Looking for advice on a new system

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Looking for advice on a new system

Postby joe mamma » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:00 pm

Hello all. So my desktop PC is quite aged (components are from 2007-2008) and noticeably so, and I finally have the income (and imminent tax refund) to allow me to get something more modern that can handle modern gaming. I don't want to throw money away on parts that are priced far above their value, though I don't necessarily need to skimp on anything either. But I haven't really followed the hardware scene for several years, so I don't know much about what's good, what's bad, who's king of the hill, what's just around the corner, etc. That's why I need advice.

I am looking for a new CPU, motherboard, RAM, SSD(s), video card(s). Possibly a sound card if it's worth it (sick of dealing with Creative and their s***ty drivers though). I also don't need speakers or a high capacity traditional HDD, and shouldn't need a power supply unless my 750W PC Power & Cooling unit is insufficient.

I may be interested in a monitor - I currently have one 24" 1920x1200 Samsung flat panel that I love, but I recently got rid of my secondary screen (an old 1600x1200 CRT behemoth!) and miss having two good monitors. I've been eying those grey market Korean screens, especially the 30" 2560x1600 ones, that have started showing up all over for relatively dirt cheap. Does anyone here have any experience with those things? They're awfully tempting...

I would only need a case if my Antec 900 won't accommodate the new components. I would like it not to be overly noisy, as that would probably bother my girlfriend who I share a small apartment with. I'm open to quality aftermarket cooling for the CPU and/or GPU(s) including liquid cooling, though I haven't done liquid cooling before and would really prefer a nice kit product if I were to go that route. I'm not a heavy overclocker, though I could dabble a bit if it wouldn't seriously risk the components or make things very noisy.

Is Windows 7 still fine to use for gaming, or does Windows 8 have exclusive benefits necessitating its use? And finally, is now a good time to make such a purchase, or is there something new coming in the next few months from Intel/AMD/nVidia that would be worth the wait? I have gathered in my cursory research so far that AMD is departing the PC performance CPU market ( :( ) and Intel has allowed their PC CPU line to get somewhat stagnant as a result of the lack of competition and a refocus on the mobile market (also :( ).

Oh, and last but not least. I know these recommendations are hard to make without a price point to go from. Let's try to keep the total below $3k, and if possible around $2k USD. But I'm willing to hear arguments for most any component if the performance justifies the price. I am a big fan of Newegg, and will likely buy most of my components there unless there is sufficient reason to look elsewhere. Fry's and Microcenter both have physical locations not far from where I live.
Asus Maximus VII Hero | i7 4790k | 32GB G.SKILL DDR3 2666 | HD4870 | SSD 500GB | PCP&C 750W
joe mamma
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Hammer_Time » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:10 pm

Hi Joe, welcome back! You gave a very detailed post describing what you have and what you need, and a budget range which is much appreciated. Sounds like you want a new monitor ( 27" to 30" size range ), and to keep your existing Samsung 24" monitor as a secondary monitor right? So basically you need the guts of a new tower , just cpu, mobo, ram, SSD and new video card, the rest you will use your existing components as you said.

Let's try to keep your budget to around $2000 ( or just over ). You mention that gaming is a priority for this tower so will keep that in mind here when picking components.

Just as a reference starting point, check out Tom's hw $1600 Enthusiast Build from Dec. 27th of last year ( just over 2 months ago, the next "System Builder for Q1 2014" will be released in about a month from now of course, but this is still a good recent "starting point":

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/bui ... ,3709.html

$1600 Enthusiast System Components

Motherboard Asus Z87-PLUS, LGA 1150, Intel Z87 Express
$163

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K: 3.4 GHz Base Clock Rate, 3.8 GHz Maximum Turbo Boost, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache
$240

Heat Sink
Enermax ETS-T40-TB Air Cooler
$35

Memory 8 GB Patriot Viper 3 (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1866 Model PV38G186C9K $95


Graphics 2 x MSI Gaming N770 TF, GeForce GTX 770 2 GB 256-bit GDDR5
$660

System Drive
Samsung 840 Pro MZ-7PD128PW 2.5" 128 GB SATA 6Gb/s (SSD)
$150


Storage Drive
Seagate Barracuda 2 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB Cache, SATA 6Gb/s
$100

Optical Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner
$18

Case NZXT Gamma Black ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
$35

Fans
Apevia 140 mm, Rosewill 120 mm ($7 each)
$14

Power Corsair TX750 V2 750 W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS Bronze PSU
$90

Total Cost
$1600


You only need the components that I bolded above, so your budget is very "generous" here. Lets try to get you great components that are not ridiculously overpriced.

Before we start, I am not a fan of SLi or Crossfire, not because of the extra power they consume, but because of stuttering issues, game incompatibities/driver issues etc. I would much rather have a single strong gpu with no driver issues, so that is what I will recommend for you.

First the cpu, going with the one Tom's recommends above:

Processor Intel Core i5-4670K: 3.4 GHz Base Clock Rate, 3.8 GHz Maximum Turbo Boost, 6 MB Shared L3 Cache
$240

Proof of performance: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 106-4.html

With a good cooler and motherboard you can easily overclock this cpu to 4.4 Ghz range ( possibly a bit more ) on good air cooling. Coolers like the Corsair H100i are decent but I always worry about the pumps dying over time and possibility of leaks, I prefer a good strong fairly silent air cooler, and this is one of the best :

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cooler ... html#sect1

Slightly quieter than the awesome Phanteks but the Phanteks is currently out of stock on newegg.com right now:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835709003

Phanteks PH-TC14PE_OR 140mm UFB (Updraft Floating Balance) CPU Cooler

$95.99


Too bad the Rajintech Nemesis cooler is not listed on newegg yet ( too new ).

