Build for modern gaming rig

JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
edited September 2020 in Computer Gaming
I thinking about building myself a new gaming rig for the first time in ten years. There is new technology available now that wasn't a consideration so long ago (e.g., water cooling CPU/GPU, NVMe SSD, M.2 vs. PCIe) and decisions that I would not have needed to make (e.g., AMD vs. Intel chipsets, Windows vs. Linux) that concern me. However, I'm encouraged by the recent publication of price-based build recommendations such as this one from PC Perspective. The upcoming retail holidays in the USA might have some good discounts on components that needs to be cleared out of the warehouses. I'm also considering several hot-off-the-fab components as well.

Anyone else looking to build themselves a new, high-performance PC system right now?
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  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited September 2020
    If you're building one now. As in buying all the parts:

    AMD CPU, Ryzen would be good.
    nvidia GPU - 3080 is a great price to performance card but you'll need to wait for a little bit on that card. If buying now, I'd just get a 10 series till you can get a 30 series. the 3080 completely blows the 2080 ti out of the water for half the price.

    Watercooling is an expensive road to go down but the satisfaction of building your own cooling loop is worth it. But if you're looking for more maintenance free and less worrying experience, I'd recommend air cooling.

    Generally for taking a pc underwater, one fan's worth is good for component. Two if you're overclocking. ie: a 120 mm radiator for a CPU. 240 mm radiator for an overclocked CPU. 480 mm for an overclocked cpu and gpu.

    If it wasn't for the fact I hated seeing my components swimming in heat while playing games, i'd just keep them air cooled... because my external radiator setup isn't easy to move. XD

    It really just depends on what you plan on doing with it. Are you going for super high framerates at the highest visual settings and overclock - Watercooling might be right for you.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Yes, Ryzen 9 3900X (or XT) for the CPU and I was leaning towards the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 for GPU. Video editing and raytracing will be in this build's future in addition to game-playing. There are closed water-cooling systems for the CPU, but I'm not sure what water-cooling can be used on the 3080.

    IBuyPower is a very good site for creating a build.
  • spiderjerichospiderjericho CCNA, CCNP Enterprise, CISSP, CASP, SEC+, Pentest+, CYSA+, CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, CISM, VCP 6.7 San DiegoRegistered Users, Member Posts: 869 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Good time to build. I built one back in March with the 2070 Super, 3900X, 64 GB of RAM (for labbing), NVME and 2 TB HDD.

    Id wait to see what AMD has in store for their next generation CPUs and GPUs. Should announce something next month I think (don’t quote me).
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited September 2020
    Yeah, CPU's you can get AIO with varying sizes - Corsair is what I'd recommend. If you want a GPU watercooled "aio", you'll need to get a Hybrid cooled GPU. Yeah, a 3080 would be something I'd be looking into. Be sure there'll be a watercooled block for the 3080 with all the sales around it.

    I'd recommend just getting a case, put a custom loop in it instead of relying on AIOs.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Eh, the nexgen CPUs will be too expensive for me. A Ryzen 9 3900XT  at $476.99 is my upper limit.

    It looks like the EVGA RTX 30xx series comes with a heavy-duty cooling solution. Maybe all I need is a CPU cooler.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    it seems as the 3080 is near the top for heat under load. It's very possible that you won't have any issues with the card with only air cooling. If you don't get performance throttled while gaming, I wouldn't bother with watercooling. I seen my clock speed drop using my 1080 ti using an air cooler - Corsair Carbide 540 is my current case. I thought it would be able to handle it but it got too hot and started to crash. Since watercooling, no crashing. I also overclocked it as hard as I could :3
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,236 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Yes. I have a 2011 rig that would have been replaced this summer had I not spent that on lab extensions. I was thinking about just buying an empty case to get the ball rolling and to force my hand (Fractal Design has been excellent). Will be a Ryzen build for sure. Waiting for the holiday season -- that's a good idea I think I'll grab the CPU and a mobo around then. Might spring for micro ATX form factor this time around.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
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  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Black Friday deals. We're so close now, might as well wait.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    edited September 2020
    It looks like Amazon Prime Day may be on 10/10/2020 and many other retailers might join in for a  big retail holiday. I don't know how that will affect Black Friday, which is now the entire Thanksgiving week--if not the entire month of November. From what I remember, there are no real discounts on computer components after Black Friday, only entire computer systems.

    I do like the idea of buying a (larger mid-sized) case now and adding to it as I buy components over the holidays. Anyone have a recommendation of cases with a lot of headroom and airflow?
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hm. There's a few questions I have for you:
    1. Do you plan on just having an AIO, or do you think you'll go watercooling down the road?
    2. How much harddrive space?
    3. Do you want rainbow RGB?

