If you make so much money, fine, go do that and stop bugging us. You, your personality, and most of all your "I'm better than you" attitude is irritating. Whether you are right or wrong is irrelevant. A tool such as yourself will always be a tool, and therefore you will always be wrong.
Wow, that should be put in something look comment of the year :) +1 like from me
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"The clock is running. Make the most of today. Time waits for no man. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present" ALICE MORSE EARLE
Lol, no attempt to "school" me? I don't have any attitude. In fact, I didn't start this argument. Why don't you try actually reading? I provided the OP with an actual response as opposed to the other people's trolling.
EDIT: I never said I make "so much money". I said I make money. Take it as you want. I don't assume things of you. Maybe you shouldn't assume things of me.
EDIT2: After re-reading, this thread is full of fail. I have clearly won the internet here. End.
As a little note, the whole discussions kind of depends on your definition of 'gaming computer', and the OP would have to come in and clear it up. When someone says "I want to buy a gaming computer", getting a multi-monitor set-up with 2+ video cards isn't really in my mind anymore. I view a 'gaming computer' as a PC with good specs and one, maybe two monitors to play something like Starcraft on, hardcore. I know of stuff like eyefinity, but I don't really gather that under the nomer of 'gaming computer' anymore. If you want to take that in under that definition, we could also begin talking about whole gaming rooms with special cinema-quality surround speakers and huge projectors instead of monitors. Sure, it's there, and I'm sure Enexy's advice might help the OP, but I'm not sure if that's exactly what he was looking for.
To repeat my first line though; the OP would have to come back in here to clear stuff up.
I do agree, Mozared. And I left those same notes like you said to have the OP come in and clarify. However, I built a generic computer around that budget with the little info he gave us. Which was a NIC, sound card, and enough outputs for 3 monitors. So, under that - I built the computer with the assumption he was aiming at Nvidia Surround.
As for the gaming room, I also mentioned in my follow-up post, that if he wanted to throw in a few extra g's, that he can make a full panoramic experience with multiple projectors.
EDIT: I lied, I didn't tell the OP to clarify. I thought I did, though.
So in scanning this, it seems to be some bitch attempting to brag that she has a lot of money, and is pointing to what is probably a fake picture of a Mercedes as proof (not a McLaren, so who gives a shit?), and is attempting to pretend to know more than everyone but probably scarcely understands what they're posting... some kind of low self esteem issues combined with a poorly regulated God complex would be my guess. Am I caught up?
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I will not die in the night, but in the light of the sun with the ashes of this world in my lungs
ProzaicMuze uses wall of text! It's super effective!
I wouldn't take any of the advice you've received in this thread seriously, especially any advice that recommends buying the most expensive pieces of hardware you can find. It's a waste and with that kind of budget you would do better to get the most efficient use of your money so that with everything left over you can splurge on the things that really matter like monitors, GPUs, SSDs/HDDs and RAM.
There are some pretty important questions you failed to answer:
What do you want to do with this computer?
Play Games (This sounds like you atm, this is the least expensive type)
Play Games AND Process 2D Artwork
Play Games AND (Process 2D Artwork AND/OR 3D/Video Rendering)
This is the most important question you need to answer before building a computer. If you do ANYTHING related to graphic design, your entire build changes. This is because graphic design needs are typically much more expensive than gaming needs. With gaming there is a definite ceiling that you reach very quickly and anything you add to your rig beyond that is a waste. With graphic design, the only ceiling is how quickly you complete your task. For 2D work this is only important in batch processing, but in rendering you can cut down what took 12hrs to <1hr with the right rig.
What is your building skill level?
I've built all of my computers thus far
I have a friend who helps me
I plan to customize a pre-built computer
If you aren't building this rig yourself, I don't recommend going all out with it and I especially don't recommend overclocking. If you're ARE going to be building this, then what you buy is going to directly relate to your experience with computers. If you haven't installed a water cooling system on your own or with a friend before, don't bother. Sure it's amazing with overclocking, but that's the only time it is. The whole idea behind overclocking is to take something less expensive and push it up or past something that is more expensive. As a result, you increase the amount of heat being generated. Given your budget, you really don't need to overclock, thus you aren't going to be making extra heat leaving no real need for water cooling. A solid heat sink in a case with good airflow and fans is more than enough for a system that isn't overclocked.
Are you a fan of networking or not?
I have 8 computers in a LAN
The 2-4 computers in my home are networked through a router
This is my only computer (I don't like sharing mah bandwidth!)
You mentioned having a wireless adapter card which suggests that you want to be mobile OR that you want to be connected to a router. I typically use a USB wireless adapter instead of a network card. The main perk is that it affords me more build space and I can use it on any computer I want. I have a LOT of computers built up over the years and I use my old computers for LAN parties. It is very nice to be able to unplug my USB wireless adapter and bring it to the party. I also don't have to buy a wireless adapter card for every computer.
Sometimes I use a network card if I don't plan on lugging that particular computer around. Network cards are faster than wireless adapter cards AND provide better security. You can unplug the cable to a network card, but you have to turn off your wireless adapter card through your computer which CAN be prevented by viruses. This specific reason is why I will always use a USB wireless adapter instead of a wireless adapter card: I can unplug the USB.
I have a computer, Xbox 360 and BluRay device that are all hooked up to a router that I turned into a bridge. This bridge mimics my router and allows me to connect them to the internet without getting a wireless adapter for each of them. It also lets me isolate them from the internet while still being connected to each other. This is useful when I need to flash updates, transfer movies/music between the devices and my multimedia computer or disable the internet when playing a PC game on my TV (Oblivion how I love you so!). You could easily do the same.
Are you wanting multiple monitors for view space or multi-tasking?
I want to play using all 3 monitors at once (Eyefinity)
I want to browse the internet, manage my music playlist and play games at the same time
I want to spread my graphic programs across 3 screens for better use
I want a touch screen for graphic design (Get a Wacom Cintiq 21UX or 24HD, don't bother looking at anything else)
If you're wanting multiple monitors so that you can get that “Eyefinity crap” I strongly recommend against it. As cool as it may look, there is a serious barrier to entry that most people don't realize until they actually implement Eyefinity: big, freaking, lines, EVERYWHERE! Unless you get monitors with very, very, VERY small ridges, you're going to have 1-3 inch thick bars dividing each monitor segment. Technically, nothing is being covered up, but you have massive divider lines in your game. It is very annoying and disorienting. I haven't talked to anyone who said "yeah I was able to get over it." Instead, we usually look to the 43-inch curved monitor by NEC. It haseverything that you wanted from Eyefinity, but that single monitor will likely use your entire budget. NEC has the best monitors around and they're made for graphic design/rendering. Gamers often look longingly at them from a distance.
If you want multiple monitors for extra viewing space, then it's a lot easier. I use two matching 1080p HDMI widescreen monitors (one isn't hooked up atm, cord broked, need to fix it) and 1 square-ish monitor. The 1080p (whatever size you want, this is entirely personal preference) monitors are strictly for gaming, movies, graphic design. The square monitor is for browsing the internet. 99% of the sites you visit will fit inside an 18-20inch square. That doesn't mean that you can't have a third widescreen monitor and fit two browser windows on it.
At the end of the day, the main thing you need to pay attention to is what kind of panel you get: TN, VA or IPS.
TN (Twisted Nematic) panel monitors are the cheapest gaming monitors. They have the fastest response times at 2-10ms. The downside is that they don't have full 16.7mil 8-bit color. They use 16.7mil simulated 6-bit color. They use dithering to mix pixels of colors they CAN create together to appear like a different color. Up close, it looks like solid bands of color between noisy bands of combined colors. This doesn't affect gaming too much given that you rarely have large patches of a single color that the monitor has to simulate. You're also likely to be moving a lot which prevents you from noticing the simulated colors. Graphic Design and 3D/Video rendering is affected the most given you spend a lot of time looking at motionless 2D colors. TN monitors also ruin gradients because colors shift at the top and bottom of the screen.
VA (Vertical Alignment) panel monitors are the cheapest graphic design/rendering monitors. They have the full color range with excellent black levels allowing for more accurate color reproduction from Digital to Print. Most gamers avoid VA panels because they have the slowest response times. Less patient gamers might begin to feel that the monitor is lagging when first switching from a TN to VA. This is less important for graphic design/rendering where response times are almost meaningless. Artists still switch away from VA panels when they can afford it due to the color shifting. Color shifting is where changing your viewing angle alters the color on the screen to the point that it actually inverses. So if you're looking directly at the monitor it's not that severe, but with multiple monitors the color of your side monitors can become horribly shifted if you don't align them perfectly perpendicular to your facing.
IPS (In Plane Switching) panel monitors are the best monitors. They have the full color range, excellent viewing angles and overall quality. The only color problem they suffer is a purplish hue on blacks when viewed from wide angles. They are faster than VA panels but slightly slower than TN panels at 6-16ms. If you snag an IPS panel with >8ms response time you may notice motion blur or "ghosting" while gaming. This is usually only noticeable after switching panel types and only in games that don't already have motion blur built into them.
