[SOLVED] Building New Gaming Rig - In search of opinions & comments

SkruDe

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Hello all!
About 10 years ago now (2013) I built my very first custom rig. To this day, I still use it, but it has clearly weathered over time and many aspects are now out of date and no longer to my standard as far as keeping up with technological advances. For example, my CPU isn't even compatible with W11.

First things first though, here is my filled out questionnaire for posting about building a new computer...

Approximate Purchase Date: Throughout 2022.... I'm picking up pieces as I go since my build is not going to have a budget constraint. So, as I save money for a piece, I'll buy that piece, rinse & repeat.

Budget Range: Few thousand U.S. dollars.

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Streaming, Personal Home Use, Security, Smart Home Hub

Are you buying a monitor: No (I intend on, for now, re-using my 3x 27" 1440p monitor set-up)

Parts to Upgrade: Brand new rig... everything inside a tower/case.

Do you need to buy OS: Yes (new motherboard)

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: First Choice = Microcenter (I love 30 minutes from a store). Second Choice = Newegg. (I would prefer to avoid Amazon unless for small misc.)

Location:Cleveland, OH

Parts Preferences: ASUS MoBo, Intel CPU.... I prefer to stick to ASUS parts. But open to any high-quality, reliable part.

Overclocking:Yes (yes, but not extreme or high-end... my overclocking goals are just to kick up a notch to where a CPU probably should be before OEM throttles down).

SLI or Crossfire: No (I intend on a single, beast card that I would like to liquid-cool)

Your Monitor Resolution: I am using 3x 1440p monitors, 27".

Additional Comments: I want to bring my PC up to 2022 standards and new technologies. Including DDR5, M.2, LGA 1700, etc.... Latest & greatest. I also want to liquid-cool my CPU and GPU, on separate loops (I feel combining loops would increase water temps too much).

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:I am upgrading / building a new rig because it's been 10 years since my last build, and though it still works, it is outdated now and I want to get into a habit and building a new rig every 10 years.


Okay............ let's talk my build. So, I've got a couple things already bought, and a couple things already "planned", and then a few things completely wide open...

Already Bought:
CPU - Intel i7-12700k (LGA 1700)
Storage #1 for OS - Samsung 980 Pro, 1TB, M.2-2280 NVME SSD
UPS (1,500 VA)

Planning to Buy Soon:
MoBo - ASUS ROG Strix Z690-F
PSU - ASUS ROG Thor II 1000W (PSU Calculators are giving me 750W PSU & 1500 VA UPS. I decided to go safe with 1000W PSU).

More Research / Planning / Help Needed:
GPU - I want to have a liquid-cooled graphics set-up. I'm not sure if it should be custom loop or AIO. If it is a custom loop (fyi, my CPU loop will be custom), I think it is better to have it on a separate loop than the CPU loop? I've always used AMD graphics cards but I'm open to NVIDIA too. When it comes to GPU research, I've done the least of it so far on this new build. Mainly due to the $2k+ price points, so I'm saving this for last.

RAM - I'm going to go with DDR5. Looks like lowest CL right now is 36, I'd want to go with the lowest commercially available CL. I have a question about RAM concerning speeds (frequencys). The MoBo I have choosen can recognize and handle many different overclocks of the base DDR5-4800 memory type, and the specs page for the MoBo lists them all off. But, the Intel CPU I chose , on the spec page it says it only supports DDR5-4800. Will the Intel CPU also support all those overclocked frequencies that many RAM manufacturers are pushing out? I'm assuming Yes.

Storage #2 (Gaming) - Right now, I've got (1) M.2 1TB NVME SSD chosen and bought for my Operating System drive. But I'd like to buy another one, 2TB in size, for my gaming drive. My thoughts are a second M.2 NVME SSD, I'm assuming there is no issue with this, right? If not, then I'll end up going with the 2TB version of the Samsung 980 Pro.

