Computer performance chit-chat - opinions on hardware (BF3 & BF4)

tousledmonkey31

NRU Member
3 Jun 2013
203
89
28
35
Bonn, Germany
Hey guys,

as BF2 is shutting down and some of us old farts move on to BF3&4, i'd like to start a topic on hardware since I'd love to know what runs well for you, what shows loyalty over the years and what didn't work out for you at all.

How about your system and comments on the parts you love the most?
 

tousledmonkey31

NRU Member
3 Jun 2013
203
89
28
35
Bonn, Germany
So, I'll start

I've built a silent system and I do still notice that it runs so smoothly you can't hear if you try. Custom-built for little more than 500 bucks, best decision I could have made. I've spent hours and hours researching what goes well together so I also want to share the results and recommend some stuff.

Intel Core i5 3570 - 3.4GHz | a little ivy bridge sprinter, MUCH cheaper than i7 with just a pinch less performance. Great CPU.
MSI Z77A-G43 | I can't remember where, but I read a lot of good comments on this mainboard. Works well with all other parts. Easy configuration through Click-BIOS
Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333 | What to say, It's RAM. Enough for everything but rocket science. Don't get the cheap ones, look at the latency, looks like 9-9-9-24, the smaller the numbers the faster it is.

So much for key performance, here's more info:

BitFenix Shenobi Midi-Tower USB 3.0 | looks good, is quite cheap. If you want to save, recycle your old tower if the mainboard fits. I got this one because of the silent system
be quiet! Pure Power 530Watts | My breath is louder than this power supply
Samsung SATA SSD 128GB | Seriously guys, get a SSD. You can not believe the difference. Kachoooooom it is incredibly fast. And no sound whatsoever.
Thermaltake Macho | You will not be able to imagine the size of this thing. It's HUGE. But it fits into the tower. And you can't hear it.

To save money, I recycled my USB Hub, 2 DVD-RW drives, mouse (Logitech GS400), keyboard (Cherry, what else) and got no graphics card. Use on board graphic and sound ever since.
On lakaelo's hint I will get a GTX 550 Ti for BF3 now, I originally was looking at a GTX 760, but it's still 200 bucks. What are your opinions? Any recommendations for sound?

If you're thinking about building a pc, HOH.de is quite cheap and reliable, they even assemble the parts for only 20 bucks or so.
 
Last edited:

parafant

NRU Member
3 Mar 2014
359
224
63
Somewhere in Germany
You need more RAM. 8GB is better.
I have the EVGA GTX 760 2GB. Sound is okay, but i play all Games on ultra settings and every Graphiccard gets louder with this settings.
Try to get the EVGA GTX 560 Ti, its a good Card with enough Power for Battlefield 3/4 and EVGA overclocked their cards.

My System:
AMD FX 8120
Asus M5A97 R2.0 Board
Thermaltake SpinQ VT CPU-Cooler
16GB Corsair Vengeance 1833 Red Edition
Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256 GB
Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio
Antec LanBoy Air Midi-Tower ATX blue
2 pieces Western Digital WD20EARX Green 2TBlau

and in the next two months my baby gets a new CPU ;)
 

tousledmonkey31

NRU Member
3 Jun 2013
203
89
28
35
Bonn, Germany
Hey! Thanks for your reply. Yeah during gaming the beast can get louder, but thats no problem since nades and tanks are even louder XD
I was looking up your gtx560ti, looks like a decent card, I like the superclocked version. But I am working a lot from home so I have dual monitors, and one is still a VGA.. easier to get a different card than a new monitor ;) but thanks for the advice! I will go for another 4GB RAM but my Win7 is 32 bit due to programs from work that only run on 32bit. There is, however, an option to use more: You have to patch the kernel!

UNAWAVE - 32 Bit Windows 7 mit vollen 4 GB oder 8 GB RAM

It's written in german but its basically a standalone program that removes the block! I like the corsair vengeance too but it costs a fortune :)
I also like your tower! Fully customizable, pretty and quiet!
 