The Noctua DH-14 series is not a bad cooler at all ( only a few degrees hotter in benchmarks ) and happens to be in stock:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6835608018

Noctua NH-D14 120mm & 140mm SSO CPU Cooler

$84.99


Proof it will fit your Socket 1150 cpu:

Pros:

If you want cool cpu temps, in my humble opinion, I think that this is the best cooler on the market. I've previously tried using water cooled devices, but was never satisfied with the temps I would get. The problem is that they are nothing more than closed-system radiators like the one in your car.

Since I like to overclock my systems, I decided to try a Noctua NH-14 in a system build a couple of years ago and saw significant improvement in my temps. I just purchased another one from Newegg recently and put together the following rig:

ASUS Sabertooth Z87 Socket LGA 1150
Intel i7 4770k 3.5 GHz overclocked to 4.4 GHz
32 GB Corsair Vengence LP

EVGA GeForce GTX 650
Samsung 250GB SSD
Cooler Master 942 full tower case

With my system idling right now, it is running right now at 4.4 GHz, and my temps are averaging in the mid 30's (Celsius). If I run it at full load, it will get up to the 60's, and maybe touch the low 70's.

You really need to take several things into consideration when you're buying this cooler.

1. Is the cooler too big for my case?

2. Will it fit on my cpu socket and motherboard?

3. Will it fit over my ram sticks, or will my ram sticks be in the way?

You can find out the answers to questions #2 and #3 by going to Noctua's website which is noctua.at
In their support area, their have compatibility lists. On question #1, you need to make sure your computer case is wide enough. That's why I'm using a full tower Cooler Master 942.

Cons: It's big, but you knew that already.


First, I can guarantee this cooler will fit in your Antec Gamer 900 case, now how do I know this? Because I own the very same Antec Gamer 900 ( original ) case, and still love it. I have an OCZ Vendetta 2 cpu cooler in that "just" fits the case with about 5mm or to spare with my side panel on ( I run my system with side panel off for better cooling, but the panel DOES fit perfectly if I want to use it. The height of my OCZ Vendetta 2 cooler is listed at 159mm high ( height of heatsink ), only 1 mm less than the height of the Noctua DH-14 cooler.

Proof:

http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/ha ... iew-2.html

Noctua NH-D14

Heatsink Dimensions: 160 x 140 x 158mm

So it will be a tight fit, yes, but DEFINITELY it will fit in your Antec Gamer 900 case.

Now the Asus mobo that Tom's hw chose above is fine, a midrange Asus model for $160 but that board still uses same old Realtek ALC892 onboard audio which is fine for the most part, but it lacks in the bass dept as reviews have proven, and it distorts at higher volume levels. I use a $30 Asus Xonar DG PCI sound card instead of onboard and I have noticed better bass with it as opposed to Realtek onboard, and I can crank the volume way up with no distortion, no way I could do that with onboard Realtek ( distorts at high volumes especially on my Sennheiser headphones ). However, since your budget allows for a really good mobo, why not get a really good one ( to last you years ) with awesome onboard audio ( and WiFi as well ), yes it is expensive but look at the features:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6813132038

ASUS MAXIMUS VI FORMULA LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX gaming board with double-sided ROG Armor, 23C-degrees cooler CrossChill and 120dB SNR, 600ohm audio

Maximus VI Formula series is the ultimate ATX gaming motherboard. Why? Just count the reasons. ROG's sixth-generation Formula packs even greater cooling performance, the very best onboard audio, incredible strength, amazing heat dissipation and advanced shielding technology. With ultrafast Intel® Ethernet plus attention to design that goes right down to the level of audio capacitors and amplifiers, the Maximus VI Formula arms you with gaming-dominating advantages that other motherboards just can't match - that's why it's the winning formula.

Excited? Then our Maximus VI Formula video is sure to get you truly pumped. ®

SupremeFX Formula

Amazing 120dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio, 600ohm Audio
SupremeFX Formula delivers premium sound card quality. Combining SupremeFX Shielding technology through physical PCB isolation, grounding separation and EMI cover shielding, while premium components such as ELNA® audio capacitors and German-made WIMA® film capacitors deliver audiophile grade performance. Lossless audio quality is ensured thanks to differential circuit design with high-fidelity operational amplifiers (op-amps) and Cirrus Logic® CS4398 headphone digital/analog converter (DAC) delivering a brilliant 120dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Finally the Texas Instruments® TPA6120A2 600ohm headphone amplifier is able to boost every sound detail. ®


$299.79


Consider it like buying a $200 quality Asus motherboard but with an "onboard" Asus Xonar DX-quality card ( $90 add on sound card ), also has builtin quality WiFi and Bluetooth ( if you need it ), a tuned ethernet port as well.. so if you look at all the quality features together, suddenly $300 does not sound all that expensive, and it is a wicked mobo...

Pros: 10 SATA Ports, Awesome on-board sound solution, RoG armor feels/looks amazing, back-plate armor is awesome (very rigid), visual error code diagnostics, start/reset button on mobo (illuminated)

Cons: Is this board worth what it costs? Eh. I chose this board because I believe in Asus products and I wanted the beefy on-board sound and 10 SATA connections without dealing with bulky/ugly add-on's. The board only has 1 USB 3 connection for front panel's, I was hoping for 2.

Other Thoughts: build:
intel i7 4770k
asus maximus vi formula 1150
evga gtx 780
asus pb278q 2560x1440 wqhd
antec nineteen hundred
g.skill ripjaws ddr3 x-series 16gb
samsung 840 pro 256gb
seasonic platinum 1000w
lg 14x bd-r


Tom's hw liked the Maximus VI Formula board so much they gave it their Elite hw award! :

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z87 ... 18-24.html

Asus’ Maximus VI Fomula price premium was previously $35 compared to the similarly-marketed Z87 OC Formula, and that money paid for a 2x2 wireless module supporting 802.11ac at up to 867 Mb/s across two frequency bands. Adding similar functionality aftermarket costs you at least $35. The Maximus VI Formula loses ASRock’s conformal coating, steps up slightly in audio specification, loses ASRock’s warranty extension, and gains a few Asus-exclusive features like USB BIOS Flashback and ROG connect.

