My Build, How can I make it better - Is it put together right?


So last Christmas and New Years I rounded up some bones did a little research (not nearly enough) and built my first build.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU | Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor |
CPU Cooler | Zalman CNPS9700 LED Ball Bearing CPU Cooler |
Motherboard | Asus Z87-Pro ATX LGA1150 Motherboard |
Memory | Corsair Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory |
Storage | Samsung 840 EVO 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive |
Storage | Seagate Barracuda 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive |
Storage | Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive |
Video Card | EVGA GeForce GTX 770 2GB Superclocked ACX Video Card |
Case | Apevia X-DREAMER4-GN ATX Mid Tower Case |
Power Supply | Corsair CX 750W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply |
Optical Drive | Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer |
Operating System | Microsoft Windows 8.1 (OEM) (64-bit) |
Monitor | Acer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0" Monitor |

I wanted a PC that could emulate and play the next gen stuff, but had no experience with computers. So, the decisions I made for my parts were based off of Toms Hardware’s Skyrim benchmark reviews and of course, the parts’ colors had to match!

Now I’m noticing tearing and stuttering in some games, BF4 with AA on Ultra for example. My question, is there any way to optimize this build - not really sure what I even mean by that, where should I put my money for upgrades in the future, and is there any literature anybody can kick my way that could get me up to speed on PC parts, building, and what not.


I see nothing wrong with the hardware itself.

What’s your current graphics driver version? I believe nVidia just released version 340.52.

What are some background applications that you have running while gaming? It’s worth closing down some apps you don’t use when you game to see if there is any improvement. Sometimes certain applications can cause some stuttering and ‘lagging’.


I’m running the new nVidia driver, I have a bunch of background processes running and then Google Chrome is always on too.


Do you know if the stuttering and tearing started recently after the driver update?


It did, but I also got bf4 the same day as the update. So I’m not really sure where to go from here. I looked into the driver update too and it looks like it is just support stuff for the nvidia shield.


So you never were able to play BF4 without the driver update? It’s been stuttering and tearing since you got the game?

Curious what your game settings are at.

Also do you have any way of monitoring your CPU usage, GPU usage, and temps when you game? Does the stuttering occur immediately or only after extended gameplay?


What other games? Was there tearing and stuttering prior to you updating the graphics drivers in any game prior to BF4?

Did you do any SSD optimization to your build? Swap file or virtual memory stuff to be more precise?


One more question, do you have Vsync turned on? If not, try turning it on along with triple buffering.

I think the weak link is the monitor refresh rate. In theory Vsync should keep your FPS in sync with your refresh rate. This should correct the tearing. The triple buffering should correct the potential input lag you will get with the Vsync on.


No, that is all way over my head. Maybe if you could point me in the right direction to get schooled up on the matter…
I first noticed it with BF4 and then Deus Ex and now pretty much everything, tearing and stuttering around the edges when I move or sight in. I have only noticed it in FPS games.


Love this guy @tommy2118


There are things you can do to decrease the footprint of your windows install. This is helpful when you have a smaller SSD and need all the space you can get. Unfortunately some of the “optimizations” floating around the internet will in fact give you more available space on your SSD, but can cost you in performance. I wanted to make sure you had not fallen pry to any of those bad practices because they could have been the smoking gun to your tearing issues.

As for the VSync and triple buffering:

  1. Open your NVIDIA Control Panel
  2. Click Manage 3D Settings
  3. Click the Program Settings Tab
  4. Find BF4 in the list
  5. Scroll to the bottom
  6. Enable Triple Buffering & Vertical sync

Hope this helps.


Ok, just did a round with those settings and the only clipping now is just distant terrain. So thank you much! Now what exactly is Triple buffering doing?


This is a pretty straightforward explanation.


Good to go!


Keep in mind that the Vertical Sync “fixed” the tearing. The triple buffering helps mitigate any input lag which is a common side effect from using Vsync.

When your FPS is higher than your refresh rate (in your case 60Hz), your monitor will not be able to display all of these frames, the result of this is what is known as Tearing. When you enable VSync your refresh rate and FPS will have a direct relationship with each other (they are in sync). In other words your graphics cards (60Hz) will be capped at 60 FPS. This is fine for most cases, however there is a drawback…

If your FPS ever drops below your refresh rate (even by a few frames) you can/will get a significant reduction in your refresh rate, 50% to be exact. This is because of card drawing stuff that I do not understand and could not begin to explain it in technological terms (I’m sure @Vocino could :wink: ) . To dumb it down to my level, use @Auth 's story in his link (I added it for reference below) about the pool and the water buckets. When that FPS Drops below 60 FPS and vsync is on, you are stuck with two full buckets and are forced to shut the water off until you catch up. This causes a large drop to your refresh rate. So turning on the triple buffering adds a third (or more) bucket to the equasion, avoiding the need to shut the water off when your FPS drops below refresh rate.



Great explanations to both you and Auth. I learned something out of all that as well.