1. Jas00555's Avatar
    Not for me obviously, I have the almighty Xbox One, but this is for my friend. Apparently I'm his most techie friend and he's going to pay me to build him a gaming PC. Now, I know how to build one, I just don't know what to build. He needs to know what parts to buy.

    His statement to me was "I need a gaming PC that will play Empire: Total War without lag and at least medium graphics" (I assume he would also like the other total wars, but this is what he said).

    While price isn't as big of an issue, ideally I would like to give him a spec list that does this as cheap as possible.

    What specs would you guys recommend? He has a case and OS picked out, but I need everything else.
    palandri and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-01-2013 01:12 PM
  2. Muessig's Avatar
    Tell your friend to have a look at the following video:



    There's some good advice in there and there's 3 tiers of gaming you can tailor your pc to.
    palandri and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-01-2013 01:17 PM
  3. palandri's Avatar
    Here are the CoD:Ghost PC System Requirements. At least match these requirements as a minimum: PC System Requirements - Call of Duty: Ghosts Wiki Guide - IGN
    Muessig and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-01-2013 01:20 PM
  4. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Why would he aim for the Ghosts requirements for a game other than Ghosts? You'll have to let us know what his budget is, how much the case and OS are taking up of that budget, and if there are any other games (well, more hardware-intensive ones) he'll play. Price is the biggest factor, of course.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    12-01-2013 02:46 PM
  5. sejgiul's Avatar
    I will write out a list for you when I'm at a computer tomorrow. Are you US or UK??
    12-01-2013 02:56 PM
  6. ag1986's Avatar
    You (both of you) are doing it wrong. If you don't know what components to use, don't accept his request because then he will blame you if it goes wrong. There are many, many guides to building a good gaming PC but here is what I do:

    Figure out what is the maximum amount of money I can afford to spend. Then get the best I can within that constraint. Now yes, this will most likely be overpowered, but I will use it someday. I like choosemypc.net for safe beginner builds. For example, I told it to generate a non-overclock build for $750 and I get:
    PCPartPicker part list: AMD FX-8320, PowerColor Radeon R9 280X, NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) - System Build - PCPartPicker
    Price breakdown by merchant: AMD FX-8320, PowerColor Radeon R9 280X, NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) - System Build - Price Breakdown By Merchant - PCPartPicker
    Benchmarks: AMD FX-8320, PowerColor Radeon R9 280X, NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) - System Build - Benchmarks - PCPartPicker

    CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card ($290.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.09 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $708.58
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-01 15:10 EST-0500)
    Laura Knotek, e4et and Jas00555 like this.
    12-01-2013 03:11 PM
  7. gsquared's Avatar
    From Toms Hardware back in April.

    PCPartPicker part list: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black, Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) - System Build - PCPartPicker
    Price breakdown by merchant: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black, Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) - System Build - Price Breakdown By Merchant - PCPartPicker
    Benchmarks: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black, Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) - System Build - Benchmarks - PCPartPicker

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($58.24 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $399.17
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-03 08:21 EDT-0400)

    Can probably build it cheaper now.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    12-01-2013 06:59 PM
  8. Jas00555's Avatar
    i will write out a list for you when i'm at a computer tomorrow. Are you us or uk??
    us
    12-01-2013 10:15 PM
  9. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    From Toms Hardware back in April.

    CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($92.99 @ NCIX US)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($84.99 @ Amazon)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($46.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($59.99 @ NCIX US)
    Case: Cooler Master Elite 431 Plus (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($58.24 @ Amazon)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($15.98 @ Outlet PC)
    Total: $399.17
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-04-03 08:21 EDT-0400)

    Can probably build it cheaper now.
    But wait...there's no graphics card on that...
    12-02-2013 01:00 AM
  10. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    You (both of you) are doing it wrong. If you don't know what components to use, don't accept his request because then he will blame you if it goes wrong. There are many, many guides to building a good gaming PC but here is what I do:

    CPU: AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor ($129.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: ASRock 970 Extreme3 R2.0 ATX AM3+ Motherboard ($72.55 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Team Vulcan 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($49.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($79.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: PowerColor Radeon R9 280X 3GB Video Card ($290.98 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: NZXT Source 210 Elite (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($45.09 @ Amazon)
    Power Supply: XFX 650W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $708.58
    (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
    (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-12-01 15:10 EST-0500)
    I agree, it can be messy if he blames his friend for it, but I don't think it's a BIG issue if the guy knows what he's doing (and NOT just following an Internet guide, even if the process is easy). As for that build, some things I'd question:

