[SOLVED] No-Overclock Buy Advice PC Gaming $1500

Muckster

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I've built several PCs over the last couple decades, but I don't keep up with the technical knowledge anymore so I'm coming at this cold. I've looked at the current guides and I will use them as a base, but I might not be the typical PC builder. I don't overclock, so I don't need components that support it. I very rarely upgrade anything. Instead I just by a new PC every 5 years or so and keep my old ones for LAN play or to give to family members. My intention is to build a solid PC with stable quality components. Obviously, I don't want one weak link component to bottle neck the rest of the system (slow bus speed, slow memory, etc). I'm older and more established now. $1,500 is my target price, but if spending a couple hundred or so more really makes a performance difference, please try to persuade me! I can afford it. I'm ready to buy pretty much as soon as the build is figured out.

Thanks in advance. I really appreciate all the great and friendly advice I've gotten here over the years!


A few other things to keep in mind:

• In addition to the core components, I'd appreciate a recommendation for case cooling fans and CPU fan. For fans and PSU, I'm willing to spend a little more for more quiet running hardware, but not a lot more and not if it makes cooling problematic. I might be housing the tower in a desk compartment. There's extra space in the compartment and back is open.

• So far I've always used full ATX towers (and mobos) and I'm fine with them. However, I'm open to a smaller case, but not if it means cooling problems or especially difficult and cramped installation or a much higher cost. I'm not familiar with ITX, but if it's recommended, I'm sure I can figure it out.

• I'll be running Windows 10

• If I'm not mistaken, for $1,500 I should be able to run Virtual Reality no problem. With regards to this build, is there anything else I should be aware of to make this build VR ready? I've never actually owed or used a VR system before.

The following is really just Tom's Guide (LutfiJ ) for $1,500 which I'm using as a starting point:

Case: Fractal Design Define Nano S Mini ITX ( I like fractal and have used it before, but I might change if I don't use ITX or prefer a different USB docking interface.)

mobo: Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WiFi Mini ITX AM4 (I'm really clueless about modern mobos, bus speeds, type and number of slots. Again, no need to OC, and I'm open to full or no ITX sizes)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700 (The other option might be building a system using the Intel Core i5-9600K Processor 6. Whatever works best.)

Graphics: EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 8GB Black

Primary Storage: Adata XPG SX850 (512GB) (I'm not familiar with Adata brand but I do truth these forums. If stability is a problem, I'd rather go with better know brands)

Secondary Storage: Hitachi Deskstar 7K2000 2TB (I'm likely to run about 5 partitions)

Memory: 16B (G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR4-3200)

PSU: SeaSonic Focus Plus Gold 650W (I've had good luck with SeaSonic in the past... again, I want to avoid anything excessively noisy)

Thanks again for your help or suggestions!
 
That is a good system for VR. I've used the Nana S for a build and for an ITX build it has a lot of space. I would try and save some money on some components and going with more on others.
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz 8-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel - 660p Series 2 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce RTX 2080 8 GB Video Card ($669.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design - Define Nano S Mini ITX Desktop Case ($69.57 @ Newegg Business)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Total: $1500.17
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-05-10 10:39 EDT-0400

The Seasonic PSU has a partial silent mode where the fan won't spin if the load is under 25% I believe. The HSF that comes with the Ryzen is more than fine for someone who isn't going to overclock their CPU.
 
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That is a good system for VR. I've used the Nana S for a build and for an ITX build it has a lot of space. I would try and save some money on some components and going with more on others.
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz 8-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel - 660p Series 2 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce RTX 2080 8 GB Video Card ($669.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design - Define Nano S Mini ITX Desktop Case ($69.57 @ Newegg Business)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Total: $1500.17
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-05-10 10:39 EDT-0400

The Seasonic PSU has a partial silent mode where the fan won't spin if the load is under 25% I believe. The HSF that comes with the Ryzen is more than fine for someone who isn't going to overclock their CPU.
 
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jimthenagual

Splendid
Moderator
If have that exact motherboard now. Just some things to be aware of. (True for ITX in general as well)
That motherboard has two ram slots TOTAL. No extra slots for upgrades.
It has one PCI-e GPU slot. Not such a big deal.
It has one case fan header on it. You'll need a splitter (or fan hub) if you want to run more than one, which I'd recommend.

ITX can be tricky in some cases, but not in that case you're looking at. It's massive for ITX standards, so you shouldn't have any issues. Just don't get a GPU longer than 315 mm.

You won't need a CPU fan if you are getting that Ryzen. It comes with a very capable cooler in the box.
 
