back to article Build a BONKERS gaming PC

There is a select band of gamers who will only be satisfied by a huge amount of graphics and processing power. For them, the only thing to do is build a bonkers gaming PC. In my opinion, the tricky part of the job is organising the pile of parts that you’ll use for the build. While we ‘Build a Bonkers...’ writers don’t worry …

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  1. blcollier

    Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

    Bet it must be nice when someone sends you the hardware instead of having to pay for it yourself... In the real world, it's possible to spec up a "bonkers" gaming PC for a fraction of the price of the stuff listed here. You don't even mention overclocking; what's the point of such a powerful machine if you're not even going to attempt to get the best you can out of it? That chip will easily hit 4-4.2GHz.

    And your RAM is seriously overpriced; remind me not to go shopping in the same places that you do.

    1. Mage Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      Yes, but it's Bonkers. It thus needs to be overpriced too. Maybe Apple should make a Gamer PC that runs windows.

      1. blcollier

        Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

        If Apple made a "gaming" PC:

        -Stupidly expensive

        -Not upgradeable

        -Not overclockable

        -Runs games from 5 years ago and calls them "bleeding edge"

        -Use proprietary hardware that you can only get from Apple or Apple-approved dealers

        -Woefully underpowered compared to spending the equivalent amount of money on a PC

        -Include a stupidly high resolution screen then upscales/interpolates everything to run at effectively half that resolution, rather than displaying in the true native panel resolution

        Oh wait. That already exists; it's called an Apple computer...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

          Much of those things are totally false.

          You seem to forget, Apple makes computers the old school way. When I bought my Amigas they didn't let me stick any old CPU on or other commodity hardware, so what? they were better than PC trash for a while. Even on a modern PC with SSDs the Amiga would still be more responsive.

          Tablets have brought us back to the nice responsive computing many of us used to love before inferior PC crap took over.

          Many old computers people look back on fondly were custom like that. Lets face it, the usual DIY PC is a big dusty box of poo, noisy, dusty and unloved. If they were so great people would be buying those instead of laptops and tablets.

          1. Homer 1
            Coffee/keyboard

            "Amigas ... didn't let me stick any old CPU on or other commodity hardware"

            Wrong.

            Not only did they allow such things, but indeed the market for them was booming.

            I personally had two CSA Derringers, a GVP A530 Turbo and a CyberStorm PPC, not to mention a room full of other bits of very commonly available, third-party, after-market Amiga hardware.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

          "Oh wait. That already exists; it's called an Apple computer..."

          Or a Dell,on most of the counts you mention.

        3. Anons anon
          Mushroom

          Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

          Can't afford an iMac but you're dying to have one, eh? So you choose to lash out in this way? Sad...

    2. Ian Yates
      Pint

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      It was an interesting read, but I agree with blcollier.

      I know it wasn't the point of the article, but if you still wanted the same "premium" parts and were willing to sacrifice a few % in performance, you'd probably save a huge amount of cash.

      Annoyingly, though, the only i7 Extreme currently seems to be the 3970X mentioned... the next enthusiast chip down is the 3930K unlocked, but at over £300 saving for just 0.3GHz drop, you'd need to be doing something very specific (such as competitive overclocking) to care about the difference for the cost (IMHO).

    3. Boothy
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      And basic over clocking is so easy these days and is so much the norm now for even a basic gaming rig, for a Bonkers build, it should be mandatory!

      I recently (about 3 weeks ago) upgraded my ageing Quad core Phenom that's done me proud for a few years but showing it's age these days. But I was a lot more conservative with my money than the build in the article.

      Mobo: Asus P8Z77-V PRO Z77

      CPU: i7 3770K (Stock 3.5GHz)

      Corsair Hydro H60 cooler, so basically the smaller version of the one in the article.

      Corsair Vengence Memory 16GB (4x4GB) DDR3 2133MHz

      OCZ 240GB Vertex 3 SSD. (Plus some hand-me-down 1TB & 3TB HDs from the previous rig as data drives).

      Asus provide out of the box over-clocking and tuning, both within the BIOS itself (which is a full menu drive mouse controlled affair now), and apps within Windows. This covers CPU speed, voltages, cooling fan tuning etc.

      A single click OC after the build was all patched up, and the above was running a 4.2GHz, and still not hot enough to cause the CPU cooler fan to hit 100% speed. And this was using the 1 click option where it does everything for you, ideal for people who either have no idea what to do, or like me who simply can't be bothered to go into all the details. Obviously more time and effort spent on tweaking and it'll go even faster.

      Also just a note on the CPU chosen, I don't see the point (at the moment at least) of more than 4 cores in a gaming rig, as most games still only have 1 or 2 threads, so don't really take advantage fully of even a quad core, let alone 6 or 8 cores. So I think currently, a faster core speed is still more important than having more cores and would suspect for gaming, for the CPU, that my current rig would outperform this Bonkers PC.

      This will of course change over time, muti cores are now standard in even entry level devices and the new generation of consoles, with muti core i386 CPUs, will force game engine developers to start taking real advantage of those cores, so I expect over the next year or two, we'll see updates to main gaming engines to make them more muti core friendly, which should directly improve the PC performance of those engines as well. But it will still take some time to fully utilise a 4 core, let alone a 6 or 8 core rig.

      Oh, that went on linger than I planned! Happy gaming everyone :-)

      Paris, well, just because.

      1. blcollier

        @Boothy (re: overclocking)

        The moment I got the machine built and installed Windows, my old Dual Core E5200 rig was overclocked from 2.5GHz to 3.75GHz - instant 1.25GHz speed boost. It took about half an hour of tinkering and has never missed a beat in the 4 years it's been overclocked.

    4. Homer 1
      Alien

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      The cost isn't even the most "bonkers" thing about this rig, it's the fact that, having wasted all that money, you now have something that's only good for about five minutes, before the Content® racket industry hits the planned obsolescence button, and forces you to ditch it for this week's hardware.

      And then you have to deal with DLL Hell, and the "wrong trousers drivers", and the "wrong version of Windows", and the "wrong version of DirectX", and the "wrong service pack level", and viruses, and BSODs, and a broken Registry, and DRM bullshit, and "online-only" bullshit, ad nauseam.

      What a nightmare.

      No wonder the video game industry (and the PC industry in general) is in crisis. It's amazing it even lasted this long.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

        I disagree. A rig like this will last the user 5+ years. Its hugely overspecced, and PC games allow gfx settings to be moved up and down. At the moment, and for a couple of years, this rig will rip through all games. And as games are tied more and more to the release cycles of the platforms, game gfx nowadays tends to step change as opposed to linearly ramp. So, this rig isnt going to be outdated anytime soon.

        I built a rig like this as a treat to myself after a nice payrise a few years ago. Sadly its still going strong, hitting 60fps consistently even with the latest games. I *want* to buy a new one, and can afford it, but its difficult to justify when my 3 year old rig is still going so strong. A rig like documented here, or something similar (good Intel thread-strong chip, masses of memory, and a top-range nVidia card) and you will be in gaming heaven for years.

        As to Windows...I dunno wtf you people are doing with your PCs? Like or hate Microsoft, my Windows (currently using 7) is f*cking rock solid. Keep the nVidia drivers updated, dont run as admin, dont-be-stupid-online, prefer to use Steam to buy and manage your games, and you should be good.

        I do agree with the DRM issues. See also EA / SimCity et al. Vote with your wallet, just dont buy from them.

        Windows 8 is ruined by its GUI though.

        Also, not mentioned, "Cleanability" of the case fans is something I rate highly when buying a case.

        1. blcollier

          Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

          @AC

          I'm sorry, did the lack of "JOKE ALERT" icon confuse you? No need to get so butthurt.

          @GameCoder

          I'm not disagreeing with having a powerful machine, and I agree: spec up a decent system now and it will last you for years to come - the only thing you'll be looking to upgrade on a machine like this in 3-4 years' time is the graphics card (to support future versions of DX). My point was more that this article didn't go "bonkers" so much as "ridiculously overpriced and sheer overkill". A 1200W PSU, FFS? A rig like that would still struggle to stretch a good quality ~600W PSU. Sacrificing a few points in a benchmark would net you significant cost savings.

          If they wanted to go "bonkers" then at least include a complete custom watercooling loop - including graphics cards and chipset blocks - and overclock the s*** out of everything. Hell, if we're *really* going bonkers then why not submerge the whole thing in mineral oil?!

          And yes, don't get that awful-looking Inwin "case" they featured; get something from Antec, Coolermaster, Fractal Define, etc...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

            @blcollier

            "My point was more that this article didn't go "bonkers" so much as "ridiculously overpriced and sheer overkill""

            Yes I thought that too. The machine isn't awe inspiring, only pricey. I'd like to see its budget handed to someone who really knows how to build game rigs and see how they could spend it. I'd expect to see an overclocked monster, with lights to match the mouse, keyboard and mat :) And 4 nVidia Titans in SLI :)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

        "........ What a nightmare."

        Do you know what FUD means?

    5. Dave 150

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      If money is no object, Why mess about with an SSD and HDD combo, just get a 3.2TB OCZ Technology Z-Drive R4 CM88, with a Read/Write speed of 2.8GB/s for a little over £14K :D

    6. Marvin the Martian

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      Other advice I thought strange: to do it over a few weeks.

      To wit, if you want pure brutal expensive force, that's a property that's completely lost over a year (give or take). So each week it takes you to build, you lose about 2% of the value of the thing.

      Or better 3%, if you fit the curve exponentially instead of linearly, as you should.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bonkers? Yes... Overpriced? Most definitely

      This reminds me of the PCs that Tired^W Wired magazine would build back in the days when I could be bothered to care about them: "We are so hip we cannot see over our pelvis, so here's a machine an order of magnitude more expensive than anything you would build. Remember, ever dollar over $5K is a millimeter of penis!"

  2. Smallbrainfield
    Windows

    Articles like this just make me feel sickeningly jealous.

    Sadly, life keeps getting in the way of my dream gaming machine.

  3. Andy_H
    Thumb Up

    As much as I enjoyed building PCs in my youth, I'm glad I don't do it anymore (I tend to buy the bundles from places like Novatech).

    The spec of that beast made my eyes water :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      "As much as I enjoyed building PCs in my youth, I'm glad I don't do it anymore (I tend to buy the bundles from places like Novatech)."

      Sounds familiar round these parts. Needed (yeah, really, really) to upgrade the old 2007 machine at home, and found it more expensive to buy the components than to pay Scan to assemble them for me - only by a couple of quid, but as a system it has a three year warranty as opposed to typically one year as parts. Not much of a patch on this bonkers rig, sadly.

      I wonder if one option for the bonkers PC that's missing is an SSD cache drive for the storage drive? Possibly of limited use on a random reads of stored data if there's no pattern to you accessing the stored data, but a good way of speeding up writes for perhaps fifty quid?

    2. Chris007
      Pint

      Yep - it was great fun building PC's in my 20's and just into my 30's but these days you can get a good pre-built PC with a 3 year warranty for not much more, rather than 12 months part warranty.

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Can't let a merchant do your thinking for you...

        Building the PC is the easy part really. Regardless of what form you are buying the parts in, you still need to be familiar with those parts. Otherwise, you won't know if they are suitable or overpriced. You just can't get away with letting some merchant do your thinking for you.

        PC salesmen and used card salesmen...

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      The last few years, when someone asks "What PC should I buy", I tend to respond with "Whatever's got the software and the holes in it that you want, and you can play with in the shop". There's not much can go wrong for the average user (even if they claim their kid is a "gamer" - there's a difference between a gamer and a hardcore-overclocking-thousands-of-pounds nutter and the latter wouldn't let their parents buy their PC) and they'll run what they need to. Time was when they needed someone like me to steer them clear of Cyrix CPU's or make sure they got a real Soundblaster or a proper 3DFX card, and the back end hardware to support it all. Nowadays? They're all running damn supercomputers just to open Internet Explorer (against my advice).

      Hell, the last laptop I was bought for work has a quad-core CPU with HT, 8Gb RAM, and a nVidia graphics card that laughs at my 500-game Steam account. I'm not a hardcore gamer by any means, but I don't tolerate flaky performance in games and I've not yet found a reason to have a desktop over this laptop (and I could have one tomorrow, if I really wanted it). Same with the previous laptop they bought me. My only criteria was nVidia graphics (I use some GPU-boosted video transcoders so I'm not sitting around forever waiting for it to convert things) and the laptop they bought lasted for years for personal and professional use until it literally broke in half at the hinges through over-use.

      For the average person, their lag in World of Warcraft or whatever isn't down to their graphics card or some bus setting, it's because they have a ton on junk running that you can't compensate for, or a junky connection. I pretty much always have the smallest ping on any gameserver because I have a clean network, a bog-standard average connection and a PC that is properly managed, not because of a graphics card costing more than my car. Hell, I run my own gameservers in a remote datacentre and I get accused of being local to the server (or even running the game on the server) and I'm further from it geographically than most of the people complaining!

      And if they've only got 10fps (which I saw one brute of a new machine running WoW at, when they asked me to take a look at it), it's because you've overloaded the machine with junk and/or tried to be clever and change settings that "some guy on the Internet" said would help things run better, or you need to knock down the graphics levels a tad. A clean install gets them back to 60-120fps and then they'll just do it again anyway (and I guarantee they wouldn't notice the difference on the graphics levels unless they went into the menu and saw "Medium" instead of "Ultra").

      Gone are the days where my knowledge of memory timings or bus bandwidths is actually any use any more. Hell, I couldn't even tell you what CPU sockets are in vogue at the moment, the last time I had to spec a machine to that level of detail (and not just "send me 100 PC's with a quad-core, 8Gb and Windows 7") we're talking over 10 years ago.

      I'm actually surprised anybody bothers to build their own machines any more. SLI is pretty commonplace and not like the rare "Wow" it used to be, and even in BitCoin'ing you're better off with a cheap ASIC than any number of graphics cards jammed into a chassis with a kilowatt power supply.

      1. turkey
        Devil

        Low power PC's - traps for new buyers

        "...There's not much can go wrong for the average user..."

        I fell foul of that line the last computer I bought for my wife. Rather than build a power machine from the ground up, like the hardware geek in me wants to, I bought a pretty-looking Asus AIO. She doesn't need all that power to run hotmail and facebook, right?

        Turns out that the AIO, with it's Atom CPU and slow everything else is completely miserable to use, even after uninstalling the bloatware and stopping unnecessary services. It seems that Facebook in Internet explorer actually does push the machine a bit, and even just loading the front new page of canada.com can take up to 10 seconds to render. Click on a link and you wait another 5-10. Try doing some product-purchase research online with 10 or more windows open, and it's unusable.

        Once bitten.... Next machine will be a hand built geek rig. I imagine none of this would have been a problem had I purchased a cheap but "traditional form factor" PC. The point is, I think there still are traps out there for the average user.

    4. fung0

      Whether or not you assemble it yourself, the important thing is NOT to buy a packaged PC from any of the brand-name vendors. These companies use commodity components purchased at rock-bottom prices, in order to fatten their slim profit margins. When you spec out a rig yourself, you can cherry-pick top-notch brand-name components, for only a little more money. This makes a vast difference in performance, and more importantly, reliability.

      Too many PC purchasers don't realize that having a trusted logo on each component is far better than having one familiar logo on the outside of a box full of no-name rubbish. I think it's a big reason that PC sales have slumped - too many consumers have been burned by junkpile brand-name PCs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Non-tech users often throw away a perfectly good desktop just to get an upgrade on the cpu. Yet what they needed was more ram and a better graphics card.

        1. Boothy
          Thumb Up

          @ Network67

          Yup, seen that myself a few times.

          Visited a friend one day to find they'd spent £400 on a new laptop. I asked what was wrong with their old one, they said it was really slow, so wanted a new one. They gave me the old one to look at.

          It had Vista, and 512MB of memory, and looked like it had never had a disk clean up (full of temp files and other crap, and the defrag tool had never been used (no last used date!). Also drivers were all the original stock ones from the maker from years back.

          So this was obviously hitting VM RAM constantly, on a heavily fragments drive, that would have been a slow HD to start with!

          I took it away, cleaned the drive (would have re-installed if I'd had more time and an install disk). Patched it all up, put better drivers on for the GFX etc and various other tweaks.

          I found some old spare RAM kicking about at home, so put 2GB in, (2 x 1GB sticks I had spare after updating an old XP laptop from 2GB to 4GB a few years earlier). Would have only been about £15-20 quid to buy if needed.

          Gave it back afterwards, said 'Try this'. It was just as fast as his new shiny lap top! He was both please and annoyed at the same time, was quite amusing. :-)

          General processing power usage (offcie, web etc) hasn't changed much for years. Just the overheads have increased, (i.e Windows). But 9 times out of 10, just more memory and a clean drive (or a switch to an SSD), improves things no end.

          PCs with not enough memory is one of my pet peeves, crippling a PC for something that for budget RAM, would cost you about £20 to fix and make the PC so much more usable.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @fung0

        "Too many PC purchasers don't realize that having a trusted logo on each component is far better than having one familiar logo on the outside of a box full of no-name rubbish. "

        In some cases yes, but to be fair that isn't always the case. My now retired Dell D9200 wasn't lacking in quality components - PSU was reasonable quality, came with an 8800GTX, genuine Soundblaster, etc etc. The biggest failing of that Dell were all related to my expectations - that the BIOS was all bolted down (so no overclocking), a bit noisy because the fan speeds ramped for cooling and reliability, and the BTX format meant that virtually nothing carried over to the replacement machine. Support was dreadful if you knew anything about PCs - offshore waste of time, and was the main reason that I didn't bother with Dell for the replacement. But if you were a non-tech user then the support was probably pretty good - on board and web diagnostics enabled support to identify hardware problems. In fact, this very week I did some diagnostics using the Dell web site on a five year old machine, downloaded a BIOS update.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: @fung0

          dell XPS used to get you a line to scotland. That got dropped in recent times though. They were better as you got a next day optiplex bod out to fix em when they went pop.

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Cores

    I'm not convinced most games are optimized to maximise performance on 2 cores, let alone 4 or 6.

    1. Piro

      Re: Cores

      Some games definitely are, but not all.

      However, this wasn't about "building a prudent, realistic, budget but well rounded gaming machine". So this comment has no place here.

      This was about building a bonkers gaming PC.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Cores

        >>this wasn't about "building a prudent, realistic, budget but well rounded gaming machine". So this comment has no place here.

        You miss the point which is that a 6-core PC could be slower than a 4-core one. Bonkers means the pinnacle of performance, therefore the components best for games should be picked rather than the most powerful components in a general sense. Chips which auto-overclock one core whe the others are not being used for example - which possibly those CPUs do anyway?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Cores

          Yeah, a certain component benchmarking and testing website suggests that beyond a certain point, many modern games just don't tax more powerful CPUs too much, and the money be better spent elsewhere.

        2. Dom 3

          Re: Cores

          AFAIK pretty much all the modern Core iseries chips under and overclock as needed. I have a three year old i5 rated for 2.66 GHz. Most of the time the cores are powered off completely and not running at all. When they are running it's usually at 1.2GHz. When there's actually a load on it'll crank one core up to 3.2 GHz. I'm not sure it ever actually spends any time at all at its official rated clock speed. I'd have to do something quite artificial like run four MP3 encoders simultaneously.

          If you have a suitable O/S, this tool http://code.google.com/p/i7z/ allows you to see what the cores are up to.

        3. Piro

          Re: Cores

          However it means other things can run at the same time in the background with less impact with the 6 core.

          I do concede that it is a shame there is no Ivy Bridge-E at this time, but Sandy Bridge has shown to have higher clock headroom (especially because of the heatspreader fiasco with Ivy Bridge!) so in the end, stick them both on high quality water, overclocked, it would be a crap shoot in games with fewer threads, and out right wins on multi-threaded games and when you're playing with things in the background. I'd take Sandy Bridge-E and clock it up until it squealed, too, personally, but of course for anyone who hasn't hit their head, Ivy Bridge 3570k is the only CPU choice people need to know.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cores

            "Ivy Bridge 3570k is the only CPU choice people need to know."

            That's what my games machine runs, but whilst I'd agree it is a sensible recommendation, that's not a bonkers machine, it's a machine for people with more sense than money. Those lucky enough to have the money to waste would be advised to buy the fastest i7 and overclock that, not because they need to, but simply because they can.

    2. VaalDonkie

      Re: Cores

      I would assume things like RTS games would take advantage of multiple cores simply because they tend to put much more stress on the CPU than other game genres. Imagine a 4v4 game of StarCraft 2 where everyone simultaneously Zerg Rushes an opponent.

      1. stanimir

        Re: Cores

        This is not how it works, to use more than one core the application has to be designed to do so. Writing concurrent stuff aint trivial and it's quite error prone.

        At some point you need to synchronize everything just b/c everyone rushes doesn't mean it's done concurrently.

        Some tasks can be easily parallelized like path finding, sorting large arrays, etc however when operating on small structures the lack of locality and price to fork/join outweights ability to run in multi-core.

        For games usually single threaded performance is the most important factor when picking the CPU (unlike servers [usually])

  5. Jediben
    FAIL

    Monitor?

    No point in spending so much money on a 'bonkers' (I have better) pc at home if you are going to plug is into a 21" cheapo monitor. Splash another grand on a 30" Dell fercryingoutloud.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Monitor?

      Or three 23" monitors, depending upon the type of game. If you are going to buy one, with a view to adding to it later, consider the thickness of the bezel.

  6. Keith_C
    Go

    Bonkers?

    That's not bonkers, not with such a rubbish SSD. SATA? Pah!

    No, what you want is one of these:

    http://www.ocztechnology.com/ocz-revodrive-pci-express-ssd.html

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Bonkers?

      How is that going to give you a better FPS or run at higher detail settings? It's not.

      1. Keith_C
        Facepalm

        Re: Bonkers?

        Good point. In fact, take out the SanDisk SSD and replace it with a 5900rpm SATA drive, or slower if you can find one. Sure, load times will increase to durations best measure in ice ages, but even though you've called your build 'bonkers' and gone as far as speccing a GTX Titan it's important to save those pennies and cut back on the storage.

    2. Nya
      Mushroom

      Re: Bonkers?

      The Revo drives are a piece of trash. I just got rid of one as it takes up that many motherboard resources you end up crippling half your system (let alone how slow it'll make your boot time). Use a Revo and lose a RAID controller, use the Revo and expansion slots gets disabled, use a Revo and USB3 get's nerfed down to only running at USB2 speed. And to top it all off, when I swapped the POS thing for a pair of OCZ Vectors, the Vectors smoked it in outright speed when paired up in RAID0...which worked perfectly along with all the other parts of the motherboard the naff Revo nerfed.

      1. Keith_C
        FAIL

        Re: Bonkers?

        Not had *any* of those problems with my Revo, nor has my mate with either of the ones he has, both original and Revo 3 (and he's running quad SLI in one rig), so I would suggest that perhaps the problem isn't with the Revo but elsewhere...

    3. Martin Ryan

      Re: Bonkers?

      Keith_C, you are an enlightened guru. I am astounded no one else has raged against the SSD / SATA / USB storage nonsense. Bootable PCI-e solid state storage is so much faster it has to be included in the specification of a bonkers PC. Feel the IOPS.

  7. Jon Green
    Happy

    So what's the total build cost then?

    'Cos that'd be nice to know!

    1. VaalDonkie

      Re: So what's the total build cost then?

      More than a brand new Ford Fiesta.

      1. AOD
        Stop

        Re: So what's the total build cost then?

        For folks that are interested in an automotive experience, could I direct you towards the following:

        http://www.costco.co.uk/view/product/uk_catalog/cos_5,cos_5.6,cos_5.6.2/140490

        Not strictly a PC as such, but I think you'll agree it is suitably bonkers.

        I especially admire the part that states:

        Price includes delivery, set up and training.

        1. VaalDonkie

          Re: So what's the total build cost then?

          Good grief! For a third of the price you could buy an Aerial Atom and physically drive it around a race track.

        2. plrndl
          Pint

          Re: So what's the total build cost then?

          http://www.costco.co.uk/view/product/uk_catalog/cos_5,cos_5.6,cos_5.6.2/140490

          Now that's what I call a bonkers gaming PC!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Alert

            Re: So what's the total build cost then?

            To hell with that - you need something from http://www.force-dynamics.com ... :P

      2. Naughtyhorse

        Re: So what's the total build cost then?

        Though to be fair that case looks as if it has better handling that a fiesta

  8. S4qFBxkFFg

    It is ironic that RAM is an acronym for RMA.

    This applies to all components, but check the reliability (forums of dissatisfied customers etc.) before buying. I've had to RMA Crucial chips twice now (not yet for Corsair, hoping this continues), they did replace the chips without an argument but that wasn't the main problem. Apparently, if you buy a RAM "kit" (i.e. more than one module comprising a single item) you have to RMA both, even if only one is faulty. This can result in scrabbling through drawers to find a crappy interim replacement - which may not be possible if those were the first you bought with that pin count.

  9. ukgnome
    Angel

    Dear Santa,

    I have been mainly good this year, and I don't envisage been bad for the remainder of the year. What I really really want, apart from seeing Lohan achieve it's goal is a PC like what has been described in the article.

    I realise my mummy might not be able to afford all the parts I need, so if you could help her out then that would be wonderful.

    Merry Xmas

    Ukgnome

  10. HippyFreetard

    Where's the ergonomic Alienware keyboard with built-in screen, the joymousestick with many protruberences, or the triple-screen configuration?

    Hehe, I remember when a "gaming case" was one with handles so you could carry it to LAN parties...

    1. blcollier

      Triple screen? It's all about 6-screen EyeFinity now (which is the only reason you'd need monstrous graphics power that this machine has), do try to keep up; *everyone* knows that having six monitors gives you the biggest e-peen around and really proves just how much of a "hardcore gamer" you are.

      Also, make sure you get slim bezels (just to make the cost that little bit more eye-watering), put your lower three displays in portrait orientation and put the top ones in landscape; can't have any nasty bezels in the centre of your FOV now can we? Don't forget a solid concrete desk to support the weight and a custom screen mount, all for an extra couple of grand...

      1. Kevin Johnston

        It's time...

        for another Terry Pratchett quote.

        When asked by an interviewer why he had 6 monitors, came back the response "because there isn't room for 8"

  11. VaalDonkie

    This is exactly why I ditched my gaming PC in 2008 and bought an XBox. If the PS3 were not so expensive back then, then I would have gotten one of those instead. I simply won't pay more money for a gaming rig than for a new car.

    Sure, if you're a professional gamer, it might be a good argument, but most of us are not. And even then, I posted one of the 100 fastest times ever on the Smokestack course in NFS:Underground 2 on a PC that cost me $300 in total to build. My inability to post a better time was purely down to me not being as good. I never felt that better kit could make a difference. Might be a different story with FPS or RTS titles, but certainly not for racing titles.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      I thought everyone knew?

      Having a bonkers gaming machine has very little to do with gaming performance, its all about willy waving. I thought everyone knew that?

      1. Naughtyhorse

        Re: I thought everyone knew?

        yup - deffo audiophile kit for the cloth-eared

        still want one tho

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think this thread is about the utility arguments. Like all hobbyist ideas, this is about the "because I can", not about securing best value.

    3. blcollier

      No, you do not need this sort of spec, even as a "professional" gamer; rigs such as those described in this article are all about showing off, pure and simple. Yes you need a powerful machine to run modern games well (high framerates, better quality visuals, no visual artifacts, etc, fast monitor response times) - one that would make even "next gen" consoles in 5 years' time weep into their cornflakes - but none of that makes you any good. Good peripherals can only take you so far; there's only so many DPI or adjustable weights you need on your mouse before you get into the realms of just being silly.

      Being good at FPS games means good reaction times and knowing the maps, and being good at RTS games means better strategies and quicker actions per minute/second.

      Incidentally the reason that many "professional" gamers have such high end kit is that it was given to them for free by their sponsor (or it was a competition prize).

    4. VaalDonkie

      FPS performance is all about framerate, which translates into more precise mouse-movement. But I found with things like Unreal Tournament that if I turn down the graphics or even disable certain features outright, enemies became easier to spot and obviously the framerate went up considerably.

      If anyone was interested, I had a Geforce MX440 with 128MBytes of on-board RAM in 2008. It was a dog even back then.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      PC gaming is for sadists

      Just look at the latest DRM riddled Sim City rubbish. The consoles may not have the best graphics, but its gameplay that counts. Playing Halo or Forza with 10 or so chums on the Xbox is enormous fun. I don't think we're worried about the graphical detail when we are barrelling around corners at 100mph while trying to overtake.

      1. blcollier

        Re: PC gaming is for sadists

        Horses for courses, my good chum. Give me a gamepad and I'll probably be dead before I fully turn around; give me a mouse and keyboard and I'll headshot you from half a map away.

        And FWIW, the issue with SimCity isn't DRM. Always-online DRM has been around for a little while and is becoming increasingly more common; I think that's something we're just going to have to learn to swallow (console owners, too). The issue with SimCity is that EA are more or less lying about the online requirement. But that's not a problem with PC gaming, that's a problem with EA.

        1. Kevin Johnston

          Re: PC gaming is for sadists

          So agree to the extent that before I was allowed to accompany my son online for XBox games I had to get a keyboard/Mouse adaptor so I can now swivel with the same smooth elephantine grace I have on the PC

    6. VaalDonkie

      I love Forza. One problem for me is that because I live at the bottom of Africa, the lag causes everyone else's car's to bounce around the track or suddenly phase into or out of existence. But that's something not related to the hardware, but rather the number of exchanges between me and my mates.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I love Forza"

        Do you think the gameplay car control on Forza is overly rigid? I played the PGR series for years (still do) and Driver San Francisco more recently. I've tried to get into Forza (3 & 4 haven't tried Horizons) but I find the SIMULATION type CONTROLS are not as fun and fluid as other racers. I realize that a Forza game acts closer to real thing i.e. an FIA GT3 race. But it just doesn't seem as much fun.... How does Gran Turismo compare?

        Any one care to comment?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: Forza etc

          I have Forza 3 and 4, PGR 3 and 4, and GT 5.

          Forza I find is geared more towards simulation, though you can alter your car - tighten up the suspension etc. but it isn't an arcade racer. GT5 is quite similar. The Top Gear track in the Lotus Elise especially took a lot of tries to get past.

          PGR series is set up a little arcadey, but tremendous pick-up-and-play fun. The cities are extremely detailed, the Las Vegas strip in particular.

          Sadly the PGR series is no longer. I'm not sure if Forza Horizon is going for the arcade-handling route as per PGR, or going for the F-Zero style hyperactive Burnout Paradise / Need For Speed route.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Forza etc

            Yep, Pity the PGR guys (Bizarre Creations) felt the market for racers was dead! And such a shame too the game studio is now RIP. The wiki article says some of the PGR guys went onto Forza Horizons. I haven't had the pleasure of test-driving Horizons, but I hope it has the fun arcade facets of the PGR series... Like wise haven't tried Burnout Paradise or F-zero. I did test-drive a few of the NFS and found them very blurry.

            I regularly play Driver San Francisco as it probably has the best graphics IMHO, but it has three major online Achilles heels: A: poor Matchmaking, B: game crashes if you add sixteen+ friends, C. Very limited in-game customisation: i.e. you can't choose routes and you can't choose car types etc. The race routes are fixed and always repeat too, in what is supposed to be an open world game! It would have been a star IMHO if you could race across the entire city choosing whatever car and whatever route you liked! Pity Ubisoft can't be arsed to fix bugs or add customisations! The off-line local gameplay has split-screen, but the split is on the vertical axis which isn't want you want in a racer. You can choose routes, but not car-type which is baffling.

        2. VaalDonkie

          Forza is best played with a set of pedals and a good quality wheel. I mostly leave the gears on automatic for competitions. Unless I'm going for a lap record, in which case using the clutch and manual transmission is a must if you want to break into the top 100. But for regular races your concentration is better spent on getting the proper line and not banging into other cars.

    7. Piro

      Nah, this is a silly argument

      This article is about buying a silly, expensive gaming PC.

      To even attempt the argument that "this is why I bought an Xbox, gaming PCs are so expensive" in an article designed to house an expensive PC is basically 100% trolling or ignorance.

      You can put together a perfectly reasonable gaming PC for much less, as long as you don't want 3 monitors and every setting set to max.

      A 360 on the other hand is useful for some things, but I've had two of them die, and to replace my second would be pissing money up the wall again, when you could have spent it on a PC.

      Also, PC games save you so much money - Steam sales laugh in the face of any bargain bin scratched DVDs you could find on the 360.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Same here

      I used to be a PC gamer in the late 90s.

      4MB RAM isn't enough, upgrade to 16MB.

      486 isn't good enough, get a Pentium board.

      Need a Voodoo card.

      Pentium isn't good enough, get a Pentium 2 board.

      Voodoo isn't good enough, get a Voodoo 3.

      Not including the cases, or the sound cards, or the double speed CD that ended up as a DVD and CD writer combo.

      In the end, I gave up on that money pit, settled on a machine that I could use for productivity, and went the console route for gaming.

      Sure they're a few years behind what a bonkers gaming PC could show, but you buy a console game and it is guaranteed to run on that console without having to spend a few hundred quid on more upgrades.

      I do want to build a PC now, with a pico board, but this is as a living room media server and not as a gaming rig. So concerns are SSD for quick boot, USB3 for external HDD, Bluray, silent running, small form factor (C64x case) and adequate performance.

  12. hammarbtyp Silver badge
    Holmes

    welcome to th 1990'2

    Playing games on a PC - How quaint

    1. Silverburn
      Holmes

      Re: welcome to th 1990'2

      Playing games in less than DX11, with half the textures and effects missing, and using suboptimal gamepad.

      How quaint.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Smallbrainfield
      Facepalm

      Re: welcome to th 1990'2

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      Play BF3 on a PC or BF3 on an X-Box? No contest, PC wins every time*, even with crappy EA Origin doing its best to spoil everything. Better graphics, more players and FPS are much more fun with a mouse and a keyboard.

      *I have played both and it's a much better experience on PC

    4. unwarranted triumphalism
      Thumb Down

      Re: welcome to th 1990'2

      Playing games - how childish and pointless.

      1. Psyx
        FAIL

        Re: welcome to th 1990'2

        "Playing games - how childish and pointless."

        Wasting seconds of your life to read an article in which you have no real interest and then post on the internet negative things about other people's hobbies - how childish and pointless.

    5. kb
      WTF?

      Re: welcome to th 1990'2

      As opposed to consoles which have embraced every bad trait of the PC, long load times, multiple patches, online registration, but none of the upsides like long lasting MP communities, the ability to host your own game servers, and of course MUCH lower prices? I guess a fool and their money and all that.

      Thankfully I switched my two boys off of consoles for Steam and honestly? we have never been happier. We now have more games than we can play thanks to all the sales, by buying Tiger kits I was able to build us 3 nice AMD systems for less than $1200 USD and that was before all the MIR, after i got those it came to less than $1100, and these systems have plenty of cores (2 hexacores and an AMD triple for the youngest but he'll be switching to a hexa soon enough, he decided he'd rather have a bigger screen than a hexa at the time), plenty of RAM, plenty of space, I could easily see us playing games on them 5 years from now with nothing more than a GPU upgrade in another year to year and a half.

      Oh and the best part? Not only do we not need to deal with split screen BS but instead each have our own PC with widescreens which makes gaming in something like Borderlands series or Bioshock MUCH more enjoyable but unlike the consoles we not only have the ability to upgrade but when a system finally gets too old for gaming you can use it for other things. My gaming PC from 2006 with a Pentium D? My ex neighbor is gaming on it as we speak, just perfect for his flight sims and surfing. Heck even my very FIRST gaming PC, a 486DX? Its STILL going, I sold it to a local lumber mill who use it as the controller for their custom column lathe. Even after all these years she runs 8 hours a day, six days a week, no problem.

      So I would personally argue its no contest, the PC has more uses, better prices, longer life, its just a better way to game.

    6. Inertia

      Re: Erm...

      Playstation 4 says hi.

    7. mark 63 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: welcome to th 1990'2

      "Playing games on a PC - How quaint"

      Well its the only way you can properly play a first person shooter.

      Anyone playing COD or whatever on a console is simlpy not doing it right. I dont care how good you are with a controller , or how level the playing field is, you are basically running around with your hands and shoelaces tied.

    8. mark 63 Silver badge

      Re: welcome to th 1990'2

      "Playing games on a PC - How quaint"

      Well its the only way you can properly play a first person shooter.

      Anyone playing COD or whatever on a console is simlpy not doing it right. I dont care how good you are with a controller , or how level the playing field is, you are basically running around with your hands and shoelaces tied.

  13. Eradicate all BB entrants

    Was this written last summer???

    As the article dismisses AMD immediately because it refers to the old Bulldozer FX chips instead of the newer Piledriver FX chips released last year.

    PC Mark has been ignored by anyone with a scrap of knowledge for years now as their scores can never be tallied with real world application tests. Also every single PC mark test is usually carried out with an nvidia card installed which will not make use of the chipset architecture AMD built when it took over ATI.

    I could have summed it up easier, want a gaming system under £700? Then go AMD/ATI. Want one over £700? Intel/nvidia.

    1. Piro

      Re: Was this written last summer???

      No, it was written now, as a "bonkers" gaming rig.

      Even if Piledriver can offer something in the way of price/performance, no AMD chip, not by any metric, offers the BEST performance, and that's what the article was about.

    2. Inertia

      Re: Was this written last summer???

      Or get an i5 3570k for less than the piledriver midrange and still get more performance for half the wattage. I used AMD for ten years until they started ****ing the bed last year. They haven't stopped yet.

  14. jason 7
    Facepalm

    And some folks just build these.....

    ...to run benchmarks on all day.

    They don't think they are bonkers either.

    Waste of life and electricity.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And some folks just build these.....@jason 7

      "Waste of life and electricity."

      They probably have a similar view of whatever hobby you choose.

      1. jason 7
        Childcatcher

        Re: And some folks just build these.....@jason 7

        Well whatever my hobby is it's far more worthwhile than running Wprime, Sandra, Prime95 or 3DMark 24hours a day for bragging rights.

        If you think running pretty pointless synthetic benches all day is a worthwhile endeavour then go right ahead.

        I'd say an intervention might be needed in these cases but that takes actual friends to do that....not just a collection of Manga and Marvel superhero figurines proudly displayed on a shelf.

        1. JDX Gold badge

          Re: And some folks just build these.....@jason 7

          Please define 'worthwhile', oh lord of other peoples' business.

    2. AndyMM
      Happy

      Re: And some folks just build these.....

      A valid point, but some of us build just because it interests us, and the other good thing about being so far ahead on the curve is I can use it for a year or so, then pass it down to the children for another year or so, then add it to my folding farm and in all that time it is doing great service.

      There again I am the sort who has a folding farm :-)

  15. WibbleMe

    On m 4th gaming PC in just short of a decade, so Iv got some ground under by belt I have to say that when you are building a gamins PC, try to focus on one thing that is essential to you.

    If I can give any tips to people building a PC is this.... make the PC quite yes quiet noise from fans especially the graphics card will get on your nerves after a while, so do not go for cases with a plastic see though side. Try to find a case that supports 120mm fans as the larger they are the slower they rotate and in theory the quite they will be. Also try to fit rubber feet on the PC case to help lower noise.

    For pure power and gaming remember that the slowest component in your PC will always be the bottle neck, 9 times out of 10 this will be the HDD so try and get a SSD as this will speed things up a lot especially loading saved games, if you have a huge about of cash you can go for a SSD that runs through your PCIe slot.

    1. Naughtyhorse

      i gs wre lky 's not in txtx spk

      quite

  16. Zach 2

    There are no games that I know of which tax any generation i7, so I don't know why you pay so much lip service to the cpu, cooling and memory.

    Multiple SSD's is important to separate system, page and games. Decent NIC and router are very important if you play FPS online.

    You don't need such a high power PSU either, I run a 800 just fine - quality is VERY important though.

    What's more important is the keyboard and mouse (I run Cyborg keyboard with RAT7 mouse) and the screens - triple 24"+ is a MUST for any gamer nowerdays - I run 3 X BX2440 Samsungs currently power by (the most important feature) 2 X GTX 690's. 2 X Titons is tempting because of the extra memory... but not just yet.

    1. blcollier

      @Zach 2

      How exactly do your three screens make you better at, say, UT3 or StarCraft 2 than I am? Being able to "see more" doesn't give you an inherent advantage over anyone else.

      1. Zach 2

        Re: @Zach 2

        I didn't say it makes me better. But it does make MY EXPERIENCE better.

        Once you have tried wide FOV gaming, whether it be a triple screen setup, curved projector or even an Oculus Rift Prototype, you will always prefer the feeling of immersion.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: @Zach 2

          Agreed. I'm a crap gamer, but I loved having an immersive setup. SWMBO won't let me repeat the experience until we have larger premises.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Thanks to a surfeit of GTX580s and 24" Dell monitors from work (yes, really), I rigged this up for myself - triple *portrait* - (I wonder if El Reg will let the URL through...):

      http://www.perisoft.org/skyrim/

      ...it won't quite run at 60fps (This is with INIs modified to 5x ultra view distance, etc), but the experience is fantastic. Portal 2 is nothing short of breathtaking at times, and is smooth as glass.

      And that's all on a pretty prosaic system - an older i5 and GTX580s.

      Now, if only there were other games that could stress a system like that - but given that everything is designed to run on something with 1/100th the horsepower, and will be for at least another year - after which consoles might only be *one* order of magnitude down instead of two - I'm not holding my breath... :(

    3. magrathea

      "There are no games that I know of which tax any generation i7"

      Actually there are. Arma 3 will happily tax an i7 - though the issue would seem to be utilisation of the chip. IL 2 cliffs of dover will also push a stock 17. By this i mean, you would get better game-play from more cpu. For most 'run of the mill' games what you say is true, but it becomes less true with some of the 'non standard' or simulation types of games.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you're spec-ing a "bonkers gaming PC" then at least have the decency to consider the current top-of-range AMD processor (FX-8350 "piledriver") rather than one thats over a year old (FX-8150 "bulldozer") before you discard it as being too clearly sited in the range of processors that have good performance at price most people might consider rather than the stupidly high price area you need for a "bonkers gaming PC".

  18. wowfood

    on the flipside

    I have never - that is NEVER - had a bad experience with an Asus Republic of Gamers motherboard

    I have never - that is NEVER - had a good experience with an Asus Republic of Gamers motherboard.

    My first gaming rig was an Asus P25K i believe, (or something along those lines) back in the early pci-e days when teh 7900 was out. It was the AMD motherboard if I remember rightly. Had an AMD64 X2 which, at the time, was one of the better ones you could get (pre quad core days) and a pair of 7800GTO graphics cards.

    I had two of the asus boards blow up on me, and in the end I gave up on them, bought a cheapo asrock board and was done with it. Sadly I had to let my second graphics card go to waste for a few years.

    This rig lasted me quite a while, well into uni before it gave up the ghost. And by gave up the ghost, I mean could no longer play any of the newer games. Which was entertaining since a lot of the new games recommended a minimum of 9800 (two generations later) and my rig could still play the game better than some of my friends.

    Moving on, I now have a Striker II Formula board from Asus, again nothing but trouble. I had to swap FIVE of these boards because of cooling issues. And no this wasn't due to lack of fans, eventually I even stuck on two scythe fans which shifted 300cfm of air and sounded like jet engines and it still wasn't keeping the board cool.

    In the end the company wouldn't accept any more exhanges so I was stuck with the last board. Ended u premoving the heat pipe assembly only to find chips half covered in a cement like thermal paste. And I do mean half covered, some chips had no thermal compund in contact at all. One chip had it caked on, but only covering 2/3rds of the chip.

    While I was stripping down this stuff, very slowly because I didn't want to damage the board. The areas that did have this cement on were full of air pockets and bubblles. Gaping big ones at that. Absolutely terrible.

    After many days (yes days, the stuff was that much of a pain to strip off) I managed to apply my own arctic silver thermal paste and finally got stable temps out of the board.

    Honestly after that last experience I've been put off Asus motherboards forever.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: on the flipside

      "After many days (yes days, the stuff was that much of a pain to strip off) I managed to apply my own arctic silver thermal paste and finally got stable temps out of the board."

      Next time, use a hair dryer. A lot of those crappy compounds need to be warmed to approx 40C in order to be soft enough to work with - and pulling things cold is a recipe for tearing SMD chips off boards.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: on the flipside

        "Next time, use a hair dryer. A lot of those crappy compounds need to be warmed to approx 40C in order to be soft enough to work with"

        I've always used meths on a cloth to remove heat sink compounds - works fine for me, although thicker deposits will require a few minutes work to get off.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: on the flipside

      ASUS ROG buyers beware...

      I bought a top-end Asus G75VW ROG Gaming laptop last year (3D model). It kept freezing requiring a hard reset. This happened as often as 10 times a day. WinDBG lists the Nvidia video driver as the culprit in the dumps! I believe its something amiss between the Nvidia 670m and Asus motherboard. However, the core problem as I was about to cruelly discover, was that the Asus GLOBAL Warranty is only global for 3 countries! I had of course happily taken the laptop overseas to another country and was now royally screwed!

      After a lot of frustrated comments posted online Asus eventually sent a replacement at their expense, which I took to be an acknowledgement that the G75 range does indeed have some issues. Guess what? The replacement had exactly SAME PROBLEM!

      I recommend avoiding the Asus ROG line. Samsung Series 7 Gamers have better comments & reviews on Amazon. Asus support is fully outsourced, they only ever read from a script and only offer every assistance short of being helpful! Its a shame as I've been a happy owner of many Asus netbooks over the years, all of which were work-horses. But the ROG line has problems... Who knows maybe the G75VX will fix things....

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: on the flipside

        "the Asus GLOBAL Warranty is only global for 3 countries!"

        Yup. They're not the only company to do so.

        Many require that the device be shipped to some expensive handling centre in the Persian Gulf (usually about $200 shipping charges) or require the device be shipped back to the country of purchase - both at owner's expense. Acer are particular offenders for taking the piss if you happen to buy a machine in Singapore (The international warranty is only valid in Singapore)

        $orkplace has a list of approved laptop brands for purchase which is largely driven by a desire to make sure warranties are worth more than the paper they're printed on and it's a lot faster to list who is on it (about a dozen entries) than who isn't (everyone else).

        Staff frequently ignore the list, but when they phone up from $godforsakenhole with a duff lappie the response they get is "Boo Sucks to you. Next time don't ignore what we tell you" (more politely, of course)

        Sometimes the director makes a noise, but given he was heard laughing when he read my description of a particular user as being "ill-qualified to operate an etch-a-sketch", it's mainly for appearance sake.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: on the flipside

      My experience of Asus product is that it's fine until it stops working - at which point it's a miserable FAIL.

      Asus shut down their support forums in the late 1990s because they had more people complaining about problems than they had staff to deal with them - where that means "make soothing noises but don't actually do anything"

      1. Silverburn
        Alert

        Re: on the flipside

        My experience of Asus product is that it's fine until it stops working

        Obvious statement alert!

  19. Red Bren
    Joke

    Bonkers or minimum spec?

    Is this the minimum spec to play that new SimCity game I've heard so much about 'round these parts?

    How come there's no mention of a direct fibre link to LINX, for the ultimate zero-latency, online gaming experience?

  20. Dave Bennett

    Obligatory...

    Yeah, but will it run Crysis?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multiple optimised systems

    My PCs are built with IcyDock SATA replaceable drive carriers. That means changing a disk is a matter of seconds without opening the case. The alternative disks contain different systems - so a clone used solely for high performance isn't slowed down by an accretion of everyday rubbish.

    1. Efros
      Pint

      Re: Multiple optimised systems

      I use something similar, AMS modules are 4 in 3 modules that will accommodate 4 SATA drives in 3 5.25 slots, comes as a single unit into which 4 drive carriers can be separately inserted, the module slides into the PC case in the space of 3 external drives. They are very handy and individual drives are easily swapped out.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Pirate

      Re: Multiple optimised systems

      "The alternative disks contain different systems - so a clone used solely for high performance isn't slowed down by an accretion of everyday rubbish."

      I certainly hope you licensed those operating systems separately, you... you... you PIRATE!!!!!

      A) Two computers with two different setups, one used for games only and another for everything else: Piracy!

      B) One computer with two partitions and two installs: Piracy??

      C) Hard drive with copy of Windows and complicated scripts to shuffle files around between reboots to achieve the effect of two separate operating system installs: Not piracy!

      D) Office 2013: Piracy!

      My head hurts.

  22. Efros

    Pastime

    I do this when I'm bored, go to my favourite supplier's website and select stupidly specced components to get the most humongously over the top desktop. It is getting increasingly difficult to get a desktop over $10,000 without being completely ridiculous. I used to do a lot of builds for friends and relatives, but now I generally recommend that they buy an off the shelf if they are looking to save cash. I will do upgrades and specials for people but only when the realize that they aren't going to save money but they will gain reliability. I actually make more money from fixing off the shelf laptops etc that have had a component failure.

    About 6 years ago I was in the position of buying the fully specced machine that I wanted. I cost me an arm and a leg, and I got a Case that had space for 15 drives, and could also be used as a backup nuclear shelter, nVidia 7300GT (this was an HTPC setup so no huge graphics needed), modular 850W PSU, 1TB in 250GB drives, Nvidia 4GB DDR2, Quad core Q6600 running at 2.4 GHz, with a dual tuner. Over the years I have changed the drives, first to 2TB in 500GB drives, then to 4TB in 500GB drives and then to 8 TB in 1TB drives, and the addition of an SSD as a boot drive, upgraded from XP MCE to Windows 7 Ultimate, everything else has pretty much stayed the same. This machine has been on 24/7 for the last 6 years, the investment in quality components was worth it, I'm sure with consumer grade Gateway/HP/lenovo/Whatever I would have been on my 3rd PC by now. At the time this rig coast about 150% what I' would have paid for an off the shelf close equivalent. So no money saved on the build but money saved over 6+ years of use. Even now the rig is more than up to its task and excluding component failure I see it lasting for at least another couple of years before I have to bite the bullet once again.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Pastime

      Sound a lot like my story. Way back in the dark ages of the '90s it was all about upgrading to the newest / fastest CPU beit Intel with MMX which felt like it lost the plot. To AMD with their ground breaking 3Dnow!, it just feels that nothing major has happened since the introduction of the AMD x64 (Again like intels MMX, would have seemed to have lost the plot!), or the introduction of Multiple Cores.

      Is it hardly to marvel at that the PC Sector is struggling in a downtrend economy when the insanely over the top performance parts, just aren't able to deliver a more tangible result to the Part immediately under it sans the £300.00 markup?

      Almost everyone I know is running at the pinch 5+ Year old Hardware, in some cases even older. As is the case on the Rig I'm currently writing this on. An AMD x64 (Socket 754) @ 2.00Ghz w/2Gb of DDR RAM. Its not the latest and greatest it did manage to run the new remake of Half-Life (on Windows), last Summer more or less up to the last level lol. If that rig can do that and I still have an unused Celeron D @2.66Ghz all I need is to get a new Heatsink and some DDR2 RAM for it and that would likely be that problem solved. Save that I'm not on Windows anymore and I'm not in any hurry to move along seeing that this Rig runs Mint Linux just fine as it is.

      Which brings me back to my question (see below)...

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: Pastime

        Hmm, I've only ever used off-the-shelf PCs and I've had one die, ever, in 13 years. And that was a single component - one component in 13 years is hardly unreliable.

        1. Naughtyhorse

          Re: Pastime

          I run both, i have always built my own, but saw a deal at pc world for a machine I couldnt build for twice the cash, so took a punt, fully expecting to chuck the whole thing away after a couple of years, yet 5 years down the road, it's got a new case, new gfx card, couple of gig more ram and going strong.

        2. Efros

          Re: Pastime

          You've been fortunate or judicious in your purchases, from my friends, associates and sundry people I see on average 2 or 3 a month with failed doodads, usually hard drives but not too infrequently some part of the motherboard.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Pastime

            After 30+ years dealing with electronics and mechanical doodads, I'd say the single biggest killer of hard drives is transit handling - with installation handling coming a distant second (Quantum wrote a whitepaper about this in the 90s. Even things like electric screwdrivers torquing out of heads and thunking into the next slot or banging the drive a little as you fit it into its cradle have a measureable impact on service life.)

            I can pretty much predict the lifetime of a drive that comes into $orkplace by the condition of the outer packaging and how much it rattles when I shake it. Rule of thumb - if it sounds "loose", refuse delivery.

            Similar metrics apply to other stuff. but the most common motherboard issue next to "doofus shorted something and let the magic blue smoke out" is power supplies struggling to keep up with the load. What's written on the box often bears little relationship to what's inside the box, plus badcaps are stil an issue 15 years after they made a fairly spectacular reappearance to the industry.

            Couriers manage to fairly regularly smash laptop displays along with well-packed LCDs. How badly do you think they treat a box as small as a hard drive or even a badly packed motherboard?

            Hint: I've seen packages being dropkicked into the van and I've made them watch CCTV footage of themselves scattering shipments of DVD spindles across the carpark and scuttling off, when they turn up the next day with the shipment in a new box missing its security seals (but with a few courier seals added for good measure).

            Courier firms repeatedly make apologetic noises, but they never fire drivers who pull this shit, nor do they do anything to make them improve their handling skills.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Pastime

      "I got a Case that had space for 15 drives,"

      Drive slots is a real bugbear if you have a large storage setup. My ZFS Raidz3 system takes 19 drives for 32Tb (plus at least one fast 1 SSD for caching/ZIL and another 1/Raid1 for the OS.). They can be shoehorned into a 4U 19" server case but it's a tight fit and fairly noisy. Cube cases are wildly expensive and generally have lousy acoustics without a lot of TLC on the panels. (300 quid for a bare case is _WAY_ over the top for a storage/HTPC device)

      I want a case which is as understated as possible whilst still having all the goodies inside. Willies are for waving in private and if I want Tokyo by night I'll drive down to the Ginza.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: Pastime

        "My ZFS Raidz3 system takes 19 drives for 32Tb"

        Dare I ask...?

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Pastime

          "Because I can", of course.

          More prosaically, with everything being electronic (photos, videos,. etc), it's easier to keep 'em on that, migrate to new media periodically and keep rolling backups than to rely on being able to use decade-old media when doing the equivalent of pulling a photo album out of the closet.

          Ironically there are ripped DVD and CDs on the fileserver which are still perfectly playable while the original media has long-ago succumbed to aluminium rot (it's all in the closet too)

          1. Efros
            Pint

            Re: Pastime

            Hence the constant growth of my home server, the 8TB quoted above is actually only 4 TB of available storage with a complete mirror on the other 4 TB. I got caught once by a hard drive failure very early on in the life of this machine and it will not catch me out again! Mirror drives are only switched on during the backup process which is done once a week, or more often if I've been doing a lot of recording. PVR recordings and DVD iso's are space hungry, music and pictures are there also but are modest in their storage requirements.

            1. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Pastime

              "Hence the constant growth of my home server, the 8TB quoted above is actually only 4 TB of available storage with a complete mirror on the other 4 TB"

              Statistically speaking, at that size you WILL have at least one silently corrupted sector on the mirror.

              That's why I went the ZFS route. It detects and corrects data errors that the hard drives themselves can miss. That's on top of coping very well with the other usual problems of consumer-grade drives.

    3. Silverburn
      Happy

      Re: Pastime

      do this when I'm bored, go to my favourite supplier's website and select stupidly specced components to get the most humongously over the top desktop.

      You're transparently not trying hard enough...go to apple, and spec a mac pro. You'll easily break the 10k limit without even getting near a top end games rig...

  23. Michael Habel Silver badge
    Coat

    What I like to know exactly is...

    What are you supposed to play on this "Epic Gaming Rig" once ya finished building it? When you finally reach the age of reason, to realize that COD and such irksome filth of the First Person Murder Sims begins to leave ya hallow. I can't begin to count how many of those "Run & Gun" type Games I've played in the past . And each One of them as unique as a Nickelback Song! As long as there are those so-called "Filthy Casuals" (Like me!), that just want to fire up some good 'ol Jump 'n Runers, the odd bought of Gran Turismo and or Forza. and the lattest JRPG. THERE WILL BE THE CONSOLE that can do all this better, cheaper and, longer then a Bonkers PC. That nobody needs. A CPU that can suck down 250W ON ITS OWN, not even counting the Graphics, Mainboard etc. Seems most irresponsible in todays world with ever increasing energy prices.

    ...And then theres the inevitable question of the OS why the Hell would I blow a huge wad of Change on this and settle for Windows 8?

    Mines the One with the Raspberry Pi and numerous USB DVB Devices in the Pocket.

    For me the future is clear it lies in low power devices and not in HUGE XBOX style recolored Beige Boxes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What I like to know exactly is... @Michael Habel

      Sounds like someone's Mummy got them a console for Christmas, rather than the £5000 PC they wanted ...

    2. Silverburn
      FAIL

      Re: What I like to know exactly is...

      THERE WILL BE THE CONSOLE that can do all this better, cheaper and, longer then a Bonkers PC

      Of course, when I want to play Eve or WoW, I naturally hop onto my console for a quick...

      Oh wait.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: What I like to know exactly is...

        WoW really wow oh wow, and your the same type of dolt that will bang on about how EA are ripping you a New One with Sim Citys' new always on-line DRM Protection too am I right? MMORG are an even bigger joke then Microtransactions. Yeah let me pay over the Odds for this here Game + it Add-ons, and another Tenner (or whatever it happens to be) a Month to actually play it.

        PC Gaming is at best only an oddity to me but please continue to play your Murder Sims in peace.

        I'm happy with what I have on my X360 and PS3.

  24. Bastard Operator From Hull
    Happy

    Willy Waving

    I have just built a comparable spec PC and can confirm it's all about the e-peen and shoutiness. Especially when most of the gaming I enjoy is from the last decade rather than current gen (Age of Empires 2 being re-released next month!).

    It's a complete waste of money, and moreso when considering the electricity bill, but everyone has to have a hobby...

    1. Efros
      Pint

      Re: Willy Waving

      My working desktop is a hex core with 32GB of DDR3, and 1.5 TB of storage. ridiculous for the tasks it is given, although I do some video compression/editing on it, but hey it was a lot cheaper than a snowmobile and I use it year round. Well that's what I tell the wife.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Got a 3930K CPU, GTX670 GPU and 32GB RAM in my rig built just before Christmas 2011 (upgraded to the GPU a few months later).

    Primarily built for 3D rendering - which is does very nicely thank you - but also runs Skyrim, Battlefield 3 et all etc. very nicely indeed as well.

    Willy waving with pride...! :)

  26. jnemesh

    About to pull the trigger on a gaming PC

    I have been looking at building a gaming PC for several months now, and I have decided to let someone else build it this time!

    I am currently looking at purchasing a "Revolt" compact gaming system (it measures 16 inches x 16 inches x 4 inches) from ibuypower.com. I have a system configured with the i7 3770K, factory overclocked 20%, with the "Kraken" liquid cooling system, 8GB of Gskill high speed RAM, a 240GB SSD, 2TB storage drive, Nvidia Titan graphics card, and the "Phantom Lapboard" wireless keyboard and mouse...with Windows 7 of course (you couldn't PAY me to run Win 8!)...for around $2600 all said and done. Could I save a couple hundred building one myself? Sure, but I wouldnt have a 3 year warranty on an overclocked machine, nor would I have that nice compact form factor.

