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Thread: Help getting back into PC gaming

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    Help getting back into PC gaming

    I've been way from PC gaming for a good few years now, I've been playing consoles. I'm keen to get back into PC as the community is just so much better. However, the last good graphics card I new of was a GeForce 8800 GTX...

    I don't have the time or inclination to build my own any more, or to do tons of research into it really...

    I need to get my hands on a the full set up. So a PC, monitor, headset and keyboard and mouse. I reckon the budget is a max of £1500.

    It will be used for gaming. I tend to only play one or two games, but I'm play them for a long time. I'd expect to be playing Overwatch and BF1 for a long time to come. I doubt very much I'll be streaming to Twitch or anything like that.

    Space isn't an issue, so I'd like a good sized monitor.

    I'm not in the least interested in it being a blingy case, I don't need any lights or fancy stuff on the case.

    Could anyone suggest some good options please?

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    There's a lot of options these days, even with regards to monitors. What do you preference - highest refresh rate...144+ fps is possible, size....35" monitor is possible, resolution ...4k is available, colour reproduction......many monitors offer full sRGB coverage, some even offer close to 100% AdobeRGB coverage. Also the introduction of G-sync and Free-sync (so there's no image tearing when the FPS doesn't match the monitors refresh rate...it's variable refresh rate for the monitors basically)

    Playing first person shooters I would suggest you look at high 120 / 144FPS, 2560x1440 resolution, IPS if possible with G-sync (if you have nVidia graphics card) or Free-sync (if you choose an AMD graphics card).

    Assuming you go for an AMD graphics card (and with your budget I would wait until the new Vega GPU's are released in the next couple of months), then this monitor is probably worth your consideration:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/720853-acer-xf...csXBoCMgDw_wcB


    Having a quick look online, it seems buying yourself would save you a fair amount of cash / allow you to upgrade your components substantially - whichever way you want to look at at. So I'd still seriously consider doing it, it's dead easy these days with SSD's, modular power supplies and no 5.25" drive bays....and cases which are easy to work with. Probably looking at a couple of hours to throw it together, tops.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    some even offer close to 100% AdobeRGB coverage.
    The software support isn't there for wider colour spaces though, so you want to stick to sRGB.

    If you've got plenty of space then I'd also think twice about going for a High DPI monitor like 2560x1440@27" as you will need to have it closer to you to get the most out of it so you may end up with a lot of wasted space behind it. I'd look at the 2560x1080 21:9 screens at 34" or 35". AOC just announced the AG352QCX with an impressive 30-200hz Freesync range and other screens based on that 35" VA panel are also pretty tempting.

    Generally the mainstream system at the moment is an i5, RX 480 8GB, a 240GB+ SSD and an additional hard drive. Memory isn't generally an issue with 8GB being sufficient but 16GB is nice to have. That's about a £750-800 system.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Pick a resolution you want to game at and what games you want to play. £1500 will buy you quite a decent gaming PC. However,don't expect an 8800GTX level card as that is more like a £1000 alone at least.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    FYI The panel EndlessWaves mentioned is a TN panel, which to be honest I would probably avoid. Not sure I agree with such a low resolution on such a big display either....I stand by my opinion that 2560x1440 is the sweet spot for a high end gaming rig at the moment. That or the Ultrawide monitors that are 3440x1440....but they would be best paired with a minimum of the GTX1070 (£400) but better still a GTX1080 (£550) which might be a little out of your price bracket for the entire system.

    As a general rule you should be aiming for:

    £200 CPU
    £120 Motherboard
    £400 Graphics card
    £100 RAM
    £40 CPU Fan
    £400 Monitor
    £50 to 100 for decent mouse and keyboard
    £150 for SSD
    £60-80 Case
    £80 Windows license

    I picked up the 960Gb Sandisk Ultra II @ £150 for example....not the fastest, but I'd argue reliability and capacity are more important factors that outright speed these days, as all SSD are blazingly fast regardless


    Total = £1600 you can proably shave a few £££ of various elements to bring that to £1500.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Just re-read the OP. It said Overwatch and BF1. I would say a Core i7 6700 non-K and a RX470 4GB would be fine at 1080P. Maybe a RX480 8GB or GTX1060 6GB if they are looking at a higher resolution display.

    The RX470 can easily pass 60FPS in both games at 1080P. BF1 threads very well,so a Core i7 6700 is probably what I would go for.

    An RX480 plus a reasonable FreeSync display should do the trick IMHO and smooth out any instances of you dipping below 60FPS. It costs less than the GTX1060 and a GSync display.

    Edit!!

    One disadvantage of using a high resolution display is it really pumps up the cost of gaming - a qHD screen is double the pixels of say 1080P.

