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Need Advice on Build

Post Date: 2021-05-09

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CaptainPhoenix View Drop Down
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  Quote CaptainPhoenix Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Need Advice on Build
    Posted: 09 May 2021 at 10:14pm
Hey guys, first time DS customer here, just need some advice on my configuration. I know I for sure want to keep the processor and graphics card I have, but not sure if there are other things I don't need that I could get rid of. For example, do I need the Hydrolux Exotic Custom Cooling System thing that says it's for 1 graphics card and the CPU, the one that just covers the CPU, or am I good just dropping to a Hydrolux LITE without having any cooling problems with the GPU? Do I need to get a bigger power supply to have enough for everything I have in the configuration? Is the motherboard I have selected worth the extra price, or is the default good enough? And lastly, are the keyboard/mouse I have selected good, or should I look elsewhere for better ones? Thanks, and also sorry in advance for being so wordy, I want to make sure I cover all the bases.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Budget:
Trying to not go over $5K, but I think $5.2K would be ok if absolutely necessary. Current build for the PC is about $4.3K, with accessories (display, keyboard/possible new mouse and maybe a new headset) I'm assuming it'll hit that upper limit. If possible in relation to expectations and such, I'd like to keep the price for the actual PC lower than $4.8K, and not much more than $5.2K with all accessories included.

Expectations:
Not looking for an absolute god build, but definitely something high end with lots of power and capable of performing very well. Mostly gonna be used for gaming, both flat-screen and VR, and preferably at max settings (especially flat-screen games). Kind of wanting to have a higher resolution (thinking 2K right now) so I'd like to have something to run very well at that resolution, though I'm fine with 1080p if I can't do 2K without crossing the budget.

Usage:
As stated above, mostly going to use the PC for gaming and some VR, though I will probably occasionally use it for school/work.

Special Needs:
Only looking for a new PC because my ~2 year old Alienware Area-51m laptop is having really bad cooling issues I haven't been able to fix in 8 months of trying. So for that reason, I am particularly focused on having cooling I can trust to work well and last long, and I'd like to be able to upgrade the PC if possible so it will last me longer before I have to buy a new one.

Saved Ticket #: 3898445

Specifications:

Digital Storm Lumos - (Config # 3898446)   1   $4,982.00

Chassis
Chassis Model: Digital Storm Lumos

Core Components
Processor: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (12-Core) 4.8 GHz Turbo
Motherboard: ASUS PRIME X570-PRO (AMD X570 Chipset) (Up to 3x PCI-E Devices)
System Memory: 32GB DDR4 3200MHz Digital Storm Performance Series
Power Supply: 850W Digital Storm Performance Series (Modular) (80 Plus Gold)

Storage / Connectivity
Storage Set 1: 1x SSD M.2 (2TB Samsung 970 EVO) (NVM Express)
Storage Set 2: 1x SSD (1TB Samsung 860 EVO)
Internet Access: High Speed Network Port (Supports High-Speed Cable / DSL / Network Connections)

Graphics / Multimedia
Graphics Card(s): 1x GeForce RTX 3080 10GB (Performance Edition) (VR Ready)
Sound Card: Integrated Motherboard Audio

Digital Storm Engineering
Extreme Cooling: H20: HydroLux PRO: Exotic Custom Cooling System (CPU Only)
HydroLux Tubing Style: Flexible Tubing (Requires HydroLux Liquid Cooling System)
HydroLux Fluid Color: Red Fluid + Clear Tubing (Requires HydroLux Liquid Cooling System)
Cable Management: Premium Cable Management (Strategically Routed & Organized for Airflow)
Chassis Fans: Standard Factory Chassis 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

Software
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)

Accessories / Goodies
Display: ASUS 27 inch VG27AQ (G-SYNC) (2K Resolution) (165Hz Refresh) (1ms Response) (2560x1440) (HDR10)
Keyboard: Digital Storm MasterKeys Lite Bundle (RGB) Keyboard & Mouse

Customer Care
Priority Build: - No Thanks, Ship Within 30-35 Business Days After Order Is Successfully Processed
Warranty: Life-time Expert Care with 3 Year Limited Warranty (3 Year Labor & 1 Year Part Replacement)
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hoserator View Drop Down
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 May 2021 at 1:30am
Welcome to DS. Awesome

You don't "need" the Hydrolux Pro unless you are a heavy overclocker (not on an AMD chip) or really really really want it for looks. I repeated the "really" because it requires, at best some refilling and at worst a nightmare with coolant coming out of every fitting! I'd go with the H20: Stage 2 AIO.