I use this case myself and it is made for customization. It has space for roughly 10 fans OR a built in water cooling flap on the top. Thumbnail screws for easy access, hotswappable HDD trays and so forth.
Bookmark this lovely wattage calculator. The PSU I'm recommending is tailored for this specific build, but if you change anything you should go to that calculator and make sure you have the right wattage. You may need more if you add stuff or can afford less if you remove anything.
Anyone who recommends a 6-core chip to you doesn't understand the current relationship 4-core chips have with games today. They also don't understand how multi-core chips work. Open up this site and compare the 1st bar (Intel Core i7 990X @ 3.47GHz) with the 3rd bar (this chip). The 1st is a 6-core with a mere 300pt advantage over the 4-core. The cost for that advantage: $630. NOT WORTH IT.
Most games haven't caught up to 4-core chips. The majority of games only use 2 cores with the remaining 2 cores being used for background programs like FRAPS. Before I continue that thought, let me explain how multi-core chips work. Multi-core chips combine several cores that run up to the listed speed. So in the above example the 990x has 6 cores @ 3.47GHz each and the 2700k has 4 cores @ 3.5GHz each. This means that 990x's cores are individually slower than the 2700k's.
Now back to how this affects gaming. Because most games can only use 2 cores, that means that the 990x is only using 2 of 6 cores (33%) whereas the 2700k is using 2 of 4 cores (50%). Additionally, we already know the 2700k has faster cores so it will be slightly faster than the 990x. Even when games catch up to 4-core chips, the 990x will still be slower because it's not using all of its cores. Thus by the time games have caught up to the 6-core chips, there will likely be much better alternatives to the 990x that is currently available. The other issue is that unless a game is specifically designed to run with multiple cores (multithreading), specifically the number of cores your chip offers, you take another speed hit due to the game not being designed for your chip. Thus, right now, 6-cores are inferior to 4-cores for gaming.
When you render a model or video, the more cores you have, the more cores it uses and the faster it will go. It's not limited to just 2 cores. Thus multi-core chips are primarily popular with 3D graphic work. If you plan on doing anything that requires rendering, a 6-core chip is amazing. 2D graphic work can take advantage of 6-core chips but to a lesser extent given how infrequently you do batch/render work.
Heat Sink: Personal Preference
Every system is different even if two machines have the same parts. Once you've assembled everything you should boot up with stock fans/heat sink and check your system temp. If the machine shuts off due to over heating or you find your temps are too high for your liking, then shop around. Get whatever you are comfortable with. I know some folks don't get the massive heat sinks because they're afraid something will break while others prefer larger fans over smaller ones. Just get the combination that gets your temps to where you like them. ALWAYS get your own thermal paste though. Stock paste sucks. . . bad. . .
RAM - Dual Channel Memory Kit: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) - $90
24GB is overkill for gaming. Period. This is because most games need to be 32-bit (4GB max) and 64-bit (8GB to 128/192GB) compatible. This means that a game cannot use more than a certain amount of RAM because of limitations imposed by the operating system. If you're a 32-bt gamer, you don't need more than 8GB of RAM. Your system can really only use 4GB, but you have the extra 4 as backup and in case you ever upgrade. Additionally if you do switch to 64-bit you can always grab another kit to get to the 16GB.
RAM - Quad Channel Memory Kit: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) - $200
If you're a 64-bit gamer, the amount of RAM you can use changes by OS and version:
Starter: 8GB (Vista) | 8GB (Win7)
Home Basic: 8GB | 8GB
Home Premium: 16GB | 16GB
Professional: 128GB | 192GB
Enterprise: 128GB | 192GB
Ultimate: 128GB | 192GB
Most gamers I know have Home Premium, so I'm going to assume you do as well meaning you can't use more than 16GB. Thus 24/32GB is a waste. If you have one of the 128/192GB versions, it still doesn't matter. Games can't use 24/32GB anyways. Even at 16GB it's unlikely you're going to be using all of it while gaming. This goes back to the 6-core issue. More RAM only helps rendering. Thus if you don't plan on doing intense video editing, then having 16GB+ isn't worthwhile.
SSDs: Personal Preference $200-400
I wouldn't recommend snagging the largest Solid State Drive you can find and calling it good. You don't need a larger drive just because your budget allows it. You should figure out how much space you're using for your OS and regularly used programs (any program not related to gaming like Photoshop, Internet browsers, various system utilities) and double it. Do the same for your gaming programs and double that as well. For me that's a 60/64GB SSD for my OS + programs and a 120GB+ SSD for my games. You may need more/less than this. Find the one that matches your actual use. You don't to use only half of a large SSD given how likely it is to die on you.
