Computer died, no PS4 for me, but hey I get a new computer! Advice needed - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 08-18-2013, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
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As the title says, I was looking forward to getting a PS4 this fall, but my computer died, so I need to get a new one and I can't get both. Here's the scenario:

I have a dedicated home theater so I will be using it for movies - streaming for now and I may get into putting my blu rays onto external hard drives at some point. I'm looking for a good media center solution also.

I am into gaming, but I prefer racing games, 3rd person action adventure games and RPGs (not futuristic ones). I don't like RTS or FPS games in any way. What I'm looking for is performance that at least matches or beats the next generation of consoles. For the money I'm able to spend I think it should be do-able.

Based on the above, would Windows 8 be better than 7? I just read that Direct X 11.2 is Windows 8 only, but I haven't read into it enough to see if it's worth it. Opinions?

I am wanting a case that matches nicely with my setup, so I was thinking the following setup:

Case: http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=94

Processor: I5 4670 (3.4 gHz)
Graphics card: EVGA Geforce GTX 760 ACX http://www.evga.com/Products/Product.aspx?pn=02G-P4-2765-KR
Motherboard: not sure yet - help? Thinking this one when it comes out http://rog.asus.com/258772013/maximus-motherboards/asus-republic-of-gamers-introduces-maximus-vi-impact-mini-itx-gaming-motherboard/
8 gig ram (not sure what type yet - help?

As far as the rest of it (power supply, hard drive, etc). I'm not there yet, but I was hoping for some help. I installed steam on my old computer before it died and I really like it so I plan on downloading a fair bit of games. Would it be better to have an internal hard drive or would an external hard drive be ok (too slow?).

So, that's what I'm looking at so far. Advice on games and setup is appreciated. Looking forward to buying this thing!

Forgot to mention the most important part - my budget is ~$1200.

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post #2 of 19 Old 08-19-2013, 01:43 PM
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Just save your money for now. The jump to next generation tech is coming soon and that's when you're gonna want to invest in a new PC for gaming.
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post #3 of 19 Old 08-19-2013, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Just save your money for now. The jump to next generation tech is coming soon and that's when you're gonna want to invest in a new PC for gaming.

I'd love to be able to do that, but I do need a computer and not just solely for gaming and movies (but mostly that haha). I ended up getting a middle of the road setup and went with a 3.4 GHz I5 (3570), EVGA Superclocked GTX 760 with ACX, 8 gig ram, and one sweet, sweet looking case:

http://www.fractal-design.com/?view=product&prod=58

Unfortunately, there's never really a good time to buy computer stuff. It's gonna be outdated within a few months anyway. It will still work just fine, though. smile.gif

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post #4 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 07:18 AM
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You're right PC gaming is a fickle mistress.
That rig should last you for a while, one thing I would suggest for your setup is an SSD something 64-128 GB use that as your OS drive you will notice a huge performance boost.
Other than that you got a decent setup.

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post #5 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 09:23 AM
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$1200 to $1500 is actually a pretty substantial PC budget these days, you can certainly get a hell of a lot of 1080p gaming done with that kind of bankroll.
The following is all IMHO.

Let's assume you are not going to get into overclocking at the MB level.....that means we dont need to hunt down specific brands of ram at specific times to pair with this particularly expensive MB and so on..... smile.gif

Spend ~ $100 on a motherboard. *EDITED*.....I think I need to read up on HDMI from a PC into a Receiver......no advice from me here smile.gif

Spend ~ $100 on a Power Supply (remember, modern video cards are not as hungry as the ones from a few years ago, I'm running two overclocked 670's and my CPU at 4.8Ghz on a Seasonic 750watter, for comparisons sake)

Spend ~ $300 or less on a good, fast chip. For gaming, Mhz Matters....or Ghz as the case may be. The type of RAM you buy, your timings....less important than raw Ghz power for games. SEE: Any CPU dependent game, of which there are many out there, like GTA4 or the newer Dishonored.....so go for that fast CPU if you don't want to get a cheaper CPU and do the overclocking yourself.

Spend $100 on a 64 or 128meg SSD as your OS and Desktop drive (If you are like me your desktop becomes your clutter bin until you move all that stuff off to cheaper spinning platters, either external or internal)

Spend $100 on 8 or 16 gigs of Ram. At this point, 16 gigs is the smart move. Not sure what kind of archiving you need, but I put all my games and stuff on internal or external platters......no need to go fancy RAID for super fast performance if you are just storing stuff like movies or audio or even games...

