RedDog

Time for a new PC - Could use a second pair of eyes (or three)

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RedDog    265

I've been using a gaming loptop for about 9 years now. A SSD and RAM upgrade have allowed me to stretch out it's use, but I think it's time to break open the wallet and go back to a desktop build.

I put together a build on PCPartsPicker. I've probably built or rebuilt about 20 PCs in total, but it has been a good 5 or 6 years since doing my last build (a i3 MediaPC). I feel pretty a little out of touch with some of the tech and could use some feedback if someone knowledgeable is willing to look this over my part list.

I chose a MicroATX setup to keep the build a little smaller. It will be used for office work, some AAA gaming (FPS, RPGs, but very little competative), and possibly video rendering for some of the girlfriend's projects. I don't care much about bling, sparkles or flashies. A plain-looking PC is fine. I plan to do two monitors, but probably no larger than 1080p. I don't usually go bleeding edge, instead choosing a combo of good value and good quality. I don't do overclocking and don't plan to get a second GPU. My concerns are these:

  • Windows 7 vs Windows 10 (I only have Windows 7 on three PCs right now; guessing it's time for Win10)
  • I chose a i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core CPU and it feels pricey, but important for video rendering and gaming
  • Paying $400 or $500 for a video card seams like so much; is a GTX1060 weak?
  • I chose a 120mmx240mm CPU Block radiant cooler setup to vent out the top of the case, but it's my first time using liquid. Looks pretty straight forward though. Anything I should know?
  • Worried about missing any bottlenecks in the system.

I have checked video card size against case space, power supply venting directionality, the number of 4-pin fan headers on the mobo (4), m.2 placement, and cable management in the case. Can't think of anyhting else.

Original Build (10/4/2017): https://pcpartpicker.com/list/zzD4HN
Lower Watt Build (10/6/2017): https://pcpartpicker.com/list/fYH3LD

As always, thanks.

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hansolo77    751

I still have an Intel Core2Duo.  I'm like 15 years overdue for a new gaming PC.  BUT, I rarely PC game anymore anyway.  Your setup looks ok, but I don't think you need the extra controller card.  The mobo you picked has 6 SATA ports already.

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tthurman    1088

If you have to buy an OS, I suppose Windows 10 is the most future proof. 

I built two systems last summer with i7 6700k's, you won't regret it!  Just make sure you stick it (7700k) in a Z270 board....or rather NOT a Z170

GPU's are outdated so fast, I've been happy with the 750Ti's I bought for GameEx, but I'm not sure how they do with say Battlefield.  I'm running a HD7850 for that, but I'd be willing to bet the 1050Ti will suffice and is less painful to replace later on.  My 750's will be getting replaced with another XX50Ti series!

I'm a ThermalRight guy, so dunno about, but do know my Z170 had headers to power liquid cooling, so something to check for.

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RedDog    265

@hansolo77 Oh yeah, forgot about that card. I have an external eSata drive enclosure with two drives where I keep archived PC images, emulator stuff, etc housed. I just switch it on when I need it. I'd like to keep those drives separate. Newer mobos do not seam to have eSata ports, so the card is for that.

@tthurman I figured with the 93 watt CPU, liquid cooling might work a bit better - but after a bit more research I found that good fan cooling and AIO liquid is not that far apart in cooling. I also did not think about the fan headers and am still trying to figure out how they would work with a mbo that has no dedicated header for liquid cooling (thanks for pointing that out). I may end up switching to horizontal heatsink/fan combo like some fo the the ThermoRight units you commented on. I will read up a bit more.

I also read enough about the Z170 motherboards and their possible incompatibility with the 7700k without a bios upgrade. It is one of the reasons I went with the Z270 instead.

 

Thanks for taking the time guys. Always appreciated.

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cdbrown    5

I was looking at AIO liquid cooling as well for my cab pc, but all the reviews point to having a decent CPU cooler and case fans will provide better cooling, plus plenty of negatives on the noise the static fans make trying to push air through the radiator. So i swapped out the intel stock cpu cooler for a Noctua NH-L12 and put in some Corsair AF140 Quiet case fans (replacing some coolermaster ones) and now my CPU temp is 43C at 100% (folding@home) instead of near 80C and it's actually quieter even without any control of the case fan speeds. Just make sure you get enough case fans for intake and exhaust.  Can't help with the rest as I'm still on the old i5-2400 and HD4550

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KRC    880

Definitely a solid build future proof build RedDog.

The GTX 1060 isn't weak by any means, but make sure it's the 6gb Version, its a solid 1080p and upto 1440p, 60hz with very high to ultra detail on all games. VR ready etc (if you wanted to go down that route)

A GTX 1070 is for a solid 1440p, 144hz with mostly ultra detail on games. but for the price over the 1060 its not worth it.

I definitely feel the GTX 1060 is more than adequate for that setup.

