Building a new machine (also, USB naming can die in a fire)

My current desktop is from 2016 and is feeling a bit long in the tooth. Plus various bits and bobs have stopped being reliable. Oh, and the video card is oooold. I inithally thought I’d purchase a new machine. But after asking for opinions I reconsidered whether or not I wanted to build it myself and all of a sudden that sounded like a pretty fun project (inspired by videos such as this one from Paul’s Hardware on Youtube). So here I am, throwing out a parts list for people to chew on.

Regarding the mediocre video card below: I have a work buddy who’s going to upgrade his video card to a 3xxx relatively soon after they release (he’s an early adopter type) and when that happens he will sell me his current RTX 2070. So the graphics card below is only designed to carry me through from now until then (which I figure will probably be next Spring or Summer). My current rig has a RX 480 which I do want to upgrade from so I’m not particularly interested in moving that to the new machine.

So, the build:

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 3.6 GHz 6-Core Processor ($174.99 @ Walmart)
Motherboard: Asus PRIME B550-PLUS ATX AM4 Motherboard ($149.99 @ B&H)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16 Memory ($75.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial P1 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER 4 GB OC Video Card ($159.99 @ Best Buy)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($69.98 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 PE 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($109.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $800.92

I plan to move my current data SSD (1TB), keyboard, mouse, and display to this system so I don’t need to replace those. I might migrate Windows 10 if I can, otherwise I will have to spring for a new license.

I am open to slight upgrades or changes to the build if something seems particularly wrong. I’m pretty comfortable with the price point so I don’t want to go much above where it is though.

The Rabbit Hole of USB Names

And now, a slight diversion.

I had to dig into some USB-related info because of the case (see below). Trying to figure out the USB world drove me crazy. Seems like all the assorted USB names have been changed to slightly different ones. You come across statements like these:

(And for some reason we’re still putting USB 2 ports on motherboards. I guess the manufacturers didn’t want to pay 30 cents more to spring for USB 3 controllers).

Back to names, though. Here we go, this chart will clear things up!


At least I can refer to that repeatedly as opposed to having to look it up over and over.

Oh yeah, in addition to this nomenclature salad people put the port type after the name, so you see documents specifying “USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-A” for the rectangular port we see every day and “USB Gen 2 Type-C” for your USB-C port.

Back To The Build

The one complicating issue with the build is that the case has a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port on the front which I’d like to use. As I understand it, I have to find a motherboard with a USB 3.2 Gen 2 header for the front panel in order to use this. But I can’t find any motherboards with such a header (I see 3.2 Gen-1 but not Gen-2). After spending all morning reading motherboard specs I’ve given up on Gen-2 and am willing to accept Gen-1. Which the above motherboard has… well, I think it has one. Their documentation seems to indicate they have a USB 3.2 Gen 1 header on the board. But PC Parts Picker says the motherboard doesn’t have a header. So after all that research and agonizing it’s come down to this!

Unless someone has put these exact 2 parts together I doubt anyone could know if PC Part Picker is right or if I’m right. So I’m thinking I will buy the MB and the case at Microcenter and open the boxes before I leave the store so see if it appears to work or not. Or maybe a Microcenter employee would know? They seem pretty geeky there.

Anyway, opinions welcomed!

This seems like the worst time to upgrade. :)

New Nvidia and AMD news right around the corner!!!

If anything , you will see significant price drops on parts you have listed if you wait a bit, as places clear out old inventory.

And that GTX1650 is a horrible card for the price, you’d be better off getting a used GTX1080 for that $150. That would offer double the GPU performance.

Pcpartpicker lists the header… but I presume it is type A, not type C. For a type C plug, you need a type C header…I think? (This stuff confuses me too)

Maybe you are right and it is the gen2 you need. Just search mobos on pcpartpicker with gen2 like so:,1073741824000&O=1,2

How much price difference between the 3600 and the 3700? I built a new machine last year and decided at that time that the 3700 was worth the difference (though I don’t recall my reason now)

Looks like PC part picker says $180 for the 3600 and $284 for 3700X. 6 cores vs 8 cores. Maybe that was the reason? Speed looks similar to me, just more cores.

