It's time | PCSPECIALIST

It's time

DeadEyeDuk

Author Level
Hi all, long time :)

I was already thinking about this anyway, but then PCS kindly sent me an email informing me it is the anniversary of my order, which means it is now 6 YEARS since I ordered my Sniper!

I also can't believe it is 2 and a half years since I upgraded my graphics card to try and further the life of the PC.

So, yes, it's time for a new one as this is now by far the longest I have owned a single PC. Now granted some of them have just broken, and whilst my PCS PC hasn't done that, I think it is fair to say it is due a nice long retirement somewhere sunny :)

What I below is a really rough idea of what I am thinking. As I have been absent from the forums for over a year I can't even do my "DED pretends to know that he knows stuff because he saw keynes or ubu write it once". I will do my best to highlight areas of concern or particular bits I am really not sure what to get.

The below comes in at just under £1500. I wouldn't say I want to go way over that figure, but as always I am open to suggestions of where things help that might just be a bit more money. I have included Fast Track in this, but I am sort of ignoring that in terms of "budget" as that is just an extra I am affording myself because 6 years on I am going to be Mr Impatient :)

Case
COOLERMASTER MASTERCASE PRO 5 GAMING CASE Difficult one to assess I know, and am definitely not set on this one, but I have enjoyed my CM case, so a gaming case from them looks like a good idea to me

Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i5 Quad Core Processor i5-7400 (3.0GHz) 6MB Cache Going to need some help here. What CPU should I be looking for gaming?

Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME Z270-P: ATX, LG1151, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs Yup, no idea. That list on the Configuratron is just numbers to me

Memory (RAM)
8GB Kingston DUAL DDR4 2133MHz (2 x 4GB) 8GB still enough? Its what I have now

Graphics Card
8GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1080 - DVI, HDMI, 3x DP - GeForce GTX VR Ready! The big daddy of the total price lets be honest. 1080? Might be overkill and is still rather expensive. What other options within nVidia give a good account for themselves but maybe not as much? I saw there is a new 1080 out, but does that mean the original is already cheaper, or yet to go down in price?

1st Hard Disk
1TB WD BLACK 3.5" WD1003FZEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm) You'd think rather than call them "black" they'd call them "red", because red ones go faster... Anyway, I would actually prefer a larger hard disk if I am honest. I have 1TB now and am always juggling games to uninstall when new ones come out. There doesn't seem to be a gap closer though between the 1TB and 4TB, but am open to other ones in the other categories. Definitely one to think about here.

DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM Blu Ray Schmoo Ray, this'll do I think

Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W CS SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET Technically overkill (site says I only need 418W with the 20% buffer, but one thing that stuck with me over the years is people's looooooove for Modular power supplies, so thought why not...thoughts?

Processor Cooling
Super Quiet Titan DragonFly Heatpipe Intel CPU Cooler If I am reading it right, this is just your standard run of the mill cooling option. No fancy liquid or super duper fans. Should I go for something more?

Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING Don't brush your teeth with it right?

Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD) This is what I have now (or equivalent of anyway). I am now snob when it comes to sound, so I think it might just be a waste spending anything on Sound blaster stuff etc when the money would be better spent elsewhere

Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD Bog standard card with wireless. Are more expensive options "better" when it comes to wireless?

USB Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS

Operating System
Genuine Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence Always wary of Home editions, but even after looking at the comparison table, I am not sure which to go for

Office Software
NO OFFICE SOFTWARE Still umming and arrring about this. I wouldn't include this in the cost of the PC anyway. I am sort of tempted to see if you can still get older Office software, as I am still not really sold on this subscription model. Any thoughts?

Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE MSE4LIFE (or whatever it is called in Windows 10. Oh and Malwarebytes of course

Browser
Google Chrome™ Because feth you Edge!

Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour) I remembered this bit!!!!