Marenghi

NRU Member
3 Dec 2012
350
3
18
33
Worcestershire, UK
i5 2500k @ 4.3
Asus P8Z68
Corsair Vengence 8GB 1600
Samsung 830 128GB SSD
Sapphire vapor-x 7950
Corsair 650d case

very happy with my current setup, there's very little it struggles with. next on my list is a large hard drive for media backups and i guess 16GB RAM since some games are making the step upto 8GB required to play them.

as for sound, just go with onboard, i did have a dedicated sound card in my machine but Azuentech went bust and now I can't use the card on win 8 so boo :(
 

samoz83

NRU Heed
15 Mar 2012
2,501
364
158
as for sound, just go with onboard, i did have a dedicated sound card in my machine but Azuentech went bust and now I can't use the card on win 8 so boo :(
Isn't there 3rd party PAX drivers for Auzentech?
 

Marenghi

NRU Member
3 Dec 2012
350
3
18
33
Worcestershire, UK
yes there is but last time i tried them they didn't do anything on win 8, 7 wasn't a problem. my onboard suits my need of an optical cable so i'm happy
 

tousledmonkey31

NRU Member
3 Jun 2013
203
89
28
35
Bonn, Germany
Just got my ASUS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti (1024 MB) for 40€ at ebay. Good deal, thank you lakaelo again for the tip :)

As for hard drives, I run a
Western Digital WD20EFRX Red 2TB that I forgot to mention. Cheap, built for NAS storage so really reliable, quiet as in you only hear the acceleration a bit. Look it up its only about 85€ on Amazon these days! The WD green series are even cheaper, 4TB for 135€, 3TB for 98€

I am curious how high I will boost the settings with this card. I'll let you know. So far, thanks for the replys!
 

samoz83

NRU Heed
15 Mar 2012
2,501
364
158
I doubt you would see any real world difference unless you were running an APU or looking at benchmarks.
 

AndyS40

NRU Member
22 Aug 2012
884
71
38
49
Staffordshire (UK)
www.flickr.com
I doubt you would see any real world difference unless you were running an APU or looking at benchmarks.

Yep Sam is right as always, not really :D

Gaming you'll see a small benefit
General use on pc will be a bit more snappy, quicker loading software and PC boot up
Bench marking there will be the most difference

And if you do upgrade get 8GB
 

glenwilson

NRU Heed
15 Mar 2012
6,363
3,907
203
62
Falkirk, United Kingdom
Seen a couple of articles that tested RAM from cheap umbranded to the super duper sticks and they found little real world difference in performance. How much RAM was more important with 8GB being a sweet spot after which there was little real world benefit. I filled mine with 16GB RAM mainly for photo and video editing which can use the extra RAM.

Gaming PC is noisy when playing but can be near silent when doing other stuff including video encoding. The Corsair software for the fans never works properly as theh USB connection is shite. Plug it into a new USB port and it works fine until you switch it off then you have to find another USB to try but I have run out of ports now.

I had a 560ti and that was fine for BF3 and OK for BF4. The current 660 is pretty good and will run BF4 at 2560x1080 at ultra settings at about 60Fps. Of course just as I bought the 660 they then brought out the 7** series.

I have three SSDs in the PC now. One for Windows/Office/Photoshop/Lightroom, second for games and a 64gb one for the windows swap file. For files I use various HDDs both 3.5" and 2.5". The smaller 2.5" hybrid HDDs use less power and are quieter that the 3TB disks but seem to perform in a similar way.

I now use a Mac Mini server for video editing and music creation and that is silent and can be left running without any sound. That came with 4gb RAM but I had to upgrade that to 16gb as it felt so restricted with the 4gb.

Overall I think I would spend more on decent keyboard and mouse than some other components even if it meant having to run games at a low quality setting. The bling is nice but when it gets busy that is a lot of work for the system to generate at a good frame rate.
 

tousledmonkey31

NRU Member
3 Jun 2013
203
89
28
35
Bonn, Germany
So, out-of-the-plan investment, but I got myself another 4GB RAM to upgrade to a total of 8 and a GTX550Ti - and what can I say, I instantly doubled my points per round at BF3.

Crisp and clear textures and shadows, smooth gameplay and quick movements, a difference like day and night compared to prior settings. Thank you all for opinions and suggestions, if you like keep on posting, it's interesting to see the different systems for different purposes.

