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Can any one help an old noob get started...?

ArazilArazil Posts: 6Registered Users
Hi folks. Sorry in advance for the length of this post. I do ramble a bit.....

I'm new here. I'm turning to you because I've been watching youtube vids of Total War for months and would love to play it but don't own a pc. I know many people have asked about build specs before (I've read many of the threads) but I think my situation is a wee bit different from others and my knowledge level is almost certainly lower than most.

I'm trying to work out a spec that can comfortably run Total War and is also future proof.
Every time I look at build-a-pc sites my choices typically come to £3k+ and I don't seem to be able to get it lower.

I don't have a desktop atm, just a crappy old lap top that struggles with web browsing and I'm a long way off being an expert in pc's and what's in them. I'm going to be starting from scratch - monitors, keyboards, everything so know it's going to cost a bit more because of that.

I'm also skint - I can't go and buy all the bits off amazon and ebay etc and build them myself (even if I thought I could attempt that). That means I'm going to have to get it on credit - not nice I know but my only option.

I'm keen to make sure that the pc I end up with is as future proof as possible and can still be used for most things in 10 years and accept that to achieve this I'll need to spend more now. I think this is the best option for me as replacing bits every couple of years seems to be a false economy and needlessly complicated. It also helps me justify spending so much to the other half.

Basic spec I've been looking at is roughly.........

Intel i7 7 series but so many options.........
Nvidia GTX Geforce 1080ti - again there seems to be several different types
At least 16Gb but preferably 32Gb of high speed ram
Asus ROG Strix motherboard seems to be popular and well thought of
BIG hard drive - I'd like a SSD but soooo expensive
Also need things like CD RW, card reader
Water cooling - do I need this - dunno
Need a good monitor, ideally two but maybe one just now and add another later if that's possible
Want to record my game play so don't know if I need something to aid with that.
Will also need OS
I see lots of pc's with bright lights on them - do they serve a purpose or just for show ?
Power supply and cables
Sound - do I need a sound card to get sound out of the machine ? And so many speakers to choose from.

As you can probably tell, I'm a noob at this. I'd love to play this game, I used to love strategy games when I was young (I'm mid 40's now) but the only thing I can play just now is Risk !

Any help from you experts out there would be amazing. Maybe this is beyond me in terms of cost and will have to give up but I'm going round in circles just now.

Thanks a lot.

PS - I'm in the UK


  • IchonIchon Senior Member Posts: 4,730Registered Users
    edited September 2017
    Well aiming for 10 years without replacing anything is kinda impossible if you want to play current games. However you might get away with it buying the fastest CPU you can get now and only later upgrading the video card which is a very easy upgrade.

    Brand new top of the line CPU now should probably last 8 years or even a bit more if they can't keep increasing silicon. Going 10 years and expecting to play top titles in 2027 is probably unrealistic.

    i7 7820X is probably the fastest CPU it might make sense to buy but you can get i7 7700K for about 250 less and speed difference is only 9%

    Getting a 1080i GPU will set you up for at least 4-5 years but I think it makes a bit more sense to get 1070 and upgrade in 3-4 years so you'll end up paying maybe +60 compared to 1080ti but will have GPU good 6-8 years which is when you might have to think about new CPU.

    If you don't want to mess with the CPU much avoid water cooling. Cleaning and chance of leaks plus the fact most single video card PC don't really need water cooling unless serious over clocking attempts getting made.

    Also I would definitely get an SSD but no reason to go crazy and get a huge expensive SSD- current SSD are supposed to late average 8+ years but I am not sure I completely trust those numbers yet.

    16 is minimum RAM I'd get if trying for 8-10 years but can't quite see a reason to get 32 unless you just want it since most programs including games can't even use 16 yet... 4-5 years though maybe will be using 16 more often and having another 16 for extra open programs could possibly make sense.

    Motherboard for i7 7820X costs a bit more and I am not sure how many online vendors offer that CPU but a custom shop might be more worth your investment. You'll pay +200 probably but will have nearby service and support that can help you upgrade new GPU etc.

    Buying 2 monitors and fancy gaming mouse and keyboard will add 600-1000 and really I wouldn't jump into that without getting an idea what you might prefer.

    Logitech mouse and keyboard, decent headphones should be about 150. Monitor is really subjective. 25-32 and maybe 2k if you want but for now 1080p is probably fine since decent 1080p monitors can be had for 200-300 but going to a store and comparing for yourself or preparing to send back online orders is best way to find monitor you might be happy with for a few years.

    You should pay less than 3000 but it will be more than 2200 most likely just doing quick summary.

    YouTube, it takes over your mind and guides you to strange places like tutorials on how to talk to a giraffe.
  • ArazilArazil Posts: 6Registered Users
    Thanks Ichon, great info.

    My build seems to be leaning towards this set up......

    i7 7820x
    ASUS ROG Strix x299 motherboard
    32gb 2666hmz ram
    GTX 1080Ti graphics card
    250gb samsung ssd
    2tb seagate HD
    2 x Benq Zowie 24" monitors
    plus everything else like keyboards, web cam, cables plus OS and office software

    I may want to clock the CPU at a later date so going to leave the water cooling in but wasn't aware that leaking could be an issue with that, thanks for the heads up. Any tips on what's the best type of cooling system out there just now ?

