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Configuration Assistance Requested

Post Date: 2021-06-08

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Grifman View Drop Down
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  Quote Grifman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Configuration Assistance Requested
    Posted: 08 Jun 2021 at 6:18pm
I need help in configuring my third (!!!) DS PC to replace my 5 year old model.  My budget is about $3,000.  I play mostly strategy games like XCom and Civilization along with FPS/RPG's like Fallout 4, Deus Ex, Tomb Raider, Cyberpunk 2070, etc.

My configuration is as follows:

Configuration Code: 3935088
Total Price with Instant Savings: $2,682.00

Chassis Model: Digital Storm Lynx
Exterior Finish: - Standard Factory Finish
Trim Accents: - Standard Factory Finish
Processor: Intel Core i9-11900K (5.3 GHz Turbo) (16-Thread) (8-Core) 3.5 GHz (Rocket Lake)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z590-P / MSI Z590-A Pro (Intel Z590 Chipset) (Up to 2x PCI-E Devices) (No SLI Support)
System Memory: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz Digital Storm Performance Series <br><strong></strong>
Power Supply: 850W Digital Storm Performance Series (Modular) (80 Plus Gold)
Expansion Bay: - No Thanks
Optical Drive: - No Thanks
Storage Set 1: 1x SSD M.2 (500GB Digital Storm M.2 Performance Series)
Storage Set 2: 1x Storage (2TB Seagate / Toshiba / Hitachi)
Storage Set 3: - No Thanks
RAID Config: - No Thanks
RAID Card: - No Thanks
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)
Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce RTX 3070 8GB (VR Ready) <br><strong></strong>
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio
HPC Processor: - No Thanks
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 2: Digital Storm Vortex Liquid CPU Cooler (Dual Fan) (Fully Sealed + No Maintenance)
HydroLux Tubing Style: - Not Applicable, I do not have a custom HydroLux liquid cooling system selected
HydroLux Fluid Color: - Not Applicable, I do not have a custom HydroLux liquid cooling system selected
Cable Management: Premium Cable Management (Strategically Routed & Organized for Airflow)
Chassis Fans: Digital Storm Performance Series (RGB Fans)
Internal Lighting: - No Thanks
Airflow Control: - No Thanks
Chassis Mods: - No Thanks
Noise Reduction: - No Thanks
LaserMark: Option Not Available
Boost Processor: Stock Factory Turbo Boost Advanced Automatic Overclocking
Boost Graphics Card(s): - No Thanks, Please do not overclock my video card(s)
Boost OS: - No Thanks, Please do not tweak the services on the operating system
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-Bit)
Recovery Tools: USB Drive - Windows 10 Installation (Format and Clean Install)
Virus Protection: Windows Defender Antivirus (Built-in to Windows 10)
Office: - No Thanks
Mouse Pad: - No Thanks
Display: - No Thanks
Surge Shield: - No Thanks
Speakers: - No Thanks
Keyboard: - No Thanks
Mouse: - No Thanks

The only givens are the RTX 3070 card and the Lynx case (because it fits into the space I have).

My questions are really about the CPU, SSD and motherboard.  I have the i9 CPU but do I really need that?  Would the i5 be fine instead?  The difference is $490 which i could put towards a better SSD and/or motherboard.  I've read that this is only about a 10% difference between these two, and that games generally aren't limited by CPU's right now.  So is the i9 worth it or would it be better spend that money elsewhere?

I am also wondering about the SSD.  I've read on this forum that I should drop the DS SSD and got with the Seagate FireCuda or even better the Samsung 980 Pro because they are newer and faster (next gen).  Is that correct?

Lastly, I know nothing about motherboards and what role they play in gaming performance.  Should I get another motherboard - the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII Hero for $385 more using the savings of a cheaper CPU as noted above?  Which will matter more?

Thanks in advance to those that take a look at this and make suggestions!
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hoserator View Drop Down
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 08 Jun 2021 at 11:43pm
Welcome back. Awesome

That is a strong system. The i5 processors are very good. Others with more knowledge will detail how much better the i9 series are (or not) for your use.

In regards to Storage, you want to have the primary interface through the PCIe bus instead of SATA. Speeds are way faster. The 980 and FireCuda 520 sticks are Gen 4 which is the latest and the way you've got to go.

The mobo is important if you are going to overclock and play around with the bios, other wise not worth it IMO and if you go with an i5 cpu a total waste.

Good luck. Smile
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Jun 2021 at 4:22am
Your configuration code is an un-customized Velox, so I can't see how you got to $2682. It says "Total price with instant savings", but I don't get "instant savings" when I design a build.

That aside, the i5 10400F is a last gen proc, and will leave you without PCIe Gen 4 (note the 10 before the 400F instead of an 11). The compromise is the 11700K for $171 less. It is correct that modern CPUs are ahead of the curve for gaming and will last a long time, so you lose virtually nothing with an 11700K.

This is what I came up with at your price point:

     3935542    $2653 No"instant savings" in sight.

The Storage is upgraded to a Firecuda primary and a SATA SSD secondary. You could play with that at your stated budget, but note the 1TB 980 PRO NVMe is less $ than the 1 TB Firecuda, yet faster. You might consider a PCIe Gen 3 NVMe for SECONDARY storage as it's very much faster than the SATA I picked, and for your games library will be kick-ass. Beware anything over 1TB as they are not a good bargain here. A good combo might be a 1TB 980 primary and the 1 TB 970 EVO PLUS for $223 more, but still under budget at $2879.