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If this is meant for gaming do not spend alot on your cpu i5 9600k is the sweet spot (just comes with higher frequencies from factory) and the price difference is worth it compared to amd (these are good for sttreaming and multicore rendering buit ultimastely are slower in MOST games) Do not spend huge amounts on ur motherboard as your not overclocking if you choose an i5 i would recomend the z390 chipset maybe a https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigabyte-Z390-GAMING-Socket-Express/dp/B07HS4XS93/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=z390&qid=1557500525&s=gateway&sr=8-3 bit over kill but good board lots of options. But ultimately ur money should be going towards a 1080ti rather than a 2080 no games use ray tracing and the price increase is ridiculous for 10% more performance not to mention VR heavily relies upon Vram and a 1080ti has 3gb extra, remember the step up from gddr5x (not gddr5) to gddr6 is minimal only a 25% increase in speed. For cpu cooler though i definetly would recommend staying away from AIO water coolers, I use a 612 evo ver.2 but you have to make sure its compatible with your case. RAM, the more the better, vengeance lpx reliable sleek and sexiest RAM unless your into the gay RGB thing :p Dont make a small form factor pc unless you water cool. It will throttle but if you want good air flow pretty sure most cases have standard layouts. Noctua fans are the best but I would recommend the cheapest fans possible, remember all your paying for with fans is a slightly quieter bearings but will always make noise.
 
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But ultimately ur money should be going towards a 1080ti rather than a 2080 no games use ray tracing and the price increase is ridiculous for 10% more performance...
Actually, 1080 Tis tend to cost more now, despite offering less performance in on average in newer titles. Since they are no longer being manufactured, the supplies of "new" stock are dwindling, and prices have been rising, while 2080 prices have come down a bit since launch. See here for example...

1080 Ti: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#c=390&sort=price&page=1

2080: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#sort=price&c=427

At least in the US, the least expensive 1080 Ti listed on PCPartPicker is $750 now, with the vast majority of models priced well over $1000. Meanwhile, the least expensive 2080 is $670, with most models priced less than the least expensive 1080 Ti.

The pricing of the 2080 might still be a bit mediocre considering you could get a similar level of performance for a similar price from a 1080 Ti two years ago, but with the 1080 Ti largely dropping out of the market now, it's no longer really an option worth considering. It might have a bit more VRAM, but the 20-series cards tend to offer better performance with newer graphics APIs.
 
Reactions: Muckster
Apr 28, 2019
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Actually, 1080 Tis tend to cost more now, despite offering less performance in on average in newer titles. Since they are no longer being manufactured, the supplies of "new" stock are dwindling, and prices have been rising, while 2080 prices have come down a bit since launch. See here for example...

1080 Ti: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#c=390&sort=price&page=1

2080: https://pcpartpicker.com/products/video-card/#sort=price&c=427

At least in the US, the least expensive 1080 Ti listed on PCPartPicker is $750 now, with the vast majority of models priced well over $1000. Meanwhile, the least expensive 2080 is $670, with most models priced less than the least expensive 1080 Ti.

The pricing of the 2080 might still be a bit mediocre considering you could get a similar level of performance for a similar price from a 1080 Ti two years ago, but with the 1080 Ti largely dropping out of the market now, it's no longer really an option worth considering. It might have a bit more VRAM, but the 20-series cards tend to offer better performance with newer graphics APIs.
If u can get a deal on a 1080ti i would 100% recommend doing so, I managed to buy one for 450 off ebay under warranty.
 
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If this is meant for gaming do not spend alot on your cpu i5 9600k is the sweet spot (just comes with higher frequencies from factory) and the price difference is worth it compared to amd (these are good for sttreaming and multicore rendering buit ultimastely are slower in MOST games) Do not spend huge amounts on ur motherboard as your not overclocking if you choose an i5 i would recomend the z390 chipset maybe a https://www.amazon.co.uk/Gigabyte-Z390-GAMING-Socket-Express/dp/B07HS4XS93/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=z390&qid=1557500525&s=gateway&sr=8-3 bit over kill but good board lots of options. But ultimately ur money should be going towards a 1080ti rather than a 2080 no games use ray tracing and the price increase is ridiculous for 10% more performance not to mention VR heavily relies upon Vram and a 1080ti has 3gb extra, remember the step up from gddr5x (not gddr5) to gddr6 is minimal only a 25% increase in speed. For cpu cooler though i definetly would recommend staying away from AIO water coolers, I use a 612 evo ver.2 but you have to make sure its compatible with your case. RAM, the more the better, vengeance lpx reliable sleek and sexiest RAM unless your into the gay RGB thing :p Dont make a small form factor pc unless you water cool. It will throttle but if you want good air flow pretty sure most cases have standard layouts. Noctua fans are the best but I would recommend the cheapest fans possible, remember all your paying for with fans is a slightly quieter bearings but will always make noise.
The difference in performance on games between a 9600K & 2700 is 5-10% with a GTX 1080. The 9600K and a Z390 is a LOT more the 5-10% more expensive than a 2700 & B450 or even X470. Save the money on the CPU and use it towards a better GPU or SSD or both.

