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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    OK, but I can string out the purchasing-of-parts for a while; I figure so long as I keep everything wrapped up it won't go stale.
    Be very careful with this. A fair number of years ago I had to return a PC I had had built under warranty due to a motherboard fault. Despite being less than a year old they shop had to supply a different type of motherboard and memory because the old motherboard was no longer available.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Do the CPU and motherboard have to match in terms of the brand, or is this just a compatability issue with the layout?
    AMD and Intel chips have completely different physical (and logical) layouts so it is simply that they are not remotely compatible.
    The chip-makes don't make motherboards so you don't need to worry about brand in that way.
    Last edited by Khedrac; 2020-09-14 at 03:43 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    One thing you probably don't have to worry about, but running afoul of it annoyed me so much I'll warn you about it anyway:
    If possible check a diagram for the mainboard, to make sure there won't be any collisions.
    For example, if the Front Panel USB header just happens to be in line with the PCIe slot that's meant to hold the graphics card, so the card you were planning to use doesn't fit because it's long enough to block that pinheader...

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Good to know- I thought it might be like the whole Microsoft/Apple rivalry.
    If you manage to accidentally buy apple specific parts, there are a good number of people who would love to know how. Apple are notorious for keeping their supply chains closed to the point that repair parts are impossible to get. The only parts you might get are the ones compatible with PC anyway.
    OK, but I can string out the purchasing-of-parts for a while; I figure so long as I keep everything wrapped up it won't go stale.
    You can, but there is really no reason to except the major graphics card release next month. Putting it together is a 15 min job, an hour tops if you are being super careful. Many CPUs can work without a graphics card, which is the only reason I would suggest holding fire on that particular item (which I do, the 3070 looks a steal if it is in your budget). It does look pretty big though, so maybe double check the motherboard doesn't have anything in line it for what AMX was talking about.
    Do the CPU and motherboard have to match in terms of the brand, or is this just a compatability issue with the layout?
    Yes and no. The motherboard will have to have a chipset the same brand as the CPU, but the motherboard itself will have a different brand. For example, for an AMD CPU you might use a motherboard from MSI but it will have an AMD chipset. AMD do not make their own motherboards, so you will not find an 'AMD' motherboard. Intel and AMD use their own sockets, so it is almost impossible to end up with incompatible chipsets, so don't worry about it too much (just look up a compatibility table to be sure).
    Basically, they will either never match, or always match, depending on how you look at it. Not something to worry about.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    That's practical, easy-to-follow advice that I can do.
    All my previous computers were pretty much "minimum-requirements" type of systems.


    And I've watched several, but most of them start out like "now you that you've assembled all your parts..." and I find myself saying things like, "hang on, back up a sec- was there a Part 1 that I missed?" etc.

    Second one first.

    No, you didn't miss anything.

    See, PC hardware used to be a very specialized field, back in the days when you actually had to configure the individual parts by hand. Mainboards, HDD, Discs and so on all came with manual jumpers and switches, the position on the cables was important and don't get me talking about SCSI controllers, building RAID arrays and having to use terminators. Basically, nothing was automatically onboard, there was no automation and no sensors and you had to install every function as an individual component, set stuff like internal channels by hand and so on.

    That's all pretty much in the past, tho.

    - Look at mainboard layout and additional components, adjust case to fit.
    - Install the core components on the mainboard, CPU + fan, Ram, M.2 NVM HDD
    - Screw Mainboard into case, connect SATA cables to mainboard (see below), plug graphic card into E-IDE slot.
    - Screw PSU into case, attach to mainboard.
    - Add additional SATA HDD for storage and some kind of DVD or Blu Ray drive if wanted, attach to SATA cables, attach additional stuff like fans to either mainboard or PSU, depending on setup.
    - Close case, plug in external stuff, install Windows.

    So, for your first point.

