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Am I thinking right...

All,

Rather than list what I'm thinking of I want to know if my research is on the right lines...

 

  • Case - can be as cheap as I like if its sturdy enough, can fit what I am thinking of getting and has decent air flow. (I can always swap out for fancy RGB monster down the line).

  • Motherboard - need to check is has the ports I want, room to upgrade (if I want to pay for future proofing now), decent manufacturer / warranty and is compatible with my components. Although not cheap, do not need to go pricey.

  • Processor - fastest i5 - I worry about this but my son says its fine. I can always upgrade down the line when i7's get a bit cheaper.

  • Fan - something big and beefy. I don't care about it being quiet or looking good so will just focus on big and well rated, but need not spend too much.

  • Ram - Sticking with DDR4 and that 16 Gb sweet spot - worth spending on a decent manufacturer with a decent warranty. No cheap stuff; I just know I may have to upgrade to 32 down the line, don't need that just yet.

  • Graphics - plough in as much as the budget on this as I can on this bad boy. Just be careful it fits and is compatible with the motherboard. Try to find the balance of cost and diminished returns. Will research this the most as I do not wish to spend loads only to find gameplay / fps is exactly the same as something cheaper just with a slightly better look (that I probably would not  notice anyway).

  • Memory - smallish stick for the operating system & massive SATA for the actual files. All decent makes with warranty.

  • Windows 10 for now - worry about 11 down the line (and stick with Home)

  • Power - decent make with good rating but don't need massive wattage - just check it’s enough for my components. Not too bothered about modular as, I won’t be addeding much as the years pass.

 

Before I spend more hours researching, does this look I am on the right lines of a gamer who wants good smooth graphics but happy to not have ultra-settings or to drop some of the high end fancy stuff to keep it smooth. And not needing upgrading for a year or two??

 

Aldus

 

 

 

 

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I've never liked the plan of buying "placeholder" components. Why buy a $200 CPU now if you want a $300 CPU. You aren't saving any money, you are wasting $200 now, to spend $300 later. Even if that $300 CPU is $200 later. You've still spent more than you've needed too. Your I5 won't be worth as much in the second hand market, and later the I7 maybe tougher to find. 

 

Same with the case, get a good case up front. If you want RGB later you can add fans or RGB strips, but replacing an entire case just seems like wasting money again. 

 

Just seems like getting what you want now would only cost you couple hundred more and that might worth saving up or tossing that much more at it. 

 

As for your plan, most of if sounds good. As for the CPU, the I5 is likely fine. However it depends on what you plan on doing with the PC. What games do you play? What else do you plan on doing?

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47 minutes ago, AlusIII said:

Case - can be as cheap as I like if its sturdy enough, can fit what I am thinking of getting and has decent air flow. (I can always swap out for fancy RGB monster down the line).

Pretty much, yes.
 

Quote

Motherboard - need to check is has the ports I want, room to upgrade (if I want to pay for future proofing now), decent manufacturer / warranty and is compatible with my components. Although not cheap, do not need to go pricey.

Dunno what you really meant by upgrade room. Motherboard lately is pretty much just the right socket, the I/O & feature you want. 

If you are using high end CPU, pick one that has a good vrm.
And unless you are aiming for a really high speed RAM, IIRC, pretty much any motherboard compatible with the common used speed (mainly 3200 & 3600)
As for latest Intel boards, there's usually DDR5 version & DDR4 version.
 

Quote

Processor - fastest i5 - I worry about this but my son says its fine. I can always upgrade down the line when i7's get a bit cheaper.

Fastest is i9. If it's only for gaming and light usage though i5 pretty much enough.
There's also the AMD route.
 

Quote

 

Fan - something big and beefy. I don't care about it being quiet or looking good so will just focus on big and well rated, but need not spend too much.

You mean CPU cooler, there's air cooler or AIO.

Hotter CPU needs better cooling.

Lightweight CPU? not so much.

 

Quote

Ram - Sticking with DDR4 and that 16 Gb sweet spot - worth spending on a decent manufacturer with a decent warranty. No cheap stuff; I just know I may have to upgrade to 32 down the line, don't need that just yet.

Speed matters. 2666mhz, 3000mhz, 3200mhz, 3600mhz, etc.

As for the capacity, 16gb is generally enough.
32gb is for running heavy things like blender, CAD, etc.

