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Long-awaited potential PC upgrade.

Post Date: 2019-09-08

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Manticore View Drop Down
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  Quote Manticore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Long-awaited potential PC upgrade.
    Posted: 08 Sep 2019 at 5:55pm
Evening!

I've been rummaging around trying to figure out a good upgrade that'll handle what I need without breaking the bank, and I've got my eye on a customized Lynx right now. I'm in no way experienced with the more intimate details of computer stuff like building them, which is why I pulled up DigitalStorm--I don't trust myself to build it on my own, and would much rather have somebody who knows what they're doing handle things. With my luck, I'd wind up having the rig set itself on fire the first time I turned it on.

I'm wrapping up my senior year in college, and could really use a machine with enough power to help me do my work--not to mention the fact that I've got a bunch of games I'd love to play in my spare time. My current laptop is about seven or eight years old, and it just can't keep up anymore. Not only is it having a lot of storage issues after years of constant use, it's also suffering from a defective graphics card that has basically been tricked into thinking it's fine. As a result, I can't really do much outside of basics; it's still running alright, but I'm constantly nervous that it might just up and bite the bucket if I so much as update anything. Gotta love that looming threat of computer implosion! Adds a little spice to standard operation.

Budget: Preferably less than 2k. Can go a bit higher, but not by much--college budget, y'know.
The configuration I have at the moment has the $200 off discount, making it pretty well within my budget--plus, there's free shipping right now, which is, needless to say, pretty appealing.
I don't currently have a monitor or keyboard, considering the fact that I'm upgrading from a laptop, and have included that in my configuration just to get everything handled all at once. (There's also a new headset in there because my current one is toast. Would appreciate an opinion on whether or not that particular headset is decent, though!)
Expectations: 1) Works, 2) can handle games on higher settings, and 3) isn't defective. The bar is very low here.
Usage: Mostly moderate to heavy gaming / general use, with art programs like SAI and Photoshop periodically. Nothing super intensive.
My games range from Fallout, Borderlands, Destiny 2, Guild Wars 2, and Divinity: Original Sin to Minecraft and Stardew Valley. For some reason, Minecraft is the hardest on my laptop out of all of these. It's a mystery.
Notes: I'd like a fairly quiet machine, but to be honest, everything's going to be quieter than my current laptop. This thing sounds like a 747.

Like I said, I don't really know what I'm doing here, but I'm trying my best. I've had a few friends look over the specs I've come up with and thus far opinions seem to be that I haven't set myself up for failure--I think this'll cover everything I'm looking for pretty handily, but it'd be great to get some bonus opinions, especially from people here who have worked with DigitalStorm before and know more about this sort of thing. If everything goes well, I'm planning on buying within the next few days to a week, and then trying real hard to gain some patience while it gets set up and shipped.
Without further ado, here's some specs.

Chassis
Chassis Model: Digital Storm Lynx

Core Components
Processor: Intel Core i7-9700F (4.7 GHz Turbo) (8-Core) 3.0 GHz (Not Overclockable)
Motherboard: ASUS Prime Z390-P (Intel Z390 Chipset) (Up to 2x PCI-E Devices) (No SLI Support)
System Memory: 32GB DDR4 3000MHz Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro (RGB Light Bar)
Power Supply: 600W Digital Storm Performance Series (Supports up to an NVIDIA RTX 2070 GPU)

Storage / Connectivity
Storage Set 1: 1x SSD (500GB Digital Storm Performance Series)
Storage Set 2: 1x Storage (2TB Seagate / Toshiba / Hitachi)
Internet Access: Wireless PCI-E ASUS PCE-AC56 (Supports 802.11ac)

Graphics / Multimedia
Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB (VR Ready)
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio

Digital Storm Engineering
Extreme Cooling: H20: Stage 1: Digital Storm Vortex Liquid CPU Cooler (Single 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: Remote Controlled Advanced LED Lighting System (Multiple RGB Color Modes)

Digital Storm TwisterBoost Technology
Boost Processor: Stock Factory Turbo Boost Advanced Automatic Overclocking
Boost Graphics Card(s): Yes, Overclock the video card(s) as much as possible with complete stability
Boost OS: Yes, Disable and tweak all of the non-crucial services on the operating system

Software
Windows OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-Bit Edition)
Recovery Tools: USB Drive - Windows 10 Installation (Format and Clean Install)
Virus Protection: Windows Defender Antivirus (Built-in to Windows 10)

Accessories / Goodies
Display: ASUS 24 inch VP248QG (75Hz Refresh) (1ms Response) (1920x1080)
Speakers: Corsair VOID PRO RGB (USB) Dolby 7.1 Gaming Headset
Keyboard: Digital Storm Devastator Bundle (RGB) Keyboard & Mouse



Thanks for taking a look! Hopefully, I've managed to do pretty okay. If not, please tell me before I make some kind of heinous mistake in my parts selection. please.
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  Quote Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 08 Sep 2019 at 10:28pm
Welcome to the forums, Maniticore.