    See for me, I've been eyeing up the Corsair 1000D or Phanteks Enthoo Elite . Because I want something that I can move into if I become homeless and also have watercooled.

    For people with more space needs, I'd recommend...:
    Phanteks P500A
    Lian Li O11 WGX or O11 Dynamic XL
    Corsair 4000D
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,231 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Black Friday deals. We're so close now, might as well wait.
    I wish there were black friday deals for my bills that month lol
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, SPLK-1002, SC-200, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2022 Goals: Taking most of the year off.
    Certs: EnCE
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Hm. There's a few questions I have for you:

    1. If the GPU card I end up with has its own good cooling solution then I'll just go with an AIO for the CPU.
    2. Probably just a 1TB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 SSD to start. (No spinnie stuff in this baby!)
    3. I really don''t want to spend extra money on RGB for a machine that will just end up under a desk. (Although, the Lian Li O11 Dynamic XL case looks awesome to house a full RGB build! Hmmm...)
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited September 2020
    I would still recommend a spinnie to hold extra stuff unless you've got the cash for the store games on new storage technology. I store all the games I have bought. Just in case I want to play something I can just play them :P

    I'd recommend just watercooling it man. For enthusiast people, you won't be satisfied if you don't build your own loop. I know it's been on my brain since the 90s when people were still using car radiators and ghetto rigging everything together.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • chrisonechrisone Senior Member Member Posts: 2,231 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Come early November we should start a BlackFriday deals page. List out all the deals we know about. 
    Certs: CISSP, OSCP, CRTP, eCTHPv2, eCPPT, eCIR, LFCS, CEH, SPLK-1002, SC-200, AZ-900, VHL:Advanced+, Retired Cisco CCNP/SP/DP
    2022 Goals: Taking most of the year off.
    Certs: EnCE
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    edited September 2020
    I might have multiple, internal SSDs to physically segregate OS and data (especially VMs). I just don't want to see my new rig hesitate for 2-3 seconds while it waits for an external spinnie to wake up.

    I'll start a separate placeholder discussion for posting any deals that we spy.
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,236 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Oh yeah black Friday forgot all about that.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    And speaking of OSes: does (or has) anyone run Linux on their primary gaming system? Pros and cons of doing so?

    It looks like gamers suggest dual-booting Windows/Linux rather than running Linux as a VM in Windows. Dual-booting is so 1990's and I'd prefer not to go back to doing it. In fact, I'm wondering what I will loose if I ditch Windows altogether.
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,236 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I've been running Linux as a primary system for probably going on 5 years now. Steam has worked great, and of the 375 games I seem to own, when I apply the Linux filter that number drops to about 150. Some will probably run on Wine but I usually don't bother. I paid for a license to Crossover Linux and this fills the void that Steam doesn't -- replayed all the S.T.A.L.K.E.R games on Crossover plus all the high res stuff. It can get tricky though. Plain vanilla Skyrim works fine on Crossover, but I never had the patience to get a ton of mods to work properly like that so there's one disadvantage.

    I'm curious about how GPU passthrough performance might be for say, a VMware Windows10 VM running with Ubuntu as the hypervisor but my current system is too dated to see if that's any good.

    One use case for Windows and why I'm considering dual booting is virtual reality. The VR selection under Linux is dismal these days and I'm considering getting into that.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Ah, VR stuff is best on Windows. I really should have realized by now that this new rig would be VR-capable, so maybe dual-boot is its future.

    And thanks for the pointer to Crossover Linux.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    So I found this on the Wikipedia page for CrossOver:
    On October 31, 2012, CodeWeavers had a second software giveaway, this one entitled "Flock the Vote". CodeWeavers promised to have such a giveaway if 100,000 American voters would promise to vote on election day, in a nonpartisan bid to encourage activism. More than 100,000 people pledged, so CodeWeavers allowed any person in the world to download and register a copy of CrossOver Linux or CrossOver Mac.
    I wonder if CodeWeavers will do the same thing in 2020; worth keeping an eye out for.
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg CompTIA A+, Network+. Member Posts: 2,489 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Dual boot OSs. I haven't heard of that for a while. I just run Windows and virtualize if I need Linux machines. I don't like to fiddle with over complication these days.

    VR is so worth it man. I had a Oculus Rift when it first came out. I sold mine not too long ago but I'll be looking for the newer models when I buy. Screen Door effect was really bad on the first generation models. I guess it's not so much of a problem now and that is exciting.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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  • wd40wd40 CISA, eJPT, MCP, MCTS, CompTIA x 6 Member Posts: 1,017 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited September 2020
    In the other thread

    chrisone linked to Vmware.

