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Getsome Reference Builds -- Nov/Dec 2014

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As there is a never ending torrent of computer build threads in this subforum, rather than bounce between threads, I thought that perhaps a couple of reference builds could provide a nice starting point for these types of discussions. 
 
The goal of these builds are five-fold:
• Cheap as sensible
• Plays everything on the market at medium settings without upgrades
• Upgradable to high settings without waste
• Excels at World of Tanks (both pre-Havok and post-Havok)
• Future proof for three years
 
I don't plan to chase sale prices in this thread.  I will only list a build price, which is what you would reasonably expect to spend with a typical collection of discounts.  For example, the AMD processor typically enjoys a steep bundle discount at Microcenter which is not listed on pcpartpicker; it is up to the reader to hunt down such sales.
 
First, common components to both of these builds:


1x 8GB DDR3-1866 Memory Stick
If you boot your computer and launch any game on the market, without background applications, 8GB of RAM is enough.  The choice of a single stick (instead of 2x4GB) is for upgrade potential - purchase another 8GB stick with similar timing next year without wasting the current hardware.  There is a ~10% cost to memory bandwidth, but very few games bottleneck at memory bandwidth, and WoT isn't one of them.
 
1x 120GB SSD
Any vendor will work, although I have a prejudice against OCZ because of shit reliability.  You can get a larger SSD for convenience, but it isn't exactly required.  You should also acquire a traditional HDD for storage - scavenge it from an old computer if possible.  If a HDD won't be available, consider swapping this ~$60 part for a $100 1TB hybrid drive or 240GB SSD.
 
1x Case
People get weird here.  Some people want their computer to be a work of art.  I want to keep my cat away from the cooling fans.  My only requirement here: mic/headphone ports and USB 3.0 just because.  An SD card reader can be added later.
 
1x 600W 12V/30A Power Supply
Here is a short list of good power supplies with the desired ratings:
  • Corsair CX500M
  • Seasonic SSP-450RT
  • Rosewill CAPSTONE-450
  • Thermaltake SP-550

  • Antec NeoECO 620C
 
At an ever faster rate, GPU power consumption is decreasing.  A good power supply will be able to supply about 30 amps on the 12V rails, which is sufficient to power either a Radeon R9 280X or a Nvidia GTX 770.  If you intend to spend more than $300 on a video card, do additional research and make sure the power supply can handle that load.
 
1x DVD Burner
How else will you install Fucking Windows???
 
1x Fucking Windows
The Fucking Windows 8.1 license allows you to replace your motherboard.  Fucking Windows 7 does not.
 
No custom cooler?!?!
All these builds are useful at stock clocks, so use the boxed cooler.  The Intel build is powerful enough to keep pace with gaming a couple years.  If you feel the need to overclock the AMD processor, go ahead; buy a cooler and see how far you can go.


 
Low-end productivity/gaming build, using an AMD 6-Core processor -- $650


Processor: AMD FX-6300 6-core 3.5Ghz (3.9Ghz Turbo)
Mobo: Gigabyte GA970A-D3P
Graphics: R9 260X
Expected WoT FPS: 30+
 
The AMD recommendation for this cycle replaces the APU of previous recommendations with a dedicated AM3+ CPU package.  This is largely due to AMD's APU being incapable of keeping up with the performance of the improved graphics in World of Tanks.  For current games, the performance of this system is quite good, and with multi-threaded games hot in the pipeline, the platform is sure to have several years of useful performance ahead of it. 
 
The R9 260X is chosen at this level because single-threaded WoT will cause the CPU to bottleneck the graphics card.  However, for newer multithreaded games, the GPU will give good 1080p performance.  Also, the 260X has the latest VCE video coding engine, which will leave high-quality H.264 Twitch streaming on the table even at this price point. 
 
Those wishing to squeeze a bit more performance from their build can look as high as the AMD R9 270X or the GTX 760 for single-monitor gaming.


 
The budget Intel build, using a unlocked dual-core processor -- $700


Processor: Intel G3258 Haswell 3.2Ghz Processor
Graphics: R9 270X
Expected WoT FPS: 40+
 
This build is based around a processor with great bang-for-the buck.  It has excellent single-thread performance; which is important for the current implementation of WoT and many other mainstream games.  The dual-core choice is compromise - in multi-threaded applications, this build falls behind the AMD build's performance.  In reference to the chart in the Choosing a CPU section, the i3-4330 will share a similar World of Tanks frame rate with the G3258.
 
The GPU choice here is right in the middle of of the mainstream GPU market.  The R9 270X is a progression on the venerable Radeon 7870, which provides a really great visual experience with a single 1080p monitor.  Those wishing to squeeze a bit more performance from their build can look as high as the AMD R9 280X for multi-monitor gaming at a reasonable price.

