Advice sought on building a PC that can compete with next gen consoles (PS4, X720) Page 2

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  • superdelphinus 13 Apr 2013 23:47:30 8,074 posts
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    Heh, I wonder how many pcs built in the last 6 months have an i5 3570k/ 670 mix. It's basically standard now
  • Widge Moderator 14 Apr 2013 00:34:54 13,672 posts
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    Didn't have enough for a 670... 660 OC was a stretch enough...

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  • Deleted user 14 April 2013 00:35:33
    Goodfella wrote:
    I'd put money on my very average PC (I built 2 years ago) still outperforming the next gen of consoles.
    http://www.nvidia.com/object/nvidia_research_pub_018.html


    If you get the chance, read the pdf document above that is the blueprint of next gen engines like UE4. Then put that info in context of the unified 8GB gddr5 memory (operating at 4times the memory bandwidth of the LGA2011 X79) and then factor in the benefits of a hybrid CPU/GPU that can work on data in situ rather than RAM to VRAM shuttling, and you might think that the answer to OP's question is to buy a good case, PSU, SSD, and buy the cheapest other components to use for 18months until we see what the new hybrid desktop CPU/GPUs and motherboards will look like.
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 00:35:44 6,521 posts
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    @Physically_Insane hurrah! Glad it's going ok!
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 00:38:55 6,521 posts
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    @vizzini true. But CPU's and GPU's are hardly likely to change to the extent that a 4ghz i5 combined with a very high spec graphics card (or two in sli) combined with 16gb ram won't be a very good gaming setup.

    Especially as people (I think including you) have talked about the lack of developments in new graphics architecture this year or so.

    Edited by RobTheBuilder at 00:39:35 14-04-2013
  • Deleted user 14 April 2013 00:53:56
    @RobTheBuilder

    I might have been wrong about the new graphics, based on the fact they aren't running these games on PS4 devkits.

    On next-gen engines the RAM (main memory) bottleneck combined with the added burden of data shuttling (2 or 4 requests) depending on the amount of gddr5 on the GPU will make any existing system a potentially poor system in relation to the OP's question, if its only any good at current engine games.

    I myself already have a Asus Sabertooth X79 system with overclocked Core i7-3820/SSD and 1 terabyte RAID1 and very much doubt it will be a good UE4 system regardless of the GPU I would be prepared to put in it.
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 01:00:23 6,521 posts
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    @vizzini but in order to make it scalable surely the engine will be designed around current and about to release technology. Otherwise it would useless for game creation to all but the highest spec machine.

    Maybe there will be some features that will be enhanced for higher gddr5 levels, but it should scale well enough that a high spec machine such at that one will cope just fine.
  • Deleted user 14 April 2013 01:11:11
    Yes it will be scalable as the beauty of voxels is that the levels can be reduce like mipmaps to save memory/bandwidth. The video that is at the pdf link shows the loss of definition being quite drastic and the initial definition not being great to begin with (except maybe the ball of wool) and these results were render on

    “The main tests were performed on an NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800
    with 4 GB of RAM installed in a PC with 2.5 GHz Q9300 Intel
    Core2 Quad CPU and 4 GB of RAM. The operating system was
    64-bit edition of Windows XP Professional. The public CUDA 2.1
    driver and compiler was used.
    Additional rendering tests were performed on NVIDIA GeForce
    GTX 285 with 1 GB of RAM installed in a PC with 2.66 GHz
    E6750 Intel Core2 Dual CPU and 2 GB of RAM. The operating
    system in this machine was 32-bit Windows Vista Enterprise.”

    So the modest difference in bandwidth between an X79 chipset with gtx680 and those test systems doesn't suggest current PCs are going to be great for the task at hand compared to the durango or especially the PS4.