ROG Connect will probably be the one thing (other than brand preference) that drives overclocking exhibitionists towards the Maximus VI Formula, though the Z87 OC Formula appears to have nearly as many overclocking features to attract those same customers.

Image

Discounts that helped ASRock throughout the summer have now expired. In a battle for feature supremacy, Asus' on-board extras are worth a little more. Without a big price difference to distract us from the value of those bundled value-adds, the Maximus VI Formula earns our rarest and most prestigious Tom's Hardware Elite award.


Now the ram, need low profile ram so the ram heatsinks don't interfere with the massive Noctua DH-14 cooler: ( board is rated for up 3100 Mhz ram speed ( overclocked of course ) , so am going to shoot for some decent relatively affordable 2400 Mhz kit for you here ):

I chose 8GB x 2 ( 16 GB total ) DDR-3 memory kit, 16 GB should be plenty for gaming needs, and if you like you can always add in another 2 x 8GB sticks later on ( for 4 x 8 GB = 32 GB total ram ). Here is a good kit for very low price right now:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820231671

G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C11D-16GAB

DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200)
Timing 11-13-13-31
Cas Latency 11
Voltage 1.65V

$148.99


Good timings and low profile heatsinks so they will deffo clear your large Noctua cpu cooler.

They are deffo compatible with your mobo too:

G.SKILL Ares Series 16GB

Pros: What can I say...it's RAM.

Works great with the built in XMP profile and my ASUS Maximus HERO VI motherboard.


When it comes to SSD performance, Samsung is kicking ass and taking names lately , especially their EVO series which offers relatively high performance with a very decent price! Yes the 840 Pro model is a bit faster, but you would probably never notice the difference in real-world usage:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/storag ... html#sect0

Conclusion

Judging by its design features, the Samsung 840 EVO is something in between Samsung’s 840 Pro and 840 models - a top-performance SSD with inexpensive TLC NAND flash memory. This description is rather superficial, though. Samsung has put much effort into improving the SSD architecture and endowed the 840 EVO with innovative technologies. The resulting product is quite outstanding. A revised controller with increased clock rate, 19nm flash memory with 128-gigabit cores and TurboWrite technology make the Samsung 840 EVO a high-performance solution which is also available in different capacities, up to 1 terabyte. Even though we tested a 250GB version of the drive, which is not the fastest version available, it outperformed most of the flagship SSDs from other brands. So, rather surprisingly, the Samsung 840 EVO turns out to be second only to the Samsung 840 Pro in terms of speed.


Talking about its downsides, we should realize that the 840 Pro is a consumer-class product. It is not designed for high loads, being based on 3-bit TLC NAND flash with a rather limited service life. Even though Samsung’s TLC NAND flash is quite reliable, making the 840 EVO suitable for desktop computers, an SSD with MLC NAND flash would last longer under the same conditions. That’s why the Samsung 840 EVO comes with a 3-year warranty despite delivering top performance.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820147249

SAMSUNG 840 EVO MZ-7TE500BW 2.5" 500GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

$279.99


Very affordable for a 500 GB fast SSD!! ( remember that performance slightly increases as SSD capacity increases which never hurts either! :) )

You can get the 1 TB version for $510 if you think you need that much SSD capacity:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6820147251

Now video card:

ATi R9 series are overpriced right now, GTX 780 for just over $500 is best value in high end video card ( the Ti version still overpriced around $700 and you can overclock regular 780 to 780 Ti levels ):

Proof:

http://www.techspot.com/review/738-giga ... page9.html

http://www.techspot.com/review/738-giga ... age11.html

As incredible as those results are, Gigabyte's GTX 780 Ti OC doesn't entirely overshadow the GTX 780 GHz Edition.

For instance, the GHz Edition card was just as impressive providing nearly 20% more performance than a standard GTX 780 on average, which works out to about 5% slower than the standard GTX 780 Ti and 4% faster than the Radeon R9 290X. Despite those massive gains from factory, we extracted another 8% from each card by overclocking them further and what's most impressive is that we didn't have to adjust the WindForce 3X's coolers, which remained extremely quiet during loads -- a rarity on stock high-end cards.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gam ... 107-5.html

Best Graphics Cards For The Money: March 2014

By Don Woligroski MARCH 4, 2014

GeForce GTX 780

Very High-End Gaming Card

We pulled this card from our recommendation list after AMD introduced its slightly-faster Radeon R9 290. But the GeForce GTX 780 looks a lot more attractive with the R9 290 selling at $550. It's simply cooler, quieter, and better-built.
Plus, it gives you G-Sync capability, if that upcoming technology is catching your eye.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814125488

GIGABYTE GV-N780GHZ-3GD GeForce GTX 780 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 HDCP Ready Video Card

$519.99


Good cooler, low noise, nice factory overclock ( will go higher of course if you want ), and very decent price!!

So far with the above components we are up to a subtotal of $1574 ( without monitor ).

Since you wanted to keep your total budget to around $2000 that leaves about $400 roughly for a good monitor:

You mentioned a 30" monitor so you could get something like this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824005398

LG 32WL30MS-B Black 32" 25ms (GTG) HDMI Large Format Display 1920 x 1080 400 cd/m2 DCR 500,000:1 (1300:1)

1920 x 1080
DCR 500,000:1 (1300:1) 25ms (GTG)
HDMI DVI Composite, Component D-Sub

$503.99


However, if you are sitting at a desk directly in front of your monitor while gaming, 32" is probably "too big" if you know what I mean, and the larger the screen, the more important dot pitch becomes and higher resolutions are needed with bigger monitors.

I think something like this would be more suitable:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824236294

ASUS PB Series PB278Q 27" 5ms (GTG) WQHD HDMI Widescreen LED Monitor 300 cd/m2 80,000,000:1 Built-in Speakers

2560 x 1440 5ms (GTG)

80,000,000:1
HDMI 1.4, D-Sub, DisplayPort 1.2, Dual-link DVI-D

$549.99


Not a bad price for a monitor of this size and quality that supports 2560x1440 res!

This pretty much sums it up:

Pros: Performs as well as the similar 27" Dell IPS display for a lot less money.

Cons: I had to get a new video card, my old gtx 480 oc couldn't keep up.

Other Thoughts: I am a computer programmer by trade and I've been making video games professionally for almost a decade. I absolutely love the 27" Dells at work and I've wanted one at home for a long time, but it just wasn't in the budget. This made it possible, and I am perfectly happy with it. I've had it for about 6 months at the time of this writing.


IPS panels are awesome, but you sure have to PAY for them... this is a good compromise considering the price. Dell and hp IPS panels push the $650 to $700 range, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824176242

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6824260111

So $1574 + $550 = $2125 ( plus tax and shipping ), but what a system!! Will last you for years...

You asked if Windows 7 is still fine for gaming, I say yes... but of course Windows 8 is "slightly" faster in certain games compared to W7 :

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/win ... 31-13.html

Of the 10 games we benchmarked, only one demonstrated a significant difference in moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and only on Nvidia's GeForce GTX 660. That game was Borderlands 2, where our average measured frame rate dropped from 86.6 to 81 FPS. But at that speed, the five-frame drop is hardly worth fretting over.


http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/11/ ... x6oehBdV2k

Performance Advantage

Is there a performance advantage in Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7 for BF4? The answer is, "Yes." We consistently found that under Windows 8.1 BF4 performed faster than Windows 7 on both AMD and NVIDIA hardware. Both GPUs, from both vendors, had a consistent performance advantage in every test we performed. More importantly, in the real-world multiplayer gaming session that matters, there was a performance advantage.

Now, this performance advantage is small on the R9 290X at around 3%. It is larger on the GTX 780 at around 6%. We found this more interesting. It seems the GeForce GTX 780 was more advantageous in performance under Windows 8.1 than the R9 290X was. We did not expect that. With all the work AMD has put into BF4 and DX11.1, we figured the R9 290X would show the highest performance advantages. However, the reverse is true. It is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 that is benefiting the most from Windows 8.1.


Gameplay Image Quality Advantage
Was there an advantage to the image quality settings under Windows 8.1? The answer is "No." The performance advantages were generally small at 3-6%. This isn’t enough of a performance boost to allow us to raise the resolution, or raise the AA settings, or raise an image quality setting. We were not able to play at different game settings under Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7. This means the game will look the same under both operating systems.

Gameplay Experience Advantages
Are there gameplay experience advantages under Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7 in BF4? The answer is a, "Big YES."

Under Windows 7, we experienced choppiness as we played. This was felt both in the "Test Range" map, and in multiplayer gaming sessions. The choppiness was more pronounced on the GeForce GTX 780. We could get on a straight path, in the "Test Range" and move down a straight road. As we did this, there would be a pause, or chop, in the frames randomly. It was like the game was hitching for no reason. This happened more on the GTX 780. This is under Windows 7.

When we tried this on Windows 8.1 the pausing, or hitching, or chop (however you want to describe it) was completely gone. Moving was smoother with no hitching in the game on the GTX 780. This affected both the test range and the multiplayer gaming session.

Therefore, the gameplay experience advantage under Windows 8.1 is a smoother gameplay experience in BF4 on both video cards.

Upgrade to Windows 8.1
Finally, the big question, should you upgrade to Windows 8.1 for BF4? We are on the fence about this one because it really depends on what kind of a BF4 player you are.

If you are hardcore BF4 player, and you eat, breathe, and live this game, and you play for hours a day, then yes, Windows 8.1 is an advantageous upgrade for you. It will provide a smoother experience, with no hitching or choppiness. Also, if you own a GeForce GTX GPU series it will help those framerates more and help improve the minimum framerate, which is very important in a game like this. You have to understand it won’t change your image quality settings, it will just pretty much provide a smoother experience, with higher minimum FPS.

If you are a casual BF4 gaming, then no, upgrading to Windows 8.1 is a waste of money for you for this game. There aren’t enough improvements to justify the price of upgrading to Windows 8.1 for just one game.

The Bottom Line

We think we have nailed all aspects of Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7 in BF4. There is a performance advantage, but it is small. A lot of people were right that Windows 8.1 is faster than Windows 7 in BF4. However, it isn’t massively faster. It certainly isn’t fast enough to actually change real-world gameplay settings. The performance advantage, even at its highest of 6%, wasn’t enough to change the gameplay settings or make it look better under Windows 8.1

What we found more interesting was that the GeForce GTX 780 had the highest advantage under Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7 compared to the R9 290X. This is good news for NVIDIA GPU owners. This will narrow the performance with the competition, simply by upgrading the OS for this game. Thankfully we ran our Battlefield 4 Video Card Performance and IQ Review under Windows 8.1 so that performance is reflected. However, if you read other reviews or articles out there, and these are testing this game on Windows 7 you will find that Radeon R9 series to have a wider performance win compared to the NVIDIA GPU series. Under Windows 8.1, the performance will be narrower in this game.

