Help me spec out a new work at home PC?

I wouldn’t go quite that far. Going to the Digital Storm site and customizing a Slade Studio machine: (I don’t know how to link with all the choices made since I’m on my phone right now.)

Plain black case (no glass or RGB)
Intel i9 11900K
ASUS Prime Z590-P motherboard
32 GB DDR4-3200 RAM
600W power supply
500 GB Samsung 980 Pro M.2 PCIe 4.0 system drive
No scratch drive
1 TB Samsung 870 Evo SSD data drive
RTX 3060 ti
Digital Storm liquid cooler (stage 2)
Standard cable management
Stage 2 overclocking (all cores up to 5.1 GHz)
Windows 10 Pro

I don’t love the 600W PSU, but the next step up is 850W for another $90 or so, and they claim the 600W is sufficient for a 3060 ti. Wish they had a 750W option.

This machine would be significantly faster than the MicroCenter system, but of course it costs 2.5x as much or more if you want a real power supply.

That is a very nice system, but I just don’t see where it is significantly faster.

My benchmark says that CPU would score about 5% higher on their Photoshop benchmark, over the other system. Both are also very overclockable from what I can see.

The 3060 ti is faster than the 3060, but it’s a pretty thin margin in something like Photoshop. The ti also has less video memory, but I have no clue if that might or might not be an issue with some plugins (as noted, not an Adobe guy).

Yeah I mean I’m all about the i5 11600K, which is quite fast when overclocked. Agree with you there. (All of the ryzen chips are overclockable; I assume it would be similar.)

I really like how they overclock it for you. That’s a nice touch.

EDIT: And in fact if you overclock I think you pretty much have to go with the 850W power supply, bringing the total to around $2980.

Correcting something I said earlier that apparently is wrong, that digital storm site charges $118 for the 1 TB Samsung 870 Evo SSD, which is the exact SSD I recommended and linked above on Amazon for like $130. So not only is it not twice as expensive from a pre-built as I claimed, it’s actually cheaper.

That’s interesting. I’ve definitely heard tech professionals referring to it as “part of the CPU.” But it is an fTPM or firmware TPM, and the firmware is part of the chipset. Still, that firmware would need the CPU to actually run. So it seems like it’s really a part of both.

I’m glad you figured out how to enable TPM on your system. While the tech sites tended to cover how to do this, Microsoft’s messaging has not been so great. They should have made a big deal about how you might just need to enable TPM in your “BIOS.”

I was going to mention that you’d also need to check if your CPU was compatible, but I noticed your chipset requires 10th gen CPUs, which are compatible. The requirements are 8th gen Intel or 2nd gen AMD Ryzen (Zen+) or higher, with a handful of 7th gen Intel grandfathered in. If you have a compatible CPU, then your motherboard should allow you to enable TPM without a discreet module.

Yes, that means the original Zen (first gen Ryzen) is not compatible, and that’s a huge point of contention among a lot of people I know. From what I understand, some motherboard manufacturers are working to modify their firmware to make it work anyways, somehow. So it sounds like that might be a possibility for those who have a motherboard that is still getting UEFI “BIOS” updates but with “unsupported” CPUs.

Of course, none of that is all that relevant to buying a new PC. My point for the OP was simply that all new PCs will have built-in TPMs and supported CPUs; thus they are all Windows 11 compatible.

So no need to worry about that when buying a new PC.

Whoa, all this new info is beginning to overwhelm my meatware-based I/O ports a little bit! :slightly_smiling_face:

So, I think it’s coming down to my video / graphics requirements. @Whack-a-Mole posted last night (the last post I read before I stopped checking the SDMB for the night) saying a mediocre video card is all I really need, and recommending more speed and storage. Very good recs on the latter, but I think my video reqs are higher than some think.

Now, the opinion among some is that since my monitor reqs are modest, and Photoshop and Illustrator are the most rendering-intensive programs I use, that I could get by with a so-so video card, or even integrated graphics.

But I also want the ability to run After Effects easily, which is a video editor. And maybe I’ll get a 3D modeling program and play around with that one day. Also, I may want to pick up a widescreen 4K monitor down the road! Or, who knows, maybe I’ll lose my job and turn to hardcore gaming to console myself while I’m unemployed.

I’m thinking a decent, but not top of the line video card is something I could use. Adding more storage with a second HD or more RAM to get to 32GB is easy, and less uncertain in terms of pricing and availability down the road. So I’m thinking the G509 system that @DMC recommended is still my best bet…? I think I’ll spring for an extra 16GB of RAM while I’m there.

Just saw a video that established M.2 NVMe 4.0 is not as valuable as you would think (only improves load times slightly over 3.0) and forces you to go Rocket Lake. But then if you are going Rocket Lake with a 500 series mobo, why would you be buying a video card right now? The PCIe 4.0 cards are way too expensive and the onboard video is good enough for now.

