Author Topic: Putting Together A Build...  (Read 214 times)

LongJon

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Putting Together A Build...
« on: October 12, 2019, 12:10:59 AM »
For my mom.  She's a CPA and owns her own accounting firm.  She spends close to 50 hours per week on her PC.  She hasn't upgraded in some time.  I remember we talked about this before a year or more ago.  She's at her wits end with her current system and wants something that will be future proof for a good while.  She's willing to spend $1500.  Which I know is overkill since she probably doesn't need a graphics card.  But she wants all SSD obviously.  I'll try and find out the amount she will need/wants.  Maybe 2TB I'm thinking.

I don't believe she'll need a graphics card right?  She spend a lot of time in programs like Excell, Drake, etc crunching numbers, having dozens of windows and programs open at once, etc.  I'm thinking 16gb of RAM but since she gave me the $1500 price range, I'm thinking might as well go with 32gb of ram?

Processor wise, I was thinking an AMD 3600x?  Like I said, I know that's overkill for this, but 6 cores/12 threads along with 16gb ram or 32gb of ram should have her system not bogging down at all.

If not the 3600x maybe a 9700?  SHe's not in a big hurry for this build if there's new chips for intel about to come out that you feel is worth waiting for?

If she does throw in a graphics card, I'd get something pretty cheap like a 2060 or the AMD equivalent. 

Definitely needs a really good cooler since her PC is on all the time with a lot of stuff open.

What are your thoughts?  I know it's just an office build but I want to get her the best parts with a 1000-1500 budget that'll have her going strong for AT LEAST the next 5 years or more.

Thanks for your input Ari!

Ari Altman

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 10:39:27 AM »
Oh, I definitely have some thoughts on this. Let me get back to you when I'm in front of a PC. One issue with AMD is no built in graphics, but I'm not a fan of the 9700K for productivity. I'll think on it.

What's wrong with her current system by the way?  Crashing, slow, out of space or memory?

Ari Altman

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2019, 03:59:18 PM »
OK, so I have some ideas regarding your mom's PC.

(1) Processor: I'd like to see her using a CPU actually designed for multi-tasking and highly-threaded content. Jump right to the Ryzen 7 3800X. It's vastly superior for productivity than a 9700K, for around the same cost. The 3700X is also a good option, but essentially impossible to buy at Amazon at this point. You can buy it from Newegg. That's $335 shipped, and only about 3-4% slower than the 3800X.
(2) Motherboard: Get a nice X570 model with built-in WiFi. Much more convenient than needing wired Ethernet to set it up. Also good to have USB Type-C for modern external drives. I suggest the MSI X570 Gaming Edge WiFi. It's $210.
(3) SSD: absolutely, SSDs exclusively, and for ease of file management, just one big one. The Sabrent Rocket 2TB is the way to go here. That's $250.
(4) RAM: I'd actually go all the way up to 32GB on this one. 16GB is fine most of the time, but why not just make this future proof for at least another 5 years? I'd go for this Corsair 4x8GB DDR4-3200 kit. It's $166.
(5) Video Card: you just need something that will provide video output, preferably to modern ultra-high-resolution monitors. I'd go with the Gigabyte GTX 1650 4GB for $160.
(6) Case: Needs to be ATX of course, but it should be quiet, compact and professional looking. That means the Phanteks P400S. Go for the white model if your mom is cool with a little style! Either is $90.
(7) Power Supply: Something simple, efficient, quiet, and reliable. That's the Seasonic 750FM. It's $90. I recommend this over the 550W model not because the build needs the extra power, but because the motherboard has two CPU power connectors, and you can't get that on anything below 750W. It's not required to use both, but it will ensure that the CPU is never power limited.
(8 ) Cooler: while AMD coolers are effective, they aren't that quiet. I'd go with the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B. It's $49 and totally silent.
(9) OS: Windows 10 has gone up in price recently, now $135. But a new build needs it of course!

Total cost: $1,485. She'll like it. Super professional, super high performance!

LongJon

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2019, 09:37:33 PM »
OK, so I have some ideas regarding your mom's PC.

