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Almajo88
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28 Sep 2017, 6:30 pm

This may be too niche of a topic to have any legs, but it's interesting to me and hopefully to the other PC gamers out there.

Hardware is in an interesting place right now! Intel is no longer the superior option for mid- and high-end processors, albeit not quite in the state that it was back in the Pentium 4 and Athlon 64 days. AMD is still not producing worthwhile graphics cards - in my opinion, Vegas is an absolute dud - but Ryzen is hot stuff. Intel is quite literally hot stuff, though, because they keep cheaping out on the soldered TIM to the point where there's a mini-industry in de-lidding devices.

We're also in a position now where budget graphics cards are capable of great results and power efficiency compared to consoles, at least on the Nvidia side.

What are you guys running? I have a 1050 Ti, i5 4570S and 16GB of DDR3-1600. My OS (and general app storage) disk is a 120GB Samsung EVO 840 SSD, and I use a 3TB whatever hard drive for my games. I've been considering upgrading but really, if I replace that processor then I'll have to buy expensive DDR4 and a new motherboard. I might just ride this thing for as long as it lives. The 1050 Ti will probably be replaced but it seems to outperform the PS4 Pro, so pragmatically I have little reason to change, especially since PC ports tend to be of a much higher quality now than last-gen.

Do you all make any clock or voltage modifications? I'm running significant undervolting on my processor and my 1050 Ti is overclocked, because there is no real downside in doing so. There is no possibility of adjusting power and voltage levels, because it's powered solely through the PCI-E slot. I'm more fond of undervolting in general, and as an aside I'll say that undervolting my phone improves its performance a lot by reducing thermal throttling (this doesn't usually apply here, though).

Are you looking for recommendations? I'm wondering if there are people here who are wanting to get in to PC gaming but who have little knowledge when it comes to buying the appropriate computer. Certainly, ask here if this is the case.

Anyway, let's talk about computer stuff. If this thread goes anywhere I'll probably edit this post with hardware recommendations. We'll see~!



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29 Sep 2017, 2:40 am

I run an overclocked 4790k at 4.6Ghz at just under 1.3v. It runs cool at about 50-60 degrees Celsius at load on an AIO cooler. No delid because there's really no point with the temperatures I get now. For GPU I have a 1080 Ti, which is overclocked to run at about 2050mhz. I have 16GB of DDR3 at 1600mhz and three Samsung 850 EVO SSDs, and two 4TB hard drives.

I think it's exciting that AMD are catching up but I don't think their chips are as disruptive as people say. Most average consumer workloads don't use many threads and thus single threaded performance becomes much more important, something Ryzen doesn't do great in. In short unless you're doing lots of CPU intensive tasks like image and video editing, if you have a mid to high end Intel chip from the last four years there's no point upgrading to either Intel or AMD's new offerings - that includes a large amount of people.

I am a computer hardware enthusiast - I like building and built computers for all my family, a bunch of compact small form factor systems. I would like to upgrade my CPU next, but theres nothing out that I would consider an upgrade worth my money - a new CPU at this time would necessitate a board and RAM upgrade too.



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29 Sep 2017, 8:31 am

I think I'm running a GTX 650 Ti BOOST, but I don't play a lot of newer games. Dead Island runs decent on it, could be better, but it's more than playable.

Lately, the most PC gaming I've been doing is The Pinball Arcade, and that runs fine maxed out.

I haven't overclocked anything for years and years, I've never really been interested in it, but I do have an Asus EEE PC 701 that I will disable the underclock when I need to (IIRC it's rated for 900MHz but Asus set it at 660 or so).


I also have some vintage stuff, like some 486s, Pentiums, an Apple II and an Atari 600XL B)


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Almajo88
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05 Oct 2017, 7:51 pm

Enigmatic_Oddity wrote:
I run an overclocked 4790k at 4.6Ghz at just under 1.3v. It runs cool at about 50-60 degrees Celsius at load on an AIO cooler. No delid because there's really no point with the temperatures I get now. For GPU I have a 1080 Ti, which is overclocked to run at about 2050mhz. I have 16GB of DDR3 at 1600mhz and three Samsung 850 EVO SSDs, and two 4TB hard drives.


That's pretty sensible, keeping a good 4th gen Intel system is entirely reasonable given how little processor performance has advanced, and how little current consoles are pushing the CPU (Pro and X are still limited by the Jaguar architecture).

I had 16GB of DDR3-1600 too, except that in the process of moving my system earlier today I managed to somehow kill three of my four 4GB sticks. I'm not sure how that happened. Is memory still ridiculously expensive? I was hoping to ride as long as I could on Haswell.

