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  1. #1
    Vanilla Server Manager ethe334's Avatar
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    Possible PC Build

    Yo,

    As my previous thread said, I sold my computer. Now I have a part-time job, and some decent hours I decided it's time to get a new machine. So far, I am looking at the following builds: http://www.logicalincrements.com

    it would be the high-level superb, or low excellent.

    Any opinions?


  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ethe334 View Post
    Yo,

    As my previous thread said, I sold my computer. Now I have a part-time job, and some decent hours I decided it's time to get a new machine. So far, I am looking at the following builds: http://www.logicalincrements.com

    it would be the high-level superb, or low excellent.

    Any opinions?
    I've never looked into premade systems but that's an interesting chart, it gives you quite a bit of flexibility, although I would prefer to mix and match. Here are some opinions:

    Many games (although it depends what you want it for) only use 1 or 2 cores effectively, in my experience Intel have better performance per core, and also better performance per GHz, I was with AMD for 10 years and switched to Intel, felt good.

    For a small price difference I'd rather have an i5 6600K than a 6400, that's a nice solid base to start from and not worry about upgrades or "what if spent £45 more"

    240GB SSD seems a good amount and also affordable, it's enough for windows, a smattering of stuff and a couple of favourite games and some headroom. 120GB would do it, but would require some maintenance keeping it clear.

    I don't see the point in spending more than £30-£40 on a case, so long as it's got logical fan layout and airflow it's just a static piece of metal, I'd feel much happier with the next CPU up than a shiny case badge.

    Nice to see they are offering decent PSUs, they're important. Also, they haven't selected grossly extravagant motherboards, something like an MSI Z170-A Pro ticks all the boxes, without costing more because of reasons. I think that's the one I got my brother.

    Research, benchmarks and value all point me at the GTX970, if you buy less you may want more soon (or maybe you won't, depends how much you like shiny things). Anything more than a GTX970 is getting pretty expensive, but again some people like shinies. New range of nvidia cards out in half a year, so prices and choice will be changing, I've been wanting a 970 for some time but am just about hanging on to my AMD 7870XT. Just.

    Like I said, they are opinions based on my needs and budget. After researches I got my brother a 6600K, GTX970, 16GB DDR4 (because audio/video work) and a 480GB SSD. Entire PC including case and keyboard was £800 in November, seemed like the best value for decent performance.

    Anything J or Dom says outranks me, they know things

  3. #3
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    Commiellama makes some good point

    General thoughts: Get Intel + Nvidia, skip AMD.
    Intel runs cooler and has better performance overall than AMD. Intel is also a bit more expensive. However at the performance point of the CPU's we're discussing AMD simply doesn't have anything that comes close to Intel at this time. Next year that may change, but right now it's Intel all the way.

    No matter what the fans say, AMD drivers have always been, and this point I'm confident enough to say, always will be worse than Nvidia's. The past decade or so fans said AMD drives were OK. Only just recently has AMD fixed timing issues in Crossfire setups proving the fans wrong. However things are still a mess when you look at Freesync. Not to mention that whenever a big title launches AMD is usually the manufacturer with the most problems/glitches. So yeah, AMD hardware is good it really is. In fact, it's in some ways better than Nvidia's. But their software is holding them back severely. So if you can afford the slightly more expensive Nvidia I would certainly recommend getting an Nvidia card.

    CPU
    The difference between an i5 6400 and an i5 6600 is that the turbo boost of the i5 6400(which is temperature and workload dependent) is pretty much the base speed of the i5 6600.
    i5 6400: base 2.7GHz, turbo 3.3GHz.
    i5 6600: base 3.3GHz, turbo 3.9GHz.
    Does this matter for games? That depends. For Minecraft it certainly matters. Minecraft sucks because it's very much a single threaded workload which means that higher clock speeds affect performance a lot. Especially when you're running a ton of mods such as in the AMP mod pack.
    For more 'modern' games (GTA5, FO4, CIV5) it doesn't really matter. As long as the CPU can provide enough workload to the GPU you will not notice the difference between the two.

    And then you could always overclock your CPU a little to get a bit more bang for buck. By default they can overclock 600MHz. using their turbo boost. But you could probably crank both CPU's up to around 4GHz. with decent cooling.

    CPU cooler
    The stock cooler will work reliably. However they will prevent your CPU from using the turbo boost for extended periods of time. So if you intend to overclock your CPU a little (you should ), then get a better cooler. The listed Cooler Master 212 Evo is not very good. I'd recommend a Scythe Mugen 4 for around 36 euro, it's about 8 euro more than the 212 Evo.

    RAM
    8GB is enough for now. As far as RAM is concerned timings don't really matter. You'd be better of with 16GB 'slow' value RAM than 8GB high-end RAM with super timings. The Kingston HyperX Fury kit listed on Logical Increments will do fine. You could possibly get different RAM but the difference in price would be 1 or 2 euro. Not really worth it. You need DDR4 and a set of 2 sticks. You motherboard has 4 slots so if you put in 2 sticks now you'll be able to upgrade to 16GB later cheaper/more easily. Just put in 2 more sticks vs replacing memory sticks.

