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New Gaming PC Build Advice

Post Date: 2021-08-18

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daveyd View Drop Down
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  Quote daveyd Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: New Gaming PC Build Advice
    Posted: 18 Aug 2021 at 10:39am
Hi,

I bought my current PC from DS about 5 years ago. Other than the (Toshiba) SSD dying a couple years ago, I've had no problems. Looking to buy a new one soon and give this one to my wife. Last time I just bought whatever the cheapest pre-built Intel / Nvidia rig was, this time I'd like to customize a bit more.

Budget. I'd like to stay under $2,000. Obviously less would be great. For my needs I really don't think I need to spend a lot.

Games I play: I almost exclusively play CRPGs and turn-based strategy. Often indie games so they really don't tend to have steep requirements. I very rarely play AAA games.Possibly the most demanding game I might like to play soon is Baldur's Gate 3. Anyway, I definitely I don't need top of the line. I currently have a 1080p monitor and I doubt I'll even want to upgrade to 4K anytime soon. Maybe 1440p. Not at all interested in VR or 3D monitors. 

Case: I really never cared about chassis appearance, lights, etc. Honestly I'd probably prefer to turn off any LEDs as they're just distracting. All I care about is that it's sturdy and good airflow. So I'm pretty sure the cheapest option (Lynx?) would be fine.

Edit: I noticed under Lumos I can select a "Slade X" case which is $8 cheaper and doesn't have a side window or LED lights. So maybe that's the case I really want. Looks like it has a SD card reader and two front USB ports whereas Lynx appears to only have one? That's a big plus.  Not sure if there's any other noteworthy differences. 

CPU: I'd probably like to stick with Intel but which one I don't know. Not sure I actually need a i7 for gaming, especially given my preferences. So I was thinking that a i5-10400F would be good, unless someone wants to convince me I need something more expensive.

Cooling: I'm strongly inclined to go with the AIR 1. I've never had liquid cooling, always thought it was more about appearance and completely unnecessary, unless you don't have AC or possibly are really into OC. I don't want OC (other than Turbo Boost) and we keep our townhouse pretty cool in the summer. I'd also be concerned of possible leakage from liquid. Even if there's like a .01% chance of that I'd rather avoid. 


GPU:  I was thinking that GTX 1650 would be great. I don't really think I'll need more than that in the next few years. 

Motherboard: Here's where I have less of an idea. I was leaning towards the cheapest option (ASUS Prime Z590-P / MSI Z590). I don't think I need SLI capable and I don't use Wi-Fi. Not sure if there's some other features I should be concerned with, but the price to the next one is pretty dramatic. 

Storage: I think I want to get a 1TB SSD and maybe a 1 or 2 TB HDD. My main question is, for SSD is it worth it to get the m2 NVMe?  Currently I have a SATA3 SSD which boots very quickly and seems to have fast load times for most games I play. So is it worth paying more for the new tech? i.e., Will I really notice the difference? 

RAM: I'm thinking 16GB will be plenty. Current one has 8GB which is still above the rec for most games I play. 

PSU: I think the 600W will be plenty. 

Don't think I need any other extras. Onboard sound should be fine. 

I am leaning towards Intel & Nvidia because those are what my last 3 PCs had I'm more familiar with them, and the conventional wisdom seems to be these are the best choices for gamers. But maybe that's changed? 

So going with my current leanings here's the build I have it would cost me $1471, which would be great budgetwise.  Edit: or if I go with the Slade X

TLDR: Please recommend me a gaming desktop in the $1500 - $2000 range (hey, or less if it can be done Big%20Smile






Edited by daveyd - 18 Aug 2021 at 1:57pm
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MrCheetah View Drop Down
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  Quote MrCheetah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Aug 2021 at 1:27pm
I think, your conclusions are overall good/sensible; and I don't see anything wrong with your Slade X config. Although, if you have an urge to step into 1440p and BG3, I'd suggest considering the upgrade to the GTX 1660.

