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[PC Build Thread] It's a weird time in Hardwaretown

GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
Welcome to Part Shoppers Anonymous the Penny Arcade Computer Build Thread!
(this OP is shamelessly stolen/modified from our missing overlord alecthar (via Jebus314, and minor incident, and BouwsT).

Tl;dr:
.
We do our best to provide advice about component choice, shopping for components, assembling the PC itself, and even a little bit of troubleshooting for new builds (if you're having issues). To my knowledge no forumer has ever left with a non functioning build. We'll get you there! All at a measly 250% of your original budget!

Acronyms!

PC - Personal Computer
CPU - Central Processing Unit (Computer's Brain)
GPU - Graphics Processing Unit (Computer's Muscles)
PSU - Power Supply (Computer Power Plant)
MOBO - Mother Board (Computer Skeleton / Nervous System
RAM - Random Access Memory (Computer's Short Term Memory)
HDD - Hard Disk Drive (Computer's Long Term Memory, with high capacity but low speed)
SSD - Solid State Drive (Computer's Long Term Memory, with low(er) capacity but high speeds.

"Why should I build my own computer when I could just have a bunch of underpaid assembly line workers do it for me?"
Knowledge: Building your own computer is a learning experience. To start with, you'll probably end up doing a lot of research on the current state of consumer computing hardware, along with learning a bit about how various computer components work within a complete system. You'll also gain valuable knowledge about the actual assembly of a PC, something that definitely comes in handy if you find yourself doing family tech support.
  • Quality: PCs from companies like Dell and HP are built cheaply. Sometimes this isn't a huge issue. Intel, for example, doesn't sell a separate "from the junk pile" line of CPUs. Hard drives are generally of fairly consistent quality among manufacturers. However, depending on the PC, you may end up with a fairly anemic, or even cruddy, generic PSU, along with motherboards that are generally pretty limited in their flexibility and feature-set, and don't even get me started on the cases they use. Building your own PC gives you complete control over the quality of the components you use.
  • Flexibility: A prebuilt PC sometimes comes with proprietary components, or in a case with a proprietary form factor with a weird sized PSU. When you build your own PC, you can select the components with an eye towards whatever degree of flexibility or upgrade path you deem appropriate. Because retail component design adheres to certain standards, you end up with a more modular system that can be changed more easily.
  • Value: When it comes to a PC with real horsepower, manufacturers believe we're willing to pay a serious premium. Building your own Gaming (or Workstation) PC almost always saves you significant amounts of money.

With all that said, I want to highlight a very important point. If all you need to do with a computer is browse the internet, consume media, and use productivity software like Microsoft Office, there's admittedly little reason not to buy a prebuilt machine. Because of the economy of scale, you will almost always get a higher spec'd computer for cheaper if your budget is less than $400 or so. Quality can still sometimes be an issue, and you won't gain any knowledge, but cheap computers are probably a better deal prebuilt.