I like the idea of having 3 SSDs, please send money into my paypal account and I'll upgrade right away :p but a small one for the windows virtual memory sounds like a nice idea, maybe in a few months there are 32GB ones for small money available.

I will now spend the rest of my days with fine BF3 graphics. What a nice life :D
 

samoz83

NRU Heed
15 Mar 2012
2,501
364
158
Overall I think I would spend more on decent keyboard and mouse than some other components even if it meant having to run games at a low quality setting.
This seriously, get a good gaming mouse and configure it right and it will seriously improve your game. (especially in games where aim is more important e.g. competitive CS)
 

glenwilson

NRU Heed
15 Mar 2012
6,363
3,907
203
62
Falkirk, United Kingdom
I'm currently running:

Intel Core i5-3570K @3.40ghz
16gb RAM
Nvidia GTX670

7 Onboard Drives:

240GB SSD for OS
64GB SSD for Windows Swap file
240GB SSD for Games
3TB HDD for general storage (photos et
1TB HDD for on board OS backups
1TB HDD for iTunes/music
2TB Hybrid HDD for Work photos and backup of photos

3TB External drive for local backups of photos and music and video

Razer Death Adder Mouse
Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Keyboard
LG 29-inch EA93 monitor super-wide 21:9 IPS 2560x1080

Creative 2.1 Sound - which I thought was going to die but is still carrying on. Have some Mission monitors that I may get an amp for and use that if it does die.

The monitor took a while to get used to be super widescreen but I now find it useful for photo and video editing - you can see before and after side by side (photo) and more room when video editing. For gaming the perspective is pretty good as you can have a wide view of your surroundings.

Though the motherboard and CPU are nearly two generations behind I don't feel performance is that bad for gaming and is fine for photoshop/lightroom but not both at the same time. Sometimes tempted to get an i7 but with such an old motherboard combo I will wait for Broadwell chips to come out.

I'm happy with the keyboard and mouse but did try a Logitech GT3 gaming keyboard. Worked OK once I got used to the layout but there wasn't enough keys on it for BF4. You could assign keys for all the usual stuff but you couldn't just assign the number keys (for vehicle positions) to the four macro keys it has. It was comfortable to use but after about six weeks it died on me and Logitech support is really pants.

Operating system is Windows 8.1.1 Pro - I have it running in desktop mode as I have no need for the modern user interface. Other software I use:

Office 2013 (Office 365)
Photoshop CS5.5
Lightroom 5.5
Topaz Photosuite
Photomatix Pro
VNC
AutoRoute
Streets and Trips
Plus games

My first PC was a 486 CPU with 8mb RAM and a 350MB HDD! I added a second 250MB HDD at a cost of £250.
 

tousledmonkey31

NRU Member
3 Jun 2013
203
89
28
35
Bonn, Germany
what have you paid for the gtx550 ti at the end?

42 Euros including shipping :D

Overall I think I would spend more on decent keyboard and mouse than some other components even if it meant having to run games at a low quality setting.
This seriously, get a good gaming mouse and configure it right and it will seriously improve your game. (especially in games where aim is more important e.g. competitive CS)

Yup I agree! The best thing on my mouse are the two buttons to increase/decrease mouse speed. Slow for sniping, quick for close combat - i love it!

Ok now stop it for my bank accounts sake! I want the Roccat Kone now! Razer is comparable in performance, but I like the looks of the Roccat :)

Oh and I'm running 2 monitors, one 22" and one 19" that's soon to be replaced by 26". Seriously, everyone get a second monitor. It makes working on a PC so much easier!
 

glenwilson

NRU Heed
15 Mar 2012
6,363
3,907
203
62
Falkirk, United Kingdom
If you want a game that will test a PC try Flight Simulator X. Turn up the settings and install some scenery addons, now watch your PC cry enough. Even though it is from 2006 there is enough graphics and processing activity going on that it will prove a test for most PCs. Hard to land a plane when you are getting about 5fps!

Oh, did I just out myself as liking Flight Sims? Shame flying in BF is nothing like FSX otherwise I might be a little better than I am.