PC Build - looking for assistance

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Etain
Posts: 283
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:39 pm

PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Etain » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:17 pm

My current PC is an eight-year-old home build, and it's starting to show its age. When I built it, I used a build that I got out of a magazine, and this time around I'm trying to assemble it from scratch. Thing is, I don't know enough about the hardware to be confident in what I've put together. I know that there are several people who read these boards that are pretty good at this stuff, so I'm hoping I can get some suggestions.

Here's what I've cobbled together so far:

Motherboard: MSI B450 Tomahawk Max
CPU: AMD Ryzen 2600
CPU cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition
GPU: Asus Dual EVO or MSI Ventus XS OC GTX 1660 Super
Storage: Crucial MX500 500 GB 2.5" SATA SSD
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 2x8GB DDR4-3200
Case: Phanteks Enthoo Pro M (I'll be adding two or three case fans to the two included 140mm)
Power supply: Corsair CXM 550W (I think that'll be enough, correct me if I'm wrong)

Plus a G.Skill KM780R mechanical keyboard and Windows 10 Home 64-bit. Going by what PCPartPicker.com says, that build runs about $1000, which is what I'm aiming for. The big question I have is, can I do better for the same price, or at the very least, as well for less money?

My aim is to build something that's as 'future-proof' as possible for that price point. I'm willing to go as high as $1200 if I have to, but I want to know that the new PC will be capable for about as many years as the one it's replacing. I've got a serviceable monitor, a new trackball, headphones, and a DVD-RW drive that I can take from the old build and drop into the new one (it still gets used for a few things).

The computer gets used pretty consistently (pretty much all day long), but mostly for things like playing videos/music, browsing the Internet, and moderate gaming. It doesn't have to be amazing, just good enough to last for a long time. Any help/advice that you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Also, can anyone recommend good resources for researching and keeping up-to-date on this stuff?

Asandra
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon May 13, 2019 11:30 am

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Asandra » Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:09 pm

I cannot give you advice on pricing, as European prices differ.

I think that setup should be pretty future-proof! 550W should be enough, unless you do something silly like go dual-GPU. (never do this!)
Tweaking points:
- invest a bit more in CPU and a bit less in GPU if you don't do any heavy-graphics gaming. You'll never upgrade the CPU, but you might the GPU.
- get a m.2 nvme SSD drive instead of the SATA one. It's a (quite) a bit faster.
- also get a big(ish) SATA HDD to just store junk (movies, big things... whatever) - it's cheap and you'll be happy you have the storage space

Etain
Posts: 283
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Etain » Fri Jan 17, 2020 11:03 am

For whatever reason, it never occurred to me to favor the CPU over the GPU, but you're right, I actually could do that. The only thing that bothers me is that going too much higher on the CPU means doing a BIOS update on the motherboard before installing the CPU. I've seen the process described, and it shouldn't actually be difficult, but the idea is a little intimidating.

I did look into the m.2 NVMe drives, but ended up switching back to the 2.5" in order to cut costs. Same thing with the 500GB drive vs. a bigger drive or SSD/HDD combination. In eight years, I've never exceeded 200GB of my current SSD's capacity, and that's with the OS and storage on the same drive. If I can find one that I'm happy with, I'd still like to go with the m.2 drive, but I'd need one that I know is reliable and not too expensive.

Etain
Posts: 283
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Etain » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:30 pm

Okay, so I made some adjustments, and discovered that by dropping down to an MSI Ventus XS OC GTX 1660, I can afford to upgrade to a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB m.2 SSD. The total build costs slightly more that way, but still comes in right about my target. Also found out that the Tomahawk Max motherboard is compatible with the 3000-series Ryzen CPUs, so I shouldn't have to do a BIOS flash to make it work.

Two new questions:
1. Is there an optimal RAM speed for this setup? I'm currently looking at DDR4-3200MHz, but can afford to go as high as 3600MHz.
2. The Tomahawk Max lists four 4-pin system fan connectors, but the case I'm looking at supports up to five 140mm fans. I'd like to maximize the airflow capability (the only room where I can keep the computer isn't well ventilated and gets a little warm), will it hurt anything to use a splitter to run a pair of fans off of one connector? Is there a better way to do it (that doesn't involve liquid cooling)?

keim
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:45 am

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by keim » Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:45 pm

jump on discord and can help you out, also got a pcpartpicker build going or something to look at?

tried to rebuild what you were saying in pcpartpicker and got the following

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/gsLKcq

umm any reason you are spending more on a case than any other piece? also have you already bought anything? also do you need anything besides the tower and everything in the tower? is that keyboard negotiable?