"You've convinced me to build my own, what's inside the box again?"
In general there are 8 main components to a PC.
  • CPU: This is the central processing unit. It is the heart of your PC build and is what controls how quickly your computer can perform various tasks. There are only 2 manufacturers (AMD and Intel), and these days Intel is dominating. As of writing this OP, AMD has released their new Ryzen CPU's, which are presenting some much needed competition in the CPU space! Pro-tip, over the years CPUs are generally tracked by their architecture (which alludes to how they are designed) and each unique architecture is given a name (Newest are Skylake for Intel, and Ryzen for AMD). There are a multitude of different specs for CPUs, but it's nigh impossible to use them for comparison across manufactures and often times even across different architectures. Generally you will want to go to a place like Tom's Hardware and look actual measured comparisons between the chips to decide... If you're looking for high end performance, and the best bang for your buck, you will also want to look out for unlocked CPUs that allow for overclocking. These days it is a very painless process, and can easily give you a 10-30% performance boost for the cost of a bigger heatsink. For intel CPUs, model numbers that end in a K do not come with a heatsink (as you'll likely be buying a larger one any way) and allow overclocking.
    AnandTech's Q1 2017 CPU Comparisons
    Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • GPU: This is the graphical processing unit. As the name implies it controls how pretty things will look, and what games you can play. The first important decision for your GPU is onboard versus discrete. These days Intel and AMD are offering combined CPU/GPU chips that are really pretty good. For everything besides gaming and graphic intensive work, these combined chips offer the best performance at the cheapest price. If you're building a HTPC (home theater PC) for example this is definitely the way to go. AMD may lead on the higher end, as their APU line (their terminology for the combined CPU/GPU) can have better GPU performance with similar CPU performance than the corresponding Intel products. A top of the line AMD APU will be good enough to stream any video content, watch blurays, and even play some older games at moderate settings...
    If, however, you are looking to game or do a lot of video editing/other graphics intensive work, then a discrete graphics card is the way to go. For the purposes of gaming, the rest of your system is mainly an effort to get out of your video card's way. The price of a solid video card reflects that; for gaming PCs the video card will be the most expensive single component you purchase. For discrete GPUs there are again 2 manufacturers, AMD (formally ATI) and Nvidia. Unlike CPUs the GPU race has been a bit stale for well over a year, but we're always hoping for better competition to allow for good consumer choice! To make things more confusing AMD and Nvidia don't actually sell graphics cards themselves, instead the sell the designs (or base hardware) to other companies who build them and sell them to consumers. This means that for any given GPU model (say the Nvidia GTX 1060), there will be several different vendors selling that exact model (like this GTX 1060 sold by EVGA). Different vendors can have different coolers, different amounts of overclocking, and different build quality, so be careful with who the exact card is coming from. Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • Motherboard: The motherboard is the complex circuitry that connects all of your fancy parts together. Buying a motherboard is all about quality, compatibility, and options. The two most important compatibility issues are getting the right socket for your CPU, and getting the right size for your case. Whatever CPU you are interested in getting should have a corresponding socket number (like LGA 1151 for Kaby Lake Intel based CPUs), and you absolutely must get a motherboard with that socket. Motherboards also generally come in a few different sizes (or form factors), with the most common being: ATX, micro-ATX, mini-ATX, and mini-ITX. The key here is to make sure that you Case specifically says it is compatible with the form factor you choose. For quality purposes you generally want to stick to the main manufacturers: MSI, ASUS, EVGA, ASRock, and Gigabyte. Finally, it's all about the options. Make a list of everything that you want to hook up to your PC and what type of connection it needs (USB 3.0 vs 2.0, HDMI vs DVI vs Display Port, eSADA, ect...) and find yourself a motherboard that has all the necessary connections. Other things to consider are SLI/crossfire compatibility (which allows you to run 2+ GPUs simultaneously for Nvidia or AMD cards respectively), PCI-E slots (quantity and bandwidth per slot typically described as 8x or 16x), CPU overclocking compatible, onboard GPU compatible, soundcard capabilities, and ethernet capabilities. Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • Memory: This is often referred to as the RAM or Random Access Memory, and it controls how many things you can do at once. These days there are basically 3 rules to follow when buying RAM. (1) Buy DDR4: Only legacy sockets from AMD and Intel support DDR2 and DDR3 is quickly being phased out. This is a compatibility check with the motherboard so always look at the motherboard specs to verify, but almost everything currently sold these days is DDR4. (2) Don't overthing the RAM speed (2400 MHz can be had for cheap). Slower and you may seem some changes in performance for a cheaper price, and faster does NOT provide a good performance per dollar value. Timings largely mean nothing, and should be completely ignored for your first build. (3) Buy 8-16 GB and as many DIMMS (or sticks) as channels on your motherboard. So if your motherboard supports 2 channel memory, get 2 sticks of 8GB Ram (for 16GB total). RAM is cheap so lean towards more rather than less, but for most people anything more than 32 GB will be wasted (even 32 GB+ is only for most power users, or insane amounts of multi-tasking). Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • Hard Disk Drive/Solid State Drive: This is where all of your software and data is stored. If you're budget can swing it the most effective setup is to use a smaller SSD (240-500 GB) for your programs and OS, and a larger HDD (1-4 TB) for media storage. Not all SSDs and not all HDDs are created equal. For HDDs the spindle speed (typically 5400, 7200, and 10000 RPMs) dictates how quickly you will be able to access your data, with higher RPMs giving faster access. For purely data storage the speed tends not to matter that much, but for programs/games loading will be much faster. Any SSD will be far quicker than even the best HDDs. Most importantly for both you want something that is reliable, so check the comments/reviews for any particular model. Just keep in mind that every single model ever created will have some small number of drives that fail and those will be the bulk of the people leaving comments. As a general rule, Samsung 850 EVO SSD's, and Wester Digital brand HDD's are generally the golden rule. Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • PSU: This is the power supply unit, and as the name implies it powers your PC. There are 3 basic factors to consider for a PSU: modular/non-modular, wattage, and efficiency. A non-modular PSU will have all of the cables permanently attached and can be a pain to keep organized compared to being able to remove unnecessary cables. Wattage is the amount of power your PSU can supply and you generally want your computer to run close to but not at the maximum rating for your PSU. To see what that would be before you buy your PSU, just find any online wattage calculator, put in the parts you want to use, and viola. Finally there is the efficiency, which is rated as Bronze, Silver, Gold, etc and indicate how efficiently the PSU takes your wall power and converts it to useable power for your PC. Generally Seasonic (and PSU's build by Seasonic and sold under different names) are the golden standard here on the forum. Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • Case: This is where you put all those things above. Don't underestimate the importance of a good case. A Good cable management system and layout can make building a PC a vastly superior experience, as well as giving longevity to your build through superior heat management. Also that shit should look badass. The only requirement though is that you find a case that is large enough to house all of your components (this is not a trick, often times GPUs, PSUs, certain types of memory, and some optical drives will not fit in a particular case), and can accept the form factor for the motherboard used. Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
  • Bling Factor LED lighting is critical to PC modding, and should be included in every case and component where possible.

    I've done extensive research into LEDs (I went to college for this), I'll go ahead and quote an old post I made regarding my findings:
    LEDs play a vital role in any PC build! In case anyone doesn't know, no PC is complete without an associated set of colored LEDs. However, it is very important that you choose your LED colors carefully, as each one has specific advantages:
    Red LEDs are very powerful. They make your PC run much, much faster. If you are looking to get a performance boost but can't afford higher quality parts or are unable to overclock, red LEDs are the way to go. Just make sure to beef up your cooling levels, because they will make your PC run much hotter. All of the top MLG Pro gamers use red LEDs (including myself).

    Blue LEDs are great. They make your machine run much cooler. If your ambient temperatures are on the rise and you can't afford spending $20 a piece on high quality Noctua fans or $Idaho on expensive watercooling setups, blue LEDs are your best bet. I once knew a guy who had so many blue LEDs that his case pulled double duty as a minifridge. Not even joking. We'd keep the root beer in there during LAN parties.

    Green LEDs are great because they make your system use significantly less AC power to run, thus lowering both your electricity bill and your carbon footprint. A set of high quality green LEDs surrounding a 1000w PSU will bring its power draw down to as low as 4-500w (not counting the extra power used to run the green LEDs).

    White LEDs are (on paper) the best option, as they combine the benefits of red, blue, and green LEDs. Be very careful though!, white LEDs aren't very common because the light gives you cancer.