A lot of people were right that BF4 is faster, and performs smoother in Windows 8.1 versus Windows 7. A lot of people were wrong that it was a large difference, or changed the gameplay quality settings. It gives a small boost in framerates, it helps the minimum FPS (the most advantageous to hardcore gamers), and it provides a smoother experience. We will continue to use Windows 8.1 as our operating system for GPU reviews as it does allow our video cards to shine a bit brighter.


So if a 6% fps increase ( best case scenario ) in BF4 ( on a GTX 780 as tested ) really interests you, then go for Windows 8.1 and spend the $100 to buy it... if not, just save money and stick with your Windows 7, you can always upgrade the OS later on ( or better yet, Dual-boot it with Win 8.x ).

Unless you like Windows Tiles I would probably stick with W7 , wait for W9 to come out in 2015 and then dual-boot with that... :D Totally up to you of course... nothing wrong with W7 though, I still use it here...
The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least. No good deed goes unpunished...

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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:38 am

Is Windows 7 still fine to use for gaming, or does Windows 8 have exclusive benefits necessitating its use?


W-8 is crap and should be avoided unless you KNOW you prefer it(very few do, but they exist).

And finally, is now a good time to make such a purchase, or is there something new coming in the next few months from Intel/AMD/nVidia that would be worth the wait?


Nothing so vital that it should stop you from buying.

I have gathered in my cursory research so far that AMD is departing the PC performance CPU market ( :( ) and Intel has allowed their PC CPU line to get somewhat stagnant as a result of the lack of competition and a refocus on the mobile market (also :( ).


Sort of yeah. AMD still does well in some areas though, if you´re doing a lot of media coding for example, an AMD 8 core could be well worth it.
Things that like higher raw clockspeeds can also make them worth it.
But overall yeah, you probably want an Intel.

I am looking for a new CPU, motherboard, RAM, SSD(s), video card(s). Possibly a sound card if it's worth it (sick of dealing with Creative and their s***ty drivers though). I also don't need speakers or a high capacity traditional HDD, and shouldn't need a power supply unless my 750W PC Power & Cooling unit is insufficient.


Aim for a Intel i5 4670 or i7 4770 cpu. Pick a motherboard to make sure it has good integrated sound and you don´t need a soundcard.
RAM i suggest 16 or 32GB DDR3 1600, maybe 1866 if you can find it without jumping up in price too much. Beyond that there´s very little improvements in performance so not worth the price unless you can find a cheap pack. Set up a big RAMdrive and use it for temporary stuff and the pagefile to speed things up a little more and reduce needless writing to the SSD.

For gfx, the recent Radeon R7 or R9 line is probably the most interesting.

And there´s no reason for that PSU not to be plenty enough.

I´m hopefully looking at getting something similar for myself in the not too distant future.
This has been an objective and completely impartial message from the propaganda bureau of DIREWOLF75. Thank you for reading. Have a nice day.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby joe mamma » Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:52 am

Thank you for all the detailed info, both of you! That gives me a lot to chew on. So it seems the recommendation is for an Intel 1150 CPU on the newer platform rather than a 2011 that they try to position for high end gaming? And the +100 MHz, hyperthreading, and increased cache offered by the i7 line doesn't necessarily justify the extra $100 over a similar i5 (i5 4670 vs. i7 4770)?

And I take it neither of you have personal experience with the cheap monitors direct from South Korea? I am personally more of a fan of 16:10 aspect ratio than 16:9. I just like having that little extra in the vertical dimension, and anything less than 1200 vertical pixels feels very cramped to me on web pages and documents. Though I suppose a 2560x1440 resolution wouldn't necessarily suffer from that issue.

Hammer, I do like the idea of that Maximus mobo. Are there really still a lot of issues with drivers and compatibility for SLI/Crossfire? I recall that was the issue years ago, but I would have thought that would be mostly ironed out by now. And since you personally have an original Antec 900 like me, you say these coolers do fit (barely) with the side panel on. Is that also with a case fan mounted on the window? I currently have a fan on there.

Dire, I appreciate the suggestion of getting extra RAM and setting up a RAM drive to save on the SSD, very smart. I think I would like to go for a full 32GB of RAM to set some aside for that purpose.

Will likely stick with Win 7 for now then, thanks. I like to know what I'm buying before I take the plunge so I will do my research and probably place the order within the next week or two.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Fuzz » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:00 am

Windows 8.1 isn't so bad as long as you replace the start menu with classic shell or something similar. I haven't had to see the tile interface in months. I prefer the look of the desktop to Win 7 as window borders are slimmer and all that bubbly crap from XP is finally gone. Task manager is way better, and there are obviously numerous other improvements. If you don't upgrade often, you may want to consider it. I've got a couple non-tech savy users in the office running it now, and they haven't had issues either.

For monitors, you might want to look into the ones from monoprice, I've heard good things about them.
http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=113&cp_id=11320
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby mhudon » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:11 am

Another vote for the Noctua NH-D14. It runs a couple of degree hotter than others mainly because of the lower fan rotation speed. Still the cream of the crop if efficiency AND silence are top priorities in a cooling solution. Don't forget it's equipped with some of the best man made fans too :wink: !

If you plan to buy 32gb of memory, buy it in one complete kit. Manufacturers will only guarantee the speed and timings of their memory kits when used alone. If you want 32gb, you should choose between one of these 4x8gb kits: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=-1&IsNodeId=1&Description=4x8gb&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=20

I second everyone saying that W8 s**ks :fist: . It just won't let you use all of your good ol apps like you used to do (DVDFAB and many others in my case).

Like HT, I would also recommend to buy one strong Graphic card instead of going SLI. IMO, 100% compatibility is better than 5-10% better performance in games and apps. A GTX 780 would make you save money and electricity too!

I've bought a 250gb Samsung 840 EVO a couple of month ago for about $160. It's plenty of space for a system drive and blazing fast. $310 for a 500gb :shock: it's worth buying, trust me. It's the most significant upgrade I've made in my PC in the past years.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Hammer_Time » Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:14 pm

joe mamma wrote:Thank you for all the detailed info, both of you! That gives me a lot to chew on. So it seems the recommendation is for an Intel 1150 CPU on the newer platform rather than a 2011 that they try to position for high end gaming? And the +100 MHz, hyperthreading, and increased cache offered by the i7 line doesn't necessarily justify the extra $100 over a similar i5 (i5 4670 vs. i7 4770)?

And I take it neither of you have personal experience with the cheap monitors direct from South Korea? I am personally more of a fan of 16:10 aspect ratio than 16:9. I just like having that little extra in the vertical dimension, and anything less than 1200 vertical pixels feels very cramped to me on web pages and documents. Though I suppose a 2560x1440 resolution wouldn't necessarily suffer from that issue.

Hammer, I do like the idea of that Maximus mobo. Are there really still a lot of issues with drivers and compatibility for SLI/Crossfire? I recall that was the issue years ago, but I would have thought that would be mostly ironed out by now. And since you personally have an original Antec 900 like me, you say these coolers do fit (barely) with the side panel on. Is that also with a case fan mounted on the window? I currently have a fan on there.

Dire, I appreciate the suggestion of getting extra RAM and setting up a RAM drive to save on the SSD, very smart. I think I would like to go for a full 32GB of RAM to set some aside for that purpose.

Will likely stick with Win 7 for now then, thanks. I like to know what I'm buying before I take the plunge so I will do my research and probably place the order within the next week or two.


Both 4670K and 4770K have pretty much identical overclocking potential ( 4.3 to 4.5 Ghz range on good air cooling on a good board ) so the frequency difference is nothing to get excited about. Yes, the more expensive 4770K does have Hyperthreading ( makes very little difference in games tbh ) , the most significant improvement is its 8 MB cache vs 6 MB cache between the two processors. Again, won't make "much" difference for gaming performance, but if you think the 4770K is worth the extra $100 for those two features then go for it... it is a nice cpu... but the 4670K is better "bang for your buck" and will give you at least 95% of the performance of the 4770K ( both overclocked to the same frequency of course ) in modern games, if not higher. Just trying to get you best bang for your buck here...let your wallet decide...

I have a 6 year old Acer X243 24" LCD monitor ( 1600x1200 capable ) and I know exactly what you mean by 16:9 ( HD or 1920x1080 resolution ) vs 16:10 ( 1600x1200 res ) ratios... too bad most modern monitors only support HD 16:9 ratio these days, not the 16:10 ... does make a difference. However, if you go with a monitor that supports higher 2560x1440 resolution I don't think you will be too disappointed... I have no experience with the cheap grey market monitors from Korea, but if you can find a decent one with 16:10 ratio and good specs and price then go for it!! 8)

Regarding SLi/Crossfire, yes they have made massive improvements over the years, but some still complain of "microstutter issues" ( visible to some, not to others, personal thing here ) and new games STILL require new drivers from either manufacturer with proper Xfire or SLI game support / application profile which takes time to be released, sometimes months after the actual launch of a game. Just ask Tavix about Crossfire support for latest COD Ghosts game recently ( there was NONE for over 2 months after game launch, and then the Beta driver ATi released for this game for Xfire support didnt work properly at all at first, complete garbage... ). We have a whole thread dedicated to that debacle. Mind you that is a worst case example of no Crossfire support for a modern game, then after long wait, they release shitty Xfire driver for game that did not work properly... horrible experience. Tavix was forced to disable one of his ATi cards in order to play the game properly at all. So it can does still happen, although it is getting rarer in general ( no proper multi-gpu support at game launch ). That is why I avoid Xfire and SLI like the plague, I can't stand crap like that... I want the game to run properly and smoothly, and will always stick with a single gpu card in my rig... just my thoughts on it of course... if you can put up with Xfire and SLI issues then go for it.. personally I refuse to.

Good question about case fan on side panel, answer is no, these tall coolers will not fit if you have the optional side panel case fan on there, I had to remove mine. I did some gpu temp testing with and without side panel on, I even tried mounting the case fan on the OUTSIDE of the side panel so it would fit... the difference in gpu temp while gaming under load was in all cases only 1C difference between having the fan on the side panel and not having that fan on the side panel. So the case fan on the side panel basically did nothing really at all to help cool my video card. I got the best drop in temp from simply removing the side panel permanently and leaving my tower "open". ( 2 to 3C gpu full load temp drop ). I realize this is not ideal for everyone, my tower sits on my desk and not on the floor, so if your tower is on the floor and you have kids or pets you might not be able to leave side panel off case for obvious reasons. The reason the case fan on the side panel makes so very little difference is that with the big boy cooler on top of case, 2 x 120 mm case fans in front, and 1 x 120mm case fan in back of case, there is already so much airflow going on that having another 120mm fan on the side panel makes pretty much no difference in helping cool down video card(s), at least that has been my experience. So you can either leave side panel off, or if you really want it on, just remove your optional fan on the side panel so it clears the tall cpu cooler, you won't be sacrificing any noticeable cooling performance here, trust me...

If you are willing to setup a RAMDrive then by all means, get 32GB of ram and enjoy!! Dire quoted 1866 Mhz kit, but that is nearly as expensive as the 2400 Ghz kit I quoted these days.