UserBenchmark: Nvidia GTX 1660 vs. Nvidia GTX 1650

GTX 1650 vs. GTX 1660 Game Performance Benchmarks - GPUCheck

Originally posted by daveyd

CPU: I'd probably like to stick with Intel but which one I don't know. Not sure I actually need a i7 for gaming, especially given my preferences. So I was thinking that a i5-10400F would be good, unless someone wants to convince me I need something more expensive.

For strictly gaming (and most tasks), single core clock rate/single thread performance is what matters most.

Originally posted by daveyd

Cooling: I'm strongly inclined to go with the AIR 1. I've never had liquid cooling, always thought it was more about appearance and completely unnecessary if you don't have AC or possibly are really into OC. I don't want OC (other than Turbo Boost) and we keep our townhouse pretty cool in the summer. I'd also be concerned of possible leakage from liquid. Even if there's like a .01% chance of that I'd rather avoid.

Agreed, even though I've finally done a build with an AIO cooler. For AIO, the risk of leakage is far less, however, eventual pump and possible liquid loss (via permeation) can mean less longevity.

Originally posted by daveyd

Motherboard: Here's where I have less of an idea. I was leaning towards the cheapest option (ASUS Prime Z590-P / MSI Z590). I don't think I need SLI capable and I don't use Wi-Fi. Not sure if there's some other features I should be concerned with, but the price to the next one is pretty dramatic.

Indeed. Beyond added features (e.g., integrated Wi-Fi), more expensive boards are capable of higher/better power management. None of these apply to your setup/config.

Originally posted by daveyd

Storage: I think I want to get a 1TB SSD and maybe a 1 or 2 TB HDD. My main question is, for SSD is it worth it to get the m2 NVMe? Currently I have a SATA3 SSD which boots very quickly and seems to have fast load times for most games I play. So is it worth paying more for the new tech? i.e., Will I really notice the difference?

A SATA SSD is ~5x faster than an HDD -- certainly a noticeable difference. However, a (gen. 3) NVMe is 5x to 7x faster than that -- up to 12x faster than a HDD. Overall, I'd stick with the 970 you chose.

Originally posted by daveyd

PSU: I think the 600W will be plenty.

I concur.

Originally posted by daveyd

RAM: I'm thinking 16GB will be plenty. Current one has 8GB which is still above the rec for most games I play.

Yes.

Originally posted by daveyd

I am leaning towards Intel & Nvidia because those are what my last 3 PCs had I'm more familiar with them, and the conventional wisdom seems to be these are the best choices for gamers. But maybe that's changed?

If an AMD setup would be a better value, I might say otherwise. However, I'm not seeing that.
"White lightning": be quiet 500DX white, Asus ROG Strix Z590-E Gaming, Intel Core i7 11700K, 64GB HyperX Fury, EVGA FTW3 Ultra RTX 3090, 2TB WD_Black SN850, Corsair iCue H150i Elite Capellix white
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Aug 2021 at 4:13am
You will be able to upgrade a 1650 GPU at more reasonable prices whenever it begins to displease you.

The only issue I want to bring to your attention is that you propose to buy a CPU that is locked into PCIe Generation 3. Gen 4 has been out for almost two years at double the bandwidth. Intel has only just produced a line of CPUs that enable that newer standard, while AMD has now TWO generations of CPUs that enable that bandwidth. The Intel proc you want is an i5-11400 or 11600, but they are not yet available here.

The equivalent competitor to the 1100 series from AMD is the 5600X which you can get here. It is reasonably priced, and will allow you to have the latest chipset platform going forward. There are so many PCIe Gen 3 computers still out there, that Gen 4 parts have been slow to market during the shortages we've seen. I think it's obvious that will not be the case even a year from now, and you may not want to be locked into a tech that's growing more obsolete by the day.

Your links couldn't take me to a build, but here is my best guess at what you'd like with the AMD proc and PCIe 4:

https://www.digitalstorm.com/configurator.asp?id=4044529

As you can see, it's a slight increase of about $50, but brings you into the 2020s. This modern platform will enable you to choose any upgrade part going forward without concern or regard to what platform it's for. Gen 4 parts will perform as they are designed instead of being gimped.

If you have any concern about the speed, effectiveness, or reliability of AMD parts, and especially this processor, just look at the reviews.   

If you wanted a better performer than this, get the Samsung 980 NVMe SSD for 5-9 times the speed of the SATA SSD. It's a gen 4 part, and amazes. Wait on a GPU upgrade.

Edited by Cretae - 19 Aug 2021 at 4:21am
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  Quote MrCheetah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Aug 2021 at 6:35am
Originally posted by Cretae

You will be able to upgrade a 1650 GPU at more reasonable prices whenever it begins to displease you.

Indeed. And yet not a "give me" decision as no one knows when or if prices will stabilize at or near MSRP.

Originally posted by Cretae

The only issue I want to bring to your attention is that you propose to buy a CPU that is locked into PCIe Generation 3. Gen 4 has been out for almost two years at double the bandwidth. Intel has only just produced a line of CPUs that enable that newer standard, while AMD has now TWO generations of CPUs that enable that bandwidth. The Intel proc you want is an i5-11400 or 11600, but they are not yet available here.

I agree, in general, but not so much in this instance -- that's not to say @daveyd shouldn't take it under advisement.

• We're looking at low to mid tier GPUs and not necessary of the current generation, which is fine for the genre. None of which will probably be overburdening gen. 3 PCIe. It's a similar situation with the storage performance demand.

• Cost is actually about $200 difference for the AMD board and CPU combo. I realize the original links didn't work -- so, you can have a Get out of Jail Free card this time :) -- but it's config # 4043435 for the Slade build and config # 4043379 for the Lynx.

With those, the prices are $1,666 or $1,674, including GTX 1660 upgrade. Again, if @daveyd wants to go with the recommendation of upgrading the graphics card later because of the crazy market currently, I understand.

Edited by MrCheetah - 19 Aug 2021 at 6:37am
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 3:27am
I pointed out salient facts that might well be something for the OP to consider. Your points are not without merit, but your original reply didn't lay out the whole story. I've been doing this for years, and one of the uppermost motives for a poster asking for advice is to be sure they are getting what they think they are paying for. Facts are what they are. It's always up to the customer to decide what's important.

He doesn't seem to be much of an upgrader at the moment, but if that changes in 2 or 3 years, he has a seriously gimped platform at that point with a 10400F. I think that's something current buyers would want to know.
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  Quote MrCheetah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 5:34am
Originally posted by Cretae

I pointed out salient facts that might well be something for the OP to consider. Your points are not without merit, but your original reply didn't lay out the whole story.

Yes, and correct, I could and perhaps should have explained the gen. 3 vs. gen. 4 tradeoffs in my initial reply regarding the CPU choice.

I apologize if it felt/feels like I'm stepping on toes. I was countering with facts as to why I didn't see it as a big problem -- not so much as disagreeing with you. And again, you're correct, probably would have been best for me to address it initially. I mistakenly left out some explanation, which you pointed out. Ultimately, we get there.

:)
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 5:39am
Originally posted by MrCheetah

Ultimately, we get there.

:)


Awesome
I don't know why it deleted the poster of the quote, MrCheetah! Big%20Smile
Confused




Edited by Snaike - 20 Aug 2021 at 10:11am
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  Quote MrCheetah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 10:06am
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  Quote Snaike Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 10:10am
Sorry I had to edit that, hoserator, I think that's what you meant to say. I had to clean it up a bit...   
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  Quote hoserator Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 1:19pm
 
Originally posted by MrCheetah

Ultimately, we get there.

