I'm starting to research what I want in a desktop purchase/build and would appreciate any words of wisdom. I don't want cutting edge price, but I don't want to buy way behind the times, either. First question is regarding discrete GPU vs iGPU.
My usage is mainly:
--a LOT of research, with multiple browser instances, multiple windows, and sometimes tabs into the hundreds
--some hobby video recording and editing--I've fumbled my way around OBS, Avidemux, and Handbrake
--watching streamed movies/tv/live sports, often via HDMI to the tv, while multitasking on research, shopping, etc., via the primary monitor
--NO gaming or significant upload beyond video conferencing--last time I played a game was when my younger brothers convinced me to play Call of Duty with them in the early 2000's. :-)
I've only ever experienced various Intel CPUs w/ integrated GPUs; my current laptop has an i7-8550U. Considering my usage, would there be benefit from a basic discrete GPU, or would funds be better allocated to the best CPU w/ iGPU I can afford?
No, you don't need a graphics card from what you list as what the PC is for.
My additional advice is to beware of just getting the top end CPU and get the next higher instead. The Intel i9 and AMD Ryzen 9 levels are both hot and overkill for what you've listed. Look at the i7 or R7 levels.
I would agree, it doesn't sound like a GPU would be much of a priority for your description. The main thing to note with any sort of video recording software is you'll want to ensure it's set to encode off your CPU and it should work fine, as some software like that will default and try to work off graphics card encoding.
Thank you both so much for weighing in! I appreciate the tips on CPU selection and software settings, too.
You're welcome, if you have any other questions, please let us know.
The i7-12700K bundle deal is calling my name, even though it's quite powerful. That many cores/threads seem like they will make me a happy multi-tasker for many years.
I've played with the PC Builder tool (ugh, the forum won't let me post a link)
CPU: (1) Intel Core i7-12700K Alder Lake 3.6GHz Twelve-Core LGA 1700 Boxed Processor - Heatsink Not Included ($273.98 EACH)
Motherboard: (1) MSI Z690-A Pro WiFi DDR4 Intel LGA 1700 ATX Motherboard ($229.99 EACH)
RAM: (1) G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 PC4-25600 CL16 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit F4-3200C16D-16GVKB - Black ($39.99 EACH)
Power Supply: (1) Thermaltake Smart Series 500 Watt 80 Plus ATX Non-Modular Power Supply ($41.99 EACH)
Heatsink: (1) DeepCool AK400 WH Performance CPU Cooler - White ($30.99 EACH)
Surge and UPS: (1) CyberPower Systems Standby Series UPS (SX550G) ($54.99 EACH)
I'm not interested in overclocking, and, with no intention of getting a GPU, a I've chosen a 500W PSU, as the 80+ Bronze/Gold, higher wattage options seem excessive. Please advise if this is a mistake.
Is that a decent Cooler, and does it come with thermal paste, or do I need to buy a tube separately?
If I decide to upgrade the bundle's 16GB RAM to 32GB, is there a relevant performance difference between having 4x 8GB sticks as opposed to 2x 16GB?
I have some old laptop HDDs that I'd like to install in addition to an M.2 SSD I have—is there anything to be cautious about when putting older drives in a new build?
I'm shopping around for small, plain metal ATX case to use and will make sure to have some fans.
Many thanks for any words of wisdom!
You can get a 500W power supply if you want to but those ThermalTake "Smart" series are really, really low quality. Please get a good brand. Power supply quality is important. The whole computer is, you know, run off the electricity provided by the power supply. Microcenter carries (Grade A) SeaSonic GX series in only 650W and (Grade B) Corsair CX series in 600W.
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