View Full Version : Finally committing to a new build

09-26-20, 08:42 AM
The New PC

I've just started my slow journey toward a new computer build. I purchased a couple of 1tb Crucial MX500 SSDs, One will be used for internal backups and the other will be used in an external docking station for "off-site" backups (more on my backup strategy and procedures in another thread). The next several purchases will include a mid-level video card (no real gamming for me) and a audio recording interface. I can buy these items first and take them for a test run in my current rig to ensure I wasn't sent a dud.

As far as CPUs go...
I may opt for a lower wattage model but I'm still on the fence about that. I am currently running a Core I5 2500 and anything is going to seem like an out of this world upgrade. I'm hoping with the release of new AMD processors in November that the current models will take a slight price drop.

Here is the mobo I've been looking at.

I will populate it with 2 - 1tb M.2 Nvme Gen 4 drives. The Gen 4 spec is going to bring the price up a bit. I'm really leaning towards the new Samsung's that are about to hit the market. I usually don't go "bleeding edge" for equipment but I think I might splurge and get myself these. In order to save a few $$ I may install a 500g as the OS and program drive and then the 1tb for my pictures and audio files that I create when recording.

I will then install at least 32gig of 3200 memory. I still have to check the Asus QVL to ensure I get the correct memory. I'm still on the fence about going with some faster memory that I could do a slight overclock on. I'm not really interested in overclocking, but I wouldn't mind "tickling" it up a bit. I'm open to suggestions regarding that.

09-26-20, 11:19 AM
i would wait a little bit for the next generation of AMD zen3 CPUs to come out soon to see how much faster they will be , i know i am waiting, or wait for the prices of zen2 to come down maybe then.

09-26-20, 12:05 PM
i would wait a little bit for the next generation of AMD zen3 CPUs to come out soon to see how much faster they will be , i know i am waiting, or wait for the prices of zen2 to come down maybe then.

I'm going to wait until the new processors start to hit the market and I'll be buying the older chips on the dip. The timing should be just about right for me to finish the build in November(?)

09-26-20, 01:46 PM
I pulled the trigger on upgrading my main PC a couple of weeks ago, I got the upgrade bug and I also had to build another rig using my old CPU/mobo. My old system was Intel Core I7 K6700 (4-cores), Asus TUF Z170 Motherboard.

The new replacement is:
CPU: Ryzen 7 3700X 8-core 3.6GHz (4.4GHz Boost), socket AM4 65W TDP (paid about $275 on sale). I liked the price, and the 65W TDP, even though I have a couple of Noctua heatsinks that can freeze a couple of those chips, heh. I usually check price/performance of CPUs at Passmark: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

MoBo: Asus TUF B550M-PLUS (Wi-Fi) ~$160 on sale. I would've gone for the X570 chipset, but the price was good on this one. I like Asus/AsRock motherboards.

RAM: G.SKILL Ripjaws, 16GB (2x8GB) - When I buy RAM, I look for low voltage first (1.2 volt DDR), and lower 15 CAS latency. I like G.SKILL for reliability.

I also snagged this Intel 665p M.2 1TB SSD for storage, caught it at a sale for ~$100 shipped. It is not my main SSD, for the OS I use a 500GB Samsung 970 EVO M.2 NVME

I use a Geforce GTX 1080 video card.

After plugging in everything and turning on the new build, I was greeted with no video output at all, and a bios error code: 1 long, 3 short beeps. Apparently, with AMI Bios this means Video Card issue, with Award BIOS it means RAM issues. Re-seated everything, tried different video output (Displayport, HDMI), tried a different video card, played musical chairs with the RAM slots, reset CMOS to no avail. It was driving me up the wall for 20 minutes. At the end, I had to:
1) disconnect the video card and boot the system without one, let the system try to boot and give the video-card error beeps (1 long, 3 short).
2) power down, re-seat PCIE video card and boot the system. No more error codes, video comes on and boots right up ever since.
Seems like a BIOS issue with that particular motherboard, I've seen a couple of other reports on the net about that exact same problem. Haven't had any issue since, just it was completely counter-intuitive to unplug the video card to boot the system, considering many AMD CPUs have no integrated graphics.

After that initial snag, I've been more than happy with the system, it's snappy and cool, 8-cores plus hyperthreading rocks.