The Storage Set 1 can benefit from the latest tech( Gen4 PCIe) and you have a Gen 3 NVMe so go with the Samsung 980 Pro or FireCude 520.

I'm not one of the configurator gurus so there might be other suggestions.
Good luck and enjoy.

You did see that the mobo selected is on backorder.
Smile
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 May 2021 at 5:41am
Absolutely ditch the custom cooling. As a practical matter, hoserator has it right that temps will be just fine with the sealed, no maintenance all-in one. Desktops almost never have the issues laptops do, because of liquid cooling the CPU and all those case fans.

You don't need a 5900X at all for gaming. It won't improve a thing. I can recommend a better motherboard if you want, but I don't think it's worth waiting on. Either get the ASUS Rog Strix or save the money and stick with the basic ones.

Here's an alternate build:

     3898787      $3949

All the CPU you need, upgraded mobo, extra RAM, the PSU is all you need. I kept the keyboard/mouse combo, ditched the monitor. It's not a bad monitor, but costs less elsewhere. Google the specs you want and see all the choices there are.

The RTX 3080 will handle 1440p all day long.

Outstanding storage options. The Firecuda is 30% faster than your pick because it's PCIe Gen 4. You really want a compact C drive for Windows, apps and maintenance software so it gets scanned fast and often. The Samsung NVMe PCIe gen 3 for storage and games is practically a no-brainer at your budget.

Think about lighting up that gorgeous case with the RGB fans.   
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  Quote CaptainPhoenix Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 10 May 2021 at 1:56pm
Originally posted by Cretae

Absolutely ditch the custom cooling. As a practical matter, hoserator has it right that temps will be just fine with the sealed, no maintenance all-in one. Desktops almost never have the issues laptops do, because of liquid cooling the CPU and all those case fans.

You don't need a 5900X at all for gaming. It won't improve a thing. I can recommend a better motherboard if you want, but I don't think it's worth waiting on. Either get the ASUS Rog Strix or save the money and stick with the basic ones.

Here's an alternate build:

     3898787      $3949

All the CPU you need, upgraded mobo, extra RAM, the PSU is all you need. I kept the keyboard/mouse combo, ditched the monitor. It's not a bad monitor, but costs less elsewhere. Google the specs you want and see all the choices there are.

The RTX 3080 will handle 1440p all day long.

Outstanding storage options. The Firecuda is 30% faster than your pick because it's PCIe Gen 4. You really want a compact C drive for Windows, apps and maintenance software so it gets scanned fast and often. The Samsung NVMe PCIe gen 3 for storage and games is practically a no-brainer at your budget.

Think about lighting up that gorgeous case with the RGB fans.   


So I made a couple slight changes to the config you gave me (got the 2TB version of the Firecuda storage for example, and added the RGB fans), and it's still $200 cheaper than the one I had made originally. Overall I'd call that a win, so thank you for the help with that. I'm now looking at displays and headsets, think I've found some good ones that suit me and don't exceed my budget too far. Last concern though, is that keyboard/mouse bundle I selected (the second one, I think it's called Masterkeys LITE or something like that) actually good? I was searching up good gaming keyboards/mice and the keyboards alone were usually around $100 or more, so the fact that this bundle is only like $50 makes me think they aren't that great, though I could be wrong. Thanks again!

Edited by CaptainPhoenix - 10 May 2021 at 8:19pm
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 11 May 2021 at 3:36am
Is the keyboard and mouse good? What's good? These are so personal preference you can't answer that question, nor can I. For several years, I heard about how great "mechanical switches" are, and I found about a $160 dollar one with great reviews on sale for $115. I can't use the thing. One of the things that makes them "great" is the very short throw to depress a key. Well, I can't type. I hunt and peck. With the short throw, my clumsy pecking at the keyboard results in numerous double keystrikes, and my typos went way up. I went back to a membrane type board that is better for me.

The point is, the inexpensive bundle WILL WORK. The keyboard will register keystrokes and the mouse will do what you need it to. Only by working with them for awhile will you be able to determine what you like and don't like. Seems to me it's a mistake to spend $200 on a combo you end up hating, because you had no idea what to get. Get the starter set and evolve from there.

If you insist on spending DS prices for some extra storage, at least take some advice and partition that giant drive to isolate your C drive. Maybe 200 GB or so. That way, if you have to do a clean install, you don't wipe the entire 2TB. The best part is, every time you run a viruscan or a malwarescan on your Windows drive, it'll just scan the partition in seconds instead of the whole drive in minutes.

