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Zarkes

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In most cases yes its fine to buy used so long as you get them from reputable sources, I mean plenty of people sell their older GPU's when a fancy new one comes out and sometimes they can be merely 6-12 months old and have plenty of years left ahead of them.
Well if I'm going to be buying it piece by piece from multiple sources I mine as well save a buck. I just don't want to get burned. Most parts come with warranties if new so I should be fine by that way.
 

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Well if I'm going to be buying it piece by piece from multiple sources I mine as well save a buck. I just don't want to get burned. Most parts come with warranties if new so I should be fine by that way.

I used my wifes staff Amazon discount for most of my parts and its saved me a decent amount of cash so far.
 

Zarkes

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I used my wifes staff Amazon discount for most of my parts and its saved me a decent amount of cash so far.
People are building awesome machines outperforming consoles for down to 350 now. I need advice on an attainable up to 4k gaming desktop. Screw the fancy stuff. Can you guys help inform me of my options going that route? Ascending isn't easy.

I used to work for Amazon, Mrs. Drakan is a true Hero.
 

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People are building awesome machines outperforming consoles for down to 350 now. I need advice on an attainable up to 4k gaming desktop. Screw the fancy stuff. Can you guys help inform me of my options going that route? Ascending isn't easy.

I used to work for Amazon, Mrs. Drakan is a true Hero.

@Azer249, @Steve Powell & @Gikoku are the guys I would go to for help with that though most I imagine arent all that bothered about 4k themselves currently.
 

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A single high end card would always be better but SLI/Crossfire is set to improve soon with memory stacking coming soon. I mean its always going to be recommended to purchase one high end card of course but in some cases a 2nd card is far cheaper and benchmarks arent far off. Plus with DirectX 12 rumoured to be allowing multiple different GPU's in same machine it could be far cheaper to use an SLI/Crossfire setup and boost power above a single high end GPU.

To add onto this, the more glaring issue I've noticed with going the SLI/Crossfire route is the amount of compatibility (or perhaps lack thereof) with many games. Skyrim for example is picky as all hell when it comes to SLI/Crossfire, especially when you're throwing an ENB preset ontop of it.

Nah I'm shelling top dollar I want my rig to be unique. Going for i7 everything the only part I'm skimping on is the graphics card. A titan is good comparatively but not worth 1g alone.

A GTX Titan is completely uncessary and was intended for business use, not high-end gaming (a mistake that many folks have continued to make in the communities). A GTX 970 alone runs circles around the Titan at a fraction of the cost. Just because it's expensive doesn't mean it's the best.

PC geeks everywhere would advise against a pre-built machine.

Me personally, if money is no object for someone then by all means, spend your cash however you wish. But going the pre-built route is mistake numero uno for when it comes to saving money and ensuring reliability.

I built mine from the ground up and it ensured I had full control over all components, going pre-built you don't get that. If there's a component in the rig that has a bad reputation, too bad, you're just going to have to deal with it and hope to not have to spend more money on it anytime soon. Besides, building it is one of the best parts!

Now I know there's sites that allow you to pick and choose the parts for a pre-built rig, and I'm okay with that, but in doing so you're also missing out on the potential deals from other sites if you had gotten them separately.

Is it safe to buy used components? I'd rather build a machine on my own.

Other than missing out on warranties, there's nothing wrong with used components. Not that long ago I mailed out my old Radeon HD5770 card that I've used for around 4 years to Markie (Sephiroxas) since I have an HD7870 now. No problems whatsover and it's been 6-7 months now. Keeping in mind she has a smaller case, less efficient cooling and a pretty hot environment to deal with. Just have to make sure whoever you get it from is reputable, personally I prefer that new part smell though. :p

@Azer249, @Steve Powell & @Gikoku are the guys I would go to for help with that though most I imagine arent all that bothered about 4k themselves currently.
Believe me I'm not, 4K anything just doesn't hold any weight to me at the moment. It's nice if you have the power for it, but I still find 1080/2K a joy to look at, especially when you apply downsampling to it. Save yourself the cash if you're not that fussed.
 

