First build in 12 years. Please help.

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Good evening ladies and gentlemen,

Many years ago, with the [H]ardForum members' help, I built this:

https://hardforum.com/threads/new-1st-time-build-research-not-enough-advice-requested.1346074/

If you're bored and you would like to read the thread (it is long and tiring to read), you will see that it has gone through some updates, but it is still quite a fast and functional machine for just about all of my needs, except one: size. The old computer's height and weight are not much less than that of the average skyscraper, and it's an eyesore in my living room where it lives. I had a furniture maker/woodworker help me design and build a solid walnut TV stand and I hope to find something that will fit inside of it.

I need a computer case and guts that serve home theater functions well while also maintaining the functionalities of a common office computer. It will need:

1.) an optical drive (for a Blu-Ray/DVD/CD player/burner
2.) USB 3 up front (at least two preferred - one for wireless keyboard/mouse receiver, one for USB flash drive or USB card reader stick
3.) at least one internal 2.5" spot for SSD boot and programs drive
4.) at least one internal 3.5" spot for high capacity storage drive
5.) wireless connectivity. My current router has G, N, and AC as choices. Bluetooth would be nice too if possible.
6.) USB in back for printers, web cam wire, and anything that wouldn't fit in the case from the optional wish list below but could be found in an external peripheral option
7.) Video card must have an option to hook up via HDMI and (not or) DVI and handle 4K video playback at 60fps. I do not have any components that take DisplayPort, so although that would be nice, I don't necessarily need it unless there is a converter to the aforementioned plugs. There may be days when I need to run HDMI to the TV and DVI to a computer screen simultaneously.
8.) Must be able to run M$ Windows and Office, Video editing and transcoding applications, Winamp (Yes, I still love it), video chat programs such as M$ Teams & Google Hangouts, VLC media player, Google Earth Pro, and many many more low-spec requirement applications
9.) audio output with high quality sound in a variety of surround options. I haven't chosen a replacement receiver yet, but for now I'm limited to Dolby ProLogic, which transmits through analogue stereo output (the green 1/8" stereo plug).
10.) something that won't be unsafe in the warmth of a black walnut TV stand. I don't usually run computers hard, so it's doubtful that I would need a witch's tit cooling system, but if I transcode 4K video or if I ever do VR, I don't want to damage the system with heat.
11.) the shelf space that would be behind the left door of the TV stand in the picture)is 17 and 3/4" wide, up to 10" tall, although there's a magnet in the way on the bottom that I could remove during installation and then replace after, and 18" deep, including any space needed for airflow and plugs/wires. Alternatively, the other open spaces in the middle are 18" depth, 22" wide opening, 7 and 1/4 tall (top shelf) and 8.5" tall (bottom shelf).

Optional, but it would be nice:

1.) a 3.5 drive bay up front (old floppy drive size) for a card reader, but if I don't have that I could still plug in a card reader stick into front USB
2.) Black color case exterior, since many of the other items in the TV stand are black, and I may choose a middle open/doorless shelf if the shelves behind doors are too hot or narrow in width. I could go silver if necessary.
3.) TV tuner card if they still make those that could read my Comcast/Xfinity digital service. A long time ago my old TV card could act as a DVR and also made it easy to change VHS cassettes to DVD. It also allowed me to use the included remote control to run programs such as VLC media player and Windows Media Center/Player.
4.) Specs sufficient to run a decent VR system for educational purposes for my daughter
5.) a way to connect with android phones to easily share files wirelessly and/or screen share
6.) IR receiver (infrared) for receiving remote control input with software that can read it I have an IR relay, so even if the computer case and/or IR receiver is behind a door, it won't matter.

Other notes - the subwoofers on the bottom will be in a garage soon and I'll make something a bit less ugly to take their place. The camera flash really messed up the look of this wall, but it's a good enough picture to see what kind of shelves I'm working with.
If you're still awake after reading this, please give me advice on what to buy. I like things to last as evidenced by my pretty reliable 12-year-old current computer, so I can justify being a bit spendy, within reason, so long as it's not overkill for what I listed above.
AS ALWAYS, WORDS CANNOT EXPRESS MY THANKS FOR THE HELP THAT ALL OF YOU GIVE ON THIS FORUM. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.
P1170335.JPG
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Just for your entertainment, there is a VCR for VHS tapes behind the closed door along with a turntable for vinyl records, and yes, that's a cassette player you see on the left. I've been around for a while, so I still play music from older gear. I bought the brown speakers and the stereo receiver in 1995 and they still sound brand new. The bottom black box woofers are from when I was a teenager before that. Yes, I am old and so is my gear, but it works pretty well.

I would have included specific parts that I was considering, but I don't even know where to start with choices as simple as motherboard size/form factor.

Also, the old system has had its taskbar altered to look like Vista. I don't like Vista's stability, but I did like the taskbar layout with the oldschool quick launch and open window buttons.
 
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defaultluser

[H]F Junkie
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Jan 14, 2006
Messages
13,821
The VR option is really going to drive-up the cost of entry. Otherwise, you could do all of this with an Amd Ryzen quad-core /8 thread Sff, and call it a day. Like this one:

This is an interesting Mini PC starter kit. Upgradable to the Ryzen 2 APUs when they release later this year!

https://www.anandtech.com/show/14251/asrock-deskmini-a300-review-an-affordable-diy-amd-ryzen-minipc

The media center PC is really fallen out-of-fashion, as you have to have a Cable Card external adapter to receive your now encrypted digital cable. Most folks have left the DVRs to the cable companies, or gone with tuner over Wifi.

How serous are you about that VR on your wish-list? That would require you get double the cores, and add a $250 GPU.
 
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swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
That linked system seems to pack a lot of specs in a small box, but unfortunately it's missing many needs such as ability to hold an optical drive and a 3.5" storage hard drive.
It does have HDMI and VGA outs, so that VGA could substitute for DVI since my Samsung 275Tplus monitor has both. I suppose I could get external options for the optical drive, but having it part of the unit would be better. Definately need the 3.5" mass storage drive in the box though.

