Build a PC: Recommended Builds (May 2014)

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limitbreaker

I would personally buy a much better setup for baseline because I prefer more performance rather than less. Durability being important for me I would get that Asus sabertooth 990fx r2.0 for 144$ from Newegg and couple it with a 8320fx for 159$. That saves you roughly 105$ and with that saved money get a Gtx 770 which will give you much more performance than a Gtx 760. You'll still probably have 20$ left over which you can use to order pizza.

Don't blame Tom Machminara for putting these together, he's trying his best.

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vrmlbasic

20 bucks to get a pizza? And I thought that my area had a high cost of living ;)

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The Mac

$23 with tip for a large in my neighborhood in Boston...

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limitbreaker

Mr mac,your hockey team won game 4 but they'll lose the playoff round :-p

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The Mac

all tied up 2-2.

We will see what happens tomorrow.

Dont forget we are home tomorrow :-)

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limitbreaker

What did I say Mr Mac? Your team lost the playoff :-P

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The Mac

I know, stinks...

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vrmlbasic

I take it that is "real" pizza and not the national chain stuff (ie:the only kind I've ever had lol)?

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The Mac

yeah, Pizzaria Regina..

The delivery guy for domino's would be stoned to death along with myself if he was caught delivering in this neighborhood.

Although domino's is only a buck or 2 cheaper.

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limitbreaker

Lol you two are funny, I may not agree with your political views but we all agree with the same pc views.

Pizza cost roughly 20$ here unless you're feeding more than 2 or 3 people or unless you have the cheap stuff like Caesar pizza which taste worst than frozen pizza from the supermarket.

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vrmlbasic

Maybe it is "stockholm syndrome" but I've actually taken a liking to the Little Caesar's "deep deep dish" pizza.

I guess I should be glad that I'm not really familiar with real pizza as it would then suck to live in an area, such as I do, where it doesn't exist.

Since y'all are getting real pizza delivered for ~20 bucks I wonder how Papa Johns stays in business as a multi-topping large from them can easily cost about that much by itself (ie: carryout). Unless one of its many "BOGO" or 50% off offers is applicable, Papa John's is pretty expensive.

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The Mac

Believe it or not, papa johns is pretty close to real pizza...

more so than the other brands...

Little Caesar is tasty, but its not pizza...

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PChamp

Any reason why Intel Core i7-4820K is selected over i7-4770K in Performance build?

Also, why pick GTX 780, when R9 290 gives better bang for buck? See: http://anandtech.com/show/7981/best-video-cards-april-2014

It seems MPC is biased towards NVidia GPUs than AMD Radeon!

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tom_m

As it says in the description, the 4820K will give you more PCI Express lanes to reduce bottlenecks for multi-GPU setups.

As for the video card, we go with the 780 because Nvidia drivers tend to be easier to work with, and the card draws less power. If you prefer a 290, go for it. These are just recommendations.

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PChamp

Thanks for the clarification Tom! Do you have a recommendation regarding 290 GPU supplier? I have read positive reviews about Sapphire 290 recently over others (http://amzn.com/B00HJOXUKC).

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tom_m

For Radeon cards, I've seen consistently good results from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Sapphire and XFX. There's a number of other video card vendors, but we don't get many review samples from them, making them more difficult to gauge accurately. Gigabyte and XFX have a couple good-looking cards right now for $400.

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The Mac

The best one right now is the Sapphire VaporX, it beats the pants off all the others for cooling and OCing...

Good luck finding it at a decent price however...

Personally, i only buy sapphire, they tend to have the least number of failures over all the years ive been buying them...

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Alpha-Zulu

It's no secret that MPC has always been biased towards Nvidia. You can just tell when the reviews for the Nvidia cards are written they are clearly catering to Nvidia. The reviews are always more in depth and they're obviously biased.

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ShroudedWolf51

You must be new around here...

They certainly gave the company credit where (and when) it was due, but... While they are, when they are not being outbought by miners, better performance for your money, they are often of inferior quality, refusing to address the main issues.

The complaints with the 6***, 7***, and R9 series were heat and noise. Instead, they ignored those, trying to push the performance to match their competitor. And when the 295X2 came out, instead of addressing the heat-and-noise issues, they simply strapped a CLC onto there to keep it down some.

Considering how technology stands right now, can you imagine what sorts of performance you could hammer out of a pair of Kepler-based NVidia cards that are being cooled by a CLC? What about Maxwell?

Whether you're pro-NVidia or pro-AMD, you can't ignore the fact that at around the same pricepoints, the Maxwell cards use half the power and produce less noise at the tradeoff of negligible amounts of performance.

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PChamp

Thanks for sharing this info, very useful!

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Ghost XFX

Cooler Master Nepton 280L

And the truth shall set you free!

-Nepton Series fans everywhere

As for the rest of the builds....

I'm ready to upgrade. I tried to hang on for Haswell-E, but this Phenom just isn't cutting it any longer for my needs.

So Haswell Refresh it is.

Basically, these builds won't do. And I'm sick of lagging behind the curve. AMD let me down, so the line was drawn pretty deep for me. Starting on the 11th, I'm ordering that ASUS Z97 Deluxe (over the Sabertooth I was checking out, more on that later....) and God Speed, AMD.

And for those waiting on Skylake, I wish you the best. 2 years is quite a ways from now...Hopefully we still have something called an Economy at that time.

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pectoralis

Hi, I want to ask, why you dont use 2 512 GB SSDs in raid 0 rather than one 1 tb? Or maybe 4 256 GB SSDs? And what about 2x2tb HDD in raid 0 rather than one 4tb drive?

