My dream build. What to cut?


Well, I certainly have not given enough thought to my monitor situation. I will start researching it.

Oh, that’s good to hear. The last time I built a PC – almost a decade ago now – I was regularly warned not to rely on a stock cooling solution. I’ll look into it more. I don’t really mind a little fan noise. During the summer, I’m running noisy fans and A/C units in here anyway.



If you’d rather think abut whole systems than piece by piece, guides like this include builds like yours with discussion of what to move up or down…



Thanks for that very helpful link. You’re right, it’s useful to see a number of system configurations arrayed like that to put things in perspective.

Gotta love the $2500 Titan RTX video card in the final system on that page. More expensive than most fully-built PCs!



This has been discussed in other recent threads, but is there a reason why you’re opposed to upgrading non-video card components more frequently than every 8 years? You could spend 1/2 the money or less and upgrade every 4 years or so for likely a substantial net gain in performance over the 8 years.

A bit of spitballing, but you’re spending roughly $1500 for 10% increased real world gaming performance with that rig you configured, unless you’re doing some very specific non-gaming tasks, as Armando mentioned. It’s the nature of the performance/cost curve at the enthusiast end.

If the position is “I have the disposable income” and I don’t want to be bothered with the hassle of upgrading and I’m okay with relatively diminished performance at the end of those years, I guess that’s reasonable.



Speaking personally, I may have just gotten unlucky, but my 5-year old motherboard (MSI Z87-G45) won’t really let me upgrade my CPU, AFAICT there’s only one faster CPU available that fits my LGA 1150 socket. It didn’t look like that much of a jump, and there were some questions on whether or not it was supported by my motherboard (something about upgrading firmware and people having trouble with the upgrade). If I want a new CPU, I’ll have to get another motherboard as they all use an upgraded socket.

In contrast, as long as you’ve got a good enough power supply, you can generally upgrade to a better video card.



I find CPUs are kind of in their own class re upgrades. Everything else just slots into place, but CPUs require futzing with pushpins and coolers, and potentially changing the motherboard as well, which of course
means changing everything.

I think AMD are better at letting you drop a new CPU into an existing motherboard than Intel? That always struck me as an undersold advantage.

If I were going to future proof anything, it would be the CPU.



I got bit by this hard my last upgrade. I was like “oh I can upgrade from my 6 year old CPU to a new AMD Ryzen for ~$200 for the cpu + motherboard”. Then I realized I needed new ram so that was another $140 or so. Then apparently my old PSU wasn’t powerful enough (or was just too old) to power the new system so I had to upgrade that… My wife was not happy with me hah.

They are as they have pledged to remain with the AM4 socket for a while, but at a minimum once DDR5 ram comes out I think they’ll need a new socket. DDR5 was finalized last year, and DDR4 took 3 years from being finalized to being readily available, so theoretically in 2021 AM4 will be replaced by then anyway.



What those guys said! Upgrading the CPU often means upgrading the motherboard too. That means dealing with a new CPU cooling solution as well. I’ve never had a problem with static discharge – I wear anti-static gloves etc – but you never know.

Plus, I don’t necessarily buy the tippy-top CPU; maybe one or two notches below that. After the comments here, I’ll almost certainly drop my i9 for an i7. Will buy slower RAM and maybe a cheaper mobo too.



On the RAM, I suggest sticking with faster RAM, but less of it. While RAM is admittedly relatively cheap right now, what studies I’ve seen make it clear that anything over 16GB of RAM has little to no impact on gaming.

On the upgrading, I actually think you can buy nearly an entire system at the four year mark and come out substantially ahead over an 8 year period in terms of net performance, rather than going with the bleeding edge and stretching it 8 years. That’s such a long time in computer years. If you’re deciding to back off from your initial choices, that changes the whole equation, of course, since you’ll be in a better spot in the price/performance curve, which ramps steeply.



I wonder if buying a perennial darling of the aftermarket cooling, um, market, would help with that. The Hyper 212 EVO keeps getting new brackets and mounts for every dang mobo layout under the sun. I bet you could get CoolerMaster to send you a new bracket for a new mobo for a few bucks.



Just a thought: if you really don’t care what your case looks like, but want a super-solid build with tons of room (and you don’t mind that the bastard weighs like 40 lbs.) I’ve been using the Rosewill Thor for the past couple of builds and I love it. I just hate moving it around.



Thanks for the link. Wow, that case gets rave reviews. It sounds like it’s big. Is that ever an issue for getting cables from the PSU to various components?



Yeah, I’ve read that too. But won’t that change in a couple years? Not that I play every highly-demanding FPS or anything. Another factor is that I do occasionally use ZBrush, the 3D sculpting program. ZBrush seems very RAM-hungry.



I have the white version of that case. My wife calls it a copy machine lol. I love the case though and I’ve had it for 7 years now I think.



The Thor case (well mine at least) allows you to route cables through the back (behind the motherboard) so I’ve never had an issue going from PSU to components, or even SSD/HDD to motherboard without dangling wires.



Maybe? I’m no software developer, so I can’t give you a good answer. I know it’s been the case for several years now that RAM over 16GB doesn’t affect games much. But if it does change, you can probably just buy a some more RAM, then.

My general observation is simply that future proofing for 8 years of life in the PC build game is a expensive approach. More expensive, in most cases, that just buying most of a new system in 4 years.



Yep, same here. I actually have the white version too.

As I said, it weighs a TON, but I have it under the desk, and never have a problem with it. Its lasted through two motherboards et. al. and I hope to do myself a new build in another year or two using it.



I have just the system for you!



It’s not expensive enough! lol



That’s some crazy! The $43k machine, I mean.

Has anything much changed in the world of PC tech since this thread started? I’m looking to buy a brand-new PC (it’s time) and would love to buy a high-end rig and not worry about cutting corners. @Spock what did you end up with?