Storage #3 & #4 - For storage drives #3 (Programs & Bulk Storage) and #4 (Photos & Videos) I intend on buying SATA 6 SSDs. 2TB and 4TB respectively. I don't see benefit of going M.2 for these drives, so I feel SATA 6 SSD's are perfectly fine. Probably Samsung or WD Blue SSD's.


Storage #5 - This will be my back-up only drive. Running once or twice a month to back up all previous drives. Right now I'm thinking a 8TB WD Red Pro HDD. (NAS for future expansion into a centralized home back-up unit).

Case - I have no idea what case to build in yet. Basically have done Zero research into this. But, I would like something that catches the eye. Something that you can see the internals. See the LED's. Full Size tower is okay for me. The tower will sit on a separate table next to my desk. I've grown fond of the ROG color schemes. Red in particular. But am open to colors. The case itself though, would be Black.

Operating System - Windows 11 Home (So... how does this work? Do I need to buy a flash drive with W11 Home already pre-loaded when building a new rig? Obviously, DVD is out since I won't have a drive for that.)

Liquid Cooling System - I purposely saved this for last, since I might have to post this in a separate subforum? Anyways, I think my intention here is to have two separate loops. One for the CPU and one for the GPU. My CPU will be a custom loop. Brand undetermined at the moment, but my original 2013 rig used XSPC and it's been flawless for 10 years. So, I know the CPU will be a custom loop, but I am open to using an AIO loop for the GPU. I'm not sure yet, I've never dealt with GPU liquid cooling before. But, I would like to find away to track water temps too, for both loops.

Out of everything listed above. Probably the LC loops would be my most information deprived subject area.

Items I'm skipping on this build that I had on my last build:
1.) Optical Drive / CD Drive / Blu-Ray Drive (if I need one, I'll use an external USB plug-in style drive)
2.) Front mounted tower digital fan controller (looking to control fans through software)

Items I'm Re-using:
1.) Keyboard (Steelseries Merc Stealth - best keyboard I've ever used due to the gaming pad on the left. It's discontinued but luckily I own 3 of them, 2 are backups)
2.) Mouse (Razor Naga Hex Wraith)
3.) Monitors (3x 1440p 27" Samsung PLS)
4.) Speakers (Logitech 500W)


Okay.... So let me have it. Thoughts? Advice? Comments?



 
You are doing a lot with this build. I do not personally have any experience with custom water cooling so I cannot help you there. I would however do something like this for the rest of it;

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor (Purchased For $0.00)
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($449.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL36 Memory
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung 870 Evo 4 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($445.09 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX500 4 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($359.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Western Digital Red Pro 12 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($299.57 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 7000D AIRFLOW ATX Full Tower Case ($269.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: EVGA P2 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $2004.62
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-01-25 12:00 EST-0500
 
You are doing a lot with this build. I do not personally have any experience with custom water cooling so I cannot help you there. I would however do something like this for the rest of it;

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor (Purchased For $0.00)
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z690-E GAMING WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($449.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL36 Memory
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (Purchased For $0.00)
Storage: Samsung 870 Evo 4 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($445.09 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX500 4 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($359.99 @ Adorama)
Storage: Western Digital Red Pro 12 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($299.57 @ Amazon)
Case: Corsair 7000D AIRFLOW ATX Full Tower Case ($269.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: EVGA P2 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($179.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $2004.62
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-01-25 12:00 EST-0500
 

SkruDe

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@helper800 Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I do have a question for you. Why would you opt against a second M.2 for the Gaming drive, and instead go for the standard SSD?

Also, did you purposely skip the GPU? :p Probably becuase of my intentions of LC it?
 
@helper800 Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I do have a question for you. Why would you opt against a second M.2 for the Gaming drive, and instead go for the standard SSD?

