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I guess this might be better in the hardware forums but I want to have the opinions of SF Guys specifically.

 

I wanted to build a new pc that can run the game at least on the high settings and hopefully still run them on high settings with all the HD mod available here at CA.

 

Aside from SF2 i'm also planning to run Some 2k Stuff for when my friends come over and other SIM titles.

 

I've been running the game off my laptop for a long time now which to be honest is very convenient but not that great. And since I got diagnosed with a spine problem i can no longer do karate, Boxing and other strenuous lifting and movements i can no longer use my equipment's thus i may have to sell my bag mounts and other stuff. The good thing about this is i now have extra space available for a PC Set up and some probable startup cash for building a new PC that can handle gaming.

 

I want to avoid over clocking as much as possible as I'm from the tropics so we have high ambient temp all year round and i want to keep the power draw as low as possible as the Electric bill here is really high.

 

Parts i'm looking at

 

Processor: Intel Core i5-4690 which sells at USD 235 (Php10500), for some reason i couldn't find an i5-4690K

Video Card: I'm having trouble with this one. My first choice was an Asus Strix-GTX760OC 2gbd5 which cost about 260USDbut then is saw a STRIX-GTX960 2GB at USD 250 which is inexplicably cheaper. Or would it be wise to go for an AMD R9-280X which is also around the same price point but has 3GB DDR5? Will the Vram difference make a difference for SF2 or will the 760 or 960 both with 2GB of VRAM be enough?

 

Motherboard: I'm looking at get a Z97 or Z87 board from Asus as i had a really good history with ASUS but they range from 150 to 250 USD i could probably get the same ones from MSI for half that but is the quality of MSI boards on par with Asus?

 

RAM, storage, PSU, fans and Chasis will be decide once i figured out these 3.

 

So do you guys think i can get away with max settings on an 1080P, 32" display with these stuff?

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IMHO MSI makes decent quality boards. The main thing is the RAM and Ram speed support, some will say they support but can be unstable, so check that out thoroughly. I'm using a Core2Quad MSI that uses i5 Memory and was supposed to support 1600mhz, which worked for my 4Gigs, but when I put 8Gigs of the same exact Memory it was unstable and had to be reduced to around 1420mhz. So don't go too cheap. Also I prefer NVidia myself, A GTX960 should Rock pretty well.

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I checked the Video Cards you're looking for, and I recommend you to buy an 750W ~ 800W PSU to run without problems because:

The 760 needs 225W, the 960 needs 150W (?), and the R9 needs at least 300W to run.

 

For the processor and the motherboard, you should take a look to AMD am3+ stuff, you'll find a more game-oriented stuff than Intel, around the same prices (or less).

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You've left important pieces of information that will make it easier to help you decide (and save money).

Now, let's see in parts... :-)

 

I wanted to build a new pc that can run the game at least on the high settings and hopefully still run them on high settings with all the HD mod available here at CA.

 

Aside from SF2 i'm also planning to run Some 2k Stuff for when my friends come over and other SIM titles.

 

I want to avoid over clocking as much as possible as I'm from the tropics so we have high ambient temp all year round and i want to keep the power draw as low as possible as the Electric bill here is really high.

 

Parts i'm looking at

 

Processor: Intel Core i5-4690 which sells at USD 235 (Php10500), for some reason i couldn't find an i5-4690K

 

(...)

 

Motherboard: I'm looking at get a Z97 or Z87 board from Asus as i had a really good history with ASUS but they range from 150 to 250 USD i could probably get the same ones from MSI for half that but is the quality of MSI boards on par with Asus?

.

The i5-4690K is worthy only if overclocking. For that, you would want a Z97 motherboard (same for Z87, but it's previous gen.).

But, in your case, as you don't want to overclock, the extra expense on both "K" processor and Z97 mobo would be wasted.

 

The best thing to do in your case is to get an i5 4690, an H97 motherboard, and good ddr3 1600 RAM (8GB or 16GB, depending on your budget).

 

In regards to H97 motherboards, here's some that have been well regarded:

 

- AsRock H97 Performance

- Asus H97-Plus

- Asus H97-PRO

- Gigabyte H97-D3H

- Gigabyte H97-Gaming 3

- MSI H97-Gaming3

 

All of these are good, some have things and features that others may miss (intel Lan on some, realtek Lan on others, more and less usb ports, etc).

I would recommend looking at the specs of each, look for some reviews in the internet, etc, then choose accordingly.

 

Video Card: I'm having trouble with this one. My first choice was an Asus Strix-GTX760OC 2gbd5 which cost about 260USD but then is saw a STRIX-GTX960 2GB at USD 250 which is inexplicably cheaper. Or would it be wise to go for an AMD R9-280X which is also around the same price point but has 3GB DDR5? Will the Vram difference make a difference for SF2 or will the 760 or 960 both with 2GB of VRAM be enough?

.

Both the Nvidia GTX760 and the AMD R9-280X are both good GPUs to use for 1080P gaming.

 

The Nvidia GTX760 (any model, OC or not) has the upper hand in wider compability due to Nvidia drivers being generally better (hence better performance in some games).

It also consumes much less power, which also means that it'll run cooler when stressed.

 

On the other hand, the AMD R9-280 is an excelent GPU, it has a bit more "umph", and also more VRAM (50% more), which is becoming important. The problems it could have for you is what was mentioned - AMD drivers are problematic with some games (although perhaps not with the games you plan), and it does use more power (gets hotter).

 

With that said, I would strongly consider the GTX970 (any model, even a vanilla model from Nvidia will be good).

With that beasty i5 4690 processor, believe me, it's a phenomenal combination that you'll appreciate in the longer term. :)

 

 

RAM, storage, PSU, fans and Chasis will be decide once i figured out these 3.

So do you guys think i can get away with max settings on an 1080P, 32" display with these stuff?

.

The i5 4690 processor is beyond any question or doubt. It'll even game at 4K if you throw a top GPU for it.

Pair it with something like 16GB of memory and I'm convinced you got enough processor and RAM mem for the next 5 years of gaming.

 

You'll be fine with either GTX960 or R9 280X for gaming at 1080P, no doubt. The real question is for "how long" (...and "what if other new or more intensive games suddenly appeal"...).

 

My take on a PC investment is that sometimes budgeting and cutting corners doesn't pay up later - especially on the relevant things (I learned the hard-way... don't be like me! *sigh* lol).

You don't want to spend the next years cutting settings down to keep framerates, nor hiting a wall in VRAM in a a festival of hi-res textures.

Again, if you manage to afford the GTX970, do it. It's noticeably faster and has more VRAM than both those two, it'll keep you more satisfied for a longer time.

 

If you ever need help chosing the RAM, the PC-case, fans, storage, PSU, bring up the questions.

Edited by LucShep
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I don't know why I'm not able to edit my own post(???).

 

To correct my previous post right above, where it reads "GTX760" its meant to be read "GTX960".

 

Avoid the GTX760. While not a bad GPU, it is effectively slower than the GTX960, even if it does have higher bandwith.

The GTX960 has newer architecture and has seen higher benefits with more recent drivers.

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Saisran, take a look at the Techreport.com July system building guide in the following link:

 

http://techreport.com/review/28621/the-tech-report-system-guide-july-2015-edition

 

It should provide a pretty clear idea of the most cost effective way to put together the components required to do what you want.  They provide a menu of components for systems at different levels of capability and cost. 

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Thanks to all that replied. I guess the GTX 960 is now my main target, The GTX 970 does looks great but its twice the price of the GTX 960 here.

 

I will probably go for a good 2x 8GB RAM /  1x 16GB RAM but which one is better a single ram stick or 2 for safety??? easy upgrade?

