Help me build my PC 2017 Catch All

zeroKFE wrote:

And if they do manage something like that, then it seems like a 3800 might become the basement of where you could acceptably skate through the next generation on a single CPU -- but if you're going to go with a 3800, why not drop an extra $100 and jump up to the 12 core 3900, right? :P

If you want to stretch your money across a ~6 year console cycle, historically, the winning move would be to buy midrange at the start and upgrade to the new midrange 3 years later, spending the same amount you would have spent going "big" once to try and stretch it 6 years.

In 2007, for example, not long after the PS3 release, the hot CPU was the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, and that was an over-$500 chip. Fast forward to 2010, and it lagged way behind the new $200 midrange Core i5 750. Buying the ~$180 Core 2 Duo E8400 in 2007 and then the Core i5 750 in 2010 (making $380 in total CPU outlay, leaving enough room for the second motherboard) would have put you waaaaaay ahead in terms of the performance you would get in years 4-6.

Over the last console cycle, that did not hold as true, because CPU performance growth has been pretty flat, especially in single-thread performance. But with AMD upping their game, it may not stay quite so flat going forward.

I'm still wondering how they're doing 16 cores in 105 watts. That's only 6.5 watts each.

*Legion* wrote:
zeroKFE wrote:

And if they do manage something like that, then it seems like a 3800 might become the basement of where you could acceptably skate through the next generation on a single CPU -- but if you're going to go with a 3800, why not drop an extra $100 and jump up to the 12 core 3900, right? :P

If you want to stretch your money across a ~6 year console cycle, historically, the winning move would be to buy midrange at the start and upgrade to the new midrange 3 years later, spending the same amount you would have spent going "big" once to try and stretch it 6 years.

In 2007, for example, not long after the PS3 release, the hot CPU was the Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600, and that was an over-$500 chip. Fast forward to 2010, and it lagged way behind the new $200 midrange Core i5 750. Buying the ~$180 Core 2 Duo E8400 in 2007 and then the Core i5 750 in 2010 (making $380 in total CPU outlay, leaving enough room for the second motherboard) would have put you waaaaaay ahead in terms of the performance you would get in years 4-6.

Over the last console cycle, that did not hold as true, because CPU performance growth has been pretty flat, especially in single-thread performance. But with AMD upping their game, it may not stay quite so flat going forward.

Ah, interesting food for thought.

The "buy big and have it last a while" strategy absolutely worked out for me this cycle; before that I was dual booting a Mac Pro for my gaming PC, so I didn't really pay much attention during the previous era.

Either way, though, my main goal is always going to be to beat the current consoles by a comfy margin and then just be happy with it while it lasts.

zeroKFE wrote:

he "buy big and have it last a while" strategy absolutely worked out for me this cycle;

Yeah, I believe that. A high-end 2013 CPU would be something like a Core i7-4790K, and its single-thread performance is only *barely* beaten by the $200 Intel CPU 6 years later (Core i5-9500), and still beats the Ryzen alternative. A far cry from getting dominated by midrange CPUs in only 3 years like the Q6600.

It's impossible to predict what the future CPU growth curve will look like, but my guess is that the last cycle and the previous cycle before it represent extremes, and this next cycle will be somewhere in the middle. Which muddles the buy-big vs. buy-twice scenario even further.

Yup, the 4790k is exactly what's in my machine right now. It's also another factor in why a mid-buy right now makes a bit less sense for me. Honestly, the mediocre motherboard I used is probably the main reason why this computer's viable lifespan (for my desired use cases) will be shorter than it could be.

Which muddles the buy-big vs. buy-twice scenario even further.

Yeah, no kidding, and again, not helped by the fact that Microsoft basically just said, "uh yeah, we're going to use NVMe SSDs too" this week and punted on any other specifics probably until at least GDC next spring.

Anyway, for now I wait and see how my current machine deals with the Valve Index, and probably order a 2080 Super either way.

Yeah, I'm also sporting a 4790K, and I also don't really need an upgrade yet. There are some games that would benefit (Witcher 3, for instance, gets a substantial boost from fast DDR4), but for the most part, this is still working really well.

I do notice the I/O hits, though. Everything in my network has slowed down a lot since the Spectre/Meltdown workarounds. I use multiple VMs, for instance, and I can rarely do SSH copies from them at more than about 60 megs a second, where 110 was normal two years ago.

Yeah, Witcher 3 chugged for me in places, and the last two Assassin's Creed games have gotten progressively more CPU and/or I/O bound. Either way, lots more simulation heavy big open worlds coming down the pike, as well as developers designing around the presence of an NVMe drive once the new consoles launch. (Granted, I believe I've got an M2 slot available, but still, it will be time to improve things all around soon either way.)

So I'm conflicted on upgrading my GTX 670. Originally, I was told that the 1080 would be enough for the next year or two but then received advice that it's cost is too high for it's performance. Should I do something higher like the 1660 or the 2080?

bigred wrote:

So I'm conflicted on upgrading my GTX 670. Originally, I was told that the 1080 would be enough for the next year or two but then received advice that it's cost is too high for it's performance. Should I do something higher like the 1660 or the 2080?

It’s a weird time. In my opinion the best thing to do especially if you are at 1080 or 1440 is stick it to Nvidia as much as possible and buy a Vega 56 for $299 and call it a day for 2-3 years until one or both of these guys gets some sanity back. Maybe Intel will shake up this market by then as well.

bigred wrote:

So I'm conflicted on upgrading my GTX 670. Originally, I was told that the 1080 would be enough for the next year or two but then received advice that it's cost is too high for it's performance.

The 1080 is priced too high because it's not being made anymore. It's from a generation ago. The last remaining stock of an old product often get (algorithmically) priced overly high.

The 2070 replaces the 1080.

1660ti, Vega 56, Vega 64, and 2070 all would replace your GTX 670 just fine, depending on where your budget is.

If you're coming from a 670, almost anything would be an enormous upgrade. Prices on current video cards seem high for the amount of performance you're getting, too. Even a low-midrange card would be a massive improvement, and then you could hang tight and hope that video card pricing returns to something saner.

A used RX 580's can be obtained for $150 or less on any street corner now and is, conservatively, 1.5x as fast as the 670.

Apparently MS finally fixed the busted ass scheduler in Windows 10 for AMD chips and what do you know... people are seeing boosts in performance in some games of as much as 15%, depending on the title and how CPU/thread related it's performance is at a given resolution.

Clock speed ramp ups that used to take 30ms now takes 1-2ms.

And this is on currently available Ryzen chips.

Thin_J wrote:

Apparently MS finally fixed the busted ass scheduler in Windows 10 for AMD chips and what do you know... people are seeing boosts in performance in some games of as much as 15%, depending on the title and how CPU/thread related it's performance is at a given resolution.

Clock speed ramp ups that used to take 30ms now takes 1-2ms.

And this is on currently available Ryzen chips.

Ohhhh, that sounds great!

The clock speed ramp up latency may be the 3000 chips or may be a different patch.

I've been trying to read more specifics but there seems to be *a lot* of confusion about what parts are affected in what ways by the update.

Maybe don't get overly excited until there's a more official statement from MS or AMD or both describing exactly what effects it does or doesn't have.

And 15% is the ideal upper end type improvement in software that was particularly affected by scheduler issues.

Some games were patched specifically to avoid the scheduler problems regardless of what windows wanted to do. Others weren't.

I should have tried to dig a lot more before saying anything instead of going on the five minutes reading I did earlier.

So I'm looking at building a new PC because my case is falling to pieces and my power supply and HDDs are getting quite aged.

I did however get a very very good deal on this case which I like because it will remind me to dust the inside once in a while...

IMAGE(https://c1.neweggimages.com/ProductImage/11-112-583-V21.jpg)

Not much to say really, just sharing. It's been at least five years or so since I've built a PC and everything is transparent windows and RGB lighting. I wouldn't mind a touch of lighting but feel like it's way too easy to go overboard.

Any thoughts on... anything, really? Is it worth waiting a few months to see what AMD and Nvidia have in store? I'd like to aim for 4k capability as the TV I use is 4K HDR. My current PC can't cut the mustard there. That said, I don't play a ton of really heavy duty spec games.

Thin_J wrote:

The clock speed ramp up latency may be the 3000 chips or may be a different patch.

