Finally replacing my 2010 desktop - Build questions

Oct 3, 2018
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It's been 8 years since my last build, which is the longest I've ever gone between upgrades (usually it was a new PC every 2 years). So I'm a bit out of date when it comes to researching new components, and would love a little advice.

First I'll state the reasons for upgrading my 8 year old PC (which is still running great, with a couple exceptions), and then my rough ideas for what I need:

Reasons for upgrading:

1) My CPU (i7 950) is too old to support some recent games (e.g., Assassin's Creed Odyssey appears to require AVX, which my CPU does not support).

2) My boot drive (60GB SSD) is constantly running out of space, forcing me to use symlinks and junctions to move apps to other drives.

3) My OS is Windows 7, which I hear will no longer receive updates at some point next year, so I need to upgraded to a Windows 10 computer for work.

4) (Lesser priority) CPU-intensive apps and games seem sluggish. For example, Photoshop takes a long time to boot (longer than on my newer laptop), Cakewalk Sonar's soft synths can't run at low latency without pops and clicks, and Flight Simulator X never seems smooth enough (which I hear is because of the CPU rather than the GPU).


And that's it. My video card is a GTX 970, which still runs games very well (though not always at max settings). Disk space is okay(except for the boot drive): I have three 3 TB drives plus another 120 GB SSD. RAM is ok but not great (12 GB). And so son. The computer has been very reliable and pleasant to use, and if it weren't for the first 3 reasons I listed above, I wouldn't be upgrading.


Rough idea of requirements:

So here's my rough ideas for a new desktop, based on a couple hours' research:

1) CPU: Intel i7 8700

I prefer Intel because I experienced compatibility issues with AMD in the [distant] past. I prefer i7 to i5 because my current PC is an i7, and anything less would seem like a downgrade. I prefer 8700 to 8700K because I don't intend to overclock.

2) Motherboard: ??? Any suggestions ???

In the past I usually got ASUS or Intel mobos. Are those still solid brands today?

3) RAM: 16 GB or more

Should this be DDR4? And should I care about brand?

4) Video: Geforce GTX 1070

This seems plenty fast for games running at 1080p, and I can always upgrade late. I'll keep my current GTX 970 in the old computer so that it can continue to run decent games (for the kids perhaps)

5) Audio: Onboard initially, external USB audio card later

I already have a Focusrite Scarlett 4x2 USB audio card which I can use on the new PC once I get the music making apps working on it.

6) Boot drive: 500 GB SSD

I'm so tired of running out of disk space on my 60 GB C drive! 500 GB will let me comfortably install all my [non-game] applications to the system drive. What a relief that will be!

7) Other drives: 500 GB SSD, 2 @ 4TB HDD 7200 RPM

The second big SSD will be soft synth libraries, and possibly for disk-intensive games. The two HDDs drives will be for everything else: data, games, backups, etc. I'll also move a third HDD there from my old PC (since it just holds videos)

8) Power supply: 850 W or better

My current PC has an 850 W PSU so it would seem like a downgrade to go lower than that.

9) Optical: blu-ray reader + dvd/cd burner

10) Case: ??? Any suggestions ???

It needs to fit two SSDs, three 3.5" HDDs, and the optical drive. I prefer it big and roomy to compact.

11) Cooling: Lots of fans, but ideally no water cooling

I've never done water cooling so would prefer to avoid it. My current PC has lots of fans, so I don't mind if the new one does too.

12) OS: Windows 10 Home or better

Is there any compelling reason to upgrade to Pro?


And I think that's it! The new computer will sit next to the old one until I have 100% of my apps and games running happily on the new one. I'll probably "hand down" the old one to the kids, although its' still wayyyy too early for me to feel comfortable with that idea!

So what do you think? Do the components I listed complement each other nicely? What sort of motherboard would work best with that setup (keeping in mind I won't be overclocking)? And are there any other things I should be thinking about before I finalise my choices and make an order?

Thanks a ton!!!
 
CPU
Good choice, I'd personally still recommend AMD like the 2700X, which comes with one of the best CPU Fans that ever came with a CPU by default. 8 years have past and they make very good CPUs now. They also come with a 3-year warranty instead of 1-year. Your Intel choice is obviously a solid one though.

Mobo
ASUS is still a solid brand, along with MSI, Gigabyte amd Asrock.