SabbraCadabra wrote:
I think I'm running a GTX 650 Ti BOOST, but I don't play a lot of newer games. Dead Island runs decent on it, could be better, but it's more than playable.


It's low-end, but, I spent quite a while playing games on my Intel integrated graphics when I couldn't afford to replace my old card, and I managed to play plenty of last-gen games perfectly fine at 720p. Your 650 Ti is much more powerful. Being able to play whatever games you can on whatever you have it a large part of the appeal of PC gaming.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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06 Oct 2017, 1:28 am

Memory is still ridiculously expensive. But if it's DDR3, you can probably source that second hand easily for cheap. You should generally remove things like RAM and graphics card from the motherboard if you intend on moving the computer in a way that might cause sudden acceleration/deceleration (like in a car), because the parts of the PCB where they connect to the motherboard can easily break.



Misery
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06 Oct 2017, 4:47 am

Heck if I can remember specs very well, but looking at dxdiag's readout (because I'm too lazy to look in more detail), I see that I'm running an i7-6700K CPU, it says. 16 gigs of ram, and a GTX 970 when it comes to the video card.

I'm also using a solid-state drive, because I have zero patience. So this means that I have no load times in pretty much anything. If a game DOES create an actual noticable load time for any aspect of it, it probably means something is wrong. The drive is about a big as SS drives get, in terms of how much space it has.

The only other really noticable thing is the bizarre keyboard I use. It's a Chroma, so it's very... glowy. Colorful. I also was for the longest time using a "RAT" mouse (made by Madcatz, actually) which was probably the best mouse I've owned (surprising), yet it's design was so freaking weird. I remember when my cousin saw it the first time his response was "what the heck did you DO to that thing? Did you smash it?" but no, that half-shattered look is how it's designed. I always wondered why. Most games though, I use a PS4 controller for.

Overall, it's a good setup, and the machine as a whole will typically run anything at max settings. I dont bother with overclocking or any of that, I dont see the point. Too much effort and frankly I'm not very good with hardware. It can be interesting, but nobody should ever trust me to do anything with it. Even me trying to just install new RAM is a disaster waiting to happen. I had the thing built at the Fry's rather than break all the expensive stuff by trying to do it myself.

I will say that other than the keyboard it's not exactly the flashiest machine. So many PC towers nowadays are all shiny and funky looking. Mine is a featureless monolith. But it does have USB slots on the TOP of the tower rather than just on the back. That may seem minor to most, but it's the whole reason I chose that.



Enigmatic_Oddity
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06 Oct 2017, 8:00 am

I've seen those RAT mice, they do look really weird and the first time I saw one I didn't know what it was.

When I finally get around to upgrading my computer I kind of want to change over to a 'flashy' machine. When I made my current build I was going for an understated minimalist look but over time I've added so many things that it seems pointless to try and keep it looking that way. I feel like I might upgrade my hardware just to justify rebuilding in a nicer case like the one of those tempered glass cases and filling it up with LEDs.

My current rig.

Image

I also have made computers for family and friends. These are my parents' and sister's small form factor PCs, which I had a lot of fun making.

Image
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Misery
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06 Oct 2017, 8:13 am

Well yours is certainly at least organized. Very organized.

I've got all my stuff mounted on an industrial table that came from who knows where, mostly covered in wires and random things. It's an even more tangled mess underneath. And I just noticed that one of the speakers is on the floor, has probably been there for awhile... aint any room on the right side though, so... feh.

Did get a new monitor recently though. Kinda let the old one be there until it was nearly dead. I dont normally care too much about monitors but this one can rotate into portrait mode, fantastic for shmups... been wanting a screen that could do that for like the last 5 years.

On a side note, I do wish I had that rat mouse back. I'm currently stuck with this ultra-cheap junky thing, an "iHome" mouse that I got for like $20. Sitting right next to it is an $80 Logitech mouse... that I cant use. WHY, I wonder, are almost all modern mice now shaped like gigantic lumps? I cant even HOLD the thing without my entire arm flaring up. Are these supposed to be ergonomic? Whole reason I bought the crap mouse instead is because it's very flat. Actually usable. I dont know what I'll do if that thing dies. It was literally the only non-lump mouse I could find. Since it's junky it's likely not to last very long.



