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Whiplash

Seeking advice for gaming setup

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Disclaimer: I know we have (or had) quite a few such threads around here, but since it is always a rather specific request and things change over time, I figured a new thread might be suitable.

 

 

So, after years of gaming with a laptop, I am finally considering investing in a nice desktop setup. Ever since getting into ArmA and the occasional other games, I was limited to a laptop system. Granted, my current laptop is rather powerful and well suited for games, I am nonetheless sick of the crazy heat and the limited possibilities (lack of screen size, lack of cooling, lack of performance, ....).

 

As I never used a desktop within the last decade or so, I figured I might aswell ask you guys for some advice. I have no fixed budget yet. In fact, I would like to first determine the right components needed for a nice experience and then calculate and consider investing or saving more money.

 

I am basically seeking advice on any parts needed to build a system. Since ArmA would be the main focus of mine, I am looking for parts that would help me achieve good results in ArmA but also on other games, such as Squad or other recent games. It should be as future proof as reasonable possible.

 

After some first research I was looking at the following hardware parts:

  • CPU: i5 8600K --> Is a i7 worth it performance wise?
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 --> Too much or too weak?
  • 8GB Memory (3000 Mhz) --> Less faster memory of more slower ones?
  • 500GB SSD (maybe a 250GB will do)
  • HDD for files (possibly added later)
  • Motherboard?
  • Cooling?
  • Case/Tower?
  • Power Supply?
  • Anything else I need to consider?

I am considering a dual screen setup, but that is yet to be seen. I did start by getting a 24" monitor as I will start using it with my laptop until I made up my mind regarding the desktop setup. I will not go for 4k or other crazy stuff.

 

Is there anything I should keep in mind with the focus being ArmA? Will a system focused on ArmA have trouble running other, more "mainstream" games?

 

Building this myself is probably the last resort and only an option if I do not find a company that will build it for me for a reasonable price. I am willing to pay extra to avoid the struggle and time needed to do this myself.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks to anyone taking the time to help me out here!

 

Cheers,

Whiplash

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Currently running an 8600k and GTX 1060 (6GB) combo. Runs ArmA 3 great, though i do have 16GB of ram. CPU and SSD should both help with performance.

 

I manage with a 256GB SSD and everything else on a 1TB hard disk. Depends on how much you want to put on the SSD, but i have my OS, ArmA 3 + Mods, and Squad on there. You may consider starting with a 256GB and putting that money elsewhere.

 

I prefer my tower to be out of the way, so I use a microATX case and motherboard, which had limited choices since the 8600K was somewhat new when i upgraded, but there may be more choices at a lower price point now. In general im not very picky about motherboards, as long as there isnt any trend in the reviews indicating a problem, i go for the cheapest one that'll fit all my components. Have used ASRock for my past 2 builds with no issues.

 

As far as memory, i feel like 3000mhz is overkill? But others probably know more about this than i do. I used this https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313799 memory, which has dropped about $25 from when i bought it.

 

Keep in mind the K processors from Intel are unlocked, so if you have no intention of overclocking, you might consider bumping up to the i7 8700 for $70 more, or possibly down to the i5 8400 for about $20 less. I got a hell of a lot of use out of my last i5 K with overclocking (~6 years), so even if you don't plan on it now, overclocking will help you get more bang for your buck later on down the line. Also keep in mind that the K-models do not come with a cooler. Self-contained water coolers are reasonably priced now, and installation is pretty simple (albeit a bit more of a hassle compared to standard air cooled ones.) I use this one https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181030

 

As far as building vs buying already assembled... most will lean towards self built because of money saved. It isn't very intimidating as long as you take your time, but if money isn't a huge object I can understand wanting to buy pre-assembled. 

Edited by ThePieSpy

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My specs.

 

I7 4790

Gtx 1070 8bg G1 gaming.

16 GB ram

No SSD.

3tb hhd.

 

Now I'd also recommend and i7 and definitely Intel. The graphics card is a fantastic card. Running arma brilliantly no problems. 8 GB ram is enough for most games but personal preference if you want more. Alot of people have more than that. I have 16gb. Makes the difference honestly. I have no SSD at all and still have no problem but definitely get one. And hard drive well 3tb is alot but also a good amount for gaming with all the files and games downloaded. Maybe if you don't need that much then maybe and 1 - 2tb.

