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First build in a while - opinions on what to reuse and suggestions for new parts

thorn

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Sep 23, 2008
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South Shore Montreal
All the excitement of recent hardware releases (despite lack of availability) and the fact my rig is starting to show it's age (25-30 fps in Cyberpunk, struggles in BL3 as well), got me itching to build a new rig.

The Basics:

Budget - 2250 CAD before taxes

Location - Canada (Montreal area)

Use - Largely gaming. With the lockdown I have done a little streaming. I also occasionally dabble in photo/video editing. However it remains that gaming will be the main purpose and I play a variety of genres (RPG, shooters, RTS/TBS, platformers, etc..). While I certainly no longer have the time to play as much as I have in the past, when I do I want to be able to really enjoy it and be able to turn up the settings/eye candy.
Also, I find myself keeping my rigs longer than before. Current one I have had for 5 years and would target something similar with whatever I build next.

Resolution - Earlier this year I bought a 34" Ultrawide (2560*1080). I had been skeptical for so long about them, but really enjoying it. Great for both gaming and productivity. I will likely have this for a while, but can see myself maybe going up to 3440x1440 prior to next upgrade.

Timeline - honestly I'm in no hurry, in my mind it will happen this year but depending on some other things going on it may get pushed into next year.

Overclocking - initially no. Perhaps some further down the line if it helps squeeze more time out of the rig.

Theme/"bling" - I am looking to go black and white, though depending on what I reuse this might need to be tweaked 😅. Also, I want to minimize the RGB as much as possible.

The Build:

Very high level I'm looking at building around a Ryzen 5 5600X (haven't gone AMD since the early 2000's) and an RTX 3080 (my last team green card was a 7800 GT...). However as you'll read below I am open to suggestions.

The Breakdown (and possible hardware reuse):

CPU:
As mentioned above I am looking at going with a Ryzen 5 5600X. If AMD releases a 5600 and price/perf is better without giving up too much perf I would probably go with that.

Mobo: Unless there are particular brands/models I should avoid I don't really have any special requirements here. Well, aside from possible colour scheme.

GPU: As mentioned above I am looking at going RTX 3080 for two main reasons 1- DLSS, now I know AMD is going to come out with their equivalent, but don't yet know how that will perform and 2- Ray tracing. nVidia is doing a better job here and I figure at my resolution of choice I can use it and still get decent frames. Now obviously with rumours/possible 3070 TI and 3080 TI and whatever AMD may come out with, and availability, things may change.

PSU: I have been running a Mushkin Joule 1000W for 10 years now (2 builds), I think it may be time to retire this puppy. I am leaning fully modular and probably a 750W 80+ gold

RAM: Here is the first of my reuse questions. Currently I have a set of 16GB (2 x 8) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2400 CL14 (XMP 14-16-16-31-47) and it is a dual rank kit. Doing a little research running "slower" memory but with good timings and upping the infinity fabric frequency can get you similar performance to 3200 or 3600mhz kits. Not sure how many have actually tried this, would definitely appreciate input on this.

Case: I have been looking at the be quiet! Pure Base 500DX and LANCOOL II Mesh (the white versions). However I am debating if I should reuse my Corsair Obsidian 800D (of some fame - it is the one of a kind Hardware Canucks custom case! https://hardwarecanucks.com/forum/threads/hardware-canucks-custom-case-by-mnpctech.28135/). My concern is the airflow and well the case is 10 yo and so are the fans which I would need to replace. It is also a massive case, which is why I am looking more at a mid-tower. I have upgrade the hotswap bays to SATA3 and have the kit to add USB 3 to the front panel but no usb 3.1/3.2 or usb C on the front. It's still a beaut though, however it could probably use a little TLC (a real dust magnet)

