Question New Build ~ $1000

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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Well,
I just waxed nostalgic over a bunch of my previous threads (found the whole thread from my current build from 2013...wow!)
That build is reaching the end of the road (3750K, Z77, 16GB DDR3, 256GB SSD) as far as my uses for it, so my wife will be taking it over and using it in her new home office.

So I'm back in the market for building a new computer. My target price is $1000ish. Unlike my last build I'll need extras like case/psu/monitor to consider as well. Here are the bullet points:

1. Mainly office productivity, some CAD work, some lighter/medium gaming (not really into AAA titles anymore, latest game I played was Guild Wars 2).
2. $750-1000 Budget (But I'm in a position financially to hit the price/value target on most items).
3. USA
4. No brand preferences. Only price/value with an eye towards future upgradability (you see how long I keep things)
6. I don't think I have anything of use as far as old parts except perhaps an SSD to repurpose in the short term or an old video card to get by.
7. Stock speeds (or dirt simple overclock like in the old FSB ratio days where changing the multiplier was easy and stable because of my chip)
8. 4K - but only because that's necessary for large screen usage. I'd like to get two 27" 4K screens.
9. Not tomorrow, but soon. The 2nd office will be backstopped by an old laptop while I cherry pick looking for awesome deals.
10. I will need a copy of Windows, although I have access to a Win 10 image and possibly some old Win 7 keys to use so maybe not.

I'm already eyeballing 3600X w/ 2 x 16GB DDR4 3200 as kind of the baseline but I'm not adamant it has to be that. The whole B450, X470, X570, B550 situation is a tad confusing especially when you start checking prices.
Thanks for your help!

P.S. Microcenter is roughly 1 hour away.

New Build Configuration - $1131 + tax
Processor: AMD Ryzen 5600X - $309
Motherboard: ASRock B550M Pro4 - $90 + tax
RAM: 2 x 16GB Silicon Power XPOWER Turbine Gaming CL16 DDR4 3200 - $99 + tax
Storage: SK Hynix 1TB PCIe NVMe Gen 3 M.2 2280 - $115 + tax
Video: Open Box XFX Radeon RX 580 GTS XXX Edition 8GB OC+ - $160
Case: Lian Li 205 White - $53 + tax
PSU: Corsair CX650-F RGB Black - $85 + tax
CPU Cooler: Included - $0
Monitor: 40" Vizio V-405H 4K TV - $220 + tax
 
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VirtualLarry

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Aug 25, 2001
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First, a few things. AMD AM4 Zen2 platform is a great choice. But, it will require a video card (the onboard video outputs on the mobos do nothing, with an AM4 CPU, they only work with the APUs, and 4000-series (Renoir, Zen2-core-based) haven't been released for DIY/retail yet, only to OEMs.)

Also, Zen2 CPUs have their own auto-OC/turbo mechanisms, so basically, keep them cool, feed them enough voltage, and they'll clock themselves up as far as they can go. Generally no need for manual OC.

2x 4K UHD screens are doable, but again, it depends on your video card.

The mobo situation is admittedly confusing. It's a lot easier, if you stick with B450 or B550 only. (X570 requires a chipset fan.)

B550 is newer, and allows for PCI-E 4.0 for the first (top-most) GPU slot, as well as the primary PCI-E x4 NVMe slot fed by the CPU. (There may be another NVMe slot fed by the chipset, that will be PCI-E 3.0 x4 in most cases.)

The downsides of B550, is it is compatible with Ryzen 3000-series CPUs ONLY, and "future" (Zen3) 4000-series CPUs, and probably APUs (which have yet to be released).

B450 is a known quantity, doesn't have PCI-E 4.0 anywhere, but is compatible with the entire range of Zen, Zen+, and Zen2 CPUs and APUs. Plus, AMD relented on their plans, and will (in conjunction with mobo mfgs) hopefully offer a "special beta flash BIOS" for B450 boards, to support Zen3. Rumor was that this special beta BIOS, once flashed, would remove compatibility for anything but 3000-series CPUs, and 4000-series CPUs and APUs. (No 3200G/3400G, like B5500.)
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Thanks for the input. I can't decide if the cheapness of B450 counterbalances the future of B550.
As far as video card, I would like to shoot for the bang for the buck leader as long as its not too pricey.
This may end up being a two stage type build where I get most of the components, but pick a couple I can live without until the 2nd leg of the build. Depends on how it shakes out with the bargain hunting.
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
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Heya,

AM4 3600 or 3700 CPU
Fastest 32GB DDR4 you can get
Go for the x570 motherboards, there are good affordable ones (ASUS Tuf)
1TB nVME SSD (not the SATA type)

The 4k stuff will be handled by the GPU, look at a GTX 2060 and a good pair of IPS 4K monitors.

