[SOLVED] Help Getting Back Up to Speed on Building Computers

Aug 7, 2018
60
6
545
5
I've built about 10 computers but have not done so in over 5 years, so I am very out-of-touch with current technology. SSD's were new and too expensive for most people when I built my last computer, and a quad-core processor was pretty much the ultimate. I haven't paid attention to memory since DDR2.

So I figure to start, it would be best to determine which platform is currently "on top" atm, AMD or Intel, and then from there, which is the best socket. I did some preliminary research on Newegg because their search engine is highly versatile, and it appeared to me that AMD is currently more popular, and AM4 seems to be the current AMD standard socket. So that's my first question. Am I correct in this?

Also, it seems that DDR4 3200 is the current standard. Just trying to nail down some of the basics before getting into which motherboard, which CPU, which memory, etc... This is my "2020 Desktop Build", and I have a wish list with the same name started on Newegg. MIGHT have a $2,000 budget, but I'd rather spend half that, or even less. I see no reason to pay twice as much money for a 10% gain in performance. I don't game much, and the games I play are old. Fallout 4 is probably the most technically demanding game I play. Anyways, any help appreciated and thanks in advance.
 
The general rule (and this is a generalization) is that AMD is currently on top for both productivity and gaming at pretty much all budgets. Except for the high-end gaming rigs, which will still benefit from a premium Core i7 or Core i9. However, at the ultra-high-end, the AMD Threadripper series take the reigns again.

  • 9th Gen Intel CPU's require a Z370 or Z390 motherboard.
  • i9 CPU's require Z390 motherboards.
  • Any Ryzen CPUs use the AM4 chipset, which requires either an A320 motherboard. A B450 motherboard, which allows for overclocking on top. An X470 motherboard, which allows for SLI support, and finally X570 motherboards, which are made for 3rd Generation Ryzen CPU's (3600, 3700, etc...) However some B450 and X470 boards can support 3rd Gen Ryzen with a BIOS update.
  • DDR4 RAM is the standard nowadays, and RAM is very affordable now. You want anything from 2400Mhz or 2666Mhz for intel. You want 2666Mhz to 3200Mhz for most AMD CPU's as they relly much more on RAM speed.
  • SSD is also the standard now. Having your computer turn on within 30 seconds has become the norm thankfully. It's also gotten to the point where sometimes, the cheapest hard drive on the market is a 120GB. They come in two form factors: 2.5" drives and M.2 sticks. Both of which will be supported by any of the motherboards I just mentioned above.
  • The m.2 form factor SSD's also come with NVMe on certain models, which boosts read/write speeds from 500mbps to up to 3.5gbps!
This covers pretty much the basics I'd say.

For 2,000$, considering you don't play that many games, I would suggest a build like such so you can have an idea of what a build may look like at your price range:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($493.84 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 Rev 2 98.17 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($136.36 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA ATX AM4 Motherboard ($269.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($175.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($87.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8 GB AORUS Video Card ($598.00 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510i ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($84.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2002.13
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-12-24 05:54 EST-0500
 
The general rule (and this is a generalization) is that AMD is currently on top for both productivity and gaming at pretty much all budgets. Except for the high-end gaming rigs, which will still benefit from a premium Core i7 or Core i9. However, at the ultra-high-end, the AMD Threadripper series take the reigns again.

