CPUs for racing games: AMD or Intel?

By Islander ยท 7 replies
Jun 16, 2012
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  1. I'm just starting plans for a DIY PC for racing games, my first build. I don't demand cutting edge performance; a reliable 40 fps on a singe 24-inch display would be fine. But I want at least that in TDU2, GRID/GRID2 (if it's ever released), SHIFT and pCARS (SMS). And this probably won't be built with parts purchased all at once. I expect to buy a few parts each month or so: CPU next month, mobo the month after, etc. But I do want a build flexible enough for future expansions.

    My old Vista machine works fine for home office and non-game entertainment and I plan to keep it. So, I presume I need to choose a CPU and mobo to start, graphics card, etc. to follow. What about the rivalry between AMD and Intel? Are there still problems with modern games and AMD CPUs? It seems like mobo swaps are required more often with Intel CPU upgrades than with AMD. Is that still true? Would an AMD-based machine be easier to upgrade in the future?

    Would like to keep total cost, less the peripherals, at or below $1,200. Thanks for your help, folks.

  2. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    Those games you mentioned aren't that taxing so you should be able to easily get a smooth 60fps for $1200. You can use this as a baseline, the components come to $1500 so to meet your budget I'd say get the ASRock Extreme4 mobo instead of the Extreme6, ditch the sound card and BR drive and get the Corsair 400R case instead. The Samsung 830 is only $5 more than the Crucial m4 so I'd get that instead.

    The most important part for gaming is the GPU. While the GTX 670 is an excellent card it will be overkill for the games you're running (not sure about Grid 2 obviously), something like a 7850 for $240 or the GTX 570 for $260 will easily run all your games.

    I wouldn't worry about upgrade paths, the i5 3570K will last you 3-4 years at least.

    Not sure why you're purchasing parts separately but if it's because of cashflow issues, I'd recommend saving up and buying everything together because components usually only ever decrease in price, especially GPUs. But if you're really keen to upgrade something I'd recommend getting an SSD first.
  3. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    If the slow upgrade path is for gaming purposes I'd recommend the GPU be upgraded first. You won't see any benefits in your games from the SSD upgrade.
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,706   +172

    I was thinking more along the lines of general PC performance with the SSD upgrade. Buying an expensive GPU now would mean he's bottlenecked by the CPU and mobo which is only PCI-E 1.0 and GPUs generally depreciate in price quite a lot.
  5. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    Yes, yes! I forgot to look at his current specs - you're right slh.
  6. Islander

    Islander TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 36

    That's very helpful. My only reason for buying a few parts at a time is that in my house available cash gets spent pretty quick, so monthly purchases would be more likely to actually happen versus saving up. Thanks a lot, gents.

  7. hood6558

    hood6558 TS Addict Posts: 271   +67

    I agree with slh28, all those are good picks, except that I don't really trust Asrock, seen too many bad reviews (high DOA rates. failures after a few weeks, driver and BIOS issues, etc.) I prefer Asus, but even they have issues lately with quality control. It comes down to luck; if you get a good one, it's golden, but the guy next door may experience a hellish nightmare of troubleshooting, parts-swapping, RMAs, multiple RMAs, etc. with the same board! So do your homework, read a lot of reviews, cross your fingers, and pray.
  8. Islander

    Islander TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 36

    Thanks. I'll do some more shopping and read some more reviews.


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