Hello and thank you in advance for any comments/critiques/criticisms, apologies in advance for the lengthy post. I am currently running on a 6 year old Aurora R4 of which (I believe) the graphics card is dying and as it is, the whole system is due for an upgrade. The following software are mainly what I use and / or will be using:
- Blender 3D (Modeling, Rendering, Rigging, Animation), Krita / GIMP 2.+ (Drawing / Animation), Inkscape (Design), CorelCAD 2014 (planning to upgrade soon), Unreal Engine (4+), Atom / Eclipse (programing)
- Elder Scrolls Online (In small bursts, sometimes a few hours), Minecraft, Elite Dangerous (rarely), Yakuza 0, some KOG games (Elsword, Closers), Fallout 4, Elder Scrolls 3/4/5/etc, a bunch of random 2D indie titles (Shovel Knight, Epic Battle Fantasy, and the like). I rarely play anything intensive like FPS's and never play on High/Ultra settings (not a 4k kinda guy).
I currently use a Dell monitor that came with the PC and a LCD 32" Samsung TV as my primary monitors. I also have a XP-Pen Artist 22E Pro digital drawing monitor, which I have not been able to use without extreme difficulty (hardware limitations, graphics card struggles with more than 2 screens and is finicky about that as is). I am also looking to buy a VR headset (probably Oculus Rift) sometime next year to experiment with for both gaming and development. As such I have boiled down my choices to these two sites and builds per my research both here and around the net (and of course through the LTT videos on these parts). My budget is US $1500 - $1800, with a max of $2000~ish. I have tried to keep the builds similar in parts within the limited offerings of the sites as I have no confidence in my ability to build a PC myself and piece-mealing would be more costly in the long run (limited funds) as opposed to a monthly payment plan. I am trying to purchase during the Black Friday Sales that are currently running (at time of this writing). There are concerns about swapping from old to new hardware and compatibility questions which I will get to in a moment.
Build #1: http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1LVH6U Build #2: https://www.ibuypower.com/Store/AMD-Ryzen-3rd-Gen-Starter/W/802137
My primary concerns with the two builds are 1) Motherboards: are the selected motherboards optimized for the Ryzen 3rd Gen 7 3700X CPU and if not which would be better; 2) SSD: is the selected SSDs the correct type or should I chose another format for optimal use (as OS / core file handler), also unsure of how the "Combo Drive" differs from separate selection (are they linked parallel into each other like an undefined RAID?); 3) What is the difference between "Primary Hard Drive" and "Data Hard Drive" or is that a misnomer on part of the configure?; 4) GPUs: according to my understanding, linking the dual GPUs reduces performance across the board due to syncing issues, but I am unsure how they will operate separately, I would like to reduce stress on them by placing my primary monitors on GPU 'A' and my drawing monitor and/or VR on GPU 'B', but still be able to use both for 3D/2D rendering.
My secondary concern is transferring my hard drive/files from the old PC to the new one, since the old PC is an Alienware proprietary, I am not sure if I can transfer the Windows to the new hardware and cleanup the old drivers without corrupting or overwriting the new proprietary softwares (Corsair, etc). The version i have has a fully licensed version of Office from back when I got it as a Windows 8.1 while in school, and I would hope to preserve that if possible, much less not need to try and reinstall EVERYTHING again. If anyone knows a reliable way to preserve it, whether through the Windows activation account - or - at the very least somehow copying all the existing software and files to the new PC (without fowling up the registry refs or something) it would be most appreciated. Otherwise, any further advice on the hardware selections would be most helpful. Thank you and good luck to you in all your endeavors!