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Beef7

join:2012-05-16
027054
kudos:1

Will MoP require a more powerful machine to play it?

I've had the same machine for BC, Wrath, and Cata. And can run WoW fine... not max max settings, but good enough for my taste.

Will MoP require a stronger machine? will I need to upgrade my PC?

one of the big reasons I may be coming back to WoW, is that some of the new/next gen MMOs require me to buy a new machine to play them adequately. And dropping 1k is not an option right now



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

What are your specs? You hardly need to drop even close to $1k to get a machine that can max out WoW.

Odds are they may revamp the graphics engine yet again to take advantage of more powerful GPUs. This may result in you sliding a bit down the quality scale, unless they simply increase what ULTRA looks like.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.



Beef7

join:2012-05-16
027054
kudos:1

Core 2 Duo, Intel... 6 years old, with 2 gigs of ram, and 512mb GeForce something GPU

60fps... which i know isn't the best but, ok for me



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

What resolution / quality settings?

How big is your PSU?



Beef7

join:2012-05-16
027054
kudos:1

1620x1025 wide? not 100% sure... set on high I think, but I tweak ground clutter to VERY low, and shadows to very low

no clue what my power supply is



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

1680x1050 I am guessing. Should not be hard to max out at that resolution. Give me a second and I'll have a couple options for you.


bt

join:2009-02-26
canada
kudos:1
reply to Beef7

said by Beef7:

Will MoP require a stronger machine?

Probably.

said by Beef7:

will I need to upgrade my PC?

Maybe. Based on the specs you provided, you may need to lower some settings or accept a lower framerate, but you should still be able to play on what you've got.


Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to Beef7

CPU/Mobo Option 1: Intel
CPU: Core i5 2400 LGA 1155 Boxed Processor - $120 (pick-up in Microcenter only) [Ivy Bridge Intel Core i5 3450 3.1GHz is $40 more]
Mobo: ASRock Z77 Extreme4 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $135
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $47

Intel total:
Microcenter/Newegg: $302 ($342 for Ivy Bridge)
Newegg only: $372 ($382 for Ivy Bridge)

CPU/Mobo Option 2: AMD
CPU: AMD FX-4170 Zambezi 4.2GHz (4.3GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W Quad-Core - $140
Mobo: GIGABYTE GA-990XA-UD3 AM3+ AMD 990X SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard - $120
Ram: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) - $47

AMD total: $307

GPU Option 1: Nvidia
GTX 560ti 448 core: ASUS ENGTX560Ti448DC2/2DIS/1280MD5 GeForce GTX 560 Ti - 448 Cores (Fermi) 1280MB 320-bit GDDR5 - $235 (MIR)
GTX 560 (non-ti): EVGA 01G-P3-1460-KR GeForce GTX 560 (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit - $150 (MIR)

GPU Option 2: AMD
AMD 7000 series: XFX Core Edition FX-785A-ZNFC Radeon HD 7850 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $218 (MIR)
AMD 6000 series: XFX HD-687A-ZHFC Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 - $155

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

On the low side of things, you could go with the Intel i5-2400 and the GTX 560 for about $450 total, and it would be a screaming fast computer. I personally would opt for the 448 core or the 7850.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


cymraeg
Thread Killer
Premium
join:2011-06-07
Dodge, NE
reply to Beef7

mmo champ got a glimpse at a mists cover and it had the prelim specs for opt and i can move a bit specs and yes the reqs are going up. more so for the 64 bit client than anything, can't find it right now im at work but it is there if you look for it.
--
Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau!
I've lost the bleeps, I've lost the creeps and I've lost the sweeps.



Immer
Gentleman
Premium
join:2010-01-07
Evans, GA
kudos:8
reply to Krisnatharok

probably worth mentioning the cost of a new OS. Unless there's a way around this I'm not aware of.



puppy

join:2010-01-28
reply to Beef7

Hold off on upgrading until MOP comes out and try it. Maybe you can get away with just upgrading your video card and RAM to 4 gigs.



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to Immer

said by Immer:

probably worth mentioning the cost of a new OS. Unless there's a way around this I'm not aware of.

$40 upgrade to Win8? He hadn't said he wasn't on Win7, so I just assumed so, but you're right, he's probably on XP still...


Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA
reply to Beef7

There was a really good write up and break down of multiple computer systems on the WoW forums not to long ago that I would recommend reading if you can find it.

Edit:
found it
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/5592454629



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12

can you copy-pasta? You know how our firewall can be...



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Okie....it's gonna be a long one. But if you are bored, i guess it wont matter :P



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA
reply to Beef7

Kalganized
85 Blood Elf Paladin
Clockwork
7790 Edited by Kalganized on 7/3/12 8:27 PM (PDT)
-------------------------------------------------------
Last Updated: July 3rd - More B75 motherboards added
-------------------------------------------------------

=== NOTICE TO ASROCK Z68 EXTREME3 GEN3 / Z68M/USB / H61M/U3S3 OWNERS ===

Since I personally recommended these boards to many of the users telling that they can use Ivy Bridge CPUs later down the road, and should just use these boards with cheap Celerons and Pentiums until then, I believe it is my responsibility to tell you that the BIOS updates for these boards are out, which allows usage of Ivy Bridge CPUs.

Note that you also need to update other drivers as noted by the download page. Don't just update the BIOS. Namely, you need to update the BIOS, Intel ME, Video drivers, and AXTU drivers.

** ASRock H61M/U3S3

»www.asrock.com/mb/download.us.as···3&o=BIOS

** ASRock Z68M/USB

»www.asrock.com/mb/download.us.as···3&o=BIOS

** ASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3

»www.asrock.com/mb/download.asp?M···3&o=BIOS

There's a bunch of "Need new PC" "what should I upgrade" and other similar topics here again and again, so why not create a single go-to guide for it? So I finally got to what I should have long time ago.

The guide will keep it simple and to the point. I will give you the list of the best parts for the level of performance you need, then you choose which one will suit you the best for your budget.

You might wonder "Why not recommend X?". That is because they are not the best bang for the buck. For example, GeForce GTX 550 Ti. Absolutely terrible, overpriced graphics card that can only manage to match much cheaper Radeon HD 6770.