What you say about the bearings in fans isn't totally true. While better bearings will be quieter, those fans will also last longer before the fans start making far more noise. Basic rule of thumb is to avoid sleeve bearings as those will only last about a year. Once those start failing the system gets noisy quickly.
 

Muckster

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If have that exact motherboard now. Just some things to be aware of. (True for ITX in general as well)
That motherboard has two ram slots TOTAL. No extra slots for upgrades.
It has one PCI-e GPU slot. Not such a big deal.
It has one case fan header on it. You'll need a splitter (or fan hub) if you want to run more than one, which I'd recommend.

ITX can be tricky in some cases, but not in that case you're looking at. It's massive for ITX standards, so you shouldn't have any issues. Just don't get a GPU longer than 315 mm.

You won't need a CPU fan if you are getting that Ryzen. It comes with a very capable cooler in the box.
Thanks for the detailed info. I'll buy it online so, it's good to know of conflicts ahead of time. Because I'm just buying this without an interest in overclocking or upgrading, I think I'm okay for all the issues you mentioned. The geforce RTX 2080s I've looked at are around 270 mm, so I think I'm okay there too.

I wouldn't mind a smaller case. My biggest concern was cooling issues and extra noise caused by trying to address cooling issues. Is this enough of a concern to go ATX instead of ITX?

Sorry to repeat, but as I said in my OP, I'm willing to spend a little more if it gets me bang for the buck. Am I already in the sweet spot? Finally, others in this thread are debating 1080ti with 2080. Do you have an opinion? I really don't know much about either vid card.

Thank you for your feedback.

Extra info: I don't care about how my case looks and I'm a US resident buying online from US retailers.
 

Muckster

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That is a good system for VR. I've used the Nana S for a build and for an ITX build it has a lot of space. I would try and save some money on some components and going with more on others.
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 7 2700 3.2 GHz 8-Core Processor ($209.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Gigabyte - B450 I AORUS PRO WIFI Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel - 660p Series 2 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce RTX 2080 8 GB Video Card ($669.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design - Define Nano S Mini ITX Desktop Case ($69.57 @ Newegg Business)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Total: $1500.17
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-05-10 10:39 EDT-0400

The Seasonic PSU has a partial silent mode where the fan won't spin if the load is under 25% I believe. The HSF that comes with the Ryzen is more than fine for someone who isn't going to overclock their CPU.

Jeremy,

Wow thanks for taking the time to throw together a list for me. Please forgive my questions if they sound too basic. My tech knowledge of modern stuff is pretty limited.

I see you changed the vid card from EVGA to Zotac (staying with 2030). Is the idea here that these cards are about the same, so just go with what's cheaper at the time? Same question about memory. Also, others here have debated getting the 1080 over the 2030. Can you weigh in on this?

Is there any advantage to going with two HDD, usually using a SSD for the OS and a larger driver for other functions? You suggested going with one larger SSD, but I notice a lot of builds suggest two drives. Can you help me understand the thinking being each approach?

No concerns over this mini-ITX board for cooling or noise? Even if it's enclosed (on three sides) in a desk? It's nice to know I can just use the stock fan that comes with the CPU.

Good info on the PSU. I have an older seasonic that does about the same thing. This new version should do the trick.

Thanks for your patience and all the good advice. I'm gonna do some more of my own research and will keep checking back.
 

jimthenagual

Splendid
Moderator
What kind of ambient temperatures do you get in your room? I have a similar sized mini ITX build now. I have a 140mm fan as intake and a 120mm fan as outtake. My CPU never goes above 60c while gaming, but summer isn't here yet so I know my temps are going to jump a bit over the next few months.

I'd say go ATX unless you specifically want a smaller form factor. I have a small desk, so I wanted a somewhat smaller case. But I didn't want a cramped, poor airflow case, so I went with a Phanteks. But if you have the room, I'd say go ATX. Especially for the GPU to breath more, as with ITX it tends to be almost touching the PSU shroud in most cases.

As for the 1080Ti vs 2080 I personally would go with RTX. I personally went with a 2070, but that was strictly budget related.
 
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Jeremy,

Wow thanks for taking the time to throw together a list for me. Please forgive my questions if they sound too basic. My tech knowledge of modern stuff is pretty limited.

I see you changed the vid card from EVGA to Zotac (staying with 2030). Is the idea here that these cards are about the same, so just go with what's cheaper at the time? Same question about memory. Also, others here have debated getting the 1080 over the 2030. Can you weigh in on this?

Is there any advantage to going with two HDD, usually using a SSD for the OS and a larger driver for other functions? You suggested going with one larger SSD, but I notice a lot of builds suggest two drives. Can you help me understand the thinking being each approach?

No concerns over this mini-ITX board for cooling or noise? Even if it's enclosed (on three sides) in a desk? It's nice to know I can just use the stock fan that comes with the CPU.

Good info on the PSU. I have an older seasonic that does about the same thing. This new version should do the trick.

