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  #1  
Old August 6, 2015, 07:00:23 AM
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Default Would this be a good desktop?

I'm planning to build a desktop PC very soon, and was wondering what other people would think about it.

Comments?

This PC will probably be used as more of a mid-range gaming PC that also happens to be good at things that a desktop PC does, anyway. The power supply may or may not be iffy, depending on who you ask, so...yeah, that's the thing.

Outside of the power supply, I think everything else should work like a charm

From my personal experience, even older 7200 RPM SATA2 HDDs make 5400RPM laptop HDDs look like snails, let alone a modern 2TB WD Black, so I guess I don't have to get an SSD just to make sure that the system isn't a turtle. The warranty helps a lot, too.

The Core i5 would be more than fast enough in almost everything. Even though it's not the top-of-the-line consumer CPU you can get, or even the latest (Broadwell and Skylake are now out now), to me, I value getting more for the budget I pay for. Also, I don't intend to overclock, either, so I think I'll use the stock fans. Unlike laptops, it should be able to keep it cool enough, no? (I'd only be concerned if it keeps hitting 90 degrees Celsius under normal load.)

The graphics card would go really well with the CPU, too, and it'd be overkill if I went with something better than a GTX 960 for my purposes - after all, 1080p gaming should be like chump change to this video card.

I think I really like what's featured in this case if what I'm seeing on the Internet is true... it has modern sensibilities, but is still relatively affordable.

The motherboard is excellent for what it is, and it doesn't have anything that I don't need. Well, except for that M.2 slot, but I consider it a bonus. That slot seems obligatory in any halfway-decent H97 or Z97 motherboard, anyway.

A single stick of 8 GB DDR3-1600 RAM should work, especially when you're not using the integrated graphics for playing video games - not that you'd want to if you're using a separate video card anyway. Either way, a single, denser module is quite a bit cheaper than two lesser modules, so yeah.

(Man, am I glad that things like PCPartPicker exists now.)

(Fun fact: all the parts I've listed are things that are easily obtainable for me.)
  #2  
Old August 6, 2015, 03:27:52 PM
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A few bits of advice:

If you are ever buying RAM for a computer, I suggest buying in multiples of two (or rarely, three), depending on how many RAM slots your motherboard has. Your motherboard has four slots, split into two dual-channel systems. Your computer overall can run faster if you spread your RAM over the slots. Data gets striped in parallel to quadruple the effective speed if you have four identical (speed, size, voltage, buffer, ECC type, and timing) sticks. Two is also fine, but not optimal. Oddly, when I was shopping for RAM recently, I found that the kit options (2 x 4 GB or 4 x 2 GB) were mostly cheaper than the single-stick options.

The graphics card in your build is certainly on the high end, and it will not disappoint you. If you've got the budget, go for it, as that's a great price for a GTX 960.

Good, a Western Digital Black, that's a high quality drive with a great five-year warranty. The only downside is they're quite expensive as far as consumer drives go, but that warranty alone will easily pay for the difference if the drive goes kaput within five years. And yes, if you're not going with an SSD, a 7200 RPM drive is a must.

I'm of the SSD+HDD camp. Having recently acquired three more solid state drives that were being retired from a data center (and yes, I ran tests on them), I've upgraded every computer I have to use one as a boot drive. Now, all of these drives are 128 GB or smaller. My laptop is the only one where I had to buy a funny SSD if I wanted to keep the hard drive in it too, which is what the mSATA slot on your motherboard is for. Of course, mSATA ones are significantly more expensive, and unless you're upgrading a laptop or building an ultra-compact desktop, I don't recommend going the mSATA route. However, I certainly recommend a small (regular) SSD for your build for the operating system. Everything else can go on the main hard drive. It also makes it much easier for a reinstall: wipe the SSD and leave the hard drive alone. On the other hand, Windows 8 and up boot incredibly quickly from even hard drives, so my final suggestion is that it makes the most sense for people who are sticking with Windows 7. But hey, 64 gigs is all you need.

The CPU looks like an excellent choice. No comments there.

Case style comes down to personal preference. I personally like simple cases like yours that don't try to make the computer look like it came out of a cheesy sci-fi movie.

You have plenty of wattage, a bronze certification, a CPU connector that matches the motherboard, plenty of amps on the +12V rail, and modular cabling to boot on that power supply. Definitely a good choice.


In the end, I think it's a great build. The only recommendation I have is to swap the single stick of RAM with a multi-stick kit. If you want, you can also get a small SSD for your boot drive.

Last edited by Cat333Pokémon; August 6, 2015 at 05:20:54 PM.
  #3  
Old August 6, 2015, 06:40:04 PM
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Mmm hmm.

I'm thinking of using the money that would be spent towards an SSD to a better PSU, though. 80+ Gold sure sounds tasty. Or full modularity with even the required cables for the motherboard and the CPU. Or longer warranty terms. The power supply is a very important part in any system, anyway.
  #4  
Old August 6, 2015, 07:18:17 PM
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If power surges are common in your area, I definitely suggest investing in a motherboard that has proper surge protection. Check for "solid" capacitors on the board. Your board has mostly solid ones, but there are a few in the corner that are not. Frankly, I don't know enough about them to tell you what those ones are for.

As for power supplies, I suggest reading more than just the basic reviews about them. Various sites run full benchmarks to make sure they don't die prematurely and don't lie about their stated specs and efficiency.
  #5  
Old August 6, 2015, 08:14:57 PM
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There's no power surges, but there are relatively frequent blackouts. I don't mind losing some work every time that happens, anyway, since I tend to save really often when I'm working on something.

I think the thing about power supplies is that it does feel weird to know that PSU fanboyism exists in the first place. Sometimes I do wonder if there's anything going on, something like a vocal minority, but it sure seems like quite a bunch of Internet PC enthusiasts don't like Corsair very much - unlike "proper" PSU review sites that tend to think they are at least above average to perfect. Hmm...

Me? I'm not sure if I follow. When you're popular, sooner or later the amount of duds are going to catch up. And the Corsairs are definitely no gutless wonders that explode and take out other components as a general case.

Last edited by Twiggy; August 6, 2015 at 08:16:22 PM.
  #6  
Old August 7, 2015, 02:33:27 AM
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I was actually about to mention PC elitists and fanboys about certain things in my previous posts. Some circles are obsessed with Intel + NVidia and will laugh at anyone who attempts to buy AMD stuff, while there are others where they trade in their old GPUs the moment the new one hits the market just to get 3 fps more in Skyrim on max settings.

Then there are the people who run actual benchmarks on things, who tend to be quite reliable...then there are the people who follow those benchmarks exactly without taking heed to the specific setup the benchmarkers are using.
  #7  
Old August 7, 2015, 03:42:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cat333Pokémon View Post
I was actually about to mention PC elitists and fanboys about certain things in my previous posts. Some circles are obsessed with Intel + NVidia and will laugh at anyone who attempts to buy AMD stuff, while there are others where they trade in their old GPUs the moment the new one hits the market just to get 3 fps more in Skyrim on max settings.

Then there are the people who run actual benchmarks on things, who tend to be quite reliable...then there are the people who follow those benchmarks exactly without taking heed to the specific setup the benchmarkers are using.
Mmm hmm. In fact, I think the AMD A8-7600 and Athlon X4 860K are perfectly good CPUs - and in fact, they're actually competing fairly well against the Pentium G3258, all things considered, and especially with AMD's lithography handicap in mind. As good as the Pentium G3258 was, the age of pure dual-cores is coming to an end, and as a result, some video games start to have trouble starting on said Pentium, where they won't on either AMD CPU I've listed above. Or start having poor minimum frame times due to thread contention.

Though I don't get the point of going beyond four cores at this point of time yet.

AMD's own discrete graphics chips are definitely not worth recommending at this time, though. Sure, you might be paying a slight premium for the equivalent GeForce, but in return, you get better CPU utilization, better frame times, a more mature set of supported technologies, more timely driver updates, lower power supply requirements, less power usage, and less heat thrown off - or less beefy coolers, if that's what you swing on. What's not to like?

Personally, though, I'll stick to the i5-4460. Even though the X4 860K is good enough, it's unfortunately unavailable where I live right now, so that's out of the cards. The A8-7600 isn't exactly a good deal for someone that plans to get a GTX 960 anyway, either, and the i5-4460 should make CPU bottlenecks less likely an issue, whether single-threaded or multi-threaded.

That, and I like making sure that the graphics card isn't cheaper than the processor. It's kind of a tell-tale sign that you're going to be not getting enough graphics card.

I think I'll probably get the Corsair VS550, CXM600, or the RM550. Preferably the RM550, for obvious reasons. 80+ Gold, 5-year warranty, full modularity, and all that Corsair RM "issues" are the very definition of "overblown" - that HardOCP review? They're running it out of spec with no airflow - you'd expect a normal case to have some airflow anyway. A saner review on more reputable PSU review sites give it glowing praise mostly. And pretty much the entire Corsair line is decent at minimum, and perfect at best (but I bet nobody wants to spend half a rig for an AX1500i, no?), with no gutless wonders to find. I'm just keeping in mind that the Internet "enthusiast" community might be more like... a "fanboy" community.

That, and my other options are Cooler Master and Thermaltake. Not sure if I want. Yes, I know, the more important thing is the OEMs behind them, but think about it - OEMs can produce anything requested, and they're usually as good as the company wants them to be. The same OEM can produce anything from exploders to something that does a clean sheet with perfect scores... and anything in between.

I also don't get all the love for Seasonic, either. Their power supplies are top-notch, I'll admit, but that shouldn't preclude others from getting other PSUs that are at least decent. It's not like anything not Seasonic will always explode...

That's what I don't get about PSU fanboyism.

Last edited by Twiggy; August 7, 2015 at 03:45:20 AM.
 
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