Go budget or all in? — Micro Center

Go budget or all in?

WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
edited May 5 in Help Choosing Parts
True to my name, I'm fighting with myself over which build to go for.  I made 2 build lists on here and the difference between them in price is $300. Not a huge difference but significant enough. The main difference between the builds boils down to the motherboard and video card. Went from the AMD x570 to the older B450 and from NVIDIA 2060 to 1660 Super. I also put in a less expensive PSU and a SATA SSD instead of m.2 in the budget build (to avoid heating issues as the budget motherboard lacks a heatsink for the m.2).

What I'm trying to tell myself is do I want the more expensive build to "future proof" for newer games coming out later (like Cyberpunk, for example), or am I really ever going to play it? I don't do a lot of PC gaming and what gaming I do are older games (uh, classics) on a 1920x1200 monitor. I'm pretty sure I'll pick up the new Elder Scrolls game when it comes out, plus possibly Starfield and Half-Life 3 (kidding, but it'd be nice).

My current rig is the older i5-2500K Sandy Bridge on a Gigabyte Z68X board with a GTX 970 card. So, yeah, pretty old and time to upgrade. Thought about keeping the giant 850W PSU (used to run SLI), but that's old too and overkill for the new build.

EDIT: Links to my builds...
BUDGET: https://www.microcenter.com/site/content/custom-pc-builder.aspx?load=5c6b453a-1e4e-43eb-ae07-992bcb4d6531
LAVA MONSTER: https://www.microcenter.com/site/content/custom-pc-builder.aspx?load=ddeffdfe-8dc1-4817-abab-029e9757d0ec

Comments

  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    Hello @Waffler! Welcome to the Community. 

    First off, I'd like to say you hit me with a nice dose of nostalgia because I used to rock an old i5-2500k and a GTX 970 a few years ago. Got a lot of good years out of that 2500k. 

    I noticed you didn't include the cost of Windows in your build, if that's a consideration for you. Keep that in mind since it's another $140 if you planned to buy a copy. 

    Personally, if you plan on keeping on iteration of your build for a long time, I would go with a higher end setup now if you have the budget for it as it can save cost in the future. While the 1660 Super is a good entry level 1080p gaming card, it's still entry level, and I would bet that a brand new Elder Scrolls game will have decent graphics requirements if you want good settings. Plus, you never know if there will be other new games you get interested in. 

    In terms of performance, the CPU probably won't be any better or worse on the X570 than that B450 board you chose (there's a small chance it could perform differently, but I don't know enough about the quality of that particular B450 to say). I personally like having more features on my motherboard, but realistically performance differences would be minor at best.

    The SSD, in reality, won't make any noticeable difference. Unless you plan on doing a LOT of high volume data transfer (think moving large 4K video files) across another high-speed connection, you won't get any benefit from an NVMe SSD. Your boot times and load times will be practically the same.

    If you do decide to go with a budget build, I would actually recommend you stick with the higher quality power supply as a good PSU purchase now can last you a very long time. Cases will last forever as well, I'd get one that suits your preferences appropriately. 
  • AlexSAlexS admin
    Waffler said:
    Half-Life 3 (kidding, but it'd be nice).
    You got a laugh out of me, sir.  Well done. 
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    TSTonyV said:
    Hello @Waffler! Welcome to the Community. 

    First off, I'd like to say you hit me with a nice dose of nostalgia because I used to rock an old i5-2500k and a GTX 970 a few years ago. Got a lot of good years out of that 2500k.

    It's still kicking pretty good for me. It helps that I cool it down with a massive Cooler Master heatsink (looks like a V8, actually) in a giant Antec 1200 case with all the fans. Yeah, I have it considerably overclocked to a good 4.2 stable. Could probably do 4.5, but didn't want to push my luck with frying the thing with a little too much voltage. It's running cool even now at 30c (helps that I just cleaned out the case filters). I used to run two 8800 in SLI back in the day. The case is still awesome, but hate the work to clean the filters and it's just a monstrosity on my desk now and I want something smaller.

    I noticed you didn't include the cost of Windows in your build, if that's a consideration for you. Keep that in mind since it's
    another $140 if you planned to buy a copy.

    Plan to use my existing copy of Windows 10 Home 64-bit right now on a fresh SSD. Use existing 1tb SSD and 1tb HDD as drives for music, pictures, back-ups, etc.

    Personally, if you plan on keeping on iteration of your build for a long time, I would go with a higher end setup now if you have the budget for it as it can save cost in the future. While the 1660 Super is a good entry level 1080p gaming card, it's still entry level, and I would bet that a brand new Elder Scrolls game will have decent graphics requirements if you want good settings. Plus, you never know if there will be other new games you get interested in.

    Good point. I really have no plans to upgrade once I build it, not for a long time or if I'm forced to by some unforeseen problem (like a crispy and fried component). I may yet spring for a 2060, but the extra $100 or so keeps making me question it. Mind you, I'm still on a GTX 970, so the 1660 is still a quantum leap forward for me. Plus, 1920x1200 is not the highest res monitor around, but I like it (seriously, the Dell U2415 is vastly underrated, you can't beat the value of it).

    In terms of performance, the CPU probably won't be any better or worse on the X570 than that B450 board you chose (there's a small chance it could perform differently, but I don't know enough about the quality of that particular B450 to say). I personally like having more features on my motherboard, but realistically performance differences would be minor at best.

    This kind of settled the argument for me. I believe I'll stick with the B450, but a higher end version of it that has dual band Wi-Fi built into it.

    The SSD, in reality, won't make any noticeable difference. Unless you plan on doing a LOT of high volume data transfer (think moving large 4K video files) across another high-speed connection, you won't get any benefit from an NVMe SSD. Your boot times and load times will be practically the same.