09-28-20, 09:46 AM
Since I'm dropping a bit more cash on this build than I usually would I have been researching components a little bit more than I usually would. I don't think I've every consulted a manufacturer's QVL memory list before. Basically, this mobo has 4 dimm slots and will accept 128 gig of ram. I'm planning on loading it with either 32 or 64 gig or ram. In the past I would just make sure the ram I was buying meets the mobo's specs and I've never had a problem. The reason I ask is that I'm checking the QVL and when I run a search for those modules (at least the brands I prefer) nothing comes up.

How do you feel about just keeping the purchase within spec and sticking with that decision?

09-28-20, 10:27 AM
It will be fine. I've only ever kept to manufacturers' approved memory for server components, registered ECC dimms. For regular builds, just use RAM within specs from a reputable brand and you will be fine. If you get a DOA module you can have it replaced and that's it.

I don't know what you plan on running at the same time, but I would just get 2x16Gb modules and leave room for expansion if need be in the future. For me personally even 16Gb (2x8Gb) is enough.

09-28-20, 11:10 AM
I don't know what you plan on running at the same time, but I would just get 2x16Gb modules and leave room for expansion if need be in the future. For me personally even 16Gb (2x8Gb) is enough.

This is going to be a bit of a Vanity build for me. I know I'll be over-specing many of the components, but I'm also sure I'll be talking myself back off the ledge once it comes time to pull the trigger and purchase what I need. Right now I'm running 8gig of ram on a Win 10 machine with very light use of Adobe Light room and a DAW (Steinberg's Cubase), but will probably be changing DAWs over to Presonus Studio One 5. 16 gig would probably be more than enough but I'm pretty sure I'll go to at least 32 gig in 2 slots

09-28-20, 12:10 PM
Nothing wrong with 32Gb of RAM these days :) Whatever size you get, two sticks rather than four leaves room for expansion, it's a bit more future-proof. The only downside being if a module goes bad out of warranty it is a bit bigger loss, but that's mitigated by buying a reputable brand.

09-29-20, 04:11 AM
16gb nowadays is a minimum if you're thinking about gaming. If you want to future-proof, then 2x16 is a much better idea than 4 and you have more slots for another RAM, and another :D

09-29-20, 08:47 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. Regarding memory, I'm pretty sure I'll be installing 32gb. I think I have all the other components spec'd out the way I want them. Now I'm just going over my list of things that I will need for the install. I have an external USB/eSATA docking station and I just learned that there are SATA/eSATA pass through cables and brackets. Now I don't have to buy a new docking station. I thought I would lose the eSATA functionality of the docking station until I found this out. My old mobo has eSATA on the back panel and I didn't know this other option existed.

09-29-20, 09:51 AM
I have this Wavlink USB 3.0 dual bay docking station, it's been really good, and speeds are very comparable to eSATA.

Speeds (theoretical max raw bit rate):
SATA II - 3 Gbps
SATA III - 6 Gbps
USB 3.0 - 5 Gbps
USB 3.1 gen2 - 10 GBps
USB 3.2 - 16 Gbps

09-29-20, 07:05 PM
I have this Wavlink USB 3.0 dual bay docking station, it's been really good, and speeds are very comparable to eSATA.

Although I would like to get as much speed as I possibly can, after making my first initial backup, each subsequent backup will only be backing up files that are new or have changed. I'm not expecting the nightly backup to the external SSD to take long at all.

09-30-20, 09:56 AM
Yeah, eSATA works fine, transfer speeds are better than NAS (network attached storage). Important thing with backups is keeping up with them I suppose. I use a NAS for backups with a simple robocopy batch file that is also incremental, and I try to also do a cold storage HDD manually once a year or so. The NAS I use is a small custom linux machine I built, with drives in pairs being replicated nightly to mitigate hdd failures.

09-30-20, 02:58 PM
I have been using "FreeFileSync" but I've only scratched the surface of its functionality. You can create batch jobs and then create a task in the Windows Task Scheduler to run those batch files. I've been watching their video tutorials and learning a lot. I will pretty much create a batch file that runs an incremental sync procedure and then create a Task that runs every 15 minutes or half hour. Since the amount of files being synced will be quite small, it should only take about 10 seconds to sync them up and copy the required files. I don't see it interfering with anything I'm running in the foreground since the program doesn't put any burden on the computer.

09-30-20, 08:20 PM
I think I've seen that program before, it's been a few years though. For my Windows machine, I use a batch file very similar to this:

I have it run on a schedule weekly using Task Scheduler, it backs up to a NAS.

10-01-20, 08:17 AM
Thanks for the link. In all my years I have never manually created a batch file. I'm sure I've used a program that did it for me behind the scenes. But creating and understanding them is one of those things that I figured was probably a pretty powerful tool, but I never ventures into the creation of them. It's just one of those things I always avoided. Maybe I should did into this a bit deeper now that I have the time.

