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New Ryzen build; opinions/recommendations wanted

adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

I am getting ready to build a replacement for my AMD X4-965 PC but could use some input on choices I've made so far. I may reuse some of the old components such as:

Case: NZXT Phantom PHAN-001WT White Steel / Plastic Enthusiast ATX Full Tower Computer Case
PS: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-850TX 850W ATX12V v2.2 / EPS12V v2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply
Storage drive: Western Digital Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive
Video card: MSI GeForce GTX 970 4GD5T OC
(Not sure whether to replace this with a new card or cards or which one(s)

Here is what I have selected so far:

ASRock X370 Taichi AM4 AMD Promontory X370 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.1 ATX AMD Motherboard
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157757&cm_re=Taichi--13-157-757--Product

AMD RYZEN 7 1700 8-Core 3.0 GHz (3.7 GHz Turbo) Socket AM4 65W YD1700BBAEBOX Desktop Processor
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113428

Team Dark Pro 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Desktop Memory Model TDPGD416G3200HC14ADC01
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820313712

SAMSUNG 960 EVO M.2 500GB NVMe PCI-Express 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-V6E500BW
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147594

Two SATA based DVD-RW drives (my old drives are IDE)

This will be a general purpose and gaming PC mostly for Far Cry and Call of Duty titles. Your thoughts on SSD and video card config would be greatly appreciated. Since my case is the size of barn, internal space is no problem.

Thanks for any and all input!

Comments

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    I'd say your core hardware looks close to perfect. Though I would switch the motherboard out to the Gigabyte X370 Gaming5: more reliable.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Thanks. I studied the mobo you mentioned but was not impressed with the reviews at Newegg. Re video card, should I keep what I have or jump up to a newer single card? Maybe dual cards? If so, what? TIA.

  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian

    GPU prices can be awful right now because of mining fomo. Microcenter is doing bundle deals where if you buy the system board, cpu, ram, storage from them you can pick up a GPU for actual msrp right now. Kind of a limit one per customer for gamers only promo. So check that when pricing.

    I am running a 1600X with a RX 580 and am thrilled with it.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Thanks for the heads up.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    Ugh, yeah. GPU pricing is insane right now. The 380 I bought almost 3 years ago is selling at almost double what I paid for it.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Ouch! Like Cliff and Alex said, video card pricing is nuts! My GTX 970 that cost me ~$330 is now at $850+. It is not a bad card but crap! Looks like I will be staying with it until sanity returns to the market. Still vacillating over motherboard. I am a Gigabyte fan by history but am a sucker for a pretty face. Don't know that I need dual gpu slots esp. with gouge my eyeballs prices for one let alone two.

    Looks like I will have to give up my Pioneer DVD slot load drive since it is IDE interface. I see there are SATA to IDE converter/adapters but am skeptical. Never cared much for 'glitchey'. Looking to order in the next couple of days.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Hit a bump. My HT Omega 7.1 sound card, which I really like, is PCI not PCIe so many new motherboards cannot accommodate it. A few 350 boards, mostly MSI, do. There are adapters but again, glitches? May have to lump it and just go with on-board sound. Progress with new hardware is .........................................so progressive?

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian

    I would abandon your soundcard. Onboard sound has come a phenomenally long way, especially if you buy a premium motherboard with the X370 chipset.

    If you use headphones, switching to an external DAC/amp would be an even better option. Pretty affordable, too.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Okay, done. I will walk away from my beloved HT Omega in favor of on-board sound. Now, I have a question about operating system install. Currently, I have Win 10 which I acquired through the free upgrade from Win 7. Since I am going to wipe and reserve my WD Black for storage, can I install Win 7 and upgrade to Win 10 on this new build the same way? I don't think the 960 EVO nvme is supported natively in Win 7 which presents an issue on reinstall from CD. Is there a workaround or should I just buy an OEM disk of Win 10? Thanks!

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    If you're logging in to your system with a Microsoft account, the license is tied to your account.

    You can easily transfer that to a fresh Win10 install (provided the old install is gone, obviously) by logging in to said fresh install with your MS account. Then you will be able to choose the existing license to apply to the new build after it fails to auto-activate.

    You can download the Win10 install tool that will make a bootable USB stick for you for free from Microsoft.

