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Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

:kingsley::kingsley:

RTX 4000 card info coming soon to an OP near you.

:kingsley::kingsley:

Read this first!

Read the OPs! They should cover a lot of the questions you may have.

:frogsiren: IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE, READ THIS: :frogsiren:

If you donít do this, weíll passive aggressively ask all of these questions one snarky post at a time.

When you first post for advice, tell us the following:
  • What country are you in?
  • Do you live near Microcenter?
  • What are you using the system for? Web and Office? Gaming? Video or photo editing? Professional creative or scientific computing? Shitposting?
  • What's your budget? We usually specify for just the computer itself (plus Windows), but if you also need monitor/mouse/whatever, just say so.
  • If you're gaming, what is your monitor resolution / refresh rate? How fancy do you want your graphics, from ďit runsĒ to ďUltra preset as fast as possibleĒ? Seriously answer this. It drastically changes the recommendations you will get.
  • If youíre doing professional work, what software do you need to use? Whatís your typical project size and complexity? If you use multiple pieces of software, whatís your workflow?


Use PC Part Picker. It lets you piece together a system and copy-and-paste your parts list in BBcode markup. Use it. It will also prevent you from making some (but not all) bonehead moves, like getting a case too small for your motherboard.

Please let us know if you happen to live near a Microcenter as well, they often have the best deals among PC retailers but it's all in-store only.



Much of this OP is lifted from Fantastic Foreskinís wonderful OP. I apologize for the becoming massive OP. Much of the advice is updated to current gen, and weíll try to keep this updated more frequently with current hardware recs. Standardized builds for easy picking to come soon! Thread will become prettier as time goes on.


Welcome to the PC Building and Parts Picking Megathread! This is where we talk about computers, computer parts, and building parts into computers. Weíll also help you troubleshoot, find accessories, pick prebuilts, and tell you when youíre being stupid.

There is are a lot of parts to choose from and even more bad advice out there for people looking to get a new computer or upgrade their existing ones. This thread is a handbook for you, so that you can get a good system and have a good idea of why itís a good system.

The most common reason people come to this thread is to build a new PC for gaming, but you may have also come here for a home desktop, a workstation for professional use, a home theater PC, a storage server, or just some advice on a new computer for your parents.

--

Editorís note:

With the current state of the world/manufacturing, this info is wildly out of date, and there is no real way to quantify it as pricing & availability is rapidly changing. Iím leaving it here for when we return to normal times, but for now expect to add a few hundred to ∞ :10bux: to the below prices.

Fantastic Foreskin posted:


How much you should expect to spend


A basic web and office PC can be had for between $300 and $500, depending on just how basic you need it to be. We are likely going to recommend you buy a decommissioned office PC from eBay or the like.

An extremely basic gaming system can be had for between $700 and $1100.

A mid-range system will likely fall between $1100-1500.

A high-end gaming system, you can expect to pay between $1500 and $2000 before we start calling your choices a smidge excessive.

On a workstation, if youíre making money with it, weíll recommend whatever it takes to get the job done quickly, up to your budget. Our recommendation may vary greatly depending on your particular use, e.g. a Solidworks workstation will have very different priorities than a virtualization testbed.


If you have never put together a system before, don't worry. Itís easier to put a PC together than the average piece of Ikea furniture. Enough parts come with manuals to tell you what goes where, and you can accomplish everything with very few tools. Usually, you just need a Phillips-head screwdriver and your hands.

Itís basically adult legos, but with financial consequences if you gently caress up too bad! (Just kidding. Itís nearly impossible to gently caress up bad enough to break something.)


Hardware Comparison Tools

The thread tends to default to Gamerís Nexus for direct comparison benchmarks (and for good reason). Their testing is highly controlled (with publicly documented methodology), accurate, free of basis, and best of all goes to unnecessary lengths to call out slimy manufacturers (theyíre directly responsible for a Consumer Product Safety Commission recall for NZXT cases causing fires). They test everything from CPUs & GPUs to cases, cooling solutions, and other fun stuff.

Search for your part on their YouTube Channel, or if youíre lucky (not always) you can find text version on their site. The way they benchmark is very usefully for understanding how many %s better per dollar your new hardware will be.

AnandTech's Bench database is also pretty good if youíre not looking to invest a little time and want something quick.


Useful Links

These are listed below as well, but just so they're closer to the top for easy navigating. Location may change in the future.

Peripherals

Common Specialty System Focus Threads

External Links
  • r/buildapcsales A terrific subreddit, compiles PC part sales across the internet so you can find the best deal available on any given day. Active moderation keeps out the duds and the comments are very good a letting you know if a deal is good or not. Your first stop when going to buy parts. USA focused, but links to other subreddits for other regions.
  • r/hardwareswap Great for buying used parts. Tracks people's sales so you know your risk of getting ripped off. Some good deals to be had here.
  • GamersNexus puts out the highest quality part reviews around / assorted other hardware miscellany. Your first stop for hardware performance information.
  • PCPartPicker Need I say more?
  • You're probably buying a computer to game on, and r/gamedeals is a good way to find cheap games, as is isthereanydeal.
  • https://www.anandtech.com/
  • https://www.guru3d.com
  • https://www.techpowerup.com/

Pilfered Pallbearers fucked around with this message at 23:08 on Sep 27, 2022

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Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

COMMON QUESTIONS AND GUIDELINES - READ THESE
Updated June 2021
  1. Should I upgrade or buy a new system?
  2. Are there any good prebuilt systems?
  3. How can I future-proof my system?
  4. ATX? Micro-TX? Mini-ITX? What are these things?
  5. How many cores/threads does my CPU need??
  6. Intel or AMD CPU?
  7. Does/will my [component] bottleneck my [component]?
  8. Help me understand processor names and motherboard chipsets!
  9. What the hell is Bios Flashback?
  10. Should I overclock? Do I need to overclock?
  11. AMD or Nvidia graphics card? What brand?
  12. What do Ti, Super, XT, DC2, TF, SC+, FTW, and all that poo poo mean?
  13. Should I run two graphics cards in Crossfire or SLI?
  14. Can I get away with onboard graphics?
  15. How much RAM do I need? How fast should it be?
  16. What should I look for in a motherboard?
  17. Should I buy a bunch of fans? How should I arrange them?
  18. How much wattage does my PSU need to have? I found this one for $20!
  19. Do I need a sound card?
  20. Do I need aftermarket cooling for my CPU?
  21. Thermal paste and you!
  22. M.2 and NVMe, all about SSDs
  23. Do hard disks have any place in a modern computer?
  24. Whatís the cheapest way to get Windows, and what version should I get?
  25. Should I get an optical drive?
  26. Can I re-use my old parts to keep costs down?
  27. I am tempted to DIY, but I'm really not sure I can build this system myself. Can I pay someone to do it for me?
  28. But Logical Increments/CPU Boss/Passmark/this other building guide says.
  29. I need a monitor, speaker, headset, etc.

  1. Should I wait, upgrade, or buy a new system?

    There are two rules of thumb:

    • Wait until you are unhappy with your current system.
    • Buy it when you need it.

    There is always something new coming in the next six months, so youíll never get out ahead of the game waiting for the next release date. But on the other hand, each new release brings new hardware and discounts on older kit. If itís no more than a month or so and your need isnít urgent, wait to see what comes plus a couple weeks after for the market response on older gear.

    Upgrading or buying a new system depends on how old your system is. As long as your PSU & case dimension supports it, upgrading the GPU is trivial. For CPUs, upgrading typically requires a whole new motherboard (and maybe new ram if youíre on DDR3 still) to support the socket and/or chipset change. If your CPU is in the same socket/chipset as the newest released generation, itís rarely worth it to upgrade outside of very specific instances (Video editing, 240+ FPS 1080p gaming, high core count workloads, etc).
    Not sure what you have? Speccy will give you all the fancy part numbers in one place. Copy the info or post a screenshot.

    CPU-Z is also a great option.


