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Trying for a gaming build, need advice on GPU and CPU choices

I'm investigating building a gaming oriented rig for about $1000 (give or take a bit). I've been researching the past few days and I've got some ideas now. I've mostly been focusing on the CPU and GPU choice, figuring everything else sort of stems off of those two main components.

Right now, I'm looking at a GTX 770 for the GPU. For the CPU, I'm looking at either the i5 3750k (seems like a solid staple) or the FX-8350. My goals are simple: Run games like BF4 and Far Cry 3 on the highest possible settings at 1920x1080.

For the GPU choice, I've noticed that benchmark numbers don't always reflect real-world performance. The 770 is a top benchmarker, but is it really any better than, say, a GTX 670? Is there a better, cheaper option out there I should look at? I'd like to get something with Crossfire/SLI capabilities for future expandability.

For the CPU, I've heard the AMD will be the better performer down the road, as games are being oriented to AMD processors these days. Is this true? Should I go with the slightly cheaper AMD, or stick with the i5? Or is there a way better option out there that I'm completely missing? I should note I'm not looking to overclock, at least not in the near future.

I'm going to continue researching, but I was hoping you guys could clear a couple specifics up for me. Thanks!
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  1. The 8350 is a good gaming chip but I would say the 4670 on the intel camp is a bit better if you happen to go that route just get the k model its unlocked and you can over clock as far as your gpu is 650 ti nvidia or higher will game well for you as of now dont base your system around battle field 4 because it has so many bugs and it wont matter what hardware you have same as the cod gHOSTS alot of bugs you can always upgrade later to fit your needs hope this helps.
  2. AMD vs Intel CPU's:
    It's true that many games will be optimized for AMD due to their use in consules.
    atm the i5 will perform better then the 8350 at games that were optimize for it, and the 8350 will perform better in games optimize for it/consules (obv). But atm the i5 is a little bit better in benchmarks then the 8350.

    GPU's:
    The 770 is better by 18%~25% then the 670, you can compare all GPU's at this site:
    http://www.hwcompare.com/


    Best PC Builds for the money (but without case/cdDrive/OS etc'):

    Intel: Go Fro the i5 4670k coz it's better and same price (look here: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/id-1724362/3570k-4670k.html#.)

    The Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1YEbP = ~990$

    AMD: The 8350 is bgonna leave space for some more improvements (So i add a Water CPU cooler - check for case compatibility):

    The Build: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/1YEkr = ~1018$


    Suggestions: Keep the SSD that i included, Keep the 4Gb 770, AMD CPU fan is loud so if you want a silent rig take a different CPU cooler.


    Enjoy !
  3. I'm running an FX 8320 overclocked at 4.0ghz (basically the FX8350) with a Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 (just to give you an idea) and I'm running BF4 on max settings with no issues at all. I would think the FX 8350 will suit you just fine if you're not overclocking.

    For the CPU cooler I got a Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo. It's a great bang for your buck and it's quiet also.
  4. Thanks for the info guys! It sounds like I couldn't go wrong with either the FX or the i5, but maybe the i5 4670k would be the way to go. I'll have to do a bit more research, but this gives me some more to go on. The AMD would certainly allow an extra upgrade, but the i5 sounds like it may be the better option. We'll see.

    The GTX 770 definitely seems like the way to go, so I think I'm gonna go ahead and lock that one in. But what about video memory? Is there really a good reason to spend the money on the 4 gig version over the 2 gig version? I remember reading that video memory was great to have, but wouldn't make a huge difference, but that was quite a while ago so that may be well out of date.

    And lastly, what about solid state drives? That's another thing that was just a buzz term last time I was looking at a build. People were using them, but they were incredibly expensive for almost no performance return. I understand SSD will write faster than a disk because of spin up times and so on, but does it really create a large enough difference over a 7200rpm disk drive to make it worth the price tag? What's the goal with SSD now?
  5. Best answer
    Dresgeve8710 said:
    Thanks for the info guys! It sounds like I couldn't go wrong with either the FX or the i5, but maybe the i5 4670k would be the way to go. I'll have to do a bit more research, but this gives me some more to go on. The AMD would certainly allow an extra upgrade, but the i5 sounds like it may be the better option. We'll see.

