PC Build Thread 2020

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Horsefly
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Horsefly »

For anyone who is just now starting their build, Amazon's Prime Day has lots of components on sale:

https://www.amazon.com/s/browse/ref=gbp ... PDKIKX0DER
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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

WD SN750 for $250. Is the WD name worth $20 premium over the AData 8200?

For those who don't have NVME but want to upgrade from your HDD, the Crucial BX500 2TB for $160 is a great deal.

ETA: And, the WD drive is gone.
Last edited by Independent George on Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
deskjockey
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by deskjockey »

Independent George wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:54 am WD SN750 for $250. Is the WD name worth $20 premium over the AData 8200?

For those who don't have NVME but want to upgrade from your HDD, the Crucial BX500 for $160 is a great deal.
The Crucial MX500 is a better deal at $177.59 (the discount is only available for Prime members and only appears at checkout, not on the item page).
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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

deskjockey wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:58 am
The Crucial MX500 is a better deal at $177.59 (the discount is only available for Prime members and only appears at checkout, not on the item page).
Agree completely - I did not see that! I missed the discount on checkout - that is genuinely amazing.
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LadyGeek
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

You can thank me for the price drops.

This happens every single time I commit to a purchase. Without exception, there's a price drop a few days later.

There are some good deals, just be careful about gray market. If it's not sold by Amazon or "The (brand name) store" on Amazon, check to be sure the seller is an authorized dealer.

I see some good deals on monitors, so check beyond Horsefly's link. I may pass on a monitor, but it never hurts to look.

=============
So much for shipping schedules. I just received 6 of the 9 items I ordered. There are 6 shiny new boxes waiting to be opened. :happy

I'll still have to wait for the outlier - the Seasonic power supply arrives October 29.

FYI - The reseller of the Seasonic supply that I ordered by mistake did cancel my order. Amazon confirmed the cancellation.

Update: Revised items to 6 of 9.
Update 10/14/2020 - Power supply delivery date now 1 week earlier (was Nov 5).
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Brain
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

Independent George wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:54 am WD SN750 for $250. Is the WD name worth $20 premium over the AData 8200?

For those who don't have NVME but want to upgrade from your HDD, the Crucial BX500 2TB for $160 is a great deal.

ETA: And, the WD drive is gone.
That ADATA NVME is one of the highest rated M.2 sticks. That $20 coupon looks pretty good!
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Brain wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:27 am That ADATA NVME is one of the highest rated M.2 sticks. That $20 coupon looks pretty good!
The Crucial P5 is also available for $245. The Samsung EVO 970 is available for $300 if you want to go very high end, though I personally don't think it's worth the premium.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

The price just dropped $10 for the Western Digital Blue - 4TB, down to $79.99.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Independent George wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:45 am
Brain wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:27 am That ADATA NVME is one of the highest rated M.2 sticks. That $20 coupon looks pretty good!
The Crucial P5 is also available for $245. The Samsung EVO 970 is available for $300 if you want to go very high end, though I personally don't think it's worth the premium.
A slight correction - That's the SAMSUNG 970 EVO Plus. It's a later (and faster) model than the 970 EVO.
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Brain
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

Woah! I wasn't too impressed with the Mobo options in the Prime deals, but I just saw this one:

AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT 8-core, 16-Threads Unlocked Desktop Processor Without Cooler with MSI MAG B550 Tomahawk Gaming Motherboard for $445.99.

According to PC Part picker:

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vNsBV7
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT 3.9 GHz 8-Core Processor ($373.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard ($174.99 @ B&H)
Total: $548.98

That's over $100 off for two good items! It's only $10 more than what I was planning to buy!

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/xyxcK4
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B550-A PRO ATX AM4 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $434.98

I was contemplating waiting for the 5600X, but this might be too tempting to turn down.

Only downside is this:

Usually ships within 1 to 2 months.
Fastest delivery: Nov 8 - Dec 6

Cyberpunk 2077 comes out late November!
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Add the price of a cooler (not supplied) and consider if your power supply can handle the additional power (105 W vs. 65 W).
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Brain
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

LadyGeek wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:40 pm Add the price of a cooler (not supplied) and consider if your power supply can handle the additional power (105 W vs. 65 W).
Yeah. I thought of that too. I'm going to get a 650W power supply, so that shouldn't be an issue either way.

So it's:

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/ttLx3t
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3800XT 3.9 GHz 8-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($25.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI MAG B550 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard
Total: $471.98

Is that a good enough cooler?

vs.

PCPartPicker Part List: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/xyxcK4
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($294.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI B550-A PRO ATX AM4 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $434.98

$37 more for .3 GHz and a not significantly better mobo.

The real question is how much the IPS increase in Zen 3 will improving gaming performance. But we won't know that for sure until the benchmarks come out closer to launch.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Hold. Let's review this slowly:

I assume you're looking at the Prime Day deal here: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler, 4 CDC Heatpipes, $25.99

Let's see if it fits the CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 7 3800XT, the specs are AM4 socket and 105 W. OK, next step.

Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO | Cooler Master, scroll down and look at the specs.

See anything wrong? I do. The notes say you'll need an adapter bracket (AM4 adapter kit). How much, and where can you get it? (Confirmed by looking at the Amazon "Compare similar items" section. The last entry says "AM4 (Contact Cooler Master for bracket)".)