    There are also some computer parts with natural lifespans. Hard drives start to fail at increased rates at around five years old, and PSU should be replaced if out of warranty. Inexpensive fans will start wearing out, too, if they havenít already. All told, if all you could carry over is the case and the DVD drive, and the case isnít even that good, it might be better to sell or donate the old system as a complete setup.


  2. Are there any good prebuilt systems?

    First off: Most people who say they donít have time to build are wrong. It generally only takes an hour or two to get a pile of parts into the same condition as a prebuilt system fresh out of the box.

    If you'll only be using office apps and web browsing, you're probably getting a laptop (see laptop thread here). If you really want a desktop your best bet is to find something used, and plop in an SSD + more ram. Rzyen processors that don't end in G and Intel processors than end in F don't have integrated graphics, so if you wind up with one of those for home office use you'll still need a GPU for it to be usable at all, though even the cheapest available will suffice. The typical recommendation is to scour ebay/craigslist/office liquidators for decommissioned office desktops.

    During the Wild Wild West GPU days last year, Pre-builts were significantly more reasonable. We've crossed back into them typically being a worse deal than building, for now. We can still help you with pre-built recommendations, but we're likely to steer you towards building.

    My recommendation would be to decide on your minimum specs, then scour the internet for prebuilt units with those specs or better and post it in the thread. Check Newegg/Micro Center/Google and hope for the best. You can post links to prebuilts in this thread and weíll pick them apart for you. Currently, expect to pay a large premium on a prebuilt.


  3. How can I future-proof my system?

    You canít, donít try.

    Seriously, just donít. Buying higher end parts may give you an extra year or two if you donít mind living in the low end at the end of your systemís life, but you can not future proof, no matter what your coworker tells you. Buy what you need now, with a little extra headroom to make sure youíre not wrong, and plan to upgrade in the future or live with what you have.


  4. ATX? Micro-TX? Mini-ITX? What are these things?

    From largest to smallest, EATX, ATX, microATX (mATX) and mini-ITX (mITX) are motherboard sizes, which determines both the size of case you can fit them in and the number of things you can attach to them. The mounting holes are (mostly) in the same places, so you can frequently use a smaller board in a larger case, but not vis-versa. The case manufacturer will list compatibility on the product listing or their website.

    Mini-ITX, or ITX is the smallest being a ~7" (17cm) square. They only have 1 PCIe slot and often only 2 DIMM slots, which is enough for many builds but does limit options. Mini ITX cases are a little harder to build in and often require special small form factor parts (SFX/SFF PSUs, low profile CPU coolers, small/low profile GPUs). ITX boards and specialized components tend to carry a price premium relative to full size parts but if you want as small as possible a PC with all the horsepower there's no alternative. See the SFF Thread for more particulars.

    microATX is a ~9.6" (244mm) square, permitting up to 4 PCIe slots and 4 DIMM slots (though with all modern consumer chips only having dual channel memory, this only permits more total memory than ITX, not a performance boost).

    ATX is very common, at 12"x9.6" (305x244mm), allowing even more expansion slots than mATX, though most computers only need 1 or 2. ATX boards may also get you more headers for fans, RGB, or other extra features, but mATX has come a long way and tends to offer much of what ATX boards do. ATX boards frequently will feature much better cooling for the board itself, which is useful for high end overclock systems.

    EATX is stupid and you probably shouldnít buy one. Sometimes also called UATX, XL-ATX, etc etc, these boards are built with no specific standards and sizing is all over the place. Very few cases support them (and because sizing isnít standard, not all EATX cases support all EATX boards), and thereís nearly no real benefit to having one over a standard ATX board.

  5. How many cores/threads does my CPU need?

    Your core/thread needs are directly proportional to your specific workload. Mid-range AMD and Intel CPUs now come with enough cores to max out gaming performance. Higher end AMD chips with higher core counts (Intel has really fallen behind here) are sometimes worth it for workloads in 3D modeling, compiling, data processing, or video editing workloads, but it depends on your use case. Anything your job isnít paying for probably doesnít require more cores/threads than the AMD 5600x or the Intel 12400 (all 6 core/12 thread) will offer you.


  6. Intel or AMD CPU?



    This depends largely on your budget and performance range, and is changing constantly. Do not pigeonhole yourself into one manufacturer because they were terrible 10 years ago.

    For the lowest (but still very good) end, the Intel i5-12400 is one of the best price/performance chips currently available. AMD's 5600x chips tend to be competitive lately in price.

    For mid/high tier, intel's 12600k/12700k tends to be the correct choice. Check the last couple of pages in thread as this is currently in limbo.


  7. Does/will my [component] bottleneck my [component]?

    Bottlenecks are the result of your lowest performing component holding back the others Ė your computer can only put out as many frames as it can process. Generally people refer to bottlenecks as when said component is causing others to be severely underutilized, but you will always be limited by a single component. In many systems, this will be the monitor as a 60hz monitor can only ever display 60fps. If you have a >60hz monitor (achieving a steady 60fps is fairly trivial for a modern system), the next most likely limiting factor is your GPU. If you want higher performance, GPU load can be lessened by turning down graphics settings or resolution.

    CPU bottlenecks are less common than GPU bottlenecks, but exist, especially for modern games at 1080p. Some games are more heavily CPU bound than others, so this is highly dependent on what you play.

  8. Help me understand processor names and motherboard chipsets!



    AMDís processors have a somewhat inelegant naming scheme. There are Zen1 processors, which are numbered 1xxx, Zen+ which are 2xxx, Zen2 which are 3xxx, Zen 3 which are 5xxx, and now Zen 4 which are 7xxx!. Intelís modern systems are Alder Lake (12xxx) and Rocket Lake (13xxx, coming soon), in practice they just get referred to by their part number.

    AMD's current socket is AM5, and is about to hit the market with the new 7xxx chips coming soon. There are minimal details here.

    AMDís previous socket is AM4, which is still relevant for 5600x (and the like, including the 5800x 3D)) series chips. AM4 chips are no longer being produced, but the 5600x is still a great value buy. Note, it only supports DDR4. Some older boards (b450s) support them (and it's up to each manufacturer), but you're largely relegated to b550/x570.

    For AM4, The b550 boards offer everything most people could need, with the x570 boards offering a few more features. You almost never need the x570 series boards, and they frequently have an annoying fan that you'll have to listen to. The 20 series boards should be ignored.



    For Intel's 12th gen and 13th gen (coming soon), most people should be looking at B660 boards.

    Z690 would be your choice if you have any intention on doing overclocking on something other than memory. H670 is useless for most people and H610 is for OEM system builders (not you).

    See image for nerdy details




  9. What the hell is Bios Flashback?

    Bios Flashback allows you to update the Bios on your motherboard to be compatible with a CPU released after the motherboard was released, without access to the older CPU it was built for.

    As of now, this feature is only required if you're buying extremely old stock motherboards (which is unlikely). Do not be scared of it! It is very very easy, and there will be clear (enough) instructions on the motherboard manufacturer's website/manual.


  10. Should I overclock? Do I need to overclock?

    This is a tough question in the current market. By and large, almost all parts are being pushed to near max performance out of box (sometimes to the point of instability). In rare cases, you can get a slight performance boost out of an OC, but it's typically not worth it on current gen hardware.

    On older hardware, OCing is a valid strategy if you're trying to stave off an upgrade, especially on the intel 7xxx/8xxx. For OC, you will certainly need more than a stock cooler, and there's some more intense stuff you can do like performing a delid on your CPU to running an AIO (All-in-one water based CPU Cooler).

    AMD OCs rarely make an impact.

    For more details, please please see the Overclocking thread. This thread covers cooling solutions related to overclocking, but not much else.


  11. AMD or Nvidia graphics card? What brand?

    First off, if you arenít gaming and just need one or two monitors, integrated graphics work great with no muss or fuss. A graphics card is not a required piece of equipment, however Ryzen CPUs that donít end in G and Intel CPUs that end in F donít have integrated graphics. Also, if you currently have a GPU and need to build, hang onto it. You likely can not easily replace it right now.

