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Some system advice needed

Discussion in 'New to PC gaming & upgrade advice' started by RandomMonkeH, 18 Oct 2019.

  1. RandomMonkeH

    Associate

    Joined: 18 Oct 2019

    Posts: 99

    Location: U.K.

    Hello All,

    I'm looking to build a new PC in the next few days for light to moderate gaming and general productivity and want it to last me a good few years. However, the last time I built or overclocked anything serious the Athlon XP 3200 was the thing, so I'm a little out of the loop!

    To complicate things I've managed to impulse buy a PowerColor RX Red Devil 5700XT for £400 - seemed like a good idea but now I'm not too sure given I really want to play Unreal Tournament, which I understand favours Nvidia.

    For the rest of the system I'm planning on going for a Ryzen 3700X - but I'm not sure on mobo and memory options.

    I've looked at B450 X470 and X570 boards - it seems X570 makes sense despite the price tag. I would also like something with half decent audio for use with my AKG headphones without resorting to a DAC or sound card. Not too fussed on WiFi, but good LAN and Audio is a must.

    The Gigabyte Aorus pro ticked all the boxes, but I've seen a lot of horror stories with dead and bricked boards and BIOS hell on GB x570. I've also looked at the TUF and Steel Legend, as well as Tomahawk MAX on the B450.

    I would like 32GB or RAM (seems like 2x 16 sticks is the best combination), and I understand 3600 is the sweet spot, but not sure on timings or brand recommendations.

    Other parts I'm considering

    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2
    Kingston A2000 NVMe
    Couple TB of WD spinning rust for general storage

    Any help or feedback greatly appreciated
     
  2. snips86x

    Capodecina

    Joined: 14 Nov 2012

    Posts: 16,900

    Location: Close to Swindon, but not Swindon

    What is your budget?
     
  3. mikeyw85

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    Joined: 18 Oct 2019

    Posts: 93

    I putting together a system at the moment, which is the first one i've build since 2011. So, not quite AthlonXP 3200 territory, but still a while ago.

    I've gone in on a bit of a budget, with the idea of upgrading bit by bit. Anyway, it's currently:

    Ryzen 2700X - Obviously not as fast of efficient as a 3700X, but it was about half the price.
    Asus B450 TUF plus gaming - Seems to do what I want from a motherboard and for a tenner under 100 it's a bargain really.
    Radeon RX 570 4GB - A bit of a weakness but good bang-for-buck at £120 and will be the first thing to upgrade.
    Corsair 16GB - 3200 C16 stuff. I think you're right to consider 32GB as it'll come in at some point.
    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G1+ - A certain online retailer is selling for £80 atm
    Samsung Evo 1TB and 256GB - I could have put more thought into the choosing of these, but they seem solid enough.

    From what I understand the MSI B450 Tomahawk is a good board. It was my first choice until the Asus became on offer so I got that instead.

    Thanks for mentioning Unreal Tournament, I didn't know there was a new thing.
     
    Last edited: 18 Oct 2019
  4. RandomMonkeH

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    Joined: 18 Oct 2019

    Posts: 99

    Location: U.K.

    Flexible but not unlimited is probably the easiest way to describe it.

    I haven't got a set figure, but I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount for diminishing returns.

    For example, the difference between the Aorus Pro and the Elite is around £40, which I'm happy to pay if it means I get a better quality board (layers, reinforcing etc), better VRM and Audio chipset, but I don't see any point in going to the Master or the Extreme as it doesn't seem to gain me anything, especially on a 3700X. Spending £700 on a motherboard for a £300 chip doesn't make any sense to me.
     
  5. RandomMonkeH

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    Joined: 18 Oct 2019

    Posts: 99

    Location: U.K.

    Looks like a solid build you have there Mikey.

    I don't know if the UT issue is a big thing - but there seems to be a few complaints around games using the UE4 and AMD cards. I suspect most of this is buggy drivers and lack of support from game developers - hopefully something they will fix, otherwise I've bought an expensive paperweight!

    The worry I had with the B450 is again, lots of BIOS issues. I understand the Tomahawk MAX now has a 32MB BIOS and is 3000 compatible out of the box, but the audio isn't great and I'm happy to pay a bit more for a better board. However, a lot of the X470 boards don't appear to be much better than the B450 unless you get up to the price of the X570 boards, so I thought I may as well go for one of those.

    Ideally I would have liked to waited a bit longer and see what the B550 boards look like, but I really need to have the system built by the end of the month.

    Finding a reasonably priced 3600 32GB memory kit that isn't quad isn't easy either, the ones I have found haven't had great timings.
    Would I be better off getting 3200 dual kit instead? Or going with a quad kit at 3600?

    I don't really want to drop to 16GB, as I think for future proofing 32 will become the norm.
     
  6. Quartz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Apr 2014

    Posts: 11,272

    Location: Aberdeen


    Relax, you've made a good choice.

    Unless you're an audiophile motherboard audio is generally good enough. If it proves to be not good enough, just get yourself an add-in card or USB device. Or your monitor may have an audio output into which you can plug your headphones.
     
  7. RandomMonkeH

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    Location: U.K.

    Thanks Quartz, I really hope so! It's the most expensive graphics card I've purchased - but I'd really like AMD to do well (and not just because I bought one!)

    I know a DAC would be the best solution, but I was aiming for something integrated but just a bit of a step up from the RT ALC8xx, Ive seen it mentioned the RT ALC12xx range are noticeably better, and some boards have support for driving higher impedance cans, which my AKGs would also benefit from. Not really wanting to go full audiophile, but I do use headphones a *lot*, so a nicer chipset seems a worthwhile investment.

    The B450 Gaming Pro Carbon looked pretty good for audio and feature set, but apparently it seems a bit of a lottery on flashing for Ryzen 3000, so I dropped that one off the list too :(
     
  8. RandomMonkeH

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    Joined: 18 Oct 2019

    Posts: 99

    Location: U.K.

    Well my RX 5700XT has just landed, and after trawling through a load of forum topics on BSOD, Black Screens, down clocking and driver issues I'm almost tempted to send it back unopened. :( Buyers remorse perhaps.

    Meanwhile I'm still on a search for a decent motherboard and memory combination for a 3700x. I've seen mentioned a lot of the 5700xt issues can be fixed by running motherboards in PCIE3 mode, so perhaps x570 makes less sense now.
    Any recommendations for good x470 boards which can reliably support 3rd gen?

    Hmmm I'm sure choosing hardware never used to be this difficult.
     
  9. Quartz

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    Joined: 1 Apr 2014

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    Location: Aberdeen

    The MSI B450 Tomahawk Max and MSI B450 Mortar Max are the usual recommendations.
     
  10. RandomMonkeH

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    Location: U.K.

    What would be a good 32Gb kit for the B450?
     
  11. mikeyw85

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    Posts: 93

    Like I said i'm a bit out of touch, but i'd probably go with Corsair Vengence LPX Black (2x16GB) 3200MHz C16 at £209.99
     
  12. an0nym0us

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Apr 2019

    Posts: 1,140

  13. an0nym0us

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 15 Apr 2019

    Posts: 1,140

    I wouldn't have chosen that motherboard due to its bad VRM design.

    At the ~£90 range the MSI B450M Mortar Max is far better value, despite it being micro-ATX.
     
  14. RandomMonkeH

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    That does look very interesting. I gave up looking for 3600 C16 at a reasonable price but it looks like the Crucial E die clocks better than the Corsair (A die?), so maybe that's the way to go.
    Although I've always had good service from Corsair RAM in the past.
     
  15. RandomMonkeH

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    Location: U.K.

    I was really hoping to find something with a better VRM, more features and a bit more future proof, but the Tomahawk Max is looking like it really might be my best bet - although I understand the v33 BIOS is bugged on that too at the moment. Classic AMD.:D
     
  16. an0nym0us

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    Joined: 15 Apr 2019

    Posts: 1,140

    Many of the Corsair RAM kits use Hynix memory, but not all. I've seen a few SKUs of Corsair RAM that have used Samsung B-die, but not that many and also tend to be much more expensive.

    Micron E-die (Rev E) is likely going to be easier to overclock than Hynix memory if you'll be using it with a 3rd gen Ryzen CPU. It's also great value for money.
     
  17. RandomMonkeH

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    Location: U.K.

    Just to update, the shopping list is now:

    3700XT with Prism Cooler (I think the stock cooler should be good enough?)
    B450 Tomahawk Max (still debating swapping this for an x570 board such as the Asus Tuf or an x470 Crosshair)
    2x 16GB Kit of Crucial Ballistix Sport LT BLS2K16G4D32AESB
    1TB Kingston A2000 NVMe
    EVGA SuperNOVA 850 G2 (upped from 750 to give plenty of headroom)
    PowerColor Red Devil 5700XT (still undecided between this and a 2070 super)
    WD 4TB Red

    Does this look sensible? Anything you would change?

    If I stick with the Max, I might consider adding a soundcard or DAC into the mix, perhaps the AE-5 or EVGA Nu.