Zarkes

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Believe me I'm not, 4K anything just doesn't hold any weight to me at the moment. It's nice if you have the power for it, but I still find 1080/2K a joy to look at, especially when you apply downsampling to it. Save yourself the cash if you're not that fussed.
I heard 970's had issues out the gate? Or is that just another way for the community to knock someone down a peg? Is a 980 really worth the extra cash? I have also heard that you cannot stack cards, so for example if you had 4 4GB cards, that would still only equal 4GB. Is that true? If 4k gaming still isn't a thing yet, what's the best machine available for around 2000$? I'm looking to play rpgs mostly, so graphics and loading times are what I'd like to gear for. I wanted the best money can buy, but I got entrapped as there is no real ceiling to how powerful a pc can get. I heard that after 3000$ there is not much you can do to better your gaming experience.

1080/2k resolution would be just fine with me. Could you whip up a dream rig for 2-3k so I could get an idea of my build options?
 

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I heard 970's had issues out the gate? Or is that just another way for the community to knock someone down a peg? Is a 980 really worth the extra cash?

970's issue was that and instead of 4Gb vRam it has 3.5Gb that run at one speed and 0.5Gb that runs at another. Some people felt lied to but it's still a great card for its price and offers some of the best bang for buck performance (bought one myself). I wouldn't say the 980 was worth the price difference performance wise.

From article linked (I suggest reading that for full detailed explanation)...

The best way to test that is to look at game performance. Compare a GTX 980 to a 970 on a game that uses less than 3.5GB. Then turn up the settings so the game needs more than 3.5GB and compare 980 and 970 performance again.

On GTX 980, Shadows of Mordor drops about 24% on GTX 980 and 25% on GTX 970, a 1% difference. On Battlefield 4, the drop is 47% on GTX 980 and 50% on GTX 970, a 3% difference. On CoD: AW, the drop is 41% on GTX 980 and 44% on GTX 970, a 3% difference. As you can see, there is very little change in the performance of the GTX 970 relative to GTX 980 on these games when it is using the 0.5GB segment.


Nvidia’s statement explains our own findings earlier. In our analysis we discovered that the GTX 970 can actually address and use all available 4GB of VRAM and not just 3.5GB. However the performance penalty for using that last 0.5GB of VRAM is still interesting. As Nvidia explains it and as we had suspected earlier, the issue is essentially due to the fact that the GTX 970 is based on a cut-down GM204-200 GPU die instead of the full GM204 chip like its bigger brother the GTX 980.

Read more:

I have also heard that you cannot stack cards, so for example if you had 4 4GB cards, that would still only equal 4GB. Is that true?

vRam doesn't currently stack no but with it is meant to be incorporated to allow it to do so in the future.
 

Zarkes

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970's issue was that and instead of 4Gb vRam it has 3.5Gb that run at one speed and 0.5Gb that runs at another. Some people felt lied to but it's still a great card for its price and offers some of the best bang for buck performance (bought one myself). I wouldn't say the 980 was worth the price difference performance wise.

From article linked (I suggest reading that for full detailed explanation)...

The best way to test that is to look at game performance. Compare a GTX 980 to a 970 on a game that uses less than 3.5GB. Then turn up the settings so the game needs more than 3.5GB and compare 980 and 970 performance again.

On GTX 980, Shadows of Mordor drops about 24% on GTX 980 and 25% on GTX 970, a 1% difference. On Battlefield 4, the drop is 47% on GTX 980 and 50% on GTX 970, a 3% difference. On CoD: AW, the drop is 41% on GTX 980 and 44% on GTX 970, a 3% difference. As you can see, there is very little change in the performance of the GTX 970 relative to GTX 980 on these games when it is using the 0.5GB segment.


Nvidia’s statement explains our own findings earlier. In our analysis we discovered that the GTX 970 can actually address and use all available 4GB of VRAM and not just 3.5GB. However the performance penalty for using that last 0.5GB of VRAM is still interesting. As Nvidia explains it and as we had suspected earlier, the issue is essentially due to the fact that the GTX 970 is based on a cut-down GM204-200 GPU die instead of the full GM204 chip like its bigger brother the GTX 980.

Read more:



vRam doesn't currently stack no but with it is meant to be incorporated to allow it to do so in the future.
Wow., I think this is the wrong time to be getting a PC, I want a rig that lasts up to five years, but tech is changing on the daily and isn't solidifying. The PS4 and ONE were dead out the gate, can't even compete.
 

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If 4k gaming still isn't a thing yet, what's the best machine available for around 2000$? I'm looking to play rpgs mostly, so graphics and loading times are what I'd like to gear for. I wanted the best money can buy, but I got entrapped as there is no real ceiling to how powerful a pc can get. I heard that after 3000$ there is not much you can do to better your gaming experience.

1080/2k resolution would be just fine with me. Could you whip up a dream rig for 2-3k so I could get an idea of my build options?
4K gaming is a thing, just not one I'm interested in, but it's there for those who have the money for it. Just make sure that if you ever go for it to have a 4K compatible monitor as most models cap at 1920x1080.

Andy's. My next rig will be similar to his, you really don't need to shoot for so high in the market unless you're looking to become an elitist. When you break the $2,000 barrier you're entering the pointless overkill territory. is a monster, but based on the parts it looks under $2,000 for the time, but I might be wrong (you can always ask him).

If you really want to go higher though, then replace Andy's parts for GPU, CPU, and Mobo for:
GTX 980
Intel i7-4790K (if you plan to overclock, look into liquid cooling)
Maximus VII Formula (just a fancier VII Hero, but it does have metal plating)

There's 6 & 8-core CPUs available right now (for appropriate mobos), but the performance gain for gaming doesn't justify the price-tag (and likely won't for a number of years). They're useful for video editing projects though, otherwise I wouldn't concern yourself over them.

Wow., I think this is the wrong time to be getting a PC, I want a rig that lasts up to five years, but tech is changing on the daily and isn't solidifying. The PS4 and ONE were dead out the gate, can't even compete.
Trust me, it's never the wrong time to start building a PC. Gaming tech is a forever evolving beast that has gone at this pace for many decades, it's nothing new. I've had the same rig since 2010 with only one upgrade to my GPU, it was built on a budget around $600. I'll be making the switch to a new build (Intel/nVidia based) sometime next year when I get the money all sorted. As it stands though, my rig is still fine and can still max out a number of the new games (Watch Dogs, Thief, Dying Light, MGSV, etc).

The misconception of upgrading every single year is a stigma that was created from PC elitists that strive to have the latest and greatest components, even when they don't even need them (that and people who don't buy smartly). :/

I have to give credit where it's due though, the PS4 & XB1 are impressive for what they are. They'd never be able to market a console with the power of a GTX 980 and sell it for under $400... the GTX 970 alone is $330, and the 980 is $550. :(
 

Zarkes

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4K gaming is a thing, just not one I'm interested in, but it's there for those who have the money for it. Just make sure that if you ever go for it to have a 4K compatible monitor as most models cap at 1920x1080.

Andy's. My next rig will be similar to his, you really don't need to shoot for so high in the market unless you're looking to become an elitist. When you break the $2,000 barrier you're entering the pointless overkill territory. is a monster, but based on the parts it looks under $2,000 for the time, but I might be wrong (you can always ask him).

If you really want to go higher though, then replace Andy's parts for GPU, CPU, and Mobo for:
GTX 980
Intel i7-4790K (if you plan to overclock, look into liquid cooling)
Maximus VII Formula (just a fancier VII Hero, but it does have metal plating)

There's 6 & 8-core CPUs available right now (for appropriate mobos), but the performance gain for gaming doesn't justify the price-tag (and likely won't for a number of years). They're useful for video editing projects though, otherwise I wouldn't concern yourself over them.


Trust me, it's never the wrong time to start building a PC. Gaming tech is a forever evolving beast that has gone at this pace for many decades, it's nothing new. I've had the same rig since 2010 with only one upgrade to my GPU, it was built on a budget around $600. I'll be making the switch to a new build (Intel/nVidia based) sometime next year when I get the money all sorted. As it stands though, my rig is still fine and can still max out a number of the new games (Watch Dogs, Thief, Dying Light, MGSV, etc).

The misconception of upgrading every single year is a stigma that was created from PC elitists that strive to have the latest and greatest components, even when they don't even need them (that and people who don't buy smartly). :/

I have to give credit where it's due though, the PS4 & XB1 are impressive for what they are. They'd never be able to market a console with the power of a GTX 980 and sell it for under $400... the GTX 970 alone is $330, and the 980 is $550. :(
with two gtx 980's I've got my rig down to 2500, that's with everything compatible, overclocked, and properly cooled. Since currently dual cards isn't mainstream defacto, I can shave another 500 off. That brings me to 2G, and if I buy smart and build myself, I think I can get it to 1700 without accessories. I'm working off the z97 model, what do you think of a configuration like that?
 