That's the CPU side. How much height do you have in your case? Look at the Cooler Master spec again. Dimensions are 120 x 80 x 159 mm (L x W x H). What can your case accommodate? Check the manufacturer's specs. I can't help you because I don't know what case you have.

(I always post extra detail to help readers who want to learn. If I'm wrong, it's an opportunity for others to correct me.)

Update: I'm seeing problems to obtain the adapter AMD AM4 Upgrade kit (RR-AM4B-H212-S1). Not just at Cooler Master, but on Amazon. I think your purchase just got killed by a cheap aluminum bracket. Find another cooler and see if the pricing works out for you.
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Brain
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

LadyGeek wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:33 pm Hold. Let's review this slowly:

I assume you're looking at the Prime Day deal here: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo CPU Cooler, 4 CDC Heatpipes, $25.99

Let's see if it fits the CPU: AMD Ryzen™ 7 3800XT, the specs are AM4 socket and 105 W. OK, next step.

Cooler: Hyper 212 EVO | Cooler Master, scroll down and look at the specs.

See anything wrong? I do. The notes say you'll need an adapter bracket (AM4 adapter kit). How much, and where can you get it? (Confirmed by looking at the Amazon "Compare similar items" section. The last entry says "AM4 (Contact Cooler Master for bracket)".)

That's the CPU side. How much height do you have in your case? Look at the Cooler Master spec again. Dimensions are 120 x 80 x 159 mm (L x W x H). What can your case accommodate? Check the manufacturer's specs. I can't help you because I don't know what case you have.

(I always post extra detail to help readers who want to learn. If I'm wrong, it's an opportunity for others to correct me.)

Update: I'm seeing problems to obtain the adapter AMD AM4 Upgrade kit (RR-AM4B-H212-S1). Not just at Cooler Master, but on Amazon. I think your purchase just got killed by a cheap aluminum bracket. Find another cooler and see if the pricing works out for you.
I bought the Cougar MX331 Mesh X from Newegg. If you're looking at PC Part Picker, it's not listed. But the MX330 is and it has the same height restriction.

Specs say the max cooler height is 155mm. This particular cooler is 159mm high. Here's another (be quiet! Pure Rock Slim). It's another $10 more than the other one, so it's an almost $50 increase. Still might be worth it, or the 5600X could blow them both away...
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

To be sure, check the manufacturer's website directly. PURE ROCK Slim silent essential Air coolers from be quiet! That cooler looks OK, but you should double-check the information on your own - just in case I missed something.

The one I'm using won't fit in your case, either. (Noctua NH-U12S SE-AM4)

The fan size is smaller than what I have, which means more RPMs to move the same amount of air and will be louder. Note the max ambient noise is 25.4 dB(A) vs. 22.4 dB(A).

A 3 dB difference is barely audible, but it proves a point.

You're facing the classic trade-off. (how much to spend) vs. (time lost waiting to play Cyberpunk 2077) vs. (will a CPU change really make a difference). I can't answer that for you. Only that I went with "what's available now" because there's always something new in the pipeline. When there are enough "new things" to build a complete PC and it makes a serious performance improvement, I'll consider it. Some food for thought.
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Independent George
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

It looks like Newegg is matching Amazon pricing on some components - the WD drive I linked earlier (which sold out in minutes) is in stock at Newegg for $248.

If you are interested in PCIE gen 4, there's a 1 TB TLC Sabrent Rocket for $160 after a 20% discount. Gen 4 is not worth it for me at this point, but if you could use it, that's a pretty good deal. 2TB is $336 after discount - strangely, the SKU with a heatsink is cheaper than without.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

I just Googled 3800xt vs 5600x and found this site: https://nanoreview.net/en/cpu-compare/a ... en-5-5600x

The 5600X is 5% better for single threading and better on power consumption, but it looks like the 3800xt is slightly better in most other categories. Obviously, all this is theoretical until the benchmarks for the 5600x are available...

I have no idea what to do about coolers. I've never built a system at that level before. I've always bought pre-built mobo/CPU/cooler combos and then added the RAM and everything else myself.

How do you know which coolers are powerful enough to work on which CPUs? I don't plan on overclocking it. Does any old cooler work in that case?

All the half-way decent coolers that can fit in my case seem to be over $50, so now the difference between the 3700x and the 3800xt is growing back to nearly $100. If I'm only doing 1080p gaming, would a 5 3600 or a 7 3700x be fine with a 3060 Ti? Again, another item that hasn't been bench-marked (or even officially announced!) yet...
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Brain wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:17 am I just Googled 3800xt vs 5600x and found this site: https://nanoreview.net/en/cpu-compare/a ... en-5-5600x

The 5600X is 5% better for single threading and better on power consumption, but it looks like the 3800xt is slightly better in most other categories. Obviously, all this is theoretical until the benchmarks for the 5600x are available...

I have no idea what to do about coolers. I've never built a system at that level before. I've always bought pre-built mobo/CPU/cooler combos and then added the RAM and everything else myself.

How do you know which coolers are powerful enough to work on which CPUs? I don't plan on overclocking it. Does any old cooler work in that case?

