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Guide

Liquid Cooling vs Air Cooling

Serious about your computer’s performance while keeping it as cool as possible? The advice has usually been to opt for liquid cooling, opposed to the often standard and alternative of air cooling. Generally speaking, this advice makes sense, liquid cooling your CPU or GPU yields better results.*

* There are exceptions, such as when comparing an entry level liquid cooler to a high end air cooler.

What’s so special about liquid?

The liquid inside liquid coolers Evatech use a mixture of water and ethylene glycol. The reason for a solution rather than pure water is to prevent freezing, inhibit bacterial growth, and prevent galvanic corrosion. They start life as non-conductive liquids.

Every substance has an intrinsic property called heat capacity. Simply put, this is how much thermal energy it can absorb before it changes temperature. Liquid has a higher heat capacity than most other common substances.

Example: A swimming pool that’s been taking the summer’s sun all day, yet you jump in late afternoon and it’s refreshingly cool.

This is due to hydrogen bonding at the molecular level. The oxygen atom in a water molecule is quite electronegative. This means it attracts electrons which gives it more of a negative charge than the two attached hydrogen atoms. The more positively charged hydrogen atoms of the surrounding water molecules will stick to the oxygen atoms and prevent the molecules from moving around too much when heat is applied. Since higher temperatures are a result of more molecular motion, all of this means that water can resist temperature changes better than the metals that are commonly used in air coolers.

Back to what this means for your PC…

Using a liquid cooler for your CPU or GPU means that you will be transferring out heat into a substance that can hold much more heat than an aluminum heatsink with fans attached to it. But, this isn’t the whole story. There’s a practical limit to heatsinks you can attach to a chip before it becomes too large & too heavy. So water coolers resort to large radiators to dissipate the heat absorbed by the liquid further improving overall cooling capacity. This takes the warm liquid away from the chip you’re cooling, where it can cool down.

Other advantages of liquid cooling

  • Liquid cools more efficiently than a metal heatsink alone, making it possible for liquid coolers to be quieter
  • Compared to large air coolers, liquid coolers save on space, don’t put stress on the motherboard, and will allow you to easily install additional RAM
  • Generally considered more aesthetically pleasing for a clean build
  • You can say “my PC has liquid cooling”

Air coolers still have their place

Although it’s extremely unlikely that the high-quality liquid coolers in Evatech PCs would ever leak, it’s a possibility. Despite the liquid used being non-conductive, over time these substances may pick up ions from the metals inside the cooler and become conductive over time. This liquid leaking onto components, such as the graphics card? Bad news!
Even if the liquid cooler never leaks, chances of the water pump failing over time is almost guaranteed. Pump failure typically happens after 5+ years of use (unless you’re the type to leave your system on 24/7 – not recommended/necessary).

Spending the premium to get liquid cooling in your PC may not be advantageous if your components are not high-end enough to warrant it. Similarly, if you aren’t likely to push your PC for sustained periods of time. Most games are GPU reliant more than CPU – meaning great cooling on your CPU can be rendered almost pointless as gaming performance will typically bottleneck as the GPU reaches high temperatures. Your crispy cool CPU can’t do much for your gaming performance once that happens.

Higher end air coolers can be quieter than liquid coolers as air coolers don’t have pumps. Gone are the days where desktop PCs sound like jet planes taking off when not doing anything. Many fans in systems these days don’t spin at all unless the components reach a particular temperature, and will speed up as necessary. This should prolong the life of the fan, as well as keep noise levels down.

Many of our customers may do just fine with the standard CPU cooler that comes in the CPU box. Those wanting to be extra safe can opt for one of our 120mm tower air cooler options. Leaving those chasing a “no excuses” setup to go for liquid.

The moral of the story…

Well, if this wasn’t a long-winded (hah) way of saying that either option is fine, then I don’t know what is.

Stock CPU coolers are perfectly fine for low end systems (i5/R5 and below), or i7/R7 if it’s mainly home/office use.

120mm tower air coolers are good for everyone. Can be a great way of ensuring the system lasts a long time.

Liquid coolers are best suited to enthusiasts, or those likely to upgrade the system after 5 years (or less). But they’re high performers for everyone! Liquid cooling is a great way to keep your CPU as cool as the environment allows.

If you have the option, and indeed the budget: get yourself a liquid cooled graphics card. Liquid cooled graphics cards typically only come in at the higher end of the performance spectrum. Customers going for a high-end GPU are usually looking to replace it with another high-end GPU after 3-5 years anyway. This makes the limited lifespan of a liquid cooler less of an important consideration.

Don’t forget, if you’re in doubt, you can always chat to our friendly and helpful staff.

Find us on Facebook for a chat, use our Contact page, or if it’s during business hours you can always come into our store and/or give us a call.

Sourced information from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tay4Pz-PQDc

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Guide

Customising a Gaming PC for Apex Legends

Apex Legends is smashing records right now as the most popular PC game. With it’s player count topping 25 million within the first week, it beat out DayZ, PUBG and even Fortnite to claim the thrown as the most successful PC game launch of all time.

So what does it take to jump and start playing? We’ll we’re going to run down the hardware specs you need to get the most of Apex Legends and similar online shooters so you’ll be ready for today, and what ever comes around the corner tomorrow.

Getting started.

To follow along and customise a gaming PC as we guide you through the process you can head on over to store page (linked here). Don’t be alarmed by the number of options. It’s all very easy, we have built in error detection and instructions so there is no need to worry.

Defining your target performance level.

Whether or not you want to target a very high frame rate, play at 4K or crank all the settings up to max will greatly impact your hardware selection. With this in mind the below hardware recommendations will define 3 separate levels. We’ll cover an explanation regarding the listed GPU, CPU and RAM a little further below.

