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Building a Better Gaming PC Empty Building a Better Gaming PC

Post by kaede on 2016-07-16, 22:53

Exactly as title says. I have enough money stashed away for rent for a while, and my current computer is crap, so I'm building a gaming pc.

What I'm building:

http://pcpartpicker.com/list/9wdTBP

I'm not building anything like Terry Crews is building, hell I'm sure pretty most people would laugh at this machine, but I wanted something that can play the games I currently play at a better frame rate (STO, MBAC : CC, Nep series, Old Republic) and the games I have been wanting to play for a while(Arkham 1&2, Crusader Kings 2, Civ 5&6). Maybe in a few months or so, after I save some more money, I'll upgrade the machine, so can you recommend any parts? Alternatively, all I got bought atm is the power supply, motherboard, and processor, so if you have any recommendations on other parts I should get I'm all ears, though I only can spend ~150 per paycheck on parts rest goes to the bank and food.
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Post by Zhu Yang on 2016-07-16, 23:03

I would say save a while for a better graphics card. I have the R9 280X, and it runs pretty much everything I want decently (Witcher 3, modded Skyrim, Planetside 2).

You might be limiting yourself with the 370.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-17, 01:11

I thought of getting something better, originally was going to get gtx 970 or something equivalent, but again, current computer is crap and I'm on a budget. And honestly, none of the newest games coming out for for all systems really interest me, the only ones that does is coming out for my ps3 and Vita (Fate/Extella & Persona 5) so missing out on stuff like Witcher 3 & the latest FPS titles are not really worrying to me.

But I do thank you for your input, one of the things I plan to do after I build this computer is put a little away every pay day, maybe $50 or so, and save up to get a better card. Plus it doesn't help that I don't know yet if I have to buy a whole new PC case & HD, I plan on using the case from my last PC & my current HD (1.81 TB) to save money but don't know if it will be usable the case yet, gonna wait for the parts to come in.

Also quick question, I wanna save as much money as possible, so if I could use my current copy of Windows 7 that would free up a little over $100 for other things, I still have the product key for my current copy of 7, can I use that key on a copy of 7 and it still be legal? First time building a computer so I don't know the answer to this.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-17, 01:18

>AMD
Welcome the dark side dear sister. I'm assuming the price point is what brought you ogre?
>Paying for Windows
>$200

Building a Better Gaming PC Rh1n8Yeah you can use your Windows 7 product key on a new computer, there is a chance it might be denied but if that happens you can call Microsuck and say you're transferring an installation onto a new computer and they'll probably allow it. And if all else fails, there's always...you know.
>Sound card
What year is this, 2003? What do you need a sound card for? Is your motherboard's built in sound not good enough?

In all seriousness, the R7 370 has marginally better performance than the GTX 660 which is what I used in my machine. But I got it for under $80 on ebay. To really figure out whether you're getting the most bang for your buck you also need to consider what you're upgrading from.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-17, 01:45

Yes the price is the main point but I've always had a AMD card, this temporary computer ,which I have been using for way longer than I should have, has a Radeon HD 4200, so basically anything is a step up from what i got atm. I've been happy with AMD cards over the years so I see no reason to change brands.

Actually windows 7 brand new only costs around 110 to 120 at amazon, but I have no install disc, dad never gave it to me when he gave me this comp a while back.

Sound card while I like better sound I'm unsure about getting it, hence why it's a really cheap one, so I may not be getting it. For that matter same with the DVD writer, I may just see if I can use one of my old ones as well and possibly save up for a bluray writer.

Also you may have been looking for this video rather than just a picture:

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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-17, 02:43

I see I've been preaching to the Team Red Choir. HD 4200....that's actually a bit better than what I had with my old craptop. (Intel HD Graphics, The Original. No 2000 or what have you)
Just ditch the sound card, you don't need it. Onboard audio is fine. Unless you have some slick 7-piece surround sound speaker set or what not, then you'll want a high end card to match it. While we're on the topic of pre-owned equipment, will you be reusing all the associated peripherals, like monitor, speakers, mouse and keyboard?

Reusing the case sounds a bit dodgy to me, what are you going to do with the evicted parts? It will probably work, just make sure the motherboard is the same form factor (some cases can fit both mATX or ATX) and it has enough slots for all your disk drives.

Here's the list I made for my build, which I completed around the end of May: http://pcpartpicker.com/user/karaethonWadjet/saved/BsWH99
EDIT: Actually this list is really inaccurate, I made a ton of last minute changes so the actual final build has the following:
CPU: AMD FX-8350 8-core
Motherboard: ASUS M5A97
RAM: G-skill Ripjaws 2x8GB (they have these cool blue heat spreaders and better CAS latency or whatever)
Case: Corsair Carbide 200R
DVD Writer: Some cheapass thing made by LG for like $14 or less
PSU: Same thing except 650W

Fun fact, heat spreaders for RAM are just for show, RAM never really heats up to the kind of temperatures where they would be necessary. The Ripjaws set was on sale and the PSU had a better rebate on it.

One part I definitely recommend is a Solid State Drive. You can get a 256GB SATA SSD for $50-60 nowadays(for an offbrand, not for Samsung which is ogrerated), and the speed boost is palpable. Put your operating system on it, put your big gaymes on it, anything else can stay on the platters. My rig's boot time is under 30 seconds while for my craptop I had to do a boatload of optimizing just to get it down to 60. Make the jump, it's very worth. You could also wait for the release of that new NVMe SSD thing that is purportedly even faster than M2 or anything else, but it'll probably be out of your price range so just stick with the SATA 3.0 edition.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-17, 03:47

Well using the same case is only a plan to save money, trying to save as much money as possible. Dvd writer should be easy, if I can't fit it inside of the case, I should be able to use the cables I use to hook up my old HD to a computer, but even then I just use the dvd writer to install physical games, so it wouldn't be a total loss. And yes I'm using my old peripherals still, though I will get a new keyboard in the future, its over 6 years old and just finally starting to die.

An ssd was on my mind, but again budget and I want a better computer ASAP so on the backburner for now.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-17, 20:38

If you want a better computer, an SSD is how you do it. What kind of case do you have? Is it for builders or was it part of a prefab?
If you are planning on directly transplanting your hard drive into the new build, without reinstalling or anything, this guide will probably come in handy: http://www.fixedbyvonnie.com/2014/01/heres-smart-way-move-internal-hard-drives-computers/
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-19, 21:19

Case was a basic case you would get if you bought a cheap computer from a store, but I put the machine together with what I got so far (motherboard, powersource, and cpu) and everything fits, so unless the graphics card don't fit inside I'll be using it.

Also speaking of graphics card, I may be springing for something just a little more powerful, a used r9 380, not a really big jump but I may divert some of my saved money to that card if it's still available on my next paycheck.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-19, 21:50

Just FYI since you're on a budget, cases made for builders have design features that allow easy tinkering, cable management, and superior airflow (more spots to mount fans). They also typically have the PSU slot on the bottom which makes for better weight distribution IMO.

If you don't mind being my guinea pig, you could save up roughly $200 or so and opt for the all new Radeon RX 480, see how that runs. Probably could stave off having to upgrade for years.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-19, 23:16

I'm only increasing the budget by about 10 dollars, maybe around black friday I'll get something better, but for now no.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-21, 17:29

Well here, if you are really so concerned about the budget you should switch to team Green for sweet deals like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dell-2CHCY-NVIDIA-GTX-660-1-5GB-6Gb-s-PCI-Express-3-0-Graphics/291822045568
This is remarkably similar to what I got, and I have had no problems with mine so far. These Dell OEM cards seem to go for a lot lower than others of the same number and even the previous generation 560. Ebay in general is just great for getting below retail prices on perfectly good hardware, especially if you are willing to get into a bidding war.

