Been working on PCs forever, and I just realized I've never built a new one before. That'll change now...

It really didn't occur to me until this week

I've swapped parts, I've diagnosed problems, and I've made recommendations.

I even have, technically, put entire PCs together, but this usually involved cannibalizing a few dead PCs into one working one. A case from this one, motherboard from that one, RAM and HDDs from yet another one, a used CPU from eBay, etc., and a whole working PC resulted. Franken-systems, if you will.

Also, I've helped friends make part selections, installed SOME of the parts, etc.

But building a new one from the ground up? Actually, never in the entire 23 years that I've been dealing with PCs. Generally when I was looking, Dell would throw some insane sale and I'd be stuck with the "I can't put one together with the same parts for that little money" situation.

Now it's different, though. There were no great deals like that to sabotage me, and, when I asked my son (age 13) if he'd be interested in the two of us building one for him, he was enthused.

So, the parts are ordered up. We're doing a mid-range system, and this is the parts list. Some parts have so far arrived, and some have not. And, there's been a hiccup or two.

  • The case was the toughest choice. I had to do the most work searching for that - I've NEVER bought a case before! I was thinking to go without clear panels, and just a no-nonsense case that looked reasonably good, quiet, and with good cooling. Naturally, almost everything that seemed reasonable also had clear panels.
    • On the plus side, my son thinks it looks awesome, and apparently the idea of the LED fans appeals to him.
  • I was originally planning on getting the same CPU, but the ASRock B450M Pro, but their discount deal dropped from $30 off to $20 off, making it no longer worth making the drive out there, because the deal showed up for the same CPU on Amazon, and the same motherboard was $20 less from NewEgg.
  • Naturally, that motherboard ran out of stock literally before I could make the clicks to purchase it, thus the Steel Legend instead. Only $10 more, and the reinforced PCIe x 16 slot seems like a good move.
    • As mentioned in the case of the PC's case, the LEDs thing seems to be a positive rather than a negative for my son.
  • Looking up RAM from the QVL list is less than fun, and there are so many part numbers that even PC Part Picker are like "What, did you find that at a street vendor in Calcutta?" I went to Corsair's website and looked it up by MB brand and model. I hope they are right about this.
  • I went with the Ryzen 5 1600 rather than the 2600 because the 1600 comes with the Wraith Spire instead of the Wraith Stealth, and the performance advantage the 2600 has over the 1600 couldn't justify a 35% higher price.
    • Of course this led to the biggest (in my eyes) hiccup - it arrived, new in box, but was packed with a Wraith Stealth rather than a Wraith Spire. The Amazon website's UI seemed to only offer the possibility of a refund, but I just want an exchange, so I had to call (shocking, they actually have a phone number where you can talk to a person), and Amazon sent emails to the vendor (and to me), so hopefully this gets straightened out.
  • The case, PSU, Intel SSD and a Synology NAS (not technically part of this build, but something I'd been planning on getting anyway) were in one order. For whatever reason, the case was shipped separately, and arrived quickly. The rest of it is coming to New Jersey from . . Ontario, Canada? And, until today, it was stuck in the Departure Scan status since the 3rd of this month.
    • However, today that status updated to: "Recent weather has caused delivery delays. Recovery efforts are under way to deliver your package as soon as possible." Fun times.
  • My son's mother's in the school system, so she may be able to get a legitimate Education version license key for Windows 10 for $14.99
The weather issues, and particularly that wrong-cooler-packed-with-the-cpu thing seem like the particularly oddball kind of bad luck I tend to have. Still, despite the hiccups, and admittedly my impatience (eagerness/enthusiasm), I'm really looking forward to this.

Then I'll finally be able to say "Yes, I actually have put together a complete, new system."
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Corsair, G.Skill and Kingston (Others too I'm sure) are generally more accurate than the QVL lists or even general consensus from builders, because memory manufacturers DO take the time to validate on specific boards and chipsets to make sure there is compatibility. Board manufacturers only validate a small selection, and they ONLY do it to show broad compatibility in general. They don't do it to reassure anybody that a specific memory module will work on a specific board, although that is the commonly held belief.

If the Corsair website said that a specific memory module is compatible with a specific board, then you can pretty much rest assured that it is. Same for G.Skill. Others, probably also true, maybe to varying lesser degrees. I trust Corsair, G.Skill and Crucial to be right all the time. I trust Kingston to be right MOST of the time. I trust Patriot, Mushkin, Team and others to be right as well, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised if they weren't.

Putting together systems the way you've done it in the past, with something begged, something borrowed, something stolen, from here and there, is technically, usually, a lot more difficult anyhow so building an entire system from scratch with parts that were all intended to be used together, should be a piece of cake for you. Should be a fun an rewarding time for you and your son.
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That's definitely reassuring regarding the RAM, thanks for letting me know regarding the accuracy, and that the memory makers are more reliable!

Bonus - as of today, the parts that were stuck in Ottawa Ontario are now in northern NJ. Hopefully the CPU cooler issue gets resolved smoothly, and everything will be a go.

At least I'm not putting in sound cards and networking cards these days! 😆
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.... aaand, well, maybe the $85 for Ryzen 5 1600 from Amazon that one day wasn't all it's cracked up to be.

The vendor sent a new one. That one ALSO has the wrong cooler in it. In both cases, the part number on the box for the cooler is 712-000046 Rev B, and is very obviously the Stealth rather than the Spire.