Everything else is as you specified.

If you decide on a larger Primary drive, I advise you to partition it when it comes, allowing about 200 GB for your "C" drive for Windows and apps. Windows has a Wizard for that. When you do that, it assures you won't wip[e the whole drive if you need to clean-install Win at some point. It also allows you to scan your C for viruses, malware, adware, etc. in a very short time.
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  Quote Grifman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Jun 2021 at 12:24pm
Originally posted by Cretae


If you decide on a larger Primary drive, I advise you to partition it when it comes, allowing about 200 GB for your "C" drive for Windows and apps. Windows has a Wizard for that. When you do that, it assures you won't wip[e the whole drive if you need to clean-install Win at some point. It also allows you to scan your C for viruses, malware, adware, etc. in a very short time.


Thanks for all of your advice, it was very helpful.  And yes, I will do this, as I got caught by this situation once before - NEVER again! :)
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  Quote Grifman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Jun 2021 at 12:26pm
Originally posted by hoserator

Good luck. Smile


Thank you also!
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  Quote Grifman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Jun 2021 at 7:41pm
Originally posted by Cretae


The Storage is upgraded to a Firecuda primary and a SATA SSD secondary. You could play with that at your stated budget, but note the 1TB 980 PRO NVMe is less $ than the 1 TB Firecuda, yet faster. You might consider a PCIe Gen 3 NVMe for SECONDARY storage as it's very much faster than the SATA I picked, and for your games library will be kick-ass. Beware anything over 1TB as they are not a good bargain here. A good combo might be a 1TB 980 primary and the 1 TB 970 EVO PLUS for $223 more, but still under budget at $2879.


So just one further question.  Both of you are recommending NVME drives.  However, most of what I am reading (and it could be wrong) says that these drives are not needed for gaming right now (there are no games developed specifically to take advantage of them).  It is said that NVME drives are great at transferring tons of data but most games just don't transfer that much data.  So SATA SSD's are fine - NVME drives just don't make much of a difference, and most people can't really tell the difference.  Are these other sources wrong?

Any thoughts?  Thanks.
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jun 2021 at 2:37am
The advantage of the higher speeds becomes apparent right when you touch the On/Off button. You system is doing a lot of things besides pure gaming that benefit tremendously from NVMe vs. SATA.
Not the least is to boot up your game of choice in a flash. Once that is done its the gpu(s) that take over (and they also use the PCIe bus).
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jun 2021 at 3:38am
An NVMe drive is virtually a "must have" for your primary drive. Booting, Windows operations and all your apps and maintenance/scanning is done instantly in some cases; seconds vs minutes in others. it is a total game-changer I have awaited since the 1980's. They used to have an hourglass or a watch on the screen so you would know your computer was working on something instead of frozen up, ops took so long.

Notice I recommended a SATA drive as secondary in the build where most of your games will likely reside. That is precisely because of the situation you mention with gaming. The load time doesn't much matter to me, but others are... obsessed, shall we say, with all they can get out of modern tech. I proposed an NVMe secondary only as an option at your budget. My preference is always to find the sweet spot as to price before going for the very best possible part. Some folks are so new to this, the next question is often "Well can't I have TWO M.2 NVMe drives?" The answer, of course is yes. I put it out there as an vialble option if one wants to spend the money.
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  Quote fwfdfireman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jun 2021 at 5:52am
All the advice on NVMe vs. SATA SSD's is correct, and those that have talked about them here know far more than myself.
However, let me tell you from real experience. MY OS and many of my PC programs, not games, I have loaded up on my primary drive which is NVMe. Let me tell you, the difference between boot times on an NVMe and SSD is dramatic. MY last PC had SSDs throughout and I did not think there would that much difference. Well there is!

For games I experimented and loaded same game on my second NVMe and later on to my SSD drive. There was not that much of a difference in load times of the game and load time is all you care about.

I hope others might verify my thoughts as either true or false because you don't want one experiment to sway you in your purchase. For myself, I would make the primary drive NVMe and any others SSDs and save a little money.
Then too, if you want one drive just for storage of things that you rarely use then you could save even more by going a mechanical HD.
Old Gamers Never Die!
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  Quote Grifman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Jun 2021 at 6:58am
Originally posted by Cretae

An NVMe drive is virtually a "must have" for your primary drive. Booting, Windows operations and all your apps and maintenance/scanning is done instantly in some cases; seconds vs minutes in others. it is a total game-changer I have awaited since the 1980's. They used to have an hourglass or a watch on the screen so you would know your computer was working on something instead of frozen up, ops took so long.


Hehehe, believe me, I go back far beyond that, before there was anything such as a GUI and an hourglass.  I remember having to insert the DOS diskette to boot up the operating system, when LOTUS 1-2-3 was your spreadsheet program, not Excel.  I carried a Compaq "portable" computer the size of a small suitcase from job to job as an auditor :)

Thanks for the additional info.  I agree with having an NVME for the OS drive.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Jun 2021 at 3:28am
As do I. When floppies were actually "floppy". You're right, the hourglass came into being in the nineties.

How long we waited for this responsiveness, eh?

@fwfdfireman:

Games have to load in a more specifically sequential order from other programs to assure all the parts and pieces are there. Developers apparently make sure certain files are present before dependent files are loaded. As I understand it, it's akin to the reason most games won't benefit much from more cores. Gaming events must happen in a sequential order so certain events and trigger points are reached before others. It's very difficult to program such things in parallel.
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