:)


Awesome

[/QUOTE]

Big%20Smile
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  Quote daveyd Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 20 Aug 2021 at 7:52pm
Thanks for the feedback guys.  Awesome

If it wasn't a $200 jump to the 1660 I'd be more inclined to go with that.  For now even the 1650 is a bit of an upgrade for me (I've got a 1050ti). 

But I wonder if I might be better off trying to wait a few months before ordering.  I am not really in a huge rush.  If there's any chance of DS offering the 11400 in the near future and / or if the availability / price of GPU's might improve, then I wouldn't mind waiting until the end of the year or even early 2022. 

Otherwise the price of a AMD 5600X build isn't too bad right now.  Decisions, decisions. 


Aside from my tendency to get a new PC every 5 years, the main reason I started looking into getting one now is my wife's is starting to show it's age (10+ years). We recently replaced the PSU and now the graphics card has been having issues. Had to switch her to integrated graphics for now.  The games she plays aren't very demanding at all (mainly stuff like The Sims).  but unfortunately I don't seem to have another card.  Might be able to resolve the issue or if not I could even get her a cheap old card on eBay.  I don't want to rush into purchasing a PC because of that.








Edited by daveyd - 20 Aug 2021 at 7:59pm
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Aug 2021 at 3:19am
Actually, this is a good time to be patient. Intel is coming with another round of CPUs before the end of the year called Alder Lake, and will be 12th generation on a smaller 10nm die. They are expected to be considerably stronger than the 11th gen released in May. Whatever is keeping DS from offering an 11th gen i5 may be resolved, and the 12th gen i5 would be the chip you want. Of course they will support PCIe gen 4, and be the best of all worlds for your build.

If you've been happy with the 1050 Ti, the 1650 is a decent step-up. I won't expect too much in price moderation in GPUs before the end of the year, but you never know. Nvidia may be able to release a flurry of cards for the holidays that bring prices down a bit.

@ MrCheetah: getting the information out is precisely the point. As I said, your points are well taken in the current instance, but I feel compelled make sure the poster has all the facts so he can make the determination what's in his best interest. I applaud his decision to wait a bit, as it may well erase all doubt as to which way to go, and result in a better all-around system.

Your voice is welcome here. Your depth of knowledge exceeds mine, and the links you provide are of great value. With Alder lake, this debate will resolve itself, and there won't BE a decision. Thanks for contributing.
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  Quote MrCheetah Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Aug 2021 at 5:48am
@daveyd The biggest reason I even suggested looking at the 1660 was it actually has a notable performance difference ~50% increase. But yeah, the current price isn't good as with all graphics cards at this point.

Any who... As for waiting, I agree with @Cretae. Supposedly, Intel has some significantly improved consumer-level products on the horizon -- I normally lack excitement until a product launches. Of course, being able to wait for whatever's next is typically best, though not always possible.


@Cretae Thanks for the kind words.
Originally posted by Cretae

Your depth of knowledge exceeds mine,

I try my best to be thorough, including research. I certainly don't know everything and do make mistakes -- never easy to own up to. :) Nevertheless, I'm okay with stepping aside at times. From what I've seen, you and several other regulars here have had much more recent hands-on experience than me, an invaluable knowledge. I have casually kept up with tech but skipped more than a decade assembling or owning a desktop/tower PC. Tech specs are only a portion of the picture. My last build was in the AMD Athlon series era, when ATI was still (although ending) in existence and Biostar was a popular/mainstream motherboard brand. For example, this year was the first I handled/used a multi-slot graphics card, and now I know why several people here strongly warned me a dual RTX 3090 config without liquid cooling was more of a pipe dream.

Basically, you (and others) have insights I don't, and I'm aware of it.


... Back to our scheduled program already in progress ...

Edited by MrCheetah - 21 Aug 2021 at 5:49am
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 Aug 2021 at 3:45am


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