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How much PC is too much?

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I have been a console gamer all my life and decided to make the switch to PC gaming about a year ago. I bought Lenovo Y580 (GTX 660m) and this satisfied me for a while but now I want more. I don't think I have the guts to tack on a e-GPU. So that leaves me with either building or buying a desktop. I've always liked shiny new things but I don't know where to draw the line. Is a $2000 system worth it or should I aim more for $1200, I have a build priced out at $1600 on pcpartpicker but I don't know if it's too much or too little. Right now I am playing on a single 1080p monitor but I kind of want a 1440 one. I understand it doesn't really make much sense to build a beast of a machine if you don't have the monitors to display it. I mainly don't want to end up in this situation again like I am with my laptop, a year later, wishing it was more powerful and not really able to do anything about it. Other than gaming I also do some stuff with Adobe and Autodesk products.

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Go ahead and link your pcpartpicker list. Would make it easy to give insight on what is overkill / needs improving.A lot of it varies on your budget. Are you fine with a $1600-2000 build?For instance, can have a pretty solid build in the $1000 price range:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchantCPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Amazon) Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z97 MARK2 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.98 @ OutletPC) Memory: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($84.99 @ Newegg) Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($53.59 @ Directron) Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0 Video Card ($349.99 @ Directron) Case: Corsair SPEC-02 ATX Mid Tower Case ($55.99 @ Amazon) Power Supply: Corsair CX 600W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply ($49.99 @ NCIX US) Total: $969.52Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when availableGenerated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-21 22:16 EST-0500

Or have something much more beefy in the $2000 range (this is almost the computer build I want :D )

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchantCPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor ($369.98 @ NCIX US) CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($135.55 @ SuperBiiz) Motherboard: MSI X99S MPOWER ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($229.99 @ Newegg) Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($294.99 @ Amazon) Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($169.99 @ Amazon) Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 980 4GB Superclocked ACX 2.0 Video Card ($569.99 @ Amazon) Case: NZXT S340 (White) ATX Mid Tower Case ($64.99 @ Directron) Power Supply: Corsair 860W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($199.99 @ Amazon) Total: $2035.47Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when availableGenerated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-21 22:13 EST-0500

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Well that's part of the problem, I can't exactly visualize the difference the extra money will make. I just simply don't have a grasp on it.

[PCPartPicker part list] / [Price breakdown by merchant](

CPU | [intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor] $249.99 @ Micro Center

CPU Cooler | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler] $29.98 @ OutletPC

Motherboard | [Asus Z97-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard] $152.99 @ Newegg

Memory | [Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory] $189.99 @ Amazon

Video Card | [Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card] $327.85 @ B&H

Video Card | [Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card] $327.85 @ B&H

Case | [Cooler Master HAF XB EVO ATX Desktop Case] $69.99 @ Newegg

Power Supply | [seaSonic X Series 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply] $152.98 @ SuperBiiz

Operating System | [Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)] $89.98 @ OutletPC

Total | Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available | $1591.60

Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-21 23:41 EST-0500 |

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Well that's part of the problem, I can't exactly visualize the difference the extra money will make. I just simply don't have a grasp on it.

[PCPartPicker part list] / [Price breakdown by merchant](

CPU | [intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor] $249.99 @ Micro Center

CPU Cooler | [Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler] $29.98 @ OutletPC

Motherboard | [Asus Z97-PRO ATX LGA1150 Motherboard] $152.99 @ Newegg

Memory | [Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-2133 Memory] $189.99 @ Amazon

Video Card | [Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card] $327.85 @ B&H

Video Card | [Zotac GeForce GTX 970 4GB Video Card] $327.85 @ B&H

Case | [Cooler Master HAF XB EVO ATX Desktop Case] $69.99 @ Newegg

Power Supply | [seaSonic X Series 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply] $152.98 @ SuperBiiz

Operating System | [Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit)] $89.98 @ OutletPC

Total | Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available | $1591.60

Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-21 23:41 EST-0500 |

This is a pretty decent build for being uncertain :claps:

Few little things, then one large issue.

