so what can be savaged from that? Makes a lot of difference to what you can/can't do with 700. Most build specs I see either forget components or assume taking from a pre-existing machine like a DVD-Rom drive or an OS.

    I think AMD are worth a look at this price point. Personally I'd be tempted by an i3 over an AMD. Not sure i5 would be worth the extra expense - that money would be better off towards RAM and Graphics. AMD are very interesting when you look at multithreading, were as the i3 would out strip AMD on single threads. Certainly you can get a qood 3Ghz+ Quad Core from AMD for a fraction of the Intel price.

    Another question is the quality of components. Do you get any old PSU or an 80+ gold? Asus motherboard or MSI? Crucial vs Hypertec? You get my drift. When you start building quality 700 is less than it first seems. Sure you can build an all singing all dancing i5 rig for 700, but when the machine constantly BSOD's and crash's due to carp compenents...

    For my money I'd be tempted by either an i3-3220 or an AMD FX-6300 married with around 16Gb Ram, AMD 7950 GPU and 1Tb SSHD. I think that should be doable for the money and would give a good performing set up.

    I suppose not far from Arthurs Spec above. As I say, trading CPU perormance for RAM and GPU performace.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 3rd December 2013 at 08:25 AM.

  2. #17

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    I'd build around this 280X @ 250 (including Battlefield 4): Sapphire Radeon R9 280X Dual-X OC 3072MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Card with BattleField 4 PC Game Included [11221-00-20G]

    If you want to go higher than that, the 290 is as high as you need to go - better cards than the 290 are a lot more money for what little boost you gain. Sapphire Radeon R9 290 4096MB GDDR5 PCI-Express Graphics Card with BattleField 4 PC Game Included [21227-00-40G]

    AMD is perfectly capable for gaming, particularly if Mantle takes off (an AMD API designed to be more efficient than DirectX, so reducing CPU bottlenecking; early days but it's in a few upcoming games, including BF4). It also saves you a lot of money over an i5, not just on the CPU but on the motherboard.

    Samsung 840 EVO, as @Arthur suggests, they're the best price/performance balance and Samsung have always been very reliable as SSDs. 240GB if you can, they're better performance than the 120GB (more chips in parallel, the 120GB only uses half the available paths on the controller). Not many games benefit from SSD installation to any noticeable extent IME, so don't worry about having to get one big enough for your Steam library - stick a second HDD in and use that, Steam lets you install to multiple devices these days.

    Work out a PSU rating @ eXtreme Power Supply Calculator, you don't need as much as GPU manufacturer's suggest, I doubt you'll want more than 500/550W in a PSU for a single GPU system. Get a decent brand name PSU - Antec or Corsair are the usual recommendations. Don't scrimp here, if cheap RAM goes you buy new RAM, if a cheap PSU goes you could be buying an entire new system.

    Pick a case of your choice. Go with something sensible, you'll end up regretting anything slightly weird as they become a pain to work with (trust me on this). Pick a motherboard that suits your chip and don't go overboard, so much is on the CPU now that there's not much to differentiate motherboards unless you're mad into overclocking.

    8GB RAM is the right amount. Optical drive of your choice. Think that's it.

  3. #18

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    its interesting what options are available, for me an i5 sits in the sweet spot for cost/performance.

    [slight thread hijack]
    im in a similar quandry as it looks like my old AM3 system has bitten the dust (board/CPU ) so have been looking myself at options for a cheap replacement.
    as ive already got 8GB RAM an HD6870 and a good PSU and case, an FM2 system does look appealing for the extra cores for the cash over a i3/i5 as they are very cheap for a 4core cpu.Thing is if i get an A10 based apu that kinda makes the HD6870 redundant? (amds specs are a little iffy as they have changed the terminology)
    FM2 athlon's might be an option with the HD6870 also.
    Anyone actually used used and of the A10 model apu's?
    For reference the main thing the box be used for is SC2 WoW and some mucking about with VM's
    [/slight thread hijack]

  4. #19

    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    I have built a couple of FM2 machines, and I'm looking to make another for my parents. Price/performance is very good. Bear in mind that Kaveri is out soon - this will be AMD's newest architecture and is supposed to feature a number of improvements. You can build something on an FM2+ board now with a Richland APU to give an upgrade path. The Athlon is a good choice in that case, as it's much cheaper for similar performance if you're not using the APU. Your 6870 will blow any APU away, including Iris Pro, so don't worry too much about that.

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    @3s-gtech that pretty much some's up my thinking after looking at some extra numbers, a good FM2 board with a 4 core athlon sounds the way to go.
    out of interest which FM2 boards have you used.
    ive always been an Asus fan but having a couple of failures has dented the brand for me (the ASROCK FM2 look interesting)

  6. #21
    chazzy2501's Avatar
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    I'm a few months out of touch but I was looking at a 660TI and an i5 4670k

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    An A10 APU is 384 unified shaders, 24 texture mapping units, 8 render output units at 844MHz (A10-6800K)
    A 6870 GPU is 1120 unified shaders, 56 texture mapping units, 32 render output units at 900MHz (source)

    A 6870 is an order of magnitude better than even the top AMD APU.

  8. #23

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    Ditched the idea of an APU so just rummaging around various sites looking for a mobo must not get distracted by the pretty colours of the gigabyte G1.....

  9. #24

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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  10. Thanks to sonofsanta from:

    Pyroman (3rd December 2013)

  11. #25

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    Just buy a PS4! ;D

  12. #26

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L3OUGH View Post
    Just buy a PS4! ;D
    Funnily enough I was just thinking the same. For pure gaming use I not convinced the spec is far enough above PS4 to make the price and build hassle worth while. Suppose it depends on what type of games the OP wants to play...

  13. #27

    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L3OUGH View Post
    Just buy a PS4! ;D
    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Funnily enough I was just thinking the same. For pure gaming use I not convinced the spec is far enough above PS4 to make the price and build hassle worth while. Suppose it depends on what type of games the OP wants to play...
    To quote: "Also it'll be used for general internet stuff and bits of photoshop / video editing"

    PLus, y'know, master race and all that jazz

  14. Thanks to sonofsanta from:

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    buy a PS4 LOL...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Funnily enough I was just thinking the same. For pure gaming use I not convinced the spec is far enough above PS4 to make the price and build hassle worth while. Suppose it depends on what type of games the OP wants to play...
    Considering the PS4 has a custom APU which combines an 8 Core CPU and Radeon's HD 7850 GPU and 8GB of RAM. That isn't far off the specs you've been discussing.... So if it was for just gaming, get a PS4.

    I'll just leave this here:

    Can you build a gaming PC better than the PS4 for $400? | ExtremeTech

  17. #30

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L3OUGH View Post
    Considering the PS4 has a custom APU which combines an 8 Core CPU and Radeon's HD 7850 GPU and 8GB of RAM. That isn't far off the specs you've been discussing.... So if it was for just gaming, get a PS4.
    Lol, which is all I was saying.

    I'd be tempted with a PS4+350 laptop. Either that or save/beg/steal/borrow 3-400 more for the PC and do the job properly (again - depending on games wanting to be played)

    Aw, bless. At least he tried. Even with the epic disclaimer at the start it couldn't save him from the fail. Celeron, really? God, if it wouldn't totally derail this thread I'd happily pick his $400 dollar machine to shreds...

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