Comprehensive Gaming PC Guide Discussion - V

Games, Gaming and Hardware
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The guide can be found here, in table of contents form. The 3rd revision guide will be continue to be updated as needed.

Last Updated: January 9th, i7 is now recommended but only for a specific set of gamers.


** Table of Contents **

1. CPU:

2. CPU Cooler + Motherboard + RAM:

3. Graphics Card + Power Supply:

4. Hard Disk + SSD + DVD Burner + Case + OS:

5. Monitor + Keyboard/Mouse/Speaker:

6. Addendum:
* 1: ("When To Upgrade?" Advice)

* 2: (Recommended Builds for TL;DR Crowd)

* 3: (Recommended Gaming Laptops & Advice)

Bonus! Comprehensive Overclocking Guide by Mÿxxï of Korgath server:



Driver Resource Links:

These are provided for users that buy parts on their own.

* Motherboard *:

You will always want to download latest version from the vendors instead of relying on the CD that came with the motherboard. At most, all I would install out of the motherboard driver CD is the ethernet drivers.

Each motherboard vendors have their own way of presenting the motherboard download pages. Most of them will let you get ones for your motherboard by going to a page for your motherboard model.

For example, let's say you have ASRock Z77 Extreme3. Then this page would have the drivers and BIOS updates for that motherboard:

Click the Downloads / BIOS link on the left.

Here are the list of links to major motherboard vendors.

- ASRock:
- Biostar: (Main) (USA)
- Gigabyte: (Main) (USA)
- MSI: (Main) (USA)

Once you are at the correct page, you will want these drivers downloaded at minimum:

1. Chipset drivers
2. SATA drivers (RAID not necessary)
3. USB 3 drivers
4. Ethernet and Audio drivers (usually Realtek, but may be others such as Broadcom / VIA)
5. (Intel users) Intel Management Engine drivers / Intel Rapid Storage Device drivers

Others are optional, depending on your needs.

For more adventurous types, you can find bleeding-edge drivers elsewhere, directly from OEM companies themselves.

- Intel drivers: Intel chipset / Ethernet (some models) / Intel HD graphics drivers can be found directly from Intel download center. Interface is unintuitive, but once you get a hang of it, you can get the absolute bleeding-edge drivers for those.

- Ethernet and Audio drivers for Realtek: Realtek releases a new audio / ethernet drivers once every month (not always, but usually). Not sure what improvements these make, but it's there for you to take if you want.



- Ethernet for Broadcom: Cheaper motherboards often come with Broadcom ethernet ports.

- Audio for VIA: Really cheap motherboards use VIA audio chipsets.

- Some motherboards have third-party SATA controllers in addition to Intel. They are usually of Marvell variety. However, this should only be done if you know exactly which Marvell controller you have. I recommend you leaving these alone and just go with whatever motherboard vendor gives you.

- USB 3.0 drivers/firmware for Renesas (NEC): Many USB 3.0 chipsets on motherboards are powered by Renesas (NEC). You can't find the latest drivers from either related sites, but this site has up-to-date drivers/firmware for USB 3.0 chipset on most motherboards. Do check the version number of the current USB 3.0 drivers, and match it up with the version on the webpage below. There are two different distinct chipsets with different driver tree (2.x branch and 3.x/4.x branch. 3.x/4.x branch is NOT an upgrade from 2.x branch!).

* Video Cards *:

You should never install drivers that came on the CD with your graphics card. Always get latest version from respective company websites.

GeForce users:
Radeon users:



Historic archives of previous guides / discussions:

Original guide that began it all:

Second revision for the guide:

Discussion IV:


The 3rd revision thread will not be remade in whole unless I find a need for an extra post space.

You can discuss here, until 500th cap again!
man, i wish they'd just sticky your thread and unlock the post cap, lol.
I guess they don't like it since this thread "advertises" users to buy a certain part.
yeah, but it truly is one of the least biased things i've ever read on the internet.
You should have seen few posters accusing me of being Intel fanboy for telling people not to get AMD FX Bulldozer CPUs. ;p
Did Vishera just get released recently? Got any benchies to link?
It was released just now.

Tons of bench links here:
I've updated example build page mostly, and I've changed default recommended case now. Instead of HAF 912, I suggest paying a bit more for CoolerMaster Storm Enforcer. Primary reason for this is because the case has front USB 3.0 connectors.
the latest version of the guide has 404'd. dunno if it's a broken link or it's just fell off the forums:(
I used one of the links in the first post and it worked just fine for me.
There's a news that a Korean overclocker managed to get AMD FX-8350 to massive 8.1 GHz -- but the most important news was that all 8 cores were active when this OC was attempted.

Seems AMD FX-8350 would be a great OCer if you can keep the temperature under control.
I'm buying a new desktop soon and am using custom building. I selected the Radeon HD 7770 and have a 430 w powersupply. I am pretty new to pc hardware and so far its costing over 100$ less than the pre built one i had my eye on. Is there anything that I can improve on or take off?
"430W" power supply? Who made this power supply?
What is the CPU?
There's a news that a Korean overclocker managed to get AMD FX-8350 to massive 8.1 GHz -- but the most important news was that all 8 cores were active when this OC was attempted.

Seems AMD FX-8350 would be a great OCer if you can keep the temperature under control.

I wonder what cooling that guy used for overclocking that. i7s and i5s can reasonable only get about 4.5 GHz right?

EDIT: It was liquid nitrogen >.<

I wonder how high it could get on water and air cooling.
Probably 5 GHz.

i7 and i5 Ivy doesn't OC too well due to Intel using !@#$ thermals between the core and the heat spreader cap.
How much worse is FX-8350 than i5-3570k when both are overclocked to their reasonable limits?
I can't say, but suffice to say, FX-8350 is no match for i5-3570k when both are OC'd, in games / not well-threaded applications.
So, Windows 8 is out now. What's your thoughts on it? I'm actually surprisingly happy with it, after some initial configuration. It has a very sleek, lightweight feel to it. I'm enjoying the "app" approach much more than I thought I would.
The wise speak only of what they know. - J.R.R. Tolkien
CORE I7 3.8GHz | 12GB RAM | RADEON HD 7970 | F120 SSD
Unofficial Tech Support: irc://
Windows 8 does feature better boot / shutdown time, and for AMD Piledriver-based users, should experience better performance under 8 than 7.

So yeah, I'd say barring freak driver problem (I doubt it'll happen again, I'm sure MS learned with Vista), Windows 8 isn't so bad.

If the "tablet / smartphone" interface is something one does not want to see, there are programs (Stardock has one) that bring back old interface anyhow.

Although I should say most users (including myself) feel Windows 7 is good enough and won't switch.

$40 for Win 8 Pro license is pretty tempting though. Windows 7 was hella more expensive.

Yeah. Read it. $15 for Windows 8 Pro.
(It's not what you think it is. Give it a read! Really!)

Even if you "hate" Windows 8, a legit Windows 8 Pro (not standard) for $15 is definitely a tempting deal.

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