Building A Custom Gaming PC to Play Overwatch

With Blizzard’s arena first person shooter Overwatch steadily growing to be one of the biggest of it’s kind on the e-sports scene, it’s also been rapidly growing in popularity among gamers, overtaking the likes of CS:GO, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Battlefield 1 as the games our customers ask us about most on a day to day basis.

So with that in mind we’re going to run down our recommendations for building a custom gaming PC specifically with Overwatch in mind.

Now if you’ve read any of our previous recommendations when it comes to building a custom gaming PC for a specific game, you will know the core components to focus on are the GPU, CPU and RAM when it comes down to performance.

Overwatch is both modest at the entry level but we’re going to focus on hitting 60+ FPS consistently at 1080P under the high graphics presets for this particular recommendation as this is what most of our customers tell us they are looking for.

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Gaming PC to play Minecraft – Cheaper than you think!

While Minecraft is a hugely popular game that gets hundreds of thousands of hours gameplay every month from gamers of all ages all around the planet, the PC requirements are not very demanding. If you’re using a PC to read this article, the chances are that you can play it on that PC – give it a shot! If you can’t run it on your current PC, or don’t have a PC yet; please continue reading and we’ll tell you how to go about making a cheap PC to play Minecraft. Hint: with our current pricing and part availability, you could have us professionally build you a PC capable of playing Minecraft for $541.

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Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC [Evatech] Vs The Pryon Storm Scout II [Harvey Norman]

By specialising in custom gaming PCs the value we can offer over other stores in terms of customisability, performance, price, service and quality is unrivalled. There are definitely some stores out there come close in some areas, but when it comes to a custom gaming PCs specifically, we can confidently claim to be Australia’s #1.

To highlight one of the biggest offenders we’ve picked out Harvey Norman’s ‘Pryron’ series of gaming PCs, particularly the one for sale now at the time of this post, the Storm Scout II. To compare and contrast we have put together a custom Valkyrie PC using the Evatech.com.au website, PC ID 64345 (link). This might seem a little harsh, but I’ll stick to the facts, break it down part by part and try to let you make your own decision. Continue reading “Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC [Evatech] Vs The Pryon Storm Scout II [Harvey Norman]”

How Much CPU Do You Really Need? Pairing your CPU with the right Components. [Gaming]

There’s a couple of common misconceptions that many gaming PC buyers have when it comes to picking out the right PC and we thought it best to try and dispel some of the myths that might negatively effect your decision making when it comes to selecting the right components for your next custom gaming PC.

Now the following could be considered ‘overly generalized’ and yes there are always the odd exception to the general rule, but this article is just to point the less savvy shopper in the right direction and should be only the first stepping stone in your pre-purchase research.

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HOW TO : Customising A Gaming PC to Play Star Citizen

Star Citizen PC

We have had a lot of customers recently, (and we mean A LOT) ordering custom gaming PCs just to play Star Citizen. So much so that with all the research we’ve had to do to answer their questions, we feel as though we can pretty accurately make hardware recommendations to suit your performance expectations.

We tested the game with FRAPS running to gather frame rate data, swapping in different hardware and played around with the graphics presets, so lets get straight in to it.

 

Q: What does it take to run Star Citizen at at 60FPS on “Very High” presets at 1080P? A: An i5 4590, 16GB of RAM and a GTX980

THE GPU : In the games current state (v1.1), the GTX 980 is the only video card that can pull this off. Averaging 61FPS in our tests and corroborated with similar numbers from multiple benchmarks you can find online however many speculate that future patches with deliver engine optimization will improve performance greatly across the board. Unfortunately there is no real time frame given by the developers for when these optimizations will occur and exactly how much performance we can expect.

CPU & MEMORY : Assuming engine optimization is coming, you might get away with only 8GB of DDR3 but there are multiple areas of the game where we noted a significant performance increase when we jumped up to 16GB. As with most games, the RAM frequency doesn’t make any significant impact to frame rates or load times. As for the CPU, we tested both an i5 4590 and an i7 4970, both of which performed almost identically.

Star-Citizen-Cockpit

Q: What does it take to run Star Citizen at at 30+FPS on “Medium” presets at 1080P? A: An i5 4460, 8GB of RAM and a GTX 750TI

THE GPU : Again, in the games current state (v1.1), our MSI GTX 750TI 2GB OC manged to average 35FPS under these conditions only dropping as lows as a very playable 30FPS.

CPU & MEMORY : Assuming engine optimization is coming, you might get away with only 8GB of DDR3 but there are multiple areas of the game where we noted a significant performance increase when we jumped up to 16GB. As with most games, the RAM frequency doesn’t make any significant impact to frame rates or load times. As for the CPU, we tested both an i5 4590 and an i7 4970, both of which performed almost identically.

Star Citizen Ship

Q: What does it take to run Star Citizen at 4K? A: Don’t Bother (Yet)

SLI factory overclocked GTX980’s (That’s $1,600+ alone of GPU power) still struggled, dipping to as low as 12FPS on a and barely keeping above 30FPS on average even when paired with 16GB of RAM and an i7 4790 CPU. Future patches will hopefully make 4K viable but right now it’s just not.

 

Testing Notes : All tests where run under Windows 8.1 on a Adata SP900 SSD and the latest available drivers from Nvidia.com as of March 31st. All video cards used where provided by MSI and our Memory used was from the G.Skill RipjawsX series. All frame data was collected in the Vanduul Swarm mode of the game.

 

Final Thoughts

If you want to jump in early and start playing today, for a good 1080P experience be prepared to invest in a GTX970 or 980 and a 4690 or 4770 Intel CPU. Oh and if long load times bother you, make sure you have a large enough SSD to fit both your Windows install and the game! The Star Citizen client is expected to eventually reach around the 100GB size according to it’s developer in a recent post on the game’s official forums.

The stunning popularity of this game (raising $77 million USD since it’s kickstarter launch to date) should be ample funding for developer RSI continue adding content and optimizing performance for a long time to come, so we don’t expect this game’s popularity to start fading any time soon.

To customise a gaming to to play Star Citizen, click here.

Gaming Computers

Here at Evatech, we get a lot of questions from people not quite sure which gaming PC suits them. Which one is the best value? Will it run Battlefield? World of Warcarft? The latest Call of Duty? To really answer these questions you first need to consider a few different angles.

What is ‘value’ to you?

Is value the cheapest possible price today or are you willing to look at something a little more expensive that will hold its gaming performance a little longer? The cheapest gaming PC today might be enough to play your favourite games today, but in a year or two it may struggle to keep up with the latest releases. The more you invest up front in a gaming PC the longer it will be able to keep up with the incremental increases is gaming system requirements.

When you ask will it ‘run’ a certain game, what do you mean exactly?

In 99% of cases any new gaming PC sold on the market today will run any game, but when you take in to account quality settings and resolution you can really start to see the differences between a $600 machine the $2000 ones.  Are you happy with a standard HD resolution and medium presets on most games? If the answer is yes, then maybe the low end systems are exactly what you’re looking for. If you expect high resolution and max presets across the board on your brand new gaming computer then you might want to consider something a little more powerful.

How much more? What do I need to spend to get a system that can max out all my favourite games?

Gaming Desktop PCGames vary hugely in their requirements when it comes to maxing out their graphics settings. Depending on the style or game and the engine it was built on you may need to focus more on RAM, others may require more video processing power while some would benefit from much more from extra CPU cores or a higher CPU clock speed.

As a general rule, if your favourite games are big budget first person shooters such as the Battlefield or Crysis series, your main focus should be on the video card. On the other hand if you’re more of a strategy, RTS or simulation game fan the CPU is generally the key component to pushing every possible frame to the screen.

So now I have all this information, how do choose?

It’s always best to, if you have the time, take a look at reviews for video cards and CPUs. These are really the heart and soul of any gaming PC and will make the biggest impact to your buying decisions.

Set a budget and spend the time to do a little research on all the options on the market in your area. Prices from store to store vary by large amounts and 10 minutes on Google could save you quite a few dollars when you actually go to buy your PC.

If you’re on a tight budget avoid the flashy cases and fancy RAM with massive heat sinks. Focus your spending on the components that count, every dollar extra you sink into more graphics processing power and CPU cores the better your games are going to perform.

Do I Need an SSD? How about SLI or CrossFire?

SSDs are one of the best ways to decrease load times, not only gaming but across the board, however, in certain games they make little to no difference. If you don’t mind waiting that extra 2 seconds for the next level to load and prefer a higher capacity hard disk then you might want to avoid an SSD until the price comes down a little more.

As far as SLI and Crossfire is concerned, if you’re not an enthusiast with money to burn we usually advise against it. As a general rule the price / performance ratio on a video card setup has always greatly favoured single GPU machines. Having two video cards does not mean you will have twice the performance. In theory the physical hardware is there however game engines, graphics drivers and the entire process of synchronising the two cards takes a heavy toll on overall performance.

I’m still not entirely sure, what would you recommend?

Well, if you would like to shoot us an email to sales@evatech.com.au with the details of exactly what you’re after we would happily try to help you out and guide you in the right direction.