1. You have an unlocked CPU (allows overclocking) as shown by the K in the i7-4790K, and a motherboard that allows OCing with the Z97 chipset. However your CPU cooler, while very solid and popular - I wouldn't overly recommend if you plan to overclock. Look for either a closed loop cooler (I personally have a NZXT Kraken X40 and a Kraken X61 here if interested) or a higher end air cooler - like a nice Noctua one (they make quiet fans and high performing coolers).

2. That RAM is really expensive. I know there will be a cheaper alternative to get 16GB of RAM. If you don't plan to go into gigantic models in Autodesk, then you might not use all 16GB. So perhaps can go with 4x4GB to save a bit.

3. I know someone might suggest getting a Corsair PSU (they are quite nice), but a few friends of mine have a SeaSonic and haven't had issues. 850W is suitable for your build.

The big issue here:

SLI.

Autodesk does NOT make use of SLI in rendering. If you are using something like 3DS Max with iray, it will use multiple GPUs. But assume otherwise it just uses a single GPU.

So instead. Replace the 2x GTX 970 with a single GTX 980 in your build.

Otherwise, a pretty solid build :D !

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Thanks, I never knew there were so many options out there. Each company making a handful of versions of the same thing, it's great if you know exactly what you want, daunting if you have no clue, thus my "everyone else bought it, so that must be what I should get" approach.

I haven't really been rendering with my GPU, thus I didn't even think of that. My main factors up to this point in render times have been my CPU, thus the i7 over an i5, and the RAM, thus some overpriced slightly faster variant? that I kind of picked blindly. Seeing what the extra ram did for my render times on my laptop I didn't really want to skimp there but I am open to suggestions (I can't use that DDR4 ram that you have in your $2k build right?). Leaving the GPU not really making much of a difference in the rendering. Would it be a noticeable rendering performance difference from the 980 over the 970? Because if something takes 9 hours instead of 10 for example that wouldn't really be worth it to me but if it was twice as fast that would be a different story.

I went with the two 970's because I didn't feel as though one would be enough and if I needed to boost the 980 in the future I would either have to buy another one, a massive jump that would probably be overkill, or start over with a new card, while with the two 970's I would have enough power to keep me happy for a while and if I needed more I could just throw a third one in there.

This being my first personal power PC and being kind of new to things, I wasn't planning on overclocking out of the box. Really I'm just hoping I'll be able to put the thing together when it comes without causing some $1000 catastrophic failure. I just like the idea of being able to OC it in the future when I have a little more experience so I wont break it and can appreciate the extra power.

As an added note, any suggestions on what I should do with my laptop, it'll be kind of useless after I build this, I don't really travel much anymore and when I do I try to disconnect as much as possible, seems like such a waste....

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when you spend over $1500, try to ask yourself why spending that much and for what purpose it is.

$700-$1500 for me is the sweetspot, anything beyond is overkill in all aspects

spoiler: if that upcoming MSI GS30 Shadow is north of $2000 I will still buy it due to flexibility and portability :Banane49:

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Thanks, I never knew there were so many options out there. Each company making a handful of versions of the same thing, it's great if you know exactly what you want, daunting if you have no clue, thus my "everyone else bought it, so that must be what I should get" approach.

I haven't really been rendering with my GPU, thus I didn't even think of that. My main factors up to this point in render times have been my CPU, thus the i7 over an i5, and the RAM, thus some overpriced slightly faster variant? that I kind of picked blindly. Seeing what the extra ram did for my render times on my laptop I didn't really want to skimp there but I am open to suggestions (I can't use that DDR4 ram that you have in your $2k build right?). Leaving the GPU not really making much of a difference in the rendering. Would it be a noticeable rendering performance difference from the 980 over the 970? Because if something takes 9 hours instead of 10 for example that wouldn't really be worth it to me but if it was twice as fast that would be a different story.

I went with the two 970's because I didn't feel as though one would be enough and if I needed to boost the 980 in the future I would either have to buy another one, a massive jump that would probably be overkill, or start over with a new card, while with the two 970's I would have enough power to keep me happy for a while and if I needed more I could just throw a third one in there.