 

Quote

Graphics - plough in as much as the budget on this as I can on this bad boy. Just be careful it fits and is compatible with the motherboard. Try to find the balance of cost and diminished returns. Will research this the most as I do not wish to spend loads only to find gameplay / fps is exactly the same as something cheaper just with a slightly better look (that I probably would not  notice anyway).

Unless you are picking 6500xt (which only run best at PCIe gen 4 & a crap when ran at PCIe  gen 3), you don't need to worry about GPU and motherboard clashing. Or unless you are planning to get a real old motherboard & modern gpu combo, or vice versa.


What you need to check is if it will fit into the case you are choosing.

 

Depending on what resolution and in-game graphic settings you are using. The fps will differ.

Basically : a 3080 will give you better FPS at Cyberpunk 1440p high settings than a 3070


Some games rely heavily on CPU though.
Keep it in mind when watching reviews or benchmarks etc

Quote

Memory - smallish stick for the operating system & massive SATA for the actual files. All decent makes with warranty.

You mean storage.
Generally you want atleast a standard 2,5" or M.2 ssd as your boot drive.
If it's for gaming and light softwares, standard 2,5" (or M.2) ssd and nvme won't give noticeable difference.
And for games or softwares to be able to get improvement on loading times and such, you need to install it in the SSD.

 

Most people just run like a 500gb-1tb 2,5" (or M.2) ssd for boot & some often used softwares, then add a 2tb - 4tb HDD to dump music, pictures, videos, whatever into.
 

Quote

Power - decent make with good rating but don't need massive wattage - just check it’s enough for my components. Not too bothered about modular as, I won’t be addeding much as the years pass.

Rating is pretty much the same, not a big difference between Gold and Platinum imho, unless you are running a system that needs a ton of wattage.
What you want is a good quality PSU.
High rating but skimped out components & build quality is pretty much crap.

You don't need humongous capacity, but you need enough for the system you are building.

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Branding literally does not matter, do not overpay for some overpriced crap when you can get the same or straight up superior thing for less (ex asus z690a d4 vs giga z690 vision g d4)

 

9 minutes ago, AlusIII said:

fastest i5 - I worry about this but my son says its fine. I can always upgrade down the line when i7's get a bit cheaper.

For 6c 12t go ryzen 5600, above that go K sku i5 (6p+4e) or i7 12700(f) (8p+4e), ryzen has cheaper boards

 

11 minutes ago, AlusIII said:

worth spending on a decent manufacturer with a decent warranty. No cheap stuff (ram)

Makes no difference, ics are all from the same sources (hynix, samsung, micron, etc.) Again branding does not matter, im unsure of warranty as ram stick faliure seems rather uncommon (complete failure/dead), theres also some instances of xmp profiles not working but thats usually imcompatible timings on the xmp (older vengeance lpx on ryzen), avoidable if you tune the rams yourself but i dont think beginners wanna go really in depth with ram tuning other than just lazy overclocks (setting volt + freq + primaries and let board auto everything else)

 

Technically best value would be buying some generic 2666 bin bare pcb crucial (micron rev e) and lazy overclocking to 3600 16-18-18 1.35/1.4v, though not  guaranteed to work, they also do 4600+ cl18/17 but thats very stick (binning), imc, and mobo dependant, also not mentioning you need to tune em (references are available online on some forums) and cooling for 1.6v+

 

Basically go buy the cheapest 3200 cl16/3600 cl18 sticks available, branding can be completely ignored

 

24 minutes ago, AlusIII said:

Case - can be as cheap as I like if its sturdy enough, can fit what I am thinking of getting and has decent air flow. (I can always swap out for fancy RGB monster down the line).

If you are looking at a placeholder case spend <10$ on an office case either scrap condition or decent used condition and run w/o sidepanel, building may be a pain depending on the case you use so i suggest looking for a larger one

 

27 minutes ago, AlusIII said:

Windows 10 for now - worry about 11 down the line (and stick with Home)

Get a 20$ key off a cheapkeys site like scdkeys, kinguin, etc.

 

27 minutes ago, AlusIII said:

Fan - something big and beefy. I don't care about it being quiet or looking good so will just focus on big and well rated, but need not spend too much

This one is just unclear, specify big and well rated, cause all i think about is a massive 20+ cm fan from that sentance

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3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Case - can be as cheap as I like if its sturdy enough, can fit what I am thinking of getting and has decent air flow. (I can always swap out for fancy RGB monster down the line).

 

Case is probably the most difficult component to upgrade. Expect to spend around US$100 for a case with decent airflow and enough room to comfortably build in. Lighting can always be added as time goes by.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Motherboard - need to check is has the ports I want, room to upgrade (if I want to pay for future proofing now), decent manufacturer / warranty and is compatible with my components. Although not cheap, do not need to go pricey.

 

Essentially correct. However, with modern CPU power delivery (VRM) and component cooling are very important. Prefer models with good heat sinks on VRM and m.2 components. Such models are likely going to have better power delivery.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Processor - fastest i5 - I worry about this but my son says its fine. I can always upgrade down the line when i7's get a bit cheaper.

 

Your son's opinion is commonly held. I disagree with it. CPU only upgrades are rare. They are also non trivial, often involving more than just removal of the cooler.

 

My rule of thumb is to get the best CPU that fits in the budget.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Fan - something big and beefy. I don't care about it being quiet or looking good so will just focus on big and well rated, but need not spend too much.

 

I presume you mean the cpu cooler. CPU cooling is very important with modern CPU as clock speeds are based somewhat on temperatures.

 

First decision is between AIO (liquid cooling) and air. The later is preferred by many. It is certainly the safest and most reliable. However if one is concerned about aesthetics or plans to push a high-end CPU, AIO are the better choice. Higher performance CPU coolers generally lead to quieter operation.

 

The CPU to be cooled will dictate the required CPU cooler performance.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Ram - Sticking with DDR4 and that 16 Gb sweet spot - worth spending on a decent manufacturer with a decent warranty. No cheap stuff; I just know I may have to upgrade to 32 down the line, don't need that just yet.

 

Memory is one of the easiest upgrades. DDR4-3200 CL16 is currently the best value. DDR4-3600 CL18 has similar performance.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Graphics - plough in as much as the budget on this as I can on this bad boy. Just be careful it fits and is compatible with the motherboard. Try to find the balance of cost and diminished returns. Will research this the most as I do not wish to spend loads only to find gameplay / fps is exactly the same as something cheaper just with a slightly better look (that I probably would not  notice anyway).

 

No. GPU is the easiest component to upgrade. If one is gaming GPU selection is important, but not as important as the CPU or power supply. 

 

Definitely have to ensure that the GPU choice fits comfortably in the case and has sufficient power available.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Memory - smallish stick for the operating system & massive SATA for the actual files. All decent makes with warranty.

 

Fundamentally disagree. HDD storage should only be used for archival and backup purposes unless budget doesn't permit other options.

 

The cost differential between NVMe and SATA SSD is narrowing rapidly. To the point that the performance benefit of NVMe outweighs the difference.

 

I suggest a minimum 1TB NVMe system drive. Ideally a single 2TB NVMe drive is all that should be needed. But there are those that like to collect files and an archive HDD would be an appropriate addition. 

 

SATA drives are easily added. Starting with just NVMe storage would be my suggestion. Additional storage can be added later, if needed.

 

For general consumer systems any NVMe drive offers acceptable performance. Don't pick the cheapest model, but high performance models are only appropriate when budget isn't needed elsewhere.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:

Windows 10 for now - worry about 11 down the line (and stick with Home)

 

If you have a transferable Windows license use it. Otherwise get Windows 11. Especially if you are getting a 12th gen Intel CPU with both performance and efficiency cores.

 

3 hours ago, AlusIII said:
  • Power - decent make with good rating but don't need massive wattage - just check it’s enough for my components. Not too bothered about modular as, I won’t be addeding much as the years pass.

 

The most critical choice for any system. PSU affects system stability, component longevity, and in many cases actual component performance. PSU also contributes to noise levels. If noise is a concern, consider quieter models, preferably ones that ramp fan speeds with load.

 

I highly recommend a fully modular model. Assembly is greatly eased and there are no bundles of unused cables interfering with airflow. Semi-modular are also okay. But most quality models tend to be fully modular.

 

Try to pick one of the Tier A models in https://linustechtips.com/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-rev-148/#

 

 

Base the PSU capacity on the recommendation for the GPU or the GPU you would like to get. GPU manufacturers generally provide this in the technical specification for the model.

 

 

80+ ratings certify electrical efficiency. Not quality.

 

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