 

@Lucshep - As much as possible i would like to avoid over clocking if necessary as (correct me if i'm wrong) i believe that the 4 core 3.5ghz performance it offers is relevant for gaming for another 2 to 3 years. After all, this is my first time building a Computer by myself (and yes. I really want to go through the experience and will be very careful./ I had experience fixing and replacing hardware on several computers at work but never a full blown build).

 

- Thanks for the tip on the Mother board. Again, not over clocking (but would like room for improvement but not necessary).

 

I have a silly preference for one shop in the Phils as i had a great history working with them for the past five years. They all the warranty and support plus they always give me about 20% discount for bulk buying. That being said they have a limited line up with their explanation being that "these are the only ones we think matters, other stuff are just in between crap". While i don't buy this explanation. the stuff they offer are usually good. 

 

That being said, they don't have H97 boards although i just communicated with the owner and he plans to bulk up their line up in the future with  H97 boards which will be almost half the price of the Zboards. But at the moment my choice with them is limited to Asus Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition cause i like its subdued look and Asus z97-pro(wifi-AC) cause it has built in dual band WiFi.  One thing that hat also makes me want to consider the Zboard is that they're built for overclocking which probably mean they can handle more stress, which probably means that they are more durable... right? And the added standby upgrade-ability wont hurt either

 

Now that we have pretty much decided on the Processor, GPU and motherboard i can i can now look into the casings. yey! I think the Thermaltake Versa H24 CA-1C1 Mid tower match the unassuming simplicity that i like with my stuff. Yup, like simple black things. I'm not a fan of Multi color, flashing LEDs and stuff. The question with it is that i don't know much about it asides from how it looks. I have no idea what fan setup i can use with it.

 

Thanks guys. Will appreciate more input.

 

 

 
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As I'm not able to edit my post(?), on the AMD Motherboards you can choose:

 

Asus M5A99FX Pro R2.0.

Asus Sabertooth 990FX R2.0.

ASRock 970 Extreme 4.

Asrock 990FX Extreme3

Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3.

Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 Rev 4.0.

MSI 970 Gaming.

MSI 990 FXA Gaming.

 

I looked at the differences between the i5 4690/4690K and the AMD FX series @95W about power consumption and is around 11W to 4960 and 7W to 4690K more power thirsty, it's not a big deal compared to graphic cards consumption, and you can save around $40, or even more, depending your budget, here is a list of FX processors:

 

AMD FX 8-Core Black Edition FX-8370E
FD837EWMW8KHK
Cores: 8
Speed/Max: 3.3 GHz/3.6 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

AMD FX 8-Core Black Edition FX-8320E
FD832EWMW8KHK

Cores: 8
Speed/Max: 3.2 GHz/3.5 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

AMD FX 8-Core Black Edition FX-8310
FD8310WMW8KHK
Cores: 8
Speed/Max: 3.4 GHz/4.3 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

AMD FX 6-Core Black Edition FX 6100
FD6100WMW6KGU
Cores: 6
Speed/Max: 3.3 GHz/3.9 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

AMD FX 4-Core Black Edition FX-4100
FD4100WMW4KGU
Cores: 4
Speed/Max: 3.6 GHz/3.8 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

AMD FX 4-Core Black Edition FX-4300
FD4300WMW4MHK
Cores: 4
Speed/Max: 3.8 GHz/4 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

AMD FX 8-Core Black Edition FX-8300
FD8300WMW8KHK
Cores: 8
Speed/Max: 3.3 GHz/4.2 GHz
TDP: 95W
Socket: AM3+

 

With them you can use a wide range of RAM Modules ranging from 1066MHz to 1866MHz (also depending your budget).

 

For the tropical weather, Liquid Cooling is a good friend, Antec and Cooler Master have good systems at reasonably prices, and for the coolant you can use car coolant, in my case I had to switch to LC because I live in front the Sahara Desert, the floating dust on ambient from some continental winds hitting the Atlantic is a pain to clean on an conventional CPU fan, and not to tell the temperatures when the island is covered with dust clouds.