Cooling: I have reused the water cooling loop that was part of the original build:
  • EK Supreme HF White CPU Block
  • Limited Edition FrozenQ Fusion Res
  • EK DCP Pump (died on me so I replaced it with a Laing DDC 3.1 Quiet 10W Pump ( MCP350, DDC-T1 ) and EK-XTOP DDC)
  • Black Ice SR1 420MM Radiator
From what I can tell I would need to get a new CPU block, and would need to replace the 3 fans. Obviously costly and I don't know if I want to go custom water loop. So now the question is do I go with a CLC (280mm) or air cooling. Having already experienced a pump failure (though it do go for 5 years), I don't know if I like the idea of having to through out a cooler because the pump died. However, my new pump is still going strong (I think) after 5 years and I would think newer pumps would have improved durability. With air cooling I suspect I may be better off with a newer airflow focused case

Storage: I am going to reuse what I have now (Samsung 850 PRO 128gb for OS, Samsung 860 EVO 1TB for games and a 2TB WD Black HDD for storage). I'll upgrade as I need

Peripherals: Same story as storage

I think I have covered everything. I look forward to any feedback, comment, suggestions and sorry for the wall of text 😅
 

Lysrin

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Mar 10, 2014
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Nova Scotia
Gak! The pics are all broken in the link to your HWC case. I wanted to see it :)

Well of text = good info, so no apologies necessary there I would say.

You are right about the CPU block. Looks like that one only supports up to AM3+ and the 5600X is a AM4.

Air cooling vs custom loop liquid cooling, in my mind, really comes down to if you want to spend the time and significant money on the custom loop hobby, and the aesthetic preference. You have some parts to reuse but even blocks are pricey, especially if you cool the CPU and GPU. These days CPU air coolers are really good, require little to no maintenance, and are very quiet. If you don't mind the look of the big heat sink in your case, some prefer it, then air cooling is the best bang-for-the-buck way to go I think. If you want to do a custom loop for the hobby aspect of it, then it's great. But for pure performance I don't think it is worth the cost. I love mine, it was my first and an accomplishment, but I'll still be debating whenever I decide to upgrade.

AIO or CLC are fine, but personally, having run those too I don't see the point over air cooling except again for the looks. In my build I noticed the biggest improvement reducing PC noise when I water cooled the GPU in my custom loop. If you do a regular CPU CLC it isn't helping with that, but you are introducing the risk of pump failure or leaks, although a low risk. Again for the cooling performance the good air coolers are going to be close if not match the CLC. HWC did just do a video about AIO size that might be of interest if you go that route:

The AMD motherboard world is still a bit mysterious to me with the X variants and the B variants, etc. and deciding what you "need". I have a habit of over-buying the motherboard for the just-in-case future use and then never using the features before wanting to upgrade! 😁 But there are lots of discussion on here about AMD builds and folks who are way more knowledgeable than me who can comment. Even though you are going with what you have for storage, do give some thought to storage support on the motherboards; how many M.2 slots for future, impact on the bus for using various configurations, etc.

For GPU, well you've listed the best of what is available (or available some day...), so you're good there. And 2560x1080 isn't a demanding resolution. If you go up to 3440x1440 you'll definitely be pleased to have a 3070 or 3080, but I'm still running that res fairly well on my 1080Ti so there you go.

Question, what CPU are you upgrading from? Don't think that was in your post. Just to compare what you are coming from when choosing the 5600X.
 

FreeKnight

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Edmonton, AB
Rough look at your build least seems reasonable. 5600x is definitely the price/performance king right now. Definitely time to swap out your PSU. Corsair is probably your best bet on one for price/warranty.

I'd get different RAM though. 2400 is a little too slow for DDR4 at the moment and you can definitely get 3200-3600 reasonably easily right now. Ryzen benefits from faster RAM IIRC as well.

As for the GPU, there's speculation that the 3080 Ti will get announced next week, so depending on how fancy a GPU you want you may want to wait. Most sane people don't expect it to push prices on the 3080 down at all due to supply and demand and the fact that AMD isn't really challenging Nvidia at the top end still, so if you're set on a 3080 there's no reason to delay. Plus availability will be awful if recent history is any indicator.
 

JD

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I'd actually aim for 3800MHz RAM for Zen 3 chips, especially with the new AGESA 1.1.9 that supposedly allows 1800-2000MHz Infinity clocks on more chips.

Definitely agree with getting a new PSU. Might want to go with a 850W if you're looking at top-tier GPUs.

