It Begins! My First Custom PC Build & a Side Project.

RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature EnthusiastNew Mexico
edited March 2014 in Hardware

My last desktop "died" about 2 years ago, and I've been on my laptop since. I haven't gotten around to upgrading, fixing, and whatnot for various reason that require their own separate discussion. I'll need to make that discussion too (for the good of my mental and physical health), but will save it for a bit later. The urge to upgrade can be denied no longer!

I have 2 goals for this endeavor.

  • Custom build my own PC. Gaming, Graphic Design, and Game Development.
  • Fix up my old desktop as something for the family. Thinking either a HTPC or something like a LAN server.

For the old PC (Old & Busted), I'm not sure what to look for, because I don't know what it will/should be. I'll discuss with family about what they would prefer to get out of it. Once that is figured out I'll ask about it on here.

In regards to the Custom PC (New Hotness), I've been researching a lot as of late and feel I've got a good handle on it. Mostly I'll just want check some crucial stuff with you veterans before I break anything (I have a big track record in that regard.)

What I specifically want out of this new PC is a moderately powerful machine that will let me play most of these new games at medium-high settings easily. I don't need to see every drop of sweat or completely smooth framerates. The above pretty much covers my work/hobby needs as well so I'll aim for the higher bar.

I've gone to NewEgg (via Icrontic's affiliate links) and started with their DIY combos. I used one I liked as a baseline and picked other parts that I wanted instead of the ones in the combo. Resulting in the following list:

  • Case RAIDMAX Cobra ATX-502WBG
  • Motherboard GIGABYTE GA-970A-UD3P AM3+ AMD 970
  • CPU AMD FX-8320 Vishera 3.5GHz
  • RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series
  • GPU SAPPHIRE 100366-2L Radeon R7 260X 2GB
  • PSU CORSAIR CSM 650W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified
  • Optical Drive LG Internal Super Multi Drive SATA
  • HDD Seagate Barracuda
  • SSD Crucial M500 240GB SATA

Names to the side are shortened.
Not sure of a better way to list them. Be nice if I could just do one link to them all together.

Questions

  • Will going from Nvidia to AMD cause problems for my previous data that I plan on bringing over from the older PC? it won't be everything, just regular files, some programs, and games.
  • Is this a solid set of parts? Any foreseeable errors/incompatibilities?
  • ... Can't think of any others.

Comments

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH

    Going from Nvidia to AMD shouldn't cause any issues with data, though some games or graphically intense programs may behave slightly different.

    G.Skill is a good RAM brand, I use them as do a lot of people I watch on twitch.

    TBH the motherboard is a bit pricey, any reason you wanted to go with that one over a Mobo that can only handle a single GPU since it doesn't look like you are doing crossfire? I don't see any features on it other than that to justify the 40-50 bucks you could save over a slightly more conservative board. Depending on the RAM kit you go with, you may be able to cut another few bucks to get one that only has two memory slots.

    My only other though is that you may want to be careful with the PSU, your GPU requires a 450 watt alone, and your CPU looks like it will be drawing another 125w. Under heavy load of possible graphic design you might be throttling yourself.

    But what the hell do I know?

    RahnalH102
  • I second what he said about motherboard, seems a bit overkill if you're just looking for mid-high gaming performance. Frankly, this motherboard would probably more than meet your needs and give you room to grow.

    Not sure about the PSU... I ran this setup through 3 PSU calculators, only NewEgg's recommended a bigger one. I think 600W would probably be enough. The 450W number on the GPU is not the card's draw, it's the minimum recommended PSU for a system with this card in it. Even the most power-hungry model on the Tom's Hardware power consumption chart only draws 53W under load. That PSU should be sufficient, though, IMO, it would be worthwhile investing in a more efficient PSU. Something like this Corsair 80-plus Gold certified model.

    SignalRahnalH102
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico
    edited March 2014

    @d3k0y said:
    TBH the motherboard is a bit pricey, any reason you wanted to go with that one over a Mobo that can only handle a single GPU since it doesn't look like you are doing crossfire? I don't see any features on it other than that to justify the 40-50 bucks you could save over a slightly more conservative board. Depending on the RAM kit you go with, you may be able to cut another few bucks to get one that only has two memory slots.

    My only other thought is that you may want to be careful with the PSU, your GPU requires a 450 watt alone, and your CPU looks like it will be drawing another 125w. Under heavy load of possible graphic design you might be throttling yourself.

    But what the hell do I know?

    More then I do on this topic :buck: .

    I went with that board because Newegg was letting me bundle it with the CPU for a discount. I swapped things around with what you two suggested and the overall difference is only around $5. Since I'm not using the Crossfire tech I'll stick with this new setup.

    @ardichoke said:

    >

    Not sure about the PSU... I ran this setup through 3 PSU calculators, only NewEgg's recommended a bigger one. I think 600W would probably be enough. The 450W number on the GPU is not the card's draw, it's the minimum recommended PSU for a system with this card in it. Even the most power-hungry model on the Tom's Hardware power consumption chart only draws 53W under load. That PSU should be sufficient, though, IMO, it would be worthwhile investing in a more efficient PSU. Something like this Corsair 80-plus Gold certified model.

    Duly noted and added.

