Advice needed please for a hi-spec gaming computer Page 1 / 3

debbie7, Dec 8, 2:13am
Promised my daughter a hi-spec gaming desktop and I want to get it made to order, not a preset one. I've found 3 places online - Playtech, PB Tech & Spannerbox.any comments on these re. service, etc.; which has the best reputation! Or is there an even better place I haven't found yet!

I'd also like an idea of what are the 'must have' components. I did go through a customise list but there are things mentioned I've never heard of what the hell is an unlocked sandy bridge!!! I know the easiest way would be to contact one of them and let them tell me what I need but I'd like to know myself first so I can tell if they're being realistic (if that makes sense lol!)
I know (or think) the best graphics cards are ATI Radeon & Nvidia but again, there are so many different ones I wouldn't know where to start. I'm guessing it will also want to be quad-core for future games so that would mean i7 only!
It will be used mainly (at the moment anyway) for playing WOW and she'll be running 2 monitors on it. So, any advice you guys can give me would be hugely appreciated.I don't want to get it wrong cos she certainly won't be getting another one from us aye!
Many thanks :)

boybad, Dec 8, 3:14am
Good MOBO to start, CPU and GPU are the main components you have to concentrate on, ram, hdd, psu can be upgraded later and its cheap. Im not gonna state what brands i like or this will turn in to a war, but if it was me
MSI 4 mobo Intel or AMD for cpu Nvidia or ATI for gpu, look at what cpu and gpu you are getting then look for a mobo to suite.

boybad, Dec 8, 3:30am
Sandy Bridge is a CPU, unlocked means you can overclock it, boost it, i dont recommend doing so if you have little experience with pc's.

lostdude, Dec 8, 3:34am
What's your budget!

vtecintegra, Dec 8, 3:38am
Yeah budget is import

As for CPU all the current full power desktop i5s are quad core and there isn't any point going up to an i7

ropes2, Dec 8, 3:46am
Both Playtech and PB tech are popular choices, I would go with Playtech for building a gaming machine, it's their specialisation. I've not heard of Spannerbox so cant comment.

debbie7, Dec 8, 5:33am
I thought the hyper-threading ability was for overclocking. my daughter didn't know what it meant either so yeah, probably best to leave that alone.
Budget-wise I'm happy to go up to $ I said, it's a one-time deal so she needs to get the best she can while she can, lol!
If i5 is quad-core what's the difference between i5 & i7! Wouldn't I be better getting an i7! Or is just because it's a higher number I expect it to be a better computer!
It's very confusing looking at computer parts.

volkier, Dec 8, 6:21am
i7s are a newer chip, which has higher limits and generally performs a little better. i5s are cheaper. Modern overclocking is fairly straight forward and automatic, but I would recommend getting your CPU water cooled at least in that case. I personally use the i7-2600K oc-ed to 4.8Ghz in a two month old comp (which cost me about 4k in-fact haha). Runs like a dream.

Oh, and be ready for people to tell you that you are "dumb" for wanting to get a top end system and spending 4k on such, because "you can get one which only performs 'slightly' worse for half the price". Use your own judgement for the posts which tell you that "you don't need X anyway, so get a cheaper slower one".

debbie7, Dec 8, 7:18am
Thanks volkier :) I know people say it's daft spending so much as technology improves so quickly that hi-spec is quickly superceded.'s a special birthday and this is what she was a toss up between the comp and a car! She can't afford to run a car so the comp won :)
So, the list so far is water-cooled CPU, quad core (preferably i7). Any suggestions for the graphics card! Which is best or which model to go for! And I'm guessing dedicated graphics, at least 1gig! Would that be okay! The reason we're going for the desktop is so that at least it will be upgradeable.
One other thought.what about Alienware! I did have a look at that but wondered if it was as good as people say or whether I was buying the brand!

suicidemonkey, Dec 8, 8:37am
$2000-$2500 will get you a very high spec system. spending another $2000 won't make it any faster, it'll just allow you to play games at a higher frame rate which you can't possibly notice anyway.

ruby2shoes, Dec 8, 8:39am
Spend $2,500 now on a good cpu/mobo/ram combo with a semi-dec video card, every once in awhile upgrade that. sussed

debbie7, Dec 8, 9:12am
That sounds pretty much what I want suicidemonkey. Would you mind telling me where you got your comp made up or did you do it yourself! Or maybe go into more detail of what exactly you have! Bearing in mind that this comp will be used mainly for MMORPG.which I suppose will only play as good as the internet connection they have, regardless of how good the computer is.
Thanks people for all the info :)

suicidemonkey, Dec 8, 9:53am
I have a 3.2GHz i7 (can't remember the model number), GTX480 video card, 6GB RAM, and an OCZ Vertex SSD. I do HD video editing, photoshopping and a lot of gaming and i've never once felt the need to get anything faster :) The SSD REALLY helps and i'd recommend spending a few hundred on a decent one.