I just realized, do you seriously need better graphics for MBAC? That old clunker ran full speed on the 2006 era computers back in high school.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-21, 19:32

Sorry meant MBAA, not MBAC I can run it pretty well but I want it to be better. As for a bidding war, I have no real time to sit in front of a computer or phone and try and outbid other people for an item while I work, I prefer to just buy things. Also if the R9 falls through I plan to buy a used 950 or possibly a new 750 ti, not the greatest, but it's cheaper.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-21, 20:03

The 660 is for Buy It Now. And don't get the 750ti, its overrated and mainstream.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-21, 22:26

I may get it if my other choices fall through, though I have my eyes on that 950 tbh.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-07-26, 13:33

Rule of thumb though for Nvidia, don't get anything below GTX*50, like GT 720 or something. They may look super cheap but that's because they are some serious crap, like worse than the mid-range of the previous generation or the one before it. I dunno how Radeon numbering works but I'd imagine there is a similar scheme in place.
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Post by kaede on 2016-07-31, 21:03

Well the last of my parts come in tomorrow, here's the final build: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/nPrf9W and here is the case: http://support.hp.com/doc-images/498/c02957511.jpg amd add 25 for a copy of win 7 pro

Plans for upgrading it in the future: Maybe in a few months to get a 980. Replace the case is also a possibility.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-01, 10:06

Unfortunately I don't think the 980 is going to get any cheaper as it is no longer in production. It's still a top tier consumer card so it will continue to trade for top dollar.

That case is absolutely heretical, I hope your motherboard has the right connectors for those front-side ports. And why did you get a new hard drive? A 5400 RPM one at that. Of all the things you didn't need....
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-01, 13:24

As far as I can tell everything should work just fine, I only needed to get a new 90mm fan, or make a few new holes in the back to put in a 80mm fan Lexi got me. Also got a new HDD because the 1.5 tb one in my temp computer is going to stay in there in case I need to have a backup computer, after I take it to a computer shop to get looked at, getting BSOD every once in a while.

And I got a 5400RPM HDD because, again, I am on a budget. I have roughly $600 per paycheck, $250 goes towards my part of the rent, $150 to my part of the bills, $100 to stay in the bank, and $100 for myself, barring nothing bad happens. (these are all rough estimates, I don't have a pay stub with me)
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-01, 14:08

Well this just raises more questions. If you're keeping the original "temporary" PC intact, how are you going to use the case? If you're on a budget, why get a 1 TB drive when you can get 500GB or 250 for even cheaper?
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-01, 14:16

The case im using is from an even older computer,one that Lexi did something to to make it no longer work, and just looking at how much I use on just the 1.5 tb HD ,424 gb, a 500 GB one would be very close to being full.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-01, 15:07

You didn't start with 424 GB though, stuff accumulated over time. And by the time you get that much you could have saved up to get a better hard drive.
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-01, 21:49

Actually, a good majority of that stuff was transfered over to that HDD when I started using the old computer, that way I didnt have to download all my games & stuff again, just recently it went over 420 because of a visual novel.

Also may be taking the 8gb of ram out of my backup computer to make what I got 16 gb, and also leaving putting in the last parts to my personal trained monkey (Matt is visiting and bored)
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-01, 23:00

Is the RAM module the same or different as the new one? If its the exact same model you may want to use alternate slots for dual channel.
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-02, 00:33

Not sure, have to crack it open and find out in a few hours.
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-02, 19:00

Well bad motherboard so I have to exchange it at amazon.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-05, 20:39

You don't need a case, just do what this guy did: https://imgur.com/a/kdkzf
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-05, 21:16

PC is working, actually using it right now to type this, just gotta wait for the loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time it will take for windows 7 to search for all the updates.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-06, 09:45

I had a similar issue when setting my Windows 7 up as well, and I found that manually installing two key updates greatly cut down on the time it took to get the rest. I've uploaded them to Mediafire here --> http://adf.ly/1cxQ5h if you're still waiting. If you're not keen on disabling adblock, its under my directory >> "Windows 7 Update fix"
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-06, 16:07

I will download those, been doing this sense 8am and it has found no updates.