All the half-way decent coolers that can fit in my case seem to be over $50, so now the difference between the 3700x and the 3800xt is growing back to nearly $100. If I'm only doing 1080p gaming, would a 5 3600 or a 7 3700x be fine with a 3060 Ti? Again, another item that hasn't been bench-marked (or even officially announced!) yet...
Most coolers will be fine in terms of performance; mostly what you're paying for with high-end coolers is less noise. If you're not planning to overclock, don't overthink it on the cooler. And an R5 3600 is absolutely fine for 1080P gaming. The high-end processors are really meant for (1) competitive gamers that 'need' high FPS for their 144Hz monitors (2) while streaming, and (3) compatibility with future resource-heavy AAA titles. (Or, in my case, absurdly complex Dwarf Fortresses).

ETA: Except for the Corsair A500 - that is objectively bad due to poor manufacturing QA. It might have changed since that review was posted, but I've seen them available for cheap, and I wouldn't want you to get sucked in by the price (though I believe it's also too big for your case).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Let's think this through and start with what you want to do on your PC - high quality gaming. What's that mean? Kill the enemy quicker than they can kill you. Move fast and see lots of detail.

How much resolution is "enough"? The higher the better, but you need to set a limit. Consider that movies call 1920 x 1080 resolution "high def". OK, that's a good place to start.

How fast is "enough"? You should be able to run across the battlefield without any stutters. I'd say the ability to update at 100 frames per second (fps) would work.

Next, look at what's already benchmarked. For example: GPU Benchmarks and Hierarchy: Graphics Cards Ranked

Scroll down to the "GPU Benchmarks and Performance Hierarchy Charts" and click on the link to expand the 1080p chart. What do you see? That you can hit 100 fps with the RTX 2060 and RTX 2080 series cards. It's not listed, but I'm betting my RTX 2060 Super can do that.

Go to the 2560 x 1440 resolution and see the rates go down to around 75 fps. Things might slow down a bit, but you can work with it. At 3840 x 2060, we're down to 30 fps. You'll get killed.

Of course, it all depends if the CPU can keep up with this. So, based on your "requirements" the Rygen 7 3700X is good future-proof insurance and the 3060 series cards are overkill unless you want ultra-high resolution.

For me, I'll do OK with Flight Simulator (resolution is more important than fps). Not great, but usable. Microsoft Flight Simulator Performance and Benchmarks
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Brain
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

I mostly use my computer for Quicken/Word/Excel, Gmail/Facebook/Youtube/general web-surfing, streaming TV/movies and playing games. I play mostly strategy/RPG games, not First-Person Shooters. I play StarCraft II, Diablo III, Crusader Kings III, MineCraft and then whatever RPGs are out there: Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Baldur's Gate, Deus Ex, Cyberpunk 2077, etc.

I have a pair of 1080p monitors with only HDMI inputs, no DisplayPort. Upgrading to 1440p or 4k monitors would be almost as expensive as the new computer by itself!

So, all I'm looking for is 100+ FPS at 1080p. But with the caveat that I'm fine with paying a little more now if it means not having to upgrade again when the next big thing comes out. I'm pretty sure it was Dragon Age 3 in 2014 that prompted my most recent video card acquisition, the Radeon R9 290.

The only two parts I've bought so far are the Cougar MX331 Mesh-X case and the ADATA 2TB NVME because of yesterday's good deals.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

I've completed Mass Effect, Baldur's Gate, Deus Ex, Elder Scrolls, to name a few. Then there's a ton of first-person shooters...

So you're limited by the HDMI monitor. You want to upgrade the graphics now and the monitor(s) can come later.

I'm very, very leery waiting for an unannounced product. It might make sense to you that a card like this "should" be available, but there are a thousand business reasons that it may not (profit, supply chain, competition, etc.).

For example, AMD is firing back in response to NVidia's Ampere series: AMD Big Navi and RDNA 2 GPUs: Release Date, Specs, Everything We Know Does this factor in the product line decision? Probably.

I would go for the best (graphics card and CPU combo) you can afford that's available now or within the next month (within budget!). Waiting longer has too much conjecture to get any solid info. It's all marketing until they actually start production.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by dwc13 »

Brain wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 11:17 am I just Googled 3800xt vs 5600x and found this site: https://nanoreview.net/en/cpu-compare/a ... en-5-5600x

The 5600X is 5% better for single threading and better on power consumption, but it looks like the 3800xt is slightly better in most other categories. Obviously, all this is theoretical until the benchmarks for the 5600x are available...

I have no idea what to do about coolers. I've never built a system at that level before. I've always bought pre-built mobo/CPU/cooler combos and then added the RAM and everything else myself.

How do you know which coolers are powerful enough to work on which CPUs? I don't plan on overclocking it. Does any old cooler work in that case?

All the half-way decent coolers that can fit in my case seem to be over $50, so now the difference between the 3700x and the 3800xt is growing back to nearly $100. If I'm only doing 1080p gaming, would a 5 3600 or a 7 3700x be fine with a 3060 Ti? Again, another item that hasn't been bench-marked (or even officially announced!) yet...
My $0.02 on a DIY build is to use high quality components for important items such as the power supply, motherboard and fans (case & CPU). I have never had a processor (AMD or Intel) die early in any computer (DIY or retail). CPUs are very resilient if properly cooled and not abused. Rather surprisingly (particularly on retail PCs), only 1 power supply has ever failed. I have had 2 motherboards fail over the years, one because of poor quality capacitors and the other perhaps old age. Back in the heyday of 3 pin case fans, a few pre-installed ones fail early on. So I started upgrading stock case fans from the beginning on subsequent builds.

