Building a custom gaming PC for Fortnite @ 4K

Occasionally a game comes around that is so unanimously popular that our sales team start to get asked daily for a recommendations configuration a custom gaming PC specifically to play it.

Now Fortnite is one of those games that will run great on older hardware at 1080P but what will it take to crank out a satisfying frame rate at 4K on Epic pre-sets? This is the question A LOT of you guys have been asking so it’s one we’ll have to take the time to write this article about!

Laying out the ground rules.

The goal of this article is to not only run through how to configure a custom gaming PC to run Fortnite on ‘Epic’ quality at 4K but to explain the how and why behind our recommendation.

When it comes to cranking out high resolution frame rates by far the most important component of the system is the video card (aka GPU). This is true in almost any game so the goal is to basically to find which video card it takes to handle these settings and work backwards from there.

What do we mean when we say we work backwards from the GPU? Well it’s simple. Once we know what GPU we need, you pair that with a CPU and RAM combo that won’t bottleneck it for the best price, then a power supply that’s capable to handling this configuration, a suitable motherboard to round out the core hardware selection and lastly selecting an appropriate chassis to house and keep them well ventilated! Pretty simple right?

Targeting a Frame Rate

Before jumping straight to the list below, it’s good to know what what sort of frame rate it is that you really want to hit. If you are not quiet sure, the basic rule of thumb is that 30 is ‘playable’ but not ideal and 60+ FPS is great. Everything in between is a cost / benefit calculation you have to make when deciding how much you want to spend for every extra frame.

Every extra frame per second counts in the overall ‘feel’ of the game but at some point (and this point is different for everyone) there is a point of diminishing returns as each extra frame per second feels less and less noticeable. This might be common sense, but it’s worth bearing in mind. The closer to 30 FPS you are, the more value an extra few frames will add to the experience, the closer to 50-60fps you get, the less so.

Now we know there is big segment of gamers that prefer ultra high frame rates of high resolutions and will tell you 144Hz at 1080P is superior or 60Hz at 4K. This is not necessarily false, it’s just a personal preference.  If you’re more of a casual player and love the look and feel of the game 4K is the way to go, but if you are ultra-competitive and wan’t to go toe to toe with the pro’s then a higher frame rate might give you that slight millisecond edge you’ve been needing. The beauty of it is, once you have a gaming PC that can crank out high frame rates at 4K, you already have an awesome system for way higher frame rates at 1080P, just jump in to the settings menu and change the resolution! It’s the best of both worlds and you can try out each for yourself.

Choosing a Video Card

So enough rambling, lets jump right in to it. Below is a list of GPUs and their average frame rates.  Cards marked as OC are factory overclocked editions, no extra overclock necessary and available in all our custom gaming PCs. For the best value for money, we would recommend sticking to our Valkyrie as the other systems are more for specialized use cases with other non-gaming secondary uses or requirements.

  • GTX 1080 TI OC – 76FPS     <– ‘best performance’
  • GTX 1080 TI – 71FPS
  • GTX 1080 OC – 55FPS    <– ‘best value / performance recommendation’
  • GTX 1080 – 52FPS
  • GTX 1070 TI OC – 49FPS
  • GTX 1070 TI – 47FPS
  • GTX 1070 OC – 46FPS  <– ‘best value’
  • GTX 1070 – 44FPS
  • GTX 1060 6G OC – 36FPS
  • GTX 1060 6G – 34FPS
  • GTX 1060 3G – 31FPS    <– ‘playable but not recommended’

Note that these frame rate measurements listed above were taken from multiple play through, no two of which were identical and average outed to obtain a number that we feel accurately reflected the performance point of each card. As no two matches are alike your mileage may vary, please use this a a guide in good faith and not a guarantee.

Pairing a CPU and RAM

Once you’ve selected a video card from the list above, it’s time to pick a CPU and RAM option to make sure you get the most out of your GPU. It’s pretty straight forward and this same recommendation applies to pretty much all games out there with few exceptions.

While it might feel like you ‘need’ an i7 CPU or 64GB of RAM, you if you’ve found friends or people on online message boards telling you otherwise it’s probably people who have bought in to a bunch of marketing hype from rip off merchants like Alienware, HP Omen and the like.

  • Intel i5 8600 + 16GB RAM for the GTX1070 TI or higher.
  • Intel i5 8400 + 8GB RAM for the GTX 1060 6G OC to GTX 1070 OC
  • Intel i3 8300 + 8GB RAM for the the GTX 1060 6G and below;

Remember, unless it’s a bottleneck, the CPU and RAM don’t really add that much to performance, especially the RAM that just sits there doing nothing if it’s not being utilized! 16GB is plenty for modern gaming and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Additionally, did you know the high end i5’s perform almost identically to the i7’s in most games? Their ‘per-core’ performance is almost identical and most games don’t utilize the additional threads in the i7’s anyway.

