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I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.3)

Aug 08, '15, 7:26am

Introduction

Hi and welcome to the Kinda Funny Community PC gaming guide: I Want a Gaming PC | Guide. Chances are if you are here you want to build a gaming PC. The purpose of this guide is to serve as a fairly general guide for people who are looking to get started in PC gaming and as such won't be very granular. If you are looking for more information on any topic please refer to the linked resources in the final section of the guide.

Table of Content

  1. Political Nonsense
    • Contributing to the Guide
    • Revision History
  2. The Build
    • Getting Started
    • Recommended Base Build
    • How do I make a part's list?
    • What about Laptops?
  3. Games
    • Steam
    • GOG
    • Amazon
    • Green Man Gaming
    • Humble Bundle
    • Itch.io
    • Battle.Net
    • Origin
    • uPlay
    • CDKeys
    • From the Dev's Website
  4. Miscellaneous
    • Configuring Windows
    • Utility Software
    • When Do I Upgrade?
    • Best Friend's list of Recommended Links
    • Older Discussions
  5. Reserved

    Contributing to the Guide

    If you have a suggestion for a section of information that should be added to the guide, please post it in detail and I or one of the mods will add it to the guide. If you have a problem with some of the information in the guide, please only quote the particular piece of the guide you have a problem with.

    Update: I'd still really like any additional information the community wants to add to this guide. Please post if you have information that you feel should be added to the guide!

    There is still a lot that can be added to this. Please contribute what you can. :kinda

    Revision History

    1. Initial Posting - Frostilyte
    2. Updated GOG and Amazon bio - Frostilyte - suggested by king3pj
    3. Added links to store pages, updated itch.io bio, added Older Discussions, updated post with links to older threads as reference, updated Table of Content - Frostilyte
    4. Added dualshock 4 drivers link and info to utility software - Frostilyte
    5. Added some entries to utility software, fixed some spelling errors, added kinda emote - Frostilyte
    6. Added entry for CDKeys to Games section, minor spelling/grammar/style revision - Frostilyte
    7. Added note about new gpus in 2016 as a word of caution for first time builders - Frostilyte
    8. Updated recommended GPU specs to reflect current market
    Last edited by Frostilyte on Sep 15, '15, 8:54pm, edited 8 times in total.
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    The Build

    Aug 08, '15, 7:26am

    Getting Started

    [TEMP]NOTE: If you are looking to build a fancy high end gaming PC it is advisable to wait until the new GPU models come out in 2016. Long explanation here. Short explanation: the new cards are gunna be hella good and make the current cards go down in price.
    [UPDATE]Those sexy new cards are now available.

    Life Hacker Guide to building a PC

    Begin by reading through the Life Hacker guide One-Shot has suggested here. The guide takes you through the basics of computer hardware and keeps things rather simple. It should serve as a very good basic resource throughout the process of building your machine.

    Another thing you will want to do before continuing to read, or posting a question, is to consider your budget. Due to the large number of possible options that can be put into a PC it is very important to know your budget. It is rather difficult to recommend parts when the community doesn't know your budget.

    The rest of this guide assumes you read the linked article, so please finish reading it before continuing on. I skipped a fair bit of information I was going to include because the linked guide already covers it and does a damn good job explaining it.

    Recommended Base Build

    Here is a recommended minimum for what to get if you are considering gaming on PC. Please note, this is NOT a list you should follow to a tee. This simply exists as a starting point from which to build your own parts list based on what you may want for a gaming pc.

    • Quad core 3.0 GHz CPU
    • 600W 80+ Bronze PSU
    • 8GB (2*4GB) DDR3 RAM
    • 4GB DDR5 GPU
    • 1TB HDD
    • 64-bit Windows 7, 8.1, 10
    • Compatible MotherBoard
    • Compatible Case

    How Do I Make A Parts List?

    PC part picker

    This website application contains a database of computer parts which you can add into a potential build. The site also does a great job of not showing you parts that aren't compatible with other parts you've selected, so it can be good for preventing compatibility issues in your build.

    If you are ever unsure of the build you've made, or want additional suggestions, you can paste a link to it in the thread where we (the community) can offer opinions and suggestions on how to improve it. :mrgreen:

    What about Laptops?

