1. #1
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Build Help (w/ TV as monitor)

    UPDATED!

    After extensive reading, comparing, and googling this is the build I've ended up with:

    CPU - Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor
    CPU Cooler - Cooler Master TPC 812 86.2 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
    Motherboard - ASRock Z77 Extreme4 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
    Memory - Patriot Viper 3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
    Storage - Seagate Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive, Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive, Samsung 840 Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Disk
    Video Card - Gigabyte Radeon HD 7970 3GB Video Card
    Case - Cooler Master HAF 922 ATX Mid Tower Case
    Power Supply - Corsair Gaming 800W 80 PLUS Certified ATX12V Power Supply

    (The reason I have the extra 3tb HD is because if I were to use a TV as a monitor the computer would be with the entertainment system out in the family room, so I would use it to replace our current 1tb external HD that we use to store tv shows and movies on)

    http://pcpartpicker.com/ca/p/uFVd

    My thinking behind selecting these parts was to attempt to get the best bang for my buck, while future proofing, as well as cheap effective air flow for overclocking. As mentioned in my original post my goal is to use a TV as my monitor, but I've beefed up the CPU cooler and Power supply (only cost an extra $40 or so) so that if it doesn't look as good as I hope I can by a 27" 2560 x 1440 resolution monitor. I also did that to leave room to possibly utilize crossfire by adding in a second Radeon 7970 if needed.

    The budget I was aiming for was $1500 for just the computer, but I managed to get a bunch of extras that I needed and ended up just over that by a few bucks so I couldn't be more happy.

    Now I need some advice.

    Is prepping the rig for crossfire pointless? Should I save the money and down grade some items? If I change my mind, or the tv isn't up to snuff for me, will cross fire be mandatory for a 2560 x 1440 monitor? Should I lose the TV as a monitor idea and go with the XD monitor for a far better viewing experience? If I do go the traditional computer monitor route is XD worth it?

    Any other advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    __________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________
    Old Post


    Goal:

    I would like to do some casual gaming/internet browsing from the comfort of my couch while enjoying high graphic settings and smooth frame rate NOT on a laptop.

    Note:

    I don't have the computer or TV yet so it's a clean slate as far as a build/brand goes. I would estimate my budget at about $3000 CAD/USD max for both.

    Disclaimer:

    I'm a pretty big noob when it comes to tech so please, try and go easy on the acronyms, or at least define what they mean if they can be. Please and thanks.

    Questions: I've done some research on this but I'm having trouble finding specific answers, especially regarding using a TV as a monitor.

    - What type of TV would work best. LED, LCD, or plasma and why?

    - What size of a TV would work best from approximately a 10-12 foot viewing distance and why?

    - What kind of 'must haves' are there from a computer hardware standpoint if I wish to use a TV as a monitor, if any?

    As much information/tips/need to knows as you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by deathtakes; 2012-12-28 at 11:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Any new TV should be able to do it, Plasma vs. LED is mostly personal preference, and as far as I know LCD is on its way out - LED is the "new" LCD. I'd recommend researching it yourself or asking the salesmen at the store what the pros/cons to each are. I have an 42" LG brand LED 120Hz myself and it's quite nice, my parents have a 60" samsung plasma and it's also a great TV.

    It's more on your graphics card. Do you want to use your regular computer monitor + TV (dual monitor)? Then your graphics card will need that capability as well as at least two output ports. Some GC's will have two DVI's, some will have hdmi, some mini-hdmi. Your TV will always be HDMI input as far as I know (definitely at least by far the most common). So you will either need a DVI to HDMI cable, a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable, or just a standard HDMI cable depending on the card you get. You can also just single monitor it and use the TV for that. Pretty much any high end graphics card you can just assume will have these capabilities (which you will likely have with that budget), you just need to know what cable you need. Probably 99% chance that a DVI to HDMI will suit you fine for whatever you end up getting.

    My graphics card personally is a GTX560, if I remember correctly it has 2x DVI ports and 1x Mini HDMI. I have a mini HDMI to HDMI cable to output to the TV.

