PC Building General

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by SoNick, May 1, 2016.

  1. Edit: So hey, inspired by Josh's post below I've changed the topic name to "PC Building General"

    Right, so my main PC died over half a year ago now and I've been running using my TV/fileserver PC. This setup works for now, but if I push the processor too hard it reboots so lots of gaming is out of the window. I'm thinking of doing a new build for my main PC so I can hook this current PC up to my TV again and use it for emulators and videos and stuff. I used PC Part Picker to grab a list of parts and I've included it below. I've got a nice SSD I can use to boot the OS that was running my previous PC, and I've got like 4 or 5 TB worth of HDDs that I can stick in there for storage plus a 1TB external drive that I've was given recently (planned on switching out the flash drive on my Wii U for it to store my game backups, but it's been like 2 weeks and if I haven't done that by now it's likely not ever happening haha). I've also got a few DVD and CD drives kicking around I can use to install my OS, then after that I might keep the drive in or might just forgo it; this backup PC has a BluRay drive in it and I've used said drive less than 10 times since I built the PC about half a decade ago.

    For monitors I'm covered as well; I have an LG 24" monitor I got through an awesome deal two years ago plus a 19" Acer that I purchased with my first PC waaay back in late 2006. Keyboard and Mouse are covered as well; I've got a Logitech G15 keyboard (...that I broke the ribbon cable for the screen of years back when cleaning, d'oh) and a decent mouse plus I have plenty of spares should anything happen to either my keyboard or my mouse. For speakers I have my Altec Lansing ones I purchased in 2006 that are still kicking. They're not 100% amazing but they more than get the job done for my purposes; I have my surround-sound system in the living room for when I really want to do stuff with good audio quality. Is there anything I'm missing on this build? Any parts that you all would suggest switching out for other ones? I put together this list several weeks and I have the money set aside for this build right now, but I don't want to pull the trigger and order it all without having someone else have a look first; I have a notorious habit of finding out which parts are mostly garbage AFTER I've ordered them and put a PC together haha.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4790K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor ($319.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: *Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.49 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Micro Center)
    Video Card: *EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($112.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    Case: *Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case ($139.99 @ B&H)
    Power Supply: *EVGA 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($104.99 @ NCIX US)
    Total: $817.44
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-01 18:37 EDT-0400
     
  2. winterhell

    winterhell

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    My PC is 6 years old, was mid price range back then and has a similar case quality and 660W 80+ Gold PSU. It even has the same CM Hyper 212 EVO cooler.

    If you were to reuse similar parts, you'd save 275$. This alone would be enough for a 25" 1440p display like
    http://www.amazon.com/Acer-G257HU-smidpx-25-Inch-Widescreen/dp/B00QS0AKVK/ref=pd_sim_147_5?ie=UTF8&dpID=417F67x%2BcCL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0TNPXZ20H6GXKHBNC58T
    or a better video card.

    Btw you have not listed RAM, but if your available one works, no reason to buy faster. RAM speeds make difference only on the wallet.
     
  3. Tets

    Tets

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    I went with an i5 4690K for my system, didn't see much need for the i7 4790K - seemed like the only advantage to be had was hyperthreading, and I don't do nearly enough heavy processing to take advantage of that properly. A little video encoding here and there, but not every day. If you're just gaming, even a 4690K is slightly overkill (or it was, anyway, my information must be dated by now). Something to look into if you don't really want to spend that much on your CPU.

    You're definitely going to want to be sure your case can fit the Hyper 212 Evo, too. It's a tall piece of work, and I'm not familiar with the Corsair 750D but it looks a bit slim. I have one installed in a Carbide Series Air 540 (also from Corsair, as it happens) which is a pretty chunky case, and even it offers precious little clearance between the top of the cooler and the side window - something like 2 cm or less.
     