Price £1,460.00 including VAT


Thanks for taking the time to read both the spec and my ramblings. Not rushing this, but I am keen to not hang about for ages. As always, I am aware that I can't just keep waiting for the next innovation/price drop on certain things, because I'd never get round to buying it, but if there are any particularly noteworthy examples of "this is out next month" or something, do feel free to mention it :)

Cheers

Your friendly neighbourhood Duk
 

mantadog

Author Level
Quite a read. Thoughts.... not too many issues as fa as I can see. Perhaps the most glaring omission is no SSD?(WD do have red drives, and purple) SSD for the games + OS maybe 250GB?

I would be tempted by a bit more ram, you probably don't need it now so you could just slot some in later I guess.

The psu is a decent option, a little quieter than the elcheapo version and a bit more efficient.

In terms of cpu I'd be tempted to go for an i7 if you fancy another 6 years, or perhaps a k variant to enable overclocking, the motherboard you selected has a 1 click overclocking fumction.
 

keynes

Multiverse Poster
If you go with the gtx 1080 you would benefit from a higher resolution than 1920x1080.
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
I wouldn't buy a 'slow' i5 with a GTX 1080, unless you were trying to go for as cheap a 4k gaming spec as possible. And even then it might not be very future-proof at all.

What monitor are you pairing it with?

Operating System
Genuine Windows 10 Professional 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence Always wary of Home editions, but even after looking at the comparison table, I am not sure which to go for
If you don't need the specific features on Win 10 Pro, then stick with Home and spend the cash on hardware :)

Office Software
NO OFFICE SOFTWARE Still umming and arrring about this. I wouldn't include this in the cost of the PC anyway. I am sort of tempted to see if you can still get older Office software, as I am still not really sold on this subscription model. Any thoughts?
Try Open Office if you need an office suite, and Thunderbird if you need an email client. They're free, fully featured, and excellent alternatives.

Case
COOLERMASTER MASTERCASE PRO 5 GAMING CASE Difficult one to assess I know, and am definitely not set on this one, but I have enjoyed my CM case, so a gaming case from them looks like a good idea to me
You might want to consider a cheaper case. Freeing up £30-50 could really help elsewhere. Options might include:
Fractal R5 / Define S
Coolermaster Masterbox 5t
Coolermaster CM690 III
NZXT 340 (non-elite version)
 

SpyderTracks

Bingo Bango Orchestrator
Moderator
Just for info, MS still do standalone packages of MS office such as home, student etc iirc, you don't have to go down the subscription model.
 

Stephen M

Spamtastic
Open Office is free and will do all the Microsoft Office does, there are also other good free ones such as Libre Office.
 

DeadEyeDuk

Author Level
Hi guys,

Thanks for the input above, really helpful. Apologies for the long winded annotations, wasn't meant to get that detailed!

Anyway, had a reshuffle and rethink on some things. Just a few areas I am now needing expert advice on.

I do like the idea of an SSD for OS etc, so have added that, and then a 2TB HDD for storage. Sound like a good plan?

Graphics card. Still stuck on this one! I don't really think I neeeeeed a 1080, but can't get my head around what to drop it down to without going too far and gimping myself.

Motherboard...the one selected is the lowest/standard option which seems a bit mad with all the other stuff I have added, but no idea which options available would be best to upgrade to.

All the software and jazz I can still think about, but just getting the hardware down would be good.

I did change the case as it does make sense to save where I can, but then I noticed a LOT of cases don't have DVD drive bays anymore, I mean, wtf?! Maybe I am just old now, but that just took out a whole load of options that I liked, but I think this one is ok (am sure the green will just blend in over time...)

Rambling again!!!