    Workstation 16 Supports DirectX 11 and OpenGL 4.1

    Workstation 16 will support running games and apps with Direct3D version 11, otherwise known as ‘DirectX 11’, or OpenGL 4.1. Users can now allocate up to 8GB of vRAM to your 3D accelerated guest to maximize gaming and 3D app performance. (vms must be configured for 16GB of RAM or more to unlock the 8GB vRAM option.)



    I have workstation Pro 15 now, I am not paying 99$ for the upgrade, but if there is a good discount I might upgrade.

  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    VMware Workstation is up to 16? I think my last upgrade was to 7. I don't even see my license keys on my vmware.com account page anymore.  :p
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+ CCNA R&S CCNP R&S/Enterprise/Collab Member Posts: 998 ■■■■■■■□□□
    I had issues with Wi-Fi drivers when I went straight Linux on a laptop.  I imagine you’ll be using a wired connection with a desktop, but it’s something to be aware of if you planned on using WiFi.

    If you do any type of virtualization, then you’ll want to pay attention to the virtualization features of the processor you pick and make sure it supports what you want to do.  The last time I built a pc I tried running ESXi as a VM and then install a VM inside of ESXi.  My initial processor didn’t have the right type of virtualization support and I ended up buying with the necessary features.  In the end I stopped messing around with after I got it working, so I guess it was kind of a waste.

    I would try to get a motherboard with at least one USB3.2 Gen2 port.  Also, you might want to get a motherboard with the latest pcie standard.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    I was thinking of the very expensive combo of the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi ATX and Ryzen 9 3900X or XT. I'll have to check if ASUS has Linux drivers for all the features on this mobo. I think most CPUs made in the last ten years support the latest in virtualization, including the Ryzen series.
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,236 ■■■■■■■■□□
    pcpartspicker.com is pretty awesome and my first time every using. They have some historical trend charts for when parts went on sale. Looks like there was a price drop for the 3900X, back in Jun - July right around when the 3900XT came out, and they say Jun/Jul is the norm, so probably that's a good spot to buy the CPU. But instead of waiting all the way until Jun 2021, AMD is announcing their plans for Zen 3 on October 8, and it's supposed to be out this year. Thinking there will be a sweet spot window for either the X or XT coming up in the next few weeks.
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    edited October 2020
    It looks like Proton is a Valve project for porting games to Linux using Wine. ProtonDB is crowdsourced reviews describing the compatibility of games with Proton and Steam Play. The  Crossover Linux people are involved with Proton as well.

    CodeWeavers Blogs: Wine, CrossOver & Proton — What's the relation?

  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,236 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Looks the plan of waiting for the latest generation of AMD CPUs/GPUs to be available, and then snagging a deal on last gen AMD didn't work out so well for me. I did manage to order a 3900XT/5700XT at the  mere "regular" price of $450 each. One week later and neither can be had for less than $600 because a perfect storm of AMD-a-geddon is happening between scalpers, the latest gen of consoles, and crypto-miners grabbing up stock of basically everything.
    A+, Network+, CCNA, LFCS,
    Security+, eJPT, CySA+, PenTest+,
    Cisco CyberOps, GCIH, VHL,
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    Microcenter had the 3900XT for $399 so I grabbed one. I also nabbed the Cooler Master 240R and Asus Hero VIII to go with it.

    Surprisingly, PSUs have become the hard-to-get item. I was looking for a Corsair RM750 or 850, but they were gone a while ago and there are none to be had at a reasonable price. I'm picking up a Seasonic Focus GX 850W 80 Plus Gold ATX Fully Modular PSU at Microcenter today instead. Now I just need to decide if I want to settle on the nVidia 3070 or wait until the 3080 becomes available at a tolerable price.

    It's now dawning on me that I might not get my dual-booting gaming rig completed until 2021 unless I'm willing to forego better pricing.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,477 Admin
    So I went over to Microcenter to pick up my reserved Seasonic PSU and saw they had Corsair RM750's on their shelves--although not listed as IN STOCK on their website--but no RM850. I really wanted to future-proof with at least an 850W PSU. Then I noticed several ROG STRIX 850W 80+ Gold PSU's on the shelves for a very low $185. (A typical price for these PSU's is $225). I decided this PSU was destine for my new build.

    Things are so crazy with GPU cards that Microcenter actually locks them away in display cabinets rather than put them on open shelves with all the other components. Although Microcenter gets new stock trucked in every day--literally every day--there is no telling when 3070's will arrive or how (very, very) quickly they will be snapped-up.

    Realizing how far off the 3080 would be for my rig, I had a mini-epiphany to simply buy an nVidia Asus GEFORCE GT1030 GPU (for $80) and use that as my GPU in my new build, and upgrade to a 3080 when the prices approach reasonable to me one day. The 1030 is a much better GPU than what I'm gaming on now, so it's still a big step up for me GPU-wise and it gets my new rig rolling.
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