    GPU
    Nvidia GTX970 has a very good price/performance ratio. Get that. It doesn't matter a whole lot which GTX970 you get though. Some will have a small overclock, some will have better or more silent cooling. Some come bundled with games. Myself I prefer to get cards with a decent cooler on it. The MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G has been at the top of dutch pricewatch lists ever since it came out. It offers a small overclock and a good yet silent cooler. I have one myself and I'm happy with it. But keep in mind that the differences between GTX970 cards are small.

    Motherboard
    Basically anything with socket 1151 and a Z170 chipset will do nicely. You could go a bit cheaper and get a motherboard with an H170 chipset, but then you would loose overclocking abilities and multi GPU support. Multi GPU support isn't that important, but I would definitely try to keep the overclocking potential.
    Logical Increments lists an Asrock Z170 PRO4S. I would not recommend this board. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just really... meh. Instead I'd recommend an Asrock Z170 Extreme4. It's about 30 euro more expensive but it does offer a much better onboard sound card, has better overclocking potential and offers a bunch of expansions that the PRO4S does not. It also has an Intel network card which is a big plus in my book. Alternatively you could get an Asus Z170 PRO GAMING board which offers pretty much the same as the Asrock Z170 Extreme4 but has a bit more sensible layout. This only matters for maintenance and ease of upgrade though. This perk would cost an additional 10 euro.

    Case
    I think a good case is important. A good case in my opinion is one that offers good cooling and silent operation. I'm not too impressed with the cases listed on Logical Increments for around 100 euro. Instead I would recommend getting a Fractal Design Define R5 black. It has all the stuff you'd expect from a modern case. It's sleek, it's quite and it keeps my rig cool. It's also in the same price range starting at 102 euro. By default it comes with 2 case fans, one in the front and one in the back. This works well, but I'd recommend getting 2 more 140mm case fans for it. One extra in the front and one in the top of the case. Air goes in the front and out the back/top.
    Fractal Design Dynamic GP-14 White blades, 140mm
    be quiet! Pure Wings 2, 140mm
    Both will do. Fractal's is 12euro, be quiet!'s is 8.

    Power supply
    For this build I'd recommend a PSU that can supply around 500W or above. It won't use that much but more powerful power supplies tend to be more efficient which means they run cooler, make less noise and are more reliable. Logical Increments lists a Seasonic S12II-Bronze 620W. That PSU will do fine. However it is not a modular power supply which means you'll have a bunch of cables in your case that do nothing but obstruct airflow or just get in the way of things. With the case above it's not a huge issue though. This PSU is also 80+ bronze which means as far as ratings go it's an entry level PSU. You could get an 80+ gold PSU but it would probably cost around 40 euro more. 80+ Gold means it'll run more efficiently and cooler. It also means that the PSU will most likely be modular so no unused cables in the case. If you'd like to spend more on a PSU I can give a recommendation for this. But it's more of an extras kind of thing rather than something that will effect gaming performance.

    Storage
    I'd recommend a mix of SSD and mechanical HD. The motherboard above has an m.2 slot which you can use for crazy fast SSDs, however those will cost quite a bit more than regular SATA SSD's. This is something you might consider as an upgrade in a year or so.
    Logical Increments recommends a 120 SSD. That's not enough space if you ask me. GTA 5 alone without mods weighs in at around 65GB.

    So for now I'd recommend a Crucial BX200 240GB which costs around 60 euro. And a WD Blue 1TB for around 50 euro. Alternatively a 2TB WD Blue costs around 73 euro.

    Monitor
    Will you be getting a new one? If so there are a few things to consider. Myself I prefer an IPS/VA monitor over a faster TN one. The IPS panels have better colors and better view angles than the faster TN panels do. Granted the refresh rates of TN are more suitable for gaming, but since most of the time I'm not gaming when I'm behind my PC I went with IPS. That being said, IPS/VA is more expensive than TN.

    TN panels offer better refresh rates which is something you want if you do a lot of gaming. A basic 60Hz model will do, but you could also consider one with G-Sync or a 120Hz or even a 144Hz panel. Between those three it doesn't really matter which you get. G-Sync is nice if your PC isn't fast enough to run the game at 60fps. It'll scale back the refresh rate of your monitor with smaller increments than a regular monitor could. This means that instead of going from a 60Hz refresh rate to a 30Hz, you could go to maybe 50 or 40. The difference is quite big. In fact I'd say that G-Sync is just as big a thing as Anti Aliasing. However I'd say for now G-Sync is something you'd probably want for 4K gaming which this build is not suitable for. I'd recommend staying in the FullHD or WQHD range. (1920x1080 or 2560x1440)

    That being said, if you get a 144Hz monitor then G-Sync doesn't add all that much except a 100 euro price tag on the monitor. So if you're considering this I'd recommend getting either 120/144Hz or G-Sync. Both is even better of course, but also more expensive.