Here:

Case
COOLERMASTER CM690 III ADVANCED CASE (GREEN)
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Processor i7-7700 (3.6GHz) 8MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME Z270-P: ATX, LG1151, USB 3.0, SATA 6GBs
Memory (RAM)
16GB Kingston DUAL DDR4 2133MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
8GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1080 - DVI, HDMI, 3x DP - GeForce GTX VR Ready!
1st Hard Disk
250GB Samsung 850 2.5" EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
2nd Hard Disk
2TB WD BLACK 3.5" WD2003FZEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W CS SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Processor Cooling
Super Quiet Titan DragonFly Heatpipe Intel CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
WIRELESS 802.11N 300Mbps/2.4GHz PCI-E CARD
USB Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Genuine Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence
Office Software
Microsoft® Office 365 Home Premium (12 Month Subscription)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Google Chrome™
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
PCS EXTRA-CARE DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND - MON-FRI, PRE-NOON
Build Time
FAST TRACK 5 WORKING DAY DISPATCH

Price £1,788.00 including VAT and delivery

Cheers

DED
 

Scott

Modinator
Moderator
Case
FRACTAL DEFINE R5 BLACK QUIET MID-TOWER CASE
Overclocked CPU
Overclocked Intel® Core™i7-7700k Quad Core (4.20GHz @ up to 4.8GHz)
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG STRIX Z270E GAMING: LG1151, USB 3.1, SATA 6GB, Wi-Fi - RGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
8GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1080 - DVI, HDMI, 3x DP - GeForce GTX VR Ready!


FREE FOR HONOR or GHOST RECON: WILDLANDS with select GTX 10 Series GPUs!
1st Hard Disk
1TB SATA-III 3.5" HDD, 6GB/s, 7200RPM, 32MB CACHE
M.2 SSD Drive
256GB SAMSUNG PM961 M.2, PCIe NVMe (up to 2800MB/R, 1100MB/W)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W CS SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Noctua NH-U14S Ultra Quiet Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Genuine Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc DVD & Licence
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Office Software
NO OFFICE SOFTWARE
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Microsoft® Edge (Windows 10 Only)
Warranty
3 Year Silver Warranty (1 Year Collect & Return, 1 Year Parts, 3 Year Labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 6 to 8 working days
Quantity
1

Price £1,790.00 including VAT and delivery

Unique URL to re-configure : https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/intel-z270-overclocked/8KB48GeDwz/
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
Graphics card. Still stuck on this one! I don't really think I neeeeeed a 1080, but can't get my head around what to drop it down to without going too far and gimping myself.
What monitor are you pairing your PC with mate?
 

DeadEyeDuk

Author Level
my current monitors are pretty standard Samsung monitors I have had the same length of time as this PC. I am looking into new ones, but wasnt sure whether to get them through PCS with the order or from elsewhere. I wasn't aware it mattered too much with regards to the graphics card.

I used to be pretty clear on the sort of pecking order of the nvidia cards, but the current line all look fine, but of course go down in price as you go up the list and I wasn't sure at what point the card becomes a bit, well, rubbish :)
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
The monitor matters a lot for the graphics card. Not the brand, but the resolution and refresh rate. 4k is four times the pixels of 1080p (though it's not literally 4x as demanding, it doesn't scale that way). Equally buying an uber powerful GPU for a 1080p 60hz monitor may not make much sense as you'd be investing potentially hundreds of £ more than you need to for often no extra performance.

This chart may be helpful to give an idea of the pecking order:
GNnbaKWSq8Sfh4GhcDNnDf-650-80.png
It shows average FPS across 16 games benchmarked at 1080p medium settings, 1080p high/ultra settings, 1440p, and 4k. Only gamers on a very, very tight budget (or some other niche cases) should consider anything lower than an RX 470 (the GTX 1050, 1050 ti, and RX 460 are significantly weaker). Full details of the games and settings here: http://www.pcgamer.com/geforce-gtx-1080-ti-review/

So a GTX 1060 is capable of running games at 1080p 60fps. It drops down a bit below 60fps sometimes, so if one is rich or is using a monitor capable of displaying above 60fps (e.g. a 1080p 144hz monitor) then a GTX 1070 would be worth considering. A GTX 1080 would seem excessive for 1080p 60fps, however, since the 1070 already delivers more than enough FPS to max out what the monitor is capable of displaying.

For 1440p, a GTX 1060 is a bit lean, a 1070 performs well, and a 1080 has a bit more headroom. Etc.

