Build Advice New to building - component advice

Feb 17, 2019
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Hello everyone,

I'm building my first PC and there are quite a few things that i need advice on. First off, the main use of my PC will be for gaming and programming, with the occasional need to run a VM. The games I will be playing are mostly newer titles, and I will be using one 1080p 60Hz monitor. I don't think the work I'll be doing will be very demanding. The questions I have concern the CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD and PSU. I've decided on my HDD choice, while the motherboard and case I'll choose depending on the rest of the components, but their prices don't vary too much so it's not a point of concern. The budget i have right now might increase fairly soon, so I'm looking for recommendations on specific parts rather than a complete build. Now onto the main part. For each point, I'm hoping you could recommend me one or two options based on their stated prices and performance (a different option with a similar scaled price would also be a welcome choice). I've put the prices for the components in my area, since they vary quite a bit from online prices and something that I've seen quite a lot in component discussions is people bragging about what a great deal they got with their purchase.

1) CPU : The first point I need advice on is whether overclocking is worth it for me. Since I won't be doing much heavy lifting and I'm not really looking for a top-notch gaming experience, I don't know if overclocking will make a noticeable difference. The price difference between a locked and an unlocked CPU isn't big, but if the benefits are going to be negligible I would much rather put that money into something else. Next, I've read a lot that Intel CPUs are better for gaming, have better single-core performance and are pricier, while AMD CPUs are much better for heavier workloads, have better multi-core performance and are cheaper overall. Since I'd say I'm somewhere in-between I don't know what the best choice is. There are 8 models which I'm considering: 230$ Ryzen 5-2600, 250$ i5-8400, 285$ Ryzen 7-1800X, 295$ i5-8500, 325$ i5-8600, 335$ i5-9600k, 330$ Ryzen 7-2700, 430$ i7-8700.

2) GPU : I've looked up quite a few performance comparisons but I just can't really make a call. Here I'm looking for a GPU that will deliver a solid 1080p minimum 60 FPS experience with newer titles. The options are: 375$ GTX 1070, 490$ RTX 2060, 535$ RX VEGA 56, 655$ GTX 1070ti, 670$ RX VEGA 64, 720$ GTX 1080.

3) RAM : I've read in older articles that RAM speed isn't really important, since a RAM with higher speeds won't give noticeable benefits unless it is tested in a very specific workload, but I've also seen a fair amount of people saying that newer CPUs do make use of higher RAM speeds. Now the difference in price between 2400 and 3000 MHz RAM isn't big, but just like with overclocking, if it doesn't make a difference, I'd rather put that money somewhere else. So which RAM speed would you recommend?

4) SSD : One of the things I've heard is that having two separate SSDs, a small fast NVMe one for just the OS, and a big one for everything else, is a very good thing. The first question I have is whether this option yields noticeable benefits, or is the difference negligible. If it is worth having two SSDs, is it important for the small one to be an NVMe, or can it also be a SATA 3 SSD? The reason I'm asking this is because the price difference between an NVMe and a SATA 3 isn't small, and the smallest NVMe size is 128GB, which seems a bit overkill for just the OS. The last thing I want to make sure of is that while NVMe SSDs are hugely fast, their potential isn't achieved during everyday work, except during very large file transfers and similar heavy-duty tasks. Since the work I'll be doing isn't of that caliber, I'm assuming that it makes more sense to go for a SATA 3 option rather than an NVMe one, since I can get double the storage at a bit higher price.

5) PSU : The only question about the PSU I have is how much power should I go for? I've looked at two different power calculators and they both gave me an ~500 W result. So is a 600 W PSU more than enough, or should I go for a 700/750 W one? One thing I do have to note is that I most likely won't be upgrading my system any time soon, unless a component outright dies on me.

Thank you to everyone who reads and posts a reply!
 
  1. Overclocking is worth it only for lower end CPUs to catch up to faster models of same series. Mostly it also entails aftermarket cooling, good MB and above average PSU. Easier and better option is to get a CPU that already has turbo speed like for instance R5 2600x as opposed to non-x model and than to have to OC it to get same performance .
  2. For gaming, GPU is of more importance as long as CPU is not so weak to present a bottleneck. All of those listed will do what you are asking of them, I would go for lowest priced.
  3. RAM speed has most importance for Ryzen processors but over 3200MHz is getting less and less of gain.
  4. SSDs, well, can't imagine a good new system without one, sooooo much better than HDDs.
Just because it's NVMe doesn't mean it will be hugely faster than SATA drives, only top ones will show any improvement but they are handy in that they don't take much/any space and dispense with cables. If because of the price I had to choose between sper fast NVMe and capacity, I would take capacity of SATA drives.
Most popular configuration is still an SSD of good capacity and a large HDD(s) for data and backups.
My present configuration is Samsung 960 evo 250GB for OS and most important programs. One SATA SSD of 250GB for games and 3TB in 2 HDDs for data and backups.
In "normal" use it's not likely to see much/any difference between super fast and slower SSD.
5. PSU should be of good make/model with enough spare power (at least 25% over full load a system can demand) but that should be left for last as most power is likely to go to GPUs and be decided on after whole system is decided upon.
 

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