    I have a qHD screen,but generally play at 1080P and I am yet to be too bothered in any reduction in image quality TBH,as the scaling is not too bad on my monitor.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 13-11-2016 at 07:48 PM.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    This is what I would look at getting:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/755031
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/724964
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/746004
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/726224
    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/718677
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...A3P5ROKL5A1OLE
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...A3P5ROKL5A1OLE
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...A3P5ROKL5A1OLE
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...A3P5ROKL5A1OLE
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...A3P5ROKL5A1OLE

    That would be around £1200ish in total.

    You could go for a cheaper CPU but BF1 is so multi-threaded my ancient Xeon E3 1230 V2/Core i7 3770 is meant to be faster than a Core i5 6600K in the game(!).

    I would get this monitor:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/ViewSonic-X...ewSonic+XG2401

    Its only 1080P but gets decent reviews and uses a TN panel:

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/viewso...iew-33518.html

    Another cheaper alternative:

    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/aoc-g2...iew-33663.html

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/AOC-G2460PF...ds=AOC+G2460PF

    Now TN panels won't be as good as VA or IPS panels for image editing and viewing angles but if you want one with a decent range and FreeSync it will cost you more. You can some models with lesser ranges,for under £300.

    Now if you want to save around £80 on the build,an RX470 4GB should be fine at 1080P for the games listed.

    That will give you around £150 for a keyboard,mouse and speakers.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 13-11-2016 at 08:46 PM.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    I wouldn't want to be spending £1200-1500 and getting a RX480/RX470 and 1080p monitor for my money!

    Honestly I think you're off the mark here CAT, and I normally agree with your builds for lower budgets. But this guy has some serious cash to splash and I don't think you're suggestions are good value for money.

    For £1500 I'd want to see something akin to this:

    http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/dw9dxY

    I'm a little over budget and haven't budgeted for a mouse and keyboard, but I reckon £50-100 could be shaved off the price if needed. I've just tried to go for a no major compromises build.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    I wouldn't want to be spending £1200-1500 and getting a RX480/RX470 and 1080p monitor for my money!

    Honestly I think you're off the mark here CAT, and I normally agree with your builds for lower budgets. But this guy has some serious cash to splash and I don't think you're suggestions are good value for money.

    For £1500 I'd want to see something akin to this:

    http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/list/dw9dxY

    I'm a little over budget and haven't budgeted for a mouse and keyboard, but I reckon £50-100 could be shaved off the price if needed. I've just tried to go for a no major compromises build.
    You need to consider you have no HDD in that build list,so yours would be £1650 with the same HDD.

    Mine with the AOC monitor and an HDD comes to £1340. So its £300 cheaper overall. £150 extra will buy a GTX1070 and £150 extra will get that monitor you suggested.

    BF1 actually runs significantly better on Core i7 chips - people on forums have been testing it out and its just smoother on a Core i7 than a Core i5.

    Its why I have budget for such an expensive CPU in the first place - thats why the CPU,motherboard,cooler and RAM for your system with a Core i5 6600K is around the same price as my suggestion for a locked Core i7 6700.

    Even in simple FPS metrics my IB Core i7 3770/Xeon E3 1230 V2 is ahead of a Core i5 6600K(!).

    Plus a 480GB SSD,is not enough - even my 480GB jobbie needs to be space managed just after a few games(games are getting bigger and bigger),so having a HDD is still useful.

    The problem with a qHD screen is that it's 4MP to push - 1080P is 2MP. The problem is the GTX1070 is only 50% faster than a reference RX480 which throttles:

    https://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/RX_48..._1920_1080.png

    The problem is the aftermarket GTX1070 cards are not massively faster due to the lastest version of Nvidia Boost. The XFX I suggested seems to be the best RX480 out there and consistently runs at 1.34GHZ even when undervolted. It means it's faster than a reference RX480(even other aftermarket RX480 cards can throttle).

    Plus with an RX480 the OP can use FreeSync in those games listed. The RX470 can break past 60FPS easily on both games.

    With a monitor it leaves £160 for peripherals and I would rather get a decent pair of speakers,a decent mechanical keyboard and a decent mouse TBH.

    I also went for a better PSU,since the later builder series,ie,the later CX-M ones are not bad,but the EVGA Supernova is one of the best PSUs on the market:

    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...Story&reid=440

    Its built like a tank,and uses a non-sleeve bearing fan. A perfect 10 from JG is exceeding rare!!

    Edit!!


    Heck,this RX470 would probably be fine:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/755011-powerco...ZXOhoCKbXw_wcB

    An RX470 4GB will hit 60FPS in both games.

    The saves another £80 on the whole build.

    BF1 at 1080P on Ultra on a RX470.



