Laptop-GAF and TechSupportGAF - Visit our friends here
120/144Hz LightBoost thread - For all your low frametime (High FPS) needs
2017 High-res PC screenshot thread - Post new and old bullshots and in game snaps here
Mechanical Keyboard Talk - Talk about buying expensive and loud clacky things here
Buy / Sell / Trade Thread - Buy! Sell! Trade! 2016 Thread.
This OP is a constant work in progress. If you have something to correct, add, or critique please PM me.
09/10/2017: Build updates with Soka
08/16/2017: **Change of ownership for thread soon.**
05/10/2017: Ryzen build added! Full information on Ryzen and Motherboard BIOS and RAM compatibility [Guru3D Thread] + [GAF Ryzen Thread]
03/14/2017: The Tech Report: Explaining Frametime vs Minimum FPS (again). A new way to go inside the second.
03/13/2017: 2017 New PC! Thread. Accessories update soon after build sheet. http://bit.ly/newpc2017
02/25/2017: AMD Ryzen (New CPUs!) Thread. Release 3/3/17!
12/19/2016: Update your nVidia drivers to 376.33 if you haven't for a security fix.
05/07/2016: Next gen GPUs: nVidia 1080/1070 Thread (May 27th start of launch), AMD - TBD
08/04/2012:: Two useful cooling articles: Case Fan Temps and Positioning - (Bit-Tech), 60 Fans Tested (Vortez)
If you want help with a build fill this out AND try making one of your own from the resources in the OP :)
Use PCPartPicker to find the best prices and have a nice list of parts (Check if items are in stock!). I highly recommend Amazon, Newegg, and NCIXUS in North America.
[Basic Desktop Questions]
- Your Current Specs: CPU / RAM / Motherboard / GPU (Graphics) / PSU (Power Supply) / Case / HDD (Hard Drive)
- Budget: Price Range + Country
- Main Use: Rate 1-5. 5 being Highest: Light Gaming, Gaming, Emulation (PS2/Wii/Wii U), Video Editing, Streaming games in HD, 3D/Model work (and what program), General Usage (Word, Web, 1080p playback).
- Monitor Resolution: What resolution will you be playing your games at? (1080p, 1440p, 4K (2160p) Are you going to upgrade later? Are you buying a new monitor?
- List SPECIFIC games or applications that you MUST be able to run well: Is 30FPS acceptable? 60? 144? How important is PhysX / SuperSampling / CUDA / GSYNC / FREESYNC to you?
- Looking to reuse any parts?: List make and model (e.g. Corsair 750TX, 640GB SATA HDD, Antec 900)
- When will you build?: Do you have a deadline? How long can you wait?
- Will you be overclocking?: Yes, No, Maybe (This means yes!)
Anandtech's 'Bench' CPU and GPU Benchmarks - A great resource. Helpful for getting a general idea of performance or comparing hardware.
Entry-level dual-core, $600
Entry-level quad-core, $800
Upper-mid tier, $1,200
Octa-core first-level, $1,550
Octa-core second-level, $1,700
AMD high-end gaming, $1,900
Intel high-end gaming, $2,000
The "f*** you money" AMD build, $2,700
The "f*** you money" Intel build, $2,650
$70 - NZXT H230 . . . . . $90 - Fractal Define S Silent . . . $130 - Fractal Define XL R2
$50 - Corsair 100R . . . . . $60 - CM N400 . . . . . . . . . . $65 - Corsair 200R
$70 - Phanteks P400 (PH-EC416P) $90/$100 - Phanteks Pro/Pro Adv . . $90 - Fractal Define S
$150 Corsair Air 540 . . . . $180 - Phanteks EVLOV ATX . . . . $240 - Phanteks Primo . . . . $400 - CaseLabs SM8
$40 - Silverstone PS08 $100 - Corsair Air 240 . $100 - Define Mini . . . . . $110 - Node 804
$70 - Silverstone RVZ02 $80 - Fractal Node 202 . . . . . $200 - NCASE M1
[HEADSETS]$75/$120 - Siberia 200/350 $250/300 - Sennheiser 350 SE / 363D - 363D are open ear, include virtual 7.1 DAC, and are USB.
[HEADPHONES]$45 - Superlux HD668B or HD681 EVO . $110 - ATH-AD700X (For positional) / ATH-M50x (For Bass) $150 - BD DT990 250 Ohm Pro $250 - AKG Q701
[MICS]$50 - Antlion ModMic 4.0 (Detachable magnetic clip on your headphones, great quality, recommended with mechanical keyboard if streaming) $3 - DX Clip-on mic (2-6 Week shipping)
[KEYBOARDS]Mechanical switches are referred to Cherry MX switches. MX Brown = Quiet tactile, MX Blue = loud tactile, MX Black = stiff linear, MX Red = soft linear. Cooler Master University.
$15 - Rosewill RIKB . . . . . . $15 - MS Keyboard 200 $50 - Corsair K30
$90 - CM Quickfire Stealth $90 - CM Quickfire XT . . $180 - CM Novatouch TKL
[PERFORMANCE MICE]Speed, accuracy, and sensor customization are valued here.