Thanks for your patience and all the good advice. I'm gonna do some more of my own research and will keep checking back.
The GPU and RAM were all cost based. The SSD I choose is the cheapest per GB one there is and it performs better than a SATA SSD. When you create Windows you can go and make 2 partitions for it, 1 @ 256-512GB for OS and Applications and the second with the rest of the storage for Games. You can add a HDD that would be for bulky files that don't need the performance of a SSD (videos, music, photos, etc...). I just didn't have the extra $50 in the $1500 budget for it. If you were to want to go mATX or full ATX you would save some money as ITX boards are very expensive. That ITX case has good airflow and I added a couple fans to increase that. If you were to only add 1 fan to the front and not the top 2 slots then it would be typically almost silent. I would be a little worried about airflow for any high performance computer in such an enclosed space since hot air never escapes.
 
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The GPU and RAM were all cost based. The SSD I choose is the cheapest per GB one there is and it performs better than a SATA SSD. When you create Windows you can go and make 2 partitions for it, 1 @ 256-512GB for OS and Applications and the second with the rest of the storage for Games. You can add a HDD that would be for bulky files that don't need the performance of a SSD (videos, music, photos, etc...). I just didn't have the extra $50 in the $1500 budget for it. If you were to want to go mATX or full ATX you would save some money as ITX boards are very expensive. That ITX case has good airflow and I added a couple fans to increase that. If you were to only add 1 fan to the front and not the top 2 slots then it would be typically almost silent. I would be a little worried about airflow for any high performance computer in such an enclosed space since hot air never escapes.
In the 1080Ti vs 2080 debate I would go with the 2080. To get a new 2080 is cheaper than a 1080Ti and it has higher performance. While you can find a cheap used 1080Ti, you are taking a crap-shoot on if the old owner didn't abuse it. Also the architecture of the 2080 isn't 3 years old like the 1080Ti.
 
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You could also do this for an ATX build.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 2600X 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($179.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock - B450 Pro4 ATX AM4 Motherboard ($87.92 @ Amazon)
Memory: Team - Vulcan 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory ($75.98 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel - 660p Series 2 TB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive ($209.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Hitachi - Ultrastar 7K3000 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($46.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac - GeForce RTX 2080 8 GB Video Card ($669.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design - Define S ATX Mid Tower Case ($96.11 @ Newegg Business)
Power Supply: SeaSonic - FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($99.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design - X2 GP-14 (White) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ Amazon)
Total: $1526.52
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-05-10 15:52 EDT-0400


This will give you more cooling with 3x 140mm intake and 2x 140 & 3x 140mm exhaust fans.
 
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Muckster

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Jeremy/Jimthenaugal,


What kind of ambient temperatures do you get in your room?......But if you have the room, I'd say go ATX...........
Room temps are typical indoor temps. I'm probably overthinking the cooling and noise only because the smaller mobo and case give me pause. I actually don't think the ITX would be a problem, but after thinking about it, I think I'll go with the ATX because I really just don't have any good reason to get something smaller.

As for the 1080Ti vs 2080 I personally would go with RTX. I personally went with a 2070, but that was strictly budget related.
Yep, you guys have convinced me the 2080 is the way to go.

Jeremy... regarding your comments on the GPU, memory, and drives, everything you rationalize makes sense to me. Thanks for elaborating. Up the thread you said in a response...
The difference in performance on games between a 9600K & 2700 is 5-10% with a GTX 1080.
Doing a price check, the 9600 is about $70 bucks more than the 2700. So I'd be paying $70 more on a $1,500 build for a 5-10% performance increase? Of course I don't know off the top of my head how that would effect the mobo choice which might make the cost even more. Likewise, I don't understand modern differences between Intel and AMD or the extra features each chip may or may not offer. I appreciate you sticking to the budget, but in terms of a bang for buck perspective, might it be worth an extra $70 to get that 5 to 10% boost? That's a 5% increase in my budget for a 5% to 10% increase in performance. Might that be worth it?

Regarding: Case
I'm actually using a Fractal R4 right now which I like just fine and the newer models look very similar but with fewer USB ports. My only thought is about VR. Would VR be easier if it had easier access to USB ports or speaker ports or something like that? Are there cases that address this or is this simply just not an issue and I'm overthinking it again?

Jeremy, I'm gonna reply separately to the ATX build you did for me which looks great!

OFF TOPIC: Jim, is the "Naugal" in your handle a reference to the Castaneda books?
 

Muckster

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You could also do this for an ATX build.

PCPartPicker Part List
Jeremy,
Thanks again for taking the time and for answering my tedious questions... I'll try to wrap this up.

As I said to you and Jim above, I'm gonna go with the ATX. I see in this new build, you saved a little money on the ATX mobo and went with a lesser CPU, then put that into an extra storage device.

I need to think about how many drives and the size, but thanks to you I have a solid idea what my choices are.