Very best,
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
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This is ironically a very good yet very bad time to be building a system. I agree that the 3600/3600x is probably a very good starting point for your use case. Good DDR4 memory and NVMe drives are relatively cheap, getting cheaper, and are in plentiful supply.

However, AMD's new CPUs are definitely looking likely to kick Intel in the cojones, hopefully something we might be finding official details out about as early as this Thursday. Doubt they'll be actually available any time soon beyond the 5800x/5900x, so I don't know if 3000 series pricing will drop a lot more in the immediate future.

In addition, stocks of the new Nvidia 3080 video cards are totally MIA due to launch mismanagement and bot buying, and the 3070 release (which might be a very good fit for your use case) has been delayed waiting on AMD's upcoming announcements. AMD's new video cards may be well be entirely worth waiting for, though from past history you really have to take anything AMD says about a graphics card with a major grain of salt until some trustworthy reviews begin to chime in.

If you just have to build now, I'd personally go either AMD x570 or B550 on the motherboard with a 3600 variant processor and a good cooler, a good quality 1TB NVMe drive (I don't even know if PCIe 4.0 drives are worth the premium for day to day use at this point), and a used 2060/2070 variant or AMD 5600/5700XT card as a placeholder until the 3070/AMD RDNA2 cards are released. The 3070 and AMD's competing card will probably end up being the best "bang for the buck" cards of the next generation.

My two cents, anyway.
 
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MalVeauX

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Dec 19, 2008
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If you're in no rush, there's supposed to be some releases in Oct/Nov potentially from AMD that may shift things a bit. And it may also make the CPU's listed above more affordable as they become yesteryear. The motherboard's shouldn't change tremendously yet though, it will be another generation or two before we see another chipset shift, so going for x570 now is a good bet for a while. However, with a total budget of $1k for everything, I don't see a flagship or latest release CPU cycle happening with the all in budget, so yesteryear equipment will provide the best bang for buck, and may improve with a new release cycle in the next 2 months or so. Though I wouldn't hold my breath for major savings.

Very best,
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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I've never been a flagship guy, so no worries there. I'm more of a 2500K, or 9500 Pro vid card, can't remember the nvidia card from a few years ago that had major longevity. I try to pick when a platform is good if not great value for the production. I knew AMD had new releases, but I didn't realize it was that close.

As for monitors, they can obviously be bought one at a time. I'm not tied to 4K. I use a 31" 4K along with a smaller 1080P at work. At home I have an old 2412m 1080P. That one goes to the wifey with the current build.

I do have the luxury to build slow and pick and choose (like hunt for a PSU deal, or snag a 32GB fast RAM deal, or whatever) while waiting for the MB/CPU prices to shake out.
 

Steltek

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Mar 29, 2001
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I've never been a flagship guy, so no worries there. I'm more of a 2500K, or 9500 Pro vid card, can't remember the nvidia card from a few years ago that had major longevity. I try to pick when a platform is good if not great value for the production. I knew AMD had new releases, but I didn't realize it was that close.
Most recent rumors are that AMD will announce the next gen Zen 3 CPU chips (Ryzen 5000) this week on the 8th, and then follow up with the new RDNA2 video cards on 10/28/2020. Of the two, I'd say that the video card announcement is the more likely of the two to slip (depending upon whether AMD has stable drivers at that point, which was the issue that ruined their last GPU launch).

If you aren't above buying used video cards, there should be an absolute glut of otherwise fine last gen used cards available once Nvidia finally gets its act together and AMD makes its own product announcements.
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Most recent rumors are that AMD will announce the next gen Zen 3 CPU chips (Ryzen 5000) this week on the 8th, and then follow up with the new RDNA2 video cards on 10/28/2020. Of the two, I'd say that the video card announcement is the more likely of the two to slip (depending upon whether AMD has stable drivers at that point, which was the issue that ruined their last GPU launch).

If you aren't above buying used video cards, there should be an absolute glut of otherwise fine last gen used cards available once Nvidia finally gets its act together and AMD makes its own product announcements.
Used is no problem at all. The previous build before this one was mainly used parts from FS/FT. I think a video card especially, it might be good bang for the buck to tap into the gamer upgrader market. I've got to start putting together my short list of components to start watching for deals on.

On another topic. It used to be that memory speed was more of a status symbol than an actual performance boost. Has that changed? Is it worth a price premium, for say, DDR4 3600 vs. 3200?
 

Steltek

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Mar 29, 2001
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Depending upon sales, there isn't much of a lot of price differential between DDR4-3600 and DDR4-3200.