    The "Minimum Requirements Approach" doesn't work anymore. Performance optimization is really hard work when it comes to code, so that is geared towards making stuff playable on consoles (and Apple), but is totally skipped when it comes to the Windows market, as hardware is easy and people are expected to simply upgrade their rigs and be done with it.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    Be very careful with this. A fair number of years ago I had to return a PC I had had built under warranty due to a motherboard fault. Despite being less than a year old they shop had to supply a different type of motherboard and memory because the old motherboard was no longer available.
    I stand corrected, then.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Rooster View Post
    You can, but there is really no reason to except the major graphics card release next month. Putting it together is a 15 min job, an hour tops if you are being super careful. Many CPUs can work without a graphics card, which is the only reason I would suggest holding fire on that particular item (which I do, the 3070 looks a steal if it is in your budget). It does look pretty big though, so maybe double check the motherboard doesn't have anything in line it for what AMX was talking about.
    I've always been a bit reluctant to be the first-in-line for the brand newest anything- I figure let someone else be the unpaid beta-tester and after they've sussed out what's wrong with it ('cause there's always SOMETHING), then I can get one. Except with electronics, it sounds like sometimes you have the opposite kind of problem, where companies are like "oh yeah that product/component is a whole 6 months old, so we no longer offer support for it".

    Yes and no. The motherboard will have to have a chipset the same brand as the CPU, but the motherboard itself will have a different brand. For example, for an AMD CPU you might use a motherboard from MSI but it will have an AMD chipset. AMD do not make their own motherboards, so you will not find an 'AMD' motherboard. Intel and AMD use their own sockets, so it is almost impossible to end up with incompatible chipsets, so don't worry about it too much (just look up a compatibility table to be sure).
    Basically, they will either never match, or always match, depending on how you look at it. Not something to worry about.
    Ah, OK- I think I understand a bit better now, thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    No, you didn't miss anything.

    See, PC hardware used to be a very specialized field....
    That's all pretty much in the past, tho.
    That's good to know. I knew from watching videos that it seemed that it should be something most people could handle, but a lot of instructional stuff (not just in electronics, but also in other fields like cooking) assume a minimum level of knowledge because they are prepared by experts, or people who have been doing this for so long it's second-nature to them.

    There's an art to teaching someone something truly from scratch.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2020-09-16 at 01:20 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    If you want to build one, go ahead. Of course, that just compounds the number of choices you have to make.

    I'd recommend going to this site for fiddling with all the possible choices: pcpartbuilder.com
    And another one https://www.logicalincrements.com/

    Before buying a computer, you should first determine what software you want to run on it, and what performance you need out of that software. Then plan the hardware accordingly. Once you've realized you've completely busted your budget, re-ittirate this process.

    I'd also like to state while the "logical increments" parts list look sane, I can't vouch for the "scale each part up to use up the entire budget" system it uses. I'd start with the "good" bracket (changing out the x470 motherboard for a 550B one, and losing the HDD and going with a 1TB NVMe card) and then think about where to put any "luxuries". For gaming, that would be cranking up the GPU. For normal desktop work, probably just the monitor (and I'll plug the idea of a large TV. I use a 43" 4k TV that costs roughly the same as a computer monitor for the "good" level, and it is unreal for surfing things like GITP, let alone games [with a reasonably powerful GPU]. Datahorders might want a ton of storage (but normal people won't fill 500GB. Then again, "normal people" don't build their own computers).

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    SATA vs NVMe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I would highly recommend a SSD drive over an old school spinning rust one (HDD)
    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Understood- SATA seems to be the more common connector so I'll try to make sure everything I buy has those sorts of connections, unless there's some big advantage to M.2 that you want to tell me about.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it too much and just go for a standard SATA SSD.
    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    I'd start with the "good" bracket ["logical increments"] ... losing the HDD and going with a 1TB NVMe card

    Logical-Increments is still pushing HDDs as secondary data dump o.O Do not get an HDD unless you have a good reason to buy very large amounts of slow and noisy storage for a low price. The HDD to SDD switch years ago was very haptic, you could feel everything happening so much faster.

    The SATA to NVMe switch is not that impressive at all. At the moment it's 2 seconds less time on a 20 second loading screen and no FPS difference. We are at the point where the chips on the drives become so fast that newer connections are needed. But good chips cost money. Last year "stay with SATA because of the price" was a good call, but this has changed.

    for 1TB (sry no $ prices, should be similar)
    - Crucial MX500 ~ €100 (SATA)
    - Intel 660P ~ €100 (NVMe, PCIe3)
    - WD Black SN750 ~ €130 (NVMe, PCIe3)
    - Samsung 970 Evo Plus ~ €170 (NVMe, PCIe3)
    - Patriot Viper VP4100 ~ €190 (NVMe, PCIe4)

    The Intel 660P has lowered the NVMe prices to budget levels* with their slow but cheap QLC chips. There is a bit of a war going on because people are suspicious of the lifetime** of these chips and the drive seems to run into caching problems when writing very large amounts of data, but for a gaming PC that is not relevant. The drive outperforms the middle class SATA competition in the 100 bucks price bracket. It is recommended by Logical Increments for good reasons.

    *I would not go any lower: there is a 85 bucks 1TB SSD SATA drive bracket but there are no good drives in it, some don't even have DRAM.
    ** always backup your most valuable data to an offsite storage to protect against building fires! The drives five year warranty does not cover those and can not magically recreate your data


    The WD Black SN750 has better performance and probably rules the budget+quality market sector. One could argue endlessly how it compares with similar cards like the EVO970 Plus, which is the most recommended drive at the moment. But: if one is minmaxing for gaming, investing in a better graphics card is preferable, because that has a far larger and far more visible impact on gaming performance.

    Same goes for the Viper: the PCIe 3.0 x4 (M.2) slots max out at 3,940MB/s and Viper can almost reach that - under optimal conditions in a laboratory so the time for PCIe4 drives will come soon. Note however that SATA maxes out at around 600MB/s and the last SATA just barely got pressured from the budget market under real world conditions, so at the moment PCIe4 is all about sales and marketing and not about tech, at least when it comes to NVMe SSDs.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lo'Tek View Post
    SATA vs NVMe

    Logical-Increments is still pushing HDDs as secondary data dump o.O Do not get an HDD unless you have a good reason to buy very large amounts of slow and noisy storage for a low price. The HDD to SDD switch years ago was very haptic, you could feel everything happening so much faster.

    The SATA to NVMe switch is not that impressive at all. At the moment it's 2 seconds less time on a 20 second loading screen and no FPS difference. We are at the point where the chips on the drives become so fast that newer connections are needed. But good chips cost money. Last year "stay with SATA because of the price" was a good call, but this has changed.

    for 1TB (sry no $ prices, should be similar)
    - Crucial MX500 ~ €100 (SATA)
    - Intel 660P ~ €100 (NVMe, PCIe3)
    - WD Black SN750 ~ €130 (NVMe, PCIe3)
    - Samsung 970 Evo Plus ~ €170 (NVMe, PCIe3)
    - Patriot Viper VP4100 ~ €190 (NVMe, PCIe4)
    And that would make a pretty reasonable fit into Logical Increment's site. But they just have to focus on splitting the budget evenly across the entire build. If that's what you want you should just buy a Dell (or some other prebuilt. I think Dell is nearly out of the business now). It will be cheaper.

    but if you dig into the purpose specific builds, the only time they recommend a HDD is for video editing. And never in less than 10TB HDDs (don't buy that in flash). So only the front page is bad, but it really is a bad advertisement for the site.

    Another way to look at things:

    broke: Chromebook - seriously, you need a good reason to buy from the bottom levels instead of a chromebook.
    minimum: 500GB QLC SATA (a surprising number of people will only fill this halfway up. Of course, I also suspect they'd like a solid chromebook more).
    beyond: add your list here.

    And a separate list for datahorders who can't fit everything into 1TB.
    1TB NVMe + 3TB HDD
    1TB NVMe + 8-12TB shucked easystore*
    1TB NVMe + NAS unit running FreeNAS** built out of used servers (or an old computer) and filled with hard drives

    Sure 2TB is an option, but only if you really need 2TB of fast storage or "more than 1TB but less than 2TB". Somewhere in there I'd expect to pick up primocache if using windows.

    Then there are the graphics cards. If you don't use your system to play games, then nothing beyond the minimum level makes sense (ok, some streaming and photoshop work uses the GPU. But that is unfortunately far more rare than it should be).
    If you do play games (and everything else really could be replaced by a chromebook), buy a graphics system several notches higher and lower the rest of the system as necessary (e-sports snobs will insist you have to run at 240Hz, but good luck seeing the difference).

    And a quick scan shows they are pushing 2x2080ti cards over 3080. Sure, you can waste money that way, but SLI isn't supported well enough you'd ever want it over a 3080.

    The power supplies appear equally problematic, but can be justified with just how powerhungy nvidia's latest beasts are. I tried the wayback machine and a build with [only] a AMD 3900X + RTX2080ti had a pcpartpicker estimated wattage of 450W tops and a 850W power supply. The 850W was recommended for the next step down, but that used an Intel CPU and overclockers just might need that power.

    But in general the specific builds are ok. But they really love their small HDDs, even more than I do (and I at least understand not recommending them to others).

    * easystore is a US (Bestbuy) specific HDD enclosure. But I suspect shucking HDDs is international
    ** not sure exactly which distribution is best. There were some shenanigans here and I can't keep them straight (I don't run ZFS).
    Last edited by wumpus; 2020-09-20 at 03:04 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Florian View Post
    Basically, I'd advice you against it.

    Building a PC from scratch only makes sense when you a) know the specifics that you need and b) know that you can't simply upgrade an existing system to meet those specifics.
    I would strenuously reject this for several reasons, not the least of which is that prebuilt computers often come with bloatware. That alone is reason enough to build your own if you're interested in it.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-09-20 at 09:39 PM.
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I would strenuously reject this for several reasons, not the least of which is that prebuilt computers often come with bloatware. That alone is reason enough to build your own if you're interested in it.
    Not really a great justification, that, because you could probably go through and uninstall all the bloatware in less time than it takes to build a PC and install Windows on it...

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I would strenuously reject this for several reasons, not the least of which is that prebuilt computers often come with bloatware. That alone is reason enough to build your own if you're interested in it.
    FWIW Windwos 10 itself comes with bloatware, new off the shelf packages only Microsoft benefits from you buying. Less than the prebuilt computers for sure but be damned if you can avoid it.



    I have to say for someone doing some decent gaming am using up several terabytes on games. A regular AAA game now clocks on 50-100GB. And then you keep severla installed because you don't know which strikes your fancy and you'll be damned if you are going to wait 20m for it to download over the 100mb connection.

    1tb minimum for a decent computer where you migth want to waste a bit of space. I have 1tb on nvem and another 2 sata 512gb ssds, plus an old 1tb hdd I can't retire because it's full of crap I occasionally want to look at.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Not really a great justification, that, because you could probably go through and uninstall all the bloatware in less time than it takes to build a PC and install Windows on it...
    But if someone is interested in building a PC, that offsets the time difference.
    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    FWIW Windwos 10 itself comes with bloatware, new off the shelf packages only Microsoft benefits from you buying. Less than the prebuilt computers for sure but be damned if you can avoid it.
    Fair.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Well, I did it- I bit the bullet and ordered myself up a whole bunch of computer parts. Everything will probably take a week or two to get here, but after that I can make another update seeing how the assembly goes, if that's something people are interested in, since you've all been so helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    FWIW Windwos 10 itself comes with bloatware, new off the shelf packages only Microsoft benefits from you buying. Less than the prebuilt computers for sure but be damned if you can avoid it.
    If you're REALLY looking to avoid bloatware (personally I find it a little annoying but never so bad that I couldn't just ignore it), what are you options? Is it Linux or nothing?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rater202 View Post
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  14. - Top - End - #44
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    You could always go into control panel and remove anything you don't want or need.

