Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Jonathan Beck
Bro Cave Redux: @AjayLikesGaming
This week’s bro cave comes to us from streamer extraordinaire AjayLikesGaming. He has built a beast of a machine and even provided a video tour of his setup! With twin eVGA GTX 680s, we’re sure that his gaming experience is amazing.
Well, Greetings again KBMOD! It has been just over a year since I first posted my Bro Cave – my first ever PC build and venture into PC gaming. I’m back now with significant upgrades and I’d like to share with you my experience with PC gaming and how it has benefited me over the past year.
Let’s begin! My biggest fear when swapping over from the console side of things was the fact that I was completely abandoning the social side of gaming I’d experienced with playing games with my friends ‘IRL’. However, at the same time, I was hoping that, as PC gaming generally has a higher buy-in than consoles, that I could potentially meet some people with as deep an interest in gaming as I had.
Luckily, this was the case and after a few months (through my YouTube channel and various other sources) I made friends with people who I now speak to regularly and have a deeper connection with than some of my friends in real life. I’d heard many stories from the KBMOD guys about having met whilst playing WoW and such games and I never really realized just how feasible a thing that is till I swapped over to PC. It could be argued that this is possible on other platforms too but I personally find that, as mentioned before, the buy-in price is greater and thus you’re more likely to find like-minded and more mature gamers than you would find on a console. It also helps that through Steam and applications like Team Speak, you’re never quite removed from interaction unlike turning off a console.
Alongside my online friendships flourishing, I found myself playing a much bigger variety of games through Steam sales and various other online stores offering the most ridiculous prices for some of the most fantastic games I’ve ever played. For example, Spec Ops: The Line was a game that I knew very little about, on the surface I believed it to be a generic action shooter; but I picked it up for around £3 and it turned out to have one of the deepest and smartest plots of 2012. If I were presented with it for £25 in GAME on the local high street, I don’t think I would have even given it a single glance. Alongside cheaper AAA titles, it’s been a great pleasure to pick up small indie games on a whim and find some of the most polished titles of the year too. Dear Esther has become one of my favorite ‘games’ (a hotly debated subject) of all time. The Stanley Parable was an engaging journey and Bastion was just stellar. It’s surprises like that that have really made me appreciate the perks of having a cheaper, larger variety of games on PC.
When it came to producing content for YouTube, it was an absolute godsend to be able to hit a single key and begin recording footage for upload. In the past I had been incredibly frustrated to be in the middle of an absolutely engaging game but faced with the annoyance of having to switch off the console, swap over to component input and set up the recording software before being able to do so. Now I never have to break my immersion when gaming and as a result, I’ve been able to capture some great moments, whether it be humorous clips whilst playing online with friends or dramatic and epic moments in single player games. This, alongside with the extra processing power doubled the amount of content I was able to produce as well as opening up a new realm of possibilities when it came to production value. I was very lucky to recently land myself a Machinima partnership and I personally put this down to the ease at which this PC has given me to produce regular content.
So thank you KBMOD and thank you John for getting me into PC gaming and welcoming me into this community. The forums have always been a great place for me to visit and interact with other like-minded people whilst learning about the ins and outs of a PC through KBMOD overlord Ross’s posts on close to every thread.
The Upgrade Decision Process!
So my upgrade decision this time around has come under a lot of debate in the chat of my streams and the comments on my videos – questions like ‘Why not two 670s?’ have come up time and time again and I’d love to answer them here.
My rig is total overkill for the average gamer and I really do understand that. I think the reason it has come under fire is because people are missing the point that what I do requires a lot more extra power. I have always aimed to have my videos and streaming be of the highest quality I can get from a single machine. Because of this, my old rig was beginning to severely limit what games I could play and what settings I would need to bump down to make them playable. A 720p stream at 60fps will absolutely destroy your framerate and that’s my reason for going with two 680s over two 670s. Whilst there isn’t a huge difference between SC 670s and standard 680s, there’s a slightly bigger difference with the SC 680s that I chose in the end. It’s that ‘slight difference’ that I really wanted as any extra frames are beneficial to me.
The next significant upgrade was my motherboard; my old one was the butt of just about every joke for the past year with its total lack of overclocking abilities and inability to really aid any of the components on my board. The latter was the main reason for the upgrade, I was getting a bit of sick of having a K processor and water cooling and having it sat at stock speeds. Under Ross’ guidance, I went with the Gigabyte Z77X-D3H board which has just been fantastic. Overclocking was absolute breeze and my streams have been so much smoother ever since.
The next upgrade was the RAM. I added an extra 8GB of Corsair Vengeance to total up to 16GB. It wasn’t really a necessary upgrade, I had some money left over and thought it might help out with my video editing and Photoshop projects. Alongside this, I picked up a Steelseries 6Gv2 to replace my Razer Blackwidow that gave up on me after a year of use. (I guess I should have listened to everyone’ warnings about Razer products).
So there you go, that’s my PC gaming ‘journey’ and the reasons for my upgrades. Hope you enjoyed this long ramble! If you’re interested in seeing the set-up in motion, I made a short little video which you can find below alongside my full specs!
Processor & Cooler:
i7 2600k @ 4.3GHz
Corsair Hydro Series H60 Watercooler
Two EVGA GTX680 Signature 2 cards in SLI
16GB Corsair Vengeance @1600Mhz
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H LGA1155 Motherboard
Kingston SSDNow V+100 96GB SSD
Western Digital Caviar Black 2TB
Thermaltake ThoughPower 850W PSU
NZXT Phantom (White w/ Blue LEDS)
Samsung SH-B123L/RSBP Blu-Ray Drive
BenQ XL2410T 120Hz
BenQ VW2420H 60Hz
Beyer-Dynamic DT100 Headphones
Microsoft LifeCam 720p Webcam
Rode Podcaster USB Microphone
Rode PSA-1 Boom Arm