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Science, Math, & Technology

Say I wanna build a computer but I kinda don't know squat...

Posted 3 Weeks ago by Tek Shmansen

Hi, would like to lean on y'all's knowledge/experience if I may.

I want to build a desktop. I'd like to be able to use my tv as monitor and I'd like to be able to game. Nothing fancy. But nothing annoyingly weak either.

Possibly pertinent to amount of ass needed in said rig: I love Skyrims, Psychonaut, Bioshocks and Mass Effects.

I can use tools pretty well. I've never soldered but I can learn how (I need to learn how to use the iron I was given anydamnway). I can work on cars to a certain degree and I've done menial things on laptops like changing out fans, hdd, and ram.

Any advice? I have no idea where to start.

There are 25 Replies


Being able to make music and visual art on it will also be verr important.

3 Weeks ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Reddit is gonna offer you much faster answers.The games you want to play will run well on a gtx 1060 and it shouldn't be super pricy right now. You'll shell out more if you want to play newer games like doom eternal on high at 4k. Its very important to know how much future proofing you want.

3 Weeks ago
I killed Mufasa
 

It double posted on me.

3 Weeks ago
I killed Mufasa
 

I've done menial things on laptops like changing out fans, hdd, and ram.


If you can do this, you can build a PC. No problem. Building a PC nowadays is basically ordering a bunch of parts and then snapping them together.

I love Skyrims, Psychonaut, Bioshocks and Mass Effects.


These games are a bit older, so they have relatively low requirements. You could easily get away with a GTX 1050 or 1060 and be able to play them with high graphics settings.

FYI, Steam usually lists system requirements right on the store pages. You can also check websites like systemrequirementslab.com and pcgamebenchmark.com if you want to check out more games.

I'd like to be able to use my tv as monitor and I'd like to be able to game.


Something to consider is your display latency. It matters almost none at all for TV/movies, but monitors with high latency feel sluggish when you're using them for gaming purposes. I'd recommend searching your TV model number and seeing if you can find the specs so that you know what your latency will be. If it's pretty low, like 1-5 ms, you'll be fine. Above 5 ms, you might start getting noticeable sluggishness that can detract from your experience.

I have no idea where to start.


I highly recommend pcpartpicker.com. They have an updatable checklist where you can quickly and easily select all necessary parts from an index of whatever's for sale, with links directly to the part's store pages and automatic compatibility checking.

Do you have an idea of your budget?

3 Weeks ago
CZM
 

Thanks y'all!

I listed games I like in the hopes of finding something similar "these days". Forgot to mention the new FF7 and Horizon: Zero Dawn. I'll want to be able to play newer games.

Yeah I didn't think monitor lag would be an issue bc I console game, plus my tv has agame mode butttt maybe I need to reconsider things.

Not sure about what I want to allot from Stimmy to shell out. Yet. I'll be fully immunized by May 3 so I can go back to work.... but with my newly-discovered brain tumor and nocturnal seizures (and strong meds) we're currently in talks about what kind of work I'll actually be able to do. So I don't know how much money to rain quite yet, heh.

I'm going to poke around pcpartpicker and see what I can see. Superthanks, CZM

3 Weeks ago
Tek Shmansen
 

You're welcome. When you have a better idea of your budget, it'll be a lot easier. I hope everything works out well enough for you to do what you want with this build.

3 Weeks ago
CZM
 

I'd suggest a budget of $1,200 for a decent gaming PC. RTX is becoming standard, so I'd recommend planning on upgrading the GPU within the next couple years or so and lowball it for now. Unfortunately, at the moment, Chinese tariffs are in full effect for GPUs, and Biden is not reversing it. So it's going to be hard to find a GPU at sane prices right now. Go prebuilt.

-Ryzen 3 3300x - $200
-NVIDIA GTX 1660 - Should be $180, but prices have skyrocketed to $700-$1000 due to tariffs and scalpers
-16 GB RAM minimum - $100
-1 TB m.2 SSD - $100
-500 watt PSU, preferably Gold certification - $100. Don't cheap out. Better supplies run cooler, last longer, and are way more efficient
-AMD x570 motherboard - $200. Alas, to fully take advantage of next-gen speeds, you need to pay up.
-ATX Case - Your own preference. Cheap cases around $20 do exist. Tempered glass is more expensive, but looks much nicer.

If you want a cheaper option than this, go prebuilt. Building yourself, you'd have to severely and drastically cut performance to get a better price. It's just not worth it.

3 Weeks ago
mariomguy
 

-AMD x570 motherboard - $200. Alas, to fully take advantage of next-gen speeds, you need to pay up.


I'd listen to mariomguy on the motherboard at the least -- if you have a good motherboard you can always update everything else later.

Graphics card is going to be your biggest bottleneck with gaming -- any modern CPU whatsoever should be sufficient for gaming as all the intensive processing is done in the GPU.

Get whatever the industry standard for ram is -- probably 16GB. I scaled all the way to the top in 2013 and still have yet to use all of it. 16GB in 2013 was crazy, it's only just now being recommended for some things (though 8GB is still pretty friendly). And again, with a great motherboard you can always upgrade later.

-1 TB m.2 SSD - $100


If you're making a gaming rig, I'd go for more space than that -- modern games are gigantic. Conan exiles for example would fill a tenth of that on its own. But again, you can always upgrade the hard drive later.

3 Weeks ago
Riven
 

Raytracing is becoming standard, along with DLSS. 16 GB is not necessary for most games, but memory is sold in 8 GB sticks, and the benefits of running two sticks in DDR are substantial. Definitely worth the extra $40-$50. Not to mention, it always helps to have extra memory when running background processes. I have several GBs always running just for Windows, Adobe, and my Ryzen peripherals. Also, the PS5 is targeting 16 GB, so games will get bigger.