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    You could always go into control panel and remove anything you don't want or need.
    Good luck. I know Edge can't be removed. No way they'd let you remove the Microsoft Store. Good luck with Cortina.

    https://linuxmint.com/download.php
    No, this isn't completely serious. You probably have a bunch of applications and/or games that really insist on Windows. And any games often suffer severe performance penalties (at least the ones I've convinced to work). And the other benefits don't seem nearly as impressive as when I jumped ship in the XP days (when every Microsoft program would install every virus on sight). And yes, I still have Windows on another partition. Well, at least I will when I get around to reinstalling it after it broke itself a few weeks ago.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    I wouldn't call Edge and the MS store bloatware. It's not like Linux doesn't ship with it's own browser. And pretty much everything I've read lately is Edge is better than Chrome at this point anyway, as it's a Chrome base but without Chrome's memory leaks. The store is hardly much either, you could easily never open it and you'll never notice the very small amount of resources it uses anyway.

    My experience with Linux is that it is fine if you want a computer for Linux but not all that great if you want a computer for any other reason. Especially considering you can run Win10 indefinitely for free, you just can't change a few minor visual things. I've spent more time getting things to work on Linux than I've spent actually using Linux for anything else (with the caveat that it's on my laptop that I just don't use that much).

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    Especially considering you can run Win10 indefinitely for free.
    Yeah "free"

    You can buy it for almost nothing - like no monthly fees or so - and it is really user friendly, it even backs up your disk encryption key to Microsofts cloud. The voice assistant parses all microphone input for the command keywords. It collects telemetric data about all interactions to further improve its user experience and it will even scan all your data for illegal content. And the best thing is: if there is any problem, experts can remotely access the machine without the user noticing anything. Great system, really great.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Is it Linux or nothing?
    No there is OpenBSD and PhantomOS and OKL4 and Minix and QNX and QubesOS and Android-x86, and Fuchsia and many more.

    And there are a lot of puzzle pieces already created on the way to a better gaming platform: Look at servers, no one wants to code for a specific cloud platform, its all about open virtual machine firmware and open container interfaces. Having the game development studio care about the operating system of the customer is just stupid and only benefits the monopolists, not the developers and not the customers. But at the moment that is, how it is.

    You want to play Cyberpunk2077 on PC? You need Window$, because the developing studio only sells on the biggest markets, not to some punks ass kids squatting in cyberspace.
    Last edited by Lo'Tek; 2020-09-24 at 12:31 AM.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Well, I did it- I bit the bullet and ordered myself up a whole bunch of computer parts. Everything will probably take a week or two to get here, but after that I can make another update seeing how the assembly goes, if that's something people are interested in, since you've all been so helpful.
    That's ironic, I was just about to pop in and say now would be an excellent time to wait before making any big decisions. I've been following the new release of nVidias altes generation of gfx cards and now heard AMD is teasing that they are going to launch new cpus... problem ofc is we don't really know if it's just an announcement in weeks/months and actual product more months later or if they'll actually have something to sell.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    If you're REALLY looking to avoid bloatware (personally I find it a little annoying but never so bad that I couldn't just ignore it), what are you options? Is it Linux or nothing?
    Mainly it's just occasionally uninstalling the odd spurious Candy Crushes and Netflix. Microsoft has dropped a lot of it's attendant apps, or if they didn't I have unsintalled them and they never came back.

    Personally I can't ever get Linux to properly run anything and the less said about the stuff that's even less mainstream than Linux the better.

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    Default I also want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by wumpus View Post
    Good luck. I know Edge can't be removed. No way they'd let you remove the Microsoft Store. Good luck with Cortina.
    The Control Panel works just fine for uninstalling the Microsoft Store - it was one of the first things I did when I got my Win10 laptop.



    I'm in pretty much in the same boat as OP, so let me say that the resources and advice given in this thread have been very useful! Thank you all for being so helpful!