To put it into perspective though, I'm running an MSI Twin Frozr GTX 770 2gb and this is running some AAA titles on 1080p and some even at 1440p, paired with a i3-7100 and the GTX 1060 is at least 25% better than my GTX 770.

So it's a safe bet and I would say stick with 1060.

An i7-7700k coupled with a 1060 is a beast.

No bottlenecks from that system RedDog, i7-7700k, Z270 Platform, M.2 SSD, GTX 1060 6gb, 16gb DDR4 3000mhz RAM and a solid PSU. Its a great build at a good price.

 

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tthurman    1088

Something else worth mentioning on boards....well can't hurt anyway.

I know you are going with a Z270, but it's likely the same scenario it was for me last year with the 170's. 

I went back to ASUS on this round, but there was a ton of 170 boards out there and I didn't want to go the ROG route.  I ended up with a modest Z170 Pro (not gaming, which gets worse reviews) which reviewed really well and came in around $130.  I think there is a lot of bang for the buck without going crazy spending hundreds on motherboards.

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RedDog    265

You guys gave me some things to think about, so thanks for the feedback. Here are some changes I am thinking of making, and of course I am wondering if any of them may sound like poor choices:

  • Exchanged the m.2 500 GB Samsung SSD with a 2.5" 500 GB SSD Samsung 850 EVO. It would be nice to save space for future drive upgrades, but I read that the m.2 can get hot with heavy use and throttle down (not something I want with video rendering).
  • Exchanged the 16 GB G.Skill RAM with non-heat spreader 16 GB Crucial. I get the impression heat spreaders don't really do much these days except make it look pretty.
  • I am considering changing the i7-7700K with i7-7700 (or another cooler CPU). I am a little nervous about the amount of heat the rig will generate and being able to effectively cool the CPU. I could use some advice here.
  • Lastly, I have pretty muched ditched the AIO liquid cooling. But, again, that leaves me concerned about a reliable cooler for the CPU. I read that Noctua - NH-U9S 46.4 CFM CPU Cooler is pretty good and also quiet. Unfortunately tthurman, ThermalRight only had once choice that fit this set-up and it did not have heat pipes (which I would like to help get the heat out of the case). I could use some advice here too.

Some of these changes end up shaving a few buck off, but it's not about that.

Updated build Link: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/fYH3LD

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tthurman    1088

Some thoughts:

I put a 250 EVO (C) in mine and a 7200K 1TB spinner (D) and point all my heavy storage files for steam etc. to it.  Works great!

Good case cooling should suffice for memory, but I do think the heat spreaders come in to play with overclocking.

I really wouldn't worry much about the heat from a 7700k, unless you've got a really cramped case.  The last case I got is this one, and it stays quite cool.  While it's no longer available, look for something roomy, you'll forever be glad you did.

Also, I have two of these Chenbro cases, they are budget friendly and very effective channeling air through the case.  Admittedly they are the prettiest cases, but they are huge (Deep) making working inside a breeze and can handle large video cards with ease.

I'm sure Noctua makes a fine cooler. 

Thermalright can be hard to follow, often times they offer new back plates for older coolers, ie, I've got a socket 775 cooler on my 6700k via a backplate kit they sell.

 

 

 

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RedDog    265

OK, I pulled the trigger tonight and bought computer stuff.

In the end, I decided I wanted a few more slots, so I went from Micro-ATX to ATX. I also found that I could go with a "black/white" theme-ish built for only a few bucks more, so I did add a bit of bling. I will be sure to post pics one it's done.

Your help made this a ton easier. Thanks!   :cheers:

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b0rg9    4
On 10/5/2017 at 4:42 AM, KRC said:

The GTX 1060 isn't weak by any means, but make sure it's the 6gb Version, its a solid 1080p and upto 1440p, 60hz with very high to ultra detail on all games. VR ready etc (if you wanted to go down that route)

Yeah I went w/ the 1060 6gb upgrade several months ago to replace my failing gtx560.  It's running my 1440p monitor in highest gaming settings 60fps just fine.  Draws less power than the obsolete 560, too.  Go figure.

 

And congrats, RedDog , on pulling the trigger!  I love putting new boxes together.  Last one was this i5 Kaby Lake that I threw together for my upright cab.  It's been doing great w/ MAME and Windows 10 (yeah this is my first Win 10 box, too).  And even runs HLSL just fine w/ the onboard video.  I thought at first that I overbuilt for a MAME cabinet, but with the SSD boot and the newish i5 it loads GameEx like a charm and seems to keep up with all the CHD games I've tried so far.

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RedDog    265

I hear ya on the SSD. The older laptop I am currently using has two drive bays. I was floored when I switched from a single 7200 to a SSD/7200 setup. It was like a new machine. I know I got at least 2 more years out of it before I felt the new PC itch. I was also trying to save money at the time, so it was a nice solution.

Parts have already started filtering in, but not enough to start building. I should be able to start next week. Crossing my fingers that I won't hit any snags.

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