LinkySystem Builders Guide: December R4500 - R9000
AMD's future hinges on Kaveri's success
This month's guide starts off on a rather sombre note, and the reason is because AMD has very few CPU and motherboard options for fans of high-performance gaming. There are no good socket AM3+ motherboards with all the modern bells and whistles at a cheap price, the FX family won't be seeing a Steamroller update next year, and Intel continues to dominate thanks to partnerships with motherboard manufacturers and constantly lowering their pricing of Haswell-based products.
In this week's episode of the buyer's guide there are no builds that have an AMD alternative. None. Where previously I could recommend a FX-6300 in the place of a Core i3 processor, today I can't because not only are they constantly out of stock, pricing has also jumped tremendously. Hell, a A10-6800K, which is meant to be priced closer to the Core i3 family, costs as much as a Core i5 processor.
Unless you're shopping for an APU, going with an AMD CPU today is a much less attractive option. Our market now is pretty much Intel-dominated. You can thank Dirk Meyer for putting us in this position and Rory Read for resigning us to it temporarily.
From here on out, AMD is banking everything on Kaveri. Socket FM2+ gives them a chance for a clean slate and the advances they're making with hUMA memory access, OpenCL acceleration and Mantle are all going to be needed if Kaveri is going to work. And if the plan comes together properly, neither Intel nor Nvidia stands a chance against the might of heterogeneous computing with GCN graphics cores.
But that means that several things are going to be neglected, starting now. Socket AM3+ is a dead end - don't buy into a new system with it unless you need the extra cores and can get a good motherboard at a decent price. AMD has no plans to give it more love and it won't be seeing an updated chipset either. There aren't even ITX motherboards supporting socket AM3+, which was a bandwagon that AMD completely failed to board.
Socket FM2 motherboards also won't be seeing any new products, so if you want an upgrade path, don't buy an FM2 motherboard. From here on it's FM2+ all the way and at least we can take comfort in the fact that the Trinity and Richland families do work on the new socket.
Graphics cards based on the old VLIW5/VLIW4 architecture are not going to be part of AMD's future. Mantle will not run on those architectures, they won't see much in the way of driver improvements and AMD has finally replaced the aging HD6670 with the HD7730 and the R7 240 in most markets.
My girlfriend is looking to buy a laptop between 3500 and 4500. She wants to use it for varsity projects/web browsing and probably casual gaming (the Plants vs Zombies kind)
Everything ive looked at so far has either been over budget to straight up rubbish
LinkySystem Builders Guide: December R11,000 to R16,000
We've arrived at the second episode of our System Builders Guide for this month and we're so, so close to either buying those presents that you've got on the list that you still need to purchase, or nearing the day when you can rip off the pretty foil that covers the gifts your loved ones are giving you. Either way, it's Ho-Ho-Ho time everywhere and the festive season craze has now gripped everyone. What better way to prepare than to show someone this list of extremely tempting computer hardware in the hope that they'll buy one of these things for you? Hit that button and start planning your convincing arguments!
Does anyone here have experience with Aerocool cases, in particular, the VS-92?
ASUS H81M-Plus // Gigabyte B85-HD3 // Gigabyte P35-D3
Which one would you recommend? Otherwise can someone recommend a good >R1200 motherboard for the following:
Intel Core i3 4330
Seagate Barracuda/WD 500GB HDD
**MSI R9 270X Gaming
The ** components will only be in there for a short time, as it will be paired with a i5-4670K,Z87 and 8GB later on, leaving the other components for a PC for my mom/brother.
Hi Guys I'm looking to build (or more likely have someone who's hands are not ham nor fingers butter build it) a decent mid to high level gaming rig later this but the last time I did a gaming Rig was back just before multicore processors came out so I've been out of the game for a while so I have some questions as to what to look out when it comes to components. It will mostly be used for playing PC exclusive genres such as RTS and Simulator games games or all the smaller indie games on steam but at the same time I want it to be comfortably capable of doing that for the next few years.
First off are there any rumblings of a big paradigm shift in terms of hardware. Like I said the last time I built a gaming rig a few months later the first of the dual core processors came out thus rending my rig obsolete rather quickly since it killed of most upgrading paths.
In terms of multiple cores would a higher clock speed on a lower number of cores be better than a lower clock speed on a higher number of cores ie: would an i-5 at 2.6 GHz be better than an i-7 at 1.8GHz.
How much RAM is acceptable these days because most builds I see go with 8GB. Is it worth while getting 8GB now and upgrading later or should I just get 16GB now. Also it it better to go with dual or Quad Channel RAM and what kind of a price difference would you be looking at since I'm assuming you would have to go up to a higher level mother board chip set etc.
I won't even bother discussing a graphics card now since by the time I build it there will already have been a ton of new stuff out.
I'll probably be doing this around half way through the year and I'll be having a look at the system builders guide in the NAG and online here when I have a better idea about my budget and what I want. These questions are more for my understanding and planning and so I can get a feel of how PC gaming has changed since I last cared about it.
Well depends on your budget really.
The core i7's are really an overpriced version of the i5's unless you are in to video editing and the likes in design etc. Normally an i5 is plenty good enough to last several years (a mate of mine is still rocking his first gen i5 without any sweats and currently we are on 4th gen).
At the moment 16gb ram is pretty overkill unless you are just looking to spend monies, 8gb should be fine and would need an upgrade probably in about 18 months to 2 years I reckon.
As far as clock speeds go it depends on the cache more really, AMD make cpu's that are clocking just under 4ghz which is up to 1 ghz higher than Intel yet the Intel perform better albeit are more expensive.
Dual Channel mobo's are good enough, quad channel, likewise with going i7 and 16gb memory is a lot more expensive.
