[SOLVED] Bought CPU/MB for a budget system, need help making intelligent choices to complete the system - Vagary Value Vermeer

King_V

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PROLOGUE:
(skip to the part labeled The Questions to avoid my rambling monologue)

So . . uh, yeah. Some of you might remember my talk about how I'm sticking with my old Haswell-based system until AM5 comes out.

That attitude was reinforced when Alder Lake came out, and the i5-12400 basically tied or slightly edged out even the 5600X. They trade blows, but the 12400 was way cheaper. Still I said "I'll wait for AM5."

Then I thought "well, it might be nice to put together a budget system around a 5600G and a B450 or A520 motherboard. MicroCenter has the 5600G for $199.99 after all... and the 12400 seems to not have many budget motherboard choices yet, and the 5600G's iGPU seems like an interesting bit for the super-budget system."

Still, I resisted that temptation.

Then, MicroCenter, in-store, decided to basically offer the 5600X for 12400F suggested price...
$50 off the already pretty decent $239.99, but ONLY if you're a new customer. My girlfriend agreed to become that new customer.

B550 boards were considered, but, again, this is meant to be a budget system. I had concerns about the A520 boards, but found out that the Gigabyte DS3H have one more power phase for the VRM than the other A520 boards, so I went with that. Oh, and there's the $20 discount if you get a MB and CPU combo.

So, for all intents and purposes:
  • 5600X: $179.99
    • $239.99 -$50 (new customer discount) - $10 (half of the $20 cpu/mb combo discount)
  • Gigabyte A520M DS3H: $65.99
    • $75.99 - $10 (half of the $20 cpu/mb combo discount)
When I add sales tax, tolls, and estimated gasoline usage (but I drive a Prius), NET cost is, by my math, $195.69 for the CPU, and $74.85 for the motherboard. Yeah, I'm a stickler for details like that.


THE QUESTIONS:

I'm in the US. Southwest-ish New Jersey, if that makes a difference. Online or in-store works for me, and there's a MicroCenter about 45-50 minutes from me, where I got the MB/CPU (though obviously, gas and tolls add to the cost).

So, this is actually meant to be a budget system. Low cost, but still with some intelligent choices. It will be my main system for now, and involve some gaming. I have no intention of overclocking the CPU.

I have the following parts:
  • CPU: Ryzen 5 5600X
  • MB: Gigabyte A520M DS3H mATX
  • PSU: I'll use one of the following, which I already have:
    • Seasonic Focus 650W Platinum (fully modular) - 3 years old, but was only used lightly for about a year
    • Corsair TX550M Gold (semi modular)
EDIT: I also am carrying an RX580 8GB over from a previous system.

I need:
  • RAM
  • A decent case
I probably should get:
  • An NVMe M.2 drive . . but if I don't get one right away, I will start off with a 2.5" SATA SSD I have.
NVMe DRIVE:
I guess it should be pretty straightforward - PCIe 3.0 speeds are fine, since that's all the board can do. I do want a good one, though, that can maintain its performance. Not going crazy for top of the line, but this is one part where I'm not looking to go budget.

But, of course, will, as always look for a good deal on one. And my brain says "don't ever break the $0.10/GB line if you can avoid it."

My usage is typical home use. Office, web browsing, YouTube, and video games. The only deviation from that is some minor/light software development.

I've looked (today) at the SK Hynix Gold P31, and the Samsung 970 EVO Plus, both in 1TB versions.

DEBATE: 1 big drive? Or smaller OS drive, and bigger drive for installable software, games, etc.? and why? (I know Windows OS reinstallation is still sometimes a thing, but not as much as it used to be I imagine).



RAM:
Tentatively, I'm looking at this, which Crucial's site lists as compatible with this board when I do a lookup:
Crucial Ballistix BL2K8G36C16U4B: DDR4-3600, 16-18-18-38 timings. It's on the QVL list for the board. There's a 2x16GB version of the same, for exactly twice as much.

Can I go with faster RAM . . but ALSO maintaining a good price/performance ratio? I mean, I don't want to, for example, pay 20% more for RAM that only gives me a 1% performance benefit.

I am also considering going with 32GB. The MB does have 4 slots, so I suppose 2x8GB now, and get the same kit later, SHOULD, in theory, work. If I do go 32 up front, though, I guess I should be doing 2x16GB dual-rank modules, if I understand what's been said about what the 5000 series Ryzen likes.