So next time you walk to a JB or Harvey and see the $5K gaming PC with 64GB of RAM and top of the line i7 paired with some mid range GPU, steer clear. It’s a complete rip off and will perform so much worse than an i5 with 16GB of RAM and a better GPU for half the price!

Last but not least, all the other bits..

This part is easy, the B series gaming motherboard is what you should go for the best value or if it’s within your budget and you want more room to upgrade in the future and get a little better built in audio and LAN controllers, a Z series gaming board is the way to go.

Next, it’s time for a chassis. If you went with a top of the line build and OC GPU it’s best to get something with good ventilation. This usually means an air intake grill at the front like the MasterCase HP500 Mesh or Corsair Air 540. If you wen’t with something a little more ‘cost effective’ well you can get away with a little less airflow in which case you can pretty much select any chassis from our list.

Now it’s time for storage drives. If your budget is tight a regular 1tb hard drive will get the job done although be it a tad slow to boot in to windows and load games. On the other hand an SSD drive will give you dramatically faster boot and load times (5-10x in some cases!) and the only trade of is capacity. Personally we would highly recommend and SSD. It makes the whole system feel so much more snappier and responsive overall. If a large capacity SSD is too pricey, maybe a smaller SSD primary drive for your operating system and your favorite games with a secondary regular hard drive for the overflow when you need it?

Lastly, the power supply and at this point with all the other selections already made above our custom PC builder page will give you a recommendation calculated based on your needs. The main difference between the Gold or Bronze units is just the AC to DC conversion efficiency from the wall to the PC. The gold series will save you a bit on your electricity bill and run a bit cooler as the lost power will dissipate is heat.

Of course there at a lot of other options you can choose from in our custom PC builder but we’ve covered all the ones that directly impact performance. The rest are all personal preference options and you can easily pick and choose which suit your needs best. If you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us any time and we will get back to you ASAP.

So what are you waiting for?

Head on over to our store page at www.evatech.com.au and get customizing! It’s so simple with built in error detection, basic ‘as-you-go’ guides and automatic performance indicators for all the latest and greatest games.

 

Limited Edition i7 8086K 5GHz Intel CPU, Worth it?

What is it?

The limited edition 8086K i7 CPU from Intel has been available for a few weeks now, first being released as a homage to it’s 8086 predecessor on it’s 40th anniversary.

Under the hood it’s essentially it’s a cherry picked 8700K with higher ‘out of the box’ boost clock speeds, but is that enough to justify the price tag? Well that all depends on how much value you place on that extra little bit of top end performance!

Gaming

When it comes to gaming, as the CPU is rarely the performance bottleneck you might not be able to realize the full potential of the higher clock speeds. Of course this depends on the game in question and there are some that lean more heavily on the CPU than the GPU. Even in these situations you’ll be looking at only an extra 2-3% in frame rates at best over a 8700K so if gaming is all you intend on doing it might not be the best value for money option.

Production

For more CPU intensive tasks the extra clock speed will definitely be a plus. For video encoding, rendering or general high end compute tasks the extra few hundred megahertz will definitely speed things along, somewhat predictably in line with the comparative percentage difference in clock speeds with it’s 8700K counterpart. So if you do edit videos, run large databases or utilize software suites that are dependent of CPU core speeds, the 8086K is definitely worth considering.

Can’t I just overclock a 8700K?

Well, the short answer is yes however Intel doesn’t guarantee that an 8700K can reach a 5GHz overclock and you might get unlucky. You’ll also have to invest in a Z370 series motherboard over the more cost effective H or B series as well as the cooling to compensate for the overclock. Not to mention the fact that if an overclock is applied improperly it can cause system instability issues and shorten the lifespan of your CPU and motherboard so you better know what you’re doing!

In summary,

The 8086K i7 is a great option for those who like the idea of an ‘overclocked’ CPU without needing the hassle of doing it themselves and dealing with the potential headaches it entails. It will give you a boost in productivity but not so much in gaming frame rates, although you get slightly better load times between levels. Should you buy it? Well if every second counts and you do a lot of video editing or similar heavy processing, then if it’s within your budget it’s a solid option. If you are more budget conscious and mostly just gaming, stick to the 8700K.