For my recent build, I went with a Ryzen 7 3700X and an MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk Wi-Fi motherboard. The reason I went with that motherboard is because of its excellent thermals, as I will be overclocking at some point and/or upgrading the CPU to Zen 3 in 2021/2022. Unlike the 3700X, the Zen 3 CPU will probably *NOT* be a 65 watt part. From a raw performance perspective, there isn't much difference between the 3700X and 3800X and IMO, not worth the list price premium. YMMV, especially if there is a decent sale.

The 3700X comes bundled with a Wraith Prism cooler, which does the job. FWIW, the Wraith Prism is also bundled with higher TDP CPUs, including the 3800X (105 watt) and 3900X (105 watt). Since you mentioned you won't be overclocking, the bundled Wraith Prism cooler should be fine. I also have 4 Corsair ML-120/140 PWM case fans and a full modular power supply in a mid-tower case, so sufficient airflow is not an issue. If your budget allows, opt for a full modular power supply so only the needed PS cables are attached. Less clutter in your case to impede airflow.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

dwc13 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:24 pm My $0.02 on a DIY build is to use high quality components for important items such as the power supply, motherboard and fans (case & CPU). I have never had a processor (AMD or Intel) die early in any computer (DIY or retail). CPUs are very resilient if properly cooled and not abused. Rather surprisingly (particularly on retail PCs), only 1 power supply has ever failed. I have had 2 motherboards fail over the years, one because of poor quality capacitors and the other perhaps old age. Back in the heyday of 3 pin case fans, a few pre-installed ones fail early on. So I started upgrading stock case fans from the beginning on subsequent builds.
Thumbs up to this comment.

I actually have had a PSU fail, which is why I decided to spend more for a reputable one on this new build. The beige box PSU in my Dell desktop died in 2014 (5.5 years); I replaced it with a Corsair 80+ bronze unit which has been flawless for the 6.5 years since then. Incidentally, most PSU warranties are for 5 years, so I suppose the original surpassed its expected lifespan, but really they should last longer than that.

Power supplies do lose efficiency over time, so I also think it's worth buying both a larger supply than you currently need, and an 80+ Gold rating; both of those together will increase its usable life.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Brain »

dwc13 wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:24 pm
The 3700X comes bundled with a Wraith Prism cooler, which does the job. FWIW, the Wraith Prism is also bundled with higher TDP CPUs, including the 3800X (105 watt) and 3900X (105 watt). Since you mentioned you won't be overclocking, the bundled Wraith Prism cooler should be fine
The Amazon combo deal is for the 3800xt, which is has a TDP of 105W. It doesn't come with a bundled cooler, since most of the people buying it are overclockers and will need another fan anyway. But if it's good enough for the 3900x, then it should be fine for a non-OCed 3800xt.

Wraith Prism on eBay for $28.99: Cheaper than a be quet! Pure Rock Slim and a lot less ugly.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

I agree with dwc13's and Independent George's comments. I've never had a CPU failure, even when running one at 80 deg C at max loading.

I had a PC power supply fail in spectacular fashion many years ago. I forget what I was doing, but I think it had already failed and I had the supply's case open trying to find the bad part. At power up, I heard a rather large crack, then watched an electrolytic cap spiral a trail of brown material as it launched itself out of the supply, followed by smoke.

Electrolytic caps are constructed by wrapping layers of chemical coated aluminum layers. The cap's contents were unwrapping out of its case as it launched. No one was hurt. Thanks to no liquid in the cap, the cleanup wasn't that bad. So, I know what "passing the smoke test" means for real.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by sycamore »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:03 pm I agree with dwc13 and Independent George's comments. I've never had a CPU failure, even when running one at 80 deg C at max loading.

I had a PC power supply fail in spectacular fashion many years ago. I forget what I was doing, but I think it had already failed and I had the supply's case open trying to find the bad part. At power up, I heard a rather large crack, then watched an electrolytic cap spiral a trail of brown material as it launched itself out of the supply, followed by smoke.

Electrolytic caps are constructed by wrapping layers of chemical coated aluminum layers. The cap's contents were unwrapping out of its case as it launched. No one was hurt. Thanks to no liquid in the cap, the cleanup wasn't that bad. So, I know what "passing the smoke test" means for real.
Yikes! I wouldn't have thought to wear safety glasses when working on a computer's innards...
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

The supply had been removed from the case and it wasn't it may have been connected to the PC at the time.

My husband was also an engineer. At the time, we looked at each other and thought "Cool..." :)

=====================
The delivery date for my Seasonic 750 W modular supply has been pushed up from Nov 5 to October 29. So, only 2 weeks to go.

Except for the supply (RAM is coming Friday), I have everything in-house. I've opened all the boxes for a quick inspection.

The Fractal Design case threw me, as I was wondering why it only had 2 drive bays. It turns out that additional 2.5" drives are mounted on a vertical plate under the motherboard. Also, the bottom of the case is an open-air design - not solid metal. 8-)

I spent the day preparing the area where I'll place the PC when it's ready. I'll put it on top of a low storage cabinet. It will be off the floor next to my desk.

The PC assembly area (workbench) is ready to go. Reminder to first-time builders - have a clean, well-lighted work area and understand how to work with ESD- sensitive components (ElectroStatic Discharge).