Since you have all the watercooling gear already, unless you don't want to deal with the maintenance, I'd just get a new block and use it.
 

thorn

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Sep 23, 2008
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Location
South Shore Montreal
Thanks for the feedback guys!
Gak! The pics are all broken in the link to your HWC case. I wanted to see it :)

Didn't realise the pics were no longer available. I attached a couple quick pics.

20210108_121950.jpg20210108_121939.jpg

You are right about the CPU block. Looks like that one only supports up to AM3+ and the 5600X is a AM4.

Yeah, I searched around and some people suggested that the mounting bracket for the EK supremacy could maybe be modified. But couldn't actually find someone who did it.
Question, what CPU are you upgrading from? Don't think that was in your post. Just to compare what you are coming from when choosing the 5600X.

I am currently running a i5 6600k and a Radeon R9 390.

Corsair is probably your best bet on one for price/warranty.

I will keep that in mind.

I'd get different RAM though. 2400 is a little too slow for DDR4 at the moment and you can definitely get 3200-3600 reasonably easily right now. Ryzen benefits from faster RAM IIRC as well.

I'd actually aim for 3800MHz RAM for Zen 3 chips, especially with the new AGESA 1.1.9 that supposedly allows 1800-2000MHz Infinity clocks on more chips.

I had a feeling that might be the case. I'll need to familiarize myself more with the infinity fabric.

Definitely agree with getting a new PSU. Might want to go with a 850W if you're looking at top-tier GPUs.

Ultimately it will come down to the GPU. Would a 750W be alright for a 3070 (or possible 3070 TI)?

Since you have all the watercooling gear already, unless you don't want to deal with the maintenance, I'd just get a new block and use it.

I have to admit I definitely don't take care of my loop as I probably should. Maybe what I'll do is go air and keep the water cooling hardware in the event I feel like dabbling in it again.

Any opinions on cases?
 

Lysrin

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That is a mighty and pretty case! 😁

Cases are a bit subjective these days because there are a lot of decent cases in a variety of price ranges. I went from a 650D to a Meshify C and I am very pleased with it.

I'd approach the decision this way, and these are all interrelated of course, and then look at the suggestions people make based on their experience:

1. Budget.
2. Cooling plan - air, AIO, or custom loop will dictate what you should look for in features.
3. Form factor or how large - For example, my current build I wanted to do a custom loop. And I wanted to be able to see the custom loop so I wanted the PC up on my desk. At that point I started looking for cases I liked that gave me what I needed.
4. Perhaps external connectivity requirements (front/top panel, USB-C, etc.).

My personal experience with case brands has gone: some no name beige thing, Antec, Corsair (650D for many builds), and now Fractal Designs.
 

JD

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Ultimately it will come down to the GPU. Would a 750W be alright for a 3070 (or possible 3070 TI)?
Hopefully next-gen GPUs go back to increasing efficiency instead, but it's hard to predict the future...

I would generally say 750W for the xx70 cards and 850W for the xx80 cards. Of course, that's usually with a more power hungry CPU too though, the 5600X leaves you with some headroom as well.

I think the case would still work, make the top fans intake and throw some filters on them, rear fan can be exhaust. I believe you can put a fan down in the bottom too to help bring in some cool air for the GPU.

I recently bought a Meshify 2 XL myself, seems pretty well laid out and built. If you want smaller, you could do the non-XL version. The cases you list are good choices too.
 

draemn

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Fort St. John, BC
  • First off, I'll poke at the water cooling aspect. There are two things that I think about:
    1. Why do I want to water cool & is the trade off worth it? Water cooling costs more, there's a slightly increase in maintenance/risk of part failure, more work to build, etc. The benefits are mostly temperatures & aesthetics as good air coolers are extremely quite as well.
    2. What impact is the case going to have on noise if I go air cooling? Water cooling tends to offer more flexibility in using poorly designed cases just because they look awesome where as air cooling will make you compromise between case selection or noise and thermals.
Generally, I don't like to water cool anymore because I don't need the thermal advantage and I really like the simplicity of sticking a good air cooler on and forgetting about the rest. I did some water cooling because it was the "next fun thing to try" and now I've moved on to custom sleeving my PSU and custom painting components (haven't started that project yet, so don't ask).

