I need help to determine requirements and pick Processor, RAM, Motherboard, and Graphics Card

Chad Fuller

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BACKGROUND:
I have been spending a lot of time researching and collecting data and am planning on building my first computer because I'm over dealing with ****** average consumer retail computers for so long and from seeing amazing builds online.


-I have a ballpark price range of $1,800-%2,200. I don't have the money yet but am planning out how I'm going to get it and need to know how much I actually need.

-I am looking for good quality parts that will allow me to play all my favorite games, especially Skyrim, DayZ, and FPS games like Battlefield 4. I also want to play new and upcoming games. I am trying to stay around $2,000 but am willing to go to $2,500.

-I have a good idea of Hard Drive(+SSD), Optical Drive and Case(Corsair Obsidian Series Mid-Tower Case).
-I also want a GeForce GTX 780 and will probably want 1 or two more 780s eventually, but not any time soon.
-I also want a 4.00 Ghz Intel proccessor.

PROBLEM:
I don't fully know how to pick compatible parts that will do what i want and am having a specifically difficult time looking for a CPU/Ram/Motherboard configuration. Can i use a DDR5 Graphics Card with a DDR3 CPU and RAM?

Any corrections, suggestions, and answers are appreciated!!!
 

Computersloeber

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You don't need to spend $2.000 when you don't even have the money. I selected best price/quality parts:

PCPartPicker part list: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3NLqm
Price breakdown by merchant: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3NLqm/by_merchant/
Benchmarks: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/3NLqm/benchmarks/

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($227.97 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.94 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Asus Maximus VI Hero ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($189.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: G.Skill Trident X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2400 Memory ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($79.99 @ Micro Center)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 780 3GB TWIN FROZR Video Card ($477.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Case: NZXT Phantom 410 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Mwave)
Power Supply: XFX ProSeries 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($134.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($19.98 @ OutletPC)
Total: $1390.82
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-05-20 16:17 EDT-0400)

You can add another Gtx 780 later when you need it. Also the XFX is a good gold SLI ready PSU, so you don't have to worry about that.
With the MoBo and cooler you can easily OC to 4.0Ghz.
For the case I think you will like the design (I hope at least :)). If now let me know and I will find another one.
 

Chad Fuller

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I need some time to look over all of the parts, to see if I'm happy withe them, but this price is DEFINITELY good!
About the case. It's ok but i prefer utility/practicality over looks. I really like Corsair Obsidian Series Mid Tower cases because 1.they have really nice built in fans and ventilation is good and 2.i kind of like the more simplistic, modern design over having some intricate/crazy design and 3. I like the cable management features. If you can find one more like the Obsidian Series without being as expensive (and a black one) then that would be nice. To be honest size really matters(lol) for me because I'm a newbie builder and a lot of space would be the best and good cable management. If there isn't an option that suits my needs, i might just go with an Obsidian, as i really like them.
 

Chad Fuller

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Also, is the power supply good quality? Will it hurt other components if it fails? Will it last long? if not i will need to find a better one, i cant go worrying about anything going wrong shortly after all the time and effort im putting into this project
 

Computersloeber

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Chad Fuller

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I like the cube one. I really like the Corsair 450D though. Maybe you can find 2 or 3 that are made for really good cooling, while not being loud. I thing i will go with the 450D but want to see a few more first. I really like its design and cable management features and other features that would be nice for a beginner like me.

Why are you so helpful? Are you a moderator or something, or is this just that kind of website? I was expecting some criticism maybe but you are very helpful and i appreciate that. Are you just an experienced builder and/or have a hobby of making builds? I can see myself being like that when i get experience because i get so giddy over computer builds and parts for some reason lol, I guess I'm a nerd!
 

USAFRet

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This is that kind of website...:)
 

Chad Fuller

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Nice
 

Computersloeber

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It is my hobby, just like gaming and it is always a pleasure to help people with building computers! :)
About the 450D it is a great case:
Review 1: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7891/corsair-obsidian-450d-case-review/4
It will run silent and cool the hardware inside very good. It is among the best you can buy and if you like it I won't try to suggest a better one, I will just try to find a few more comparable ones.