I realize that I need to make a decision on the VR question. If it's reasonable to do, include a system spec'd to do it. If it would make it insanely expensive or impossible in the HTPC box size, leave it out.
 

defaultluser

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Messages
13,821
Do you play any games that re demanding of your video card?? The fact that you've been using a Core 2 Quad for 10 years tens to point toward "not."

What is your intended target when you say "I want to run VR?" Professional VR interaction, gaming, or just idle simulation?

I's pretty easy to recommend a case though, no matter what you build: a Fractal Design Core 500: plenty of internal space for your 3.5 inch hard drie, and an optical drive slot. The included 140mm fan also moves a ton of air (and there's a mount on the top of the case for two more, if you end-up going overboard here on VR)

https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/core/core-500/black/

You sound requirements can be solved with a USB DAC, instead of the old analo0g sound card. Here's a starter list of suggestions:

https://hardforum.com/threads/looking-for-a-good-budget-dac-headphone-amp-for-gaming.1993142/

Just be aware that if you use Analog instead of HDMI sound, you're going to have to deal with timing issues - might be a better time to upgrade to a high-end digital receiver.

Another thought I just had: if you want to transcode tons of videos, you can pick up an GTX 1650 Super, and get the highest-quality VP9 / HEVC transcodes. You can add a Ryzen 3700x to that to catch any corner cases not handled by the video card. That would give you entry-level VR capability, with the ability to upgrade just your video card for more demanding VR titles in the future!

See here for the amazing Nvidia Turing transcoder:


An excellent price:

https://www.newegg.com/gigabyte-gef...5swf2oc-4gd/p/N82E16814932231?&quicklink=true
 
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Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
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Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
Do you play any games that re demanding of your video card?? The fact that you've been using a Core 2 Quad for 10 years tens to point toward "not."

What is your intended target when you say "I want to run VR?" Professional VR interaction, gaming, or just idle simulation?

I's pretty easy to recommend a case though, no matter what you build: a Fractal Design Core 500: plenty of internal space for your 3.5 inch hard drie, and an optical drive slot. The included 140mm fan also moves a ton of air (and there's a mount on the top of the case for two more, if you end-up going overboard here on VR)

https://www.fractal-design.com/products/cases/core/core-500/black/

You sound requirements can be solved with a USB DAC, instead of the old analo0g sound card. Here's a starter list of suggestions:

https://hardforum.com/threads/looking-for-a-good-budget-dac-headphone-amp-for-gaming.1993142/

Just be aware that if you use Analog instead of HDMI sound, you're going to have to deal with timing issues - might be a better time to upgrade to a high-end digital receiver.

Another thought I just had: if you want to transcode tons of videos, you can pick up an GTX 1650 Super, and get the highest-quality VP9 / HEVC transcodes. You can add a Ryzen 3700x to that to catch any corner cases not handled by the video card. That would give you entry-level VR capability, with the ability to upgrade just your video card for more demanding VR titles in the future!

See here for the amazing Nvidia Turing transcoder:


An excellent price:

https://www.newegg.com/gigabyte-gef...5swf2oc-4gd/p/N82E16814932231?&quicklink=true
It says out of stock, so the price is irrelevant. also, that would be VERY low end for VR... As in if you plan on VR it's probably not worth buying (depending on what kind of VR you're looking to get into).

OP do you plan on gaming or? You said video editing and transcoding. Real time or looking for quality? GPU is great for real time transcoding but CPU still has better quality if you need it (aka, more cores less GPU). What kind of budget are you trying to stay within? There are some ok itx cases that can fit full size dual slot GPUs in your size requirements. Silverstone, in-win, fractal, and others. Really need to figure out how much GPU and how to get rid of the heat in such a small space. I have one mini itx azza case that allows a small laptop optical, my Silverstone on the other hand doesn't but it has an aio cooler to remove heat. Hard to make a recommendation without knowing budget or real uses, but something in the 3600-3700x should easily have your CPU needs covered. There are a few b450 and x470 boards to choose from as well as more than expensive x570's (with b550's coming out shortly, but no clue about what it's options will be available).
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
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Oh, and a cheap/simple example for a case that has a full optical with full size GPU is the cooler master elite 130. Not sure what kind of design you prefer, cube or flatter console style. I have one of each and they both work. My console style has the pcie extension with the GPU laying parallel to the motherboard instead of sticking up (perpendicular). This keeps it low and can still fit full size. My cube is much narrower but taller.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
I really wish they would have mounted the buttons and USB ports on the front. I use the front USB ports on my current box often, and I also use the card reader often, but without a card reader, I could still use the USB stick card reader. Almost any USB stick or plug will make this unit too tall for the TV stand shelf. I guess I could use some adapters or dongles to help out if it ends up being the only option. I found these:

https://www.amazon.com/SuperSpeed-E...rds=usb+3.0+right+angle&qid=1588526989&sr=8-8

They're nice in that they go different directions from each other so that they don't block each other from being plugged in, although one will block the microphone input. I would likely just use a web cam microphone for most of my work and video chat anyway.

or I could use these, but they would angle back instead of forward in this case:

https://www.amazon.com/Right-Angle-...-to-A-Female/dp/B01G8H7I44/ref=cm_wl_huc_item

Still, the power button wouldn't be visible when in the cabinet unless you were on your knees with a flashlight. I would need a sticker or something on the front pointing up. I think I could still make it work though if it turns out to be the best option.