Storage is so simple to add when you need it, I encourage you to think about how much cash you'll have tied up in storage you won't use for a couple of years. Seems wasteful IMHO when you have peripherals to buy.
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 12 May 2021 at 5:26am
Like Cretae posted re: the mouse/keyboard bundle, it will work. With time you will look for hardware that suits your particular wants/needs. Plus that is the way you start accumulating spare parts. Throughout the years I have accumulated a bunch of mice and other hardware. I don't do well with red lights so I like white keys on my keyboard and so forth.
Enjoy the learning experience.
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  Quote CaptainPhoenix Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 13 May 2021 at 10:23am
Originally posted by Cretae

Is the keyboard and mouse good? What's good? These are so personal preference you can't answer that question, nor can I. For several years, I heard about how great "mechanical switches" are, and I found about a $160 dollar one with great reviews on sale for $115. I can't use the thing. One of the things that makes them "great" is the very short throw to depress a key. Well, I can't type. I hunt and peck. With the short throw, my clumsy pecking at the keyboard results in numerous double keystrikes, and my typos went way up. I went back to a membrane type board that is better for me.

The point is, the inexpensive bundle WILL WORK. The keyboard will register keystrokes and the mouse will do what you need it to. Only by working with them for awhile will you be able to determine what you like and don't like. Seems to me it's a mistake to spend $200 on a combo you end up hating, because you had no idea what to get. Get the starter set and evolve from there.

If you insist on spending DS prices for some extra storage, at least take some advice and partition that giant drive to isolate your C drive. Maybe 200 GB or so. That way, if you have to do a clean install, you don't wipe the entire 2TB. The best part is, every time you run a viruscan or a malwarescan on your Windows drive, it'll just scan the partition in seconds instead of the whole drive in minutes.

Storage is so simple to add when you need it, I encourage you to think about how much cash you'll have tied up in storage you won't use for a couple of years. Seems wasteful IMHO when you have peripherals to buy.


Sorry to come back to a couple-days-old post, but what exactly do you mean by partition the drive? I hope that's not a really dumb question. I'm assuming you mean either splitting it somehow once I get the PC, or changing my selections to have a few smaller drives equaling the storage I want instead of just having the two. Oh, and would your partitioning advice still apply now that I've lowered the storage to 2TB instead of 4TB?

I also have two more quick questions: Is there a noticeable difference between the 32GB DDR4 3200MHz Digital Storm Performance Series and the 32GB DDR4 3000MHz G.Skill TridentZ (RGB Light Bar) system memory options? The latter is $140 more, so if the difference isn't that big I'd rather not spend it. Only asking here because I couldn't find anything comparing the two on Google. I'm also wondering if the Cooler Master MasterFan Halo (RGB Fans) (Remote Control Only) fans are actually better than the Standard Factory Chassis Fans, or if the only difference is RGB. If they aren't better fans aside from being RGB I might want to save $200. Thanks!
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 May 2021 at 3:54am
The G.Skill memory is actually a might slower than the DS branded. You would never notice, but it is a difference. The extra you would pay is exclusively for the RGB lightbar. Not at all worth the cost IMO.

Partitioning a hard drive has been around for decades. It's a way to divide a large drive into smaller sections. Windows has a wizard that will do it if you want. When a primary drive is partitioned, you can designate how much space you want in each partition. For a 1TB (TeraByte = about 1000 GigaBytes) drive, I can recommend you designate about 200GB for Windows, applications you use like word processing, music player, etc. that you want Windows to control directly, and all the anti-virus, anti-malware, and other maintenance software. There are two main reasons for this. If you ever have to re-install Windows on your main "C" drive, it will start by deleting everything on the drive. If you have a smallish partition, it will only wipe the C partition. The other purpose is that when you need to scan the drive for malware or any other reason, this smaller drive partition will be scanned in seconds. A larger whole drive will take a lot longer. For most gamers, most of the storage is games. As long as games are downloaded from a trusted source you'll never have to scan them.

I recommended 500GB of really fast storage for your primary drive. You could keep it just as is; fairly easily and rapidly copy it's contents to an external SSD for backup if you ever had to wipe it; and still have a less than huge drive for scanning. You could even partition that to ~200GB (that size would be enough for Windows, a lot of productivity and other apps and maintenance software with space left over for most folks) with 300GB for games, if you wished.

The other drive I recommended for your budget was a huge 2TB super-fast NVMe SSD for all your other storage (mostly games, I'd guess). Under most circumstances, you would never need to scan that drive, but you could tell your maintenance software to scan it if you wanted to.