I've been trying to read more specifics but there seems to be *a lot* of confusion about what parts are affected in what ways by the update.

Maybe don't get overly excited until there's a more official statement from MS or AMD or both describing exactly what effects it does or doesn't have.

And 15% is the ideal upper end type improvement in software that was particularly affected by scheduler issues.

Some games were patched specifically to avoid the scheduler problems regardless of what windows wanted to do. Others weren't.

I should have tried to dig a lot more before saying anything instead of going on the five minutes reading I did earlier.

This all made me curious, and my system was still on 1809, so I brought my 1809 install fully up to date, did some benchmarks, then upgraded to 1903 and benchmarked again.

My system is a Ryzen 1700 with a full-time 3.9GHz overclock, 16GB DDR4 @ 2933, a B350-based motherboard, and a GTX 1080.

Windows 10, build 1809:
GeekBench single-core: 4403
GeekBench multi-core: 25167
CPUMark: 16157
CPUMark Single Threaded Score: 2079
Unigine Valley: 4644 (FPS min/avg/max): 23.2 / 111.0 / 169.4
Rainbow Six: Siege* benchmark (FPS min/avg/max): 81.1 / 159.1 / 218.9

*: using my normal in-game settings, not comparable with results outside of my own

Windows 10, build 1903:
GeekBench single-core: 4379
GeekBench multi-core: 26062
CPUMark: 16236
CPUMark Single Threaded Score: 2075
Unigine Valley: 4726 (FPS min/avg/max): 34.6 / 113.0 / 171.7
Rainbow Six: Siege benchmark (FPS min/avg/max): 88.2 / 160.2 / 198.1

I noticed that my chipset drivers were not updated in the sequence of updates that got me here, so I went and downloaded the latest chipset drivers from AMD, and ran everything again:

Windows 10, build 1903, AMD chipset drivers 19.10.0429:
GeekBench single-core: 4376
GeekBench multi-core: 25971
CPUMark: 16216
CPUMark Single Threaded Score: 2077
Unigine Valley: 4692 (FPS min/avg/max: 34.0 / 112.1 / 178.5)
Rainbow Six: Siege benchmark (FPS min/avg/max): 89.5 / 160.0 / 211.0

Bear in mind that this isn't a test bench machine, and even though I closed out of most things (including Afterburner and RTSS to disable tweaked boost clocks and frame limiting/pacing) and ensured the same things were open and closed in each testing phase, there were more background processes running than a strict test bench would have, so some of the variance is to be expected.

Basically, the synthetic benchmarks show no meaningful movement, just fluctuations that I imagine would have smoothed out if I averaged out multiple runs in each phase. In terms of game performance, though, there is one change that seems significant: FPS minimums. Both the synthetic Unigine Valley test as well as the in-game R6: Siege benchmark both showed minimum FPSs consistently higher (and I ran the Siege benchmark 3 times for each stage of testing, taking the middle scoring run. The discarded Siege runs also showed this same improvement in minimums).

I did NOT update the video driver in this process, running the NVIDIA 430.86 driver (a driver recent enough that it was updated in preparation for 1903) for all test runs.

I don't think anything here demonstrates a Ryzen scheduler "fix" benefiting my 1st-gen Ryzen CPU (unless the benefit solely manifests in improved FPS minimums, which I'm inclined to attribute to some other Windows changes).

Robert Hallock of AMD confirmed this afternoon that the faster clock ramping is specific to Ryzen 2, not OG Ryzen or Zen+, so only the 3000 series chips coming out next month.

At this point I'm not sure that the benchmark differences people were seeing after the 1903 update aren't because they had something improperly configured before that the update fixes for them by default.

I didn't go as far as you, but some basic tests on my 1800X system similarly show minor to no change. But I also went all out trying to fix all of windows' weirdness with Ryzen way back when it first came out.

And that fits IMO with some of these people not seeing any improvements until they do a fresh install of windows.

I think people have just not done what they needed to do to get the most out of the hardware they already had beforehand. The update is fixing whatever that may be for some folks, and for others prompting an OS reinstall with the update which is also fixing it for them.

Everyone reporting no changes IMO just had already spent the little bit of time needed to get what they could out of their hardware to start with.

Hello.

Someday, I hope to have learned enough about this process to understand what I just tried to read of this forum thread. Today, at this moment, I find it a little daunting!

Something happened with my gaming/podcasting laptop, and I'm left without access to a PC! I've always wanted to learn more about putting one together someday, and it seems that day is upon me.

I've taken a look at pcpartpicker, but these names and qualities don't have much meaning for me, yet. Would you find the parts they often select for the modest or entry level builds shown on their websites to be useful or appropriate for dummies like me just wanting to see what reasonable builds look like?

I'm thinking of picking out a motherboard+processor combo that can handle Overwatch (it can be pretty potato so long as it's not inconveniencing fellow players). I would really hope I could also comfortably podcast with it!

For everything else, I would like to try and see if I can scrounge up old parts folks have replaced or upgraded out of that people may possibly still have laying around? I'm really keen on the idea that there are parts from several different people that come together in my new thing made of effort and love. Sorry, really trying to not sound like a creepy frankenstein's monster about this.

My brother-in-law (Apaksl on the forums) built his and Marshlight's computers, as well as the ones for their daughters. He's generously offered to help assemble what I can pull together, and to check with any offers people may have to see if it's workable with the motherboard and cpu I pick up, and reimburse shipping if it seems like a good fit.

I want to build and grow this thing. I want to understand this enough so that I can someday upgrade and do this myself once life stops throwing me curveballs a bit. I really, really want to be able to be a little more self-reliant in this regard.

At a glance, it seems like I'll need to also look at storage, memory, gpu, power supply. Do you folks think these are things that people might have lying around?

Case and monitor I feel like will be expensive to ship around so I might try and see what I can scrounge up locally. I'm literally googling these words as I try to write this post, apologies if what I'm asking doesn't make sense or reads in dumbass.

Thanks in advance for any advice or tips!

Amoebic wrote:

I've taken a look at pcpartpicker, but these names and qualities don't have much meaning for me, yet. Would you find the parts they often select for the modest or entry level builds shown on their websites to be useful or appropriate for dummies like me just wanting to see what reasonable builds look like?

For the most part, yes. Their build guides are fine.

I'm thinking of picking out a motherboard+processor combo that can handle Overwatch (it can be pretty potato so long as it's not inconveniencing fellow players). I would really hope I could also comfortably podcast with it!

For everything else, I would like to try and see if I can scrounge up old parts folks have replaced or upgraded out of that people may possibly still have laying around?

(...)

At a glance, it seems like I'll need to also look at storage, memory, gpu, power supply. Do you folks think these are things that people might have lying around?

I guess that really depends on the kind of network of people you'll have to pull from. Unfortunately, that's not a blank any of us will be able to fill in.

GPU is the most important part of a gaming build. If the people you'll be pulling from tend to have very recent cards sitting around as spares, then maybe. But this is the most important part to get right, as an underpowered card would sink gaming performance that the other parts would otherwise be capable of reaching.

Memory is likely to be tricky to get out of someone's spare pile, as while nerds with boxes of spare parts (finger pointing at myself here) might have a bunch of old DDR2 and DDR3 memory, you're less likely to scrounge up the DDR4 required for a modern platform. Again, depends on just how recent that supply network's pile of spare parts turns out to be.

Storage, you'll likely fare much better at, just getting an old 1TB hard drive or something. Power supply, maybe, if you can find someone with a spare 80+ Bronze certified one to offer. I would avoid grabbing anything that fails to reach that certification and using it in a gaming PC, though.

Case and monitor I feel like will be expensive to ship around so I might try and see what I can scrounge up locally. I'm literally googling these words as I try to write this post, apologies if what I'm asking doesn't make sense or reads in dumbass.

Mose cases on NewEgg have free shipping or $5 shipping. Same with monitors. Shipping cost shouldn't be a concern here. Cases need not be expensive either, especially if you're flexible in the aesthetics department. Rosewill makes a bunch of sub-$50 cases that are perfectly fine for budget builds. Monitors are probably one of the easier parts to get used and local, so not much concern there.

Thanks in advance for any advice or tips!

My best advice is, run any build ideas past this thread, and you will get the feedback you need to remove any doubt.