Also, did you purposely skip the GPU? :p Probably becuase of my intentions of LC it?
There is basically no difference between a normal sata SSD and a NVMe drive for games and gaming as their speed in 4k random read is typically similar for both. As for the GPU I would personally try to grab something like this. For storage I would personally put all programs on the C drive with the OS, have one SSD for a games drive and one SSD for bulk storage/pictures/videos. I also chose a 12tb disk drive because its only 60 dollars more for 50% more space, plus you want more room in a backup drive than you have in the PC. Room for other PC's backups and what not. I would also consider greatly getting something like this to help insure the computer against damage from the power grid.
 
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SkruDe

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@helper800 Thank you again for your input. Through communicating with you I agree that I can reduce and change my storage needs to more appropriately balance my needs.

Question: When it comes to M.2 drives... is it like the PCI-e slots where one slot is ran through the CPU and the rest through the MoBo chipset? Or do M.2's follow a completely different integration process? I'm not sure.
 
@helper800 Thank you again for your input. Through communicating with you I agree that I can reduce and change my storage needs to more appropriately balance my needs.

Question: When it comes to M.2 drives... is it like the PCI-e slots where one slot is ran through the CPU and the rest through the MoBo chipset? Or do M.2's follow a completely different integration process? I'm not sure.
Its exactly as you describe. Since the CPU only has so many "lanes" of fast PCIe to use check the motherboard specifications for exact assignment of those lanes and whether they are coming from the chipset or CPU.
 

SkruDe

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Another 2 Questions to add to previous post:

1.) When it comes to CPU's, mine specifically the i7-12700k, I'm trying to learn and figure out how the lanes work on it for dedicated hardware. The Intel spec sheet says: "1 x 16 + 4" (and also says "2 x 8 + 4). Does this mean the CPU has dedicated lanes for 1x 16 lane piece of hardware (GPU) in addition to 1x dedicated lanes for a 4-lane piece of hardware (NVMe SSD)? Is that how this works? Where the alternative would be splitting the 1x16 into 2x8 so that configuration could have 3 hardware pieces to the CPU, but at a price of losing the 16 lane performance? I could be completely wrong here, I'm just looking at things trying to put two and two together.

2.) When it comes to Thermal Compound, is the single "pee size" still the accepted method? Or over the past 10 years better patterns have come out?

Thank you!
 
Another 2 Questions to add to previous post:

1.) When it comes to CPU's, mine specifically the i7-12700k, I'm trying to learn and figure out how the lanes work on it for dedicated hardware. The Intel spec sheet says: "1 x 16 + 4" (and also says "2 x 8 + 4). Does this mean the CPU has dedicated lanes for 1x 16 lane piece of hardware (GPU) in addition to 1x dedicated lanes for a 4-lane piece of hardware (NVMe SSD)? Is that how this works? Where the alternative would be splitting the 1x16 into 2x8 so that configuration could have 3 hardware pieces to the CPU, but at a price of losing the 16 lane performance? I could be completely wrong here, I'm just looking at things trying to put two and two together.

2.) When it comes to Thermal Compound, is the single "pee size" still the accepted method? Or over the past 10 years better patterns have come out?

Thank you!
Question: Are M.2 NVMe drives as efficient & fast working from the MoBo chipset, as compared to working directly from the CPU?
1. What this is saying is that the CPU supports 20 lanes of the PCIe spec being referred to. this can be divvied up to 1 x16 speed slot + 1 x4 speed slot or 2x8 speed slots and 1 x4 speed slots. There may even be the option on some motherboards for 5x x4 speed slots though I have not seen one. The splitting of the PCIe lanes are determined by the motherboard you put the CPU into.

2. It has been revealed through testing that the only detriment to thermal compound is too little and not too much as long as the compound being used is not conductive. This is because you want as much IHS to cooler contact as possible while being as close as it can be at the same time. The points of pressure joining the socket to the cooler will spread any excess on a well designed cooler out to make contact as close as it can be. TL:DR the more compound the merrier, you are just paying for the excess used.