 

The 8086K is now available in our full range of Coffee Lake powered systems, check them out today at the links below;

Elder Scrolls 6 Revealed, CyberPunk 2077 & More

With Computex and  E3 earlier in the month it’s been a busy few weeks in the PC gaming industry with plenty of new titles and hardware teased for release later in the year and beyond.

The big ones that caught our eye where two RPG’s destined for the PC. The long awaited Elder Scrolls 6 and the game that stole E3 and seems to be what every one is talking about online, CyberPunk 2077.

For Elder Scrolls fans the new game looks to be much of what you would expect, in a good way. Better graphics, refined mechanics and staying true to it’s single player open world RPG roots. Unlike Fallout 76’s detour in to an always online multiple world environment where friends or strangers can drop in out of the game at any time.

Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red, the team out of Poland most notably responsible for the Witcher series, is also an RPG but set in, well you guessed it, a Cyberpunk depiction of the year 2077 not totally dissimilar to Dues Ex but with a totally different vibe that comes directly from the unique Polish CD Projekt Red development team.

Rumours have it that the drugs, nudity and violence will get this game refused classification here in Australia effectively banning it from store shelves in our nanny state and that a cut down censored version may be the result. Never the less, it should be trivial for us PC gamers to get around that and simply purchase it online from a country governed by adults who understand video games are not just for 12 year olds.

While both titles do not yet have a locked in release date, it’s safe to say it is probably unlikely we will see them this year. These large scale RPGs are a massive undertaking and quiet honestly we might be lucky to see them in 2019.

Lucky for us we will have plenty to tide us over until then with a new Battlefield, Call of Duty, Fallout, Tomb Raider, Just Cause, Hitman, Darksiders, Anthem, Crackdown, Escape from Tarkov, Metro and a ton more all on the way.

On that note, is your gaming PC feeling a bit tired and not keeping up? Want to make sure your ready to crank up the graphics to max and jump right in the moment your most anticipated new game of 2018 lands? Head on over to our store page and pick your self up a brand new custom built gaming PC today!

Summer Steam Sale Now On

Steam sales have long been an event gamers all around the world eagerly await for their chance to stock up on new games to tide them over to the next big sale.

Today the Steam summer sale (winter sale for us southern hemisphere dwellers) kicked off with some really compelling day one deals;

  • Rust $8.74
  • Doom $14.97
  • Assetto Corsa $9.99
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds $19.99
  • Final Fantasy XV $24.99
  • Ori and the Blind Forest $9.99
  • Hollow Knight $9.89
  • Prey $14.97
  • Fallout 4 G.O.T.Y Edition $29.97
  • Metal Gear Solid V : $9.99
  • Skyrim $19.97

*Note that prices are in USD.

If any of those games are ones that you’ve been meaning to get around to and just haven’t had the chance, well now is the time! Sales are updated daily so don’t forget to check back in periodically for updates!

Fallout 76? Bethesda Reveals Trailer ahead of E3

While very little was revealed in terms of game-play mechanics, release date or even platforms the game is being developed for, it’s been enough to get Fallout fans excited for the full reveal expected next month at E3.

What we do know is that the game is set in 2102 ( the earliest setting of any Fallout game to date ) and that it will be coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One with PC of course being the home of the franchise, it’s biggest play base and Bethesda’s lead development platform.

However speculation is that Fallout 76 will be a major departure from the classic single player story driven RPG Fallout fans are used to with Kotaku news editor Jason Schreier who no doubt has the industry contacts to lend his comments credibility, tweeted “Anyone who spends the next two weeks expecting Fallout: 76 to be a new traditional single-player RPG will be VERY disappointed”.

Battle Royal? MMO? We probably won’t know for sure until June 10th but it’s almost definitely going to be an online focused game of some sort. The rumors that are getting the most steam online seem to be that it will be a open world online survival based game along the line of Rust and DayZ.

Battlefield V Coming October! Details Revealed.

While those of us who were holding out hope for a long overdue Vietnam themed Battlefield game were a little disappointed at first, there is definitely enough awesome new features in Battlefield V’s return to WW2 to get any fan of the franchise excited for it’s release this October.

There is an absolute deluge of new features and changes from last Battlefield game and if they manage to pull it all of like they usually do, we are surely on to a winner.

