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Old 08-17-2019, 02:45 PM
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Poley McPoleface Poley McPoleface is offline
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Default I'm Building A Computer!

Warning: Long OP ahead but wanted to gather advice and thought maybe posting details, and hopefully receiving comments, would help others building in the future!

Think I'm going to finally pull the trigger and build my first Computey McPuterface! I haven't actually purchased anything yet and I'm still in the process of picking parts but wanted to post on here and see what people think so far. I'm very much open to advice since I came knowing just about zero. I will not take offense to being told I'm making a dumb decision with any of these parts! I'm using pcpartpicker and the current build status can be found here:


Having never done this before I browsed a lot of reading material online. I wanted to document some of my thought process and how I went about picking parts, since I found getting started to be incredibly daunting. There are a lot of parts needed and many narrow down as you go based on compatibility. Below is in the order I went for picking parts, I started with what appeared to be the big budget deciding pieces, the CPU and GPU, and figured that would start narrowing down the rest of what was needed.

Up to this point the decisions I've made have been less around saving and more along the lines of whether or not I'm going to care about the jump in performance. This most notably happened at the GPU/monitor where I spent a long time deciding on 1080p, 1440p, or 4k. The below parts add up to just barely over $2000 which honestly surprised me that the total cost is not higher yet. My expectation was $2500 just for the PC and I wasn't going to include the monitor in that budget
  1. CPU - Intel Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
    Felt like a logical starting point primarily because there aren't a lot of options. It's AMD or Intel, definitely buying the most recent generation, and core number is the only real decision point. I went with the Intel i7-9700K based on reviews online saying i9 isn't really necessary from a gaming standpoint. I know the "k" means it's unlocked for overclocking, but I don't plan to use that. I didn't see a 9th gen without the k. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind on that overclocking later.
  2. GPU - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
    Gaming is my primary intended use, so this was the logical next step that would narrow down the rest of what I'd purchase. Essentially what I got out of this was considerations were 1080p, 1440p, or 4k; do I care about VR; and do I want free/g-sync. 1440p felt like the sweet spot, and I'm not personally concerned too much about VR. This is when I decided to look at monitors, a lot of the sites seemed to assume you already had a monitor and it's pretty obvious that the monitor and GPU need to be compatible. There's no reason to have a GPU capable of 4k when the monitor has only 1080p, or vice-versa. A question I wanted to ask here before moving on is if I should care a lot about manufacturer? EVGA, MSI, Gigabyte, Nvidia all make the same card with small price differences. I went with the RTX 2070 Super, but that decision wasn't made until after I researched monitors... Sooo....
  3. Monitor - BenQ 31.5" 2560x1440, 144HZ
    This is where the price seemed to really jump around imo. I can get a 1080p monitor for $199 or jump to $450 for a 1440p. This stacks with the GPU, and I was looking at a GTX 1660 Ti (for 1080p) for $280 or a RTX 2070 SUPER (for 1440p) for $499. There really wasn't much in-between as far as I could tell and 4k feels excessive to me. As mentioned above the combination of GPU and monitor were the deciding point for budgeting in my experience. Is this price jump from 1080 to 1440 worth it? Should I put more consideration into bumping another level?
  4. RAM - Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4
    Spent comparatively little time with research here. I basically came in assuming I'd be buying 32GB and from what I can tell the difference between brands isn't that significant. Went with 2x16GB sticks, that'll leave me open to adding more in the future and currently it's listed about the same as 4x8GB sticks anyway.
  5. SSD - Samsung 970 EVO 1TB, M.2
    Big jump to go from a 1TB SSD to 2TB so going with 1. Whether it's worth the extra $30 to get the M.2 interface vs the SATA seems widely debated. Currently I have the M.2 selected but I'm open to being convinced it's unnecessary.
  6. Motherboard - Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI
    This was the most confusing part to read about. I basically just picked one with decent reviews that was compatible with my parts up to this point. Seemed to just boil down to whether or not you want wifi capability and what ports it provides. I wanted wifi capability, compatibility with the Intel i7 CPU, and 4 RAM slots. The ports didn't didn't seem to vary a ton by motherboard, they all provided plenty USB 2.0 and 3.0 options and the display ports are irrelevant because GPU.
  7. CPU Cooler - Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO
    Should I be water-cooling instead? Again no intention of overclocking here.
  8. Power Supply - Corsair TXM Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Semi-modular
    Plenty wattage, 80+ gold effieicency seemed pretty standard, fully-modular sounds unnecessary and hard-wired sounds like a cabling nightmare so went with semi-modular.
  9. Case - NZXT H500 ATX Mid Tower
    Has great reviews, reasonably priced, hard for me to tell on the space needs but pcpartpicker still says it can't tell if space is a problem yet either. Unsure on whether or not I need to buy extra fans but stopping the research for now, may look at it again later today.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:54 PM
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Gandalf Gandalf is offline
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Good luck with the project, but why?

Is it mainly for the experience of building it, or is it mainly the cheapest (or only) way to get a unit with the components you want?
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:32 PM
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The experience mainly. I know I could do just fine with a pre-built PC and I'm not expecting to save money.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:29 PM
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Looks like a sweet build. Pull the trigger!
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:56 PM
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Where's the RGB?

On the cpu, it's been a few years since I've built/researched, but felt like ryzen gave better value at the time.

Hard drive: depending on your use, 1TB might fill up quickly.

CPU cooler: I've used a water cooler and the 212 Evo, and felt like the Evo was a lot quieter. I also don't overclock.

But have fun, should be a good experience.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:58 PM
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I like the M2 vs SATA, so I think it's worth the difference in price.

