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  1. So, I went and built the thing early- I got several really good (in my opinion) deals for Black Friday, and reached the point of getting the rest of the parts to make sure I did not need to return parts for replacement. Parts list: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/MqNp4q This includes tax on some items that I bought as part of bundles (i.e. buying the CPU and motherboard together, I lumped the sales tax on a single part in the price list) but does show total spent. As shown, I did not yet pick up a large storage drive, currently only have the single M.2 drive. Reason: My current computer is ~ 5 years old, and long term my plan is to run two systems, approximately 5 years apart. This should keep one system running at all times, and enable me to have both a working internet/word processing machine and a newer machine to run games. I am not chasing being able to run the newest games at the highest settings/ 4K resolution, but I prefer to be able to run any game that I want without issue, where the older machine no longer can do that (Intel i7 with a GTX 650Ti). New build choices (avoiding wall of text): Smaller case, mid-ATX case, not the full ATX case of my current machine, (wife dislikes the space requirement). This has issues. AMD processor. I swore off AMD almost 10 years ago now, but the price to performance of Ryzen and the AM4 socket being consistent to 2020 means this is an AMD machine AMD GPU. This was actually harder, but for the price of a GTX1060, I could get a RX580 (and less because sales). The RTX series was so far out of budget it was not even funny, and even stepping back to the 10xx series a 1080 or 1080Ti also are outside of the budget, and the 1070 was pushing the limits. So AMD here as well. RAM - after looking over several YouTube videos, it seems like the consensus is that for a new build, 16GB of RAM is the minimum for future proofing - 8GB will work for now, but some games are pushing that limit. Boot HDD - originally, this build was going to have an SSD boot drive, until there was a black friday sale on the Crucial NVMe drive. That meant that for ~$10 more I could put a NVMe drive in instead of the SSD. So, now to the fun parts. I use PC Part Picker a lot, and this build went through multiple iterations. I wanted to be $1000 or less including an official copy of Win10. For preference, much less was better than pushing the budget limit. The price of items drove a lot of choices, including a CD drive. To start with I laid out the basics, knowing that I wanted an AMD build, I started with a B450 motherboard (no reason to go the the X470 board). The MSI Tomahawk is highly reviewed and rated. I used that as a baseline, but also considered the B350 model of the Tomahawk. In theory the B350 works fine, it just needs a BIOS update to run the 2xxx series Ryzen chips and hopefully new stock would already be updated. If not, there is a process to get a first gen chip sent to you so that you can boot the board and update the BIOS. I ultimately went with the B450 because it should just work. The MSI board was generally a top pick for a lot of YouTube builds and B450 board reviews. The CPU was a long process. I am still not sure that I made the best choice, but money won the day. So the CPU is a Ryzen 2200G. $89 on sale, 4 cores, and I am planning to replace this with a Ryzen 3xxx or 4xxx CPU anyway, so it doesn't have to be a 10 year chip. It also would allow me to run a separate machine without a dedicated graphics card if I chose to do so in the future. Possibly as a small ITX build if I knew someone needed a simple computer that just worked for everyday tasks. At times, I had a 2400G and 2600 on the parts list, but for the sale price and the shorter expected window, I think the 2200G will perform perfectly well paired with the RX580. Which brings us to the GPU. Originally I chose a GTX 1060, both as a solid performer and as one of the most popular GPUs when putting together a new gaming PC by enthusiasts on a budget. This part, like the CPU, fluctuated a lot. At times, the 1060, a 1070, a 1070Ti, and the RX580 were all on the list. In the end, the 580 gives a lot of performance, and the 1070 and 1070Ti just cost too much for the budget on this build. I think this also will get upgraded, but time will tell. I am not hopeful for the new Nvidia cards, and seeing the actual performance of the new AMD cards that should be released in 2019 will be interesting. I also got 2 games coming from purchasing this, The Division 2 and Resident Evil 2, so either I paid ~$200 for the card, or I paid $200 for the card and those games. Now on to RAM - originally I was considering spending some extra money to get LED RAM, but passed on it with the move to 16 GB. Pretty simple, 16GB of DDR4-3200, the higher memory speed is beneficial to the Ryzen CPUs, hence the more expensive but faster kit. I need to check on this, as I think part of the set up was to overclock the memory to allow the higher speed to take effect over the Ryzen stock specification, but I think that part of the setup process was a simple button to allow the memory to overclock. The boot drive was touched on in the opening, and having experienced the difference, I would probably cut costs elsewhere now to fit that NVMe drive in, or at least have a smaller drive for OS only to boot from on start. It is impressive how quickly I get to my log in screen from power on. With 500GB, I can also run WoT, and probably at least some of my favorite Steam games from that drive without running out of space for a while. I eventually will add a mechanical drive (or SSD, depending on price) with 1.5-2TB of storage space. The NVMe drive does eliminate SATA ports 5 and 6 on the motherboard, so be aware of that when you add one to your system. Win10 - basic OS, and CD boot disk because I was not paying the extra for a USB stick. This also added a CD drive to the build, but my wife wanted one anyway, so that cost a bit extra (but less than getting the USB version of Win10). Power supply- modular EVGA 80+ Gold power supply, nothing really outstanding, just well rated by many users, overkill on power supplied, but was on sale for less than a smaller supply. And finally, the case. This is the part I actually dislike. I went cheap, and got bit by it. Rosewill Nautilus case, nothing terrible about it, but one of the stock fans in the front had an annoying tick, so $20 in new Corsair case fans later my $50 case is now $70 and I would have been better served by spending the money up front (probably). I will try to answer any questions/reply to feedback. Would there be interest in having something like this (without me actually building the machine) in the future? I actually enjoy the thought exercise and figuring out the trades between the prices and the components. So without building a machine, setting rules (price/performance) and choosing parts and providing reasons why, with discussion to follow? Ayle
  2. https://www.amd.com/en/press-releases/2018-09-06-amd-reimagines-everyday-computing-new-zen-based-athlon-desktop-processors At the link above there is the press release for the AMD Athlon replacements using Zen technology; I am not sure if this is Zen + (Ryzen 2xxx) or Zen (Ryzen 1xxx), though I suspect it is the former. So a question looms, which is I was planning a new Ryzen build with a discrete graphics card after tax returns in 2019. Because this is AM4 socket compatible, would it make sense to get an Athlon processor and then upgrade to a Zen 2 (Ryzen 3xxx) or Zen 2+ (Ryzen 4xxx) later? AM4 socket is supposed to be consistent through 2020, so I could go with the processor as a cost savings and get a better GPU now. Mostly I am not playing AAA games, WoT and WoWarships are my primary games, with 7 Days to Die as an alternate. Ayle
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