The Perfect Hardware for Gaming

Graphics Cards

This year, we’ve got some awesome new titles along with some mean hardware punched to the selves. But before spewing out your bucks, you need info right? Don’t worry, that’s why we have got this nice gaming hardware walk-through.

What’s hot?

In games we saw  alien-shooting Crysis 3 in its new updated Crytec engine, Call Of Duty Black Ops 2, et al, arriving on to the shelves. These games are now way too andvanced and demand quite a nerve thrilling power form your hardware as well as you, the player. Full of FullHD gameplay action, these games require a CPU and GPU with mammoth computational power.

Our hardware devs were quite active too, we have seen the coming of the NVDIA’s new $1000 flagship GTX “Titan”, it’s baby brother, the GTX 780 and soon it’s sibling 790 is arriving too. The new “Kepler” architecture used by these cards has sent the earlier “Tathiti” to vacation to Tahiti islands! AMD has also brought out it new 7990 and 8xxx series. Rumours are that it is going to launch yet another new line of 9xxx series of cards in this fall. It also has launched a new generation of APUs and a couple of CPUs too. Intel has also launched it’s 4th gen “Hashwell” line of CPUs and they have already been overclocked to quite insane speeds.

Ok, Get ready. Fasten your seatbelts. Load you guns. Get moving.

Decision

First decide. What do you want? What titles are your aim? Do you have any other tasks that you want to be done with this system? And the most important is – “your wallet”. At last, they are the propellant that will take you ahead. Decided? Ok, now you are ready to move forward to pick your first and foremost part.

CPU

Here comes the brain of your computer. The CPU is completely responsible for all the activities done on the computer. Intel ones provide great overall performance, both in gaming as well as other day to day activities but AMD ones are not bad either. Both are CPU giants and have quite a powerful line of products. The only thing that plays here is the cost. Intel ones are a bit costly. Also, AMD has an added advantage of the APU series, that is CPUs with embedded Radeon dies to handle graphics processing. It’s performance may not be such extreme that it eliminate the need of a GPU, it aids in giving in added power to GPU when set-up in crossfire mode. So, an APU + a mid-range GPU can give comparable high-end performance very cost-effectively. Intel, however, has integrated video solutions, but is nowhere a match to AMD.

While AMD ones are more concentrated in gaming. Intel takes a lead at general computing segments such as multithreading. An i5 with lots of RAM and a dedicated GPU or two will give you the best affordable gaming performance. So unless you plan to do super tasks like compression,encryption and video encoding or gaming is the only (or mostly) goal of this setup, go for AMD. The bucks you save here will be useful for getting a decent GPU.

GPU

“Gaming is all about graphics.” All graphics and experience requires the sinew and muscle of your GPU. Historically there has been a tough fight between AMD and NVDIA for creating the the best GPU. NVDIA focuses on graphics quality and is more feature equipped than AMD. But costs about the double. AMD takes a lead not only in the cost factor but also by delivering more or less the same performance at about half the price.

While I recommend AMD, highly if you have selected an AMD APU. You can go for an NVDIA card if you picke up an Intel CPU.  Some games can benefit from the combination of Intel and NVDIA.

Motherboard and Memory

Motherboard depends upon your CPU selection. You have to get an appropriate board supporting your CPU. Intel ones use sockets like LGA 775, LGA 1055. AMD CPUs use AM2, AM3+ sockets and APUs use the FM2 socket. Make sure you mother board supports at least 8 GB DDR3 RAM @ 1333 MHz in dual channel. It is recommended to have at least 2 PCIx16 cards and some auxiliary PCIx1 slots for putting in a GPU and/or Sound card. To make maximum use of hardware, the motherboard should also support Crossfire (for AMD) and SLI (for NVDIA) technologies that allow more that 1 GPU to be used simultaneously.

PSU

The PSU is another important component to be kept in mind. Powerful hardware require lots of power. Well exactl demand varies depending upon your CPU, GPU and other peripherals installed. 400-750 watts is a quite good bet.

Hard drive

A SATA 3 (6 Gbps) HDD @ 7200 RPM at least 320 GB of  storage. Feel free to upgrade if you want more. You can also use an SSD as the OS boot drive to improve system performance.

Auxiliary configuration

Standard CPU chassis with good cooling facilities. You computer is gonna going to be extremely hot. Standard piece of Keyboard and a mouse will do. Mouse should be comfortable. Well, the exact specs is highly subjective, get a larger mouse for easy handling. Razer and couple of other companies are also selling dedicated gaming mouse with extra gaming buttons.

So our system

Here is a short-listed configuration recommendation that you may like to consider, categorised in terms of performance and budget.

Best performance, High budget:

Intel i7 4th gen “Hashwell” 4770K/ 4770R/4750HQ CPU + NVDIA GTX 780 + 32 GB DDR3 @ 1880 MHz + 64 GB SSD + 500 GB HDD @ SATA3 6 Gbps + 750 W PSU + liquid cooling system + 2 system fans

Balance:

Intel i3/i5 2/3rd gen (any model) + NVDIA GTX 680 + 16 GB DDR3 + 500 GB HDD + 500 W PSU + 2 system fans

-or–AMD A10 6800K + AMD Radeon HD7870 and a  6670 + MoBo supporting crossfire + 8/16 GB  DDR3 + 500 GB HDD + 500 W PSU + 2 system fans

Budget:

AMD A4 5300 + Radeon HD 6670 + MoBo supporting crossfire + 8/16 GB  DDR3 + 320/500 GB HDD + 400 W PSU + 2 system fans

And what about pre-built ones?

Pre-built ones are not recommended as they don’t give the option of customization. However, the Fragbox is a mammoth gaming tower, powered by latest Intel and NVDIA tech. Razer also manufactures quite good gaming laptops.

Stay tuned to BlogZamana for more updates on gaming and technology. And did I miss out your favorite power combo. Leave a comment and let me know.

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