This being my first personal power PC and being kind of new to things, I wasn't planning on overclocking out of the box. Really I'm just hoping I'll be able to put the thing together when it comes without causing some $1000 catastrophic failure. I just like the idea of being able to OC it in the future when I have a little more experience so I wont break it and can appreciate the extra power.

As an added note, any suggestions on what I should do with my laptop, it'll be kind of useless after I build this, I don't really travel much anymore and when I do I try to disconnect as much as possible, seems like such a waste....

Correct, usually most things use the CPU since it's great for doing general tasks really well. This is a very interesting read about CPU vs GPU encoding for movie encoding:

H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU: Nvidia CUDA, AMD Stream, Intel MediaSDK and x264 - BeHardware

And yes, the DDR4 RAM cannot be used with the 4790K.

A single GTX 980 is cheaper than two GTX 970, and will leave you better off when you do decide to render things that can utilize the GPU (since it only uses one). For gaming this is a slightly different story. If you were purely gaming, I'd suggest the SLI GTX 970. What resolution is your monitor? Do you plan to go to 4K resolution?

Yeah, don't want a giant sparking heap of disappointment xD...

--------------

Cleaning up some words and some questions for you::

Gaming at 1080p resolution:: SLI GTX 980 ("overkill") > SLI GTX 970 > GTX 980 > GTX 970

Gaming at 4K resolution:: SLI GTX 980 (only option really assuming you want your game to look pretty)

Adobe/Autodesk stuff:: GTX 980 > GTX 970

CPU. This mainly hinges on programs support multi-threading. Lets look at Autodesk Inventor for example (which is what I use):

Support for multi-core processors | Inventor Products | Autodesk Knowledge Network

It only supports multi-threading for very specific features, or if you are running multiple sessions (this applies to views). For single thread perforamnce, the 4790K wins since it's threads are faster, but the 5820K would allow for more things at once - to put it simply.

The same story is true in Adobe applications like Photoshop, shown in this thread here:

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1358970?tstart=0

But in this case, Photoshop loves using all the resources it can, so generally prefers many threads. So something like the 5820K would be more useful.

Since you are doing more than just gaming, I'd recommend something closer to that $2000 build I posted. It allows you to move up to a 5930K or 5960X, or any other newer CPUs that come out for the 2011-3 socket. And also you have 8 RAM slots to work with. Between running a game, Photoshop, Inventor, all my other things. I've maxed out my 16GB multiple times. So certainly expect to have to move to 32GB of RAM in the future.

So, I personally would shoot for the $2000 build I posted. Would be better for your particular application.

What kind of budget can you allot for a build? I can modify the pcpartpicker list to better accommodate that.

Are you a student and using these programs to get through school? If so, just go with the 4790K build, you'll never max out anything with any of the basic school things they have you mess with. And if it's something truly major, there will probably be some beefy computers available.

Are you mainly a gamer, and mess with Adobe / Autodesk stuff on the side? See answer to above.

---------

As for the Y580, you could sell it here on the T|I Marketplace, eBay, to a friend, or I accept donations lololol.

But the first 3 are probably your best bet. Or just hold onto it for that time you do plan to travel somewhere. It can be nice to have a solid laptop on hand. And especially a second computer in case something goes wrong :D

when you spend over $1500, try to ask yourself why spending that much and for what purpose it is.

$700-$1500 for me is the sweetspot, anything beyond is overkill in all aspects

spoiler: if that upcoming MSI GS30 Shadow is north of $2000 I will still buy it due to flexibility and portability :Banane49:

Yeah, $700-1500 is about the norm range for various computer builds. In this case, with doing gaming + Adobe products + Autodesk products, going to need a lot more oomph.

Will be interesting about the GS30 Shadow, huge eGPU box though. Having a full PCIe 16x link is still pretty pointless for eGPU, the mobile CPU will be the bottleneck here. Look forward to seeing the bandwidth testing and other benches.

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I have a 1080p monitor that will become my second monitor and I plan on picking up a 1440 with no future plans to make the jump to 4k.