    Legends tell of the fabled Purple LED, but so far they have eluded me. Could such a thing really exist? While evidence suggesting the existence of purple LEDs has been found in ancient Sumerian ruins, my years of investigation and research have led me to the conclusion that purple LEDs are a myth that exist solely in the delusional babblings of men who have gone mad while searching for them. The are the El Dorado of the PC building world.

    You might think to yourself "Why wouldn't I combine LED colors in my case and gain multiple advantages without the drawbacks of white LEDs?". In the early fifties, when PC LEDs were still in their infancy, LED-combination experimentation using a series of lead sheets and mirrors appeared promising (aside from a few tragic mishaps due to the ineffective safety measures prevalent in laboratories at the time), unfortunately combining LED colors has proven impossible, as the effects simply cancel each other out.

    Sure, some people prefer a "pure" PC and might not use LEDs at all, considering them to be "cheating", but you gotta ask yourself - if you were an Olympic athlete, and someone said you could inject LEDs to make your performance significantly better, would that be "cheating"? Of course not.

    Hope this helps.
  • Other: This is just a list of other parts to keep in mind, that you may or may not need. Additional fans, optical drive, soundcard, WiFi card (or USB dongle), monitor, keyboard, mouse, cables (fan cables, SATA cables, ect...), aftermarket CPU heatsink (necessary for overclocking), and zipties (or other cable management device). Feel free to ask for current recommendations.
"Ok I know what a PC is now, but where do I start?"
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when you're ready to start researching parts for your new PC. Once you have some answers to these questions, post them in this thread and others will jump in to fill in the gaps and get you well on your way to completing your order! Don't be intimidated if you don't know any of the answers though, as any questions (no matter how basic) are always welcome. In general though, the more information we have about what you want and how much you're willing to pay to get it, the better the advice you'll get.
  • What kind of computer do you need? The 4 basic categories are: standard gaming PC, HTPC, server, and a serious Workstation.
  • What's your budget for this project?
  • What needs to be included in that budget? Do you need a monitor, keyboard and mouse to go with it? Are there components from a previous PC that you are carrying over to the new build? What about an operating system (like Windows 10)?
  • What are your performance needs? For games, what resolution do you game at, and what kind of performance do you want to see there? For professional tasks, what are you doing and what kind of numbers would you like to see?
  • Do you have any partiality towards specific manufacturers, like Intel/AMD, AMD/NVIDIA, or perhaps specific vendors?
  • Do you have any specific needs? That is, are you looking for quiet operation, small form factor, significant upgrade-ability, or other specific features?


"I'm totes ready to buy, but everyone keeps posting this PC partpicker thing. Where do I actually get my stuff?"
US
There are a number of solid online purchasing options available to US consumers. My personal favorite is Newegg, though there are other options like Tiger Direct, and (of course) Amazon. Brick and mortar buyers can find some components at big box retailers like Best Buy and Fry's, though I've found that prices from online retailers are significantly better than these stores. The exception to that seems to be Microcenter, which often has great deals on processors and motherboards in particular.
Canada
Some more recent opinions:
Re: first post -- for the 'Canadian shops' bit, you should add memoryexpress.com to that list (not sure how they are for mail order, but as an in-the-flesh shop, at least, they're great).
BouwsT wrote:
I used Memory Express for my last build, they are actually really great so far for their mail orders. Also, their price beat is stronger than newegg.ca (10% of difference, rather than just a straight match). I would definitely recommend them for Canadian buyers, at least to check out.
Other Links:
Amazon.ca
Newegg.ca
UK
Online retailers in the UK include Ebuyer, which apparently has a wide selection of components, Novatech, which also does custom systems and apparently has some fans in UK PC forums, and dabs.com, a site recommend by our very own Big Isy, who cited their frequent free shipping/free game deals.
Australia
Our very own Tef put together a very thorough buying guide for Australians:
Tef wrote:
Online retailers (Australia-wide)
  • www.pccasegear.com - Based in Melbourne, these guys are as close to an Australian Newegg as you will find. PCcasegear are known for their reliable service and good RMA (returning faulty equipment) policies. They have a somewhat decent range of equipment, for Australia and while generally pretty cheap, there certainly are cheaper options out there. For people in Melbourne, you can also visit their store front and pick up the parts personally.
  • www.msy.com.au - A cheaper alternative to PCcasegear that is still reasonably reliable. MSY does suffer from a limited range and volume of stock on occasion. As of October 2011, they do not have a delivery system in place (in progress, according to MSY) so you will have to pick up the parts from their brick and mortar shops. Fortunately, they have numerous store fronts around the country, so finding one nearby shouldn't be too hard to do. Be aware that when you're shopping online make sure you set your store location to the store that you'll be picking the parts up from. MSY filter their displayed products based on what shop you've selected and it's very annoying to get to the checkout and realise all your parts are only available in far north Queensland.
Other Australia-based Online Retailers
www.mwave.com.au www.megabuy.com.au www.umart.com.au - These are some other notable budget PC shops. They'll ship anywhere domestically and are usually competitively priced. Do note that they're budget resellers (particularly in the case of megabuy) and their customer support and shipping status/timeframes may not always be as great as what you'll find from MSY/PCcasegear.
International Purchasing
An option exists to purchase parts overseas and ship them in yourself, thus avoiding the mark-up from Aussie vendors. www.priceusa.com.au is the only vendor the writer has experience with and therefore is the only one this writer is prepared to recommend with confidence. There are several caveats associated with international orders, namely that support/returns will be more difficult due to distances and there is a potential for longer lead-times on orders (though this is not always the case). Recommendations for overseas shipping would be that you don't order cases and possibly PSUs from overseas, as the associated hikes in shipping costs make this expensive (it should go without saying that you should do your own research on this point though, as it may be more cost effective depending on where you can buy domestically).
Purchase Support and Services
www.staticice.com.au and www.ausprices.com are two good price comparison sites that you can use to find who's selling what and for how much. The former is probably the highest quality of the two; just make sure you're looking at the Australian version (i.e. .au at the end)

While ostensibly a forum for PC overlockers, forums.overclockers.com.au has a surprisingly good quality sub forum relating to the state of PC part purchasing in Australia. They are a good location for solid advice on retailers (after PA, of course!).
Failing all that, send a mention or a PM towards Tef or chrishallett83, both Australian forumers, who are usually more than happy to offer advice.
And here is a handy flowchart!
zzwoPOS.png

Sagroth wrote: »
Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
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chrishallett83
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Posts

  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    Carrying on from the previous thread...
    That_Guy wrote: »
    Orca wrote: »
    Used to be $200 would be the enthusiast price point. These days it seems like that's shifted to $300+.