Update: Clarified what I remember about the incident. We may have had it sitting on top of the PC case and connected while we measured voltages...
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by lazydavid »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:03 pm I agree with dwc13's and Independent George's comments. I've never had a CPU failure, even when running one at 80 deg C at max loading.
I did have a CPU fail once, presumably due to TJunction. It was an i7 950, and my son was at an age where he liked to push buttons. One of his favorite buttons to push in the office was the power button on my UPS. One of the times he did this (when I wasn't in the room), the machine failed to POST when it came back on. So the CPU was running full-tilt with no power management (doing nothing), but the pump for the water cooler wasn't running, and I wasn't there to turn it off. POOF!

With regards to power supply, I'll definitely echo the sentiment of spending good money on a solid unit. A substandard PS is the component singly most likely to kill some of your other components, and a good PS will last darn near forever. The one in the box I'm typing this on (Corsair AX750, made by Seasonic) is over 11 years old.
LadyGeek wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:13 pm The PC assembly area (workbench) is ready to go. Reminder to first-time builders - have a clean, well-lighted work area and understand how to work with ESD- sensitive components (Electro Static Discharge).
My Son (now 13) was extremely confused when we were building this PC, about why I wanted it plugged in to the wall before we started assembly. :mrgreen: I explained it to him, and all went well.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

Crucial P5 2 TB is down to $215 at Newegg. I'm jumping on this one.

ETA: I tried to cancel my Amazon order for the Adata drive, but it has already shipped. Oh well - there are two m.2 slots on the motherboard I want; $15 isn't worth the trouble of returning it as opposed to just filling both slots.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

As excited as I am to complete my build, I have to admit - this sounds pretty dang cool:

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-r ... um-mini-pc
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Dyloot »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:13 pmThe Fractal Design case threw me, as I was wondering why it only had 2 drive bays. It turns out that additional 2.5" drives are mounted on a vertical plate under the motherboard. Also, the bottom of the case is an open-air design - not solid metal. 8-)
Which Fractal Design case did you go with? I've built recently with the Define R5 and the Meshify C. Loved them both. Cable management is a breeze--especially since I've abandoned all SATA devices.

I feel your pain on the PSUs. I recently purchased a Corsair RM850x from Amazon despite a ship date three weeks in the future. It ended up arriving much sooner than that--in my anecdotal experience, it seems Amazon is padding shipping dates so they can (perhaps?) over-deliver instead of under-perform?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

^^^ Great timing. First, it's the Meshify C with the solid metal case (no window).

Speaking of shipping dates, I just looked at my credit card account. I've been tracking it frequently to ensure that everything was charged correctly. To my surprise, my credit card had a pending transaction for the Seasonic power supply. Huh?

Yup, Amazon moved the shipping date up to October 21 October 20. So, a 3 week delay turned into a 1 week delay. My new PC migration plan has started - my dual-boot (Win 10 / Linux) PC is now the "master" Win 10 PC - all files have been copied, OS and apps are up-to-date.

The PC I'm using now (dual boot) threw a chkdsk warning when I booted the Win 10 SSD. I'm hoping it was just a routine check, as it hadn't been booted in a while. I didn't see the detail diagnostics, as it quickly went to the login screen. I'll check into that later.

On a side note, my incorrect power supply order disappeared from the credit card account. I saw the charge, then a credit by the 3rd party seller. This morning, both transactions disappeared. So, the charge was literally removed from my view (and from the Quicken download).

Update: Revised delivery date.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

So... I just reviewed the books, and realized I'm probably letting my overwhelming desire for 'value' get the best of me. I'm sitting on just over $600 in Amazon gift card balances (no pay raises this year, so I instead got gift cards which I redeemed at Amazon), plus another $200 in credit card reward points. On top of this, I'm currently $900 under-budget for 'shopping' with two months left in 2020. All of my tax-protected accounts are maxed out, I've got over a year of expenses in liquid assets, plus an extra $6k sitting at vanguard ready to go into my Roth on Jan 2. There is literally nothing else I want or need to buy this year (and probably next, for that matter).

In short, I can splurge on a 5900X for $550, enjoy the heck out of it, and still be way under-budget for 2020. Saving an extra $250 for a 'high value' Zen 2 CPU doesn't actually do anything for me but build a worse machine which will age that much faster.

It's a weird conundrum - the reason I'm sitting in this comfortable perch in the first place is that I have spent twenty years squeezing every penny for all it's worth (such as holding on to my current desktop for twelve years). Now that I'm here, I find it hard to let go of the habits that got me to this point. I literally just had a conversation with my Mom where I hypocritically told her that she hasn't been poor in decades, and she should enjoy her hard-earned retirement.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Buyer's remorse can last a l-o-n-g time. Go for it.

Enjoyment is key. You're talking to someone who just spent $1600 because I "wanted" a new PC.

Bear in mind those new graphics cards are right around the corner. (I can say this every 6 months...)
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:55 pm Buyer's remorse can last a l-o-n-g time. Go for it.

Enjoyment is key. You're talking to someone who just spent $1600 because I "wanted" a new PC.

Bear in mind those new graphics cards are right around the corner. (I can say this every 6 months...)
The thing is... buyer's remorse can work both ways. I've gone cheap before and regretted not spending the extra cash for slightly better quality (and then really regretted it when I ended up spending more to buy the thing I should have gotten in the first place had I not been so cheap). I've also overpaid and wished I had thought it over more. In this case, there's also the dawning realization that I'm not nearly as resource constrained as I once thought I was. I started doing my research back in February/March, before I realized how little I was going to be spending on other stuff in 2020. In hindsight, if I was going to go with a 3700X as intended, the right time to do it was back in March and already gotten six months of enjoyment out of it.

