Help Choosing a Pre-built Gaming PC Please


Really good filters on the input air?


Wouldn’t say they are special, but each has its own removable filter, yes (one on the output as well. They are also on the bottom, not the top. But mostly, I mentioned it as a remark about how much I like having a system with that airflow setup.


If they’re using the in-game benchmarks, which I believe they are, then they’re practically useless as real-world tests since they’re mostly video limited not cpu limited based on the way they’re designed (pre-determination means cpu not having to calculate everything like normal).

For Total War games it all comes down to cpu clock speed plus video card. Also if you’re using an Intel cpu don’t use DX12. It’s very poorly implemented.


Have you turned off vsync in the game and in the Nvidia control panel? I don’t know about Warhammer 2 specifically, but when I got a G-sync monitor I had to turn off vsync in both places to get rid of stuttering/choppiness in some games.


Well, right now, I’ve sent a bunch of stuff back because the damn thing stopped working. Monitor just randomly turns off (it’s not a monitor issue, or a sleep/power settings issue). I’m assuming it is probably a power supply issue, but also possibly a motherboard issue or videocard issue.

So I’m now starting over. Or just thinking about keeping what I have. Because I’ve tried to do this build myself thing without (a) breaking the bank; and (b) having to learn a billion things about M.2 and oh M.2 is the form factor, NVME is what dictates speed, but oh, NVME only works if the port thing has PCI3x4 something, blah blah blah.

I’m just grumpy. But I think a great number of you drastically underestimate how difficult and annoying build your own is for a normal consumer. I’ve actually done it before. But this time, for some reason, I am particularly sick of looking at 30 Z390 motherboards and 8 different RAM speeds, all at different prices, and wondering what the difference is, whether it really matters, whether it is worth a price or just a marketing gimmick that adds nothing meaningful, etc.

And then with all of this, whether I’m going to purchase something that I think does X but actually doesn’t, like I did with the M.2 SSD, which I thought was somehow faster, until I learned that NVME is what matters, until I started reading arguments that maybe that really doesn’t matter for gaming.

I’m trying to do this without over-obsessing and having to spend a ton of time. But then when I try to move quickly on something, I worry that I missed something I should have gained from more study (the SSD issue being an example).

It all feels like a giant hodgepodge, and even with PC Parts Picker and userbenchmark etc., I can’t get something with the pricing I want. I also am having the damndest time figuring out what actually matters.

There’s just too much. I somehow feel like there shouldn’t be like 12 ASUS Z390 motherboards. 😂

Yes, I’m grumpy again. It will pass. 😆


I always hold my breath when I first turn my machine on, heh, The various form factors for the NVMe is kind of weird with it’s key and how they disable some PCI-e slots if you use more than one on some boards. You’ll feel better when you’re done and running though!


Yeah, I haven’t built my own PC in 10 years because of this. I am much more worried about something not working/breaking that I would rather pay the 200-300 dollar premium to have it built for me, I just don’t want to deal with the headaches and stress with the possibility of issues happening with the build. Get enough stress at work.


God damn right.


Not to say that people shouldn’t build PC’s. Some people like the hobbyist aspect of tinkering with it. Just like how people like tinkering with cars. If you like it, have a blast! My hobby is playing games, not making PCs.


Yeah, if you have the time and the patience, have at it. Otherwise, give someone else the stress.


I think we all are going through this to some degree or another, so I get it. I used to custom watercool and overclock but these days I just want my system stable.

I still build it from the ground up and that won’t change as long as the industry lets me but even I get annoyed at new standards like M2. For example my motherboard can only have the SATA Express port or M2 slot active at once. Guess which one is the default in BIOS so every time it gets reset I lose my J drive? And I can never remember where they buried that stupid option…


I feel your pain @SlyFrog, @BrianRubin.

Last weekend I finally got around to putting my new machine together. It was far more of a headache than I thought it would be.

90% of this had to with how I’d set up the original machine 4 years ago. Google “locomotive boiler explosion” to get an idea of what the inside of the case looked like, and then add a substantial layer of dust. I don’t know what/if I was thinking when I built the original machine.

Most of the time was spent eradicating 4 years of unfettered dust bunny population growth. I apologize in advance for the coming ice age.

The remaining time was spent being real anxious about bolting down the heat sink on the processor (why is this still a three handed job in 2018?), fiddling with connectors (Oops, plugged these in in the wrong order. Oops, this fan needs to go to this header which is already in use, etc.), and doing semi-proper cable management.

It’s still satisfying enough to see the finished product that it was worth it.


Some of the pain regarding hard drives is the flipside of progress. We’ve gone from metal to SSD to NVME SSD to M2 blah blah pretty quickly, compared to how long the previous standards hung around I think. Maybe it’ll settle down but if it doesn’t it’ll probably be because more cool stuff is being invented.



Well, I got sick of everything, and built my own again. It’s very early, but so far so good. It passed the post test, and everything seems to be working and maintaining temperature, etc., USB ports are working, power switches, etc.

There really are so many little things that make it more difficult than people who are used to computers think about. Just one example, installing a closed loop cooling system. Nowhere in the instructions for the system does it tell you where to plug in the plug (whatever it is technically called, I don’t know). I deduce from the motherboard manual that it should actually be plugged into the CPU Fan2, because that has an actual toggle for a waterpump.

But then, nowhere does it say that you need to change the BIOS to switch that from fan to pump. I only randomly stumbled across that while looking at the BIOS settings. I keep thinking - what types of things like that am I not randomly stumbling across.

In any event, I forgot to pick up a copy of Windows 10, so now I get to go get price gouged to get a copy of that, and then we can really see how things are holding up under a load.

Also, good god. The price. I just decided to swallow hard, but I still genuinely have no idea how people think building your own is cheaper anymore. It is 100% about the fun of doing it/having better components. Because this price is nowhere near what I could have gotten for a pre-built. Just the pre-built I got had a power supply failure, so I said fuck it, and just built this one.


Go to ebay, $10. They will email you a key.

Yeah I am not sure about saving money. If you include the aesthetics/practical value of noise, and peace of mind from quality components… I built mine last year, all I reused was monitor/case. The good bit is I got to pick a quiet video card.


You ain’t wrong. The “documentation” for my new motherboard is hot garbage. It was a minor miracle that it POSTed on the first try.


You could have asked here. Would have been able to tell you in a quick minute.


The problem is, you have to know something is an issue to ask about it. Plus there are so many things that seem to be controversial (like whether you can use the preapplied thermal paste on coolers or should wipe it off and use your own).

Of course my cooler did not even say whether it has preapplied paste, so I just had to guess that the grey circle was. (Internet did not confirm.)

Oh, one other aside. Motherboard manufacturers need to stop relying on CDs to get fundamental things like network drivers on the machine. You should not need to manually download things to a USB stick these days requiring a separate computer that you might not have, as well as guessing what you need), and the days of everyone having an optical drive are long gone.


Needing network drivers off a CD - that one threw me for a loop. I decided I wasn’t going to use a permanently installed blu ray drive anymore as I needed the internal SATA connection. Color my surprise when I could not get inwodws update to work as it could not recognize the NIC. How is it the windows 10 install doesn’t have a driver for that?!


Yep. It’s just silly. Shows we still have a ways to go in terms of user experience with these things.