    The GTX 770 definitely seems like the way to go, so I think I'm gonna go ahead and lock that one in. But what about video memory? Is there really a good reason to spend the money on the 4 gig version over the 2 gig version? I remember reading that video memory was great to have, but wouldn't make a huge difference, but that was quite a while ago so that may be well out of date.

    And lastly, what about solid state drives? That's another thing that was just a buzz term last time I was looking at a build. People were using them, but they were incredibly expensive for almost no performance return. I understand SSD will write faster than a disk because of spin up times and so on, but does it really create a large enough difference over a 7200rpm disk drive to make it worth the price tag? What's the goal with SSD now?


    Ok so about the 4Gb GDDR5 vs 2Gb.. I missed the 1920x1080 part so Usually 2Gb on a video card will be enough to handle most games unless you play on 3 monitors or have 1 monitor with bigger resolution then the 1920x1080. I would suggest investing in a better mobo then the one in the "Intel Build" (But it won't really make a difference in performance unless you OC), anyway look here:

    1. Best for the money: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz87xoc
    2. Recomended: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/asrock-motherboard-z87extreme6
    3. Only if you want to go all the way - http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz87xud5h


    SSD's:
    The SSD i included is for installing the *OS + about *15Gb cache pertition.
    * Installing th OS on a SSD will make the Windows load about 3 times faster, will run all progs installed on it up to 5 (or more) times faster then a normal HDD ~ Give Or Take. And you can install a few games that loading time is important to you.
    * The cache partition will boost your HDD to up to 3 times faster in most Read/Write opperations (google it if needed).


    Enjoy :P
  6. So the video memory CAN help, but only at higher resolutions. Am I understanding that correctly? I didn't think about posting my display earlier, but I'm actually planning to run this on my 42 inch Vizio HDTV. I believe the native resolution is 1920x1080, but I'll double check this. For now, let's pretend it is :P Anyway, am I correct in saying the size of the screen doesn't matter to the GPU, only the resolution? (since resolution would scale with the TV, yes?) This may be the clincher for the extra video memory.

    That's a good argument for the SSD :P I'm not sure of any games that I have that need crazy good loading times, but...I'm sure I could find a couple, haha. Faster load times on the OS would be good though.
  7. instead of the 770, why dont you go for the 280x?
  8. tank4102 said:
    instead of the 770, why dont you go for the 280x?


    The 770 performed a bit better usually, I've posted in my first comment a site that will compare gpu's , take a look
  9. Dresgeve8710 said:
    So the video memory CAN help, but only at higher resolutions. Am I understanding that correctly? I didn't think about posting my display earlier, but I'm actually planning to run this on my 42 inch Vizio HDTV. I believe the native resolution is 1920x1080, but I'll double check this. For now, let's pretend it is :P Anyway, am I correct in saying the size of the screen doesn't matter to the GPU, only the resolution? (since resolution would scale with the TV, yes?) This may be the clincher for the extra video memory.

    That's a good argument for the SSD :P I'm not sure of any games that I have that need crazy good loading times, but...I'm sure I could find a couple, haha. Faster load times on the OS would be good though.


    Yup, you got it right about resolution impact on the performance. And that a 42" tv with 1080p res will perform same as a 22".
  10. Dresgeve8710 said:
    And lastly, what about solid state drives? That's another thing that was just a buzz term last time I was looking at a build. People were using them, but they were incredibly expensive for almost no performance return. I understand SSD will write faster than a disk because of spin up times and so on, but does it really create a large enough difference over a 7200rpm disk drive to make it worth the price tag? What's the goal with SSD now?


    I use my SSD to install the OS and programs for my computer along with a separate HDD for my files such as music, pictures, etc.

    I noticed a HUGE difference and don't regret getting a SSD at all. I highly recommend it if you can fit it in your budget. I got a 120gb SSD and Windows 8 boots up in what feels like instantly (don't know the exact time). I know for sure that Adobe Photoshop CC loads everything within 2 seconds and loading times are a lot faster overall. I would definitely recommend installing your OS on a SSD.
  11. Alright, so so far I have the GTX 770 on the list and either the 3570k or 4670k (trying to decide on Haswell versus Ivy. I've heard mixed things about Haswell when it comes to future OCing, which I may end up doing at some point. So still deciding on those two.). Next step is the mobo. What do I need to look for? They all look relatively the same to me, so I'm a bit lost. I also see some of them have integrated wifi. I live in an apartment that has no hardwired connections (I know, crazy right? It's college oriented housing, so they expect laptops only.), so I'll need some wireless option. Is the integrated a good option, or am I better off getting a basic wifi card and not worrying about a mobo with an integrated system?

    Once I get that handled, it's just a matter of the niggly bits like what hard drive setup, cooling, how much memory, random stuff. No problem.

    Well, except money :P Gotta make sure on that too, haha.
  12. About the CPU's just in case you didn't know - the 4670k is about ~10% better when talking overall performance BUT they are almost the same when gaming at STOCK speeds. you can see it here:
    http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?page=0&itemid=1087

    The 4670k IPC increase over the 3570k will make it the same or better speed even if your overclock would be lower, And as youll see in the next video the haswell OC potential might be slightly better:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkC8dL5ngn4

    ** Do not forget that you cant know how a CPU will react to OC, you may get a super OC CPU or a CPU that will allow a 200Mhz OC only **


    The real thing that will make a difference is the mobo, z77 is ivy and the z87 is haswell, the z87 mobos have some improvements over the z77, for example - most z77's has only 2 Native SATA 6G ports, another thing is that nowadays the z87 mobo's are not that expensive as they used to be.
    About money and OC, the mobo is very important, so adding some money for OC stability is sort of a FailSafe to the whole system.
    So for Money Per Performance go for this on:
    * The mobo:http://pcpartpicker.com/part/gigabyte-motherboard-gaz87xoc
    * Tom's Hardware Review of it:http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Gigabyte-GA-Z87X-OC-Motherboard-unboxing-photos,22481.html

    As a conclution, I can't see a reason to get 3570k over the 4670k.
    ** For either of them - Follow this OC video guide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qcta3RStYSM **

    EDIT: For the wifi, getting a separated router sounds better coz if somthing goes wrong with an integrated wifi you will have to disassemble all your PC (thats in case the mobo didnt come with a external Router itself).
  13. Dresgeve8710 said:
    I also see some of them have integrated wifi. I live in an apartment that has no hardwired connections (I know, crazy right? It's college oriented housing, so they expect laptops only.), so I'll need some wireless option. Is the integrated a good option, or am I better off getting a basic wifi card and not worrying about a mobo with an integrated system?


    I don't really care much for integrated wifi, just as long as it had integrated audio.
    My router is about 20 ft away from me so I just bought a IOGEAR GWU625 wifi-N USB adapter and it works just fine. You can move it around and if you ever want to upgrade you can easily remove it/replace it.
  14. Alright, I finally have a little better idea of my budget...and I may need to cut back just a bit from $1000. Just by a hundred or two, not too bad. Where would be the best place to sacrifice? I'm guessing the GPU, since that seems to be the most easily upgradeable of the major parts. But would there be a better place to shave some cost?
  15. Dresgeve8710 said:
    Alright, I finally have a little better idea of my budget...and I may need to cut back just a bit from $1000. Just by a hundred or two, not too bad. Where would be the best place to sacrifice? I'm guessing the GPU, since that seems to be the most easily upgradeable of the major parts. But would there be a better place to shave some cost?


