Help Building a Gaming PC

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MrCarlos

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I'm looking to build a modest gaming PC. I'm not new to building PCs but I am new to building a gaming PC. I went online and started looking into the components and was overwhelmed with all the choices I had to make. I don't particularly care about 4K gaming so as long as I can build a rig that can do ray tracing and run the latest games at 60fps/1080p. My budget is around $1500 and I'm pretty sure for a video card I want to go with the RTX 2070 Super, but there seems to be a wide range of 2070 Supers going from $499-$999. Do I even want an M2 drive instead of an SSD? Which M2? Which SSD? Cooling? Power supply? CASE?! HELP!

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sombre

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Justin258

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#3  Edited By Justin258

$1500 isn't a modest gaming machine.

But yes, for that price range you should have a M.2 drive, preferably one that's NVMe (M.2 is a form factor, NVMe is how it communicates). Storage access speeds have been a focus of Sony's and Microsoft's new consoles, which means the PC versions are almost certainly going to expect much faster access speeds. Those of you still on mechanical drives, I'd strongly suggest setting some money aside for one of these storage devices. While we're on the subject, if you're building a new PC, just avoid mechanical drives altogether at this point. Those should be reserved for mass storage speeds that don't need fast access (example: backup, your music and video collections, pictures, documents, etc.)

I also would lean towards a Ryzen 7 CPU.

A little side note - the 2000 series Nvidia cards have been out since 2018. Rumors are that Nvidia are getting close to releasing a new series of cards and they're probably going to be much more powerful than current cards. I would hold off on buying a video card right now and see if Nvidia announces anything by the end of the year. I mean, a 2070 Super will probably continue to perform pretty well for a few years, but waiting a few months might net you much more performance for the same price.

EDIT: Sombre above linked you to a website called Logical Increments. I won't pass judgement on that site because I've never heard of it, but you should also look at PCPartPicker, a site that makes it really easy to put together and buy the parts you want.

EDIT:

but there seems to be a wide range of 2070 Supers going from $499-$999

Different manufacturers do different things with GPUs. 2070 Super refers to the GPU on the card, while the card itself could have different features. Different form factors (some are small, some take 3 PCI slots), different cooling solutions, some have overclocked the GPU and included enough cooling to compensate, etc.

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xanadu

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Even at 1080p my 2070 super struggles to run anything with ray tracing at 60fps. Its a great card for 1440p144hz or 4k60hz but it's not very good with ray tracing at 60fps

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RalphMoustaccio

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#6  Edited By RalphMoustaccio

Frankly, it's a terrible time to purchase a graphics card if you are planning to go the Nvidia route. They're set to unveil the next iteration of the RTX cards sometime in the next month, based on a lot of speculative reporting. They have also apparently stopped production on the chips for some of the existing RTX models, which makes sense if they are tooling up for the new ones. I would strongly suggest waiting unless you really need to build the thing immediately. The new Nvidia cards are rumored to possibly use a new power connection (a 12-pin PCIE power cable) which may require new power supplies. So, if you consider one of the new ones, I would suggest waiting on purchasing a power supply until the same time as the graphics card in case they do require power supplies with the new connection type.

If you are set on the 2070 Super, I agree with Zoofame in that the difference between the models of various prices will be pretty negligible. There will be some minor clock speed differences in various models, and cooling solution differences, but I'd suggest just finding one that you like the look of that is made by a reputable brand. Thankfully there aren't any real shitty manufacturers that are licensed to make Nvidia cards. The difference in prices that you are seeing on the 2070 Super may be a result of the aforementioned production stoppage for some chips, making it now effectively discontinued.

The case selection will likely be determined by your choice of cooling solution for the CPU. Some tower air coolers can be quite large, so you need to make sure that the case has sufficient clearance form the motherboard to the side panel for the cooler. With liquid cooling, you need to see where the mounting locations are. Generally, the preferred mounting location for liquid cooling radiators is on the top of the case, with the heat being pushed out of the case. If you mount it on the front intake, which may be the only option on some mid-tower cases, the air being pulled in to the case will already be warmer than ambient, which can have a significant impact on the GPU temps. I'd suggest checking out some case reviews to get an idea of the advantages and disadvantages of different ones, including things like thermal performance and noise levels. I personally like the reviews that Gamers Nexus and Hardware Canucks do, but there are plenty of other outlets that do thorough reviews.

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doerr007

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Yeah I'd wait a month or 2 as amd and Intel bringing out new stuff shortly and even if doesnt interest you should bring the prices down of current products.

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ll_Exile_ll

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RalphMoustaccio

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@ll_exile_ll: Well, I hope the inaccuracy of the previous reports proves accurate. Honestly, nothing would surprise me.

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tropesage

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I'll just add that for power supply's you should go with semi-modular or modular. I went with a non-modular for my first build and found it to be very annoying.

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RalphMoustaccio

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@ll_exile_ll: Yeah, looks like that rumor wasn't a complete fabrication, for the Founders Editions of the Ampere cards, at least. The good news is that it sounds like adapters will be included so a specific power supply isn't required.

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Zelyre

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#14  Edited By Zelyre

I would hold out if you could. 3x series cards are right around the corner. If you want to enable raytracing on games, I would for sure hold out for this. The 2070 is what I would consider end of life and I would expect the 3060 to match/exceed the performance at the same or lower price while consuming less power.

If you want Ryzen, Zen3 for desktop is also right around the corner. Even if you want to go Intel, this should cause Intel to respond by lowering prices.

If you're looking to keep up with the next gen of consoles, I would say fast NVME is a must. A 2,000MB/S+ NVME drive doesn't carry as huge of a premium as a SATA SSD now while being many times faster.

If I were building something now, I'd consider:

Samsung 1TB 970 EVO NVMe M.2 (I've heard rumbling of a NAND price drops coming. But $160 for a super fast 1TB NVME still sounds good to me.)

SeaSonic Electronics FOCUS GM 850W 80 Plus Gold ATX Power Supply

Cooler Master Hyper 212 RGB Black Edition or Noctua NH-U12S chromax.Black. The CM212 works on Intel/AMD, works well, is quiet, not expensive, and has adapters for socket type, so it's my generic answer. Installation is also fairly straight forward. I've been using the non-Black Noctua on my i7 6700k overclocked to 4.7ghz for years and have been pleased.

Case is entirely on you. That said, I just worked with someone that used this NZXT case for their first build. We did it over Zoom and he never struggled with space. There were channels in the back for cables and his first build came out surprisingly clean.

NZXT H510 Mid-Tower Case

If you're a student with an @edu email address, there's a chance you get Windows 10 Education for free, depending on how your school licenses MS products and services.

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TurtleFish

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One additional note - it's better to spend more money on a better video card than get a better CPU. Almost every game out there will bottleneck on the GPU before CPU, unless you're doing something really odd. And the NVIDIA press conference that supposedly talks about the 3000 series parts is on September 1st. :)