    From a price/performance standpoint, Nvidia is king of the current and last few generations, although AMD's current pricepoints are starting to become competitive. The 3080 in particular is a screaming deal at MSRP, but is overkill for most people. A 3060Ti is the sweetspot for low-mid rage gaming.

    Most of the Ti class cards are a waste of money, outside of the 3060Ti.

    Your monitor resolution and frame rate targets matter A LOT here. 3080 class cards are useless under 1440p, and in many games will hit 144 FPS at 1440p with ease. 4K is tricky and I recommend sourcing specific advice.

    Regarding brand, the actual silicone (brain) of the GPU is made by Nvidia/AMD and is the same for all brands as long as it's the same series (3080, 6900XT, etc). The differences in brands are cooling solutions, extra features such as thermal sensors, extra vbios (etc), and bundled software.

    We have a GPU megathread for discussion (mostly for complaining about crypto and nVidia's 4000 series pricing), but remember that buying advice goes here.


  12. What do Ti, Super, XT, DC2, TF, SC+, FTW (:rip:), and all that poo poo mean?

    Ti and Super (for Nvidia) and XT (for AMD) designate next level cards, and can be considered to be the next card up in the line-up, though below the card with the actual next higher number. Every other initialism or label on a card besides those and its number are just marketing names applied by the manufactures, indicating the cooler or factory overclock. In general, the "Factory OC" models aren't worth the extra cash, but the models with fancy coolers likely are if they are in your budget.

    You're almost always better off buying a higher number card (3070 vs 3080) vs a lower card with a better cooler, but if it's in your budget you can squeeze a fair amount of extra performance out of those fancy coolers. This does not generally apply above a certain point for nVidia (currently the 3080)


  13. Should I run two graphics cards in Crossfire or SLI?

    No. Software and hardware support is vanishing. For gaming purposes, its safe to call multi-GPU set ups dead presently.


    SLI is dead. It exists on the 3090, but only kind of, and if you don't know about it it's not applicable to you, move on.

  14. Can I get away with onboard graphics?

    If you are not gaming or performing workloads that require a GPU (video editing, certain scientific calculations, 3D modeling work, crypto mining :frogout:), you can absolutely run integrated graphics, AMD and Intel.

    If you are gaming, integrated graphics will get you by on 1080p only, with medium to low settings. Most AAA recent games will run very bad, but you'll mostly be fine on older titles. You may even be able to use integrated as a stopgap until you can get a GPU afford a GPU.

  15. DDR5 or DDR4?! How much RAM do I need? How fast should it be?

    As of the last few months, DDR5 is a much more attractive option. You'll pay more (both motherboard wise and ram wise), but prices are close enough where the benefit may worth the cost.

    This is changing frequently, and you'll likely need to check in the last few pages of the thread or ask.

    If you are buying a 5000 series AMD chip, you will be getting DDR4.

    For gaming, 32gb should be preferred if it's within your budget. 16gb is ok for most current titles, but will struggle with some, and will likely be a point of issue within the next few years. Many of the current gen processors do lose performance running 4x sticks of ram instead of 2x, so upgrading later isn't as feasible. Professional high end workloads will often want to bump to 64gb.

    16gb is more than enough for home office, and extremely basic home office computers can maybe get by with 8gb.

    DDR4 Only

    For DDR4 you should get RAM in the 3200-3600Mhz speed range, period. Cost wise anything below is rarely worth it. 3600 RAM offers small but measurable improvements over 3000/3200 RAM. With AMD Ryzen CPUs, getting 3600Mhz ram will offer a greater benefit, but isn't required by any means.

    You'll also see ram timings (sometimes called CAS Latency, or CL) on product listings. They are formatted like 16-19-19-39. All the numbers matter to some degree, but for simplicity's sake you can just look at the first/only number. Lower is better. You must avoid anything higher than 18, and the sweet spot tends to be 16. These numbers directly scale performance with the ram speed (IE 3200Mhz@CL14 performs the same as 3600Mhz@CL16), but that's a little out of this guide depth.

    DDR5 Only

    DDR5 ram speeds, timings, etc are constantly in flux. Check in thread. It'll mostly depend on price here.


  16. What should I look for in a motherboard?

    Besides obvious things like having the right socket for your processor, supporting overclocking or not (as well as overbuilding to support higher overclocks), and having a good selection of ports and plugs, there are only a few critical spots of differentiation in motherboards. In general, every motherboard will have a PCI Express expansion slot for a graphics card, bunch of USB ports, a bunch of SATA ports for hard drives and SSDs, an M.2 slot or two, decent-to-pretty-good built-in sound, and wired Ethernet networking.

    :frogsiren:If you are buying a newish case with USB C and etc front I/O, make sure your motherboard supports it with correct headers if you care.:frogsiren:

    I have a dead USB C front I/O cause I don't. But you might.

    Beyond that, there are a few common options. Much of this depends on chipset:
    • Extra expansion slots. Mini-ITX has no extra slots beyond the one. Micro ATX has up to four slots/support for two graphics cards. ATX supports seven slots and three or four graphics cards. There are even larger boards for servers or niche uses.
    • Extra M\.2 slots
    • Built-in WiFi/Bluetooth. These usually come together, but not always. This is always better than a USB card, so plan ahead.
    • RAM slots: some ITX boards and very cheap mATX boards have two slots. Most mATX and ATX boards have four slots. Ram maximums will vary (typically 32/64/128 currently)
    • Upgrades to the integrated sound. For example, using a Realtek ALC1150 codec instead of ALC892, or including a headphone amplifier output.
    • A top-notch gigabit/10gig/+ Ethernet controller
    • Error code LCD, very useful for troubleshooting
    • Additional USB 3.0/3.1/3.2/C/whatever other nonsense the USB-IF will make up, and SATA ports.
    • Additional RGB and Fan headers
    • Live RGB :okpos:

    For most people, these options are ďthatís niceĒ rather than must-haves.

  17. Should I buy a bunch of fans? How should I arrange them?

    Most cases have a good-enough setup of fans for a non-overclocked build. That being said, for any system two case fans (+ CPU cooler) is the absolute bare minimum (one intake and one exhaust). A few big fans running at low RPM in a well-designed case are far better than jamming a dozen small fans into a mesh box for the sake of ďairflow.Ē Too many fans can be counterproductive, and the case is often more important than the fans.

    If you want to mess with your caseís fans, I direct you to the second post of the Overclocking thread where Fear Factory already written a ton of words (with pictures!).


  18. How much wattage does my PSU need to have? I found this one for $20!

    DO NOT BUY CHEAP-rear end POWER SUPPLIES. Not only are you risking every component in the system, but you are risking starting an electrical fire. Power supplies are one of the most critical components, yet the temptation of many builders is to ignore quality and blindly buy whatever gives out a lot of Watts.

    Power supplies have roughly doubled in price recently. Cheap PSUs are now pricey and good ones are very pricey. Its recommended to get an 80+ Gold (or better, but it's not needed) PSU with a 7 to 10 year warranty. While not an absolute sign of quality, long warranties are indicative of the manufacturers confidence in their product. Currently this includes the Seasonic Focus and Focus Plus Gold lines, most Corsairs, EVGA Supernova G1/2/3 lines, most Superflower units, and others. If you're unsure, post in the thread.

    Choosing a PSU wattage will be almost entirely dictated by your GPU choice. If you plan to go high end now or later, size up your expectations. Right now I'd recommend 850w+ for most PSUs, with maybe even higher if you're aiming for a higher end 4000 series GPU.

    Otherwise, 650w PSU will be fine. For mid-range gaming, you're likely looking at 650w-850w ranges. Its best to leave some overhead for transient spikes and to maximize your PSUs efficiency curve, but parts are very efficient compared to what they used to be and only getting moreso. PCPartPicker provides an estimated wattage for your build, and is mostly accurate. If you're buying a GPU, using the recommended PSU wattage for that card is a good first step, as it accounts for the other parts in your system, and GPUs literally eat electricity.

    Also:
    NEVER RE-USE OLD MODULAR POWER CABLES FROM A DIFFERENT PSU BRAND. They do not have unique keys to prevent using a cable with the wrong wiring. THIS CAN DESTROY YOUR PC.

