Samsung sold a 4k TV without 4k input. The only way to get 4k content was to use the built-in software. Predictably, Samsung quit updating the software after a year.
Your eyes can't even see at 144Hz, much less 240Hz. Go for color and pixels.
The difference will be negligible unless you're a fighter pilot. Spend your money on a monitor with good colors.
The CPU just needs to be fast enough to not bottleneck the GPU.
Any i5-4xxx won't come close to bottlenecking any GPU on the market, or even any GPU that will be on the market in a few years.
Assuming this is a gaming/general use rig...
You could shave ~$70 USD off it without hurting gaming performance if you get an i5-4440 non-k, use the stock cooler, and get a mobo that can't OC the CPU.
And then pocket the money toward a GPU upgrade a few years down the road.
Solid build, I have no recommendations for improvement. It will play Skyrim on high settings at 60 Hz without a problem.
Only thing I'd double-check is whether the power supply is reliable. Corsair uses different OEMs so their power supplies are all over the place in quality. I'm not sure about that exact model.
Good choice on not OCing the CPU and using the stock cooler. Too many newbies think they need to and end up gimping their GPU, and thus, their entire gaming experience.
EDIT: I have a 256 GB SSD on my gaming rig. I got a 1 TB "just in case I need the space" but haven't come close to filling my 256 GB SSD yet. If I were you, I'd get a 256 GB SSD unless you have a lot of static media files (maybe if your graphic design files are really big?). Or a 1 TB HDD with no SSD and an r9 290.
Too much CPU, not enough GPU...
Also if you don't OC the CPU, you can get an ~$80 motherboard. That would free up money for a better GPU, so you'd get better gaming performance.
Use an Intel processor with the r9 280. The Intel has better per-core performance so won't bottleneck future GPU's as soon.
Also, an i5-4440 won't come close to bottlenecking either GPU and will handle a GPU upgrade a few years down the road just as well as the i5-4590 you have in there.
The processor just needs to be fast enough to not bottleneck the GPU and whatever GPU you upgrade to in a few years. This means that the money you spend overclocking the CPU won't give you a meaningful performance boost, whereas getting a better graphics card will.
Any i5-4xxx non-k will do just fine. I'd go with the i5-4460, it's the cheapest one last I checked.
I really like your PSU choice. Too many builds use Corsairs made by garbage OEMs.
You don't need to overclock a $225 CPU to avoid bottlenecking an r9 280 or whatever card you'll upgrade to a few years down the road. The build below uses an r9 290 but only costs $40 more. It is equally reliable and will perform better in gaming.
EDIT: Go with Windows 8.1. Yeah, Metro's annoying, you won't get used to it, but since you already have a Mac, you'll probably use your laptop for everything but gaming anyway. And the next version of DirectX will only run on Windows 8.1.
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
If you run games at low settings, you can induce CPU bottlenecks that wouldn't be present running at settings you'll actually play at.
The benchmarks for ARMA 3, Metro: Last Light, and many other games use low to medium settings. Look at the Call of Duty: Ghosts benchmarks where he uses mostly max settings: The CPU has almost no bearing on the framerates.
However, the AMD does seem to bottleneck Assassin's Creed 4, but there is no difference (a few frames can be due to variance) between a non-overclocked i5 and an overclocked i7.
The Intel will help for Photoshop. And because the AMD might bottleneck a future GPU upgrade even more than it bottlenecks AC4.
You don't need to overclock an i5-4xxx to avoid bottlenecking a GTX 970. Even a i5-4440 non-k won't bottleneck whatever GPU you upgrade to a few years down the road. You'll get the exact same performance as you will with an OC'd i5.
Whoa, that's a crazy expensive processor for gaming!
You don't need to overclock an i7 to avoid bottlenecking a GTX 970. Even a i5-4440 non-k (Intel rigorously tests their stock coolers) won't bottleneck whatever GPU you upgrade to a few years down the road.
Whoa, that's a crazy fast processor for gaming!
