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Returning customer - New build advice

Post Date: 2021-12-17

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KevNJ21 View Drop Down
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  Quote KevNJ21 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Topic: Returning customer - New build advice
    Posted: 17 Dec 2021 at 5:21pm

Hi.  I am a previous DS customer having bought a Slade back in 2015.  It’s still going but getting time for an upgrade.  I was going to try to build my own this time but with the parts market the way it is that probably won’t be viable for a while.

Budget:  around $3,000 (can maybe stretch it up a bit)

Expectations:  This PC is 50% daily workstation for AutoCAD (Civil3D), Photoshop and limited 3D work.   Rest is 50% heavy variety gaming.   Monitor is 1440P

 I did two builds, one a more modest build and one a little beefier if I stretch the budget.  So Maybe can blend the two and come up with something in between

Build 1 config: 4217505 ($2,927)               

Build 2 config: 4219313 ($3,485)

Processor:  I am leaning towards the Ryzen 9 5900X.  I’m not sure if the 16 core is worth it over the 12 core.

Ram:  I know 16MB is plenty for gaming but did 32 for the higher build more for the workstation aspect but something I could potentially upgrade later:

Video Card:  Probably either a NVidia 3060 or 3070  but open to recommendations

Looking at the 500 GB EVO pro 980 for the boot drive base on recommended configurations.  After that isn’t decided.  I have a 1TB SATA SSD and two 1 TB Mechanical drives in my current PC.   So maybe a larger cheaper NVM drive for primary programs and games and reuse the sata SSD or one larger new Mechanical.

 Other things like motherboard and cooling just went with the standard option as I don’t know much about them or have no preference.

Special Needs:  I’m looking to stay with a Slade X as it served me well and limited space and dust/heat is a consideration.  I don’t really care about RGB, clear side panels etc.  I like the Bolt but concerned about limitations due to small form factor. 

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Onkel_Ken View Drop Down
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  Quote Onkel_Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Dec 2021 at 5:42pm
There should be a couple folks showing up soon that are good at helping in configurations. I just upgraded myself a few weeks ago and am very satisfied with the advice I received in the forum.

The i9-12900 was not an option until my system was already built and in final testing. Apparently, the Adler Lake chips benchmark higher than the AMDs for the same relative amount of money. There are several different Intel & AMD CPUs that should fall into your budget range.

I am still glad that I got the 5900x, 3080, 32GB even though it was mostly for the future higher gaming requirements & playing with fractals for example. The folks on here should be able to give cost effective reccomendations to you especially since you laid out your computing needs & budget expectations.

I love my Samsung 980 Pro & my 970 EVO Plus SSDs.

I will be watching in interest to see what kind of configuration tickets get recommended. I imagine you will get several good suggestions for the budget range you are looking at.



Edited by Onkel_Ken - 17 Dec 2021 at 5:48pm
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  Quote Onkel_Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 17 Dec 2021 at 6:46pm
By the way, I ran the Cinebench R23 Benchmark the other day.

Windows 11 64 bit Pro Edition
AMD Ryzen 9 5900x 12-Core Processor
EVGA FTW3 Ultra RTX 3080

CPU (Multi Core) 20,938
CPU (Single Core) 1620
MP Ratio 12.92 x

If you choose Win 10 and want to easily go to Win 11 someday you can have your motherboard firmware TPM activated ahead of time in Bios by Digital Storm if you are not familiar with how to do this when you decide to go Win 11.

I just got a Win10 system and when I ordered it I paid an extra $19 to have my motherboard Win 11 ready for when I wanted to convert.

If you want them to do this for you be sure to go to STORAGE/CONNECTIVITY then EXPANSION in your build and pick Firmware TPM Activation - Windows 11 Upgrade Ready - (BIOS) [+$19]

If you go win 11 when you order they will do this automatically but if you go with Win 10 you will need to take care of the TPM activation yourself someday unless you ask DS to do it in your build.