3. The CPU typically has faster PCIe lanes than the chipset, however, this is not a rule. The chipsets can be offering PCIe lanes that are just as fast. Sometimes when you add in more cards to the PCIe slots it disables certain chipset sata ports.
 

SkruDe

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1. What this is saying is that the CPU supports 20 lanes of the PCIe spec being referred to. this can be divvied up to 1 x16 speed slot + 1 x4 speed slot or 2x8 speed slots and 1 x4 speed slots. There may even be the option on some motherboards for 5x x4 speed slots though I have not seen one. The splitting of the PCIe lanes are determined by the motherboard you put the CPU into.

2. It has been revealed through testing that the only detriment to thermal compound is too little and not too much as long as the compound being used is not conductive. This is because you want as much IHS to cooler contact as possible while being as close as it can be at the same time. The points of pressure joining the socket to the cooler will spread any excess on a well designed cooler out to make contact as close as it can be. TL:DR the more compound the merrier, you are just paying for the excess used.

3. The CPU typically has faster PCIe lanes than the chipset, however, this is not a rule. The chipsets can be offering PCIe lanes that are just as fast. Sometimes when you add in more cards to the PCIe slots it disables certain chipset sata ports.
Thanks so much for the reply!
Where I got confused was I didn't know if the CPU lane limit (20 for me) included the link to the Chipset. But from what I understand, the link to the Chipset does not take away from the lanes available for the PCIe (20 for my i7-12700k).

Before I buy the MoBo, I'm just doing my research and pre-planning to make sure I select the proper hardware specs, but also quantity (as you said, I need to be aware of disabling SATA ports), and also pre-determine which hardware I'll be putting into which slots. As a nerd, this is a lot of fun :D
 
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SkruDe

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I have another question that I can't seem to figure out...

The Intel Z690 chipset for the MoBo I'm buying says it has:
1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (supports x4 or x4/x4 mode)
1x PCIe 3.0 x1 Slot

My question is.... how can the 16 slot PCIe 3.0 run x4 or x4/x4? Wouldn't be x8 or x4/x4? Am I missing something?
 

SkruDe

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I have another question that I can't seem to figure out...

The Intel Z690 chipset for the MoBo I'm buying says it has:
1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot (supports x4 or x4/x4 mode)
1x PCIe 3.0 x1 Slot

My question is.... how can the 16 slot PCIe 3.0 run x4 or x4/x4? Wouldn't be x8 or x4/x4? Am I missing something?
Anyone have any insight on this?
 
A picture is probably worth a thousand words here. This is what I meant:


Why is it x4 or x4/x4

Shouldn't it be x8 or x4/x4 ?
It depends completely on the chipset itself. They probably have some limit the already hit somewhere else preventing x8 1 slot but can do x4 / x4 in 2 slots. I am going to be completely honest in saying that we are so far into the weeds with this that we cannot see the forest through the trees. I seriously doubt that you are going to come to a use case that any of this about chipset lane bandwidth assignment is going to matter. I understand wanting to vet a motherboard for features but this is a bit much unless you know of a specific use case you are going to run into problems with.
 

SkruDe

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It depends completely on the chipset itself. They probably have some limit the already hit somewhere else preventing x8 1 slot but can do x4 / x4 in 2 slots. I am going to be completely honest in saying that we are so far into the weeds with this that we cannot see the forest through the trees. I seriously doubt that you are going to come to a use case that any of this about chipset lane bandwidth assignment is going to matter. I understand wanting to vet a motherboard for features but this is a bit much unless you know of a specific use case you are going to run into problems with.
Yes, definetely not an item that will be coming into play for me. I asked rather for my own personal knowledge, as it contradicted what I though. Just a learning question, not a build question.

I'm getting a good tax return, and next week I think I might get a bonus from work. So after I divvy out cash for other planned expenses and bills, I intend on buying a few items for this build. More than likely the PC Case, and the MoBo. Slowly but surely acquiring the pieces.
 
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