Advice on custom-built PC - what would you recommend?

December 4, 2019 at 20:24:03
Specs: Windows 10 Home, 8 GB
Hi,

about 12 years ago I posted a question about recommending custom built PC components. Someone was actually super nice and friendly to pre-pick a selection on newegg for me. I actually ended up building three computers with the same configuration for family and friends. Here the recommendation back in 2007/08:

- NZXT Alpha case
- ECS A780GM-A Am2+/AM2 AMD 780G HDMI ATX motherboard
- Corsair CMPSU-450VX 450W ATX12V V2.2 80 Plus PFC Power Supply
- AMD Athlon 64X2 5000+ Brisbane 2.6 GHz Socket AM2 65VW Dual Core Processor Model
ADO5000DOBOX
-OCZ SLI-ready 2GB (2x1GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM PC2 6400 Dual Channel Kit Memory
-Hitachi Deskstar P7K500 500GB 7200 PRM SATA 3.0 GB/s HD

I then also added a front panel card reader which also has USB 2.0 (no longer supported, only the USB works) as well as a RW DVD/CD burner. I have over the years upgraded and changed/replaced various components, recently adding a AC1200 WiFi adapter and a 1 TB SATA SSD (wanted to use m2 but my BIOS does not support UEFI even if I have 2 x PCIe x1 and one PCIe x 16 slot).

So much has changed and I would like to explore building a newer PC and I am again looking for recommendations. I am not a gamer, use my PC for Office work (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), surfing the Internet, and some photo and video editing. Here some of my preferences:

- Smaller and lighter case, so a Micro ATX motherboard
- M2 PCIe SSD onboard compatibility would be great
- Memory should be at least 16GB with the option to expand to 32GB or more if needed in the
future
- The MOBO should have several PCIe slots (I think Micro ATX comes with 4 on most)
- The MOBO should still ideally have connectivity to ICE devices like a floppy disk drive
- I have always used Microsoft as my OS
- The case should be well vented (currently have three fans in mine, including on the side panel)
- The case should have at least 2 x USB 3.0 on the front panel
- The case should have at least one HDMI port
- The case should have at least one 5.5" and one 3.5" bay
- Great if the case already comes with fans/cooling, not a must though
- No preference between AMD and Intel processors. in 2007 it was said AMD was more durable

My total cost in 2007 was around $400-$450, I realize prices have changed, of course. I have not set a budget. I think my preferences would suggest something solid, durable, upgrade-friendly, more of a workstation. I have no real brand or store/sourcing preferences but would like something of quality and dependability. It can certainly have some flashing lights, bells and whistles ; )

I would greatly appreciate any input. Thanks!


See More: Advice on custom-built PC - what would you recommend?

Reply ↓  Report •

#1
December 4, 2019 at 20:39:49
Since you have a good idea of what you want and more experience now, I think it would be best if you chose your components and posted the list for review and opinions. We are giving of our own time freely and you are no longer a novice, plus you will learn a lot more from evaluating what you need, comparing the options, and not just be handed a recipe to follow. We will certainly work with you to get the best system for your needs in whatever price range you finally decide on once you take the first steps.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

message edited by Fingers


Reply ↓  Report •

#2
December 5, 2019 at 05:03:23
There are a number of websites where you select the components or assembly from a list.
An example: https://www.cpusolutions.com/store/...


Reply ↓  Report •

#3
December 5, 2019 at 09:27:38
The 1st thing you should do is decide on a CPU brand - AMD or Intel - then the CPU that fits your needs & budget. Once you determine that, you can do some research on which motherboard chipset & RAM are recommended for the CPU. Since you want a micro-ATX board, you'll have to do additional research to find a board based on the chipset choice, plus the number of PCIE & RAM slots you want/need.

Tom's Hardware is one of the sites you should use for your research, but there are several others.
https://www.tomshardware.com/topics...


Reply ↓  Report •

Related Solutions

#4
December 5, 2019 at 16:32:17
Hi all,

thanks for your comments. Looking at what was available today vs 2007 - do feel like a newbie all over again. My goal here was to really get some experienced as in the past - it worked well, all 3 computers I built then are all still operational.

Here the choices I have picked out, please feel free to share your comments:

CPU: Intel Core i3-9100F or AMD Ryzen 3 2200G
Motherboard: Gigabyte B360M Micro ATX (Intel) or Asus Prime A320M-K Micro ATX (AMD)
SSD: Inland Premium 1TB SSD 3D NAND M.2 2280 PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 Internal Solid State Drive
RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200 C16 2x8GB
Power Supply: Corsair RM550x or Corsair RM750x
Case: Cooler Master N200, Antec VSK VSK3000E U3, Rosewill - Micro ATX Mini Tower Computer Case


Reply ↓  Report •

#5
December 5, 2019 at 21:21:41
I am completely Intel myself so I will address that side.
Core i3-9100F appears to be a good budget option but you will need a graphics card with it.
The B360 series is the business version and the H370 series are the home versions. Most have additional letters after showing different features and prices so look for the features you want. I have been building with Gigabyte for a number of years and am very satisfied with them. I tend towards the Z390 but with your CPU choice and purpose it is not necessary.
Corsair RAM is good but I have found G.Skill from Newegg is as good and better priced.
The Corsair power supplies are very good, the 550 is more power than you will ever need so the 750 would be a waste unless you are going with a serious gaming graphics card but then the other choices should be revisited. The modular versions are more pricey so consider that going without the modular as more cost effective (some do not like modular but I have no problem with them).
I looked briefly at your SSD choice since I have not seen them before. The initial reviews appear good. Personally I would go with a 500GB SSD and a TB hard drive for storage and stay with a brand I am more trusting of. Samsung is a great name with a great reputation but Western Digital has been hard on their heels for quite a while now on the m.2 PCIe drives and I have had very good results with the 256GB model I have for the last couple of years from them.
The case I left for last because you find what you like that has the options you want and check the reviews for weaknesses and make a choice.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


Reply ↓  Report •

#6
December 6, 2019 at 12:17:28
Thanks! Is there a CPU you would recommend where I do not need a graphics card?

message edited by litasch2005


Reply ↓  Report •

#7
Reply ↓  Report •

#8
December 8, 2019 at 08:11:09
Thanks! Will check these out. Besides the lack of overclocking on most Intel boards (which I do not plan anyways) choosing between Intel and AMD is just a personal matter of preference?

Reply ↓  Report •

#9
December 8, 2019 at 08:37:34
"... choosing between Intel and AMD is just a personal matter of preference?"

Generally, yes. There's fans of both camps (and I'm not "fan" of either), just like there are between Chevy/Ford/Chrysler. If you're just wanting to get a job done (i.e.....not a gamer), then either should suffice. AMD chips generally are priced a little lower than Intel:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/compu...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."

message edited by T-R-A


Reply ↓  Report •

#10
December 9, 2019 at 20:27:31
If you want a small footprint and no future expansion (beside memory and/or extra screen) consider using an Intel NUC: https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...


Reply ↓  Report •

#11
December 10, 2019 at 03:45:38
what about a good 150$ X570 motherboard supports the new 16 core/32 thread R9 3950X but can also fit a cheaper last gen(which should go on sale around christmas) ryzen 5 2600 (6core/12thread) for 100$ or r7 2700 (8core/16thread) for 150$ form amd. (i would go for the 2700 since you say you do some video editing)

you'll need some ddr4 ~2666Mhz (2x4Gb or 2x8Gb) ~35$ to 65$ (don't forget to enable XMP in the bios, it will cost about 10% performance if you forget)

keep the same powersupply (or buy a new 450~550watt psu for like 40$)
keep the old case or buy a new 30~50$ case

+buy a new SSD 500GB ssd for like 100$?
install windows 10 on it with windows media creation tool+ 8GB or bigger usb drive.
boot from it on the new PC, install the OS then buy a license key for like 15$

estimated cost 500~600$, later you can triple the performance later by swapping the 2600 for a 3950X.

performance here(bit shady by userbenchmark, but the 64core score under nice too haves & reflects the full performance... I think Intel "persueded" userbenchmark half a year ago to heavily favor single thread & ignore higher than 8thread performance....):
https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compa...

also RE #6 a 2400G/2200G/3200G/3400G have an embedded GPU, just like any intel CPU which does not have the letter F in the name

i5-6600K[delid]@4.828GHz Core/4.627 Cache@1.456v | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2400MHzCL18@3018MHzCL12@1.465v | Sapphire Nitro+ SE RX 590 8GB@1660Mhz core@1.2v/2236MHz


Reply ↓  Report •

#12
December 10, 2019 at 09:49:35
Hi, thanks! I am just not familiar with Intel NUC's at all. Just tried to check it out, page is temporarily unavailable. Will try again!

Reply ↓  Report •

#13
December 12, 2019 at 14:55:28
@hidden663 - thanks for the suggestions. I don't mind buying a new PS (mine is 11 years old), would also like a smaller case. The motherboard you refer to - X570 - would the brand matter? MSI? ASUS? ASRock?

Reply ↓  Report •

#14
December 12, 2019 at 21:19:11
Look at these also:

https://www.newegg.com/p/N82E168131...
https://www.newegg.com/intel-core-i...
https://www.newegg.com/corsair-cx-s...

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


Reply ↓  Report •

#15
December 13, 2019 at 03:39:58
RE 13, no the brand doesnt matter

i5-6600K[delid]@4.828GHz Core/4.627 Cache@1.456v | 2x4GB Crucial-DDR4-2400MHzCL18@3018MHzCL12@1.465v | Sapphire Nitro+ SE RX 590 8GB@1660Mhz core@1.2v/2236MHz


Reply ↓  Report •

Ask Question