PC Upgrade - Looking for advice


I only went with the 9700k for emulators, which is working out nicely. Otherwise it seems like AMD has the price/performance crown right now.


Epic pc ripoff:


It’s an enthusiast processor. Most people buying that probably want a fancier cooler anyway.


Yeah that’s true, but lacking a cooler that can run the CPU well at stock doesn’t exactly help its already bad value proposition relative to the Ryzen. However, since I care about single core speeds I probably have little choice but to wait or suck it up and go intel.


9700k hands down. There’s a ton of games out there that rely on only 1 or 2 threads, specifically Unity games are notorious for being clock limited (late game Rimworld which has no graphic load). Also, you’d think Planet Coaster was limited by your graphic performance. The reality however, is build a larger park and let just a few thousand people in and your frame rate is entirely limited by your cpu clock speed. Every single TBS out there…

So from generic engines to specialized ones where you’d think they’d have figured out multi-thread performance by now (Frontier) - clock speed for gaming is still more important than core count. Except for Ashes of Singularity. For the games most important to me, I just don’t see having more than 8 non-HT cores is going to make any difference.


The thing is, it was a $1,000 difference (the item I had listed was $300 less than when you looked at the link - the price had popped back up.

I get the putting it together thing, but I’ve done that before. At this point, it does not feel like an accomplishment, it just feels like a risk. Like I have parts coming from 5 different places. If the thing doesn’t turn on, I have to figure out which part it is, then wait while I try to get a new one from one of the five places, etc.

I do get the idea of being able to pick your parts. But it’s not like I know one supplier is better than another.

I do kind of hear you - I just see things like this with a 9900k, 2070, and 1 TB SSD for $1,700 and wonder how I’m possibly going to do better.

But at the same time, I’m just too scared to pull the trigger and buy the damn thing. It’s strange - when I was younger, I enjoyed digging through all the parts, finding good suppliers, etc. Now I just want something good that works, for a relatively reasonable price. It feels like you can’t even find a good, reasonably priced pre-built supplier anymore. They either charge a giant premium (for things like Alienware), or for everyone else, at least half of the internet says they suck and deliver DOA product. I suppose this isn’t any different than anywhere else though - either pay for certain quality, or take the risk.

One of the things I’m currently thinking about is whether I should even be buying so top of the line, or whether I should be buying something closer to the $1,000 range, and just upgrading/buying more often.

In advance, I know I’m being a little whiny here - this is all frustrating me this time for some reason (not any of you, just the buying process).


Don’t know how it is in the US, but in Australia there are a number of reputable parts stores where you can pick all of the parts for your PC and then pay them a (modest) fee to put all of the parts together and test it for you, some even install Windows.


With Amazon’s return policy I really don’t see the issue. If there’s a no boot for some weird reason, just do a RMA on each piece. You’re only looking at either mobo, memory, or cpu as the primary problems. You’re up and running in 2 days, and since you have a decent grace period on return shipping you can wait til you have replacements to find the culprit before shipping the defective or other stuff back.


I do believe that’s what @BrianRubin just did


Yup, found a highly-rated shop on Yelp, paid them $75/hour for three hours work after I bought the exact parts I spent months researching, couldn’t be happier.


I spent the 5 minutes doing the research for you since you seem unwilling to do so.

The model you have linked is their bucket of parts build. They don’t specify the RAM, motherboard, power supply, etc. because they use whatever they have laying around, probably from their bulk purchases. This model is sent to all their big distributors like Best Buy and Amazon.

The telling thing is you can’t customize this model on their website. I spent 2 minutes on their website – again, not that hard – trying to replicate that build and I got it down to $1900 with real, identified parts. So not even CYBERPOWERPC can beat that CYBERPOWERPC build. That’s the reason it’s so cheap.

I could try to replicate my build at their website – it’s interesting that they list my monitor at $789 instead of the $680 I paid at Amazon – or I could try to part out their builds at pcpartpicker to compare, like I’ve suggested you do, but I don’t want to spend any more of my time. That’s for you to do.