You don't need to overclock your CPU to avoid bottlenecking either of those GPU's. Even an i5-4440 non-k won't bottleneck whatever GPU you upgrade to a few years down the road.
Intel rigorously tests their stock coolers. Use it instead of the Evo.
TN's are the lowest quality screen on the market, but you're paying what you'd pay for a good IPS. Usually they're in the low $100's range.
Having used 120 Hz TN's, 90 Hz CRT's, and 60 Hz IPSes, the 120 Hz TN was by far the worst monitor of the three. The extra frequency was barely noticeable, and even then only if I was looking for it and not focusing on my game. I have never met a single person who's used both and didn't think their high-frequency TN was crap compared to a 60Hz IPS.
But if you're deadset on buying a 144 Hz monitor, at least don't spend so much money on it.
If this is a gaming rig:
Overclocking CPU's doesn't help performance unless your CPU is so old that it "bottlenecks" your GPU. Any i5-4xxx series CPU won't do that for a few GPU upgrades. Switch to an i5-4440 non-k. -$50
Intel rigorously tests their stock coolers; use it since you won't be overclocking. -$50
Since you're not overclocking your CPU, you can get a less expensive but equally reliable name-brand motherboard. -$20
I have a 256 GB SSD and a 1 TB HDD and I haven't had to use my HDD yet. I don't have a lot of static media files, but unless you keep tons of games installed simultaneously, you can probably drop the 1 TB HDD. If you ever need the space, you can always buy one at a later date. -$53
Your keyboard is too expensive. Spend money on a good mouse but any $15 bargain bin keyboard will do. -$115
Your build is solid: Your motherboard is name-brand reliable but not one of those $200 armored ones, you aren't OC a CPU that won't come close to bottlenecking your GPU, and you aren't wasting money on liquid cooling.
If you haven't already, verify that your PSU is reliable. Corsair uses different OEM's so they're all over the place in quality. I think ATX's are fine but I'm not sure.
I'd consider the following changes:
1) Try to get a higher quality monitor for the same price even if it can't get 144 Hz. From using a 120 Hz TN, 90 HZ CRT, and 60 HZ IPS at different points in my life, the extra framerate is barely noticeable but the lack of color on those cheap TN's is really annoying.
2) I'd also drop the HDD unless you already know you need the space, for example, if you have lots of static media files. The 256 GB SSD is enough for most gaming rigs.
Good choice on shelling out for your GPU instead of overclocking the CPU, buying an armored motherboard, etc. Too many people don't understand that the CPU just needs to be good enough to not bottleneck your GPU after an upgrade or two.
For now, you can run almost as many (if not as many games) at max settings with a GTX 970 as you can with a GTX 980 or r9 290x.
However, next time you could save money on secondary components:
1) Any i5-4xxx non-k won't bottleneck a GTX 970, or whatever graphics cards you'll upgrade to during the life of the computer.
2) Thus, you could have used the stock CPU cooler (unless you got that one for quietness) and gotten an equally reliable but cheaper motherboard.
3) Few games use more than 8 GB. The only one I can think of is Skyrim with tons and tons of mods.
Good choice on sticking to 1080p. Even the r9 290x can't do 60Hz at 1440p with max detail/decent AA (AA isn't as important at high resolutions) in most games, much less 4K.
That liquid cooled i7 won't give you more than a frame min fps with the 290x but it will be a big boost to video editing. Likewise for the high-frequency 16 GB of RAM. Well done hybrid build!
The stock coolers are thoroughly tested by their manufacturers.
Also, CPU temp causing damage works like a critical point. As long as you're below the temperature at which it causes damage, your CPU won't be damaged. So it doesn't matter if you're running at 65 degrees or 68 degrees.
Think of it like a block of ice: As long as you keep it below 0 Celsius, it'll stay solid no matter what temp it's at.
And in the off chance that it does overheat (like if you misapply thermal paste), it will shut itself off long before any damage is done unless you intentionally tell it not to in the BIOS.
He doesn't need to overclock yet. Even the slowest i5-4xxx non-k doesn't come close to bottlenecking a GTX 970 by more than a frame.
