Question Sanity Check - build compatibility & hardware

ZerozxCJ

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May 3, 2013
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I've been putting together this build for the last few days based on recommendations from others and I'm hoping to get one more look at it before I pull the trigger on it, with an emphasis on potential compatibility issues and the hardware components themselves. The build is mostly for standard web browsing, photos and photo editing, Netflix/Hulu streaming, and casual gaming with the hope that modern games do well on the system for at least a few years to come. If you need more information, let me know.

I do have one specific question regarding installing Windows 10 on a custom build: should I buy the USB Flash Drive option that Microsoft offers on their site? This will be my first new PC in almost a decade, so I'm used to OS coming on discs (lol) or already being installed, so obviously this is something new to me.

Thanks for any help.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($326.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($72.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Sabrent Rocket 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($118.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($95.98 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit ($98.99 @ Amazon)
Case Fan: Fractal Design X2 GP-14 (Black) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Case Fan: Fractal Design X2 GP-14 (Black) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1358.66
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-16 11:08 EST-0500
 
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PC Tailor

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Herald
All looks good my friend! The only things I would consider slightly rejigging is the NVMe and the PSU:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($326.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard ($114.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 Memory ($72.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Intel 660p Series 1.02 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($97.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 8 GB PULSE Video Card ($359.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Walmart)
Power Supply: Corsair RM (2019) 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($84.99 @ Newegg)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit (Purchased For $0.00)
Case Fan: Fractal Design X2 GP-14 (Black) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Case Fan: Fractal Design X2 GP-14 (Black) 68.4 CFM 140 mm Fan ($14.89 @ SuperBiiz)
Total: $1227.69
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-11-16 16:57 EST-0500


The RM would be preferable over the G3 and it's currently $10 cheaper.

I do have one specific question regarding installing Windows 10 on a custom build: should I buy the USB Flash Drive option that Microsoft offers on their site?
Yes, you can download the ISO from here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10

and follow this excellent guide here: https://forums.tomshardware.com/faq/how-to-do-a-clean-installation-of-windows-10.3170366/

You can actually also leave it unactivated with no real downside if you so wish. Just a watermark appears in the corner of the screen and you can't customise the desktop in effect.
 

ZerozxCJ

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May 3, 2013
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All looks good my friend! The only things I would consider slightly rejigging is the NVMe and the PSU:

The RM would be preferable over the G3 and it's currently $10 cheaper.
Thank you, can you go into more detail about the reasoning behind the PSU and SSD changes other than the price differences?

And if you're able to answer, a question about the RAM: someone elsewhere suggested that I swap out my current RAM selection for CL16 latency, apparently the one I have now is CL18. As I understand it, the lower the number the faster it is, but is it that big of a difference? Will there be any issues or noticeable slowness if I keep it as-is?
 

PC Tailor

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Herald
RM is better quality than the G3. PSUs ultimately are more than wattage, quality is just as important. We see far too many people get poor quality PSUs for them to cause instability and damage to their system. Not suggesting the G3 is one of those PSUs, but it certainly isn't the same as some of their other Supernova lines, and the RM is an excellent PSU.

And if you're able to answer, a question about the RAM: someone elsewhere suggested that I swap out my current RAM selection for CL16 latency, apparently the one I have now is CL18
CL is CAS Latency, which is in effect how long (how many clock cycles) it takes for it to access data from the physical memory. So theoretically, the lower, the faster. Overall you won't see a huge difference, but CL16 will likely give some level of improvement over CL18.

In some scenarios you would see the argument being made that 3200 @ CL16 is the kind of equivalent of 3600 @ CL18. And on a Ryzen system, this matters more, as on Intel systems, they don't utilise RAM speeds so well.

However if you put two machines next to each other, one @16 and one @18, you certainly wouldn't be sitting them going "WOAH WHAT AN AMAZING DIFFERENCE!"

So yes, CL16 is preferable, especially being as you're on a Ryzen system but it's not a substantial difference.
 
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ZerozxCJ

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May 3, 2013
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However if you put two machines next to each other, one @16 and one @18, you certainly wouldn't be sitting them going "WOAH WHAT AN AMAZING DIFFERENCE!"

So yes, CL16 is preferable, especially being as you're on a Ryzen system but it's not a substantial difference.
Thanks! I found G.Skill RAM at 16CL for just $3 more, so I went ahead and replaced the Corsair RAM.

I do have a couple more questions now: is the SSD size overkill? I plan on using the SSD for the OS and applications and the HDD for games/other storage. Given that, would it be best to get a 512Gb SSD or is there a reason to keep it as 1Tb? If you think I should downgrade it, should I use those savings for a 5700xt GPU upgrade?

And if you have any monitor recommendations, please let me know! I don’t even have the slightest idea about a monitor yet.
 

PC Tailor

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Herald
Apologies for the delayed response my friend! I have been away.

Sounds good on the RAM!

SSD size is not overkill don't worry. Just install games where you want faster loading (where it is more important) on the SSD, and many games are that big nowadays, that SSD size fills up in no time. For example I install games such as Civ, Sims, TES on my SSD for the optimised loading screens and buffering between locations.

That said, if you aren't fussed about this, you could always swap round to beef up oyur GPU, ultimately, that's a decisions that only you can make.

Monitors are not necessarily my area, I personally have the MSI MAG241C which is an excellent 1080p 144Hz monitor, but generally i would simply recommend finding some on some good deals in your area, and then checking the reviews from more experienced monitor reviewers (such as on here at TH).
 

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