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"I will probably go for a good 2x 8GB RAM /  1x 16GB RAM but which one is better a single ram stick or 2 for safety?"

To take advantage of the additional dual channel memory bandwidth on the Z97 and Z87 motherboards,  you have to use two memory sticks.  A single stick of memory can not run in the dual channel mode.

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I'm an AMD fan and user since the Athlon XP years (and I have a Phenom-II CPU based PC), but I can't recommend AMD CPUs right now, unless for really low-budgets.

 

The rate of IPC (instructions per clock) in AMD processors of today (like Piledriver-Vishera FX processors) is extremely weak compared to Intel. And that is the most important thing with processors for gaming, especially with CPU intensive ones like simulators are.

 

Untill AMD releases the "Summit Ridge" CPUs (expected in 3rd quarter of 2016), buying an AMD CPU for gaming is not the best investment right now.

You pay more for Intel CPUs but, in this case and right now, you do get what you pay for. 

 

 

Thanks to all that replied. I guess the GTX 960 is now my main target, The GTX 970 does looks great but its twice the price of the GTX 960 here.

 

I will probably go for a good 2x 8GB RAM /  1x 16GB RAM but which one is better a single ram stick or 2 for safety??? easy upgrade?

 

@Lucshep - As much as possible i would like to avoid over clocking if necessary as (correct me if i'm wrong) i believe that the 4 core 3.5ghz performance it offers is relevant for gaming for another 2 to 3 years. After all, this is my first time building a Computer by myself (and yes. I really want to go through the experience and will be very careful./ I had experience fixing and replacing hardware on several computers at work but never a full blown build).

 

- Thanks for the tip on the Mother board. Again, not over clocking (but would like room for improvement but not necessary).

 

I have a silly preference for one shop in the Phils as i had a great history working with them for the past five years. They all the warranty and support plus they always give me about 20% discount for bulk buying. That being said they have a limited line up with their explanation being that "these are the only ones we think matters, other stuff are just in between crap". While i don't buy this explanation. the stuff they offer are usually good. 

 

That being said, they don't have H97 boards although i just communicated with the owner and he plans to bulk up their line up in the future with  H97 boards which will be almost half the price of the Zboards. But at the moment my choice with them is limited to Asus Gryphon Z97 Armor Edition cause i like its subdued look and Asus z97-pro(wifi-AC) cause it has built in dual band WiFi.  One thing that hat also makes me want to consider the Zboard is that they're built for overclocking which probably mean they can handle more stress, which probably means that they are more durable... right? And the added standby upgrade-ability wont hurt either

 

Now that we have pretty much decided on the Processor, GPU and motherboard i can i can now look into the casings. yey! I think the Thermaltake Versa H24 CA-1C1 Mid tower match the unassuming simplicity that i like with my stuff. Yup, like simple black things. I'm not a fan of Multi color, flashing LEDs and stuff. The question with it is that i don't know much about it asides from how it looks. I have no idea what fan setup i can use with it.

 

Thanks guys. Will appreciate more input.

 

 

A small correction regarding the i5 4690: the 3.5 GHz is the base frequency. With the turbo-frequency, it effectively runs at 3.9 GHz. :-)

 

In regard to the chipset, it's a bit hard to explain without going in-depth, but... the difference between Z97 and H97 mobos usually comes down to wider adjustments and features specifically for OC and hardware enthusiasts (like triple PCI-E lane, etc) in the case of the Z97.

At stock-speeds and voltages both Z97 and H97 are equally "heavy-stress prepared" boards. Quality components (capacitors/mosfets, etc) are used in both chipset mobos.

Which means that, if you don't want to overclock, (IMHO) you're wasting considerable money if going for a Z97, when it could be used in other components (SSD, RAM, or better GPU, etc).

