Jump to content

Help with getting a new computer!


Recommended Posts

Hi folks, I'm hoping to get a new computer this late fall, I'll have a budget of at max $2,000+, but I would really prefer to not spend all that if possible.  My needs are to play Stellaris, and SC2 games, while able to talk to friends on discord in a voice channel.  Playing with others is not an absolute priority, but it would be nice to not be the infernal bringer of lag in any game that I would try.

 

I'll be posting back here later when I figure out how to get the specs off my currently still running windows 10 desktop computer, and then we can take our time and do this right.  I was very disappointed in the spring, when I was unable to just order a new computer with better than on-board graphics do to the alleged shortage of whatever that was going on then.

 

Hopefully, this time around, I'll have enough info to get something that is exactly right for me.

 

Thanks for any help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the tag @MelodicRose(OD)!

 

Unfortunately, the past year has really the WORST time to be in the market for a new PC, with all the shortages, price gouging, and scalping going on... That said, with a budget of $2000 and an older PC that you can salvage some parts from (like case, psu, storage drives, etc.), you could probably find the necessary pieces to either upgrade or build a completely new rig that should suit your needs... But given the current GPU market, you could end up using most of your budget on just 1 part... It's disgusting.

 

Answering the question of how to determine what hardware is in your PC, there's a free piece of software called "CPU-Z", made by the company CPUID. I would recommend downloading and installing their free version in order to see all of your CPU, motherboard, ram, and [basic] GPU specs. Download link for Cpu-Z is here: https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

 

I would also highly recommend another free program they make, called "HWMonitor" (pro version costs $$ but they have a free version as well), which allows you to see all the readings of every sensor in your system, from voltages and temps, to usage %'s - a must have program for any overclocking or diagnostics. Download link for HWMonitor is here: https://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html


@Chanter(OD) hit me up on discord one of these evenings and we can discuss some details about the best options you can plan for!

  • Thanks 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I agree with Comp. The GPU will easily be your biggest drain. You ideally want to spend around $600 on this component with your budget, but that will need to increase.

Thankfully, CPUs have broken the quad core barrier in regular consumer SKUs, and Ryzen is the leader in this front. I wonder if those first gen Threadrippers are still viable. You can seemingly pick a 1900X up for like $200, and that's an 8-core, 16 thread processor running at 3.8 GHz. The 3000 series and even 2000 series Ryzen processors are also very viable choices due to their price to performance

 

As far as GPUs go, don't do anything worse than a higher end Pascal or Vega card if you're looking for your GPU to last for the next couple years or so. The GTX 1080 is easily the best deal I can think of. Great performance for near MSRP price that still holds up today in gaming. The 1080Ti tends to be more expensive but that's okay because that card will last another year or so past the 1080. Note that you will need to go onto eBay to even find a decent deal.

 

DDR4 RAM is cheap now. Pick up two 8GB sticks and you're done, preferably over 2400Mhz but IDK how much RAM speed really affects your performance outside of a couple frames.

Storage. Get an M.2 SSD with around 512 GB and a SATA3 1TB. Throw in a HDD with high capacity (2TB+) for older games.

 

PSU. Don't skimp on this part. Take a look at the components you have in your cart and choose this piece last. Make sure it has at least 80+ Bronze rating and a wattage that suits your build. EVGA, Corsair, and SilverStone are great brands as far as I know.

 

If you really need to install your older PC games go get a CD or DVD drive. You don't need to pay much for one. Any external one will do.

 

I'd probably get a higher res monitor for the games you play over a higher refresh rate monitor. 60Hz is fine enough still.

 

That's basically all I can think of other than Windows 10 prices are still a rip off.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Zakspeeeed(OD) said:

I wonder if those first gen Threadrippers are still viable. You can seemingly pick a 1900X up for like $200, and that's an 8-core, 16 thread processor running at 3.8 GHz. The 3000 series and even 2000 series Ryzen processors are also very viable choices due to their price to performance

 

For most gaming applications, anything more than 8 cores is Waaayyy overkill. Games benefit the most from clock speed rather than extra cores, so I wouldn't recommend something like a threadripper if all you're doing is playing games... At the same time, you want a cpu and platform that has an upgrade path to plan for the future. In this case, I would currently recommend an AMD system, probably a Ryzen 3000 series like the 3600x or 3700x - plenty enough to game on, can upgrade to 5000 series later on, has compatibility with PCI-e 4.0 devices, and price to performance is spot on. 

 

35 minutes ago, Zakspeeeed(OD) said:

DDR4 RAM is cheap now. Pick up two 8GB sticks and you're done, preferably over 2400Mhz but IDK how much RAM speed really affects your performance outside of a couple frames.