  • Budget
    • The entry level hardware selection to get a good competitive experience at 1080P / medium presets.
      • GPU : GTX 1050 TI OC
      • CPU : Intel i3 8100
      • RAM : 8GB
  • Recommended
    • A step up, allowing for higher frame rates at 1080P on high presets to give you at that little extra edge and visual fidelity.
      • GPU : GTX1160
      • CPU : Intel i5 9400F
      • RAM : 16GB
  • Ultra / 4K
    • Crank up all the settings to max and leave noting on the table with silky smooth frame rates at 4K.
      • GPU : RTX 2080 OC
      • CPU : Intel i5 9600K
      • RAM : 16GB OC

The basics of hardware selection.

If you’ve read one of our custom PC game guides before you probably already know this. However for the sake of first time readers we’ll cover the basics again.

When it comes to game performance, the 3 components that matter are the CPU, GPU and RAM. No other components have a direct impact to in game performance. Your storage device might increase load times and your cooler and fans might help prevent thermal throttling but that’s about it.

Now of these three components, the GPU (also know as a video or graphics cards) is by far the most important. There are a few exceptions in which the CPU will be more important but in 99% of games this just isn’t the case. As long as the CPU and RAM don’t become a bottleneck, the GPU is the single most important component of the system.

Once you understand this basic concept, the rest becomes easy. Just select the GPU required to fit your performance target and pair it with the appropriate CPU and RAM combo. Once we know what these three components will be, we can choose an appropriate motherboard and power supply to match. Finally, all that’s left to do is select the rest of the configuration with your own personal preferences and requirements.

Choosing the right motherboard & power supply.

The Motherboard

A motherboard, as the name suggests, is the main board in to which all other components are attached. They house the integrated audio and network solutions as well as USB ports and various other ports to connect peripherals and storage devices. Higher end boards (eg Z390) are more geared towards enthusiasts looking for premium end integrated audio and networking adaptors and the ability to overclock the CPU or run multiple GPUs. The mid-range boards (eg B360) are great all rounders and best value for money option in most cases. The lower end boards (eg H310) are more of a basic, no-frills solutions designed for budget systems where every dollar counts.

In general we advise against CPU overclocking. The logic behind this is simple. The amount of performance you stand to gain is outweighed by the required additional investment required. This additional investment being a higher end motherboard and cooling solution to make it happen. Not to mention the added possible instability, heat, power consumption and shortened component life span if it’s not done carefully.

The PSU (Power Supply)

As for the power supply, we offer both Bronze and Gold rated options. These ratings indicate their AC to DC power conversion efficiency with Bronze being 85% under 80% load and Gold being 92%. Increased efficiency means less heat output and lower power bills! The other thing to consider when selecting a power supply is the wattage. How much do you need exactly? Well if you are using our custom PC builder (linked here) it’s smart enough to tell you. Simply select all the other hardware first then navigate to the power supply selection area. At the top of the list will be a short instructional message. This will tell you how much wattage your system will draw and recommend a suitable buffer.

In Summary / TLDR;

Still have questions?

Need recommendations for a chassis or storage device? Not too sure which cooler or you should go with or simply want an expert to go over your build and make some suggestions? No worries! You can reach out to us via the Contact Us page on our website and we will get back to you ASAP.

Customise and Order Online Today

Head on over to our store page at www.evatech.com.au to customise your next dream gaming PC for Apex Legends or any other game! It’s quick, easy, powerful, Australian built and delivered fast nation wide. Not to mention outstanding value.

Not convinced? Checkout how we stack up against the competition,

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Guide

Custom PCs, easier than you think

We get it. The idea of getting a custom built PC online is one that a lot of people didn’t even know was possible. Even if you were aware of it, you might think you don’t know enough about PCs to customise one yourself.

Well, we’re doing our best to raise awareness but this is a slow and costly process. On the other hand though, we’ve already made it super easy. Let me explain.

Built in guides & error checking

At first glance, customising a PC on our website can be a little daunting. There’s a lot of options and you might not know where to begin. Let us guide you! All the options will start to make sense.

On our home page you’ll be presented with 2 main options for custom PCs. There’s Gaming, or Home & Business. Click into the one that’s right for you.

Next you’ll get a list of three to four base configurations, each with a short one paragraph explanation detailing the differences. You can give these a quick read, decide which sounds the closest match to your needs, then go ahead and click into it.

Here is were the real confusion can begin. Some nice long lists of all the possible hardware options for each component. Motherboards, CPUs, RAM, graphics cards, storage drives… The list seems endless and for those not too savvy with PC hardware, you might not know what you’re looking at! Well, take a big deep breath and stay calm, it’s not really that difficult.

As everyone’s exact use cases, budgets, and requirements will differ, it’s hard to make a definitive ‘one size fits all’ guide. But there are some basics tips we can provide that will give you plenty to get started.

Tips to getting started

  • Understanding a few basic PC hardware terms.
    • Checkout the guide towards the bottom of the the custom PC page for a quick simple introduction
  • Don’t overspend on extras you don’t need
    • 128GB or even 64GB RAM is overkill for most; consider 8GB as the minimum, 16GB more than sufficient, and 32GB plenty
    • Want a basic machine for typical office tasks and web browsing? Don’t worry about that i9 CPU, consider the i3 or at most an i5 for some future-proofing
    • Have a very specific use case and want a tailor made configuration by experts? Reach out to us and let us know the details for an obligation free quote!
  • Balance your budget and keep your peripherals and display (monitor) in mind
    • Spending thousands on a brand new PC is great! But not having any space left in your budget for an equally high-end monitor, mouse, and keyboard can limit the system’s potential and impact your experience as the user. Take a look at our range of monitors and peripherals to get an understanding of much of your budget you should set aside when customising your PC.

Now with all that in mind, you are ready to get started. Keep an eye out for our built in tips at the top of certain component selection categories. These are designed to assist you in making the appropriate choice. Please read them carefully if you’re unsure what options will suit you best.

