Trying to build a better PC

October 11, 2017 at 05:56:31
Specs: Windows 7
Hey people on Computing.
I am trying to save up the money to buy a whole new PC. I started out by looking for an NVIDIA GTX 1080 graphic card because my current graphic card, is an NVIDIA GT 620, and it has survived over 10 years of usage now, but it simply won't survive. Plus the games are just getting better over the years, my graphic card is not. However, when I ran the search on Amazon, I was totally disappointed to see that this is not a simple process. There are a million results for NVIDIA GTX 1080, and all of them have different names attached to them, like ASUS, Zotac, MSI etc, and that makes no sense to me. Then to top it off, my friend told me that if I purchase a new graphic card, I will have to purchase a new CPU case to fit it in, because mine might not be big enough. And, I would also have to purchase other components, like compatible motherboard and RAM.
I tried searching online about this stuff, and I can't find a single post that a knucklehead like me can understand. I am not a computer geek, and quite frankly, I never understood tech language that much. If someone can help me in lay terms, I would really appreciate it.

I currently have:
Windows 7, Service Pack 1, 64-Bit
Intel Core i3-2120 @ 3.30 GHz

So, my questions are:
1. What cabinet should I buy for the new gaming PC?
2. What hard drive should I buy? (to install inside the CPU, to store files and stuff on)
3. What motherboard should I purchase?
4. What do I purchase to get maximum RAM possible (16 GB is the maximum I've ever heard of)?
5. What other components do I need to purchase?
6. I am gonna purchase an NVIDIA GTX 1080, but which one should I purchase?
7. Assuming I'll use Windows 7 Ultimate, what should I install on the new PC (drivers, redistributables, service packs etc) after installing the OS? (I had plenty of those before, but after my previous hard disk got corrupt, I didn't install any redistributables or anything myself. I installed Service Pack 1 after finding out that it is not a part of the CD installation, because apparently, that's just how dumb I am about computers. :P)

Once again, I am sorry if I'm being inconvenient. I just suck at all of these things, and need experts like y'all to show me the way. Don't worry, budget isn't as much of an issue. I'll work it all out. Just give me as much detail as you can (in lay terms), and I will also appreciate links to the products that you think I should purchase.
Please don't make misleading posts. If you suggest a certain motherboard to me, and I find out that it isn't compatible with NVIDIA GTX 1080, it will be a heavy loss for me since I will have already purchased it. I will be taking all answers very seriously, so please, do not mislead me. It is my humble request.
Oh, and thank you for your time.

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October 11, 2017 at 06:00:28
what resolution & refreshrate are you planning on gaming at?

& how much are you willing to spend?

as a starter i would go with:
CPU: intel core i5-8400
CPU-cooler:HYPER 212 EVO
RAM: 2133 ~ 2666 MHz 2x4GB DDR4 or 2x8GB DDR4
SSD: 850 EVO 256 ~ 512GB
MOBO: H370 or B360 or H310
PSU: 500 ~ 600 Watt
GPU: GTX 1070 (up to 1440p max settings)/(GTX 1080 for high refreshrate or high resolution max settings)

with a GTX 1070 & 8GB RAM & without OS or monitor this will already be ~1000$

with a GTX 1080 & 16GB RAM& without OS or monitor this will already be ~1200$

P.S. the gtx 1080 is 4139% better than your old gt 620, HAHA:

Simple solutions are often the best

message edited by hidde663

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October 11, 2017 at 06:45:27
I'm sorry hidde663, but I did not understand most of what you just said. I have way too many questions regarding your response.
1. Does a CPU cooler come with the CPU case (the big box thingy in which all the components go)?
2. What did you type in RAM?
3. What is an SSD?
4. What is a MOBO?
5. What is a PSU?
6. Since you typed GTX 1070 in GPU, I'm gonna assume GPU refers to graphic card, in which case, I am adamant about purchasing the NVIDIA GTX 1080, since it will most likely last longer, give me more FPS and it's a great way to future-proof my gaming PC. I just don't know which one to buy because there are way too many being sold under way too many different names and prices.

The resolution I am currently using is 1600 x 900, that's just how big my screen is. The new screen will be 1920 x 1080, same aspect ratio (16:9), but I don't have that yet. If by refresh rate, you mean FPS, then as of now, GTA IV benchmark test gave me an average of 7.5 FPS, and GTA V benchmark test with live framerate display showed me an average of 15 FPS. I would prefer a smooth gameplay, and most people online have said that 60 FPS is ideal, so I guess yeah, 60 FPS is okay as long as it's absolutely smooth.

Also, you didn't mention anything about any redistributables, drivers or service packs that I should install with Windows 7 Ultimate. I am using the same OS right now, so that information will actually help me right now as well, plus I will be prepared with those by the time I am done building the new PC, so I'll get used to it in advance. I do need information about that.

You also didn't mention any CPU case to purchase that would fit the NVIDIA GTX 1080 and other components in it.

Oh my gosh, this is exhausting and overwhelming for a person like me who hates talking about technology but loves to play games. I have no clue about what most things mean, can't make a heads or tails of computer language. I am sorry if I'm being inconvenient, I'm just not that intelligent. Thanks for the reply, and if you can reply further with clarification, I'll be very thankful.

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October 11, 2017 at 08:03:09
If you're a gamer, I'm surprised you lasted so long with the GT 620. It's not (& never was) considered a gaming card.

"all of them have different names attached to them, like ASUS, Zotac, MSI etc, and that makes no sense to me"

NVIDIA doesn't make graphics cards, they make GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). GPUs are then sold to the various card manufacturers. The manufacturer's are given a "reference design" which most adhere to, but they can change the specs. When comparing the various cards, pay attention to the GPU, clock speed, memory type, memory clock, bandwidth, etc. You will likely find variations. You will also find different fan sizes & configurations (single or dual) plus different output port configurations (DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort).

Before answering your questions, I want to point out that CPU = processor. Your current CPU is a Core i3-2120 & you'll probably want to upgrade it.

1. do you need a new case? Once you decide on a graphics card, you will need to check the length of the card, then you'll have to find a case it will fit in. Same goes with CPU coolers. Some are taller than others & you will either have to choose one that will fit in the case, or choose a case that will accept the CPU cooler. I recommend getting a case with the PSU (Power Supply Unit) mount at the top rather than the bottom.

2. Get a SSD (Solid State Drive) for the OS (Operating System) & a conventional HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for programs & storage.

3. This should help with the motherboard choice:

4. Max Ram possible? Most new boards can accept up to 64GB, some even more. 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4 memory will set you back about $600 so my guess is you'll rethink your "max ram" idea.

5. We don't know what you have so it's difficult to say what you'll need. Case, board, CPU, CPU cooler, RAM, SSD/HDD, graphics card, DVD burner, & a decent PSU to be able to run it all.

6. Graphics card - see what I wrote at the top, plus this:

7. After installing Windows 7, immediately install ALL the drivers - motherboard chipset, graphics, network, audio, USB 3.0, etc & a decent AV program. I recommend BitDefender Free Edition.
After doing that, run Windows Update, over & over again until it's fully up to date.

message edited by riider

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October 11, 2017 at 16:59:08
All Windows Updates that are automatically recommended except drivers.
Get all drivers from motherboard mfg's site, graphics drivers from NVidia, any other component drivers from their sites.
Please refer to the case as the computer case, not the CPU case as the CPU is only one small (though important) component that fits within it.
I like EVGA graphics cards and have had good luck with them, others may have other experiences.
I like Gigabyte motherboards and have had good luck with them but others have their preferences as well.
I recommend Corsair power supplies for their overall quality and warranty. You may need a 750 Watt model with the GTX1080 but you can look that up on the graphics card web site to e sure.
A good gaming CPU is typically the latest generation of the i5 family of Intel processors. For gaming the i7 series may not be worth the $100+ difference for the smaller amount of improvement you will probably see unless price really does not matter.
16GB of fast memory is probably enough but if 32GB is not too much more, it could not hurt.
An SSD drive for operating system and your programs is what I recommend (240+GB) and a fast conventional hard drive like the WD Black series for storage for everything else.
Most cases that are listed as gaming cases should be larger enough though others should be also. Do not get carried away with expensive 'window dressings' on the case, just get a good one (between $50. - $110. US). I have no problem with bottom mounted power supplies but they may require slight improvements to the cooling. Avoid cases with side fans.

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

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October 12, 2017 at 01:37:57
I'm telling you a gtx 1060 or rx 580 is good enough for 1080p 60 fps at max settings(with current games) at like 1/4 the price.

Also, cant you get a reallife friend to help you pick parts & build it for a few $?
That will make your experience a lot better.

P.S. check out some comparison videos: like gtx 1060 vs gtx 1070 vs gtx 1080

Simple solutions are often the best

message edited by hidde663

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October 12, 2017 at 04:10:48
riider, okay, that was a lot more understandable. You're right about the max ram thing. It was really over-exaggerated before, I thought it would be really essential. But then, I read a technician's post somewhere over the internet, saying that regular desktop apps like word processors don't even use a fraction of the RAM that I've got (Two RAM sticks 4GB each = 8GB), and that even with the heaviest, most power consuming games of today, won't consume much more than that. However, so much information from different sources with different conclusions has sort of driven me nuts. But yeah, I guess 32 GB would be a good start at least, for 1080p 60 FPS gaming. That was pretty detailed, it might help me gain a little more clarity about computers and stuff. So yeah, thanks for that.
Fingers, thanks for clearing that one up. I am pretty confused about computer cases because some are just marketed to look all "fancy" and stuff, but I don't wanna fall from the physical appearance and later on find out that my components don't fit in there. The computer case that I have right now isn't exactly designed for gaming, no glass sides, one fan at the back-top-right (very rusty), one vent with 8 x 8 holes right below it (clogged with dust), the sides are made out of some kind of metal (possibly steel, black), and the front is some kinda plastic. And the case was made by iBall. I don't know how good that is, but I really wanna dump it right now for a better one that will be big enough to fit my components and cool them and whatnot.
So, any recommendations? Thanks for the reply by the way, it was really helpful. (Also, I have a Gigabyte motherboard.)
hidde663, Okay, now that you say GTX 1060 is equally as good at 1/4th the price, I might have to reconsider, at least to begin with. So, I guess I will purchase that card for now, along with all other components that go inside the computer case, as well as the computer case itself. The keyboard, mouse, screen and speakers can stay, but my current computer case and the stuff inside it won't be used for gaming once I build my gaming PC.
So, assuming that I will for sure get the GTX 1060 by Zotac (which according to some folks on YouTube, is really good, and according to very few of them, it sucks), what else will I have to purchase? As in, which processor? Which motherboard? Which RAM (assuming I want 32 GB or 16 GB to begin with)? And most importantly, is it wise to get a watercooled computer case for this? Or should I stick to normal ones with fans? And which computer case will fit all of these components?

Clearly, these are a lot of questions, and you'll be getting nothing by answering these, so I totally understand if you don't. I literally have just one friend who knows stuff about computers, and gaming, and he boarded his plane to go back to his home town a week ago, and I have no idea when he's gonna visit again. So, will you be able to help me out with this? I am sorry if I'm being inconvenient, but these forums are all I've got right now. :P

For those of you who are wondering, I am building a totally new PC. The current CPU will be shifted to my office, and the only things that will stay here are the screen, speakers, mouse and keyboard. So, whatever is inside the CPU will be in the office as well, meaning I'll have to purchase a new motherboard, processor, RAM etc along with the new graphic card as well. It's a fresh start basically.

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October 12, 2017 at 06:28:32
Get a core i5-8400 or 8500 CPU (processors).

One of these motherboards (MOBO) to go with your CPU: H370 or B360 or H310.

8GB of DDR4 is actually fine for gaming, make sure to get 2 sticks of 4 GB DDR4, so you can use your CPU's dual channel ram speed.
if you want 16 GB get 2 stick of 8GB DDR4
Buy the cheapest one, (usually clocked at 2133 Mhz)

ive tested this s---, 2800Mhz vs 2133mhz is 1.5% improvement on intel cpu's for how much $? haha

For cpu-cooler, just use the one that comes with your cpu(since its a NON-K version & you wont be overclocking it.)

get a computer-case which can hold an ATX MOBO, for future upgradability

Simple solutions are often the best

message edited by hidde663

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October 12, 2017 at 06:39:35
forgot to mention, if you are getting an gtx 1060, aslo get a 60 Hz GSYNC monitor.
this will help with frame stutters, overall impriving your experience.

& while gaming enable Vsync.

Vsync lets your GPU spit out solid 60fps, same as the refresh rate of your 60 Hz monitor.
this way you wont get horizontal overlapping images.
Gsync will also help with this problem, lowering the monitors refresh rate to the GPU's fps output.

syncing everything for a clear image with no stutter :D

Simple solutions are often the best

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October 12, 2017 at 11:25:56
"The current CPU will be shifted to my office"

Once again, I want to clarify the terminology - THIS is an example of a CPU. The case & everything inside of it is called a computer, or PC (personal computer), or desktop, or tower, or a few other terms; but it is NOT a CPU.