I would suggest trying to build out on PCPartPicker the kind of build you could make with your budget by buying everything new. Then from that baseline, you can make judgement calls about used/repurposed parts and assess if they're really worth picking up over the new option. I understand the desire to run with as many repurposed parts as possible, but people often fail to properly value their old parts (as a glance at my local Craigslist will attest) and you need to know at the very least what you can get new for the money.

Amoebic wrote:

I would like to try and see if I can scrounge up old parts folks have replaced or upgraded out of that people may possibly still have laying around? I'm really keen on the idea that there are parts from several different people that come together in my new thing made of effort and love. Sorry, really trying to not sound like a creepy frankenstein's monster about this.

My brother-in-law (Apaksl on the forums) built his and Marshlight's computers, as well as the ones for their daughters. He's generously offered to help assemble what I can pull together, and to check with any offers people may have to see if it's workable with the motherboard and cpu I pick up, and reimburse shipping if it seems like a good fit.

Case and monitor I feel like will be expensive to ship around so I might try and see what I can scrounge up locally. I'm literally googling these words as I try to write this post, apologies if what I'm asking doesn't make sense or reads in dumbass.

Hi, I figured I'd introduce myself, I've never been active in the GWJ community, and honestly, I've only been listening to the Conference Call podcast cause my sister-in-law is a frequent contributor.

Last year before Christmas Amoebic hooked me up with all her hand-me-down PC parts so I could scrounge together a couple PCs for my kids, and now I feel bad she doesn't have anything left for herself. Amoebic said she wanted to ask on the forums if there were any hand-me-down parts collecting dust, and I said I would pay to have them all shipped to me and then buy whatever else is needed to put it all together.

I told her to say "thanks but no thanks" to any offered CPUs because of the trouble involved in acquiring motherboards for discontinued Intel CPUs, but if someone wants to offer her a CPU/motherboard combo that would certainly be appreciated.

Amoebic wrote:

At a glance, it seems like I'll need to also look at storage, memory, gpu, power supply

My mental checklist:

Case
Power Supply
Motherboard
CPU
RAM
GPU
SSD or hard drive
Install media. If you can't make a USB boot key, you may need a DVD and a DVD drive.
Mouse and keyboard

edit: also, power cable, and a couple SATA cables. Most motherboards will have SATAs, and most power supplies will give you a power cable, but triple-check.

When making a USB OS install key, don't forget to include the network drivers for your motherboard. (assuming they come in EXE format, as most do, you'd probably drag-and-drop them into a new folder in the root directory of the install key.) This is a safety net: if your chosen OS doesn't have drivers built-in, then you won't be able to go to the Internet to download your network drivers.

Once the network card is running, you can download anything else you need.

I cannot afford the luxury of buying much of anything new, unfortunately! Especially monitors or other accessories. I could probably borrow money or sell some things to get parts that might work with what people have lying around?

I suppose it was too much to ask if it could support overwatch because I miss my friends there and that was driving my thinking instead of having an actual basis in reality.

If it turns out trying to make one that can play games is unrealistic for me, at least something that'll allow me to stay connected to the outside work via email and web browsing might be more realistic, as it will be difficult to pull myself out of the mess I'm in right now without a means of finding work and applying for jobs online. A lot of web based job app forms don't seem to render well on mobile formats.

If it's also not realistic for me to ask this community if they have extra stuff lying around, sorry to offend or be rude by asking. I'm kind of desperate and grasping at straws at the moment. Losing my computer was another kick in the pants I wasn't expecting, and kind of spitballing ideas at this point. Thanks for the feedback so far!

It's not timely, but I'm planning a partial rebuild of my gaming rig that will be just motherboard/CPU and maybe memory upgrade. The catch is I'm not doing it until middle of July at the earliest, possibly later in the month.

If we get to that point, my upgrade plans work out, and you still aren't settled on hardware you can have my MSI Z170 Mobo/i7-6700k pairing for cost of shipping.

If you get something before then, I do have some memory I can give away. It's not fast at stock settings, just 2x4GB of DDR4-2400, but it works.

^^ That's an incredibly generous offer.

Having read your most recent comment and more properly understood the ask, Amoebic, I have a couple of older Phenom II motherboard/CPU combos that I could offer, which would seemingly be capable of running Overwatch if paired with a decent enough GPU. But neither would hold a candle to a 6700K.