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Building a Gaming PC for Titanfall

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Manufacturer: Various

1920x1080, 2560x1440, 3840x2160

Join us on March 11th at 9pm ET / 6pm PT for a LIVE Titanfall Game Stream!  You can find us at http://www.pcper.com/live.  You can subscribe to our mailing list to be alerted whenever we have a live event!!

We canceled the event due to the instability of Titanfall servers.  We'll reschedule soon!!

With the release of Respawn's Titanfall upon us, many potential PC gamers are going to be looking for suggestions on compiling a list of parts targeted at a perfect Titanfall experience.  The good news is, even with a fairly low investment in PC hardware, gamers will find that the PC version of this title is definitely the premiere way to play as the compute power of the Xbox One just can't compete.

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In this story we'll present three different build suggestions, each addressing a different target resolution but also better image quality settings than the Xbox One can offer.  We have options for 1080p, the best option that the Xbox could offer, 2560x1440 and even 3840x2160, better known as 4K.  In truth, the graphics horsepower required by Titanfall isn't overly extreme, and thus an entire PC build coming in under $800, including a full copy of Windows 8.1, is easy to accomplish.

Target 1: 1920x1080

First up is old reliable, the 1920x1080 resolution that most gamers still have on their primary gaming display.  That could be a home theater style PC hooked up to a TV or monitors in sizes up to 27-in.  Here is our build suggestion, followed by our explanations.

  Titanfall 1080p Build
Processor Intel Core i3-4330 - $137
Motherboard MSI H87-G43 - $96
Memory Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB 1600 MHz (2 x 4GB) - $89
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti - $179
Storage Western Digital Blue 1TB - $59
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $72
Power Supply Corsair CX 500 watt - $49
OS Windows 8.1 OEM - $96
Total Price $781 - Amazon Full Cart

Our first build comes in at $781 and includes some incredibly competent gaming hardware for that price.  The Intel Core i3-4330 is a dual-core, HyperThreaded processor that provides more than enough capability to push Titanfall any all other major PC games on the market.  The MSI H87 motherboard lacks some of the advanced features of the Z87 platform but does the job at a lower cost.  8GB of Corsair memory, though not running at a high clock speed, provides more than enough capacity for all the programs and applications you could want to run.

Continue reading our article on building a gaming PC for Titanfall!!

The 1TB WD Blue hard drive is a steal at just $59 but obviously you are going to miss out on some of the performance advantages of an SSD.  If you can splurge a bit more in any area, this is where I would recommend you do it: grabbing something like the Samsung 840 EVO 250GB for $139.  The Corsair 200R is one of dozens of cases that can be found under $75 that will hold all your parts but that selection is very much about personal preference.  The CX 500 power supply provides more than enough juice to keep it all running.

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The graphics card is biggest contributor to gaming performance and the GeForce GTX 750 Ti is a fantastic choice that requires very little power but is more than capable of keeping up with 1920x1080 gaming in most games, including Titanfall.  Available from $149 to $179, depending on the SKU and overclock, the GTX 750 Ti is my favorite sub-$200 card you can actually buy today.

Target 2: 2560x1440

Now we are stepping things up a bit, going from 1080p to 2560x1440 resolution is a 77% increase in pixel count which requires a step up in GPU compute power to go along with it.  You might think that monitors capable of 2560x1440 are pretty expensive, and some are.  But if you look around and find the low cost options, like this QNIX QX2710 display on Amazon.com, you can jump into QHD resolutions for as low as $337!!

  Titanfall 2560x1440 Build
Processor Intel Core i5-4670K - $234
Motherboard Gigabyte Z87X-D3H - $144
Memory Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB 1600 MHz (2 x 4GB) - $89
Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX 770 Gaming - $329
ASUS GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II - $339
Storage Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD - $139
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $72
Power Supply Corsair CX 600 watt - $75
OS Windows 8.1 OEM - $96
Total Price $1198 - Amazon Full Cart

At just under $1200, our second build out provides a lot more power in a few key areas.  The biggest changes are seen in the GPU, CPU and storage placements.  Using a Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD definitely improves boot times, game load times and level load times but at the expense of capacity.  You will more than likely want to have another drive in your case, maybe even the 1TB Western Digital Blue listed in the 1080p build. 

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We upgraded the motherboard and processor to a Z87 option from Gigabyte with the Intel Core i7-4670K CPU - a true quad-core option - which will offer some improved application performance for games and for media applications.  