    Klyith has an excellent post on PSU efficiency curves and wattage requirements.

  19. Do I need a sound card?

    No.

  20. Do I need aftermarket cooling for my CPU?

    AMD CPUs ship with coolers that are up to the task, but are very loud. If your preference is on quiet or you buy a high end chip (anything higher than 5600x), you should really be buying aftermarket.

    K series Intel chips donít ship with a cooler, so youíll need to get one.

    Large tower coolers are generally the gold standard. Noctua (D15, U12) and Scythe Fuma 2 are frequent recommendations in the thread, but there are plenty of other, cheaper options.

    AIOs offer similar cooling to large tower coolers for much more $ + ascetic + more noise, unless you plan to spend a very large amount. Dedicated watercooling set ups should be taken to the watercooling thread.

  21. Thermal paste and you!



    There are two main questions here.

    • Do I need to buy separate fancy paste?
    • How do I put this stuff on?

    As far as purchasing is concerned, use what your CPU comes with for the most part. If you want to be fancy, you can pick up some Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut, but it won't matter really all that much.

    The same goes for putting it on. A pea sized blob in the middle of the CPU is the easiest, and frankly if you're a first timer just do this.

    If you want to get into the pedantics of thermal paste application, see GN's fantastic video on the subject. Don't start this stupid debate in the thread again.

  22. M.2 and NVMe, all about SSDs

    SSDs come in two form factors, 2.5Ē and M.2, and two communications protocols, SATA and NVMe. All 2.5Ē SSDs are SATA, and all NVMe SSDs are M.2, though M.2 can be either NVMe or SATA (in the consumer space, anyways. Enterprise drives can be different but are beyond the scope of this). SATA is the same interface youíve been using for hard disks for years, capable of up to 6Gb/s performance, which SSDs are capable of saturating. NVMe (Non Volatile Memory Express) uses PCIe lanes for communication and is, on paper much faster than SATA. NVMe wins most of the time in performance, and prices are so close, that it's almost always worth it to get one for your boot drive.

    As noted above, M.2 can be NVMe or SATA. Depending on your motherboard, some slots may support only one or the other, and sometimes some SATA ports are disabled when an M.2 drive is attached. The details will be in your motherboardís manual, and PCPartPicker will show a warning.

    PCIe 4.0 is a good target to aim for if the price shakes and your motherboard supports it.

  23. Do hard disks have any place in a modern computer?

    If you need an abundance of storage on the cheap, multi-Terabyte HDDs can be had for half the cost of an SSD or less, however the performance gap between them is, without hyperbole, the biggest advance in home computer performance in a decade (or more). If youíre not backing up complete collections of perfectly legitimate Blu-Rays, youíre better served getting as much SSD storage as you can afford and deleting a few games if necessary.

  24. Whatís the cheapest way to get Windows?

    Windows 10 can be activated with any Windows 7, 8 or 10 key. Lodge North, moderator of SA-Mart has been selling Windows 10 keys in SA-Mart for years now without any complaints. Windows 10 can also be used unactivated at the cost of being unable to set your desktop/other minor feature changes.

    If this doesnít sound like your cup of tea, an OEM version or an education discount is likely your best bet.


  25. Should I get an optical drive?

    No. You can install an OS with a USB memory stick and youíre going to download everything else you ever install. If you do believe you need a DVD drive because "why not" you should just get a USB-attached drive. DVDs are slower than USB 2.0 so thereís no performance loss vs. an internal drive.

    If you hate yourself and have an internal drive already, just get a sata>usb converter or leave a sata cable chilling inside your case and pop it open when it's that once every 5 years time.

  26. Can I re-use my old parts to keep costs down?

    Some parts yes, but usually it works out better to just get new parts and either sell the old ones, recycle them, or donate the old machine as a whole to a kid or to Goodwill. Most sales will be parted out, but if you want to donate the system or re-use it as a server or something, weigh the value of cannibalizing it vs. no longer having a complete system.

    Graphics cards are easiest. If your card isnít *that* old and you want to wait for a new launch or a good deal, go ahead and carry it over. PCI Express is totally backwards and forwards compatible, so there wonít be any funny problems trying to slot it in.

    Any hard drive still in service is likely pretty old. Back it up ASAP and donít be surprised when it dies. SSDs wear out eventually too, but it takes a good bit of doing. Smaller drives and newer, cheaper drives are more prone to wear. Back them up and keep an eye on the SMART readings. Back up new drives too, redundancy is the only form of data safety.

    For power supplies, the rule of thumb for a well-used power supply is to replace it once its warranty has expired. Power supply components can degrade with use and can lower the ability of the unit to deliver power, and potentially even endanger your new parts. It would be tragic for your brand new computer to go just because you re-use a previously fine PSU, so if its out of warranty, dump it. One benefit to the high end PSUs recommended here is that their useful like is likely longer than all your other components.

    DDR3 from pre-Skylake / Ryzen systems will need replaced as it wonít be compatible. If youíre already on a DDR4 platform go ahead, RAM doesnít really go bad. If you're buying DDR5 enjoy your full rebuild.

    Cases (and monitors) can last a long time. If you bought really good ones, sure, keep using them! But with the advances in technology, you might find that todayís decently-priced cases and monitors work like the ultra-high-end stuff from when you last bought. If your stuff was just okay then, you might find that new kit is significantly better and worth an upgrade.

    Your DVD drive has probably seen zero wear-and-tear. :v: But let's be honest, it'll likely remain unused in the new system too.

    CPU coolers and fans depend; technology has definitely improved for coolers, and fans do wear out. Your existing cooler can likely be reused, though youíll need a mounting kit from the manufacturer for AM4 boards, and new thermal paste. Fans tend to become noisier with age so you might want to replace them if the noise becomes annoying.


  27. I am tempted to DIY, but I'm really not sure I can build this system myself. Can I pay someone to do it for me?

    PC stores like Micro Center or a local shop will build a PC from your own parts for a modest fee. Go in and ask. You can probably order the parts through them, as well, but beware sales pressure. If you have a geeky friend, they might be willing, too (but remember, you are asking them to do work for you, be respectful about it). Donít ask your company IT guy unless you want to contribute to a drinking problem.

    Just do it yourself though, the trickiest part is screwing in the motherboard, everything else is just a matter of putting the thing in the slot.

  28. But Logical Increments/CPU Boss/Passmark/this other building guide says

    Every piece of computer part advice you see on the internet not from this thread is terrible and should be disregarded.

    While its true thereís a new component at every $10 price point there are definitely optimal choices to make. The figures from CPU Boss / Passmark and the like are more-or-less meaningless. We have a host of nerds here who stay up to date on component reviews and are all too happy to help, donít turn to Reddit or worse.

  29. I need a monitor, speaker, headset, etc.

    We deal more with the computer side of things rather than the peripheral side. Let me link you to a few other threads where you can ask for recommendations:

    Peripherals
    Monitor/Display Megathread
    Should I buy a $100 mouse? (not a megathread, :justpost: )
    Keyboard Megathread
    Home Networking Megathread
    Hardware Short Questions
    Letís Talk Headphones
    PC Speakers

    Common Specialty System Focus Threads
    SFF Thread
    Overclocking Megathread
    Consumer NAS/Storage Megathread
    HTPC Thread

Pilfered Pallbearers fucked around with this message at 00:16 on Sep 28, 2022

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Thread favorite part recommendations go here. These are typically gaming focused. We recommend most for nearly every build, and it's a good place to start (or end). To be expanded.

Parts to avoid like the plague

- NZXT H1 (seriously, it catches fire and NZXT proved untrustworthy even with government intervention).

PC Building Megathread's Big ol' List of Good Parts (updated Nov 2022)



CPU:

Low/mid range:
AMD - 5600. 5600x if the price is the same.
Do not get the 5600g
Intel i5-12400

Mid/high range
AMD - 7600x/7700x, largely depends on pricing
Intel - 12400 at the low-mid range, otherwise 13600k

High end
AMD - 7700x/7800x
Intel - 13700k/13900k

NVMe

Western Digital SN570 is the thread standard recommendation. The SN770 is also good if you can find one with a comparable price, but isnít worth any money as an upgrade.
Don't waste your money on Samsung.