  4. @Winterhell: Crap, I forgot RAM! I've got 16GB in my current system that I moved over from my main PC, with the sticks for the like 4GB or 8GB I had in this before sitting around somewhere. If I can find the old RAM sticks I can see dropping the old RAM in this PC and using the 16GB for the new PC, that should be more than enough! If I can't find the old RAM sticks from this PC though I might need to add some cheap RAM. I will drop from the 750W PSU to the 650, though! I really don't need the extra power and that'll save me $15!

    @Tets: Ah, okay! I ran AMD in my last few builds so I don't know what's decent nowadays in the Intel i5/i7/etc lines and just picked one that looked like it had good specs haha. It looks like I can save a decent chunk of money by going with the i5 4690k instead, I think I'll do just that and maybe upgrade down the line if the CPU ends up eventually being a bottleneck in this new system like it is on my "HTPC turned main PC for half a year" setup haha.

    Edit: Oh, here's the updated parts list, $110 cheaper is always a plus! Thank you for the help!
    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor ($223.99 @ SuperBiiz)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.49 @ Amazon)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-SLI ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($109.99 @ Micro Center)
    Video Card: *EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB Video Card ($110.98 @ B&H)
    Case: *Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case ($141.89 @ Mac Mall)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G2 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($89.99 @ Amazon)
    Total: $706.33
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-02 18:44 EDT-0400

    Edit 2: Oh hey, RE: CPU fan height: Case is 9.25" deep (including motherboard tray and space behind it), fan is 6.26" tall. I believe that the tray + motherboard should be less than 2.99" from the back of the case. SHOULD. If not then hey I can run without a side on the case while searching for a new fan haha. I've also played with parts combos and kicked another $10 off of the total.
     
  5. rata

    rata

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    If you can find (or already have) a good (gold) 550W PSU, you can save some bucks. That PC won't use more than 400W.
     
  6. Welp, I bit the bullet and I've ordered the parts! They should be here around the 12th or so! Thank you again everyone for all of the suggestions!

    @rata: I'm pretty much awful at estimating how much power a PC will use, but I think the 650W will keep this thing running for its entire lifespan and then some? I did consider dropping to 550W, but the savings were only $10.
     
  7. Tets

    Tets

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    Happy to help. I too upgraded from an AMD system, and it was quite a change. Partly I upgraded for emulator performance - my old FX 6300 setup wasn't doing so well with Dolphin or PCSX2, but my 4690K never misses a beat, especially overclocked.
     
  8. winterhell

    winterhell

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    Btw what are your old case and PSU?
     
  9. rata

    rata

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    Oh yes, this PSU should last at least as long as you do :p. Enjoy your new PC.
     
  10. Josh

    Josh

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    Let me know how it goes! I'm going to be building my first PC sometime this summer. I'd have undoubtedly built one by now, but I found an amazing deal back in 2011, and it's served me well ever since. But I'd like to get something that'll do video encoding better and faster. I might hold off until the next line of video cards hits though, since that'll push prices down across the board.
     
  11. Ah, I've got my Wii U with the vWii hacked so I'm covered for what Dolphin can run, but it's good to know that PCSX2 runs fine! :D

    Case is this one, with an AMD Athlon II X4 651 Quad-Core Processor (3.00 GHz) which doesn't sound awful at first, but remember that curse of finding bad hardware I mentioned earlier? Well apparently the motherboard I purchased when building the PC has a known flaw in at least one production run where the OS just crashes frequently. It appears to be a Windows-only issue, and since this PC was originally built to record TV shows I went with MythTV on Linux as my previous TV-recording computer had done and it was rock-solid. After we changed from an analog cable provider to an IPTV-based one and I no longer had 4 available TV inputs on one PC anymore I reformatted and installed Windows to play with this PC as a fileserver. In my search for the cause of this issue I tried several things, such as going to a dedicated graphcis card instead of the onboard graphics from the a6 APU that I originally used, adding a wired NIC in case networking was doing it (it frequently crashed during file transfers), I eventually said "screw it I'll fix it later" a few years back. When my main PC died and I switched this one over to my main I was able to consistently get the PC to crash when I did anything CPU-heavy so that was a big hint it was the CPU or motherboard. With some playing around I found that running all four cores the PC crashes once every 10-15 minutes under normal use. Disabling one core extends that to about once every hour, and disabling two of them has it solid enough unless I'm running at 100% CPU usage for an extended period of time. The problem, of course, is that this limits the PC to effectively a dual-core 3GHz processor which isn't the worst of the worst, but... yeah, not ideal, especially for playing games!