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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Dec 2021 at 4:14am
Welcome back. Thanks for a very well thought-out explanation of what you're thinking.

Benchmarks do show the 12900K surpasses the AMDs for gaming by a bit at 1440p, but I think it will be quite stronger for your other uses.

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i9-12900K-vs-AMD-Ryzen-9-5950X/4118vs4086

This build spares very little on the way to a cutting-edge rig to face challenges going forward. It offers PCIe 5 and DDR 5 RAM, neither of which is essential at the moment, but will be great to have as newer parts and demands come along:

https://www.digitalstorm.com/configurator.asp?id=4221376

Note it is dollar-for-dollar competitive with your own higher end build, but I submit it is superior in important ways. I have taken Onkel_Ken's suggestion and included the TPM upgrade alongside WIN 10. There are some indications WIN 11 isn't the best choice this soon, but it will be a free upgrade for awhile, so maybe you should research it and decide for yourself. There is some synergy between Alder Lake chips and Win 11, but I'm not sure it's as reliable now as it will be

I included your selection of a mechanical HDD just to show how close the prices are. I recommend you ditch that part, and use an SSD from your old rig, then upgrade storage as you go. Obviously you know how to do that. The other serious option you have is the GPU. The 3060 Ti is a monster card that scores very well against the RTX 3070:

https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-RTX-3070-vs-Nvidia-RTX-3060-Ti/4083vs4090

I don't think you should shell out that much premium for 7%. A whole new round of Nvidia cards is due out mid to late Summer. They promise another quantum leap forward and perhaps a reasonably-priced upgrade if the 3060 Ti isn't pleasing you. If you make just those two substitutions, the price shrinks to $3169. I think that may well be the best of all worlds for your dual uses.

If you want a more comprehensive comparison between Alder Lake and the top AMD procs, here's a wall of text for you:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-core-i9-12900k-vs-ryzen-9-5900x-5950x


I would definitely recommend you choose the more advanced Alder Lake option since it doesn't cost you here. For gaming only, it would be a different story.   
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  Quote KevNJ21 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 18 Dec 2021 at 4:29pm

Thank you for the input.  Certainly some things to consider.   Saving $200 on the 3060ti would be good if it’s not losing much performance.  Can put that money towards keeping other upgrades while staying closer to a $3k budget.  Can always upgrade that in a couple years. 

I haven’t been keeping as up to date on processors so most videos I had seen over the past year or so seemed to favor Ryzen as the top choice over intel so I guess I became a bit of a Ryzen fanboy though I’ve never actually used one.  So will need to look over current comparisons.  DDR5 is appealing.   Looks like it’s currently backordered but hopefully by the time I would actually make the purchase it would be available as I’m not in an immediate rush.  

I do lean towards staying with windows 10 for now.   One thing I saw said the Intel CPU would benefit more from windows 11.  But just have heard more “don’t switch yet” comments so far. 

The HD I would probably reuse the SSD but the mechanicals have some years on them so was leaning towards one larger new one that I can back up less important files and media on.  

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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Dec 2021 at 4:45am
You're very welcome.

Ryzen WAS the top choice, no question, until Alder Lake hit just 6 weeks or so ago. This proc is a game-changer with it's dual CPU chip tech, and enabling of PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5. Again, I'll say these techs are ahead of their time, but they may well pay off handsomely in the future for productivity uses like you have. Since you can get that kind of improvement here for no extra cost, I think it's a solid choice.

If you have use of an inexpensive HDD, get one.   
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  Quote Onkel_Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 19 Dec 2021 at 1:40pm
FYI,

I have the AMD 5900x and within a few days of getting my Win 10 system I converted to Win 11 and here is the benchmark difference I had. I didn't think it was significant and I will admit I like to stay as current as I can with OS releases even if I run into initial issues.

I would go with the Intel Adler lake if I were you which is what I would have done except my new system was headed to the shipping docks when the Adlar Lake was offered.