    Edited by vizzini at 01:12:44 14-04-2013
  • Khanivor 14 Apr 2013 01:26:51 40,850 posts
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    Don't you mean raid5?
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 01:48:14 6,521 posts
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    @vizzini I'd say there's a fair bit of difference between the two, given that the PS4 is based on existing PC hardware the only real different areas are likely to be gddr5 levels and any unknown co-processors (unlikely)
  • Skirlasvoud 14 Apr 2013 01:50:43 233 posts
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    Whow! Never thought this thread would pick up the way it has. Thanks everyone.

    Especialy you, RobTheBuilder, for putting together that excellent list! The name musn't be a coincidence. I'll definitly refer to your build if I ever give up figuring it out myself.
    I also appreciate the discussions between RobtheBuilder, vizzini, Fake_Blood and bitch_tits_zero_nine. I'm not sure if I understood all of that, but I feel more knowledgable for it.
    From what I understand, the PS4 brings in some hardware combinations that cannot yet be matched, or predicted by reasonably priced PC hardware. It is however, the PC's ability to upgrade that might compensate.

    I definitly like the ability to add more components to the same rig as I see fit. Components that get cheaper as the years pass and performance gets tighter, no less.



    [quote=Bremenacht]
    @OP

    1/ Set yourself a budget.
    2/ The other stuff. I don't work that way as a consumer. I hoard my wealth for when I have a need and then go for the most cost effective option. Its how I've been surviving the most expensive country in Europe. My budget is exactly that: The most cost effective. If that's too expensive, I'll try to resist the need.



    [quote=mrpon]
    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-vs-the-ultimate-gaming-pc Yeah... I'm not tech savvy, but I realize that that's a joke. :-)



    [quote=webespresso]

    ...because you know, you could blow yourself up or electrocute yourself or something if you're a tech noob. [/Quote]

    Hahaha! Don't worry. I know how to unplug a machine, what a person'ts static electricity does to ungrounded hardware, and how to stick part A into slot B. I'm just a layman about the hardware itself.



    [quote=X201]
    Buy a copy of PC Gamer and make one of their test rigs that suits your budget. Coolbeans! That's the April issue then? Thanks for the tip.

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 01:51:32 14-04-2013

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 01:53:36 14-04-2013
  • Bremenacht 14 Apr 2013 02:04:39 18,458 posts
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    vizzini wrote:
    Yes it will be scalable as the beauty of voxels is that the levels can be reduce like mipmaps to save memory/bandwidth. The video that is at the pdf link shows the loss of definition being quite drastic and the initial definition not being great to begin with (except maybe the ball of wool) and these results were render on

    “The main tests were performed on an NVIDIA Quadro FX 5800
    with 4 GB of RAM installed in a PC with 2.5 GHz Q9300 Intel
    Core2 Quad CPU and 4 GB of RAM. The operating system was
    64-bit edition of Windows XP Professional. The public CUDA 2.1
    driver and compiler was used.
    Additional rendering tests were performed on NVIDIA GeForce
    GTX 285 with 1 GB of RAM installed in a PC with 2.66 GHz
    E6750 Intel Core2 Dual CPU and 2 GB of RAM. The operating
    system in this machine was 32-bit Windows Vista Enterprise.”

    So the modest difference in bandwidth between an X79 chipset with gtx680 and those test systems doesn't suggest current PCs are going to be great for the task at hand compared to the durango or especially the PS4.
    Aha. Yes. Very interesting.
    I'd not thought about voxels in that way before.
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 02:09:39 6,521 posts
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    @Skirlasvoud These threads always go haywire!

    I don't think in reality there is much the PS4 will do that cannot be achieved by a good PC now. The hardware is based on existing PC tech, so barring the extra fast memory it can't be that much different.

    CPU's are less important in gaming now, so a high spec one like the 4ghz i5 suggested will be more than fine for a long time.

    A 670 graphics card is very powerful, and will easily scale in sli to provide a graphics jump. Or you could replace the 670 with another brand new card if you so wished in a few years.

