Please review these specs. Thank you | PCSPECIALIST

Please review these specs. Thank you

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Hi all,

First time post so, hello to everyone. Am hoping to get some opinions on a PC I am looking to get. I currently have a Zalman Z11+ case, AMD FX-4350 processor, Sapphire Radeon R9 280x GPU and 8GB RAM. This has served me very well for the last 6 years but has started to have minor issues so feel it's better to replace before they become major issues. This spec I feel is balanced without being too overkill:

Case
CORSAIR OBSIDIAN SERIES™ 750D FULL TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Six Core CPU (3.6GHz-4.2GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
ASUS® PRIME B450-PLUS (DDR4, USB 3.1, 6Gb/s) - RGB Ready!
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3000MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
6GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 1660 - HDMI, DP - GeForce GTX VR Ready!
1st Storage Drive
500GB Samsung 860 EVO 2.5" SSD, SATA 6Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 550W TXm SERIES™ SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
STANDARD AMD 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
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Platinum Warranty (3 Year Collect & Return, 3 Year Parts, 3 Year labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 10 to 12 working days
Price: £1,052.00 including VAT and Delivery
Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/SYCHHCMY9p/


Monitor: Currently, it is a 32" HD ready LED television. Am considering replacing it but may not.


Usages: Web surfing, videos, gaming (mainly games such as football management and Need for Speed type games so not too intensive but want the option to play more intensive ones in future if I want to).


Must haves: 5.25" drive space (I watch Blu-Ray discs from the PC so need to be able to have a BR drive). SSD (may need a dual boot to keep one as a bare Win install to play older games as there is something with my current Windows that is stopping them playing)....don't feel an M2 drive will be beneficial to me, though I see an extra £40 gets me the Samsung 500GB one (I like Samsung drives given my experience of current one and reputation). Best warranty possible as I had issues with my current PC (need a new mobo and CPU a month after the warranty ran out)


The case I have selected feels the best for 5.25" bays as well as cooling but if someone can suggest better, please let me know. The motherboard is an unknown as I have little knowledge of these. Graphics card wise, I do prefer AMD variation cards (my R9 serves me well) but I am concerned about the cooling on them, as the cards PCS uses seem to have little beyond the reference cards cooling. Also not sure about the amount of RAM....the 8GB in my PC has performed well so far but not sure how 8 would perform in a better system.


Budget: Up to about £1200 would be sensible given my uses...am hoping this next PC will last at least as long as my current one (6 years+)


I think that has covered everything I can think of. Any advice will be appreciated thank you
 

VenatoS

Well-known member
Case
CORSAIR OBSIDIAN SERIES™ 750D FULL TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Six Core CPU (3.6GHz-4.2GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
Gigabyte B450 AORUS ELITE: DDR4, USB 3.1 - RGB Ready - Slightly Better Mobo at 14£ increase
Memory (RAM)

16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB) - Higher Speed Ram
Graphics Card

6GB NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2060 - HDMI, DP - VR Ready! - A Better GPU for the "More Intense games"
1st Storage Drive

NOT REQUIRED
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB ADATA SX6000 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 (2100 MB/R, 1500 MB/W) - Since you only picked one storage, might as well get a faster one.
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive

NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 750W RMx SERIES™ MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET - Modular PSU with more power for Future Beefy GPU's
Power Cable

1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
Noctua NH-U14S Ultra Quiet Performance CPU Cooler - Much better Cooler for obvious reasons.
Thermal Paste

STANDARD THERMAL PASTE FOR SUFFICIENT COOLING
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/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Platinum Warranty (3 Year Collect & Return, 3 Year Parts, 3 Year labour) - YOU SURE ABOUT THIS?
Delivery

STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 10 to 12 working days
Price: £1,252.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/sYbHebWXra/
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
Currently, it is a 32" HD ready LED television. Am considering replacing it but may not.

That's the exact model of your TV/monitor? Something that says "HD ready" would usually be 720p rather than 1080p and would have been a bit obsolete when I bought my PC over 7 years ago. For a build of this budget, you might easily be looking at 1440p and can get budget 1440p 32" monitors for just under £200 (e.g. the one in my sig)

his has served me very well for the last 6 years but has started to have minor issues
What minor issues?
 