This is making me wonder if there's a whole batch of them that had the wrong cooler packed in with the CPU. :unsure:

Hoping this can get resolved soon, otherwise, I'm thinking I'll just get a refund and take the drive out to MicroCenter.
LOL, that's what I was thinking - and I have been staring at the MicroCenter deal for the 2600X a little more than I thought I would be...

EDIT: Well, refund and getting a CPU from MicroCenter is how it's gonna go. I can't fault the vendor, as, if I were to guess, an entire batch of R5 1600 CPUs got packed with the wrong cooler. Vendor said they'd have their warehouse go through them, but that it would take time, so offered a refund, along with the return shipping labels, etc. The vendor was always prompt and courteous with the emails, and I kinda feel bad for them if they really got stuck with a huge number of these with the wrong cooler.

Luck of the draw, or in this case, lack thereof.
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They probably KNEW they were the wrong coolers, ahead of time. They probably got a great deal on them. Most users won't be like you or I, and even question WHICH cooler it comes with. They can afford to be highly accommodating for the few users that do.

Right now, the 2600 is on sale for 119.00 with Game pass. Pretty good deal for a CPU that was ~200 bucks not that long ago.
Hmm, possible, though they explicitly mentioned it including the Spire in the Amazon listing. And they did ship another one right away after I told them about the first one. So, for now, I think I'd give them the benefit of the doubt.

Neither my son nor I have XBox, so the Game Pass doesn't help us.

But - at MicroCenter:
R5 1600 - $79.99
R5 2600 - $109.99
R5 2600X - $119.99

It's definitely going to be the 1600 or the 2600X... for only $10 more, there's no point going with the 2600 non-X.


Keep in mind, MULTIPLE sellers almost always use the SAME page for listings on Amazon if it is a common product. If you look through the questions, on any product page for any product NOT sold directly by Amazon, you will find responses to those questions from multiple sellers with answers that specifically address seller specific questions like "Well, if you buy it from us (X seller) then yes, we include that.", or something along those lines. So, at some point there can be ten sellers all using the same basic Amazon product page at different points in time. One seller might have purchased their lot of product from an entirely different source or any of ten other variables that could have an effect on what you are actually getting. In some cases, even with the same product page, if you look through some of the reviews and feedback, it might not even BE the same product as what is advertised by Amazon on that page. It's all down to compliance or lack OF it by the seller. Amazon can only do so much to guarantee uniformity if sellers are trying to get around rules or be shifty about things.

Not that THAT "is" the case here, but certainly, it could be a similar type thing. I've bought a product, then months later went to me ordered products history in Amazon and re-ordered the exact same thing, and had a different product fulfilled by an entirely different vendor than what I got the first time.

I agree on the 2600x. Makes little sense UNLESS that ten bucks is the difference in a significant upgrade elsewhere such as better PSU, higher quality memory kit, etc., because the 2600x really doesn't offer THAT much above what the 2600 offers. For ten bucks, what it offers is worth it, if you don't have to cannibalize elsewhere for the extra ten bucks.
Reactions: King_V
Well, that was a good and inspiring read. I'm excited to see where you end up with the project.

As for your Ryzen 5 1600, it is entirely possible that AMD simply swapped out the cooler once the 2000 series launched. I think I remember seeing something about that at one point, but memory is a fickle thing.

Actually, this has inspired me to include my kids in my wife's new build which will be done once I get home. They are a little young... but it should still be fun. It is a useful skill that more people should have.
Reactions: King_V
Nope, there'll be no cannibalization. Just going with the higher CPU if that's how we go. The budget was higher than what was actually spent on the parts list, but sales meant we fell under the limit... along with my son's mother being in the school system, and thus able to get a legitimate Windows 10 Education license for only $14.99. Not sure if it's transferable to a new system in the future, or is treated as pseudo-OEM, but at that price, I'm not complaining.
@justin.m.beauvais & @Darkbreeze - I went and ordered one again, at $85, because a sharp-eyed colleague at work caught the difference in the part numbers:
- vs -

We then went digging and found a few references to a 12nm R5 1600, a newer stepping, that's indicated by the different part number.

This article seems to confirm that this is a real thing - so it looks like the 12nm release of the 1600 comes with the same cooler as the 2600 does.

Interesting that even the vendor was unaware of this.

I'll find out this weekend - will definitely be installing CPU-Z and seeing if I wind up with the same results as is shown the article and a few other links.
Bazonkers it may be, but I just checked with CPU-Z, and that's what we have now. No complains on my end, as a friend of mine had a Wraith Spire with LED from when he built his first gen Ryzen, but he used an aftermarket cooler, so, he gave me the Spire.

A quick check with CPU-Z, and the multiplier sets down to a base of 30.0, and when I move the mouse suddenly, goes up to 37.0.

I guess that means the base clock is 3GHz, and the boost is 3.7GHz?


Actually, it's hard to say WHAT is the standard behavior for that CPU because there are no reviews of the revised silicon. The original R5 1600 has a 3.2Ghz base clock and a 3.6Ghz boost. You having a 3.0Ghz base clock with a 3.7Ghz boost means there have been changes to the boost behavior if that is accurate. I can't find anything on the revised skus based on 12nm so your guess is as good as mine.
Yeah, it's baffling.

Still, in guessing that maybe this thing might be around halfway to being a 2600, given the 12nm process and possibly bring being a little faster, unofficially, than a 1600. I've also read some anecdotal reports about it overclocking more easily, though I don't have overclocking plans.

For $85, though, I can't complain.
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