$1,500 is a good target budget for me, but I've got wiggle room. I don't necessarily want to give up CPU speed for better storage. Rather than think about that as a strict budget framework, can you help me think of this more in terms of bang for buck? Whether it's the 2600, the 2700, or the 9600, what's my best bang for buck? In other words, if I spend an extra $150 bucks will that, proportionally, be worth the extra performance I would get? Or are we now being bottlenecked by some other hardware at this point.. bus speed.. GPU, etc. That's what I really want to know from you. Just looking at the GPU, CPU, and and maybe mobo bus speed... what's the best combination for the money even if that means going out of budget a little? A last word on this might help me to finally nail down this build.

For this latest ATX build, stock fan on CPU still good enough? Using the fans you suggest would be fine for cooling without being excessively noisy?
 
Doing a price check, the 9600 is about $70 bucks more than the 2700. So I'd be paying $70 more on a $1,500 build for a 5-10% performance increase? Of course I don't know off the top of my head how that would effect the mobo choice which might make the cost even more. Likewise, I don't understand modern differences between Intel and AMD or the extra features each chip may or may not offer. I appreciate you sticking to the budget, but in terms of a bang for buck perspective, might it be worth an extra $70 to get that 5 to 10% boost? That's a 5% increase in my budget for a 5% to 10% increase in performance. Might that be worth it?
Did you ever specify what kind of resolution and refresh rate the screen is that you will be using with this system? In general, I don't think you will often see a 5-10% difference in frame rates unless you are pairing the system with a 1080p 144Hz screen. Especially at higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K, performance will tend to be limited by your graphics hardware in most scenarios, and a 60-75Hz screen won't be able to keep up with higher frame rates anyway. So, knowing what kind of monitor you will be using could be helpful.

At 1080p on a high-refresh rate display, an i5-9600K might average around 5% higher frame rates across today's games compared to a Ryzen 2700X. At 1440p that should drop to a few percent though, and at 4K performance should be almost identical, since as the resolution rises the system will be waiting for the graphics card more than for the CPU, even with a high-end card like a 2080.

It's also worth pointing out that the Ryzen parts include more cores and/or threads than their similarly-priced Intel counterparts. While the vast majority of current games don't benefit much from having access to more cores than what the 9600K has to offer, newer games will likely divide processing better across additional cores. A 2700X offers 8-cores with 16-threads, a 2600X offers 6-cores with 12-threads, while an i5-9600K only offers 6-cores with 6-threads. So it's not quite clear that the 9600K will be the faster gaming processor in the long run. It offers somewhat faster performance per core, but can't handle as many threads as well. You will probably need a more expensive motherboard and aftermarket cooler for it too, adding to the cost.

If you were targeting high-refresh rate gaming, then something like an i5-9600K or an i7 would likely be a decent option for a system with a high-end graphics card like this. Actually, if you are not overclocking, I would go with the i7-8700 (non-k) over the i5-9600K currently, as they offer the same boost clock rates, only the 8700 supports SMT (Hyperthreading) much like AMD's CPUs, allowing it to better handle up to 12-threads. So you're getting the higher stock per-core performance of the 9600K, combined with the 12-threads of the Ryzen 2600X. In my opinion, the i7-8700 is a more balanced option than a 9600K, and it only costs around $35 more than that processor, at least in the US. You would probably still want to replace the cooler it comes with though, as the 8700's stock cooler isn't good enough to allow it to reliably maintain those boost clocks. So, at least another $30 or so for an aftermarket tower cooler, but that goes for the 9600K as well, which doesn't include a cooler at all. The Ryzen CPUs do include reasonably capable stock coolers, on the other hand.
 
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Muckster

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Cryoburner/Jeremy,

thanks for another detailed post. I don't question your and Jeremy's expertise. I'm just trying to make sure the build fits my circumstances which is hard to do when I'm so behind on technical knowledge.

Did you ever specify what kind of resolution and refresh rate the screen is that you will be using with this system?
It's a HDTV: LG Electronics 60UH8500 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16889007194

So max resolution is 3840 x 2160 , and refresh rate is listed as "240Hz (Effective)". My sons use this for gaming. The current PC they use can't handle gaming at the max resolution, so they always turn it down. I think they run it as low as 1600 x 900 sometimes. Running games at max resolution is not necessarily my goal, but I would like it to be able to run things on as high as resolution as possible without blowing up my target budget. If I understand you correctly, the higher the resolution, the less the 5-10% would matter, but I'm not sure what to make of my situation as I seem to be using it at a resolution higher than 1080, but less than max. The TV does seem able to handle the higher refresh rates.

You seem to be saying the i9600 isn't any better at gaming at high resolutions, but it might be better if my goal was gaming with high refresh rates in which case you'd go with the i7-8700 (non-k), a different mobo, and 3rd party CPU cooler. Even then, I'm not entirely sure how this would ultimately effect frame rate which is the real issue. High resolution, refresh rate and frame rate all seem interrelated to me, so I'm a little confused, but if you try to break this down for me I'm only going to feel more guilty at taking up your time.

So... you're clearly knowledgeable and my technological understanding is just barely keeping up. You know the TV I'm using and you know I'd like to run it at no less than 1600x900 with most games being run higher than that, but not at max. Knowing this, is it safe to say you still recommend the 2700 or 2600 which will have the added benefit of more cores and threads for future gaming?

If so, then the last question is 2700 vs. 2600. Jeremy recommended the 2700 on the ITX build and the 2600 in the ATX build. The cost difference is $29. If you think I can get a little more benefit out of the 2700 over the 2600, then I'm happy to pay the $29 on the ATX build. Jeremy has been trying hard to honor my budget, and I'm worried I'm skimping. It's so hard to know when to stop and my impulse is to overbuy or overbuild when I'm not sure...

Sincere thanks for all the help!
 
Even then, I'm not entirely sure how this would ultimately effect frame rate which is the real issue. High resolution, refresh rate and frame rate all seem interrelated to me, so I'm a little confused, but if you try to break this down for me I'm only going to feel more guilty at taking up your time.
Not all games behave the same when it comes to CPU performance, but in general, as long as the CPU is fast enough to keep up with the speed at which the graphics card draws the game to your screen at a given resolution, moving to a CPU that's even faster will only have a minimal effect on performance. And in general, pretty much all of today's 6+ core processors are fast enough to run the vast majority of today's games quite well, typically at 60+ frames per second, and in some cases significantly higher.

However, looking to future games, it can be a little less clear what the performance demands of games coming out a few years from now might be like. Currently, having lots of cores and threads doesn't make much of a difference in most games, as they are still designed to run reasonably well on 4-core processors, which most people still have. An increasing number of newer games are starting to better divide their processing across more threads though, as higher core-count processors become more common. Many games perform the majority of their processing in a single thread, in which case having higher per-core performance might be more beneficial than having more cores available, as those extra cores might not get utilized anyway. In a game that divides its workload more evenly, having more threads could be beneficial though. It's difficult to say which option will provides more performance benefit years down the line with any certainty though.

Personally, I think something like a 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 2600X would be pretty good for a while though. It can handle a good number of threads simultaneously, and provides decent per-core performance. The i7-8700 does offer a bit better per-core performance than that processor, but between its higher price and the need for an aftermarket cooler, it can add around $150 to the cost of the system, and I'm not sure it's worth that premium. It's technically capable of offering over 10% more performance per core, but again, you're unlikely to often see that big of a difference in games.

As for the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzens, they could also be worth considering, but I don't expect games will benefit much from having access to that many cores and threads for quite a while. Given a choice between a 2700X and a similarly priced i7-8700, I would probably lean toward the 8700 for gaming, as its higher per-core performance is likely to have a bit more immediate benefit in games, though either CPU could have its benefits.

It's also worth pointing out that if you are not overclocking, The Ryzen "X" parts may be the better option for gaming, as they come clocked higher out of the box. A Ryzen 2700 might not cost too much more than a 1600X, and offers two more cores, but while the 2600X stays up around 4+ GHz with a multi-core load, the 2700 drops closer to 3.5 GHz. You would need to move up to the 2700X to keep multi-core boost clocks up over 4 GHz at stock settings, or overclock the 2700 to achieve those performance levels.

And on the topic of resolution, an RTX 2080 should be able to run many current games at 4K resolution with high graphics settings while maintaining around 60fps, though some games will require settings to be lowered a bit for that high resolution, and that's more likely to become more common in future titles. You could also run games at a resolution like 2560x1440 though, and get good frame rates without having to worry about lowering settings for quite a while. At 1920x1080 or lower, a 2080 might be considered overkill though.

What CPU and graphics card does your current system have?
 
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Not all games behave the same when it comes to CPU performance, but in general, as long as the CPU is fast enough to keep up with the speed at which the graphics card draws the game to your screen at a given resolution, moving to a CPU that's even faster will only have a minimal effect on performance. And in general, pretty much all of today's 6+ core processors are fast enough to run the vast majority of today's games quite well, typically at 60+ frames per second, and in some cases significantly higher.

However, looking to future games, it can be a little less clear what the performance demands of games coming out a few years from now might be like. Currently, having lots of cores and threads doesn't make much of a difference in most games, as they are still designed to run reasonably well on 4-core processors, which most people still have. An increasing number of newer games are starting to better divide their processing across more threads though, as higher core-count processors become more common. Many games perform the majority of their processing in a single thread, in which case having higher per-core performance might be more beneficial than having more cores available, as those extra cores might not get utilized anyway. In a game that divides its workload more evenly, having more threads could be beneficial though. It's difficult to say which option will provides more performance benefit years down the line with any certainty though.