As to the GPU, I really have no use for it (today). I mostly play strategy games, and Dwarf Fortress - both of which are far more CPU intensive than GPU intensive (especially Dwarf Fortress - the CPU usage is on the level of aerospace modelling). My RX-580 should be sufficient for another year - and if it's not, I can always pick up something new later.

Once I'm done, I think I'm going to put Linux on my old desktop, just to tinker around with it.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by wander »

Dude2 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:18 pm On the off-chance that it might interest you, I get much enjoyment out of putting several SSDs together in a raid 0 configuration. That requires either built-in raid on the motherboard or a PCIe card. Usually I prefer the raid on the motherboard as it simplifies things. This drives my motherboard decision. Back in the day I had a Win7 system that booted in like 3 seconds.
I never had anything that can boot to windows in 3 seconds. I had Gigabyte motherboard before, by the time it reads/test memory, it's already more than 3 seconds. Which brand name did you have?
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Independent George wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:35 pm The thing is... buyer's remorse can work both ways. I've gone cheap before and regretted not spending the extra cash for slightly better quality (and then really regretted it when I ended up spending more to buy the thing I should have gotten in the first place had I not been so cheap). I've also overpaid and wished I had thought it over more. In this case, there's also the dawning realization that I'm not nearly as resource constrained as I once thought I was. I started doing my research back in February/March, before I realized how little I was going to be spending on other stuff in 2020. In hindsight, if I was going to go with a 3700X as intended, the right time to do it was back in March and already gotten six months of enjoyment out of it.

As to the GPU, I really have no use for it (today). I mostly play strategy games, and Dwarf Fortress - both of which are far more CPU intensive than GPU intensive (especially Dwarf Fortress - the CPU usage is on the level of aerospace modelling). My RX-580 should be sufficient for another year - and if it's not, I can always pick up something new later.

Once I'm done, I think I'm going to put Linux on my old desktop, just to tinker around with it.
I buy current hardware (and software) with the full realization that prices will drop as soon as I make the purchase. It makes my decisions much easier - no angst, no indecision. Snap a point in time and go.

Look at this from a different perspective - This is nothing more than mental accounting. Money is fungible. If you're having 2nd thoughts, then reallocate the funds to something else and take the available PC budget to 0. Done.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by hunoraut »

LadyGeek wrote: Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:11 am

The fan size is smaller than what I have, which means more RPMs to move the same amount of air and will be louder. Note the max ambient noise is 25.4 dB(A) vs. 22.4 dB(A).

A 3 dB difference is barely audible, but it proves a point.

.
In terms of relative, perceived sound intensity, 3dB is yuge.

Play a gray noise from your computer (approximates a fan) and increase the volume until a phone app register +3dB. It's a very noticeable difference.

In a quiet room at night, it's about the difference of my laptop spinning it's fans vs fully off
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Not quite. I wouldn't trust a cellphone for accurate metering. In any case, a 10 dB difference is what you need to perceive a doubling of volume.

See: Sound level and auditory perception

I'm more concerned about the spectral components (fundamental and harmonic frequencies) produced by low quality bearing friction and blade design.

Light levels also work the same way (logarithmically).
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by hunoraut »

LadyGeek wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:51 pm Not quite. I wouldn't trust a cellphone for accurate metering. In any case, a 10 dB difference is what you need to perceive a doubling of volume.

See: Sound level and auditory perception

I'm more concerned about the spectral components (fundamental and harmonic frequencies) produced by low quality bearing friction and blade design.

Light levels also work the same way (logarithmically).
A doubling of loudness is not a minimum threshold for one thing to be discernably louder than another. You would notice if one was , say, +50% louder.

Smartphone microphones are actually quite good. It doesn't even need to be calibrated, because the point here is not to measure absolute intensity at a very specific frequency. It's simply +3dB relative to whatever baseline you established.

If you don't trust that, and you have an AV receiver with digital volume control in dB, try it there. The *difference* between 3 decibels is not insignificant.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Dude2 »

wander wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 4:07 pm
Dude2 wrote: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:18 pm On the off-chance that it might interest you, I get much enjoyment out of putting several SSDs together in a raid 0 configuration. That requires either built-in raid on the motherboard or a PCIe card. Usually I prefer the raid on the motherboard as it simplifies things. This drives my motherboard decision. Back in the day I had a Win7 system that booted in like 3 seconds.
I never had anything that can boot to windows in 3 seconds. I had Gigabyte motherboard before, by the time it reads/test memory, it's already more than 3 seconds. Which brand name did you have?
This was simply a Dell T1700 out of the box using Win7, no custom motherboard, just dual SSDs (Crucial) in Raid 0. It had an i7 and 16GB of RAM.
Probably one of the main (only) advantages of using Raid 0 is that it can read from the drive into RAM fast because it can do the reads in parallel, so performing such a large read action as is necessary at bootup would hopefully show a gain. I found that to be the case, but I'm only talking about after a clean install here. Once the updates started happening, I got the typical bogdown that increased the time to 30-60 seconds like you'd expect. (All of those programs going out to the Internet to check if they need to update, Virus and Malware scanners clicking on and making sure everything is kosher, everybody wanting to be certain that they are setup to be the "default" program, etc.)
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by wander »