Yes, but for me, when I’m talking about a $1,500 machine, spending another $225 (which I think was Brian’s fee) increases the price by 15%. I don’t think I want to go that route. I’ll either buy pre-built or build it myself.

I think that is what I would have to do. When I go to PC Parts Picker, the pricing is higher than pre-builts, and then it requires buying the stuff from at least 3-4 different places. But perhaps I just need to source every part from Amazon, and see what that pricing is.

This sounds good - it’s a build that the large retailers seem to accept.

Well, I don’t want to customize it, so that also sounds good. In terms of part, I have no idea why the “CoolerMaster 8000” is better than the “CoolerBlaster Full Chill 8000.” Even when I pick my own parts, I’m basically just guessing whether Gigabyte is better than EVGA or whatever.

It’s a good sign that they can’t beat their own build - sounds like it really is a good deal. I would be irritated if they had a significantly cheaper price on their website.

No, I’ve already parted the stuff out at PC Parts Picker. Of course, I’m just guessing random parts, because when I add things like coolers, hard drives, etc., there’s basically a billion different types and none of them are in any way meaningful to me as better or more important. As I said above, I have no real idea why Gigabyte is worse than EVGA, or vice versa. Same with things like ASUS versus ASRock or whatever. I’m basically just more or less randomly picking parts and stuffing them in, other than the CPU, which you can’t screw up, because it’s the basic choice you’re making (Intel versus AMD), and if you buy Intel, you’re getting Intel, there’s no choices to make.

So when I throw in those random parts (Western Digital versus Toshiba - um, I guess Western Digital sounds good - oh, I guess I’ll pick one of the 80 varieties of Western Digital between Black, Blue, Caviar, and Taco), I get a machine that costs, as you said, $200+ more. Then I have to pay someone another $225 or so to put it together, unless I do it myself. And after all that, I have no idea whether the parts I picked are any better than the parts in the pre-built, because I have no idea (other than maybe trying to google reviews and ratings for each manufacturer, which in the past has usually led to a ton of internet partisans ranting about some dead card they got, alongside review sites that generally do not seem to offer a ton of insight as to why power supply X from X company is better or worse than power supply Y from Y company).

I’m going to let it sit for a few days. Maybe I’ll just wait for the new year if I decide to build my own, as buying piece by piece is less sensitive to seasonal deals than buying a pre-built.


Dude, seriously, if you can, buy the parts and pay someone else to build it. Far, far less stressful.


Just get a prebuilt and be done. There are good deals going for stuff right now. Even Walmart of all places has a good deal on nice system for $1400. I doubt all the parts separately would be much if any lower right now.


This looks fun for your hipsterpad setup.


Yeah, maybe hold off on the Walmart system.

tl;dr: He bought Walmart’s $2100 top-end system, they shipped him their $1400 system instead. It has horrible cooling, a very low-end motherboard, a no-name power supply, and a weirdly pre-partitioned hard drive.


I’m not sure what the point of part picking would be if you’re not willing to do the research to find out what components to pick.


Look man, do you want spend a bit of money, or a bit of time? For me, it became simple. I’d rather spend some money and not spend a weekend losing sleep, being stressed and possibly breaking things because I’m too nervous and impatient to do it myself anymore.

If you wanna go fully pre-built, that’s your call, but it’s still really fun to dig through PC Part Picker and do all the research if you know someone else will take the stressful part in the end. I spent months researching my rig, had a blast, and am now DISGUSTINGLY happy with how it all turned out.


I will always recommend buying specific, researched parts from brands and models that have great reviews (there are so many sites out their doing the lord’s work regarding testing and testing and more testing) and getting those parts over whatever a pre-built system has. You just never know how those pre-builtds are cutting corners, and make no mistake, they have to be in order to get those prices down.


Agreed, you’ll feel so much happier if you know your rig has the best parts you can afford.