You might consider multiple SSDs, and use one (128GB) for just the OS.

My new laptop has the i9, and my only advice on that one is that the motherboard ends up being the bottleneck to further upgrades at some point. Meaning that at some point you won't be able to upgrade anything else until you upgrade that. So, a different approach would be to start with the "best" motherboard and build around that.

My old Alienware (2014 or so) has had the GPU replaced, new faster hard drives, etc. But I can't meaningfully upgrade the CPU, because the motherboard won't take a newer one.

So, I guess all I'm saying is that you need to be comfortable with the i7 vs the i9, not just for now, but until you're willing to replace the motherboard too. That's why I went with the i9 in my new one.

PS -- my new one is the Alienware Area 51. Didn't build it, as it's harder to build laptops, but I bought it specifically because it's one of the few laptops designed to be upgraded.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poley McPoleface View Post
[*]SSD - Samsung 970 EVO 1TB, M.2
Big jump to go from a 1TB SSD to 2TB so going with 1. Whether it's worth the extra $30 to get the M.2 interface vs the SATA seems widely debated. Currently I have the M.2 selected but I'm open to being convinced it's unnecessary.
Get both: a 120GB M.2 for the OS, and a 1TB SSD for the games and data. Add a traditional hard drive sometime in the future if you run out of space, or upgrade the 1TB to 2TB when the 2TB drops under $100.
Quote:
[*]Motherboard - Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI
This was the most confusing part to read about. I basically just picked one with decent reviews that was compatible with my parts up to this point. Seemed to just boil down to whether or not you want wifi capability and what ports it provides. I wanted wifi capability, compatibility with the Intel i7 CPU, and 4 RAM slots.
Wifi, WTF? You're going to spend some $2000 and lots of time to build a high-powered desktop PC for gaming, then hobble it with wifi? Find some way to get a wired signal to the thing, whether it's running ethernet through the walls, powerline, or MoCA 2.0.

And if you really must have wifi, don't let wifi capability limit your motherboard choices. It's cheap and easy to add it with a USB 3.0 wifi adapter or internal PCIe wifi card, which probably will work better than built-in motherboard wifi.
Quote:
[*]Power Supply - Corsair TXM Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Semi-modular
Plenty wattage, 80+ gold effieicency seemed pretty standard, fully-modular sounds unnecessary and hard-wired sounds like a cabling nightmare so went with semi-modular.
Get fully modular unless you have identified that you will use all or nearly all of the hardwired cables. When building a PC it's very annoying to have unnecessary cables in the way, and when it's built it will cool better with fewer cables.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Incredible Hulctuary View Post
Get both: a 120GB M.2 for the OS, and a 1TB SSD for the games and data. Add a traditional hard drive sometime in the future if you run out of space, or upgrade the 1TB to 2TB when the 2TB drops under $100.
This has been said a couple times, along with general space concerns. My intention was actually to add another hard drive when needed, either traditional or another SSD which sound like they've been dropping in price rapidly. I'll look at options to increase space a bit up front. Why specifically house the OS in a separate hard drive?

Quote:
Wifi, WTF? You're going to spend some $2000 and lots of time to build a high-powered desktop PC for gaming, then hobble it with wifi? Find some way to get a wired signal to the thing, whether it's running ethernet through the walls, powerline, or MoCA 2.0.
I'm leasing a condo at the moment and the bedroom does not have any reasonable access to a wired connection without running an ethernet cable through the entire hallway. I don't do a ton of online play, I'm going to be playing more single player games like Cyberpunk and Doom and I'm expecting to crank the graphics a bit more than I have in the past. My online play mostly consists of Borderlands with a former college roommate and that's not a game that requires a crazy system (that includes that soon to be released Borderlands 3). I am currently job hunting though and hopefully will get a job somewhere I can buy a house, at which point I'd be hooking it up to a direct internet connection.

Quote:
And if you really must have wifi, don't let wifi capability limit your motherboard choices. It's cheap and easy to add it with a USB 3.0 wifi adapter or internal PCIe wifi card, which probably will work better than built-in motherboard wifi.
Fair point! This is where I should to reiterate that I'm least clear on what makes a good motherboard. It's seems to mostly be a hub everything plugs into and what I read online was primarily making sure you have adequate ports externally and internally. I'll look at external wifi adapters and compare the options of motherboard w/ wifi and motherboard w/o wifi + adapter.

Quote:
Get fully modular unless you have identified that you will use all or nearly all of the hardwired cables. When building a PC it's very annoying to have unnecessary cables in the way, and when it's built it will cool better with fewer cables.
I'll double-check the specific hardwired cables in the unit I picked.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Why specifically house the OS in a separate hard drive?
Googled. With traditional hard drives it was a major efficiency gain as the pin would be bouncing around trying to run the OS and whatever else you're doing all on one drive. This is less of a benefit to separate in SSD, but still allows the OS drive to focus on the one thing that literally has to be running at all times. The other benefit is if you replace your OS all your other shit can stay where it is, untouched. I'm going to weigh the options of getting a small drive just for the OS or just buying another TB SSD that will start with just the OS and be used as expansion space later.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:09 PM
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I agree with your thought process on Windows being on a separate drive. If you upgrade, Microsoft does something stupid with a W10 update, etc. you don't have to redownload everything because it's on a separate drive.

My Area 51 has 2TB of M2, but in two separate drives in Raid 0. Benefit is that it can access two different drives at the same time which further cuts load times, save faster, etc. Downside is OS is also part of the Raid 0 configuration, so I don't get the benefits of keeping it separate. Plus one fails, both effectively fail. But it's purely a games machine, so no data that would be catastrophic to lose, as most games have cloud save.
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