I recommend NewEgg for buying parts, but pcpartpicker.com website may help you find deals from other sites, such as TigerDirect, MicroCenter, us.ncix.com, Amazon, and few others. Also note that all prices are from NewEgg, and may fluctuate but not deviate too far from the price listed here. The prices here do NOT include rebates.

Once again, I strongly recommend you use price-comparison sites like pcpartpicker.com to find deals easier!

All the prices are based on the US dollars.

For actual instructions on building computers, check out YouTube / NewEgg for DIY guides. NewEgg in particular has really in-depth video guide on YouTube. You may still ask if you have a question stumping you though.

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

** Table of Contents **

1. CPU: This post.

2. CPU Cooler + Motherboard + RAM:
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#2

3. Graphics Card + Power Supply:
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#3

4. Hard Disk + SSD + DVD Burner + Case + OS:
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#4

5. Monitor + Keyboard/Mouse/Speaker:
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#5

6. Addendum:
* 1: ("When To Upgrade?" Advice)
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#6

* 2: (Recommended Builds for TL;DR Crowd)
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#7

* 3: (Recommended Gaming Laptops & Advice)
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic···454629#8

Bonus! Comprehensive Overclocking Guide by Mÿxxï of Korgath server:
»us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/3988300793

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

* CPU *

The brains of your computer. Many uninformed people will tell you "CPU doesn't matter, GPU owns!", or "You can totally game with Athlon 64s and Pentium 4s", or "MOAR COARS!", or "GIGAHERTZ!". The fact of the matter is, the CPU architecture is the primary drive behind how well the CPU will perform.

To that end, current best CPUs are all Intel's, as their Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge architecture-based CPUs perform the best for CPU-bound gaming.

Of course, latest is not always the greatest (See: Original Celeron, Pentium 4, Phenom, AMD FX), and at the same time, best is not always needed (See: Buying i7-3770k when you are a casual gamer). You should buy a CPU based on your needs.

You might note that AMD CPUs (Athlon II, Phenom II, AMD FX, AMD A-Series) are not mentioned in the list at all. That is because, currently, they lag behind Intel's CPUs in CPU-bound games/tasks like World of WarCraft. In case of AMD A-Series, they are designed more for the laptops, all-in-ones, and "set-it and forget-it setup" only, hence, they are not recommended for the desktops.

However, upcoming "Piledriver"-based AMD CPUs/APUs seem to have improved enough that if priced right, they may replace some of the budget CPU recommendations. And of course, you can bet they will be recommended for budget laptops.

Also note, Intel i7 CPUs are not mentioned here because there is no benefits to using one for gaming purposes (unless 1~5% more performance -- roughly 5 FPS more at absolute best case -- is a "noticeable benefit" for you... for $100+ more than the i5).

People who buy i7 CPU are the types of people that deal with more professional stuff that takes advantage of multiple threads offered by i7 -- such as CAD, professional Photoshop / movie production, and such. No, doing FRAPs and editing it does not count as professional stuff. Stick to i5 unless you know exactly what multiple threads mean for you and your job.

If you have to get an i7 CPU, i7-3770k if you will overclock, i7-3770 if you won't overclock for the Ivy Bridge. i7-2600k if you will overclock, i7-2600 if you won't for the Sandy Bridge. Note that i7-2700k is just i7-2600k with 100 MHz clock increase -- AKA, waste of money.

=== Should I buy Ivy Bridge CPU or Sandy Bridge CPU? ===

Initially, I recommended readers to buy one that fits their needs the best, but currently, the price gap between the i5-2500k and i5-3570k has lessened enough that there is no real need to buy i5-2500k, unless saving $10~20 means a lot to you.

Therefore, at this point, unless you are aiming for extreme overclocks, go get the i5-3570k, or other Ivy Bridge CPUs depending on your needs / availability.

Here is the recommended CPU lists reflecting it:

** Extreme Budget - Should only be bought if you must save every $ as humanely possible. Otherwise, I would recommend spending $25 more for the Pentium G630.

- Intel Celeron G530: $50

** Budget - Should be plenty enough for most people on budget. Sadly enough, in CPU-bound gaming, all current AMD CPU models compete with this $80 CPU.

- Intel Pentium G630: $75

** Good Enough - Most people should be happy with this level of performance. If you don't play CPU-bound games a lot, then don't go any further than this, and instead, invest more in a better graphics card.

- (Sandy Bridge) Intel i3-2120 @ $125
- (Ivy Bridge) Intel i3-3220 @ ~$135 (Estimated Arrival: Q3 2012)

** Best - This is the best gaming CPU. Going any further than this will not grant you any gaming performance benefits.

- (Sandy Bridge) Intel i5-2500k @ $220, $180 if you buy locally at MicroCenter
- (Ivy Bridge) Intel i5-3570K @ $240, $190 if you buy locally at MicroCenter

If you will not overclock, get the following CPUs instead of the ones above. While above CPUs are slightly faster, when run at stock clocks, there is unnoticeable performance difference between them.

- (Sandy Bridge) Intel i5-2300 @ $180
- (Ivy Bridge) Intel i5-3450 @ $200, $160 if you buy locally at MicroCenter

Note that only Intel CPUs with -k suffix can be overclocked safely (IE) i5-2500k). All other Intel CPUs listed here can't be overclocked safely.


Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Kalganized
85 Blood Elf Paladin
Clockwork
7790 Edited by Kalganized on 7/3/12 8:21 PM (PDT)
--------------------------------------------------------

* CPU Cooler *

Needed if you will overclock your CPU. Stock fans are bad at dealing with heat when overclocking. If you will not overclock, skip this part -- stock fans are good enough in that case.

I recommend CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or its EVO variant. It should cost somewhere around $30 at most. They are considered best bang for the buck -- not too expensive, but doesn't perform bad either.

If you want to go overkill, there is Noctua NH-D14, but it's a HUGE cooler, and definitely needs a lot of work / pre-planning. Oh, and it's very expensive. I wouldn't recommend this unless you absolutely must have the best air-cooling solution available at all costs.