Examples:

Cheapest 32 GB ( 4 x 8 GB for max memory channel performance ) DDR-3 kits on newegg right now for each speed:

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6820231612

G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-1866C10Q-32GSR

$348.99


http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.as ... 6820231674

G.SKILL Ares Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory Model F3-2400C11Q-32GAB

$383.99


I realize that 1866 Mhz memory is not all that slow, but for only $35 more you get 2400 Mhz ram, and games like BF4 have been proven to scale very well with ram speed when overclocking the cpu and utilizing an nVidia gpu ( especially if you use SLI then max gains are noticed, but still improvements with single nvidia gpu and highly overclocked cpu, noticeable fps gains to be had! ). So I recommend he splurge on the faster ram as it is only $35 more for over 500 Mhz faster ram... especially since he wants to run a RAMDrive then having the fastest ram he can afford sure won't hurt here either... we are talking very slight improvements of course, but still improvements... for only $35 more dollars here...

Stick with tried and true W7 sounds good, as I mentioned before, you can always add Win 8 or Win 9 down the road in Dual-boot mode if you like...or not... :D

Happy Shopping! :D
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:32 pm

So it seems the recommendation is for an Intel 1150 CPU on the newer platform rather than a 2011 that they try to position for high end gaming?


Because of how the i7 4820 is cheaper than the 4770 i was looking at that for myself as well, i liked the idea of that large L3 cache.
But eventually i found a good comparison and was outright appalled at the poor memory performance of the 4820.

Even though it ran QUAD channel, in any kind of gaming situation, the 4770 had considerably higher RAM performance.
Apparently this is because the platform is optimised towards SERVER applications. So, in manythreaded apps, all that theoretical RAM performance suddenly came out to play, but with anything resembling a game? Pathetic performance. In some places HALF of what the 4670 managed, despite running quad 1866 vs dual channel 1600.

And the +100 MHz, hyperthreading, and increased cache offered by the i7 line doesn't necessarily justify the extra $100 over a similar i5 (i5 4670 vs. i7 4770)?

Simple answer, no. Only if you really need the hyperthreading should you consider it. Extra L3 would be nice but isn´t remotely worth the price jump.


And I take it neither of you have personal experience with the cheap monitors direct from South Korea? I am personally more of a fan of 16:10 aspect ratio than 16:9. I just like having that little extra in the vertical dimension, and anything less than 1200 vertical pixels feels very cramped to me on web pages and documents.

Nope sorry. Personally i´m trying to find a 4:3 LED IPS, but i´ve found that finding ANY 4:3 is almost impossible. :evil:

Stupid sheeple falling for the masters of propaganda. :mrgreen:

Finding a decent 16:10 isn´t easy either, i´ve tried that too.

Dire, I appreciate the suggestion of getting extra RAM and setting up a RAM drive to save on the SSD, very smart. I think I would like to go for a full 32GB of RAM to set some aside for that purpose.

Yeah, i´ve recently found that RAMdrives have some very interesting uses and can do much good (you can check my thread about it here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20549 )



*****
Like HT, I would also recommend to buy one strong Graphic card instead of going SLI. IMO, 100% compatibility is better than 5-10% better performance in games and apps.

+1.


*****
Dire quoted 1866 Mhz kit, but that is nearly as expensive as the 2400 Ghz kit I quoted these days.

Only as a "MAYBE"!

And one of the reasons why the 2400 isn´t hugely different in price is because it doesn´t add much performance(though exceptions exists as always).

The real benefit you can get from the higher speed is that you may be able to run them at faster timings, to reduce latency. Running them at stock speeds will also reduce latency a bit due to the higher speed, but personally i prefer tighter timings.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby joe mamma » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:55 pm

Thanks for the further explanations, it's very much appreciated. Not sure on the CPU yet, I'll think about it. For the monitor, I had been looking at Newegg, Ebay, and Monoprice, and the prices seem nearly too good to pass up for a 27-30" 2560x1440/1600 piece of sweetness. Of course, for such a resolution a beefy video card will be necessary. I may take your advice and go with a fast single card solution. Could always upgrade somewhere down the line with a second card.

I'll be going out of town for a few days but I'll mull things over and be sure to post if I come up with any more questions when I get back. And I'll post my ultimate decisions as well.

P.S. - It's good to see some familiar faces are still around here, and just as helpful as ever.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Kahless » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:59 pm

W-8 is crap and should be avoided unless you KNOW you prefer it(very few do, but they exist).

You make it sound like we are lepers!

Go with the 4770K. I agree the 4820K doesn't have as good of single core performance as the 4770k. The only time a 4820K might excel is in triple or quad sli or crossfire. I am quite happy with my 4930K as it is noticeably faster in games then my 2600K was. But I don't think a 4930K is worth it over a 4770K if your on a budget. Especially since you would have to spend more on a 2011 socket motherboard.

Personally I think the 780Ti is the best "monster" graphics card to go with these days. If the 290X wasn't inflated because of the bit coin mining then I would say go with a 290X with after market cooler and NOT the stock one.

I hear good things about these monitors. And they seem competitively priced for what you get. http://overlordcomputer.com/collections/27-monitors
1: Coolermaster HAF-X - i7 4930K 4.6ghz - 32gb GSkill Trident X 2133mhz - 256gb Samsung 840 Pro - 16Tb HD - Dell U2713HM 27" IPS1440P - Asus Rampage IV Black Edition - Corsair H100i - EVGA Superclocked 780Ti SLI - Denon AVR-1713 - Energy 5.1 Take Classic - Steelseries Apex - Windows 8.1 Pro - Corsair AX1200.
2: i5 3570k-660Ti-8gb corsair 1600mhz-corsair AX850-Smsng 27"-Gigabyte mobo
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:23 am

joe mamma wrote:Thanks for the further explanations, it's very much appreciated. Not sure on the CPU yet, I'll think about it. For the monitor, I had been looking at Newegg, Ebay, and Monoprice, and the prices seem nearly too good to pass up for a 27-30" 2560x1440/1600 piece of sweetness. Of course, for such a resolution a beefy video card will be necessary. I may take your advice and go with a fast single card solution. Could always upgrade somewhere down the line with a second card.

I'll be going out of town for a few days but I'll mull things over and be sure to post if I come up with any more questions when I get back. And I'll post my ultimate decisions as well.

P.S. - It's good to see some familiar faces are still around here, and just as helpful as ever.


Sounds good Joe, you are most welcome of course... chat with you after your trip... :)
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Hammer_Time » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:28 am

Kahless wrote:
W-8 is crap and should be avoided unless you KNOW you prefer it(very few do, but they exist).


You make it sound like we are lepers!

Go with the 4770K. I agree the 4820K doesn't have as good of single core performance as the 4770k. The only time a 4820K might excel is in triple or quad sli or crossfire. I am quite happy with my 4930K as it is noticeably faster in games then my 2600K was. But I don't think a 4930K is worth it over a 4770K if your on a budget. Especially since you would have to spend more on a 2011 socket motherboard.

Personally I think the 780Ti is the best "monster" graphics card to go with these days. If the 290X wasn't inflated because of the bit coin mining then I would say go with a 290X with after market cooler and NOT the stock one.

I hear good things about these monitors. And they seem competitively priced for what you get. http://overlordcomputer.com/collections/27-monitors


:lol: Indeed... I have no fondness for W8 either, but cannot bring myself to call it complete "crap" either. :twisted: :lol: :whistle:

Reason: While I hate the "Metro or Modern UI" aka "Tiles" interface and go to the Desktop immediately whenever using W8, I have to admit that W8 boots up faster, games do run very slightly faster on it lately, and having the ability to "pause" a large file copy or move is very nice ( cannot do that in W7, can only "Cancel" file copy/move, no "pausing" the operation ), and a few other things. Not enough to make me want to give up W7 for W8, but by the time W9 comes out they may have finally listened to all of us and W9 could be awesome... but not if they tie it too much to "The Cloud" which has been M$ mission as of late...seems unavoidable but am not a fan of having my OS rely on any "internet cloud services", have to wait and see what final product looks like...
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:33 pm

You make it sound like we are lepers!


Yes?

:twisted:


:mrgreen:

Look at it this way, i´ve been dealing with computers since my eldest brother bought an Acorn Atom in the early 80s, i have always been able to just "jump in there" and start using them. Until W8. It behaves so stupidly that nothing is simple. Just locking it so tightly to MS own webstores and websites would be enough for me to ritually burn it, but all the user unfriendliness is just beyond devastating. It´s outright stupid.

Even my friend who initially somewhat liked W8 on his laptop has changed, if the trend continues he will end up detesting it heartily within another year or two.

I agree the 4820K doesn't have as good of single core performance as the 4770k.

Yeah it was really depressing to see how poorly it fared, commonly 5-15% slower than the 4670 and 4770.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Kahless » Wed Mar 12, 2014 8:40 pm

I agree Windows 8 had made it harder to do things. Like the search function on it drives me nuts. It pretty much doesn't work. For the most part I use my computer for gaming, surfing, email and that is mostly it. For those things I find windows 8 to be faster then 7. But that is about all it has going for it other then stability which is quite good but windows 7 has that as well. I felt the same way you do when I went from Xp to Windows 7. It felt like tasks I could do with XP like setting up network settings and options required X amount of steps. With 7 it felt like X times 2 amount of steps.
1: Coolermaster HAF-X - i7 4930K 4.6ghz - 32gb GSkill Trident X 2133mhz - 256gb Samsung 840 Pro - 16Tb HD - Dell U2713HM 27" IPS1440P - Asus Rampage IV Black Edition - Corsair H100i - EVGA Superclocked 780Ti SLI - Denon AVR-1713 - Energy 5.1 Take Classic - Steelseries Apex - Windows 8.1 Pro - Corsair AX1200.
2: i5 3570k-660Ti-8gb corsair 1600mhz-corsair AX850-Smsng 27"-Gigabyte mobo
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:12 pm

I agree Windows 8 had made it harder to do things. Like the search function on it drives me nuts. It pretty much doesn't work.


Yeah, and THAT is what you´re supposed to use to find most settings? :roll:
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Kahless » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:50 pm

Windows 8 is like driving a Formula 1 car as your daily commuter. Its crazy fast but it has no stereo, climate control, you have to enter in through the windows.
1: Coolermaster HAF-X - i7 4930K 4.6ghz - 32gb GSkill Trident X 2133mhz - 256gb Samsung 840 Pro - 16Tb HD - Dell U2713HM 27" IPS1440P - Asus Rampage IV Black Edition - Corsair H100i - EVGA Superclocked 780Ti SLI - Denon AVR-1713 - Energy 5.1 Take Classic - Steelseries Apex - Windows 8.1 Pro - Corsair AX1200.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Sauron_Daz » Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:54 am

Kahless wrote:Windows 8 is like driving a Formula 1 car as your daily commuter. Its crazy fast but it has no stereo, climate control, you have to enter in through the windows.

:lol:
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby DIREWOLF75 » Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:57 pm

Kahless wrote:Windows 8 is like driving a Formula 1 car as your daily commuter. Its crazy fast but it has no stereo, climate control, you have to enter in through the windows.


And if you´re in an accident you can kiss yourself goodbye... :twisted:



:lol:
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Fuzz » Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:28 pm

Ya, but if you just cut your own doors, install your own stereo and roll the windows down it does everything Windows 7 does, but faster and shinier. Be sure to weld the trunk(metro) shut though. You don't want that popping open for anything.
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Re: Looking for advice on a new system

Postby Hammer_Time » Sat Mar 15, 2014 3:03 am

:lol:
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