Of note, this is the only build that specifies an aftermarket cooler. The CPU choice is well-suited to overclocking, and can readily reach 3.8+ Ghz clock rates, and sometimes move past 4.5Ghz. In that configuration, it will surpass Core i7's stock performance levels in many old and current games, including World of Tanks.


 
The mainstream Intel build, which uses the current-generation Core i5 Quad-core. -- $1200


Processor: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
Graphics: GTX 970 4GB
Expected WoT FPS: 70+
 
As state-of-the-art game development struggles to utilize the latest Intel products, high-end gaming systems need not spend on Intel's most expensive product.  That can be seen here, where a marginal processor upgrade takes us to the mainstream.  This system will perform about 10% better than the previous generation build.
 
The GTX 970 GPU is the latest NVIDIA product which recently replaced the GTX 770.  It will perform very well with all currently-released and in-development games, demonstrating the best quality for single-monitor gaming and enjoyable rates across three monitor setups.

I did add a bit of luxury with this build, by choosing a higher-quality SSD with twice the capacity as the other builds.


 
Choosing a CPU: Intel or AMD


When it comes to multi-core performance, AMD processors are very cost effective.  However, World of Tanks is currently a single-threaded game, so Intel has a huge performance advantage. 
 
20140425062303a0drp616dvj6ve54.jpg
 
Source: http://2p.com/6037322_1/World-of-Tanks-90-4K-Resolution-and-Multi-Core-CPU-Test-by-JaminNoob.htm
 
To choose the most cost effective CPU, you need to decide how much you will ultimately spend on a graphics card.  If your GPU budget is under $200, then the AMD reference is sufficient to keep the graphics card busy.  However, if you are the enthusiast that will buy a GTX 770 or a R9 280X, then an Intel build is required to make that GPU investment reach its potential.



Hope this is useful.  I encourage any questions and/or criticism. 
 
Edit 1: Added specific PSU recommendations.
Edit 2: Make the AMD use cases more explicit.
Edit 3: Add a section that discusses the choice between AMD and Intel CPUs.
Edit 4: Update for February-March 2014 markets.
Edit 5: Update for April-May 2014 markets.
Edit 6: Update for June-July 2014 markets.

Edit 7: Update for Nov-Dec 2014 markets.

Edited by Getsome
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"1x 600W Power Supply

At an ever faster rate, GPU power consumption is decreasing.  A modern 600W power supply will be able to supply about 30 amps on the 12V rails, which is sufficient to power either a Radeon R9 280X or a Nvidia GTX 770.  If you intend to spend more than $300 on a video card, consider a 750W PSU; otherwise, 600W is future-proof."

 

pls rework that: Its a waste of money, totally over the top (500 W is enough for every normal single GPU build) and the number of watts doesnt tell you anyway if its a usefull PSU or total crap that will damage your hardware. PSU is the most important part of your PC - a solid build features a good PSU from vendors like Seasonic, FSP, BeQuite or Enermax

 

 

Edit: Also your recommendation for a AMD-System makes little sense. You have to distinguish more, between usage cases:

 

1) without seperate GPU - using the listed APU above makes sense.

 

2) seperate GPU - take a FX8150, only costs +20€ (at least in germany). Also has a unlocked multi and offers greater performance in applications.

 

 

That aside, if you want to buy a gaming rig get yourself a i5 4670K or If you dont plan to over clock or a working rig take the Xeon E3 1230 v3 (200€, 8 threads, 3,3 / 3,7 GHz). That Xeon in general is the best CPU price/performance, if you go Intel dont plan to OC and use a seperate GPU.

 

Atm AMD is miles away from Intel when it comes to single thread performance :sad:  - I see no sense in buying AMD outside the basic office PC or if you are after a small multimedia PC without a seperate GPU for your living room.

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So you're saying that my 6 GB of RAM is bottlenecking my system? Is that why my 650 Ti Boost is only running most of the settings on medium and getting like 30ish FPS?

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So you're saying that my 6 GB of RAM is bottlenecking my system? Is that why my 650 Ti Boost is only running most of the settings on medium and getting like 30ish FPS?

 

 

If you dont run a ton of apps in the background 6 GB RAM is enough for a normal build and wont bottleneck.

 

There are enough programms like MSI Afterburner that can display RAM, VRAM, CPU and GPU usage during gaming via OSD. Test that out - it will show you were your limiting facors are in which game.