    1. A 280X is MONSTROUS overkill for the needs of the user, it sounds like. Since the video card is probably second only to the RAM when you talk about upgrading hardware (well, maybe disc drives are #1), I'd rather see that cut back to a 270, maybe even a 260X. You'd save $100-150 and still have more than enough power to play a strategy game from 2009.
    2. To kind-of expand on #1, the CPU's overkill, though not a big problem. Where I expand on the first point is that maybe a decent APU would be more than enough for what this guy's wanting. AMD is supposed to launch their Kaveri APUs with R9 270-like graphics right after the new year, and the high-end 7850K's supposed to be $150 or less. Even now, a $120 6800K might fit the bill.
    3. $700 isn't a bad price, though it's not that exciting when you consider that the build is without a monitor, mouse, keyboard, or speakers. You're probably talking another $200+ to get those things, if the guy doesn't already have them.
    12-02-2013 01:32 AM
  11. sejgiul's Avatar
    I think you guys are insulting the OP. If he says he can build a PC, then why are you bringing him down? It's totally understandable that if you haven't built a pc in a while, that it's hard to figure out what components to look for.

    I am a system builder myself and building the PC is the easy part. Finding the correct components can be harder though when out of practice...

    OP, please see below list. All components from newegg, you might be able to find some better prices though. I get it to $594.92:

    Newegg.com - SAMSUNG DVD Burner 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 8X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 24X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM SATA Model SH-224DB/BEBE - CD / DVD Burners
    Newegg.com - Corsair Carbide Series 330R (CC-9011024-WW) Black Steel / Plastic ATX Mid Tower Quiet Computer Case
    Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive - Newegg.com
    MSI 970A-G46 AM3+ AMD 970 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard with UEFI BIOS - Newegg.com
    CORSAIR HX Series HX750 750W ATX12V 2.3 / EPS12V 2.91 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell Ready - Newegg.com
    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL - Newegg.com
    AMD FX-4300 Vishera 3.8GHz (4.0GHz) Socket AM3+ 95W Quad-Core Desktop Processor FD4300WMHKBOX - Newegg.com
    Newegg.com - XFX FX779AZNJ4 Radeon HD 7790 1GB 128-bit DDR5 Video Card

    There's also this link that can add them all to your cart for you I believe: Newegg.com Shopping Cart

    Please don't skimp on the power supply. Use the one provided, even if it is more powerful than your requirements.

    The motherboard is quite expensive, but I believe it is important to future-proof a machine and seeing its only about $20-$30 more than other motherboards that are less capable, its worth it.

    With these specs, there's no need for liquid cooling or additional air cooling. I wouldn't recommend overclocking either as it isn't worth the hassle.

    Let me know if you need any further help :)
    palandri and Laura Knotek like this.
    12-02-2013 04:19 AM
  12. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    It's not that we're insulting him, it's just that we're warning him about how people can be. It's not questioning his abilities, just adding a layer of caution to our suggestions.

    As for that build, it's a decent option for a budget build, and I imagine that there would be no issues with Empire: Total War. In fact, I doubt that game puts a strain on much of anything, at this point. I'd probably wait for a few reviews on the R7 260X for a graphics card, though. It's supposed to be the same architecture and everything as the 7790, but it'll double the VRAM and add TrueAudio (whatever that stuff is). It's only about $10-20 more, and the 7790's price is based on a rebate. Rebate redemption's notoriously unreliable with this stuff, so you can't even guarantee a deal on that.

    Also, I'm a AMD person myself, but I have to ask why everyone is going AMD on these builds. I haven't seen benchmarks for the Haswell i3 line, but I'd imagine an i3-4330/4340 could keep pace with an FX-4300, if not beat it by a decent margin. It costs about the same, and when you consider that AMD is skipping desktop CPUs altogether with Steamroller, it means that any near-future upgrade would require both a CPU and motherboard upgrade, a more-expensive route. If you looked at an i3, then the buyer could upgrade directly to an i5 later, if desire, without the need for a new board. That's probably something worth considering as well, how long the build is expected to last.
    12-02-2013 03:38 PM
  13. Jas00555's Avatar
    Thank you, sejgiul, that's probably the best build suggestion.

    As for everyone else, I know perfectly well how to build a PC, its just that I haven't done one in a couple of years and haven't really kept up on any new stuff and I'm getting tired of it tbh, I just want one that I can easily plug and play. I still have my PC, but I've just been using it less and less. I've given my friend every disclaimer, so he knows full well what he's getting into. I've built 6 (1 for myself, the other 5 have no problems reported, at least nothing my fault), but thanks for the heads up anyways.