All recommendations appreciated.


CASE:
Ugh . . this is where I really have trouble making up my mind. I really, REALLY like the idea of the Antec P82 Silent or Antec P101 Silent. They seem to manage the best in terms of being very quiet WITHOUT sacrificing thermals. Unfortunately, it seems those are really difficult to find without being uncomfortably marked up, or without a crazy shipping price.

So, unless I can find one of those, I'm looking for a bugdet (budget-ish?) case that's still worthwhile/respectable. I do like quiet, but I don't want to cook the parts as a result. I also tend to prefer cases with solid tops, though they don't seem to be all too common anymore, as I am unlikely to use a top fan, and will use air-cooling only.

But, while I've done research, I'm still mostly out of my element when it comes to cases.

Also, a good case that is mATX but cannot handle full ATX would be acceptable, if it doesn't make sacrifices in the noise and cooling department. Yeah, I know that's the opposite of the large-ish Antecs I mentioned above.



All in all, basically, trying to avoid making dumb/silly mistakes with my choices here.
 
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Eximo

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DDR4 3600 CL16 seems to be the sweet spot. 4000 is better, but more expensive and the CPU might not like it. You could also dig down to CL14, but again tends to be pricey.

970 Evo Plus should be alright, not too expensive and has good performance. Plenty of decent PCIe 3.0 drives out there, some with QLC that are cheaper, but slower.

WD SN850 Black or the Sabrent Rocket 4.0, and the Samsung 980 Pro, are what I had my eye on. Sabrent won out for its supposedly better reliability. But the WD SN750 is also a good choice. Intel 670p, Sabrent Rocket Q for slower storage.

So you could opt for a 256/512GB 4.0 capable drive and get a much larger bulk storage drive. I plan to pick up another 2TB QLC disk here in the near future and something like a 8 or 10 TB disk to backup all of it.
 

Eximo

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DDR4 3600 CL16 seems to be the sweet spot. 4000 is better, but more expensive and the CPU might not like it. You could also dig down to CL14, but again tends to be pricey.

970 Evo Plus should be alright, not too expensive and has good performance. Plenty of decent PCIe 3.0 drives out there, some with QLC that are cheaper, but slower.

WD SN850 Black or the Sabrent Rocket 4.0, and the Samsung 980 Pro, are what I had my eye on. Sabrent won out for its supposedly better reliability. But the WD SN750 is also a good choice. Intel 670p, Sabrent Rocket Q for slower storage.

So you could opt for a 256/512GB 4.0 capable drive and get a much larger bulk storage drive. I plan to pick up another 2TB QLC disk here in the near future and something like a 8 or 10 TB disk to backup all of it.
 

geofelt

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Let me try to address some of your issues:

Seasonic 650w is what I would use.

Ryzen is tightly tied to ram for performance and proper operation.
Faster is better. The 3600 speed cas 16 is the sweet spot.
See that what you pick is on the QVL list, or that it shows up on the ram vendor supported list for your motherboard and processor.

RAM:
If you will ever want 32gb, buy it up front. Ram must be matched for proper operation.
Adding a second kit later is not guaranteed to work. ryzen is dual channel only, regardless of 2 or 4 sticks.
2 is better, it is easier for the motherboard to manage.

Case:

Cases are a personal thing. Looks count; buy a case with the looks you love.
Bust your budget if needed, you will be with the case for a long time.
I like both the Antec P82 Silent or the P101.
Use the option to install front 140mm fans.
140mm will move more air quietly than 120mm.

Look for a case with easily removable and washable front filters.
Preventing dust buildup is much easier than cleaning parts.

Most cases will only have a 120/140mm rear fan.
For best airflow, having a top airflow exit is going to help with cooling airflow.
It need not have a top fan installed to be effective.

Your 5600x is a good processor and will work ok with the stock cooler.
But a nice noctua cooler will keep it cooler and let it turbo up to the max capability.
Noctua keeps a list of compatible coolers for different processors:
https://ncc.noctua.at/cpus/model/AMD-Ryzen-5-5600X-1047
I might pick a NH-U12s chromax black:
https://www.newegg.com/noctua-nh-u12s-chromax-black/p/13C-0005-001H6


On the NVME drive:
Do not be impressed with great vendor multi queue sequential benchmarks.
We do things one at a time randomly.
In that respect all ssd devices perform similarly.
I would use the Samsung EVO plus in 1tb or 2tb size.
It is easier to manage a single C drive space.
Puget systems likes Samsung ssd devices for reliability.