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"1x 600W Power Supply

pls rework that:

 

 

Edit: Also your recommendation for a AMD-System makes little sense. You have to distinguish more, between usage cases:

 

That aside, if you want to buy a gaming rig get yourself a i5 4670K

 

Atm AMD is miles away from Intel when it comes to single thread performance :sad:

 

Added specific PSU recommendations; look good?  Explaining PSU selection is quite a mess...

 

FX8150 has same single-thread performance and costs more.  Sticking with the APU, as it provides an upgrade path for really tight budget.

 

i5 3350p vs i5 4670K: I considered that when writing.  From every benchmark I've seen, the 3350p offers the same graphics performance (within 10%) but costs 25% more.  That puts the 4670K beyond my price/performance limit.   Since your post points that out, so I will leave it as is.

 

AMD price-performance is competitive with Intel price-performance - it is just a lower price and lower performance.  Both are usable.  And going forward, single-thread performance is likely to give way to multithread performance anyhow.

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So you're saying that my 6 GB of RAM is bottlenecking my system? Is that why my 650 Ti Boost is only running most of the settings on medium and getting like 30ish FPS?

It is probably your cpu, i switched from a 560 ti to a 780 classified, my fps in tanks didn't hardly change, but before when i went from a Q9350 to a 3570k my wot performance skyrocketed with the same video card

 

ram wise tanks only needs 4gb, other new games may want more

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Ah, ok. Well I'm not honestly sure I can upgrade JUST my CPU...I have a prebuilt p6-2330 HP desktop that I got a 600W Corsair PSU and a GTX 650 Ti Boost GPU put into :sad:

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Added specific PSU recommendations; look good?  Explaining PSU selection is quite a mess...

 

FX8150 has same single-thread performance and costs more.  Sticking with the APU, as it provides an upgrade path for really tight budget.

 

i5 3350p vs i5 4670K: I considered that when writing.  From every benchmark I've seen, the 3350p offers the same graphics performance (within 10%) but costs 25% more.  That puts the 4670K beyond my price/performance limit.   Since your post points that out, so I will leave it as is.

 

AMD price-performance is competitive with Intel price-performance - it is just a lower price and lower performance.  Both are usable.  And going forward, single-thread performance is likely to give way to multithread performance anyhow.

 

 

Dont know how you suddenly get to the 3350p - I was talking about Xeon E3 1230 v3; different chip. Its a Haswell (latest generation) "server" part - basically a i7 4xxx without iGPU but bigger (+2MB) L3 cache, which usually also runs on every comsumer Intel board (Z87 generation), if the vendor put it on its support list, which most did afaik. But that you can check out on the CPU-Lists of your desired motherboard or if not listed ask in the support forum. Sometime they just dont advertise the support of Xeons.

 

http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/prozessoren/2013/intel-xeon-e3-1230-v3-im-test/

 

 

Edit: PSUs are ok - though I wouldnt go below Silver anymore today

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It is probably your cpu, i switched from a 560 ti to a 780 classified, my fps in tanks didn't hardly change, but before when i went from a Q9350 to a 3570k my wot performance skyrocketed with the same video card

 

ram wise tanks only needs 4gb, other new games may want more

 

 

Had more or less the same experience with  switching from a 3.6 GHz OCed Q9550 (little faster than Phenom II X4 955) to my i7 3770K. The GPU (GTX570) stayed the same. Massive increase in min FPS, where it counts the most for smooth gaming.

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Dont know how you suddenly get to the 3350p

 

It was my starting point.  For all of the aforementioned Intel CPUs, the gaming bottleneck is the graphics card.  Therefore I recommend the cheapest of those options.

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It was my starting point.  For all of the aforementioned Intel CPUs, the gaming bottleneck is the graphics card.  Therefore I recommend the cheapest of those options.

 

Usually you are right with that statement, but in games like Civ5 or especially WoT the situation is a different one. You need CPU horsepower.

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fuq roswill power supplies

 

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story5&reid=266

 

 

Summary

With the Capstone 750W unit, Rosewill has become a brand name to take notice of. Gone are the days when the words "house brand" meant something like Deer or Powmax. This unit is efficient, powerful, and extremely well performing. It is as good as almost anything else out there I could name. I do wish it were at least semi-modular, and was a bit cheaper, but that's just about all it has going against it.

The Good:

  • very good regulation
  • extremely efficient
  • solid build quality

The Bad:

  • a little on the expensive side

The Mediocre:

  • nothing

 

 

But yeah some Rosewill stuff is terribad.

 

Meh, whatever.  I'll add a plug about the 4670k.

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the new amd apus will be coimg out soonish. the gpu's in them wouldn't be wasted space with a dedicated amd gpu if the game you were playing used mantle.

