Need help building my first computer

I am needing some help in building a PC with a $1k budget and it will need to include a monitor. If it goes a little over that will be okay I have looked at new egg and 3 DIY combos caught my eye which I’ve listed below. Two of them don’t come with a graphics card which I’ll most likely get a GTX960. If you all know of a better build please let me know! I am wanting to be able to use new PC to start learning how to create games with the Unreal Engine. I also plan on buying a better graphics card later year and more RAM if needed. Thank you for any help you all can give me.

I would go option 3 with the addition of an SSD and the video card. Probably at least 8GB more ram too though that may be all you need for awhile.

Of all the computer parts I have ever upgraded, going from the HDD to the SSD was the most noticeable. Things loading so fast I didn’t even have time to read the loading screen tips in Skyrim.

They all look pretty good. I agree with Zeustiak when he says 16GB is ideal. I’d wait on the SSD, though, if money is tight. It’s the easiest thing to include later, as an upgrade. I would say the GPU is more important than the CPU speed here, as the ones you have chosen are all very capable.

I would get a GTX970 at the very least (preferably a 980), but you will find plenty of people who would advise you get a 290X. You are looking at a GTX960, but I think that lacks memory. It only has 2GB of VRAM, rather than the 4GB of the 970 or 290X. You should aim for that much for a 1080P+ screen (which I assume you are getting).

Just bear in mind is not a console, it’s a PC, that you will be able to change and upgrade as much as you like over the years. :slight_smile:

Good luck, and let us know how you get on. 8)

Thanks for the input! Any suggestions on what kind of monitor I should get?

Thinking of going with the first option as my friend pointed out that I shouldn’t need an i7 and will go for the GTX 970 and Windows 8.1 Pro for the OS. Now just need to figure out a good monitor that isn’t expensive.

If I were to chose any of those I would go with option 3, then add an R9 290 which you can find for $220, another 8 gb of ram, and an SSD drive. You would have a darn good system right there.

And to mention something about the 970, it only has 3.5 gb of fullspeed vram, and has problems if it goes over 3.5gb. The R9 290 is about the same speed as the 970 and is much cheaper. So I would avoid the 970 and go with a R9 290 or 290x, you can find a 290 for around 220, or the 290x lighting for 300.(Edit: not only that but NVidia lied about the specs of the 970. )

For a monitor it depends on what you want to get out of it, and what matters to you. Be it resolution, color quality, refresh rate. If you do end up with the R9 290 I would be on the look out for freesync monitors, do a quick google search for that and you will see what that is about.

I would go with a monitor that is IPS (so it has great colours and viewing angles, plus quick response times) and at a resolution of at least 1920x1080, with a 60Hz refresh rate. It is what the vast majority of gamers have, and you can easily add a second one later (a second monitor is virtually indispensible if you are a coder :slight_smile: ). Do not get a Gsync monitor. It is a waste of money (in my opinion) and at resolution, you don’t need it. (It is only for frames-per-second that are less than the refresh rate of the monitor).

No-one has yet shown any problems with with 970’s memory segmentation, as far as I am aware. If someone could point me to , I’d be grateful. The 290X is on a par with the 970 (in fact, the figures seem to lightly favour it, but with a 60Hz monitor, you would never see the difference). After the GTX970 was released, the prices for the 290 and 290X collapsed, so the reviews, which at the time were unanimously in favour of the GTX970 are a little out-of-date. You get what you pay for. I like the 970 which is more modern (newer tech, yay!) and power-efficient, but if you are more worried about upfront costs (or you don’t pay the electricity bill) you could go for the 290X, and be happy.

And then we can have conversation again in a couple of years. :slight_smile:

Shows that above 3.5gb the 970 does have a major problem.

DarkHorror, I appreciate you taking the time to provide me with these figures, but which are the ones you think support your case? He seems to be pushing the VRAM usage up by turning up the settings. Of course the frame rates will suffer. I also don’t trust SLI. :slight_smile:

What he said for before going over 3.5gb and after going over 3.5gb. Frycry 4 was the best and still had stuttering above 3.5gb, where as others went from smooth to unplayable.

from the post

Battlefield 4

Farcry 4


Really shows that it should be thought of as more of a 3.5gb card than a 4gb card, as is the same sort of stuttering you get when you run out of VRam on a normal card. Having 3.5gb isn’t much of a problem right now for a single card, but in the future you will get more and more into vram and the problem will present it’s self more and more.

If you don’t mind it being a 3.5gb card, being lied to by nvidia, and spending more to get lower power usage then get the card. But you can get a quiet, fast R9 290 or 290x with 4gb of vram for less than a 970.

While it is great to see some actual data and benchmarking taking place, I would never trust an article on reddit for accurate information… The OP even acknowledges these are his opinions:

Personally I am still waiting for one of the reputable benchmarking magazine/websites to release their findings before casting my judgement on it. It was a mistake on Nvidia’s side, no doubt about that, but so far seems to be a minimal.