10-07-20, 04:04 PM
Just came across a cool site: pcpartpicker.com
It allows you to choose online stores (i.e. Newegg, B&H, Amazon...), and track prices for a specific product model from all those sites. It also allows you to make a custom PC build and save it, get alerts when certain parts get within your price range, etc. You can even post a link to your proposed system on forums.. Here is a sample partial HTPC build:

PCPartPicker Part List (https://pcpartpicker.com/list/9WWXLP)

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Processor (https://pcpartpicker.com/product/XP6qqs/amd-ryzen-5-3400g-37-ghz-quad-core-processor-yd3400c5fhbox) ($139.99 @ B&H)
Motherboard: ASRock Fatal1ty B450 Gaming-ITX/ac Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard (https://pcpartpicker.com/product/N4jJ7P/asrock-fatal1ty-b450-gaming-itxac-mini-itx-am4-motherboard-b450-gaming-itxac) ($129.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Aegis 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2133 CL15 Memory (https://pcpartpicker.com/product/bRvZxr/gskill-memory-f42133c15d16gis) ($54.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Intel 665p 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (https://pcpartpicker.com/product/YvZzK8/intel-665p-1-tb-m2-2280-nvme-solid-state-drive-ssdpeknw010t9x1) ($114.99 @ Adorama)
Case: Apex MI-008 Mini ITX Tower Case w/250 W Power Supply (https://pcpartpicker.com/product/hHg323/apex-case-mi008) ($59.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $499.94
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker (https://pcpartpicker.com) 2020-10-10

10-09-20, 08:45 PM
It looks like the new Ryzens were just announced and will be here in November. I'll start making the purchases once I see the CPU I want come down in price a little. I've already received the 2 SSD drives and confirmed them in my current box that they are good.

10-30-20, 10:43 AM
I've been clicking on my link at Newegg twice a day to see when the current CPUs drop in price. As soon as I see that the buying spree begins.

10-30-20, 12:36 PM
I sometimes just set a price alert and get an email from Newegg when the shtuff drops below a certain price.

10-30-20, 06:46 PM
I didn't realize that had that feature. I've got a handful of alerts set.

11-08-20, 09:07 AM
I sometimes just set a price alert and get an email from Newegg when the shtuff drops below a certain price.

I do have several alerts setup. I do have a Micro Center near me but I usually forget to check their prices. Right now they're selling the Ryzen 7 3700X for $44 less than NewEgg. I still think the price should drop some more when more of the new CPUs actually become available. The first batch for sale disappeared immediately.

11-09-20, 12:03 PM
Online prices seem to be around $305 for the Ryzen 3700x.. That price at Micro Center is really good at $279, I'd grab one :) --> https://www.microcenter.com/search/search_results.aspx?Ntt=3700X+(3.6GHz)&Ntk=all&sortby=match&N=4294966998&myStore=true

I usually watch price history at PassMark ( https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=AMD+Ryzen+7+3700X&id=3485 ), or PCPartPicker ( https://pcpartpicker.com/product/QKJtt6/amd-ryzen-7-3700x-36-ghz-8-core-processor-100-100000071box ), but they don't reflect local sales or smaller stores.

11-13-20, 04:42 PM
Wow! NE just raised prices by a lot. The Corsair M2 I was watching just went from $189 to $269. The mobo went up $17. I'm going to take a trip to Micro Center soon. I need to commit soon. I thought the AMD cpu's would be going down by now. I was really expecting to see a 20% decrease in the cpu prices by the time I buy the other parts.

11-13-20, 04:55 PM
For that CPU it would be a while for price to go lower in my humble opinion, it has great price/performance ratio as is. Other components vary in price, maybe there would be some deals around Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

11-26-20, 05:28 PM
Ryzen 7 3700X is $279 at Newegg for Black Friday w/ promo code BFRDAY79
Ryzen 7 3800X is $335 w promo code

12-08-20, 07:43 PM
I have about 1/2 of the components right now. I'm going to pickup the CPU at Micro Center tomorrow. The remaining components should be here in less than a week. After reading some reviews and tapering back on several of the features that I realized I really didn't need, I've ended up with the following...

Mobo: ASUS TUF GAMING X570-PLUS Wi-Fi (I really didn't want the Wi-fi but the non Wi-Fi boards started disappearing from the websites I shop. I will disable it in bios)
CPU: AMD Ryzen 3700X
Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance LPX (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3200 CAS16
Nvme: Corsair Force MP600 M.2 2280 1TB PCI-Express Gen 4.0 x4 (for OS and programs)
SSD: 2 x Crucial MX500 (one as 2nd internal drive holding data and the other as external detachable backup)
Video: ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 570 DirectX 12

I'll be using the 1000w EVGA PSU that is in the case. It's fully modular and I have an additional bag of power cables so I can also pretty much pick one that is the best length for the job and keep the case looking organized. I also have a handful of new case fans that I'm going to install to augment the ones in their now. I'm really looking forward to putting this together. I hope to have everything here and have it built up by the weekend of the 18th.

12-09-20, 11:20 AM
Looks great!

12-10-20, 10:07 AM
I'm so looking forward to this. Below are the specs for my current rig and I think this is going to be light-years ahead of what I currently have.

Old computer
Ausu P8Z68-v Pro Mobo
Intel Core i5-2500 @ 3.30GHz
Graphics... CPU
8 gig of Ram
2 WD 7200 rpm HDDs
My BIOS is dated 6/24/2011

12-11-20, 09:04 AM
Yeah... Just the OS on a NVMe SSD alone should make it fly, that CPU is amazing as well with 8-cores/16 threads.

12-12-20, 09:50 AM
The packages with the M.2 drive seems to have been lost by the PO. I called NewEgg and they replaced it right then. Hopefully it will be here by next week. I was tracking it online and earlier in the week there was a note that it had been misrouted to the wrong sorting center and then everything stopped. I was originally going to install 2 of these, so if they do both show up I'll see if I can negotiate a lower price for the "lost" one. It's already been 12 days and NE is just up the freeway from me. I usually get things next day no matter what.

The CPU went up from $269 to $299 at Micro Center, so I'm going to give it a couple of days and see if it goes down. I have everything inhouse except for the M.2 and CPU

12-12-20, 11:17 AM
Oh well, that's still a good price for that CPU. Sounds terrible about that shipping... I've ordered two or three NVME SSDs from them in the past 6 months for different PCs, and luckily haven't had any issues. Thinking about it, I've only had one issue with damaged parts during shipping in the past 20 years, never lost.

12-17-20, 09:56 AM
I stopped trying to shop the CPU to death and got it for $319 from NE today. It was only $20 more than MicroCenter and I didn't feel like driving my gas guzzler 25 miles to save $20. Now I just have to see if they honor the "lost" claim and send me the Corsair M.2 that I ordered.

12-17-20, 11:46 AM
$20 is not a big difference. Sounds like you're getting anxious to build the thing at last, hehe.

12-17-20, 08:15 PM
It's driving me crazy. I've been talking about doing this for about 3 years, I finally pull the trigger and stuff is not "available". I finally got an update on my M.2 drive. It went from California to NJ and is leaving NJ today. I don't think it will be here by Xmas. The CPU should be here tomorrow.

12-18-20, 09:09 AM
You could always just buy a second NVME for Christmas hehe, I thought you wanted to put two in there anyway.

12-18-20, 10:25 AM
You could always just buy a second NVME for Christmas hehe, I thought you wanted to put two in there anyway.

I know. That was one of the things I decided not to do in order to save a little money. Although I'm sure once I see how the first one works I'll probably be online buying another as fast as I can. The more and more I look at this I think this is changing from my Christmas build to my New Years build.

12-18-20, 10:42 AM
You can always opt for a regular SATA SSD for the second/storage one, especially if you already have some SSD(s) laying around. One of those Crucial MX500s would do the same job for storage, NVME is only important for the OS drive imho.

12-18-20, 09:02 PM
I was trying to keep some of the general hardware cost down since I'm still looking at buying this soundcard....
... RME just came out with a new "pro" model of this card but it's $900. Getting last year's model for $719 is a deal. It looks like the US distributor is trying to unload all the old ones they have in stock.

Then another $160 to upgrade my DAW software. It goes on and on.

12-19-20, 11:08 AM
I don't know much about audio IO soundcards.. The only PC recording I've ever done was with a small 6-channel Yamaha AG06 mixer with xlr/usb/analog inputs that I have.

12-22-20, 10:50 AM
Everything's here. I need to go over my checklist of what needs to be moved to the new computer and a few various other settings and I should be starting on this thing in the next day or two. Virtually all my data is on a separate drive so locating what I need to take with me to the new PC isn't too hard. But... I always like to take a deep breath and check one more time. I can't tell you how many times I've forgotten something. I also (obviously) need to take all the old components out of the case and give a a good cleaning.