Haswell's here. We've thoroughly analyzed Haswell's viability and performance for gaming and light workload applications, and with that research backing us, we can comfortably recommend that new system builders opt for Haswell over its predecessors. Fear not, though -- if you're on Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, and in some cases, even Nehalem, our conclusion was that it's not necessarily immediately beneficial to make the leap to Intel's new Tock. For new builders, though, there's absolutely no reason not to opt for the newer chip, especially given its support of emerging graphics technologies by Intel and game developers.
GRID 2 is a fine example of this: Self-shadowing smoke (adding depth and volume to the tire smoke) is only available to owners of Haswell systems, whether or not you're using the IGP or a discrete card. Similarly, OIT (order-independent transparency) and other render techniques can be 'unlocked' in the options menu only by Haswell users.
This custom ~$1000 high-end gaming PC build aims to put you in a position to play almost any game currently on the market on maxed or high settings, including the likes of Crysis 3. We've got a "cheap bastard's" build coming out shortly, for those on an ultra budget, and then a normal budget build for the in-betweeners. Buying a pre-built system can't lay a hand to the level of power, customization, and affordability gained in building your own gaming PC -- let's jump to the list.
Few things tax hardware to the extent that video encoding and rendering tasks do; H.264 encoding (soon to be superseded by H.265 - which is incredibly promising) is one of the best-optimized, multithreaded encoding methodologies and scales predictably with increasingly-advanced hardware. Still, with all this optimization, it's easy to want more. Always more. Rendering is an arduous task that beats up the processor, RAM, and storage heavily, and so expedition of such intensive tasks demands specialized hardware for the objective at hand.
This high-end DIY gaming PC build is intended for those looking to get into game streaming (see: Twitch, YouTube, etc.) and video production with a focus on playing games; everything herein is spec'd toward someone who sees professional streaming or video production as a future (or current) career path, and will help in completing your goals efficiently. As we'll discuss below, the biggest bottleneck in rendering and video content production is time -- it may not be a piece of hardware, but losing time to the hours spent rendering means less time to produce the next video.
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