The 5600X does not have integrated graphics; you need to plan on a graphics card of some sort.
A new GT730 might do for about $75.
But, A used EVGA GTX750ti sells for the same $75 on ebay. It will display a 4k image at 60hz.

Do have a plan for external backup.
A usb connected HDD for example.
 

King_V

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Ok, going down all the advice... definitely food for thought. Oh, and I call it a "budget" system only because the 5600X dove down into the i5-12400 category.

Edited my post as well to indicate that my RX 580 8GB is being carried over from another system, so, got the GPU covered.

Backup plan: Synology 2-drive NAS with mirroring. Got it covered!

RAM: still gonna try to see if there are other big brands that are less, but thus far I'm looking at 2x16 Crucial 4000, since it's only $3 more than the 3600. ($170 vs $173) - yeah, that (the 32GB choice) definitely takes this PC out of the "budget" category, but I probably should plan for the future in this case when it comes to RAM.

SSD: So far I'm tossed up between the 970 EVO Plus and the SK Hynix P31 Gold.


Cases: I'm just all over the place on this... go competent-budget, or go quality. I am actually looking for both. Since I can always find another use for a budget case . . I think I'm going to go with a "respectable budget" case - ie: not so cheap that it's bad at its job. Has to cool at least reasonably, and has to be reasonably quiet.

That gives me more time to hunt down my "the case I really really like" for the future - whether this system makes its way into it, or whether it becomes the home of my AM5 system in the future.

(The In Win 303c is something I recently discovered, and I'm fascinated by the design/idea.. unfortunately, only the 303 seems to be available. The 303c allows one to turn down the brightness of the external LEDs . . . and the more I dig into PC cases, the more I find "Oh, this is pretty cool, oh that's pretty clever" etc . . and a lot of "I really like this one, so WHY DOESN'T ANYONE HAVE IT??!")
 
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Eximo

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The custom PC market isn't exactly thriving without GPUs to buy. I imagine a lot of the more niche cases are not in production at the moment.

Mid-range quality seems to rely on volume, so all that is left are cheap and high end. At least that is the way it seems to me.
 
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King_V

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No top exhaust would make me think twice. Maybe it's just me?
Was one of the requirements. Lots of situations where it makes sense. The most common would be the underdesk/cupboard style.

Well, I wouldn't say requirement so much as a distinct preference. I do like quiet. Then again, while instinct tells me that a case with a top vent will not be louder than one without it, I am certain that there are exceptions out there.
 

Eximo

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I still have my BitFenix Ghost sitting around, it was one of the quieter builds I've put together. 120mm (SP120) intakes behind a dampened front panel, dampened side panels. Still had top exhaust, but I just put two 140mm fans up there spinning slowly (AF140). Evo 212 with Corsair SP120 push/pull, another SP120 at the rear.

Right now I have about 500W to get rid of, so my computer is pretty loud again.
 

Satan-IR

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Yes I agree with it being something between a requirement and preference although with heat travelling upwards, a top vent is a good thing to have even without a fan, as long as front and/or side panel fans are pushing a decent amount in the box. Although this is more effective in cases with PSUs on the bottom. Older top-mounted PSU would block, or disrupt if you like, the smooth air flow to the top and out.

I have a HAF-X and only one of the two top vents came with a fan (still same). Fans on a normal curve connected to MOBO headers it's pretty quiet. CPU cooler is a Thermalright True Spirit 120 B/W if memory serves right on a 130W 6-core and a 1070. The metal sheets are kind of thick I think and that makes it more robust and also muffles the sound I guess but it's heavy as what not, even when empty.
 
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King_V

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So . . fun little "this is what fate does to me" tidbit.

While I was looking for the Antec P82 case, I ultimately settled on the P7 Neo because the P82 has been nearly impossible to find.

The P7 Neo arrived yesterday. Haven't opened it yet.

Aaaand, this afternoon I got the email that said the P82 is back in stock. :rolleyes:
🤦‍♂️

But, while I'm still in the hassle-free return period, I figure I'd be losing out on the $5.99 shipping, and then the P82 is $7.99 shipping. So I'd basically be paying an extra $14 for the swap.

In any case, I'll see how this goes, probably over the weekend.
 

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