    The general opinion of the Kinda Funny Community is that laptops will not serve someone well within the gaming space. Whenever it is brought up it is greeted with doubt of the feasibility of using a laptop as legitimate gaming hardware. If this IS, however, a route you wish to pursue you are totally free to do so, but you will likely have better results using a desktop.

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    Last edited by Frostilyte on Aug 17, '15, 1:58pm, edited 4 times in total.
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    Games

    Aug 08, '15, 7:26am

    Onto games! Because where would a gaming PC be without games. Below are a brief bio of most of the major retailers of games in the PC gaming world. Some you may have already heard of, and some you may not have heard of. You have lots of options!

    Steam

    The most well known platform of the PC gaming realm. Regularly has 100+ items on sale. Steam requires a client to be downloaded for use. Said client works to manage your games, games media (DLC, screenshots, sound tracks, etc), and acts as a store front. Steam also offers features like cloud based saves, mod integration and achievements should a developer choose to take advantage of them. Steam also has it's own DRM, which developers who want DRM typically take advantage of. The DRM requires your account to call home once every 14 days to re-authenticate and games can be played across multiple computers. Steam also features a return policy whereby you may return a game that you have played for less than 2 hours or is within 2 weeks of purchase for any reason.

    Steam Website

    GOG

    GOG, short for Good Old Games, is a retailer with a catalog of both old classics and current notable titles. There is a client that can be installed, but unlike Steam it is not mandatory. The client does not act as DRM and will manage game updates and preloading similar to Steam's client. This means you have the option to use the client, or simply download the games directly from the website. One of the things GOG is most well known for is it DRM free policy. All games from GOG will work without any form of DRM. GOG also has a 30 day return policy. They will assist you in trying to get any game that you have bought to work and act as a conduit between you and the developer of the game. If you are unable to get the game working, you will receive a full refund for it.

    GOG Website

    Amazon

    It's Amazon. You can buy digital games from Amazon, which generally results in your buying a game key that you can then use to activate the game on another service (Origin, uPlay, Steam). They have regular sales on products. Amazon has a reasonably sized catalog selling from various publishers, though their indie games library is smaller than what is available on Steam or itch.io. DRM is dependent on the game publisher - i.e. Amazon has no say. No return policy listed.

    Amazon Website

    GreenMan Gaming

    A store that sells both physical and digital copies of games. Like GOG and Amazon, GMG has no client that is required for playing games - you simply buy them and download them. You can purchase steam keys from this site. They regularly hold sales on various items in their store. There is no return policy - once you've bought it you own it. Games are sold with and without DRM.

    GreenMan Gaming Website

    Humble Bundle

    A game bundle services whereby you can purchase games paying what YOU want for them. There will be games available as part of a base bundle and as you pay more the number of games you receive increases. All the games available in a bundle will be listed as well as their cash gate to get them. The service also has a store where games can be purchased separately. The service sells games with and without DRM. There is no listed return policy.

    Humble Bundle Website

    Itch.io

    A database more so than a store, itch.io is a place where many indie games can be found. Most of the games can be downloaded for free and offer you the ability to pay what you feel they are worth for them. Itch.io also carries games that developers will charge for. All games are DRM free. There is no return policy, Games that are free consider payments as donations.

    itch.io Website

    Battle.Net

    Blizzard's own game portal and store. This is your one stop shop for anything Blizzard related. There is a client that will be downloaded to help manage your games. The client also works as a storefront and contains advertisements for patch notes, content additions and new releases from Blizzard. Game data is stored via cloud storage for all games you buy/play through battle.net. There is no return policy. Most games have one time online DRM activation before they can be played offline.

    Battle.net Website

    Origin

    EA's game portal and store. This is your one stop shop for anything EA. While older EA games can be purchased on other platforms, Origin is the only platform to get any recent releases from EA. The client also serves as DRM for all of EA's games. Origin does feature a money back guarantee if you are unable to get a game working on your system due to always online DRM or other technical issues.

    Origin Website

    uPlay

    Ubisoft's game portal, store, and DRM. If you play almost anything published by Ubisoft you will NEED this. Yes - even the games you bought from Steam that use Steam's DRM. While there are many alternatives for getting Ubisoft games, uPlay is probably the best bet as you will need an account to play any Ubisoft games anyway. UPlay does not feature any sort of return policy - once you click purchase you own the software regardless of the state it is in or your ability to run it on your computer.

    uPlay Website

    CDKeys

    Like GMG, and Amazon, CDKeys sells game keys that can be redeemed on other game distribution sites. The site has no client and offers quite drastic savings when compared to other sites. Despite being a little sketchy looking there are several best friends who have used this site and endorse it. As with GMG and Amazon, DRM depends on the game's publisher and there is no listed return policy on the website.