    Enthusiast GPUs were never $200.

    I think my Voodoo 3 was :wink:

    SynthesisAridhol
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I had a Voodoo 2, I'm almost positive it was more than 200 bucks. Especially if you include the Matrox 2D card you needed to actually drive a display :wink:

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    chrishallett83Elvenshae
  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I'm trying to remember now... I'm fairly sure that Voodoo 3 was around the $180 mark, but IIRC it wasn't right when they came out or anything. And no additional card needed with that - was that a thing? Wow. My previous PC had a Voodoo 1 (donated from a friend, very kind!) and didn't need anything like that.

    I had some fun with that Voodoo 3. UT '99, Thief II... magnificent! *chef kiss*

    Jazz on
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    e: I stand corrected. The original Voodoo Graphics PCI did have a 2D card....but it was terrible and no one liked it. So for the Voodoo 2 and 3 3DFx dropped it and everyone just used Matrox 2D cards, which were far superior to anything 3D accelerators were doing at the time.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    V1m
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    Video cards are more expensive (lol crypto) but prices are coming down.

    I am well overdue for a GPU upgrade, the last one I bought was my 5770 in 2010! But that cost $170 and was definitely mid-range and could play all sorts of stuff at great graphics settings at the time.

    But I still think $200 is a great mid-range price point. The RX590 isn't a "low-end upgrade," it's like the 2nd or 3rd best thing that AMD makes right now! There's a 580, 570, and 560 below that, and a 550 for HTPC stuff.

    steam_sig.png
  • evilbobevilbob Registered User regular
    Best value card I've ever bought was a 660ti but that was mostly due to timing and exchange rates. Picked that up when there was pretty much parity between AUD and USD. Every other time I've bought cards it's been around 1AUD=0.7USD.

    DDLLLLDL - Bottom in November
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  • bloodyroarxxbloodyroarxx Registered User regular
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Video cards are more expensive (lol crypto) but prices are coming down.

    I am well overdue for a GPU upgrade, the last one I bought was my 5770 in 2010! But that cost $170 and was definitely mid-range and could play all sorts of stuff at great graphics settings at the time.

    But I still think $200 is a great mid-range price point. The RX590 isn't a "low-end upgrade," it's like the 2nd or 3rd best thing that AMD makes right now! There's a 580, 570, and 560 below that, and a 550 for HTPC stuff.

    Disagree AMD is not competing with Nvidia in the high end GPU game is which means their third best thing is still quite behind compared to that Nvidias 3rd best thing is.

    To be upgrading to slightly above a 1060 which initself was a slightly better 970 is still pretty low on the gaming GPU scale.

    It’s not a bad card but there is a lot of head room above it

    Yeah man, I tell ya what, man, that dang ol' internet, man, you just go in on there and point and click, talk about w-w-dot-w-com, mean you got the naked chicks on there, man, just go click, click, click, click, click, it's real easy, man.
  • HeatwaveHeatwave Come, now, and walk the path of explosions with me!Registered User regular
    After seeing a review for the RX 590, it seems AMD are taking a page of Nvidia by upping the price but about 25% with very little performance increase (5%) over the RX 580 .

    I now have no hope at all that 7nm navi next year will be more affordable than the RTX 20x0 series

    P2n5r3l.jpg
    Steam / Origin & Wii U: Heatwave111 / FC: 4227-1965-3206 / Battle.net: Heatwave#11356
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    If $1200 is the new $600...

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    Jazz wrote: »
    Carrying on from the previous thread...
    That_Guy wrote: »
    Orca wrote: »
    Used to be $200 would be the enthusiast price point. These days it seems like that's shifted to $300+.

    Enthusiast GPUs were never $200.

    I think my Voodoo 3 was :wink:

    Yeah, some of the original graphics processors--which were definitely enthusiast products, unlike sound cards which were the shit--were in the $200 range. Though if you adjusted for inflation, they'd be more.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    Well, yeah. What's that, 17-18 years of inflation. That's not gonna put them at $1200, but even so.

    Ah, soundcards. Takes me back... to IRQ settings and autoexec.bat and config.sys and oh God I'm twitching and it wont stop

    chrishallett83ElvenshaeAngelHedgieironsizidePoketpixie
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    Jazz wrote: »
    Well, yeah. What's that, 17-18 years of inflation. That's not gonna put them at $1200, but even so.

    Ah, soundcards. Takes me back... to IRQ settings and autoexec.bat and config.sys and oh God I'm twitching and it wont stop

    Show me in the memory map where the mouse driver touched you.

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
    V1mJazzchrishallett83AridholElvenshaeIolo
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    I had a disc holder full of floppy boot discs specifically to tweak various autoexec.bat and config.sys settings for different games. Ultima 7 was a particular headache and once you had all the settings right you definitely didn't want to lose them.