Also on the gaming front, the machine ran the three games I tested (neptunia 1, sto, & tor) at 60fps on high settings, and the temps were well within acceptable ranges (40c for gpu, and 78c for cpu, I'm considering putting a fan in the top of the machine to get better air flow to lower the cpu temp.) so I'd say this has been a success.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-08, 20:17

So uh, how did the update thing go? I want to actually figure out if this is what fixes it instead of just trusting the vague not-quite-my-situation comments on Microsuck Answers.
>Neptunia 1
One can only imagine what a mindblowing experience playing a visual novel at 60FPS must be like.

That temperature thing is weird, are you sure you don't have the CPU and GPU temperatures mixed up? I can tell you straightaway no modern game is that CPU intensive. 78°C is crazy, my CPU(the eight core version of yours) goes up to 35° during games, and only begins to approach the 60s after leaving Prime95 on for about 20 minutes.
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-09, 02:37

Actually I had to use a program called WSUS offline to download some updates and that kick started the windows update to find the other 215 updates. Neptunia rebirth's dungeon sequences & battles run perfectly well, add in arkham asylum, mechwarrior online, and dragon age inquisition (on med-high graphics) at a stable 60fps so I'm happy with that.

And as for the CPU, it has a stable 78c during any game, but I believe this is caused by poor airflow (all I have sucking air into the case is teh default 90mm fan the case came with ,this case wasn't meant to be used for a gaming rig), but because the side panel is easily removable Matt & I are talking about to taking the panel off, drilling a dozen or so small holes in it, mount a 200mm fan on the top venting air out of the case, and have the computer lay on it's side to create better airflow with the added fan.

And as for a visual novel at 60fps, I'll tell you how muv love runs when I get the chance.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-09, 10:40

Yeah I have heard the WSUS offline thing being used for this, glad it worked for you.

If it was really poor airflow your GPU would be that hot as well if not hotter. You might want to check that the heatsink/fan is secured properly and the thermal paste is present.
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Post by kaede on 2016-08-09, 14:50

Welp the heatsink wasn't secured properly, now secured and the max it went to while playing a few min of arkham city & Inquisition was 57c, putting a fan on is on the back burner for now, gonna get some more ram on payday.

inb4 http://downloadmoreram.com/
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2016-08-20, 19:31

I helped!
I can help you get more rem too: http://www.downloadmorerem.com
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2017-02-21, 03:23

@Corenat Rovarnus wrote:I can tell you straightaway no modern game is that CPU intensive. 78°C is crazy, my CPU(the eight core version of yours) goes up to 35° during games, and only begins to approach the 60s after leaving Prime95 on for about 20 minutes.

Alright I might have to do a partial retraction of this, it's been about nine months since the initial build and I now get occasional warnings that my CPU temperature is in excess of 65°C after playing CSGO for an extended period of time. Not the end of the world but cause for concern. I think it may be due to the dust buildup in the stock fansink, so I think I'll either get some compressed air or swap in an aftermarket cooler.
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Post by Corenat Rovarnus on 2017-03-28, 16:19

Got some ogrepriced brand name GAMER AIR from amazon [well the price was fair but Micro Center has some really cheap cans nowadays], blasted out the fansink and CPU temperature is back down to the 40s-50s under load. Also installed a 140mm case fan on the side panel for intake, funny story, the case does have holes for the screws but they're too big so it just hangs on the side. It was originally for the CPU but that didn't seem to have any effect so I moved it down and it actually helps cool the graphics card several degrees, which is tougher to de_dust because of the blower style cooler.
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