Help me build my PC: 2022 Catch-All

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Welcome to the 2022 PC builder's thread!

GameGuru traditionally posted build suggestions in these top posts, but that seems pointless in the current hardware climate.

Instead, I want to use this space to enumerate helpful resources that I am always pointing people to. Will update this list as I remember or learn of new ones. But as this thread gets long, I suggest directing people back to this list of resources as appropriate.

Informational Resources

  • TechPowerUp GPU Database: Pick a GPU from the table, and the Relative Performance chart shows you how all the other GPUs perform in comparison to your selected one, expressed as percentages. Also includes a wealth of reference information on each GPU. The main TechPowerUp site is also a high quality PC news aggregation site.

  • Power Supply (PSU) Tier List: The new home for the list that previously lived on the Linus Tech Tips forum. Provides a handy "this power supply is good, that one is crap" sanity check.

  • RTINGS: "Is this monitor good? Is this mouse good? Are these headphones good? Is this TV good?" Answer: go to RTINGS and see for yourself! By far the most complete and comprehensive display, audio, and peripheral testing site. Gets down into the nitty gritty on things like latency measurement. Indispensable resource. The "Pro Football Focus" of hardware.

  • PC Part Picker: Back in the days when you could simply buy the PC components you wanted, people utilized PCPP to configure their builds, check for any build compatibility issues, and find the best prices on each of their desired components. Maybe, someday, we will live in that world again.

  • BlurBusters: For all things high refresh rate, variable refresh rate, and the like. They are insane and anal about display technology so you don't have to be.

  • Gamers Nexus: If you watch only one PC builder's focused channel on YouTube, make certain it is this one. High levels of precision and rigor, low levels of YouTubey-ness. Also, shout out to Hardware Unboxed, especially for their display testing.

  • AnandTech: One of the longest running hardware review sites, whose level of quality has stayed intact throughout changes in ownership, unlike some other sites (looking at you, Tom’s Hardware).

  • iFixIt Repair Guides: Need to know how to disassemble that laptop of yours? iFixIt has a guide for that.

  • PassMark CPU Benchmark results: PassMark's CPU Mark has long been a standard in CPU benchmarking. The Single Thread Performance test results are often of particular interest to gamers.

  • How to build a PC step by step: The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide: A helpful guide geared towards beginners.

  • AVSForum: More and more, people are using TVs as their monitors (hey, I did this with a 32" 720p TV in the late '00s. Big chunky pixels!). Whether it's acting as a monitor or TV, you should bookmark the inevitable AVSForum thread about your specific TV. There's always behavior and quirks that are specific to an individual TV model, and the other owners of that TV will be in that thread discussing them and how to deal with them.

Stock Tracking

  • BroBot In-Stock Alerts: I bought a 3080 and a 3070 in early 2021 and you didn't, and it's all thanks to the BroBot alerts. Extremely fast notifications using the Telegram messaging app. Other people have sworn by Falcodrin Twitch channel, Distill.io, and HotStock.io.

  • EVGA Queue Summary: For those that are still waiting in the EVGA queue. The old spreadsheets are no longer updated. This document is the current community-maintained queue tracker.

Reddit Communities

Reddit is a stupid place. Don't go there. Except for these subreddits:

  • /r/buildapcsales: The best, most timely updated aggregation of links to hardware components on sale. If you're looking to buy a component, check here first to see if it's on sale.

  • /r/buildapc: The help and troubleshooting counterpart to the part sales subreddit above. This sub's wiki has a Beginner's Guide with more good resources.

  • /r/NVIDIA: I use this sub for one thing only: the pinned discussion thread on whatever the latest NVIDIA driver is. Want to know if the new driver fixed that problem you have or not? Or if the driver fixed or tanked performance in a game? People in the driver thread will be celebrating or bitching about it, one way or another.

  • /r/AMD: Same sort of deal as the NVIDIA subreddit, though the discussion will be in random posts rather than a nice organized sticky. Also if you want to know how an AMD piece of hardware is ackshually superior to its NVIDIA counterpart, this place will explain it.

  • /r/lowendgaming: Trying to play games on a potato PC? There are dozens of you! Get tips from other gamers living the low-end lifestyle here.

Software: Monitoring

  • HWiNFO64: The most accurate hardware monitor. You want to monitor your temperatures and know you're getting the right values? Download this. One of the first installs on all of my systems.

  • MSI Afterburner: The standard in GPU overclocking, undervolting, and monitoring. Comes with RivaTuner Statistics Server to provide On-Screen Display support, for monitoring your FPS and frametimes as well as CPU/GPU usage and temperatures while in-game. See this guide for setting up the OSD: How to Install & Enable On-Screen Display in MSI Afterburner (RTSS)

Software: Benchmarking and Testing

  • PassMark PerformanceTest: Run your own tests that you can compare against the PassMark database. Primarily for CPU benchmarking.

  • Cinebench: One of the most popular CPU torture tests, and my personal go-to as well. You want to be sure your CPU cooling is sufficient for high (but still real-world) loads? Give is a go with Cinebench. Also provides useful multi-core and single-core benchmark results.

  • 3DMark: A comprehensive GPU testing and benchmarking suite. To download the free Basic version on Steam, click the "Download Demo" button off in the sidebar at this link. I wouldn't spend $30 on the full version, but it goes on sale for like $4.50 during the big Steam sales, which is where I picked my copy up. But the Basic version is just fine for some casual benchmarking.

  • UNIGINE Heaven: Along with the other UNIGINE tests Valley and Superposition, Heaven is a great game-like hardware performance and stability test. Good for full-system testing, whereas most of the other tests above are geared towards isolating CPU or GPU.

  • Metro Exodus: Enhanced Edition: Supposedly the benchmark tool inside ME:EE is particularly good at testing GPU stability, particularly with undervolting and the like. You'll find the benchmarking tool is a separate .EXE file inside the Metro Exodus install folder.

Hardware: Tools

The DO NOT USE List

These are resources which often come up in Google searches but are actually garbage.

  • UserBenchmark
  • Versus
  • CPUBoss and GPUBoss
  • CPU-World
  • CPU Monkey
  • Game Debate

    Grouping these all together, as they come up frequently when you search for "this GPU vs that GPU" (or CPU or whatever).

    Instead, use: TechPowerUp GPU database for comparing GPUs, PassMark's database for CPU comparisons, etc.

  • The Verge PC Build Guide (video reupload): "How to build a PC? Wrong answers only."

    Instead, use: If you want a video how-to guide, try Linus Tech Tips' First Person POV video, or the How To Build a Gaming PC in 2019 3-part series from Paul's Hardware.

  • Can You RUN It?: A site meant to scan your hardware and determine if you can run the game you're interested in. A nice idea, but unfortunately too inaccurate to rely on.

    Instead, use: Read a game's minimum requirements, and use TechPowerUp and the like to compare those components with the one you have. Also, ask people that actually play that game. Game performance is too much of a moving target to make a site like this work accurately.

Pandemic Survival

  • Under Armour Sportsmask: The pandemic may have destroyed the PC hardware market, but it doesn’t have to destroy you! Your mask sucks (unless you’re in that hardcore N95-wearing crowd), this comfortable multi-layer mask does not. I wish I had bought these things a year and a half ago. Everyone in my family is getting these now, and you nerds should too.

Reserving this second post for my G-Sync instructions. I'll dig them up and re-post them here later.

Reserving this third post because I can and you can't stop me.

4 days late. It's one like you're doing weekly NFL threads again.

Cripes man! I thought you could at least get on a waiting list and wait for months but get a GPU for near MSRP.
$800 for a 3060 ti? $1000 for a 6700 xt? Still?

I guess we have to hope for the mass sell off of mining gpus. Its the only way we'll get a card

I think nVidia has started removing some of the circuitry that makes crypto-mining particularly fast on their cards, in hopes of redirecting them to the gaming market...