    CDKeys Website

    From the Dev's website

    Turns out a lot of game developers will actually sell DRM free copies of their games directly from their websites. What devs actually offer this is wholly dependent on the dev, but if you are curious and want to pay the developer directly, a quick Google search will tell you if that is possible. Happy hunting!

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    Last edited by Frostilyte on Aug 17, '15, 2:23pm, edited 6 times in total.
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    Miscellaneous

    Aug 08, '15, 7:26am

    Configuring Windows

    I'm hoping that over time the community will add more tips and resources for this section.

    Sean's Guide to OS installation and optimization is what I typically use when I get a fresh OS installed. It's not too difficult to follow and also covers how to get a SSD + HDD setup going if you aren't familiar with how to do that. I highly encourage anyone to double check the validity of the suggestions in the guide before doing any of them. It is important to make sure that everything you do to your computer is right for you.

    Utility Software

    Please do your own research and use these at your own discretion. Community suggestions welcome!

    DualShock 4 Controller Driver(s)
    Recommended by: zip48
    Url: http://ds4windows.com/
    Purpose: Allows you to use a DS4 controller on your windows computer

    CCleaner
    Recommended by: Frostilyte
    Url: https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download
    Purpose: Alternative to window's disk cleanup + registry cleaner + startup tweaker

    Malwarebytes
    Recommend by: Frostilyte
    Url: https://www.malwarebytes.org/
    Purpose: Looks for and detains software you probably don't want running on your machine - does not replace anti-virus

    When Do I Upgrade?

    As stated by Mavryk here, you should upgrade whenever you aren't able to get the results you want to out of your PC. Using this method, one only has to upgrade when one can't play a game at a particular set of settings. A general rule of looking into upgrade once every 2-3 years may also work effectively for those who wish to stay ahead of the curve.

    Best Friend's list of Recommended Links


    Older Discussions

    These are worth a read if you still need more information or want to see the full version of previous recommendations from best friends.
    Please post new questions in here so we can keep the forums clean. Thank you. :kinda


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    Last edited by Frostilyte on Sep 15, '15, 8:52pm, edited 6 times in total.
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    Reserved

    Aug 08, '15, 7:27am

    [Reserved for future use]

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    Re: [GUIDE] I Want a Gaming PC

    Aug 08, '15, 8:01am

    Stickified.
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    Re: [GUIDE] I Want a Gaming PC

    Aug 08, '15, 9:35am

    I wanted to point out a couple things regarding the game stores section. I hope this doesn't come off as negative or critical because that isn't what I'm trying to do. I just wanted to clarify a couple things.

    First, GOG does have their own client called GOG Galaxy. It came out a little while before Witcher 3 was released. This client is completely optional and you can continue to download games directly from their website without using it. Their games are still DRM free whether you use the client or not.

    The client is nice for a couple reasons. First, it allows you to pre-load big games like The Witcher 3. Second, it automatically applies the newest game patches and tracks your playtime just like Steam.

    Second, when you buy a digital game from Amazon you are typically just buying a Steam, uPlay, or Origin code depending on the game. It's just like Green Man Gaming and Humble Bundle in that respect. You can buy DRM free games from any of those services and download them directly but only a small percentage of the games sold are DRM free. The rest require you to download through Steam, Origin, or uPlay.

    GOG is the only legal store I know of that is completely DRM free but they are missing most modern AAA games as a result of this.

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    Re: [GUIDE] I Want a Gaming PC

    Aug 08, '15, 10:45am

    king3pj wrote:I wanted to point out a couple things regarding the game stores section. I hope this doesn't come off as negative or critical because that isn't what I'm trying to do. I just wanted to clarify a couple things.

    First, GOG does have their own client called GOG Galaxy. It came out a little while before Witcher 3 was released. This client is completely optional and you can continue to download games directly from their website without using it. Their games are still DRM free whether you use the client or not.

    The client is nice for a couple reasons. First, it allows you to pre-load big games like The Witcher 3. Second, it automatically applies the newest game patches and tracks your playtime just like Steam.

