Help me build my PC 2020 Catch All

Hi all,

I'm helping my son build a pc for gaming/streaming. We're building it around a GTX Titan X donated by a friend. We will be salvaging, monitor, mouse, keyboard, HDD. Can you all take a look at this list and see what you think?

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ZRccDx

Trying to keep it in the $500-$600 ballpark.

Looks good. Do not buy from Newegg. They have been bumbling at best with both internal selling and their marketplace. Newegg = order processing delays, auto-canceled orders, charging for (return) shipping, shipping delays... amazon's transparency has spoiled us for sure.
Buy from amazon even if it costs a few dollars more. The free shipping and absolutely zero hassle ordering and returns are priceless!

edit: I am curious about how cheap that 570 motherboard is. I guess you make up for it with the $20 more for the PSU. Man they are gouging people on PSUs these days.

Everything looks good.

That looks fine, but that SSD is awful skinny. 256 gigs in a gaming system is super tight. Some current games are coming in at a hundred gigs each. 512 gigs is acceptable but painful, 1TB is pretty comfortable. You can get a Crucial terabyte SSD for a hundred bucks on Amazon.

For five dollars more, $105, you can get an M.2 Crucial drive. This is much faster than any drive you can plug into an SATA port. That particular one should have about four times the transfer rate of the $100 SATA model. That $5 is money well spent.

If that's just too much, this is the 512GB model of the same drive, for $60. I'd strongly urge you to go for the terabyte, but if that's too much, at least do 512. 256 just won't cut it for a gamer.

Whatever you end up with, make sure it's in the M.2 form factor and supports the PCI Express mode. Any transfer numbers over about 600 megs/second will, by necessity, support PCIe mode. Some super-cheap SSDs will only do SATA mode, even in the M.2 format. They'll still work, and will be a lot faster than spinning rust, but when PCIe mode offers so much higher speeds, it seems silly to go that way.

Don't, btw, over-chase benchmarks on SSDs. Getting into M.2 is worthwhile, but focus more on quality and reliability than performance. The CPU is usually the bottleneck in most games these days; textures and level data loaded from disk have to be uncompressed, processed, and loaded onto the video card. That burns a ton of CPU and takes awhile, even multithreaded, and having a faster SSD doesn't help.

edit, later, to clarify: having any SSD makes a gigantic difference over a conventional hard drive. Going to PCIe mode is a further improvement, although much smaller. You can tell the difference, but it's not gigantic with most games. Going to a high-benchmarked SSD makes very little additional difference for gaming and normal desktop workloads, and costs a lot of money.

Thus, I suggest focusing more on reliability than performance, unless you specifically know that you need the performance for some reason. If you don't have specific knowledge, you probably won't benefit much.

But do go for PCIe mode, only available in M.2 drives. It's a noticeable improvement and hardly costs anything.

Malor wrote:

That looks fine, but that SSD is awful skinny. 256 gigs in a gaming system is super tight. Some current games are coming in at a hundred gigs each. 512 gigs is acceptable but painful, 1TB is pretty comfortable. You can get a Crucial terabyte SSD for a hundred bucks on Amazon.

Totally agree with this. I put a 256 gig drive in a computer that was supposed to be just a server and then I started using it as my daily driver and installed a GPU and couldn't even install Borderlands 3 to the main drive. I would suggest upgrading to a 1TB SSD or adding in a secondary drive for game installs.

Speaking of SSDs Samsung has announced a new line of 870 QVO drives (this is their 2.5 inch SATA line so they aren't super fast but they are generally decent) with capacities up to 8TB. They haven't announced a price on the 8TB model but the 4TB model is priced at $500 with 1TB and 2TB models priced at $130 and $250.

Rykin wrote:

Speaking of SSDs Samsung has announced a new line of 870 QVO drives (this is their 2.5 inch SATA line so they aren't super fast but they are generally decent) with capacities up to 8TB. They haven't announced a price on the 8TB model but the 4TB model is priced at $500 with 1TB and 2TB models priced at $130 and $250.

I'd stay far away from those drives for consumer use. For $15 LESS you can get an MX500 1TB TLC drive, which is going to perform far more consistently.

Here's AnandTech's take on the new drives:
https://www.anandtech.com/show/15887...

Ok, thanks for all the SSD thoughts. I was figuring a small SSD for OS and Fortnite, but probably worth while to scale that up.

As I write this he is behind me having issues Twitch streaming as the Fortnite performance is taking a hit when he opens Twitch. Think this set up will be sufficient to stream on?

Sabrent has an 8TB pcie SSD. It is hideously expensive though. ($1500)

FlamingPeasant wrote:

Ok, thanks for all the SSD thoughts. I was figuring a small SSD for OS and Fortnite, but probably worth while to scale that up.

As I write this he is behind me having issues Twitch streaming as the Fortnite performance is taking a hit when he opens Twitch. Think this set up will be sufficient to stream on?

For a streaming while gaming PC it is good to have a lot of cores and a lot of RAM. You are probably good for Fortnite and a few other lower spec games. Additional RAM might be something he will need down the line. If you don't have other plans for it and he has room for it his old PC could become the streaming PC with the addition of a video capture card.

Got my new motherboard and 3900x. Just gotta find time to slap it into the old case.

FYI - For a good comparison of what an AM4 motherboard is capable of, this document shows how much power a given motherboard can be expected to handle. That can definitely be a factor when going with a CPU that's above mid-range.

Other features of the motherboard might be a factor too, but the chart I'm pointing to can help you figure out if your motherboard/CPU combo is a good match. It also shows how much you might be able to upgrade in the future.

Rykin wrote:
FlamingPeasant wrote:

Ok, thanks for all the SSD thoughts. I was figuring a small SSD for OS and Fortnite, but probably worth while to scale that up.

As I write this he is behind me having issues Twitch streaming as the Fortnite performance is taking a hit when he opens Twitch. Think this set up will be sufficient to stream on?

For a streaming while gaming PC it is good to have a lot of cores and a lot of RAM. You are probably good for Fortnite and a few other lower spec games. Additional RAM might be something he will need down the line. If you don't have other plans for it and he has room for it his old PC could become the streaming PC with the addition of a video capture card.

Good thoughts, thanks. I was thinking of upping the RAM. He actually doesn't have his own PC yet, he's playing on mine, which is a little long in the tooth. It could become a dedicate streaming pc at some point, or I could probably assemble one with miscellaneous stuff.

LouZiffer wrote:

FYI - For a good comparison of what an AM4 motherboard is capable of, this document shows how much power a given motherboard can be expected to handle. That can definitely be a factor when going with a CPU that's above mid-range.

Other features of the motherboard might be a factor too, but the chart I'm pointing to can help you figure out if your motherboard/CPU combo is a good match. It also shows how much you might be able to upgrade in the future.

I grabbed the B550 Gigabyte Aorus Master. I believe it is compatible. A lot of reviews say they use it to test the board so I hope I didn't mess up.

You didn't.

JohnKillo wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:

FYI - For a good comparison of what an AM4 motherboard is capable of, this document shows how much power a given motherboard can be expected to handle. That can definitely be a factor when going with a CPU that's above mid-range.

Other features of the motherboard might be a factor too, but the chart I'm pointing to can help you figure out if your motherboard/CPU combo is a good match. It also shows how much you might be able to upgrade in the future.

I grabbed the B550 Gigabyte Aorus Master. I believe it is compatible. A lot of reviews say they use it to test the board so I hope I didn't mess up.

The B550 is very new, so the charts aren't listing compatibility yet. That said, data is being gathered. Comparing the hardware, it looks like the one you got is right up there with the better X570 boards where power handling is concerned.

A lot of the B550 boards seem to have very robust VRM, a quantum leap over what was customary on B450. I can't help but wonder if that's telling us something about the Zen 3 CPU's.

Ok, take another peek. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/hyPgMc

We added the M.2 drive and saved some cash on RAM and the PSU.

The wattage is calculating out to 409W and we have a 650W PSU. I'm paranoid we won't have enough for the Titan X card, but it looks like it's covered.

I really don't think it's worth saving the money by downgrading the ram by that much. The AMD CPU's do better with faster ram, and as far as I can tell your saving maybe 30 bucks by not going 3600mhz on the ram.

650w should be more than enough as long as you don't overclock anything. The Ryzen chips really aren't that power hungry by default.

As far as the RAM goes, higher clocks pay more dividends on the AMD side than on the Intel side. Apparently, the AMD cores sync their internal communication channel to the external RAM speed, so it can have a disproportionate impact on total system throughput. You could drop back a little on the CAS level (the CL number), maybe, but honestly, I'd just go for the 3600 CL16 stuff, myself.

Apparently, power supplies are really hard to get right now. If you have a Microcenter anywhere near you, it might be worth a trip to see what they have.

Don't even bother with Fry's, those stores are pretty much wastelands these days. They didn't even have heatsink compound when I last checked one.

FlamingPeasant wrote:

Ok, take another peek. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/hyPgMc

We added the M.2 drive and saved some cash on RAM and the PSU.

The wattage is calculating out to 409W and we have a 650W PSU. I'm paranoid we won't have enough for the Titan X card, but it looks like it's covered.

Only a 2-year warranty and no 80+ rating from a well-known PSU manufacturer like EVGA would be a no-go from me.