Joolis
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:26 am

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Joolis » Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:47 pm

250 bucks for a case??? Good god!

Etain
Posts: 283
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Etain » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:50 am

Joolis wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 9:47 pm
250 bucks for a case??? Good god!
Wrong case, got that sorted out. It was meant to be this one. At any rate, I'm dialing back on that in favor of other things. Thanks much to Keim and his advice on Discord.

Alison
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Joined: Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:09 am
Location: South Africa
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Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Alison » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:42 am

2 by 8gig ram will be plenty. I use 8 gig and something called imdisk virtual drive running at 5 gigs and that operates my x64 windows 10 dual core prefectly. Unless you go super gamer over the next few years, a decent card should hold you tight.

The problem is that in 8 or so months ps5 is going to push the boundries as far as graphics cards goes and as memory serves me it pushes the market to exceed the current capacity. This will only effect you if you want to play ps5 type games on pc over the next say 2 years or so.

im not familiar with the board you posted, but make sure that your memory slots are upgradeable from ddr4 to anything that comes out in the next 2 years. That being if you go for pc games.

I mainly use my pc for movies and filled up 500 gig harddrive within a short period of time. A program called handbrake will help with those size issues when you shrink movies.

Also good god on that original casing. Honestly not sure you should ever have something that expensive.

As far as flashing bios. The problem with that is that you need some skills. I know programming and i stay away from bios. One eff up and you blow your board. Just be extra careful there.

Meshi
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu May 26, 2016 8:05 am

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Meshi » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:43 am

Etain wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 3:30 pm
Okay, so I made some adjustments, and discovered that by dropping down to an MSI Ventus XS OC GTX 1660, I can afford to upgrade to a Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and a Samsung 970 EVO 500GB m.2 SSD. The total build costs slightly more that way, but still comes in right about my target. Also found out that the Tomahawk Max motherboard is compatible with the 3000-series Ryzen CPUs, so I shouldn't have to do a BIOS flash to make it work.

Two new questions:
1. Is there an optimal RAM speed for this setup? I'm currently looking at DDR4-3200MHz, but can afford to go as high as 3600MHz.
2. The Tomahawk Max lists four 4-pin system fan connectors, but the case I'm looking at supports up to five 140mm fans. I'd like to maximize the airflow capability (the only room where I can keep the computer isn't well ventilated and gets a little warm), will it hurt anything to use a splitter to run a pair of fans off of one connector? Is there a better way to do it (that doesn't involve liquid cooling)?
I just built a Ryzen 3600 PC for myself. 3200MHz ram is fine, in fact, from what I can work out you would probably have to tweak a lot of things to get faster running ram on a B450 motherboard - and RAM speed is not that important.

I don't think that system will run that hot...unless you are overclocking it like crazy.

I had to flash the motherboard BIOS (B450, different manufacturer). Some motherboards should support the Ryzen 3600 out of the box. It is not difficult to do, but if the power goes out while you are flashing, you will brick the motherboard. It took me about 80 nerve-wracking seconds. It depends on how reliable your power supply is. You could use an uninterruptible power supply - but that would be an additional expense.

Reyne
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Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2017 2:46 am

Re: PC Build - looking for assistance

Post by Reyne » Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:44 pm

I would recommend avoiding anything having to do with BIOS flashing. It's a pain in the ass on a good day and on a bad one you'll brick your whole motherboard. B450 MAX is a good board anyway. 16 gigs of DDR-3200 is great.

I wouldn't pay more than ~$80 for the case. You don't want to get *too* cheap and get something with terrible airflow but unless you're looking for some specific features that are driving up the price there's no reason to pay too much. I would splurge on some liquid cooling for the CPU because it is dead easy now and barely more money than just the fan cooler while giving you more room to overclock if you want.

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