    If I may ask, could you link to the other calculators you mentioned for future reference? I know the Newegg one, but more data is better.

    Thank you for your help!

  • edited March 2014

    The other two calculators I used:

    These things are always a rough guideline at best. It seems like there's never a fully up to date PSU calculator

    RahnalH102
  • georgehgeorgeh Canton, MI
    edited March 2014

    I threw it into PCPartPicker and it looks like you can save about $40 if you shop at more than just NewEgg. I've haven't used an AMD processor since my K6-2 days, but my impression is that if you're doing graphic design you'll benefit from an Intel processor. Anyone with experience care to comment?

    If you're buying in the next 10 days you can get a 2GB R7 260X for $100 - a better video card for $20 less. You can also save a chunk of change on the SSD if you are willing to go slightly smaller and with Crucial. /r/buildapcsales is a great place to watch when you're about to buy, then stop watching the second you place your order.

    RahnalH102
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA
    edited March 2014

    Take your pick of performance test for CPUs here. and @georgeh is correct for at least the Photoshop benchmark.

    RahnalH102
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL

    Note also, that for gaming primarily, AMD wins, while for Graphics design with Corel or Adobe products, (especially Adobe) Intel wins for processor power versus processor power but NOT for price. If i were a gamer and graphic designer, I would have TWO computers, one for gaming and genral stuff, and one for graphics designing. As it is I have a 3-year old laptop for general stuff, and a box primarily for editing graphics.

    RahnalH102
  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Living in the North

    I have the exact same motherboard coupled with an FX8350. It's a pretty wicked board

    RahnalH102
  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL

    Ranalh is also an artist, and I was leaning toward saying buy one for general use, and one specifically for graphics to him especially.

    RahnalH102
  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA

    I would say that for price/performance, AMD typically beats Intel, but there is nothing wrong with having a box for both purposes. The biggest if depends on if he planned to use a workstation card, since that would make his gaming experience terrible, but he already listed an AMD desktop card. Intel games just fine (looks back at my last three intel chips). @RahnalH102‌ just check your most commonly used graphics design programs for OpenCL compatibility if you want to stay AMD on graphics card, and you'll get the GPU acceleration benefits.

    RahnalH102
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    My laptop already handles my workload pretty well (and games well too) so this new one being AMD isn't a problem.

    Thank you all for the tools, deals, and knowledge everyone! I've updated the OP with my current prospective setup.

  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    Had a rough day at work today. I'm not an IT person but I'm one of the most up to date and tech savvy at work so I'm unofficial IT I guess. 20 minutes left of work and the stress had taken it's toll.

    I arrive home to find an assortment of packages.

    Stress gone. Excitement abounds! I don't even have all the parts yet (waiting on PSU and OS.) Don't like working on computers at work, but when I get to build my own "Oh boy, I can't wait!"

  • d3k0yd3k0y Loveland, OH

    Nothing worse than getting MOST of the parts you need to build your new rig, just staring at the boxes, waiting...

  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico
    edited April 2014

    PSU came in today, just finished setting it up while watching movies with my Dad (he wants to get into this kind of thing.) It seems I've done everything right so far. Boots up to BIOS just fine and everything is running that should be running.

    Now I'm considering either transferring my old HDD from the previous desktop to this one or waiting for the new one I ordered and starting a clean install. Hmm.

    Why did I order another OS? Because the old desktop will likely need one for whatever it's new job will be. So I'm going to need one regardless of which choice I make above.

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA

    New one! New one! New one! I'm a big fan of fresh starts and not having weird windows driver shit.

    AnnesBlueTattooErrorNullTurnip
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    I tried adding it in for the heck of it and could not get the BIOS to boot from it. I don't want to mess with it so a fresh start it is. I infer from the tracking that it won't be here till probably Monday or Tuesday. The wait continues.

  • MrTRiotMrTRiot Living in the North

    I've always been a fan of creating a disk image and using it to install on a new hard drive. Also gives you a very solid back up in case anything goes wrong

    RahnalH102
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico
    edited April 2014

    I'm posting this from the new machine. All is well, but I'm not done yet. Now I gotta re-download a ton of stuff on my bad internet connection. EpIC instantly spoiled me with the speed there.

    I learned a fair bit from this and look forward to the next one. Which I will address on here when it comes around.

  • CBCB Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Der Millionendorf-

    @RahnalH102 said:
    Now I gotta re-download a ton of stuff

    In case you don't already know about it: ninite.com

    SonorousRahnalH102
  • RahnalH102RahnalH102 the Green Devout, Veteran Monster Hunter, Creature Enthusiast New Mexico

    I do know about ninite actually (from elsewhere on this site probably.) I was referring to my Steam Library, and other such games. Hundreds of gigs, only 250 mbps.

    I have a physical copy of Skyrim so that one was easy. When I did the initial launch, Skyrim detected what settings it should use based on the hardware it could detect. It set itself to Ultra High. I spawn in and everything is crisp, clean and super reactive. So this is what "powah" tastes like.

  • TushonTushon I'm scared, Coach Alexandria, VA

    One of the best tech investments I ever made was a SATA-to-USB adapter for $15-20. Transfer files, validate, done.

    SignalRahnalH102
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