Personally, I think something like a 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 2600X would be pretty good for a while though. It can handle a good number of threads simultaneously, and provides decent per-core performance. The i7-8700 does offer a bit better per-core performance than that processor, but between its higher price and the need for an aftermarket cooler, it can add around $150 to the cost of the system, and I'm not sure it's worth that premium. It's technically capable of offering over 10% more performance per core, but again, you're unlikely to often see that big of a difference in games.

As for the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzens, they could also be worth considering, but I don't expect games will benefit much from having access to that many cores and threads for quite a while. Given a choice between a 2700X and a similarly priced i7-8700, I would probably lean toward the 8700 for gaming, as its higher per-core performance is likely to have a bit more immediate benefit in games, though either CPU could have its benefits.

It's also worth pointing out that if you are not overclocking, The Ryzen "X" parts may be the better option for gaming, as they come clocked higher out of the box. A Ryzen 2700 might not cost too much more than a 1600X, and offers two more cores, but while the 2600X stays up around 4+ GHz with a multi-core load, the 2700 drops closer to 3.5 GHz. You would need to move up to the 2700X to keep multi-core boost clocks up over 4 GHz at stock settings, or overclock the 2700 to achieve those performance levels.

And on the topic of resolution, an RTX 2080 should be able to run many current games at 4K resolution with high graphics settings while maintaining around 60fps, though some games will require settings to be lowered a bit for that high resolution, and that's more likely to become more common in future titles. You could also run games at a resolution like 2560x1440 though, and get good frame rates without having to worry about lowering settings for quite a while. At 1920x1080 or lower, a 2080 might be considered overkill though.

What CPU and graphics card does your current system have?
It's very nice of you to offer such a detailed response. However, I'm a little overwhelmed. First I was recommended the 2700, then the 9600, then debate.. Jeremy and Jim disagreed with you about the 9600, and said go with the 2700. I decided ATX was better for me, then Jeremy listed the 2600X with the ATX build. Now you, knowing more about my needs, say go i7-8700 instead of the 2700X, but I'm not sure the 2700"X" was in the running to begin with, and I still haven't heard back from Jeremy.

I think your argument is that the i7-8700 (3.2 - 6 core) would be better for games NOW, but the 2700X clocks at 3.7 with 9 cores, so I'm not sure why you say that (and the i7-8700 is more expensive). If you meant the 2700 NON-X, then that's 3.2 with 8 cores verses the i7-8700 which has the same clock speed and two less cores and costs much more. They aren't similarly priced. Not here in the States anyway. It's something like this:

i7-8700 - 3.2 - 6 core .... $300
2700X - 3.7 - 8 core.. $280
2700 - 3.2 -- 8 core .... $195
2600X - 3.6 --- 6 core ... $175

My mistake was when I saw Jeremy moved me from the 2700 to the 2600 when he went from ITX to an ATX build and I didn't notice the X. I see now (thanks to your explanation) that I had it wrong. He went from 2700 to 2600X. If I understand correctly, the 2600X gives me more clock speed but less cores. So, more power for now, but maybe less future proof because I'll have less cores?

At the moment, I think I'm leaning to Jeremy's ATX build as stated with the 2600X. I like the extra clock speed, but still have the 6 cores for future gaming. Not as good as 8, but still cheaper than the i7-8700. In fact, I think it's the cheapest of the CPUs we have discussed and I don't think it needs a 3rd party CPU fan. The only CPU with a higher clock speed is the 2700X at 3.7. That has the 8 cores. At the moment it would cost me an extra $105 plus maybe the cost of a 3rd party CPU fan... say $30, so $135 more. So now I'm wondering if 0.1 clock speed and two extra cores is worth $135 for current and future gaming... Maybe the throw-money-at-it-for-peace-of-mind choice would be to go with the 2700X instead of the 2600X, or perhaps I've just misunderstood half of what you guys are telling me! lol
 
Based on CPU performance now, unless someone wants to spend more than $1500, in my opinion, there is no reason to go with Intel. While the i7-8700 or i5-9600(k) are a great CPUs, when you add on all the extra costs of them (higher cost motherboard, aftermarket CPU cooler), they don't make sense for a build that will be less than $1500. https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i7-8700-cpu-review,5638-2.html that article shows how bad the Intel stock cooler is and how much power then 8700 will draw. Intel's marketing bases TDP off of the base clock and not boost. So while the 8700 is a "65W" CPU, when it boosts it can draw close to 150W. Where as AMD is far closer to their stated TDP, and the 65W CPUs I have yet seen draw more than that. For example, the 2700X is a 105W CPU but will draw 115W max. That is far closer to stated TDP and makes knowing what your system will dissipate in heat easier to calculate.

