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The Ultimate PC Building Handbook

The Ultimate PC Building Handbook

The Ultimate PC Building Handbook - Vol2

Build the best pixel-pushing PC the right way with this comprehensive guide to PC building! Packed with guides, sample builds, benchmarks and kit tests, it's the right way to make the right choices.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
€ 7,20(Incl. btw)

in deze editie

8 min
the future of the gpu

THE GRAPHICS CARD is the component most responsible for PC gaming performance. Above everything else in your PC. You could have the most powerful, £800 octo-core Haswell-E CPU in your rig, but if you’ve got a weedy GPU backing it up, you’re never going to be hitting the graphical heights that today’s PC games deserve. And it’s a great time to buy a new graphics card right now. Both the leading lights of GPU development – Nvidia and AMD – have recently released brand new graphics card lineups, with highend, ultra-enthusiast GPUs and superefficient, lower-end offerings. And by the way, for ultra-enthusiast, read: eyewateringly ‘wtf-how-much?!’ expensive. While Nvidia has had it pretty much all its own way since the GTX 980 was released almost a year ago, AMD has finally responded with…

7 min
flat-panel perfection

A FEW YEARS AGO, the market for monitors was as exciting as binge-watching The Best Of The House Of Lords. Maybe not quite that bad, but your choices basically boiled down to a couple of resolutions across a few screen sizes. There was the TN versus IPS thing when it came to panel technology, too, with VA thrown in as a wild card. And the introduction of LED backlights shook things up a bit. But the fires of innovation were hardly burning bright. Fast-forward to today, and you’ve got the opposite problem. There’s so much choice, it’s hard to know where to start. Size-wise, you can go all the way to 40 inches without even spending all that much cash. Resolutions up to full 4K are now affordable, too. And you…

8 min
virtually prepared: getting ready for oculus rift

LENGTH OF TIME: 1–3 HOURS LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: MEDIUM THE MISSION VIRTUAL REALITY is a hot topic for PCs right now, and everyone wants a piece of the action. It’s a Wild West free-for-all as different hardware and platforms are announced, so putting together a gaming rig that can handle the demands of the upcoming VR setups is a real concern. Oculus VR has recently helped clear the air by publishing the recommended specs for its Rift platform. Depending on your current system, the recommended hardware either looks moderately tame or outlandishly extravagant. The core components consist of the CPU, GPU and RAM: Core i5-4590, GTX 970 or R9 290 and at least 8GB. If you want to minimise on costs, you could easily build a complete Oculus-ready system for around £700, including the…

3 min
msi 970a sli krait editi on

ONE SIMPLE QUESTION always hounds those who are about to embark on the creation of a new PC – do you go Intel or do you go AMD? Usually, those who are new to the world of PC gaming tend to opt for Intel. That’s at least partly down to how easy it is to identify what is new and what isn’t with Intel, a route that AMD hasn’t chosen to follow. Each time AMD releases a new CPU, instead of forcing a new chipset, it makes sure it’s backwards compatible so its customers don’t have to change out their motherboards. Decidedly then, this can become quite challenging to find out which AMD boards are new and which are old. And so to the matter at hand. MSI has brought to…

2 min

✓ MOTHERBOARD Asus Z97-A We’ve seen a lot of Z97 motherboards since this Asus offering landed, but nothing newer has managed to push it off this list. Great features at a great price. Simple really. ✓ CPU COOLER Enermax ETS-T40 Enermax has simply amazed us with this, its first CPU cooler. The performance is excellent, the price is astonishing, it’s easy to fit and it isn’t so big that it limits your case or mobo choices. ✓ MEMORY Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB This pair of 4GB sticks will give you all the performance you could ever want, and they’re in stormtrooper white. They’ll only take up two slots in the board for upgrading, too. ✓ GRAPHICS CARD XFX Radeon R9 290 In order to shift units out of the channel, AMD’s top cards of the last generation have dropped in price.…

4 min
benchmark your gpu

YOU’LL NEED THIS THE LATEST DRIVERS Up to date software means your graphics card behaves at its best. BENCHMARKING SOFTWARE In this case, the Heaven benchmark. THERE’S A CERTAIN PANIC MANY PC GAMERS WILL BE WELL ACQUAINTED WITH. A brand new game is coming out with stunning graphics and you can’t wait to play it. But then the fear sets in; will your PC be capable of running it? This is where benchmarking your GPU comes in. It’s a great way to quickly and easily see how well your graphics card will cope with a variety of graphical demands and effects. A good graphics card benchmark will put your GPU through its paces, and the results will paint a good picture of what your GPU can and can’t do well. With these results you can then look…