NamelessNinja42
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06 Oct 2017, 11:26 am

Hey, so I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to building a computer. I know how to program in c++ and python, and I know every part that I need and how it goes together. I just need help on what parts I should buy to go with a specific motherboard. Don't want to buy pieces that won't fit with my motherboard and be screwed. Wanting to build a gaming PC, any recommendations on best parts for a computer 850 or under? I have a tower already.



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06 Oct 2017, 6:40 pm

I recommend PCPartPicker.com for checking hardware compatibility and pricing builds.



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07 Oct 2017, 2:32 am

I used to be interested in building my own boxes, but i've gotten tired of it during the years, and there are custom rigs you can buy in stores that are adapted to gaming, albeit a bit expensive.

For the moment, i've gone over to laptops, with somewhat more powerful graphics adapters so i can play on the low end of modern games.

I used to "go 100% SSD" but recently i've given that up. I keep games on a 500 gig SSD and backups/data on a external 2 TB USB drive, as well as keeping the important data backed up on my google drive.


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SabbraCadabra
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07 Oct 2017, 11:55 pm

Almajo88 wrote:
It's low-end, but, I spent quite a while playing games on my Intel integrated graphics when I couldn't afford to replace my old card, and I managed to play plenty of last-gen games perfectly fine at 720p. Your 650 Ti is much more powerful. Being able to play whatever games you can on whatever you have it a large part of the appeal of PC gaming.

Oh yikes, I don't know if I could comfortably settle on Intel graphics, though I've heard they got a lot better at some point.

Although to be fair, at least Intel can run the Dark Engine games fairly well.

It's not that I can't afford to upgrade, there just aren't any new games I would want to play. If I had time to play online games, I might be interested in that Battlegrounds game (the Battle Royale one), but if I'm not confusing it with a different game, Steam reviews were saying that the game is so unoptimized that even beefy rigs have trouble keeping the framerate up.


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sly279
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08 Oct 2017, 1:35 am

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-omen-by ... Id=5759916

Is that a good computer? I was hoping to spend around $600 but want one to play age of empires 4 and maybe arma 2



Almajo88
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11 Oct 2017, 6:12 pm

sly279 wrote:
https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-omen-by-hp-desktop-intel-core-i5-8gb-memory-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1060-1tb-hard-drive-brushed-aluminum/5759916.p?skuId=5759916

Is that a good computer? I was hoping to spend around $600 but want one to play age of empires 4 and maybe arma 2


I can't comment on US pricing, but the spec is absolutely solid for 1080p gaming at least. Do note that it is only the 3GB GTX 1060, and therefore might limit your texture or shadow resolution in some games. I can't comment on AOE4 or Arma 2 since I don't play either. Performance will be good besides that but stutter while quickly turning or moving could indicate low memory and might necessitate lowering texture or shadow resolution.

It might be worthwhile to check how cheaply you can buy an equivalent system in parts, and put it together yourself, since this is usually cheaper. That said I can understand if you wouldn't want to do this.



Almajo88
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11 Oct 2017, 6:35 pm

SabbraCadabra wrote:
Almajo88 wrote:
It's low-end, but, I spent quite a while playing games on my Intel integrated graphics when I couldn't afford to replace my old card, and I managed to play plenty of last-gen games perfectly fine at 720p. Your 650 Ti is much more powerful. Being able to play whatever games you can on whatever you have it a large part of the appeal of PC gaming.

Oh yikes, I don't know if I could comfortably settle on Intel graphics, though I've heard they got a lot better at some point.


I didn't comfortably settle on it, although I won't deny that I enjoyed gaming in the most efficient manner possible. Alien Isolation looked and played better on my Intel integrated HD 4600 than it did on my PS3. Binary Domain was a good experience in 60 frames at console spec. There were lots of games that worked well on it and I bet it's gotten better recently.

NamelessNinja42 wrote:
Hey, so I'm kind of a newbie when it comes to building a computer. I know how to program in c++ and python, and I know every part that I need and how it goes together. I just need help on what parts I should buy to go with a specific motherboard. Don't want to buy pieces that won't fit with my motherboard and be screwed. Wanting to build a gaming PC, any recommendations on best parts for a computer 850 or under? I have a tower already.


First of all, building a computer is infinitely less complicated than any programming language!

You'll buy a motherboard that supports a specific CPU socket and RAM type. For Intel I recommend the i5-8400 CPU, at least 8GB of DDR4-2666 and whichever Z370 motherboard you can afford.

It's possible that building a Ryzen system could be cheaper, but I'm no expert on this.

For your information, the logic is that you look for a motherboard that supports the socket type of your processor. Then, you buy memory that is supported by that motherboard.