New Gaming Desktop

The magic smoke.

Moderators: phlip, Moderators General, Prelates

Chen
Posts: 5108
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

New Gaming Desktop

Postby Chen » Thu May 14, 2015 1:00 pm UTC

So my current desktop is about 4-5 years old now and it's looking like time for an upgrade (seems I can use whenever they release a new Witcher game as my benchmark for computer upgrades :P).

Right now my computer will run most modern games though not at maxmum settings (Dragon age inquisition I had to notably turn some stuff down). I'm looking for another PC that'll last about 4-5 years. So that probably means a mid-high range video card and CPU. I looked a bit at Tom's hardware and the i5-4590 seems like a good CPU. For the video cards its looking like an R9 290X or equivalent. Just wanted to get some other people's opinions here.

Also in terms of other parts of the computer I'm definitely looking for at least an SSD for the OS. Is it worth buying a large one so that I can install most games/programs on it and just having a separate storage drive for media and the like?

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5323
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: New Gaming Desktop

Postby KnightExemplar » Thu May 14, 2015 3:13 pm UTC

The i5-4590 is solid.

R9 290x has higher power consumption than the GTX 970, but otherwise they go approximately toe-to-toe against each other. (Slight edge to the R9 290x, and a slight edge on future proofing, as R9 290x can be 8GB or 4GB... while the GTX 970 acts like a 3.5GB Card in practice). I also have more confidence in FreeSync over GSync. So a bunch of little advantages on AMD's card.

The GTX 980 is of course the technical king right now, but the cost advantage PLUS FreeSync makes me favor the R9 290x over that. Still, GTX 980 is the most powerful card aside from the Titan and therefore deserves a mention. (I'm not confident in the future of GSync now that FreeSync is available, cheaper, and proven to be just as effective)

I think a 8GB R9 290x would be somewhat of a waste: I'd rather save the money, buy a 4GB Card and then upgrade to the better stuff a few years from now. But... the 8GB cards deserve a mention for the "Buy a card now and forget-tabout-it" kinda guy. 8GB will be more future proof against 4k-gaming and future games. But my hunch is that when 8GB Video RAM Games start to come out a few years from now, the R9 290x will need to be upgraded anyway. Still, its one more level of future proofing that's available so think about it.

If you can wait till July or August, AMD is rumored to be releasing the next generation 300-series. Aside from the top-end R9 390x, the rest of the 300-series lineup is rumored to be rebrands. Pricing information are all just rumors right now, and AMD doesn't always ship their stuff on time. (You might be waiting till October before news comes). Still, it might be a good idea to delay your build until the "next generation 300-series" comes out... if only because the 200-series stuff will inevitably become cheaper.

Also in terms of other parts of the computer I'm definitely looking for at least an SSD for the OS. Is it worth buying a large one so that I can install most games/programs on it and just having a separate storage drive for media and the like?


Older, "slower" 1TB SSDs are selling for $300. (The M500 is only "slow" compared to other SSDs). It's a successful model that hasn't had any issues for the past 2 or 3 years... but its definitely like 3 generations old at this point.

Crucial's models (as far as history) goes: M500 -> M550 -> MX100 -> MX200 / BX100, with the MX200 / BX100 being the two most recent SSDs from Crucial. So... yeah... M500s are ancient by computing standards. Nonetheless, M500s are at a very solid price point and are still dozens of times faster than hard drives. Its just... slow... compared to "modern" drives like MX200 or BX100.

In case you do want the latest and greatest. (BX100 is "budget", MX200 is "performance"). So... yeah. Get a SSD at this point. If 1TB is too expensive, the 512gb models are great. 256gb models are only $100. So... there's almost no excuse to avoid SSDs anymore. The bigger drives (512gb and 1tb) tend to be faster btw. More chips == more parallelism == faster drives. So go for a high-capacity 512gb or 1tb drive for maximum performance and capacity.

Stay away from TLC like Samsung Evo 840. There have been TLC bugs the past couple of years, I don't think manufacturers have gotten all the bugs out yet. MLC like Samsung 850 Pro adds reliability. Crucial's BX100 and MX200 are solid MLC SSDs.

The MX200 functions like an SLC SSD until it is half-full, adding to its reliability and speed. When it needs more space, it starts compressing data to MLC (which is "standard"). For example, BX100 is always functions as a MLC drive, so its a bit slower than the MX200.

Pair your SSD with a 5TB hard drive (Toshiba Hard Drives and HGST Hard Drives are getting very high reliability marks from Backblaze tests), and you'll have everything you want.

Very high performance PCIe SSDs are out, but that's on the extreme high-end for now. I'm considering one for my next build, but I think I'm going to balk at the $1000+ price tags of those super-high performance 1.2TB SSD drives.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

Chen
Posts: 5108
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: New Gaming Desktop

Postby Chen » Tue May 19, 2015 11:55 am UTC

Firstly thanks for the great reply!

KnightExemplar wrote:If you can wait till July or August, AMD is rumored to be releasing the next generation 300-series. Aside from the top-end R9 390x, the rest of the 300-series lineup is rumored to be rebrands. Pricing information are all just rumors right now, and AMD doesn't always ship their stuff on time. (You might be waiting till October before news comes). Still, it might be a good idea to delay your build until the "next generation 300-series" comes out... if only because the 200-series stuff will inevitably become cheaper.


This is one thing I was kind of wondering about. I was probably going to wait until early summer (Juneish) to upgrade anyways, but if these new boards are coming out a month or two later it might be worth my time to push out the upgrade a bit.

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5323
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: New Gaming Desktop

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed May 20, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9266/amd-hbm-deep-dive

It’s now 4 years later, and successful experimentation has given way to productization. Earlier this month at AMD’s 2015 Financial Analyst day, the company announced that they would be releasing their first HBM-equipped GPU – the world’s first HBM-equipped GPU, in fact – to the retail market this quarter. Since then there have been a number of questions of just what AMD intends to do with HBM and just what it means for their products (is it as big of a deal as it seems?), and while AMD is not yet ready to reveal the details of their forthcoming HBM-equipped GPU, the company is looking to hit the ground running on HBM in order to explain what the technology is and what it can do for their products ahead of the GPU launch later that quarter.


There's only one rumored new AMD GPU, and its probably the HBM thing discussed in the above article. "Some time this quarter" seems to be the official word. Again though, AMD hasn't been meeting deadlines recently, so take it with a grain of salt.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.

wumpus
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 12:16 am UTC

Re: New Gaming Desktop

Postby wumpus » Tue Jun 02, 2015 6:33 pm UTC

Nvidia just released the GTX980ti board. It might be out of your price range ($650), but it forced nvidia to drop the price of the next board down (the 980) ~$50. Presumably the rest of the boards will be rejiggling for awhile (or not. Not seeing any movement in AMD cards).

KnightExemplar
Posts: 5323
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2010 1:58 pm UTC

Re: New Gaming Desktop

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Jun 16, 2015 6:53 pm UTC

wumpus wrote:Nvidia just released the GTX980ti board. It might be out of your price range ($650), but it forced nvidia to drop the price of the next board down (the 980) ~$50. Presumably the rest of the boards will be rejiggling for awhile (or not. Not seeing any movement in AMD cards).


AMD has now responded with the Fury X ($650) and Fury($550), to be released in July. With that, we'll be in "next gen" territory with graphics cards by the end of July. If you're a bit conservative like me, I'd prefer to wait for a couple of public benchmarks + a month or two... just in case any major issues happen. (I don't like being on the bleeding edge).

Hopefully AMD will have more official information in the next few days.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.


Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests