Comprehensive Gaming PC/Laptop Buying Guide

90 Undead Warlock
6905
Kalganuzed, just curious, which brand you prefer for high end laptop?

I browser and come to 3 different choice but can't decide for final
ASUS, MSI and custom laptop from ibuypower.com

I do have high budget so I don't care about price.

what I do care is reliable laptop that don't crap out on you.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
I'd probably go with Clevo-based laptop (Sager/Malibal), or MSI whitebook (MS-1762-262) based laptop for that then.

IE)
http://www.malibal.com/boutique/pc/configurePrd.asp?idproduct=523
with matte screen + geforce 680 + ssd + etc

(pre-order)
http://www.xoticpc.com/force-1762262-msi-1762-preorder-p-4336.html?wconfigure=yes
geforce 680 + ssd + backlit keyboard + etc
90 Undead Warlock
6905
awesome, thanks for info.

I will look around and see if I like what I see.

hate HP laptop my school issue for my computer science courses because of weak core/Ram needed for some heavy programming going.

figure that I buy high CPU laptop with graphic card for game during break time.
100 Human Priest
22275
If I have a AMD Phenom II 965 BE, 4GB DDR2 800 memory on a M4A79 motherboard, would I see a huge improvement by upgrading from a HD 4870 to a GTX 560 Ti, or would it make little difference unless I upgrade everything else?
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
For GPU-dependent games, going to an 560 Ti would be a substantial upgrade. For CPU-dependent games, there will still be an improvement, but not as drastic.
100 Human Priest
22275
Also, how would the GTX 470 fare compared to the cards you suggest?
I've seen an EVGA one for sale, used, or $120, which seems like a good deal.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
GTX 470 and GTX 480 are known as "Thermi", because they eat a TON of power, and generates massive amount of heat.

The performance of GTX 470 is roughly equal to GTX 560 Ti / HD 6950. Performance alone, is a great deal for $120, but you need to have a powerful power supply with ample airflow / cooling in the case, as well as the graphics card.
90 Human Priest
8500
I have been buying a new PC about every 4 years, 3 total since 1998, and it’s time for a new one.
Going to buy a new PC for MoP, as I am using a Laptop with a graphics built into the CPU. :(
The only game I play is WoW, but I also will use the PC for MS Office.

The question:
Right now, an I5 3570K with GTX 570 is adequate for WoW.
But in 3 years what? Will it run ok?
Should I purchase an I7 3820 with GTX 670 now for future use in 3 years? Or save my money
90 Orc Death Knight
13240
Looking for opinions on the importance of mobo and memory compatability. In the past I've never had a problem finding memory that I like that also matches up with the mobo manufacturer's certified list. This time around though, I'm considering a Biostar TZ77B board (it's price level and features match my needs perfectly), but their certified memory list is pretty meager. How likely am I to run into issues if I go with quality memory that is not on that list?

I'm not 100% going with that board, but as I mentioned it matches my needs pretty well.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
Priva:

Either is fine.

Grishkana:

"Certified list" does not matter really.
That particular board is Z77, and does not have proper support for SLi/XFire. Unless you are going for overclocking CPU, I would go down to B75.
Edited by Kalganized on 8/8/2012 3:23 PM PDT
90 Orc Death Knight
13240
Grishkana:

"Certified list" does not matter really.
That particular board is Z77, and does not have proper support for SLi/XFire. Unless you are going for overclocking CPU, I would go down to B75.


I'm keeping my budget fairly low, but going for some level of future proofing (I try to make my builds last at least 3 or 4 years). I've never had the desire to do SLI/Xfire, I don't do multi-monitor, and I have a standard 24" LCD that I'll be re-using. Going with a 3570k, and thought I'd play around with overclocking just for kicks. That board seems to have decent reviews, and is pretty cheap for a Z77.

Thanks for the info. I'd heard in the past that the memory certification wasn't all that important, but always made an effort to match it up just to be on the safe side. Since I plan on using quality memory, I'm sure there's nothing to worry about.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
Note that you will need a 3rd party CPU cooler for that 3570k, and memory with tall heatsinks (like Corsair Vengeance) will probably interfere with it.
90 Orc Death Knight
13240
Yeah, I intend on getting a good cooler (I have even in the past when I wasn't planning on overclocking, stock coolers can be very hit or miss). I'm eying some Mushkin memory at the moment, I've always heard good things and I like that they're an American company. Their heatsinks are low profile.
90 Blood Elf Paladin
1280
Based on the results I could find at: http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/high_end_gpus.html

It appears that the GTX 480 is listed at $220 on newegg.ca and has better results than the GTX 560 Ti, also $220 on newegg.ca - is it a better deal then, or is the chart off?
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
GTX 480 is indeed powerful, but power isn't everything. GTX 480 is largely panned as an bad video card overall, because:

GTX 480 generates -massive- amount of heat, extremely loud fans, and consumes significantly more power.
100 Human Warrior
15025
I have a noob question in regards to overclocking. I just finished with my computer build last week and I have been trying to overclock my i5 3570k CPU to 4.2GHz with my Biostar TZ77XE4 motherboard, the problem I am having is I can not figure out how to lower the voltage in the bios menu and when I OC the CPU to 4.2 the vcore reads 1.250 or higher. There is no negative setting when changing the core voltage only plus, no matter if I set it to offset or fixed mode. Sorry for the dump question but this is my first time OC a pc and thanks in advance for any help.
100 Blood Elf Paladin
9210
The voltage sounds about right for 4.2 GHz full load.
Offset includes + and -
100 Human Warrior
15025
Thank you for the quick response, but everything I have read about OC the 3570k is the vcore should be at 1.115v and it is not safe to let it run over 1.350v which I come close to at 4.2GHz.

Also this is the first biostar I have ever owned and I do not see any negative settings for the vcore in the bios menu which is just confusing me that they do not put that in.

There is a video on youtube where they show you the bios for a biostar motherboard along with the vcore settings.

Thanks
100 Human Warrior
15025
wishing I would have purchased a different motherboard :(
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