As for the storage issue, yeah, 1 TB is not enough if you're gonna download and store many AAA games. But to get the fastest m.2 speeds it's recommended to have 1 TB of NVMe storage, and you can always add standard SSDs or traditional HDDs for more space. If you want to ditch NVMe, you're going to lose the incredible boot times as well.

3 Weeks ago
mariomguy
 

Ok so too many options make me loony... -er. I and my spouseketeer looked around a lot. So many options. With her encouragement I went ahead and ordered the below laptop. It's decently beefy and I don't have to try to figure out how to make a desktop and peripherals work with how we three already have the living room set up. It can just top my lap (rude).

Acer Nitro | 15.6" 144Hz | Core i5-9300H | RTX 2060 | $995 w/tax, free shipping
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1576878-REG/acer_nh_q96aa_002_nitro_5_9g_i7_9300h.html

2 Weeks ago
Tek Shmansen
 

I've never spent this much on anything besides medical bills, cars, and house so I'm kinda mentally throwing up in my brainmouth a little from anxiety rn.

2 Weeks ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Take it easy, it's fine. I kinda have the same thing - I had to convince myself to buy a green tea that cost two dollars the other day. It looks like a good computer, it's not like you got ripped off or anything. I'm sure that you and your partner are responsible enough that you didn't need this money for something else. Relax, enjoy it. You deserve it.

2 Weeks ago
CZM
 

Gawddd I know what you mean, with restaurants too: "Ooh that looks good but no I should just get this cheaper thing."

Yeah, my spouseketeer was very encouraging and reads up on EVERYTHING before making decisions. I just told my other partner about it and she's stoked that I spent $ on myself too. I think with the decent video card we'll all get use out of it; we've been wanting to futz with video editing and electronic music too so yay! I think we'll get a lot of use out of it for digital media even though theatre will be opening back up soon.

And thank you, CZM ☺️

2 Weeks ago
Tek Shmansen
 

No problem. I have a lot of experience when it comes to anxiety.

Let us know how it works when you receive it!

2 Weeks ago
CZM
 

(Also, I have a question for you in the Sexuality forum.)

2 Weeks ago
CZM
 

Your laptop choice is actually... not too bad. I would've done something slightly differently, but it's good.

512 GB will fill up quickly if you have a large library of COD or AAA games. For music production, you really need more storage space. Some VSTs take 50 GB or more, the top-end professional ones sometimes peak 200 GB. That's the biggest weak spot.

The reason I try to steer people away from laptops is because, while they are cheap for the parts on first purchase, upgrades are much harder. You can't change the CPU, GPU, and adding storage space can be a real challenge. For a PC, those things are super easy. You can get a rig and upgrade components over and over again to stay current for a really long time.

2 Weeks ago
mariomguy
 

WHY DID I ORDER FROM A COMPANY THAT FULLY OBSERVES PASSOVER?

I didn't pay attention to the dates when it alerted me Friday to being closed for Passover. It's not today they reopen. IT'S A WEEK FROM TODAY.

So naturally I'm being really whiny and goyish about it.

2 Weeks ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Cancel and buy something with more storage.

2 Weeks ago
mariomguy
 

I did cancel! Got something with a better processor. It should arrive tomorrow πŸ’™πŸ’œ

1 Week ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Can you post your choice?

1 Week ago
mariomguy
 

Sure!

A Dell gaming G3 15 3500 (whatever all that bullshit means)

Feats & deets
15.6 inch FHD (1920 x 1080) 144Hz 300 nits WVA Anti-Glare LED Narrow Border Backlit Display
10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H (12MB Cache, up to 5.0 GHz, 6 cores)
16GB 2933MHz DDR4, 512 GB M.2 [PCIe] NVMe (SSD)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB GDDR6
Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5.1

1 Week ago
Tek Shmansen
 

I can pretty easily upgrade memory and (esp) storage.

I shouldn't be spending this money but also this is the first computer I've ever bought myself. My first laptop was bought for me as payment for work, every other has been handmedown/etc. Maybe it's ok to spend $1200 on myself

1 Week ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Damn, that's not bad! I think you're gonna love it.

Just keep in mind graphics cards tend to get outdated fast, and you can't change the card on a laptop. You're getting something that's gonna be stuck in stone for a while. I always recommend people get actual computers so they can upgrade the parts individually. But if the portability is important to you, a gaming laptop can be nice.

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1 Week ago
mariomguy
 

Yeah I know that all I can really upgrade is memory and storage but a desktop just isn't feasible for the layout of our house and the needs of three geeks :)

OMG it has been so long since I've had a computer. This is sooo much better than trying to talk on here via android phone. And the brains on this thang? Incredibly fasterstrongerbetter than the last laptop I had. It didn't first occur to me that I could do a FEW other things while downloading a game. heeheeheehee I love it.

Oh I am downloading Witcher III. Gonna start slow with an older game (that I just bought for ten bucks on Steam).

1 Week ago
Tek Shmansen
 

Enjoy it! Accessories I recommend:

- Razer Mouse, wired - A must for PC gaming
- Casual set of wireless earbuds, or small, comfortable, fold-up headphones - useful when taking your laptop on the go and casual use. Keep in mind these do often come with mics, and you CAN voice chat with them
- Good gaming headphones with mic - better quality sound, but maybe less portable, and you DON'T want to carry them around
- Dual bluetooth speakers - in the off chance you just want to play music, dual bluetooth speakers actually work really nicely. If you already have a soundbar or surround sound system that accepts bluetooth input, you can just bluetooth to that.
- 15' HDMI cable, take your laptop to the TV from the couch

Everyone needs a good computer. Enjoy!

1 Week ago
mariomguy
 

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