Build Advice Specs check for first-time build to run Stable Diffusion & DLC loaded simulation games ?

May 29, 2023
Howdy very smart computer people!

For the last decade I've always bought my computers assembled from ibuypower, and I'm tempted to do it again, but all the advice online is "build it yourself!" so I'm thinking of taking the plunge. (Also, ibuypower didn't quite have the exact things that I wanted.)

It seemed wise to post my build for critique given that I've never done this before.

The questions I'm noodling over the most:
--I don't actually have a great sense of whether the parts I've chosen blend well together, and it seemed like there were a number of factors, like the generation/speed/connection of the SDD. (And something about a USB header in the PC part picker compatibility warnings.) I know basically nothing about motherboards, or case selection. I know keeping this thing cool is a priority, as my prior experience with CPUs is them getting throttled from heat or melting nearby plastic. I would really love a machine with a large number of quiet fans cooling an open mesh box.
--My ability to do this is limited to my ability to follow YouTube videos of others doing it. So I need a case that's relatively easy to assemble.
--I have never had a computer run fast enough for what I've thrown at it. My current 5 year old desktop can run today's shooters at 120+ FPS, but that's not the concern. Cities Skylines/The Sims/Civ 6/Blender/Stable Diffusion are a struggle, with 30 second render times and memory problems on Stable, 3-5 minute load screens on the games (I keep 50-100 gigs worth of DLC on these), sculpting latency in Blender, etc. So any advice to make the machine faster would be appreciated, such as faster loading of things off the SDD. I would like to bring that down to 20-30 second load times so I can edit custom content and load a game quickly.

My understanding of cores vs. clock speed is that clock speed is more important/noticeable in gaming, whereas Blender likes cores, so the i7-13700k seemed like a decent tradeoff, and relatively easy to upgrade later.

Here's my best guess at what would go together well thus far, along with my rationale, so you can at least get a sense of why I chose a thing (even if I chose the wrong thing):

PCPartPicker Part List:

CPU: Intel Core i7-13700K 3.4 GHz 16-Core Processor ($409.99 @ Newegg)
*basically looked like the fastest compromise between cores/clock speed based on what I do
CPU Cooler: Corsair iCUE H170i ELITE CAPELLIX XT 89 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($239.99 @ Amazon)
*I like running sims for long periods which means a lot of heat for a long time and I read this was the coldest of the cold
Motherboard: MSI MPG Z790 EDGE WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($324.99 @ Amazon)
*honestly I had no idea what I was doing when choosing this. I know I want some USB-C ports, and I need it to work with the fastest SDD/RAM connections, but I understood like 2% of the acronyms listed
Memory: Corsair Vengeance 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR5-6600 CL32 Memory ($259.99 @ Corsair)
*twas the fastest on PC Part Picker
Storage: Gigabyte AORUS Gen5 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 5.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($289.99 @ Newegg)
*this appeared to have the fastest read times, a current very irksome bottleneck
Video Card: MSI SUPRIM LIQUID X GeForce RTX 4090 24 GB Video Card ($1909.99 @ Amazon)
*I understand this is the most capable card for gaming, Stable Diffusion, and Blender
Case: Corsair 7000D AIRFLOW ATX Full Tower Case ($244.99 @ Amazon)
*I understand air flow is like a thing and it appeared to have holes on pretty much all sides, and airflow is in the name, so yeah
Power Supply: be quiet! Straight Power 11 1200 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($249.90 @ B&H)
*I'm at 850w now and 350 seemed like enough extra capacity to add drives and a zillion usb devices and such? Should I go higher for the future if I want to reuse in five years?
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Pro OEM - DVD 64-bit ($144.99 @ Other World Computing)
Total: $4074.82
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2023-05-28 16:30 EDT-0400

To answer the questions that are in the template for new-builds:

Approximate Purchase Date: e.g.: In the next thirty days.