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Venatos: Thank you for the updated specs...will have a closer look later. And, yes, I am sure about the Warranty bit...if I'd had the same cover for my current PC, it would have saved me £400 when things broke

Oussebon: That's what it is says on the manual.....I believe it is a 720 TV which upscales to 1080. I agree it's not a brilliant TV (it's a PC World/Currys own brand TV which I won in a competition a year before I got the PC). Thank you for the advice re: the monitor...I will certainly have a look...my plan is to buy the PC now and probably upgrade the monitor/TV in a few months.
As for the minor issues, it is getting slower despite using a SSD (has been a bit better since I unplugged my second boot drive which was a SATA drive)....it also comes up with CPU fan fault most times I start the PC. I have a no maintenance water cooler on it (Think it's a Noctua, maybe Corsair) and, as the radiator looks okay (and the fan behind it runs fine), I wonder if the water has evaporated maybe? As I said, minor issues but, as I was considering upgrading my PC anyway, they just made up my mind
 

Scott

Moderator
Moderator
This gets you 1440p gaming almost on budget (£14 over) **Edit: Removed RGB RAM and boom, inside budget!**. If you're happy with 1080p and feel that's the resolution you are happy gaming at then I would switch out the GPU for the 1660 Super and pocket the savings.

The M2 drive selected is extremely fast, you will notice it with the windows boot up, etc. I don't know of many SSD failings now so I wouldn't worry about the branding, I have an ADATA drive in my own system and it's fantastic. The warranty would cover any short-comings at the very worst case scenario (honest, don't worry about failure).

Case
CORSAIR OBSIDIAN SERIES™ 750D FULL TOWER CASE
Processor (CPU)
AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Six Core CPU (3.6GHz-4.2GHz/36MB CACHE/AM4)
Motherboard
Gigabyte B450 AORUS ELITE: DDR4, USB 3.1 - RGB Ready
Memory (RAM)
16GB Corsair VENGEANCE DDR4 3200MHz (2 x 8GB)
Graphics Card
8GB AMD RADEON™ RX 5700 - HDMI, DP - DX® 12

Get 3 Months of XBOX Game Pass for PC w/ select AMD Radeon Graphics

Ghost Recon: Breakpoint -OR- Borderlands 3 w/ select AMD Radeon GPUs
1st Storage Drive
NOT REQUIRED
1st M.2 SSD Drive
512GB ADATA SX6000 Pro PCIe M.2 2280 (2100 MB/R, 1500 MB/W)
DVD/BLU-RAY Drive
NOT REQUIRED
Power Supply
CORSAIR 550W TXm SERIES™ SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS® GOLD, ULTRA QUIET
Power Cable
1 x 1 Metre UK Power Cable (Kettle Lead)
Processor Cooling
STANDARD AMD 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
10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT (Wi-Fi NOT INCLUDED)
USB/Thunderbolt Options
MIN. 2 x USB 3.0 & 2 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL + MIN. 2 FRONT PORTS
Operating System
Windows 10 Home 64 Bit - inc. Single Licence
Operating System Language
United Kingdom - English Language
Windows Recovery Media
NO RECOVERY MEDIA REQUIRED
Office Software
FREE 30 Day Trial of Microsoft® Office® 365 (Operating System Required)
Anti-Virus
NO ANTI-VIRUS SOFTWARE
Browser
Firefox™
Warranty
3 Year Platinum Warranty (3 Year Collect & Return, 3 Year Parts, 3 Year labour)
Delivery
STANDARD INSURED DELIVERY TO UK MAINLAND (MON-FRI)
Build Time
Standard Build - Approximately 10 to 12 working days
Price: £1,199.00 including VAT and Delivery

Unique URL to re-configure: https://www.pcspecialist.co.uk/saved-configurations/amd-am4-gen3-pc/U9zcUWBs02/
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
If there's nothing apparently wrong with the graphics card you could buy a new PC without one and install that.

Your cooler won't be a Noctua has they don't do AIOs, it may well be Corsair

If the TV has a 720p screen it won't upscale to 1080p. There are tricks that gaming PCs use where they upscale an image to (e.g.) 4k, then downsample it back to 1080p to try ti improve 1080p fidelity as a form of performance-expensive anti-aliasing. But it's still a 1080p picture on a 1080p screen. If your TV says HD Ready rather than Full HD it's almost certainly 720p only.

A 1440p monitor even at 32" (27" being the most common size) would have 4 times as many pixels per inch as your old TV, therefore.

Onto the PC itself:

The 750D is a very large and an expensive case. There are less expensive cases, or smaller, or both cases that for a mid-range system are just as good.
The Fractal R6 is smaller and excellent for airflow while mitigating noise very well (relevant for movie watching?)
The Fracal Gocus G is way cheaper, great for airflow, and a great fit for a budget or mid-range system like this

I'd stick with the B450 as it has USB 3.1 Gen 2 over the AORUS, which doesn't. The AORUS does have an extra M.2 slot. Either shortcoming can be addressed with a PCIe add in card I guess but in that case why pay £14 more.

For the GPU, if you're a casual gamer with modest expectations re: settings, a 1660 or 1660 Super would do for 1440p, even in many demanding titles. A 1660p Super is only a few quid more than a 1660, and is in my opinion the better buy.
If looking for a bit more punch at 1440p, the AMD RX 5700 (non-XT) is overall more powerful than even the RTX 2060, and comes bundled with a choice of 2 games (the Borderlands games are excellent)

If you wanted to optimise the build for quiet, e.g. you watch movies on speakers rather than headphones, the Fractal R6 case, the Noctua or stock AMD coolers (both being quiet), and the RMx PSU (semi passive cooling) would be the go-to choices. The Fractal is particularly good as it hides the front fans and optical drive behind a foam-lined front panel, which significantly dampens the noise, while the vents at the front sides are actually more than sufficient to feed even powerful systems with fresh air.

But if you've got cans on, that doesn't really matter and not much point spending the premiums.

The warranty may give you peace of mind, but you'd have to be pretty unlucky anyway to call on it at all, and if you did, the cost of the warranty is greater than the cost of just about every individual component. With Zen 3 CPUs on the horizon, you may well be able to buy even the CPU for ~£140 by the time the year is out... it's sub-£200 as it stands. Besides which, parts may have their own warranties direct from the manufacturer beyond that offered by PCS e.g. the TXm PSU I think carries a 7 year warranty with Corsair.

Graphics card wise, I do prefer AMD variation cards (my R9 serves me well) but I am concerned about the cooling on them, as the cards PCS uses seem to have little beyond the reference cards cooling
As above, you could just re-use your AMD GPU, and upgrade when/if you buy a new monitor / when you start playing more demanding games if you like. No point getting a powerful GPU today if you're not going to actually run demanding games until after even newer, cheaper, and more powerful GPUs have been released - because you might as well have waited and got one of those instead!

Also, especially at this end of the spectrum, the cooling on the GPUs isn't much of an issue. You'd want to avoid an RX 5700 with a blower cooler, but any old RX 5700 with a twin/tri fan, any old 2060, any old 1660/Super etc will do. As for the RX 5700, if you decide you want one for 1440p demanding games, just ask PCS what model they're using. If it's twin/tri fan, great, if it's a 'blower' model, buy and fit your own RX 5700 for £350.
 

Scott

Moderator
Moderator
Good build there

Extra savings if you go with the non-RGB RAM. Shaves £15 off making it £1199 :D

You were too slow :p

Re the motherboard, from a personal stand point, I would always take dual M2 slots over USB 3.1 Gen2. I don't know anyone who has a specific need for Gen2 over Gen1. Sure, the bandwidth is increased but Gen1 is so fast to begin with that there won't be a lot of devices that can actually use it. I was hoping for VR to be coming through it but it's not happening.

A second M2 drive slot though.... oh yes please, every time. Loads of people like to increase their storage and it's so simple with the M2 interfaces.
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSDs are starting to appear more though, and I wouldn't say no to faster backups than on HDD or even regular SSD. We're not quite 'there' yet with them ofc, but looking forward it's one consideration :)
 

Scott

Moderator
Moderator
USB 3.1 Gen 2 SSDs are starting to appear more though, and I wouldn't say no to faster backups than on HDD or even regular SSD. We're not quite 'there' yet with them ofc, but looking forward it's one consideration :)

I'm still not convinced. I do not believe that the convenience of a slightly faster backup outweighs the ability to easily add more on-board M2 storage, especially as SATA becomes more and more redundant (port count on boards is dropping significantly). Add in a couple of optical drives and you have significantly hampered your storage upgrade options. There are certainly cases where it would be a good shout, but to your average user I don't think there are many people that would even notice the difference of Gen1/Gen2 without a benchmark.

I know that there are caddies etc becoming available but as far as I am aware they are limited by the SATA bus speed (6Gb/s). This would only allow a 1Gb increase....... which the drives, to this day, have never hit anyway (generally 4.5Gb/s).

I get the shiny new aspect of wanting cutting edge..... but in the extra M2 storage slot vs slightly slower USB transfer speeds of a limited number of ports..... I'd take M2 every day of the week.
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
That's arguing a point to extremes for the sake of it tbh.