Now the Silverstone kublai kl04 is of the same caliber; windowed, spacious, quiet and cool.
Tom's review: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/solo-ii-400r-buc-ravager-seiran,3274-10.html
Review 2: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Silverstone/Kublai_KL04/6.html
The only con is that I have no idea where to buy it:
Price: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163190
In newegg it is out of stock and I couldn't find it on Pcpartpicker.

Nzxt phantom 410 but I already mentioned it.
http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NZXT/Phantom_410/6.html
Personally I find the Corsiar 450D better

The Corsair 400R is about the same in performance but the Corsair 450D is better looking. I think you should go for the 450D, I can find anything better then it in the same price class.

 

Chad Fuller

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Ok thank you I will go with the 450D. I also found out that I WILL make about $2,000 maximum by the end of the summer, but i haven't talked to my cousin about working for him, i already have gone to work with him a couple of times. I will make more than $2,000 if i can get him to pay me $10 an hour and as long as i work every day that i plan to. I also have a question: Should I go with an AMD processor? I really want about a 4 ghz processor and they are definitely cheaper for 4 ghz than Intel and my friend said that AMD CPU s are MADE for gaming? what do you recommend? I'm definitely going to do a lot more research on all the parts you suggested but any money i can spare will go towards monitor, keyboard, and a mouse, all of which i already have but I want better ones. I'm thinking about maybe getting another job after summer to get myself a nice monitor at least and it would give me a headstart to save money! and also i will obviously need to start buying games after it's built. Also if i don't go with an AMD, and am going to overclock a lower Intel CPU to 4Ghz then i need to know how to overclock and what the pros and cons are. I also will take any suggestions on building or maybe you can at least point me in the direction of some good guides because there are tons on YouTube and they say different things so i don't know whats reliable,

Sorry for the long post and thanks again!
 

Computersloeber

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Yes you will be able to overclock the i5 4670k to 4.0GHz. The AMD CPU's are better at tasks in which they can make use of their 8 cores as their single core strength is less then Intel. the i5 4670k is the best gaming CPU for your budget. Games don't need an 8 core processor and they don't need the hyper-threading of an i7 processor. I would only go with AMD if your budget is lower, as they also use more watt with 8 cores, thus more heat and thus they require better cooling.
http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/446/AMD_FX-Series_FX-8350_vs_Intel_Core_i5_i5-4670K.html
http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4670K-vs-AMD-FX-8350
Now I must say that the FX-8350 is a bit cheaper but clock-speeds are not the only thing to measure how good a CPU is. And if clock-speeds matter to you then the i5 4670k will do fine because with a bit of luck (depends if you get a good chip) you can get it to 4.5GHz which is the max with this cooler.

If you want a good video on building a PC (don't mind the components he uses): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roFb3TNePIg
Globally that's what you have to do. And there are also some sticky's on Tom's about building: http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/274745-31-step-step-guide-building
 

Adroid

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I think this is a great build, and has included a good PSU that will allow you to sli later. My only comment is that the motherboard is overpriced, and unless you need that many ports and extra features, I would go with a more basic model that would perform equally as well.

Back to your orginal post... Sli 780 will be more than enough for years and years to come. I would not recommend tri-sli because you are way past the point of dimenishing returns, and by the time 2 780s need replacement, you will be better off getting a new generation graphics card.

One thing you should take into consideration before purchasing. The Z97 motherboards are out, and they are slightly faster. There is a better overcloking chip coming out as soon as August, code named "Devil's Canyon" if you do the research.

You might hold out until then if you can wait that long, but Haswell/Ivy bridge are both extremely fast and worth buying!
 

Chad Fuller

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I'm not planning on getting it until September because I'm working this summer to get the $2,000 or so that i will need. I saw the Z97 and might get it, depending on price. What I'm really looking for is to SLI 2 780s (eventually), to have 2 HDD slots,an SSD, to have 4 spaces for RAM, about 6 USB slots(including on front) and I also want the option of getting a water cooler (case has spot for one), and i need to power the front pannel of the case(Corsair 650D). That's all i can think of right now. I will keep an eye out for Devil's Canyon.
 