Since you know Google, look it up for more info.

I recommended 2.5 TB total NVMe storage, and you changed it to 4TB. I don't know how it became 2TB. If you changed it back to the recommended sizes, you don't have to partition the 500GB Firecuda as I mentioned above. WHATEVER size of main ("C") drive you end up with be sure you BACK IT UP every now and then, so you don't lose all your settings and work files, etc. if you have to replace or wipe the drive for any reason. You can back up all your drives if you wish, but since I can always re-download my games, I don't bother with them.

The RGB fans just look good in that case. They may be marginally better than stock, but you don't need them.

Edited by Cretae - 14 May 2021 at 3:56am
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  Quote CaptainPhoenix Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 14 May 2021 at 8:55am
Originally posted by Cretae

The G.Skill memory is actually a might slower than the DS branded. You would never notice, but it is a difference. The extra you would pay is exclusively for the RGB lightbar. Not at all worth the cost IMO.

Partitioning a hard drive has been around for decades. It's a way to divide a large drive into smaller sections. Windows has a wizard that will do it if you want. When a primary drive is partitioned, you can designate how much space you want in each partition. For a 1TB (TeraByte = about 1000 GigaBytes) drive, I can recommend you designate about 200GB for Windows, applications you use like word processing, music player, etc. that you want Windows to control directly, and all the anti-virus, anti-malware, and other maintenance software. There are two main reasons for this. If you ever have to re-install Windows on your main "C" drive, it will start by deleting everything on the drive. If you have a smallish partition, it will only wipe the C partition. The other purpose is that when you need to scan the drive for malware or any other reason, this smaller drive partition will be scanned in seconds. A larger whole drive will take a lot longer. For most gamers, most of the storage is games. As long as games are downloaded from a trusted source you'll never have to scan them.

I recommended 500GB of really fast storage for your primary drive. You could keep it just as is; fairly easily and rapidly copy it's contents to an external SSD for backup if you ever had to wipe it; and still have a less than huge drive for scanning. You could even partition that to ~200GB (that size would be enough for Windows, a lot of productivity and other apps and maintenance software with space left over for most folks) with 300GB for games, if you wished.

The other drive I recommended for your budget was a huge 2TB super-fast NVMe SSD for all your other storage (mostly games, I'd guess). Under most circumstances, you would never need to scan that drive, but you could tell your maintenance software to scan it if you wanted to.

Since you know Google, look it up for more info.

I recommended 2.5 TB total NVMe storage, and you changed it to 4TB. I don't know how it became 2TB. If you changed it back to the recommended sizes, you don't have to partition the 500GB Firecuda as I mentioned above. WHATEVER size of main ("C") drive you end up with be sure you BACK IT UP every now and then, so you don't lose all your settings and work files, etc. if you have to replace or wipe the drive for any reason. You can back up all your drives if you wish, but since I can always re-download my games, I don't bother with them.

The RGB fans just look good in that case. They may be marginally better than stock, but you don't need them.


Ok, I think I understand partitioning now. The 4TB came from my dad's suggestion, and with my 1TB external SSD I already have I would have 5TB, which is excessive. That's why I lowered it to 2TB, and then I would have 3TB total which is still double what I've used in the last two years on my now dying laptop. Which leads me to what I think is my last question. You recommended 2.5TB, including the 500GB Firecuda option. Since I already have 3TB with my external SSD and with both a 1TB Firecuda and a 1TB Samsung 980 Pro, is that still a good idea? Or could I just partition some of my 3TB so that I'd have the 200GB for Window apps and such? Again, might be a dumb question, but I honestly don't know all that much about PCs, at least in regards to storage.

And thanks very much for the info regarding the memory and fans, that'll save me a bunch.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 15 May 2021 at 3:38am
That'll be fine. You had not mentioned how you came to 2GB, so I was confused. My set-up allows for the 500 GB Firecuda to have the advantages of compact size for easier management and faster scanning without any partitioning as Storage Set One. The speed and expense of a 980 PRO isn't needed in second position, so I recommended the slightly slower 2TB 970 EVO. I think $291 for a whole 2TB of NVMexpress is a very good price, and faster (as in a 1TB Firecuda) will not be noticed there. Mostly you'll just be storing and loading games. That set up is very fast, a bit more storage, and is the least expensive option. You wouldn't have to bother with partitioning.

If you decide on the 980 PRO and the 1TB Firecuda, be sure the 980 PRO is Storage Set One because it's the faster of the two. I do recommend you partition it for your C drive. I think that will cost about $90 more than my suggestion. Up to you.
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