By: Victor Liang
So here is the newest popular game around the world! Battlefield 3, but is your computer enough to handle it? Nine easy steps will help you pick out the computer parts and help out people who want the best experience playing Battlefield 3. And to Stephen O’Brien I did write this
Step 1: Choosing the CPU.
The Cpu, known as the central processing unit is what controls your computer. The two main manufacturers for CPUs are AMD and Intel. So which one are you going pick? For this computer specifically for Battlefield 3, I will choose the i5-2400. Why did i choose this processor? Well, it’s not that AMD is not good, but when it comes down to gaming, the i5 2400 is one of the best out on the market. With 4 cores and 4 threads and 3.1 GHz, this will deliver the gaming performance you need. Here is the list of list of CPUs best for gaming made by Tom’s Hardware.
Many people choose i7 for their processors when they don’t really know what they do. The truth is, i7 is good because it has 4 cores and 8 threads(more cores and threads for different models), but games do not even use up to 2 or 3 cores and do not even use threads when gaming, so the performance in gaming between a i5 and a i7 is no different. i7 is only needed for tasks that require insane use of multitasking such as video editing/encoding, graphic design, etc that actually uses these threads.
Step 2: Choosing the motherboard.
There are many choices to choose from motherboards, but it is important to note two things when choosing a motherboard: the LGA socket and the chipset. For this time, the LGA socket for the i5 2400 is LGA 1155, so its important to find a LGA 1155 motherboard. Then comes the chipset. The most common chipsets for a motherboards for the 1155 socket are H61/H67, P67/P61, and the Z68 chipset. I will create another blog including all the computer terms that you will need to know. The motherboard I chose for this time is the Asrock Z68M/USB3. Just a quick say on the specs, (Skip if don’t understand) it has 3 SATA 3.0Gb/s slots, 2 SATA 6Gb/s slots, and a SATA raid slot of 0/1/5/10. This motherboard also supports Intel Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology, Intel K-Series unlocked CPU, and Hyper-Threading Technology. The reason why i chose this motherboard is because it includes a SATA raid slot for the SSD, the price at $84.99 on Newegg, and has CPU overclocking ability for those interested in overclocking. Note: Overclocking does not affect Battlefield 3 because this game is a GPU intensive game while games such as Skyrim are more CPU intensive.
Step 3: Graphics Card(GPU)
Here is the part that many have been waiting for- the graphics card. This graphics card is known as the Gigabyte GTX 570 Super Overclock Series. This monster has 3 fans enough to keep temperatures low while delivering a massive amount of performance. With 845MHz core clock speed and 1690MHz shader clock speed, this delivers a faster speed than the normal GTX 570 at a core clock speed of 732 MHz and a Shader clock speed of 1464 MHz. With this graphics card, you’ll be able to run a nice 40-60 fps on BF3 on max settings, as shown by benchmarks from Tom’s Hardware(But some have shown to even at a run higher fps!). Although not the best graphics card, definitely enough to run BF3 on max settings fine.
Step 4: Choosing the Ram
Of course, how can we forget the ram. There are many kinds of ram and it is sometimes hard to choose because there are so many good brands. One of my favorite is the Kingston HyperX 1333MHz 8GB(2x4GB) ram. The most important thing in picking the ram for gaming is to have enough so that you do not run out, but 4gb is usually enough, but it doesn’t hurt to have 8GB. Many tend to choose 1600MHz version of this ram because it’s a little faster, but it really isn’t noticeable. If you really want to change to a 1600MHz version, that’s also fine. Its important to note that when picking ram, that the voltage is satisfactory for the Sandy Bridge CPUs. Intel approves of 1.5v for the ram and approves of 1066 Mhz and 1333 Mhz of speed ONLY. So if you have any problems with the CPU and return it, they will check to see if you satisfied the requirements and so will NOT void your warranty.
Step 5: Choosing the Hard Drives
Solid State Drive(SSD):
So, SSDs the next generation of hard drives, will be my recommendation for a hard drive. For this build, I will choose the Plextor M3 Series. I chose this SSD over the Crucial M4 and Samsung 830 because the Plextor is right in the middle of these two speed wise and price wise. Plextor has a Max Sequential Read of 510 MB/s and Max Sequential Write of 210 MB/s for the 128GB model compared to the 500MB/s Read and 175MB/s Write for the Crucial M4. The Samsung 830 does have a Max read of 520MB/s and Max Write of 320 MB/s, so if you have the extra $20, then go for the Samsung 830.The Crucial M4 and Plextor M3 both use the Marvel Controller while Samsung has their own controller, but all are very stable and reliable.The important thing to look at when choosing a SSD model is to look at what controller they use and the read and write speed. These SSDs are available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB. Why did I choose a SSD? This is because SSDs are capable of delivering speeds much faster than any mechanical hard drive. For games with big maps such as BF3, it is important to load into the map fast. With any of these 3 SSDs, you will be the first one loaded.