There is also a closed-loop liquid cooling set for users that want to try out water cooling for their computer without going full water cooling setup. Examples include Antec Kuhler and Corsair Hydro series of coolers. Note that cheap Kuhler / Hydro coolers don't cool all that much better, if anything, worse than Hyper 212+ / EVO.

Therefore, if you were to get a closed-loop liquid cooling setup, I would recommend Corsair H80 (or its equivalent, price-wise) at least.

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

* Motherboard *

These motherboards are compatible with all CPUs listed above (Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge LGA 1155 CPUs).

You can go more expensive if you want. What you pay is what you get, but I don't really recommend it unless you NEED something specific these expensive motherboards offer you.

Z77 motherboards natively support Ivy Bridge CPUs from get-go. In addition, all Z77 motherboards also support existing Sandy Bridge CPUs. Z68 motherboards are supplanted by these, thus, no longer recommended.

B75 motherboards have arrived, as a budget / "business" Ivy Bridge motherboard. Great alternative budget board without sacrificing too much, although a lone H61 motherboard remains as a bottom of the barrel sort of a deal. This spot was supposed to be taken by H77 motherboards, but they are more expensive generally for no reason over B75.

If you live near a MicroCenter, buying an i5-2500k / i5-3570k along with a Z77 motherboard will give you a bonus $50 discount.

** Absolute Bottom of the Barrel - You don't want anything. Just the cheapest of the cheapest that can get you going. Don't expect anything here. If you are looking to save maximum amount of cash (and you don't care for absolutely everything, just want a computer), this will do for you.

The board supports Ivy Bridge CPUs right out of the gate. Does not require a BIOS update.

- ASRock H61M-DGS Micro ATX Motherboard @ $55

** Recommended Budget Motherboard - If you want budget board, but want to use USB 3 devices, or SSD, then this board will do for you. Best balanced in terms of features, expandability, and price. Only thing missing from here is the ability to overclock, and lack of SLi/CrossFireX support.

Some of the options:
- ASRock B75M Micro ATX Motherboard @ $65
- BIOSTAR B75MU3+ Micro ATX Motherboard @ $70
- GIGABYTE GA-B75M-D3V Micro ATX Motherboard @ $70

** Best Z77 Motherboard - Has the proper SLi/CrossFireX support (2x PCI-E 3.0 slots, 8x/8x upon SLi/CrossFireX), and are the cheapest upon the writing of this article. Can also overclock the unlocked Intel CPUs as well. All other currently cheaper Z77 motherboards only come with a single PCI-E 3.0 16x slot, and the other PCI-E 2.0 slot runs at 4x with SLi/CrossFireX, which makes it not suitable for a SLi/CrossFireX setup.

Some of the options (All these options fulfill above requirements):
- BIOSTAR TZ77XE3 ATX Motherboard @ $110
- MSI Z77MA-G45 Micro ATX Motherboard @ $120
- GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H ATX Motherboard @ $135
- ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX Motherboard @ $135

*** Best Tri-SLi/CrossFireX Z77 Motherboard - Get this if you are going to try tri-SLi/CrossFireX. This motherboard has three PCI-E 3.0 slots, running at 16x/8x/4x. 4x on PCI-E 3.0 is fine, as that equates to 8x on PCI-E 2.0 specification.

- MSI Z77A-GD65 ATX Motherboard @ $190

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

* RAM *

There is no specific RAM product recommendation to make, except:

- Average cost of RAM sets for 2 x 2GB is ~$28, 2 x 4GB is ~$47. RAM's price is primarily decided by the RAM's rated speed (DDR3-1600, 1866, etc), RAM kit amount (2x 4GB, 2x 8GB, etc), and finally, RAM's timing (9-9-9-21, 8-8-8-20, etc). Faster the RAM is, higher the RAM amount is, and smaller (or tighter) the RAM timing is, the more expensive they will be.

- For gaming, going beyond 8GB of RAM has zero benefits for you. For those on extreme budget, 4GB will also serve just fine. 8GB is just an icing on the cake.

- When buying, ensure that RAM operates at 1.5v for maximum stability. You can however, go for lower voltage ones, but they usually cost more.

- Some RAM sticks have tall heatsinks. These may interfere when you install a custom CPU cooler with a fan. Only one that comes to mind of this is the Corsair Vengeance RAM sticks.

- RAM without heat spreader/heatsinks work just fine. So don't shy from a naked one when you are putting together a budget build.

- For H61 motherboards, DDR3-1333 is the maximum speed it supports. However, buying a faster RAM will still work -- they will just be downclocked to DDR3-1333 speed.

- For B75 / Z68 / Z77 motherboards, although they usually support faster RAM, there is virtually zero benefits going beyond DDR3-1600 speed. Stick to DDR3-1600.

- What does 'dual', 'triple', and 'quad'-channels mean? That means you should buy RAM in sets of two, three, and four respectively to maximize your RAM performance. Sandy Bridge systems covered in this guide, all AMD systems support ONLY dual-channel, which means you want to buy in pairs, not single sticks -- IE) Do not buy 1 x 8GB stick. Buy 2 x 4GB sticks.



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Kalganized
85 Blood Elf Paladin
Clockwork
7790 Edited by Kalganized on 6/30/12 6:23 PM (PDT)
-------------------------------------------------------

* Graphics Card & Power Supply *

=== Important note before we begin ===

ALL the graphics card listed here REQUIRES a proper mid-tower case or above. If you have a slim case, you are severely limited in what graphics card you can get -- with best being a low-profile Radeon HD 6670. If you want to get a better graphics card than that, you need a new case and a new power supply at minimum.

I automatically assume you are playing at 1920x1080 monitor resolution, and WoW with maxed out settings (except shadows set to high, and no anti-aliasing).

If you are looking to overclock your graphics card, look for specific brand sub-types -- as you need a good cooling for them.

Some of these "overclock friendly" graphics card brands include:

- MSi TwinFrozr
- EVGA Classified
- HIS IceQ
- Sapphire Toxic
- ASUS DirectCU II
etc...

Graphics cards require a certain level of power supply wattage, so I recommended them here alongside the graphics card. The recommendation is actually more than what the card + system actually needs, but it gives you some headroom with overclocks or other components. You can probably get a ~50W lower power supplies and still be fine.

