Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
DEWEY_96_

Gaming Rig advice request (Christmas 2018)

Recommended Posts

Alright guys- No one has posted about current gaming rig builds in a while (after looking through the last few pages).   I'm looking for advice on a pre-built gaming rig.  Wife's agreed to get something for me at Christmas, but I will have to work on her with the price range.  She's wanting to be around $500... which I suppose I could get something and upgrade it in that range... but I'd kinda like to get something that's capable to run stuff on high settings for a while without upgrades.  I'm probably planning on being around $1000 after I throw some of my own money into it.   Games I'm playing or interested in that I'd like to see on high or ultra settings: Wargaming titles (WoWS, WoWP, WoT), Armored Warfare, Heliborne, Fallout 76, SW Battlefront games... stuff along that line.  Currently running a slap-dash 10 year old HP that I've upgraded here and there, but it's time to get something more capable.  

So here's my questions from the research I've done so far:
1- AMD Ryzen or I-5/I-7 chips?   The only real advantage I've heard about these is that the Pentium chips are better for straight gaming while the Ryzen chips work better for those who want to play and stream
2- Graphics card- So I'm totally oblivious about AMD GPU's..... I pretty much have always run NvidIa stuff.  I'm finding a mixed bag of GTX 1050ti 4gb and GTX 1060 3gb cards in my price range.  Usually a GTX 1060 will have a lower end CPU like an I-5 or will be running DDR3 instead of DDR4 RAM.  1060's are typically more expensive... but considering the 1050ti has an extra gig, is it better than the 1060?  What are the "comparable" AMD GPU's?  I've never really looked at AMD cards as WAY back there were problems with Wargaming titles and AMD cards... which I'm sure is fixed by now... but still always kept me interested in Nvidia cards. 
3- 8 Gig of DDR4 or 16-32 Gig of DDR3.... Usually a big point on some of the builds I've looked at... DDR3 is stuff gives you a bunch more GB at a cheaper price... but I understand that moving to DDR4 you can do a ton more with a ton less of RAM... Thoughts on this?

So to close out- Where are the places you can cut prices on a gaming rig build and where should you pay for the higher end stuff?  Is there a balancing point for it all?  Anyone want to suggest a good pre-build rig between $500-$1000?   

All help is appreciated- I know enough to be dangerous but not knowledgeable enough to attempt a build entirely on my own.  Thanks for the help in advance.  Oh- last thing- I've shopped Amazon, Ebay (new only), HP, Acer, Cyberpower, and a few other websites as I've done my research.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I game on a budget and I've probably posted this before but it may help you shop around.

You'll save a ton with black Friday and cyber Monday.  Newegg usually has some solid deals/packages and I've saved a ton in the past with them. Sign up as a member (free) for the e-mails and keep you eye out for things so you can be ready to pull the money trigger when a good deal pops up.

The hard part is all the flippin choices of parts out there it will make your head spin. I was drawn to AMD on the price point and haven't been disappointed yet.

Solely for comparison- I run an: ASUS Pro-gaming 970X MoBo [onsale under $100], AMD FX4350 4 core 4.0ghz [on sale under $100], Redragon rX580 8GB - [$230ish], 16gb ddr3 Ram G-skill Red Ripsaw [on sale about $80] Most of this stuff was purchased in the last year and a half to two years. I also don't bother with overclocking, but I can run all modern titles at the highest settings without an issue. I am limited only to DDR3, but I don't see a personal need yet to for about moving up to DDR4.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I told my son I would get him a new PC for this birthday, but that's around Thanskgiving. So I either wait for Black Friday, and he gets his gift a little late, or I guess I pay a little more and he gets his gift on his birthday. Which of course sounds nicer, so long as the bump in price isn't too much.

I'll be watching this thread for ideas too. I'm in for $1,000. Don't know if it means I'm getting older or what, but not sure I feel like building this one, so maybe a pre-built. I'd probably check the price of the parts to see if there is savings to be had, but I have my doubts.

This place has potential? https://www.cyberpowerpc.com/category/gaming-pcs/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ayle- I wish I had the "gumption" to assemble my own rig- you have a great setup put together there... I might only add liquid cooling due to heat concerns.   My big worry with a "self build" is that you don't get the support of a manufacturer to back up the build... if you get parts that just don't quite "mesh" together or work well with each other.  With a manufactured system, you can at least go back for some warranty support on the whole system.  I can build a gun if given all the proper parts, but I don't know if I'd trust my build as I'm not a gunsmith... in the same way I'm not quite "techie" enough to feel like I'd trust my own build of a computer... especially after dumping "X" amount of dollars into it.   

Mykk - I was looking at Cyberpower builds myself.  Some of the Amazon ones are on the "Highly rated" websites I've checked reviews on...  These two were on the list as good ones:
https://www.amazon.com/CYBERPOWERPC-GXIVR8020A5-Desktop-i5-8400-Processor/dp/B07B6H4GNY/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=PH1TZK785K2GSBK8FKQ1
https://www.amazon.com/CYBERPOWERPC-Xtreme-GXiVR8060A5-i5-8400-GeForce/dp/B0757DVF4Z/ref=pd_rhf_gw_p_img_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=PH1TZK785K2GSBK8FKQ1

I've checked their website too... problem there is I have an Affirm account, so I'm tempted to buy a much higher priced system and make a few payments on it rather than buy a system that's in my budget for a "one time purchase".  Usually I remind myself about the interest rate... it isn't bad when I use Affirm for a $200-300 RC airplane... it's a little more significant for a $1500-$2000 computer system.  

Definitely waiting for black Friday or Cyber Monday to do anything... Just was trying to get an idea of AMD V/S NVIDIA , AMD or Intel Chips, and DDR3 v/s DDR4 to help narrow down the systems I'd look at.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, at a desktop and not 'working'...

Wall o' text, and I might ping Dakar about a semi regular blog post on this stuff.  Keep in mind, I have only built 1 computer to date, but it still works well enough though modern games now are pretty much low settings only.  (GTX 650Ti,  Intel 3770)  A lot of this is going to be personal preference, with some placeholders of 'fill in here what you want'.  This also targets roughly $1000 as a budget, including the OS.

Starting from the top- how much space do you want this thing to take up, and do you want it to glow in the dark with RGB or silent, stealthy, deadly but never seen?  That will set your case.  I have been told by the Boss that another full tower case is right out, so I am going for a mid tower size case.  I am going to make this more of a show piece, so it needs a side window, and going with white, because I can.  So that is the case sorted.  I would order the case first to see exactly in person what I am working with, and might throw a couple of RGB fans in the case to improve airflow, or do that later down the line. 

Case done, motherboard next- but that means we have to figure out a CPU.  I am going to argue strongly for an AMD CPU at this point.  A 9th gen 9900k or 9700k is the best gaming CPU right now, but price for what you are getting is generally considered sub-par.  I would go with a Ryzen CPU or APU.  Right now my placeholder chip is a Ryzen 2600, but I might drop as far as an Athlon 200GE or the 240GE when that is released.  Another alternative would be the 2200G Ryzen APU.  So this means we are getting an AM4 socket motherboard.  The reason for this is that the AM4 socket is supposed to be  THE AMD socket through 2020 (Ryzen gen 4), so you could keep the motherboard and have your CPU upgraded if you wanted to do so.  For that, most reviews I have seen like the B450 chipset as a good chipset without breaking the bank on an X470 board.  Based on several YT videos, I would probably pick the MSI Tomahawk or MSI Mortar B450 board (ATX and mATX form factors respectively).  Both are supposed to be solid boards with good VRAM cooling.  My memory is that B450 also allows overclocking your CPU if you wanted to do that.

CPU to place into our motherboard selection....  We touched on this when picking out a motherboard, where I stated that I would go AMD, not Intel.  That is because I 'know' the socket is supposed to be good through 2020, and a lot of the rumors on Zen 2 next year indicate that those chips may be very, very competitive chips.  That means my CPU now is a choice of waiting with a 'good enough' chip until maybe April next year, or going with a good chip and upgrading maybe in 2020 with the intention of getting an additional 5 year life at that point.  If I bridge the gap, I probably go with a 2200G.  That allows me in good conscience to upgrade next year to the Ryzen 3xxx series and get the new Ryzen 5 replacement for the 2600.  With my bridge APU I then build a small ITX computer that can live to do light gaming or act as an internet access machine for my wife.  Or I turn around and Ebay the chip/sell to a friend who wants to build a cheap computer that with a dedicated GPU wouldn't be a bad gaming machine.  The Athlon chips come in if I have a GPU just outside of my financial limit that they would bring inside my budget.  One thing to note, if you go above 1080P gaming, to 1440P or 4K, your GPU will set maximum performance.  At 1080P now with most modern cards you will see a CPU bottleneck, and the large number of cores (Threadripper/2700X) are not yet well optimized by Windows 10.

RAM - 16GB is pretty much the baseline for everyone doing gaming now, and because I chose Ryzen a faster kit with lower latency leads to better performance.  That means DDR4, probably for me around 3200 as a price/performance compromise.  Because of the RGB I want to add, I may spend a little extra here for white RGB RAM to match the case.  PCPartpicker has some parametric filters to get you the best kit for your needs cheapest if you go the build route (or to tell you if you are getting taken on the price of a pre-built machine).

On to the hard drive.  Any choice other than an SSD or M.2 drive as a boot drive is silly at this point.  The time to boot, and responsiveness just cannot be beat, and the prices now are low enough that it is hard to justify a hybrid or HDD.  For staying in a budget, I have a 500GB base drive, and probably will pull the old HDD out of my current machine as a second drive.  Eventually though a second SSD of 1TB will get added and the HDD cloned to that drive.

I have not added any CD/DVD drives to my build; this may be a consideration if you want to be able to play music off of CDs or watch DVDs or Blu-Ray movies.  Additionally, no sound card or other expansion cards.

Now to the meat- a graphics card.  This probably will be more expensive than any other component, and might give any 2 other components combined a run for overall money spent.  In my personal build, I am trying to get to a GTX 1070; there may be an argument for an RX580, or maybe the RX590 once we see that card released.  I personally have not had good luck with AMD cards, and the 1070 or (be still  my beating heart) 1070Ti should out perform the 580 by enough to notice.  The problem is the 580 would be around $225, with a GTX 1060 running roughly $260.  The 1070 really starts around $380, and a Ti is $400-425.  So that is still very much a tussle over what I can get versus what do I need.  I am not a 60FPS minimum guy, and I like high settings, but if I can get 'good enough' in both FPS and looks, maybe I save the money.   Heck the 1050Ti isn't off the table entirely either for me, an FTW edition EVGA card is only $200, and I have been running a 650Ti for 5 years now.

Moving on to power, my current build is rated at 330 watts.  I want a fully modular power supply, preferably Gold rated or higher in efficiency, and 500 watts or so is plenty of room on the power side if I do any upgrades.  Again, pick what you want as far as features/color/size, and if you are doing a pre-built, you may want to configure the machine in PC part picker to make sure that you aren't getting taken on a power supply that is too large or too small for any needs you might have.

 

Ayle

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, DEWEY_96_ said:

Ayle- I wish I had the "gumption" to assemble my own rig- you have a great setup put together there... I might only add liquid cooling due to heat concerns.   My big worry with a "self build" is that you don't get the support of a manufacturer to back up the build... if you get parts that just don't quite "mesh" together or work well with each other.  With a manufactured system, you can at least go back for some warranty support on the whole system.  I can build a gun if given all the proper parts, but I don't know if I'd trust my build as I'm not a gunsmith... in the same way I'm not quite "techie" enough to feel like I'd trust my own build of a computer... especially after dumping "X" amount of dollars into it.   

Building a PC is actually far more simple than one might think. There are really only a few key parts that you need in order to build a PC, plus software (OS). Sites like PC Part Picker have checks built in to ensure that the parts you are buying are compatible with each other. Is it always right? Hard to say, but thousands and thousands of people use it daily to create their next dream machine. It also helps you find the lowest price for each part by checking the prices from multiple vendors. It shows the price history of that part so you can get ideas of whether or not you're getting a good price or can expect a better price soon. You can even set email alerts to notify you when a price has dropped to a certain level. I used it and it worked out great!

Previously, I had picked the parts and had a PC shop build everything. This last machine though, I did it all myself. As long as you have the internet, there is almost no problem you can't solve for putting together a system from scratch and getting your OS installed.

All the parts come with various warranties, so parts can still be replaced. In my case, my liquid cooler pump just died and it's in the middle of being replaced as we speak. It came with a 5 year warranty on it. Sure, if you break a part yourself, you SOL. But really, the pieces aren't that fragile and as long as you are reasonably careful, it's fairly easy to assemble. Building my son's Lego tanks were harder and more confusing than building my gaming rig. I read all the instructions and looked up anything I wasn't sure about.

It also feels great knowing that you put it together yourself. 😁

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, new rig is ordered- Cyberpower PC - I7-8700K on a Z390 board, 16 gig of DDR4, GTX1080, 700w gold rated PSU, liquid cooled case.  More than enough for now and easily upgradable to RTX boards down the road.   Way over my budget, but made an agreement with the wife on a payment plan... Got a $40 gaming mouse for $5, a $75 Keyboard for $5, and a $40 wifi card for $5 through black friday deals. 

Gotta get a new monitor, though...  luckily the black friday sales at Cyber power gave me $100 in AMEX gift cards for getting the 1080 and the 8700K.  Entire system is able to be OC'd by 30% if desired.   120 fps guaranteed at 1080p on most brand new games out there.  

Good deal all the way around and I feel like I have a rig that will last me 5-10 years with very minor upgrades. Really caught a lot of discounts on a lot of the components through the Cyberpower builder.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just built this for my son today. It's not meant to last forever, but it should play most of today's games at high or ultra settings, and everything is upgradable due to the motherboard and power supply.

I hadn't built anything with AMD or Radeon in a very long time, so I thought I'd give it a shot with this "budget" build.

AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (cooler included) $160
Radeon RX 570 $130
ASRock B450 PRO4 (motherboard) $88
8GB (2x4gb) G.SKILL Ripjaws V DDR4 3200 $73
EVGA Supernova G2 550w $60
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD $80
Corsair Carbide SPEC-02 $30
Windows 10 Home USB $120

I don't have any benchmarks or anything, but according to everything I read, it should be a nice sweet spot. Pre-built computers with the same parts were going for hundreds more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×