What do you think about this case? It is a SilverStone GD09. Would it fit good components? For example, the processor you are recommending comes with its own included respectable cooler, although I'm not sure if it would be ideal due to it being a down-facing fan and the top of the case lid isn't vented. I would need to know if sufficient space existed between the fan and case top or go with a different cooler. That case manufacturer says it handles standard ATX mobos too, which opens up more options. Is that to say I could have a standard PSU, standard mobo, and a full sized graphics card and still have room for RAM, HDD, SSD, and optical drive? If not, are the smaller motherboards still pretty respectable? Being VR ready still isn't a must, but it seems within reach. I looked at newer versions of this case, but they have a door you need to open to access all of the front mounted stuff, and I don't want to open anything more than the wood door of the TV stand.

Any suggestions for a good optical drive? I just want to play/burn Blu-Ray, DVD, and CDs with open source software if possible. I have done that for years with CDs and DVDs, but never tried with Blu-Ray because I never had the capability. I at least need the ability to play Blu-Ray discs.

Right now, for audio, I have HDMI going to a TV, which sends analogue out to the old stereo receiver. It works well, but I'm hoping to upgrade to a better, digital input receiver during this computer's lifetime. From what I understand, onboard audio is pretty good, at least to human ears if sent over optical or digital RCA-shaped cables or HDMI to a good sound system.

This is another case of "the more I learn, the less I know"... Thanks for all the help and keep it coming if you're interested in sharing some information.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Just now saw the last two posts before my last posts. I'll read and respond soon. I wouldn't want to stray above $1500 if possible, unless there's a very important reason to do so.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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Messages
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The Cooler Master Elite 130 that you recommended looks like it may be good choice, so long as the video card is the only thing I ever want to use for a PCI slot. Do most of these motherboards have bluetooth/wireless, or will I need a card slot for that? I love the three USB and the power button up front. the narrowness of the case could be helpful in my shelf so that airflow will be a bit less limited.

Primary purposes of this box:
  1. MS Office and browser work - including video chat on Teams/Google Hangouts, especially since I'm working at home now. Funny how a living room system became an office system. I have a reasonably strong internet connection and router, so video chat has been good here. Printing/scanning, other boring office stuff, etc. I think low-end specs handle all of this.
  2. Playing media at HD and/or 4K/60Hz including Blu-Ray, DVD, Online streaming, and self-recorded videos at 4K.
  3. Playing music and visualizations from Winamp's MilkDrop and Advanced Visualization Studio as well as some lesser known visualizatoins such as Morphyre (these are not designed for multiple cores, but that's ok.
  4. Creating YouTube instructional videos from PowerPoint slide shows (including a lot of pictures video clips), OpenShot, and other video editors. This includes encoding/transcoding which will flatline all cores at 100% until done. Usually I do this at 1080p, but I record a lot of videos in 4K and may eventually be doing all of my video work in 4K if it becomes more popular. This isn't real-time live feed, so waiting for a processing job isn't a major issue, although it would be nice to be at least reasonably fast.
Secondary (not often) uses for the computer:
Minor photo editing
DVD creating & burning, including menu screens, chapters, etc. although I've stopped using LightScribe for labels
CD creating/burning from Reel-to-Reel, Vinyl, Cassette, and audio recordings from line-in (from musical instruments/microphones that went to an audio mixer then line-in). This isn't done in realtime - files recorded/edited in Audacity then burned separately later.

Gaming is rare for us and if we do get into gaming, we're not looking to get ultra-competitive.

VR is something I'm just learning about in baby steps. If it can be a decent educational and research tool, I'd love to have it. If it is mostly gaming/entertainment only I might not use it as much.

I love that my last box from 2008 is still going strong with only light upgrades. I feel that making it slightly overkill initially really paid off in the long run. I hope I have the same luck with this box.

I still do VCR/VHS to DVD using my old computer's TV card, but I don't really need this new box to do that.

On the topic of the old computer, can I buy a lesser PSU for the old computer and use the TX750 in this new box, or will all the cables not fit in the new box? The old computer's newer video card doesn't even need it's own power anymore.

Thanks so much again for your help. I'm getting pretty optimistic about this.
 

IdiotInCharge

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14,710
Do most of these motherboards have bluetooth/wireless, or will I need a card slot for that?
Look for that in the specs. Specifically, look for Intel WiFi cards; most shipping these days are pretty good, but you'll want to be sure that the WiFi is at least a 2x2 unit.

including Blu-Ray, DVD
Use a Bluray player. Really. Software players are generally terrible. I have three computer Bluray players and none have seen a movie in five years.

VR is something I'm just learning about in baby steps. If it can be a decent educational and research tool, I'd love to have it. If it is mostly gaming/entertainment only I might not use it as much.
Gaming is about it for now. I'd recommend trying it elsewhere if at all possible, because it's difficult for others to judge how someone may respond to it. Some love it, others think it's a novelty. Big issue is that doing it well costs.


Additional thoughts: look at powered USB hubs. For many 'peripherals', this is a godsend.

Look at USB audio interfaces for recording audio. There's a long list of options here, but if audio quality is a priority, a good interface and mic can make or break your viewers' attention, and you'll appreciate the higher fidelity and lower noise for your own recordings. Also, note that these things just 'work' in Windows, and work just like a sound card.
 

Ready4Dis

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The Cooler Master Elite 130 that you recommended looks like it may be good choice, so long as the video card is the only thing I ever want to use for a PCI slot. Do most of these motherboards have bluetooth/wireless, or will I need a card slot for that? I love the three USB and the power button up front. the narrowness of the case could be helpful in my shelf so that airflow will be a bit less limited.