Spawn is an amazing value designed for claw and hybrid grips as it centers weight right under claw grip. If you absolutely love the MX518 shape, then the G400S is a good choice at $45, but is outperformed by the Rival and M45. The Corsair is a better fit for strict palm grip with large hands, and for those who prefer a heavier mouse. The Rival is lighter and is good with palm and hybrid grips and has great software. G502 is apparently the second coming of Gaben or something like that.
$35 - CM Storm Spawn $45 - Logitech G400S $60 - Corsair M45 $60 - SteelSeries Rival $80 - Logitech G502
[AMBIDEXTROUS AND MMO MICE]For those extra buttons over a very precise sensor.
The Recon has a great sensor and firmware for the price, as well as an ambi grip. The Sensei does as well, and has the best sensor here. The M95's side button layout is the best of the MMO oriented mice. G700s is the only wireless mouse listed here.
$35 - CM Storm Recon $60 - SS Sensei Raw $80 - Corsair M95 $90 - Logitech G700s
[PADS]For most people, any cheap cloth pad will be fine. These are some other options.
The Ripper XXL is massive, allowing a seamless mousing surface.The CM Storm Control RX is a thicker hybrid design with a lycra surface allowing for easier gliding movements, and is best suited for low CPI/DPI. The CM Storm Power RX is a large textured surface allowing for good control without destroying mouse feet. The Artisan Shiden is a glass coated cloth pad that defies the typical trade-off between textured and smooth surfaces, as it has great control and allows for smooth whips.
$20 - XTrac Ripper XXL $30 - CM Control-RX . . . . $35 - CM Power-RX . . $40-50 - Artisan Shiden L or XL
- What the hell does TN, VA, e-IPS, IPS, and PVA mean?
- What exactly is AA (Anti Aliasing) and how does it affect image quality?
- Scogoth lays out different display connectors. DVI, Dual Link DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort (DP), VGA
- NeoGAF Cheap/Korean 1440p monitor thread
- NeoGAF 120Hz/144Hz monitor thread
[BUDGET]$120 - ASUS VS229H-P
And any $100-$120 monitor that has decent reviews and is not an lesser brand. Try to check input lag on TFTcentral. Many of the higher monitors also go on steep discounts.
[STANDARD]$140 - ASUS VS238H-P $140 - ASUS VS239H-P
The 238H-P is a TN panel with less input lag. The 239H-P is an IPS panel with better colors.
[120Hz+ @ 1080p]$280 - BenQ XL2411Z . . . . $280 - ASUS VG248QE
The BenQ XL2411Z is a great TN high refresh rate monitor to buy, with a firmware based strobing effect that works with BlurBuster's Strobing Utility. Get the ASUS VG248QE for G-Sync compatibility, module not included.
[1440/4K]$750 - Acer XB271HU (Has QA issues, still best, stick with it until you get a good one)
Performance-PCs (Cases, Fans Acessories)
Micro Center (Parts and great IN STORE deals)
NCIX (Parts, Assembly, Price Match)
Canada Computers (Parts) - Eastern Regional
Memory Express (Parts, Assembly, Price Match) - Western Regional
Newegg.CA (Parts, Ships from US)
Overclockers UK (Parts)
Amazon UK (Parts)
Aria PC (Parts)
Ebuyer (Parts, Custom Built)
Dino PC (Custom Built)
YoYoTech (Custom Built)
PC Case Gear (Parts, Best Online Retailer)
Umart (Parts, Cheaper Shipping Outside Victoria)
Scorpion Technology (Parts)
staticICE (Product Finder)
The Tech Report
Jonnyguru + HardwareSecrets = Legit PSU reviews
Silent PC Review = The quiet side of computing
Ninite A batch downloader and installer for popular programs. A fantastic time saver for any new PC build.
Steam Mover tool for moving Steam games to a different HDD/SSD
Steam Tool Another tool for moving steam games.
MSI Afterburner (aka RivaTuner) allows you to manage GPU overclocking, fan speed/profiles and chart many aspects of your GPU.
CPU-Z - gathers information on your Motherboard, BIOS, CPU, FSB, VCORE voltage and memory timings.
GPU-Z gathers information (Speed, architecture, temps) on your video card and GPU.
Real Temp allows you to monitor the temperature of your CPU core(s).
HWInfo allows you to monitor fan speed, temperature, voltage, etc.
CrystalDiskMark Tests read and write speed of your hard drives.
nVidia Inspector allows you to optimize the display, improve the performance and fully utilize your NVIDIA graphics card.
Radeon Pro allows you to optimize the display, improve the performance and fully utilize your AMD graphics card.
Dxtory / nVidia driver options allows you to limit the frame rate on most games. Excellent for older games or just getting a locked framerate.
Fraps allows you to record real time video, take screen captures and display your FPS.
Open Broadcast Software a streaming and recording program for things like Twitch.TV A free and better competitor to XSplit.
OCCT allows you to stress test your CPU and GPU, along with GPU memory.
Prime95 allows you to stress test your CPU and RAM for stability.
FURMark allows you to stress test your video card.
Memtest86+ allows you to run a full memory scan to deal with the blue screen of death and system errors.