Author Topic: The TBG $1,000 Gaming/Productivity PC Build  (Read 16320 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,000 Gaming/Productivity PC Build
« Reply #75 on: December 06, 2016, 09:58:51 AM »
Good morning!

I'm looking at this PC Build and I want to know if it's the right one for me. I do a little gaming (not a ton, but a few modern games that require good graphics) and I utilize the Adobe Suite (mostly Photoshop, Audition, and Premiere). I also do some video and audio recording and have Pro Tools and the full Kontakt suite. Needless to say, I need a lot of space. All of this fits on my current laptop's hard drive which is just a standard HP. The only modifications I made were changing the RAM from 4 gb to 12 gb. However, the graphics card is the biggest issue and I find that I'm lagging pretty badly when I play games with good graphics or work with my Adobe products.

It sounds like you use a wide variety of productivity and creativity applications, with gaming being your secondary concern. In your situation, I'd start with the $1,000 Build Gaming/Productivity PC, but then add three components to it to allow it to work best for you:

(1) Upgrade the Core i5-6600 to the Core i7-6700. This adds $80 to the price, but is well worth it given that a number of your applications will make excellent use of Hyperthreading technology, which is what the Core i7 adds over the Core i5.  You don't need to add or change anything else to use this CPU with the $1,000 build.

(2) Upgrade from 8GB to 16GB of Crucial DDR4-2133 RAM. This adds $40 to the cost, but again, it's a very important upgrade for applications like Photoshop, which can easily exceed 8GB with a few high-res photos open. Given that your laptop already has 12GB, you definitely want more than that to ensure an improvement in performance.

(3) The $1,000 Build includes a large 750GB solid-state drive, which will be great for holding all your applications and for use as a scratch disk, but you'll likely need more storage for your completed work files. Therefore consider adding the Western Digital Blue 2TB hard drive for $72. It's not fast, but it's a good value for the capacity, and is best used for data storage. You can also downsize the SSD if you decide to add the hard drive, for instance going to the Crucial MX300 525GB for $130.

All told, this will add around $200 to the build, but it will meet your needs a bit better than the standard $1,000 Build, without including unnecessary gaming-focused features like more expensive video cards or overclocking capabilities. The standard GTX 1060 spec'd for this build will be quite capable for any modern gaming, as will the Core i7-6700.

P.S. There's a free prize drawing you can enter right now on the forum - check it out here!
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 10:02:28 AM by Ari Altman »

shivangswain

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Re: The TBG $1,000 Gaming/Productivity PC Build
« Reply #76 on: November 01, 2017, 10:46:25 AM »
Hey Ari!

I've been following your blog for the past one year and, honestly, I love it! Now, I've been looking at your updated November $1,000 GAMING / PRODUCTIVITY PC BUILD and I am a bit confused.

You've added a motherboard with M.2 slot claiming the, "M.2 SSD slot (which you'll be using for this build)" but the SSD you've added is a Crucial BX300 240GB 2.5" one, which is not M.2.

Also, you went with a Ryzen CPU but chose the following RAM: Patriot 2x4GB Viper Elite DDR4-2400 which is 2400MHz. Now, I'm not really up-to-date with the Ryzen news & updates but I've known that a lower RAM speed effectively hurts the performance of the Ryzen CPU and thus everybody is going with RAM Modules rated higher than 2800MHz at-least.

And, finally if I had to scooch in a 16 GB RAM kit (at-least 2800MHz) what would your recommend sacrificing first? Or, should I wait for the prices to come down a bit? All said, love your website! Keep up the good work for us people...

Lots of love,
Shivang

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,000 Gaming/Productivity PC Build
« Reply #77 on: November 01, 2017, 12:42:25 PM »
Hey Ari!

I've been following your blog for the past one year and, honestly, I love it! Now, I've been looking at your updated November $1,000 GAMING / PRODUCTIVITY PC BUILD and I am a bit confused.

You've added a motherboard with M.2 slot claiming the, "M.2 SSD slot (which you'll be using for this build)" but the SSD you've added is a Crucial BX300 240GB 2.5" one, which is not M.2.

Also, you went with a Ryzen CPU but chose the following RAM: Patriot 2x4GB Viper Elite DDR4-2400 which is 2400MHz. Now, I'm not really up-to-date with the Ryzen news & updates but I've known that a lower RAM speed effectively hurts the performance of the Ryzen CPU and thus everybody is going with RAM Modules rated higher than 2800MHz at-least.

And, finally if I had to scooch in a 16 GB RAM kit (at-least 2800MHz) what would your recommend sacrificing first? Or, should I wait for the prices to come down a bit? All said, love your website! Keep up the good work for us people...

Lots of love,
Shivang

Welcome to the Forum, Shivang!

Very good questions and comments. First of all, that was an editing error about the use of the M.2 slot - the build used to use an M.2 drive, but the BX300 240GB is a bit cheaper right now, so that's what's recommended.

Now, as for RAM speed, things are very complicated. Yes, 2666MHz is technically better, and up until yesterday, it was recommended in this build. But at least in the U.S., DDR4-2666 kits are nearly sold out entirely, due to the DRAM crisis currently limiting supplies. It's nearly impossible to source DDR4-2666 at a reasonable price, so a slight reduction in performance is the tradeoff for a decent price on DDR4-2400. Also, the particular kit chosen, Patriot Viper Elite, actually has tighter timings than DDR4-2666 kits, so it may perform very similarly. DDR4-3000 kits are an option, but honestly, at about 15-20% more money, I don't recommend them, as they can lead to instability in Ryzen systems, and the build is already over budget.

If you're looking for prices to drop on RAM, don't hold your breath. It won't happen until mid-2018. If you really want 16GB, you'll need to sacrifice something to stay within budget - perhaps start with the hard drive, as that can be added later.