    65FPS to 90FPS with a Core i7 6700K.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 13-11-2016 at 11:48 PM.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    OK,an RX470 can hit 55FPS to 60FPS in Overwatch at 1440P and that is with an old Core i5 2500K. The Core i7 6700 has 4 generations of IPC improvements.



    AFAIK,the game is capped at 60FPS.

    So basically the choice comes down to:
    1.)OP spends around £1260 without peripherals and gets a system which can easily maintain 60FPS at 1080P on Overwatch and BF1 and also can use FreeSync.
    2.)OP spends £400 without peripherals more to get to a GTX1070 and a qHD better monitor abut won't be able to use FreeSync.
    3.)The OP spends around £1340 without peripherals and gets an RX480 8GB with a 1080P FreeSync monitor in case they want to play a more taxing game.
    4.)Stick with the RX470 or RX480 and use the qHD FreeSync monitor,since the monitor can actually handle lower dips.

    Having said that,was looking on OcUK and some people are not happy with the Acer:

    https://forums.overclockers.co.uk/sh...php?p=30206106

    Having said that the AOC Hexus tested recently might be a TN monitor,but it really seems to get good reviews for gaming:

    http://hexus.net/tech/reviews/monito...-agon-ag271qx/
    http://www.kitguru.net/peripherals/j...onitor-review/
    http://www.pcpowerplay.com.au/review...display,433446

    Still a lot for a TN panel,but I suspect it is one of the 8 bit ones.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 14-11-2016 at 12:09 AM.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    FYI The panel EndlessWaves mentioned is a TN panel, which to be honest I would probably avoid. Not sure I agree with such a low resolution on such a big display either....I stand by my opinion that 2560x1440 is the sweet spot for a high end gaming rig at the moment.
    I'm not sure where you got the impression that it's TN. The first search result, which is also the official website, explicitly states it's an MVA panel.

    Although you really shouldn't be avoiding TN panels unless their particular quirks annoy you. The quality of the panel has a far bigger impact on the image than it's type.

    If you've got a big desk then you just end up squinting and learning forward if you buy a screen that's small for the resolution. It doesn't affect games like BF1 and Overwatch a lot, but for most things you definitely want to get the right DPI for your viewing distance.

    Of course 'lots of space' is vague, it could be a shallow but wide desk in which case a high DPI would work.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    AFAIK,the game is capped at 60FPS.
    That doesn't seem to be the case:
    http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Overwatch

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    I'm not sure where you got the impression that it's TN. The first search result, which is also the official website, explicitly states it's an MVA panel.

    Although you really shouldn't be avoiding TN panels unless their particular quirks annoy you. The quality of the panel has a far bigger impact on the image than it's type.

    If you've got a big desk then you just end up squinting and learning forward if you buy a screen that's small for the resolution. It doesn't affect games like BF1 and Overwatch a lot, but for most things you definitely want to get the right DPI for your viewing distance.

    Of course 'lots of space' is vague, it could be a shallow but wide desk in which case a high DPI would work.



    That doesn't seem to be the case:
    http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Overwatch
    Well last timed I checked in full screen mode it was 60FPS:

    http://us.battle.net/forums/en/overw...ic/20747694749

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    I'm not sure where you got the impression that it's TN. The first search result, which is also the official website, explicitly states it's an MVA panel.
    Apologises, I swear the Hexus article stated it was TN. Maybe the article was corrected after I read it?

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Quote Originally Posted by cptwhite_uk View Post
    Apologises, I swear the Hexus article stated it was TN. Maybe the article was corrected after I read it?
    Looking at some of the user reviews and feedback,the TN panels used in the qHD 27" FreeSync/Gsync ones are 8 bit panels and seem to be very good for gaming. Only issue is the viewing angles.

    There is a distinct lack of reviews for more of the non-TN FreeSync ones. Looking at OcUK,the Acer you suggested has some QC issues,but again that was around 6 to 12 months ago,so I don't know if they have been fixed.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    My two pence:
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£188.97 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: ASRock H170M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (£80.12 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: Kingston Savage 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2133 Memory (£42.02 @ More Computers)
    Storage: Intel 540s 1TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive (£256.24 @ Ebuyer)
    Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card (£394.98 @ Amazon UK)
    Case: Aerocool DS-Cube MicroATX Mini Tower Case (£60.13 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: be quiet! PURE POWER 9 400W 80+ Silver Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply (£51.80 @ More Computers)
    Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-14 DVD/CD Writer (£13.73 @ BT Shop)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit (£84.98 @ Novatech)
    Monitor: AOC Q2778VQE 27.0" 60Hz Monitor (£214.93 @ Amazon UK)
    Keyboard: Logitech K120 Wired Standard Keyboard (£22.49 @ Amazon UK)
    Mouse: ROCCAT Lua Wired Optical Mouse (£22.98 @ Ebuyer)
    Headphones: Corsair VOID 7.1 Channel Headset (£54.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Total: £1488.36
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-11-14 10:12 GMT+0000

    It gets tricky around peripherals, as they are very personal, and can be very expensive! So instead I've gone for what I consider reasonably quality products that aren't especially specialised.