Nice build but you could have gotten a 980 with an i5 and gotten better performance. Wouldn't make much difference for now though since the 970 can run most games at max anyway.
Good call on not OCing the CPU. You don't need to unless it bottlenecks your GPU. It probably won't even bottleneck a GPU upgrade a few years down the road.
Yeah, you could just stick with your GPU and pocket the extra money. That might be a better choice.
I play PlanetSide 2, which is supposed very processor-intensive. 60% is the highest single-core utilization I've ever gotten on my i5-5670 non-k.
Even a 290X can't do 60Hz/1440p in most shooters, thought I don't know about MMO's.
I second horusrogue's build, with the caveat that you could get a lower i5 for the same performance. An i5-4460 wouldn't come close to bottlenecking your GPU either.
That was intentional: CPU's come with rigorously tested stock coolers. Non-stock are useful for overclocking the CPU, which is unneeded in most gaming builds.
SSD's are faster and more reliable, but cost more per gigabyte. They won't improve framerates but they'll improve savegame load times.
I wouldn't be surprised if OCing the CPU helps for 3D modeling. I know it does for video editing.
It's hard to predict how long they'd last but it will definitely last 3 years at the very least, after which you can upgrade the GPU but keep the rest of the build. The exact number is hard to predict and depends on how good you want your games to look. I'd bet you start wanting a better card after 5 years but it varies from person to person.
Yeah, I usually don't recommend AMD CPU's for that reason, but any i5-4xxx will give you at as many GPU upgrades as an OC'd, liquid cooled i7-4xxx.
I'm not sure about the i3 but a GTX 970 will last a while anyway. Games are inherently single thread heavy so it should last longer than a weaker AMD processor with more cores.
This build will perform much better in gaming but cost a few bucks less. Basically, I spent as much as possible on the GPU and made sure the other components were reliable/good enough. That's how you make a gaming rig.
If you want to spend less, get a cheaper case and an r9 290 (non-X). You could probably drop some fans too; this is based off someone else's build.
Looks solid, it can run anything on max settings at 60Hz except a few horribly coded games like Dying Light, but there's nothing you can do about those games.
I really like how you didn't skimp on the GPU so that you can overclock and liquid cool the CPU! Too many "gaming rigs" do that. :)
I'd double check the reliability of the PSU. Corsair uses different OEM's for different PSU models so they're all over the place in quality. A 500W SeaSonic PSU would be more than enough for a single GTX 980.
Also, I'd dump the 1 TB HDD/120 GB SSD and get a 256 GB SSD instead unless you already need the extra space, i.e. if you have lots of static media files.
1) You could find an equally reliable motherboard for $80. Anything in that price range made by MSI, ASUS, ASRock, etc. that advertises "all solid capacitors" and not just a single "solid CPU capacitor" will be fine. -$40
2) Any i5-4xxx won't bottleneck the GTX 980 nor any GPU you upgrade. -$30
Looks great! Glad that you didn't skimp on the GPU for a better CPU.
Don't use dual GPU's. It's a fairly common newbie builder mistake.
This build will perform equal in general use and much better in gaming and it's cheaper. Basically I spent as much as I could on the GPU and made sure the rest of the components were good enough, which is how you should make a gaming build.
On a gaming build, CPU bottlenecks are so rare these days there's no point to spending money to overclock the CPU if it means getting a gimped GPU.
Go with one great GPU instead of two good ones. CrossFire/SLI are buggy; a single r9 290 would work great.
Then you can drop the liquid CPU cooling and save on the motherboard without hurting gaming performance.
In gaming rigs, CPU's just need to be good enough to not bottleneck your GPU. Any i5-4xxx is good enough to not bottleneck a GPU upgrade a few years down the road, even without overclocking.
Get CAS 9, 1.5V, 1600MHz RAM if you can afford it (yours is CAS 11, 1.5V, 1600MHz), though it shouldn't make a big if any difference in gaming. If it forces you to get a cheaper GPU or even CPU, stick with what you have.
Otherwise, I have no suggestions except for the already-mentioned PSU issue:
You have the best GPU you can afford, your CPU won't bottleneck a future GPU upgrade, and the other secondary components aren't shoddy. That's pretty much how to build a gaming rig.
Now that I've seen your build, it's solid. Your AMD 6 core CPU won't bottleneck an r9 290... too many people skimp on the GPU for an i7 with liquid cooling.
As long as the power supply is reliable (I'm not familiar with that particular model) I have no suggestions for improvement.
It's fine, but I agree that you should get an SSD if it doesn't make you cut corners on other components. I have a 256 GB one and have yet to use the 1 TB HDD I bought "just in case I need the space."
Good pick on the CPU. You don't need a liquid-cooled i7 with a $200 motherboard to avoid bottlenecking whatever GPU you'll upgrade to in a few years. :)
Unless you do video editing or something, a non-OC'd i5 will be fine for work and gaming.
You'll get better gaming and equal work performance if you put some of the money you're spending on the CPU and CPU cooler toward the video card.
The AMD build with a 290 will outperform the Intel build with the 280X. Neither CPU will bottleneck. The AMD might bottleneck a GPU upgrade in a few years, though.
BeastShadow, can you squeeze the 290 into the Intel build and still be under budget?
I haven't seen your build yet since you forgot the link :P ... but the biggest mistake I see is too much CPU and not enough GPU.
Yeah, it's fine
That one's a great choice. It's the cheapest name-brand SLI motherboard that has WiFi. The Z87 A is only $100, I took a cursory look at it and it seems fine too but it has no WiFi.
By the way, go with an i5 and the stock cooler unless you're also doing video editing or something that's heavily parallelized. Wait till you start seeing CPU bottlenecks before you OC the CPU and cash out for a non-stock cooler.
1) A single GTX 980 can't support 4k gaming at 60 Hz min fps yet. Many games won't even run at 1440p/60Hz with a single GTX 980.
2) Spend a lot less money on the CPU, CPU cooler, and mobo and you may be able to dual SLI 970's. I think that would let you play almost all games at 60Hz/1440p in games with good SLI support, but check benchmarks first. Remember you won't need to antialias at high resolutions as much.
Motherboards are commodities.
Anything that's name-brand, supports SLI, and has mostly good components (all solid capacitors instead of a single "solid CPU capacitor", ferrite chokes, etc.) will be good enough. Even $150 seems like far too much.
I only use my desktop for gaming and my 256GB SSD isn't close to getting full.
If you don't have lots of static media files or something, I'd get a 256GB SSD and no HDD. I made the mistake of getting a 1 TB HDD "just in case I need the space" and have yet to need it.
You don't need 16 GB of system RAM for a gaming rig unless you're running tons of mods in a Skyrim-like game. I'd buy a solid state drive instead. It'll help load times substantially.
Have you ever used a monitor that got above 60 Hz? I used to use a 90Hz, it was barely smoother in gaming and wasn't worth the color loss, though web browsing was nicer.
That said even with games that run well in SLI, you won't get near 144 Hz even at 1080p, much less 1440p. You could get above 60 Hz in most games, though.
I'd consider getting a 60 Hz 1440p monitor with a good panel instead of a 1080p one with a poor panel.
SLI is buggy. Always get one great card versus two good cards.
Increase the resolution and your bottleneck will go away. It's very hard to induce a noticeable bottleneck at realistic settings in modern games.
For gaming? It's pretty much moot.
The money you'd spend overclocking an i5-4690k versus any old i5-4xxx, including getting a more expensive motherboard and CPU cooler, is better spent on your graphics card or saving for a graphics card upgrade down the road.
The benchmarks that show more than a frame in fps difference use weird settings like low resolution, onboard graphics, no antialiasing, etc. These things can induce a CPU bottleneck that wouldn't be present in actual gaming.
To add to this, he'll get better gaming performance with an i5 (overclocked or not) and a better GPU than with an i7/Xeon and a weaker GPU.
Uhhh... that's pretty much what I said... "The Pentium will bottleneck games a lot less often than an i5 with a weaker graphics card."