BUILD A COMPLETE 4K GAMING PC
Everything you need to play games at 4K with top settings
4K ASUS MONITOR
DUAL SLI GRAPHICS
Unbelievably, in under two years, the price of 4K-capable kit has dropped like a brick from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Not only has the price of a 4K monitor nosedived from £2,999 (see Issue 12, p27) to well under £500, but even the required graphics equipment no longer costs the earth. In fact, thanks to Nvidia’s Maxwell architecture, £562 will buy you the whole graphics subsystem, and it won’t eat your power supply for lunch either.
The result of all these plunging prices is that, with the right component choices, you can now build an all-singing, all-dancing, 4K gaming PC for well under £2,000, and the price even includes the monitor, SLI graphics and Windows 8.1. Over the next few pages, we’ll show you exactly what you need, how to put it together, and how to fine-tune and overclock your new PC. There are several graphical routes towards playable frame rates at 3,840 x 2,160, all with their pros and cons. The Nvidia route involves either doubling up graphics cards in SLI with GTX 970s or GTX 980s, or opting for a GTX 980 Ti (see p20 ) or Titan X. On the red team, you can achieve the same effect with two AMD Radeon R9 290 cards in CrossFire configuration, or use its R9 295X2. The latter is extremely power-hungry and hot-running, though, as are AMD’s single-GPU models.
For this reason, we’ve leaned towards Nvidia, even though its graphics cards are a little more expensive terms of bang per buck, simply because their power requirements are significantly lower, which becomes a bigger deal when you’re using multiple cards. A pair of GeForce GTX 970 cards offer enough performance to topple a GTX 980 Ti and even a Titan X in some games, while third-party coolers such as the Asus ones on these Strix GTX 970 Direct CU II cards, are incredibly quiet, even when gaming.
More importantly, they can handle even tough games such as Crysis 3 at maximum settings with room to spare.
Hardware GRAPHICS CARD 2 x Asus STRIX GTX 970 Direct CU II /£ 281 (£562)