Dude2 wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:50 am This was simply a Dell T1700 out of the box using Win7, no custom motherboard, just dual SSDs (Crucial) in Raid 0. It had an i7 and 16GB of RAM.
Probably one of the main (only) advantages of using Raid 0 is that it can read from the drive into RAM fast because it can do the reads in parallel, so performing such a large read action as is necessary at bootup would hopefully show a gain. I found that to be the case, but I'm only talking about after a clean install here. Once the updates started happening, I got the typical bogdown that increased the time to 30-60 seconds like you'd expect. (All of those programs going out to the Internet to check if they need to update, Virus and Malware scanners clicking on and making sure everything is kosher, everybody wanting to be certain that they are setup to be the "default" program, etc.)
That doesn't make my computer look so bad. It takes 90 seconds to boot. But I always leave it running so I don't have to wait for that 90 seconds.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

hunoraut wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:34 am
LadyGeek wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:51 pm Not quite. I wouldn't trust a cellphone for accurate metering. In any case, a 10 dB difference is what you need to perceive a doubling of volume.

See: Sound level and auditory perception

I'm more concerned about the spectral components (fundamental and harmonic frequencies) produced by low quality bearing friction and blade design.

Light levels also work the same way (logarithmically).
A doubling of loudness is not a minimum threshold for one thing to be discernably louder than another. You would notice if one was , say, +50% louder.

Smartphone microphones are actually quite good. It doesn't even need to be calibrated, because the point here is not to measure absolute intensity at a very specific frequency. It's simply +3dB relative to whatever baseline you established.

If you don't trust that, and you have an AV receiver with digital volume control in dB, try it there. The *difference* between 3 decibels is not insignificant.
OK, I see your point. I was discussing perceived doubling of the volume. You were looking at any difference, not just doubling.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

So, just out of curiosity, I decided to see how long it takes for my current desktop to boot. I have a Samsung 860 EVO SSD connected to a SATA 2 port, 8GB of DDR3 at 1066 MHz, and am using Windows 10 Home.

After three trials, the average time to reach the login screen was 42 seconds. Once I entered my credentials, it was an average of 6.4 seconds before the final icon on my taskbar appeared (Windows Security, OneDrive, Dashlane, and MSI Afterburner).

So on average it's about 50 seconds start to finish - that's actually not terrible. Just moving to an SSD makes a huge difference even when bottlenecked by SATA 2 and DDR3 - I think my old HDD took around 6-7 minutes. I'm very curious to see how quick the new system will be. I should probably time how long it takes Steam and Civ 6 to load for reference.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Dude2 »

This article discusses how to use the Windows Event Logger to get Windows to tell you boot time.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/find-your-c ... windows-7/

Works in Win 10 too. Mine shows 20.488 seconds currently. Could be used to make some tweaks and see if it goes down, for those looking to optimize boot time.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

That's Windows boot time, not PC boot time. You can probably speed things up further by disabling selected items in the BIOS POST (Power On Self-Test), such as memory testing. OTOH, you might want confidence that the system is running OK.

===================
My Seasonic power supply arrived a day early. My new build starts tomorrow.

Here's a quick way to obtain your Win 10 product key, which I did before I removed the SSD from my old PC.

Start a command terminal --> Run as administrator.

Code: Select all

C:\WINDOWS\system32>wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Dyloot »

LadyGeek wrote: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:08 pm That's Windows boot time, not PC boot time. You can probably speed things up further by disabling selected items in the BIOS POST (Power On Self-Test), such as memory testing. OTOH, you might want confidence that the system is running OK.

===================
My Seasonic power supply arrived a day early. My new build starts tomorrow.

Here's a quick way to obtain your Win 10 product key, which I did before I removed the SSD from my old PC.

Start a command terminal --> Run as administrator.

Code: Select all

C:\WINDOWS\system32>wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
Good trick on getting the Windows 10 key.

Congrats on getting the PSU. Enjoy building in the Meshify C!
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by jpohio »

I built 3 systems but it has been years, and from reading this thread it is clear I am really behind in terms of technology. I am considering building another system and have some questions:

I am leaning toward AMD Ryzen 3700 - seems like very capable, good price, and I don't need overclocking capabilities. Question - am I being foolish not considering Intel 9 or AMD Ryzen 3900, or something else?

I see that there are a number of websites that allow you to pick your components, and supposedly the website makes sure components are compatible. Is that true, and if so, is there one of these sites that you folks prefer?

I would use air cooling, 64 GB RAM, 1TB or 2TB SSD. I am lost when trying to evaluate video cards. I do not do heavy gaming at all, but sometimes stream movies. I would like something capable but certainly don't need top of the line.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated - been a while and it is clear folks on this thread are very up to date with latest trends and technology.

Thanks
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by LadyGeek »

Here's what I did: Start here for a general idea of current builds: Logical Increments

Then, go to Tom's Hardware for the latest, greatest, up-to-datest:

- GPU Benchmarks and Hierarchy: Graphics Cards Ranked
- CPU Benchmark Hierarchy 2020: Intel and AMD Processors Ranked

Select any category, you'll find a "Best of" article.

I used Newegg's PC builder as a first cut, then did a price compare with Amazon.