Robear wrote:

I think nVidia has started removing some of the circuitry that makes crypto-mining particularly fast on their cards, in hopes of redirecting them to the gaming market...

As far as I'm aware it's a software only solution. They try to detect mining useage and slow themselves down.
https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2021/0...

There have been multiple approaches to bypassing this limitation by disguising or parallelizing usage. This is possible because the hardware is still fully capable.
https://www.digitaltrends.com/comput...

I think crypto miners are just a drop in the bucket of the current stock woes.

Nobody is crypto mining on a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X but you still can't buy them anywhere.

I think you could wipe out crypto mining from the GPU market and we'd still not be in a fundamentally different spot than we are now.

I feel that way too. Not that miners are gobbling up a significant amount... It's just that they aren't the whole picture or solely to blame

I dunno, have seen several pictures and video of people with rooms and rooms of crypto mining hardware.

Maybe a few thousand more people could have GPUs.

There is also an extremely unreliable used market right now. There's no way to know if a card has been run into the ground 24/7 for mining or if someone just lucked into a new card and is actually selling one that will last.

Just tagging in to follow the thread -- it does wonders to help me be glad it'll be at least a few years before I have to worry about it again.

I'm thinking about joining the melee for a new card, my 1070 is getting a little long in the tooth, I'm more then a little concerned about prices though. I'd happily pay original MSRP for a 3070 but damn this is ridiculous. Dunno if it's gonna happen this year, anyone have a crystal ball about the next gen?

Tycho the Mad wrote:

Dunno if it's gonna happen this year, anyone have a crystal ball about the next gen?

The next NVIDIA cards are rumored around October or so. I wouldn't be shocked if it ends up largely a paper launch. NVIDIA and TSMC have both said they expect the chip shortage to persist into 2023.

We have a shot with ARC in quarter 2.
Its not great odds but its much greater than zero and what we have now...

As of June this year, the price of GPUs has tracked the value of Etherum, so it's quite possible that crypto miners are driving a large part of the shortage...

Linus Tech Tips keeps advertising Build Redux as a pre-builder and their pitch sounds compelling but other than those ads I’ve never heard of them. Anyone here have experience with them?

pandasuit wrote:

Linus Tech Tips keeps advertising Build Redux as a pre-builder and their pitch sounds compelling but other than those ads I’ve never heard of them. Anyone here have experience with them?

GamersNexus reviewed a bunch of pre-builders, I’d check and see if they were included.

Robear wrote:

As of June this year, the price of GPUs has tracked the value of Etherum, so it's quite possible that crypto miners are driving a large part of the shortage...

That feels a lot like one of those "number of people who drowned in a pool per year vs. number of Nicolas Cage movies released each year" correlation vs. causation graphs.

Kinda feels like both of those sharp upward trends might be more of a reaction to the larger picture of the last year, rather than a reflection of each other.

Damn, Legion, excellent OP.

Ethereum is supposed to complete its move to Proof of Stake by next month, a move that Nvidia has flagged as potentially having a negative impact on its bottom line. Big unknowns though but hopefully that shift does something to release pressure on the market.

I would like to finally get a 3080 this year. My 4K OLED monitor is not being utilized by my old 1080.

Great OP Legion. Definitely checking those sites you linke.

Will repost from the 2020 thread...

2022 going to be the PC upgrade year for me... started putting my name in for the newegg shuffles, if I can get my hands on a card, then I'll start worrying about the other parts.

Right now I'm looking at the 3070-3070ti-3080 range. The nearly $1K to go from 3080 to 3080ti or 3090 seems absurd to me.

That being said, I'm actually being picky now while still in early stages to say "I want a 3080", not a 3070 or 3070ti, particularly if the 3070x comes bundled on newegg. I'm currently coming from a 1080ti, which still holds its own..but I know any of those cards will be an upgrade for me, and the price differential between 3070 and 3080 is a lot more reasonable (to me). If I can get an MSRP 3070 or 3070ti is that "settling" or should I just be happy with whatever of those 3 I can get my hands on?

