Few things tax hardware to the extent that video encoding and rendering tasks do; H.264 encoding (soon to be superseded by H.265 - which is incredibly promising) is one of the best-optimized, multithreaded encoding methodologies and scales predictably with increasingly-advanced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.

The legacy left by the original Crysis is one of worldwide renown: Shipping at just around the same time as nVidia's 8800-series GPUs—which were ground-breaking in their own right—the game promised to push PC gaming to new heights. It delivered. Well, graphically, at least; Crytek's CryEngine has famously pushed multi-FPU (floating-point-unit) support to better accommodate multi-core chips, and that trend continues with CryEngine 3.


Crysis 3's new host engine natively employs up to eight simultaneous threads, though most games (Crysis 3 included) will stick with a three-thread foundation with the possibility of spawning additional concurrent threads when necessary. By default, the engine runs a thread for game logic, one for rendering, and one for computation-intensive software-side physics solutions; this means that, unlike most other sub-optimized games (read: console-inhibited), Crysis 3 should theoretically occupy the CPU cores with relative equilibrium and a more optimized load-distribution methodology than ported games.

Obviously gameplay is an entirely different matter, but speaking entirely to the technical and graphical capacity of the game, we find Crysis 3 to be incredibly promising for hardware benchmarking and for the scenery the engine is capable of rendering. Besides, it's the very same engine that Star Citizen is being built on, so if there's any endorsement of potential - that's it.

This high-end gaming PC build for Crysis 3 takes DIY to the next level, offering overclocking options and potential for running the game on high settings with a smooth framerate. Let's hit the specs before we dive into the build list:

Not all chips are produced as equals: Some bin-out with a higher frequency threshold than others, and K-SKUs (by both AMD and Intel) often have a higher bottom-line than their non-K brethren; these chips are made for overclocking, and we think you should take advantage of that function -- it's a quick way to eek more life out of your system, oh, and it's fun. I love seeing how much I can get out of my system, and with this in mind, we designed this build to push the limits of what you may think a gaming rig can do. Oh, and as a quick side note, we're currently giving away a 256GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD, so go check that out if you'd like to win an expensive drive.


In this joint-effort "intro to overclocking" high-end gaming PC build, we've picked out the best components for an affordable, beginner's overclocked gaming system at around $1000; if you're interested in learning how to overclock, be sure to check out our Overclocking Primer guide for a quick intro on the basics. 

I realize that the FX series was designed with intentions to overclock, but they just do not perform as well as Intel in gaming uses (a mix of issues with architecture -- like fewer FPUs -- and poor overall performance in non-integer-based applications). We put together a build with the i5-3570k, a Z77 motherboard, and an MSI 660 Ti built for overclocking, all capable of playing nearly all modern games out there at the highest settings, and will overclock like a champ in the process (and quite easily).

Brought to you by GN's Steve and Mik, let's get to this killer build.

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