Question Advice on Prebuilt - Balance Price with Future Upgrades or Build it myself.

Oct 17, 2021
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My wife and I would like to help our daughter purchase a new computer this Christmas. We would like to keep the total budget under $2500 if possible. She plays competitive Overwatch and uses a 27" 1440P 165hz monitor (and a 24" 1440P 165 HZ monitor - I think one is an ASUS). She also plays several other games like Dead by daylight. Her current MSI Aegis 3, with a 1660 and I7 7700 CPU is struggling.

I would prefer to build. I can certainly do it and have most of the tools and the skills (though I've only done upgrades), but GPU prices are killing me. I think that to get a reasonable price and a reasonably powerful GPU a prebuilt would be best.

I'd like some tips on CPU options, Memory (specs and manufacturer), GPU, MotherBoard, PSU, and Cooler. For example do I need an 11th Gen I9? Can I get by with a I7 11th or 10th Gen? What about AMD? Which memory manufacturer? What about the motherboard? Do I want 2.5GB ethernet and Wifi 6 or 6E. Which M.2 SSD? Etc.

I am also looking for a Builder that uses off-the-shelf parts that can be upgraded if the prices ever become reasonable again. Finally while RGB is great and she likes shiny, we are practical. Case size is also flexible. I think a decent sized case would be more flexible than a Micro or Mini.

Looking on this site and others the MSI Aegis RS in various builds looks pretty good. HP Omen 30L also does. Not certain about other builders.

Now I played around with PCPartpicker and came up with this build (I saved it as public?)

  • Intel Core i7-11700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor
  • Corsair H115i RGB PLATINUM 97 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $169.99
  • MSI Z590 PRO WIFI ATX LGA1200 Motherboard $199.99 Buy
  • Crucial Ballistix 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory $74.99
  • Samsung 970 Evo Plus 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive $138.19
  • Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8 GB GAMING OC Video Card $1259.99
  • Phanteks Eclipse P360A ATX Mid Tower Case $79.98
  • Corsair RMx (2021) 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply $139.99
Total: $2453.11

I am not certain the 3070TI is what we want I would prefer the 3080, but not certain if I can get it. Also wondering if 16gb is enough. Also while i have many of the tools I suspect I will have to purchase at least $50 worth of tools and stuff to get this together. I am also disappointed that this is $2500 for something that should run closer to $1700.

Also if I should post this somewhere else I am more than willing.

TIA
 
Oct 17, 2021
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If you purchase Intel this close to new release, you will suffer buyers remorse...
https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-alder-lake-specifications-price-benchmarks-release-date

11700k wont get any costlier but you might find better options at that price and your parts list might change.
Thanks for the tip. I knew they were soon, but not that soon. In that article the price differences were almost $150 more for a 12th gen I7. Is the performance that much better? It looks better, but I’m not up on the CPU language.
Thanks
 
Thanks for the tip. I knew they were soon, but not that soon. In that article the price differences were almost $150 more for a 12th gen I7. Is the performance that much better? It looks better, but I’m not up on the CPU language.
Thanks
Those prices are not yet confirmed by Intel. Let them hit the stands and get some reviews. Anything you here now is mere speculation.
 
Reactions: MadAlienist
Thanks. Good points.
The 5800x is a good option too if you want to save power bills...

 
Reactions: MadAlienist

geofelt

Titan
Most fast action games will be limited by the graphics card.
The current GTX1660 may well be the limiter today.
Unfortunately, graphics cards are hard to find at a reasonable price today.
Look at tom's gpu hierarchy chart for a relative ranking of cards:
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gpu-hierarchy,4388.html
To help, your GTX1660 should fetch $400 or so on ebay.

On the cpu, yes, you might want to see what alder lake brings.
In particular, the new gen 12architecture should bring some better single thread performance over gen 11. And, gen 11 was similarly better than previous gen.
I think alder lake will be in short supply and scalping will be massive.
You may not be able to get parts by Christmas.
It would not hurt to wait a bit though.