    The Monitor is pretty damn big for a desktop, personally I find that size too big for shooters as you're having to look around the screen to see things, and I'd say 27" is the limit for 1080, so this monitor is a step up to 1440 - the cost of that is it's a cheaper TN panel which I personally don't like how the colour degrades and the tight viewing angles. It's also limited to 60Hz (as most LCD have been), shooters benefit from a higher frame-rate - but you'll need to drop the resolution to keep one at a sensible price. There maybe some gems out there, have a bit of a dig around and see what else people have said.

    Keyboard is a standard affair, it's not mechanical, and it doesn't glow in every colour of the rainbow. You can't go wrong with a Logitech keyboard, it'll do the job. The mouse on Scan comes with a free mouse-mat (yay), it's optical, which is the current trend (we've gone back from laser, apparently it wasn't that good) - and should be good for gaming.

    Headset, again, whatever you fancy. The 7.1 ones tend to be USB stereo affairs that have a built in amp and controller to simulate surround sound. 5.1 analogue ones have multiple speakers and produce actual surround sound. I can't really advise here, as I use speakers.

    Don't forget your Windows license.

    The hard-disk is a M.2. 1TB SSD card - that should be enough for plenty of games, you could drop down to 512 easily enough if you only play a few games at any one time and save yourself some cash and then add in a SATA SSD at a later date if you needed to expand.

    The case is small but stylish, with no bling, it's available in different colours if you do want to add some flare. It's a smaller "Micro ATX" case, but without hard-disks you could go smaller - although ITX tend to increase costs in cases and motherboards in my experience and as you say, you don't need to worry about space.

    The CPU is a "boxed" version, meaning it comes with a perfectly good cooler. You can get better coolers, but there simply no need.

    The lions-share of the cash goes into a graphics card. If you're playing games, this is where you want to load it.

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    Re: Help getting back into PC gaming

    Guys seriously - BF1 runs better on Core i7 chips. People on forums actually running the game have seen this. Like I said my Xeon E3 1230 V2/Core i7 3770 released in 2012 is slightly faster than a Core i5 6600K in the game,and that doesn't even include things like minimums and stutter.

    In its current state it really pushes CPUs and threads - even with the RX470 video,the game runs at 65FPS to 90FPS at 1080P,but you can see all 8 threads being pushed to nearly 60C with decent cooling.

    Its another BF3 where much lower clocked older quad cores outdid much higher clockspeed dual cores. It just eats up CPU processing power.

    If the OP is going to be playing it as their main game for a while,they really need to be aiming for a Core i7.

    Overwatch is much less intensive - this is why an RX470 will hit nearly 60FPS on a qHD monitor. Add FreeSync it means the game will run fine anyway.

    Any dips are most likely due to the CPU used - even D3 on my current CPU had low FPS dips during intensive fights.

    Even at qHD,an RX480 or GTX1060 should be able to hit 60FPS constant and if you have FreeSync or GSync it will even out any lower dips.



    As you can see the framerates are quite high, averaging over 60 FPS on both video cards. Remember, this is with the game at its highest possible in-game settings. We are running "Ultra" with TAA and HBAO.
    The reason I have not consider the GTX1060 is the GSync monitors are too expensive at this end of the market.

    The OP does not need to spend their entire budget for those two games. They can save a few £100 now.

    In a few years if they intend to play a more intensive set of games,there will be faster cards - a GTX2080 or Vega XYZ will be faster. They can sell their current card and get a bigger upgrade.

    The reason I have pushed 1080P is not because I like lower resolution monitors - I have a 1440P one for image editing reasons. But it does mean card updates will cost more if you do decide to play newer games.

    I could literally turn up the settings on a lot of newer games when I was still on my 1680X1050 monitor with a sub £200 card. At qHD,unless I am willing to spend at least £400 on a card every few years,I might as well just run games at 1080P anyway,which I do.

    The problem is a £400 card is not generally double the speed of a £200 one,and yet going from 1080P to 1440P doubles the number of pixesl you need to render.

    Plus if they are only playing BF1 and Overwatch now and cheaper card does fine,I would go for the cheaper card now. Yes,there might be a better game they fancy in 12 to 24 months time,but there is no guarantee a GTX1070 will be fast enough at that point.

    It might be enough - but perhaps the OP needs to clarify if there are any other games they want to play over the next 12 months in addition to BF1 and Overwatch.
    Last edited by CAT-THE-FIFTH; 14-11-2016 at 12:39 PM.

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