PCIe 4.0: depends on pricing. May be worth it for certain applications but rarely for gaming.

CPU Cooler:
Scythe Fuma 2 (quiet)
Peerless Assassin
Noctua D15 (high performance, overkill in most situations)

AIO:
Liquid freezer ii 360

GPU:
3070 (not the Ti), 3080s if you can find them, some of the 6600 XT cards. This changes a lot as pricing is kind of in flux and may

Motherboard

AMD:
TBD

Intel:
TBD

Case:
Fractal Meshify 2
Fractal Torrent
Lian Li o11
Corsair 4000d

Fans:
RGB: TBD
non-RGB: TBD


Thread recommended standardized builds to go here once they're ready.



Useful links:

r/buildapcsales A terrific subreddit, compiles PC part sales across the internet so you can find the best deal available on any given day. Active moderation keeps out the duds and the comments are very good a letting you know if a deal is good or not. Your first stop when going to buy parts. USA focused, but links to other subreddits for other regions.

GamersNexus puts out the highest quality part reviews around / assorted other hardware miscellany. Your first stop for hardware performance information.

If you're working with the Adobe suite / DaVinci Resolve / other pro graphics/rendering software Puget Systems publishes detailed benchmarks for them specifically. They'll sell you a system too, if you've got the dosh.

You want Linux benchmarks? Phoronix wants to give you Linux benchmarks.

PCPartPicker is linked above, but its useful enough to link again.

You're probably buying a computer to game on, and r/gamedeals is a good way to find cheap games, as is isthereanydeal.

SA-Mart is a good place look for used hardware, especially laptops.

Other review sites (GamersNexus is the best, but its always good to get multiple opinions. This list is by no means exhaustive nor an admonishment of any site not linked):
https://www.anandtech.com/
https://www.guru3d.com
https://www.techpowerup.com/

Pilfered Pallbearers fucked around with this message at 16:52 on Nov 13, 2022

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Troubleshooting your build


Additional troubleshooting advice to go here.

Some quick basics in the meantime.

If your new system is not powering on

  • Make sure the little switch on your PSU is flipped on.
  • Check power connectors for CPU (8-pin by CPU socket), motherboard power (giant connector), and GPU power connectors
  • Check that RAM is fully seated
  • Check diag lights and refer to motherboard manual for meaning
  • If your fans are spinning, look above, it has power

If your new system is powering, but no video

  • Ensure you performed a BIOS update/Flashback if necessary (AMD 5xxx series means it may be)
  • Make sure your monitor is plugged into your GPU. Switch ports if there are more.
  • Try motherboard ports if you have integrated graphics
  • Mash your BIOS button for a minute after hitting power (manufacturer dependent, typically F2/Del/F10/F1)
  • Check power connectors for CPU (8-pin by CPU socket), motherboard power (giant connector), and GPU power connectors
  • Check diag lights and refer to motherboard manual for meaning


Bios Flashback isn't working

  • Check your motherboard manufactures website for detailed instructions
  • Ensure you named the file properly. This is very important
  • Try different USB drives. This process is dumb and likes older, lower capacity drives best
  • Ensure you have both motherboard and CPU power plugged in
  • make sure the new CPU is not socketed into the motherboard
  • Make sure you're using the correct USB port

:frogsiren:How to get additional troubleshooting help:frogsiren:

  • Post ALL of your components, preferably as a PCPartPicker list (but not required)
  • Be as detailed as possible. What exactly happens, what are you doing when it happens, what is the impact, how do you temp resolve it
  • List the things you have already tried, no matter how small or trivial
  • If you are posting what you think is wrong, say why you think that is the problem
  • Always attempt a reboot if you haven't yet for some reason.

Pilfered Pallbearers fucked around with this message at 22:05 on Jun 9, 2021

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Reserved I think the FAQ will expand to two posts eventually.


Much of this will be a constant work in progress due to scope and the ever changing market. I specifically want to expand the troubleshooting and part/build recommendation areas, but all of the info is now relevant to current gen.

Please feel free to suggest recommended builds/parts to be added, or troubleshooting guides, or whatever else.

Pilfered Pallbearers fucked around with this message at 22:11 on Jun 9, 2021

mom and dad fight a lot
Sep 21, 2006

The number of characters in this sentence turns out to be sixty-nine.

Thanks for the new thread.

I hope GPU prices are back to normal by this thread's end.

Internet Explorer
Jun 1, 2005



This is great! Thanks for putting a new thread together and thanks to everyone who makes these threads what they are. The old thread is one of the best threads on the forums and I hope the new one lives up to it's legacy.

Butterfly Valley
Apr 19, 2007

I am a spectacularly bad poster and everyone in the Schadenfreude thread hates my guts.
Good effort. I would make a note in the motherboard section that points out you need to get one with the correct headers if you want to utilise your caseís front USB C, if it has one. You mentioned it in passing but Iíd say itís one of the key points to emphasise for people when theyíre choosing the motherboard.

Also you mentioned PCIe 4 once or twice I think but it would be worth quickly clarifying what that means and how itís relevant to most people - i.e. expensive and pointless for storage at the moment, but does have a measurable effect with new GPUs. I think you can straight up recommend b550 boards for basically everyone building an AMD system at this point for that reason.

Also my ITX motherboard supports up to 64GB of RAM over 2 slots. Idk that 32GB is so frivolous as to be in Ďhating moneyí territory either, given that there are games that are starting to benefit from more than 16GB.

You could link to the SFF/ITX thread in a relevant section, and Iíd be happy to write up a few parts/tips for people to consider whether ITX is for them or not. Edit: oh I see you just did that cool

Butterfly Valley fucked around with this message at 22:41 on Jun 9, 2021

change my name
Aug 27, 2007

Legends die but anime is forever.

RIP The Lost Otakus.

I would put r/hardwareswap in the links section, there are some really good deals to be had there sometimes and you won't have to pay tax (for instance I recently bought an NZXT H210 for $50 and a new Corsair 650W gold PSU for $90)

CoolCab
Apr 17, 2005

glem

Pilfered Pallbearers posted:

Troubleshooting your build


Additional troubleshooting advice to go here.

Some quick basics in the meantime.

If your new system is not powering on

  • Make sure the little switch on your PSU is flipped on.
  • Check power connectors for CPU (8-pin by CPU socket), motherboard power (giant connector), and GPU power connectors
  • Check that RAM is fully seated
  • Check diag lights and refer to motherboard manual for meaning
  • If your fans are spinning, look above, it has power

the ram will look fully seated, have booted in a previous configuration as if it was fully seated, not need any clicks or whatever don't believe their lies. click em out and click em in.

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Butterfly Valley posted:

Good effort. I would make a note in the motherboard section that points out you need to get one with the correct headers if you want to utilise your caseís front USB C, if it has one. You mentioned it in passing but Iíd say itís one of the key points to emphasise for people when theyíre choosing the motherboard.

Also you mentioned PCIe 4 once or twice I think but it would be worth quickly clarifying what that means and how itís relevant to most people - i.e. expensive and pointless for storage at the moment, but does have a measurable effect with new GPUs. I think you can straight up recommend b550 boards for basically everyone building an AMD system at this point for that reason.

Also my ITX motherboard supports up to 64GB of RAM over 2 slots. Idk that 32GB is so frivolous as to be in Ďhating moneyí territory either, given that there are games that are starting to benefit from more than 16GB.

You could link to the SFF/ITX thread in a relevant section, and Iíd be happy to write up a few parts/tips for people to consider whether ITX is for them or not. Edit: oh I see you just did that cool

Did all this, thanks. Not sure where I mentioned a 32gb limit for ITX though.

Happy to add some more stuff on ITX if you want to write something up. I don't have much experience in ITX/SFF. Most pertinent is probably a recommended ITX build/recommended parts, but anything else that fits I can add.

change my name posted:

I would put r/hardwareswap in the links section, there are some really good deals to be had there sometimes and you won't have to pay tax (for instance I recently bought an NZXT H210 for $50 and a new Corsair 650W gold PSU for $90)

Thanks, added. Use r/hardwareswap a ton personally.