 

I would definitely recommend 16GB minimum of RAM, and 100% agree that you should purchase in pairs, not a single stick (DDR = Double Data Rate, which means you'd be leaving roughly 1/2 of your performance on the table if just running 1 stick of memory). As far as speed / timings, 3600mhz with the lowest CAS latency you can afford to get, is the "sweet spot" where price to performance is the highest... any thing with higher mhz has 'diminished returns' for what you pay for.. Think of the CAS latency as the time it takes for the RAM to respond to the CPU's requests, and the mhz is a representation of the bandwidth (how much data) that can be supplied, so you want the lowest timings and highest bandwidth, with the cheapest price. Also, AMD CPU's benefit the most from faster memory with the "fabric" that ties their cores together, and games benefit the most from lowest possible latencies. That said, I would aim for nothing lower than 3200mhz with CAS-14, but really try to get the best deal on 3600mhz with CAS-15 or -16 latency, given the overall budget. 

 

1 hour ago, Zakspeeeed(OD) said:

PSU. Don't skimp on this part. Take a look at the components you have in your cart and choose this piece last. Make sure it has at least 80+ Bronze rating and a wattage that suits your build. EVGA, Corsair, and SilverStone are great brands as far as I know.

 

100% agreed with this... with the newer technology hardware in today's PC, it's becoming more and more important to have a better quality power supply, even if you aren't overclocking.  Just about any decent PSU company will have at least a 5 year warranty on their power supplies, and definitely get one with at least an 80-plus Bronze rating. My personal preference has been EVGA lately, with their all-black modular cables and they carry a 10-year warranty on most of their products. Also, I would not go with anything less than 750w for a modern system, especially if you ever plan on overclocking at all.

 

1 hour ago, Zakspeeeed(OD) said:

I'd probably get a higher res monitor for the games you play over a higher refresh rate monitor. 60Hz is fine enough still.

 

The monitor is something that you need to pair carefully with the GPU you end up with purchasing... For example, won't have a pleasant experience trying to play a game with a GTX1080 on a 4k 144hz display because you wouldn't have the GPU horsepower to push the resolution to the monitor at any decent graphics settings. At the same time you'd have wasted money if you're running on a 1080p /60hz monitor with something as powerful as a 3080 or 3090. It should be balanced to meet your budget, and at $2000 for the entire rig, I agree that you should be looking in the 1080p @60hz range, possibly higher refresh rates if budget allows, but is something that can be upgraded much easier later down the road. Prioritize better GPU first, as decent 1080p monitors can be found for around the $150 price point, whereas GPU's that are designed for 1440p at higher refresh rates are much more cost prohibiting than finding a better monitor...

 

 

As for storage, the only time I see ANY difference between having an M.2 SSD vs. a SATA ssd, is when first booting the PC or when transferring / backing up larger files. When it comes to gaming, 95% of people won't be able to tell the difference when gaming on a PC with M.2 (gen 3 or gen4) or SATA ssd. (this statement has been tested and posted on youtube by LMG): 

 

 

So I would recommend that you do some shopping around when you're closer to the time of pulling the trigger on building this system, and shop around for the best price vs. storage space. Depending on the market at the time of purchase, it may be better to go all SATA storage, or it may be better to get yourself an M.2 boot drive with SATA ssd for games drive (and if you need more space for archiving, can pick up a half decent 2TB HDD for $55 too).

 

All in all, it may even be more prudent to find a halfway decent pre-built system for around $1500, and put the rest of the budget towards upgrading it yourself (like purchasing better RAM / GPU / PSU / Storage). Even then, many pre-built system providers are months out due to backordered parts, so do some shopping around, leading up to when you are ready to pull the trigger.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, CompFreak(OD) said:

 

For most gaming applications, anything more than 8 cores is Waaayyy overkill. Games benefit the most from clock speed rather than extra cores, so I wouldn't recommend something like a threadripper if all you're doing is playing games... At the same time, you want a cpu and platform that has an upgrade path to plan for the future. In this case, I would currently recommend an AMD system, probably a Ryzen 3000 series like the 3600x or 3700x - plenty enough to game on, can upgrade to 5000 series later on, has compatibility with PCI-e 4.0 devices, and price to performance is spot on. 

 

 

I would definitely recommend 16GB minimum of RAM, and 100% agree that you should purchase in pairs, not a single stick (DDR = Double Data Rate, which means you'd be leaving roughly 1/2 of your performance on the table if just running 1 stick of memory). As far as speed / timings, 3600mhz with the lowest CAS latency you can afford to get, is the "sweet spot" where price to performance is the highest... any thing with higher mhz has 'diminished returns' for what you pay for.. Think of the CAS latency as the time it takes for the RAM to respond to the CPU's requests, and the mhz is a representation of the bandwidth (how much data) that can be supplied, so you want the lowest timings and highest bandwidth, with the cheapest price. Also, AMD CPU's benefit the most from faster memory with the "fabric" that ties their cores together, and games benefit the most from lowest possible latencies. That said, I would aim for nothing lower than 3200mhz with CAS-14, but really try to get the best deal on 3600mhz with CAS-15 or -16 latency, given the overall budget. 