    Thanks, this settles that for me. SATA SSD then.

    If you do decide to go with a budget build, I would actually recommend you stick with the higher quality power supply as a good PSU purchase now can last you a very long time. Cases will last forever as well, I'd get one that suits your preferences appropriately.

    That's why I'm opting for the gold certified PSU from PowerSpec. Semi-modular is very appealing to me as I doubt I'd need all the connections (although I'll end up using all 4 SATA ports, it looks like).

    You might wonder why I'm including an optical drive. I RIP music CDs I buy into flac format. MP3s just don't do it as well, especially for live/classical music. Cheaper to buy the CD and RIP it rather than buy the flacs. Plus, I have some old games on CD/DVDs I might want to play now and then!

    The updated build is practically identical to the Lava Monster one except for the motherboard, GPU, and case fans. Having all those fans might seem like overkill, but I get pretty paranoid about heat inside the rig, so I want to be sure it stays nice and cool. Think the CPU heatsink I selected will be ok if I decide to overclock the CPU to 4.0?




  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    Made a final build (I think?) for what I'll end up with
    https://www.microcenter.com/site/content/custom-pc-builder.aspx?load=3511df34-b268-4c1d-8d8d-da1861604f1b

    I plan to use my existing GTX 970 video card for now and wait until later to spring for a new 2060 or 2060 Super marked down. Who knows, maybe I'll end up getting it anyway. Either way, this build makes it super affordable for now to buy when I'm ready and upgrade the video card at a later time. Not too crazy about having to resort to an external DVD/CD, but its not like I use it that much, mostly for ripping CDs to FLAC files and an external drive should do that fine nowadays. Really like the idea of a small footprint on my desk.

    No idea when I'll buy the build, but will probably wait until business picks up after this coronavirus thing blows over and everything's in stock. Black Friday anyone?
  • TSMikeWTSMikeW admin
    Looks like a good build all around. I might spend another $30 or so and upgrade to the 1TB NVME drive for the increased disk performance. We're supposed to get the next gen Nvidia cards later this year. That should drop the price on the RTX 2000 series considerably.
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    I thought about the NVMEs, but I was a little scared off by the heat and wondered about durability. Any word on those issues?
    Definitely waiting on the video card. Kicker is I can still re-purpose my old rig into an Ubuntu machine or something for the kids or sell it for a decent price to offset the cost of the new one.
  • TSMikeWTSMikeW admin
    Haven't seen many failures due to overheating with the Gen3 NVME's recently. The Gen4 drives pushing 5GB/s can get pretty warm, they include attached heatsinks to mitigate this.  I've been running the Inland Gen4 for about four months, no issues with the temps. If you decide to look at one of the NVME drives, let me know. I'll see if I can get some stress test results for you.
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    It's not so much the heat that concerns me as the durability, but heat plays a role in that. I guess the bottom line I want to know is which lasts longer, SATA SSDs or the NVMEs?
  • IanIan admin
    Waffler said:
    It's not so much the heat that concerns me as the durability, but heat plays a role in that. I guess the bottom line I want to know is which lasts longer, SATA SSDs or the NVMEs?
    It is hard to say because we would hope both type of drives would last as long as possible, but based on temperatures, a 2.5" drive would not be running as hot. 
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    TSIanL said:
    Waffler said:
    It's not so much the heat that concerns me as the durability, but heat plays a role in that. I guess the bottom line I want to know is which lasts longer, SATA SSDs or the NVMEs?
    It is hard to say because we would hope both type of drives would last as long as possible, but based on temperatures, a 2.5" drive would not be running as hot. 
    That and I read somewhere that NVMEs are more likely to corrupt files than the SATA brethren. That said, I'm still waffling between the two. I do already have a relatively recent 2.5 1tb SSD and an older 1tb HDD in my rig right now. Also an external 1tb Passport (you can't back up enough, I say).
    Mostly I want a new SSD for a fresh install and minimal programs running.
  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    For the NVMe corruption issues, are you referring to some of the reports of PCIe devices having issues with X570 boards several months ago? If so, those issues should pretty much be fixed by now with BIOS revisions and Windows/driver updates that have been put out. 
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    TSTonyV said:
    For the NVMe corruption issues, are you referring to some of the reports of PCIe devices having issues with X570 boards several months ago? If so, those issues should pretty much be fixed by now with BIOS revisions and Windows/driver updates that have been put out. 
    No, just in general. I've also been reading that for most people, the performance gains between NVME vs SATA are minimal, or am I wrong? I need to do some research on the durability between the two, like the differences in TBW. Also, I guess heat won't be too big of an issue as the case I'm buying allows for additional fans to be installed, which I plan to do. I'm always paranoid about heat, it helps that it'll be in my cool basement.
  • TSTonyVTSTonyV admin
    edited May 8
    You're not wrong. NVMe drives have the advantage in sequential read/write speeds, but those only apply when you're transferring data. So if you move a lot of large data files regularly, then NVMe would be better (assuming you're transferring across another high-speed connection or to another high speed device). 

    Otherwise, in general use they're about the same. Things like booting your computer and loading applications utilize random read/write and the differences in random read/write between SATA and NVMe are minor at best. In fact, with an NVMe you'd be booting slightly slower (though it'd only be by about a second or two at most). 

    PCIe 4.0 drives can get very hot, but that's not usually too big an issue if you have good airflow, and it's much better for the 3.0 drives. 
  • WafflerWaffler Cleveland, OH
    Yeah, I think I'm going to stick with the SATA SSDs. Sure, I write and transfer large amounts of files sometimes (typically backing up music and pictures), but it's not often, and I use Macrium Free for the rest of the backing up. I care far more about stability and durability over performance, but try to strike a happy medium that satisfies both. A balanced machine tends to last a nice long time.
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