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Building a new rig for gaming.

Anyone got experience with the current stuff? I last built one in 2014 so I'm a little out of date. Anyone got experience with AMD builds? I am also looking to build a micro-ATX and try to keep it as quiet as possible. Maybe dabble in water-cooling a micro-ATX.

Any insights appreciated.
wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure


  • edited April 2016
    This is my go to resource when I decide to build a new gaming computer either for myself or a friend..

    I just built a pretty solid PC for work with an A10-7850K and whatever MB was free with a bundle have been happy with it thus far.
  • SalikSalik Da Burgh
    Current, yes. But I tend to build bigger towers and avoid AMD/ATI recently.
  • IniarIniar Australia
    Yeah gonna avoid ATI this rig. My brother said if I plan to hackintosh, I should get an nvid card anyway. Never had any experience with AMD.

    Any tips on watercooling/AIO?
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • SalikSalik Da Burgh
    Honestly, if you're going to avoid ATI I'd probably avoid AMD too. It's the same company these days and the CPUs/GPUs work better together. If anything, I'd use an ATI card before an AMD CPU though. The Intel CPUs are just higher quality lately. They tend to run a bit faster at lower temperatures. The recent Radeon cards are decent enough, but my main issue with those has always been the Catalyst drivers. I've never really been entirely happy with them, and often ended up using third-party drivers to get full functionality out of the cards.

    As for watercooling, I haven't experimented too much with it. I'm thinking about doing that for my CPU at some point. Just be aware that it does take up some space. Using a micro-ATX will demand that you be very efficient space-wise.
  • MenochMenoch Raleigh, NC, USA
    edited April 2016
    Locked i5 and lightly oc'd R9 290 here... no idea what issues arise from mixing and matching.

    If you are planning on running a hackintosh or VM build, that's not really my thing. Gaming is my focus, and here's what I'd say in addition to what's already been mentioned here...

    - Intel imo is best for gaming on the cpu end of things. They do tend to run faster yet quieter and cooler. The fastest diminishing return you'll find in building a gaming rig is Intel CPUs though. On performance v cost, you're better off in 1080 60fps with a locked i5 or i7 rather than getting low double digit percent clock increases at the cost of life. If you don't care about budget, you can ignore this advice and probably most my advice in general. If you are playing cpu intensive games and that is your limiter rather than monitor refresh or GPU, then get MSI afterburner and start it up.

    - I have heard that pretty much all other places, AMD GPUs are more expensive than nVidia. In the US this isn't the case, and again on a performance per dollar assessment, you are nearly always best served by hitting the AMD equivalent in any category, especially if you intend to OC, and doubly especially if you plan on water cooling to increase how far you can go. AMD GPUs do tend to be louder and less energy efficient, but if you want to OC, you will get more bang for your (American) buck by picking the 390 over the 970, for the obvious example.

    I went micro ATX with my current build, which is nearing two years old now. i5 4460, R9 290, 8GB DDR3 1600, have a Caviar Blue 7200rpm 1TB HD and a Sandisk Ultra II 240GB SSD where I keep my OS and some games, if storage really matters. When and why I ordered what I ordered was because after a $75 rebate and a combo on a hideous case with a gold rated PSU, I got it all for around $600 and this was again, nearly two years ago. I'm kind of a wizard among my friends that build/game for finding the best prices... the secret is patience and a clear total budget and overall goal. I wanted to be able to play anything in ultra at 60 fps in 1080 for a couple years. I got what I paid for.

    E: Another thing, regardless of price, try to avoid two GPUs in crossfire or sli instead of one powerful card, for gaming. There are notoriously poor or very late optimizations for multi GPU set ups, spending a little extra on a 970 instead of two 750s or whatever, usually the better option for QoL if nothing else. Speaking specifically of proprietary software, I prefer giving money to AMD over nVidia also on the 'moral' basis or whatever. That justification would fall slim if nVidia starting being cheaper in their comparable cards than AMD here, I bet. Shadowplay is also far better than the AMD built in recording software, fwiw.
  • SalikSalik Da Burgh
    No particular issues. I wouldn't use an AMD CPU in general, given a choice. They're not bad, just not as efficient. That's one of my problems with ATI as well. Also, Catalyst (Radeon) drivers work a little better on AMD CPUs compared to Intel, though it's odd how that'd happen.
  • IniarIniar Australia
    My last three have been ATI cards and no major issues, just noisy. Had a lot of fun overclocking my CPU although I probably did more harm than good. Never oc'd my GPU. Primary goal this time is to keep it as quiet as possible in a new form factor for me. One build online suggested a 24 dB gaming mATX was possible, so that build is gonna be my benchmark :D
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • Get a good power supply and don't skimp on wattage.  It doesn't matter how fancy your AMD/Intel CPUs are or what kind of graphic cards you have (or if you are running SLI or crossfire) if you don't have enough power to run it.  Also, modular PSUs are awesome. 
  • IniarIniar Australia
    Yes, I remember buying a 420w psu lol. Then learning it was a bad decision. Hehe.

    Looking at these:

    I'm partial to the design of the node 804, understanding its primary design is as a HTPC; but I reckon I could squeeze in some decent things in it.

    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • SalikSalik Da Burgh
    I loved my modular PSU. Next one I get will be one again. All in all, happy with my computer right now.
  • If you want to build a hackintosh, use as your guide. Their Buyer's Guide will more or less tell you exactly which parts are known to be compatible. Trust me, you want to stick to their recommendations. What graphics card you need depends on what kind of monitor you're using. A 970 is plenty for most 1080p builds, if you want to venture into 1440p (2.5k) or 4k territory, 980 or 980ti is nice. VR wants at least a 970 as well.
  • IniarIniar Australia
    Never heard of it, thanks! Apparently nVid are also about to drop a new series of cards, so I might hang out till then and hopefully pick up a cheaper 900card
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
  • MenochMenoch Raleigh, NC, USA
    Can I also advise taking care of cable management very carefully and properly in your initial build too? I find I always say 'it'll be fine this way for now, I'll go back and fix it better later, let's get it to POST with the case put together'... and then I never actually go back and do it.

    Also if this machine of yours can wait at all for the 1000 series, oh god yes do so. We're moving to 13nm and immediate DX12 and Vulkan support. I would not be buying any higher than a 970/390 tier card, and only those at a good price, until next year personally, but again this is probably frugality/financial pragmatism speaking.
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