The B450-PLUS has 6 sata ports. If you need more than that, you are moving to network storage anyway. Most cases don't even support that many drives (edit: principally due to the lack of optical drive bays, just to be clear)

Most people won't notice the difference between a cheap M.2 SSD (or often an expensive one) and a mid-range Sata SSD anyway without a benchmark either.

And if we're talking about "your average user", they may not notice M.2 vs Sata, they may not notice how fast their data backs up to external drives, but they could notice the £14 on the price tag.

It's not about shiny new tech - M.2 was still shiny new tech a couple of years ago that still wasn't mainstream. USB 3.1 Gen 2 is still making its way in the world but that's no argument not to have it given the uses. Cheap M.2 SSDs still aren't always a better option versus a cheap sata one either, even for gaming...

You might take a 2nd M.2 slot any day of the week but it doesn't mean it's a slam-dunk for everyone :) Depends on the uses.

I'm rarely going to argue for the Pro...
 
Last edited:

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Thank you both for your replies and the discussion about the mobos....storage wise I would probably only need 1 M2 drive as I already have a 500GB SSD and I also have an external 2TB SATA drive.

Regarding my television, 720 does sound right...it just gets a bit confusing when it says "HDMI1: 1080 @60mhz" on start-up but I guess that could just be related to the resolution my PC is displaying at.

I guess it is possible to use my current GPU in a new build but I am not sure how efficient it is....when I play GRID (a 2007 game), it sounds like an airplane taking off!! ALso, not sure if both fans on it are supposed to run continuously on idle or just the one that was running when I saw it earlier.

I shall digest everything posted and decide what to do ASAP as I changed the SATA cable on my BD player earlier and suddenly started having RAM issues (the RAM Incompatibility light on the MOBO keeps showing on start-up and reseating the RAM hasn't fixed it and, when I finally get the system started, it gives me an "overclocking attempt failed" message!!! Starting to wish I hadn't got up today lol
 

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Regarding the case, the size of it isn't really an issue for me as it's not much bigger than my current Zalman (just a bit taller)....I was looking for the maximum cooling while also being able to have the 5.25" bays.

And you were right about the cooler, Oussebon....it's a Coolermaster Seidon.

The Warranty is for peace of mind and also because I was unlucky with my current PC....It cost me £400 for replacement parts when I would've been covered by an extra warranty
 

Scott

Moderator
Moderator
I just feel that in most cases, the average user would make use of another storage option over a USB port that's simply a bit faster on paper (The drive connected needs to make use of the bandwidth, nothing does yet). Most people backup to conventional, external, 7200RPM Sata drives as they are cheaper. The USB3.0 ports would more than cover this. The 3.1 Gen1 would more than cover any SSD so the Gen2 is pointless. The Gen1/2 bandwidth were meant to be placeholders for extreme video data transmission..... like VR, which I was mighty excited about, it's just not happening yet.
 

Oussebon

Multiverse Poster
I was looking for the maximum cooling while also being able to have the 5.25" bays.
The focus G has more than enough cooing. If the 2 x 3.5", 1 x 2.5" bay, and 2 x 5.25" bays it has are enough for you, then you may as well go for the Fractal Focus G and save the difference.
 

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Yes, the Fractal G case does seem ideal...I skipped it before as the description didn't list 5.25" bays (should've looked more closely at the pictures lol. I notice that it comes with the 2 front fans but it does not mention the exhaust fan...would I need to install that myself? It's not an issue as I can just transfer the Noctua fan in my current case but was just curious
 

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Thank you...I see it in the description now (my guess is they just use stock pictures from Fractal? but the pics definitely don't show a rear fan)....not paying enough attention, mind still on how long before my computer says "enough is enough" and dies on me lol
 

Scott

Moderator
Moderator
I absolutely love the Focus G case, one of my favourites out of the bunch and the price is an absolute steal with all things considered. It's easy to skip over, given it's low price.

It's funny, I always get the impression that users looking for advice think we are skimping out on the case and think that spending "x" on an RGB shiny plastic box is a more prevalent choice.
 

Nursemorph

Big Poster
Yeah, the low price makes you think it's cheap and awful....but, from what I know of cases, Fractal are very good at what they do. I think people will gravitate towards the more interesting cases rather than the minimal boxes (I certainly did with my Zalman as I liked the angular look of it, the nice blue coloured fans and all the venting screamed "I'll keep your hardware cool")
 
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