Is DDR5 actually a thing? The price jump (when you can even find it) from DDR4 seems crazy.

WizKid wrote:
pandasuit wrote:

Linus Tech Tips keeps advertising Build Redux as a pre-builder and their pitch sounds compelling but other than those ads I’ve never heard of them. Anyone here have experience with them?

GamersNexus reviewed a bunch of pre-builders, I’d check and see if they were included.

Apparently Build Redux is a spin off of Digital Storm. GN was not impressed.

Spoiler:

They reviewed the lowest end offering and did not like the parts choices. They said the parts were close to worth the asking price so it's not over priced (in today's parts market) but that money was wasted on the wrong parts (unnecessary liquid cooling). They said it was built competently but complained about a few things. It was a very low performance model but their benchmarking showed that it performed far worse than cheaper options so not great value.

garion333 wrote:

Damn, Legion, excellent OP.

Carlbear95 wrote:

Great OP Legion. Definitely checking those sites you linke.

Thanks. Finding and collecting high quality sources of information is kinda one of my "things". One of my favorite things to discover is someone applying a rigorous and well-defined methodology to meaningless crap like consumer electronics or football. It speaks directly to my inner nerd.

Is DDR5 actually a thing? The price jump (when you can even find it) from DDR4 seems crazy.

Testing has so far shown DDR5 to not represent much of a performance boost, and definitely not a good value at this point in time. The increase in memory bandwidth is largely offset by the high latency compared to DDR4. There are some gains there, but they're not needle movers at the moment.

Of course, rewind to 2014 and it was a similar story for DDR4 vs. DDR3. Each new DDR generation brings a reduction in voltage and an increase in density which doesn't provide much benefit in the beginning vs. the more mature previous generation, but it facilitates the growth that comes next.

So, no, if you're building a system in 2021, there's no reason to rush to DDR5.

And as for DDR5 pricing, ignore the insane numbers you see on NewEgg and Amazon right now. Those aren't "real" prices. There is a price increase associated with DDR5 due to additional components in the chips vs. DDR4, but those $500 listings are purely chip shortage craziness. Suffice to say, no one is going to be buying into a DDR5-only platform until those prices come back down to reality.

Yup, I've always done the lower latency RAM over the hot new faster stuff with high latency. Glad to see that still rings true!

I suppose I should actually defend my statements with some evidence.

TechPowerUp tested Alder Lake with both DDR4 and DDR5. As you can see, the difference between DDR5-6000, the fastest available, and DDR4-3600 CL16 is about 1-4%, and the slower DDR5 chips narrow that further or drop behind DDR4:

IMAGE(https://tpucdn.com/review/ddr5-memory-performance-scaling/images/relative-performance-cpu.png)

IMAGE(https://tpucdn.com/review/ddr5-memory-performance-scaling/images/relative-performance-games-2560-1440.png)

I thought about that, Legion, but since it was The Economist, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Robear wrote:

I thought about that, Legion, but since it was The Economist, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.

Fair. I do appreciate and read The Economist (free digitally every week through my library!), but I'm still skeptical there's a causal relationship being demonstrated here. But I'll grant that I don't actually know sh*t about anything so it's certainly a possibility.

If anything, it just proves that miners have the resources to mass purchase gpus and at much higher prices.

AMD and NVIDIA are finally addressing the sub-$300 GPU market again, at least on paper.

AMD's releasing the 6500 XT for $199, and NVIDIA is dropping the RTX 3050 at $249.

Of course, the standard "good luck ever finding one at that price" yadda yadda applies, but at least both companies are once again acknowledging that there's supposed to be a product filling that market segment.

Still hoping from something from Intel in this space. They didn't announce any firm cards at CES, but some recent leaks suggest 1650 Super level performance from their Arc A380, which, well, it's a starting point.

Those are sh*t though.
I bought my 580 for $200 in 2017.
Why would anyone buy a ~590 for $200-250 in 2022?

AMD's new laptop gpus gives me the impression that the only reasonable way to game in 2022 is with a laptop.

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