The biggest increase is seen in our move from the GeForce GTX 750 Ti all the way up to the GeForce GTX 770 - and a killer one from ASUS at that.  The GTX 770 is based on the same GK104 GPU as the GTX 680 was though this model is slightly overclocked.  Titanfall is absolutely able to run at 2560x1440 at a smooth 60 FPS with this combination of hardware! 

Target: 4K, 3840x2160

If you really want to show off to your console gaming friends, bring them over to show off Titanfall running on a 4K monitor and laugh at their measly little 1080p TV!  Of course, you have to actually OWN ONE of these monitors - we are using the ASUS PQ321Q which runs a cool $2900.  Obviously you really, REALLY need to want the best to fork out for this.  The good news is that your PC doesn't need to much more power to keep that 4K goodness running smooth on Titanfall!

  Titanfall 4K Build
Processor Intel Core i7-4770K - $319
Motherboard Gigabyte Z87X-D3H - $144
Memory Corsair Vengeance LP 8GB 1600 MHz (2 x 4GB) - $89
Graphics Card EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Superclocked - $729
Storage Samsung 840 EVO 500GB SSD - $276
Case Corsair 200R ATX Mid Tower Case - $72
Power Supply Seasonic M12II-750 watt Bronze - $109
OS Windows 8.1 OEM - $96
Total Price $1833 - Amazon Full Cart

For under $2000 you can get a gaming PC that can power Titanfall at a magnificent 8.29 Mpix resolution!  Our upgrades from the 2560x1440 system include a jump up to the Core i7-4770K processor, that essentially adds HyperThreading support to the 4670K, which doubles thread count.  We kept the same motherboard and memory, though clearly there are more feature-packed, and more expensive options, should your budget allow.

I also bumped the SSD from the 250GB model to the 500GB model - this should allow many users to keep the SSD as their primary drive with all the games they could want installed in Steam and Origin without requiring a secondary hard drive.  The power supply was boosted a bit to a 750 watt model from Season that is a steal at just over $100!  I'm sure some of you will complain about putting all of this hardware in the modest Corsair 200R chassis, but as I mentioned above, case selection is a very personal choice!

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Most importantly, we have bumped the graphics card up to the fastest single GPU option on the market, the GeForce GTX 780 Ti for $729.  NVIDIA's flagship GPU should have more than enough power, and enough memory, to power Titanfall at 4K resolutions without breaking too much of a sweat.  I'll freely admit that many other games, like Crysis 3 and Metro: Last Light, could need MORE POWER on the GPU side to run smoothly at 4K resolutions but for Titanfall this is a completely capable system.  (For those of you needing 4K on more demanding titles, just double up and go for SLI!)

 

I fully expect the 1080p target build of this story to be the most popular - with a budget of just $780 (including a copy of Windows 8.1) you can build a custom gaming PC that will play Titanfall better than the Xbox One and certainly better than the Xbox 360.  For that investment you also get access to thousands of other PC titles, a general purpose computer and some bragging rights over users that seem to think that the consoles are all there is.  Increasing your budget by about $400 gets you a computer that can game comfortably at 2560x1440 and will still offer some room to grow for future, more graphically demanding PC games.  And of course, if you want to spend ALL THE MONEY you can shell out the $1800 for our ultimate Titanfall build and prepare for the pending 4K gaming revolution.  

That's the great part about being a PC gamer - choice!

I know some of you will question the use of Intel processors and NVIDIA graphics cards in all three of our builds.  In truth, the AMD Radeon graphics cards are great options for Titanfall but the price and availability concerns are still too much to get over.  For example, the Radeon R7 265, at $150, would have been the better choice over the GeForce GTX 750 Ti for a non-power-limited gaming PC; but you can't find it for sale today.  On the mid-range system a Radeon R9 280X or R9 290 would be an excellent choice but all are either out of stock or $100 over the MSRP throwing the performance per dollar metrics back in NVIDIA's favor.  When that clears up, we'll have this discussion again.

March 10, 2014 | 07:44 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/nvidia-geforce-335-23-whql-tit...

March 10, 2014 | 07:50 PM - Posted by collie (not verified)

how about do a pc build for "The stick of truth" Step 1} dust off a old core 2 duo........