While I leave it up to you to buy the actual power supply, any power supplies you choose to buy must have 80 Plus Bronze certification. If the power supply you are looking at has no 80 Plus certification whatsoever, do not buy them. Even if your budget is small, never skimp out on a power supply quality. Bad ones will die faster, cause system issues, and ultimately, can destroy rest of your computer if it chooses to die.

The wattage I recommend you here automatically assume that you have a high-quality power supply, not crappy $30 500W DiabloTek piece of !@#$.

There are power supplies with higher level of 80 Plus certification, IE) Silver, Gold, Platinum. They are not necessary, and does add noticeable amount $ required to buy them. If power saving is absolutely paramount to you with regardless of up-front cost, by all means, go for them. Otherwise, don't.

When you choose a power supply, get one that will power the graphics card you plan to stay with, not for you are buying for now.

Recommended power supply brands include:

- Corsair (not including Builder series)
- Antec
- Seasonic
- PC Power and Cooling (Silencer MK III series only)
etc...

- Note on SLi/CrossFireX: For most gamers, this is not a necessary feature, and it's much better to get a better-performing single card rather than trying to set up two mid-range cards. While performance improvement is there, SLi/CrossFireX has lot of extra headaches that do not come with a single GPU setup.

Consider SLi/CrossFireX only and only if, you want to do a multi-monitor setup (3x monitors minimum). 2 monitor setups are exempt from requiring CrossFireX / SLi, as you will still keep games on a single monitor anyway.

Because of the above reasons, cards like Radeon HD 6990 / GeForce GTX 590 will not be mentioned.

** Cheapest Possible Without Killing Performance - This should only be bought if you want to save maximum $$$ without going too low on the performance totem pole. This card will be a little behind the Radeon HD 7750. The price may seem too close, but these cards come with rebates (Radeon HD 7750s currently do not for the most cases), which will drop the prices of these cards.

Just like the Radeon HD 7750, this card can run on virtually any power supply (except 200W) for HD 7750

** Budget - Good enough to run most games with high details. Due to a price drop, Radeon HD 7770 is now the budget recommended card. HD 7770 performs at around HD 6850 level (wins some, loses some), but requires significantly less powerful power supply.

Because Radeon HD 6870s can be had for close to $160 after rebates, it is strongly recommended that you buy the cheapest HD 7770s available.

- Radeon HD 7770 @ $130

Accompanying power supply wattage: 400W

** Best Perf/Price Card For Most Gamers - If you only play WoW, and other not-so-demanding games (such as Skyrim), stick to these. Don't go any further. Buck stops here.

- Radeon HD 6870 @ $170 ==OR== GeForce GTX 560 @ $170
- If a little more money can be spared: GeForce GTX 560 Ti @ $210

Accompanying power supply wattage: 500W, 700W for CrossFireX / SLi

** Wants More Power, but $300 is Too Much! - I've seen some people wanting bit more than what the above cards give, but don't want to spend $350 for the next step up. Then you should pick up a OC-friendly Radeon HD 7850s with 1 GHz core clock, or capable of getting to it. It's actually paramount that you get one that is known for high OCs with good cooling, as otherwise, these cards won't give you best bang for the buck.

You will have to do some research on your own to find one.

- Radeon HD 7850, OC-friendly (~1 GHz GPU Core Clock). @ $240

Accompanying power supply wattage: 500W, 700W for CrossFireX / SLi

Remember, GTX 570 / HD 6970 can OC too, but GCN architecture used in 7000 series give much more performance when overclocked.

** Between High-End and Mid-Range - The Radeon HD 7870 remains the great bang for the buck (with performance that matches GTX 580 with some OC), but price drops on the Radeon HD 7950 makes it a difficult choice, as the Radeon HD 7950s could be bought for about $40 more.

Consider that HD 7870 OC'd will make it match up to or slightly beat the HD 7950 / GTX 580, but when HD 7950 is OC'd, it will match up to or slightly beat the HD 7970 / GTX 680.

If you want the best performance without breaking $400 limit, consider a Radeon HD 7950, and if you want the cheapest possible but still want a yesteryear's $500 performance, consider a Radeon HD 7870.

- Radeon HD 7870 @ $320
- If a little more money can be spared: Radeon HD 7950 @ $360

Accompanying power supply wattage: 550W, 700W for CrossFireX / SLi

** High-End Best Bang for the Buck - While GTX 670 has been a great bang for the buck at $400 range, AMD's price drop of Radeon HD 7970 to mere $440 has made it a very alluring choice for the gamers. Reason being, the Radeon HD 7970 has a much higher overclocking headroom that can not only match GTX 680, it will beat the GTX 680 quite easily when overclocked. Drivers have matured quite a bit for the HD 7970 too.

To that end, if you are willing to overclock and tweak around with settings and voltages, I would actually recommend the Radeon HD 7970 over the GeForce GTX 670. If you don't want to screw around with the voltages or overclocking, then consider the GeForce GTX 670 instead.

- GeForce GTX 670 @ $400
- If a little more money can be spared: Radeon HD 7970 @ $440

Accompanying power supply wattage: 450W (550W for HD 7970), 650W (750W for HD 7970) for CrossFireX / SLi

** Absolute Best Single-GPU Graphics Card - Currently, the performance you gain from these cards over the ~$400 cards like GTX 670 and HD 7970 is not that great for the price premium you have to pay. You should only consider buying these only if you want the absolute top performance regardless of the price.

As for the GeForce GTX 680, OC'd versions of GTX 670s will be within 3% of the GTX 680 performance, some of them even beating stock GTX 680. Definitely not worth the $100 premium.

As for the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, while the card WILL match or beat the GTX 680 out of the box, it's not that different from a standard HD 7970 that is being sold for about $60 less. So it's probably a much better idea to buy a standard HD 7970 with an improved cooling system then OC it. That makes the GHz Edition not worth the extra $60 premium.

So if I were to recommend anything for "single-GPU, no money spared", I would recommend an overclock-friendly, custom cooler -standard- Radeon HD 7970.