Your i7-7700 has 8 threads and a passmark rating of 8623. That is when all 8 threads are 100% busy.
Not likely gaming. Of more importance is the single thread rating of 2474.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-7700+@+3.60GHz&id=2905

The 11700K would be a big jump.
It has a 16 threads and a rating of 19449/3080.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-11700K+@+3.60GHz&id=3896

But, unless you might need the 16 threads for multitasking, batch apps or, perhaps multiplayer with many participants, I think you could go with a cheaper processor and spend the extra on graphics.
The i5-11400 is a great budget gamer.
It has 12 threads and a rating of 17319/3051:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-11400+@+2.60GHz&id=4233
Here is a review, look at the gaming results for 1440p(using a 3090)
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-11400+@+2.60GHz&id=4233

If you can buy alder lake, the I5-12600K is the chip to buy.
Leaked tests show it better in single thread performance than even a I9-11900K or ryzen 5950X

On your build list:

AIO is asking for trouble when you do not need it.
It costs twice as much as a top air cooler like a Noctua NH-D15s.
My i9-11900KF tops out at about 70c. in a well ventilated case.
AIO coolers do not last forever. When air eventually intrudes, they will need to be replaced.
Air will be quieter, more reliable, and... air will never leak.

All your other parts are fine.
I might opt for a 2tb m.2 up front is you will play a large variety of games.
Samsung is best for reliability and performance.
 
Reactions: MadAlienist
Oct 17, 2021
14
0
10
0
On the cpu, yes, you might want to see what alder lake brings.
In particular, the new gen 12architecture should bring some better single thread performance over gen 11. And, gen 11 was similarly better than previous gen.
I think alder lake will be in short supply and scalping will be massive.
You may not be able to get parts by Christmas.
It would not hurt to wait a bit though.
All of this makes sense. The chip shortage scares me. I’m open to Alder lake, simply because I like to not get bogged down later. But I was worried that it might be tough to get. I like the idea of the I5 12th gen.

Your i7-7700 has 8 threads and a passmark rating of 8623. That is when all 8 threads are 100% busy.
Not likely gaming. Of more importance is the single thread rating of 2474.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-7700+@+3.60GHz&id=2905

The 11700K would be a big jump.
It has a 16 threads and a rating of 19449/3080.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i7-11700K+@+3.60GHz&id=3896

But, unless you might need the 16 threads for multitasking, batch apps or, perhaps multiplayer with many participants, I think you could go with a cheaper processor and spend the extra on graphics.
The i5-11400 is a great budget gamer.
It has 12 threads and a rating of 17319/3051:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-11400+@+2.60GHz&id=4233
Here is a review, look at the gaming results for 1440p(using a 3090)
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-11400+@+2.60GHz&id=4233

If you can buy alder lake, the I5-12600K is the chip to buy.
Leaked tests show it better in single thread performance than even a I9-11900K or ryzen 5950X
thanks For the info.

On your build list:

AIO is asking for trouble when you do not need it.
It costs twice as much as a top air cooler like a Noctua NH-D15s.
My i9-11900KF tops out at about 70c. in a well ventilated case.
AIO coolers do not last forever. When air eventually intrudes, they will need to be replaced.
Air will be quieter, more reliable, and... air will never leak.

All your other parts are fine.
I might opt for a 2tb m.2 up front is you will play a large variety of games.
Samsung is best for reliability and performance.
Again thanks. Good data to know. I watch videos of builds and everyone is always using AIO, but I specifically found a couple looking at the D15 and it was impressive. gotta have room in the case though.

all very helpful.
 
Again thanks. Good data to know. I watch videos of builds and everyone is always using AIO, but I specifically found a couple looking at the D15 and it was impressive. gotta have room in the case though.
Unless you go absolute top tier AIO which is pretty expensive for some limited gain or you have a very compact case, a AIO doesnt have much to offer except bling factor. The lifespan of a AIO is definitely more limited than a air cooler due to wear and tear and/or pump failure...
 
Reactions: MadAlienist

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