  • As for components that you were debating keeping
    • Case: keep it if you really want, but you also have the option of finding a "collector" who will cherish it and you are free to get whatever you want
    • memory: if you're going to spend the cash on a 5600X & 3080 (or even 3070) you should be upgrading your memory end of story.
    • PSU: 10 years is time to retire that. Not worth the risk/hassle in a high end gaming PC imo. It could be right at the end of its life, hard to say.
    • storage: sure, keep em all and wait around until it's worth upgrading to a PCIe Nvme drive to use with gaming (when GPUs will talk with your nvme drive directly)
So, not much left to keep. Storage drives and maybe your case.

  • Graphics cards and my 2 cents
    • For a 1080p ultra-wide, you're going to get phenomenal value from a 3060 ti and be able to push > 144hz (I have no idea if DLSS is limited to only certain 30xx series GPUs)
    • 3080 is 200% overkill, but since the price/performance ratio isn't that different from a 3070, it leaves the door open to it as being a good option if you're not going with the 3060 ti
    • You always get better value buy spending less now and upgrading your GPU in the future vs buying the best now and keeping it for longer
So for the graphic card, that is your choice, but right now the 3060 ti offers the best value in performance/$ and can handle almost anything a 1080p ultra-wide 144hz can throw at it. The 3070 is in a rough (value) spot at 1080p and is only a good upgrade if you bump up to 1440p. The 3080 is ONLY worth it on insanely high refresh rates for 1080p imo. At this point in time with your budget, you'll get more benefit saving money to upgrade your RAM over a 3080.

  • Motherboard and X570, B550, etc...
    • You can totally get away with a B450 mobo for the 5600X no problem except having to update the bios... that said, most of the B550 motherboards are at a price that doesn't leave much room for B450 to be a better choice
    • $220 is the MOST you need to spend on a motherboard to get all the features and the headroom to aggressively (if you can even claim that about AMD) over-clock.
    • I honestly can't think of any reason to not go with B550 unless you really want to save some money by going B450. Still, last I checked, there are some B550 boards that are just as cheap as B450, but your choices are a lot less.
    • The only motherboards in the b450/b550 range I've really heard complaints about are the gigabyte because their BIOS is crap and some of their boards are very poor for over-clocking on.
So my summary, go B550 for a motherboard, stick under $220 unless you want to pay extra for looks

  • Power supply, 650w is the recommendation for a 3070 GPU
    • 650w is fine especially on an AMD system as they are much more efficient.
    • There initially was a problem with nvidia cards drawing too much power at times, but my understanding is the drivers now prevent this from happening, so you shouldn't need to over-provision.
    • This is floated around the internet a lot as "should I buy xxx GPU" https://linustechtips.com/topic/1116640-psucultists-psu-tier-list/ so take a look but use a dose of salt as well. It's not the 100% end all be all, but for your needs anything A or B is going to be fine imo.
So for power supplies, 650w is fine unless you get a 3080, then bump it up to 750w.
 

thorn

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Sep 23, 2008
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South Shore Montreal
I really appreciate all the suggestions and different perspectives. It has been so long since I built a rig that there are definitely things I haven't considered.

  • First off, I'll poke at the water cooling aspect. There are two things that I think about:
    1. Why do I want to water cool & is the trade off worth it? Water cooling costs more, there's a slightly increase in maintenance/risk of part failure, more work to build, etc. The benefits are mostly temperatures & aesthetics as good air coolers are extremely quite as well.
    2. What impact is the case going to have on noise if I go air cooling? Water cooling tends to offer more flexibility in using poorly designed cases just because they look awesome where as air cooling will make you compromise between case selection or noise and thermals.
Generally, I don't like to water cool anymore because I don't need the thermal advantage and I really like the simplicity of sticking a good air cooler on and forgetting about the rest. I did some water cooling because it was the "next fun thing to try" and now I've moved on to custom sleeving my PSU and custom painting components (haven't started that project yet, so don't ask).