    I want to build a computer that can play my current games at a decent framerate and will still be able to play new games in five year's time, and I'm thinking of taking up VR at some point in the future. In the Playground's opinion, would an i5-10600 and a RTX 2600 be sufficiently future-proof? (Also, are laptop SSDs compatible with desktops? I can cut corners by cannibalizing my current setup if that's the case.)

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    That's ironic, I was just about to pop in and say now would be an excellent time to wait before making any big decisions. I've been following the new release of nVidias altes generation of gfx cards and now heard AMD is teasing that they are going to launch new cpus... problem ofc is we don't really know if it's just an announcement in weeks/months and actual product more months later or if they'll actually have something to sell.
    There are always new CPUs and GPUs on the horizon. Unless you have something concrete to wait for, with a specific date within the next month or so, the best time to buy components is right now.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    want to build a computer that can play my current games at a decent framerate and will still be able to play new games in five year's time, and I'm thinking of taking up VR at some point in the future. In the Playground's opinion, would an i5-10600 and a RTX 2600 be sufficiently future-proof? (Also, are laptop SSDs compatible with desktops? I can cut corners by cannibalizing my current setup if that's the case.)
    One thing to keep in mind about a desktop PC is that you can swap out parts at any time with little effort. Even if, in five years time, an RTX 2060 no longer performs up to your standards, you just have to replace that RTX 2060.

    That being said, no one has a crystal ball, but I suspect that system would still play every new release on the market, with minor concessions in the graphics settings, in five years.

    As for the SSD question - Unless it's literally soldered into the laptop permanently, it should be reusable for the PC without issue. If it's an m.2 SSD make sure your motherboard can fit it (but that shouldn't be a hurdle). Personally I'd probably buy a new SSD for the machine and use the laptop SSD as extra space.
    Last edited by Silfir; 2020-09-24 at 04:16 AM.
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    There are always new CPUs and GPUs on the horizon. Unless you have something concrete to wait for, with a specific date within the next month or so, the best time to buy components is right now.
    That's not quite true. While there are always new cpus I find the pace changed nowadays. They were selling the same cpus when I bought my 9th gen i5 as they were when a friend boguht his a year later. However, there are major technology shifts that do matter. Take the rtx3000 series, it is faster and significantly cheaper msrp. If you listened to the techguys that said wait don't buy the rtx2000 series 2 weeks ago you get more for less now. If you could wait. Heck last year someone told me the 3000 series was coming so I decided to wait. I could get by on my gtx970. Now my usecases are hitting the wall on the gtx970 so am gonan get the new one. If it was possible, as it's sold out everywhere. Which means basically I end up waiting for the AMD info. If it's breathtakingly amazing might wait some more, otherwise am getting the rtx3000 when there's actual stock.

    When you are buying stuff just to build it. When in fact your stated goal is to take your time, then waiting if prices come dramaticlly down or something other major shifts makes sense. Not all points in time are equal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Silfir View Post
    That being said, no one has a crystal ball, but I suspect that system would still play every new release on the market, with minor concessions in the graphics settings, in five years.
    About 5 years is what I expect a system to remain usable, can push another year(s) or so if don't buy new games.

    One thing to watch out for though is like e.g. you buy a new computer screen with higher resolution. I upgraded my 1080p screen to a new 2K 144hz screen and suddenly my adequate gfx card is barely running the game on low settings. Literally the much better screen had a much worse looking game on it. I had to juggle with settings a lot to get an acceptable detail level, sacrificing some of the edges.
    Futureproofing is really hard, and ultimately I've never really managed it. There's always some incremental change too much somewhere.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2020-09-24 at 04:32 AM.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    That's not quite true. While there are always new cpus I find the pace changed nowadays. They were selling the same cpus when I bought my 9th gen i5 as they were when a friend bought his a year later. However, there are major technology shifts that do matter. Take the rtx3000 series, it is faster and significantly cheaper msrp. If you listened to the techguys that said wait don't buy the rtx2000 series 2 weeks ago you get more for less now. If you could wait. Heck last year someone told me the 3000 series was coming so I decided to wait. I could get by on my gtx970. Now my usecases are hitting the wall on the gtx970 so am gonan get the new one. If it was possible, as it's sold out everywhere. Which means basically I end up waiting for the AMD info. If it's breathtakingly amazing might wait some more, otherwise am getting the rtx3000 when there's actual stock.