Because of the Thailand flood, the prices of HDDs have skyrocketed to 150% of their original price, so I recommend right now getting a small HDD to keep unnecessary/big files for storage. I personally would pick the HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721050DLE630 (0F13178) 500GB 7200 RPM as it priced at $80 off Newegg.
Step 6: Choosing the Power Supply(PSU)
The PSU is a important part for powering your whole system. You want a power supply with around 600w to power everything here. So, i would recommend getting a Antec ECO 620w as it delivers a massive amount of power enough to power this system. But be careful when choosing PSUs. Some brands are not capable of delivering the power they state they have. Trusted brands for PSUs would be Antec, Corsair, and Seasonic.
Step 7: Choosing the Computer Case
Here’s the Cooler Master Elite 430. This case provides good cooling , big enough to hold everything you have, and at a low price. The case is really on preference, but it is important to choose one that fits your motherboard(mATX or ATX) so that your case is not too small and of course, the looks of it is important too. Another aspect of picking out the case is cooling and ventilation. You want to have a case that has good cooling so you don’t overheat and get really hot and that is usually helped by adding a fan. Here is a link to help cool your system: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cooling-airflow-heatsink,3053.html
Step 8: Choosing a DVD Drive
The DVD Drive has to be the simplest part to pick and also the cheapest. For around $20, you can get a simple one, as its job is to run CDs. If you want a Blu-Ray player, they are available for around $50, so that’s also a option.
Step 9: Put it together!
Now that you have all the parts:
[CPU] i5 2400 3.1GHz
[GPU] Gigabyte Super Overclock Series GTX 570
[Ram] Kingston HyperX 1333/1600 8GB(2x4Gb)
[MB] ASRock Z68M/USB3
[PSU] Antec ECO 620w
[SSD] Plextor M3 Series/Crucial m4/Samsung 830
[HDD] HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D HDS721050DLE630 (0F13178) 500GB 7200 RPM
[DVD] Lg 22x Dvd Drive
Put it all together and have fun! If this is your first time, then look up videos on Youtube to learn how to do it!
Now that you have all your parts for your computer and are building it, there are a couple facts that might help you out.
1. Your ram comes with two sticks and you have four slots on your motherboard. Put one stick into the first slot and the second stick into the third slot. This will maximize the performance you get from the motherboard.
2. Plug your SSD into the SATA Raid 0 slot. SATA Raid 0 tends to be faster than the other SATA 3.0Gb/s and SATA 6.0Gb/s slots, so putting your SSD into the SATA Raid 0 slot will make it extra fast.
3. Put your OS(Operating System) and games onto your SSD. The SSD’s job is to read and write, just like any other hard drive, but SSDs have the capability to start up the OS and games much faster than regular mechanical hard drives. If you want to see a difference, look up on youtube SSDs vs HDDs. This way, you will load into maps in games faster, in fact you will be the first one, and you will start up your computer quick as lightning.
4. For the gamers that like to record, because you have an extra hard drive, record your videos onto the mechanical hard drive while using the SSD to keep running your game, this will allow you to record more smoothly because you are not using the same hard drive to do both at the same time.
5. Remember that space is limited on a SSD. If you get the 64GB model of the SSDs, then you have to be careful. The OS and programs will take around 15Gb while still have some space for games and such, but watch your SSD memory. If you are not playing a game anymore, or will not be playing it for a while, move it into the mechanical hard drive and put it back onto the SSD when you want to play it more actively again.
Well, that’s all i have for you right now, if you are a beginner reading this, you may not understand this, but that’s fine because i will make a new post on computer terms and such so that you can understand. With this computer, you can run BF3 on max settings, while being the first to load in, etc. The estimated cost of this computer is around $1000 and i strongly recommend buying CPUs from Microcenter because they are cheapest there. Because Bf3 is one of the most intense games out on the market right now, this computer should be good for a while. Noting on upgrades, in 2012, AMD/ATI and Intel/Nvidia will be releasing their new lineups of the 7000 series and Kepler series, and the new Ivy Bridge CPUs.
Thanks and Have Fun!