 

Around here the H97s sell as good or better than Z97s, exactly because the majority doesn't overclock and tend to go for non-K CPU (and save for better graphics in the process).

I find odd that your prefered PC shop doesn't have H97 motherboards(?) but even so, can't they reserve one with the distributor for you? 

You mentioned preference to ASUS, both of these are very good, outstanding even considering their prices: 

 

For PC cases, it's the same deal.

Money can be saved with good but inexpensive mid-towers, for which there have been great propositions like these:

 

For the memories, go for two sticks of RAM v(2x 4GB, or 2x 8GB), because of dual-channel mode (better than single-channel with a single stick of ram).

 

 

Round here (Portugal), we have good variety and selection of components like the rest of Europe. The difference is that our country's economy is still in the dump (very much so).

Meaning, for PC enthusiasts and harcore gamers here, we're severely restricted by limited budgets (or heavy fees on extended credit).

Being aware of what's around (what's good and not) became even bigger of a requirement, for ourselves and to assists friends, because with so much to choose, it's important to hand pick the right components when investing the hard earned money on a PC - as is your case now.

Edited by LucShep

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I'm an AMD fan and user since the Athlon XP years (and I have a Phenom-II CPU based PC), but I can't recommend AMD CPUs right now, unless for really low-budgets.

 

A small correction regarding the i5 4690: the 3.5 GHz is the base frequency. With the turbo-frequency, it effectively runs at 3.9 GHz. :-)

 

In regard to the chipset, it's a bit hard to explain without going in-depth, but... the difference between Z97 and H97 mobos usually comes down to wider adjustments and features specifically for OC and hardware enthusiasts (like triple PCI-E lane, etc) in the case of the Z97.

At stock-speeds and voltages both Z97 and H97 are equally "heavy-stress prepared" boards. Quality components (capacitors/mosfets, etc) are used in both chipset mobos.

Which means that, if you don't want to overclock, (IMHO) you're wasting considerable money if going for a Z97, when it could be used in other components (SSD, RAM, or better GPU, etc).

 

Around here the H97s sell as good or better than Z97s, exactly because the majority doesn't overclock and tend to go for non-K CPU (and save for better graphics in the process).

I find odd that your prefered PC shop doesn't have H97 motherboards(?) but even so, can't they reserve one with the distributor for you? 

You mentioned preference to ASUS, both of these are very good, outstanding even considering their prices: 

 

For PC cases, it's the same deal.

Money can be saved with good but inexpensive mid-towers, for which there have been great propositions like these:

 

For the memories, go for two sticks of RAM v(2x 4GB, or 2x 8GB), because of dual-channel mode (better than single-channel with a single stick of ram).

 

 

Round here (Portugal), we have good variety and selection of components like the rest of Europe. The difference is that our country's economy is still in the dump (very much so).

Meaning, for PC enthusiasts and harcore gamers here, we're severely restricted by limited budgets (or heavy fees on extended credit).

Being aware of what's around (what's good and not) became even bigger of a requirement, for ourselves and to assists friends, because with so much to choose, it's important to hand pick the right components when investing the hard earned money on a PC - as is your case now.

 

Yup. 3.9 on boost. And that just justify the need not to overclock. I have nothing against AMD, it just that for my speccific requirements i think the 4690 is the perfect fit. 

 

I was chatting with the store manager earlier and he promised to get me whatever i'll be needing for my build including Either Asus H97 Pro Gamer (which to me doesnt look as good as the other one but doesnt really matter as it's gonna be hidden anyway.) or a gigabyte or MSI model which will be 100 USD cheaper than the Z97 Board/ Sufficient savings that will be great for getting better PSU and Fans, or if he can give me the 30% discount on the GTX 970 a much better GPU.

 

As cool as water cooling would be. I just don't wanna deal with it. Good positive Air pressure and periodical cleaning will probably suffice. It's gonna be placed in an AC room for most of its life anyway.

 

(Actually if i can find a way to get the radiator outside the room without messing  to much with concrete, water cooling will be a good future upgrade.)