 

 

100% agreed with this... with the newer technology hardware in today's PC, it's becoming more and more important to have a better quality power supply, even if you aren't overclocking.  Just about any decent PSU company will have at least a 5 year warranty on their power supplies, and definitely get one with at least an 80-plus Bronze rating. My personal preference has been EVGA lately, with their all-black modular cables and they carry a 10-year warranty on most of their products. Also, I would not go with anything less than 750w for a modern system, especially if you ever plan on overclocking at all.

 

 

The monitor is something that you need to pair carefully with the GPU you end up with purchasing... For example, won't have a pleasant experience trying to play a game with a GTX1080 on a 4k 144hz display because you wouldn't have the GPU horsepower to push the resolution to the monitor at any decent graphics settings. At the same time you'd have wasted money if you're running on a 1080p /60hz monitor with something as powerful as a 3080 or 3090. It should be balanced to meet your budget, and at $2000 for the entire rig, I agree that you should be looking in the 1080p @60hz range, possibly higher refresh rates if budget allows, but is something that can be upgraded much easier later down the road. Prioritize better GPU first, as decent 1080p monitors can be found for around the $150 price point, whereas GPU's that are designed for 1440p at higher refresh rates are much more cost prohibiting than finding a better monitor...

 

 

As for storage, the only time I see ANY difference between having an M.2 SSD vs. a SATA ssd, is when first booting the PC or when transferring / backing up larger files. When it comes to gaming, 95% of people won't be able to tell the difference when gaming on a PC with M.2 (gen 3 or gen4) or SATA ssd. (this statement has been tested and posted on youtube by LMG): 

 

 

So I would recommend that you do some shopping around when you're closer to the time of pulling the trigger on building this system, and shop around for the best price vs. storage space. Depending on the market at the time of purchase, it may be better to go all SATA storage, or it may be better to get yourself an M.2 boot drive with SATA ssd for games drive (and if you need more space for archiving, can pick up a half decent 2TB HDD for $55 too).

 

All in all, it may even be more prudent to find a halfway decent pre-built system for around $1500, and put the rest of the budget towards upgrading it yourself (like purchasing better RAM / GPU / PSU / Storage). Even then, many pre-built system providers are months out due to backordered parts, so do some shopping around, leading up to when you are ready to pull the trigger.

 

 

Far more detailed than my post. Listen to this man, good advice here.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, I'm not looking to line some greedy idiot's pockets because of some price-gauging thing, it I can get what I want/need for my gaming needs within that budget, then great, but if the prices and waiting times are still bogus, then I'll just do without, as much as I hate that.  I'll do those DL later this week, but what were the commands to enter (and how do I enter them again) to find out basic system info?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, Chanter(OD) said:

 I'll do those DL later this week, but what were the commands to enter (and how do I enter them again) to find out basic system info?

 

Commands? ... Bringing me back to the days of the DOS Prompt!😅 hahaha.

 

Once you download and install from the links I provided, when you open the program, the CPU-Z program will open up with all the info about your CPU, and have different tabs within the app to get info about your mainboard, RAM, and GPU. As for the HWMonitor application: once installed & ran, It will gather information about every single sensor within your PC, and create a list you just scroll through for each device connected and their respective readouts for min, max, and current value (i.e. temp, usage %, voltages).

 

Hit me up if you have any questions / concerns 😉

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

Announcements



  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • Recent Posts

    1. 21

      D2r - Blizzard Accounts

    2. 9

      We'll meet again, I don't know where, I don't know when, but I know we'll meet again some sunny day.

    3. 19

      D2R Starting Teams

    4. 19

      D2R Starting Teams

    5. 19

      D2R Starting Teams

  • Recent Status Updates

    • MelodicRose(OD)

      It has been 20 years.. wow. I was 5 when the towers fell, but my dad was in Lansing on a job site and they locked down the city (they did that with several of the state capital cities upon further research). My mom couldn't get ahold of him all day, which on a day of shock and unknowns is very scary. While I do not have much memory, I spend time each year watching the saved coverage of the attacks as well as the name readings.
       
      Nearly ~3,000 lives lost. #neverforget
      · 0 replies
    • MelodicRose(OD)

      The world does not hesitate to kick you when you are already in the dumps - the motto of 2021 thus far
      · 1 reply
    • PEEN(OD)

      DO no FEAR the PEEN is here Returning to LOD after a long time. I played POD/PD2 more recently and for about 4 seasons of pod and 2 seasons of PD2. I am happy to be playing LOD again.   
      ❤️ SC PVP ❤️ 
      ❤️ HC ❤️ 
      · 1 reply
    • TypeReaL(OD)  »  Aerineth(OD)

      And that is how I used one of jesus's sandals to murder 657 hookers in one night
      · 0 replies
    • Redvaine(OD)

      Happy Fathers day to all the dads out there 🙂
      · 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...