- GeForce GTX 680 @ $500 ==OR== Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition @ $500

Accompanying power supply wattage: 550W, 750W for CrossFireX / SLi

** Overkill: SLi GTX 670. No questions asked. With good OC on the GTX 670, there's zero reason to spend ~$200+ more for 1~3% more performance increase (GTX 680 SLi / GTX 690), unless you must absolutely have every little bit of FPS gain as humanely possible.

The Radeon HD 7970 x2 is not recommended here due to a continued driver problem with CrossFireX, although it's improving.

- GeForce GTX 670 x2 @ $800~840
- If you MUST have the ABSOLUTE OVERKILL: GeForce GTX 690 @ $1000

Accompanying power supply wattage: 650W
#3
6/3/2012



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Kalganized
85 Blood Elf Paladin
Clockwork
7790 Edited by Kalganized on 7/2/12 6:26 PM (PDT)
-------------------------------------------------------

* Hard Disks, SSD, and DVD drive *

Many users will be just fine with a single 500GB or 1TB mechanical hard disk, but more and more users are putting in extra dough for the SSD today. SSD (Solid State Disk/Drive) is worth the money if you can spare it; it does significantly reduce time you spend waiting for things to load (especially when you boot the system!).

SSDs are however, still too small for many users to be used alone, so it is recommended that you pair it up with a 500GB (or higher) mechanical hard disk as a data drive. However, if you're a thrift user and don't use more than 100GB, for example, you could potentially use SSD as the sole drive in your system.

DVD burners should never cost more than $19. Any higher, you are getting ripped off.

It is notable that hard disks and DVD drives are often scrounged up from your old computer. It is recommended that you do so (unless if they are showing signs of dying), as it'll shave a good amount of $ total off your build -- leaving more money for you to either save, or to invest in a better part elsewhere.

To reuse them, they must be in a standard form factor, AND use SATA interface. If they use old IDE interface, they can't be reused.

** Here are the general tips on the hard disk:

- Average cost of 500GB drive is $70 ~ $80, 750GB drive is $70 ~ $90, and 1TB is $95 ~ $110. Higher capacities are available, and will accordingly cost more.

- Ensure that it runs at 7200 RPM, unless if it is being accompanied with a SSD as a data drive, then in which slower drives are OK (such as 5400 / 5900 RPM).

- More cache on the hard drive is good, but too much will cost too much. 500GB tends to come with 16MB, 1TB 32MB, and higher 64MB.

- SATA II / III distinction is worthless on a mechanical hard disk as they can't even come close to fully saturating SATA II interface anyway.

- Western Digital drives tend to be more expensive than the competition for no reason.

** Here are the general tips for the SSD:

- 120/128GB is the sweet spot of SSD you should buy. Smaller SSDs have performance penalty, while larger SSDs are almost 2x as expensive.

- Here are the recommended SSD brands:

** Budget SSD:

- Crucial m4 (Marvell-based)
- Mushkin Enhanced Chronos (Deluxe) (SandForce-based)

** Performance SSD:

- Intel 520 (SandForce-based)
- Corsair Performance Pro / OCZ Vertex 4 (Marvell-based)
- Samsung 830 (Custom)
- Plextor M3 Pro (Marvell-based)

- SSDs usually come with a Marvell or a SandForce controller. SandForce is known for their speed, but their second generation controllers had caught a lot of flack for being unstable / not working right. Marvell drives are known for being generally, reliable and still performing well enough. Some SSDs come with their own firmware/controller setup, IE) Samsung SSDs.

- Some of the SSD packages come with screws, a bracket, and a SATA cable (Intel 520). Some come with less accessories (Corsair Performance Pro), and some come with just the SSD (Crucial m4). Be mindful of this when you buy an SSD.

- Many cases have SSD brackets or places where SSD can be installed to. Some do not. If it does not, do not panic. Since SSD contains no moving parts, you can just lay it flat somewhere in the case and it will be OK. Just remember about the SSD when you move your PC. You could hold it in place using the duct tape or something.

** SSD optimization tips:

There are some extra work you have to do to ensure full performance on your SSD.

- Plug SSD SATA cable to a SATA III port on the motherboard. Plugging it to a SATA II port will gimp its performance (unless it's older generation SSDs).

- Enter the motherboard BIOS during boot, and ensure that SATA mode is set to AHCI (or RAID if you do RAID). Leaving it to IDE compatible will cause big performance penalty to SSD speed. Most modern motherboards today will have it at AHCI by default, but it doesn't hurt to double check.

- SSD firmware makes a rather big difference in maintaining speed and reliability of the drive. Because of this, before you proceed with installing Windows on the SSD, update the firmware on the SSD if there is one for yours. You should continue to update it whenever possible, especially if you use a SandForce-based SSD.

- Always do a fresh install of Windows 7 on the SSD. This is because Windows 7 does bunch of extra tasks specifically designed for the SSD during the installation only. Do not copy over your OS as it is to the SSD.

- Once installed, disable Windows Search, and drive indexing on the SSD. Also fix Windows swap file (virtual memory) to fixed size (1GB~2GB) on the SSD.

- Never run any "SSD optimizers" nor "SSD defragmentation software" of any kind. These are not necessary and in fact, will hurt your SSD.

- Leave Windows 7 and programs + specific games you want to see speed boost on the SSD. All "data" such as music, movie, pictures, and all other games, should be on the mechanical hard disk.

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

* Case *

Before we begin: NEVER buy a case that comes with a power supply. These power supplies are absolutely atrocious and you WILL regret it if you do buy them.

** Best recommended: This case has the best balance of features and price. Good airflow in the case, SSD bracket, decent looks, and price. I would not go any cheaper than this to be honest.

- CoolerMaster HAF 912 @ $60

If you want any other cases instead, that is your choice. I simply recommend HAF 912 as it strikes the best balance in features and price.

When shopping for a different case, I'd look for features like how well the air can flow in the case, ease of use, SSD bracket, and whether it can hold long graphics cards or not.

Here are some of other well-known case manufacturers:

- Antec
- NZXT
- CoolerMaster
- ThermalTake
- Silverstone
- AZZA
- Corsair
- Rosewill (budget)
- HEC (budget)
- Lian Li (pricey premium)
etc...

