Customising a Gaming PC, Choosing the Right Hardware for You (June 2017)

Here at Evatech, we get asked a question in some form multiple times an hour, every single day. So much so that with a bit of quick math, it would be safe to say this is a question we answer more than 10,000 times a year and growing! So if you know anything about our focus here at Evatech or you simply just read the article title above, you can probably guess what it is.

I’m looking for a gaming PC to play X with a budget of Y, what would you recommend?

Now there is a few ways to approach this and a whole of extra questions we have to ask to really tailor something to your specific needs and this is why we take the time to actually sit down, go through the specifics and actually work with our customers to reach what is ultimately the best possible configuration for your needs.

Defining X, what are you actually planning on playing?

Most gamers just want a rig that is able to handle anything they can throw at it, something that will keep up with new releases far in to the future and leave their options open to give everything a try.  But there are always a few customers out there that are really only looking to play one or two titles, sometimes older ones that have less demanding hardware requirements or some large scale RTS or sim games that are a bit more heavily weighted towards the CPU over the GPU than more common first person shooters or action games.

Defining Y, what sort of budget are we working with?

The truly custom nature of our product here at Evatech makes it extremely flexible when it comes to fitting a specific budget if your just looking for the most gaming performance you can squeeze out of your dollar. However on the flip side, if your just looking to play CS:GO or League of Legends at 1080P and you have a budget of $5,000, that’s just complete overkill. If you really don’t expect you’ll ever use this system to play more demanding games at higher resolutions in the future, it’s going to be really hard to spend anywhere near your bull budget in a way that really gives you any practical value for money, just a whole lot of unused potential.

There probably isn’t too many businesses out there with a sales team trained to talk a customer out of spending more money they need to. Here at Evatech we wanted customers to know they are getting genuine, honest advise so there are no commissions, no bonuses, no KPIs and no sales targets to hit. You don’t need to worry about the up-sell or a shady car dealers equivalent of ‘paint protection’ and the extra warranty with so many exclusions it doesn’t actually do cover anything.

We’ve actually gone so far as to mark some products on our website as just flat out OVERKILL. Yes we offer a 1500W power supply just in case some really stubborn customer wants it just for the sake of saying they have it, but we would never actually recommend it and make that pretty clear.

The general rule of CPU/GPU/RAM balance. AKA, where the performance comes from.

For a general all round gaming PC at any budget, the secret to getting the best performance out of the system is making sure you’ve properly balanced your CPU, GPU and RAM.

In the majority of games, the video card is the single biggest contributing factor to the performance (frame rate) as long as it isn’t bottle-necked by the CPU or RAM.

Let’s start with RAM as it’s really pretty straight forward.

  • 8GB, enough for 90% of games / systems.
  • 16GB plenty with some extra to spare (future proof)
  • > 32GB overkill unless you have some specific use case like a high end game server or a particular non gaming software suite that is a real memory hog.

Now with that in mind, here is how we typically pair GPUs and CPUs.

  • Pentium or i3 with up to a GTX 1050 TI
  • Low end i5 with up to a GTX 1070
  • High end i5 or i7 with a GTX 1080 or higher.

Just to reiterate, this is a very general guideline but it’s a good place to start if you otherwise didn’t have any ideas or specific use cases beyond just gaming in general.

Compromising, it hurts but it’s ultimately a good thing.

Yes you can have a top of the line i7, 128GB of RAM, dual top end $1000+ video cards and fancy LEDs, colored cables and a tempered glass and hand brushed aluminium chassis if money is no object, but at the end of the day chances are that hard earned money could be better spent elsewhere and you could still have a killer gaming PC at half the price. That being said, we know it it’s hard when the option is right there on the screen, just a click of the mouse away but then the price jumps and all of a sudden you’ve convinced yourself you need more than you actually do and you can’t really afford it.