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My advice boils down to do you want to overclock any of your components or leave them as stock.

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What resolution do you intend on playing the game? A 1060 might be enough to eek it out with a 1080p monitor, but not a 1440p, and certainly not a 4K.

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Currently running an 8600k and GTX 1060 (6GB) combo. Runs ArmA 3 great, though i do have 16GB of ram. CPU and SSD should both help with performance.

[...]

Thanks for your extensive reply. As you seem to be running what I am considering I will just use your post to further dig into some of the points mentioned.

 

[...]

I manage with a 256GB SSD and everything else on a 1TB hard disk. Depends on how much you want to put on the SSD, but i have my OS, ArmA 3 + Mods, and Squad on there. You may consider starting with a 256GB and putting that money elsewhere.

[...]

May I ask, how much space do you occupy with only the OS, ArmA 3 + Mods and Squad? As I will primarily use the system for gaming (and use my current laptop for other purposes), that would match my current planning pretty accurately. I figured starting with a 256GB SSD might be wise. But is there enough free space left to allow making use of the SSD's potential? I recall that you should not fully use the whole capacity as it will impact the SSD's performance (or life time?). The plan would be to get a 2nd SSD later on for another, primary OS I will use for anything non gaming.

 

[...]

As far as memory, i feel like 3000mhz is overkill? But others probably know more about this than i do. I used this https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313799 memory, which has dropped about $25 from when i bought it.

[...]

Anyone able to make a educated guess on this? Would 3000mhz be beneficial or just wasted money? Still unsure if I should go for 8GB of fast memory or 16GB of normal ones. This is another item I will most likely upgrade after some time and start off with 8GB initially.

 

[...]

Keep in mind the K processors from Intel are unlocked, so if you have no intention of overclocking, you might consider bumping up to the i7 8700 for $70 more, or possibly down to the i5 8400 for about $20 less. I got a hell of a lot of use out of my last i5 K with overclocking (~6 years), so even if you don't plan on it now, overclocking will help you get more bang for your buck later on down the line. Also keep in mind that the K-models do not come with a cooler. Self-contained water coolers are reasonably priced now, and installation is pretty simple (albeit a bit more of a hassle compared to standard air cooled ones.) I use this one https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181030

[...]

Is there anything else one would have to take into consideration regarding unlocked processors? Guess I will go do some research on this now. I honestly have no clue what that even means and if I need to "actively" manipulate anything or not. Would this be a normal processor unless I actively overclock? If so, then I feel this might be a good call as I could use it normally for now and if I start to struggle running a game, then I could power up without the need to spend money again.

 

Cooling is something I would probably do by gut feeling. If I should end up with a configurator, I would trust the company to offer choices that make sense and fit the processor respectively.

 

I do aim at 1080p. Given the performance factor , I figured it'll do for me and seems to be more pragmatic.

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Not an expert on SSDs as far as performance vs storage used. Mine is pretty much occupied with the size of our modpack, though it could probably do with some spring cleaning.

 

I think there was some comparisons done when i bought my RAM as far as speed vs price using the 8th Gen Intel processors. The 2666mHz seemed to fall near the sweet spot of value. 

 

Basically the K processors allow you to increase the clock speed, or performance of your processor, through your motherboard's BIOS. There is a corresponding increase in heat and power, and potential damage to the CPU, not to mention I imagine it voids the warranty. Non-K processors feature a "turbo" that will  temporarily speed up the processor when needed, but its set to a maximum speed and the user can't modify it any higher. You should be able to google a guide that explains it much better than I can. A K processor will come with its advertised speed, and is not overclocked (unless otherwise stated, as may be the case with built-to-order computers)

 

For reference i also run 1080p, but I would make sure you get the 6GB version of the 1060. 

 

Tom's Hardware (https://www.tomshardware.com/) usually keeps pretty updated charts and lists on recommendations for the best components for the money at a given time, plus they usually include a spread of benchmarks so you can get an idea of what to expect.

Edited by ThePieSpy

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