PC buying guide?

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emceng
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PC buying guide?

Postby emceng » Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:57 pm UTC

I'm thinking about buying a new PC during Black Friday sales, or whenever I can find a decent deal.

Unfortunately, I've been out of the PC buying game for a while, and haven't kept up on what's going on. I'm getting confused, and want to get a decent deal for what I need. This will be mainly a gaming/internet PC. I'd also like to be able to set up a home wireless network for music.

So what should I look for, what features do I need, and are there any things I should avoid?

And like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBund ... bo.1492556

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBund ... bo.1413446

The first has a faster 8 core processor, but the second is twice as much? I can't imagine that's just due to it being Intel.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

KnightExemplar
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:58 pm UTC

The i7 benchmarks faster, believe it or not, outside of rare 8-core situations. (one of them being Crysis 3 actually). If you're looking to save money, I think the AMD hits a decent performance and price point, but the i7 is definitely the better processor of the two. Intel has focused on high instructions-per-cycle, while AMD has focused more on cheaper multi-core architectures. Yeah... benchmarking modern processors is much much harder than just looking at the GHz and the number of cores. Also, the Haswell i7 uses less electricity, gives off less heat, and costs twice as much, so it is pretty much a premium processor in all regards.

The other part that is very expensive, is the NVidia Gtx 770, which is one of the best NVidia GPUs. the Gtx770 costs $350 alone.

In comparison, the AMD 7850 is more of a mid-range GPU, an costs like $150. If I were building a comparable computer using AMD parts, I'd choose the AMD R9 290 or AMD 7970... which will give you the performance that you'd expect out of a $350.

Nonethless, if you're just looking for "a computer", its not like the Fx-8350 is a bad processor. And the AMD 7850 is going to be more powerful than the PS4. (granted, the GTX 770 or AMD R9 290 are probably stronger than the PS4 and XBox One combined... but they are more for the guys who are willing to spend $300+ or $400+ on the GPU alone). So it probably will be good enough for the typical gamer. Thats the real question, what is "good enough" for you?
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emceng
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby emceng » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:16 pm UTC

Thanks. I don't want a 'cheap' PC, but I am working under a budget. I also don't play many newly released games. Really this would end up being more for things off GOG or steam. Offhand the only newer games I know I would want to be able to run are Civ 5 and Europa Universalis 4.

So cheaper isn't all bad, but I do want enough processing power to run things well.

I guess I need more of an idea of what to look for, and what to watch out for. I'm not going to have time to ask the forums when looking at Black Friday deals.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

KnightExemplar
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:42 pm UTC

You'll definitely need a dedicated GPU then. The GPU is usually the most important part when it comes to video games.

NVidia's GPUs, from worst to best
GTX 630
GTX 640
GTX 650
GTX 650 Ti
GTX 660
GTX 760 == GTX 660 Ti
GTX 770 == GTX 680
GTX 780 <--- $529.99
Titan <--- ~$1000

The "600" means 6th generation, and the tens digit tells you how powerful it is. Some 7th generation GPUs are roughly equivalent to the 6th generation GPUs. Basically, a GTX 680 is more powerful than a GTX 760, because the "80" means it was the 2nd best chip of generation 6.

AMD is also in the middle of changing naming schemes.

AMD's GPUs, from worst to best
Radeon 7750
Radeon 7770
Radeon 7790 == R7 260X
Radeon 7850
Radeon 7870 == R9 270X
Radeon 7950 == R9 280
Radeon 7970 == R9 280x
R9 290
R9 290x <- Flagship at $550

So the new "200" naming scheme is the newer GPUs. The "2" represents the new generation, and the ten's digit represents how powerful the GPU is. The 260X is basically a 7790.

----------------------

As for CPUs, Intel's scheme is i3, i5, and i7.

Celerons -> ~$50 Single Core
Pentiums -> ~$100 Dual Core
i3 -> Costs ~$150 Dual Core + Hyperthreading
i5 -> Costs ~$250 Quad Core
i7 -> Costs ~$330 Quad Core + Hyperthreading

You'll want a 4th generation chip, which would look like "i7-4770K", or "i3-4330". (The 4000s mean 4th generation). There are minor variations within a chipset (there are i7-4770 vs i7-4770T vs i7-4770K). Just stick to vanilla chips, and you should be fine. (IE: If you're buying the i7, just buy the 4770, no T, no K).

AMD's scheme is:

Fx-4350 Quad Core
Fx-6300 Hex Core
Fx-6350
Fx-8300 Oct-Core
Fx-8350

For the most part, the Fx-8350 is roughly equivalent to the i5 in terms of performance. The Fx4350 is a little bit weaker than the i3. If I were building my own computer, the Fx 6350 hits a good performance / price point.

------------------

As for other stuff to watch out for... Solid State Drives are very very good. Since SSDs speed up the slowest part of the computer, they make your computer feel a lot faster... compared to buying a more expensive GPU or CPU. Whereas GPUs only matter when playing video games, and CPUs are so fast that most people can't tell the difference between a laptop and a desktop (let alone the difference between two desktop chips...), the difference between a good Solid-State Drive and the best Hard Drives is very very significant.
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emceng
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby emceng » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:16 pm UTC

Awesome, this was exactly what I needed, thank you very much!
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

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Eomund
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby Eomund » Fri Nov 22, 2013 1:52 am UTC

I would second the SSD suggestiong. But what I would recommend is getting both an SSD and a HDD. Put your OS and games on the SSD and music, movies and tv shows on the HDD.

I went with a 250GB SSD but you could probably get away with half that. (I have both windows 8 and debian on it.)

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poochyena
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby poochyena » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:29 am UTC


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emceng
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby emceng » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:49 pm UTC

Thanks guys!
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

Rodrigueen
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Re: PC buying guide?

Postby Rodrigueen » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:34 am UTC

I read above information relating to the PC buying advises. I am really shock that i was not aware of that latest technology in Computers. Its a great stuff.


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