March 10, 2014 | 09:43 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

That doesn't make it NOT an awesome game though.  :)

March 11, 2014 | 04:16 AM - Posted by collie (not verified)

It is incredible, been playing all day. I actually think one of the coolest parts is the low system requirements. it's one of the few times i can tell people "If your system is less than 7 years old you can probably play it." It will work on a core 2 with chipset graphics, when is the last time we could say that?

April 30, 2014 | 10:31 AM - Posted by jordan.b (not verified)

diablo 2 :D

March 10, 2014 | 08:52 PM - Posted by BigBenn1 (not verified)

Man, that 750ti you guys are flaunting around is really what's up.

March 10, 2014 | 09:25 PM - Posted by BigBenn1 (not verified)

Hmm, it's all about that GTX 750 ti for budget based gaming, man oh man.

March 10, 2014 | 09:43 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

It has been an impressive option thus far!

March 10, 2014 | 10:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

fail to see what's so impressive when R7 260X 2GB OC are selling for $129

http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Version-PCI-Express-Graphics-11222-06-20G...

http://www.amazon.com/Sapphire-Version-PCI-Express-Graphics-11222-06-20G...

You save $40+ and have to option to X-Fire later if needed.

Unless your pushing to sell a certain vendor or from a certain site that budget option doesn't make senses at all because there GTX 660s available for $10-$20 of the recommended 750 TI OC which is already that much over MSRP due to being OC model.

March 10, 2014 | 10:26 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Well the 750 Ti is faster than the 260X by quite a bit in many cases: http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-750-Ti-Review-Maxwell-Architecture-debuts-150/Bioshock-Inf

March 10, 2014 | 10:36 PM - Posted by biohazard918

Wish you could get an r7 265 :(

March 10, 2014 | 10:38 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Yeah, that would have been a great option if available.  Maybe soon!

March 10, 2014 | 10:23 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Another R7 260x OC for $129

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FUR6FJ8/sr=1-2/qid=1394503795/ref=ol...

March 11, 2014 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

Regarding the GTX 750 Ti, with the NV driver update that "•Enhanced GPU clock offset options for GeForce GTX 750Ti / GTX 750", will we see a follow up/update to overclocking this card?

All the tests showed that the OC potential of the card (and hopefully Maxwell as a whole) is very OC friendly.

March 11, 2014 | 02:48 PM - Posted by Thedarklord

Regarding the GTX 750 Ti, with the NV driver update that "•Enhanced GPU clock offset options for GeForce GTX 750Ti / GTX 750", will we see a follow up/update to overclocking this card?

All the tests showed that the OC potential of the card (and hopefully Maxwell as a whole) is very OC friendly.

March 12, 2014 | 10:06 AM - Posted by arbiter

overclock3d guy had 750ti he had with overclock + boost it was hitting over 1400mhz.

March 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM - Posted by b_radmthatch (not verified)

I just built a living room PC for Titanfall (plus other games, movie, ect.). I used a SFF Silverstone SG05 mini-ITX case, i3-4130, 8gb Kingston RAM and a 750 ti. I used the above mentioned WD 1TB HDD and a Kingston SSD for my boot drive. I loved putting this rig together, its not Earth shattering, but it will handle the games I like to play with a gamepad on my couch and allow for easy access to our movie collection. Great article Ryan, it was cool to see that your 1080p suggestion was similar to my most recent build.

March 11, 2014 | 03:08 AM - Posted by JohnGR

How about going with an AMD platform and the money saved used on a better graphics card? Is Titanfall cpu heavy?

March 11, 2014 | 09:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No, but this is not about building a pc for titanfall, it's just plain advertisement for nvidia and intel, so your comment is irrelevant.

March 12, 2014 | 03:18 AM - Posted by JohnGR

LOL! OK to be fair they had to throw a bone to Nvidia and Intel after those short videos promoting 7850K for gaming.

March 12, 2014 | 10:09 AM - Posted by arbiter

Problem with AMD side, you gotta spend a bit EXTRA on ram to get faster ram else igpu is completely pointless. Now as for competeing AMD card for this as the article said, "PARTS YOU CAN BUY NOW". The amd card that competes at the point of 750ti is not even out atm plus it uses liek what 60-70% more power. I shouldn't even need to go in cpu side as amd cpu being slower over years could come in to play. (leave mantle outta this for sake of how few games that even support it and to get help outta it you gotta drop a high end card in with a crappy amd cpu which anyone with any brains won't do outside a mining rig)

March 14, 2014 | 02:27 PM - Posted by JohnGR

You missed the point about... completely.