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

* OS *

If you do not own a copy of Windows 7 or Vista 64-bit, you should get a copy of Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit OEM. They cost $100 a pop.

If you do own it, feel free to re-use it. You may be asked to get a new key from Microsoft. Do not panic if that happens. Call Microsoft, explain that you just built a new computer, and get a key.

If you own a 32-bit version of 7 or Vista, don't worry. 32-bit key can be used for 64-bit version. You just have to... acquire the 64-bit version of OS somewhere. If you can't / won't, bite the bullet and buy the 64-bit version.

HP/Dell/etc. never gives you an actual OS disc; they simply "bundle" it onto the hard disk as a recovery partition. So you still have to buy a new copy -- not to mention the keys used by HP/Dell/etc. are specific to an OEM -- they will only activate on HP/Dell/etc. computers.

If you own a copy of XP, I strongly recommend you to upgrade to Windows 7. Many games today take advantage of DirectX 11 effects, and WoW is one of them. For most users, using DirectX 11 in WoW will improve performance as well as including some new fancy graphics effects.



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Kalganized
85 Blood Elf Paladin
Clockwork
7790 Edited by Kalganized on 6/5/12 12:04 AM (PDT)
--------------------------------------------------------

* Monitors *

Size is up to you. However, you should buy a monitor whose native resolution is at least 1920x1080. Also try to ensure response rate of below 5ms.

LED backlighting is optional. Some monitors will have backlighting leak out, but how bad that can be is totally RNG as each monitor is differently built.

ASUS monitors seem to be very popular for monitors. 24" ASUS monitors top out around ~$200, with smaller monitors costing less. If you want to go as cheap as possible for a monitor for whatever reason, you can find a full HD monitor with 5ms response rate for about $120.

IPS panels (such as Dell U2412M) are becoming more popular, but they are pricey. The advantage of an IPS monitor over typical LCD monitor (based on TN) is that color accuracy is much better on an IPS monitor than a TN monitor. The commonly stated disadvantage is that IPS monitors don't have response rate as good as that of a TN monitor -- especially if the IPS monitor is a true 8-bit color depth panel (professional models costing $500+).

The ~$300some IPS monitors such as Dell U2412M uses e-IPS technology, which is 6-bit + some trick, so it's not as accurate as true 8-bit color depth panels, but still way better than a typical TN monitor many people use. It also has decent enough response rate that you should generally not experience any ghosting.

Cheap IPS monitors are something you should not buy if possible -- with them, what you pay is what you really get.

If color reproduction is somehow important to you, look into an IPS monitor. If not, stick to a $200 or less monitors.

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

* Keyboard, Mouse, Speakers *

Up to you. Buy whatever fits your budget and needs.

Casual gamers should be fine with a $20 mouse and keyboard.

Gamers that do make use of extra function keys / buttons on the mouse can get them from usual shops.

However, it is important to note that these things don't improve your FPS nor make your system run faster. Never sacrifice main computer parts for a fancy keyboard, mouse, or speakers.

If you have some $ to spare, mechanical keyboards are considered the "ultimate" in gaming keyboard, such as Corsair's K60/90, and Razer's Black Widow keyboards.

As for the mouse, the usual Razer fare may work for you.

Here is the list of few "gaming" keyboard / mouse manufacturers:

- Microsoft (Sidewinder X4)
- Logitech
- Razer
- SteelSeries
- Saitek
- Tt eSports
- Corsair
Etc...

Speakers generally aren't bought since many users re-use their existing sets, or have a dedicated headset already, so it's not really worth mentioning.



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

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

* Addendum 1: When do I upgrade CPU / GPU? *

I realized I never really got into details on when you should upgrade. Here is a general guide when you should upgrade.

For CPU, if you have these CPUs, you do not have to upgrade yet. Otherwise, it's time for an upgrade -- you would replace CPU, RAM (if RAM is not DDR3. If DDR3, reuse), and motherboard:

* Intel:
- Second-and-half generation Intel Ivy Bridge i-series CPU, such as i5-3570k, i7-3770k
- Second-and-half generation Intel Ivy Bridge-based Pentiums / Celerons
- Second-generation Intel Sandy Bridge i-series CPU, such as i3-2120, i5-2500k, i7-2600k
- Second-generation Intel Sandy Bridge-based Pentiums / Celerons
- First-and-half generation Intel Westmere i-series CPU, such as i3-560, i5-680, i7-970
- First-generation Intel Nehalem i-series CPU, such as i5-760, i7-960

For the listed Pentiums and Celerons, if you feel that you want more CPU performance, upgrade to the same family i3 or i5 CPUs (no need to get a new motherboard/RAM). IE) Sandy Bridge Pentium G630 -> Sandy Bridge i3-2120. You can choose to go Ivy Bridge only if the motherboard supports it.

* AMD:
- First generation AMD FX "Bulldozer" CPU, such as FX-8150
- Phenom II CPU, such as Phenom II X4 955 BE, Phenom II X6 960T
- Athlon II CPU can work, but upgrading is recommended for this case.

Best upgrade for AMD CPU users is honestly at this point, going to an Intel build. This will change if upcoming Piledriver doesn't suck.

For GPU (graphics), if your graphics cards is equal or better than following, you're still good. Otherwise, it's time to upgrade your graphics (IF you want to), and also may require power supply upgrade:

* GeForce:
GeForce 500 models, of sub-model 550 Ti or above.
GeForce 400 models, of sub-model 450 or above.
GeForce 200 models, of GTX 280 or above.

* AMD:
Radeon 7000 models, of sub-model 7750 or above.
Radeon 6000 models, of sub-model 6770 or above.
Radeon 5000 models, of sub-model 5770 or above.
Radeon 4000 models, of sub-model 4870 or above.

=== Upgrade Checklist! ===

So your system doesn't meet the requirements above, and you want to upgrade (not get a whole new PC). So what do you need?

- Minimum required parts:

* CPU: Well, duh, right? Refer to the first post of this guide for which CPU to get.

* Graphics card: Since this assumes the above requirements, it's time to get a new one. Refer to the graphics card / power supply guide few posts above.