Don’t stress! We’ve got your back

We also have built in compatibility checking that will highlight potential issues with selected options. These will be highlighted in red. So if you don’t see any big red markers on the page, rest assured your selections are compatible.

Last but not least, our team of hardware professionals will carefully cross check all orders. This makes sure each configuration is well optimised and doesn’t contain any potential hardware conflicts. In the rare occasion they do, we’ll reach out to you to let you know and help you make any necessary adjustments.

Know that it is near impossible for us to build, test, and dispatch a PC that isn’t compatible. So there’s a zero percent chance you’ll get a PC that doesn’t work.

I’ve got a configuration I’m happy with, now what?

Once you’ve got all your component selections finalised, hit ‘Save & Continue’ on the right (desktop only) or bottom of the page. Your unique configuration will get permanently stored in our database and assigned a 6 digit custom PC ID number along side a summary of the configuration. You can use this number to recall this exact configuration at any time. Simply enter this 6 digit PC ID number in the input box titled ‘Enter PC ID Number Here’ and click the ‘Load’ button. You can also quote this ID to any of our staff members if you wish to discuss it further.

If you wish to make alternations to a custom PC configuration you can simply load up the PC ID number and click the ‘Customise’ button. Note that after making changes and clicking ‘Save & Continue’ you’ll be issued a new PC ID number. Don’t worry, your previous configuration is preserved under the old PC ID.

Ready to place an order?

Once you’re ready to lock in an order it’s as easy as hitting the ‘Add to Cart’ button and proceeding through checkout. Don’t forget to add any monitors, keyboards, mice, headsets, or other accessories you might need for your new custom PC.

The entire process is quick, easy, safe, and secure. We accept multiple payment methods including PayPal, Visa & MasterCard, Zip, 120 day layby, and bank deposit for your convince. Custom PC assembly begins as soon as payment clears and all systems undergo a series of meticulous cross checks and burn in testing prior to dispatch to ensure the highest possible levels of quality control.

Why custom is always best when it comes to PCs

Desktop computers, unlike phones, laptops, TVs, gaming consoles, or other high tech high cost household gadgets can be built from a huge range of possible components. Take shopping for smartphone for example: a process that typically involves identifying the handful of options in your budget and comparing them. Making a compromise between aspects like battery life, screen size, storage capacity, and camera quality to get the right one for you.

Desktop PCs on the other hand…

Sadly this is how a lot of people (who shop at places like JB Hi-Fi, Officeworks, or Harvey Norman) would handle shopping for a desktop PC too! However unlike a phone or TV, a computer can be tailor built to your exact needs. You don’t have to pay extra for parts you don’t need or would never use. You can choose from a huge range of aesthetic combinations to suit your exact style. Furthermore, it can be custom built to order for you right here in Australia.

Not to mention when you go with a completely custom Evatech PC you’ll save hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars. You’ll get warranty and support from a local team of experts who speak your language and actually know what they are talking about, and you’re guaranteed top shelf latest generation hardware!

That last one is important. Often ‘big box’ retailers will be attempting to offload old previous generation products at full price to unsuspecting customers. More on that in upcoming posts!

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Guide

Building a Custom Gaming PC for 4K Gaming in 2019

With 4K monitors becoming more and more affordable, 4K gaming is spreading through the ranks of high end PC gaming fast, but what does it really take to push that many pixels? We take a look at a few of the most demanding PC games out right now to find out.

Pre-ample : We’ll be focusing on the graphics card. Why? Well it’s almost always the choke point in gaming performance when you reach 4K. This is of course assuming the CPU and RAM are not bottle-necking it. For the results discussed below we would recommend 16GB of RAM and paring an RTX2070 with a i5 8600K or higher, the RTX2080 with a i5 9600K or higher and RTX2080 TI and any modern i7.

The RTX2070

The 4K Entry Level GPU

4K is a LOT of pixels on the screen and rendering them takes a toll on the GPU. Even Nvidia’s latest generation RTX line up can struggle at times depending on the game and in game settings. Thankfully PC games comes with a lot of in-game graphics settings that all can be adjusted independently. This means with a bit of time tinkering with these options you can often find a sweet spot where performance reaches your target and the game still looks great.

With the RTX 2070, 16GB or RAM and a mid-range i5 you can expect 4K to playable at 60FPS or more in games like Far-Cry 5, Assassins Creed Origins, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, GTA V, PUBG, Destiny 2 and Battlefield V, but don’t expect it at ultra. That being said, making the comprises to in game graphics settings in the right way and the visuals will still look great. Take the time to mess around in the settings and give the game a try each time you make an adjustment. It may take a while it’s definitely worth your while.

What can the RTX2070 play at 4K / Ultra settings? Well there’s quite a lot actually.

  • Overwatch
  • Doom
  • F1 2018
  • Fortnite
  • Counter Strike Global Offensive : (CS:GO)
  • Hitman
  • Sniper Elite 4
  • Forza 7
  • Wolfenstien : The New Colossus.

Note to mention the still very popular but older or less demanding games like World of Warcarft, Leage of Legends, Starcraft and DOTA 2.

The RTX2080

4K with less compromise.

Paired with 16GB or RAM and a high end i5 CPU you can expect somewhere in the realm of a 10-25% boost in performance (depending on the game in question) over the RTX2070. This is enough to push those games that might have been playable at medium settings / 4K on the RTX2070 up to the high presets with approximately the same frame rates.

What can the RTX2080 play at 4K / Ultra settings? Well in addition to the RTX2070 list above, you can add;

  • Strange Brigade
  • The Division
  • Call of Duty : WWII
  • Star Wars : Battlefront 2
  • Prey
  • Just Cause 3
  • Battlefield 1
  • GTA V

The RTX2080 TI

The single most powerful gaming GPU on the market today.

Paired with 16GB or RAM and a modern i7 CPU the RTX2080TI delivers frame rates in the range of . This is enough to push those games that might have been playable at medium settings / 4K on the RTX2070 up to the high presets with approximately the same frame rates.