If I were you i'd go for a sandybridge i5 or i7 (don't spend more than 400-500), a GTX580 (if you want the best) and 4-6GB of RAM. Anything more than that really is overkill.

vtecintegra, Dec 8, 10:05am
Nope, the current i3, i5 and i7 were all released at the same time. The i7s are a little faster than the i5s but there isn't much in it for gaming

vtecintegra, Dec 8, 10:06am
A high end system will be wasted on MMOs - they by their very nature need to cater to a wide range of systems.

lythande1, Dec 8, 6:26pm
Computer Lounge, Playtech see here, Computer Lounge won best store just recently.!s=f3b3b0f6399990b33dd71e1f052b245bIts not the sale, its the fater sales service you need to pay attention to.,2834-7.html
Except to pay a small fortune for decent parts, not your budget $1000-$2000 PC> More like $3000 at least.

Graphics cardsare only ATO or Nvidia as the GPU manufacturer, but there are brands. ASUS or Gigabyte, and if you don't know the rankings, ask Computer Lounge, not some bunch of cowboys. Too many PCs have a low or mid range card and it bottlenecks it. GPU is the single most important component in a gaming PC. Even so, expect it to need upgrading every 2 -3 years. It's not a static thing. Toms hardw are has GPU rankings. Forget the CPU comment - unless she intends to overclock.

lostdude, Dec 8, 7:26pm

GPU: 560Ti x2 because they are the best value for money atm. Actually, the HD6950 is the best value for money but they are far more prone to micro stuttering than nvidia & it's a gamble to get it right.

No speakers because gamers prefer headphones, plus you can add some later if you want.

If you click on "Calculate lowest price" then Alphacity has all parts in stock and will build it for you if you ask. They are online only though but I've spent well over $3k with them and never had any problems.

suicidemonkey, Dec 8, 7:38pm
Yeah although 16GB of RAM is so overkill.

volkier, Dec 8, 8:34pm
Well they did say they wanted top end. I would personally say 32Gb is overkill, simply because the chipset on the motherboards supporting 32Gb is discontinued at this time. And 24Gb is not a 'correct' multiplier (you will need either 4x6Gb sticks or 2x12Gb sticks - both of which don't exist - to keep them in pairs - unless the MB has 6 ram slots - one which I haven't seen either).

shinra, Dec 8, 8:40pm
Wow what the fuck I wish I had a mum like you when I was a kid

cube_guy, Dec 8, 8:43pm
x58 chipset motherboards have 6 slots for ram. Although I doubt the OP will be building a rig based on that.

suicidemonkey, Dec 8, 8:50pm
Yeah but in reality i've never seen my PC use more than about 4-5GB, even running Avid and Photoshop and After Effects at the same time, haha.

debbie7, Dec 8, 9:45pm
Me too shinra!
Aah, I'm probably only happy to do it because I love games myself. I played WOW for the free period and would still be playing but for some reason every time I went into Stormwind the game froze.didn't matter what I tried I couldn't fix it so I stick to my consoles now, much easier lol (am SO enjoying Skyrim at the moment)
My daughter used to used Phototshop and Corel (I think!) all the time but since she discovered WOW last year it's sort of take over everything else.
Thanks for all the info and the links, I'll make notes and check them all's all much appreciated :D

roseib, Dec 9, 12:43am
I think your budget of 4k is far too high considering primary use is something like WoW. I recently built the following system for sub 3k:

16GB Ram
nVidia GTX590
4x 160GB SSD

Primarily used for gaming, runs BF3, Skyrim, MW etc at max spec on 2560x1600 res on my 55" LED. Works a charm. My recommendation would be to shop around, possibly even doing a custom config with some reputable overseas vendors, as their warranties are still supported locally. PBtech along with Playtech are good but still not the best for post warranty support etc.

vtecintegra, Dec 9, 12:47am
Modern i7 systems can run triple channel memory - you don't match in pairs but rather threes. Bugger all performance advantage over dual channel though.

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