Adroid

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Sounds like you need a very basic motherboard. I prefer gigabyte, but asus, asrock, and msi are other very good options.
4 ram slots in unnecessary, there is little reason to buy more than 8gb, but 16 GB is all you want. For gaming purposes you really only want to run 2 ram slots on dual-channel motherboards (z97, z87, z77, etc). On quad-channel capable motherboards (look to the more expensive LGA 2011 motherboard where the 500$ hexa core intels reside for more info), then you would want a 4x4GB quad channel ram kit.

If you really want to spend $2000, then go for it. In my personal opinion you will get very little gains over a 4670K or devils canyon equivalent, GTX 780/780ti, and a basic quality brand motherboard. If you are running large resolution or multiple monitors, then dual 780s starts being worth the price.

Heck I'm running a GTX 3570K @ 4.3ghz on air with a 30$ CM 212 evo and a GTX 770 and I can play all modern titles at high/ultra at 1080p no problem.

You are better served buying an adequate system now without going completely overkill, and upgrading in 2-3 years when it makes sense. Alternatively you can drop your 2000$-2500$, gain a few unnoticeable frames per second now, and have to upgrade again in a few years anyway.
 

Chad Fuller

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I dont want to spend 2000 because the more i have left over, the more games and better peripherals i can get. I do, however, want a really good rig because if im going to become a pc gamer, i want to do it right! but heck, if i can save money thats great. I dont really know how much ram i need, i read that upcoming games recommend 16gb? idk what thats about but if im gonna spend this much money i want to be able to play the games i want to play, when i want to play them, and at least high(not necessarily max) settings. But i will be happy if i can save money and still get a really good rig. I have the least understanding about motherboards out of all the parts i need to know about. Whats good enough? is there a max and a min to quality/price? how do i know if I'm not getting a good enough quality motherboard? Does the motherboard have a major affect on the overall performance?
 

Adroid

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I recommend a basic z97 motherboard.

Take a look at this article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/mainstream-gaming-z97-motherboard,3824-20.html

So with the same CPU and graphics card, all those motherboards score within a few FPS of each other. So yes motherboards matter somewhat, but GPU and CPU matter more (provided you don't buy an off brand piece of junk mobo).

Get a decent cooler, either a noctua DH-14, or go liquid cooling, but get a good one such as the corsair 100i. Overclocking the CPU is a great way to boost performance if done correctly. An overclocked i5 will beat a stock clock i7 99% of the time in game performance, and the i5 is 100$ less. An overclocked i5 performance is very close to that of the overclocked i7.

GPU is the hardest decision to make. I would suggest a GTX 770, or above, but once you get past that 330$ price point you get much less bang for the buck. Buy something good, but keep in mind the GPU will probably be the first part in your system to be obsolete, expect to replace it in 3-5 years.

Currently 8GB of RAM is plenty, it's hard to say how usefull 16GB will be any time soon. Needless to say I bought 16GB, but I got a really good deal on it.

You should youtube some videos of GTX 770/780 performance on games you might want to play. You should also look at this article:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html

Whenever you get ready to buy, post your proposed build here and ask for feedback. There are plenty of helpful and semi knowledgeable people here ;)
 

Chad Fuller

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I'm definitely getting a 780, definitely a liquid cooling system, and definitely a Z97 mobo. I will check out the links when i can, I'm busy marathon Day Z on the lowest possible setting with my friends, lol!
 

Chad Fuller

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I don't know weather or not i will overclock the CPU. I think i would be okay with 3.4 Ghz. Maybe you can find a processor that is 3.5 Ghz intel processor that is VERY slightly more expensive? Also I want to check that you are sure, either because of your knowledge or your research that all of these parts will be compatible with each other and/or that nothing will cause a bottleneck, or at least minimally cause one?
 