First who talks about igpu? So point about RAM... pointless.

Second. Who talked about AMD gpu? I wrote "AMD platform" and then "better gpu". So AMD cpu+mobo and whatever gpu you want. So, you missed the point for a second time here.

Third. About the cpu side. You do realize that we are talking about gaming here right? What is faster in a gpu bound scenario? An AMD cpu and a 270, or an Intel cpu and a 750Ti? Both will have about the same price. Third time you missed the point.

As for the text in the parenthesis, really? Pointless. No one is talking about Mantle here. You do realize that the game's name is not Battlefield 4 right?

0 out of 4.
Better luck next time.

March 11, 2014 | 04:35 AM - Posted by tabuburn (not verified)

You could also shave a bit off the total price by going with an AMD FX-6300 paired with a mATX board, Kingston HyperX Blu, and a Seasoinc S12II Bronze.

March 11, 2014 | 08:30 AM - Posted by KevTheGuy (not verified)

Hey Ryan,why Go with the i3 4330 when the i3 4130 is almost the same but like $12 cheaper? And then with that money you save on the 4130 you could go for a gtx 660.

March 11, 2014 | 10:53 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

GTX 660 will likely be MIA soon really.  Trying to keep these guides relevent for a longer period of time.  Not a bad choice today though!

March 11, 2014 | 09:19 AM - Posted by PapaDragon

Great options, but even though the focus is on GPU and CPU power, man...those Samsung Evo SSDs prices/capacity is amazing. $276 for 500Gb. Nice.

Anyhow, Option 3 is the best, but you cant build a system for 4K without a 4K display right? We also need a 4K monitor recommendation!

I like this one, even though its a TN Panel, at least its 60HZ and 1ms response time.

http://pcmonitors.info/samsung/samsung-u28d590d-28-inch-uhd-4k-monitor

Edit: I somehow skipped the part that you mentioned the ASUS PQ321Q , but its quite expensive. For gaming though, I rather buy the U28D590D.

March 11, 2014 | 09:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's not system options, just very bad advertisement for nVidia and intel.

March 11, 2014 | 09:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Interesting how you can get 1080p out of 640 cuda cores & 128bit memory interface on the PC but the Xbone cant get 1080p with 768 cores & 256bit memory interface. If this is true it just shows how under powered AMD hardware is.

March 12, 2014 | 03:21 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Or it just shows how much of an Nvidia fanboy you are.

March 11, 2014 | 05:08 PM - Posted by David (not verified)

I think the "cryptocoin miners force us to favor Nvidia cards!" explanation is a bit bogus. Granted, that's the way it is in 'Murica, but the world is a lot bigger than the U.S.

I'm sure pcper has a wider audience in mind, I'm Swedish for example and I am a regular visitor to this site because you do a lot of quality stuff.

So for this reason, I do believe we should stay to the MSRP prices since they are the most relevant for most of the world's population. And as such, the R9-265X wins by a long shot on a price/perf ratio.

Secondly, I think you oversold the operating system. You can get a cheaper Win7 licence if you look around and save quite a bit more. You get a better OS as well, since you don't need DPI scaling if you're going for 1080p gaming.

I'd also throw in an AMD processor instead of the Intel one. Not the 8000-series but the best that the 6000-series has to offer, it's competitive. And you save money.

You can also cut on the HDD, most people don't need more than 500 gigabytes unless you're storing TONS of movies or you're a guy/girl who does a lot of frapsing or stuff like that. There are cheaper MOBO's out there, too that do a good job.

Finally, one should combine the hardware from many different sites to get the best price. Amazon, despite their slogans, are not always the cheapest. Of course, to avoid paying too much for shipping, you should still limit yourself to a few sites and bulkbuy. If you live in a bigger city, that should also save you money by skipping shipping altogether.

In Sweden, there are many etailers which give free shipping when a purchase is over 50 dollars(converted from our local currency). And many of them have physical dropoff points that you can use to collect single items to avoid shipping costs if you live in a big city, like myself. I imagine the same is true at least in parts of America.

The final price should easily come down below 600 dollars.
I think people underestimate how potent even mid range PC hardware is today for most 1080p games.

And it also underscores just how terrible the XB1 is.

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