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with two gtx 980's I've got my rig down to 2500, that's with everything compatible, overclocked, and properly cooled. Since currently dual cards isn't mainstream defacto, I can shave another 500 off. That brings me to 2G, and if I buy smart and build myself, I think I can get it to 1700 without accessories. I'm working off the z97 model, what do you think of a configuration like that?

Sounds good so far, I'd use that spare $500 for something more useful though like a nice audio setup or more importantly - more games!

Do you have a list of all the parts you plan to purchase?

The most common method for shaving off even more money would be to perform mail-in rebates for most components (if it's offered) which can save you up an upwards of $200 total depending on the deals in place. E.g. if I opted for such back then, my rig would've cost me around $500 or less.
 

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Sounds good so far, I'd use that spare $500 for something more useful though like a nice audio setup or more importantly - more games!

Do you have a list of all the parts you plan to purchase?

The most common method for shaving off even more money would be to perform mail-in rebates for most components (if it's offered) which can save you up an upwards of $200 total depending on the deals in place. E.g. if I opted for such back then, my rig would've cost me around $500 or less.
Excellent. This is the stuff I need to hear.

Games are covered, my friend has a steam library of over 250 games, and he is going to put me in his Family. Audio I'll be strictly using headphones, I like it better that way and the nature of my setup is the coldest room with the least dust that being the case I can't blare a world war simulator.
I'll get the specific parts list now. It will be my current mindset, like yesterday, tomorrow it will be completely different.
 

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Do you have a list of all the parts you plan to purchase?
motherboard: gigabyte GA-Z97-SLI
Cooling: Ultra silent fans 120 sealed liquid cooling system for 1150 socket. Now this I'll be doing on my own I can save hundreds as I know water lines well.
Processor: intel core i5 4460 quadcore 3.2GHz-overclocked within safety
Graphics card-single 4GB GTX 980-Overclocked
memory-8BG or better depending on prices
Operating system-windows 10
Driver- 2TB Solid State

This comes to 2200, please inform me why I am wrong I need to know these things.
 

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Uh I missed the monitor list. Did you already purchased one or do you still need help deciding, Andy?

Also Giki is right. You definitely don't need to upgrade your PC every year. I'm also using at least 5 year old parts (much more on the mobo) and can run most modern games on at least medium settings (like Skyrim). I only did upgrade my GPU to a 650GTX Ti, but it didn't give me that much additional power because of the CPU bottleneck.
 
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Uh I missed the monitor list. Did you already purchased one or do you still need help deciding, Andy?

Still havent decided so open to suggestions as I have to pay off my holiday to Vegas in 10 days, then after that I should start having some free cash again afterwards to be saving for my CPU & Monitor again.
 

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motherboard: gigabyte GA-Z97-SLI
Cooling: Ultra silent fans 120 sealed liquid cooling system for 1150 socket. Now this I'll be doing on my own I can save hundreds as I know water lines well.
Processor: intel core i5 4460 quadcore 3.2GHz-overclocked within safety
Graphics card-single 4GB GTX 980-Overclocked
memory-8BG or better depending on prices
Operating system-windows 10
Driver- 2TB Solid State

This comes to 2200, please inform me why I am wrong I need to know these things.

That CPU is waaay too slow for the GTX 980
16 Gb of RAM. There's no reason to hold back on the cheapest part of the rig.
512 MB SSD + conventional drive will save you a lot of cash, a full 2TB is not worth it. If you feel like this hampers your testosterone levels too much, dump the money you saved into a 12GB GTX Titan X.
Also consider a proper 1440p - the goal for this setup - monitor. Otherwise all the other hardware isn't really worth it.
 

Zarkes

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That CPU is waaay too slow for the GTX 980
16 Gb of RAM. There's no reason to hold back on the cheapest part of the rig.
512 MB SSD + conventional drive will save you a lot of cash, a full 2TB is not worth it. If you feel like this hampers your testosterone levels too much, dump the money you saved into a 12GB GTX Titan X.
Also consider a proper 1440p - the goal for this setup - monitor. Otherwise all the other hardware isn't really worth it.
Yeah that was the gutted, cost friendly version. The only reason I want to go supercharger on it is because I was basing it off of a 4k monitor.

So let me make sure I'm following you correctly, one Titan is better than 4 gtx 980's because most games don't support direct 12 yet? At this point I'm willing to shell it out for a premiere gaming system. Like you said if I have the money to burn then I'm not hurting anything by going full retard.