Basically if you looking at gaming rigs the most important things to look at are in order of;
hdd's (solid states are a lot faster and more costly unless you go for a hybrid such as the new Seagate SSD hybrid 2tb for +- 1500)
optical drives and accessories
Graphics card requirements change frequently so drop as much as you can spare on that and then you should be good to go.
What do you guys think of this rig?
Corsair VS650, 650w (12v : 600w), EPS12V, ATX 12V V2.3, 24pin, with active-PFC, (PS-C650VS)
BitFenix Prodigy, Mini Tower, Red, with Top + Bottom FyberFlex carry handles, So (CH-BPR)
Intel Core i5-4570, 3.2GHz, LGA1150, Quad Core (with 4 threads), 22nm, 6MB L3 ca (BX80646I54570)
Corsair CML8GX3M1A1600C10, 8GB, Vengeance LP with Black low-profile heatsink, DD (ME-C8L16X10K)
Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB 3.5" SATA6G Internal Hard Drive - OEM
ASRock B85M-ITX B85 Series Intel B85 LGA1150 Mini-ITX Desktop MotherBoard
SAPPHIRE DUAL-X R9 270X 2GB GDDR5 OC Boost Desktop Graphics Card
Awesome rig, just make sure everything fits. The motherboard should be good, though some more experienced members couold comment more on it.
I wonder if any of you can help me. I am trying to source something very particular that would help my first custom case build to be thinner than usual. Here is a picture of what I am looking for:
This is a PCI express 16X riser card. This will allow me to insert a graphics card horizontally instead of vertically. I have only seen ones in a normal pci form factor and they are usually used in rack mount servers for backup network cards.
I want to design a case that is as thin as possible and will 'hang over the back of a monitor', with only the really bulky part being a really good PSU. I havent decided on a form factor for this case but I am leaning very heavily towards a mini-itx form IF using a riser card (like the one in the pic above) would allow me to have a good gfx card with a good cooling system, so obviously space will be very limited. I only want 1 sata hard discs (if I can get at least a 2 or 3tb hybrid) and no optical drives. But I also want performance to be top notch as I want this to be a steamos based pc.
Last edited by willbeonekenobi; 30-01-2014 at 09:29 PM. Reason: fixed link to pic
System Builders Guide: February R3500 to R9000
A little update since we last got together...
So, the bad news - the Rand is dipping with a very worrying linearity. Prices of everything in the country are increasing - bread, milk, eggs, bacon, my favourite German coffee, DDR3 memory, processors and motherboards are all more expensive this year - and there doesn't seem to be any signs of this letting up. As our economy slows down ever more and as retailers concentrate on the things that are really selling, like tablets and cheap laptops, the PC component industry will slow down along with it. Several components that translate well across the desktop and mobile markets, like SSDs and hard drives, are coming down in price so there is some relief there.
Its all got to do with our location, our government and how we're not producing anything that really makes us stand out on the world stage. We've slowed down the brain drain quite a bit, but we are still wasting trillions of Rands on things we don't need - E-tolls, expensive cars, fire pools and amphitheater-like holding walls - and exporting all of our raw minerals to countries outside our borders. Without a strong economy and a growing technology market many new shiny things won't reach us at all or, if we do get some of the nicer toys, they're all much more expensive.
Honestly, the fact that the ASUS VG248QE is almost double the price that people in the US and the EU pay is unbelievable. No-one in this country will be able to realistically afford a G-Sync monitor upgrade unless it's imported and SA Customs waivers your import fees because they're feeling fine and dandy on that particular day. At least the prices of the Radeon R9-290 and the 290X aren't being inflated because of Litecoin miners.
Exactly one year ago, a Core i7-3770 only chewed up R3000 out of your budget. Today, it's exactly R1000 more expensive and the K-series version is R500 more on top of that. That kind of increase is scary. For those of you who managed to snag a Playstation 4 back when the standard version was R6300, good for you. You dodged a costly price hike and a drought that will only see new PS4's hitting the shores in March or April.
Anyway, that's the doom and gloom out of the way for this month. We'll mope about this again in two month's time!
I'm looking at a future upgrade. Not too soon, but sometime this year. I know it's going to be crap with the Rand/Dollar/Euro/Pound and all that, but it has to be done. I'm still rocking an older LGA775 PC and I want to pass it on to my girlfriend (quad-core CPU, 4GB RAM, that sort of stuff).
So, what I have:
HDD's (1TB and and older 250GB)
Case (Antec Dark Fleet DF-30)
Display (Samsung 23" LED)
Mouse (Logitech G500)
Keyboard (Vantec something backlit cheapo)
PSU (Gigabyte ODIN 720)
GPU (Sapphire Radeon HD5870)
Cooler (Cooler Master Hyper 212+)
So I just need a new motherboard, CPU and RAM. What I'm worried about is the PSU. It's a strong one, but it's OLD. Like, I think it's going on to 6/7 years now. It's making a few funky noises when starting up (like there's a bit of dust in the fan), but it powers on and does not heat up even a little bit even under full machine load.
For RAM I'm thinking about something like Corsair Vengeance's 4GB chip and later on getting another one when budget allows.
CPU will be based on the value-for-money I can get. AMD/Intel? With AMD I'm a little clueless, but I was thinking an A10-6800K? Intel would be an i5, something along the lines of a 3470? Motherboards I'm fine with, as long as it's a proper ATX-sized one. I grew a hating for mATX thanks to the struggle of trying to stick cables everywhere.
Ideas? Hints? Tips? Apart from buying ASAP?
Don't know if any of you remember when I started posting here. My rig have come a long way since then. All I need now is a GPU and SSD.
Got an i5 3570K the other day. Big step up from the Celleron I had in.
I have gone from low budget to no budget.
I need to save up a bit first. Looking to a Gigabyte R9 270X OC Windforce