 

On the subject of PSU. What's your take on a semi modular PSU from coolermaster?

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The CoolerMaster GM and V semi modular series are good (that will depends on your budget), the model Wattage to choose depends on the CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD and HDD overall consumption, you can have less cables and the essential components connected to it and they have a good efficiency curve, i.e. with the V450/G450M you have room to run the GTX 960/GTX 970 without problems, as the GTX960 needs 120W and the GTX970 145W, the 4690 needs 84W to work, then the drives are around 4.35W for the Kingston Savage SSD on writing, The less expensive Fury are 2.76W and storage drives like WD Green are between 1.7W~5.3W on reading/writing, depends on the model. But if you want to upgrade later the V550/G550M PSU are best.

 

I ommited the RAM consumption because it'll depends on the type you like to use (1333MHz or 1600MHz).

Edited by Daniel Borau
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As cool as water cooling would be. I just don't wanna deal with it. Good positive Air pressure and periodical cleaning will probably suffice. It's gonna be placed in an AC room for most of its life anyway.

 

(Actually if i can find a way to get the radiator outside the room without messing  to much with concrete, water cooling will be a good future upgrade.)

 

On the subject of PSU. What's your take on a semi modular PSU from coolermaster?

 

Water cooling on a i5 4690 (which always runs at stock speeds and voltages) is overkill.

 

Honestly, just get a CoolerMaster Hyper212Evo and be done with it (best cooler at lowest price, ever).

With that Hyper212Evo, if you plan in having extra cooling in the case, like 2 intake fans (side, and bottom or front) and 2 extractor fans (rear and top), I think you won't need anything else for cooling, even in prolongued gaming sessions.

 

 

Regarding PSUs, this is where you'll see different opinions across many forums.... let me extent a bit from the experience I've had (hopefully not too boring).

 

Regardless of being modular or not, go for a reliable brand and look at the ratings. Get one that is (at least) "80 Plus Bronze" rated.

The "80 Plus Silver" ones are a little better even, but also cost more.

IMHO, you don't need to go for higher ratings than that, for which you pay a very heavy price ("80 Plus Gold" and "80 Plus Platinum").

Reason being, you don't usually need such high rated PSUs on real world scenarios (and gaming) with computers that never ever see overclocking or SLI/Crossfire (as is your case).

 

But, and as rule of thumb (along with a reknowned brand) having overhead is important in a PSU.

In your case, the minimum I would go for is 600 Watts, but not more than 750 Watts (again, because you're not going to SLI/Crossfire).

 

I haven't used any semi-modular PSUs froom CoolerMaster, but it is a reknowned brand (reliable, good quality products).

From what I read, those semi-modular PSUs from CoolerMaster are good, maybe a little overpriced.

TechPowerUp has a review on the V750 model, check in here.

 

 

I've dealt mostly with wired PSUs but lately there has been more interest in semi-modular ones.

The ones I've messed with and seen in action for longer periods (recommended, check prices) are:

 

At the end of the day, I believe, as long as it's a PSU from a reknowned quality brand, from 600W up to 750W, rated at least to "80 Plus Bronze" (and ready for Intel 4th Generation Haswell CPUs) that you'll be fine. :-)

Edited by LucShep

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Thanks Guys! I like the jonnyguru site and thanks for explaining the ratings on the PSUs. I think i have most of the knowledge i need for selecting the components that will go into my build. Im not building an uber set-up. I wont be doing SLI or multi monitor setup. Just a dedicated computer for a small library of Flight sim, old racing games and NBA2ks. As the first two genres are all that i care about and 2K is to entertain my friends with.

 

I really appreciate your input. I have more confident that the stuff im getting is gonna be robust and reliable with the right amount of performance needed and will be relevant for a long time.

 

Much obliged! Thanks!

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I really LIKE this thread ... just reading it gave me an insight into hardware. Thanks to all!!

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