View Full Version : A new build, an upgrade and an HTPC

27-02-2014, 05:44 PM
Sorry for the mixed up subject title. I'll be as brief as possible.

Tried to play BF4 on the youngies 5 year old gaming PC - its a 2 core duo E8400, 8GB ram and a HD4900 series card. Installed well but just about melted everything when trying to play. Never heard it make noises like that before ! I'll use the guts of this machine as a trial HTPC...

Then installed BF4 on my gaming machine - A 2 year old, I5, 16GB ram and a GTX560TI . It runs well at about 49 FPS but the GPU useage is 98% for even low settings and the temp moves between 85 and 92c. The game is very playable and looks pretty good but the fan is going full pelt and sounds like a hovercraft so I reckon life expectancy of that card with BF4 isn't great.

So the questions to the experts or more expert than me :)

1. IF i swapped out the 560ti in my machine for a newer GFX card so that it handles BF4 and is reasonably future proofed for next couple of years, what card would you recommend. Given it's an I5 3.3Ghz I'm hoping that main board and processor are good enough for now.

2. What build would you go with for primarily gaming, watching movies and encoding using handbrake etc. I'll sort the monitor, keyboard, OS etc. Just the box with the costly stuff inside would be great. I don't particularly want to spend $1200 on a GFX card and would like to balance $$ versus value.

$$$ for 1 - Upto around $350/$400

$$$ for 2 - Upto $3000 but would be nicer at $2500 ish

Thanks for your thoughts.

27-02-2014, 06:11 PM
I really like the GTX 760 for gaming at 1080P it plays pretty much everything at ultra or high settings and decent frame rates and isn't all that pricey http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=19798
Then there's the new 750 ti, a step down in performance but uses only 60W so great for machines with smaller PSU's or poor cooling and very affordable http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=21400
some info on it and BF4 here http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/extremewindows/archive/2014/02/26/hands-on-nvidia-gtx-750-ti-graphics-card.aspx 36 fps at 1080P ultra setting (I'd probably step down to high).

As for a new build, I'd either go with a 770 or again the 760 - you won't notice the difference most of the time but the extra power will mean it lasts longer and can game at ultra on all the demanding titles.
If you are prepared to go for 2nd hand parts also consider a GTX 670 - near identical performance to a 760 but actually afraction faster in some games if you can get one at a good price.
Add to the build any Haswell i5, 8Gb of dual channel RAM or more, and add whatever other parts you want - sticking an SSD in won't make it game better but it's a great quality of life upgrade.
16Gb as per your existing machine is still overkill in gaming for now but that may change if you want to try and future proof it now. You should be able to stay under $2500 easy enough.

You'll see in my Sig I went for an i7 for my gaming rig, came from an i5 2500K and can't tell the difference in games. I did it mainly because I wanted to, not because there's any benefit for gaming going to an i7. Unless like me you just want the i7 because it's theoretically better I'd stick with an i5. I also have an i3 rig with a 650Ti boost that I should probably sell and to be honest it games as well as my main rig for most games and just needs slightly reduced settings for some of the more demanding ones.

Core 2 Duos make great media PCs - that's what mine is and even using integrated intel graphics it plays anything I throw at it, including Blu-ray disks and is still fast enough not to be frustrating compared to my faster machines.

Speedy Gonzales
27-02-2014, 07:02 PM
BF4 is (or was) full of bugs. I would wait until they fix them, before you play it. So its probably not the PC thats the prob, it's the game