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Author Topic: The 'Build Me A PC' Thread  (Read 215974 times)
March
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Reply #2590 on: February 04, 2017, 11:03:51 AM

Looking for a Laptop for College for one of my kids... would be bonus if it could serve as an extra gaming platform in a pinch (i.e. not willing to get a pimped out gaming rig, but min specs would be helpful).

Dell has a new gaming Inspiron with a 7th Gen i5, 8GM RAM (upto 32), and the GTX1050 for $799 (the upper bound of what we'd consider spending).
http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/inspiron-15-7567-laptop

The reviews suggest they've hit that price by gutting the display specs back to green-screens, but I'm assuming we can just HDMI to an external display if its that bad (they are internet reviews, after all).  Other systems out there?  Or should I just punt and go back to basic $$300-400 system with integrated graphics and forget about the gaming bottlenecks at home.

Thoughts?
Trippy
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Reply #2591 on: February 04, 2017, 11:14:07 AM

College as in be able to take to classes/library/etc.? Or just something to leave in dorm room?

Edit: here's a Newegg query for gaming laptops 15.6" or smaller, Newegg sold, new-only:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=Property&N=100157995%204021%204022%20600004363%20600107149%20600004378%20600004387%20600541554%20600004362%20600541284%20600528729%208000%204814&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&order=PRICE

Of the ones listed in your price range my preliminary pick (without doing any research) would be this one:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834234023&ignorebbr=1

since it's a pound lighter and has a 1080p display (some of the others are only 1366x768) than the others that are around that price range.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 11:23:35 AM by Trippy »
March
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Reply #2592 on: February 04, 2017, 11:17:27 AM

Both, but possibly only leave in dorm (depending on where he goes).

Edit: thanks.  So quick compare shows, improved processor and display, better storage combo, and lighter weight vs. slighly downgraded GPU - am I overlooking anything else?  Are you weighting any of those things in particular over the dell?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2017, 12:40:18 PM by March »
Trippy
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Reply #2593 on: February 04, 2017, 11:33:31 AM

On paper the 1050m is faster than the 960m if that matters. The 1050m has the same number of cores as the 960m (640) but it has a higher base clock speed (1354 MHz vs 1096 MHz) and slightly higher memory bandwidth (112 GB/s vs 80 GB/s).
Abagadro
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Reply #2594 on: February 05, 2017, 01:13:21 AM

I'll throw in 2 cents that I bought my 9 year old an MSI gaming rig (not top of the line, but had maybe a third tier gaming card in it) and he has banged it around pretty good and it is still going strong 3.5 years later.  I had to replace the fan because it clicked (40 bucks and 5 minutes) but other than that it has been rock solid even traveling around to his friends' houses 3-5 times a week.  Been fairly impressed with its durability.

"As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.

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MisterNoisy
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Reply #2595 on: February 18, 2017, 04:24:59 PM

Dell had a sale going on earlier in the week, so I finally picked up a GSync monitor since the price was tolerable.  They delivered it today (crazy, since I ordered it yesterday), and I'm definitely a fan.

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Jimbo
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Reply #2596 on: February 23, 2017, 12:42:33 PM

Hey did you all know that you can deduct the price of the laptop in your taxes for kids you have in school? It goes in under school supplies and tuition, up to $4000 can be deducted for each 4 years the kids are in college.

I'm going to upgrade his laptop, been looking at Sager, MSI, and Eluktronics.

I like the idea of building a small or medium sized computer I can drag around, the MSI Nightblade sounds great, but expensive...
Merusk
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Reply #2597 on: February 23, 2017, 01:48:06 PM

So long as they're dependents, you mean. I'm considering offloading my kid so they can get more grants. My income hurts them pretty badly and I can't contribute what the regulations assume I should be able to.

Then again, they can subtract it, too, so good for them.

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MisterNoisy
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Reply #2598 on: February 24, 2017, 08:08:08 PM

Hey did you all know that you can deduct the price of the laptop in your taxes for kids you have in school? It goes in under school supplies and tuition, up to $4000 can be deducted for each 4 years the kids are in college.

I'm going to upgrade his laptop, been looking at Sager, MSI, and Eluktronics.

I like the idea of building a small or medium sized computer I can drag around, the MSI Nightblade sounds great, but expensive...

If you're okay with SFX PSUs and mITX, this case looks like it'd be fantastic for a super portable SFF build.

XBL GT:  Mister Noisy
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MahrinSkel
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Reply #2599 on: March 07, 2017, 06:20:50 PM

So, I am looking for something that may not exist: A flat form factor PC case roughly the same dimensions as a 17 inch "gaming laptop", but without the screen and capable of holding a full sized video card. Roughly 17 x 12 x 2.5. Does such a thing exist?

I know I would have to use a 90 degree adapter for the PCIe port. Essentially, I want a luggable PC, but with upgradeable video, and not in the lunchbox or HTPC form factor but something that will fit in the bags I already have for my laptop. I never use my laptop's built in screen except from absolute necessity, I have a 25 inch ultrawide explicitly as the "travel version" (it fits in a standard carryon suitcase and the laptop's backpack, barely).

The alternative is to get a aluminum briefcase of the appropriate dimensions and go full DIY on it. But I am kind of hoping something like this can be found "off the shelf".

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
MisterNoisy
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Reply #2600 on: March 07, 2017, 06:25:28 PM

So, I am looking for something that may not exist: A flat form factor PC case roughly the same dimensions as a 17 inch "gaming laptop", but without the screen and capable of holding a full sized video card. Roughly 17 x 12 x 2.5. Does such a thing exist?

I know I would have to use a 90 degree adapter for the PCIe port. Essentially, I want a luggable PC, but with upgradeable video, and not in the lunchbox or HTPC form factor but something that will fit in the bags I already have for my laptop. I never use my laptop's built in screen except from absolute necessity, I have a 25 inch ultrawide explicitly as the "travel version" (it fits in a standard carryon suitcase and the laptop's backpack, barely).

The alternative is to get a aluminum briefcase of the appropriate dimensions and go full DIY on it. But I am kind of hoping something like this can be found "off the shelf".

--Dave

This case (mentioned earlier) is about as close to what you're looking for as I can find.  You'll need a low-profile CPU cooler and a SFX PSU, but it'll take a long-ass GPU as long as you can stay away from 3.5" drives.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 06:27:22 PM by MisterNoisy »

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Trippy
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Reply #2601 on: March 07, 2017, 06:28:05 PM

I've never seen a case as thin as a 17" laptop that can also fit a single-width slot video card.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #2602 on: March 07, 2017, 06:37:23 PM

I've never seen a case as thin as a 17" laptop that can also fit a single-width slot video card.

I can live with a little bit thicker (3") if it isn't any wider across the shortest dimension. Mostly I have been using the gaming laptop as a portable desktop anyway (moving it between locations that I have set up with ultrawide monitors), but being unable to upgrade the video is starting to suck. Moving a standard form factor PC between locations is a nonstarter. Being able to stuff it in a backpack and go in a couple of minutes is the critical factor.

--Dave

Edit: The obvious alternative is to give up on upgradeability and just get something like an Alpha, if I have to replace it every couple of years then keep the pain threshold under $1k. But I want to explore going full PC Master Race on it.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2017, 06:40:49 PM by MahrinSkel »

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Trippy
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Reply #2603 on: March 07, 2017, 06:46:38 PM

This one is 88mm (3.2in) thick: http://www.fractal-design.com/home/product/cases/node-series/node-202

There are "small" 1U server cases that are half that height (1.75") but they are large in other dimensions and weigh a lot.

Trippy
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Reply #2604 on: March 07, 2017, 06:50:28 PM

The Falcon Tiki is 4" if you have the money and don't want to build your own:

https://www.falcon-nw.com/desktops/tiki/design/detail
https://www.falcon-nw.com/desktops/tiki/specs/detail
schild
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Reply #2605 on: March 07, 2017, 06:50:40 PM

I want to build a computer dedicated solely to ripping and storing my CD collection.

Which means:

Small Case
Optical Audio
Built in Gigabit Ethernet (which I'm sure everything has now)
Fast... cd reader
Windows 10

I would rather buy something prefab than build it myself

I know nothing about buying small computers
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #2606 on: March 07, 2017, 07:50:07 PM

Just about any HTPC will do that, or a NUC with a USB optical drive (most will have tos-link).

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Sky
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WWW
Reply #2607 on: March 08, 2017, 08:08:42 AM

Just use your computer and store it on your SAN.

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Reply #2608 on: April 08, 2017, 10:39:49 PM

This isn't really computer related, but I can't think of a better place to put it. Anyone have recommendations on wireless headphones for use with a TV? Preferably over-ear. They don't have to be the best ever (I'm no audiophile), but I'd rather them not be cheap junk either.