Here is a very good video on the subject of memory speeds. It is a year old, but the results are still valid:


I've seen bargain DDR4-3600 32GB kits (2x16 modules) for less than $100 several times recently. You might keep an eye on the cheap DDR4 memory thread here that @VirtualLarry started. The fact that you have access to a Microcenter makes your situation even better.
 
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PrinceXizor

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Thanks! That was a nice video. It would have been nice to know what "Low latency" timings are. There was a time when RAM makers took advantage of the Cas level number and artificially lowered it by increasing the other timings. Does that still happen or can I safely shop for DDR 3600 at the lowest cas level?
 

Steltek

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Mar 29, 2001
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I'm sure it is still a thing for many memory manufacturers

At DDR4-3600, to get a lower latency set for 32GB you'll want to go 4x8GB as the 2x16GB kits will all probably be high latency. I dimly recall seeing an expensive g.skill Trident Z Royal set that was CL14. Most of the affordable DDR4-3600 kits will likely be CL16 or CL18.

One thing you might want to do is use 1MUSUS's Clocktuner utility for overclocking your CPU. It is pretty much automated and uses a combination of overclocking and undervolting to work. Here are instructions, and the process is described in the following video:


He also produces the Ryzen DRAM calculator to use for manually adjusting memory timings, though that process isn't automated.

 
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Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
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3600 CL18 and 3200 CL16 cost about the same so there's no good reason to choose the 3200. I prefer 3600 CL16 though. For Ryzen get 3600 MHz memory because it lets you run a higher Infinity Fabric clock while staying 1-1.
When the new Zen3 processors come out with possibly higher IF capabilities the memory recommendation might go up.

Here are some 32GB 3600 CL16 kits:

 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Well, the case has been purchased. Snagged a Lian Li from a Prime Day deal for $53.20 + tax after 5% CB from Discover.
Eyeballing ASRock B550M Pro4 at Newegg for $95 + tax.....
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Updated with my monitor purchase. I chose one of the loopiest times in memory to build my first new rig in 7 years o_O
 

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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Updated with video card, hard drive and psu.
Not doing bad given the COVID supply issues. $723 + tax so far.
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Some thoughts so far...
1. I went with used RX580 because similarly classed video cards just became super scarce. Missed out on a 5500 XT for $190+tax from Dell.
2. Went with new 1TB from SK Hynix. Excellent performance in its class but amazing thermals means I'll keep those speeds all the time. Worth the extra premium to me due to the thermal characteristics.
3. Chose corsair due to brand, LTT Tier B recommended list. Should be sufficient even if I go to a beefier processor or video card.
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Managed to snag a Ryzen 5600x from AntOnline in a bundle with 3 months of Gamepass for PC for $329+ $10 shipping! Added to the total at MSRP + 10 shipping.
 

PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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Got the last piece of the puzzle, 2 x 16GB Silicon Power XPOWER Turbine CL 16 DDR4 3200. Not a common one, but good reviews from Tom's and Tweaktown.

That brings the grand total to $1131 + tax. Not bad at all given the current prices going on. Only regret is missing out on a 5500XT for $190. This price includes a monitor which isn't generally included in a new build. Taking that out makes the total $911 + tax.
 
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PrinceXizor

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Oct 4, 2002
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So, starting the new build assembly today. Should be pretty straight forward. But, it's been years since i installed a processor and mounted a hsf. Still makes me a bit nervous. I'll post if i run into any snags. Cheers!
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
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So, starting the new build assembly today. Should be pretty straight forward. But, it's been years since i installed a processor and mounted a hsf. Still makes me a bit nervous. I'll post if i run into any snags. Cheers!
The first attempt to power on is the most nerve-wracking! Good luck!

Very best,
 

MalVeauX

Senior member
Dec 19, 2008
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With AM4 / Ryzen, it can also be the longest. Give it a good five minutes for initial POST, just for good measure, especially if you have higher-speed RAM.
I noticed this on my last build (ASUS TUF x570 based board, Ryzen 3700x, DDR4 3200Mhz RAM). It wasn't 5 minutes, but it was a solid 30 seconds moving through the motherboard's checks and LED lights as it went through 4 phases of figuring out if it was happy or not, then paused on BIOS post. It boots faster after that initial boot, but it definitely made me wonder if it was powering on or not, until I noticed the motherboard LED's going through the CPU, VGA, RAM, etc and cycling through until everything passed.

Very best,
 

PrinceXizor

Platinum Member
Oct 4, 2002
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Wow, thanks! I would have been freaking out w/o your posts. Also, I've never dealt with a backing plate for the HSF assembly. Any tricks to that? This case is nice in that it has an opening for access to the back of the motherboard.
 

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