    Can you imagine people today having to mess with driver level settings every time they wanted to play a game? And for the most part we didn't have Google to bail us out at the time. If we were lucky we had internet, or at least a connection to a BBS to use their Fido net boards or a usenet relay to ask for help.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    OrcaElvenshaeDyvim Tvar
  • GonmunGonmun He keeps kickin' me in the dickRegistered User regular
    So question for folks. Dell Canada has a pre-black friday sale and I've been mulling upgrading for some time now.

    If I had to choose, which would folks suggest?

    This?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-ca/productdetail/1n9a

    Or this?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-ca/productdetail/1n9c

    desc wrote: »
    ~ * swole patrol flying roundhouse kick top performer recognition: April 2014 * ~
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  • jungleroomxjungleroomx And I said, hol up Registered User regular
    Orca wrote: »
    Jazz wrote: »
    Well, yeah. What's that, 17-18 years of inflation. That's not gonna put them at $1200, but even so.

    Ah, soundcards. Takes me back... to IRQ settings and autoexec.bat and config.sys and oh God I'm twitching and it wont stop

    Show me in the memory map where the mouse driver touched you.

    Is that EMS or XMS?

    Make. Time.
    m!ttensJazzchrishallett83Elvenshae
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    Gonmun wrote: »
    So question for folks. Dell Canada has a pre-black friday sale and I've been mulling upgrading for some time now.

    If I had to choose, which would folks suggest?

    This?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-ca/productdetail/1n9a

    Or this?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-ca/productdetail/1n9c

    Neither is great but I'd lean towards the AMD one for the larger SSD and more ram on the video card. I'd keep shopping to see if you can find similar systems that come with the 580 8BG or 1060 6GB. I'd also argue a 256GB or 512GB SSD is the bare minimum nowadays due to the massive install size of most games. A 128GB drive is way way too small.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
    V1m
  • Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    I wouldn't buy either of those

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  • JazzJazz UKRegistered User regular
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    I had a disc holder full of floppy boot discs specifically to tweak various autoexec.bat and config.sys settings for different games. Ultima 7 was a particular headache and once you had all the settings right you definitely didn't want to lose them.

    Can you imagine people today having to mess with driver level settings every time they wanted to play a game? And for the most part we didn't have Google to bail us out at the time. If we were lucky we had internet, or at least a connection to a BBS to use their Fido net boards or a usenet relay to ask for help.

    Ultima 7, Bioforge, and especially that absolute bastard Strike Commander... basically, if it was an Origin game, it would be awesome as hell but it would take blood, sweat and tears to be able to get the blasted thing running.

    Orca
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Gonmun wrote: »
    So question for folks. Dell Canada has a pre-black friday sale and I've been mulling upgrading for some time now.

    If I had to choose, which would folks suggest?

    This?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-ca/productdetail/1n9a

    Or this?

    https://deals.dell.com/en-ca/productdetail/1n9c

    You can probably get pretty close in specs if you use PCPP.ca to figure out your value. If you can customize at all, maybe bump up the vidcard a little and definitely drop to just a spinning drive because SSDs will be seeing price cuts the remainder of the year.

    The Ryzen build is decent but I'm still not sold on RX 580 because I think it's just AMD trying to remind people they make video cards, too.

    Depending how much they charge you for video cards, you could potentially drop the card and look for spot sales.

    Again, this all hinges on them letting you customize

  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    Jazz wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    I had a disc holder full of floppy boot discs specifically to tweak various autoexec.bat and config.sys settings for different games. Ultima 7 was a particular headache and once you had all the settings right you definitely didn't want to lose them.

    Can you imagine people today having to mess with driver level settings every time they wanted to play a game? And for the most part we didn't have Google to bail us out at the time. If we were lucky we had internet, or at least a connection to a BBS to use their Fido net boards or a usenet relay to ask for help.

    Ultima 7, Bioforge, and especially that absolute bastard Strike Commander... basically, if it was an Origin game, it would be awesome as hell but it would take blood, sweat and tears to be able to get the blasted thing running.

    Ultima 7 was so far ahead of it's time, it almost made sense it was a pain in the ass to get running.

    For others who have never seen Ultima 7, you owe it to yourself to fire it up in a Dosbox. I think GoG has it for just a couple bucks, setup and ready to run with dosbox. You'll feel none of our pain from getting the voodoo brew of sound, mouse and high memory settings right to play it...but you'll immediately see the nascent roots of modern open world RPG"s in there.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
    JazzElvenshae
  • AridholAridhol Daddliest Catch Registered User regular
    I have an rx580 and it works great but I really went that way for the extra vram over the 1060.

    Either one of those is a decent machine but all the normal prebuilt mass manufacturer stuff applies (potentially funky psu, mobo/bios weirdness, case space/cooling).

    You could probably do better with a custom build but maybe that's not helpful advice given that most people posting in this thread are gonna recommend build your own :)

    Seriously though, build your own or we can make one up on pc part picker and then you buy it and then we use that service I posted about in the last thread that I never actually made wherein experienced builders help new builders live with video.

  • NEO|PhyteNEO|Phyte They follow the stars, bound together. Strands in a braid till the end.Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    Jazz wrote: »
    GnomeTank wrote: »
    I had a disc holder full of floppy boot discs specifically to tweak various autoexec.bat and config.sys settings for different games. Ultima 7 was a particular headache and once you had all the settings right you definitely didn't want to lose them.

    Can you imagine people today having to mess with driver level settings every time they wanted to play a game? And for the most part we didn't have Google to bail us out at the time. If we were lucky we had internet, or at least a connection to a BBS to use their Fido net boards or a usenet relay to ask for help.

    Ultima 7, Bioforge, and especially that absolute bastard Strike Commander... basically, if it was an Origin game, it would be awesome as hell but it would take blood, sweat and tears to be able to get the blasted thing running.