FTR: this is the route I’m taking because gen 10 chips - well I’d be going i7 10700K and that’s $350. If I go gen 11 I can get the i5 11600K for $100 less giving up 2 cores and 4 threads. PLUS I can avoid having to get the video card right now so big upside there.

The $1200 system under discussion on sale from MicroCenter includes a PCIe 4.0 RTX 3060.

You could consider getting a more modest card now that meets your needs now and upgrading in the future if you want a more powerful card. Hopefully stock will increase and prices will come down.

Just an idea.

True, but it’s not like the card in the G509 that @DMC spec’ed out is breaking the bank. I was prepared to spend up to $1500. At $1200, I can afford the card and extra RAM to get me to 32GB and maybe an extra SSD as well. So why not; I’m worth it.

Moving this advice thread to IMHO

Yeah, the discussion of buying a video card in a premade vs. a build your own is dichotomous right now. I mentioned it as my rationale behind my build which will be putting together pieces on my bench - or a table as The Verge suggests.

Oh gotcha. Yeah for you building your own, waiting on the nice video card is a good call. Hopefully the integrated graphics does everything you need in the meantime. That’s actually exactly what my plan was when I built mine in February, and then by around May I finally gave in and spent $400 on a 1050 ti reissue. I felt like the biggest sucker, but I needed a video card.

I’d go with the 3060 in the prebuilt rather than assume you’ll be plugging one in later. GPU prices right now probably won’t stabilize until at least 2023 at this point and a 3060 is a perfectly good budget option that will last a non-gamer a long time. Yes, you could maybe put a 1060 in there and so fine but when a 1060 is going to cost you $300-$400 in this market, why do that to yourself?

Were 1060s reissued? I thought it was only the 2060 and the 1050 ti that got reissued.

My old computer that I replaced this year had a GT 630, which reached end of life in 2018, meaning no more driver updates. Didn’t stop that stupid GeForce Experience from nagging me about updating drivers despite being unable to.

I specifically chose the 1050 ti for the reasoning that since it was a reissue, it’s more likely to have extended support. My possibly naive assumption is that the reissued cards will get a whole new life cycle of updates, or at least plenty long enough until the market (hopefully) stabilizes in a couple years.

(Also because it was the cheapest.)

I following this thread because I’m contemplating replacing my circa 2011 machine which I built myself from the Ars Technica System guide (not sure which one).
Wonder how my middle of the road graphics card (not at home so don’t know offhand the exact model) compares to a modern machine’s integrated graphics (as mentioned, I’m not sure it it even supported)


My GT630 from 2011 was worse according to userbenchmark. The Intel UHD 630 integrated graphics was supposed to be 50% faster. Probably was, but that still wasn’t fast enough to play Steep.

And I think the new UHD 750 integrated graphics is supposed to be like 50% faster than the UHD 630. For comparison, the 1050 ti is over 300% faster than the UHD 630, again according to userbenchmark. My conclusion from that is that the UHD 750 wouldn’t be fast enough to play Steep either.

All numbers from memory, so just ballpark.

I’m off to the office to swap out my current remote system and pick up the one in question, which our IT staff finished configuring for me. I’ll post my thoughts on it after using it for a bit. One of my staff has already brought theirs home (we also provided 31 inch 4k monitors) and is grinning ear to ear since they have matching resolutions and screen sizes both at home and the office.

Keyboard and mouse are your pretty standard cheap stuff that you get with most systems. The computer itself is speedy and the screen is working wonderfully thanks to the 3060. The case is small, but not tiny. You’re not going to fit a giant 3090 in there, but there’s still plenty of room. I don’t know if each store puts their own together or if that is a corporate thing, but there is a side window and the cable management was actually well done. I didn’t really need RGB, but it’s there as well.

I’ll be replacing the keyboard and mouse, but otherwise, I’m liking this machine a lot.

Picked up my new G509 last night! I sprang for an extra 16GB of RAM to top it up to 32, and I got the secondary 2TB SSD that @DMC recommended.

Played around with it pretty late into the night last night. It does seem ridiculously fast, though I didn’t do too much heavy lifting yet-- sadly I have to use my old computer for work one more day before I can take the time to transfer my Adobe Creative Cloud account and configure a bunch of other stuff over the weekend to make the new computer fully work-ready-- going to be too busy to take time with the swap-over today. I’m actually going to look forward to getting back to work on Monday!

I did download and run userbenchmark, which pretty much gave the machine glowing reviews across the board. And maybe the best indication that I made a good choice is that my 18 year old gamer son was actually impressed with its specs. He said he might buy one as a birthday present to himself-- he thinks his 4 year old self-build is ancient.

One thing about userbenchmark I was curious about-- an overall rating said my computer, compared to all other computers with my exact components, ranked in the 53rd and 56th percentile the two times I ran it. I’m not concerned, I’m sure it’s going to be more computer than I need for awhile, but why would a brand new computer fresh out of the box, with little software bloat, rank only in the middle of the pack among computers with the same config?

Anyway, thanks again to all for your great info and advice! I’ll post again next week with an update after I’ve done some serious work on it.