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.

Call of Duty: WWII Revealed [Trailer]

For years the Call of Duty franchise has departed from it’s WW2 roots with both modern and futuristic settings to glee of many but the frustration of fans of the original games.

Time to say goodbye to wall running, lasers, double jumping and jet-packing as today Activision released the first reveal trailer for Call of Duty : WWII developed by Sledgehammer Games hinting a strong emphasis on the European theater and a single player campaign that follows the 1st Infantry Division.

This doesn’t mean multi-player has taken a back seat, every one knows a huge number of COD fans never or barely touch single player opting to jump straight in to multiplayer from day one. In an article on Forbes.com, contributor Erik Kain detailed the four core multiplayer games modes as;

Headquarters
Offering a robust social space dedicated to engagement off the frontlines, Headquarters paves the way for all-new avenues of Multiplayer interaction, recognition and awards unlike anything experienced in the franchise to date.
Divisions
A new way to engage in a player’s Multiplayer career — Divisions immerse players in the heroic journey of enlisting in the world’s most historic war. Choose from a variety of Divisions, including Infantry and Armored Divisions.
War Mode
A new Multiplayer experience that immerses players in iconic World War II battles, where Allied and Axis clash in team-driven gameplay in the fight for strategic objectives.
Boots-on-the-Ground Gameplay
Multiplayer marks a return to iconic boots on the ground Call of Duty gameplay that fans know and love, featuring an arsenal of World War II-era weapons, and fast-paced, heart-pumping, intense run-and-gun action.

Also rumored to make a return, Nazi Zombies, a co-op wave survival mode that has been a staple of the Sledgehammer developed COD titles for years now.

Due to be released on November 3rd several more trailers are expected to be released in the meantime detailing more of the game modes and features.

While of course the game will be released on the PC, PS4 and Xbox One, Nintendo hasn’t confirmed or denied a Switch version although it seems unlikely.

For more on Call of Duty : WWII stay tuned and in the meantime if it’s time you upgraded your gaming PC head on over to our store page (here) and start customizing a new one to make sure your ready for November!

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.”

Building a Gaming PC for Dragon Age Inquisition

Dragon Age Inquisition PC

Famed developer Bioware announced next months long awaited Dragon Age sequels hardware requirements this week, letting gamers know when there in for if they’re planning on jumping on board come the games release on November 18th.

Being published by EA Games, the game was originally slated for release in October before being pushed back to November only few months prior. Before we delve in to how to go about building a custom gaming PC for Dragon Age Inquisition, lets take a look at the official requirements.

 

Continue reading “Building a Gaming PC for Dragon Age Inquisition”