    I definitely will, man! :D The parts are due to arrive late next week and I'm SUPER excited for everything to come in! For your PC you can always build something with a cheap video card like I'm going to do and then upgrade it later when prices drop if you want
     
  12. Josh

    Josh

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    Ahh, true enough. I might even just build it with my current video card 'til then... but no, I know I'll get tempted to SEE WHAT IT CAN REALLY DO and take the plunge as soon as I'm able, hahah.

    To open up the topic more, does anyone else have a "go-to" game they always try? For me, I make a point of ALWAYS playing Sonic 2 first on anything that's capable of it (I did this with various PCs, Android phones/tablets, my second Gamecube, the Xbox 360, etc), but after that, I'll keep the theme going by seeing if I'm capable of running Generations' Chemical Plant Zone without stuttering. xD
     
  13. Oh man, Crysis used to be THE go-to game for testing a rig, but I'm sure that it's old hat by now. I never had the game myself to test with. My main PC had been dead for like three years when I built the PC that died about a year ago so for me Minecraft and Skyrim were the two games for testing the limits and being amazed at how much better everything rendered there than it did on my "SoNick take this thing off of life support already" laptop. Of course, both of those games are nothing on an even slightly modern system haha. Fallout 4 and Space Engineers might be my next games to test a new PC with? I know Space Engineers is almost unplayable on my backup PC turned main PC right now, and Fallout 4 is technically playable but I have to kick the settings way down and hope it doesn't crash so I haven't gotten far on it.
     
  14. Mecha Sally

    Mecha Sally

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    Glad I saw this topic. I've been looking to build a new main PC because I'm tired of this one's slowness. I've put together a build that I think would be good in terms of speed and performance. This build would be used for the same purposes I use my current desktop for: gaming, internet browsing shenanigans, and photo/video editing, with the option of live streaming effectively if I ever decide to try that down the line.

    PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

    CPU: Intel Core i7-4770 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($309.98 @ Newegg)
    CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($24.99 @ Newegg)
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-Gaming 5 ATX LGA1150 Motherboard ($149.50 @ Newegg)
    Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($65.99 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($90.51 @ Newegg)
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($53.99 @ Newegg)
    Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card
    Case: Rosewill CHALLENGER ATX Mid Tower Case ($39.99 @ Newegg)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G2 550W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply ($75.98 @ Newegg)
    Optical Drive: LG GH22NS70 OEM DVD/CD Writer
    Wireless Network Adapter: Rosewill RNX-N250PCe 802.11b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($17.99 @ Newegg)
    Total: $828.92
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-05-05 19:48 EDT-0400

    Some notes:
    - The video card is the one that's in my current desktop. I plan to put it in the new build and then put another video card I have into the old one and convert that into a home theater/media streaming PC.
    - The monitor, mouse, speakers, and keyboard I'm using now will go to the new build as well. Although I would be open to a new keyboard; the Dell one I'm using is quite old, and certain letters are fading from their keys.
    - I'm undecided on a dedicated sound card. They seem kinda pointless now, but I feel like I may regret not getting one.
    - I'm also debating on if I should get a Blu-Ray drive in addition to the DVD writer drive I plan to add. I don't have any Blu-Ray players in my home, but I could go without it.
    - OS is unknown, but I'm leaning towards Windows 7. I have a disc of the Pro version that I forgot I had, but I don't have a serial for it. I have a code for Windows 8.1, but I'm not ready to move on from Win7.
    - Apparently there's some compatibility issues according to PCPartPicker, but I can sort those out later.