Use a spreadsheet to track everything. Along with prices and links to the parts, be sure to grab URLs to the manufacturer's specs for each item - you'll need it when you start trading components.
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Re: PC Build Thread 2020

Post by Independent George »

jpohio wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 9:24 am I built 3 systems but it has been years, and from reading this thread it is clear I am really behind in terms of technology. I am considering building another system and have some questions:

I am leaning toward AMD Ryzen 3700 - seems like very capable, good price, and I don't need overclocking capabilities. Question - am I being foolish not considering Intel 9 or AMD Ryzen 3900, or something else?

I see that there are a number of websites that allow you to pick your components, and supposedly the website makes sure components are compatible. Is that true, and if so, is there one of these sites that you folks prefer?

I would use air cooling, 64 GB RAM, 1TB or 2TB SSD. I am lost when trying to evaluate video cards. I do not do heavy gaming at all, but sometimes stream movies. I would like something capable but certainly don't need top of the line.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated - been a while and it is clear folks on this thread are very up to date with latest trends and technology.
Are you going to be using it for video editing? If you're not gaming, that's probably the main reason why you'd consider an i9/R9, and the only reason you'd want 64 GB of RAM. 16 GB is about standard today, 32GB for high-end gaming in the near future, 64GB for video rendering. Otherwise, the Ryzen 3600 is probably more than sufficient for you right now, but the price difference with the 3700 is small enough that the upgrade also makes sense.

If you're not gaming or video editing, and just using it for light tasks, you can probably skip the graphics card and get a CPU with integrated graphics like a Ryzen 3200G (the 'G' processors have integrated graphics). Or you can buy a mid-end laptop instead. Otherwise, this is a good time to buy low-end graphics cards like the Nvidia 1650 or AMD RX580. (I currently use the latter for gaming, and don't intend to upgrade it for a while).

As far as compatibility goes, most components are pretty standardized these days - the main things to consider (in descending order of importance):

1. The motherboard and CPU must be compatible. This is the most important combination, but fortunately it's also the easiest. AMD fits AMD boards, Intel fits Intel boards, every board will list the compatible CPUs, and every CPU will list compatible motherboards. You can post a question here if you're still unsure, but this is pretty transparent. Many retailers even offer discounts for buying them together.
2. The motherboard must fit the case. This is also pretty standard now - from smallest to largest, motherboards come in mini-ITX, Micro-ATX, and ATX. (There is also 'extended' ATX or eATX, but (a) this is a marketing term and not an industry standard, and (b) they're rare to the point of irrelevance). An ITX board will fit in a mATX or ATX case, and an mATX board will fit in an ATX case, but obviously not the reverse.
3. The CPU cooler must fit inside the case. The case specs will list a maximum height for the cooler, and the cooler will list it's maximum height with fans attached. Obviously, a larger case will typically have more space than a smaller one. Generally a non-issue for full ATX cases, but it's still worth checking. The Wraith cooler will fit everything.
4. The RAM must fit underneath the CPU Cooler. This is typically a non-issue unless you buy fancy memory with LED lights on them, or a massive air cooler for overclocking, but sometimes they go on sale and are actually the best values. Definitely a non-issue if you use the Wraith cooler that comes with the 3700x.
5. The power supply must be sufficient to supply your components. 550W is sufficient for almost any reasonable build, but I prefer to have a little extra margin and start at 650W. NewEgg has a calculator if you're still uncertain. I also believe it's worth spending an extra $20 or so to buy a good PSU (with 80+ Bronze rating at the very least, and Gold by preference) from a reputable company, as this is the component most likely to fail and possibly take out the rest of your build in the process. BeQuiet, Coolermaster, Corsair, EVGA, and Seasonic are all reputable companies. Avoid Thermaltake like the plague. I rate this #5 despite its importance because it's a lot easier to replace a PSU than a CPU cooler.
5a. Buy modular. Semi-modular is also acceptable, but the key point is that I don't ever want to tie unused cables together ever again.
6. RAM speed/compatibility. Ryzen CPUs like faster RAM, but you have to go into the BIOS and enable XMP to take advantage of it. It's always good to check your motherboards QVL to make sure the RAM is supported, but any of the major memory sticks (Corsair, Crucial, GSkill, etc.) should be supported by the major boards (ASRock, ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI). RAM is pretty interchangeable, but check your motherboard manual to make sure you're using the correct slots (usually the 2nd and 4th slot from the CPU).
7. PCIE 3.0 vs 4.0 interface for the drives and graphics card. The ports are backwards compatible, and 4.0 is currently a niche for bleeding-edge performance, but it is something to consider if you are planning future upgrades. Intel boards currently do not support 4.0, but very few components actually require it right now.
8. PCIE vs SATA solid state drives - given the prices, there's no reason to buy 2.5" SATA drive for a new build except as a backup drive. NVME are smaller, faster, more power efficient, and don't require any additional cables. What gets confusing is that sometimes you'll see an inexpensive NVME drive that actually uses a SATA connection; it's best to just avoid these entirely. They're not terrible, but there's also really no point to them anymore. Do not buy a HDD except as a documents/backup drive - just don't.
9. The power supply must fit inside the case. This is 99.9999% a non-issue as PSUs have been standardized for decades - I'm just listing it here for that one really weird case/PSU combination that somehow doesn't work.
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