    Ultima 7 was so far ahead of it's time, it almost made sense it was a pain in the ass to get running.

    For others who have never seen Ultima 7, you owe it to yourself to fire it up in a Dosbox. I think GoG has it for just a couple bucks, setup and ready to run with dosbox. You'll feel none of our pain from getting the voodoo brew of sound, mouse and high memory settings right to play it...but you'll immediately see the nascent roots of modern open world RPG"s in there.

    Assuming they make it out of the starting town, anyway.

    NEO|Phyte on
    It was that somehow, from within the derelict-horror, they had learned a way to see inside an ugly, broken thing... And take away its pain.
    Warframe/Steam: NFyt
    GnomeTank
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    Aridhol wrote: »
    I have an rx580 and it works great but I really went that way for the extra vram over the 1060.

    Either one of those is a decent machine but all the normal prebuilt mass manufacturer stuff applies (potentially funky psu, mobo/bios weirdness, case space/cooling).

    You could probably do better with a custom build but maybe that's not helpful advice given that most people posting in this thread are gonna recommend build your own :)

    Seriously though, build your own or we can make one up on pc part picker and then you buy it and then we use that service I posted about in the last thread that I never actually made wherein experienced builders help new builders live with video.

    I'd totally volunteer to Skype someone to help them build. I've even got spare parts kicking around that I can use as examples.

    Aridhol
  • useruser Registered User regular
    An update from my 2080Ti step-up. I have the thing installed now -- EVGA was incredibly quick on turn-around literally shipping the same day they received my 1080ti.

    I'm going to withhold water cooling it until December, as I'm moving at the end of the month, and I can also ditch my PCIe add-in WiFi adapter and possibly go vertical.

    For now this will give me time to see if it has any of the 'test escapes' issues.

    I'll need to research a bit anyway, as GPU blocks are a mite bit more complicated when compared to a CPU block, requiring a lot of consideration for thermal contact between not just the GPU die itself but also power-delivery and memory chips. and this has been my first foray into watercooling anyway.

    I'm a very visually oriented learner -- so I'm hoping that there might be some more variety in the interim month because for now it seems the only RTX block that practically anyone has installion guides for on YouTube is the EK.

    I'm leaning towards either the Phanteks Glacier which is quite pretty, or the Alphacool GPX, and it doesn't seem like anyone has handled either.


  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    user wrote: »
    An update from my 2080Ti step-up. I have the thing installed now -- EVGA was incredibly quick on turn-around literally shipping the same day they received my 1080ti.

    I'm going to withhold water cooling it until December, as I'm moving at the end of the month, and I can also ditch my PCIe add-in WiFi adapter and possibly go vertical.

    For now this will give me time to see if it has any of the 'test escapes' issues.

    I'll need to research a bit anyway, as GPU blocks are a mite bit more complicated when compared to a CPU block, requiring a lot of consideration for thermal contact between not just the GPU die itself but also power-delivery and memory chips. and this has been my first foray into watercooling anyway.

    I'm a very visually oriented learner -- so I'm hoping that there might be some more variety in the interim month because for now it seems the only RTX block that practically anyone has installion guides for on YouTube is the EK.

    I'm leaning towards either the Phanteks Glacier which is quite pretty, or the Alphacool GPX, and it doesn't seem like anyone has handled either.


    GPU blocks are easy to install but the first time can be a learning experience because there's a lot more the deal with. Getting one that comes with all pre-cut thermal pads is really nice, but most if nearly all of the open loop ones will. There are a bunch of a good videos on YouTube going through the install process. HardOCP has some very good ones if they've reviewed the block or one from the same manufacturer (they reviewed and have multiple videos about the Phanteks 1080 block).

    For the most part though the hardest parts are disassembling the stock cooler/card and aligning the new block once it's ready to be put on the card. The thermal pads, so long as they're good quality, are really tacky and will easily stick to the memory, VRM's, and anywhere else they're needed even when the card is turned upside down. If they don't stick well (Alphacool's were junk) then a small dot of non-conductive thermal paste will make them stick.

    All blocks from good brands will come with detailed color instructions and there should be videos for any major brand of someone installing one. I'd recommend also ordering a replacement set of thermal pads, they shouldn't be any more than $10-15, just in case you mess something up and for peace of mind. You can reuse the pads should you need to disassemble the block for some reason, but having a fresh set of pads is a nice thing to have around.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
  • useruser Registered User regular
    Thanks for the tips !

    As an aside, I have a freebie (part of the deal) EVGA GTX Hydro Copper block.

    I'm no longer in possession of my 1080Ti so I have no need for it -- and I didn't even install it, as I knew there was a high likelihood that I would make the window to trade up.

    This is the one intended for the 10-Series non-FTW, pretty much reference boards, so I think they're broadly applicable -- but make sure for yourself.

    If anyone is interested and would genuinely use it, feel free to P.M. and I'll let it go for the price of postage.

  • The_SpaniardThe_Spaniard Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    There are two things I want to get this holiday season for myself.

    One of these: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814932064

    And one of these: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1424893-REG/asus_pg27uq_27_rog_swift_4k.html?ap=y&gclid=Cj0KCQiAw5_fBRCSARIsAGodhk-l1j5y9hoVn2kMda9sPuX4_Er46Zt1GaozLzGC0M6qp0xktIX92roaAjbVEALw_wcB&smp=y

    If anybody sees anything even approaching the tiniest of deals on either item or equivalent item let me know.

    Outside of this I won't be spending any more big money on myself, except for possibly Valve's new VR headset that was leaked, for about about a year.
    Welp, I took the plunge and purchased on of these CRUSHINGLY expensive monitors to replace one of my 10 year old monitors, and also future-proof myself to a degree. I was helped with my decision by the fact that some outlets are reporting that the monitor will be on sale for Black Friday for about 20% off, which I can just price match on my credit card after the monitor arrives.

