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New Computer help please!!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Paul Jeffrey, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Hi all,
    After years of enjoyment with rFactor, Race 07 & GTR2 on my old, tired, computer, im looking to upgrade a to a new machine to let me play the new games, RF2, iRacing pCars etc..

    Can anyone help with any suggestions please, I know nothing of computers?

    I'm going to run x3 27" HD monitors (just bought the GTOmega Supreme rig) and want to run the race sims on max settings, with plenty of headroom to ensure it works well...

    I'm shooting round to a few local pc shops asking for quotes at the moment, so i'll feed back any answers i get... any help would be really appreciated, i'm looking forward to getting started with the proper racing!

    Thanks! Paul : )

    UPDATE
    Had the 1st quote at just over £1100.. specs are -
    CASE: ANTEC SONATA PROTO
    POWER SUPPLY: ZALMAN 600W
    MOTHERBOARD: GIGABYTE 990FXA-UD3 4X DDR3 1866, USB3, GIGABIT
    FAN: AMD
    CPU: AMD FX-9370 BLACK 8X4.4GHZ.
    RAM: 2X 8GB DDR3 2133
    VGA: ASUS 3GB GDDR5 RADEON 7970 DIRECTCU II TOP
    HDD: 1TB SATA2 64MB 720
    CD-ROM/DVD: 22X DVD+/- SATA
    SOUNDCARD: ONBOARD
    OPERATING SYSTEM: WINDOWS 8.1 (64BIT)
    NETWORK CARD: ONBOARD

    Any use? Cheers
     
  2. Two months ago I built my first PC without problems after coming from a strictly console background.

    I went overboard, purchasing an i7 3770k, dual GTX 780s etc., but from all I've gathered much less is needed for PC racing sims.

    While I'm not familiar with AMD CPUs, after looking up the 9370, I'm sure it will be fine. For a bit more, you could buy an i5 3570k, which is considered the top price/performance CPU on the market (though that could change at anytime).

    The 7970 is a great GPU, but if you're trying to save $ you could easily buy a 7950 and be fine, even running triples. That said, being a hardware whore, I'd choose the R9 290X. Either way, prices on most higher end GPUs just dropped with the arrival of the new Radeons so take that into consideration.

    Personally, I would buy an SSD for my main drive. Although it won't give you any FPS back (to my knowledge), it will speed up loading times tremendously, in addition to booting faster etc. Most experts cite SSDs as the single greatest overall performance boost available, and they are coming down in price. The Samsung 840 Evo series in particular are highly rated and priced competitively. I recommend a 256GB SSD, although depending upon the number of games and apps you'll add, you might can get away with 128GB.

    I would keep the 1TB HDD for content (movies, music etc.), and the highly rated Seagate Barracuda (64mb cache) is around $60.

    16GB ram is probably overkill, but if you're buying reasonably priced sticks, the price difference between 8 and 16GB is not much. However, the returns on 2133mhz ram will be minimal compared with 1600mhz, and unless you access your BIOS you're limited to 1333mhz. Unless you're getting a massive deal, you should be able to save $100+ by purchasing 1333mz or 1600mhz, and much more if you drop to 8GB. Truthfully, everything I've read suggests 8GB will handle anything reasonable and is more than enough for any game. If you're encoding video, perhaps 16GB is necessary. That said, I paid $200 for 16GB Corsair 1600mhz two months ago when G. Skillz Rip Jaws at 1333mhz was less than $100. The point is, unless you're buying that ram off the back-of-the-truck, you can definitely save some money there.

    For me, choosing a case has been the most consuming aspect of all, as aesthetics are very important. Where you are along that spectrum will greatly influence how difficult your choice will be. The biggest issue to be aware of is cable management. Good airflow is important, so even if you're going to shut your case and never look inside again until you upgrade - you'll want your cables out of the way. Better cases have up to 1.5" of room behind the motherboard tray, usually behind a partition that actually divides the case completely. Many also have grommeted holes that allow you to run your cables behind the partition until reaching the mobo, where more holes allow access to its various headers. I found this extremely useful, and thankfully, these features have disseminated to more and more cases, at lower price points.

    For specific brands, Corsair cases begin at $50 and most have at least a modicum of cable management-friendly features. Other popular brands include Antec, Coolermaster and NZXT, although if you have the scratch Case Labs probably make the most utilitarian cases on the market.

    Your other components appear fine, but if you have any other questions, just ask. I've just finished researching all of this, so it remains fresh.

    The most important consideration is compatibility. Your mobo socket and CPU must match, and there are compatibility issues beyond this that appear on a case by case basis.

    Once you finalize your build, I can double check it for compatibility, although you should look at PCPartpicker.com. It will handle compatibility issues, and allow you to spec a build - with links to the lowest prices available for each component.

    Once you're building, most things only fit one way - and with some online resources - can be done in an hour or two by a novice. Pros build PCs in 15 minutes lol.

    Let me know if you need anything else, and let us know ALL that you plan to use your PC for, as that influences everything, especially CPU selection. Be thankful that modern racing games are not nearly as GPU punishing as the latest shooters. Even a low-to-mid range GPU will run iRacing, F1 2013 and Asseto Corsa nicely.

    Anyway, sorry for the novella, but hopefully this will be of some help.

    Good luck.

    Henk
     
  3. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    Sim Racing News Editor Staff Premium Member

    Hi Henk,

    Thanks very much for the detailed reply, much appreciated!

    Sorry I've not been back in touch sooner, its been a bit hectic at home, my wife decided it would be a good time to give birth to our first child! Thrown all my plans up in the air!

    I appreciated your comments above, when things have settled in the next few days i'll pick up on some of the points you make in greater detail, but i just wanted to pop you a post back so you dont think of me as being rude not responding to your kind response,

    Thanks again, i'll be back in touch very soon,

    Paul
     
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