  • No more ‘Season Pass’ or any form of ‘Pay to Win’ unlocks, all maps FREE!
  • Co-Op and single player ‘War Stories’ modes in addition to classic Multi-player
  • Fortification building (Sand bags, fox holes, machine gun nests etc)
  • All classes can build fortifications but only the support class can build offensive fortifications and done so much quicker.
  • Bullet penetration on surfaces for large caliber weapons
  • Improved destruction system, higher detail and more realistic.
  • Reinforce or rebuild buildings and fortifications
  • Attrition health system with segmented health bar and only partial health re-generation
  • Attrition supply system with limited ammo and health kits
  • Completely overhauled gun mechanics, recoil and ballistics.
  • No more HUD or map spotting
  • No more instant revives, takes several seconds and locks you in to animation
  • All classes can revive but only the medic revives a player to full health and does so much faster.
  • Everything requires player interaction, no more passive ammo or health collection simply by passing close enough by it.
  • Crouching sprint
  • Rainbow Six Siege style prone system and diving in all directions not just forward.
  • Catch, throw back or shoot grenades out of the air
  • No more elite classes or bohemoths
  • Nearby non-fatal explosions can knock players over

Last but most importantly, the release date is currently slated for October 19th of this year.

For a full rundown of the details, JackFrags has you covered in this 25 minute YouTube video.

Is your battle-station feeling a little out-dated? Checkout our custom built to order gaming PCs at www.evatech.com.au

5 Awesome PC Games Coming in 2018 [Pre-E3]

E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) is right around the corner and traditionally it’s the time when all the big game studios make announcements for upcoming PC game releases. This year, like most, a lot of the content that will be shown at the show is being teased by the publishers in the weeks lead up to it.

While there are still surely some big name titles that will be announced during the show that we’re going to miss on this list, below is a ‘Pre-E3’ top five list of games we’re personally looking forward to the most this year. If there are enough additional games announced at the show we’ll be sure to follow up with a ‘Post-E3’ list also.

Call of Duty : Black Ops 4

All aboard the battle royal train! Activision and Treyarch have their eyes on that PUBG and Fortnite money and for the first time ever in a call of duty title, a massive open world large scale battle royal style survival mode is on the way. Dubbed ‘Blackout’ it will sit along side the traditional multi-player modes the game franchise is known for and of course it’s beloved ‘Zombies’ mode.

Stepping down to make way for the Blackout mode is single player much to some fans disappointment however the stats showed that most Call of Duty players never really played it anyway, so maybe it’s a good move? Let’s wait and see how well they pull off the rest of the game before making that judgement.

Release Date : October 12th

 

Vampyr 

The long awaited RPG built in the Unreal Engine by french studio Dontnod Entertainment has already gone gold and just a few short weeks away. This third person action game follows the protagonist doctor turned vampire as he progresses through the open world story line with the 60 inhabitants of 1918’s Spanish flu ridden London.

The player has the option of killing characters to level up powers and gain new abilities but the developer insists the game is beatable without making a single kill and the story and game endings shift dramatically with each character that dies or survives.

Release Date : June 5th

 

Jurassic World Evolution

Triple A big studio sim or RTS games are few and far between these days but British developer Frontier Developments of Planet Coaster and Roller Coaster Tycoon fame has been working on a theme park simulator based on the 2015 film Jurassic World for the past few years and the end result is about to be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Listed as a ‘strategy and economic simulation’ game by Wikipedia and Steam, it has all the classic tropes from a theme park simulator game with guests paying for entry tickets, wondering from attraction to attraction and stopping to buy over priced snacks in between, only this time around they have the very real chance of becoming a T-Rex snack before making it to the gift shop.

A big take away from the trailers released so far is the visuals. The game looks great for a theme park simulator enhanced by some real first class animations and weather effects to add that all important extra layer of believably.

The Crew 2

Published by Ubisoft, the Crew 2 is right around the corner with an open world map, single and multiplayer modes, an overhauled game engine and not only cars and bikes but the addition of planes and boats!

Release Date : 29th of June

 

Battlefield V (Vietnam or World War 2?)

It’s only been teased by EA with nothing more than a logo and a 3 second video but with the full announcement happening within the next 24 hours there are lot of avid Battlefield fans eagerly awaiting news of what will no doubt be one of the biggest multi-player shooters of the year.

With the emphasis on the ‘V’ in the title and the very long time since we’ve had a Vietnam themed Battlefield game it seemed like a no brainier! That was until EA released a 3 second clip of an in game cut-scene in which a blurry looking iron cross logo in the corner, not there is a lot of speculation around V standing for ‘V for Victory’ world war two slogan famously adopted by Winston Churchill in 1941.

Release Date : TBD Q4 2018 (November?)

 

Bonus : Rage 2 (2019)

While the first Rage game left a lot to be desired in the game play mechanics, the art direction and overall theme (very ‘Mad Max’) was a winner. The sequal moves away from the idTech engine of the original and this time around is using the Just Cause engine (Apex by Avalanche Studios) more suited the large scale open world it’s going for.