What can the RTX2080 TI play at 4K / Ultra settings? Well in addition to the RTX2080 list above, you can add;

  • For Honor
  • Middle Earth : Shadow of War
  • Assassins Creed Origins
  • The Crew 2
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (RTX OFF)
  • Battlefield 1
  • Battlefield V (RTX OFF)
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG)
  • Far Cry 5

4K Gaming with RTX / DLSS

With the additional GPU overhead that RTX or real time ray tracing places on the GPU, it’s little wonder that even the RTX2080 TI struggles to put up respectable frame rates at 4K in the few games that support RTX when it’s enabled. However with it still being a very new technology, the game developers with the help of Nvidia are constantly making improvements.

DLSS or deep learning super-sampling is an ingenious technology designed to use artificial intelligence to scale lower resolution rendering up to higher ones with minimal loss of detail and big gains in performance. Once we start to see a few more performance patches, updated drivers and games start to launch with DLSS and RTX both built in, it may be a very different story.

Battlefield V will be the first to market with this DLSS and RTX combination with RTX being implemented already but DLSS on the way in an upcoming patch. Nvidia boasts enabling DLSS with RTX turned on will result in very similar performance to having RTX off all together which, if true, is fantastic news for 4K gamers.

Customizing a Gaming PC for 4K Gaming

Well now you have everything you need to know, you can jump right in to our custom gaming PC builder (linked here) and get started. Just bare in mind the recommended CPU and RAM pairings with each GPU, don’t forget to set aside some of your budget for the 4K monitor. As for the other components, our custom PC builder page is pretty good at guiding you through the options so you don’t need to worry too much. A lot of the options are mostly based on personal preferences and come down to aesthetic choice, or how much storage capacity you think you’ll need. If you have any questions before you place your order feel free to shoot us an email at any time and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Choosing the Right 4K Gaming Ready Monitor

As you would probably expect, 4K monitors are not exactly ‘cheap’. Acer, Asus, Samsung and Philips all have 4K monitors at various different physical formats from 27″ to 40″ and they start from around the $900 mark. You can checkout our monitor range by (clicking here) or visiting our online store at www.evatech.com.au

Monitors are something that are frequently updated with new models, so if you’re reading this a few months or more after this article was originally posted, pricing and availability may have changed. That being said, the industry trend is heading towards more options at better pricing so unless something terrible has happened, the options will only be better.

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Guide

Customizing A Gaming PC for Battlefield V & RTX

With Battlefield V’s Tides of War Chapter 2 update being released next week and the RTX2060 to follow soon after we’re decided it would be a great time to jump in and review what sort of gaming PC it requires to play Battlefield V with RTX on (Ray Tracing) at 1080P / 1440P and 4K.

We’ll be doing this with a focus on the RAM, CPU and most importantly the video card (GPU) as these are key components that contribute to performance. All other components do not directly contribute to in game performance so you can pick and choose your favorites based on personal preferences, aesthetics and functionality requirements.

New RTX Tech (DLSS)

When Battlefield first got it’s original RTX enabling update it only enabled real time ray tracing which arguably is one of the most impressive features of the latest generation of RTX series graphics cards. However it did not initially get DLSS, aka Deep Learning Super Sampling. For those unfamiliar with the concept, this technology is essentially a ‘smarter’ way of handling AA (anti-aliasing), the togglable option in most modern PC games that essentially smooths out rough edges.

At Nvidia’s latest press conference at the 2019 CES show in Las Vegas, they showed off performance charts that indicated enabling DLSS would not only make the game look that much better, but actually boost your in game performance when ray tracing is enabled. Now this isn’t something that’s been guaranteed to be included in the big upcoming patch but Nvidia and Dice have promised to deliver it ‘soon’.

A Closer Look at the RTX 2060

Nvidia’s newest GPU to hit the market in the wake of the RTX 2080, then 2080 TI and 2070. As the name suggests the price and performance of this card is expected to land a touch below the RTX 2070 offering the latest RTX enabled tech like ray tracing and DLSS at a new lower price point. These cards are set for release on January 15th however initial price and availability is still TBD. For more details on the upcoming RTX 2060 reach out to us or stay tuned to our website.

The Specifications

  • 6GB of GDDR6 14Gbps Memory
  • 240 Tensor Cores
  • 37 RTX Ops
  • 1680MHz Boost Clock (-/+ depending on model)
  • 160w TDP

Now you can compare these against the RTX 2070 to get an idea of the overall performance.

  • 8GB of GDDR6 14Gbps Memory
  • 288 Tensor Cores
  • 42 RTX Ops
  • 1620MHz (-/+ depending on model)
  • 175w TDP

You can checkout the full summary of the CES press conference on the Nvidia website here for a recap, videos and presentation slides.

Customize as you Go!

If you want to play along at home and while you read this article also begin customizing your next dream custom gaming PC for Battlefield V on our website simply head on over to our store page (by clicking the link here). It’s quick, easy and with a click of a button you can upgrade, downgrade, remove or add a massive range of the latest PC hardware to your build, then with a click of a button save it for later or order it online!

What you need to play at 1080P with RTX & DLSS ON

Based on the independent third party performance testing of Battlefield V coupled with Nvidia’s CES press conference data, we would recommend the following specification. Of course this doesn’t take in to account various other in game settings that can effect performance but we would base this on the high graphics pre-sets with the possibility of some minor tweaks.

  • Intel i5 8400 or Equivalent
  • 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • RTX2060 6G Video Card

Recommended pairing with the other non-performance delivering components for the best balance ‘bang-for-buck’ value.

