Wanted: Your help to build my new PC rig!

I was going to wait, but yeah….maybe not! With the Guild Wars 2 headstart only 2.5 weeks away and me seriously under-equipped in the tech department, I decided it’s time to upgrade what has has been a faithful yet ancient rig for gaming standards. I don’t have unlimited funds at my disposal, but I’ll be damned if I play my most anticipated MMO since WoW on a 5 year old PC that lags during crowded events and WvW on lowbie settings!

This is where I’m going to need some help though and what better place to ask than the blogosphere, where people are more or less playing the same games as myself? I started the other night by inquiring about suitable graphic cards on twitter, to run GW2 smoothly on max settings; if I am to replace my entire rig (which I must) however, I need more advice from the seasoned PC builders out there! I’d like a solid, good quality setup with matching components to preferably last me 2 years before the next upgrade. Find below what I’m looking for first and foremost, including current budget limitations and please feel free to comment and share some much appreciated advice (I really am quite the hardware noob!) –

The budget
I don’t intend to spend more than ~1200 Swiss francs, which currently equals 1238 USD. So, for simplicity’s sake let’s say the total of all required components may range up to 1200$ maximum. I would spend more ideally but that’s what I have to make do with for now. Money unpleasantness out of the way, let’s talk components. Here’s what I need:

    • New graphics card
    • CPU
    • Mainboard
    • RAM
    • Power supply (I assume)

I’ve had a look at Nvidia GeForce 680 and while that looks very sweet, it would cost me almost three times what the GTX-560Ti is currently going for. I hear the latter is a very popular choice among PC gamers and several folks on twitter recommended it for GW2 purposes to me already. I can get my hands on the GTX-560Ti for a mere 250$ where I am (as opposed to 620$ for the GTX-680).

So, I am thinking this is the way to go, only this is where I get confused (bear with me…): which products do I combine for the best performance? And what brands are we talking about? I’ve seen Asus and Nvidia manufacturing these cards as well as CPU, RAM etc. People keep telling me it can vary greatly what you choose to combine here (*SCARED*)?? My preferred local hardware provider currently only lists Asus components, but naturally I’d be willing to order someplace else if it’s of essential difference. ..IS IT?

As for all other components in general to go with the GeForce, I have not the faintest clue yet. I will happily take on board any recommendations or experiences you folks can pass along. Of course I’ve also checked the system specs published by ANet, but I know at least as much about building rigs that it takes a little more in-depth knowledge to create a solid setup. Oh, and time is of the essence of course – the sooner I got my shopping list together, the better!

Thanks everybody who can lend a hand with this and for leaving specific responses (with brand/model specs or nr. ideally) a rookie such as myself cannot misunderstand! Much /love in advance and /halp!! ^^


  1. Pitrelli said (on twitter):

    i5 3570k, asus sabertooth z77
    gtx 560ti
    16gb corsair vengeance ram
    corsair 700w psu-gs700

    …That’s a note to self! πŸ˜€

  2. Here’s my go to guy for PC specs: http://www.rabb1t.com/systems.html He’s been dreaming up specs for a good number of years.
    Also, a solid state disk is essential nowadays. You’d be installing your operating system and your most often used software onto it. He’s got a 256GB one listed at $190. That will probably keep you away from the GeForce-680. But it will be great for load times.

    1. Good point, I forgot about the hard disk. I will definitely need to upgrade for more space, but luckily I should be able to come by one relatively cheap.
      Thanks, I will have a closer look at your link later tonight!

  3. Might be worth looking into launch dates for the Nvidia 660. It does for the 600 series, what the 560 did for the 500. The 560Ti is still a very good midrange card, though.

    SSD makes an incredible performance difference if you can afford it.

    1. I got the SSD noted down in bright colors!
      Ah yes, I remember someone telling me I should check that launch date – I am really impatient though! πŸ˜‰

    1. Mwaha, just like me these past few years!
      seriously though, it’s about time – I still run a machine with a GTX-250 lol, it’s not funny anymore. might as well do it now and enjoy GW2 launch rather than wait another 3 months.

  4. i would not take the sabertooth, take the Asus R.O.G. Maximus V Gene, Z77, it beats the sabertooth in most benchmarks and is cheaper:

    For the graphics card i would take the: Asus GTX-570 DirectCU II it has the best price/performance ratio atm. (And it ships with Borderland II now πŸ˜› you could sell it to me πŸ˜› )

    This is the config i would recommend. (the one i got last week πŸ™‚ ):


    You absolutely need to take a SSD!! You will get a realy huge speed gain from it. You could take a cheaper OCZ one to…
    Alternatively you could take a i5 and not a i7, the i7 will not bring you big advantages for gaming.

    1. TBH am not sure me or B would play BLII, so why not πŸ™‚
      I think you’re right about the GTX-570; I also checked for direct comparison reviews, seems the 570 is a tad better even if marginally. – http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/334129-15-battlefield
      they’re so close in price range that I don’t see why I shouldn’t get that one.

      gonna check the other components again too and I hear you on the SSD, cheers!

    2. here is the even cheaper variant:


      There is not a big difference between de i7 and the i5. The i7 supports hyperthreading the i5 does not. But there are actually one game i can think of that support hyperthreading. So go for the i5.