Primary purposes of this box:
  1. MS Office and browser work - including video chat on Teams/Google Hangouts, especially since I'm working at home now. Funny how a living room system became an office system. I have a reasonably strong internet connection and router, so video chat has been good here. Printing/scanning, other boring office stuff, etc. I think low-end specs handle all of this.
  2. Playing media at HD and/or 4K/60Hz including Blu-Ray, DVD, Online streaming, and self-recorded videos at 4K.
  3. Playing music and visualizations from Winamp's MilkDrop and Advanced Visualization Studio as well as some lesser known visualizatoins such as Morphyre (these are not designed for multiple cores, but that's ok.
  4. Creating YouTube instructional videos from PowerPoint slide shows (including a lot of pictures video clips), OpenShot, and other video editors. This includes encoding/transcoding which will flatline all cores at 100% until done. Usually I do this at 1080p, but I record a lot of videos in 4K and may eventually be doing all of my video work in 4K if it becomes more popular. This isn't real-time live feed, so waiting for a processing job isn't a major issue, although it would be nice to be at least reasonably fast.
Secondary (not often) uses for the computer:
Minor photo editing
DVD creating & burning, including menu screens, chapters, etc. although I've stopped using LightScribe for labels
CD creating/burning from Reel-to-Reel, Vinyl, Cassette, and audio recordings from line-in (from musical instruments/microphones that went to an audio mixer then line-in). This isn't done in realtime - files recorded/edited in Audacity then burned separately later.

Gaming is rare for us and if we do get into gaming, we're not looking to get ultra-competitive.

VR is something I'm just learning about in baby steps. If it can be a decent educational and research tool, I'd love to have it. If it is mostly gaming/entertainment only I might not use it as much.

I love that my last box from 2008 is still going strong with only light upgrades. I feel that making it slightly overkill initially really paid off in the long run. I hope I have the same luck with this box.

I still do VCR/VHS to DVD using my old computer's TV card, but I don't really need this new box to do that.

On the topic of the old computer, can I buy a lesser PSU for the old computer and use the TX750 in this new box, or will all the cables not fit in the new box? The old computer's newer video card doesn't even need it's own power anymore.

Thanks so much again for your help. I'm getting pretty optimistic about this.
As mentioned, check specs. I have an ASRock fatal1ty b450 itx/ac which does have WiFi and Bluetooth built in. Itx boards only have a single pcie slot as per the specs. You can find ones with m.2 slots that you can install a wifi/Bluetooth combo in. Again, check specs to be sure. For it's I recommend a fully modular PSU or at least semi modular so you don't have a bunch of spare cables laying around blocking air flow. Getting harder to find GPUs that have DVI, most are HDMI and displayport (adapters are readily available). If you planning for VR, even if just calling I wouldn't go less than a 2060 super/5700xt range (I'm struggling with a GPU recommendation as other than some mini VR your requirements are pretty low). You can pick up a motherboard in the $150 range, GPU about $500, case $100, PSU $125, CPU $300 for a 3700x (8 cord/16 thread, will be very good for your video editing), a decent 4k (UHD) player is like $200, if you don't need a 4k Blu Ray drive, you can pick them up much cheaper. That's about $1200, but the GPU is the most expensive thing so if you really aren't that concerned about games and really don't know if you'll use VR you could pick up a lower end 1660 or similar then upgrade later if you really need it. Honestly if you take out the VR and don't mind a little longer encodes, something like a 3600x and a 1660ti would lower your costs a bit and still do very well with your work loads.
Lots of info, do research and ask questions. Keep in minds these are just examples. A good way is to get on something like pcpartpicker.com and look at put together systems or throw some components together and see what you come up with.
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
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I'm struggling with a GPU recommendation as other than some mini VR your requirements are pretty low
This is what annoys me the most with AMDs APU strategy: the desktop eight-core models still aren't here yet. If you want an iGPU > four cores, you're going Intel.

Which is not something I'd recommend here at all, so it means either tossing in the cheapest thing one can find to hold over, or buying for something that may not be needed.
 

Ready4Dis

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This is what annoys me the most with AMDs APU strategy: the desktop eight-core models still aren't here yet. If you want an iGPU > four cores, you're going Intel.

Which is not something I'd recommend here at all, so it means either tossing in the cheapest thing one can find to hold over, or buying for something that may not be needed.
My struggle was mostly with he doesn't game but wants to play with some VR... There rest of his work load doesn't need more than a 1050ti or RX 570/580... So $125-$150 worth of GPU... If you want to VR you are going to have to step up in the $400ish range, which is a big jump if it's something you may or may not use much. An APU wouldn't do crap for VR, but would be perfectly capable for the rest of the use cases (as would mostly anything recent) That's a big difference in budget, which could be spent elsewhere or saved for other things.
 

IdiotInCharge

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So $125-$150 worth of GPU
Which is about what it would cost to get equivalent performance from an Intel CPU today, if starting from a Ryzen 3700X (which is where I'd start). Any GPU in that range would outrun integrated video from either vendor, so it doesn't seem like it's worth considering an iGPU.

About the only recommendation I'd make is to push for a 1650 or better, primarily for Nvidia's transcoding performance.
 

Ready4Dis

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Which is about what it would cost to get equivalent performance from an Intel CPU today, if starting from a Ryzen 3700X (which is where I'd start). Any GPU in that range would outrun integrated video from either vendor, so it doesn't seem like it's worth considering an iGPU.

About the only recommendation I'd make is to push for a 1650 or better, primarily for Nvidia's transcoding performance.
Yeah, I agree, I think the 3700x is a good buy for him. A 1650 is going to leave a lot to be desired for VR but is definitely up to the task for hardware transcoding, although he said he does some video encoding and not real time, so depending on quality needs may end up using CPU transcoding anyways. iGPU while getting better are still not that great for even low end gaming, forget VR completely. Intel APUs (ok, almost their entire line has GPU built in) are great for hardware transcoding, but you will not get the performance/$ for everything else and if he needs (wants) a GPU for VR then there isn't much point to iGPU.
 

E4g1e

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The problem with the OP's demands is that he would be trapped between a rock and a hard place. Even if he does not game much, he should not have a situation where a single severely underperformance component heavily bottleneck the rest of that build. And the responses that some of you have been giving only promote poor component budgeting, where one way overspends on a CPU but cuts corners big time on everything else in that system (especially the GPU). The hangup there is that at the OP's budget he would have had to settle for a somewhat weakling CPU just to accommodate a GPU that's appropriately performance-matched to the CPU. That's not ideal, either, but it is better than having way too much CPU for the GPU.
 

Ready4Dis

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The problem with the OP's demands is that he would be trapped between a rock and a hard place. Even if he does not game much, he should not have a situation where a single severely underperformance component heavily bottleneck the rest of that build. And the responses that some of you have been giving only promote poor component budgeting, where one way overspends on a CPU but cuts corners big time on everything else in that system (especially the GPU). The hangup there is that at the OP's budget he would have had to settle for a somewhat weakling CPU just to accommodate a GPU that's appropriately performance-matched to the CPU. That's not ideal, either, but it is better than having way too much CPU for the GPU.
I mean, my suggestion was a 3700x with something in the 2060 super range... But if he doesn't game and decides against VR, what's the point in wasting money on a $4-500 GPU? There are plenty of people that happily run with an iGPU or low end GPU that run programs that need lots of CPU power. Check budget, check usages, plan accordingly. If I have a budget and I use my CPU for my tasks and don't game, why would I blow half my budget on a GPU? That said, if I have a budget and I do game, then I can't blow my entire budget on a GPU and get a 2 core CPU either, but if I mined or did deep learning maybe I can run the cheapest CPU I can find with the most expensive GPU. Just because you can't see that not all builds are the same doesn't make everyone else wrong.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
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271
You guys are going to deserve all that is good after dealing with this...

I really should have done more reading before I put you guys through all of this and usually I do. Now I understand why policies and rules are so strictly worded in tech support and other helping forums. I think the biggest problem here is my fault in that I have been too indecisive about VR. For that I apologize. I feel like your ability to help me will be greatly improved by me making a decision on whether or not I will actually use this new build for it. So, Here's my decision on VR (drum roll please):

After doing some reading, video watching, browsing, and other research, I have decided that I will not bother with VR at home for a while. I guess I don't see enough value in VR, still in its infancy if you ask me, to justify the price of everything put together including the computer and all VR gear.

At this point, it looks like creating/editing 4K/60Hz videos will be the toughest thing for this computer to do. I still want ability to do this in 4K though, since I've been recording a lot of 4K content since a 2014 camera purchase and there's a chance it'll become a widespread standard soon.

Now, when taking on big decisions, I remember annoying but true clichés like "think outside of the box"... So, I'm taking that literally with this idea, and I would like your reactions, regardless of how harsh or informative. What if... I used the same the box (current Cooler Master CM Stacker 810 computer case) behind a piece of furniture a few feet away from its current location and just replaced the current guts with new stuff? See attached picture - I would place the tower behind that giant armoire. Here's where thinking outside of the box comes in. All human interface hardware would be peripherals a.k.a. outside of the computer tower. A powered USB hub with a USB extension cord to get to the box, if necessary, could be in the TV cabinet. This would allow for things like the kybd/mouse receiver, external optical drive in an enclosure, and an extension cord tower power button such as this [<--click] could all be in the TV stand. There are commenters on Amazon that were able to lengthen that power button with Ethernet cable too or I could maybe go wireless with this. This would help in a few ways:

1.) I'm no longer limited by the small space of a TV cabinet shelf. This means fewer concerns about cooling and case size/form factor meaning components can be absurdly big and still fit in the case.
B.) I no longer need to buy a case. This means saved $$$ even though I may use the old guts to make a cheap box later.
III.) I may be able to use the old power supply unit, which is 750 watts, saving more money.
Quatro.) I no longer care about the aesthetics of the computer case, since it's hidden. I understand that this takes joy out of many people's case builds, but old farts like me aren't as likely to be interested in building a good looking computer case. And finally,
*****.) Any fan noise concerns will be mitigated by having a giant piece of furniture between the user and the case. This means I can use any fans shy of a leaf blower and not be likely to hear them.

The downsides of this thinkin'-outta-da-box idea are needing to build something that I won't have to access often once built. Sliding the big piece of furniture isn't overly difficult, but it is inconvenient. Also I have to make sure everything in terms of human interface are able to be located outside of the box. The case I have now has filtered intakes (stock in front, added by me in the bottom), so dust cleanout can be less often than an unfiltered case.

Now if you think this could work, keeping costs under $1500 including a quality powered USB hub ($50?), power button extension ($13-$30), and external optical drive ($110) bringing us down to just over $1300, what components would you recommend for a video editing build?:

ATX Motherboard since I have room now,
Processor (and cooler if not included w/CPU)
RAM maybe DDR4 3600, 2x8GB?
(Maybe another 2x16GB in other two slots a few years down the road if necessary),
GPU,
NVMe SSD (maybe 1TB?)
Windows 10
That costs money too :(

Will worry about upgrading sound hardware later if ok and if onboard sound is ok. Sound will come out of GPU's HDMI, won't it? I'd like to continue my current practice for now if it's ok: HDMI from GPU brings sound to TV, then TV sends to stereo receiver.

Already have and may be able to use in the build:

old TX750 PSU, not modular, but plenty of room to hide unused cables in case.
Somewhat newer 8TB "enterprise" SATA HDD
Cooler Master CMStacker 810
USB extension cords
basic Logitech wireless kybd/mouse
TV with HDMI, Monitor w/VGA, DVI, and HDMI (Samsung 275T+)
3 all-in-one printers, all can be local USB or networked with wireless or internet cable
audio extension cords if I want to run a source of sound to the line-in of tower
a USB external wireless networking thingamabobber whatchamacallit. It's in the picture sitting on the computer tower although it's hard to see.

Thanks so much everyone. Your help is extremely valuable to me, my family, and my students at work. Be harsh if necessary and call out any BS if you see it in my post. I'd rather take that than be uninformed and waste money.
P1170343.JPG
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
You can get windows 10 pro from here for like $15, I got a few keys myself from the for sale forums.

Figure about $200 for an x570 board depending on features needed.
Another $150 for 2x16 (32gb total) 3600mhz ram
1TB SSD you're looking at $115 for something like an MX500 up to $200+ if you wanted a better brand. Seeing you want to do a lot of 4k encoding, it would probably be worth spending a little extra on the SSD for a better controller, so I would think $225 range you can pickup a really decent SSD.
This plus a 3900x puts you up to the $1000 mark give or take. If you don't plan on gaming a cheap GPU like an RX 570 or 1650 for < $150. This would allow 1080p games to run ok if you wanted and also allow for some GPU transcoding if you needed it (Nvidia GPU transcoding is higher quality than AMD). This would be right around your budget but obviously your preferences matter as well. This is simply an example and by no means a go buy exactly what I tell you type of thing. I would investigate what software you'll be using and find some benchmarks between different CPUs to see how much difference there is between 3800x, 3900x or even Intel CPUs (9900k or new 10900k) as some programs just do better with them. In general video encoding uses cores well and AMD is ahead by a good amount in *most* cases, again your particular use cases need to be researched. I mean, I do some 4k encoding on my 1600... even a 3700x would blow it out of the water,. But my budget was low at the time so I got what I thought would work for me. When are you looking to put this together?
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
So you mentioned an x570. Well, I already bought an X570 back in 2016 and it cost me well over $6,500.00. On top of that, none of the computer parts I want to use fit it as you can see by looking at my attached picture of it. :wacky:

More seriously,

I doubt I'll ever need more than one simultaneous video card in a single computer tower. Will this matter when comparing and pricing motherboards?
Reviews seem to be mixed on whether or not to go NVMe (vs. SATA SSD) for a hard drive, any input on that? I don't mind paying for one (and of course the motherboard that supports it) if it would make a noticeable difference from the current boot drive I have:
https://www.newegg.com/samsung-850-evo-500gb/p/N82E16820147373
As far as timeline is concerned, I can be flexible, and I'm not in a super hurry.
I have this video card:
https://www.newegg.com/gigabyte-gef...iption=1030&cm_re=1030-_-14-932-004-_-Product
sitting in my current box that I could reuse, but I would imagine it would create a pretty big bottleneck for the video work, wouldn't it? or maybe try it one way and add when I learn it doesn't work? Again, if you say it's a noticeable difference in practice, I'll definitely buy something better.

Anyone want to do a sample build list suggestion for a reference?
Also, any feedback on keeping the current case, PSU, boot drive, or video card (although probably not likely to keep video card)?
Finally, any pointers to a good quality powered USB hub?


P1170363.JPG
 

Ultra-m-a-n

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
179
I would send Noctua an email with your original receipt. I did that with my Phanteks PH-TC14PE cooler that I got in 2014, with my amazon invoice, along with the invoice for my new Ryzen CPU and they sent me an AM4 mounting kit for free.

If you arent the original owner, then you could probably just buy a mounting kit for your cpu cooler.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Do you think the NH-U12P would outperform the stock cooler that comes with the Ryzen 3700, 3800 and 3900 processors? If so I'll use the Noctua.
 

Ultra-m-a-n

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 19, 2014
Messages
179
Oh absolutely, especially the wraith stealth coolers on that come stock with the 65w CPUs. Pretty much an aluminum extrusion that has a fan on it.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
So, depending on your workload will depend if you see much difference. A lot of people use regular HDD due to the amount of writing that takes place as it can burn out an SSD. That said, an SSD can help but during actual encoding of a 4k video, I don't think you'd notice much difference. I would run with the SSD for now, and watch the disk % while doing work. If the % is up high often, it may be worth upgrading, but I feel (not positive as I don't do much besides transcoding of videos for my Plex server) the editing/encoding will not outrun the speed of the SSD wether SATA or NVME.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
So maybe I should wait on NVMe is what you're saying? Would I notice the difference between current and NVMe as a boot and work drive? Of course I'll have a traditional mechanical HDD for storage, but I already have a good one for that. Maybe I should buy a motherboard that supports NVMe so that I can add one later, or will it really not matter then either? If I stay with my current boot drive, I can afford better other stuff:

So I am still looking to stay around $1350 for a mobo, RAM, GPU, and processor (was $1500, but I deducted some parts not listed here.) That AMD 3900 looks pretty amazing at 12 cores for $430, but can I still afford decent other components to do it justice, or should I be looking at 3700 or 3800?
Please let me know what you think, and as always thanks for the input.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
So maybe I should wait on NVMe is what you're saying? Would I notice the difference between current and NVMe as a boot and work drive? Of course I'll have a traditional mechanical HDD for storage, but I already have a good one for that. Maybe I should buy a motherboard that supports NVMe so that I can add one later, or will it really not matter then either? If I stay with my current boot drive, I can afford better other stuff:

So I am still looking to stay around $1350 for a mobo, RAM, GPU, and processor (was $1500, but I deducted some parts not listed here.) That AMD 3900 looks pretty amazing at 12 cores for $430, but can I still afford decent other components to do it justice, or should I be looking at 3700 or 3800?
Please let me know what you think, and as always thanks for the input.
I'm not positive on the NVME vs SSD for your particular case, but in general you will hardly notice a difference. Boot.times are typically less than 1 second apart, same for game loads and such, rarely would you notice a difference. I haven't done much 4k video editing so I'm not completely positive, but I'm guessing you'd b hard pressed to find a measurable difference.
(Quick read that supports this claim: https://www.4kshooters.net/2018/03/25/can-an-nvme-drive-really-enhance-your-video-editing-workflow/) I would try to afford the 3900x if possible, the extra cores will make a bigger difference than SATA vs NVME. If you're lucky enough to be near a microcenter you can sometimes get a really good price on 3900x + motherboard combo. New egg has them for $400 right now. I know x570's are kind of high prices and hard to find (at least recently) so it's hard to say what you can find. I would get one something like pcpartpicker.com and throw a system together and see what you can come up with. One thing I wanted to say, I would hesitate to use an old power supply aith a new expensive system.. likely it would be fine, but every once in a blue moon you stress and older PSU and it can end up taking out the MB or CPU. Your choice obviously, just a fair warning. I haven't had it happen personally, but I've heard of it in rare occasion.
Not sure when you're planning to pull the trigger on this, but hopefully this caught you up to speed some. Most a recent boards will have NVME, more likely you'll chose between a board with a single or dual NVME, but really I doubt you'll NEED it, maybe want one in the future just because you want to save a couple more seconds while working.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
I use speech to text often and get spelling mistakes for that reason. I don't mind. I'm more interested in the message than I am the spelling and grammar. You're absolutely right about availability of the x570 boards. Can't seem to find them in stock anywhere. What should I be looking at for a GPU? I know less about them than any other component.