  • 9th Gen Intel CPU's require a Z370 or Z390 motherboard.
  • i9 CPU's require Z390 motherboards.
  • Any Ryzen CPUs use the AM4 chipset, which requires either an A320 motherboard. A B450 motherboard, which allows for overclocking on top. An X470 motherboard, which allows for SLI support, and finally X570 motherboards, which are made for 3rd Generation Ryzen CPU's (3600, 3700, etc...) However some B450 and X470 boards can support 3rd Gen Ryzen with a BIOS update.
  • DDR4 RAM is the standard nowadays, and RAM is very affordable now. You want anything from 2400Mhz or 2666Mhz for intel. You want 2666Mhz to 3200Mhz for most AMD CPU's as they relly much more on RAM speed.
  • SSD is also the standard now. Having your computer turn on within 30 seconds has become the norm thankfully. It's also gotten to the point where sometimes, the cheapest hard drive on the market is a 120GB. They come in two form factors: 2.5" drives and M.2 sticks. Both of which will be supported by any of the motherboards I just mentioned above.
  • The m.2 form factor SSD's also come with NVMe on certain models, which boosts read/write speeds from 500mbps to up to 3.5gbps!
This covers pretty much the basics I'd say.

For 2,000$, considering you don't play that many games, I would suggest a build like such so you can have an idea of what a build may look like at your price range:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor ($493.84 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X62 Rev 2 98.17 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($136.36 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ULTRA ATX AM4 Motherboard ($269.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32 GB (4 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($175.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($87.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER 8 GB AORUS Video Card ($598.00 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510i ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Corsair TXM Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-modular ATX Power Supply ($84.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $2002.13
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-12-24 05:54 EST-0500
 
Aug 7, 2018
60
6
545
5
The general rule (and this is a generalization) is that AMD is currently on top for both productivity and gaming at pretty much all budgets.
Okay thanks. This answers my basic question, and confirms for me that my original opinion was on-track. Also thanks for the $2,000 build suggestions. I agree with most of the components in terms of price, quality, etc... but...


From what I've seen, "average quality/cost" components are about the same as they used to be, with the exceptions of SSD's and memory, as you mentioned. I don't think I need a $500 CPU, or a $270.00 Motherboard, or a $600 Video Card, but I did say $2,000 and this is what a $2,000 system might look like. However I do agree with pretty much everything else. Example:

SSD system drive: I have an earlier model Samsung EVO 250 Gybte SSD, and agree that 500 Gbyte would be better, particularly when you consider the cost difference is almost nothing.

Memory: Typically I like G. Skill, but at the time of my last upgrade I got a really good deal on some Corsair DDR2 and they've been invisible workhorses for years, so I could easily go with Corsair.

Storage Drive: I currently have a 2 Gbyte data drive and that is adequate. I might end up keeping it, even though it's about 3 years old.

Power Supply: I'm okay with Corsair, agree 650 Watts is good enough, agree that 80+ gold AND semi-modular are important to have.

Case: I'm picky about my cases. I MUST have the 90 degree sideways-mounted HD bays.

I mention all of this where we largely agree (or I don't really care) to both express appreciation and let you know I'm paying attention, because I'd like your help with the other components at some point. Motherboard, CPU and Video Card, specifically. Also memory if there's something new that I might need to know.

For motherboard, I'm a big fan of Gigabyte. The number of memory slots is important for future upgradeability, and it seems PCI Express is a big thing now, so maybe maximizing the number of those slots is important? I'm also thinking about getting a PCI Express SSD, and am wondering if there is a performance difference between that and standard SATA.

Never really thought about water cooling before, and I wonder if that's worth the extra $50+. I used to dabble with overclocking back in the day, and that is TOTALLY out of my system now. Now, in the elder years of my dotage, I require STABILITY more than anything else.

Thanks again for your help.
 
Yeah brands depends on preference. I get that.

And again, you mentiojed you don't game very much so I went higher on the CPU side but usually for a Gaming PC, I would have sacrificed some of that CPU/Mitherboard budget for maybe a 2070 Super or 2080 Super to optimise it for gaming.

There isn't any difference in speed between PCIe and using a 2.5" drive as far as I'm concerned. Although PCIe does allow for a much higher bandwidth, so if the PCIe SSD is equipped with NVME technology like the one I suggested; it can output speeds up to 3.5Gbps depending on the models.

TBH, if you've already got a 250Gb SSD, I personally would just recycle that. Unless you're planning on upgrading to an NVMe drive.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS