[SOLVED] New builder. Kind of lost

Jan 22, 2020
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Hey look, another new builder looking for advice, I can feel the communal eye roll, my apologies. Here's my question...

Making the switch from console to PC, and brand new to building. Spent a few years in highschool electronic courses, so I'm not completely helpless, but I never dove into PC building. I've spent a few hours poking around pcpartpicker and ultimately decided to go with a pre build, or suggested pre build anyway, as a starting point. I'll link the build at the end. My problem is that I don't care for the case it's suggesting. Doesn't have the best reviews, and I don't care for the look either. So I'm trying to find a case that would be compatible with the rest of the components, and I don't really know where to start, short of googling every component vs the cases I'm considering.

If I understand this correctly, a motherboard form factor is essentially the "fit" or "model" of motherboard. So if the suggested case has a ATX factor, then most any ATX Mid tower should be compatible, right?

Here's the pre build I'd like to go with. Any feedback or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Like I say, I'm brand new to this, and it's an overwhelming learning curve to say the least.

https://pcpartpicker.com/guide/sNwrxr/great-intel-gaming-build
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That sounds like you have your priorities in the right place. Most people we see here,........don't. LOL.

So, this is what I'd probably recommend as a very solid build or at least a good starting point for you to play around with and tailor to your own preferences. Other than personal preference of aesthetics, it would be pretty hard to put together something that was higher quality and bang for the buck than what you see here. I assure you, as always when I select parts, each and every part is selected to be the best you could do for the price point in terms of quality, performance AND with an eye on support after the sale by that company BECAUSE that can be a huge factor in some cases. You don't want to have to deal with a major tightfisted troublesome RMA department if something goes wrong. And things can go wrong. Let's face it, with electronics, it's always a roll of the dice to some degree or other.

I'll tell you straight up, for either the RX 5700 or 5700 XT, that 550w TX unit is not going to cut it. Given the problems we've seen already on these cards with peak power and black screens, the absolute minimum should be 650w if it is a very good unit and 750w if it is somewhat mediocre. Anything less is asking for problems. Personally I'd much rather see an Nvidia based graphics solution in most builds, especially if they are mid to upper tiered, but the cost to match the performance of the 5700 XT with an equivalent Nvidia based card is hard to justify. I think there are fewer problems and better driver support on the RTX 2000 series cards, but they are also about 150 bucks more for the same performance level in this range as well so we'll just stick with the AMD solution although I would advise against that bottom of the barrel MSI model.

When it comes to AMD based gaming cards, there are two brands you really want to choose from unless you have to go with a minimum budget model. Sapphire and XFX. They have been the premium AMD brands for a long time and pretty much all of their cards are solid in terms of performance, cooling and quality.

MSI is ok, but I like them better at the upper end, not so much in the budget offerings. And if I'm going to spend enough to get a high end AMD based MSI card, I'd just as well get a high end Sapphire anyhow. Sometimes sales prices might have an effect on that decision making process but rarely IMO.

You definitely don't want to go with the 9600k when for ten bucks more you can get significantly better performance. Both single core AND multithreaded. As seen here:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600X-vs-Intel-i5-9600K/3494vs3337


The monitor, as you said, can be worked out. I really like the LG 32" Freesync 1440p panels. I have the 32GK650F-B and it's a bit pricier than the Viewsonic you noted, but it's also a much better display. That unit has been about 150 dollars less at several points over the last year so you might be able to get that for significantly cheaper if you are willing to wait and keep your eye open. I think the other LG panels in the 1440p 32" Freesync family are pretty fair too, but maybe not as good as that one.

As seen here. This is in fact the same monitor that I, and several others around here, currently have as our primary displays. I think I picked mine up for 299.00 but obviously that's at US prices too although to be fair that unit normally runs more like 450 when it's not on sale. Microcenter and Amazon, among others, tend to have it on sale now and then.


Anyhow, this give you food for the brain and is much closer to what you ought to be targeting than what you had in that other build. Note that this is still a few hundred dollars below your 2000 dollar budget so there is some room to play although I'd recommend playing UP rather than down, when it comes to component quality and selection. You could, for example, do a higher end G.Skill Trident Z memory kit rather than the Ripjaws, but the Ripjaws are fine and are good quality as well. Not AS good as the Trident Z sticks in most cases, but still much better than most of what's out there anyhow.

Gave you a white case with TG side panel and two extra BeQuiet fans to match the two that come with it for a fluid look and good cooling performance. This will give you terrific equal pressure with two intake and two exhaust case fans. Exactly what you want to see. I did stick with the stock CPU cooler, and again, that is something that can be kicked around in terms of getting a better one but it's also something that doesn't have to happen up front. You can upgrade the CPU cooler at any point AND the stock cooler that comes with the 3600x is good enough to get started.

I'd recommend a better cooler, but here again is an area where we want to know your thoughts. I like air coolers better for many reasons, but All In One water coolers have a place as well and they offer some advantages but they also have some disadvantages such as the potential for leaks and the fact that even very good models generally need to be replaced within a few years, whereas air coolers probably never need replacement and might only need replacement of the fan every five to seven years depending on how much it gets used. A good 25 dollar replacement fan every five years is definitely a lot cheaper than a whole new AIO every three, or even every five, at 100+ a shot.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core Processor ($238.89 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($74.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($107.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($409.99 @ Amazon)
Case: be quiet! Pure Base 500 ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.90 @ B&H)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx (2018) 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($119.88 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($99.99 @ B&H)
Case Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140 PWM 61.2 CFM 140 mm Fan ($19.69 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140 PWM 61.2 CFM 140 mm Fan ($19.69 @ Amazon)
Total: $1345.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-01-23 01:24 EST-0500
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Unless you go with a VERY high end prebuilt, you are asking for trouble in most cases. Primarily, all of the budget prebuilt providers offer garbage. Garbage quality, garbage selection and definitely garbage when it comes to build quality and customer service after the sale.

I am not however, seeing a prebuilt at the link you provided. Just a list of parts. Who, exactly, are you looking to get this prebuilt THROUGH or FROM?

If it's CyberpowerPC or iBuypowerPC, or Walmart, or most of the other "budget" prebuilt systems suppliers, it's probably a bad idea. Literally, I can show you links to hundreds, potentially thousands, of other people who thought as you do until they discovered they had jumped feet first into a major nightmare, the likes of which have rarely been seen this side of an episode of "The twilight zone". Maybe not quite that bad, but pretty much.

Generally speaking, you are far better off purchasing and assembling a system yourself. You usually will end up with hardware that has a longer warranty, and even if building a PC for the first time you will probably get a better assembly than having some dude who smoked his lunch build your system for you. We've seen all kinds of crap including parts glued in place, completely incompatible hardware installed, broken parts, completely crippled Windows installations, and on and on.

It's usually cheaper to build it yourself too and in just about every case, for whatever you do spend, you'll get higher quality hardware buying it yourself than in a prebuilt plus you'll get the hardware you WANT, not what they are willing to offer because they can get it in bulk for cheap.

What EXACTLY is your build FOR, primarily?

What country are you in?

How much can you budget for the entire build and is there anything you DON'T need because you already have it?
 
Jan 22, 2020
4
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10
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Unless you go with a VERY high end prebuilt, you are asking for trouble in most cases. Primarily, all of the budget prebuilt providers offer garbage. Garbage quality, garbage selection and definitely garbage when it comes to build quality and customer service after the sale.

I am not however, seeing a prebuilt at the link you provided. Just a list of parts. Who, exactly, are you looking to get this prebuilt THROUGH or FROM?

If it's CyberpowerPC or iBuypowerPC, or Walmart, or most of the other "budget" prebuilt systems suppliers, it's probably a bad idea. Literally, I can show you links to hundreds, potentially thousands, of other people who thought as you do until they discovered they had jumped feet first into a major nightmare, the likes of which have rarely been seen this side of an episode of "The twilight zone". Maybe not quite that bad, but pretty much.

Generally speaking, you are far better off purchasing and assembling a system yourself. You usually will end up with hardware that has a longer warranty, and even if building a PC for the first time you will probably get a better assembly than having some dude who smoked his lunch build your system for you. We've seen all kinds of crap including parts glued in place, completely incompatible hardware installed, broken parts, completely crippled Windows installations, and on and on.

It's usually cheaper to build it yourself too and in just about every case, for whatever you do spend, you'll get higher quality hardware buying it yourself than in a prebuilt plus you'll get the hardware you WANT, not what they are willing to offer because they can get it in bulk for cheap.

What EXACTLY is your build FOR, primarily?

What country are you in?

How much can you budget for the entire build and is there anything you DON'T need because you already have it?
Thanks for the reply. The link I posted was the parts list from pcpartpicker. I plan on buying the components individually and assembling it myself, with some clearly needed supervision lol. I have zero intentions of buying a BestBuy all in one "super lit gaming rig" I said pre build because the site essentially gives specs and parts lists for different kinds of builds based on wants and budget. I went with a suggested build for a mid/high end gaming PC as a starting point to get my feet wet. I'm going to be researching my parts for performance/compatibility as I go.