    When you are buying stuff just to build it. When in fact your stated goal is to take your time, then waiting if prices come dramaticlly down or something other major shifts makes sense. Not all points in time are equal.
    Yeah, I'm sure if you wait a while there will always be some kind of good deal just over the horizon, but if you take to long looking for deals on everything, then whatever the oldest piece of your computer that you're buying gets closer and closer to it's obsolescence-date, and then you'd have to replace it anyway.

    Plus, I'm not knowledgeable enough to really judge how newer parts would affect my system overall, or if the cost-savings of waiting would be worth it. That sounds like the kind of judgement people make when they have more experience that I do.

    I'll keep your advice in mind for if ever go through this exercise again, but for now I don't need the latest cutting-edge tech, and $50 more or less on my CPU won't break the bank. I'd rather build a computer from stuff that I know has been out long enough to have been thoroughly vetted, and has about the same sunset-date until I'll have to upgrade it.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2020-09-24 at 10:14 AM.
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Really there are only 2 parts where there will be any major shift in cost or it's effect on your PC, that is CPU and GPU. There isn't any major shift in RAM or motherboard that doesn't require a change in CPU as well. The shifts in storage (SSD/HD) and monitors is pretty slow and well known. Cases, power supplies, and peripherals are pretty much set, they're getting better but not at a meaningful rate of change and they have no impact on the build overall anyway; short of a major change in design, which will be driven by the CPU/GPU needs. The CPU and GPU are also the two biggest parts of the cost.

    In short, all you really need to watch is any major announcements in the CPU or GPU space, which isn't that hard to keep up on. Intel, AMD, and Nvidia all have pretty clear development timelines, so it is rare to really be surprised by anything they do, at least in terms of releases. The main surprises will be what performance and price come out of those developments.

    As for how long a system will last, if you're at least matching or beating the new generation of consoles for power, and compared to a PC their performance isn't as impressive as their marketing likes to pretend, you'll be able to run pretty much everything for 5+ years, because that's how long console generations last and game development is too expensive now to cut out consoles completely and especially if your game requires top-of-the-line PC hardware then even the PC market you're available to is very small. In short, any game that has that niche of a market can't get to that niche by spending so much in pushing graphics because that increases the development costs greatly, which runs counter to a high niche game. Also worth noting that this is a moderately recent change, like 5-10 years at most, and becoming more true as we go and as development costs increase. What was true 10-20 years ago in the gaming space isn't true any more.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Erloas View Post
    The shifts in ... monitors is pretty slow and well known. .
    Would you care to elaborate?

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Lo'Tek View Post
    Would you care to elaborate?
    I maybe should have put the qualifier of "in ways it affects your build" into that part. The connection types went from VGA, to DVI, to HDMI, and now to DP. Most video cards will have at least two of those types of outputs and most monitors will have two, to potentially all 4, and even if it doesn't, you can convert from any one to any other.
    The other main thing is resolution, and 1080p has been a standard for close to 20 years now, and running 2K or 4K resolutions are relatively new, but not that new, and actually running at those resolutions comes down to your video card much more than the monitor. In practical terms, of course the top of the line video card won't change a 1080p monitor to be better, but actually running a game at 4k is going to require a beefy video card. In the worst case scenario you scale down, which can be done by everything so it doesn't affect your build. Of course you're not going to be spending $800+ on a 4k monitor if you've got a $100 video card, and you're not going to be spending $800 on a video card to use it on a $100 monitor either.

    Things like backlighting technology, screen technology (TN, ISP, etc), color depth, GTG/BTB transition times, and other sorts of things have a big impact on the quality of the monitor itself, but not any real effect on the build or the considerations of any other parts of the system. I spent a lot of time finding a great monitor, but none of those considerations changed based on the other components in my computer, other than making sure my video card would run games at the resolution I wanted.