    Don't get me wrong, this article is GREAT for those looking to build it themselves, but the price/performance benefit of doing it yourself is so small these days as to hardly be worth it. I would only recommend a "build it yourself" system for someone who really enjoys assembling their own system as a hobby. If you are just interested in USING your machine, do yourself a huge favor and have someone build it for you.

    1. Smallbrainfield

      Re: About to pull the trigger on a gaming PC

      I did this with my last machine. They (Computer Planet) did an excellent job with the cabling, (all my builds looked like spaghetti in comparison..) I got the machine I wanted ready to roll out of the box. Definitely going to do the same thing next time.

    2. Relgoshan
      Stop

      Re: About to pull the trigger on a gaming PC

      One of the biggest concerns there, is that iBuyPower continues to be a rather poor gaming brand. You are paying what, a $500 markup for their shoddy workmanship. 20% OC with liquid cooling on that chip is a 15min tutorial video away, or less. 8GB system memory is just flat out bad with all the other specs taken into account, you want at least 16GB and it does NOT need to be the fastest because you're not dealing with integrated graphics here. With respect you could probably squeak along fine on 1333 but go with a decent 1600 that runs good timings to play it safe.

      If you view yourself as a butterfingers and don't want to build it personally, at least fix the spec and order from a more reputable manufacturer.

  27. Select * From Handle

    a single i7 extream cpu?

    Thats not bonkers!

    2x CPUS on a dual socket mobo! now thats extream!

    See link.

    http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=MB-038-EA&groupid=701&catid=5&subcat=1695

    1. Gordan

      Re: a single i7 extream cpu?

      SR-X doesn't OC worth a damn. You're better off with an SR-2 and a couple of X5670s.

  28. Bill Savage
    Alien

    Some PC games do require a monster CPU.

    Planetside 2 is a FPS game which is CPU bound when you are in a busy area. I overclocked my i5 3750K to 4.2Ghz over the weekend and and it has made a huge difference to the games playability. The framerate still drops but it (generally) stays over 30 now.

  29. Gordan

    Not all that bonkers, really

    If you really wanted to go bonkers you could build something around an EVGA SR-2 with a couple of X5650 or X5670 Xeons. £600 each for the CPUs and about £350 for the board. Then there's the 48GB of RAM you could put on it. (I built one of those recently, albeit not for gaming.)

    The problem with going AMD is that the performance per clock still lags significantly behind the Core i7.

    As for graphics, I find that multi-GPU is just too problematic and not beneficial enough to bother with. There are many drawbacks and few advantages in real use, if you are planning to do more than post self-gratifying benchmark results.

    Finally, there are a lot of misconceptions about frame rates in the gaming community, including from people who really should know better. Contrary to what many self-declared experts with no actual unerlying understanding of how the human eye works will tell you, you don't need 60fps or 40fps or 30fps for perfect gameplay. A typical human eye can perceive about 15 distinct frames per second. Traditionally, movies seen at the cinema were shot at 24fps. If you could watch those without noticing any skipping, then you have to accept that a steady 24fps frame rate is perfectly fine. The problem is the maximu gap between the frames. If the longest delay between the frames never drops below 1/15 of a second, the chances are that you won't notice any skipping. Unfortunately few if any benchmarks are designed to measure precisely this worst-case frame delay that is the only thing worth measuring. If you have a 60Hz monitor, and you get 30 frames in the first 1/2 second, then 1 frame on the 60th refresh that second, you'll notice a skip. If you only do 15fps and see one of those exactly ever 4 refreshes of your screen, it'll appear seamless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not all that bonkers, really

      You're right that a lot of gamers misunderstand framerate issues and the way the eye works - but I think your numbers are off a bit. My understanding is that our maximum perceived 'framerate' varies between 15 to 20 (as you state) in *low light* up to 50ish in bright light.

      Also, films are carefully shot so that the low framerate doesn't become apparent; in some movies it's painfully clear, particularly when there are smooth pans that are a bit too quick.

      And, of course, there's a difference depending on the kind of scene changes you're talking about: Can you tell the difference between 20fps and 30fps with, say, a filled circle smoothly traversing the screen very slowly? Of course not. Could you see the flicker if the screen was alternating full black / white? Obviously.

      So it's not as simple as just "OK, you can see this framerate and anything more doesn't make sense", or, "The only thing that matters is the maximum time delta between frames".

      Remember that if you have *jitter*, a smooth pan will jerk around even if none of the inter-frame deltas are greater than 1/15th of a sec; I can tell you this for damn sure because I spent a lot of time dealing with this crap setting up my home theater.

      I think you might be confusing jitter and frequency to some extent. They're both important, but in different ways - and sometimes it can be difficult to tell them apart without controlled testing.

      1. Gordan

        Re: Not all that bonkers, really

        @David W.

        I think you are confusing flicker against perception. The typical human eye cannot perceive that many individual frames. According to this the figure is 11-12fps:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_rate

        but I can vouch that even with perfectly even frame timing I can see the mouse pointer skipping across the screen at 13Hz (1xSL-DVI on an IBM-T221, if you must ask how/why). I find the skippyness goes away around 15fps. It most certainly isn't perceivable as anything but smooth fluid motion at 24fps (which has been the the standard movie frame rate for nearly a century).

        Flicker is different, as the article explains, which is why multi-blade shutters were used with 35mm film, which caused the same frame to be painted 2 or 3 times in succession. This reduced flicker by painting 48 or 72 frames, but there was no extra "data" shown. The flicker aspect is not applicable to screens using TFT or OLED panels.

    2. magrathea

      Re: Not all that bonkers, really

      "A typical human eye can perceive about 15 distinct frames per second. Traditionally, "

      True, you wont see - distinct frames - over about 15 but you will see a difference in smoothness. This difference is not subtle. There is a noticeable difference between gaming at 40fps and 60fps and another noticeable difference between 60 and 100. The difference between say 20 and 60 is profound and is the difference between all but unplayable and comfortable

  30. Hugh 5
    Coat

    My "ultimate" PC cost £2,075.70 and here's the spec

    Intel 75mhz Pentium, 8 Mbyte RAM, 256k cache, 730 Mbyte hard disk

    64 bit graphics card, 2 Mbyte video RAM, 15inch colour SVGA monitor

    3 PCI and 4 ISA slots (1 shared), Quad speed CD-ROM, Ensoniq sound card

    MS Office pro, MS Encarta

    ...mind you it was delivered to me by Gateway in March 1995.

    The good news is that I still use the Altec Leasing speakersand sub woofer every day attached to my iMac (leave it!) some 18 years hence.

  31. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    this rig

    Being a i72600/gtx560/8gig ram was bought so I could hack and slash at skyrim happily(the old rig now demoted to a data server ran at 5fps).. setting are ultra with high res texture packs and everything maxed out and I get 50-60 fps which does me, and will do me for the next 5 yrs at least

    I've seen the attraction of buying the parts and building my own rig, but then , since I spend all day building stuff with robots, I cant be bothered and got Novatech to do it for me... an extra £100 for a 2yr warrenty plus a no hassle 'wheres this lead go?' build.

    And they are like 2 miles away from my front door ..... but that rig........ you're are mad I say MAD!

  32. lunatik96
    Coat

    Money isnt a consideration

    If money wasn't a consideration, why did u not PAY for TOP performance? Anybody can jigger a few old parts together. U said bonkers gaming rig and that sets expectations to TOP of the line performance.

    While the rig is capable and above the capabilities I have, I would NOT consider ur parts list if starting fresh. While u make some good points about USB 3, Flash Boot drive, etc, u fall short (by ur own admission) on CPU/ graphics cards which are the heart of any gaming rig.

    In conclusion, maybe I missed the point of ur article or the title was misleading. Maybe the use of the word Bonkers is the issue.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Money isnt a consideration @lunatik96

      "Maybe the use of the word Bonkers is the issue."

      Not as big an issue as using "you", apparently. Gah ...

  33. Ammaross Danan
    Coat

    Missing a few details

    Put two (or three) 512GB SSDs in Intel (software) RAID0.

    Drop 3 Radeon 7970s in triple XFire and hook up 5 monitors to it for multi-monitor gaming. (gives triple vid cards a reason for being used)

    Definitely overclock the CPU.

    Drop another 3 or 4 4TB spindle drives in there for some real media storage.

    1. Select * From Handle

      Re: Missing a few details

      You actually add response time if you put two SSD's in RAID0 and i you would be better off going for one of OCZ's PCIe Solid State Boards. but you may have to drop a graphics card though.

  34. squigbobble
    Happy

    it's not bonkers...

    ...if it's not got 4 GTX Titans in quad SLI.

    I've only got a pair of EVGA GTX 670 FTW cards in SLI. Can thoroughly recommend them now they're about £300 and a sixth of the price of the above. They're even quiet unless you're unlucky and get one with a buzzy fan.

    1. Piro

      Re: it's not bonkers...

      This is correct. Quad SLI Titan is the only way to go if you want to go 100% bonkers.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    W A S D keyboard control. Eat your heart out Nintendo.

  36. bag o' spanners
    Paris Hilton

    When the gamers are done willywaving, howzabout speccing an AV / 3D rendermonster for the rackmount flightcased neuronutters. Looking at two 8 core cpus, min 16gb ram, twin 3gb gpu, etc. Some of the fancy dan stuff you've pulled out on the graphics side might come in handy one day (when it costs less than an arm, a leg, and the firstborn).

    (Paris: Because progress bars are not a sign of progress)

  37. kb
    Happy

    Buy AMD, its the better deal

    Lets be honest folks, games haven't been CPU in a loooong time and frankly the AMD CPUs are overkill while being dirt cheap. I picked up a 1035T for a lousy $85 USD brand new...that is 6 cores with a turbo of 3.2GHz for $85, how can you top that? My youngest plays all the latest games on a $55 Athlon triple at 3.2GHz and honestly even in the huge MMOs he plays the CPU has cycles to spare.

    So you can pick up a VERY nice socket AM3+ board for around $55, that is what I paid for mine which supports 32GB of RAM and Crossfire grab one of the Thuban X6 CPUs (I'd stay away from BD/PD as their "half core" designs just aren't as good as the Thubans, you need a 4.4GHz BD to beat a 3.0GHz Thuban) with a really nice aftermarket cooler (I prefer the Coolermaster N520 myself) and you can build a nice system for less than the cost of the CPU and board if you went Intel. By doing this you can then spend the money you save on upgrades that WILL make for faster games like an SSD or better GPU.

    As an added bonus most of the Thuban line has plenty of headroom to OC if you buy a decent board (I prefer Asrock as it has nice automatic as well as manual OC tuning) and with turbocore its like having two CPUs, a fast triple for games that are more single threaded and a hexacore for transcoding or doing work in the background while you game. The prices and bang for the buck is just nuts, the chips and boards have never been cheaper, Intel is good if you are doing work where money doesn't matter and every cycle counts but for gaming? I have yet to see a game that didn't play great on my hexa or even on the youngest boy's Athlon triple. The fact that I could build 3 gaming desktops for less than $1300 with HD4850s and everyone having 8GB of RAM and plenty of HDD space? Just can't beat prices like that folks, you just can't.

    1. Piro

      Re: Buy AMD, its the better deal

      Sorry, no. AMD is good value but it's not the absolute performance king. This was an article about outright performance.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Buy AMD, its the better deal

        "This was an article about outright performance."

        The only thing bonkers about it was the price. The kit chosen was certainly not bleeding edge.

        I spent £15k on the last machine which came through the office door but that isn't used for gaming.

  38. rav
    WTF?

    Sandy Bridge for top end gaming. Are you nuts????? eom

    Intel graphics are the worst. They are sveral generations behind AMD and nVidia. In fact they have 3d graphics only because they are buying the tech from nVidia.

    1. Relgoshan

      Re: Sandy Bridge for top end gaming. Are you nuts????? eom

      Do the world a favor and learn what a GPU is. The 'author' of this 'article' advocated for Intel in a purely traditional CPU role. The graphics are three so-so GPU cards from AMD. Not even 3x HD 7970 Gigahertz Edition. ;_;

  39. Huckleberry Muckelroy

    I have built Monster PCs. But I have always let ethics enter in. I will not buy gear from criminal anti-trust violators, no matter how contrite they have tried to appear after getting caught. That is why I would not put an Intel CPU in a build even if it were 10 GHz, free, and could d/l tomorrow's porn today.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      I can't be sure, but I suspect your hardware options are incredibly limited - particularly given the ubiquity of various chaebols in the mainboard. You might be able to get away with an AMD processor (though I'm not sure about that) but if you consider foreign companies that *ought* to be sent down for antitrust but aren't, I suspect you'll be hard-pressed to find a socket to stick it in.

  40. Ramazan
    FAIL

    where are two PSUs and quad-SLI?

  41. TRT Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Oddly similar to one...

    I just finished building for 3D biological reconstruction. But I used a Gigabyte Z77X-UP7 mobo, Antec P193 case, OCZ 1000W PSU and a Gigabyte GVN680OC-2GB GTX680. CPU was the same, and a Kuhler 620 was installed (it slightly didn't allow the case to close, but a bit of case bending around the washers eased that).

    SSD cache'd main drive, Caviar blacks raided to give a good blend of speed and resilience, and Robert is a male relative. Blistering.

    Oh, and around £1700 the lot.

    :)

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The important question...

    What games need a rig like this even at ludicrous settings these days? It's all console ports best I can tell, and they're basically designed to run on 6 year old hardware, no?

    1. Relgoshan

      Re: The important question...

      In short: NO

      Slightly more detail, an overpowered desktop is for games that never launch on console. And for games that run on multiple monitors or at ludicrous rez.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The important question...

        "In short: NO

        Slightly more detail, an overpowered desktop is for games that never launch on console. And for games that run on multiple monitors or at ludicrous rez."

        What game has launched on the desktop but not on console in recent memory that has the budget and scope to require such monster hardware? I'm being serious by the way, I'd really like to buy it if you can tell me!

        1. Relgoshan
          Pint

          Re: The important question...

          Games that have never been (should never be?) on console...I have seen people running Shogun 2 spread across a four screen grid at absurd rez...the engine could model something like fifty thousand troops at launch, and that limit has been patched upward in deference to the players. Upcoming Rome 2 is anticipated to need as much as 30-40GB disk space unless they find some good ways to cheat and recycle...granted this is hybrid conquest/RTS play but I am drooling to have it challenge my desktop.

          Aside from games where max area and rez matter, there are the racing and shooting titles with enhanced immersion. They include many titles with a console version, but on PC you can run three screens for better peripheral awareness and an in-the-game feel. In the recent crop of shooter titles, there are competitive players switching to a 30" screen with 2500-3000 horizontal pixels. Those can afford it may even game on a 4K panel but I think those screens need a little more work to be game-worthy.

          And then there are the crazy jackasses that play like 12 Eve accounts at the same time and require a NASA launch control's worth of screens to maintain whatever scheme is afoot. I think sometimes that game has about a hundred active players running a thousand top accounts, and all other players are either noobs or veteran trollers. I do not really respect it but beancounters need games too.

          Finally there are games like Minecraft. Yes it is on 360 but really you can only play it as intended on PC. Or just games with mods in general, like the popular Day Z servers for like-named Arma II mod. Or playing a BethSoft RPG like Skyrim as a sandbox with autotuning bears and such. Maybe the PS4 will change some things the PC has almost exclusively held, but I expect next gen PCs will have their own exclusives to anticipate.

  43. Relgoshan
    FAIL

    Regurgitated Tripe

    In all gravity, what makes the proffered build "Bonkers" is its total lack of both function and purpose. Someone phoned this in without any diligence of really BUILDING something legendary.

    Actual truly bonkers builds include dual 690s with dead silent liquid cooling that can max a game across 3-5 monitors. Or cracking together the cheapest rig that can still boot in 20sec AND max nearly all games on a single screen.

    Why even mention the wholly irrelevant FX-8150 in this piece at all? Why not grab an FX-8350 and then overclock it to hell? Even then it will not be a powerhouse but it is a very cheap platform for lossless video streaming and DVD conversion. I just built an 8350 based media converter for less than $500usd including Windows, and eight overclocked cores will hold together at least a dual GPU config quite well....if as author at least got right, one either has a premium board or premium dual-GPU card.

    TL;DR The author copypasta'd everything and needs to be spanked with an old slipper. Or fired. This was just EMBARRASSING.

  44. Jolyon Ralph
    Pint

    All very good...

    but how well does it play Plants vs Zombies?

  45. SnowCrash

    Cases

    Would recommend SilverStone Fortress FT02 for a 'bonkers' build, although I haven't added water cooling to mine yet.

  46. Paul 77
    Facepalm

    "Amperage"???

    Ummm... don't you mean "current"?

  47. Nuke
    FAIL

    Tool-free? Stuff that.

    "Plenty of cases offer near tool-free assembly. The side panels are secured with thumbscrews, the front and top panels pull off ............"

    Money to burn, but wont buy a few basic tools? My advice - buy a set, and small one of those nice plastic toolboxes to put them in, and keep it handy. Tools last forever, or at least your lifetime, and jeez, I got a good set of 8 assorted screwdrivers from Halfords for £2.50 once, because I had spent >£50 on something else. I don't know how people live without tools.

    I am very dubious about things manufactured without screws. Very often it is because they have banged together by chimpanzees with their fists (Apple kit?) by means of plastic barbed clips that will break if you ever try to dismantle.

    1. James Pickett

      Re: Tool-free? Stuff that.

      I quite like thumbscrews (not that sort) for side panels, but the plastic pegs employed for drive bays are foul. No fine adjustment and far too breakable.

      Slightly tangential, but I had the misfortune to replace a hard drive in an HP laptop where the base is one big plastic tub and everything is accessed via the top. This means removing the keyboard and both top panels to gain access, just so it can look smooth. What's with 'chiclet' keyboards, BTW? More style over content...

  48. James Pickett

    "GTX Titan is utterly bonkers"

    Agreed, but why stick at one..?

    http://wccftech.com/nvidia-geforce-gtx-titan-launch-video-released-super-sleek-design-sexy-sli-bridge/

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm going to ask some embarrassing questions

    Sorry.

    1. How do you stop a rig like this, with all those fans, sounding like an F14 taking off? Even liquid cooling isn't going to stop some big-ass fans whirring. So then you have the dubious pleasure of playing Crysis in a hurricane. And annoying the crap out of anyone in the same room. Or down the hall.

    2. Why so stingy on the I/O?

    - I would want to pack in RAM like it was going out of style - 64Gb should last a few generations. Or is that a trade off - by the time games need that much RAM, there will be a new generation of RAM out?

    - If you need platter storage for game files, and speed is important, shouldn't you use a RAID stripe? You only care about reads being fast so the game can load the cut-scenes or whatever.

    Please enlighten...

    1. Relgoshan

      Re: I'm going to ask some embarrassing questions

      1) Large, slow, well balanced and well lubed fans with good bearing design. There's no trick in that. But you could always route wide cooling lines and use an external dissipator the size of an automobile radiator. With a fully submersed open impeller pump. Quiet can totally be done, silent only reduces your overclocking potential a bit more.

      2) Typically more than one stick per channel slightly reduces access speed and has a (tiny) effect on stability. And unless you need the space for a server, pro renderer or giant ramdisk....all those gigs are just wasted pennies.

      3) Pertaining the exact layout of disks in a given system, more speed is great but it depends on other factors....like Battlefield 3 load times can be halved whereas Shogun 2 load times are (were?) about 90%+ bound to the CPU core clock and NOT the disk.

      You could have a fast and large SSD boot drive, plus a pair of sturdier small enterprise SSDs for storage caching or other r/w -intensive tasks. Then a few jumbo platter drives, preferably arrayed with ability to survive at least one device failure. But it depends on what you really need most.

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