[SOLVED] Questions about building a budget PC 2021

Jan 2, 2021
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Hello! I am planning to build a new PC, but I have a very small budget. Preferably, I would like to keep it under $500. I would be using this PC for playing and recording/streaming Minecraft in 1080p60 and editing together videos in Davinci Resolve.

Some things to note before the part list...
I already have a Thermaltake - SMART 500W ATX12V 2.3 80 Plus Power Supply, so I don't need that. I also have a spare GeForce GT 1030 that I can use temporarily while waiting to upgrade the GPU, if I want to wait for a good deal. I would prefer to have a NVIDIA brand GPU over an AMD GPU, mostly because I want to use the PC for recording and streaming and NVIDIA GPUs have better encoding options than AMD GPUs. I would appreciate any GPU recommendations, however.

Here is the parts list, and the link to PCPartPicker:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 3100 3.6 GHz Quad-Core Processor ($182.79 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock A520M/ac Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($69.99 @ B&H)
Storage: Team MP33 256 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($33.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($54.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 1650 4 GB D6 GAMING X Video Card ($169.99 @ B&H)
Case: Deepcool MATREXX 30 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($29.99 @ Newegg)
Monitor: Samsung S22E450D 21.5" 1920x1080 60 Hz Monitor ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $701.71
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-01-05 11:56 EST-0500



Here are the specific questions I have:
  • Firstly, I would like to know whether I should choose the Ryzen 3 3100 for my CPU or if there is a different CPU I should choose. I know the price of the CPU is overpriced right now, so I would search for a deal.
  • Secondly, I don't know if there is a better/cheaper motherboard I can get.
  • Next, I can't find any solid research on whether DDR4-2400 is acceptable, or how much better DDR4-3000 is, and if getting DDR4-3200 is worth it over cheaper 2400 or 2666. What should I choose, and is it worth it to get a higher speed for more price? I also would like to have at least 16gb of RAM, and I don't know if it is better to get 2 x 8 or 1 x 16, in terms of price, although I know that technically 2 x 8 can be faster.
  • I would like to have an M.2 SSD for the operating system and my programs so they run quickly. The hard drive would be for storing large data.
  • I don't know if this case is ok. I can't find many useful reviews on it, and I would like to know if I should buy a more expensive case.
  • I can't find many cheap monitors that are still 1080p60 with a good latency, and I am wondering if there is a good place to buy these for less than the prices I am seeing. Maybe I have a major misconception here, but I thought that monitors were around $50.
Thank you for any help! I appreciate it!

Edit: What is the system used for?
Edit 2: Updated PCPartPicker List
Edit 3: Is there anything on this list that I should buy now?
 
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I'm not sure if you can find one for a better price locally, but the $183 online price that PCPartPicker is listing for a Ryzen 3100 from some Amazon third-party sellers is a ripoff. That's a CPU with a $99 MSRP, and while supplies of it might be limited lately, it's in no way worth paying almost double for, as it's only a 4-core, 8-thread processor. Before paying a huge markup for one of those, you would be better off building a system around a 6-core, 12-thread i5-10400 or 10400F, which can currently be found for as little as $160-$170, and will undoubtedly hold up a lot better in future games down the line.

Swap the 250GB second rate drive + 1TB HDD for a 500GB or 1TB good quality SSD.
1TB MX500 for $96
It sounds like they intend to record gameplay video in addition to streaming, so an SSD might not be ideal for that, at least in terms of cost relative to capacity, especially for a system in this price range. If one intends on storing a lot of recorded 1080p60 video, it might also be worth moving up to an even larger hard drive, as 2TB can be had for as little as $50-$55.

It is also worth pointing out that the 1TB Seagate Constellation in that build list is actually a 2.5" laptop drive, which will negate much of the performance gains of going with 7200RPM. It's also a model that first launched in 2011 and coming from a third-party Amazon seller, and judging by the reviews will likely be a refurbished unit at this point. That's probably not worth saving $5 or so over a new 3.5" 1TB desktop drive. Or again, a 2TB drive with double the capacity for just $15-$20 more.
 

USAFRet

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What will this system be used for?

Maybe start here, and adjust:

$500 including monitor is going to be tough. This will involve many compromises.
Your SSD, for instance. Small and off brand.
 
IMO it is a terrible time to buy anything computer related, and would advise waiting till at least the end of January to see what the landscape looks like then.

Everything worth having is either out of stock or marked up a great deal. There are rumors abounding about what is going to happen with the GPU market, and supposedly the 16xx series had been cut? I don't think serious level of restock and or price normality will return until around March but at the current time would wait for a few (stock) trucks to deliver to your favorite outlets.
 
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I'm not sure if you can find one for a better price locally, but the $183 online price that PCPartPicker is listing for a Ryzen 3100 from some Amazon third-party sellers is a ripoff. That's a CPU with a $99 MSRP, and while supplies of it might be limited lately, it's in no way worth paying almost double for, as it's only a 4-core, 8-thread processor. Before paying a huge markup for one of those, you would be better off building a system around a 6-core, 12-thread i5-10400 or 10400F, which can currently be found for as little as $160-$170, and will undoubtedly hold up a lot better in future games down the line.

Swap the 250GB second rate drive + 1TB HDD for a 500GB or 1TB good quality SSD.
1TB MX500 for $96
It sounds like they intend to record gameplay video in addition to streaming, so an SSD might not be ideal for that, at least in terms of cost relative to capacity, especially for a system in this price range. If one intends on storing a lot of recorded 1080p60 video, it might also be worth moving up to an even larger hard drive, as 2TB can be had for as little as $50-$55.

It is also worth pointing out that the 1TB Seagate Constellation in that build list is actually a 2.5" laptop drive, which will negate much of the performance gains of going with 7200RPM. It's also a model that first launched in 2011 and coming from a third-party Amazon seller, and judging by the reviews will likely be a refurbished unit at this point. That's probably not worth saving $5 or so over a new 3.5" 1TB desktop drive. Or again, a 2TB drive with double the capacity for just $15-$20 more.
 
Jan 2, 2021
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5
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Swap the 250GB second rate drive + 1TB HDD for a 500GB or 1TB good quality SSD.
1TB MX500 for $96
Ok, so I wanted to split up the storage because I'm relatively sure that when the drive gets near full it reduces system performance, so ideally I would have the M.2 to run my computer and programs quickly, remaining relatively empty, and the hard drive to be for everything else. I chose an HDD because it was cheaper for storage capacity, and didn't necessarily need to be very fast. @cryoburner has it right that I would prefer to use a hard drive right now due to my budget, as it would be cheaper than an SSD.
I do have a question about the M.2 I have currently chosen: is it a bad drive? Should I switch for a different one? As far as I am aware, the brand name doesn't matter as much as the specs, but let me know if I'm wrong there.
 
Jan 2, 2021
95
5
35
0
I'm not sure if you can find one for a better price locally, but the $183 online price that PCPartPicker is listing for a Ryzen 3100 from some Amazon third-party sellers is a ripoff. That's a CPU with a $99 MSRP, and while supplies of it might be limited lately, it's in no way worth paying almost double for, as it's only a 4-core, 8-thread processor. Before paying a huge markup for one of those, you would be better off building a system around a 6-core, 12-thread i5-10400 or 10400F, which can currently be found for as little as $160-$170, and will undoubtedly hold up a lot better in future games down the line.


It sounds like they intend to record gameplay video in addition to streaming, so an SSD might not be ideal for that, at least in terms of cost relative to capacity, especially for a system in this price range. If one intends on storing a lot of recorded 1080p60 video, it might also be worth moving up to an even larger hard drive, as 2TB can be had for as little as $50-$55.

It is also worth pointing out that the 1TB Seagate Constellation in that build list is actually a 2.5" laptop drive, which will negate much of the performance gains of going with 7200RPM. It's also a model that first launched in 2011 and coming from a third-party Amazon seller, and judging by the reviews will likely be a refurbished unit at this point. That's probably not worth saving $5 or so over a new 3.5" 1TB desktop drive. Or again, a 2TB drive with double the capacity for just $15-$20 more.
Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm new with this), but aren't AMD cpus generally more budget-build friendly?
 
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USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Ok, so I wanted to split up the storage because I'm relatively sure that when the drive gets near full it reduces system performance, so ideally I would have the M.2 to run my computer and programs quickly, remaining relatively empty, and the hard drive to be for everything else. I chose an HDD because it was cheaper for storage capacity, and didn't necessarily need to be very fast. @cryoburner has it right that I would prefer to use a hard drive right now due to my budget, as it would be cheaper than an SSD.
I do have a question about the M.2 I have currently chosen: is it a bad drive? Should I switch for a different one? As far as I am aware, the brand name doesn't matter as much as the specs, but let me know if I'm wrong there.
I see your point on the drive configs.
Personally, I wouldn't use that particular brand, but eh...its OK.

The thing about drives...it is easy to add new, and relatively easy to change.
 
Jan 2, 2021
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Specifically about RAM, is the difference between 2400, 2666, 3000, and 3200 really significant? I see many varying answers for this. Is the difference more significant for boot-up/program start up times or for actual in-game/recording performance? I have heard that better RAM only really affects file transfer speed and start-up speed and others say that it affects in-game performance as well. I'm really just concerned about whether the difference is significant enough to warrant a higher RAM speed.
 

madmatt30

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Specifically about RAM, is the difference between 2400, 2666, 3000, and 3200 really significant? I see many varying answers for this. Is the difference more significant for boot-up/program start up times or for actual in-game/recording performance? I have heard that better RAM only really affects file transfer speed and start-up speed and others say that it affects in-game performance as well. I'm really just concerned about whether the difference is significant enough to warrant a higher RAM speed.
With ryzen ram speed can make a significant difference, 2400 is a no, 2666 is just about acceptable, you are better with 3000mhz minimum.

The difference is generally only about $10.

As per your previous comment amd 'should' be better priced but at the minute pc component prices are all over the place.
As stated the 3200 is a $100 cpu, at the rrp its a great value cpu, at those over inflated prices it isn't.
 

madmatt30

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One last question: is there anything on this list I should buy now?
Not really, there's nothing amazingly priced there.

The board, ram and ssd are all decent prices but they're not items that are likely to inflate much, ram prices may even drop.

Also regarding the m2 drive, the Kingston a2000 is only $8 more and is an nvme drive so is around 4 x faster than that team drive.

https://pcpartpicker.com/product/3vWBD3/kingston-a2000-250-gb-m2-2280-nvme-solid-state-drive-sa2000m8250g
 
Jan 2, 2021
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