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4k gaming on the cheap

Buttoneer

63 months ago

Completely appreciate that '4k gaming' and 'on the cheap' are words that don't fit together well. I'm having a lot of trouble trying to work out from the various usual sources (Tomshardware etc) what sort of setup will allow me to run games at reasonable frame rates in 4k, what the bottlenecks are and what current limitatiions are.

For example, there's little point buying a CPU better than an i5-4690k if like me you currently max out at full HD. But if I go 4k, does the CPU have a bigger impact and if so, which should I choose?

For GPU's I can buy plenty of FLOPS with two plain R9 290's in crossfire mode at £600 (which importantly each have 4GB on board) or can I use a 780 Ti for £500 and then scale that up with SLi in due course as games get more demanding? I think the VRAM issue is important though, so perhaps the 780 isn't the way to go.

Is RAM an issue? I surely can't need more than 16GB.

Also worth noting that the current best value 4k monitor maxes at 60fps.

I have a relatively new SSD and 2 HDD's, so I also don't need a new OS (running Windows 8.1 64bit) and I also don't need keyboard, mouse or headset. I am looking for a case/Mobo/CPU/CPU Cooler/GPU/memory combo (plus other fans and cooling stuff) which will get me well into the 4k gaming window, but not so loud that I think a 747 is taking off in my living room.

Budget is reasonably flexible so lets say £1500 ($2500) for those bits. I did a rough version but not sure what else I should be thinking of. http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/p/77J26h

Comments

  • 63 months ago
  • 2 points

At 4K, i prefer having a much faster CPU overall, so i turned down the CPU to i5 for 290X in Xfire. The 290X cooler is Tri-X, a very realiable non reference cooler and combined with the solid airflow of air 540 (just put fans all over the place) the temperature should still be fine

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor £149.94 @ Aria PC
CPU Cooler Corsair H110 94.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler £90.65 @ CCL Computers
Motherboard MSI Z97-G55 SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard £81.56 @ Scan.co.uk
Memory Kingston HyperX 12GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory £95.99 @ Amazon UK
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 4GB Tri-X Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) £397.32 @ More Computers
Video Card Sapphire Radeon R9 290X 4GB Tri-X Video Card (2-Way CrossFire) £397.32 @ More Computers
Case Corsair Air 540 ATX Mid Tower Case £98.95 @ Amazon UK
Power Supply EVGA 1000W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply £127.32 @ Scan.co.uk
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available £1439.05
Generated by PCPartPicker 2014-08-20 12:43 BST+0100
  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd drop the RAM to 8 gigs instead of 12 but otherwise this is a nice parts list!

Also if you're looking to save a few more dollars you could get the H100i over the H110 as it's cheaper by about 12 pounds

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Some interesting changes from my initial list. Is there any guidance on the CPU v GPU contribution to 4k? Also quite like that price drop from Asus to MSI motherboard. I always go OTT on the mobo even though I never really need all the gaming features. I'm not a big overclocker.

I don't really 'get' RAM at all. CAS latency and 1600 v 2400, whatever. I currently have 8GB of RAM so if I can use a pair of rubbish old DIMMS I would probably delete that from the list and shift my budget around still further.

Are nyou confident that the budget shift from CPU/Mobo to 290X's is the right thing to do to optimise 4k?

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

i5 is still a strong CPU for gaming and there's almost no difference when going to i7.

In high res. gaming, GPU power is still more important overall

  • 63 months ago
  • 1 point

Incidentally, Scan do a i5-4690 overclocked bundle for £398 which is a chunky saving.

CPU, Z97 board, 8MB RAM and a cooler;

Intel Core i5 4690K "Haswell Refresh", Quad Core Professionally overclocked up to 4.6GHz Phanteks U-Type Tower Cooler Asus Z97-K, Intel Z97 Chipset 8GB Corsair Vengeance Pro 2133MHz

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