    As for the viewing distance I can't really say, never really thought that mattered much.
    Last edited by Spiralphoenix; 2012-12-27 at 04:53 PM.

  3. #3
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiralphoenix View Post
    Any new TV should be able to do it, Plasma vs. LED is mostly personal preference, and as far as I know LCD is on its way out - LED is the "new" LCD. I'd recommend researching it yourself or asking the salesmen at the store what the pros/cons to each are. I have an 42" LG brand LED 120Hz myself and it's quite nice, my parents have a 60" samsung plasma and it's also a great TV.

    It's more on your graphics card. Do you want to use your regular computer monitor + TV (dual monitor)? Then your graphics card will need that capability as well as at least two output ports. Some GC's will have two DVI's, some will have hdmi, some mini-hdmi. Your TV will always be HDMI input as far as I know (definitely at least by far the most common). So you will either need a DVI to HDMI cable, a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable, or just a standard HDMI cable depending on the card you get. You can also just single monitor it and use the TV for that.

    My graphics card personally is a GTX560, if I remember correctly it has 2x DVI ports and 1x Mini HDMI. I have a mini HDMI to HDMI cable to output to the TV.

    As for the viewing distance I can't really say, never really thought that mattered much.
    Do you use your TV as a monitor Spiralphoenix? If so that's reassuring.

    I am concerned about this because today when I was looking at using a TV as a monitor, I read some posts about motion blur with LEDs. I was further concerned after reading some people say that 120/240Hz motion tech for LEDs don't have any benefit and sometimes makes things worse.

    The TV I was originally looking at buying was a 55" Samsung http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/produ...cc16c9712den02

    I also read a few posts saying that the bigger the TV, the more pixelation because the resolution of the tv is lower than a computer monitors. Then to add further anxiety they were mentioning viewing distance as it would make any pixelation on the TV less noticeable depending on the size/viewing distance.

    I would prefer to have a TV as the one and only monitor, and just be able to chill on my couch using wireless mouse/key board. I do some pretty long gaming sessions pretty regularly so anything I can do to play in comfort over sitting at a desk is what I would like to accomplish.

    So based on that I'd probably build the computer based on info around using a single (LED/Plasma) TV based on suggestions from this forum.

    Thanks for the input so far

  4. #4
    Well... I have used my TV, but really I found it to be more of a hassle than it's worth. I played Batman Arkham city primarily on my TV. It's nice but I don't really have the desk/chair/setup to make it convenient to use a keyboard/mouse in front of my TV. I'm just more comfortable at my desk with my computer monitor, which isn't terrible itself at 24" with 1920x1200 resolution (slightly better than the TV's 1920x1080). But I have the option if I want to, sure. And it also takes some getting used to because... well, your mouse has much more distance to go to get across the screen. Not a bad thing necessarily but takes some adjustment (or some sensitivity changes). But I'm probably not as experienced with all of it as other people on this forum, I've just fiddled around with it and know the basics of it. But if memory serves the picture seemed pretty good while I was playing batman on the TV, don't recall any motion blur or pixelation issues.

    And of course if you are very distant from a large TV, you aren't really gaining much over being much closer to a moderate sized monitor. So yeah I guess in this case viewing distance does matter, I wasn't really speaking in the context of using it as a computer monitor like I should have, just for general viewing.

    Also make sure you get a good wireless mouse/keyboard with decent range if you plan to be far away, my G700 mouse (not cheap) has very good range but my old Logitech wave keyboard (cheap) gave me some problems at only 5-8 feet from its wireless receiver.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by deathtakes View Post
    Do you use your TV as a monitor Spiralphoenix? If so that's reassuring.

    I am concerned about this because today when I was looking at using a TV as a monitor, I read some posts about motion blur with LEDs. I was further concerned after reading some people say that 120/240Hz motion tech for LEDs don't have any benefit and sometimes makes things worse.