    One thing though, is that I've always used Intel, so AMD will be interesting change up.
    12-02-2013 03:49 PM
  14. sejgiul's Avatar
    AMD is much better nowadays than it was 10 years ago. As for building there shouldn't be a problem. Good luck! ๐Ÿ˜
    palandri likes this.
    12-02-2013 03:59 PM
  15. palandri's Avatar
    AMD is much better nowadays than it was 10 years ago. As for building there shouldn't be a problem. Good luck!
    That's a nice build you put together. The only thing I would upgrade on it is the video card. I'd go with a 256 bit card, like a 7850.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    12-02-2013 04:08 PM
  16. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    Thank you, sejgiul, that's probably the best build suggestion.

    As for everyone else, I know perfectly well how to build a PC, its just that I haven't done one in a couple of years and haven't really kept up on any new stuff and I'm getting tired of it tbh, I just want one that I can easily plug and play. I still have my PC, but I've just been using it less and less. I've given my friend every disclaimer, so he knows full well what he's getting into. I've built 6 (1 for myself, the other 5 have no problems reported, at least nothing my fault), but thanks for the heads up anyways.

    One thing though, is that I've always used Intel, so AMD will be interesting change up.
    Well, if you want ease, you might hit up Newegg for some pre-built PCs. There are a LOT of them being deeply discounted for the holiday season, likely more so for the next few days (week of Cyber Monday). again, never got an idea of a budget, but here's and example:

    Newegg.com - CyberpowerPC Intel Core i7 8GB DDR3 2TB HDD Capacity Desktop PC Windows 8.1 64-bit Gamer Xtreme H710

    You get what essentially the top-of-the-line CPU on the market from Intel (Haswell i7), solid graphics, and a 2-TB HDD (7200-RPM and everything). You basically are at $800 and just need a monitor, then you're all set. There are many of these types of deals at the moment on Newegg, though I'm not 100% sure if they will last beyond Cyber Monday at all. Regardless, I'd look at some Haswell i3 benchmarks before going AMD. As an AMD user myself, seeing that they're basically skipping desktops with Steamroller (meaning probably no new CPUs until 2015), you're getting a mid-range CPU from more than a year ago.

    I'm sure Empire: Total War won't be a hassle for even a Piledriver CPU, but if your friend elects to get any newer stuff over the next year or so, he'll probably start to see issues (not sure of his gaming habits). In the instance of needing to upgrade, you'll likely be looking at Intel, meaning a change of CPU AND motherboard. If you're set on an AMD solution though, I'd opt for the FX-6300 at the low-end, because the FX-4300 just has no longevity to it.
    12-03-2013 12:08 AM
  17. sejgiul's Avatar
    That's a nice build you put together. The only thing I would upgrade on it is the video card. I'd go with a 256 bit card, like a 7850.
    If it doesn't cost much more, then yeah. I'm not fully aware of the price differences in the U.S. though. Here in the UK, you'd pay at least a good 50 more... :)
    palandri likes this.
    12-03-2013 03:56 AM
  18. sejgiul's Avatar
    Well, if you want ease, you might hit up Newegg for some pre-built PCs. There are a LOT of them being deeply discounted for the holiday season, likely more so for the next few days (week of Cyber Monday). again, never got an idea of a budget, but here's and example:

    Newegg.com - CyberpowerPC Intel Core i7 8GB DDR3 2TB HDD Capacity Desktop PC Windows 8.1 64-bit Gamer Xtreme H710

    You get what essentially the top-of-the-line CPU on the market from Intel (Haswell i7), solid graphics, and a 2-TB HDD (7200-RPM and everything). You basically are at $800 and just need a monitor, then you're all set. There are many of these types of deals at the moment on Newegg, though I'm not 100% sure if they will last beyond Cyber Monday at all. Regardless, I'd look at some Haswell i3 benchmarks before going AMD. As an AMD user myself, seeing that they're basically skipping desktops with Steamroller (meaning probably no new CPUs until 2015), you're getting a mid-range CPU from more than a year ago.

    I'm sure Empire: Total War won't be a hassle for even a Piledriver CPU, but if your friend elects to get any newer stuff over the next year or so, he'll probably start to see issues (not sure of his gaming habits). In the instance of needing to upgrade, you'll likely be looking at Intel, meaning a change of CPU AND motherboard. If you're set on an AMD solution though, I'd opt for the FX-6300 at the low-end, because the FX-4300 just has no longevity to it.
    While not wanting to start an argument. The FX-4300 is better suited for gaming, which is the main goal of the OP's friend. Even the A series processors from AMD are very suitable for gaming. For instance, I have a number of laptops and desktops with both Intel and AMD processors, and the AMD A8 in one of the laptops runs Guildwars 2 very comfortably on medium-high graphical settings.