  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    HT Omega makes PCI-E hardware: http://www.htomega.com/pcie-sound-cards.html
    I have the eClaro and it was excellent back when I had an analog signal path. I personally find built in motherboard analog unsatisfactory but if you're using digital then only the quality of the downstream DAC and power amplifier really matter.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    Just placed my order with Newegg. Decided to pass on a new sound card for now though may add later if I am not happy with on-board. Thanks to all for the help! BTW, I did check with Microcenter on a bundled price but it was not that much less than Newegg plus I would have to factor in the cost of a 350 mile round trip from home to Chicago. I'll ride the GTX970 awhile longer.

    ThraxCliff_Forster
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    edited 31 Jan

    Audio marketing is full of hyperbole and snake oil. There is so much great product reasonably priced now, and @Thrax is right, the motherboard headphone DAC / Amp section is decent for 95+% of usage cases. The Achilles heel usually was the fact that it was all integrated in an electronically noisy environment but the past few years manufactures have been doing a pretty good job of isolating their audio section knowing that would be a demand for any "Gamer / Pro" class board. You pretty much have to be a creative professional to justify the cost of an additional sound card or external DAC / Amp of some kind, and I'm pretty nuts about quality audio. You will get more mileage out of a decent set of headphones, and even then, I can tell you about a few things priced well under $100 that if you blind tested them against things costing $300 or more you would be hard pressed to say what the most expensive set was. Audio marketing is fascinating. It's not like other electronics where you can give a real hard measurable difference, this panel is brighter, has more pixels per inch, this graphics card gets a higher frame rate, this CPU finishes this task four seconds faster... But with audio perception is reality. How do you prove something sounds better??... well, you can draw up a bunch of curves and graphs, but once you get to an immeasurable amount of distortion (which most quality products reach), and understand how much juice you need to power something to a certain level of loudness, the bottom line is if you think it sounds great, it sounds great, and if you are the type that can never be happy, then you can waste a ton of money on audio gear because you trick yourself into the idea, oh... this sounds a little less muddy in the mid range, or this has a certain dynamic airy quality, or whatever. Modern motherboard audio typically sounds fantastic unless you trick yourself into thinking it could be better and that's the psychology the audio electronics industry lives off of.

  • drasnordrasnor Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @Cliff_Forster I wouldn't bank on motherboard manufacturers doing any better today than previously with regards to their analog sound. There's no way to be sure in advance that they've done a good job because reviewers don't review that aspect of motherboards and as you say the advertising for audio systems is terrible. In my personal experience, motherboard analog sound is rife with pops, clicks, and buzzing as it picks up noise from neighboring circuitry even on gaming boards. Driving headphones, the sound the motherboard amp makes when clipping is unmistakable. I've not had a positive experience with motherboard analog audio... ever. You can put a 16 Ohm resistor across the output, hook up your scope, and watch it clip at even moderate volume. I guess some people prefer that sound? I certainly don't.

    That said, it doesn't hurt anything to roll the dice and see if your motherboard has decent built-in audio or not prior to making the call on an add-on card or DAC/amp. The cost of a decent internal sound card with a headphone amp and a decent external DAC/amp are pretty much the same so it's a matter of personal preference as to which route you go. Presumably if you're even thinking about it then you already own decent headphones.

    If you own a digital sound system of some sort (i.e. a media receiver, external DAC/amp, powered digital speakers) then you won't have a problem using integrated digital sound because none of the motherboard analog circuitry is in your signal path. If you've been using one of these previously then it's going to sound the same with your new computer as your old one.

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    I just repurposed my old 5.1 receiver into an oversized DAC that also happens to function well as a monitor riser.

    Cliff_Forster
  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    @AlexDeGruven, you just gave me an idea. I have a spare Denon AVR-591 I retired from our home theater because the HDMI circuit went dead I could repurpose in much the same way. It's the size of a microwave but could accomplish the same thing. Now, how to hide it from critical eyes...................................(and my wife). Hmmmmmmmmmmm.

    @drasnor, I will miss my HT Omega card. I can definitely tell the difference in sound definition between it and my wife's on-board sound. Maybe an add-in card at a later date if I am missing Andrea Bocelli's high C.

