DIY : Lessons from My First PC Build – oliver hu – Medium

What I learnt from building my first PC.

I’ve wanted to build my own PC for a long time but never got a chance. After a drastic drop of SSD/RAM/CPU price recently, I built my first PC last month in October.

The reference I used is cause it is much easier to follow. The only difference is I switched to a pair of G.Skill RGB memory 8GB memory to make it more colorful 😀

The monitor I bought is Alienware 3418W, which is operating at 100Hz and can be overclocked to 120Hz.

The primary goal for this PC is to play most games at 2K 120Hz.

A couple lessions learnt:

0. A ultra wide monitor definitely worths it for gaming & working

The price for a 34 inch monitor has dropped significantly, if you don’t need a GSync monitor, you can easily get a decent 34″ 60Hz monitor ~$500. If you target this at gaming as well, IMHO, if worths the price to spend another $500 to get the 120Hz + GSync.

  1. Ryzen 2700X is not the best CPU for playing games.

Most games are kind of single threaded.. so you don’t need a powerful multiple core Ryzen 2700x CPU. Also, if I turned on Game mode (disable 4 CPU cores), Starcraft II will hang for 5 minutes at the onboarding page before becoming responsive. Monster Hunter: World also crashes sometimes when I switch to Game mode for Ryzen 2700X. Everything is stable in Creator mode (normal mode) tho. What I heard from most folks is that a Intel Core i5–8K is actually better, esp when i7–8700 has dropped to roughly $300 as well, you should consider an Intel CPU for gaming.

2. Most likely, you don’t a liquid cooler.

GPU is the bottleneck for most games, you normally don’t need to overclock your CPU, you might want to overclock your GPU a bit, but the liquid cooler is for CPU.

3. You need 1TB SSD and it is cheap.

Nowadays it easily costs 40GB for a single game. If you don’t want to do house keeping for your games, just buy a 1TB SSD. The price is surprisingly low now. $110 is enough for a 1TB SSD.

4. You don’t need a Platinum Power Supply if you only play a couple hours of game per week.

This is the most regretful thing.. I didn’t understand what Platinum/Gold/Bronze mean for a Power Supply, I thought that was for the durability of the PS, however, it is for the efficiency of the power supply. If you don’t play games everyday for hours, a Gold PS is far enough. The price is a Gold rating PS is ~$60 while for Platinum it doubles the price at $120+.

5. It always worths the money to spend $150 to get a GTX 1080 Ti rather than getting a 1080.

As mentioned in #2, GPU is most likely the bottleneck, people even demoed to play games at 4K using i7–3 series with 1080 Ti and CPU is rarely a bottleneck. Considering 1080Ti is ~$600 comparing, it is $300 cheaper than 2080 with more CUDA cores, I’d recommend 1080 Ti.

6. You’d love a RGB configuration.

A colorful box is fascinating, you’d love that!

That’s it! I’m not planning to give a tutorial on how to DIY your own box since I really don’t want to disassemble my box and reassemble it again. It is actually fairly challenging to build your PC the first time. It took me roughly 4 hours to build it (1 hour was spent to understand how to open the brand new Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 RGB Game Case). The advice is to always refer to Youtube for guidance!


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