    There's a number of online benchmarking tools that can be used to compare processors, but you will find that in real-life use there is actually very little difference and the end-user will not notice it. The OP clearly asked for a machine that will run Empire on at least medium settings. The FX-4300 (and even the A8) can easily manage this for little cost. The very last processor I would recommend is an i3. You get a lot more value for your money with an AMD FX processor and the i3 is practically an insult to any customer who buys a PC with one in it.

    Intel processors are good for high-end and extreme gaming machines or workstations, not for the low- and mid-range. For a workstation, I would personally opt for Intel.

    As for the longevity of the 4300; if this does become a problem in say 3 to 4 years time (remember, the progress made with processors isn't as fast as it used to be), the graphics card can be upgraded to a higher-end one which will be cheaper by that time also. You can easily go up to the HD7970 graphics card without creating a bottleneck for the 4300 as long as the RAM is also upgraded, which in turn will also be cheaper by that time and the motherboard is there to support this for years to come. Heck, next year, another graphics card could be added to run along with the one suggested, meaning the upgrade will only cost him $120 to increase the performance. Don't forget that PC performance nowadays is mostly driven by the GPU as compared to the CPU, especially in games.

    Anyhow, let us know how you get on OP :)
    12-03-2013 04:23 AM
  19. martinmc78's Avatar
    Only tip I can give you on top of everyone else is double check RAM compatibility with the motherboard. And by double check I mean check both motherboard manufacturers website and RAM manufacturers website compatibility lists - If the RAM you're looking at isn't on both lists then you will likely have issues. Some of the so called "gaming" or "sports" RAM out there is pretty specific to certain motherboards.
    12-03-2013 04:46 AM
  20. rakesh1995's Avatar
    Here are the CoD:Ghost PC System Requirements. At least match these requirements as a minimum: PC System Requirements - Call of Duty: Ghosts Wiki Guide - IGN



    fake requirement. I played it on my pc with 1.5gb ram. Worked fine





    Sent from my Uuusumm Lumia 520 using Tapatalk
    12-03-2013 05:40 AM
  21. Jas00555's Avatar
    Alright, well, I sent him the list that sejguil suggested, and he's got it all from the cyber Monday deals except for a couple of things. First, he didn't get the case, I mean it was a nice one, but he had his heart set on this one IN WIN GRone White 0.8mm SECC Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Newegg.com . I also suggested the 7850 because there was a cyber Monday deal and the 7850 was 50% off, so it was exactly the same price as the 7790, amazing deal. Also, by the time he got around to buying stuff, they were all out of RAM, so if you have another suggestion, that would be amazing, or I could just wait for it to come back in stock. I'm just not sure how long that takes.

    Also, @Keith Wallace, by "ease of use", I meant that I was more or less tired of trying to deal with the tinkering around with the settings to get optimal fps and stuff like that. I much prefer buying a disc/download and knowing that it'll just work.
    12-03-2013 11:19 AM
  22. Keith Wallace's Avatar
    For the most part, just pick some RAM of the same class. RAM's cheap to replace, and it's not a big deal about going from one brand to the other. G.SKILL, Patriot, Corsair, just grab whatever's on-sale. I personally have G.SKILL, but mine's overpriced as hell, so I won't recommend it.

    This is $3 more, pretty mcuh the same stuff, just bit-lower timings: http://forums.windowscentral.com/e?l...token=hl7nJAnf
    12-03-2013 11:40 AM
  23. palandri's Avatar
    fake requirement. I played it on my pc with 1.5gb ram. Worked fine.
    I understand what you're saying. I've read about people using lower end Nvidia and ATI cards and it ran OK. I think they just upped the minimum specs to stop complaints about laggy game play.
    12-03-2013 11:47 AM
  24. rakesh1995's Avatar
    Bro what type if gamer he is?


    Sent from my Uuusumm Lumia 520 using Tapatalk
    12-03-2013 09:30 PM
  25. rakesh1995's Avatar
    I understand what you're saying. I've read about people using lower end Nvidia and ATI cards and it ran OK. I think they just upped the minimum specs to stop complaints about laggy game play.



    no they just uped the specs

    to show how good their game is. Just like android OEM bum specs to exaggerate there phone capabilities



    Sent from my Uuusumm Lumia 520 using Tapatalk
    12-03-2013 09:33 PM

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