    The GPU will likely always be your most expensive part of your build. Don't buy a "decent" GPU to upgrade later, always buy the best one you can (for your budget). It's not worth getting one to upgrade later.
    PSU's, don't cheap out on that. Find a good brand that is reliable because a generic PSU can ruin your entire system.
    Case should be ~$50 for a decent one.
    Actually, I guess you can take a look at my build in my signature. Mine was about $900ish.
  16. Yeah, the GPU sounds like the best place to shed a few bucks at least. I definitely don't want to go with the "upgrade later" attitude since the $100 I may save now just means a $400 purchase later, thus costing me $300 extra. I've been looking around a little at other GPU options that have comparable performance but at a lower price than the GTX 770. So far it looks like the GTX 760 may be a contender, coming in at sometimes over $100 cheaper than the 770 but still an ample performing device for some of the games I would run. But are there better options I may be overlooking? It may be best to just wait a bit to see if the money comes together, but maybe there's a better option as well. Who knows. Figure it's best to look at all of my options before diving in.
  17. I would suggest looking at a 670. Very powerful cards. Heres a build I put together for another dude:

    http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Keira2142/saved/2NlZ

    Very similar to my current rig with some downsized hardware. Eg I'm running a 770 with a 560Ti running my second monitor and dedicated to Physx. Also using a Pro-4 and i54670. I get over 60 FPS constantly in BF4 on ultra at 1920x1080. Fun fact: Thats higher than the R9 290X that TH benchmarked

    EDIT: You should also be able to pick up a 670 for an absolute steal. My mates is still going strong and will usually come within 10-5 FPS of my 770
  18. Alright guys, so I've done some searching...around the myriad of exams and homework I've had recently (why did I sign up for a Physics-Math major combo?)... and here's what I've got so far: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/22bvs

    I'm sure there are problems here, but who knows, maybe I got it right :P I decided to go with the GTX 670 for now since the performance is only a small step behind the GTX 770 (from what I can see in benchmark and FPS tests and such) but saves me about $60, which is definitely helpful. I also may be able to shave some cost on the OS, since I believe Microsoft offers student discounts, though I haven't checked in a while. The tower is a point of contention yet, as I picked that one mostly as a placeholder. There may be a cheaper or equally-priced better option out there, who knows. And I know, I know, I should have an SSD option in there. But the cost is still a bit prohibitive for me, since money became a tad tighter for this project. I'd love to have one, but maybe in the future. Thankfully adding storage space is the easy part of computers, haha, and I do rebuild my systems about once a year (...sometimes because I mess them up... but sometimes just 'cause) so it would be easy to move the OS to an SSD in the future. Or, perhaps it would be a good idea to just go with a smaller sized SSD now just to use for the OS and maybe a couple small programs. Not sure yet on that one.

    Anyway, any suggestions on that build? Places I could save or better use the money? Once I start ordering I'll be looking around for the best prices I can find, so this price may fluctuate anyway (going to check for good Newegg combos as well. Those can save a few bucks sometimes.). We're not hitting a huge hardware sales month or anything I should wait for, are we? :P
  19. Dresgeve8710 said:
    Alright guys, so I've done some searching...around the myriad of exams and homework I've had recently (why did I sign up for a Physics-Math major combo?)... and here's what I've got so far: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/22bvs

    I'm sure there are problems here, but who knows, maybe I got it right :P I decided to go with the GTX 670 for now since the performance is only a small step behind the GTX 770 (from what I can see in benchmark and FPS tests and such) but saves me about $60, which is definitely helpful. I also may be able to shave some cost on the OS, since I believe Microsoft offers student discounts, though I haven't checked in a while. The tower is a point of contention yet, as I picked that one mostly as a placeholder. There may be a cheaper or equally-priced better option out there, who knows. And I know, I know, I should have an SSD option in there. But the cost is still a bit prohibitive for me, since money became a tad tighter for this project. I'd love to have one, but maybe in the future. Thankfully adding storage space is the easy part of computers, haha, and I do rebuild my systems about once a year (...sometimes because I mess them up... but sometimes just 'cause) so it would be easy to move the OS to an SSD in the future. Or, perhaps it would be a good idea to just go with a smaller sized SSD now just to use for the OS and maybe a couple small programs. Not sure yet on that one.