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October 12, 2017 at 21:06:37
Air cooling, NOT liquid cooling. Stock cooler should be fine that will ship with the CPU. If you were going with an overclockable CPU then I would have other recommendations but neither makes any sense for you.
Again, please refer to the entire unit as your computer, desktop, tower, etc. Your CPU (Central Processing Unit) is THE Intel i5 itself, NOT the entire completed system.
Today I recommend starting out with 16GB set (2x8GB matched set), you can add another pair later if you find it necessary which is unlikely. If you were running photoshop, Autocad, video editing or other memory hungry programs then it would make sense to get more.
I also think that the GTX1060 is probably plenty for now. Then stay with a 500 - 600 Watt power supply (a quality one is important).
I have had good results with G.Skill memory for less than some of the bigger names and good quality, their gaming ones have larger heat spreaders. Faster to a mid-point is better but prices climb fast over a certain point so you get less return for the money, so not the sloest but not the fastest. If it is a small increase for faster then that is good but if the price jumps a lot for the next step then back down a little and you are good.
Finally: Make some choices and post them as a list and we will comment directly on your choices and make suggestions that might be a better choice on some components. While you are at it, Google 'Bench Test' for the first steps in assembly of the system.

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

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October 13, 2017 at 04:13:22
hidde663, I tried looking up for the processors that you mentioned. I did find the i5 8400 online, but couldn't find 8500. And even then, I'm not sure if the 8400 I found is the same as the one you mentioned. It has 6 cores, and I am not sure how I feel about that, since I've been exposed to tons of controversies about 2 cores, 4 cores and 8 cores being the industry standard, with 3 and 6 cores being sorta rip-offs. Again, I am not an expert. I might have certain misunderstandings, which is precisely why I'm here. Anyway, here's the link to the 8400 that I found, just wanted to confirm if this is the one, and that this will be more than adequate for the GTX 1060.
I tried looking up all three of the motherboards that you mentioned and couldn't find any of them online. I didn't really know what DDR4 meant, till I realized that the DDR4 is the RAM stick itself. I found "HyperX FURY Black 8 GB CL15 DIMM DDR4 2400 MT/s Internal Memory (HX424C15FB2/8)" and "HyperX FURY Black 8 GB 2133MHz DDR4 Non-ECC CL14 DIMM Desktop Memory (HX421C14FB/8)" online, and those are the titles on their webpages. I don't know if they qualify as compatible 8GB DDR4s which I can purchase two of and install inside my computer. They aren't too expensive though.
I do not know which CPU I will be getting because the three that you suggested aren't available online, or even if they are, I can't find them because they don't ship here. If it does come with a cooler, great, I'll use that, unless it's a dud.
Which monitor would you suggest? I was already eyeing a monitor that has some technology called "freesync", and offers a resolution of 1920 x 1080, as compared to my current monitor, which offers 1600 x 900, but it's a lot more suitable for office use, which is why I'll be moving it to my office once I get the new monitor. So, would you consider the "LG 22MP68VQ-P" as the right monitor to use along with GTX 1060 and other components compatible with it? I know it isn't the best that's out there, but some reviews online claim that it's "the perfect budget monitor for gamers". Would it work?
Also, which computer case would you suggest in my case?
riider, thanks for clarifying. I've grown up referring to the computer tower as the CPU. Cons of growing up in a small, remote town I guess. Calling it a computer has always felt weird to me, because me and everyone around me has always referred to the tower, speakers, keyboard, mouse, and monitor, the whole thing as the computer. But I guess I've gotta start correcting myself sometime. I just don't want any mixups with anyone.
Fingers, are you sure that air cooling will be enough for such heavy duty computer components? Based on the custom made gaming computer cabinet towers I saw while at Quake Con 2014, I learned one thing. Liquid cooling is superior to air cooling. That is actually where my entire fetish for liquid cooling started. Since then, I've been very skeptical of these regular old cooling fans. My computer isn't even a gaming computer as of now, and still, I feel it heat up a lot, rapidly, once I start playing games or something like that. I am not sure that air cooling will be enough to keep the gaming components from taking temperature damage.
Well then, starting with 16 GB is a good idea then. I'll purchase 2 sticks of 8 GB each, and purchase two more later on and simply add them into the already built computer. I do use programs that take 5 to 6 hours at times, to render outputs as small as 15 minutes long (granted, I always choose the highest, most lossless format possible to export). I guess the 32 GB RAM will really speed up the process.
Does the power supply come with the computer case, like the air cooling unit? If not, which one would you suggest I use, that would be compatible with the other components that I purchase?
What about "G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series 8GB 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Intel Z170 Platform / Intel X99 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-2400C15S-8GVR"? That's the title on the product's webpage, but I guess that's the RAM stick you're talking about. Is it? If yeah, should I purchase this, or one of the two listed above (Hyper something, forgot already, even though it's a part of the same post that I'm making right now)?
Also, so far, the only component that's been confirmed, is the graphic card, which is the Zotac Amp Edition GTX 1060. Everything else, is unconfirmed. I don't know what's compatible with what, and the quality of everything. That's why I need the expertise of the people on these forums. The GTX 1060 is absolutely finalized though, that's for sure.

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October 13, 2017 at 05:41:17
Oneof the most important things I like to bear in mind is warranties on products , this varies on your location and brand but within the UK MSI and Gigabyte have the best warranties in my experience , both offer 2-3 year warranty . MSI allow you to use aftermarket coolers on their Graphics cards if you are interested in water cooling blocks . Corsair supply RAM and PSU and offer lifetime warranty also

Also make sure to use a reputable supplier , some suppliers are easy to deal with . Hell when I started out I made lots of mistakes ( thats how I learned ) but , these mistakes are negligible if your supplier is happy to exchange and refund . You should not be afraid of making mistakes as we all do this when we start off .

Air cooling is sufficient for most cases and I would not recommend doing water cooling without learning a bit more about hardware . However there are aftermarket air coolers that are better than the standard ones that come with the CPU , just make sure to get one which is compatible with your cpu ( processor unit ) , make note of the Socket type of the CPU you choose . I have an AM4 socket CPU for example , therefore I must buy an AM4 Compatible air cooler . ( I recommend AM4 actually , since you are doing productivity work ) . Also bear in mind that the socket type ( for example AM4 CPU ) must be matched with a respective AM4 motherboard ( AM4 Motherboard ) .

You can always start of with 16GB then upgrade to 32 GB after ( just add another 16GB ) , one thing to bear in mind is that the RAM Matches ( they are the same model ) DDR 4 is the latest generation of RAM technology , there would be no point getting older generations now .

The majority of most PSU supplied with cases are just not good enough for High end computers , I would recommend you buy a good Corsair one ( lifetime warranty ) of at least 650 W .

message edited by 90Ninety

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October 13, 2017 at 15:28:04
Please purchase RAM sticks in matched pairs rather than individual ones so that they work better together in dual channel mode.
The Intel i5-8400 is the very latest of their CPU line just available this week in the USA and may not be available elsewhere yet (the '8' signifying the 8th generation) and compatible only with the motherboards with the newest Z370 chipset only (The lower priced H370 and presumably B370 based motherboards will probably not be available for 3-6 months in the USA, longer elsewhere from reports). The 7th generation Intels are compatible with the Z270, etc. chipset based motherboards. The new i5 8th generation now has 6 cores instead of the 4 cores of the 7th generation and prior ones. Tests show that with the improvements in the cores and the addition of the 2 extra cores the processors are significantly faster on nearly all benchmark tests. The reason Intel added the extra cores is that their closest competitor has finally come up with a processor that comes close to their prior models with 6 and more cores so that they were forced to include the extra cores to compete, they were in the past reserving the 6 and 8 cores for much more expensive processors (to the order of 2 and 3 times the price).
Rendering times will be significantly faster with these latest generation processors though the last generation was no slouch either. 16GB (2x8GB) and later 32 GB RAM as well as the better graphics card will also help the rendering significantly.
An SSD drive for OS and programs coupled with a black series hard drive for storage will help as well with this and gaming and the newest PCIe based M2 SSD's are WAY faster than SATA based SSD's can ever hope to achieve.
I strongly recommend Corsair power supplies because they are ALL of high quality (some companies still make cheap models that are really poor quality and Corsair also makes lower priced models that are also good quality for those who need them) and include a good warranty.

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

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