Qt3! Help Me Join The World Of PC Owners!

So here’s the skinny. I work as a composer and game designer (and player) and while my macbook pro handles the composing part fine, it just doesn’t play nice with Unity/UDK/CryEngine etc. I also owned both consoles in the last generation, and I’m thinking that while I’ll probably end up picking up a PS4, I’d love a PC that could play beautiful games with no hassle at all and I could use for slick, no-laggy design. I’m looking for something:

• Powerful - I’d love to run games on high settings for the first time in my life.
• Not overwhelmingly expensive, but I have some money to spend here.
• Purchasable/Parts purchasable in the UK.
• I realise laptops generally ≠ powerful/upgradable, but I spend a lot of time working around the house rather than at a desk. If you guys know an amazing laptop, I’d love to hear about it, but otherwise I feel I’m going to end up with a tower PC. (Which sucks. I might try and find a wifi streaming solution).
• Ideally upgradeable (see previous point).

What’re your thoughts? Should I buy pre made? Should I build my own? How many blood sacrifices do I need to enter the PC cult?

I’m not a complete technical klutz, so I’d be happy to discuss specs in more detail if you want, but I’m not a fantastic engineer either (so please bear that in mind).

The Hivemind is an angel. Sort me out. :)

Go to this site:

Figure out how much you are willing to spend, and keep in mind that the best parts to spend your gaming money are the graphics card and an SSD. Also, make sure the CPU, Motherboard and RAM are compatible.

Example barebones build:

Intel Core i5-4570
ASRock B85 Pro4
2x 4GB DDR3-1333
PNY GeForce GTX 770
Western Digital WD Blue 1TB
Samsung SSD 840 Evo Series 250GB

This would set you back around 600 pounds.

Do you need all other components too? Monitor, M&K, Gamepad, case, speakers and so on. Do you want to connect the pc to your TV?

That’s a great resource. Thanks, gmonkey! When you say “barebones”, is that in terms of graphical clout? If I was aiming for something better, I should largely focus on the card, right?

Also, I see we’re using two drives in that build - is there a consensus on what one should install on what? SSD is obviously faster.

I’ve got a mouse, speakers, I could manage fine with a crappy keyboard, and I’d probably want to hook it up to a TV.

By barebones, I mean it just includes the basic components. In terms of gaming power that should run everything you throw at it at 1920x1080, maxed out.

The idea of the two drives is to use the SSD for the system files and a few games, while the hard drive would be for pure storage and whatever else you can’t fit in the SSD.

How far away will the PC be from your TV? Would it be viable to run an HDMI cable from the PC to your TV? What size/resolution monitor would you be interested in getting? What about case size? Is a small case something you’d be interested in, or would you be okay with a regular desktop case?

Edit: I completely forgot about power supplies. Once you decide on the parts you want, click here and use it to figure out the wattage you require. With that you can pick a PSU with 80+ effiency, and a good brand name like, say, Seasonic, FSP or Super Flower.

How about a mini ITX build?

You guys are great. I’ve got a monitor already - it’s not enormous, and I’m not 100% on the resolution, but it’s good enough. I’d either hook it up to that or the TV, and in both cases it’d be nearby rather than humming away on the other side of the room.

Ideally, the smaller the case the better, but it’s not too much of an issue. I doubt I’d be overclocking (mostly because I’m so new to PC gaming I don’t really want to go knee deep into the tech stuff just yet), but ought I think about some level of cooling?

I’ll look into that power stuff once I’ve gotten a list of components.

What’s a mini ITX build? What advantages/disadvantages am I likely to see with it?

Mini ITX is a motherboard form factor. A tiny one. The advantage is that you can build your PC in a smaller case, the disadvantage is that it might more difficult/expensive.

As for cooling, unless you’re doing overclocking, or are going for a silent pc, you might as well stick to stock cooling. Would there be a problem in connecting the PC to both the monitor and the TV?

Not as far as I can see, though I’m not sure what the point would be, largely. I’m in a very, very social environment, and if we’re not all playing games on the PC, I’d be content sitting on the floor working with a keyboard or mouse. I think for day to day work I’d still use my mac, but it’d be working in Unity and things that I’d switch to the PC for.

EDIT: Stock cooling? Either I’m being a dumbass (likely) or I don’t see that on your component list upthread. Is stock cooling part of the case?

stock cooling = fan that comes with the processor when you buy it
non-stock = you can get bigger, more elaborate ‘non-stock/aftermarket’ fans to cool better/quieter

check out this thread: http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php?73846-Cheapest-coolest-quietest-fastest-cheapest-HTPC-possible&goto=newpost

check out some of the mini itx case builds here: http://pcpartpicker.com/builds/by_part/fractal-design-case-fdcanode304bl

I built a node 304 PC 2 months ago, using almost the same parts as this guy’s (check out his photos): http://pcpartpicker.com/b/F1R
One of his photos show the case next to a pile of stereo equipment, so you can see the PC is shorter than 2 Receivers. The case is sitting inside my TV cabinet without removing a shelf. Micro-ATX cases won’t even fit inside this shelf…

Anyways, in your case, if you really hate big PC boxes, look at rei’s thread, and take a look at various Mini-ITX and Micro-ATX cases. Consider that these cases won’t have as much room to stick your hands inside while building your PC! Also fewer hard disk slots. Also, Mini-ITX motherboards support just one expansion slot, for either 1 graphics card or some other junk.

P.S. I wish I had seen the pcpartpick build link before! I can see how people route the wires in the case. Right now my wires are blocking the space used by the second HD bracket.

The point of connecting the PC to your TV is that certain games lend themselves to it. Any coop games, fighting games, or Pinball games are good examples of games that work better on a TV. Also you can use the PC to play movies on your TV, of course. Even youtube videos can work well on a TV.

Oh, and check out this link.

This is what I built a few weeks ago:

So what are you going to do, Delta?