I realize video cards are coming out but I was not aware of other component being released in the fall. Also from what I’ve read, Nvidia has no incentive to release any mid priced video cards if the current gen cards are still selling, so I’m not sure there’s going to be any sort of fire sale on the existing inventory.

And I’m not sure I would buy a used video card unless it was from someone I knew. Anyone want to sell a used GTX 1080 for $150? :D

New AMD processors incoming. And most nVidia cards have been discontinued (though that is less relevant if you are buying the other from a friend)

I would not buy a 20 series GPU right now, but you aren’t getting an RTX card so you don’t really need to wait. The 20 series will age poorly because the 30 series has 4x the raytracing performance.

As to Gen 2 headers, I only checked the current consensus best 570 board and it seems to have a front gen 2: but it’s 220 dollars of course. Total overkill for a 3600 or 3700 really.


That price seems wildly optimistic, since glancing at eBay they seem to be running more like $300 atm.

I do have a 1070 that I’ll be looking to unload in a few weeks assuming I manage to get a 3080.

Oh yeah, hmm, I should have remembered that since all the motherboards I have been looking at say they’re compatible with the next-gen AMD processors! I guess it’s worth waiting a bit for the next gen CPUs to show up…

I certainly think so, if you don’t mind waiting. Even if you decide to buy a 3600 for some reason, you might get a better price after the new ones are announced. I was originally going to do a new build months ago, but think it will be worth the wait (and has other reasons to delay)

It is. Do not buy now if you can avoid it.

I don’t think Thermaltake has a very good rep for PSUs. I would look for a Seasonic Focus 80+ Gold unit. Don’t skimp on PSU quality.

Thoughts on when will be the right time to build a new PC? After the GPU announcements in Sept? Or are there other big announcements in the pipeline worth waiting for (within reason)?

I’d really like to have a new build by sometime in Oct, even if I’m on integrated graphics for bit if GPU availability is an issue.

NVIDIA GPUs come out next month. AMD GPUs and CPUs come out sometime in the fall/winter. I expect much bigger drops in GPU than CPU prices, and much bigger gains on GPU performance.

I think a 3600 is fine to buy now, just limp along with your current video card.

I was going to post this, as well.

FWIW, this board (the MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk WiFi) seems by far and away the best combination of quality and value in the current X570 sea of choices. Others may be a bit better in terms of available headers and connectors, but they all cost $300+ so I wouldn’t go for them unless you have plans on carrying lots of drives and handling tons of USB ports.

Its limitations compared to the more expensive boards:

  • Only supports 2 NVME M.2 drives
    • counterpoint: if you need more, you can buy a PCIe expansion card very cheaply
  • Only 6 SATA connectors
    • counterpoint: you’re not running a server, so that’s more than enough
  • Only 2 PCIE x16 slots
    • counterpoint: SLI & Crossfire are dead and we should leave them buried

Its selling points over some cheaper boards:

  • Phenomenal thermals, which should translate to significantly better OCing performance along with better longevity.
  • Full support of PCIe 4, although this really only matters with high-end M.2 drives at this point.
  • Flash BIOS button with a dedicated USB socket (easy updates and just in case your OCing goes awry).

I’ve heard nVidia 3080s will require new motherboards. So that might be another reason to wait and find out what’s going on. Even if you don’t buy a 3080 now, you might want to upgrade to one later, and if you don’t get a compatible motherboard, that might not be possible:

Why are you guys posting X570 boards though?

Not random ones, mind you; just this one. The original goal was to find a motherboard with an onboard USB 3 gen 2 connector to use with his case’s front panel; with Asus as an example (the brand he was looking at), he’d have to be looking at their ROG line of B550 boards to get it and most of those are more expensive than the X570 we posted. Of course there are other brands out there.

That said, the primary benefit of an X570 over a B550 is the faster bus speed (on a B550, PCIe 4.0 only extends to the first PCIe x16 and M.2 while the rest run at 3.0) and “enthusiast” (x-series) boards tend to be better suited for overclocking. For only $70 more and the benefit of the gen 2 connector, I’d make that upgrade. Still, it’s not my wallet and the gains won’t be major for most people.

Nothing’s going to require a new motherboard. Very high power GPUs may require a new power supply, though.

PCIe 4.0 doesn’t help in gaming at all. Only benefit is in very high speed storage, and even then it’s one of those things that will largely show up on benchmarks for most use cases.