    If you have a size or resolution in mind I can give you some specific recommendations. Here are a few general ones:
    BenQ XL2411Z: 24" 1920x1080 144Hz TN panel 290 euro
    Eizo Foris FG2421 23.5" 1920x1080 120Hz with 240Hz turbo, VA Panel 410 euro (pricey but very good, I'd get this one if I were in the market for a 24" monitor)

    Conclusion
    I've made quite a few recommendations that are a bit more expensive than what Logical Increments has listed. If you follow these recommendations it means you'll get a better and more quiet PC. But it also means you'll have to save money it bit longer. If you follow the Logical Increments recommendations you'll end up with a decent PC. So either way you can't really go wrong.

  4. #4
    Vanilla Server Manager ethe334's Avatar
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    Thank you both for your replies, they are both extremely informative and have given me an idea of what to look for.
    I was looking on sales sights for our local area, and came across this system for £350 (second-hand)

    HP Envy 700 - Upgraded graphics card (GTX 660 -> GTX 760)
    Type: Desktop

    Colour: Black
    Processor: Intel® Core™ i7-4770 processor (3.4 GHz, 3.9 GHz with TurboBoost, 8 MB cache)
    Operating system: Windows 10
    Storage: 2 TB HDD 7200 rpm
    RAM: 16 GB DDR3
    Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
    Graphics card memory: 1.5 GB GDDR5
    Motherboard: Intel Z87
    Wireless: 802.11 b/g/n
    Ethernet: Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000)
    USB: USB 3.0 x 4, USB 2.0 x 4
    Video interface: HDMI x 1, DisplayPort x 1- DVI x 2
    Audio interface: 3.5 mm jack
    Optical drive: DVD/RW
    Memory card reader: 15-in-1 memory card reader
    Expansion card slot: PCIe x 1, PCIe (x16) x 1
    Sound: Beats Audio Console, High Definition Audio 7.1
    PSU: 460 W
    Accessories included: AC power adapter,
    Dimensions: 412 x 175 x 415 mm (H x W x D) (unboxed), 499 x 285 x 521 mm (H x W x D) (boxed)
    Weight: 12.15 kg (unboxed), 15 kg (boxed)
    Last edited by ethe334; 22nd February 2016 at 15:17.


  5. #5
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of getting second hand parts. Assuming they work as intended it can be a huge money saver.

    The good:
    • CPU
    • RAM
    • Disk

    The bad:

    Unknown:
    • Motherboard. The chipset is good, we just don't know which motherboard it is exactly. If it's an HP one then it's probably reliable, which is good. But you may or may not be able to overclock your CPU very well or at all. Depending on what you want to do this may not even matter.
    • Power supply. It may or may not be able to run a better graphics card. A GTX970 should use less power in idle and overall than a GTX760 but it also has a higher peak usage as well. This means a GTX970 can work well most of the time, and then in the heat of the moment in some very demanding game it may cause instabilities if the power supply can't cope.

    Things I would upgrade or add:
    • SSD.
    • GTX970. One that has a rear exhaust since I don't know if the HP has enough cooling capacity inside it's case. If it does then get the MSI one I recommended earlier. How can you tell? If it has at least two 120mm fans in the case then it's probably good enough. If you can add fans to increase cooling it's also no problem. Otherwise: rear exhaust GTX970, it's the one with the stock cooler which has a radial fan and looks like this:
      Spoiler!
    • Possibly a better power supply if the current one can't handle the GTX970. You can try and see how it goes. If it works well and can survive a stress test then you are good to go.
    • Possibly a better CPU cooler if you can overclock and want to do this. It depends on the case though. HP often has custom cooling which you can't (or shouldn't) simply replace. You show me pics, I'll tell you if it's a good idea


    So yes, I wouldn't hesitate getting that second hand HP and upgrading a few parts. HP makes reliable PCs overall.

    Oh, and keep in mind that you can probably sell the GTX760 for about 100 euro. Check current second hand prices to be sure.

  6. #6
    Vanilla Server Manager ethe334's Avatar
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    Thanks J!


  7. #7
    Cake! InsaneJ's Avatar
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    This guy spends about the same as he would have on a new entry level gaming PC to get a setup with second hand Dual Intel Xeon E5-2670 boasting 16 cores and 32 threads. In games it performs a little less than an Intel Core i7 4790K which is a pretty high-end consumer grade CPU. In non-gaming tasks (the Adobe example in the video is an anomaly) it destroys the i7.

    This almost makes me want to go back in time and reconsider the server upgrade I did a while ago
    Since our new server's CPU is clocked much higher than the second hand Xeons it will perform better for Minecraft servers. But still, this is really cool stuff. And if I were in the market for a new PC on which I do the things I normally do on a PC, I'd definitely consider doing this.


    2x INTEL XEON E5-2670 8 CORE CPUs for $67,90 each.

    SuperMicro X9DRW-IF Dual LGA2011 Intel Server Motherboard for $199,99

    Hynix 64GB 8X8GB 2RX4 DDR3-1333MHz PC3-10600R ECC REG for $121,60

    Just add CPU coolers, Video Card, Case, Power supply, some storage and you've got a whopper of a PC

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