In addition to the Gaming PC Build April 2013, I also recently did a build for a friend of mine that needed a new PC for video editing. He has been getting by editing on his laptop, but wanted something much more powerful. With this new PC he should be able to tackle projects of pretty much any size and turn work around faster.
So what do you do when you are in need of a serious media PC? You go get yourself a Core i7-3930k of course. The 3930k is a beast of a six core processor with Hyper Threading, giving you a nice total of 12 threads to chew through video encoding tasks. The 3930k doesn’t come cheap though, and neither do the LGA 2011 socket motherboards that you are forced to get as well. However we decided that we should either do it right or not do it at all, and went all in.
Of course with nearly half of our budget spent on the motherboard and processor alone, we had to cut back on a few of the other components to still meet our budget. So instead of loading up on tons of RAM from the beginning, we went with a workable 16GB of 2x8GB DIMMS with the option to upgrade later on. The ASUS P9X79 LE has the ability to expand up to 64GB later on should he decide he needs it. Aside from the motherboard and RAM, the next biggest cost was going to be all of the storage. We went with an Intel 240GB SSD because we wanted the reliability of the Intel’s higher quality NAND to handle the heavy workloads he will be throwing at it. We also got two 3TB Seagate drives to use as storage. I am not a particularly big fan of Seagate, however the price of their 3TB drives cannot be beat. Plus, Western Digital doesn’t yet offer Blue drives in large capacities, and their Black drives are too expensive for this build. Six terabytes of storage might sound like a lot, but he will actually probably need to upgrade that down the line. The P9X79 has enough SATA ports for him to add additional drives down the road. The rest of the build was pretty standard.
Then we went ahead and thew in a Geforce GTX660 TI. This is the card I have been going to for a while. It has an excellent price to performance ratio, and supports some cool Nvidia only features such as PhysX and 3D Vision surround. With this card the PC is not just a great media rig, but can also kick some serious gaming ass. You can see the full specs below:
Back in April I helped one of my friends build a new gaming PC. His PC is pretty similar to mine in a lot of ways, which goes to show that I picked some solid parts back when I built my rig. The only thing I really changed up was the processor. I know this is a gaming PC and that the 3770k’s hyper threading doesn’t currently matter that much in games compared to my 3570K. However, I am betting that it is going to start to make a difference next year. The new consoles will be out by then, and you can bet that games are going to start being pretty heavily multithreaded. Both of the next gen consoles have an 8 core CPU running at pretty unimpressive speeds, so game developers are going to need to take advantage of every single core they have available. The only other difference is that he went with a 660 TI, which is a pretty solid GPU choice. I know a lot of people prefer the 7870 at this price range, but I think the support for GPU PhysX makes the 660 TI the better choice.
Nvidia’s PhysX is one of the things that I love about PC gaming, and is a big reason why I suggest Nvidia graphics cards to people these days. It used to be only a few games that really supported this technology, but it seems like it is catching on with a lot of developers these days. Take a look at some of the tech videos below to see how awesome games can look if they take advantage of PhysX.
This is going to be a good year for PC gamers. With new consoles coming out, developers are finally going to start revealing games and game engines that are not targeting 8 years old hardware. Epic Games, the company behind Gears of War and the Unreal Engine, demoed the latest version of their industry standard game engine at GDC yesterday. The demo, running on a single off-the-shelf GTX 680, shows off some very impressive lighting, animation, and detail in the environments. With the next generation of game consoles targeting GPU performance under that of a 680, the performance target makes sense. So “next-gen” is finally here now that the consoles are catching back up. Well, catching up to a few years ago in PC hardware anyway. Check out the demo below:
So it looks like I will finally be getting something to put my GTX 680 to use. Well, one of them anyway.
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