    The TV I was originally looking at buying was a 55" Samsung http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/produ...cc16c9712den02

    I also read a few posts saying that the bigger the TV, the more pixelation because the resolution of the tv is lower than a computer monitors. Then to add further anxiety they were mentioning viewing distance as it would make any pixelation on the TV less noticeable depending on the size/viewing distance.

    I would prefer to have a TV as the one and only monitor, and just be able to chill on my couch using wireless mouse/key board. I do some pretty long gaming sessions pretty regularly so anything I can do to play in comfort over sitting at a desk is what I would like to accomplish.

    So based on that I'd probably build the computer based on info around using a single (LED/Plasma) TV based on suggestions from this forum.

    Thanks for the input so far
    Main difference between Plasma and LED TV is that you will get text, stills etc. burned into the plasma while on a LED you will not. The TV you have selected there is a very good TV and will do the job as a PC monitor brilliantly.

    What kind of performance are you looking at getting and what would you like to spend on it?

  6. #6
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    Main difference between Plasma and LED TV is that you will get text, stills etc. burned into the plasma while on a LED you will not. The TV you have selected there is a very good TV and will do the job as a PC monitor brilliantly.

    What kind of performance are you looking at getting and what would you like to spend on it?
    Ok good, I'm feeling better now. Do you know if there is any truth to the 120/240 Hz causing lag?

    Well I just started to look into building a rig only recently to be honest, I was going to go with a mac but after looking into the monthly builds on this site and comparing cost/performance I've finally got my head about me and deciding to go custom. I'm basing my budget around the most expensive of the latest monthly build and rounding up to the nearest hundred ($1600 approximately). After doing some research on graphic cards and CPUs I went with:

    Case: Cooler Master HAF 912
    Power Supply: Corsair 750HX
    CPU: Intel i5-3570K
    Heatsink: Noctua 6 NH-D14
    Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V
    Memory: 8GB G.Skill DDR3 1600
    Graphics Card: Gigabyte 7970
    Hard Drive: Western Digital 1TB Caviar Black
    SSD: Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB
    DVD: Asus 24X SATA DVD+/-RW

    Total: $1377 (according to the prices listed)

    http://www.mmo-champion.com/content/?page=5 (scroll about a 1/4 of the way down.)

    Mostly a Unicorn with some Narwhal mixed in. This is only a preliminary build but do you have any suggestions?
    Last edited by deathtakes; 2012-12-27 at 07:01 PM.

  7. #7
    Yeah, that is a good base for a PC, some changes required though based on what kind of physical size you are looking for.

    For a PC of that size I wouldn't buy the Asus motherboard, I would get a better bang for buck motherboard like the ASRock Z77 pro4.
    I wouldn't get a Corsair Force SSD. I would be looking for a Samsung 830/840, intel 330.
    For PSU I would rather go for the AX650W as it is fully modular and gives you unrivaled cable management atm.

    Rest of the system looks fine

    BUT, that is provided you are looking for a tower. If looking for small form factor a whole lot of stuff needs to be changed in that build. Can try and help you out when I know exactly what you want.

    As for the mentioned lag i cannot say, I have never experienced that on my samsung LED so I would say no....

  8. #8
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    Yeah, that is a good base for a PC, some changes required though based on what kind of physical size you are looking for.

    For a PC of that size I wouldn't buy the Asus motherboard, I would get a better bang for buck motherboard like the ASRock Z77 pro4.
    I wouldn't get a Corsair Force SSD. I would be looking for a Samsung 830/840, intel 330.
    For PSU I would rather go for the AX650W as it is fully modular and gives you unrivaled cable management atm.

    Rest of the system looks fine

    BUT, that is provided you are looking for a tower. If looking for small form factor a whole lot of stuff needs to be changed in that build. Can try and help you out when I know exactly what you want.

    As for the mentioned lag i cannot say, I have never experienced that on my samsung LED so I would say no....
    Awesome, this is all very good info. Those changes further lowers the price to about $1138, me likey haha.