    Second, when you buy a digital game from Amazon you are typically just buying a Steam, uPlay, or Origin code depending on the game. It's just like Green Man Gaming and Humble Bundle in that respect. You can buy DRM free games from any of those services and download them directly but only a small percentage of the games sold are DRM free. The rest require you to download through Steam, Origin, or uPlay.

    GOG is the only legal store I know of that is completely DRM free but they are missing most modern AAA games as a result of this.


    Not at all. I posted the guide knowing full well that others would have a lot to correct and contribute to the guide. I don't know everything, but I don't have to since there is an entire community that can help to maintain the accuracy of the information. :mrgreen:

    Updated GOG, and Amazon's bio!
    Do you find the updates to accurately represent the information you've included?
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    Re: [GUIDE] I Want a Gaming PC

    Aug 09, '15, 4:40am

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    Yeah, it looks good to me. Nice guide!

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    Re: [GUIDE] I Want a Gaming PC (v1.2)

    Aug 25, '15, 12:22pm

    Just thought id say this is a fantastic guide and great job OP!
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    Re: [GUIDE] I Want a Gaming PC (v1.2)

    Aug 26, '15, 11:26am

    xeroblade wrote:Just thought id say this is a fantastic guide and great job OP!


    Thanks. :kinda

    Though the credit should truthfully go to everyone who posted suggestions in the other PC build threads. I just took what was already said and tried to make a singular coherent body of information out of it.
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    I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Mar 30, '16, 11:20am

    debating about getting a PC. currently have a ps4 but I always hear good things about PC. the only thing holding me back in the price and that playstation VR is coming out and ill be spending money on that.

    is the price worth buying a PC??? :kinda
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    I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Mar 30, '16, 11:29am

    ViolentEraser wrote:debating about getting a PC. currently have a ps4 but I always hear good things about PC. the only thing holding me back in the price and that playstation VR is coming out and ill be spending money on that.

    is the price worth buying a PC??? :kinda

    Yes.
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    Re: I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Mar 30, '16, 11:50am

    I defer to what One-Shot has said on the matter.

    If you have any questions not covered by the guide please feel free to post them here. :kinda
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    I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Apr 06, '16, 7:19am

    ViolentEraser wrote:debating about getting a PC. currently have a ps4 but I always hear good things about PC. the only thing holding me back in the price and that playstation VR is coming out and ill be spending money on that.

    is the price worth buying a PC??? :kinda


    It all depends on the experience you are looking for. Plus it also depends on what kind of price tag you are looking at, as a $6,000 PC probably isn't worth it for someone new to PC gaming lol.
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    I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Apr 06, '16, 7:28am

    Mavryk wrote:
    ViolentEraser wrote:debating about getting a PC. currently have a ps4 but I always hear good things about PC. the only thing holding me back in the price and that playstation VR is coming out and ill be spending money on that.

    is the price worth buying a PC??? :kinda


    It all depends on the experience you are looking for. Plus it also depends on what kind of price tag you are looking at, as a $6,000 PC probably isn't worth it for someone new to PC gaming lol.

    I'm not sure I could spend $6000 if I tried. I guess maybe quad sli some Titans.
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    Re: I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Apr 07, '16, 10:55am

    So, my PC is really on it's last legs and I need to upgrade. I figured I'd have a go at building my own PC this time around but as a hardware dunce I don't really know what to go for or the best value for money parts. I don't have the money for a great PC and can't afford much more than £600. After doing some research and spending a large amount of my day on PCpartpicker this is what I have in mind at the moment. I know they have forums over there but I figured I'd ask my best friends. I trust One-Shot, Devon, Mavryk and Frostlyte implicitly, and I know there's more PC nerds on here, so if any of you PC nerds can tell me what is wrong with the below I'd appreciate it.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor (£159.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: ASRock Z170M Pro4S Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (£78.45 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: Kingston FURY 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory (£37.70 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: OCZ ARC 100 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (£34.98 @ Ebuyer)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (£39.93 @ Amazon UK)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 960 4GB SuperSC ACX 2.0+ Video Card (£178.63 @ More Computers)
    Case: Fractal Design Core 1500 MicroATX Mini Tower Case (£39.50 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: SeaSonic ECO 430W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply (£41.57 @ Amazon UK)
    Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224DB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer (£12.48 @ Ebuyer)
    Total: £623.23
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-04-07 18:49 BST+0100
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    Re: I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Apr 07, '16, 12:30pm

    Brotherhood93 wrote: I trust One-Shot, Devon, Mavryk and Frostlyte implicitly, and I know there's more PC nerds on here, so if any of you PC nerds can tell me what is wrong with the below I'd appreciate it.