When it comes to gaming performance, the 2600X and 8700 are still going to be within a few percentage of each other. In fact the gaming performance of the 2700 and 2600X are nearly identical, the difference comes in when you are able to use more than 12T that the 2700 will show far greater performance than the 2600X. One thing to remember is that when you include motherboard, 8700, & CPU cooler you will be spending $150-200 more on those 3 items with Intel than the 2700/2600X. That is the difference between getting a RTX 2070 and RTX 2080. The 2600X with the RTX 2080 will have better gaming performance then the 8700 with the RTX 2070, all while workstation tasks will be equal. Also you have a 4k TV you are using as the monitor. At 4k resolutions there is now difference in performance between the 9900K and the 2600 as the GPUs cannot push out enough frames to make any difference. Rule of thumb is as resolutions increase your GPU will make a far bigger difference than your CPU.
 
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I think your argument is that the i7-8700 (3.2 - 6 core) would be better for games NOW, but the 2700X clocks at 3.7 with 9 cores, so I'm not sure why you say that (and the i7-8700 is more expensive). If you meant the 2700 NON-X, then that's 3.2 with 8 cores verses the i7-8700 which has the same clock speed and two less cores and costs much more. They aren't similarly priced. Not here in the States anyway. It's something like this:

i7-8700 - 3.2 - 6 core .... $300
2700X - 3.7 - 8 core.. $280
2700 - 3.2 -- 8 core .... $195
2600X - 3.6 --- 6 core ... $175
One thing I think you are missing is that those are the "base" clocks of the processors. Modern processors will automatically boost to higher clocks under load (and drop to even lower clocks at idle), so the base clocks don't actually matter all that much unless the processor is overheating. The actual boost clocks will vary depending on how many cores are in use, and can also be affected by the temperature the processor is running at.

Provided they have adequate cooling, both the i7-8700 and the i5-9600K can boost to 4.6 Ghz when only a single core is in use, and as more cores become active that clock rate drops until you are at 4.3 GHz with 5 or 6 cores in use.

The 2700X can boost to 4.3 Ghz on a single core, and that number drops to around 4.1 Ghz or so with all cores loaded. The 2600X's boost clocks are just slightly behind that, ranging from around 4.2 to 4.0 Ghz. The 2700 (non-X) can boost to 4.1 Ghz on a single core, but that number quickly drops to around 3.6 to 3.5 Ghz with multiple cores loaded, which is about 10-15% below the clocks of its "X" counterpart. And that difference can be even larger compared to the i7-8700 with its higher boost clocks, despite those two processors have the same base clocks.

As Jeremy touched on in his last post, the i7-8700 may require an aftermarket cooler to maintain those clocks though, since that processor's included cooler isn't always good enough to keep it boosting to its full potential under heavy load. So, for either the i5-9600K or the i7-8700, you would want to put more money toward a cooler. And that's arguably an issue with them relative to AMD's offerings. Compared to a Ryzen 2600X, you'll be paying significantly more, and in general the performance difference isn't likely to be all that noticeable in practice. I actually agree that the 2600X would likely be a good option, and only brought up the i7-8700 as a possible alternative to the i5-9600K, since much like the Ryzen processors, the i7 is likely to perform better than the i5 when presented with more than 6 threads.

One other thing worth pointing out is that Intel and AMD's CPUs don't perform exactly the same at a given GHz level and core count. They are different architectures, so each can be slightly faster or slower at different tasks, with Intel's current processors more often being slightly faster at a given clock rate. Again though, these performance differences probably won't be very noticeable, but I thought I would mention them anyway, since clock rate and core count are not necessarily the only things affecting the performance of CPU, especially when considering processors from different generations or different manufacturers.

And sorry if I overwhelmed you with too many details. : D
 
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Jeremy/Cryoburner,

Thanks guys. I've read your generously detailed replies.

I think I'm gonna go with the ATX build Jeremy recommended based around the 2600X, which comes in at just under $1,400 at the moment.


I'm assuming I can use the stock fan for the CPU. I just hope 4 fans (+ the PSU fan, cpu fan, and gpu fans) aren't going to be too noisy.

I might change the case or switch up on the storage, but I guess this is the best mobo/cpu/gpu combo for the money. I'll mull it over for a couple days, then pull the trigger.

Thank very much for your patience with me as well as your advice!

:)
 
Jeremy/Cryoburner,

Thanks guys. I've read your generously detailed replies.

I think I'm gonna go with the ATX build Jeremy recommended based around the 2600X, which comes in at just under $1,400 at the moment.


I'm assuming I can use the stock fan for the CPU. I just hope 4 fans (+ the PSU fan, cpu fan, and gpu fans) aren't going to be too noisy.

I might change the case or switch up on the storage, but I guess this is the best mobo/cpu/gpu combo for the money. I'll mull it over for a couple days, then pull the trigger.

Thank very much for your patience with me as well as your advice!

:)
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fractal-design-define-s-case,4300-2.html This is a review of that case with just the stock fans install and a side window. The window less will be quieter and the extra fans you would add to increase air flow so things will be cooler, but noise will probably be nearly the same. I used the Nano S in a build with a 450W PSU, R5 2600, and R7 560 and it was nearly silent when running full bore.
 
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