$7 more gets you quite a bit more with 80+ Bronze and 3yr:
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/2gp...

Personally, I'd go with the CXM's modularity and 5 year warranty, but $30 more is not trivial.
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/R2m...

Power supply prices are crazy right now. Not too long ago $90 could get you a modular 750W 80+ Gold with a 7-10 year warranty.

Point of order: EVGA is not a PSU manufacturer. Every single PSU with an EVGA logo on it is from an OEM.

Second point of order: 80+ rating is not in and of itself any indication of quality.

That said, that particular EVGA-branded unit is certainly not great.

Middcore wrote:

Point of order: EVGA is not a PSU manufacturer. Every single PSU with an EVGA logo on it is from an OEM.

Second point of order: 80+ rating is not in and of itself any indication of quality.

That said, that particular EVGA-branded unit is certainly not great.

Correct, I should have said a well-known PSU brand. They sell units sourced from multiple manufacturers, which is why despite having great units like the G3 series, you can't just judge based only on the brand name.

Secondly, the fact they didn't bother to submit this unit for rating despite doing so for most of their units, combined with the 2 year warranty indicates they don't think much of this model. I don't think much of it either.

Edit:
Looks like the 750W version of this was the second to last unit Oklahoma Wolf reviewed:
https://www.jonnyguru.com/blog/2018/...

Middcore wrote:

Second point of order: 80+ rating is not in and of itself any indication of quality.

No, but you're not going to find many quality power supplies without them.

Anyway, when it comes to power supplies, always check the community maintained PSU Tier List.

*Legion* wrote:
Middcore wrote:

Second point of order: 80+ rating is not in and of itself any indication of quality.

No, but you're not going to find many quality power supplies without them.

Anyway, when it comes to power supplies, always check the community maintained PSU Tier List.

Good source. They classify that N1 unit as E-tier based upon the JG review. I'm very glad they provide the spreadsheet with sources.

Are the bots getting better or does my Turing test need a calibration?

My first thought was also a spammer.

It is a spammer. The link is in the signature. They're using the site for SEO. Report the post.

NSMike wrote:

It is a spammer. The link is in the signature. They're using the site for SEO. Report the post.

And the profile pic is a StyleGAN-generated image, they've all got that same sort of nondescript background. Guaranteed not stolen from someone's social media profile!

My mother ended up buying one of the Lenovo Ideapad Flex 5s with the 4500u in it. I've only had a chance to look at it briefly, but it's very solid. The screen's pretty dim, but the rest of the laptop is excellent for the price. (16 gigs non-upgradable RAM, 256G swappable M.2 drive, 4500U, $600 list price.) Build quality is very solid; it's plastic, but it's so strong that my mother thought it was metal. The trackpad is pretty good, not quite up to Apple level, but good. It's smooth and fast and powerful in routine use, with oodles of horsepower.

Two detractions: it has a spot to connect a barrel charger, but it actually comes with a USB-C charger. It's nice that it works on either, but I would personally rather burn the dedicated power port instead of the only USB-C port for that. If that bothers you too, buying a proper charger would add some expense. And the stylus (it's a convertible laptop/tablet) has no proper method of attachment. What they give you is this little plastic thing you're supposed to stick in a USB-A slot on the right. This does hold the stylus, but it blocks both USB-A ports, so the way they supply it, you have no available USB ports at all. Oh, a third thing: it also doesn't come with wired Ethernet.

For the price, it's a good buy, much more powerful than laptops that are far more expensive. But I'm not so much encouraging you to buy one of these as to just say that the new AMD laptop chips absolutely kick ass. This thing is fast, and my mother says it doesn't heat up at all, staying pretty much dead cold in her lap. It's got six cores at a good clock speed, and reasonable integrated graphics, and it's doing all that in just 15 watts.

Intel has nothing on these 4000-series chips. You should think three or four times before buying an Intel-based laptop if you can find something AMD-based that reviews as being built well. If a company puts solid engineering into a Ryzen 4K laptop, instead of just slopping something together, it should completely wreck anything Intel-based.

edit: note that if you're a Linux person, you may have trouble getting 4XXX series chips going at first. There's excellent support for them in the most recent kernels, but most distros don't have them yet, and kernel support is critical on modern Linux, as graphic drivers are moving there instead of running in userspace like they once did. You'll probably have to work in text mode to install an updated kernel on most distros, so be sure you're comfortable working with the command line long enough to install a new kernel.

By Ubuntu 20.10, this shouldn't be a problem for that distro anymore, and probably 20.04 will be retroactively updated to natively support Ryzen 4Ks around that same time. Debian and Red Hat will almost certainly take longer. I have no idea about Fedora. (the desktop/bleeding edge Red Hat.)