(1) Processor: I'd like to see her using a CPU actually designed for multi-tasking and highly-threaded content. Jump right to the Ryzen 7 3800X. It's vastly superior for productivity than a 9700K, for around the same cost. The 3700X is also a good option, but essentially impossible to buy at Amazon at this point. You can buy it from Newegg. That's $335 shipped, and only about 3-4% slower than the 3800X.
(2) Motherboard: Get a nice X570 model with built-in WiFi. Much more convenient than needing wired Ethernet to set it up. Also good to have USB Type-C for modern external drives. I suggest the MSI X570 Gaming Edge WiFi. It's $210.
(3) SSD: absolutely, SSDs exclusively, and for ease of file management, just one big one. The Sabrent Rocket 2TB is the way to go here. That's $250.
(4) RAM: I'd actually go all the way up to 32GB on this one. 16GB is fine most of the time, but why not just make this future proof for at least another 5 years? I'd go for this Corsair 4x8GB DDR4-3200 kit. It's $166.
(5) Video Card: you just need something that will provide video output, preferably to modern ultra-high-resolution monitors. I'd go with the Gigabyte GTX 1650 4GB for $160.
(6) Case: Needs to be ATX of course, but it should be quiet, compact and professional looking. That means the Phanteks P400S. Go for the white model if your mom is cool with a little style! Either is $90.
(7) Power Supply: Something simple, efficient, quiet, and reliable. That's the Seasonic 750FM. It's $90. I recommend this over the 550W model not because the build needs the extra power, but because the motherboard has two CPU power connectors, and you can't get that on anything below 750W. It's not required to use both, but it will ensure that the CPU is never power limited.
(8 ) Cooler: while AMD coolers are effective, they aren't that quiet. I'd go with the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B. It's $49 and totally silent.
(9) OS: Windows 10 has gone up in price recently, now $135. But a new build needs it of course!

Total cost: $1,485. She'll like it. Super professional, super high performance!

Awesome I really appreciate the time and effort!  I forgot to mention that they have a server in their office that every PC in the office (5 PC's) are connected to.  So storage wise that's where things are saved to by and large.  So I'll probably end up going with just a 1TB SSD (potentially) for her build since just about everything is saved to the server.

Also, she's had the same keyboard and mouse for a long time.  Probably close to 10 years.  What do you recommend on that front?  I know I have the Logitech MX Master 2s and love it.  I guess if you have any idea's of a wired and/or wireless keyboard.  She currently uses a wireless mouse.

Last, monitors.  She has a dual monitor setup currently.  Each one is probably around 24 inches or so.  She might not upgrade that right now, but if she were, what would you recommend in that area?  I think her current setup are 1080p monitors from about 5 years or so.  Nothing wrong with them, but good to have the info on hand if she wanted to pass them down to someone else in the office (would be an upgrade for them) and have some better ones for herself.

I like your build a lot and it'll make me happy to see her having no issues with her PC so she can get more work done!

Ari Altman

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2019, 10:17:03 PM »
OK, so I have some ideas regarding your mom's PC.

(1) Processor: I'd like to see her using a CPU actually designed for multi-tasking and highly-threaded content. Jump right to the Ryzen 7 3800X. It's vastly superior for productivity than a 9700K, for around the same cost. The 3700X is also a good option, but essentially impossible to buy at Amazon at this point. You can buy it from Newegg. That's $335 shipped, and only about 3-4% slower than the 3800X.
(2) Motherboard: Get a nice X570 model with built-in WiFi. Much more convenient than needing wired Ethernet to set it up. Also good to have USB Type-C for modern external drives. I suggest the MSI X570 Gaming Edge WiFi. It's $210.
(3) SSD: absolutely, SSDs exclusively, and for ease of file management, just one big one. The Sabrent Rocket 2TB is the way to go here. That's $250.
(4) RAM: I'd actually go all the way up to 32GB on this one. 16GB is fine most of the time, but why not just make this future proof for at least another 5 years? I'd go for this Corsair 4x8GB DDR4-3200 kit. It's $166.
(5) Video Card: you just need something that will provide video output, preferably to modern ultra-high-resolution monitors. I'd go with the Gigabyte GTX 1650 4GB for $160.
(6) Case: Needs to be ATX of course, but it should be quiet, compact and professional looking. That means the Phanteks P400S. Go for the white model if your mom is cool with a little style! Either is $90.
(7) Power Supply: Something simple, efficient, quiet, and reliable. That's the Seasonic 750FM. It's $90. I recommend this over the 550W model not because the build needs the extra power, but because the motherboard has two CPU power connectors, and you can't get that on anything below 750W. It's not required to use both, but it will ensure that the CPU is never power limited.
(8 ) Cooler: while AMD coolers are effective, they aren't that quiet. I'd go with the Scythe Mugen 5 Rev. B. It's $49 and totally silent.
(9) OS: Windows 10 has gone up in price recently, now $135. But a new build needs it of course!

Total cost: $1,485. She'll like it. Super professional, super high performance!

Awesome I really appreciate the time and effort!  I forgot to mention that they have a server in their office that every PC in the office (5 PC's) are connected to.  So storage wise that's where things are saved to by and large.  So I'll probably end up going with just a 1TB SSD (potentially) for her build since just about everything is saved to the server.

Also, she's had the same keyboard and mouse for a long time.  Probably close to 10 years.  What do you recommend on that front?  I know I have the Logitech MX Master 2s and love it.  I guess if you have any idea's of a wired and/or wireless keyboard.  She currently uses a wireless mouse.

Last, monitors.  She has a dual monitor setup currently.  Each one is probably around 24 inches or so.  She might not upgrade that right now, but if she were, what would you recommend in that area?  I think her current setup are 1080p monitors from about 5 years or so.  Nothing wrong with them, but good to have the info on hand if she wanted to pass them down to someone else in the office (would be an upgrade for them) and have some better ones for herself.

I like your build a lot and it'll make me happy to see her having no issues with her PC so she can get more work done!

Got it. In that case, I'd go for a very fast 1TB drive, like the SX8200 Pro 1TB, or even better, the Sabrent Rocket PCIe 4.0. Your mom will have the fastest SSD in town, LOL!

OK, as for the keyboard and mouse, it does sound like it's time to ditch them. With that said, keyboards of that generation were often "ergonomic," and she may feel that's the only thing she can use. It's hard to find something like that today, but one option is the Microsoft Sculpt Combo. The detached keypad might be particularly beneficial to an accountant who is regularly inputting numbers. The idea behind it, by the way, is that to get into the most ergonomic position, your right hand shouldn't be too far off center, and putting a keypad between the keyboard and the mouse isn't ideal for that. So you can put the keypad anywhere, like right in front of you, or you just move the keyboard away and use the keypad alone.

If she's ok with a more traditional keyboard, I'd consider getting her the new Logitech G815. This thing looks ultra-professional (assuming you set a single-color backlight), and the low-profile, short-throw mechanical switches are the bomb. I'd probably go for tactile for a typist. It's a good compromise between quiet and responsiveness. I just reviewed the wireless version, the G915 Lightspeed, and found it to be awesome. I doubt she needs something wireless, given that the cord is ultra-slim and the keyboard is so easy to move around.

In terms of mice, yes, the MX Master 2S is great, in theory it's been replaced by the MX Master 3, but that mouse is basically MIA. Probably held up due to tariffs, honestly, as it was "launched" a few months ago.

Monitors are hard to recommend unless I know how much space she has on her desk. Obviously, an upgrade would mean dual 27" 1440p monitors at minimum, but does she actually use the two monitors for different things, like a bookkeeping app on one screen and a web browser on the other, or does she just extend the screen and use it as one? If it's the latter, skip the dual screens and get one fabulous ultra-wide, like the Dell U3818DW. Cheap, no, but definitely way more sophisticated than a couple of old 1080p monitors. And at 3840x1600, they have slightly more resolution (3840x1080 is what you get with dual 1080p monitors).

LongJon

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 03:12:47 PM »
I went by her office today to look at her computer.  She's running 4, yes FOUR GB or RAM currently which amazed me.  But yeah I definitely appreciate all the help.  As soon as she gives me the go ahead I'll start ordering the parts.  I'm more excited for her than I was my own build lol.

Ari Altman

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2019, 03:16:01 PM »
I went by her office today to look at her computer.  She's running 4, yes FOUR GB or RAM currently which amazed me.  But yeah I definitely appreciate all the help.  As soon as she gives me the go ahead I'll start ordering the parts.  I'm more excited for her than I was my own build lol.

Oh, no, that's totally unusable! The 32GB might be overkill for her now, but as we can see, she keeps her systems for a while, and choking on RAM is going to be the #1 reason a PC feels terrible (assuming you're not running a hard drive, which would mean a PC is just trash!).

LongJon

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Re: Putting Together A Build...
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2019, 04:43:44 PM »
Yeah I thought for sure she had at least 8gb but I was wrong.  I can't believe she's been able to do what she's done with 4 but it makes total sense all the slow downs and times she has to restart in a day/week now that I know that.