    As far as the size of the tower goes I was looking at the standard size, like the one listed which is rather bulky, but since I'd have this in my living room if I could downsize in that regard without affecting performance I would do it. I imagine price would increase, but would it simply be the cost of the box? If so how much am I looking at and what hardware changes would I need to make if any?

    You have used a 120Hz Samsung TV with no blur? If so that is awesome news.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-27 at 07:51 PM ----------

    I have a question about the SSD. This will be the first computer I've owned with one. What kind of stuff do you install onto it? OS? Games?
    Last edited by deathtakes; 2012-12-27 at 07:38 PM.

  9. #9
    High Overlord Meysvindy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathtakes View Post
    I have a question about the SSD. This will be the first computer I've owned with one. What kind of stuff do you install onto it? OS? Games?
    Whatever you want to!

    But the OS should definitely be in there. And games you play the most also go in it. Also web browsers, and startup programs. That thing called SSD is a beast and will make your pc fly

  10. #10
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    would TV be a must? if i were you i'd get some SLI/crossfire goodness combined with perhaps tripple 27" ips screens? (or is this just me with a crazy idea? xD)

  11. #11
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    would TV be a must? if i were you i'd get some SLI/crossfire goodness combined with perhaps tripple 27" ips screens? (or is this just me with a crazy idea? xD)
    That would be awesome but ya Im pretty hung up on the TV idea or anything that can keep my ass firmly planted on the couch haha. I might change my mind over time but if I can pull this off this is what I would like to accomplish.

    Question about the double cards though, when is that necessary? Would the rig posted above run most games on high? It seems affordable enough, would that be the next step to run most games on ultra?

  12. #12
    A single, powerful gpu is preferable to sli/cf setups. Too many games causes trouble with it and often you'll be forced running with just the one card. I will get back to you with some smaller cases/fitting motherboards etc. It doesn't have to cost more either

  13. #13
    Herald of the Titans shroudster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deathtakes View Post
    That would be awesome but ya Im pretty hung up on the TV idea or anything that can keep my ass firmly planted on the couch haha. I might change my mind over time but if I can pull this off this is what I would like to accomplish.

    Question about the double cards though, when is that necessary? Would the rig posted above run most games on high? It seems affordable enough, would that be the next step to run most games on ultra?
    card choice depends on what games/setting mostly which is the easiest to determine through benchmark comparisons.
    for the couch option why not have a comfy chair instead? (perhaps old race chair modded to pc chair)
    main issue in regards to tv as screen is sheer loss of certain image quality. (reaction time/pixel density/true colors to name a few)

  14. #14
    Mechagnome deathtakes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shroudster View Post
    card choice depends on what games/setting mostly which is the easiest to determine through benchmark comparisons.
    for the couch option why not have a comfy chair instead? (perhaps old race chair modded to pc chair)
    main issue in regards to tv as screen is sheer loss of certain image quality. (reaction time/pixel density/true colors to name a few)
    Ya that's what I'm worried about, blur and pixelation like you said, that would be as bad as lag, and I HATE lag.

    I basically just wondering if it will look any good, and by good I mean like very little, if any, blur and no blatantly obvious pixelation. I know that's kind of a tough question to answer as one persons opinion of what is good is different from another persons. I guess I'm just looking for any kind of reassurance that it works well. I know it's not going to optimal compared to the resolution of a modern monitor.

    I guess I could just get a good rig, pick up the TV I was going to get anyways (already have the surround sound) and if it isn't up to par I'll pick up a desk/chair/monitor and go with plan B, which wont be so bad.

    ---------- Post added 2012-12-28 at 12:36 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmiwink View Post
    A single, powerful gpu is preferable to sli/cf setups. Too many games causes trouble with it and often you'll be forced running with just the one card. I will get back to you with some smaller cases/fitting motherboards etc. It doesn't have to cost more either
    I would imagine the heat the extra GPU would create would be crazy as well. Thanks, I appreciate it!
    Last edited by deathtakes; 2012-12-28 at 11:14 PM.

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