This is very much a work in progress, and I intend to update it frequently as things change so anything you guys think is valuable to add to the OP I'll consider throwing it in. We got an enormous amount of repeat questions in the last thread so hoping the new OP will cut down on that (lol).

Pilfered Pallbearers fucked around with this message at 23:10 on Jun 9, 2021

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011



I'm mostly fine why my pc, I have a question around the cpu though. Currently I have an i7 8700k. Its pretty good for everything I want to do, which is gaming. Work requirements do not come near to needing more performance. I'm aware there have been developments in the cpu market, AMD going beyond Intel. Am I good to sit on what I have? I don't really mind upgrading but I'm lazy. What I care most about is fps, I'll turn up things as much as I can I just hate stutters of any kind.

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Goofballs posted:

I'm mostly fine why my pc, I have a question around the cpu though. Currently I have an i7 8700k. Its pretty good for everything I want to do, which is gaming. Work requirements do not come near to needing more performance. I'm aware there have been developments in the cpu market, AMD going beyond Intel. Am I good to sit on what I have? I don't really mind upgrading but I'm lazy. What I care most about is fps, I'll turn up things as much as I can I just hate stutters of any kind.

Are you not hitting your FPS targets?

What resolution are you playing at, what's your refresh rate of your monitor, and what FPS are you looking to hit? What games are you playing?

Your GPU likely matters more than your CPU here. What GPU do you have.

For reference, I'm running a stock i7-7700k with a 3080 FE and I'm getting 1440p@144 in most things, and very very easily hitting 1440p@60 max settings with ray tracing (I'm getting 80s in the new RE game with everything on and near max).

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011



Pilfered Pallbearers posted:

Are you not hitting your FPS targets?

What resolution are you playing at, what's your refresh rate of your monitor, and what FPS are you looking to hit? What games are you playing?

Your GPU likely matters more than your CPU here. What GPU do you have.

For reference, I'm running a stock i7-7700k with a 3080 FE and I'm getting 1440p@144 in most things, and very very easily hitting 1440p@60 max settings with ray tracing (I'm getting 80s in the new RE game with everything on and near max).

Its more about am I going to run into a wall in the near future. I have a 3060 ti. I'd have loved to go higher but that was what was available. My monitor is 240 hz but the only game I get more than 240 fps is CS:GO. I'm playing at 1080, I honestly don't feel the difference at higher res than that.

The game my system most struggles with is Satisfactory. That's like factorio but 3d. When the save gets very big (with very big factories) the fps really starts to dip. Its early access so its not fully optimised but to be honest I don't expect much more in terms of optimisation. I think the issue is its doing a lot of calculations, there 780 items on this belt feeding into a machine that feeds other machines at other rates. It has to render all of that as well. I'm not 100% on what the bottleneck is.

Apart from high paced action games like cs my goal is always at or above 60 fps. There's a decent chance I'll get any new big release. I loved cyberpunk but I accepted that the game has technical issues so I put up with inconsistent fps. I thought about getting the new resident evil just to see how the raytracing was but then I remembered I never enjoy those games.

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Goofballs posted:

Its more about am I going to run into a wall in the near future. I have a 3060 ti. I'd have loved to go higher but that was what was available. My monitor is 240 hz but the only game I get more than 240 fps is CS:GO. I'm playing at 1080, I honestly don't feel the difference at higher res than that.

The game my system most struggles with is Satisfactory. That's like factorio but 3d. When the save gets very big (with very big factories) the fps really starts to dip. Its early access so its not fully optimised but to be honest I don't expect much more in terms of optimisation. I think the issue is its doing a lot of calculations, there 780 items on this belt feeding into a machine that feeds other machines at other rates. It has to render all of that as well. I'm not 100% on what the bottleneck is.

Apart from high paced action games like cs my goal is always at or above 60 fps. There's a decent chance I'll get any new big release. I loved cyberpunk but I accepted that the game has technical issues so I put up with inconsistent fps. I thought about getting the new resident evil just to see how the raytracing was but then I remembered I never enjoy those games.

240 FPS is not realistic in most games without the settings dipped to near 0, and even at that CS:GO is a stark exception.

That game does look like hell on a CPU, but to spend a ton of money upgrading for one game doesn't make much sense.

Unless there is something else wrong, you should probably be able to get 1080p@60fps on nearly all games with fairly high settings with your setup.

To see if your GPU or CPU is bottlenecked, you can run Nvidia's driver overlay (the Gefore experience one) with advanced stats enabled and hit ctrl+r to show you CPU/GPU utilization.

This.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/forums/geforce-experience/14/401279/performance-overlay/

Run while playing a game and it'll give you a basic idea.

Goofballs
Jun 2, 2011



Grand so, sit on it is the advice. Its kind of the advice I wanted.

UmOk
Aug 3, 2003
So I updated based on thread advice. Does this look ok?

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor ($299.00 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 Black Edition 66.47 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Adorama)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($102.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN550 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Lian Li Lancool II Mesh ATX Mid Tower Case ($118.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair RM (2019) 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($115.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1006.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-06-09 21:59 EDT-0400

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

UmOk posted:

So I updated based on thread advice. Does this look ok?

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 5600X 3.7 GHz 6-Core Processor ($299.00 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: Scythe Mugen 5 Black Edition 66.47 CFM CPU Cooler ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX B550-F GAMING (WI-FI) ATX AM4 Motherboard ($199.99 @ Adorama)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($102.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN550 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Lian Li Lancool II Mesh ATX Mid Tower Case ($118.99 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair RM (2019) 750 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($115.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $1006.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2021-06-09 21:59 EDT-0400

The Mugen 5 generally doesnít perform as well as the Fuma 2, but itís not a terrible cooler.

Are you carrying over a GPU?

Chill la Chill
Jul 2, 2007

Don't lose your gay


Is there a component/device that I could look for if I want to place my GPU outside of my mid tower? I want to do it for two reasons: to not have the GPU block out the other pretty components on the mobo since the 30x0 are rather chunky and to have the GPU utilizing cooler air outside and not contributing to a warmer overall case temp.

Tell me how dumb of an idea this is and/or if such a device exists. Preferably tempered glass to show off the GPU but also hopefully with some extra lights and enough holes/filters to help keep dust out.

And yes I fully understand this would require extra long extension cables of all types to do and would contribute to clutter and go against my current wire management.

Chill la Chill fucked around with this message at 12:27 on Jun 10, 2021

MonkeyFit
May 13, 2009
Look up external GPU mounts. You should just need a mount, riser cable, and a way to get you cables from your PSU to the card. They're almost all open air, so you can view your GPU without obstruction.

Butterfly Valley
Apr 19, 2007

I am a spectacularly bad poster and everyone in the Schadenfreude thread hates my guts.

Chill la Chill posted:

I want to do it for two reasons:
to not have the GPU block out the other pretty components on the mobo since the 30x0 are rather chunky and
to have the GPU utilizing cooler air outside and not contributing to a warmer overall case temp.

Tell me how dumb of an idea this is

So it seems your two primary concerns are appearance and temps. I'd say you need to really think about if the best answer to those concerns is adding extra clutter/cases/riser cables to your setup. For temps, there are a million better solutions to the 'problem' - if it even is a problem in the first place. The standard FE 30x0 series cards come with good coolers that keep the GPUs well under thermal throttling limits and AIBs pretty much all have beefier coolers. If I can run a 3080 FE in an ITX case with a Ä55 CPU cooler and never see the CPU over 70c or the GPU over 75c then I seriously doubt that whatever setup you're imagining has insurmountable cooling issues. And if you do have cooling issues it's pretty much guaranteed to be an issue with your case rather than your components. Which leads me to your next point, which is appearance. I'm certain that you could find a case which has enough room internally to arrange all of your components in an aesthetically pleasing way, along with a tempered glass side panel while still having good temperatures. A regularly mounted GPU doesn't obscure any of the internals anyway other than maybe one of your NVMe drives so I'm not particularly sure what you mean by not wanting the GPU to 'block out the other pretty components on the mobo'.

What's your current case? What components do you have/are you looking at buying?

Chill la Chill
Jul 2, 2007

Don't lose your gay


So my case is a white corsair 4000D airflow. There's definitely enough room in there to rearrange components but I would be blocking the SSDs (one NVMe, one on the PSU shroud), sound card, and an LED strip I currently have over the PSU shroud (though I could easily place that elsewhere) were I to mount it vertically. I'd just like to see the bottom of the GPU as well as the side. The temperature argument is something I threw in there as a possible fringe benefit. Neither the CPU nor GPU go above 70/75c.

It was an idea I was tinkering with to be able to have my cake and eat it too, but the additional trouble and desktop clutter is likely not worth it.

If there are cases that support a side by side GPU and mobo layout or would have the GPU at right angles to the mobo but to the side, I might look into those for my next build/upgrade.

Spacedad
Sep 11, 2001

We go play orbital catch around the curvature of the earth, son.
What are the current x570 and b550/520/etc. motherboards that goons recommend.

I'm looking to swap my 3900x for a 5800x, and probably get a new motherboard either for a new system for the 3900x, or for a mobo upgrade for the 5800x.

My current motherboard is the x570 asus tuf wifi, which was goon recommended. (Also thanks to a generous goon, I have a used post-tariff-msrp rtx 3080 on the way. :dance: )

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Spacedad posted:

What are the current x570 and b550/520/etc. motherboards that goons recommend.

I'm looking to swap my 3900x for a 5800x, and probably get a new motherboard either for a new system for the 3900x, or for a mobo upgrade for the 5800x.

My current motherboard is the x570 asus tuf wifi, which was goon recommended. (Also thanks to a generous goon, I have a used post-tariff-msrp rtx 3080 on the way. :dance: )

I guess my question is why?

Unless you have a very specific use case, your uplift from a 3900x to a 5800x is going to be very minimal. If this is for gaming and above 1080p, youíre likely to see 1% or 0% increase there.

You can also use the x570 board with the 5800x. I donít have a recommendation for you cause Iím not sure, but just wondering

FlamingLiberal
Jan 18, 2009

Would you like to play a game?



Why would you need another MOBO when you already have the X570?

Butterfly Valley
Apr 19, 2007

I am a spectacularly bad poster and everyone in the Schadenfreude thread hates my guts.

Pilfered Pallbearers posted:

Did all this, thanks. Not sure where I mentioned a 32gb limit for ITX though.

Here:

Pilfered Pallbearers posted:

16. What should I look for in a motherboard?

[*]RAM slots: some ITX boards and very cheap mATX boards have two slots for a maximum of 32 GB of RAM. Most mATX and ATX boards have four slots for up to 64/128 GB.

Pilfered Pallbearers posted:

Happy to add some more stuff on ITX if you want to write something up. I don't have much experience in ITX/SFF. Most pertinent is probably a recommended ITX build/recommended parts, but anything else that fits I can add.

Ok, here's a bunch of stuff that you can hopefully slot in where you think it's appropriate or useful. Obviously you can direct people to the SFF thread for more specific questions and advice but I wanted to provide a little overview for those who are ITX curious:

ITX/SFF has come a long way and is no longer the preserve of insane masochists who enjoy making life more difficult for themselves for little tangible benefit. Mainstream manufacturers have cottoned on to the market and as such there's now a great choice of ITX cases to suit all needs. There's everything from smaller standard towers like the Coolermaster NR200, to vertically oriented towers like the NZXT H1, to minimalist sandwich style cases like the NCase M1, to tiny console-style cases like the Sliger CL520.

These cases have mostly been designed by enthusiasts to have as much compatibility, functionality, cooling capacity and building ease as possible while reducing the overall size and volume. With optical drives and HDDs having gone the way of the dodo, NVMe SSDs being the way forward, and sound/wifi/bluetooth being integrated into motherboards, the vast majority of new builds these days simply don't need any of the extra PCIe slots on mATX or ATX motherboards, nor the huge amounts of physical space for drive bays in larger cases. While the smaller, more enthusiast focused ITX cases are more expensive than their larger cousins, the increased interest in the market means there's now plenty of excellent and affordable options. The only places where you're forced to spend a bit more than on an equivalent ATX build will be the motherboard and the PSU.

Why ITX/SFF?
  • If the thought of having the maximum possible power in the smallest necessary volume appeals to you.
  • If you live in a smaller space where physical desk or floor space is at a premium, or you just don't want a hulking great case taking up room.
  • If you want to fit your PC in or around your TV or in an entertainment centre.
  • If you like minimalist unobtrusive case designs with vented panels (although visually louder options with tempered glass side panels are available if you want to show off your components, generally these are going to be worse for cooling).
  • If you have the necessary components and an extra 2.5 SSD or two to fit in your case.
  • If you don't mind taking a little longer to research, plan and execute your build.
  • If you're OK with working in smaller spaces and cable management.
Why not ITX/SFF?
  • If you want room for HDDs or are carrying forward older PCIe cards (most new motherboards do everything that you would have done with PCIe cards of old).
  • If you don't like cable management/just want to throw the components in the case, plug it all in and close it up with minimal effort.
  • If you want the absolute beefiest of three + slot GPUs (although there are ITX cases that fit these).
  • If you have sausage fingers/don't like/aren't able to work in smaller spaces.
  • If you have room for and like the aesthetic of larger cases.
  • If you want room to display all of the RGB unicorn vomit.

Recommended build/parts specific to ITX considerations

Case:
NR200/NR200P

At $80 for the standard version (includes 92mm fan and 120mm fan) and $100 for the 'P' version (includes 2 120mm fans and a tempered glass side panel to swap for the vented panel if you wish) Coolermaster shook up the ITX case market in a big way. Has numerous options for any cooling configuration you could think of, fitting 280mm AIOs, or air coolers up to 155mm in height, and has space for 2 top and 2 bottom mounted fans, as well as being compatible with the biggest GPUs on the market while being affordable and very easy to build in. Not the smallest ITX case going but has a very clean and minimalist design and is a great place to start for anyone looking to downsize from ATX.

CPU:
Zen 2/3 Ryzen
Intel 11400

Ryzen CPUs are going to be your best bet in most smaller cases as they generally have lower TDPs so don't need the beefiest coolers going. The Intel 11400 is an excellent budget/midrange option generally and is also quite power efficient, however ITX z590 motherboards are still quite pricey compared to AMD alternatives. You can make the hungriest CPUs work but you'll need to do more research on what air coolers fit in your case/how big of an AIO you can install in there.

CPU Cooler:
Scythe Fuma 2 - excellent value, best performing air cooler to fit in the NR200
Scythe Mugen 5 - slightly cheaper but worse option
Noctua NH-U12S - single fan single tower, expensive but good noctua quality
Noctua NH-U12A - double fan single tower, expensive but excellent noctua quality, still beaten by the Fuma 2

GPU:
Depends on size and fan configuration

Generally with any build you're going to decide what GPU you want/can afford/get and then go from there and the same is even more pertinent with ITX builds. Smaller cases require shorter 2 slot GPUs, while larger ITX cases like the NR200 can fit pretty much all of the three slot 3090 behemoths going. If you're going for a smaller sandwich style layout case like the Ncase M1 with a vertically mounted GPU, you don't want a flow through cooler design such as on the FE 3080/90.

Motherboard:
Gigabyte B550i Aorus Pro AX - has everything apart from front USB C, which isn't necessary with the NR200
ASRock B550 Phantom Gaming-ITX - has front USB C, if your case needs it
ASRock Z590M-ITX - Cheapest 11th gen Intel option

RAM:
Check compatibility with CPU cooler, sometimes LPX RAM required but most of the time not.

PSU:
You'll need an SFX format PSU.
Corsair SF series have excellent Gold and Platinum options at 600W and 750W and are the go-to for most SFF builders.
EVGA, Seasonic and Coolermaster also have SFX options available.