But… we’ve discussed at length already, so I will just leave it at that :wink:

@CodeHelix - either of these two cards will work great for UE4 (970 or 290x), get whichever one you feel more comfortable with, they are very similar performance wise. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the input guys. I might actually see if my wife will let me spend a little more money and get the GTX980. I was thinking of possibly one of these builds:

Build #1:
MSI GTX 980 GAMING 4G GeForce GTX 980 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support G-SYNC Support Video Card
Model #:GTX 980 GAMING 4G
Item #:N82E16814127834

Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz LGA 1150 Desktop Processor BX80646I74790K
Model #:BX80646I74790K
Item #:N82E16819117369

COUGAR Challenger Black Steel ATX Computer Case with 12cm COUGAR TURBINE HYPER-SPIN Bearing Silent Fans and 20cm LED Fan
Model #:Challenger-B
Item #:N82E16811553008

MSI Z97-G45 Gaming LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
Model #:Z97-G45 GAMING
Item #:N82E16813130771

CORSAIR AX series AX760 760W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS PLATINUM Certified Full Modular Active PFC ...
Model #:CP-9020045-NA
Item #:N82E16817139042

HyperX Fury Black Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model HX316C10FB/8
Model #:HX316C10FB/8
Item #:N82E16820104444

Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SV300S37A/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:SV300S37A/120G
Item #:N82E16820721107

Western Digital Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Model #:WD10EZEX
Item #:N82E16822236339

Acer H6 Series H226HQLbid Black 21.5" 5ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LED Backlit LCD Monitor, IPS Panel
Model #:UM.WH6AA.002
Item #:N82E16824009484

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit - OEM
Model #:FQC-06950
Item #:N82E16832416778

Price: $1,764.90

Build #2:
one is a bundle which here is the link to that: Are you a human?

Additional parts:

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Pro - 64-bit - OEM
Model #:FQC-06950
Item #:N82E16832416778

Acer H6 Series H226HQLbid Black 21.5" 5ms (GTG) HDMI Widescreen LED Backlight LED Backlit LCD Monitor, IPS Panel
Model #:UM.WH6AA.002
Item #:N82E16824009484

Kingston SSDNow V300 Series SV300S37A/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
Model #:SV300S37A/120G
Item #:N82E16820721107

Price: $1,624.96

Right now thinking of going with Build #2 due to it being cheaper and also if my wife lets me spend that much lol. What do you all think? Is there anything I should change?

I would suggest ether the 290, 290x, or 970 over the 980, it’s just not worth the price difference especially since new much faster cards are coming out in a couple months. Also make sure to get at least 16gb of ram.

I have a 980 and it tears through everything I throw at it. It is a beast of a card that can be overclokced to some pretty insane levels, and more. I would recommend a 980 (or 2 SLI’d :p) to anyone looking to upgrade your PC’s!!

I thought he 980 just came out recently? I was going to go with the 980 because it is more powerful than the 970 and does use 4GB where as the 970 only uses 3.5GB out of the 4GB it has optimally (that’s what I’ve heard) and I don’t want to upgrade again for at least 2-3 years and want to be able to run games at max settings.

I plan on getting more RAM though in the near future but if the 970 would really be best (I want to stick with nVidia cause of PhysX) will I be able to get another 970 later and have it kick over to the second 970 when it does go over 3.5? Sorry don’t really know how exactly SLI works.

Also would that be the only changes you would make to the first build?

The 980 did come out somewhat recently, but it’s not the full maxwell chip. That should come out in a month or maybe two. It’s expected to have more vram, cores, and really be the new top end card from nvidia. So if you can get buy without upgrading a graphics card right now and save up some more money it might be a good idea.

Well, that $1k budget didn’t last long, did it? :smiley:

(Yes, we’ve all done that).

I’d go for a 256GB SSD, as I found I quickly ran out of space with my 128GB. But like I said, you could upgrade that later. Upgrade the HDD to at least a 2TB drive as you will be amassing a lot of assets.

Also, go for a 24" screen, as you will appreciate the extra space. In fact, get two. I’ve been in the software industry for over a decade and a second monitor is considered normal.

And if you are getting a 1920x1080 screen, I genuinely think that the 980 is massively OP. It’s only useful for larger screens. You should look at the 970 or 290X, and save yourself money.

By the way, Unreal Engine only processes PhysX on the CPU, so you will not get any benefit from getting an Nvidia card for that.

I plan on only using the SSD for the OS for now but if there is anything you would suggest that I should alsp put on it let me know. I also haven’t take up no more than half of my 750GB hard drive on my laptop so I think 1TB will be good for now and will upgrade later when need to.

As for the screen I went with the one I picked as had to go cheap on it but if you think the the 980 is OP should I just get the 970 or even the 960 if it’s capable of running games on near maxed settings and then could save up money to upgrade it to the newer card later.

I thought PhysX only worked with nVidia cards? Sorry I’m still new to building my own computer as will be my first one.

If you know of a good moniitor that is bigger and doesn’t cost too much more let me know please. Also should I then use that extra money that was going to the 980 to get 8GB more of RAM?

I really want to try to get as powerful of a computer as I can without having to worry about upgrading for a while and be able to run games on max settings and be able to learn to make games with UE. Trying to future proof it as much as I can.

That’s cool. As soon as a budget gets thrown out the window, it’s hard to know when to stop giving advice. :slight_smile:

Don’t go for the 960. The bandwidth is too small. GTX970 or 290X will be perfect.

When it comes to GPUs, PhysX only works on an Nvidia GPU, not an AMD GPU. As the Unreal Engine is (quite properly) platform agnostic, it chooses to only handle PhysX on the CPU, not the GPU, so you will make no gain there, and neither will any people playing your game.

IPS screens are about £100 in the UK, so probably about $100 in the US. They are all pretty good, and cheap as chips (compared to the £510 I spent on mine back in 2008). Also, the extra RAM would be a better choice than the GTX980.

Good thinking. However, a GTX980 is really only for bigger resolutions, and you will see no real gains at 1920x1080, so I would save my money, for another time.

The extra performance you get with a GTX 980 vs 970 isn’t enough to justify the price, you are better off getting a GTX 970, and then in 2-3 years getting another GPU around the same price.