Leaked by several major retailers prior, Bethesda finally made it official on May 14th and released a trailer that definitely didn’t disappoint. Targeting a hard R18 rating with a focus on over the top hyper stylized combat with customisable weapons, vehicles and large scale environments it’s definitely one to watch closely if your a fan of FPS games or the apocalyptic wasteland settings of games like Fallout and Borderlands.

Release Date : Q1-Q2 2019

 

Time for a new gaming PC?

Is your rig in need of an upgrade to really get the most out of the big titles coming your way this year? If it is, checkout our fully customisable gaming PCs at www.evatech.com.au

Built in compatibly and error checking, tips above each component category plus instant on screen gaming performance indicators make it not only powerful but super easy to use even for people who don’t their CPU’s from their GPUs!

Our first class support teams are always standing by if you need any extra assistance, so just click that ‘contact us’ button if you get stuck and we will get back to you ASAP.

RGBs & Tempered Glass. Fad, gimmick, or awesome?

Even if you don’t know your CPUs from your GPUs or your RAM from your SSDs, you should know that flashy RGB LEDs and tempered glass won’t make your games run any faster. They sure can be pretty but when your gaming, you are looking at your monitor not your hardware right? If anything the glow of the LEDs could be a distraction and every dollar you sink in to the aesthetics is a dollar not going towards performance!

That’s how we used to think about it anyway, but it seems more and more customers are going for the premium looks over the best possible price / performance ratio and configuring rigs with aesthetics at the forefront of their mind, and who are we to judge? That’s the beauty of Evatech’s level of customisability, no mater what side of the issue you fall on you can get exactly that you want with none of the bundled in rubbish you don’t need.

If you haven’t already, checkout our custom gaming PC builder page (link here) and find out why we’re Australia’s premiere custom PC provider, with built in error detection, game performance indicators and the widest range of options to choose from selecting only top quality hardware and latest generation gear.

Customising a Gaming PC for Far Cry 5

We’ve done plenty of Far Cry 5 posts leading up to its launch covering the game-play mechanics, settings and story line so on the eve of its official launch date we’re going to delve in to the hardware requirements as we know a lot of you are customising gaming PCs on our site right now specifically for it!

While Far Cry 5 is a brand new title, we do know quiet a bit about the game engine it’s built on (Crytek) and have had many years of Far Cry PC releases from which to gauge the delivers target graphics settings / performance ratios.

Baring all that in mind along with our extensive research of anecdotal evidence from those who have played it already, these are still just estimates. Estimates we are confident in and definitely should get you in to the ballpark, but as with all PC games, background applications, patches, drivers and your specific hardware, your mileage may vary.

Continue reading “Customising a Gaming PC for Far Cry 5”

Battlefield 1: Apocalypse [Out Now]

16 months after it’s original release back in October of 2016, Battlefield 1 is still getting fresh content and it’s not just hats and horse armor! Still one of the best looking FPS titles available with frequent updates and huge community of active players, the Apocalypse expansion contains 5 new maps, 7 new weapons, new aircraft, new gadgets, new assignments, new unlocks and an entirely new game mode.

Free for premium pass owners, which if you are at all a Battlefield fan is well worth the money at this point with a huge array of great content and at as of right now is on sale for only $18 over on Origin.

New maps include the iconic Belgium countryside battle of Passchendaele, the mountains of what was once Austria-Hungary (now Slovenia) at the battle of Caporetto and the shores of the River Somme in northern France.

The entirely new game mode of Air Assault comes with two maps of it’s own. One that takes place of the skies of London and another over snowy mountainous peaks called Razors Edge. This game mode probably won’t be for everyone, the aircraft controls can be tricky at the best of times and it’s a big departure from how the game plays out on the ground but for a percentage of Battlefield fans it’s sure to be exactly what they are looking for.

If you’ve been meaning to jump in to Battlefield 1 but still haven’t got around to it, there’s never been a better time. If your old gaming PC is struggling to keep up or you always wonder what your missing out on by not being able to crank all the visual settings up to max? Maybe it’s time you looked in to a new gaming PC? 100% fully custom options are available now at evatech.com.au and for Battlefield 1 at high settings / 1080P we would recommend an i5, GTX 1070 TI and 16GB of RAM. If you want to go all out at 1440P or 4K, you can stick with 16GB of RAM still but 1080TI will be your best bet for the best possible frame rates.

Have a question or need some assistance, just hit the contact button on our store site at any time and drop us a line! We’re always happy to help.