Critique this PC build

Hope Ellis_Dee doesn’t mind me using this thread for the same purpose (he simply beat me to the punch by a day or two).

I’d like to be able to run MS Flight Sim 2020 adequately. Will his rig do well with it, or can I get away with a budget rig ~$1000 less? [Perhaps using an i5 chip] I am also a quasi-audiophile and the motherboard has to be compatible with any fairly top end sound cards. I know the sim is RAM-hungry so 32K should be more than adequate. I may also get back into auto sims (Assetto Corsa II).

I replied because you exactly hit my reasoning for my builds. My computer will physically start failing (barely) before it is so out of date as to be unusable.

I think his is the 3rd or 4th thread on a poster building a PC and I know we hijacked his thread on his build time and time again.
Maybe we need an omnibus PC build thread.

This isn’t my thread, it’s yours?

As for omnibus threads, I regret starting the general PC gaming thread. I think separate threads for separate builds is slightly better, but I also don’t think piggybacking existing threads is bad.

I did think of a devil’s advocate response to a point I brought up:

What happens is you get to upgrade to “old” Gen 5 drives for cheap if Gen 6 has overtaken the scene. Score!

MFS is cpu-limited. You’d want to go i7 at least if that’s the target game. Considering an i9 wouldn’t even be insane, depending on how into MFS you are. I would advise against an i5 if that’s a game you spend tons of hours in.

Cities Skylines is also cpu limited, and that’s the one game I have played where I wish I didn’t go with the 10400. I didn’t gain one single frame per second upgrading from a 1050 ti to a 3050. All the first-person-perspective games I play (Subnautica, Raft, Skyrim, Portal, Prey, etc…) almost doubled in fps, and still leave my 10400 at 30% usage or less while the 3050 is running at 99%. So playing these games I feel big-brained for choosing the 10400.

If all I ever played were MFS and C:S, my 10400 decision would have been awful.

With a 13th gen, he probably wouldn’t need to. The difference between them in MFS is about seven FPS, all other factors being equal. And that’s a difference between 94 and 101 (not, say, 23 and 30) so still extremely playable.

I have ~1,300 hours in MSFS 2020. For better or worse, my new CPU + double RAM (but same GPU, RTX 2060) produced no, or very minimal, gains in FPS (per Steam counter).

My old build was an 8700K. With mostly High and some Ultra settings (like clouds) I was reliably getting 42-45 fps in cruise in, say, the PMDG 737. I feel a bit lucky in that, as others who have much beefier builds were getting less.

In a flight sim such as this, mid-40s fps is perfectly fine.

That had to be disappointing. I would have expected upgrading the CPU and RAM to noticeably increase your FPS, but I guess not. Huh.

Well, I guess I should have been more disappointed than I was, especially since MSFS Dev mode said I was CPU bound (and with a 5-generations ago CPU, reasonable).

But once I get a 6800 XT or 4070 or 3080*, I definitely do expect some real improvements. My poor 2060 only has 6 Gb VRAM.

_ * in about 3 years, at this rate (prices + availability)

I have spent some time looking and I cannot find a solid answer to whether a very good air cooler can do the job for this CPU.

I see some saying absolutely not and others saying no problem at all. I see numbers of 100C at load on an air cooler and 65C on an air cooler.

I also saw a lot of posts on undervolting the CPU (reducing power). It came with practically no performance hit, saves power and thus heat production.

Also, it depends on what you are doing with your PC. Heavy video work will push the CPU. Games less so. Surfing the web and email…no stress at all.

I guess it pays to be safe and go with an AIO water cooler.

If this just means dragging the power slider down in afterburner, I can attest that I don’t see any performance hit doing this with my little 3050 running 1080p. And I jacked it all the way down to 72%, as low as it let me. I could not discern a difference in FPS. If it dropped any it was only maybe 2-3 fps, from the high 110s to the mid 110s. Power consumption at 99% usage dropped from 120W to 100W.

I did this so I could cut the fan speed by 40% to make it silent in my noise-dampened case. Works remarkably well. So now I guess I don’t have to pay any attention to fan noise in reviews on video cards going forward. Or at least I can care much less about it.

Dropping the power (undervolting?) dropped the temps 5C, cutting the fan curve by 40% raised the temp by 7-8C, so net result is it runs 3C warmer (67C vs 64C), is silent, and gets essentially the same FPS.

To say I’m a big fan of this would be an understatement. It is certainly an arrow in your quiver if you want to try air cooling. Just keep the fans rocking and get a “free” 5C.

My biggest problem with cooling right now is I don’t know if the coolers are bigger yet to cover the bigger chips. That just annoys me on principle, even if it doesn’t have a measurable effect. (Most of the heat is in the middle of the chip anyway, I think. Or at least not at the very edges.)

Yeah…the CPU is much smaller than the chip you see in the box (what you see is the silver integrated heat spreader…IHS). Without the IHS you can see the CPU is a lot smaller. That said, different CPUs are different in what is under there as you can see below.

Is this a whole new system or do you already own any components (namely, does it need to include a GPU?)

I definitely didn’t keep it below $1000 but…

PC Part Picker list for a potential i5 System

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-13600K 3.5 GHz 14-Core Processor ($319.92 @ Amazon)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Pure Rock 2 Black CPU Cooler ($48.49 @ Newegg Sellers)
Motherboard: MSI PRO Z690-A ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($206.99 @ B&H)
Memory: Kingston FURY Beast 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR5-5200 CL40 Memory ($74.98 @ Amazon)
Storage: Samsung 980 Pro 1 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive ($129.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: ASRock Challenger D OC Radeon RX 6600 XT 8 GB Video Card ($279.99 @ Newegg)
Case: NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case ($59.99 @ GameStop)
Power Supply: Super Flower Leadex VI Platinum PRO 850 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($119.99 @ Newegg Sellers)
Total: $1240.34
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2023-01-12 16:38 EST-0500

This assumes you have a mouse, keyboard and monitor. It also doesn’t include a Windows install key. You can watch any B-Tier tech Youtuber and they’ll probably be sponsored by someone selling OEM Win10 keys for $10-$15

Nice choice, but unsurprisingly out of stock.

Whole new. My current system is an ancient Vista machine, tho it did get an upgrade c. 2014 which went well. I’ll likely have the guys who did the work on it build the new one.

Yeah, if you’re keeping them 8 - 10 years then spending the extra bit now makes a lot more sense. If it was at all possible to hold on until the 7800X3D AM5 on Feb 14th, that’ll do a lot of work. It’ll cost more though and maybe this is urgent.

Maybe think about dropping to a 13600KF (no iGPU in KF models) to save a few bucks if it allows a GPU upgrade today. I’d probably get one 1TB SSD rather than two 500GB SSDs since it should make it easier to add a PCIe 5.0 SSD later. Plus it’s handy when you’re trying to install something too large and you’re just short of free space on the 500GB drive. I’ve been there a lot lately.

I’m re-evaluating the RAM considering for $20 I can get the same memory as 5200 with a CAS Latency of 36 vs 4800 / 40.

Now looking at spending $30 than originally planned for the G.SKILL Trident Z5 DDR5 6000

Personally, I’d go Nvidia for the GPU but I’m a bit biased.

The rest of it looks great.