I'm in Canada. I'm going to use it primarily for gaming, maybe video/image editing, and a ton of writing/planning D&D campaigns. My budget is fairly open, although I don't plan on buying everything all at once. I'd like to keep it under 2k... for now lol
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I see. Ok, that makes more sense. We don't call that a prebuilt though. A prebuilt is one that you buy already assembled.

Yours would be more of a "pre-configured list" or something along those lines.

You said "D&D campaigns". That's music to my ears. I haven't played in a while but I played from about 1982-2000, off and on. D&D, AD&D, Middle earth role playing, Gamma world, many others. I probably still have a bunch of stuff around here somewhere. I sold about two thousand dollars worth of miniatures a few years back. Boxes and boxes of rare and collectible, unopened stuff. Crates of it really. Anyhow, fun times.

Not sure where that parts list came from, but it's definitely not what I would recommend.

What size monitor do you plan to use and at what resolution would you prefer? Or do you even know? Do you already HAVE a display you plan to use or do you need to include a monitor, keyboard and mouse in the build as well?

Windows license?

Do you have a requirement or preference for this build to incorporate some RGB or is that the least of your concerns next to simply getting a build with good quality and as much performance as you can squeeze into the budget?

Are you looking for a relatively silent build, or are noise levels not that important?

Any specific COLOR preferences you'd like to stick with?
 
Jan 22, 2020
4
0
10
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I see. Ok, that makes more sense. We don't call that a prebuilt though. A prebuilt is one that you buy already assembled.

Yours would be more of a "pre-configured list" or something along those lines.

You said "D&D campaigns". That's music to my ears. I haven't played in a while but I played from about 1982-2000, off and on. D&D, AD&D, Middle earth role playing, Gamma world, many others. I probably still have a bunch of stuff around here somewhere. I sold about two thousand dollars worth of miniatures a few years back. Boxes and boxes of rare and collectible, unopened stuff. Crates of it really. Anyhow, fun times.

Not sure where that parts list came from, but it's definitely not what I would recommend.

What size monitor do you plan to use and at what resolution would you prefer? Or do you even know? Do you already HAVE a display you plan to use or do you need to include a monitor, keyboard and mouse in the build as well?

Windows license?

Do you have a requirement or preference for this build to incorporate some RGB or is that the least of your concerns next to simply getting a build with good quality and as much performance as you can squeeze into the budget?

Are you looking for a relatively silent build, or are noise levels not that important?

Any specific COLOR preferences you'd like to stick with?
I just started playing again after a few years and stumbled into the holy trinity; Licenced books, people to play with, and regularly scheduled games haha I built a Fallout pathfinder campaign based in our hometown a few years ago that was a lot of fun. We're sticking with 5E this time around for a homebrew though.

Im starting from scratch, so I'll be purchasing peripherals as well. I honestly haven't given it much thought yet. I just figured once I was close to a running tower I could shop around. I've heard good things about viewsonic for price vs quality. The Viewsonic vx3258 32" curved caught my eye.

Definitely wanna run Windows.

I don't really care about lighting or aesthetics that much. I like the looks of the white and glass cases, but beyond that it doesn't matter much to me for a first build. Im more focused on function over form right now. Once I get my head wrapped around everything on my first build, I'll start getting into the visual side of things as I upgrade.
Noise isn't that big of a deal, I'll be setting up in a spare room, but obviously I don't want a chainsaw for a cooling system either lol
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
That sounds like you have your priorities in the right place. Most people we see here,........don't. LOL.

So, this is what I'd probably recommend as a very solid build or at least a good starting point for you to play around with and tailor to your own preferences. Other than personal preference of aesthetics, it would be pretty hard to put together something that was higher quality and bang for the buck than what you see here. I assure you, as always when I select parts, each and every part is selected to be the best you could do for the price point in terms of quality, performance AND with an eye on support after the sale by that company BECAUSE that can be a huge factor in some cases. You don't want to have to deal with a major tightfisted troublesome RMA department if something goes wrong. And things can go wrong. Let's face it, with electronics, it's always a roll of the dice to some degree or other.

I'll tell you straight up, for either the RX 5700 or 5700 XT, that 550w TX unit is not going to cut it. Given the problems we've seen already on these cards with peak power and black screens, the absolute minimum should be 650w if it is a very good unit and 750w if it is somewhat mediocre. Anything less is asking for problems. Personally I'd much rather see an Nvidia based graphics solution in most builds, especially if they are mid to upper tiered, but the cost to match the performance of the 5700 XT with an equivalent Nvidia based card is hard to justify. I think there are fewer problems and better driver support on the RTX 2000 series cards, but they are also about 150 bucks more for the same performance level in this range as well so we'll just stick with the AMD solution although I would advise against that bottom of the barrel MSI model.

When it comes to AMD based gaming cards, there are two brands you really want to choose from unless you have to go with a minimum budget model. Sapphire and XFX. They have been the premium AMD brands for a long time and pretty much all of their cards are solid in terms of performance, cooling and quality.

MSI is ok, but I like them better at the upper end, not so much in the budget offerings. And if I'm going to spend enough to get a high end AMD based MSI card, I'd just as well get a high end Sapphire anyhow. Sometimes sales prices might have an effect on that decision making process but rarely IMO.

You definitely don't want to go with the 9600k when for ten bucks more you can get significantly better performance. Both single core AND multithreaded. As seen here:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare/AMD-Ryzen-5-3600X-vs-Intel-i5-9600K/3494vs3337


The monitor, as you said, can be worked out. I really like the LG 32" Freesync 1440p panels. I have the 32GK650F-B and it's a bit pricier than the Viewsonic you noted, but it's also a much better display. That unit has been about 150 dollars less at several points over the last year so you might be able to get that for significantly cheaper if you are willing to wait and keep your eye open. I think the other LG panels in the 1440p 32" Freesync family are pretty fair too, but maybe not as good as that one.

As seen here. This is in fact the same monitor that I, and several others around here, currently have as our primary displays. I think I picked mine up for 299.00 but obviously that's at US prices too although to be fair that unit normally runs more like 450 when it's not on sale. Microcenter and Amazon, among others, tend to have it on sale now and then.


Anyhow, this give you food for the brain and is much closer to what you ought to be targeting than what you had in that other build. Note that this is still a few hundred dollars below your 2000 dollar budget so there is some room to play although I'd recommend playing UP rather than down, when it comes to component quality and selection. You could, for example, do a higher end G.Skill Trident Z memory kit rather than the Ripjaws, but the Ripjaws are fine and are good quality as well. Not AS good as the Trident Z sticks in most cases, but still much better than most of what's out there anyhow.

Gave you a white case with TG side panel and two extra BeQuiet fans to match the two that come with it for a fluid look and good cooling performance. This will give you terrific equal pressure with two intake and two exhaust case fans. Exactly what you want to see. I did stick with the stock CPU cooler, and again, that is something that can be kicked around in terms of getting a better one but it's also something that doesn't have to happen up front. You can upgrade the CPU cooler at any point AND the stock cooler that comes with the 3600x is good enough to get started.

I'd recommend a better cooler, but here again is an area where we want to know your thoughts. I like air coolers better for many reasons, but All In One water coolers have a place as well and they offer some advantages but they also have some disadvantages such as the potential for leaks and the fact that even very good models generally need to be replaced within a few years, whereas air coolers probably never need replacement and might only need replacement of the fan every five to seven years depending on how much it gets used. A good 25 dollar replacement fan every five years is definitely a lot cheaper than a whole new AIO every three, or even every five, at 100+ a shot.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 3.8 GHz 6-Core Processor ($238.89 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($74.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($107.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($409.99 @ Amazon)
Case: be quiet! Pure Base 500 ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.90 @ B&H)
Power Supply: Corsair RMx (2018) 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($119.88 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($99.99 @ B&H)
Case Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140 PWM 61.2 CFM 140 mm Fan ($19.69 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: be quiet! Pure Wings 2 140 PWM 61.2 CFM 140 mm Fan ($19.69 @ Amazon)
Total: $1345.98
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-01-23 01:24 EST-0500
 
Jan 22, 2020
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10
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Oh man, this is great. I was just hoping for a nudge in the right direction lol
I really appreciate this. I'm gonna go through this piece by piece and hopefully learn how and why each of these works with each other.

I've been trying to wrap my head around building for a while now and I think I'm overthinking everything. I'll research a mobo and power supply for days and settle on one, and than move onto ram and end up changing my mobo because I want more ram and SSDs and yada yada yada. Lots to take in, but you gave me a solid base to start learning with. Thanks for taking the time, I really appreciate it.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Absolutely. If you have specific questions on something feel free to ask. This is what we do and most of us, at least on the moderation team (And a number of long term veterans here) have been doing this for a very long time. I've actually been putting systems together and taking them apart, since about 1984. Probably longer than that actually.

Anyhow, glad to help if you want. I have no problem answering questions or explaining why a thing is the way it is or why one thing is better than another. And if I don't have an answer I can point you to where the answer can be found. Sometimes the answer is, go here, and read this, so that you will understand, rather than just "here is the answer".
 

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