I went ahead and went to Win 11 for grins with my AMD but I have read that Win 11 is better able to allow the Adlar lake to take advantage of its unique CPU architecture. I would check out the benchmarks of the Adlar Lake on Win 10 & Win 11. I think you will find the Adlar Lake performs better on Win 11.

I can't wait to see how you react when you get your new system no matter which way you go. I am blown away by the ability to game on Ultra and have Windows load in a few seconds with the Samsung 980 PRO. It is an unbelievable difference and feeling of immersion into games and just doing stuff on the PC.

I am lazy about moving stuff from old hard drives. I have about 700 GB on an old 1TB USB drive of music & user manuals, technical references etc. One day I just plugged it into a USB on the new system and realized that there was nothing on it that required any speed to access and it works just fine for what it is storing. The only issue is that if I leave it plugged in it takes a second or two for file manager to present it's files the first time after booting the computer compared to instantaneous for the stuff on the SSDs.



                      Win 10      Win 11
Passmark    "10.1"    9469 99%     9268.5 99%
CPU Mark             41121 99%     41103.7 99%
2D Graphics Mark      1127 96%     1076.1 92%
3D Graphics Mark     26246 99%     26288.9 99%
Memory Mark           3655 94%     3664.1 94%
Disk Mark            35692 99%     38980.1 99%

Edited by Onkel_Ken - 19 Dec 2021 at 1:44pm
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  Quote KevNJ21 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Dec 2021 at 2:25pm

Here is my current thinking :

4226413

Sticking with the Intel I-9 12900k with windows 11.  Will have to update to Win11 at some point anyway and probably better to have it as a fresh install from the start.  (Hopefully most major issues have been worked out by now). 

Still back on forth on GPU but I was given a little bonus money from work so might just go with the upgrade lol

I think I might ditch mechanical drives and maybe pick up a 2TB Sata drive separately for files and such if I can find a good price

Is there any opinion on motherboard choices?  the ASUS Prime Z690-A is the default and not sure if there is anything gained by going with the MSI MPG Z690 Carbon (other than wi-fi which isn’t a big deal).  The Asus ROG hero is a bit of a price jump (extreme is out of range)

Not sure when I’ll push the button and order it.  The DDR5 being backordered is a concern.  “end of December” is basically next week but my luck that would turn into April or something as soon as I order.  Scared

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  Quote fwfdfireman Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Dec 2021 at 4:04pm
Default MBs are fine if you are on a tight budget, BUT, for some extra money spent on the next level MB, you get better heat management among other things. Check connections between MBs, the upgrade might have more or better connections for you. At the very least, better heat management which extends the life of all your components. I NEVER select a base line MB in any of my previous custom PC builds.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 21 Dec 2021 at 11:51pm
Ordinarily, I'd tend to agree with fwfdfireman, but in this case, the Z690-A is already an upgrade from the "baseline" motherboard. The MSI Carbon offers a second PCIe 5 slot and 6 vs 4 SATA connections. Both have 4 M.2 PCIe 4 slots for additional NVMe SSDs in future. Both have good thermal safeguards with the MSI going a little extra as expected. Most other differences are not highly relevant. They both have large selections of USB and other connectors. I would be comfortable with the Asus board, and assured it's hardly minimalist.

The Carbon is a very nice board as well, but maybe not quite worth $150 more. It's not highly likely you will find need for the second PCIe Gen 5 slot for a very long time, if ever. Intel just began to support PCIe 4 in the past 8 months or so, and there are NO PCIe 5 parts out I'm aware of. Eventually, you will want a PCIe 5 for a GPU a couple of generations from now but both boards offer that in Slot 1. The ROG Hero is overkill with features you'll never use IMO. Your call.

I would stick to your guns on the GPU for the simple fact in just a few months there will be a 4060 that shames your 3070 if you have one. Or a 4070 that completely blows it away. In the meantime, the 3060 Ti only lags a mere 7%. That's my take.
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  Quote Onkel_Ken Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 Dec 2021 at 10:49am
One thing to consider when buying a motherboard is if all the PCI-E slots will be usable when you put a large GPU in in it. My MB has 2 PCI-E X16 and 2 PCI-E X1 slots. My EVGA FTW3 RTX 3080 FTW3 ULTRA is a triple wide board and extends over the top of one of the empty PCI-E X1 slots and it appears that the other PCI-E x16 slot that is open is so close to the triple wide GPU card that I don't think I could use it without blocking the GPU fans. I am using the one accessible PCI-E X1 for an audio card.

I would recommend that you verify that your motherboard not only have the number of slots that you need but be aware that some may not be available due to the size of the components you want to eventually use.

Those triple wide video cards makes it extremely difficult to make use of all MB's slots depending on which model you get.

I think I am still OK because I can't think of what else I would want to put in it. I am glad my motherboard has WIFI & Bluetooth built in because there is no way I can get another card in the MB because of the HUGE GPU.

I can't recommend a specific board that would be the best for you other than suggesting confirming ahead of time that the components you plan to stick in your system will fit or not block airflow to a critical component.

I also noticed that my GPU sets over the top of the replaceable MB backup battery which will require removing the GPU if I needed to change that battery someday.

I am happy with the system I have but we should always be aware that 4 PCI-E slots doesn't mean that you can use them all depending on your actual configuration.

      

Edited by Onkel_Ken - 22 Dec 2021 at 10:59am
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  Quote KevNJ21 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 22 Dec 2021 at 6:43pm
If I go with the 3060ti it would just be whatever DS supplies.  Wasn't planning on anything over the top specifically.   I will also say that I'm not one that tends to replace components just to have the latest.  My current PC is still sporting the same 980ti it shipped with 6 years ago.   So I guess anything current will be a big improvement lol.   

thanks for the info on the MB.   I imagine you would have to really push the CPU or overclock for thermals to really be a problem but as long as there are no concerns with the Z690-A then will stick with that.
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 23 Dec 2021 at 3:00am
Originally posted by KevNJ21

My current PC is still sporting the same 980ti it shipped with 6 years ago.   So I guess anything current will be a big improvement lol.

I think that appears to be an accurate assessment!   

https://gpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Nvidia-RTX-3060-Ti-vs-Nvidia-GTX-980-Ti/4090vs3439

I also think the Asus Z690A will serve you quite well.    
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  Quote KevNJ21 Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 27 Dec 2021 at 6:46am
ugh. I am pretty much set on the config and was considering placing the order this week but in looking at the parts the DDR5 is now "Backordered ETA February"  So I guess it depends on how patient I can be and either wait two months and hope it becomes available then or sooner or switch to DDR4 or back to Ryzen Cry
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  Quote Cretae Quote  Post ReplyReply bullet Posted: 28 Dec 2021 at 4:49am
That is disappointing. I'm still of a mind that we designed a pretty solid build for you, and I think I would just have to suck it up and order now and wait for February. It all depends on how much this really needs to be a workstation. PCIe 5 is so new, you may not see parts that NEED to be PCIe 5 for the life of this build. DDR5 RAM, however would be a very significant help. It's "blah" for gaming, but great for productivity.

If you have maximum patience, you might consider the next gen of AMD procs, Zen 4, is coming out in 2022, rumored in the first half. Analysts are looking for 40% increase! That would coincide with a new round of GPUs from both sides that should also be significantly stronger.

All pretty speculative. I think we had a really good build in your price range. My feeling is you get your order in now and wait for the RAM, keeping an eye on other developments.   

If you decide to go DDR4, keep the 12900K and it's 13% edge on the Ryzen 5950. An Intel build will be a bit less money.

Edited by Cretae - 28 Dec 2021 at 4:52am
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