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wkwilley2

Most likely they picked the higher capacity drives for ease of use over setting up a Raid comfiguration and also, higher capacity drives, especially SSD's, have higher R/W speeds than their lower capacity counterparts.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Meh

I'm waiting for more efficient Quadcores next year when the best Maxwell GPU's come online

Untill then, nothing really does it for me this year

MINIMUM PC BABY! YEAYAH!

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vrmlbasic

"Is that Sarcasm?" <-Dr. Cooper

I thought you were still rocking hardware stuck in the SATA-II era?

Ever since I experienced 8 cores, even if they aren't 8 100% independent cores (shared decoder), going back to 4 is something that I can't even contemplate.

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Bullwinkle J Moose

No sarcasm intended!

However, if I can get an 8 core at 3.2Ghz or higher for $300, then yeah, I might go for it

Otherwise, I'm not gonna pay 3 - 4X the price of a Quadcore just to get lower clock speeds per core and never actually need or use those extra cores

I don't play high end games or rip blu-rays so if I ever need to transcode a 1080p movie, I can just begin the transcode on one of my 35 Watt Sandy Bitches I have and hit the KVM button to continue playing Counterstrike on the other 35 Watt Sandy Bitch

When I get tired of Counterstrike, the transcode is probably done
If not, I'll check my email or post a sarcastic retort or 2 at MAXIMUM PC until it is finished

If I don't need or use 8 cores, then whats the point?

I found much more value in multiple low cost computers than I would ever see in one single monster of a PC for my usage patterns

MINIMUM PC BABY! YEAHAH

The power being used (and wasted) at idle for the last cost-no-object Titan Build at this site is more than enough to run ALL of my machines at full tilt

I'd prefer not to pay electric bills for the last Maximum Build even if it's just sitting there idling

Thanks but no thanks

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j_j_montez

I have been reading the website for a few years, and it never fails with these types of articles. If they don't include an Ultra, people complain. When they don't include a Budget build, people complain. Those who complain have yet to notice the simple pattern that the Ultras and Budgets appear every other month. They website keeps the lineup to 3 builds, and link to a company that sells those parts. Maximum PC is obviously being sponsored by Newegg, and I'm fine with that.

For those who really want to see a budget build that includes AMD parts, look at last month. I think this solves half of the complaining comments on this article.

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NavarWynn

At this moment there are newegg banners on either side of my screen - which doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Yeah, like most the magazine has to cater to it's advertisers (the folks who pay the bills). I just can't stand the stupid popup ads everytime I go to a different page, or back. Gah! I won't buy a product EVER from people who advertise that way!

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danderson00

$1200 for a baseline system? No way.

Surely a respected computing magazine can build an entry level PC for $600. I built one for my dad a few months ago with a quad core i5, 16Gb memory and an SSD. Included everything except monitor / keyboard / mouse. Total cost was $630.

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j_j_montez

If you read the magazine or the site more than a few times, you will know that they alternate an ultra build with a budget build in these types of articles. Last month's article had a budget build for $660. Different specs than yours, but they are aware of the various financial needs of the computer user.
http://www.maximumpc.com/build_pc_recommended_builds_april_2014

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philwinkel

meh, new desktop CPUs and DDR4 on the horizon. No reason to build right now.

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FrancesTheMute

And when those new CPU's and DDR4 come out, better CPU's and faster DDR4 will be on the horizon.

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vrmlbasic

And I'll be able to put that faster DDR4 into my DDR4-capable system, whereas I'd just have to stare enviously at it if I were to buy a DDR3 setup today.

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jstein076

No Rampage IV Black Edition?

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Baer

I agree, Ultra should be the best there is with no exceptions by definition or else call it something other than Ultra!

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The Mac

not much of a bargain at almost $500

lol

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slagz

Wowzers! That's some seep pricing. Wheres the budget build?

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The Mac

They dont do the budget build monthly.

This isnt MinimumPC...

lol

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slagz

ZING! Yeah I know. But, anyone can toss together a PC with tons of money. I like looking at budget builds. Building the most capable PC for someone with a smaller budget ,like me, is more helpful. Although $1200 isn't too outrageous.

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MAIZE1951

And anybody can build an new rig somewhat cheaper if you already have an nice case and some of the parts from an previous build.

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slagz

Well that's just upgrading. I'm looking for budget, ground up builds. I need ideas for my future build. I'm going to have a budget of $800-$1000 and upgrade from there. I've been buying gaming laptops for the past ten years. It's time to jump to a desktop.

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btdog

Check out the forums--PC Building Lab. There's several examples of builds ranging from $400 barebones to multi-thousand dollar budget-busters!

MPC does provide 4 basic builds: budget (~$750); baseline (~$1200); performance (~$2300); Ultra (~$3500). IMO, the budget is too high (should be closer to $650) and there should be a fifth build for $1000 because...like you...many people have this target in mind when they want to build a PC.

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KenLV

like

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AFDozerman

I'm sorry, MPC, but it's pretty easy to tell that these are nothing more than thinly veiled sponsored ads.

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The Mac

ummm...

these are the same builds from the paper mag. Newegg has just bundled them all together and tossed in a discount.

Would you be happier if they linked to tiger direct?

They are actually $200 cheaper than in the mag (ultra is $100 cheaper)

geez, some people....

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AFDozerman

No, I wasn't referring to the Newegg bundles. I was refreering to how everything was Intel/ Nvidia/ same OEMs.

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The Mac

gotcha.

Personally i would never buy a AMD CPU. They just arent powerful enough.

If you read the mag, they say they wanted to use some AMD gpu parts, but they were price inflated due to the mining craze.

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AFDozerman

Even the low end GPUs? Jesus christ. At least it's died down somewhat now.

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The Mac

double post

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kevaskous

Gotta agree...i would chuck over two thirds of the parts on this list for each price bracket...