    Now all I need is a deal on the graphics card. If anybody sees any kind of deal for what I'm looking for let me know, so that I can spend the last of my money and then start eating crackers & peanut butter for the foreseeable future.

    Edit:
    While I'm posting, I have a close friend that's interested in a gaming PC, and I have my last PC still sitting around from when I built my latest one. He said he'd be interested in buying it off me and fixing it up to make it into a decent mid-range second-hand gaming PC, but I don't know what would be a fair price to charge him. If I throw some specs at you guys could I get some rough estimates on what a fair "friends" price would be?

    Old PC:
    CPU: i7-2600k
    GPU: GTX 980
    RAM 16gb
    HDD 1tb Western Digital Caviar Black
    Case: Corsair Graphite 600t
    Internal Drive: DVD read/write
    OS: Windows 7 Professional upgraded to 10

    Only things that it needs is a new heat sink for the CPU, because I salvaged it for my current rig, and a new PSU, BUT I had a box with an untouched 650w one in it, which I don't know if it works or not, but am willing to throw it in as a gimme just in case it does. Also I'd be willing to throw in one of my old monitors that I'm going to replace the new one with if it would decently increase the overall value of the package. That would be a 120hz 1080p 3D monitor with active shutter glasses.

    So with all that, and keeping in mind he'd need to give it a once over to clean it up and partially put it back together, what do you think a fair price would be for all that which I originally built around Dec of 2009?
    Note: I still have most of the original packaging for all the parts, and can provide more details if it helps, this was just all off the top of my head.

    The_Spaniard on
    Xbox 360/One Gamertag: SpanWolf - PS3/PS4 Gamertag: Span_Wolf
    3DS: Span_Wolf - 4854-6434-9883/WiiU:Span_Wolf
    Steam: http://steamcommunity.com/id/Span_Wolf/ - Origin: Span_Wolf
  • XeddicusXeddicus Registered User regular
    Around $400 I'd say, since he'd be able to build a decent one for that/a little more. Better the friend/more that it'll just collect dust the lower the price from there. My opinion, anyway.

    "For no one - no one in this world can you trust. Not men. Not women. Not beasts...this you can trust."
  • hackswordhacksword WinnipegRegistered User regular
    I'm in the market for a GTX 1080 Ti for my next build. I've been shopping around some Canadian online retailers and a lot of these cards are marked "out of stock" or "on back order". Will these stores ever get new cards or is the 1080 series done for now that NVidia are selling RTX cards?

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    I believe the 1080ti is out of production so any new cards out there are all that's left.

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | Destiny: Gridlynk
    BouwsT
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    Anyone have any knowledge on HDD deals which are upcoming, preferably in the 8+ TB range?

  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited November 2018
    So, I have a Windows 7 desktop PC from late 2012 with the following specs (basically a stock Alienware Aurora R4):
    • CPU: Intel Core i7 3930k
    • Mobo: alienware 07jnh0 a02 ("micro-ATX")
    • Power Supply: Alienwar 875 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
    • RAM: 16gb DDR3
    • GPU: Nvidia GTX 560 Ti

    Buying/building a new PC isn't gonna happen for at least a few years. I think upgrading the graphics card should keep me in pretty good stead in the meanwhile (eventually I think I'll have to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, too, but that's not barring me from as many games), but I don't want to waste money trying to put a racing engine in a vintage car. Is my system old enough at this point that I shouldn't bother, or is there a practical upper limit on what I should be looking at? Conversely, is there a practical minimum for a gpu upgrade to be worth pursuing? Late last year/earlier this year I was eyeballing an Nvidia GTX 1060 6-gig, but I don't know if that would be a good idea or not. Any recommendations? I'm trying to stay under US$300, $350 at most.

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    A 1060 6 gig card will be a HUGE upgrade from a 560 Ti, even playing at 1080p. The lack of VRAM is what really bottlenecks older but not terrible cards with new games that use high res textures, going from a GTX680 to a GTX980 Ti has been an IMMENSE change for me, for example.

    SynthesisBahamutZEROOrca
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    Also consider that you can move the racing engine into a newer car later. And the 3rd gen CPU can still hold its own. It's a k SKU so you can OC as well, though I'm assuming Alienware already overclocked.

    Have you upgraded to SSDs yet? Storage access speed is an underrated aspect of making a system feel snappy. Plus, SSDs are bonkers cheap this holiday (there's a current deal for a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO for $128).

    Finally, I haven't confirmed, but anecdotal reports are that you can still upgrade from 7 to 10 for free. Even if you pay for it, it's worth the price.

    Edit: you can also look around for a used 3xxx CPU upgrade to drop right in. Off the top of my head, I think they are running around $100-$150 US depending on specifics.

    Mugsley on
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    I'd have a hard time justifying $100 for a "new" CPU that's 6 years old.

    But a new GPU and an SSD will go far.

    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles Jack of all interests... ...master of noneRegistered User regular
    edited November 2018
    A 1060 6 gig card will be a HUGE upgrade from a 560 Ti, even playing at 1080p. The lack of VRAM is what really bottlenecks older but not terrible cards with new games that use high res textures, going from a GTX680 to a GTX980 Ti has been an IMMENSE change for me, for example.

    Hah, I'm aware it'll be a huge performance gain, I was just concerned that I was missing something that would negate much of the hardware improvement. Fortunately, checking around further I found several threads of people doing similar upgrades on some other sites, so should be okay.
    Mugsley wrote: »
    Also consider that you can move the racing engine into a newer car later. And the 3rd gen CPU can still hold its own. It's a k SKU so you can OC as well, though I'm assuming Alienware already overclocked.