    Ah ha. Those other 3 are a lot better at this than I am.

    One notable exception from your list - operating system.
    Did you secure a copy of Windows 10 for yourself and load it onto a USB stick? (or a DVD since you have a disc drive in your build)

    Are you able to recycle the case you have right now? Not sure what the make or model of it is, but if it's a micro ATX case you could outfit your new parts into it just fine.

    Is 600 British crumpets your hard cap for price? Asking because you could go a tad cheaper in some areas to bring the price of your build down and save a bit of cash.

    On an unrelated note, when the hell did DDR4 get so cheap?! It's so much cheaper than it was this time last year...even in Canadian Monopoly money. portilloSexyGreg
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    Re: I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Apr 07, '16, 12:37pm

    Frostilyte wrote:
    Brotherhood93 wrote: I trust One-Shot, Devon, Mavryk and Frostlyte implicitly, and I know there's more PC nerds on here, so if any of you PC nerds can tell me what is wrong with the below I'd appreciate it.


    Ah ha. Those other 3 are a lot better at this than I am.

    You're still 1,000 times more knowledgeable than I am. :D

    One notable exception from your list - operating system.
    Did you secure a copy of Windows 10 for yourself and load it onto a USB stick? (or a DVD since you have a disc drive in your build)

    I actually have an unused Windows 7 product key. The plan was to use that and then upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Probably not ideal but saves money on paying for a copy of Windows 10.

    Are you able to recycle the case you have right now? Not sure what the make or model of it is, but if it's a micro ATX case you could outfit your new parts into it just fine.

    No. The case I have now is no good.

    Is 600 British crumpets your hard cap for price? Asking because you could go a tad cheaper in some areas to bring the price of your build down and save a bit of cash.

    It's not a hard cap. The aim was to get it under £600 but I don't want to sacrifice anything for the sake of a few pounds. I just don't have the budget to go much beyond that.

    On an unrelated note, when the hell did DDR4 get so cheap?! It's so much cheaper than it was this time last year...even in Canadian Monopoly money. portilloSexyGreg

    No idea. I was content with DDR3 but considering the small price difference went with DDR4. Small question: What sort of difference are talking between DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2666? Because I could save £5 by going with DDR4-2400 instead.
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    Re: I Want a Gaming PC | Guide (v1.4.2)

    Apr 07, '16, 1:07pm

    You did a great job putting this all together, btw.
    Did you have fun doing it? Half the fun of building your own machine is researching and picking the parts (or at least I think it is).

    Brotherhood93 wrote:I actually have an unused Windows 7 product key. The plan was to use that and then upgrade to Windows 10 for free. Probably not ideal but saves money on paying for a copy of Windows 10.


    That works perfect actually. I recommend doing a clean install (instead of an install that will copy your files for you) when you do this and load any of your old data onto the SSD/HDD once you've got Win10 running on your machine. This is me assuming you've backed up any data from your current machine onto external storage with the plans of placing it in some capacity on your new machine.

    Brotherhood93 wrote:No. The case I have now is no good.

    Damn. That's one of the things cases are suppose to be good for. Guess a new case it is.

    Brotherhood93 wrote:It's not a hard cap. The aim was to get it under £600 but I don't want to sacrifice anything for the sake of a few pounds. I just don't have the budget to go much beyond that.

    If you go with AMD cpu/gpu you could save a bit though they typically don't perform as well as Intel and nVidia stuff does on certain tasks. It is one of those tricky bits of PC building that doesn't have a definite correct answer and makes building a bit of a pain.

    Brotherhood93 wrote:No idea. I was content with DDR3 but considering the small price difference went with DDR4. Small question: What sort of difference are talking between DDR4-2400 and DDR4-2666? Because I could save £5 by going with DDR4-2400 instead.


    A: 266MHz.
    If RAM performance scales the same way GPU performance does you'd see about a 10% performance increase in the one over the other. I don't actually know how RAM performance scales though.
    You aren't likely to notice the difference. RAM isn't usually the bottleneck for performance. When it is, however, it is abundantly clear that it is.
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