 

 

 

 

FX8150 has same single-thread performance and costs more.  Sticking with the APU, as it provides an upgrade path for really tight budget.

 

per clock its actualy slower due to being bulldozer.(which happens to be slower than phenons in some things >.>)  something like a fx 6300 could be a viable option though would be worse for wot better for other things.

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You see why I made the point regarding Intel in connection with games like Civ5 and WoT? WoT screams for single threaded performance and thats where Intel delivers.

 

No, I don't see the point at all.

 

As I stated earlier, a 10% increase in FPS does not justify a 30% increase in cost.  The numbers measured here (36FPS vs 40FPS minimum) reflect those estimates.  It is better to put the $60 price difference toward a GPU that can reach 36 FPS in the first place.

 

Edit: For newcomers to this nerdfight, we were weighing the benefits of a 3350p vs a 4670K vs some other server CPU.

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No, I don't see the point at all.

 

As I stated earlier, a 10% increase in FPS does not justify a 30% increase in cost.  The numbers measured here (36FPS vs 40FPS minimum) reflect those estimates.  It is better to put the $60 price difference toward a GPU that can reach 36 FPS in the first place.

 

Edit: For newcomers to this nerdfight, we were weighing the benefits of a 3350p vs a 4670K vs some other server CPU.

 

 

Pls dont look at avg FPS. It doesnt matter that much if you have for example 45 or 55. What is really dragging down your gaming experience? MIN FPS - thats what you notice as stutters, if you get to around 30 or lower.

 

And the only AMD CPUs capable of getting out of that low region are overclocked 4.5+GHz samples. That isnt something for the avg user.

 

 

Edit:

 

What I would really like to see is min FPS over time in a diagramm. Tells you the most.

 

Edit II: Lets put these posts into your thread - enough hijacking here :-)

 

Edit III: Neverwish can u move Getsome and my posts?

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The numbers measured here (36FPS vs 40FPS minimum)

 

I'm just gonna start ignored Folter.  I think it's for the best.

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I'm just gonna start ignored Folter.  I think it's for the best.

 

Did you take a closer look at the FX9370/9590? These are nothing but overclocked FX8350s, with really high voltages, much heat production and they sip power from the wall like nothing.

http://www.computerbase.de/artikel/prozessoren/2013/amd-fx-9590-prozessor-im-test/7/

take a look its german - power consumption, I didnt even bother linking the temperatures - AMDs sensors being borked.

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Updated with references to WoT CPU benchmarks sourced from a Russian site.

 

Considered replacing the Intel CPU recommendation with a reference to the Core i3 4330, due to 10% better single-thread performance at a lower cost.  However, the drop from quad to dual core seems reckless, especially with Havok right around the corner.

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Updated OP for February/March markets.

 

Separate prev gen and current gen Intel builds.

Dropped the AMD build from A10-6800K to A10-6790K to save $30.

Add dedicated GPU selections into each build, as applicable.

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Update OP for April-May.  AMD graphics prices are returning to normal!  Also, the 3350P inventory seems to be dropping off, as the price has started to creep upwards - my new mid-tier build uses a i3-4130, which obviously sacrifices multi-threaded performance in this single-threaded world to drop the build price by about $100.

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Suggestion: "Silent + small living room build"

 

Intel Core i3-4130

H87 + mini ITX incl. WiFI / H87 + micro ATX excl. WiFi

GTX750 (Ti) ( only 75W max power draw)

 

even a 350W PSU will be overkill, problem is - not much quality in that area. Cases in the mini ITX area are a topic I m not familar with ... . Storage 1 SSD and everything else external via network would be ideal.

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I have two HTPCs in addition to my gaming rig (one of the reasons I cut so many corners; maintaining three game-capable PCs ain't cheap) so I know the demand exists.  People generally don't want to shell out the same for an HTPC as a gaming PC, so price becomes even more constrained than I show in the OP.  A $200 Jaguar build, some type of Kaveri build, and your suggestion are all sensible for a HTPC or In-Home Streaming client. 

 

In general, uATX is far more mature (and consequently, priced much better...) than all the ITX solutions that I've seen.  Even the enclosures - When you are playing between 12 and 14 inch case widths and the same height dimension, it's hard to justify the form factor.  NUC and AM1 may change that, but there are some incredibly nice uATX cases on the market.

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I use this "remote" for HTPC, and this cable plus a bus-powered hub to connect a wired mouse+keyboard when gaming.

 

The "remote" is usually plugged into the TV's USB port while not in use, so I never have to think about batteries.  The cable is a personal preference - I hate all things wireless whenever a wired alternative is possible.

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