Then just spend the rest on big-time video cards smile.gif If you want to try SLI or Crossfire, make sure your MB supports it....if you just want to deal with one slot, get a GTX 770 or 780 (or whatever the ones are below the Titans). 1080p gaming will be yours for the conceivable future. Or, go on the cheap and get last years models like the GTX 670s if you can still get them......still plenty fast.

I'd go with Windows 7, but only because Windows 8 is Windows 7 with more annoying UI layers in my way as a user......Windows 8 is probably the smart move at this point, at SOME point a game will REQUIRE it.



One Thing: I am ignoring a lot of stuff that *might* be important to you as a HTPC guy....for example, if you NEED 7.2 channel Lossless Sound output, well I'm not really thinking about those requirements.....I'm thinking more from a "Gaming Rig that should be able to handle all your video file needs too".....
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post #6 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

IF you are throwing your DVD's or MKV's or whatever up to a HT setup, make sure it has some form of Digital Audio Out that will suit your needs. If you want SURROUND SOUND gaming, you have to look at a system that converts into Dolby Digital Live or the DTS equivalent on the fly, or use your Receivers Dolby Digital X mode to create (probably perfectly good) digital audio.....assuming your receiver doesn't have a PC input on it already that can do that magic for you. Movies will just pass audio in digital format but most receivers don't know what to do with PC Audio unless it is already pre-converting to Dolby Digital. Many Games still expect your PC audio to go through 2 or 6 discrete 3.5mm jacks to some discrete 5.1 or 7.1 PC speaker setups..

Doesn't going HDMI out from the motherboard or videocard take care of all that? confused.gif

Also, Windows 7 or Windows 8 is pretty even - go with what you are comfortable with. I would suggest Win8, mainly because it has some more modern behind-the-scenes tech with SSDs, and Stardock's Start8 program (easy $5 purchase) puts the UI almost exactly like Win7, with the new (mostly hated) Win8 Metro UI in the background - still there if you want it, but don't need to bother with it.
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post #7 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 12:20 PM
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Dave, I did a little looking.....you might be right, since I don't do this myself I'm not sure if the PC defaults to PCM Surround when outputting over HDMI or if it defaults to PCM Stereo..I'll leave this to experts in the area, of which I'm not :P

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post #8 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HeadRusch View Post

Dave, I did a little looking.....you might be right, since I don't do this myself I'm not sure if the PC defaults to PCM Surround when outputting over HDMI or if it defaults to PCM Stereo..I'll leave this to experts in the area, of which I'm not :P
My 5870s output multi channel PCM to my receiver via HDMI.
It doesn't default to it, but it's super easy to setup via Playback devices tab in the Sound option in Control Panel.
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post #9 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 12:45 PM
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Ah, there we go....modern technology has finally made PC games easier to play in surround.....for several years while the xbox and ps3 output native surround, PC gamers were running cables and jack converters wink.gif

Guess its time to retire that 1998 Marantz........

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post #10 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I know that most of the graphics cards out now that have HDMI will also allow for high def sound. Or, at least, they will pass the signal (pcm)to my receiver which will decode it (I think I got that right??).

I did end up getting a 128 gig SSD, but no internal HDD. I have a few external hard drives kicking around which I'll use. I'm assuming that games will be installed on the SSD, which will make it faster? But then you are limited with the amount of games. I suppose it's better to complete a few games, then delete them? I've been console gaming for so long I'm out of the loop when it comes to pc gaming.

Like I said, I got the EVGA Superclocked GTX 760 with their ACX cooling technology. I've read it's the best bang for your buck at ~250. I mean, I was running the Witcher 2 using my old AMD 6950 and it ran it just fine, so the GTX should be good enough.

Oh, and I did go with Windows 8. If nothing else, it's a change from Windows 7, and change is good. Sometimes...

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post #11 of 19 Old 08-20-2013, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by blastermaster View Post

I did end up getting a 128 gig SSD, but no internal HDD. I have a few external hard drives kicking around which I'll use. I'm assuming that games will be installed on the SSD, which will make it faster? But then you are limited with the amount of games. I suppose it's better to complete a few games, then delete them? I've been console gaming for so long I'm out of the loop when it comes to pc gaming.

Many people use both an SSD for Windows and play games off an internal hard drive. Gaming on SSD does help somewhat, mostly maps and levels loading, but not nearly as much as it helps Windows. So it's a bit of a waste to put games on SSD.

If you are the type that plays one or two games at a time, but like to have many games available, I suggest getting an big (2TB or so) HD to store games, and use Steam Mover to move the game you are currently playing onto to the SSD. And despite the title, Steam Mover can transport more than just Steam games - including Origin games, independents, and non-game programs.

Be sure your SSD has at least 20% empty space, in your case around 26gigs empty, for maximum performance. Someone once suggested to simply partition the SSD 20% smaller than the max capacity so the empty part is invisible and always there, which seems to make good sense.


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post #12 of 19 Old 08-21-2013, 07:31 AM
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Like DaverJ said, you want the SSD for your main HDD the one with Windows on it. Put your games on a normal platter disk, something the likes of WD black, you'll have longer load times but who cares.
In my rig I have a couple WD Velociraptors in Striped Raid and an Intel 480GB 520 Series for games, I don't notice the difference.

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post #13 of 19 Old 08-21-2013, 08:39 AM
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You know, it just dawned on me.

Take $400 out of your budget, you will still wind up with a perfectly good 1080p gaming PC and have enough change left over for the PS4.

You really don't NEED to throw more money at that rig unless you are getting into overclocking, where you will want to pay more for specific parts that are known to provide stable overclocks.

Also, I'll second the advice on the spinning platter. I pretty much only buy WD Black's......they are quiet enough, give adequate performance for drives...I don't run them in RAID simply because game load times are really pretty quick.
I have spare SSD's in my rig as well, sometimes I put games on them, but I notice no "look and feel" performance increase as a result......Windows is a game-changer on an SSD, but games and such.....a 15 second level load time
turns to 7 or 8.....sort of a "meh" unless you have lots of SSD's. RAIDing your platters is also an option, if you don't mind throwing a few switches in the bios (which is generally all it takes to get basic RAID functioning).

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post #14 of 19 Old 08-21-2013, 11:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Also, I'll second the advice on the spinning platter. I pretty much only buy WD Black's......they are quiet enough, give adequate performance for drives...I don't run them in RAID simply because game load times are really pretty quick.
I have spare SSD's in my rig as well, sometimes I put games on them, but I notice no "look and feel" performance increase as a result......Windows is a game-changer on an SSD, but games and such.....a 15 second level load time
turns to 7 or 8.....sort of a "meh" unless you have lots of SSD's. RAIDing your platters is also an option, if you don't mind throwing a few switches in the bios (which is generally all it takes to get basic RAID functioning).

I've already got the rig being put together, and I didn't order one with an HDD (just an SSD). I figured I'd just use the two external ones I have. I'm not sure what "raid" is. Again, totally not into tweaking much, just playing. Hence, the processor I got is not the overclockable one (I don't have the 3570k). I also like to know that I'll be able to play future games at a reasonable frame rate as well.

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post #15 of 19 Old 08-21-2013, 11:21 AM
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Sounds good, enjoy!

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post #16 of 19 Old 11-18-2013, 05:28 AM
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i just wanted to add here. ive been using ps3 media server before streaming it to my LG blu ray and my PS3. now i have an old gaming desktop with an NVIDIA GPU HDMI on it and tried it with XBMC software connected to my AVR(RX-A1000 yamaha). XBMC is much more better. and i love the posters on my movie file collections. try XBMC. highly recommended.

one more thing, HDMI audio on my yamaha were 8 channels PCM. (7.1) my DTS and dolby 1080p MKV files plays smoothly with awesome surround sound.

XIM edge, ps3, yamaha RX-A1000, adcom GFAii, polk SDA2a, 65" toshiba LCD......more and more to come.....work, work, work!!!!
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post #17 of 19 Old 11-18-2013, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Exactly what I did after I got my new computer - I love XBMC. I had to mess with one of the settings (GPU acceleration?) in order to prevent all the shows from having massive red push, but other than that it's been great.

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post #18 of 19 Old 12-04-2013, 03:14 PM
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Instead of using the old PC for an XBMC machine get a Raspberry Pi and put OpenElec (XBMC) on it.
Cost of Raspberry Pi is $35, SD card $10, Flash Drive $10, you will also need an HDMI cable and a Micro USB cable with power adapter.
Then use the old PC for a dedicated server.
These devices are quite powerful, and use OpenElec as it is faster and more responsive than raspbmc.
At least that's been the experience for me.

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post #19 of 19 Old 12-04-2013, 09:33 PM
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When you say flash drive you mean a usb thumb drive? Why do you need a SD card and thumb drive? I'm assuming you use one to store the software. What is the other for?

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