It's hilarious I wanted to buy a '69 Corvette Stingray and fix it up and my mom is pressuring me into getting a Pc. What planet am I on lmao.
 

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4 GTX 980's? What? Where?

The gist of what I was told is something like this:
4k gaming only exists in theory atm, because the hardware isn't there to handle games on such levels - mainly GPUs and monitors. For example, the Titan X delivers 40fps in Crysis on 4k in "high" settings (not maximum). 40 fps is kinda bad for a good gaming experience, though.
If you want to blow money, it is advised to buy the best of everything but the GPU, because as it is now, the advancement in all other areas has halted. This means your CPUs, RAMs, HDDs, PSUs, mobos will last a lot longer than the current high end GPU. Better go with something decent, but not overpriced - for example the GTX 970 - and replace it in a year when new technologies have been released.
LGA2011v3 + I7-5820K +16GB RAM + GTX 970
When the next gen GPUs hit the shelves - and they're supposed to blow even the likes of Titan X out of the water - you only need to upgrade that single part.

Edit:
Well DX12 shouldn't have any influence on better SLI performance as it is engineering related and thus NVidia's problem. So yes a Titan X would be better than 2x 980.
 
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motherboard: gigabyte GA-Z97-SLI
Cooling: Ultra silent fans 120 sealed liquid cooling system for 1150 socket. Now this I'll be doing on my own I can save hundreds as I know water lines well.
Processor: intel core i5 4460 quadcore 3.2GHz-overclocked within safety
Graphics card-single 4GB GTX 980-Overclocked
memory-8BG or better depending on prices
Operating system-windows 10
Driver- 2TB Solid State

This comes to 2200, please inform me why I am wrong I need to know these things.

I agree with Rotid on a few of those, that 2TB SSD is a major waste of money. Follow the method of a smaller SSD + bigger HDD, saves you money and is logical. Although I personally prefer a bit more leg room with an SSD so a 120GB SSD for around $60 is a good choice. That CPU is definitely a bottleneck and is even slower than my Phenom II 965 Black, dump it. Go for the i7-4790K, best top-of-the-line quad processor for your money right now.

I still have mixed feelings on the 16GB RAM, not enough games right now make much use of it, but you can still grab it if you really want it. Note: Skyrim will never be able to make use of more than 3.1GB of RAM, even with its LAA flag, because Bethesda accidentally butchered the memory allocation within the game's binary when trying to fix the PS3 version (Patch 1.9) and didn't bother to test it, thus.. the game is forever capped at 3.1GB of memory usage before ultimately crashing. So no amount of 4GB+ RAM on your end will do anything for it. :/

Titan anything is just ego-stroking for the biggest of fools with cash to burn, especially when nVidia is just going to come out with another monstrous Titan model soon after. They're glorified cash dumps. Just get a GTX 980 if you're looking to go all Hulk Hogan on your games.

What we really need right now is a solid lock on your true budget here for this rig, because it's going from under $2,000 to well over $4,000 if you're going to be throwing Titans and 6/8-core processing around.

4 GTX 980's? What? Where?

The gist of what I was told is something like this:
4k gaming only exists in theory atm, because the hardware isn't there to handle games on such levels - mainly GPUs and monitors. For example, the Titan X delivers 40fps in Crysis on 4k in "high" settings (not maximum). 40 fps is kinda bad for a good gaming experience, though.

4K gaming and the hardware for it is already here (4K gaming is a general term after all, it's not just for only the latest games), if you're referring to the original Crysis that game isn't the best of examples due to its lack of good optimization (DR3 also comes to mind). There's already plenty of folks that are running around 4K gaming on Skyrim, Fallout, Half-Life 2, and so many other games... hell, there's even people who've gone as far as 8K (because why the hell not =])!

TRA Rotid said:
LGA2011v3 + I7-5820K +16GB RAM + GTX 970
When the next gen GPUs hit the shelves - and they're supposed to blow even the likes of Titan X out of the water - you only need to upgrade that single part.
With specs like that he's better off getting a GTX 980 and simply running with that for a good number of years, then upgrading. $200 difference won't really matter at that point.
 

Zarkes

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What we really need right now is a solid lock on your true budget here for this rig, because it's going from under $2,000 to well over $4,000 if you're going to be throwing Titans and 6/8-core processing around.
I have 3grand to spend. The purpose of my questioning is what is the best bang for my buck I can get.
 
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