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Spur08

Building My First PC -- Photography/Gaming

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I'm looking to build my first PC -- out of boredom really.  

 

My main purposes would be work, standard home use, mild photography editing (emerging hobby), and mild gaming (nostalgic hobby).  I would say I have pretty good tech skills, but not from a building/programming standpoint.  I did a simple search on pcpartpicker and found this build.  https://pcpartpicker.com/b/kf9G3C 

 

Any feedback on it?  Also, how do people go about picking up software?  Do you just take it in the shorts and buy an outright Microsoft license?

 

Since we're about to move I won't be buying the pieces yet, just doing the research and price tracking.  I'm in DFW so I have a MicroCenter nearby

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The 1660 is pretty old.  It's a solid card, but it won't blow your socks off.

I built gaming PCs for my wife and I back in December and went with the same CPU (3700x) and an X570 MB (different one from the PC part list - I went with the TUF gaming X570).  Ram seems OK but it's a bit overkill.  You can manage just fine with 16 gigs (2 sticks x 8 GB).  That'll save a few bucks that you can put towards a better graphics card.  I'd recommend either the 5700XT, RTX 2060 Super or RTX 2070.  Best bang for your buck in terms of performance will be the 5700XT.  Also, find a better/cheaper power supply than what is listed in that build.  Just make sure it's 80+ (at least bronze, if not gold), power supply.  In terms of cases, most people I see now are using the NZXT H510s.  They're cheap and reliable with good airflow (around $70).

Go to Kinguin for a windows code.  They're $30 for a full pro version.  Watch paul's hardware on youtube for further information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXTqz3Fd28M

As far as finding these pieces...good luck.  Microcenter will literally price match everything on your list if you can find it cheaper on amazon. 

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Agree with sentiments about getting best video card. If you are more serious about gaming I would get a better card and definitely look at a liquid cooling system (probably one of the main reasons I would build vs buy tbh).

Also not sure on the 2 SSDs... would get one largest you need before looking at second. The times of needing/wanting "split" os/storage drives is past, make a single large drive, Extra drive later if need more storage. 1TB is going to last you a while if just getting into photography. If continues you will want a NAS or such later rather than larger hard drives anyway for backup storage.

Pay the retail for the windows license at MicroCenter - its $150 for Pro and is the most used part of your computer.  You can definitely get it cheaper elsewhere from non-legit places like Kinguin or Amazon 3rd party. Just know the license may work (also may not - that's why they will tell you to contact them first and they will replace... don't contact Microsoft!) but it is certainly not "legit". You run the risk of Microsoft blacklisting the key and suddenly windows loses its activation and stops working when it goes to do an update.

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6 minutes ago, MonkeyDoughnut said:

Agree with sentiments about getting best video card. If you are more serious about gaming I would get a better card and definitely look at a liquid cooling system (probably one of the main reasons I would build vs buy tbh).

 

Woah now; let's let the guy pop his cherry first with his rookie build before we go all neon lights and water cooling and all that jazz.

 

 

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The stock wraith prism cooler that comes with the 3700x is one of the best stock coolers to ever hit the market. If you’re not doing serious overclocking, there’s no point in having an AIO with that CPU.

Air coolers are more reliable and have less maintenance that AIOs also, which is beneficial for first time PC builders too.

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10 hours ago, Parliament said:

Buy the best video card you can afford.

For gaming, pretty much this. 

10 hours ago, pearlandhorn said:

The 1660 is pretty old.  It's a solid card, but it won't blow your socks off.

I built gaming PCs for my wife and I back in December and went with the same CPU (3700x) and an X570 MB (different one from the PC part list - I went with the TUF gaming X570).  Ram seems OK but it's a bit overkill.  You can manage just fine with 16 gigs (2 sticks x 8 GB).  That'll save a few bucks that you can put towards a better graphics card.  I'd recommend either the 5700XT, RTX 2060 Super or RTX 2070.  Best bang for your buck in terms of performance will be the 5700XT.  Also, find a better/cheaper power supply than what is listed in that build.  Just make sure it's 80+ (at least bronze, if not gold), power supply.  In terms of cases, most people I see now are using the NZXT H510s.  They're cheap and reliable with good airflow (around $70).

Go to Kinguin for a windows code.  They're $30 for a full pro version.  Watch paul's hardware on youtube for further information:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yXTqz3Fd28M

As far as finding these pieces...good luck.  Microcenter will literally price match everything on your list if you can find it cheaper on amazon. 

This is all good advice, well, except for the memory thing,  IMHO. I'd get 32 GB in any new build destined for gaming, unless he really doesn't have the extra cash to squeeze this to a 1500 build for a better graphics card. 

I happen to like Fractal Design cases, the Meshify is a solid choice, and $99 isn't an expensive case by any means. But, personally, I prefer ITX and Micro ATX builds (smaller form factors). Of course, those are harder to come by with Ryzen boards rights now. 

54 minutes ago, MonkeyDoughnut said:

 definitely look at a liquid cooling system (probably one of the main reasons I would build vs buy tbh.

Not this. Not for a first time build. And, I doubt the guy is going to be running overclocked anything. He has a good size case, so there is no reason to introduce more complication and another failure point. 

42 minutes ago, pearlandhorn said:

The stock wraith prism cooler that comes with the 3700x is one of the best stock coolers to ever hit the market. If you’re not doing serious overclocking, there’s no point in having an AIO with that CPU.

Air coolers are more reliable and have less maintenance that AIOs also, which is beneficial for first time PC builders too.

Yeah, this. The wraith cooler is pretty dang good for a stock cooler. No reason to get more complicated than that right now. The case is big enough that he could put in a larger (and more silent) cooler later on if he finds heat/noise become a problem.

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Good stuff from dahobbs. I put 32 gigs of 3200c16 in my PC and it runs very smooth. It’s overkill for gaming in my opinion, but it’s RGB and looks cool.

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1 hour ago, idigTexas said:

A great reference if you have a specific budget:  https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-pc-builds,4390.html

Also, yes just buy the fucking MS license. 

Beware, this is a fairly dated article (even if it's from May of 2019).  The best bang for your buck CPU currently is the Ryzen 5 3600.  Regarding motherboards, AMD just announced the new b550 chipset will have reverse compatibility with Ryzen CPUs but may require a BIOS update prior to installation of said CPU in to a b550 motherboard.  The 3700x is a premium CPU and the b550 chipset is good to run the 3700x right out of the box (if you can find one). 

 

Most games nowadays are very GPU dependent where your GPU will bottleneck your FPS and your entire system.  If OP were to buy a 1660 with the 3700x, he may say "where are all my frames?!  I bought a badass CPU".  It all depends on your GPU.  Also, note that Nvidia is coming out with a new line of GPUs within the next 6 months.  You could wait and see what the price point will be of the new 3000 series GPUs before you put money in to older hardware. 

https://www.techradar.com/news/rtx-3080

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Thank you all, so far.  Also, I forgot to mention that I already have a WD My Cloud - 1-3 TB, I forget, external HD.  In terms of money allotment/priority, it sounds like graphics card, MB, CPU, power supply, memory, etc?

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2 hours ago, pearlandhorn said:

The stock wraith prism cooler that comes with the 3700x is one of the best stock coolers to ever hit the market. If you’re not doing serious overclocking, there’s no point in having an AIO with that CPU.

Air coolers are more reliable and have less maintenance that AIOs also, which is beneficial for first time PC builders too.

Personal preference I guess, I don't use liquid cooling for overclocking, I'm just a big fan of silence.  First time builder though your right, might be best to wait till next one.

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Just now, Spur08 said:

Thank you all, so far.  Also, I forgot to mention that I already have a WD My Cloud - 1-3 TB, I forget, external HD.  In terms of money allotment/priority, it sounds like graphics card, MB, CPU, power supply, memory, etc?

My rule of thumb is to put 40%/45% of your budget to your graphics card.  Then go on down the line (GPU -> CPU -> MB, etc).  If want to spend $1,200 on your PC (excluding peripherals), buy a 2070 or 2070 super ($500).  If you want to spend $1,000, buy a 5700XT ($420) or a 2060 super.

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17 minutes ago, pearlandhorn said:

Beware, this is a fairly dated article (even if it's from May of 2019). 

Good point.  They do updated guides monthly, but yes, that particular article is a bit long in the tooth now. 

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If you are doing a lot of processing of your photos in PhotoShop, GIMP, or some other graphics app, then memory and number of CPU cores are going to be more important than the video card.  If you are just cataloging your photos, then these factors aren't so important.  As noted above, you want the most video card you can afford if gaming is your priority. 

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One other thing about water cooling versus traditional fans.  Current entry level water cooling solutions (Corsair makes several) really aren't any more difficult to install than a fan.  The most complicated part is determining which set of brackets/clips/screws/backplates/etc. are needed for your particular socket and motherboard.  You will face this with any aftermarket fan or water cooling system.  If you are planning to use the fan that comes with your CPU, make sure you order a retail box and not OEM. 

Also, while it is a good idea to buy a little tube of thermal grease.  It is way too easy to accidentally wipe off the existing grease patch from the heat sink that comes with whatever cooler you choose. 

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1 hour ago, idigTexas said:

One other thing about water cooling versus traditional fans.  Current entry level water cooling solutions (Corsair makes several) really aren't any more difficult to install than a fan.  The most complicated part is determining which set of brackets/clips/screws/backplates/etc. are needed for your particular socket and motherboard.  You will face this with any aftermarket fan or water cooling system.  If you are planning to use the fan that comes with your CPU, make sure you order a retail box and not OEM. 

Also, while it is a good idea to buy a little tube of thermal grease.  It is way too easy to accidentally wipe off the existing grease patch from the heat sink that comes with whatever cooler you choose. 

You don't need to worry about aftermarket paste with the Wraith cooler. It comes pre-applied and should be fine. Just position it right and clamp down. Really, any decent modern cooler comes pre-applied with perfectly fine paste. Been a long time since it has been necessary to deal with aftermarket paste. Only in heavily overclocked builds (or very small form factor builders) would I consider aftermarket paste. 

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OK, why the hell are power supplies so damn expensive?  I bought a Corsair fully modular 750 watt 80+ gold for $120 in December.  They're like double the price now.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I'm looking to build my first PC -- out of boredom really.  

 

My main purposes would be work, standard home use, mild photography editing (emerging hobby), and mild gaming (nostalgic hobby).  I would say I have pretty good tech skills, but not from a building/programming standpoint.  I did a simple search on pcpartpicker and found this build.  https://pcpartpicker.com/b/kf9G3C 

 

Any feedback on it?  Also, how do people go about picking up software?  Do you just take it in the shorts and buy an outright Microsoft license?

 

Since we're about to move I won't be buying the pieces yet, just doing the research and price tracking.  I'm in DFW so I have a MicroCenter nearby

amd 550 chipset boards just came out this week so that board is overkill unless you're going to be overclocking. 

2 samsung evos are overkill.  any samsung evo is overkill, really.  samsung is still the fastest, but not by much, and certainly not by the price premium.  other good options are the WD SN750, corsair MP510 (and any other phison E12 controller drives such as the microcenter inland premium nvme and the mydigitalssd BPX Pro), and the original adata XPG 8200 (not pro - the new controller sucks when the drive is full.  maybe they've fixed that, i'll see if i can find out)

 

the amd 550 and 570 boards have pcie 4, so you could go with a next gen nvme drive.  they're pretty pricey right now and not actually faster than pcie3 970 pro (though 970 pros are really fucking fast).  edit: toms and techspot tests conflict on this point

 

1 hour ago, pearlandhorn said:

OK, why the hell are power supplies so damn expensive?  I bought a Corsair fully modular 750 watt 80+ gold for $120 in December.  They're like double the price now.

RM750i is $150 direct from corsair.  HX750 (platinum) is only $5 more. 

i think what happened with the supply in the pcpartpicker list is that corsair stopped making it in favor of the RMi series.  so only tiny sellers with big markups list it. 

looks like corsair supplies are in short supply.  probably have supply chain interruptions due to corona. 

Edited by elfenix

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4 hours ago, Dahobbs said:

You don't need to worry about aftermarket paste with the Wraith cooler. It comes pre-applied and should be fine. Just position it right and clamp down. Really, any decent modern cooler comes pre-applied with perfectly fine paste. Been a long time since it has been necessary to deal with aftermarket paste. Only in heavily overclocked builds (or very small form factor builders) would I consider aftermarket paste. 

The point I was attempting to make is that, while the pre-applied paste is perfectly adequate, sometimes shit happens and it can easily be wiped off.  Trust me.  I have personal experience with this.  Also, if you have to remove the heat sink for any reason, you may need to reapply.  I guess it is easy enough to pick up some at Micro Center if needed.

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Posted (edited)

fwiw, i've actually reused stock paste on stock intel coolers a couple times.  was just being lazy.  didn't really seem to have much effect. wouldn't recommend it for a computer that's doing important stuff and i'd keep an eye on temps.  that was probably a bitcoin mining system and so the cpu didn't get much workout anyway. 

Edited by elfenix

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21 minutes ago, idigTexas said:

The point I was attempting to make is that, while the pre-applied paste is perfectly adequate, sometimes shit happens and it can easily be wiped off.  Trust me.  I have personal experience with this.  Also, if you have to remove the heat sink for any reason, you may need to reapply.  I guess it is easy enough to pick up some at Micro Center if needed.

Got ya and agreed. Although, the last few coolers I have purchased all included an extra tube of paste. I don't know if the stock Wraith cooler includes extra paste.

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Posted (edited)

3600x only had the square of preapplied paste.  i've never bought a cpu that came with a tube of paste.   afaik every aftermarket cooler i've bought has included a tube of paste. 

Edited by elfenix

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My Corsair Hydro Series did not come with extra paste, and I stupidly removed the protective plastic cover before mounting the fans to the radiator.  When I was done, most of the paste was on my leg.  Luckily, I had a tube left over from my last project, so I didn't have to stop mid-build to go get some. 

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15 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I read the other 2 threads that I found which pointed me to PCpartpicker.  I wasn't sure if the photography component changed the overall formula that much or at all.

If you're doing photo work, consider allocating a big part of the budget to a really good quality display, possibly calibration tool, and possibly wacom tablet.

The computation stuff isn't a big deal.  I've been heavy into it last few years and make do on ultrabooks and it handles it with aplomp...nothing really taxes the machine other than large HDR composites. 

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If you're doing photo work, consider allocating a big part of the budget to a really good quality display, possibly calibration tool, and possibly wacom tablet.
The computation stuff isn't a big deal.  I've been heavy into it last few years and make do on ultrabooks and it handles it with aplomp...nothing really taxes the machine other than large HDR composites. 
Luminar 3 crashes my Lenovo AIO laptop all the time

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54 minutes ago, Spur08 said:
3 hours ago, 52-80 said:
If you're doing photo work, consider allocating a big part of the budget to a really good quality display, possibly calibration tool, and possibly wacom tablet.
The computation stuff isn't a big deal.  I've been heavy into it last few years and make do on ultrabooks and it handles it with aplomp...nothing really taxes the machine other than large HDR composites. 

Luminar 3 crashes my Lenovo AIO laptop all the time

 

never tried that.  i run latest adobe suite and capture one and it works without a hiccup through 16/24MP RAW files.  only slow down is during initial import (no demosaicing) , which is the same on all my laptops, and all laptops are on SSD (some up to 3000mb/s) so its not a processing bottleneck

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Posted (edited)
On 6/16/2020 at 3:58 PM, elfenix said:

any other phison E12 controller drives such as the microcenter inland premium nvme

careful, there is now a $99 microcenter inland professional 1TB nvme ssd with QLC (quad level cell) flash ram instead of the TLC (triple level cell) of the pricier ($129) inland premium 1TB nvme.  QLC is bad for boot/scratch drives because it is so slow to write.  it also has less endurance than the other types of flash ram.  good for game drives though. 

Edited by elfenix

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careful, there is now a $99 microcenter inland professional 1TB nvme ssd with QLC (quad level cell) flash ram instead of the TLC (triple level cell) of the pricier ($129) inland premium 1TB nvme.  QLC is bad for boot/scratch drives because it is so slow to write.  it also has less endurance than the other types of flash ram.  good for game drives though. 
I'm too drunk to understand what this post means right now.

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