Thanks for the reply. I only learn about this stuff maybe once a decade at best, so I'm kinda leaving it in more capable hands here. You guys did such a good job helping me build (and update/upgrade over time) this old system, and I'm hoping this new one will also be a long-term build, just like the old one.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Another thing I'm noticing, is it true that many of these motherboards don't make use of the full speed of DDR4 3600 RAM? I also see that you have to overclock to make it happen on many boards? I'd like, if possible, for the 3600 RAM to be fully functional before overclocking, or is that not how it works?.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
Another thing I'm noticing, is it true that many of these motherboards don't make use of the full speed of DDR4 3600 RAM? I also see that you have to overclock to make it happen on many boards? I'd like, if possible, for the 3600 RAM to be fully functional before overclocking, or is that not how it works?.
Well, ryzen officially supports 3200 ram, anything above that is considered an overclock. Also, if you plan on filling all 4 ram slots, it's typically a bit harder to get overclocks as stable as using only 2. There are different board layouts that work better for 2 or 4 sticks, but that's getting a bit out of scope (Daisy vs t-topology if you want to look that up). If you put 3600 ram in, it will run just fine. You may have to play around some to get it running @3600 though. Sometimes it's as easy as selecting the right XMP profile, sometimes you have to go in and play with clock settings. Typically higher spec ram can hold tighter timings even at clocks lower than it's max rated speed. Sometimes 3200 @ faster timing can give you as much (or more) performance than 3600 with crappy timing (again, getting a bit out of scope I think). Point is, the ram would work fine, you can tweak it if you'd like.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
I use speech to text often and get spelling mistakes for that reason. I don't mind. I'm more interested in the message than I am the spelling and grammar. You're absolutely right about availability of the x570 boards. Can't seem to find them in stock anywhere. What should I be looking at for a GPU? I know less about them than any other component.

Thanks for the reply. I only learn about this stuff maybe once a decade at best, so I'm kinda leaving it in more capable hands here. You guys did such a good job helping me build (and update/upgrade over time) this old system, and I'm hoping this new one will also be a long-term build, just like the old one.
Well, I'm an AMD fan, but in this case for theatre stuff that may require decoding and transcoding of video files, an NVidia card would probably support your needs better. What I would do since you don't really game (and said no to VR) is build the rest of the system then see what you have left over. Even a 1650ti would easily handle any non gaming situation and some light 1080 gaming. If you can get up to a 2060 you can play around with the VR stuff some as well. Really depends on your budget you have and priorities.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Component Price Make/ModelLink
MoBo $ 379.99Asus X570 Crosshair VIII Hero Wi-Fi 6https://www.newegg.com/asus-rog-crosshair-viii-hero/p/N82E16813119109
CPU $ 424.99AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8 GHzhttps://www.neweggbusiness.com/product/product.aspx?item=9b-19-113-103
Cooler Free! Noctua NH-U12P, need adaptorhttps://noctua.at/en/noctua-offers-upgrade-kits-for-amd-s-ryzen-platform-free-of-charge
RAM $ 279.99G. Skill Ripjaws 64GB DDR4 3600https://www.neweggbusiness.com/product/product.aspx?item=9b-20-232-927
GPU
PSU Free! TX 750already have
Power button ext. $ 12.04
Powered USB hub
Optical $ 135.65Pioneer BDR-XD05B 6x Slimhttps://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDR-XD05B-Portable-Blu-Ray-Burner/dp/B00OD39P6A/ref=dp_ob_title_ce
Case Free! Cooler Master Stacker 810already have
Mouse Free! Logitech basic wirelessalready have
Kybd Free! Logitech basic wirelessalready have
Printer Free! Multiple - Canon, HP, Brotheralready have
Other wiring $ 12.99USB 3.2, second generationhttps://www.newegg.com/p/N82E168128...on_cord-_-12-816-540-_-Product&quicklink=true
Boot drive Free! Samsung SATA SSDalready have
Storage drives Free! 8TB HDD, plus two 1.5TB, one 4TB, and two 1 TB, all SATAalready have
Audio Free! Pioneer/Infinity Stereoalready have
Card readers Free! 3.5" on case, plus USB card readeralready have
Total $ 1,245.65
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
There's no GPU yet, still don't know enough. Please comment if you have more suggestions. 2060 could work, but do you have a brand/model suggestion?
Also, is the mobo overkill? I like the better sound and newest wifi along with the 8 SATA headers.
Is 64GB RAM usable, or should I just buy 32 for now in two sticks and more later if I see that it's not enough?
Any specific suggestions on a powered USB hub, and do these hubs carry the 3.2 gen 2 speeds? If so, do USB 3 extension cords carry those speeds too?
Are the listed parts compatible (including physical shape/size and also play well together)?
Price: if it goes to high after adding GPU, I can bring RAM to 32GB or find a lower priced motherboard if you have a good one to suggest.
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,710
There's no GPU yet, still don't know enough. Please comment if you have more suggestions. 2060 could work, but do you have a brand/model suggestion?
You're looking between a 1650 and 2060; only real reason to spend for any more than a 1650 is for potential VR experimentation. You'll have to decide where you want to go on your own, but as to brand / model, for Nvidia I typically look toward EVGA for their top-tier customer service. Just be sure to focus your search on models that are found to be quiet under load more than models with the highest out of box clockspeed settings!