Chad Fuller

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How about an MSI Z97 Gaming 5? See here: See it here

It looks like it stays in the higher end in this review, especially on Arma 3, a game i see myself playing quite a lot, as I currently play Arma 2 and DayZ. It also scores ok on Battlefield 4, a game i will also definitely be playing. Let me know if you think this MoBo is ok, the only down side to it is it doesn't seem like it would be the BEST choice for SLI, but it might be good enough.
 

Computersloeber

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The MSI Z97 Gaming 5 is a great board I can't deny that, though overall the quality of MSI boards are not as high as ASUS. Though on the Z87 gaming boards there are not more negative reviews on newegg then on the Maximus VI Hero.
Also the framerate difference is almost nil when playing at max settings which I assume you are going to with a Gtx 780. :)
There only is a difference when playing at low settings. TBH you can't go wrong with any Z97 board as they all perform about the same it's more whether you like all the features it offers. The only con about them is that there are not many customer reviews, so you can see which one of them is the most reliable/high quality and which one has the highest dead-on-arrival numbers.

You also might want to look at this board:
http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_RANGER/
I don't know about how the availability is in the US, but it is a very good Z97 board and it is from ASUS. ROG series so you have all gamer features and it overclocks well.

Now about the processor you could go for a 3,5Ghz processor but when you have a i5 4670k or wait for the Devils Canyon chips you will have good overclock performance and much higher clock speeds then 3.5Ghz.
The i5 4690K (Devils Canyon) is expected to be clocked at 3.5GHz with turbo to 3.9Ghz and the TIM (thermal interface material) will be improved you it is expected to run cooler and thus you can overclock it a bit better then the i5 4670K (Haswell).
http://wccftech.com/intel-devils-canyon-core-i7-4790k-core-i5-4690k-processors-confirmed-core-i74790k-boosts-44-ghz/

 

Chad Fuller

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How about an Intel Core i5-4690? http://ark.intel.com/products/80810/Intel-Core-i5-4690-Processor-6M-Cache-up-to-3_90-GHz

It is practically the same as the 4790k but 3.5 Ghz, and has several more features. AND its cheaper!
I need to pretty much be directed towards a board because I am going back and fourth to different guides, articles, and reviews and some say contradicting things, others say completely different things about boards and how to choose. I will look into the one you suggested though. WHY MUST PART PICKING BE SO DAMN HARD?? building is like kindergarten when compared to picking parts which is like going to college for a masters degree!
 

Computersloeber

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Haha yup picking parts is the hardest past, but don't get too perfectionistic as tech changes so fast there is never an optimal build.

If you wan't the i5 4690 you might aswel wait a month or so and go for the K version of it. It has a better TIM so you can overclock it better and it runs cooler. For the board I can really recommend the Maximus VII Ranger it has a lot of good ROG features and OC's well:
http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?itemid=1328&page=24
 

Chad Fuller

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Which mobo would be better, the ASUS MAXIMUS VII RANGER, or the MAXIMUS VI HERO? This is basically the last thing i need to figure out before having a final, complete build because this will determine graphics card,CPU, and RAM i will use and major features i will have. I'm going with a 780(eventually 2), Intel I5-4690 OR a 4670k , and probably Kingston or Gskill ram that's compatible(whichever is cheaper probabaly unless its not a huge difference in price). I really like the feature in the Maximus VII Ranger, O think this is probably the best choice. Are the proper PCI slots i need on the VII Ranger for my 780 (and eventually 2)? that's the only part I'm confused on.
 

Chad Fuller

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I'm not actually ordering the parts until around September, so getting the K version will be fine (as long as it's out in time). And yes, the Maximus VII Ranger is most definitely gonna be it because it has a lot of features that make my job easier. Also, will i need any kind of network/internet related hardware? I see that the mobo has some features in this area, but don't fully understand all of the features or what they do. Will I need an ethernet cable right away, or will I be able to use WIFI for now? I will definitely get setup with a nice ethernet cable to but need to figure out how I'm going to run it through my place to my computer.
 

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