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A machine for the future

Discussion in 'Computer Talk' started by DWilson, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. DWilson

    DWilson Where am I? What turn is it?

    Jun 7, 2012
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    So, I am considering investing in a PC sometime in the next year or so. It will definitely run Windows. My goal is for it to be able to play max (native) sized maps on maximum settings in Civ VI, and I would like it to be able to run at least a large sized map on high settings when VII comes out.

    Based on the tech progression from IV to V to VI, what type of rig am I looking at? I assume that a desktop will offer better performance for price than a laptop. In terms of CPU, should I be looking at a recent I7 or Ryzen 7? In terms of GPU, would a GTX 1060 suffice (or ought I spring for a 1070)? I plan to go for 16 GB DDR4 RAM, and at least 250 GB SSD Hard. In terms of resolution, I'll probably shoot for 1920x1080-ish.

    Assuming this all works, if I get it pre-built, what sort of price am I looking at? If I build it myself (or pester my younger, more dextrous brother to build it), what sort of savings might I expect?
  2. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

    Feb 2, 2003
    Plymouth, MA
  3. Lemon Merchant

    Lemon Merchant Superconductor Moderator

    Jun 27, 2008
    Red Sector A
    A build it yourself might wind up costing you a little more, but it's worth it in the long run. You get a much better price/performance ratio, usually better quality parts, and the satisfaction of saying "I made this".

    Pre-builts are usually built with shoddy, second rate components, in my experience, anyway. Of course you can't build your own laptop, but a desktop is something that you should always build yourself.
  4. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

    Mar 17, 2007
    The other noteworthy thing with pricing on build-your-own is that while it does generally cost more at the low end - it's hard to beat the volume purchasing power the Dells and HPs of the world have on low-end parts - it often saves money as you move to the higher end, along with having better-quality parts. I'm a little out-of-date on just how much the difference is nowadays - having built my own system in 2011, I've been upgrading just what is needed since then, rather than the whole thing - but the general specs you are looking at should be high enough to make it a bit cheaper. That said, I'd recommend doing it based on interest, not solely to save a little money if you don't have any interest in it.

    The specs you mention are about what I'd recommend for a sensible gaming rig these days without going overboard on costly components. One thing to be aware of is that an update to Ryzen is going to happen in Q2; Intel launched their newest parts in October so in the first half of the year is unlikely. Currently Ryzen 7 and Core i7 are pretty even. For current Civ games, i7 will give slightly faster AI times, but if Civ VII or a future Civ VI update introduces parallel programming for the AI, the balance may switch back to Ryzen 7, which has two more cores. I've been hoping for that since before Civ5 came out, so I wouldn't count on it, but I hope they do that eventually as it would make huge maps much more appealing, on either processor.

    16 GB RAM is a good amount. It's relatively expensive these days, and that amount will run pretty much any game you want, so I would not recommend going above that. As for the GPU, I'll let those who play Civ VI comment on what's necessary to get the graphics to near-top-notch.

    Edit: Change "about 3 months" for Ryzen update to "Q2" based on information newly available on 1/8.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018

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