I see you're gaming at 1080. This will give The Smart Guys® a good base for determining how to get the best bang for your buck.

They'll be along shortly..   
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 08 Sep 2019 at 10:54pm
Welcome to the forum Manticore!   


Quite a thorough explanation here...more than we usually get..lol.   The build you put together would work nicely, however...nicely doesn't quite deliver the fun we all would want you to have with a new DS custom rig.   So how about a few small tweaks in the build components to improve this rig measurably for very little net extra.

If you can manage going $143 over that $2k budget, the result would be a far stronger, longer lasting build better for school work and photo work, and for much better bang for the buck. This budget still gets you a fairly modest gaming build, but this rig will out-perform the one you had set up by quite a bit.   



Lynx custom build2 Config # 2575058   
                    ($2343 - DS Sale $200 off = $2143 total)
                             Free Shipping


1) Upgrade to Intel I7-9700K 8-core/8-thread CPU (Overclockable)
    with Free DS Stage 1 Overclock

2) Upgrade to MSI MPG Z390M GAMING EDGE AC (Wi-Fi) micro ATX mobo

3) Upgrade to GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8GB (VR Ready) video card



So first, we use the better Intel I7-9700K Class 8-core/8-thread CPU and you get stronger processor performance by using the Free DS Overclocking to Stage 1 performance.   Intel designs K Class processors to be Overclocked to provide better performance. Your DS Stage 1 CPU cooler will keep it nice and cool.

Second we eliminate the need for the add on PCIE WIFI card by selecting a MSI motherboard with WIFI already built in.   

Third we upgrade the video card to the full featured much stronger performing NVidia RTX 2060 Super for a boost in gaming performance and 8 GB VRAM.   This is a stronger faster video card likely to keep you happy for much longer gaming at 1080P or even 2k.   Minecraft uses NVidia Ray Tracing tech now and this card has that new NVidia realistic lighting tech on board. Better gaming performance and 2x fan GPU cooling.   

See what you think....

Edited by HockeyBuck - 08 Sep 2019 at 11:09pm
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  Quote Manticore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Sep 2019 at 2:03am
Never hurts to explain things semi-thoroughly!
Thanks a bunch for the quick response--I've gone on ahead and bumped things up to what you specified, because honestly, if I'm already going in on a big PC upgrade, I might as well get the nice stuff. Also super appreciate the explanations you included, there. Made it a lot easier to understand what exactly the jump up would mean, and now I feel a lot more prepared with the added advice.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Sep 2019 at 4:28am
One suggestion.

32 GB of RAM is unnecessary for gaming, and won't do that much that you could realize in your light art/editing work. It's a "nice to have". Much greater over-all performance would be enhanced on a regular basis if you took that $112 and added $11 to upgrade to the Samsung 512 GB 970 PRO NVMe SSD. NVMe is ~ 5x faster than the SATA drive selected. Much closer to a "must have" IMO. That extra performance would benefit everything you do.

Just a thought.
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Sep 2019 at 10:35am
True Cretae.   

I hadn’t mentioned yet that your motherboard would have 2 slots for much faster M.2 NVME SSD storage drives that you could upgrade yourself later.    About the size of a pocket comb, M.2 drives lay flat on the mobo...plugs in on one end and a single screw secures it to the motherboard.   

RAM is kinda inexpensive right now, but it is also something very easy for you to add later on if you do need it.    For gaming 16 GB RAM is all you need, but for photo editing, school and work programs you could possibly have the need for 32 GB RAM so you will have to choose what’s best for you right now.   

I was pinching pennies for ya, but if the budget allows...then do both.   
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  Quote Manticore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 09 Sep 2019 at 2:02pm
Thanks for the additional responses!
Had the 32gb on from another suggestion, but really, I'd prefer to have the overall performance boost rather than having 32gb and not really needing it. My art programs aren't really enough to demand the full 32gb, anyway.
Plus, like you've both said, I can always just add it later if the mood strikes.
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 12:08am
Just one question: why is a micro-ATX mobo being suggested?
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 1:16am
Tight budget compromise Hose....He needed WIFI and that's the least expensive board solution with built in wifi that allowed us to drop his expensive add on PCIE WIFI board, but certainly the more expensive MSI Pro Carbon AC would have been a better ATX full sized mobo choice with WIFI if Manticore the college guy didn't have to pinch pennies.
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 3:04am

