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Question Am I making any errors with this gaming build?

GusSmed

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Feb 11, 2003
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I'm thinking about ordering a new gaming PC. I occasionally use the PC for photo processing, and astrophotography post-processing, which is somewhat CPU intensive.

I'd like to keep this under $3000. I can afford more, but I feel $3000 is probably well over the "decent return on investment" point already.

I'm ordering this from Newegg via their new PC Builder service. This is about the availability of RTX 3080 cards at MSRP more than anything else. I think if you order an out-of-stock part this way, you'll get the PC when it becomes available.

That's how it works if you order from someplace like Cyberpower. You can get RTX 3080 cards in a PC from them with about 4 weeks delay - but the parts selection is more limited, and the price is about $300 higher than this build.

I sometimes play VR games on a Vive Pro 2, so treat that as periodic 4K gaming.

CPU: i9 11900k. Gaming doesn't demand a top-end CPU, but some of my other projects do.

Motherboard: Gigabyte Z590 Aorus Ultra. This is really the part where I'm most at sea, I don't know what to look for in a motherboard really. I do want PCI 4.0 for the M.2 SSD, and 2.5 GB/s LAN. I selected this one based on having a fair number of rear-panel USB 3 ports, which seems like a shallow criterion. I've got 10 USB devices plugged into the back my desktop right now. Most of which would be fine with USB 2 parts, granted.

At least one truly high-speed port seems useful, since I do my backups with an external drive.

Memory: 32 GB (2x 16 GB) "Team T-Force" 3600 RAM. Seems OK, and not pricey.

GPU: GIgabyte RTX 3080 Eagle. One of the two $700 3080 cards Newegg carries.

Case: Thermaltake Suppressor F31 ATX Mid Tower Case. I'm old fashioned enough to still want an optical drive and card reader up front. Even if I can't recall the last time I actually used a DVD.

PSU: Fractal Design Ion+ 860P 80 Plus Platinum. 750W is the recommended minimum for a machine with a 3080 in it, so this is a little bit of headroom, and doesn't seem to be priced at much of a premium.

Primary storage: 2TB WD SN850 NVMe M.2 SSD. This is the fastest PCI 4.0 SSD Newegg lists. I have about 1 TB used on my current SSD.

Secondary Storage: Toshiba X300 4GB HDD. 7200 RPM, 128GB cache. 4 TB isn't expensive - $100 - and I have 1.4 TB used of my current data drive.

CPU Cooler: Fractal Design Celsius S360 360mm water cooler. I've never done water cooling before, but it seems to be de rigeur on the pre-built sites.

Windows 10 Pro.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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What do you do with your PC.

Your parts look good, however for a 3000 dollar machine you can do far better.
I am assuming this is a full on gaming machine, because you want a 3080.

Here are some tweaks:

1. Ryzen 9 5900X is a far better cpu... without even thinking twice.
2. X570S is recommended to pair a Ryzen 9 5900X
3. Infinity Fabric is directly tied to the clock speed of your ram on a Ryzen, so you want the fastest highest capacity ram possible.
(i really recommend you going 32gb x 2 for a total of 64gb @ 3200mhz or greater. Reason is 32gb ram sticks have excellent recyclability and resell value.)
4. Case... No... 3000 dollar PC please spend a bit more on a nicer case with better thermals like a Bequiet Dark Base 900 / Lian Li o11 Dynamic / Fractal Design Define 7 Compact
5. Opticals.... no one uses opticals, if you need one, go usb.
6. Storage... Here is where i am gonna wreck your build.

Primary Storage: Samsung 980 PRO (1TB) this will be your boot OS drive.
Secondary Storage: 2 x 2TB (Sammy QVO or Crucial MX500 or Sandisk Extreme) SATA drives in Raid - 0 <-- this is your gaming drive.
Raid SATA SSD's in R0.... its a few seconds slower then a nVME in loadup, not game breaking. You will have 3.87TB of usable storage in R0 from 2 x 2TB as well as double the writes because its Raid 0. Also unless your like me on fiber with a 113mb/s download rate from origin / steam, you really want the storage capacity, as AAA games now average 60-110GB each game.

CPU Cooler: Noctua D15 / BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro / Scythe Fuma / Mugan - you don't need an AIO, and you don't want one unless you know what your getting, which seems like you don't, so stick with air.

Power Supply... No.... Seasonic Focus Platimum FTW!!


However intel's new 12000 series according to leaks and rumors is amazing.
I don't know how much is true tho, but 12000 series if your not in a hurry to buy, you should honestly wait and see.
But if its not a 12000 series, the Ryzen will run rings around any intel cpu.