RAM
16Gb is more than enough. It needs to be DDR4 since you're getting a Motherboard for a 8th Gen CPU (same goes for AMD Ryzen). Brands don't matter, they all come with lifetime warranty.

Case
Have a look at the Fractal Design Core 2300. It should meet your needs. Although it omly has 4 drive bays, you can find one with more lile the Fractal Design R6.

Fans
Best fans (overall) are made by Noctua.
Other good options from Corsair, NZXT and BeQuiet.

You don't need a dedicated audio card if you get a good motherboard.

You honestly don't need a 850W. That's way overkill. 600W is more than enough. But if you insist, check out EVGA Supernova Gold Certified models.

You can find Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Genuine OEM License Keys on EBAY for 5$. Fully legit. If you're buying original, you don't need the Pro.

Everything else is good. You seem to have a big budget and wanna go for the best.
 
Oct 3, 2018
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Thanks for the reply!

I think the hardest decision will be the motherboard. If I narrow down the choice to ASUS (somewhat arbitrarily), are the ASUS Z370 motherboards a smart way to go? And if so, what "flavour" of Z370 would fit best, given that I'm not interested in overclocking?
 
Since you're not overclocking you don't need a Z-motherboard. However at the price point of a Z motherboard, you'll get in overall better quality materials (capacitors, VRM, ports, etc etc...).
However there are very good high-end H-motherboards out there.

Z = overclok
H = no overclock

Refer to this image on this link for more info:
https://www.pcworld.com/article/3268063/components-processors/intel-motherboard-z370-vs-h370-vs-b360-vs-h310-8th-gen-cpu.html

In my opinion, if you want to future proof your build, go for a motherboard with lots 3.1 USB ports (preferrably 2nd Gen ones), USB-C ports, PICE slots and M.2 slots as it seems like technology is advancing towards using these.

Although, in theory, it all comes down to how many details you want. How many PICIE slots, USB slots, M.2 slots, peripherals, on-board audio/wifi, etc etc... or even if it has RGB or not. As a general rule of thumb, anything over 150$ will provide good stuff
 
Think this should be good, kinda white themed rgb build :

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i7-8086K 4GHz 6-Core Processor ($423.00 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: CRYORIG - A40 ULTIMATE 83.0 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($114.35 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 (rev. 1.0) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($179.70 @ Newegg Business)
Memory: Patriot - Viper RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($149.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: HP - EX920 1TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($239.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Toshiba - 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba - 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA - GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8GB FTW2 GAMING iCX Video Card ($414.98 @ Newegg)
Case: Lian-Li - LANCOOL ONE DIGITAL ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: EVGA - SuperNOVA G3 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($79.89 @ OutletPC)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($94.89 @ OutletPC)
Case Fan: Inwin - Polaris RGB (Twin Pack) 43.3 CFM 120mm Fans ($47.00 @ In Win)
Total: $2030.78
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-04 01:41 EDT-0400

You don't need to worry about overclocking since it's taken care of automatically by preset overclocking profiles in mobo settings.

Heard that there are Intel optane bundled with the aorus gaming 5 mobo. Get that if you can and pair it with 1 hdd.
 
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i7-8086K 4GHz 6-Core Processor ($423.00 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: EVGA - CLC 240 74.8 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($79.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: ASRock - Z370 Extreme4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($158.98 @ Newegg)
Memory: G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($169.89 @ OutletPC)
Storage: Samsung - 970 Evo 1.0TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($277.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba - 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Amazon)
Storage: Toshiba - 4TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($99.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1080 8GB WINDFORCE OC 8G Video Card ($439.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Lian-Li - LANCOOL ONE DIGITAL ATX Mid Tower Case ($88.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Corsair - RMx (2018) 850W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($90.00 @ Newegg Business)
Operating System: Microsoft - Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($94.89 @ OutletPC)
Case Fan: Inwin - Polaris RGB (Twin Pack) 43.3 CFM 120mm Fans ($47.00 @ In Win)
Total: $2068.72
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-10-04 02:10 EDT-0400

Alternative, faster RAM, 1080gtx, 850 watt PSU
 
Oct 3, 2018
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Thanks for your help, guys! I had to choose slightly different components, because I am in New Zealand (which has different pricing and availability), but those lists gave me good ideas. I especially love the idea of a 1TB m.2 boot drive so I went with one of those!
 

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