    I think regardless of price, that rough setup is the absolute optimum balance of power for cost right now.
  • Sharzam 14 Apr 2013 15:54:15 2,939 posts
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    I say build a PC for a modest £400 and see how things look in a year when we are actually into the next gen. Its difficult now to way what is needed as depends alot on the games coming out in 2014 and beyond.

    The brilliance of the PC is that its a open system that your free to tinker with and change parts around, need more memory not a problem maybe a few more frames chuck in another GPU. Also no matter what you build now there will be better stuff out next year and if you dont want/need that power right now then dont worry. Personally i have 2 570s in SLI not because i need them but because i like to run at high fps as possible (in budget) and might upgrade when 7xx appears.

    One thing thourgh i will say, buy the best Motherboard and PSU you can. All future upgrades will tie into them.

    Edited by Sharzam at 16:02:54 14-04-2013

    Known as 'Sharzam' in 98.5% of games

  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 15:58:36 6,521 posts
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    @Sharzam But why pay £400 for an ok system and then £600-800 again in two years when he could spend under £900 and have a system that will last easily four or five years (more if he bolts on another 670)

    Edited by RobTheBuilder at 15:58:51 14-04-2013
  • Sharzam 14 Apr 2013 16:01:39 2,939 posts
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    Thats a fair point. All based on personal view of money i guess. I think though that as the marker is always moving just get what need in the here and now.

    I used to be one of those people that would always buy the £400 on day of launch, but at a point along the way i realized just no need. For example i had 570 for over a year and then at start of this year wanted a bit more power so put in second 570 for £80 off ebay. SLI isnt ideal so i am leaning toward 770 if it is good value for money.

    Known as 'Sharzam' in 98.5% of games

  • skuzzbag 14 Apr 2013 16:32:23 5,648 posts
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    RobTheBuilder wrote:
    @bitch_tits_zero_nine true, but an i5 clocked at 4ghz should be pretty good for at least 3/4 years given that CPU's are less important in PC gaming than graphics spec now.
    This. Most of my games are hardly worrying my i5 2500.
  • skuzzbag 14 Apr 2013 16:32:24 5,648 posts
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    RobTheBuilder wrote:
    @bitch_tits_zero_nine true, but an i5 clocked at 4ghz should be pretty good for at least 3/4 years given that CPU's are less important in PC gaming than graphics spec now.
    This. Most of my games are hardly worrying my i5 2500.
  • Skirlasvoud 14 Apr 2013 17:15:10 233 posts
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    I've done some research of my own into Rob's list after getting genuinly interested. Especially the i5.

    I'm guessing that the intel processors are still king of the high end, while AMD is about mass production.


    Tom's Hardware says this though:


    The Core i5-3570K's base clock rate is only 300 MHz faster than the Core i5-3350P's. However, the K-series' unlocked ratio multiplier is a must-have for overclockers looking to unleash significant performance improvements. It is for this reason alone that you'll want to consider shelling out an additional $40 beyond Intel's more entry-level Core i5. After all, the pricier chip's HD Graphics 4000 engine is inconsequential to us.
    If you don't plan to overclock, then there's little reason to spend any more than $180 on the Core i5-3350P.

    Does Rob expect me to overclock? I've never done that before... I wonder if there's an "how-to" guide, specifically for the i5-3570 and this motherboard combination.
    Though I wouldn't be suprised he has selected me a case and power unit specifically for handling the overclock's higher wattage and heat production.

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 17:15:56 14-04-2013
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 17:31:26 6,521 posts
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    @Skirlasvoud overclocking that processor to 4ghz is quite simple an widely detailed in how to advice forums. Alternatively you could buy a pre over clocked chip and board from somewhere like scan for very little extra.
  • Widge Moderator 14 Apr 2013 17:41:58 13,672 posts
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    Is taking it up to 4ghz giving it much of an advantage?