I don't really have a budget. I don't have very many expenses so I've managed to get to a place where I can treat myself and I think it's fairly practical. Obviously I couldn't spend 10k on stuff, but could I spend $6k on a render farm and awesome 4k gaming rig? Yeah, and it would be awesome and I would probably make a lot of new friends in the area. Would I look back on it a year later and see it was way more than I was capable of using and wonder what I was thinking, yeah. I'm trying to find that right place between need and want. I am just a student and these programs help with that, the skills have also come in handy when interning, but most of the stuff I do is just on the side. As I do more and more I hate running into hardware or software constraints so I prefer something I can grow into without over reaching. You are right, for anything serious I would have access to a powerful machine and I would say this is a gaming first computer as I spend far more time gaming than anything else, probably somewhere around 75%.

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personally I would lean towards cheapest 6 core for the build like one mentioned above. all seem like great suggestions above but yes it definitely is a balancing game of necessity and going a little over requirements to ensure future use before upgrading someday again.

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Made a new parts list. This is based on the 6-core 5820K. This should allow you to have nice upgradabilty in the future, while remaining very solid right now and in years time.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3GHz 6-Core Processor ($369.98 @ NCIX US)

CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X61 106.1 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($135.55 @ SuperBiiz)

Motherboard: MSI X99S MPOWER ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard ($229.99 @ Newegg)

Memory: *Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (4 x 4GB) DDR4-2400 Memory ($263.99 @ Newegg)

Storage: Samsung 850 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($169.99 @ Amazon)

Storage: *Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($48.47 @ OutletPC)

Video Card: *Zotac GeForce GTX 980 4GB AMP! Edition Video Card ($547.99 @ SuperBiiz)

Case: NZXT H440 (White/Black) ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ Micro Center)

Power Supply: *Corsair 860W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($169.99 @ Amazon)

Total: $2045.94

Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available

*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria

Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-11-23 19:18 EST-0500

The MSI X99S Mpower motherboard isn't the absolute best, but I enjoyed my Z87 Mpower board - so I'll stick with picking that for now.

Chose a Samsung 850 Pro 256GB which can be used as your boot drive and can hold your larger programs (you'll love the speed that Adobe and Autodesk applications open). Might look into getting another to put your games / project files on. HDD is for the less IO intensive storage, like music and pictures and whatnot.

The RAM, HDD, and GPU are all set parametrically. So they might vary a bit day to day as prices change.

I have the Kraken X61 cooler, I quite like it. Not using it at the moment though since I'm in a miniITX build. There is a bracket for 2011 socket for it.

Case I just picked one I've used in the past, I'm not sure your styling preferences - it's there as a placeholder mainly.

PSU is set parametrically, but doubt it will change. The settings are there to mainly restrict it to Corsair's higher-end PSUs. You never want to skimp on your PSU - especially in something like this.

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you could consider getting a second hand one also, i got one that still worked perfectly, running high - ultra for 1080p modern gaming. at around 500.

but you should check sources first also.

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There is not too much , i'd buy a 10k $ gaming machine if i could afford it.

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Just plan on replacing your video card every 2-3 years. The base systems that you are picking out should be rock solid for years, but video card technology seems to make large jumps in performance that actually show up on your screen every couple years. This will especially bear out as more games and monitors support 4k. You'll probably be rocking that i7 for 5 or 6 years, but those video cards will be sold on ebay and replaced with nVidia Pascal based cards in 2016. There's nothing wrong with that, it's just one of the things you get used to with PC gaming.

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I can recommend dont go with a slow ram kit because you really want more performance per mhz and often faster ram with tight timings will get the most out of your cpus true capabilities. My Haswell laptop cpu gets far more done at 4.2ghz for example on 2133mhz c10 ram than it does with tighter timing and slower 1600mhz ram on Cl9 or even Cl8. Just emphasizing that you can by a very cost effective cpu as outlined above and paired with a better set of ram will give you some great performance for less.