- Required for the most part:

* Motherboard: If you own an Intel CPU, then 100% guaranteed you will need a new motherboard. Intel is terrible with playing with new sockets every new generation.

However! If you are an AMD user -- and you are using AM2+ at least (Plain AM2 does not apply!), you can simply upgrade the CPU only (Athlon II / Phenom II only, provided BIOS supports it), but you will have to look through used shops finding old AM2+ compatible Phenom IIs. While you can do this, since AM2+ is likely using DDR2 RAM, it's recommended to just get a new Intel CPU + motherboard combination, unless money is very short.

AM3? You can potentially upgrade up to Piledriver / Steamroller CPUs (if motherboard provides necessary BIOS).

AM3+, you're home free for quite some time -- as they support current Athlon II, Phenom II, AMD FX (Bulldozer, Piledriver AND expected to also support Steamroller with BIOS update).

In conclusion: Intel sucks.

- Required sometimes:

* RAM: If your system uses DDR or DDR2 RAM, you NEED to buy a DDR3 RAM provided you are also replacing the motherboard.

* Power supply: If it's too old or weak, it's as good time as any, but if you aren't intending to get a new graphics card (or it has already been replaced with a quality power supply), what you have now may be fine for the time being.

* Case: If your case is propriety design from major companies, and won't fit standard power supplies or motherboards, you will need a new one.

- Generally not required:

* Sound card: You can either keep using what you own, or use the onboard sound.

* Hard drive: You can keep using this as long as it does not exhibit any problems, AND is SATA-based, standard form factor.

* DVD drive: Likewise as above.

- What about Windows? Wouldn't upgrading CPU+Motherboard screw it over?

If your copy of Windows is from HP, Dell, and other major shops who never give you the actual Windows DVD itself, then yes: Upgrading CPU+Motherboard has a very high chance of screwing you over. Because of this, if you own a HP, Dell, or major shop PC, back up all your crucial data, buy a copy of Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium, then do a fresh install.

Otherwise, proceed as normal.



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA
reply to Suniojii

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

* Addendum 2: TL;DR, Just Gimme a Good Build! *

Fine. But I put so much effort to the guide as whole! For you! You have to read it!... I'll make you read it... [Yandere eyes]

Oops! Ignore that! Anyway...

From any of these builds, customize or change things as you see fit, but do note that you need to add in price of OS / Monitor / Keyboard / Mouse / Speakers, if you need them.

You can take these as a guideline too (as well as the price), if you HAVE to get a pre-built system.

Note that while I use a specific CPU cooler / motherboard / power supply / case, you do not have to get the exact same product if you have something else on your mind. Just ensure that you get what fits your budget, and the required features (such as that power supply MUST be 80 Plus Bronze certified).

The estimated FPS for WoW listed here assume we are playing with following settings:
1920x1080 resolution
All ultra, except shadows set to high
DirectX 11 mode, WoW 64-bit client
Multisampling 1x, Anisotropic Filtering Trilinear
Playing in a 25-man raid / crowded cities. Anywhere else? Let's just say high enough FPS
These are all minimum expected FPS, but may fluctuate on various factors

Here you go:

** Build 0: Absolute MAXIMUM CHEAPEST Build

Note: Only take this if you REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY need to save as much money as possible NO MATTER WHAT. You sacrifice everything to get this build going.

CPU: Celeron G530
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS
RAM: Any 2 x 2GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1333, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6670 (It MUST mention that it is GDDR5 in the name/VRAM)
Power Supply: Seasonic SS-300ET 300W
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB or -smaller- if you are fine with it. Do not pay over $80 for this.
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: APEX PC-389-C Black Steel ATX Mid Tower

Estimated cost: ~$385
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~30

** Build 1: Tight Budget Build

CPU: Pentium G630
Motherboard: ASRock H61M-DGS / Or one of the B75 motherboards, if you want to use SSD
RAM: Any 2 x 2GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1333, 1.5v / DDR3-1600 if B75)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6770
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W, or other similar power supplies
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: HEC Blitz Black Steel Edition ATX Mid-Tower

Estimated cost: ~$495 ~ $515
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~35

** Build 2: Best build for good gaming without spending big $

CPU: i3-2120
Motherboard: Any of the recommended B75 motherboards
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 560
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W, or other similar power supplies
SSD: Optional, recommending 120/128GB budget SSDs
Hard Drive: Cheap 500GB
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: HAF 912

Estimated cost: ~$600
+SSD cost if you choose to add an SSD.
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~45+

** Build 3: Won't overclock. Give me a pretty good system just under 1k

Note: If you want the capacity to run SLi / CrossFireX, you will have to upgrade the motherboard to one of the recommended Z77 motherboards.

CPU: i5-2300, or i5-3450
Motherboard: Any of the recommended B75 motherboards, or Z77
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 560
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 500W, or other similar power supplies
SSD: Any of the 120/128GB performance-based SSDs
Hard Drive: 1TB, or above
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD burner
Case: HAF 912

Estimated cost: ~$902 ~ +++
Estimated FPS in WoW: ~50+

** Build 4: Yay overkill!

Note: This build assumes you will overclock the CPU. If you will not, replace CPU with i5-2300 / i5-3450, and don't buy the CPU cooler. Motherboard can be kept if you NEED SLi/CrossFireX. Otherwise, get the Biostar B75MU3+ motherboard mentioned above.

CPU: i5-2500k, or i5-3570k
CPU Cooler: CoolerMaster Hyper 212+, or EVO, or above if wanted
Motherboard: Any of the recommended Z77 motherboards
RAM: Any 2 x 4GB RAM while keeping my notes (DDR3-1600, 1.5v)
Graphics: GeForce GTX 670 / Radeon HD 7970 or above
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 600W or above if wanted
SSD: Any of the 120/128GB (or bigger) performance-based SSDs
Hard Drive: 1TB or above if wanted
DVD Drive: Cheap DVD Burner
Case: HAF 912 or above if wanted

Estimated cost: ~$1240 ~ +++
Estimated FPS: Do we really need to say this?