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

Excellent, thanks.

Iíll try to find somewhere to shove most of that. Glad I reserved an extra post.



If anyone else has stuff they want to write up to be added to the OP (with credit of course), please let me know.

Also really looking for some recommended builds if anyone has one, as well as individual parts.

Bargain bin
Mid range
High end
I hate money tier (if you want to make a comedy build).
SFF

If youíre going to source one one of these, youíll need do it as a PPP list, and include EVERYTHING, including extra case fans and dumb poo poo like that if the case needs them.


As far as parts, Iím not particular familiar with these categories for current gen, so recommendations for specific parts would be very helpful. Using the above tiers is helpful. Iím not opposed to a giant list of recommended parts.

Motherboards (we need intel/amd, wifi/non-WiFi)

Case Fans that arenít Noctuas (RGB & boring

RGB and fan controllers

Cases people like :eng101:that actually perform well thermally:eng101:. Obviously thereís more wiggle room for this on something like SFF, but it still should perform good for that category. TDPs are too drat high to be shoving poo poo in a random metal box.

MonkeyFit
May 13, 2009

Butterfly Valley posted:

ITX/SFF has come a long way and is no longer the preserve of insane masochists who enjoy making life more difficult for themselves for little tangible benefit. Mainstream manufacturers have cottoned on to the market and as such there's now a great choice of ITX cases to suit all needs. There's everything from smaller standard towers like the Coolermaster NR200, to vertically oriented towers like the NZXT H1, to minimalist sandwich style cases like the NCase M1, to tiny console-style cases like the Sliger CL520.

Isn't the H1 the case that had the faulty riser cables that started fires and then NZXT tried to avoid responsibility as much as possible?

njsykora
Jan 23, 2012

Robots confuse squirrels.


Yes, and then they sent replacements to press that were well made and then sent a different, less well made replacement to actual customers.

change my name
Aug 27, 2007

Legends die but anime is forever.

RIP The Lost Otakus.

Fun fact about buying both your case AND motherboard used to save $40, there's nary a standoff screw among them. Good thing I have some left over from my current build...

Fabulousity
Dec 29, 2008

Number One I order you to take a number two.

Restating because holy poo poo is it important:

POWER SUPPLY UNIT MODULAR CABLE SYSTEMS ARE COMPLETELY PROPRIETARY ON THE ENDS THAT ATTACH TO THE POWER SUPPLY UNIT.

DO NOT mix modular cabling between different power supply manufacturers even if they fit. DO NOT even mix modular cabling between different models from the same manufacturer. The poo poo on the PSU side isn't standardized.

I haven't had the misfortune of making this mistake but I've had nightmares about it.

Oh, and use a clean credit card or similar item to spread a thin layer of thermal paste on the CPU lid before installing the heatsink. Begin angry debating.

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

MonkeyFit posted:

Isn't the H1 the case that had the faulty riser cables that started fires and then NZXT tried to avoid responsibility as much as possible?

Good catch, thank you. I will make sure not to include that.

NZXT has proved theyíre a garbage company by sending GN a very good riser than a month later sending much much lower quality ones to actual consumers.

Fabulousity posted:

Restating because holy poo poo is it important:

POWER SUPPLY UNIT MODULAR CABLE SYSTEMS ARE COMPLETELY PROPRIETARY ON THE ENDS THAT ATTACH TO THE POWER SUPPLY UNIT.

DO NOT mix modular cabling between different power supply manufacturers even if they fit. DO NOT even mix modular cabling between different models from the same manufacturer. The poo poo on the PSU side isn't standardized.

I haven't had the misfortune of making this mistake but I've had nightmares about it.

Oh, and use a clean credit card or similar item to spread a thin layer of thermal paste on the CPU lid before installing the heatsink. Begin angry debating.

Why would you do this to us.

But seriously, considering a thermal paste application guide (mostly just a GN video link cause they did a great one + the best intro of all
Time) for the OP.

Butterfly Valley
Apr 19, 2007

I am a spectacularly bad poster and everyone in the Schadenfreude thread hates my guts.

MonkeyFit posted:

Isn't the H1 the case that had the faulty riser cables that started fires and then NZXT tried to avoid responsibility as much as possible?

Yes fair enough, I'd listed the case just as an example of a popular SFF case in vertical format but given the issues with it I shouldn't have. Maybe OP can link the SSUPD Meshilicious as a replacement instead.

BrainDance
May 8, 2007

Disco all night long!

Fabulousity posted:

Oh, and use a clean credit card or similar item to spread a thin layer of thermal paste on the CPU lid before installing the heatsink. Begin angry debating.

Thermal paste is one of those things where I suspect I'm bad at it, but only because who knows? God willing that heat sink isn't coming off for another couple years.

I just do the dab in the middle and as far as I know the heat sink spread it out but it's not like there's a way to check. My 3700x I remember being a little toastier than I expected, and now my 5900x is sitting at around 60-65 idle with a nh-u12s but it's also 90 degrees out here in the world's dustiest country so I dunno.

Fabulousity
Dec 29, 2008

Number One I order you to take a number two.

I've done the credit card spread since Athlon Thunderbird 1.2 GHz days and it has seemed to work well through an X2 and X4 of some flavors I can't remember, then Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and finally Ryzen.

BrainDance posted:

Thermal paste is one of those things where I suspect I'm bad at it, but only because who knows? God willing that heat sink isn't coming off for another couple years.

I just do the dab in the middle and as far as I know the heat sink spread it out but it's not like there's a way to check. My 3700x I remember being a little toastier than I expected, and now my 5900x is sitting at around 60-65 idle with a nh-u12s but it's also 90 degrees out here in the world's dustiest country so I dunno.

60-65 is kind of high for an idle on 5900X? Shouldn't it be more like 40-45?

Butterfly Valley
Apr 19, 2007

I am a spectacularly bad poster and everyone in the Schadenfreude thread hates my guts.
There's no need for angry debating, there's been numerous studies by people with way more time and equipment than the rest of us have to study the minutae and 'blob in the middle' is absolutely all you need. The physically inevitable result of smooshing two surfaces together takes care of the distribution and the way to check is seeing if your temps are in line with other people. No need to stress yourself beyond that.

BrainDance
May 8, 2007

Disco all night long!

Fabulousity posted:

60-65 is kind of high for an idle on 5900X? Shouldn't it be more like 40-45?

Yeah, it's not great. I probably should monitor it a little more closely to see what its actual lows and highs are but, surprisingly I've never seen it get too high either, even if it's not getting too low.

I don't know how much ambient temperature really affects this sort of thing, so maybe that's a big part of it. Either way, it doesn't ever seem to be throttling at least.

Alucard
Mar 11, 2002
Pillbug

Butterfly Valley posted:

There's no need for angry debating, there's been numerous studies by people with way more time and equipment than the rest of us have to study the minutae and 'blob in the middle' is absolutely all you need. The physically inevitable result of smooshing two surfaces together takes care of the distribution and the way to check is seeing if your temps are in line with other people. No need to stress yourself beyond that.

I used the pre-applied stuff that came on the cpu cooler fan, my computer is going to explode and kill me with a bunch of shrapnel isn't it.

Pilfered Pallbearers
Aug 2, 2007

BrainDance posted:

Yeah, it's not great. I probably should monitor it a little more closely to see what its actual lows and highs are but, surprisingly I've never seen it get too high either, even if it's not getting too low.

I don't know how much ambient temperature really affects this sort of thing, so maybe that's a big part of it. Either way, it doesn't ever seem to be throttling at least.

Ambient matters quite a lot.

Your case cooling may be more of an issue if you idle high and average under load.

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change my name
Aug 27, 2007

Legends die but anime is forever.

RIP The Lost Otakus.

Just transferred everything over into the NZXT H210 and what a hassle to build in. Plus I didn't realize my MOBO only had 2 full-sized fan headers, so I guess one non-CPU fan will have to do until I get a splitter...


(My ambient temps are sitting in the mid 40s until then, which isn't great though)

change my name fucked around with this message at 02:34 on Jun 11, 2021

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