    I'm hoping this system would be enough to max out TW while at the same time doing live video streaming and compiling while also having a few browser windows open. That's the plan anyway. I may be well over spec'd just now (I don't know) but like I said in op, I want to make sure this rig lasts for years and I won't be upgrading it every year to keep up with new top tier games. Your point about upgrading the graphics card in maybe 4-5 years though is spot on, that's really the only upgrade I'd be looking to do until technology had moved on far enough to require an upgrade to cpu in maybe 8 yrs or so.

    Also, I've been reading that now may actually be a lousy time to be buying a top end desktop pc given the new chips intel are releasing and what AMD have coming out soon. Is this true ? Is it better to wait a month or so and see how it pans out or does the tech change so often there's always a reason to wait ? Does the value of the £ play much into how much all this costs as well ?

    Finally, for doing live streaming and video capturing I've seen a card called the Elgato HD60 Pro which is expensive but seems to offer all the functionalitiy I would ever need. Have you ever heard of it or know anything about it ?

    Thanks again.
  • IchonIchon Senior Member Posts: 4,730Registered Users
    Are you intending to game on 1 monitor and have live steam on the 2nd monitor? I'd usually recommend a single larger monitor unless you are streaming or doing some other video work. Also look into Gsync since the Acer GN246HL Bbid 24" is similar specs to the Zowie but has Gsync and slightly better price point. BenQ only makes a couple Gsync monitors at the moment but supposedly will release a couple more soon.

    1080Ti is really more than you need for 1080P for the next 3-4 years so I'm not 100% convinced it is necessary unless you really want to push off a GPU upgrade but honestly you'll get way better results if you get 1070 now and then a 1270 or something in 3-4 years. If you were planning on doing 2k gaming it would make more sense.

    Coffeelake is most likely going to be +7-10% faster at a tiny bit lower power consumption than current Intel CPUs. Not bad but I am not sure it is worth the wait since Intel hasn't announced exactly when the desktop versions will launch and then when most vendors will have them in stock. Also the i7 7820X is already +7% faster than base 7700K and the wait for i7 8700K might be 3-4 months and only exceed the 7820X with over clocking.

    If you really need a dedicated video capture card Elgato does a pretty good line- are you intending to stream or what would you be using it for?
    YouTube, it takes over your mind and guides you to strange places like tutorials on how to talk to a giraffe.
  • ArazilArazil Posts: 6Registered Users
    The plan is to emulate what I see a lot of people doing just now - play great games and stream the gameplay through twitch/youtube and post videos on youtube . It looks a lot of fun and is something I think (hope?) I would be good at. I have no illusions about becoming a YT millionaire or anything but if it brought in a wee bit of cash just to help pay for the game titles that would be great.

    So, play on one monitor and stream on the other would be the plan.

    If I understand you correctly, you're advice would be to not buy the 1080 Ti just now but instead get the 1070 which should be good for another 3 years or so then upgrade to whatever the best is at that time. That way 4-5 years after that when I'm looking at upgrading the CPU and mboard I can switch the whole lot out and replace the gpu again too ? I think that's probably a good idea as then I'll be able to make sure it's all matched and compatible. Do you think the 1070 is going to be good enough to handle top tier games for another 3 years though or will the rest of my spec make up for any shortcomings towards the end of the 3 years ?

    This is working out quite expensive, especially as I can't buy the parts and build it myself. However, it's still a lot cheaper than going to the football every week and paying for sky sports (which is how I'm selling it to she who must be obeyed).

    Thanks for all your help Ichon, much appreciated.
  • IchonIchon Senior Member Posts: 4,730Registered Users
    Past history doesn't dictate future results but I'd say based on gtx 770 which launched in early 2013 and here in 2017 Warhammer TW and several other games still list 760 as the recommended requirements 2-3 years is pretty safe for most games. The move from 1080p to something else is going slowly so I think that will be ok purchase for most games unless you might want to get into VR but there again in 3-4 years when there are alot more good VR titles you can pick up a much stronger card than even the 1080Ti for less money.

    Quite a few people are still playing on i7 2500K was out in 2011 and only this year really started to show its age but for most games is totally playable. Only a few games like TW that really strain CPU need 2500K to be overclocked but it still works for TW and majority of games GPU is more important. With the i7 7820X you'll be getting 6 cores and 12 threads so I can't see many games or aps using all that up seeing as they are barely starting to use 4 cores now in well optimized games.
    YouTube, it takes over your mind and guides you to strange places like tutorials on how to talk to a giraffe.
  • ArazilArazil Posts: 6Registered Users
    Thanks for all the info Ichon, you've certainly given me a few things to think about. I might take a few weeks to make a final decision on what I'm going to go with but I'll update this thread once I know what I'm doing.

    Thanks again for all the help.
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