Let's make a gaming PC
  • He has a monitor just looking at the box of bits.
    I could offer to help him out with another couple of hundred if it would be worth it in the long run.
    I didn't even think of 2nd hand though. Where would you start looking?
  • Dark Soldier
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    I'm selling my.laptop which is an MSI GE62VR. Dunno if that suits ya mate
  • Throw the hard drive into the Sun, first.
  • I fear second hand computers could be somewhat.....tainted
  • Dark Soldier
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    Boolitt wrote:
    I fear second hand computers could be somewhat.....tainted

    Tbf I sold my Wii U to ozno and I think he got high off it when it arrived
  • Boolitt wrote:
    Hoping someone can help out here.
    My son is looking to buy his first pc, for gaming primarily.
    Looking to spend around 500 quid on the main gubbins.
    Any recommendations would be gratefully received.

    Gimme an hour and I'll get a parts list with options together for you. Going for used on certain parts can be a really good idea at that kind of budget, and with recent hardware releases there will be a ton of good stuff floating around. I've bought a fair amount of used gear before, online and locally, so I should be able to help there too.
  • What kind of games is your son most wanting to play? Specific titles, genres (RTS, MOBO, esports, new/old etc etc), like if he's really into Fortnite or something or wants to play some big new AAA game that will change the requirements significantly.

    There's a few different strategies for putting together a budget PC:

    You can focus purely on getting as much performance for your money, which usually involves some used deals for a set of older higher end hardware, and putting as little money as possible into things like the case that won't impact performance. I don't really recommend that, as that usually means you don't have so much room to grow and plop in new higher core CPUs, and a shit case can be a pain to work in and add more storage or have poor airflow, and can limit with things like front USB.

    Getting good base to build on is a better idea IMO; a good solid case that will allow for big graphics cards and coolers, high capacity quality and quiet PSU, and a motherboard platform that has some legs and a variety of CPU options (AM4 at this point). These things will make future upgrades easy and cheap.

    I would say the best bet to maximise the return for your budget is to have a mix of used and new stuff, new storage is recommended, probably a new PSU is good too, and good cases are probably hard to find used. Things like the GPU/CPU/motherboard/RAM should all be fine to buy used, providing you are confident with the seller and condition of them, not so much can go wrong there. Spec the system to at least run the desired software at a reasonable level, then you can upgrade bits as new stuff comes out and things get cheaper.

    Just putting together a basic list for you now, I'm actually surprised at how good a system you can get for not much these days. It's probably never been a better time to build a PC than right now.

    If the budget could be pushed a little further then it would certainly help to get a more solid system with less compromises, which I would recommend. The nice thing is that a £600-700 budget really gets you most of the way to as powerful a rig as most people would want, certainly for gaming, and should even do for creative work like 3D stuff or video editing. (Now is also an excellent time to dabble with 3D with Blender btw, version 2.8 is a really nice move towards accessibility).
  • Thanks Gurt, much appreciated.
    He has been through the fortnite phase and i think he would want something good quality that he could improve in the future.
    Primarily for gaming though and maybe making wee videos and stuff.
    He is only 10 but is very keen on this and know more than myself. Quite happy to try self building it as a wee father son project.
  • Is the space it will take up a concern at all? Because it could be a micro-ATX or mini-ITX size, full ATX gives you the most slots for expansion later on though.
  • Space is not a concern
  • Ok here's a list. It is over budget but keep in mind that's all new and there's ways to save a fair bit which I'll go through -
    PCPartPicker Part List

    CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 2600 3.4 GHz 6-Core Processor  (£119.00 @ Amazon UK)
    Motherboard: MSI B450 TOMAHAWK ATX AM4 Motherboard  (£104.98 @ Amazon UK)
    Memory: Patriot Viper 4 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory  (£39.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Storage: Samsung 860 Evo 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive  (£70.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 570 8 GB ARMOR OC Video Card  (£134.99 @ CCL Computers)
    Case: Fractal Design Meshify C ATX Mid Tower Case  (£79.99 @ Amazon UK)
    Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA G3 (EU) 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply  (£85.47 @ Scan.co.uk)
    Operating System: Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit  (£89.97 @ Laptops Direct)
    Total: £725.38
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-08-13 22:23 BST+0100

    I chose the 2600 there as it's just so damn cheap for what it is, a really pretty fast modern 6-core processor. There are some 4-core and last-gen options that are a bit cheaper but it just seems weird to opt for them when the 2600 is only bit more. But a great way of saving money here would be to get a used CPU, in particular the Ryzen 1600 is going for around £80 used, the 4-core 1500X is another for around £60. Going used here could be good, as plenty of people will have recently upgraded, and you will easily be able to upgrade in a year or two to a nice 6/8/12 or even 16 core!

    I feel like I've seen the B450 Tomahawk for a little less previously, but it's a really popular board atm so it should get a lot of support, and it will handle the higher core count chips well enough later on.

    DDR4 is pretty cheap atm, that kit will do fine I think. 16GB can be had for less than twice as much, but as long as you have 8GB of VRAM on your graphics card you should be fine for just gaming.

    There are cheaper SSDs, same capacity for around £20 less, but that one will perform very well and has a 5 year warranty. So choose whatever suits.

    That graphics card will give rougly equivalent performance to an Xbox One X (though the CPU is much faster in this). The RX 570 and 470 can be found for much cheaper if you look around the used market, just be sure to get the 8GB version. Here for example, though chances are you don't live near there - https://www.gumtree.com/p/video-cards-sound-cards/msi-armor-rx570-8gb-msi-rx-570/1348845518

    Both the case and PSU are very nice, and should suffice for a decade or two. But if you need to cut back then I can give other recommendations.

    And the operating system is a tricky thing, you can get cheaper OEM keys, but if you change motherboard I think they become invalid. A proper retail key version has been good for me as I went through a few different systems, but if you want to spend much less you probably can, just be careful as there are many dodgy sites for these. You can get a retail key for a tenner less than above on Amazon atm.
  • If you want me to make a lower budget list let me know, it's no problem.

    For used stuff your local Gumtree can be a great place to check, as there's no 10% cut for ebay to take and less hassle for the seller, so they can sell stuff cheaper. You can generally ask to see things working when you go to pick them up which is nice. Getting in contact and arranging times can be a right pain though. Search terms; CPU, GPU, graphics card, ryzen, processor (some stuff won't show in a particular search if they've used a different term in the title...)

    And ebay can be good too if the local area is lacking, you do get some guarantee if there's an issue.

    But there are always people that overvalue stuff, so be careful. If you spot anything you aren't sure about feel free to send the link to me and I'll have a look.
  • Oh, and you will probably want some thermal paste. And make sure if you buy a used CPU that it comes with a cooler. The AMD stock coolers are pretty decent, though you can always upgrade that too later on.
  • Thanks man. Plenty to chew over there. I'll let you know how we get on.
    I think at that cost he might need to wait till Christmas but it would probably be worth it in the long run
  • No problem. Yeah as I was saying there are a bunch of places you could cut back. One possible option would be to go for a chip with integrated graphics like the 2200G or 2400G, which you can still use to play games and use the computer. Then get a proper GPU later. The experience wouldn't be spectacular as the integrated GPU isn't very powerful, but it should be fine for older/esports/indie games especially if you manage the resolution and settings. If you were to go that route I would try and get the chips as cheap as possible, as the 2200G is only a quad core that will need upgrading at some point. Like £50 or less for the 2200G and £60 for 2400G.
  • If I was to switch from an Intel processor to AMD I would have to change the motherboard.
    Would I also need a new cooler or are they universal?
    There isnt anything else I need to consider is there? My ram is ddr4 so that should be transferable. Case is full size as well.
  • A stock Intel cooler won't be compatible, but a third party cooler may have the required mounting hardware for AM4. If you bought in in the last few years since the release of first gen Ryzen it should have the mounts in the box, otherwise you can often get an AM4 kit from the manufacturer. For example my Noctua D15s didn't have the mounts when I bought it, but they will send you one for free with proof of purchase and all that. Or you can buy that - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Noctua-NM-AM4-Mounting-coolers-platforms/dp/B01MTEFT52/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=am4+mounting+kit&qid=1565817281&s=gateway&sr=8-2

    Some motherboards have had compatibility for the previous AM3+ mounting spacing, and some coolers will differ. Which cooler do you have? And which CPU and mobo are you thinking of getting?

    Other than cooler and mobo everything should be interchangeable.
  • Keep in mind that Ryzen CPUs generally have pretty good stock coolers, all will be sufficient for cooling them, just some will be a bit better for the particular CPU that they are paired with. If you don't care about noise too much or overclocking you probably needn't even worry about getting a cooler.
  • Dark Soldier
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    Picking AMD smh
  • AMD is a colossally better product at almost all price points. ;)
  • Dark Soldier
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    Pauper's choice got ya.

    May as well buy a ps4 pro
  • Cheers Gurt.
    I would have to look at what the cooler is, I didnt build the PC originally. It has an Intel logo on it though and is a liquid cooler.

    Not entirely sure on exact hardware yet but coming up to needing a new processor really. Currently running an i7 5820k which is a decent processor but rendering is taking it's time now.
    I was having a look at 2nd gen Ryzen threadripper thingys, wont be the big boy but somewhere in the mid range probably. I understand that currently they give more bang for buck than Intel's efforts.

    The other option is to maybe build a little render farm instead of upgrading my current rig. My processor is fine for everything but rendering and a little farm would mean I can render on that while continuing to work.
  • Having a look.
    A Ryzen 3900 is about £500. So I could build a farm with that for a grand I reckon.
    I have a HDD I can donate and get OEM windows.

    The 3900 performs better than the Threadrippers for the price. I couldn't stretch to the rippers that are better that it.
  • EDIT: Oop yep looks like you figured it out before me ;)

    Third gen Threadripper should be out this year, which should be insanely powerful if the recent 7nm Epyc server chip release is anything to go by. The new Epyc CPUs basically annihilate every Intel Xeon, and it looks like most of the really big names will be switching to AMD for their servers. The 2nd gen of Threadripper is still great, and if you can get it for the right price it will likely be worth it for your usage, but probably wait until the 3rd gen anyway and prices should drop then. Thanks to AMD and Ryzen there are a lot of really cheap high-core count chips floating around now, so it might be worth looking at the used market if you want to build some kind of render farm.

    If you do go with Threadripper that is another socket type (TR4), and you will want a different cooler entirely, Noctua do some nice ones with the bigger coldplate specifically for Threadripper.

    You might want to consider the 3900X instead -

    The 2920X there is the previous 12nm gen 12 core Threadripper.

    And the 3950X 16 core chip on AM4 should release very soon, and will clearly be an absolute monster. The Threadripper platform has some advantages though, like quad-channel memory and tons and tons of PCIE lanes if you really need to use a lot of very fast storage, or many graphics cards. So depending on the software and workflow you use it might be a better choice. What rendering software are you using btw? Can you do GPU rendering? As if so another GPU could speed things up, I know that's a thing with Blender if you set it to render off the GPU, which is usually much faster than with just the CPU.

    It's also worth consider the motherboard choice carefully, as VRM quality can vary. Most of them are pretty good now, but for your usage there are some that really won't be suitable. If you do really long renders on the CPU, you definitely need a really solid VRM and VRM cooling for that power delivery. If you are thinking of any specific boards give me a shout and I'll check them, I know a few places that do good VRM testing and analysis. You have to be careful as the number of phases is often mis-marketed by the manufacturers.
  • Thanks again mate.
    I'm in ideas phase still so plenty to ponder but also plenty of time for prices to settle after the 3rd gen release.

    Regarding GPU.
    I can do GPU rendering but for now I am OK with what I have on that. None of my clients use GPU rendering so it's only personal stuff I use it for. I upgraded to a 1080TI from a 980 and that has been sufficient.

    My rendering needs are more about time constraints on projects than complexity of the scene as well so personal renders can take as long as they need.

    I dont think with the renderers I use you can use GPU and CPU combined, it's one or the other.

    I will go quality on the Mobo. I dont like doing things on the cheap with work stuff as it risks costing me in pay and potentially clients if it goes tits up.
  • Pauper's choice got ya. May as well buy a ps4 pro

    If we're shit talking then Intel is for those with more money that sense, with the scales so tipped they've fallen on the floor. ;)

    There are some instances where going for an Intel processor makes some sense atm, but it's really quite niche. Like for gaming if you have a very high end GPU like the 2080ti and a monitor than can push past 100Hz then an Intel processor can give you slightly more FPS, not to the point of being noticeable if you put them side by side though.. And there are a bunch of other edge cases where things are optimised for Intel or higher clockspeeds also.

    AMD are way out in front with the process right now, notice how the 12 core Ryzen is drawing less power than Intel's 8 core...
  • @LivDiv  No problem. Yeah for myself I'll probably be getting either the 12 core or the 16 when funds allow, I could certainly make use of more power for my various creative things.

    It's worth checking benchmarks for your specific bit of software, as they can vary in optimisation. I think Cinebench is based on Cinema4D.

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