How do I know which parts are better than others?

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#1 Posted by Splatted (34 posts) -

Sorry for the stupid question but I'm trying to build my first computer and I feel pretty lost. I've looked at the requirements for the games I want to play and they all say " (specific model) or better, so I'm wondering how do I search for better parts short of reading through the specs of every available part ever made, and if I do need to read through the specs, where can I find out wtf it all means?

P.s. Part suggestions would also be very welcome. I haven't got a budget yet because that really depends on how much I manage/decide to save, but I want to start planning it now so I can decide on a budget, be ready when I have the money and possibly buy some parts early when special offers are available. This is partly a necessary upgrade and I really want to keep it as cheap as possible, so I think gameing wise I just want to make sure I have access to the types of games I can't play on a console without worrying too much about what graphical settings I need to resort to. (I do want them to run smoothly though). The games I know for sure I want are DOTA2, Path of Exile and Starcraft 2.

Thanks for any help.

#2 Edited by marcthpro (7926 posts) -

Benchmark and asking how to build a computer thread : First know what you have : to do so Run Software Like Dxdiag.exe from Window key + R (Hold Window then R)

for more information use GPU-Z & CPU-Z Gpu-Z is From techpower up : while cpu-Z is from CPU-ID : then detail what you got here. like is it Dual core ? if So Which. the amount of ram

It might be possible to upgrade ur current hardware at fair price such as HD7850 / R260X around 150$ bracket or GTX 760 around 250$ bracket if you are looking for lot of power per $ Black Friday will make some Sweet Deal

To upgrade video card if ur pc wasn't own build it suggest to change the Power Supply Anything around 550-600W and you are safe for the next decade Till the power supply Cease to Function

#3 Edited by RevanBITW (536 posts) -
#4 Posted by PredatorRules (7208 posts) -
#5 Edited by JigglyWiggly_ (23410 posts) -

www.reddit.com/r/buildapc

#6 Posted by kraken2109 (12964 posts) -

If you're comparing cards in the same series the number says it all. Also generally speaking the next series will offer the same performance (or better) at the next tier down, for example:

GTX 480 similar to 570 similar to 660 (in this case the performance is better at the lower tier each time - 660 is slightly better than 570 which is slightly better than 480)

GTX 580 similar to 670 similar to 760

#7 Edited by ZombieKiller7 (6234 posts) -

CPU is easy. You want an intel i5 (bigger numbers are better, depending on budget)

Video card naming conventions are a mess, with companies rebadging cards, it's hard to know exactly wtf you're buying.

Generally speaking, go on Newegg and look for vid cards with the "most reviews," chances are if a card has 300 reviews, it means like 3000 people bought it, which means it either has great reviews or it topped some price/performance benchmark on Tom's Hardware. Generally speaking the sweet spot for value is in the $100-$200 range.

You don't have to be a GPU expert, just make sure you can plug X into Y.

If the motherboard has a PCIE 3.0 slot (that's what you want) and the vid card is a PCIE 3.0 card, then it'll work.

Likewise the motherboard SOCKET has to match the CPU socket type.

Finally, the whole thing needs to be powered and housed.

ATX form factor motherboard goes into an ATX form factor case.

Power supply you want 550 watt minimum, good brands like Antec, Cooler Master, etc

When the products arive at your house READ (or at least skim) the manuals.

Use a light touch on everything, don't force anything, nothing needs to be manhandled, everything will fit together with almost no force.

Good luck

#8 Posted by Splatted (34 posts) -

Thanks for all the replies I feel much more confident about this now.

Benchmark and asking how to build a computer thread : First know what you have : to do so Run Software Like Dxdiag.exe from Window key + R (Hold Window then R)

It might be possible to upgrade ur current hardware at fair price such as HD7850 / R260X around 150$ bracket or GTX 760 around 250$ bracket if you are looking for lot of power per $ Black Friday will make some Sweet Deal

Good point, I don't think it will be practical but I really should have given this some more careful consideration. My computer's a Dell (which means less interchangeable parts?) and is almost a decade old, but here's what the diagnostic program said (not the program you recommended since I'm using lubuntu):

Processor - 2xPentium D 2.80GHz

Memory - 1023 MB

There's no mention of a graphics card so I guess it's built in to something else, but I'm surprised to see the processor seems to meet the minimum requirements. Is a 2.8 ghz processor from 8 years ago as good as a 2.8ghz processor made today?

CPU is easy. You want an intel i5 (bigger numbers are better, depending on budget)

I definitely want an i5, but does that really belong in a budget build? I was actually wondering if buying a more expensive cpu and a cheaper graphics card would be sensible if my goal is just to make sure games run well with the graphics on low? Otherwise the one PredatorRules linked to seems to make more sense since it's still comfortably above the requirements of the games I'm looking at.

#9 Edited by marcthpro (7926 posts) -

i5 doesn't really belong below a 700$ Build. the only solution would be a FX6300 + AM3 motherboard + A Strong Video card if you live in usa you can check if ur state have a micro-center and if it not 6 hour drive : they have best deal possible

if you are not near a micro-center : black friday is soon :and should have great bundle either a fry's electronic or newegg.com

: you should go with the FX6300 route if you can afford it : i3 is a dual core you need a Quad core for future game especially with next gen console that will optimize AMD Cpu enough to crush the I3 in all game that have it arsenal

here how to get started

http://pcpartpicker.com/

#10 Posted by kraken2109 (12964 posts) -

@Splatted: Sadly that dell isn't really worth saving. If the DVD drive or hard drive are SATA rather than IDE (ribbon cable) you could reuse them, but that's about it. I doubt a dell wuld have a power supply worth reusing, especially if it didn't have a high end graphics card included.

#11 Posted by nicecall (428 posts) -

I just try to find benchmarks on computer parts like cpus or video cards if im unsure how well they perform. Cause you never know and theres so many great sites out there that do this all the time and do a really professional job at it.

most of these sites benchmark games at different resolutions so just look at which resolution you play at and see the performance and if its good or not. i play at 2560x1440 so i look at benchmarks that test at that res.

#12 Posted by marcthpro (7926 posts) -
#13 Posted by ZombieKiller7 (6234 posts) -

@Splatted said:
@ZombieKiller7 said:

CPU is easy. You want an intel i5 (bigger numbers are better, depending on budget)

I definitely want an i5, but does that really belong in a budget build? I was actually wondering if buying a more expensive cpu and a cheaper graphics card would be sensible if my goal is just to make sure games run well with the graphics on low? Otherwise the one PredatorRules linked to seems to make more sense since it's still comfortably above the requirements of the games I'm looking at.

After my experience with an AMD cpu, I'll never buy another one for gaming.

I think they're perfect for office tasks but I'll just never use one willingly in gaming.

CPU, RAM and IO are things that can bottleneck a GPU very easily, your system is only as good as its weakest link

The trick is to have all these things in balance

So you don't have a $300 video card waiting on a ghetto cpu

If your GPU isn't good enough, you turn shit down to medium

If your CPU isn't good enough, the game is gonna chug no matter what you do

If your hard drive is slow, it's gonna take a minute and a half to load the next level

I'm old school, I think the cpu is the most important thing, and you uprgade everything else around that as budget allows.

#14 Posted by Splatted (34 posts) -

Thanks guys, I think I've chosen a CPU now (AMD 6300) but I'm wondering is there any point buying a graphics card that has DDR5 memory or will that be bottlenecked by the DDR3 in the CPU?

#15 Edited by kraken2109 (12964 posts) -

@Splatted: All modern graphics cards use GDDR5

#16 Edited by Splatted (34 posts) -

lol okay thanks.