Lastly i do not really trust prebuits....
Even if you get it prebuilt, you should always double check it.
Gamers Nexus has shown us clearly how horrible prebuilts are these days, with none of them passing standards of builds.
So even if its prebuilt... check bios for XMP, check your connections, and power cables on the case before you plug it in, and document everything on a video on your phone from the moment you cut that box open, so u have something to fight with if you need an RMA.
 
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GusSmed

Senior member
Feb 11, 2003
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At present, the Vive wireless adapter doesn't work with AMD AM4/TR4 socket motherboards, so a Ryzen CPU is out of the question. While details are sparse, I'm guessing it's the gig Wifi board that's part of the package.

I'll look into the cases you mentioned. I'm a little fuzzy on what advantages they offer, though.

I'd like more information why you feel the Seasonic PSU is better. PSUs have always struck me to be commodity products.

I don't want to go with a SATA RAID. The point of going with a single, big NVMe SSD was the data transfer rate that's only available in the single PCIe 4.0 socket. The SN850 has a read rate of 7000 MB/s with that setup. SATA, even in RAID 0, isn't going to get any faster than 1200 MB/s. If I were going to skimp that way, I'd just get a cheaper NVMe drive or two.

It's not just about load times, though of course those matter. It's also things like autosaves. That's an issue with some games, where the save gets big enough and slow enough that it matters.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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this issue was 6 months ago with the vive bug?
are you sure its still there?
It makes no sense when AMD has a significant market share of custom gaming rigs now.


Seasonic is a primary oem. Meaning they make there own psu's and not 3rd party like everyone else.
Seasonic has always been synonymous with quality.

ATA, even in RAID 0, isn't going to get any faster than 1200 MB/s. If I were going to skimp that way, I'd just get a cheaper NVMe drive or two.
games don't take advantage of that speed.

And there are lock box load checks now in most games which are multiplayer.
And single player as i said, the difference is in seconds. And you forget PCI-E lanes are required for nVME.
This is the single one overlooked thing when building. PCI-E lanes.

Having 2 ssd's in Raid 0 spreads writes which means more writes, which means more autosaves without impacting life on ssd.
SSD's really takes care of load screens, and your chasing after that last 2% when going R0 SATA SSD vs nVME.
Honestly again more space > faster load time once you already stepped into SSD.

This is what i run as my main Game Drive:


4 x 4TB in R0 for a combine total of 15.7TB of unadulterated pure storage for games.
I also have a 4TB nVME:


For games where i really really need that io speed, but i have not found a game yet which requires a nvme like sony predicted would happen.

My boot drive is a 1TB Samsung 970 PRO.

Ideally i think i have the best drive setup for games you can get. AdamK on our forum is running 2 x 8TB nvme's but its at the cost of using 8x pci-e lanes which means he is running his 3090 @ 8x, and to me is a waste of a 3090 if you can not run it at 16x, but AdamK is known to be wasteful like that.. :p

Of course you can go HEDT and get 80 lanes on a ThreadRipper, but that would wreck your build entirely and your probably not interested in HEDT's.
 
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Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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Sep 13, 2008
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I think aigo has some good points, but I personally would disagree partly with him on the storage. If you get an NVMe PCIe gen 4 SSD, I would recommend a 2TB drive if you can afford it. WD SN850, Samsung 980 Pro, or a Sabrent Rocket 4 Plus are all good. The reason is the 2TB models are a bit faster than the 1TB versions.

I would personally avoid RAID 0, I would just get decent SATA SSDs for game drives, but would probably use them as separate volumes. 860 Evo, 870 Evo, MX500 and WD Blue 3D drives are all fine, get what is a good buy, and there are other good drives too. You can always add additional SATA SSDs as well. I would avoid QLC based drives.

5900X is an excellent choice with a good X570 board, but you could wait for future products as well. If you do go with Ryzen, get good, fast RAM. Seasonic has some excellent choices, but they can be pricey. I would be open to other PSUs, especially if they are made by Seasonic originally, if they are good quality with good warranty and prices.

No need to get an internal optical drive. Typically this will waste a SATA port.

A well priced 3080 or 6800 XT is a good choice. Best of luck finding these.

Depending on the size you want, I would go with some sort of Fractal Design 7 case. The 7 XL looks really nice, but is big. Recently I have really liked Fractal Design cases.
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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I would personally avoid RAID 0, I would just get decent SATA SSDs for game drives, but would probably use them as separate volumes.
i was honestly like this at first, then i realized its games.
if i lose a drive and lose data, so what.... saves are on cloud, and i can redownload the games.
Raid 0 helps with writes, as it doubles the write count on the SSD's. Add one more, and it triples because you know data is spread across the drives. Also it doubles the storage capacity, so id rather have 1 large raided drive, then serveral small ones named game1 game2 game3 ...