If you're sticking with your current monitor, you may as well drop down to a GTX 1070 assuming it's a 1080p 60hz monitor. If you might be upgrading your monitor, it's worth giving some thought as to what you'll be buying before settling on a GPU. :)
 
Last edited:

DeadEyeDuk

Author Level
Thanks for your input again. Getting closer I think. Latest revision.

Case
COOLERMASTER CM690 III ADVANCED CASE (GREEN)
Processor (CPU)
Intel® Core™i7 Quad Core Processor i7-7700 (3.6GHz) 8MB Cache
Motherboard
ASUS® ROG STRIX Z270E GAMING: LG1151, USB 3.1, SATA 6GB, Wi-Fi - RGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
16GB Kingston DUAL DDR4 2133MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
8GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1070 - DVI, HDMI, 3 x DP - GeForce GTX VR Ready!
1st Hard Disk
250GB Samsung 850 2.5" EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
2nd Hard Disk
2TB WD BLACK 3.5" WD2003FZEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
Power Supply
CORSAIR 650W CS SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Processor Cooling
PCS FrostFlow 100 Series High Performance CPU Cooler
Thermal Paste
ARCTIC MX-4 EXTREME THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY COMPOUND
Sound Card
ONBOARD 6 CHANNEL (5.1) HIGH DEF AUDIO (AS STANDARD)
Wireless/Wired Networking
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS


Few points.

With the Motherboard, PCS doesn't let you proceed with a lower end WiFi card. I take it the Motherboard onboard WiFi works the same as a regular WiFi card, i.e. antenna etc?

Having 2 hard disks is new ground for me, so just clarifying that what I have there will work fine.

I haven't included new monitors (that means 2 of course), but I would like some suggestions to see if I can just get them through PCS as part of the order, or whether I bob off and look through Amazon Prime :)


I think coming into this I thought it would be slightly cheaper than it is, just going off what I have both spent before, and also what I have seen come across the forums before, but I am pretty happy with the above, but of course need to reassurance/pointing in the right direction if I have got something that either isn't needed or is far below what it should be.

Many thanks again for having a look.

Cheers

DED
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
Just so :)
gamefirst.png
https://www.asus.com/us/ROG-Republic-Of-Gamers/ROG-STRIX-Z270E-GAMING/
867mbps AC wifi and BT 4.1 they say.

Having 2 hard disks is new ground for me, so just clarifying that what I have there will work fine.
If you mean the SSD and HDD, it will work just fine. It's very common for modern systems.



1st Hard Disk
250GB Samsung 850 2.5" EVO SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 540MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
I would suggest the PM961 (or even the SM961) off the M.2 SSD Drive menu instead, as they're only a few quid more - like, £9 and £20 or so respectively - and a lot faster than any of the Sata SSDs.



2nd Hard Disk
2TB WD BLACK 3.5" WD2003FZEX, SATA 6 Gb/s, 64MB CACHE (7200rpm)
There's a degree of taste involved, but personally I'm not at all convinced that outside of a production environment there's much point to the WD Blacks. They're £50 more expensive at 2TB than the regular HDDs. Most other things would come above it on my shopping list.



I'd definitely get faster RAM. Way back when it used to be received wisdom that anything over 1600MHz was a waste, but that just isn't true any more.
http://www.techspot.com/article/1171-ddr4-4000-mhz-performance/page3.html

Some games will benefit more than others, but it's well worth having.
gUE3VEk.png

PCS's RAM prices can change on a daily basis but currently the 3200MHz stuff is less than £20 more than the 2133MHz stuff, so it would be crazy not to get it. Quite apart from the question of whether £50 for a WD Black vs a normal HDD is worth it, it's worth finding the extra cash for the RAM.

With regards to monitors, PCS have some fine monitors but there are other options elsewhere too that may be better, depending on the price.

What were you thinking of in terms of monitors? 1080p 144hz? 1440p? What kind of budget / price were you thinking of as a ballpark for the screens?

Why two new monitors, out of interest? Would an option be to buy one new monitor and just keep your old one as your 2nd screen?
 
Last edited:
Top