Question Seeking leads and advice: "The Last PC" (building project)

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,312
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I'm 74+ years old. Every day, I see my dear sweet old Moms slowly sliding away. She's such a sweet little old lady when she's had her daily Xanax.

My own memory -- in my cerebellum -- is starting to get flakey. I used to build a new PC once every couple years -- annually when all my extended family lived nearby. People may be moving away from desktop PCs, but I don't like doing my online banking with my thumbs and a magnifying glass to read the cellphone.

And I long ago jumped on the over-clocking bandwagon. But we know today that there's no reason to overclock anything anymore, but for high-end RAM spec'd to be "overclocked".

I've got spare mobos, RAM and a processor to build another system with 5-year-old Skylake technology. This was a project I envisioned a year ago. Cleaning house, I finally gathered all the parts for that project and put them away carefully in a Rubbermaid box from Home Depot. It's in the garage, safely tucked away.

But now, seeing how MS is treating us so cruelly in refusing to provide support for Skylake and Kaby in Win 11, I'm starting to think I could drop a Grand (maybe less?) into a processor, motherboard and RAM. Assuming an ATX spec, it would all fit into the other hardware set aside for the the Skylake project.

Usually, I take six months to investigate my choice of parts, and the current Kaby Lake box I'm running is a testament to my diligence.

But I've got diaper-duty, medical appointment scheduling, short-order cook work and a zillion other things. My eyesight is getting worse. I have to wear special glasses to read my Windows monitor with any of my former speed and comfort.

So I'll ask for recommendations. I want a "K" processor (Intel) which uses indium solder between the IHS-heatspreader and the processor die. It can be "hexa" or "Octo" -- even "deca" but I can't see how I'd need ten or twelve cores.

I want an ASUS motherboard. Not necessarily top-end, but with top-end phase-power design. Thus, I want the CPU and the motherboard to be fully over-clocking capable, even though I'm not likely to pursue it as seriously as I once had.

I incline toward G.SKILL RAM. It doesn't have to be extreme-high-end OC RAM, but it should be OC RAM above the Intel chipset spec.

What chipset? Depends on the processor, but it should be a "Z" model. I haven't kept up with any of this. Did I hear about Copper Lake, Rocket Lake, and What-cha-ma-call-it? Sure. I don't need THIS year's processor; last year's may do just fine.

There's a pattern among classic movies and TV shows: "The Last Ship". "The Last Picture Show". This movie may be "The Last desktop PC". By the time the next OS won't run on this proposed system, I could be dead, or beset by any number of disabling problems. So I think I'll call this "The Last PC".
 
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BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
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Thanks, folks! Z-- SIX-ninety?! That's a "step up"! I haven't kept track.

A lot of the upper-tier ASUS boards are designed to a MIL-spec, like my Sabertooth Z170 S. I'll need to find one with good phase-power-design.

I've had exchanges with JackMDS over the years, so I will definitely investigate his observations and thoughts about shoe-horning Win 11 on these "dated" Skylake (Kaby) processors. It was my understanding that they used the same Skylake cores on subsequent generations, until some point. Did I see somewhere that a few folks were dissatisfied with the new core design? Well, I'll look into this. My threads on "Memory and Storage" explain what I'm currently going through just to keep my Kaby going.

Who was the guy who did those ground-breaking de-lidding experiments several years ago? I forgot his handle, and haven't seen him lately on the forums. . . .
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,312
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Two posts in a row, but I needed to attract the attention of those contributing so far.

Looking at the 12th generation Intel options, I can see I'm likely going to buy my first Maximus motherboard. And we're looking at Alder Lake processors -- i7 and i5 primarily.

Did intel switch over to Indium solder with their Rocket Lake 11th gen processors? Like I'd said, if it's year-old technology, I'm not salivating over the latest and greatest. I can see "deca-core" and dodeca-core. 16-core is a bit more than I'd need, as I finish my sunset years and slide slowly into the grave . . .
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
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It sounds like the i5 12600K is perfect for you. VRMs on the Strix are excellent. BTW, the Maximus line is expensive, and serious overkill considering you have no plans to seriously overclock with expensive or exotic cooling. Even the more value oriented TUF Gaming has beefy VRMs.

Here is the list of STIM CPUs from Intel going back to 9th gen - https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000037841/processors/intel-core-processors.html

And in my consider opinion, there is no reason, with your budget in mind, to build anything older than 12th gen from Intel. The 12600k and even the ASUS TUF Gaming Z690-Plus WiFi for $250 at Newegg (19hrs left on the sale, as of this posting) is a great pick. The STRIX is honestly overkill for the i5. But you spend where and how you want. I just can't bring myself to overspend on a board; not being a hardcore overclocker myself.

I thought about recommending B660 since you have no intention of pushing the CPU. But you may yet, somewhere down the road, decide to juice it a little more. Better to have a good Z board just in case.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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A lot of the upper-tier ASUS boards are designed to a MIL-spec,
i built several PCs with the Asus Gryphon Z87 board back in Haswell era, all light use. Two dead boards so far.

Obviously all things fail eventually but I'd say these were premature deaths compared to the typical longevity of my PC builds for customers (e.g. IIRC all but one of my AM3 builds are still going, plus an Athlon 64 AM2 build).

Considering that model board had a 5-year warranty (the first dead board barely made it beyond the warranty IIRC) compared to the Asus norm for that era of 3 years, I'm not overly impressed and therefore I wouldn't put much stock in the 'mil-spec' label.
 

BonzaiDuck

Lifer
Jun 30, 2004
15,312
1,187
126
i built several PCs with the Asus Gryphon Z87 board back in Haswell era, all light use. Two dead boards so far.

Obviously all things fail eventually but I'd say these were premature deaths compared to the typical longevity of my PC builds for customers (e.g. IIRC all but one of my AM3 builds are still going, plus an Athlon 64 AM2 build).

Considering that model board had a 5-year warranty (the first dead board barely made it beyond the warranty IIRC) compared to the Asus norm for that era of 3 years, I'm not overly impressed and therefore I wouldn't put much stock in the 'mil-spec' label.
A worthy observation that should be added to everything else I know. Maybe the Gryphon (was that an mATX?) was too removed from upper-tier quality, I wouldn't know. The TUF model lines seem good, for the Sabertooth I've been using.

DaPunisher is probably wise to suggest I should continue to avoid paying Maximus prices if I can. The Sabertooth Z170S wasn't even the top Sabertooth Mark I model, but I've been impressed with it -- also thinking of our colleague's remark about the VRMs. Whatever one pays, it's always nice to get a board without flaw from the beginning.
 

AlltheWay LeeWhy

Junior Member
Jun 24, 2022
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Well, my two cents, if you enjoy playing with superfast memory and tweaking around a bit in your bios, I would strongly consider an ROG Maximus motherboard. Yea I know they can be pricey, but if your daily apps benefit from high-mem bandwidth.

For my needs using my rig as a work computer, I'd never get any ROI from the Maximus Extreme or Extreme Glacial super-expensive boards, although some enthusiasts do buy them. I prefer the Hero and Apex, the "bottom end" of the Maximus lineup? lol yea I guess. :)

Currently running a Z590 Apex, 11600K little 6-core i5 and Gskill 5866Mhz CL21 daily, an overclock of the Gskill 5333Mhz CL22 mem kit.

I thoroughly enjoy the speed while working, but yea it's not for everyone. Just my two cents. :)

addendum: If you can wait a few months 'til purchase, I'd go with a Z790 Apex and Raptor Lake CPU - 13600K, 13700K, or 13900K, I mean if you've already decided on a Maximus motherboard.

IMG_0506.JPG
 
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igor_kavinski

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2020
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Whatever one pays, it's always nice to get a board without flaw from the beginning.
What's the big rush anyway? Zen 4 and Raptor Lake are on the horizon. Just 4 to 5 months away. Your existing system is working great. I would strongly advise you against buying something that will feel old in a few months (especially if you are the type who happens to read reviews regularly).

Even if you don't keep yourself up to date on the latest in hardware, I don't see how you can not feel bad if 4 to 5 months could mean a difference of 20-40% extra performance for almost the same amount of money.

Go with AM5. Even if it's your last PC, you can keep upgrading it with new CPUs every few years to breathe new life into it.
 
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AlltheWay LeeWhy

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Jun 24, 2022
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What's the big rush anyway? Zen 4 and Raptor Lake are on the horizon. Just 4 to 5 months away. Your existing system is working great. I would strongly advise you against buying something that will feel old in a few months (especially if you are the type who happens to read reviews regularly).

Even if you don't keep yourself up to date on the latest in hardware, I don't see how you can not feel bad if 4 to 5 months could mean a difference of 20-40% extra performance for almost the same amount of money.

Go with AM5. Even if it's your last PC, you can keep upgrading it with new CPUs every few years to breathe new life into it.
Agree 100%! :)The 2nd half of this year, is such an outstanding time to buy a new CPU whether Intel or AMD, don't buy Alder Lake, when you can get 15% greater single thread and 30% greater multithread performance for about the same money. And Raptor Lake will be the "very last" monolithic Intel CPU family, next year they move to Meteor Lake and chiplets, who knows what that will do to memory latency...

I have nothing against AMD CPUs, but classically Intel has offered higher DDR4 bandwidths and lower latencies vs AMD. That all may change very soon as AMD moves to DDR5, who knows - such an exciting time to be an enthusiast.

I kind of look at it this way, I've had such an amazing experience with ROG boards, yet they've NEVER offered an AMD ROG 2-dimm motherboard, ever. When Asus finally does manufacture an AMD-based Crosshair Apex 2-dimm motherboard, then I'd take a good hard look at AMD, but until then, Intel just does it for me, 4.5sec to 5.0sec boot times! Yea, I don't even see the ROG splash screen, memory so fast it just boots straight to windows.

I'd go AM5 if your apps need the multithread support. I'd go Intel if your apps benefit more from single-thread frequency and high-mem speeds.
 
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AlltheWay LeeWhy

Junior Member
Jun 24, 2022
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Yes, 2dimm slots vs 4dimm slots "in theory" increases the ability to reach higher stable mem frequencies.

Only 2-dimm slots on the motherboard, that third slot is for what Asus calls a DIMM.2. It's a simple riser card that can mount (2) NVMe M.2 SSDs, pretty cool but as you can see I'm not using it at the moment.

Here's a bit of a dusty picture. lol, open air benches always need blower dusting. lol

Yea, just a riser card mounts into that empty slot, only 2dimms on the motherboard.

Also, just got the RTX workstation video card, really happy with it, was the final component to arrive for the build. :)
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AlltheWay LeeWhy

Junior Member
Jun 24, 2022
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Not here I haven't posted. I posted at ROG. I'll put up some screenshots of the DDR4 speeds, but I don't want to hijack the OP's thread - we are here to help him after all.

5333Mhz CL19, 5600Mhz CL20, and 5866Mhz CL21 are all very stable and easily achievable with the Gskill F4-5333C22D-16GTES mem kit, it's a Hynix kit.

I just set XMP, then adjust frequency CL and voltage respectfully. Haven't ran many benchmarks, although the speed is very apparent. When using the 5333 CL19 config doesn't feel like much, but 5600 and 5866 feel almost instantaneous, every operation and function with my work apps.

And the little i5 11600K does 5.5Ghz every core. Pretty good for only $300. :)

These shots are when I was still running the AMD workstation graphics and air cooling - moved to custom water only recently.
5333Mhz CL19 5.2Ghz CPU.jpg
5600Mhz CL20 5.2Ghz CPU.jpg
5866Mhz CL21 CPU 5.1Ghz.jpg
11600K 5.5Ghz.jpg
 
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AlltheWay LeeWhy

Junior Member
Jun 24, 2022
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Wow!!!! I didn't even know that was possible with DDR4. Benchmarks, please. Lots of them! Geekbench 5 and Rapydmark (on high setting) too, if you can.
I'll run those benchmarks next week for you, no problem, I use that ROG riser card for all testing so my work setup on a separate SSD does not get corrupted. I'll send the benchmarks to your mailbox. :)
 
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AlltheWay LeeWhy

Junior Member
Jun 24, 2022
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And here's the business side of the water loop. Noctua 140mm Industrial fans and HWL 280mm SR2 Multiport rad with Alphacool Phobya gaskets.

NO Reservoir. I just didn't want one, and they aren't necessary. And the D5 pump is around back, external and fully isolated. :)

Sometimes, you like a build and sometimes you fall in love with a build.
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