    Have you upgraded to SSDs yet? Storage access speed is an underrated aspect of making a system feel snappy. Plus, SSDs are bonkers cheap this holiday (there's a current deal for a 1TB Samsung 860 EVO for $128).

    Finally, I haven't confirmed, but anecdotal reports are that you can still upgrade from 7 to 10 for free. Even if you pay for it, it's worth the price.

    Edit: you can also look around for a used 3xxx CPU upgrade to drop right in. Off the top of my head, I think they are running around $100-$150 US depending on specifics.

    That's a good point about being able to get additional use out of the card.

    This PC actually came with 2x500 gb SSD's. They've been great.

    I keep hearing about ways to upgrade Windows 7->10 for free. I've seen articles on how to do it, but they seem to be exploiting loopholes and go against the service terms which makes me a bit nervous. Like I said, I figure I'll need to make the switch eventually, but won't be able to afford it for a while yet (I think the card's the bigger priority).

    If the gpu's alright, then I'm content to leave well enough alone.

    All in all, I guess my other big question would be; if Newegg has a modest sale (17% or $60) on an EVGA model I'd like, should I get it now, or wait for black friday/cyber monday?

    H3Knuckles on
    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    To be fair, you could spring for a 1050 Ti and it would still be a reasonable upgrade.

    I'm assuming your "loopholes" statement is in regards to Win10. The easy way to check is to install Win10 fresh on a spare hard drive (if you have one) and use your Win7 key to activate. If it works, perfect. If it doesn't, no love lost. You may need to use the "hotline" to activate it.


    @Orca I understand your statement. Comparable: I picked up a 4770k earlier this year for $150 and I felt it was worth it because it probably bought me 1-2 more years on my current rig. Also I was wrong. The 3930k is basically the top end of the generation before you go to "X" SKUs

    tsmvengy
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    So, I have a Windows 7 desktop PC from late 2012 with the following specs (basically a stock Alienware Aurora R4):
    • CPU: Intel Core i7 3930k
    • Mobo: alienware 07jnh0 a02 ("micro-ATX")
    • Power Supply: Alienwar 875 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply
    • RAM: 16gb DDR3
    • GPU: Nvidia GTX 560 Ti

    Buying/building a new PC isn't gonna happen for at least a few years. I think upgrading the graphics card should keep me in pretty good stead in the meanwhile (eventually I think I'll have to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, too, but that's not barring me from as many games), but I don't want to waste money trying to put a racing engine in a vintage car. Is my system old enough at this point that I shouldn't bother, or is there a practical upper limit on what I should be looking at? Conversely, is there a practical minimum for a gpu upgrade to be worth pursuing? Late last year/earlier this year I was eyeballing an Nvidia GTX 1060 6-gig, but I don't know if that would be a good idea or not. Any recommendations? I'm trying to stay under US$300, $350 at most.

    I think I'm in a very similar boat to yourself, with a motherboard, RAM and i5 CPU dating back to early Windows 8.1 (albeit not a pre-manufactured machine, but pre-built from NCIX US, who were awesome for that). Perhaps a slightly weaker CPU, though maybe more modern? Hard to say.

    I'm using a GTX 1080ti, and it's a very capable 2160p machine. I mean, even with a GTX 1080 it was reasonably capable 2160p with compromises, but now it's a relative nonissue. You will still run into games that are going to drop as low as ~45 FPS range, but it's telling that most of them are like 2018 Hitman 2--you can drop the resolution to 1440p, and it doesn't make a bit of difference, you still get those drops. It's a combination of bad optimization (which a lot of games are), and the CPU bottleneck.

    For 1080p, I think you'll be fine with a GTX 1060. If you're worried, you could try finding a GTX 1070 in the $350 range if you're diligent enough (NOT the 1070ti, mind you). Frankly, there are games out that would still drop 10 FPS or more even with a Titan X, because the developer didn't think it was a big deal, or bench-marked with a CPU powerful enough to power a small country's armed forces by itself. It's not a disaster. A GTX 1060 would be an enormous improvement.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
    OrcaH3Knuckles
  • BahamutZEROBahamutZERO Registered User regular
    what are these ways that still exist of doing a free win7 to win10 upgrade?

    BahamutZERO.gif
  • OrcaOrca Registered User regular
    edited November 2018
    As a personal example, I haven't bought the rest of my hardware yet (waiting on those sweet sweet Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals). So I'm sitting on this:
    • Intel i5-3570K (at stock clocks; yes it's a waste, but I decided I wanted quiet over performance after I had it in hand. Oh well.)
    • 16 gigs of RAM
    • nVidia GTX 1080 Ti (lol)
    • 512 Gb SSD

    I started with a GTX 670, upgraded to a 970, and now I'm at a 1080 Ti.

    You'll see a huge difference going from a GTX 560 to even a GTX 1060.

    I'm definitely CPU bound now; with a 1060 I expect it'll be a mix for you :)

    My current rig struggles with CPU-compute-heavy parts of games--running 3DMark and looking at the physics model benchmarks was hilarious--but it's adequate for current games.

    Again, speaking personally, I didn't (and don't) need to upgrade to play current games at decent refresh rates and resolutions (edit: with a GTX 970 as the GPU; the 670 was definitely getting long in tooth when I replaced it)--I want to and I can afford to indulge that want. That whole not having kids thing helps for having money free for hobbies! If you can't justify that kind of waste of money, you'll be fine with whatever GPU you can afford and maybe an SSD upgrade. The rest of your system is perfectly adequate for the next couple years. Plus, if something game-changing occurs in the processor space, you can take your GPU and SSD with you. Any CPU or RAM that fits on that motherboard is trash when you're ready for your new system.

    Orca on
    The 2012 issue of Fornax. | Steam and Origin: Espressosaurus
This discussion has been closed.