-Rasix
MahrinSkel
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Reply #2609 on: April 08, 2017, 10:49:46 PM

This isn't really computer related, but I can't think of a better place to put it. Anyone have recommendations on wireless headphones for use with a TV? Preferably over-ear. They don't have to be the best ever (I'm no audiophile), but I'd rather them not be cheap junk either.
I use these from Sennheiser, there's another model (the 135) for about twice the price that is digital, but as long as I make sure there's nothing electronic between me and the transmitter, I have no problems (sometimes some static if I am walking around). Digital wouldn't have the static interference issues (they'd just go dead if it wasn't getting through), but as I said, it hasn't been a problem at living room ranges for me. The charging cradle is a definite improvement on what I was using before.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Cyrrex
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Reply #2610 on: April 08, 2017, 11:53:27 PM

I am not an audiophile...at least in the sense that I don't pretend to imagine sounds that probably aren't there and act all snobby about it.  That said, I have an unhealthy addiction to all things audio/electronics related.

The pound for pound most amazing headphones in the world are right here:

https://www.amazon.com/August-Bluetooth-Headphones-Multipoint-Microphone/dp/B00F54Y6GU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491712521&sr=8-1&keywords=august+ep650+headphones

Cons:
They look a bit cheap
The build quality itself is probably not top shelf
If you are looking for subtle, nuanced, audiophile level stuff, look elsewhere
The sound will bleed out a bit.  A lot if you crank them up.
You will have to buy two pairs once you discover how awesome they are, hence doubling the price
They will ruin you for all other headphones of all types.  Everything else I listen to sounds like shit.

Pros:
Despite cheapish build, I have had zero problems with them
The bluetooth is both very reliable and has a great range
You can fold them!
OMG they are loud, and the sound stays clean at pain inducing levels
The bass response is stupidly good.  They will literally vibrate your skull if you crank them up.
Super comfy
Really long battery life
An insane value

I am sure you can get "better" headphones, depending on what's important to you, but these things are CRAZY.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2017, 11:59:55 PM by Cyrrex »

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Reply #2611 on: April 09, 2017, 11:06:02 PM

And for $300 Bang & Olufsen just released the Beoplay H4.

\_(ツ)_/
Lucas
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Further proof that Italians have suspect taste in games.


Reply #2612 on: April 11, 2017, 03:53:20 PM

So, decided to gift myself a little GTX 1080 Ti (probably the MSI Gaming X)  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly? DRILLING AND MANLINESS.

Along with it:

- I'll switch my current 500w PSU for a Corsair 850w ;
- Change the case: from my current CM Elite 130 to a midi tower, the Enermax Ostrog Lite Grey ;
- Add a SSD (Samsung EVO 850 500GB) beside my current 1TB SSHD .

Rest of the configuration is unchanged (might switch for an i7 in 2018):

MSI Z97I Gaming 3
i5-4690k (cooled with a CM Seidon 120V)
16GB RAM (Corsair Vengeance pro 1866)

Monitor is a 1440p, 144hz G-Sync Dell (TN panel).
---

My GF will finally experience her intense Candy Crush sessions like never before, I can assure you that.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2017, 03:59:22 PM by Lucas »

" He's so impatient, it's like watching a teenager fuck a glorious older woman." - Ironwood on J.J. Abrams
Trippy
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Reply #2613 on: April 11, 2017, 04:22:45 PM

So, decided to gift myself a little GTX 1080 Ti (probably the MSI Gaming X)  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly? DRILLING AND MANLINESS.
I got an MSI Gaming X GTX 1080* for myself recently -- very nice card. Nice and cool and mine, at least, doesn't have any coil whine* that I can hear.


* Not Ti -- I still run at 1080p and don't plan on doing any VR anytime soon so didn't want to spend the extra for a Ti

** Your mileage may vary. Subject to change without notice. Void where prohibited by law

Sky
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I love my TV an' hug my TV an' call it 'George'.


WWW
Reply #2614 on: April 12, 2017, 09:32:24 AM

Getting a new macbook pro for work. Tired of running up and down 3 flights of stairs between the server room and my desk  Oh ho ho ho. Reallllly?

Shannow
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Reply #2615 on: April 13, 2017, 09:48:47 AM

Is it worthwhile just upgrading my video card? My build is approaching 4 years old. Runs most things just fine but loads / frame rates are starting to suffer on newish games (the Division for example). Has the interface for vid cards changed? This was a PCI express 3.0 x 16.