    The only maybe consideration is refresh rate and AdaptiveSync or FreeSync, the latter of which isn't any more complex than is your video card Nvidia or AMD, and a number of monitors support both. Even if your monitor doesn't support either though, it doesn't change anything else. The refresh rate specifically is similar to resolution, in that it takes a better video card to run at higher refresh rates, but everything will be perfectly happy running at lower refresh rates too.

    As for those changes being well known and predictable, none of those parts of the technology that do change, do so on it's own. The video cards that support new connector types, variable refresh rates, and similar will come out before, or at the same time as the monitors, and they have to be pretty well published so that both can hit the market at the same time so they are useful, especially since video card makers and monitor makers are completely different companies. It isn't like the 2000 to 3000 series Nvidia card release, where they keep the power/specs hidden until they're almost ready to release to surprise their competitors.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    Well, I did it- I bit the bullet and ordered myself up a whole bunch of computer parts. Everything will probably take a week or two to get here, but after that I can make another update seeing how the assembly goes, if that's something people are interested in, since you've all been so helpful.


    If you're REALLY looking to avoid bloatware (personally I find it a little annoying but never so bad that I couldn't just ignore it), what are you options? Is it Linux or nothing?
    Well, its always interesting to read about people building their first PC.

    I would not have recommended doing the first building on a PNEW PC you actually intend to use, in case of problems, but will see how it goes for you.

    Care to post what you got?= As I was just about to post a recommendation or 2 ^^
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by GrayDeath View Post
    I would not have recommended doing the first building on a PNEW PC you actually intend to use, in case of problems, but will see how it goes for you.
    I'm not sure how exactly that would work, unless you're suggest I find someone else's PC to disassemble and put back together.
    If you have any advice to avoid common missteps, it's always welcome.

    Care to post what you got?= As I was just about to post a recommendation or 2 ^^
    I placed the order and then promptly forgot most of it, and I'm to lazy to go look it up.
    If make another post about the build you'll see it then, but some of the parts have already started arriving, including my AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (THICC3) graphics card.

    And I also don't want to type out everything because the names of some of these parts go on forever! Searching for them on Amazon they would take up 3 lines of text.
    Last edited by Deepbluediver; 2020-09-27 at 03:27 PM.
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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    And I also don't want to type out everything because the names of some of these parts go on forever! Searching for them on Amazon they would take up 3 lines of text.
    When you want to brag components, all people really focus on are CPU, GPU, and the amount of RAM. Other bits are certainly important (you've already been told why you don't want a bargain basement PSU), but your hard drive and fan configurations come up a lot less.

    Still, just wait until everything is together and then you can share pictures and specs.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by Deepbluediver View Post
    I'm not sure how exactly that would work, unless you're suggest I find someone else's PC to disassemble and put back together.
    I assume his idea was that you'd buy a bunch of cheap components to build a PC just to see if it all worked, and then give the result to someone you know who wants a low-end PC for something, or use it to have a play around rather than using it as a main PC. If you chose the absolute bare minimum to make a functioning PC, and used Linux rather than Windows as the OS, it's surprising how cheaply you could build one--but it would still be a bit of a waste of money.

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    Default Re: I want to build a computer, but I have no idea what I'm doing

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I assume his idea was that you'd buy a bunch of cheap components to build a PC just to see if it all worked, and then give the result to someone you know who wants a low-end PC for something, or use it to have a play around rather than using it as a main PC. If you chose the absolute bare minimum to make a functioning PC, and used Linux rather than Windows as the OS, it's surprising how cheaply you could build one--but it would still be a bit of a waste of money.
    Oh, hmm, that makes sense. I even have a friend who got themselves a new computer recently. But I wasn't thinking about this at the time and honestly, building something for someone else would probably stress me out WAY more than doing it for myself, even with cheap parts.

    This way if I fail horribly the only people who know will be me, and some random internet folks.
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