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  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 18:06:02 6,521 posts
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    @Widge given it's supposed to be very easy to do it seems worth the £30 extra if he wants to have a high spec machine.
  • Widge Moderator 14 Apr 2013 18:46:30 13,672 posts
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    Oh yeah, I mean I have that CPU, but jus curious as to the actual real world gaming gain of doing so.

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  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 18:48:57 6,521 posts
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    @Widge probably not a huge amount, but for £30 it seems well worth it!
  • Maturin 14 Apr 2013 18:57:02 3,031 posts
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    I haven't seen a huge boost in FPS by overclocking my i5. But that's not to say it's the same for everyone. I expect that in a year or two when I upgrade the graphics card it will then be worth overclocking to match the system to the faster card.

    I built my current PC in November for under £700. It includes an SSD for Windows, a hard drive for data, an i5 3570K, 16GB 1600Mhz RAM, and an MSI Power Edition 660ti (which is not far off a 670). Very happy with the system - mostly 1080p60 gaming with max visual settings (apart from AA). It's only when I crank AA that I see frames usually drop below 60, but given my wonky eyesight I tend to be fine with lower settings on AA. :)

    This will do me for quite a while. With a graphics card upgrade mid-life.

    Edited by Maturin at 18:57:35 14-04-2013
  • Deleted user 14 April 2013 19:41:55
    RobTheBuilder wrote:
    @Sharzam But why pay £400 for an ok system and then £600-800 again in two years when he could spend under £900 and have a system that will last easily four or five years (more if he bolts on another 670)
    So you didn't understand the document I posted about the underlying voxel engine technology of next-gen engines judging by that comment?

    The DF article on the frontpage shows a system with nearly 16Teraflops of polygon/fillrate performance and yet struggles to produce an image that an efficient voxel hardware system with just 4teraflops would better in visuals and framerate.

    Looking at the quite recent(late last year) information about Xeon Phi co-processor boards from Intel, it looks like Titan-esq cards might be a thing of the past in PCs if voxel engines become the normal, and they do consumer boards that are more like the PS4 setup.


    http://www.drdobbs.com/parallel/intels-50-core-xeon-phi-the-new-era-of-i/240105810

    http://www.intel.co.uk/content/www/uk/en/processors/xeon/xeon-phi-architecture-for-discovery-video.html
  • RobTheBuilder 14 Apr 2013 20:59:39 6,521 posts
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    @vizzini so explain (briefly) how the ps4 architecture, which is based on existing PC tech will be affected by this. If its the same essential setup it will be similar at voxel performance and the PC specified will match it or more so.

    Besides which, even if voxels and an appropriate architecture DO become standard, it will take at least 4-5 for the setups to become commonplace and mass market. The existing systems will still provide a great performance for a long time.
  • Skirlasvoud 14 Apr 2013 21:05:56 233 posts
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    @vizzini


    Well I certainly can't claim to be knowledge enough to understand that article, but I do know quite certain that the Xbox720/PS4 won't be using it and that therefore, the lion's share of games in the next 4-6 years won't be using it either... I hope. And even if, I'm willing to gamble that games have seen enough diminishing returns on developing costs, not to tap fully into the potential of supercomputers just yet.

    And that's basically all I want; a good gaming computer.



    I'll expect that the technology might pop up in the life science labs I'm working with soon enough if they become affordable, but are voxel systems really something I should be concerned with as a gamer in 2013?

    Edited by Skirlasvoud at 21:07:03 14-04-2013
  • richardiox 14 Apr 2013 21:07:26 5,611 posts
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    So Viz has now swung to being a PS4 fanboy after utterly denouncing it last month?

    Also, I don't understand why he always crawls into threads about gaming PCs when he's previously stated 'I gave up on PC gaming after Half Life 2 came out'.

    Theoretical Voxels and ray tracing bulls hit as always, not at all grounded in the reality of gaming in the present or over the next 5 years. Fuck that guy.

    Edited by richardiox at 21:09:34 14-04-2013
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