  • B360M Gaming Edition Motherboard
  • 250G/500G SATA SSD Primary Drive
  • A mid range Mid-Tower chassis with decent airflow A mid range Mid-Tower chassis with decent airflow
    • eg, Corsair Carbide Spec series, Carbide 270R, Fractal Design Focus G or Meshify C
  • 550W Gold PSU
  • Windows 10 Home Edition
  • WiFi & additional hard drives if needed.

What you need to play at 1440P with RTX & DLSS ON

Scaling up from our 1080P recommendation would push the video card and CPU up a notch but keep the RAM at 16GB. RAM is something that doesn’t necessarily add anything in terms of performance simply by having more of it than you need nor is more necessarily required when you increase your resolution, frame rate or graphics settings. As a result, with 16GB being the sweet spot for value for any performance in PC gaming right now, it will be the same across all our recommendations.

  • Intel i5 8600 or Equivalent
  • 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • RTX2070 8G Video Card

Again, here’s a recommended set of accompanying components to fill out the rest of your build for the best ‘bang-for-buck’ value and performance when pairing with the CPU, GPU and RAM listed above.

  • B360M Gaming Edition Motherboard
  • 250G/500G SATA SSD or NVMe M.2 Primary Drive
  • A mid range Mid-Tower chassis with decent air flo
    • eg, Corsair Carbide Spec series, Carbide 270R, Fractal Design Focus G or Meshify C
  • 550W Gold PSU
  • Windows 10 Home Edition
  • WiFi & additional hard drives if needed.

What you need to play at 4K with RTX & DLSS ON

4K is a very very high resolution for gaming. To play at 4K you are essentially asking your video card to render 4x as much in terms of pixels on the screen when compared to a regular 1080P display. Does this mean you need 4x the amount of GPU horsepower to achieve it? Not quiet, but don’t expect to get there on a budget. This is why the RTX2080 TI exists with it’s enormous amount of GPU compute power, and the price tag to match. This is an extreme GPU for an extreme level of fidelity in game. You will also need a 4K monitor which don’t come cheap, and even, you may need to scale back some of the other in game settings slightly to keep the dips above 60+ FPS.

  • Intel i7 9700 or Equivalent
  • 16GB of DDR4 RAM
  • RTX2080TI 11G Video Card

Last but not least, here is the hardware we would recommend pairing with this CPU, GPU and RAM. Of course this is just a guide and you can by all means make any adjustments or choose any other hardware you wish. Our custom PC builder has built in error detection so you don’t need to worry about compatibility issues. If you wanted to get our option and some recommendations on your configuration after you’ve saved in on our website just shoot us an email with the PCID number!

  • Z390 Gaming Edition Motherboard
  • 120mm Tower Air CPU or Liquid Cooler
  • 250G/500G NVMe M.2 Primary Drive
  • A mid to high end Mid-Tower chassis with good air flow
    • eg, NZXT H500 or H700, Corsair Spec Omega or Carbide Air 540 and the Fractal Design Focus G or Meshify C
      • Avoid low airflow chassis like the MSI MAG or InWin 805C and 303
  • 750W Gold PSU
  • Windows 10 Home Edition
  • WiFi & additional hard drives if needed.

Limited Time Bonus : Get Battlefield V Free

Nvidia is also offering both Battlefield V or Anthem free with any purchase of an RTX series card from selector vendors. This offer is also included when purchasing an RTX powered custom gaming PC from our store at www.evatech.com.au. This offer is valid for a limited time only, see our site for details.

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Guide

Fallout 76 : Building A Custom Gaming PC For The Wasteland!

The release of the long anticipated latest Fallout game is finally upon us and to celebrate we’re diving in to exactly what PC hardware you’ll need in your next custom gaming PC to dive in.

If you’ve found this article you probably already know what Fallout 76 so lets get straight down to business.

The Hardware Requirements

Gaming PCs are fueled by three main components. The CPU, the RAM and the GPU (aka video card). In general, if the CPU and RAM isn’t a bottleneck, its the GPU which is the most important for delivering a smooth frame rate with all the fancy graphics setting cranked up.

The games publisher Bethesda have published their official minimum and recommended hardware specifications online. While these are usually geared very low to capture the widest possible audience, it’s a good indication of the CPU/GPU balance and RAM requirement.

Processor: Intel Core i7-4790 3.6 GHz/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X 3.5 GHz
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 970 4GB/AMD R9 290X 4GB
Memory: 8GB RAM

Recommended hardware requirements – Bethesda 

You will probably notice pretty quickly that the listed hardware is older generation models. This might be a little confusing but with a bit of common sense it’s pretty easy to translate in to the current-gen equivalents.


Processor: Intel Core i5 8600 4.3GHz
Graphics: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB
Memory: 8GB RAM (DDR4)

The same hardware requirements translated to modern equivalents.

Making sense of the Requirements

While some games rely heavier on the GPU than the CPU, others are weighed in the opposite direction. Fallout 76 being a large scale open world RPG, is evidently more CPU depended than most games.

Bare in mind also that the ‘recommended’ hardware requirements are just a guide issued by the publisher stating that if you meet these requirements you should get a ‘good’ experience playing the game. It doesn’t guarantee a frame rate over 60 at any particular graphics settings although a reasonable gamer may assume it’s at least 60fps @ medium pre-sets.

If you want higher frame rates, to turn up all the graphics to ultra or to run at 4K, you’ll have to make the necessary adjustments (mostly to GPU) to keep up.

“Recommended” Requirements

If you want to take Bethesda’s word for it and don’t mind not playing at the highest settings we’ve put together the following configuration for you to take a look at.

Note : All our gaming PCs are 100% customisable so feel free to jump in and select a different chassis , add additional hard drive capacity or a WiFi adapter if needed! Our built in error detection will catch any potential conflicts. As long as the CPU, RAM and GPU stay the same, you can expect the same level of performance.

  • Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-04 Tempered Glass Red Mid Tower
  • Motherboard: Intel B360 Gaming Edition mATX Motherboard
  • CPU: Intel i5 8600 6-Core 4.3GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Stock CPU Cooler
  • RAM: 8GB DDR4 Core
  • Primary Storage Device: 250G SATA3 SSD – 420MB/s
  • Second Storage Device: 1TB Hard Drive – 150MB/s
  • Graphics Card: Nvidia GTX 1060 6GB OC
  • Power Supply: 550w 80 Plus Gold [$10 OFF]
  • Operating System: Windows 10 64bit Home Edition USB

Click here to checkout this configuration on our store page where you can further customize it or order it online!

“Ultra @1080P” Requirements

As previously mentioned, all our gaming PCs are customisable and we have a ton of options to choose from. Perhaps you prefer a different case? Want to add a WiFi adapter? Maybe need some extra storage space? Just hit that ‘customise’ button on the page linked below.

Case: Corsair Carbide Spec-04 Tempered Glass Red Mid Tower
Motherboard: Intel B360 Gaming Edition mATX Motherboard
CPU: Intel i5 8600K 6-Core 4.3GHz
CPU Cooler: 120mm Tower Air Cooler
RAM:16GB DDR4 Black
Primary Storage Device: 500G NVMe M.2 SSD – 1500MB/s
Second Storage Device: 2TB Hard Drive – 150MB/s
Graphics Card: Nvidia RTX 2070 8GB OC
Power Supply: 550w 80 Plus Gold [$10 OFF]
Operating System: Windows 10 64bit Home Edition USB

Click here to checkout this configuration on our store page where you can further customize it or order it online!

“ULTRA @4K/UHD” Requirements

Note for this one we’ve deviated from the more ‘cost-effective’ basic chassis listed for the configurations used above, this time opting to go for the limited edition Nuka Cola NZXT H700. Lets face it, if your building a gaming PC just to play Fallout 76 on ultra settings at 4K, why wouldn’t you splurge a little and get the awesome looking limited edition chassis to match? 

Case: NZXT H700 Nuka Cola Limited Edition
Motherboard: Intel B360 Gaming Edition mATX Motherboard
CPU: Intel i7 8700 6-Core 4.6GHz
CPU Cooler: 120mm Tower Air Cooler
RAM: 16GB DDR4 Black
Primary Storage Device: 500G NVMe M.2 SSD – 1500MB/s
Second Storage Device: 2TB Hard Drive – 150MB/s
Graphics Card: Nvidia RTX 2080 8GB OC
Power Supply: 750w 80 Plus Gold
Operating System: Windows 10 64bit Home Edition USB

Click here to checkout this configuration on our storage page where you can further customize it or order it online!

The take away,

Hopefully now you’ve got a good idea of what modern day latest gen hardware you need to play the game at the performance level your aiming for. Remember it all comes down to GPU, CPU and RAM (in that order!).

If you still have questions or just need some help deciding on which of the other components you need please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can find our contact page here or if your local (Oakleigh South, VIC), drop in to our store Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm for a chat!

Categories
Guide

Customization The Best Gaming PC for August 2018.

We often get asked for advise from customers who have a rough idea of what they are trying to achieve but are just not quiet sure what the best configuration for their particular needs is.

For the purposes of this article we are going to make a few basic assumptions.

  • Primary Use : Gaming
    By far the most common and often the trickiest to determine with a lot of conflicting information floating around online.
  • Goal  : Best value for money
    Isn’t this always the goal? Well not always, a lot of our customers do like to splurge on aesthetics with bigger coolers, RGB LEDs and high end fancy chassis. Our recommendation below won’t take aesthetics in to account as it’s too subjective. That being said, you  can always use this guide as a jumping off point for the performance aspect and make a few tweaks or additions to get it exactly how you like it!
  • Availability : Right Now!
    In the world of PC hardware, something new is always around the corner and you can always find someone to tell you ‘just wait another month or two and you can get the X with the Y and it will be so much better’. Well sometimes this true but quiet often it’s a longer than expect wait for a smaller than expected jump in performance. Don’t forget to factor in the value of being able to game on your new PC for that extra time and remember, even if you wait a few weeks or months for the next big thing, it’s only a few months away from the next, next big thing and  you can’t wait for ever!

It also might be worth checking out our online custom PC builder page linked here before you jump in to the rest of the article so you can get a better idea of what we are discussing.

Getting Started; Addressing the lies.

Don’t fall for the CPU and RAM trap.

There are three main contributors to a PCs performance, the CPU, RAM and GPU (aka video or graphics card) but contrary marketing hype it’s not all about the CPU or RAM.

For almost all games, especially triple-A big budget 3D titles, the video card is the key contributing factor to in-game performance. The heart and soul of any gaming PC as long it’s not bottle-necked, responsible for rendering as many frames per second to the screen as it possibly can. The more frames per second, the better the performance and smoother than experience.

It really is that simple but quiet often the ‘gaming PCs’ you see in big box stores sitting on the shelf are configured purely for marketing purposes, designed to be sold to people who know nothing about PC hardware by shady salesmen who know equally as little or are happy to lie to your face to get their sales.

This is why you’ll commonly see an i7 CPU and a huge amount of RAM paired with some entry level or mid range video card completely unnecessarily! Why? Sadly it’s because your average mum or dad wandering in to a JB HIFI to buy their 13 year old a ‘gaming PC’ has no idea how important the video card is and how to even compare them against one another. What they do end up comparing is the CPU and RAM, a poor indicator for gaming performance but an easy mistake for the un-savvy customer to make. It seems intuitive right? i7 is better than i5 or i3 and more GB’s means faster!  Well this is completely wrong.

If you take anything away from this article to save you money on your next gaming PC purchase it should be these simple facts;

  • You should always start with the GPU and work backwards.
    Figure out what sort of performance you are looking for, choose the right video card for your needs and work backwards to make sure you choose the appropriate supporting hardware.
  • More cores doesn’t mean better gaming performance.
    Most modern game engines will only utilize 4 cores and barely touch the others. In fact a lot will only really fully utilize 2! This might change a bit in the future but not any time soon and it’s been this way for a very long time. As a result in the vast majority of games an i5 will match in i7 in performance and in some cases even the i3’s!
  • More RAM that you actually don’t need doesn’t actually do anything.
    These days, RAM comes capacities come in increments of 8GB and in all but the most demanding games, 8GB will get you by just fine. Jump up to 16GB and your totally covered, anything higher just isn’t going to make a difference for gaming.

Choosing the best video card for gaming PC and pairing it correctly.

For as critical as this step is to any gaming PC, it’s not actually that difficult. Performance and price almost scales uniformly and it’s generally a case of you get what you pay for. The only real trick is knowing what you can expect for money.

Top of the Line.
Best Gaming PC GPU for 144Hz, 4K & VR

If you really want the best of the best, as of today the GTX 1080 TI is the only way to go.  The only card considered a higher tier than this is the much more expensive Titan X which is more optimized towards professional applications over gaming and as a result even with it’s extra pipelines and on-board memory they perform almost identically in terms of gaming.

To pair with this, a high end i5 like the 8600 or 8600K with 16GB of RAM would be our recommendation but if you wan’t that extra piece of mind and it’s within your budget, an i7 would be worth concidering. Especially if you have some secondary use cases that would leverage the extra cores or if your a big fan of games like the Total War series that lean much more heavily on the CPU.

Great.
The Best Gaming PC GPU for 1080P / Max Settings

A couple of steps down from the top is the GTX1070 or GTX1070 TI. Both great cards in their price range with only very little difference in performance and price between them and each capable of running all modern games at 1080P extremely well, even at high / ultra graphics settings very well.

For CPU and RAM, a mid to entry level i5 with 16GB of RAM would be all you need, no need to worry about an i7 at this tier.

Mid-Range
The Best Gaming PC GPU for General 1080P Gaming

A lot of games, especially popular e-sports titles don’t really require much in the way of gaming PC horsepower as they try to optimize for high frame rates over rich, high detailed 3D environments. A great example of which are titles like Overwatch and Fortnite. If these are the types of games you love and you don’t really worry about needing to crank all the graphics settings up to their highest you can easily get away with a GTX 1060 3GB.

The 3GB model is a slightly cut down version of the 6GB but still plenty to get very smooth frame rates across a very wide range of popular titles and if you dial back the settings a bit you can still find a very enjoyable balance in the more demanding games too.

A high end i3 like the 8300 would be great pairing with this card and you could easily get away with only 8GB or RAM.

Entry Level
The Best Gaming PC GPU on a Tight Budget

Happy with medium pre-sets and really only play a handful of less demanding classics like Counter Strike, Team Fortress, Dota etc? The GTX 1050 packs enough of a punch to keep you very happy, but don’t expect 4K or VR levels of power! It’s great value for a lot of games but you might struggle in a more demanding title a little further down the road.

As for CPU and RAM with this one, it doesn’t really matter. Even the entry level Pentium would get the job done and anything over 8GB of RAM would be waste of money.

Should you go with SLI? (Dual Video Cards)

For those of you not familiar with the term, that means running two of the same model GPU in the same machine, setup and linked together so they work together to power your PC while you’re gaming. The upside is a lot more gaming performance assuming the game you are playing is well optimized to support it. The down side is of course the extra cost, not only in the second GPU, but the motherboard and power supply that is required to support it.

Remember, even the most optimized games don’t scale 1:1 so it’s always better to have a single higher performing card over two less powerful ones.

So the answer is yes, but only if it’s a high end card, it’s within your budget, and your happy to pay the premium involved with to get the extra performance.

Categories
Guide

Building a custom gaming PC for Fortnite @ 4K

Occasionally a game comes around that is so unanimously popular that our sales team start to get asked daily for a recommendations configuration a custom gaming PC specifically to play it.

Now Fortnite is one of those games that will run great on older hardware at 1080P but what will it take to crank out a satisfying frame rate at 4K on Epic pre-sets? This is the question A LOT of you guys have been asking so it’s one we’ll have to take the time to write this article about!

Laying out the ground rules.

The goal of this article is to not only run through how to configure a custom gaming PC to run Fortnite on ‘Epic’ quality at 4K but to explain the how and why behind our recommendation.

When it comes to cranking out high resolution frame rates by far the most important component of the system is the video card (aka GPU). This is true in almost any game so the goal is to basically to find which video card it takes to handle these settings and work backwards from there.

What do we mean when we say we work backwards from the GPU? Well it’s simple. Once we know what GPU we need, you pair that with a CPU and RAM combo that won’t bottleneck it for the best price, then a power supply that’s capable to handling this configuration, a suitable motherboard to round out the core hardware selection and lastly selecting an appropriate chassis to house and keep them well ventilated! Pretty simple right?

Targeting a Frame Rate

Before jumping straight to the list below, it’s good to know what what sort of frame rate it is that you really want to hit. If you are not quiet sure, the basic rule of thumb is that 30 is ‘playable’ but not ideal and 60+ FPS is great. Everything in between is a cost / benefit calculation you have to make when deciding how much you want to spend for every extra frame.

Every extra frame per second counts in the overall ‘feel’ of the game but at some point (and this point is different for everyone) there is a point of diminishing returns as each extra frame per second feels less and less noticeable. This might be common sense, but it’s worth bearing in mind. The closer to 30 FPS you are, the more value an extra few frames will add to the experience, the closer to 50-60fps you get, the less so.