Thinking this was maybe a good way to get some extra performance on the cheap. Feel free to tell me it won't make much of a difference without a ram/cpu upgrade. If it would what's a good card in the $120 range.

edit: Old card is a geforce GTX 650 Ti
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 09:50:36 AM by Shannow »

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Trippy
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Reply #2616 on: April 13, 2017, 10:55:49 AM

What's your CPU?
Shannow
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Reply #2617 on: April 13, 2017, 11:04:15 AM

Intel Core i3-3220 Ivy Bridge Dual Core 3.3 Ghz

8 GB of ram

Someone liked something? Who the fuzzy fuck was this heretic? You don't come to this website and enjoy something. Fuck that. ~ The Walrus
SurfD
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Reply #2618 on: May 07, 2017, 04:39:09 AM

In the same boat.  Recently put together a new PC (few months ago or so) and have been running off of the Onboard Video, since i wanted to wait for new stuff hardware to come down the pipe (the latest batch of stuff from both camps was fresh off the presses at the time, and was going to wait for them to get a few iterations out before choosing one). Now i have reached the point where I can comfortably afford to get something, but I have no clue what the sweet spot is right now for hardware....

Pretty much everything seems to indicate I should probably go with a 1080 of some sort, but I have no clue what to get.  Budget is prob 400 ish Canadian tops, hopefully looking for something I can get around 4 years out of, bonus points if it has 4k capability as I will likely be upgrading my monitor as my next item in the pipeline.  (PC is an I5-6600k running 16 gig ram).

I am going to assume a 1080 TI is what I am looking for, but am open to other suggestions.  Does the Radeon line have anything directly comparable, or are they warming the bench in this round of the GPU wars?

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Trippy
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Reply #2619 on: May 07, 2017, 11:16:07 AM

Still waiting on the new AMD Vega GPU cards. Release date is Q2 meaning end of June for limited availability.

For 4K gaming you will want a 1080 Ti but you still won't get a solid 60 FPS on most games at their highest settings so it's a tradeoff.
Lucas
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Further proof that Italians have suspect taste in games.


Reply #2620 on: May 20, 2017, 04:55:23 AM

So, yesterday I received my upgraded PC. Among other components (PSU, case and a 500gb Samsung EVO SSD) I got this baby:



Still have to test it extensively, but yep, performance is as good as you can read everywhere and then some. Cranked Witcher 3 up to ultra settings: playing it smoothly at 2560x1440 with a 144hz G-Sync monitor is incredible. Same goes with DX:Mankind Divided (the in-game benchmark showed min FPS 56 - Average 90, max 113).

I'm in love  Heart Heart awesome, for real
« Last Edit: May 20, 2017, 04:57:21 AM by Lucas »

" He's so impatient, it's like watching a teenager fuck a glorious older woman." - Ironwood on J.J. Abrams
Sky
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WWW
Reply #2621 on: May 20, 2017, 09:41:52 PM

I bet you'd still get 10fps in my minecraft workshop.  why so serious?

MahrinSkel
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Reply #2622 on: June 16, 2017, 11:05:52 PM

So I am starting to get more serious about my 'luggable gaming rig' plan. I've settled on the Silverstone Raven 2 or Milo 8 cases (14x14x4 mini-ITX, Raven is prettier, Milo has a handle, otherwise identical), and I am leaning towards the Asrock Fatal1ty Z270 ITX board (7.1 audio, Thunderbolt, PCIe 3.0 x16, M.2 Ultra). I am torn between the 3.6GHz and 4.2GHz versions of an i7 7700 Kaby Lake (65 versus 95 watts, cooling fan space is...limited). I will probably put 32GB of ram (2x16) in it, and a Intel 600P 1TB M.2 SSD (1800 MB/sec reads). Drive it all with a Lian Li 750 PE modular SFX, and probably stick a 1060 GTX in it for starters.

All in about $1500 for a gaming PC that would easily fit in a backpack, with a reasonable amount of future proofing.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
Trippy
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Reply #2623 on: June 16, 2017, 11:35:58 PM

The Raven case has an 120mm fan mount and explicitly says it supports liquid cooling (though it'll still be a tight fit apparently) in the product description and the manual.
MahrinSkel
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When she crossed over, she was just a ship. But when she came back... she was bullshit!


Reply #2624 on: June 16, 2017, 11:43:39 PM

The Raven case has an 120mm fan mount and explicitly says it supports liquid cooling (though it'll still be a tight fit apparently) in the product description and the manual.

I am a little worried about liquid cooling in a system that goes into a backpack for a long car ride every week or two. Maybe if I had any experience at all with water cooling, I could judge the risk a little better. Right now this all-copper Zalman is looking like the best low-profile air cooling option.

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
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