    Cliff_Forster
  • Cliff_ForsterCliff_Forster Baltimore, MD Icrontian
    edited 2 Feb

    @drasnor said:
    @Cliff_Forster I wouldn't bank on motherboard manufacturers doing any better today than previously with regards to their analog sound. There's no way to be sure in advance that they've done a good job because reviewers don't review that aspect of motherboards and as you say the advertising for audio systems is terrible. In my personal experience, motherboard analog sound is rife with pops, clicks, and buzzing as it picks up noise from neighboring circuitry even on gaming boards. Driving headphones, the sound the motherboard amp makes when clipping is unmistakable. I've not had a positive experience with motherboard analog audio... ever. You can put a 16 Ohm resistor across the output, hook up your scope, and watch it clip at even moderate volume. I guess some people prefer that sound? I certainly don't.

    It's only improved in the last couple / few years maybe. A few years ago absolutely 100% right, you might get a featured enough audio chip but the headphone amps were garbage the the noise from the neighboring electronics was bad enough that even if the amp was decent the experience was still awful.

    In the last few years putting a decent headphone amp on a board along with isolating it's circuitry has become fairly common on better boards. I build often, typically about a PC per month. The ALC1220 implementation that Gigabyte uses on a lot of their boards is great. I don't test them with headphones that are particularly difficult to drive, but on garden variety 32 ohm cans there isn't a problem and I've read that people drive high impedance lower efficiency cans with it fine. Asus has a number of implementations they tout as being able to drive 300 ohm headphones without issue. I've tested some of their recent designs, it's quite good, no noise, no clipping. It's a good upward trend towards better quality onboard. Heck, even some Gigabyte boards will allow your to swap the OP-AMP chip. I have never tried that but it seems like a pretty neat feature.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    This is just an update on my new Ryzen build. I ran into 2 problems which had me scratching my head for a bit.

    First of all, I reinstalled my Win 10 OS from ISO which was from the free upgrade from Win 7. Problem is, in order for Ryzen to work properly under Win 10, you apparently have to get to a certain updated version of Win 10 for it to be stable. No matter what, I could not get it updated to the necessary version because of these hard freezes requiring a reset each time. I ended up buying a new Win 10 digital download through Newegg and installed it. First problem solved.

    2ndly, I could not get my Team Dark Pro RAM to run at 3200 speed initially. The freezing I just reported was made worse by trying to take the
    RAM to 3200 speed. After the OS was squared away, I was able to easily reset the RAM to 3200 and it has been stable since. At this point, I am sold on Team RAM. I have always been a Corsair or Kingston fan, but this Team RAM is exceptional (Samsung dies).

    Thus far, I am thrilled with the setup. The Samsung m.2 960 EVO at 500 GB is nothing short of a masterpiece. Who knew a 'stick of gum' could make such a great hard drive! My fingers are crossed for longevity.

    I am adjusting to the on-board sound and have been able to tweak settings to get production with which I am comfortable. No plan to buy a discrete sound card at this time.

    Next, the ASRock X370 Taichi is the sweetest motherboard experience I have ever had. I downloaded the most current drivers from ASRock and passed up the included driver CD. Installation was smooth as butter. Lastly, it has been a few years since I last built a PC and was amazed that I could navigate the BIOS with the mouse instead of keyboard only. Of course you have to have the keyboard to enter numerical values but being able to select fields with the mouse is sweet.

    Happily camping and fragging at this time!

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    Oh yes. NVMe is so good. That, plus ultra-fast boot in UEFI gives me a desktop in 4-6 seconds.

  • ThraxThrax Professional Shill, Watch Slut, Mumble Hivemind Drone Austin, TX Icrontian
    edited 8 Feb

    Download the latest Windows 10 ISO. It will give you the latest version. Anyone can download it.

    There have been 3 major version releases since the ISO you downloaded.

  • adarryladarryl No Man Stands So Tall As When He Stoops To Help a Child. Icrontian

    That explains a lot. MS wouldn't accept my windows key so I just bought a new download. (face palm)

  • AlexDeGruvenAlexDeGruven Not as tall as Bobby Tallbeer. Twilight Sparkle is overrated. Meechigan Icrontian

    On the plus side, you have 2 licenses now.

    You can install a Win10 VM of the equivalent version to your previous key and tie it to your MS account for safe keeping in the future.

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