Frustrated
Smile


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  Quote Manticore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 11:53am
How much of a difference would the Pro Carbon over the Micro ATX make in the long run? I can probably swing another paycheck toward this thing if it's worth it.
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 12:43pm
Well, your motherboard hosts the entire rig.    As I had said above, I only used the micro- ATX motherboard in the lineup to fit your way tight budget, and I would not do that normally in a full sized ATX case.     
A micro-ATX sized board reduces features in order to use a smaller sized circuit board.     A full size ATX mobo has the full number of USB ports, SATA storage ports, RAM slots, and PCIE slots that the Intel Z390 chipset allows.     That means more options for you later on for adding storage, adding more RAM, additional graphics cards or other add ons in future.   

Using the Pro Carbon AC mobo will cost you + $52 more and it is worth the extra investment.     You get 4 RAM slots instead of 2, 6 SATA III ports instead of 4, more PCIE X3 and X1 slots, more USB ports and that includes 3 newer USB 3 Type A and 1 USB 3 Type C port.   

The extra set of RAM slots in particular means adding RAM can be easier if two open slots are available to pop in more RAM when you need.   Obviously more USB ports adds more convenient plug ins for devices, and with 6 SATA storage ports and the 2 M.2 ports you won’t run out of options for adding more storage drives when needed.

The good news is that every component of the build that we improve upon means you get a little more future-proof build that will serve you well for a bit longer!    That means in 7 or 8 years from now you have a better chance of still being quite satisfied using this slick DS custom gaming rig, and when needed you will be able to upgrade your GPU and other components without difficulty.    



Edited by HockeyBuck - 10 Sep 2019 at 12:56pm
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  Quote Manticore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 1:17pm
Yeah, that sounds more than worth it. I've got a pretty good track record of keeping computers going for a long while, so if I can make this thing run well the whole time I've got it, I'm totally down for springing a little extra.

Here's the edited config for a last check, just to make sure I've gotten everything set up the best I can.
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 2:29pm
OK last two items to discuss so you know.   

Switch back to the 16 GB Corsair Vengeance RGB RAM for +$17, for longer warranty and quality.   In the instructions at the bottom of the order, ask them to use a 2 x 8 GB RAM kit so you have 2 open RAM slots for easy upgrade later.   Otherwise they could use a 4 X 4 GB kit.   Later on, that would waste some RAM you would be forced to replace to upgrade.    You will download the Corsair iCue software to control the RGB lights on the RAM sticks, and any other Corsair RGB fans or upgrades you might add later.

This build is using a minimal 600w power supply to meet your tight budget that could power the RTX 2060 Super or the RTX 2070 Super adequately...but upgrading GPU any higher (to an RTX 2080 Super or RTX 2080 Ti video card) would require a stronger wattage PSU replacement.   The EVGA 850w 850GQ Gold Level efficiency all modular PSU would cover future GPU upgrade possibilities far better, be more energy efficient, and as it's all modular... they only plug in the cables needed and bag the rest to save for later uses...meaning less cable clutter inside the case to zip tie down. The EVGA 850GQ also carries a longer 5 yr warranty...the DS parts only have a 1 yr warranty.
EVGA 850GQ PSU upgrade Costs + $70.



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  Quote Manticore Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 11:17pm
Went on ahead and did the last few suggested tweaks, and bought it too! Now I just have to try to be patient while it's getting built.
Thanks again for all the advice--it really, really helped me feel like I knew what I was doing, and I think I've got a good dream machine right here all because of the guidance on what to do.
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  Quote HockeyBuck Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 Sep 2019 at 11:32pm
Glad to lend a hand.   This is the tough part...waiting...lol.   Back to School sales have slowed them a bit so hang in, because you want that rig assembled carefully and stress tested properly at full load before they ship it.   Your buds are gonna be envious dude!

I have actually ordered 4 DS rigs since 2011... including a recent Lumos build my son uses, and all are still in daily use and never fail to impress.   You picked a great computer builder and DS will be around when you need them in the future.   We will hope for some pictures when it finally arrives!    

Edited by HockeyBuck - 10 Sep 2019 at 11:33pm
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 2:54am
Congrats on graduation. Awesome
You will be very happy with the system. Glad a simple question started a whole stream of thought and worthy insights. Smile

Enjoy and images are always appreciated. Big%20Smile

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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 Sep 2019 at 5:11am
So, $287 over budget, but you'll not regret any of it. Do not forget to specify 2x8 GB RAM sticks so you have room for 2 more if you need them. Happy for you!
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