Don’t worry, with a bit of will power and research you’ll quickly find out that most games will run just fine on an i5, you don’t necessarily need that i7. 8GB of RAM is pretty good, 16 is plenty and 32GB, well for gaming that’s just overkill. Keeping your PC in air conditioned room? Those extra fans and giant expensive cooler probably isn’t the best allocation of your budget. Yes technically a GTX 1080 TI is going crush a GTX 1060 in benchmarks but can your monitor even display those frame rates or go beyond 1080P?

We know it’s complicated, we understand it’s a lot to take in all at once, but that’s why we are here. Just reach out, give us a call, leave us a message on Facebook or shoot us an email via our contact page and we’ll gladly walk you through every step of the way.

Leaving room for the right peripherals.

It’s one thing to have a beast of a gaming PC capable of super high resolutions and frame rates, but if you go ahead and pair that with a budget 1080P low refresh rate monitor, your just instantly bottle-necking your PCs potential.

That’s not to say you can’t have a great gaming experience at 1080P / 60Hz, but these should be paired with systems to which you didn’t just sync hundreds of extra  dollars more than you need to do just to render more 5x more frames than your monitor can output.

In summary, don’t cheap out when it comes to your monitor. Pair your PC with a display capable of displaying the resolution and frame rates your system is capable of!

Now when it comes to a mouse, keyboard and headset it’s a little more subjective. Some people swear a good high end set of peripherals add a lot to the overall experience, others are happy with a regular old budget Microsoft branded combos from Office Works. Personally we stand some where in the middle and recommend a good solid mechanical keyboard, a nice (cabled not wireless) variable DPI gaming mouse and a reasonably sized mouse mat with a good surface.

Confused, put off by all the options, tempted just to go buy an off the shelf JB Hi Fi or Harvey Norman ‘gaming’ PC instead and be done with it?

 

Don’t get fooled by the marketing pitch,  when it comes to high end gaming performance, the most important factor is the video card. An “i7” CPU with 32GB of RAM doesn’t make for a good gaming PC if it comes paired with a cheap mid to low end last-gen video card but these big box retail store con-artists know if they can say ‘i7’ and it has a lot of ‘GBs’ that they can trick the uneducated consumer in to thinking it’s actually decent value. Video cards get conveniently sidelined in the sales pitch either because they are awful old cheap garbage to maximize their profits and the sales person doesn’t really know what he or she is talking about.

Add to all this the fact that you’re probably not getting the best, most reliable power supply, storage device, motherboard, RAM or anything else that contribute to the sales pitch. It’s all sourced from the lowest bidder and if you ever dare trying to upgrade it yourself you’ll instantly void any warranty you may have had and that off the shelf part’s are not necessarily compatible.

Please, take the 5 minutes it takes to shoot through an email to let us know what it is your actually looking for and let us do all the heavy lifting. It’s really pretty simple and our sales guys are the best of the best.

Checkout our easy online customisation process with built in error correction, instant quotes, millions of possible hardware combinations and even game performance indicators!

We’ve spent a lot of time behind the scenes building what has quickly become the best, easiest to use, full featured, most powerful online PC customisers on offer from any Australian retailer (if not one of the best worldwide). We really would love you to jump in a give it a try and don’t forget we’re only a quick email or phone call away if you need some expert advise!

Check our our gaming gaming PC builder page here.

AMD Ryzen Custom PCs now available to Pre-Order, builds start March 3rd

With the long and much hyped lead up the release AMD’s latest chipset and CPU’s, we’ve field hundreds of customers questions with the same answer. “We don’t know yet, nothing is official, it’s all just rumours!”. Today, that has changed! AMD has lifted the vale (NDA), announced the release date and allowed its motherboard partners to release the details of their line ups.

Stock is due to land March 3rd and the our newest edition to the Evatech custom gaming PC line up is now available for pre-order in the form the Wraith.

At this point in time there is two motherboard chipsets to choose from, the X370 at the high end and the B350 for mid range. There is also only 3 different CPU’s to make decision making a little easier.

  • R7 1700, the entry level R7 model sports 8 cores and 16 threads like it’s bigger brothers but at a slightly lower clock speed and no build in precision auto overclocking features.
  • R7 1700X is the next step up with a boosted base clock speed and the addition of auto-overclocking.
  • R7 1800X, the top dog of the lot at the highest clock speed and presumably cherry picked from the manufacturing process for the best ‘overclockability’.

While performance per core means the Kaby Lake CPU’s might still be best overall consumer gaming option, Ryzen’s twice as many cores gives it a real leg up in heavily multi-threaded gaming (and non gaming).

For previous AMD owners who was left with a bad taste in their mouth after forking out for the FX 9XXX series CPUs riddled with heat and stability issues and underwhelming performance, Ryzen is definitely worth giving AMD a second chance. With these 8 core CPUs now on the same 14nm process as Kaby Lake and only having TDPs of just 95w we don’t anticipate any heat issues with it only being 4w higher than Intel’s quad core i7 range which are extremely heat efficient.

I’m sure benchmarks and videos from YouTube reviewers will be flooding the internet shortly but we can already confirm, AMD is back in the CPU game and Intel better watch out if it wants to keep it’s current dominant market share in the desktop CPU market.

So what are you waiting for ? Jump on to our store website at www.evatech.com.au and start customising the AMD Ryzen Wraith Custom Gaming PC today. Systems begin assembly when stock lands March 3rd, first in first served.

Intel’s 7th Gen (Kaby Lake) now available in all Evatech custom gaming PCs

For a few weeks now, the phasing out of the previous generation Skylake series motherboards and CPUs has been taking place as the Kaby lake equivalents have taken over.

The full range of 7000 series model i3, i5 and i7 series Kaby Lake CPUs are now exclusively available and to pair, the latest generation Z270, H270 and B250 series motherboards.

The full Intel 7th Gen Kaby Lake CPU Line Up

  • i7 7700K Quad Core 4.5GHz  – 8 Threads (Overclockable on Z270 Boards)
  • i7 7700 Quad Core 4.2GHz  – 8 Threads
  • i5 7600K Quad Core 4.2GHz – 4 Threads (Overclockable on Z270 Boards)
  • i5 7600 Quad Core 4.1GHz – 4 Threads
  • i5 7500 Quad Core 3.8GHz – 4 Threads
  • i5 7400 Quad Core 3.5GHz – 4 Threads
  • i3 7100 Dual Core 3.9GHz – 4 Threads
  • Pentium G4560 Dual Core 3.5GHz – 4 Threads

The new chipsets offer increased number of PCI-E lanes and m.2 SSD support along with native Kaby Lake CPU support, bold new aesthetic designs and a load of overall small improvements  behind the scenes for an even more rock solid user experience.

While the impacts on gaming performance are non extreme over the previous generation, it is measurable and most importantly, pricing has stabilized making the equivalent Kaby lake models on par with their discontinued predecessors which are almost completely sold out across all retailers.

So what Kaby Lake CPU should I use in my gaming PC build?

Of course it depends on your budget and the types of games you play, but for this particular recommendation lets make a couple of assumptions.

  1. You want to play any and all new release games for the foreseeable future on high settings at a smooth frame rate.
  2. You want the best value for money option, not to pay a dis-proportionally higher amount for a relatively small performance difference.

If this sounds like what you’ve been thinking, then our recommendation would be the i5 7600K. Significantly cheaper than it’s i7 bigger brothers, it still delivers all the CPU throughput you need for any gaming title. While it only has half the cores of the the i7, it’s a sad fact that very few if any game engines actually utilize these additional codes in any meaningful way that improves overall gaming performance.

We have recommended the K model and not the vanilla i5 7600 as it comes with a slightly higher boost clock speed (nothing major) but most importantly, it’s overclockable. We don’t recommend overclocking unless you get to a stage where your unhappy with your gaming performance and the CPU is the bottleneck because it can introduce system instability and heat issues if not done properly, but leaving the the option open gives you some wriggle room in the future should you choose to crank up the clock speeds and squeeze a little more life out of your machine.

If you have a particular budget or a different use case and need more personalized recommendations don’t hesitate to contact us via email, our contact page, Facebook or by phone during business hours and our dedicated team will gladly assist!

Also worth remembering, and something we remind customers almost on a daily basis here at the Evatech offices, be sure to balance your CPU selection with your choice of graphics card (especially for gaming PCs)! Matching the wrong CPU and GPU will cause a bottleneck and the last thing you want is to lose potential performance you’ve already paid for.

To avoid bottle-necking in gaming we typically recommend;

  • SLI GTX 1070 or 1080 with an i7.
  • GTX 1070 or 1080 with to be paired with a high end i5 or any i7.
  • GTX 1060 with a mid to low end i5.
  • GTX 1050TI or lower with at least an i3.

So what’s next?

Get in touch if you have any questions or jump on our store page at www.evatech.com.au and start customizing your next Intel Kaby lake custom gaming PC today. With just a few clicks of a button, instant quotes, built in automatic compatibility checking, expert assembly and thorough burn in testing, it’s never been easier to yourself a custom built to order PC delivered anywhere in Australia.

 

 

Building a Custom Gaming PC for Metal Gear Solid : The Phantom Pain

Released September 1st, Hideo Kojimas final Metal Gear Solid game is out and getting amazing reviews from every major publication and gamers alike.

As of the 3rd, this game has a 95/100 on meta critic and 97% on steam user reviews making the highest rated game of the entire year to date. If you haven’t seen it already take a look at IGN’s 10/10 video review for an idea of why.

Now with all that out of the way, lets get down to what we’re really here for, building a custom gaming PC to play Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain.

Continue reading “Building a Custom Gaming PC for Metal Gear Solid : The Phantom Pain”

New Skylake CPUs and Motherboards Join the Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC!

B150 and H170 chipset motherboards now offer a lower cost solution to pair with the also newly released i5 any i7 ‘non k’ edition CPUs. These CPUs and motherboards were released this morning and are currently in stock ready for assembly!

Joing the B150 and H170 motherboard options are the brand spanking new line up of Skylake i5 and i7 quad core CPUs from Intel. The new range come in cheaper than their unlocked ‘K’ series counterparts but still deliver great performance on the all new DDR4 ready skylake platform.

Continue reading “New Skylake CPUs and Motherboards Join the Valkyrie Custom Gaming PC!”

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.

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

Evolve Gets PC Minimum & Recommended Requirements Published + No SLI Support @ Launch.

California based Turtle Rock Studios, the makers of Left For Dead and Counter Strike has published the minimum and recommended hardware requirements for their upcoming 4 v 1 monster hunting first person shooter, Evolve.

Just yesterday, a news post on evolvegame.com spilled the beans, publishing the requirements reportedly ‘ripped straight from the side of the box’. Continue reading “Evolve Gets PC Minimum & Recommended Requirements Published + No SLI Support @ Launch.”

November Sale! Custom Gaming PC Prices Slashed + New STRIX and GALAX GPUs.

Custom PC Sale

While other vendors are hiking up their prices to compensate for the recent falls in the AU dollar, Evatech is bucking the trend. For the month of November we have slashed the prices on custom gaming PCs and components! If you have already customized a PC on our website but not yet placed an order, all you need to do is click ‘Customize‘ and with all the options just as they where, click Save & Continue to get the new updated pricing. Continue reading “November Sale! Custom Gaming PC Prices Slashed + New STRIX and GALAX GPUs.”

Intel’s new ‘Devils Canyon’ Haswell Refresh CPUs & Z97/H97 motherboards have arrived!

Delivering higher performance with lower power consumption, the code named ‘Devil’s Canyon’ range of new Haswell based CPUs has arrived. Now available in all our Intel CPU based custom PCs with a large range of Z97 and H97 chipset motherboards.

All in all there are now 10 new CPUs to choose from, here to replace the old Haswell line up, with improved clock speeds and integrated graphics performance. To see the full range checkout our Intel CPU category – here.

Checkout our new Devil Canyon ready custom PC’s today via the links below at our custom Gaming PC page here.
Continue reading “Intel’s new ‘Devils Canyon’ Haswell Refresh CPUs & Z97/H97 motherboards have arrived!”