To be able to play on your PC in 4K (3840 x 2160) resolution, you will need to choose good components, ones adapted to this high- performance requirement task.
We will be looking at graphics cards, processors, but also at displays.
At the end, we will break out the calculator to tally the prices!
What graphics card should you choose for playing in 4K?
There are not many graphics cards which will allow you to play in 4K with good results. Here is an assessment of the situation:
- The entry level card for playing in 4K would be the GTX 1070, available for around 500€. However, we do not recommend it for playing in 4K since it will struggle to go beyond 40 FPS in Ultra / High modes.
Except in the case of a GTX 1070 SLI configuration, the GTX 1070 is not the card you should buy if you are looking to play in 4K. In fact, the GTX 1070 is much better suited for playing in 2K.
- Next in line is the Geforce GTX 1080 (without SLI) which costs between 600 and 800€. At the moment, it seems to be the only viable solution for reaching 3840×2160 resolution with maximum detail.
However, you should not expect to be able to run at more than 50 / 55 FPS in Ultra mode in very heavy AAA games. We are fast arriving at the conclusion that one graphics card is just not enough to be able to comfortably play in 4K resolution.
- A GTX 1070 SLI configuration (budget requirement of around 1 000€), will give you more power than a single GTX 1080, allowing for a frame rate of around 60 to 70 FPS in Ultra 4K in games with even the greatest resource requirements.
- You will have understood by now that the performance of even a single GTX 1080 is already quite good. However, putting two GTX 1080 cards together is even better! (it will cost you around 1,300$). With this configuration, you will be able to play at more than 90 FPS in Ultra mode with many AAA games.
Just for fun you could even try reaching 5K resolution!
Budget – graphics card:
- Minimum: GTX 1080 = 500/650$ (competition between brands)
- Recommended: SLI GTX 1080 = 1000/1300$
What processor should you buy for playing in 4K?
Intel will launch, in January 2017, its 7th generation of processors (Kaby Lake) which will be tasked with democratizing 4K UHD. But, until then, what processor should you choose?
In order to avoid the “Limited CPU” phenomenon which occurs between the CPU and GPU, the necessity of moving towards a powerful Intel Core i7 type processor seems obvious.
4K resolution requires that the CPU perform intense calculations, something which the Intel i5 processors are just not cut-out to do.
It is well known that building a PC piece by piece is cheaper, but the reality is that this option is not available to anyone because, either you have to at least have some basic notions of hardware components, or you have to have a good sponsor who can help you with the selection of the parts and the assembly. The latter perhaps not, because the most recognized stores offer assembly – at a cost, of course. As I write this, I’m not an expert, so I tell you my experience facing the challenge of building a PC gaming component with basic knowledge.
There are colleagues in the sector – and a few in CVC2– who know every model, every design, every format, and so on with a very long list of possibilities that define each hardware component and make them completely different from one another. This is not my case, but it wasn’t the first time that I’ve played with a printed circuit board full of transistors, much less. I wasn’t as knowledgeable of the last generation of processors or, for that matter, more complicated matters like chipsets and sockets, among other particularities of the motherboards, for example.
First thing: What I’m Going to Use the Computer for, Then Which Components I Need
First of all, you must set some guidelines, or so I thought. For example, what you want it for, and of course, among others, how much you can spend. Based on these two points, and perhaps some other less relevant ones, you can start the construction of a PC gaming computer piece by piece – or non-gaming, for multimedia or perhaps the office. In my case the computer has to fulfill office tasks, which is a basic matter, but also has to be able to edit photos and videos, for the work I perform here at CVC2.
It is a common mistake to mix the terms TDP (to make it clear, thermal watts) and consumption(electric watts). In this article, we will explain exactly what TDP is to which manufacturers refer in their processors, how to calculate it, how to use it, and why it is very important.
TDP (which literally means Thermal Design Power) is strictly the measure of thermic output of an ASIC (or, using other words, the thermal heat generated by the processor), which defines the necessary thermal solution to achieve its nominal performance.
How to calculate TDP
The formula to calculate TDP is the following:
TDP (watts) = (tCase°C – tAmbient°C)/(HSF Θca)
- tCase°C: The maximum temperature to the union between IHS and the processor’s die to achieve the nominal performance.
- tAmbient°C: The maximum temperature of the ambient at the entrance of the sink fan to achieve the nominal performance.
- HSF-Θca (°C/W): The minimum value of temperature per watt of the sink fan to achieve the nominal performance.
With these data in hand, let’s see an example with the new processor AMD Ryzen 7 1700, which as a 65 watts TDP.
What is the best processor for gaming? In this processor comparison, we have only chosen the best processors from each category.
The situation as it stands now (March 2017):
The Ryzen R7 line has been released. (This corresponds to Intel’s i7).
- The positive points: AMD has come out with some very good CPUs (8 cores) at very reasonable prices. This has lead to Intel significantly lowering their prices.
- The negative points: The architecture of these processors suffers from a small memory limitation which makes them less powerful for gaming than their INTEL i7 counterparts.
- Nuanced interpretation: It should be said that the Ryzen 7’s performance characteristics are still very good, and there is a very strong possibility that this processor will never cause you any game-play limitations.
Gamers should await the release of the Ryzen R5 line (which corresponds to Intel’s i5 line) in order to get the Ryzen CPU with the best performance to price ratio for gaming.
What is INTEL’S reply to these new RYZEN CPUs?
Intel will sharply decrease their prices in order to respond to the release of the new AMD Ryzen CPUs.
– Intel Core i7-6950X ($1599 US) – $300 Price Cut (-16%)
– Intel Core i7-6900K ($999 US) – $200 Price Cut (-17%)
– Intel Core i7-6850K ($549 US) – $150 Price Cut (-21%)
– Intel Core i7-6800K ($359 US) – $140 Price Cut (-28%)
– Intel Core i7-5820K ($319 US) – $100 Price Cut (-24%)
– Intel Core i7-7700K ($299 US) – $80 Price Cut (-21%)
– Intel Core i7-6700K ($259 US) – $140 Price Cut (-35%)
– Intel Core i7-4790K ($279 US) – $90 Price Cut (-24%)
– Intel Core i7-7700 ($289 US) – $50 Price Cut (-15%)
– Intel Core i7-6700 ($259 US) – $90 Price Cut (-26%)
– Intel Core i5-7600K ($199 US) – $70 Price Cut (-26%)
– Intel Core i5-6600K ($179 US) – $90 Price Cut (-33%)
– Intel Core i5-4690K ($189 US) – $70 Price Cut (-27%)
– Intel Core i5-7500 ($189 US) – $30 Price Cut (-14%)
– Intel Core i5-6500 ($179 US) – $50 Price Cut (-22%)
– Intel Core i5-4590 ($159 US) – $60 Price Cut (-27%)
– Intel Core i3-7350K ($159 US) – $20 Price Cut (-11%)
– Intel Core i3-7100 ($114 US) – $15 Price Cut (-12%)
– Intel Core i3-6100 ($109 US) – $20 Price Cut (-16%)
– Intel G4400 ($49.99 US) – $20 Price Cut (-29%)
– Intel G3258 ($49.99 US) – $27 Price Cut (-36%)
The situation as of January 2017:
The new Kaby Lake generation of Intel processors (January 2017) does not really bring anything new to the high-end processor market. In actuality, the performance increase, relative to the old Sky Lake generation, is only on the order of 3%.
In the last few years Intel has given us almost insignificant upgrades while steadily rising its prices. All in part because of AMD’s inability to offer a competitive processor. That’s over with Zen architecture. It’s all we expected and more and it will bring with it a renewed competition that will once again boost processors development, at least for the moment, in desktop systems.
The first models to hit the market are the Ryzen series 7. They will not be much different than inferior models, but they are the perfect example of what this architecture can offer to the domestic and professional users. These are eight-core processors where, for the first time in the history of AMD, the ability to process in two parallel threads by each of the cores is introduced.
After spending dozens of hours testing numerous models, I have concluded that the Asus C300 is the best inexpensive laptop.
1 – Acer Chromebook 14: Obtaining elegance and performance without going broke
If you are looking for a laptop which is not just fast but also well-built and with a great aesthetic design, the Acer Chromebook was certainly made for you.
With its entirely aluminum case and sleek design, this laptop is really easy on the eyes.
And the best thing about it is that not all the attention was paid to its design. It is fast and well-built. The Acer 14 also has a battery which can provide up to 12 hours of charge.
ASUS has some of the best manufactured laptops in the market. Especially its mid and high range of ultrabook laptops and convertibles made of aluminium. Laptops in which Asus integrates engineering, design, autonomy, sound and of course image quality.
14mm thickness. This is what this convertible laptop with touchscreen has, and is an aspect that adds to the screen thickness. Completely made in aluminum with that pretty anodized “purple” color of ASUS. Anodized and brushed with a circular treatment around the ASUS logo in the screen cover.
It’s a slim and light laptop, 1.2Kg with battery, where you can enjoy the latest in technology with an autonomy up to 12 hours thanks to its built-in 52Wh battery. It has a 360-degree screen rotation. It can switch into a 13 inch Tablet or use any position in between. The only bad thing I can notice is that ASUS didn’t properly protect the edges for the tent mode, the one you see in the picture.
At the time of buying a computer, part by part, one of the components that least receives attention is the power supply. This component is key for the correct functioning of the computer. We will explain why is not enough to say “I’ll just use the same 600W power supply”. When choosing a power supply, we have to check many factors, which can be summarized in quality of the components, stability, security, efficiency, power and quality.
The higher the quality of the components, the longer will be the useful life of the power supply. In addition, higher quality power supplies usually have a longer warranty, from 5 up to 10 years. A poor quality power supply could have a shorter useful life and damage other components if it fails.
Stability and security
Better components imply higher stability in power input. Furthermore, when buying a power supply, you have to look at the maximum time it can stay on without electricity. This is good to know in case there is a voltage drop. The minimum acceptable is around 17 milliseconds.
What is a Chromebook, exactly? You have probably heard people talking about Chromebooks, those strange computers that don’t run Windows, but that have other specific advantages.
In this article, I will give you a concrete explanation of what a Chromebook is and what the differences are between it and a Windows portable computer as well as its advantages and downsides.
Chromebooks, what are they?
Chromebook is the generic name given to portable computers which are based on the Chrome OS. It is not just portable computers that use this operating system, but it is more common to find it being used on a portable computer.
- Beautiful Convertible screen
- Very long battery life
- Solid and firm design
- Slight lack of brightness outside
What is the Acer Chromebook CB5-132T (R11) ?
The Acer Chromebook CB5-132T is an 11 inch portable touchscreen computer with a display resolution of 1366 x 768 and a price tag of 299€.
This Acer Chromebook is a hybrid portable computer in which the advantages of the Chrome OS are combined with the conveniences of a touchscreen.
The Acer Chromebook CB5-132T succeeds at being aesthetically appealing, practical and fast, all while keeping its price low thanks to the use of the Chrome OS. Keep reading to find out if this Chromebook is really worthwhile.