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November 18, 2015

PC Upgrade Incoming

Technology

Like many others I have been playing a fair amount of Fallout 4. It’s absolutely amazing and is the first single player game in a long time that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and can see myself logging far too many hours in for quite some time.

Unfortunately, I have yet to play the game at a decent frame rate and have been playing on Low settings with everything that can possibly be turned off, off (peasant mode). Needless to say while this laptop is decent for writing and schoolwork and the like, I need something much beefier to go about gaming anything that will be coming out in the near future.

So I did what any early 20’s person who plays way too many games and makes a decent amount of money at a technical co-op and spends very little of it would do. I ordered the parts to build a new computer from scratch.

The last time I built my own computer I was like 8 years old and I built it with my dad, however I regularly build computers at my job so this won’t be a big deal. I have to admit though, I have learned quite a bit so far just from researching how to go about building a gaming rig.

I’ll definitely post a write up of the actual build along with some pictures when I get all the parts. That SHOULD be before Thanksgiving, but who knows?

The Budget

I gave myself a budget of $900 as quite frankly, if you’re going to go ahead and build a gaming computer, even on a budget, you should sink a fair amount into it so it will be relevant for a few years. I’d still say $900 is not a lot of money for a gaming computer, but I’ve been able to get a fair amount of decent parts for pretty cheap thanks to end of the year sales and based newegg.

If you’re thinking of spending I’d say, less than say $500 I’d probably consider just grabbing a console if all you’re using it for is gaming. They’re cheaper and will run any current game/future games made for that console at a respectable rate. The computer you build for that small budget will be obsolete in a year or so and honestly won’t run the games any better than the console at best.

The Rig

I used /r/bulidapcPC Part Picker, and ChooseMyPC.net as ways to organize my build, learn about parts, and finding some really good deals on parts.

 

CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor 
Very good value and pretty damn powerful for what you’re paying for it. Through my research I found that i7 was not worth it in the end when looking at speed compared to the extra money I would have to pay to get the i7 of similar quality (think 1.5-2x the amount).

Motherboard: MSI H81M-P33 Micro ATX LGA1150 
Same as the CPU. Great motherboard, but very cheap for what you get.

Memory: 2x Mushkin ECO2 4GB DDR3-1600 Memory
One thing I learned was that gaming (in general) does not really require you to have a ton of RAM, it’s more how you use it. Having 2x 4GB of good quality ram is infinitely better than 16GB of cheap as hell RAM. I also learned that 2x 4GB of good quality is better than 1x 8GB of RAM which was surprising, but it made sense once I looked into it a bit more.

Storage: Crucial BX100 250GB 2.5″ Solid State Drive
SSDs are sweet. I have one in my school laptop and it’s noticeable for sure how quick the computer boots up and programs open. The same concept can apply to what I intend to do for my gaming rig, make stuff open and load faster.
&
Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
I’ll admit right now that I will do plenty more than game with this PC so I wanted to snag a cheap hard drive that held a fair amount of space for my electrical projects, writing, DMing materials, and other files. This was cheap and good quality so I bought it.

Video Card: Powercolor Radeon R9 390 8GB PCS+ Video Card
The video card is one of the most important pieces for a gaming build. It’s here and the CPU that you should shell out the big bucks for. So I did, this is a pretty top of the line Radeon card and I have heard nothing but good reviews for it. Realistically, you should look up current games that you like to/would like to play and base your card on what the majority of those run best on.

Power Supply: SeaSonic S12II 520W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply
You’ll need a decent power supply to build a decent computer, so go figure. While you do not have to go overboard with the power supply in a build, you certainly cannot skimp out by any means. TL;DR: if your expensive parts do not get enough power, expensive parts are now just expensive paperweights until you get them some power.

Case: Silverstone PS07B Micro ATX Mini Tower Case
I don’t really care for the aesthetics of stuff like this. While it’s a neat case, it’s very compact and lightweight, and that’s what mattered most to me as a college student moving in and out of the dorms.

Conclusion

I’m pretty damn hyped for this and can’t wait to get all the parts to assemble this bad boy.

-Eld

 

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