Budget Range: Keeping it under $4,500 or thereabouts

System Usage: Simulator games with large amounts of DLC (The Sims, Civ 6, Cities Skylines and whatever its sequel is), snappy rendering in Stable Diffusion, high poly scultping in Blender, painting. Occasional use for 3d rendering and model training, but I don't mind leaving that stuff overnight, so lower on the priority list.

Are you buying a monitor: For the moment no, unless sniping in first person shooters becomes a problem.

Reused parts: Not reusing anything.

Do you need to buy OS: Windows 11. So I think this means I need to pick the right motherboard the first time?

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I'll noodle around to find the best deal on sales tax in Georgia.

Location: Atlanta. I'm not opposed to taking all the parts to a store and having them put it together for me, though everyone insists this process is fun and I should do it.

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: My AMD experience has been poor. I switched to AMD only to find out that what was supposed to be faster was far slower because the software I use wasn't optimized for AMD, so I'm going back to Nvidia/Intel, despite my other complaints.

Overclocking: I wait to do this until my processor is a couple years old and then I feel less bad if it lights on fire. But when I do it I need it to be easy-cakes.

SLI or Crossfire: Don't actually know what this is.

Your Monitor Resolution: 2560x1440.

Additional Comments: I want cold, versatile, extremely powerful, quiet, invisible. I don't like to throw money away, but for me waiting 20% longer for AI and portview render times is throwing time away and I'm ok spending more money to get that time back even if the gains seem smallish.

Thank you for reading and commenting if you choose to!
Tweaked the build a bit:

A 13900k - no brainer choice.

Cooler - best AIO to cool the 13900k. the other models just charge you for a standard asetek pump and RGB.

Rams - 6000mhz CL36 is sufficient, you would be paying a hefty premium on faster models.

Mobo - can do all the stuff you need. No need to spend more than necessary.

SSD - 500gb drive for OS and softwares. 2tb 970 plus for games. 2tb P5 plus for work related files.

GPU - chose a decent model from a reputed OEM which doesnt cost more than the founders edition.

Case - one of the best airflow case with latest design features and front panel connections.

PSU - top tier ATX 3.0 PSU. 1000W is more than enough...

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K 3 GHz 24-Core Processor ($529.99 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 360 A-RGB 48.8 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($159.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus PRIME Z790-A WIFI ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($279.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z5 RGB 64 GB (2 x 32 GB) DDR5-6000 CL36 Memory ($214.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($29.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($112.09 @ Amazon)
Storage: Crucial P5 Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($122.49 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Zotac GAMING AMP Extreme AIRO GeForce RTX 4090 24 GB Video Card ($1599.99 @ Newegg)
Case: Lian Li LANCOOL 216 ATX Mid Tower Case ($109.99 @ B&H)
Power Supply: MSI A1000G PCIE5 1000 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($199.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 11 Home OEM - DVD 64-bit ($117.98 @ Other World Computing)
Total: $3477.48
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2023-05-30 05:55 EDT-0400
May 29, 2023
Hi Lucky,

Thank you so much for looking at the build.

What was the reasoning behind the processor change? I was reading about Cities Skylines and Civilization, and users of both mentioned a counterintuitive result with processors...

...wherein the games aren't programmed like Blender/Rhino/etc. to take advantage of more than eight cores, so the bottleneck for them becomes the clock speed of the fastest 2-8 cores, since the games don't use more than the first 2-8 (depending on the game).

In terms of my CPU bottlenecks, that's where I suffer (emotionally) the most. I assume the processor you suggested would render final scenes in Blender far faster, making it a no brainer for someone who's only using it as a workstation, but I assume 3.4 GHz from the i7-16 core would be faster for The Sims/Cities/Civilization than 3.0 GHz from the i9, if I'm reading these pieces correctly. So my question is: Am I reading those pieces correctly?

the 13900k was indeed the correct cpu for blender related and any turn based games performance.

The 13900k when you unlock its limits like turbo duration and enable thermal velocity boost will clock higher on more cores and better than the 13700k. The CPU specs in the product page is not the overclocked specs. The 19 being a better binned chip will clock better on more cores than the i7.

You can see the game performance benchmarks for civ 6 for per turn duration and understand this better...