Now we know there is big segment of gamers that prefer ultra high frame rates of high resolutions and will tell you 144Hz at 1080P is superior or 60Hz at 4K. This is not necessarily false, it’s just a personal preference.  If you’re more of a casual player and love the look and feel of the game 4K is the way to go, but if you are ultra-competitive and wan’t to go toe to toe with the pro’s then a higher frame rate might give you that slight millisecond edge you’ve been needing. The beauty of it is, once you have a gaming PC that can crank out high frame rates at 4K, you already have an awesome system for way higher frame rates at 1080P, just jump in to the settings menu and change the resolution! It’s the best of both worlds and you can try out each for yourself.

Choosing a Video Card

So enough rambling, lets jump right in to it. Below is a list of GPUs and their average frame rates.  Cards marked as OC are factory overclocked editions, no extra overclock necessary and available in all our custom gaming PCs. For the best value for money, we would recommend sticking to our Valkyrie as the other systems are more for specialized use cases with other non-gaming secondary uses or requirements.

  • GTX 1080 TI OC – 76FPS     <– ‘best performance’
  • GTX 1080 TI – 71FPS
  • GTX 1080 OC – 55FPS    <– ‘best value / performance recommendation’
  • GTX 1080 – 52FPS
  • GTX 1070 TI OC – 49FPS
  • GTX 1070 TI – 47FPS
  • GTX 1070 OC – 46FPS  <– ‘best value’
  • GTX 1070 – 44FPS
  • GTX 1060 6G OC – 36FPS
  • GTX 1060 6G – 34FPS
  • GTX 1060 3G – 31FPS    <– ‘playable but not recommended’

Note that these frame rate measurements listed above were taken from multiple play through, no two of which were identical and average outed to obtain a number that we feel accurately reflected the performance point of each card. As no two matches are alike your mileage may vary, please use this a a guide in good faith and not a guarantee.

Pairing a CPU and RAM

Once you’ve selected a video card from the list above, it’s time to pick a CPU and RAM option to make sure you get the most out of your GPU. It’s pretty straight forward and this same recommendation applies to pretty much all games out there with few exceptions.

While it might feel like you ‘need’ an i7 CPU or 64GB of RAM, you if you’ve found friends or people on online message boards telling you otherwise it’s probably people who have bought in to a bunch of marketing hype from rip off merchants like Alienware, HP Omen and the like.

  • Intel i5 8600 + 16GB RAM for the GTX1070 TI or higher.
  • Intel i5 8400 + 8GB RAM for the GTX 1060 6G OC to GTX 1070 OC
  • Intel i3 8300 + 8GB RAM for the the GTX 1060 6G and below;

Remember, unless it’s a bottleneck, the CPU and RAM don’t really add that much to performance, especially the RAM that just sits there doing nothing if it’s not being utilized! 16GB is plenty for modern gaming and that isn’t likely to change any time soon. Additionally, did you know the high end i5’s perform almost identically to the i7’s in most games? Their ‘per-core’ performance is almost identical and most games don’t utilize the additional threads in the i7’s anyway.

So next time you walk to a JB or Harvey and see the $5K gaming PC with 64GB of RAM and top of the line i7 paired with some mid range GPU, steer clear. It’s a complete rip off and will perform so much worse than an i5 with 16GB of RAM and a better GPU for half the price!

Last but not least, all the other bits..

This part is easy, the B series gaming motherboard is what you should go for the best value or if it’s within your budget and you want more room to upgrade in the future and get a little better built in audio and LAN controllers, a Z series gaming board is the way to go.

Next, it’s time for a chassis. If you went with a top of the line build and OC GPU it’s best to get something with good ventilation. This usually means an air intake grill at the front like the MasterCase HP500 Mesh or Corsair Air 540. If you wen’t with something a little more ‘cost effective’ well you can get away with a little less airflow in which case you can pretty much select any chassis from our list.

Now it’s time for storage drives. If your budget is tight a regular 1tb hard drive will get the job done although be it a tad slow to boot in to windows and load games. On the other hand an SSD drive will give you dramatically faster boot and load times (5-10x in some cases!) and the only trade of is capacity. Personally we would highly recommend and SSD. It makes the whole system feel so much more snappier and responsive overall. If a large capacity SSD is too pricey, maybe a smaller SSD primary drive for your operating system and your favorite games with a secondary regular hard drive for the overflow when you need it?

Lastly, the power supply and at this point with all the other selections already made above our custom PC builder page will give you a recommendation calculated based on your needs. The main difference between the Gold or Bronze units is just the AC to DC conversion efficiency from the wall to the PC. The gold series will save you a bit on your electricity bill and run a bit cooler as the lost power will dissipate is heat.

Of course there at a lot of other options you can choose from in our custom PC builder but we’ve covered all the ones that directly impact performance. The rest are all personal preference options and you can easily pick and choose which suit your needs best. If you do have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us any time and we will get back to you ASAP.

So what are you waiting for?

Head on over to our store page at www.evatech.com.au and get customizing! It’s so simple with built in error detection, basic ‘as-you-go’ guides and automatic performance indicators for all the latest and greatest games.

 

Categories
Guide

Building A Custom Gaming PC to Play Overwatch

With Blizzard’s arena first person shooter Overwatch steadily growing to be one of the biggest of it’s kind on the e-sports scene, it’s also been rapidly growing in popularity among gamers, overtaking the likes of CS:GO, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Battlefield 1 as the games our customers ask us about most on a day to day basis.

So with that in mind we’re going to run down our recommendations for building a custom gaming PC specifically with Overwatch in mind.

Now if you’ve read any of our previous recommendations when it comes to building a custom gaming PC for a specific game, you will know the core components to focus on are the GPU, CPU and RAM when it comes down to performance.

Overwatch is both modest at the entry level but we’re going to focus on hitting 60+ FPS consistently at 1080P under the high graphics presets for this particular recommendation as this is what most of our customers tell us they are looking for.

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Guide

Overclocking A Skylake i5 6600K

Interested in building a new Skylake gaming PC and thinking about overclocking it? This article will break down what you need and what you can safely expect to get out of an unlocked Intel 6600K i5 CPU with the right motherboard & cooler.