If it wasn't for the fact I already had a custom loop I am not sure I would have even brought it up. Having watched a tonne of reviews lately on coolers I can say that air cooling has really come a long way. It is the most likely route I will go, I think it will ultimately come down to if I stick with my current case or get something new.

  • As for components that you were debating keeping
    • Case: keep it if you really want, but you also have the option of finding a "collector" who will cherish it and you are free to get whatever you want

My original thought, before even posting here, was to sell it here so that it stays "in the family" and use the proceeds towards a new case (well really just to reduce the effective cost of the new build)

  • memory: if you're going to spend the cash on a 5600X & 3080 (or even 3070) you should be upgrading your memory end of story.

Seems to be the consensus at this point.

  • PSU: 10 years is time to retire that. Not worth the risk/hassle in a high end gaming PC imo. It could be right at the end of its life, hard to say.

Never even considered keeping it further. I remember when I built my current rig people were saying to replace the PSU. I didn't because I felt it was a low risk at the time. But after 10 years it's time to let it rest ;)

  • Graphics cards and my 2 cents
    • For a 1080p ultra-wide, you're going to get phenomenal value from a 3060 ti and be able to push > 144hz (I have no idea if DLSS is limited to only certain 30xx series GPUs)
    • 3080 is 200% overkill, but since the price/performance ratio isn't that different from a 3070, it leaves the door open to it as being a good option if you're not going with the 3060 ti
    • You always get better value buy spending less now and upgrading your GPU in the future vs buying the best now and keeping it for longer
So for the graphic card, that is your choice, but right now the 3060 ti offers the best value in performance/$ and can handle almost anything a 1080p ultra-wide 144hz can throw at it. The 3070 is in a rough (value) spot at 1080p and is only a good upgrade if you bump up to 1440p. The 3080 is ONLY worth it on insanely high refresh rates for 1080p imo. At this point in time with your budget, you'll get more benefit saving money to upgrade your RAM over a 3080.

I'll admit I had not considered the 3060 Ti even though I recall looking at the reviews and saw how well it performed compared to the 3070. Re-watching some reviews and it does well with ray-tracing at 1080P even 1440p. Considering the 3060 Ti outperforms the 2080 super maybe there is a good chance that in 2-3 years I can do a "mid-life" upgrade for another ~600$ and get better performance than a 3080 - especially considering AMD is providing legit competition now.

  • Motherboard and X570, B550, etc...
    • You can totally get away with a B450 mobo for the 5600X no problem except having to update the bios... that said, most of the B550 motherboards are at a price that doesn't leave much room for B450 to be a better choice
    • $220 is the MOST you need to spend on a motherboard to get all the features and the headroom to aggressively (if you can even claim that about AMD) over-clock.
    • I honestly can't think of any reason to not go with B550 unless you really want to save some money by going B450. Still, last I checked, there are some B550 boards that are just as cheap as B450, but your choices are a lot less.
    • The only motherboards in the b450/b550 range I've really heard complaints about are the gigabyte because their BIOS is crap and some of their boards are very poor for over-clocking on.
So my summary, go B550 for a motherboard, stick under $220 unless you want to pay extra for looks

Great info, I will definitely keep that in mind. A friend of mine actually bought a B450 mobo from Gigabyte and tried to flash the BIOS (he's still waiting to get a CPU...) and thought his mobo was DOA. Turns out Gigabyte doesn't tell you that you need to rename the firmware file in order to load it.

  • Power supply, 650w is the recommendation for a 3070 GPU
    • 650w is fine especially on an AMD system as they are much more efficient.
    • There initially was a problem with nvidia cards drawing too much power at times, but my understanding is the drivers now prevent this from happening, so you shouldn't need to over-provision.
    • This is floated around the internet a lot as "should I buy xxx GPU" https://linustechtips.com/topic/1116640-psucultists-psu-tier-list/ so take a look but use a dose of salt as well. It's not the 100% end all be all, but for your needs anything A or B is going to be fine imo.
So for power supplies, 650w is fine unless you get a 3080, then bump it up to 750w.

Noted.

Again, I really appreciate all the suggestions and the time you guys are taking to respond. I feel like my build is starting to firm up.
 
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