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An empty desk and $2,000..

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#1 Andrew Hope

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 09:50

I wish to make it clear first this is not a recommendation thread, or some disguised attempt at getting people to recommend a system for me personally. However, I am in the market for my first gaming computer, and would be using it solely for racing sims, so I thought I'd make this thread, and I'd try and make it fun, too, because I like to look at things from every angle and no matter how much research I do on my own, extra sets of eyes are always useful and if enough people can be bothered to respond, we will all learn something.

So here's a challenge, and it's very easy.

Your budget: Easy mode - $2,000. Hard mode - $1,500 or less.
Your goal: To create the best PC sim racing experience for yourself.
What you have: Nothing. No computer or equipment. (For the sake of argument, you already have the desk, chair, stands, and games, etc.).
What you need: A computer, a monitor, speakers, and a wheel/pedals/shifter, and any other equipment you feel you need.

Right off the bat, what would 'the best PC sim racing experience' be to you? What would you personally focus on? Would graphics take priority, or sound quality, or what? What is most important to you? Knowing the stipulations above, what would you spend your money on? A great computer and any old wheel and pedals, or the best wheel and pedals you can find, even if it means a less than amazing PC? Do you find monitor size makes a big difference, or could you save money on a smaller screen and just sit a bit closer to it?

As I say, this genuinely isn't 'I need a gaming computer, tell me what to buy', but I do think that if we could get, say, 20 posts, everyone with their own priorities and ideas, then we will all be able to sort out our own priorities a little better.

And so there we have it. I am going to have a go at this myself later today and hopefully we can get a few good replies in here. Don't be shy. Feel free to link to systems, components, accessories etc. if you'd like, or to just name them. Include approximate prices if possible, but if you can't be bothered just ballpark it and we'll take your word for it that it's around two grand (a hundred over doesn't really matter). I want to keep this as open-ended as possible to encourage everyone to participate, something to keep in mind: if you like to try out this challenge, bear in mind that the computer does not need in any way to be optimized for anything other than gaming. Watching movies, playing music, browsing the internet, etc. is irrelevant here.




#2 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 11:39

One screen isn't enough three at least

#3 MrFondue

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 19:58

One screen isn't enough three at least

One is more than enough
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#4 kanec

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Posted 06 December 2011 - 15:08

This was done all very super quickly.

Rough prices all from new egg.

Base System
Case: Fractal Design R3 109.99
Mobo: ASUS P8Z68-V LE 132.99
CPU: i5-2500K 220.00
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2x4Gb) 46.99
PSU: Corsair HX650W 119.99
System Drive: OCZ Vertex 3 120Gb: 144.99
Data Drive: WD Green 2TB (20EARX): 162.99
GPU: Radeon HD 6850 1GB: 149.99 <!- I'd go around this price with new GPU's coming out in the near future.
CD Driver/Burner: Whatever: 20
Windows 7: 100
Asus Xonar DG 5.1: 30


Where to improve:
Asus P8Z68-V GEN 3 189.99
PSU: AX650 149.99
More SSD/Alternative faster HDD in conjuction with SSD for applications 2xSamsung F3 raid paired for instance
CPU: i7-2700K 369
CPU heatsink: Noctua NH-U12P SE2 72.99


Logitech G27 Racing Wheel 249.99
Keyboard & Mice. whatever floats your boat.
Speakers or headphones: whatever floats your boat.

This is where it can add up quickly. A lot of it is personal choice. I prefer headphones personally for instance which is a bunch cheaper.

Monitors is a tough call and entirely dependant on your own requirements. for instance 3x monitors or a 1 really good large one. You can't have both on that budget IMHO (you're closer to 3k all up really).

So minimal up there is close to 1,750 I guess without shopping around.

Upto 2,000?
See where to improve and/or a race seat.

See where to improve and a race seat.

Add more monitors.

#5 Jejking

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 13:09

That videocard is okay for one monitor and not too extreme resolutions but if you want to go triple display, forget it. I'd dumb down the SSD and a bit of HDD space, buy a racing seat plus a decent wheel (G27 is okay for starters). Oh, and three monitors.

#6 Andy865

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Posted 09 December 2011 - 17:26

I thought the g27 was considered the dogs proverbials?

Or would a fanatec job be better?

#7 312 PB

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 05:16

Follow kanec's advice with one caveat: replace OCZ SSD with Corsair M4 or another, more reliable, SSD. Good job kanec, especially on the "Where to improve" section. Perhaps the Noctual ND-14, which will fit in the Silverstone TJ08-E. Outstanding advice from kanec, for anyone looking to be relevant.

#8 The Kanisteri

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 07:56

I would buy 50" tv, PS3, XBox and forcefeedback wheel which will work both of them, home theatre and if still money left I would buy a real car which won't run but chassis is OK and put it into livingroom as game stand. :p

#9 kanec

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 23:23

Follow kanec's advice with one caveat: replace OCZ SSD with Corsair M4 or another, more reliable, SSD. Good job kanec, especially on the "Where to improve" section. Perhaps the Noctual ND-14, which will fit in the Silverstone TJ08-E. Outstanding advice from kanec, for anyone looking to be relevant.


I've recently put an M4 into my current build.... and a 256Gb M4 is going into my next build that I'm now putting together. They're cracking drives. You're 110% right.

I completely forgot about this post and probably should have updated it.

Other changes:
If i7 is a requirement: I'd also consider the LGA 2011 with the release of the i7 3820.

What constitutes an i7 requirement? Where you can use the extra cores, the quad channel memory or the additional pcie lanes. Can *todays* games fully utilise this? No.

LGA 2011 boards:
Gigabyte UD3/7 (4 dimm)
Asrock Extreme4 (4 dimm)
Asus X79 Pro/WS/Deluxe (8 dimm)

Gigabyte UD5 (8 dimm)
Asrock Extreme 7 (8 dimm)

Radeon HD 7950 looks the mutts. It would be sensible to wait for the Kepler part as we're almost there now (rumours say 1-2 months away) and you'd be pretty daft to crossfire these right now (see below).

Crossfire/SLI worth it?
Single 60Hz 1080P: No.
Triple 60Hz: Yes
Single 120Hz 1080P: I'll tell you soon. I'm that idiot I referred to above. :)

Cases: Quite a few new one's worth looking at.
Antec P280
Corsair 550D
Bit Fenix Shinobi XL

All three of these bring in the option of a Corsair H100 cpu (all in one) water cooling unit.

I'll expand on one point as I don't want people buying crap they will not use based on my thoughts above.

If you want a machine where you just want to play today's games (and probably every game currently announced) it is pretty clear that you should go for the i5 LGA 1155 platform. If you can wait til April, then you have the new Ivy Bridge processor option and probably the new NVidia part (Kepler) to contrast against with the AMD 7950. If you can't wait, you *most likely* won't be missing out on that much.

Edited by kanec, 22 February 2012 - 23:30.