The gpu may be outdated in a few years as stated but cpu usually stays for awhile at the range we are talking in your build. If you plan to sink money into upgrades later you might not want for example very expensive ram to start with but I have a feeling you dont really want to have it slower to start so grabbing up a kit like the 2666 kit angerthosenear posted which is DDR4 for the Intel 5 Gen Core series cpus would be a great match indeed.

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Truly, if you spend more than $1000 you should probably ask what features you want. Want a large SSD(s in RAID)? 4K monitor or two? All razer peripherals or some fancy watercooling?

After a certain point it's maxed out and there's not anything special about it.

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Yeah, and it would be awesome and I would probably make a lot of new friends in the area. Would I look back on it a year later and see it was way more than I was capable of using and wonder what I was thinking, yeah. I'm trying to find that right place between need and want. I am just a student and these programs help with that, the skills have also come in handy when interning, but most of the stuff I do is just on the side.

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I like to hover around the 800-1200 price range so I can afford to get a new one every year or so. Normally I can build exactly what I want with that budget. Pushing more money towards the gc and cpu. Yes I won't have any of the top end things but games look and play nice enough xD

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I highly recommend going for the best gaming value in the 1000-1200 range if that's all you're planning to do with it. Base your build around the GPU you need (1440p will run nicely on GTX970 or R9 290x for example) and CPU (i5-series is plenty for gaming, don't need an unlocked processor for any gaming at this point). Not only does that give you more flexibility in upgrading later, but you can also invest in a nicer monitor before you hit the 2000 mark.

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Really, there shouldn't be a limit to how much is expensive for a PC build.

All depends on what you will be using it for....

Also depends on how deep your pockets are..

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Haha, I love the way you asked 'what is too much?'

This is a click bait article yes, but I think it makes good points:

The Best PCs You Can Build for $300, $600, and $1200

I had a discussion recently with a buddy who builds PC's every other year in order to stay on top of industry standards. He just upgraded his SSD to the newer types that allows him to go over 1gigabit speeds instead of 550ish speeds on SATA3. I asked him about whats a good system and a bad system, but as others said here, basically, it depends on your usage.

I for one, enjoy editing photos and videos, thus I would benefit from more RAM and more cores/higher processor speeds. I was thinking about going with an old school Dell Workstation which uses dual

Xeon processors at 4 cores each meaning 8 total real cores at about 3ghz for each processor, those can be had for ~$300 from eBay now, but the RAM is DDR2. On the other hand, purchasing a quad core i5 will yield great results at a lower numbers of cores, but newer DDR3 ram will probably be better also; albeit the cost of the newer system.

For gaming, that sort of system is already annoyingly over compensated. I think a dual core set up with a nice video card will do wonders with an 8gb RAM thrown in as well. But it will also work well for editing too, just slightly slower, but you'll have to wait during editing anyway while its being processed (especially if you're working with a big film you put together). Its probably better to just have a second PC or laptop for Redditing or what not while it does that job.

Lol but all in all I think you should just try to go with the lowest amount possible and add on from there. I'm a big car guy as well as cpu geek, and whenever I see new drivers at the track with nice newer sports cars, but can't drive for scrap because they haven't yet practiced enough behind the wheel, then that hunk of metal and 4 wheels does nothing for them until they get up to date with their experience. Same goes with CPU stuff. Just start slow and build up, chances are the stuff you want to get NOW that are new and top of the line will be much cheaper 6 months to a year from now, or at least during Thanksgiving's Black Friday sales coming up in a few months. Saving a few bucks is also a good habit anyway. Plus if you build a slower system and decide to build another one, a faster bigger one, then you can use your old one as a quick workstation to do remedial surfing while the other can be your gaming rig.

Hopefully that helps!

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Its too much when you find yourself in debt of great amount that will take a while to pay off from your own pocket for your own purpose.

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dude you dont need i7 just get a desktop with 8gb ram amd geforce and i5 processor

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Need? Nah... But I've always been one to spend a "little" extra when I build desktops or when I buy gaming laptops, so I don't have to worry about them becoming obsolete as fast. Especially when I buy laptops.

And building a desktop that has capabilities of handling newer technologies, means you can either add them later or even take advantage of them now, and save yourself for other things down the road.

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