Also, is the mobo overkill? I like the better sound and newest wifi along with the 8 SATA headers.
Yes!

I'm not up to date on current motherboards (haven't shopped in a while), but essentially, your board needs two things: the right socket, chipset, and firmware for your chosen CPU, and to be stable under load.

With respect to WiFi, yeah, that's nice to have on the board, but 802.11ax cards from Intel (who makes the best) are dirt cheap. Also, the previous generation is going to run at the same speeds, because access points are just not there yet either. I rate WiFi, especially on an ATX board with slots to spare, as not a decision point.

Audio the same. Take the extra US$100 or so and get a real audio interface like a Focusrite Scarlet or something from Native Instruments. Use that for inputs and headphones where needed. For the main audio outputs, use HDMI to whatever receiver or sound bar you pick up. There really is no better way without going way out of your way... and budget.

Eight SATA headers?

If you need mass storage, spring for a NAS from Synology. Hook it up locally to the PC if needed, and you'll thank me and yourself later. You do not want your desktop directly managing your important files. Put them somewhere else, somewhere safe. Since nearly every board comes with six SATA ports, you should be covered to hook up what you have, but I'd strongly suggest investing in at least a two-bay NAS with a mirror set up internally. A Synology unit with a pair of 8TB drives would provide redundant storage that you can access anywhere -- even away from home, securely! -- and not have to worry about for years.

Is 64GB RAM usable, or should I just buy 32 for now in two sticks and more later if I see that it's not enough?
If you're going for 64GB, go for it now with a 2x32GB setup. It'll cost you. You don't want to be trying to run four sticks on any dual-channel memory controller including Ryzen without significant foresight. However, I'd rate the potential need for >32GB of RAM as extremely small. Quite likely, by the time you could actually make use of the extra memory, you'll be wanting to upgrade again.
Any specific suggestions on a powered USB hub, and do these hubs carry the 3.2 gen 2 speeds? If so, do USB 3 extension cords carry those speeds too?
I recommend looking for products that are likely to functionally work in your desired setup. Speeds aren't too important; you generally aren't going to be using these speeds with external data sources that need that much speed consistently. It's more about having enough ports, and in some cases, making sure those ports have enough power for whatever is being plugged into them. That's why you might want to consider powered hubs. But for the vast majority of USB devices, even simple, cheap unpowered hubs will work.
 

Ready4Dis

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 4, 2015
Messages
2,462
I will backup most everything IdiotInCharge says. EVGA seems to do pretty good with NVIDIA cards and they aren't the most expensive which is also a plus.
WiFi on an ATX board isn't as important as it is on an ITX board, but it is one less thing you have to install so if it's close in price and comes with, may be worth it.
This is where I may differ a little bit. I actually have a sever with network sharing for my storage. It's cool and all, but still not as convenient as a local hard drive (especially when I bring my PC for travel). 8 SATA ports seems like a lot though, but if you're doing video editing I'm sure you want a lot of space. I would say 6 SATA ports is plenty, if you really need a lot of space, then it may be worth setting up a synology or some other type of external storage. You can easily drop 4 8TB HDD's in there and have a good amount of space with 2 spare SATA ports, and install a small NVME for the OS drive. I'm not sure exactly how much space you need, or what kind of speeds (RAID?) you plan on targetting.
I am not that up to snuff on powered hubs, so I really can't help you there, most of the time I'm plugging in high speed devices right into my desktop, things plugged into a hub are normally (for me) lower speed devices. I do use powered hubs when i have to plug a couple of devices i know will draw a lot of power, but for me these devices aren't high speed so i never really bothered to test or check.

The build looks good. If you want 64gb, I would get the 2x32 now. I would question your amount of ram as well, but I don't know your work loads so I'm not sure how much you may need. I know video editing likes memory, so it may well be warranted. As I mentioned, if you can afford the 2060 cool, if not the 1650 would do pretty much everything you wanted. 2060 would allow for some VR, 1650 would be a really low experience (but not impossible) of VR. Really just depends on your.
 

swingdjted

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
271
Finding a decent, in-stock x570 at retail (non-scalper) price is very difficult. I may end up waiting longer than I anticipated, but I'd rather do that than settle for something that's not as fitting. If you guys see something I missed while looking for boards, let me know and I'll buy.

My motherboard price will likely influence how much I spend on the GPU. So I'm stuck because of the mobo shortage.

2x32GB 3600 RAM (Ripjaws at Newegg) is only $10 more than 4x16. That's not so bad. Are Ripjaws reliable, at least compared to competitors?

I pulled the trigger on the wired remote power button, USB 3 extension cord, and a good powered USB hub (sale was ending soon, ends 3 hours from now) as I am still looking to hide the case in a hard-to-access location:
https://www.newegg.com/wavlink-uh3101-usb/p/0J2-008P-00037?Item=9SIA6PF5SY4248

Also an external/portable optical Blu-Ray burner with software to play the Blu-Rays. I have too many needs for it to leave it off the list. I picked up the Pioneer model from the chart above, but with a carrying case.

I don't want to buy other components until I know I can get them all. The stuff I bought so far I can use right away though on the current computer for now. The other stuff would be sitting on shelves, depreciating, unless I order it all at the same time.

If you were building this system and availability were not an issue, what x570 mobo and 2060 GPU would you want? Keep in mind I would need either one with WiFi/Bluetooth onboard or include an expansion card that handles them.
This hickamajigger thingamabobber any good?
https://www.newegg.com/msi-geforce-rtx-2060-rtx-2060-ventus-xs-6g-oc/p/N82E16814137396
 
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