I had a bunch of weird stuff happen with my old desktop. It’s basically working in a slightly degraded state, and my wife has suggested that the sensible solution is replace rather than ignore or try to get someone to identify the problem with this one. So I’m putting together a new part list and am realizing I am very, very out of touch with hardware. Normally I’d spend a few months getting myself back up to speed, but I don’t really want to spend the winter reading hardware reviews, so I’m looking for suggestions here.
I play PC games at 1440p, want to make sure I have enough RAM and processor available to run a couple of linux VMs for development projects, and do the normal range of home media and productivity work.
Quiet is important, low power is desired. I am not interested in RGB lighting effects or overclocking. I’ll update video cards between builds or add storage, but I rarely make incremental upgrades.
My personal and work laptops are both fairly new Macs, so having several easily accessible USB-C ports is strongly desired. I don’t think I have any other unusual requirements.
Budget-wise, I tend to look for inflection points on the price/performance charts and don’t like spending outrageous amounts of money. I don’t have a firm number in mind though.
This is what I’m currently thinking - it’s a combination of what’s currently available and what I have on hand. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/Ywsvmk. I can certainly wait and change things if it’s worth doing so.
My big questions:
CPU and Motherboard? Assuming I can find one, the 5600X seems like the way to go. What do I do if I can’t find one? Intel’s i5-10600K is in stock at the local Microcenter - is that a good alternative? Should I wait a couple of months for Intel Rocket Lake and better 5600X availability? What are the reliable motherboard brands these days?
Case I’m picky about appearance, noise and size. My current machine is in a Fractal Design Define C with no window, and that’s been good for me. I’d like something the cat can’t turn off by stepping on the horizontal button, and front USB-C ports would be ideal. If I could go smaller than that and still fit a 3080 founder’s edition(285mm long) I’d be happy. I don’t really understand the market for small quiet cases that can fit a full sized card, and I’d love some recommendations. The define 7 compact is actually bigger than what I have now.