    Anyone have opinions? Suggestions?
     
  15. rata

    rata

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    If you're not going to get an unlocked processor (k version) then I would suggest you to get a motherboard with H chipset. Z chipset is prepared for overclocking, something you won't do on a locked processor, so in the end you will be wasting money. You can either get the k version of the CPU if you're thinking on overclock, or get a cheaper H motherboard.
     
  16. Mecha Sally

    Mecha Sally

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    I don't plan on overclocking, so I think the cheaper mobo would be the way to go. Didn't even think about the different chipsets and what they do as I was focused on the mobo size, CPU socket type, and the customer ratings. I'll have to look into H mobo's and see what there is. Thanks!
     
  17. Good catch on that one, rata! I missed that in Mecha Sally's build myself. And hey, here hoping your build goes great Mecha Sally!

    For my build the extra thermal paste I ordered came in the mail, and the case should be coming in while I'm at work! The rest of the parts are due later this week, I'm so excited!
     
  18. Lobotomy

    Lobotomy

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    Alright, I've been sailing this Ship of Theseus for eight years now, and I still have absolutely no reason, nor motivation, to leave the X58 chipset. Sure, I've upgraded my CPU to a hexacore Xeon from an i7 920, swapped GPUs, and added an SSD, increased RAM, etc, but as far as I can tell, there have not been nearly any compelling enough improvements to the handful of generations following the death of LGA 1366. If anything, there have even been a few regressions, such as that whole bafflingly retarded pay-to-overclock-your-cpu racket that Intel pulled with Sandy/Ivy Bridge! What if I don't want an APU? What if I see integrated graphics as a waste of die space? Where the fuck is Larrabee?
    Call me old fashioned, pick on my triple channel memory, but other than "DIE SHRINK MOAR COARS INTEGRATED GRAPHICS THE CLOUD", I've got no fucking clue what I'm supposed to be missing here.

    Oh, and fuck nVidia. How long do they think they can keep the 256-bit memory bus width crywank going? That shit is old hat in the era of atlas texture streaming and solid state drives. I get that AMD is hemorrhaging money, but it's like nVidia and Intel are using AMD's financial woes as an excuse not to innovate. Don't even get me started about the fucking GTX 970, and their bullshit driver propriety.

    Fuck the current climate of the tech industry, seriously. Talk about disillusionment.
     
  19. winterhell

    winterhell

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    There is a thing where, if you can get away with 5-10% performance increase for the same price every year or so,you do it.
    The last big leap in performance with Intel was Sandy Bridge.
    Ivy Bridge and Haswell were arguably worse since due to their shenanigans you couldn't even reach Sandy Bridge's overclock frequencies and performance, despite the smaller nm nodes.
    For the same price I paid for a high end i5 in 2011 I can buy a 15-20% faster CPU now. Its pathetic I agree.
    And they could easily fit 8 or 16 cores on 14nm if they could do 4 cores at 32, 45 and 65nm
     
  20. My computer parts are here! They showed up while I was on lunch break, I can't wait to get home and put this thing together!

    It's going to be a slightly involved process this time, too; at the moment my "backup" PC is running a chat-logging application for the TwitchPlaysPokemon chat, I think the plan is to install an IRC client on my super-weak Linux PC, get THAT logging chat, transfer my logs over, shut down backup PC, put the four old 1GB RAM sticks in backup PC, make sure it can boot, move backup PC to the living room for other projects, build new PC in the spare bedroom I've been slowly transforming into an office, make sure it runs, then pack it for a long weekend visiting friends for their graduation. After I get back I'm going to bug my roommate and/or some friends in the area and I can move the desk my parents gave me out of the basement and into the office-room as well; I've had it for several months now but I've put off moving it up to the spare bedroom as it's rather heavy haha.

    In any case I've got a busy day ahead of me today, but it's going to be worth it!