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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If I'm going to build a gaming PC, what are the most important factors that actually effect the "in-game" performance. I'm guessing that the GPU would be the absolute No.1 factor. I'm thinking the CPU would be the next primary factor, and then the ram.


So, is it basically all about the GPU, CPU, Ram and motherboard? Do any of the other components really factor into the equation?



GPU - I'm guessing that I would want to put the greatest percentage of overall budget to this component. (although another strategy is to deliberately buy a cheaper video card, knowing that I will upgrade that in 8 months anyways, and slide some extra cash towards the CPU, which I won't be upgrading for 18 months or more.


CPU - I'm guessing this would be the 2nd largest percentage of the budget, unless I go with the strategy above in which I get a slightly less beefier video card, knowing that I will upgrade it in 8 to 11 months anyways. Thinking that I won't be upgrading the CPU quite as fast.


Ram - I'm thinking that the ram issue is kinda tied to the motherboard right? Like certain motherboards support certain kinds of ram? How many gigs of ram does somebody really need to have right now, so that in game performance isn't affected? Ram is kinda expensive right now, so I would rather not get extra ram just for the F of it. I would only want to get as much as I would actually need before it starts to become the weakest link in my chain.


Motherboard - Obviously, this would be tied to the chipset of the CPU, and the type of ram I would need.



Besides these 4 components, does anything else "really" affect the actual in game experience? Certainly with games that support DX11, Windows 7 would be a must, right? But does it really matter what kind of hard drive I have? I would need a power supply that could handle the video card and everything else, and cooling and such...


Right now, in terms of CPU, I'm looking at either the AMD Phenom II X4 965 Quad Core Processor ($190 shipped - Tiger Direct) or the Intel Core i5 750 Quad Core Processor ($195 shipped - Amazon.com)


If my budget doesn't allow it, then I might have to drop down to the Intel Core i3-540 Dual Core Processor ($140 shipped - Amazon.com)


Now, what I don't know, is how these choices will affect which motherboard I would need to get, and the ram. On the video card side of things, I'm still thinking the Radeon 5770.
 

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Your reasoning is solid! IMO for a gaming system go with the i5, and probably the AMD 5850 with 4GB of good RAM. Couple it with a known good mobo from Asus, Gigabyte, or evga and a good stable PSU and you're set for quite a while. I know the 5850 is more than $100 more than the 5770, but you wouldn't need to upgrade anytime soon.


I'm still rocking my setup that I built just over two years ago (Q6600, 8800GT SLI, 4GB DDR2) and have no problem running any of the new games on high, 1080p, 2xAA.
 

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Hard Drive will affect loading performance. It means the difference between near no-wait loads and waiting for a minute or more. Solid State Drives (SSD) are the way to go for fast gaming performance these days...or going with a Western Digital Raptor drive if you want to shave off some dollars by going non-SSD. I get by fine with standard hard drives...just means more wait when loading.


Net Connection will affect online gaming. If you have a high latency connection you can forget about online gaming at least with real-time gaming. Speed of the connection doesn't really matter much as long as it's broadband.


For RAM amounts I'd go with at least 4GB for gaming.


For the CPU Quad core is good...but not essential for gaming as a lot of games still don't use all cores present. I'd get at least a dual core though. That's what I currently run in my gaming system.


My gaming system as it currently stands: C2D 3.0 Ghz (E8400), GTX 280 1GB, 8GB OCZ DDR2


Runs all games just fine...no limitations on any of the games I play.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 257Tony /forum/post/18248167


I know the 5850 is more than $100 more than the 5770, but you wouldn't need to upgrade anytime soon.

Well, I can't really afford to throw an extra $100 on that card, as good as it might be, because I'm trying to put this whole thing together under a certain budget. If I jump on the PC bandwagon, I honestly don't mind upgrading my video card every 12 months. I would just consider it a cost of doing business. When it makes sense, I would buy a 5850 (or whatever makes sense), and sell my old card on Ebay, and basically just roll with the whole upgrade thing. I would just consider it a cost of doing business when rolling with a PC.


Also, I don't mind playing older games. For example, right now on my Xbox 360, I'm playing the original Bioshock, and the original Mass Effect. I'm also playing some Fallout 3. So, I'm about 2 years behind whatever is the latest and greatest. So, that will work well for me from a video card standpiont, because I'm pretty sure a 5770 will handle those games just fine. It might not handle Crysis 2 and Rage just fine, but by the time I'm actually playing those games, I'll have a video card that will be able to handle it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 /forum/post/18246638


If I'm going to build a gaming PC, what are the most important factors that actually effect the "in-game" performance. I'm guessing that the GPU would be the absolute No.1 factor. I'm thinking the CPU would be the next primary factor, and then the ram.

Correct..your Ram isn't really going to give you a whole lot of real-world tangible benefits short of giving you better or worse headroom when overclocking your CPU, if you plan on going that route.

Quote:
So, is it basically all about the GPU, CPU, Ram and motherboard? Do any of the other components really factor into the equation?

Only for load times...your hard drive...god forbid your spinning-media drives.

Quote:
GPU - I'm guessing that I would want to put the greatest percentage of overall budget to this component. (although another strategy is to deliberately buy a cheaper video card, knowing that I will upgrade that in 8 months anyways, and slide some extra cash towards the CPU, which I won't be upgrading for 18 months or more.

Depends on your reasoning...you can do this many ways, the first is to buy the highest end videocard that is out there...run it until something brand new comes out and then sell it quickly, you'll get most of your value back and you can consider any loss your "rental" fee...then you dump the money into the next highest card that is coming out.


Or you can stick with the middle-of-the-road card...the one that gets you most of the performance without quite the stickershock....example, an overclocked GTX260 216 was $150 cheaper than a GTX280 but when you overclocked it, posted the same benchmarks.


But never forget the balance....a great GPU with a crappy budget CPU can stave you of performance, and so on and so on. The best CPU with a budget GPU and its the same problem. These days with quad-core multi-threading chips being the norm, and not a lot of software taking advantage of it.....I'd lean towards the screaming GPU.

Quote:
CPU - I'm guessing this would be the 2nd largest percentage of the budget, unless I go with the strategy above in which I get a slightly less beefier video card, knowing that I will upgrade it in 8 to 11 months anyways. Thinking that I won't be upgrading the CPU quite as fast.

The CPU is a funny thing.....sometimes it takes quite a few evolutions of a CPU before you really see huge differences in performance. The whole quad versus dual core, hyper threading versus not.....and so on and so on. Just remember, you go for a good CPU on a good motherboard and you overclock it and you're happy for a few years. i upgraded my dual core to a quad core and its 'about the same', its only faster in other stuff I do on the pc, in games the change was largely transparent. But with new chips usually comes faster ram, perhaps more bandwidth, more room to push the new chips....so Ghz does count, but it does come down to balance.

Quote:
Ram - I'm thinking that the ram issue is kinda tied to the motherboard right? Like certain motherboards support certain kinds of ram? How many gigs of ram does somebody really need to have right now, so that in game performance isn't affected? Ram is kinda expensive right now, so I would rather not get extra ram just for the F of it. I would only want to get as much as I would actually need before it starts to become the weakest link in my chain.

For gaming I doubt you'd get much benefit with more than 4 gigs...of course with todays operating systems almost demanding at least 2.....I'd buy a Solid State Disk Drive for my boot drive before I added more than 4 gigs of Ram to my system, but thats just me.

Quote:
Motherboard - Obviously, this would be tied to the chipset of the CPU, and the type of ram I would need.

Motherboards are kind of about quality of components and features....expensive motherboards can have features you'll never use, while sometimes providing marginal overclocking headroom....depends. Motherboards have grown more and more expensive over time...so you're going to pay no matter what. Then again, they're also more feature rich these days too.

Quote:
Besides these 4 components, does anything else "really" affect the actual in game experience? Certainly with games that support DX11, Windows 7 would be a must, right? But does it really matter what kind of hard drive I have? I would need a power supply that could handle the video card and everything else, and cooling and such...

You need a high-quality power supply, do not skimp. $100 bucks and up on your power supply and you'll never worry that it was your supply that failed you. yeah, its a hard pill to swallow when you see $20 power supplies of days gone by...but those are days gone by, and a PC can draw as much juice as a Space Shuttle.


Ok thats a lie but you get the point.


Your disk drive will absolutely affect things liek load times and such...do a little research...an SSD is the fastest route, but I've found loading Crysis off my SSD versus off my Western Digital Black amounts to a difference of about 10 to 15 seconds most of the time.


File that under "who cares". Just get a good modern hard drive that benches well and you'll be fine. In-game there is no advantage/disadvantage.

Quote:
Quad Core Processor ($195 shipped - Amazon.com)

Chevy versus Ford.....Intel has been kicking ass and AMD has been playing Ketchup for many years now but I dont really know what the differences are lately...I generally stick with intel. I try not to pay more than $250 for a CPU no matter what flavor it is. I'm sure you can do just as well with AMD, but I think for gaming....does Intel still hold the edge? Not sure its even a factor at this stage.......
 

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It would be better if you waited a few weeks before you built anything because nvidia's new cards are arriving at the end of the month. Even if you don't plan on buying one it might drive their other cards down, or you could pick up something used on ebay, etc, etc.
 
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