Keep in mind that speed isn't always a good thing with SSDs. The faster an SSD is, the shorter its expected lifespan. If you grab a 500 read/write drive don't expect it to last long. You aren't getting it for its writing speed, you're getting it for it's reading speed. Don't get an SSD if you plan on moving data on/off it all the time or using it as a scratch disk for Photoshop/3D/Video rendering. SSDs are notorious for randomly dying and they only die faster if you write to them a lot. Once you have installed your programs to the SSD try to limit your activity to using the programs you have on it.
HDD Storage Drives: Western Digital SATA III 1TB 7200 RPM - $205
I don't recommend getting more than 1TB of storage space unless you are actually going to use it. It's not like the more empty space you have, the faster the drive will be. Once you have a certain amount of buffer space, everything beyond that is just empty space, nothing more. I store thousands of images on my computer and I currently have 3 1TB drives. One for storage, one for a local backup and one for an external backup. I also have an FTP server for internet backup. At the end of the day, if I wasn't a graphic designer I wouldn't need more than 1TB. If you need more space you can always snag another.
HDD Scratch Drive: Western Digital SATA III 300GB 10000 RPM - $250
If you don't know what a scratch drive is, skip this part. This is only if you use any kind of editing program on your SSDs. This drive will be almost entirely empty and used primarily as a buffer space so that you aren't burning your SSDs to pieces.
You listed these so it's obvious why I chose 'em ;) One thing to note is that it's not that hard to get monitor slots. My computer has two cards in SLI with a total of four ports and I can support up to 32 monitors with them. My computer would probably die because it's not built for that, but using external hardware you can support multiple monitors through a single port.
As for a dedicated PhysX card, whether or not it's worth it is entirely up to you. The list of Engines & Publishers that support PhysX isn't that big. You may look at the list and think "wait, those are some pretty big names there!" but in reality most games incorporate it as a formality. There are definitely some games that utilize it well, but you don't need a dedicated PhysX card to get the benefits. Given the quality of your cards, you already have a top notch system that can run everything at max settings. Adding a third card will yield no more than a marginal gain in FPS. If you're interested in a third card I'd look into 3-Way SLI instead.
If you have no intention of using your computer for Blu-rays (already have a Blu-ray player or PS3), then you might as well get a pair of these. They are faster than the combo drives with Blu-ray capabilities, so obvious plus if you eschew Blu-ray discs.
Blu-ray Drives: ASUS CD/DVD/BD Combo Burner - $100
Only get these (or one of each) if you plan on using the Blu-ray portion of the drive. I have a Blu-ray burner and I've found that I rarely use it. Especially given how region locking works with Blu-ray discs. I've found that there were be movies I can't watch on my PC due to region locking but work fine on my Blu-ray player.
So far the total is around $4,000. That leaves you another $4000 for your Heat Sink and Fans, any Keyboard/Mouse/Headset you want, some kind of Wireless Networking device (card or adapter) and your monitors.
As far as monitors go, these are gaming monitors I have personal experience with. All of my other monitors were purchased with graphic design in mind and likely won't be desirable.
Thank you ProzaicMuze for that very thorough post about gaming computers. I never really did research on them and your post gave me some good insights and debunked some common misconceptions about them. I always thought that the more you spend the better. Your post showed me that no matter how much you spend on a computer, most software will NEVER utilize those powers. You also taught me that a gaming computer vs artist graphic computer are two different kinds of computer. A good gaming computer relies on decent CPU, graphics card and ram that your OS can max. Finally, I learned that while doing graphic rendering or video work, the sky is the limit on how impatient you are; You can spend thousands on a computer to reduce the rendering time from 12hr down to even 1 hour. I know this post is 14 months old and It looks like that isaintx guy got the information he was looking for.
ProzaicMuze I was wondering if you are still giving out suggestions on specific computers?
I am looking for another laptop for primarily using the Galaxy editor. I currently have a Sony laptop, upgraded to Windows 8, 4GB Ram, Athlon II P340 CPU. Whenever I go through the Data editor, it will not respond 50% of the time; even with just the "Show Default Value" screen only on.
From your post ProzaicMuze, a laptop i3,5 or 7 should help out. The map editor is only 32bit so I think gettinga 64bit computer or having lots of ram will not be necessary. (Correct me if I am wrong)
I acknowledge that it is better to have a desktop but I mostly mobile. My laptop can play SC2 on low settings and I am okay with that.