Also about the 2TB vs 1TB, they have the same cache so if your going to use a dedicated game drive, i see no point in having a bloated OS drive as long as you max out the cache.

Or am i wrong and the 2TB nvme's have more cache?
 

Shmee

Memory and Storage, Graphics Cards
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I don't think it is about the cache, but larger SSDs often perform a bit better among same model line. Perhaps Billy Talis could explain the technical reason better than I :p
 

GusSmed

Senior member
Feb 11, 2003
403
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I was going off the disclaimer on HTC"s website.


There's a lot of cruft on that page, of course, the disclaimer's at the bottom.

Disclaimer:
Recently, compatibility issues have arisen when using AMD AM4/TR4 socket base motherboards with the VIVE Wireless Adapter. We are working closely with our partners to resolve this issue as soon as possible. If you have an AMD AM4/TR4 socket base motherboard, we recommend waiting on VIVE Wireless Adapter purchase until the compatibility issue is solved.
 

GusSmed

Senior member
Feb 11, 2003
403
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And you forget PCI-E lanes are required for nVME.
This is the single one overlooked thing when building. PCI-E lanes.
No, I hadn't forgotten. The 4 PCI-e lanes for the first nVME are actually dedicated lanes from the CPU. No overlap with anything else. The i9-11900k has 20 PCI-e lanes, not 16, and the 4 intended for nVME can't be configured as anything but a single 4-lane group.

The PCI-e lanes are why you only get that additional bandwidth with the first M.2 socket.

The other
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
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OP no offense here, but i dont see a future in HTC much longer.
Occulus is on life support, and Valve Index.... sigh.... after Alyx its pretty much died out.

It would leave a bad taste in my mouth to recommend you getting a intel processor over a 5900X just because of a dying tech which is already on crutches.

if you really need that intel processor, i suggest you wait for the 12000 series, with the big and little cores on alder lake.

infact i have a occulus rift S, but i rarely use it.
I am thinking of replacing it with the TCL glasses when they come out as i use VR more for watching 3D movies on my PC if anything at all.
 

GusSmed

Senior member
Feb 11, 2003
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I already own and use a Vive Pro 2 and a wireless adapter. I rather enjoy VR, whatever your feelings are about the companies that make VR headsets.
 
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DAPUNISHER

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I was going off the disclaimer on HTC"s website.


There's a lot of cruft on that page, of course, the disclaimer's at the bottom.
The reply in the thread linked, is from over a year ago, and was wondering why they had not corrected the info way back then. It is obviously a failure to update the page. Not surprising given it is an expensive niche product. I did not know about it, but now that I do, I am eyeing your setup hard. I will follow up after commenting on the above.

And if you want to buy a prebuilt system using one of the worst reviewed flagship CPUs in a decade, go for it. But if sticking with 11th gen, the 11700K is a better choice for a number of reasons. IMO anyways.

On the topic of VR : I agree with you. I have the OG Oculus; I enjoy it, and use it frequently. Mostly as part of my training and conditioning. Beat Saber is a great warm down game and has help keep my hand-eye sharp. Thrill of the fight has kept my sparring skills on point through the entire C-19 shutdowns. None of my training partners were training VR, and it shows when we do rounds. They are still working off ring rust, I'm not. I will need something better for streaming because the screen door effect is annoying.

Wires are the thing that was keeping me from looking at more expensive gear. Seeing guys on youtube where they hang wire guides on the ceiling and such, is a big turn off. But knowing you can go wireless is a game changer. Thanks for sharing that! :beercheers:
 
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Arkaign

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11700k, 5600X, 5800X are all good gaming choices. 11900 is just extra heat for cores that have no meaningful use for 99% of people, especially gamers. The same is true to a great extent for the 5900/5950, higher expense/heat/power for more cores which do nothing useful unless you have a demanding heavily threaded task for them like encoding or major compute.

Bonus is that by going i7, or 5600X especially, you can dedicate more $ towards things that will have a meaningful impact on your experience. Bigger storage, better GPU, perhaps put something towards a better display, etc. $3000 is a lot but also not infinite, and where you allocate makes a difference.

It's easy for us looking at latest and greatest all the time to fawn over flagship CPUs and such, but they are not always the best use of finite budgets.

Edit : to clarify somewhat, the 'occasional' use you specify with regards to photo processing is where extra cores would help a bit, but you have to figure if that's a big deal.

Eg if you're doing it twice a month for a few projects, and the difference is 38 minutes of overall wait time vs 26 minutes, is 12 minutes of time savings worth the compromise where you might be using a worse monitor or GPU for gaming, which you presumably do more than 12 minutes a month? Probably not.

For a dedicated professional who works many projects a month for many hours, a faster CPU can literally be a major contributor to increased productivity and income, so that equation is vastly different.

Only you can answer whether what the exact balance should be.
 
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