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Kalganized
85 Blood Elf Paladin
Clockwork
7790 Edited by Kalganized on 6/16/12 10:23 PM (PDT)
------------------------------------------------------

* Addendum 3: Finding Gaming Laptops That Can Handle KEKEKE ZERG RUSH ^_^ *

I see "get me a gaming laptop plz" topic frequently enough, but since you can't really "custom build" a laptop from ground up, it only gets a small addendum section to itself. Sad, I know.

A lot of people either buy laptops that can barely handle the intense gaming sessions, or buy ones that can't do it at all. My goal here is to ensure that whatever laptop you choose to buy, is going to be a good performer for the price you pay.

=== Caution! i5 and i7 on laptops are not the same as desktop counterpart!!! ===

As you know, I recommended way earlier that i7 has no benefits over i5. That only applies to the desktop scene. On laptops, following changes happen:

All i5 CPUs are all native dual cores, with virtual quad core operation through HyperTheading.

Most i7 CPUs are native quad cores, with virtual octa core operation through HyperThreading. Even then, SOME i7s are not a native quad core.

How do you differentiate which one is a native quad core or not? Look for the laptops with i7 CPUs with the following suffix: QM.

Example: i7-2630QM

** Users on budget less than $400 - Throw in $30 more and buy a laptop with an AMD A-Series APU in it, such as AMD A4 and A6. You can't really go below this. AMD A4 is the least I'd aim for.

Example: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···34215257

** Budget range up to $500 ~ $650 - You can buy an AMD A-Series laptop with a dedicated graphics cards at this level. May occasionally find Intel i3 / i5 CPUs with a GT 630M or HD 7670M at this price range, but you'll have to look for them.

Most laptops here come with DDR3-1066 RAM. Some come with DDR3-1333. You want to get ones with DDR3-1333 if possible. Pretty much most hard drives here will be 5200 RPM. This cannot be helped.

Do not get a laptop with 17" monitor or ones with higher resolution than 1366x768. Laptop GPUs at this level aren't meant to power a higher-resolution monitor.

Example: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···34246328

** Budget range up to $650 ~ $900 - You can buy an Intel i5 laptops with GeForce 540M / GeForce 630M here. Note that 550M is just a slightly faster clocked version of 540M, not worth paying more for it. Same with 555M found in Lenovos (gimped).

GT 640M / HD 7730M is the most powerful card you can possibly find at this level.
You may find some i7 quad-core CPUs at the upper echelons.

DDR3-1066 will be less common as you put in more money. Try to aim for DDR3-1333. You may find 7200 RPM hard drives here and there.

You can go with a laptop with a larger monitor / resolution here, but don't go for ones with 1920x1080 resolution. GPUs here can't cope with them.

Cheapest Example: »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···34246327
Example (by Boxerone): »www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a···34215254

** Budget range up to $1300 - It is notable that the laptops in between price of $650 ~ $950 does not really change in terms of graphics power. The next step up can be found in laptops costing more than $1000. Therefore, there's a gap between $650 and $1000.

Notably, these laptops at $1000~$1300 come with the following graphics cards:
GeForce 650M / 560M / 660M / 570M
Radeon 7770M / 7850M / 6950M / 7870M

i7 with a -QM suffix CPU is a must. RAM must be DDR3-1333 at this point, as with hard drives being 7200 RPM.

MSI-1761 and Sagers offer 1920x1080 resolution from get go. ASUS G74 models do not until you pay into more expensive versions.

Example 1 - MSI-1761/1762 / MSI-16F2/16F3 barebones builders like:
XoticPC
GenTechPC
RJTech
RK Computers

Example 2 - Clevo-based builders like:
Sager
Malibal

Example 3 - ASUS G74 / MSI GT series

- Note 1: Many ASUS G74 with SX suffix come with gimped 560M. Double check the bus width of the GPU before you buy (you can do that through GPU-Z)! Standard 560M has 192 bit bus width, while gimped ones have 128 bit. This is pretty big in terms of performance difference.

- Note 2: While most of GeForce 600 series are Kepler based, there are few that are just a rebadging of the old GeForce 500 series. Do not pay more for the following:

GeForce GTX 670M (rebadge of 570M)
GeForce GTX 675M (rebadge of 580M)

** Any higher? Overkill.

Example graphics cards you can get at this level:
GeForce 580M / 680M + SLi if possible
Radeon 6990M / 7950M / 7970M + XFire if possible

You could throw in a bigger monitor, some offer 18".
You could buy an SSD as well as an extra data hard disk.
You could upgrade to a fancy lighted keyboard, or stuff like that...



Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

Whew, that's it. Best review + explanations I have ever seen.



Immer
Gentleman
Premium
join:2010-01-07
Evans, GA
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Comcast

said by Suniojii:

Whew, that's it. Best review + explanations I have ever seen.

thank you. I really appreciate the time you took to share this.


Suniojii

join:2009-10-31
Lakeside, CA

said by Immer:

said by Suniojii:

Whew, that's it. Best review + explanations I have ever seen.

thank you. I really appreciate the time you took to share this.

No problem. I am a computer system novice, so maybe some resident experts could validate this? I hate to just take the write-up at face value.


Goldheart

join:2002-06-09
Ballston Spa, NY
kudos:1
reply to Immer

said by Immer:

probably worth mentioning the cost of a new OS. Unless there's a way around this I'm not aware of.

Microsoft is offering Windows 8 upgrades for $40 (download), $70 including media


Goldheart

join:2002-06-09
Ballston Spa, NY
kudos:1
reply to Beef7

Going by the beta test, yes, the graphics are a bit more demanding.

So you may have to turn off/lower graphics settings for MoP on your current system.



Krisnatharok
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2009-02-11
Earth Orbit
kudos:12
reply to Suniojii

Thanks. To the list of barbones laptop builders I would add iBuyPower. I got an i7 QM CPU, GTX 560M w/15" 1920x1080 display, 8GB 1333 ram, and a 120GB SSD for $1200--really a steal.
--
If we lose this freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment, those who had the most to lose, did the least to prevent its happening.


cymraeg
Thread Killer
Premium
join:2011-06-07
Dodge, NE
reply to Goldheart

is Win 8 less demanding than 7, as far as drive space and what not ?