    Anyway, any suggestions on that build? Places I could save or better use the money? Once I start ordering I'll be looking around for the best prices I can find, so this price may fluctuate anyway (going to check for good Newegg combos as well. Those can save a few bucks sometimes.). We're not hitting a huge hardware sales month or anything I should wait for, are we? :P


    The student offer from Microsoft is actually for UPGRADE not the builders edition. I also looked into that (I'm a student also) and I found out it was an upgrade, so you're going to have to find a builders edition. An SSD isn't necessarily required, it's just highly suggested. I've heard that moving the OS from your HDD to an SSD is a huge pain but I could be wrong. Just don't settle for a real small SSD for now, trust me. In time you're going to wish you bought a bigger SSD. If anything, you could just buy a decently sized SSD (~120gb+?) to install your OS/main programs for now and add in an HDD later for your files (process that I did with my build, even though it's with a recycled HDD).

    As for the sales thing, I don't really care much for black friday/cyber monday. In my experience, they slowly raise the prices of the items earlier in the year and once that rolls around they drop it to retail value. So people end up thinking they saved money. I ordered all the parts from my build about 2 weeks ago and ordered a monitor a couple days ago and since then the prices have jacked up a bit.
    It's up to you on what you want to do, you can wait and see if the items will drop in price or not. Usually, the items you want won't drop at all.
  20. Aww, dang, I was hoping to save a little there. I have a family member who works in computers for a living, so I'll try that avenue for a discount maybe.

    You're probably right on the SSD. Better get the bigger on straight off. Well here's a question. In the process of trying to fix a laptop recently, I now have a spare 2.5 inch 750 gb 7200rpm drive sitting here. How possible is it to simply mount that as the disk drive for now? I could then snag an SSD and still have large scale storage. Could have a 1tb instead if I went with 5400rpm, since I have one of those here too in 2.5 inch.

    Yeah, I'm not a fan of Black Friday. You can still get a deal, just no different from a regular sale. I'll just browse around and start gathering parts as I find good prices.
  21. Dresgeve8710 said:
    Aww, dang, I was hoping to save a little there. I have a family member who works in computers for a living, so I'll try that avenue for a discount maybe.

    You're probably right on the SSD. Better get the bigger on straight off. Well here's a question. In the process of trying to fix a laptop recently, I now have a spare 2.5 inch 750 gb 7200rpm drive sitting here. How possible is it to simply mount that as the disk drive for now? I could then snag an SSD and still have large scale storage. Could have a 1tb instead if I went with 5400rpm, since I have one of those here too in 2.5 inch.

    Yeah, I'm not a fan of Black Friday. You can still get a deal, just no different from a regular sale. I'll just browse around and start gathering parts as I find good prices.


    I know exactly how you feel on that, I was bummed out also baha. It's worth a try! Or you could try find a local computer store, I snagged some cables/optical drives really cheap at mine. The HDD I'm currently using was actually from an old laptop I had (going to buy a 1TB HDD once I run out of space/find a deal), it's really easy actually. You just have to buy a bracket for it (you also need a bracket for your SSD as it'll be 2.5in). I bought a bracket which had two slots so I have both my SSD and HDD in there and it was only $5 from Amazon.
  22. Ah, very nice. I'll check out that option then. It would certainly be nice to have that SSD now so I don't have to worry about installing things in the future. The actual connectors on a laptop drive are the same as on a full size drive, right? I haven't dealt wth full size drives in ages, haha, so I know that's an incredibly basic question.

    So yeah, unless someone has a better suggestion on that build, I think I may go ahead with it.
  23. Dresgeve8710 said:
    Ah, very nice. I'll check out that option then. It would certainly be nice to have that SSD now so I don't have to worry about installing things in the future. The actual connectors on a laptop drive are the same as on a full size drive, right? I haven't dealt wth full size drives in ages, haha, so I know that's an incredibly basic question.

    So yeah, unless someone has a better suggestion on that build, I think I may go ahead with it.


    Yes, SSD's do wonders. My system boots up to desktop in about 10 seconds. Yes, they use the same connectors.
  24. I think you should wait for the 280X toxic to be back in stock and buy that.
  25. That's a $100 jump in cost. The reason for going with a 670 instead of the 770 was the cost difference.
  26. Ive noticed very little performance difference between the 670 and the 770. 670 is a beast of a card
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