      Il put in a better AC adapter to. Its pretty important because you will spend less for the electricity bill πŸ˜‰
      As more efficient the Power Supply as less energy will be wasted as heat.

  5. 1. CPU – i3570k. This is more than good enough. Probably can go lower if you need to save money.

    2. Mobo – I wouldn’t get the expensive boards. Not really worth it unless you’re going to overclock. Overclocking doesn’t give you that much real world benefit anyway, but can shorten the life span of your system. Solid capacitors are good for motherboard’s longevity. I’d probably go with one of these. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/z77-express-ivy-bridge-benchmark,3254.html

    3. graphics – GTX670 is cheaper but almost as powerful as GTX680 (some OC models are faster than a reference GTX680). You can pick one of these if you want a GTX670. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-test-review,3217.html

    4. RAM – 8 GB is enough. You won’t notice any difference in gaming with 16 GB, unless maybe if you’re multitasking like crazy. Personally, I like G Skill Ripjaws, but you can go with most major brands with good reviews. I’d get a 2 RAM set (4 GB x 2).

    5. SSD – This will give you a noticeable real world benefit. Super fast OS boot time. And if you can afford to get a big enough SSD, install the game of choice on SSD for pure win. Some seem to have reliability issues though. So, I’d probably stick with Crucial or Intel SSDs. Downside is unless you’re rich and can buy a big SSD, or don’t store many files, you’ll need to buy another HD for storage.

    6. PSU – 650W should be OK though I’d probably go with 750W for this set up. There are some technical details to look out for, but you can basically save the trouble by going for good brands. I had good luck with Corsair ones. I wouldn’t get a modular one since they’re more expensive and slightly less efficient, unless you really care about having neat cables. Don’t cheap out on PSU too much. Really cheap ones can potentially fry your other expensive components.

    Good luck.

    1. Cheers! some great tips I’ll look into!
      those GTX are both rather expensive for my current purposes, also considering you then need other stronger and more expensive components to go with. I have to calculate everything tonight, methinks.

    2. I mostly agree with this guy here too. I’m a little skeptical of the cpu choice though, you can save more. I trust you’re like me and don’t over clock in which case any i7 or i5 with a K at he end is useless.

      Having said that though looking at the store I always visit for my parts, it’s only about 20eurs more and it is ever so slightly more performance.

      550 power supply is often enough for those of us who aren’t powering a Christmas tree with lasers. Definitely don’t get more than 650 if you’re getting the 560 ti.
      Focus more on stability than raw power. Asus 550 or 650 platinum are great and will keep your system safe.

      Ok I hope this looks Ok.written on my phone πŸ˜›

  6. I’ve got the 560Ti – it’s an excellent card. I seriously doubt you’ll be pushing it as hard as I am (since I use it professionally for 3D filmmaking) and I’m very happy with it.

    To give you an idea of its capabilities, I’m running Skyrim with all settings maxed out, the infamously hardware-heavy ENB mod, and a bunch of other performance-intensive mods, and getting 30+ FPS.

    I heartily second the comment about SSDs, by the way. If you’re doing anything that includes a lot of data loading, they’re the biggest single improvement you can make to your rig outside of getting a larger monitor.

    1. That’s what I hear. that said if the 570 is marginally better and almost the same price here, am probably going to go with that one. either suits my purposes though. :)and it seems I really need that SSD! thanks for the heads up, Hugh!

  7. Again, a BIG thank you to all that have replied here or elsewhere – you’ve been a massive help! maybe I can actually get all of this ordered and shipped before GW2 is up, that would be awesum! <333 - you all rock !

    1. Golden rule for computer purchases, valid for 20+ years: Don’t wait. There’s always the next piece of better hardware around the corner, or the price of that item will go down. That way you’ll be waiting forever.

  8. I’m horribly out of the loop when it comes to hardware, but I can say that I bought a 560Ti last year and am very happy with it. It does its job very well. The only gripes I have is that it can get loud at times. Then again, it’s the first graphics card I ever owned with active cooling, so maybe I’m just spoiled. The point about the 660 is good (as far as I can tell, as in “sounds reasonable”), but you’re looking for something now and not soon-or-not-so-soon.

  9. I bought my PC about 3 and a half years ago for the equivalent of about $800. I I upgraded everything except the case and the motherboard this year so it’s probably now the equivalent of a new PC costing about the same.

    It runs GW2 flawlessly on pretty near the maximum settings and I had virtually no issues with it at any time during any of the betas. Other people with really *much* better gaming systems than mine had way more trouble than I did. It’s been my experience time and again over a decade of MMO playing that I have fewer issues playing most MMOs on my low-mid range machines than friends and guildmates are having on much more expensive ones.

    They often bemoan the fact that their PCs can play X or Y offline game with much more demanding graphics effortlessly but struggle badly on the latest MMOs. I have no idea why this might be but I would say that you’ll probably get a machine that will eat GW2 alive for two-thirds of your allocated budget. Of course if you want to play non-MMOs you probably will get the benefit of the extra $400 πŸ™‚

  10. True that. expensive isn’t always best. personally I actually prefer components that have been known to be good, rather than always the newest. you never know what weird quirks suddenly show up – rather have longer, direct player experiences to vouch for something.

    A kind reader also sent me an email concerning the SSD; that looking into win7 smart caching is worth it over just getting an expensive SSD. I have to look into that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *