Please check my new PC build

Hello. My current computer is a little antiquated, so I am planning a new build. I have built my last 2 systems, so I know how to do it, but I’d like some input. I currently only play Civ V (which my current system barely runs), but that could change in the future, and I’d like a system to be usable for a number of years. I am open to cost saving changes and other ideas. Here is what I am looking at:

OS

Microsoft Windows 10 Home - Full Version (32 & 64-bit) / USB Flash Drive
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832588528&cm_re=Microsoft_Windows_10_Home_-Full_Version%2832_%26_64-bit%29_%2f_USB_Flash_Drive--32-588-528--Product
$120
Processor

AMD FX-6350 Vishera 6-Core 3.9 GHz Socket AM3+ 125W FD6350FRHKBOX Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113327&cm_re=AMD_FX-6350_Vishera_6-Core_3.9_GHz_Socket_AM3%2B_125W_FD6350FRHKBOX_Desktop_Processor--19-113-327--Product
$130

AMD FX-8320 Vishera 8-Core 3.5 GHz (4.0 GHz Turbo) Socket AM3+ 125W FD8320FRHKBOX Desktop Processor
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113285&cm_re=AMD_FX-8320_Vishera_8-Core_3.5_GHz_(4.0_GHz_Turbo)_Socket_AM3%2B_125W_FD8320FRHKBOX_Desktop_Processor--19-113-285--Product
$150

(I was looking at both processors the other day, and there was only a $10 difference between them, but the FX 8320 went up to $150 today. Which do you think I should go with? Also open to other options)
Motherboard

ASUS 970 PRO GAMING/AURA AM3+ AMD 970 + SB 950 SATA 6Gb/s 2 x USB 3.1 ports (2 x Type-A, Red) ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813132713&cm_re=ASUS_970_PRO_GAMING%2FAURA_AM3%2B_AMD_970_%2B_SB_950_SATA_6Gb%2Fs_2_x_USB_3.1_ports_(2_x_Type-A%2C_Red)_ATX_AMD_Motherboard--13-132-713--Product
$105

SSD

SAMSUNG 850 EVO 2.5" 120GB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-75E120B/AM
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA12K2EV4048&cm_re=SAMSUNG_850_EVO_2.5"_120GB_SATA_III_3-D_Vertical_Internal_Solid_State_Drive_(SSD)_MZ-75E120B%2FAM--20-147-371--Product
$72

RAM

G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3L 1600 (PC3L 12800) Intel 100/9/8/7/6 Series Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9S-8GXLL
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820232140&cm_re=G.SKILL_Ripjaws_X_Series_8GB_240-Pin_DDR3_SDRAM_DDR3L_1600_(PC3L_12800)_Intel_100%2F9%2F8%2F7%2F6_Series_Desktop_Memory_Model_F3-1600C9S-8GXLL--20-232-140--Product
$35
Case

Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower Computer Case - Supports up to E-ATX / XL-ATX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811147053&cm_re=Rosewill_THOR_V2_Gaming_ATX_Full_Tower_Computer_Case_-Supports_up_to_E-ATX%2f_XL-ATX--11-147-053--Product

$130
Video Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 950 02G-P4-2956-KR 2GB SC+ GAMING, Silent Cooling Gaming Graphics Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814487157&cm_re=EVGA_GeForce_GTX_950_02G-P4-2956-KR_2GB_SC%2B_GAMING%2C_Silent_Cooling_Gaming_Graphics_Card--14-487-157--Product
$150
Power Supply
EVGA 500 W1 80+, 500W Continuous Power
http://www.amazon.com/EVGA-Continuous-Warranty-Supply-100-W1-0500-KR/dp/B00H33SFJU/ref=sr_1_48?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1456338762&sr=1-48&keywords=power+supply&refinements=p_89%3AEVGA|Corsair|Seasonic|Cooler+Master
$35
Any input would be great. To the best of my knowledge everything I chose is compatible. Thanks

The first thing to do is find out where your current system is falling short. To do this you need two utilities: Task Manager and GPU-Z.

While you’re running your games, run both utilities on a second monitor. Does a core on the CPU run at 100% in Task Manager? If so you will benefit from a CPU upgrade. Does your GPU max at 100% in GPU-Z? If so you will benefit from a GPU upgrade.

What do you have now? Bluntly, even 5 year old CPUs seem to cope fine with many games, usually only requiring a GPU upgrade.

With regard to the line items:

Do people still buy AMD for gaming systems? On gaming-oriented hardware sites like HardOCP and OCUK, Intel is vastly preferred.

You will find a 120 GB SSD far too small. Stretch to a 240 GB or larger SSD.

GPU-wise, best bang for the buck is the Geforce GTX 970 or the Radeon R9 390.

Concur with Quartz about the SSD. Really. Really really. I have lived for a few years with Windows 7 on an 80 GB Intel SSD and it’s hugely pinched now. Windows, since Vista on, has consistently accumulated more and more cruft the longer the Windows install is left up. I can’t imagine 120GB for a Windows 10 64-bit installation being “spacious” for more than a couple of years, even if it’s just the OS on that disk. And since I don’t see a second hard drive in your list, you’ll be tight on space within a year. You probably wouldn’t be able to install more than one game at a time. Definitely, get a terabyte or 1/2 terabyte SSD. Or, alternately, devote the current SSD for the OS and maybe one chosen application and add a spinning-rust 2 TB disk drive for everything else.

As to the vid card, when I just bought a month ago, the Geforce 960 was at the price/performance knee. The 950 was cheaper still, but the performance advantage of the 960 was more than the price differential. The 970 is near top-of-the-line, but I don’t know what games you plan to play (other than Civ V, which the 950 or 960 would be enough for), or what display you want to use (the 970’s main advantage would be driving high frame rates for XHD or 4k displays rather than the more common HD 1080 displays). If the price curve has shifted since when I went shopping, the 970 may be the current value.

More RAM. Windows 10 is a pig for it. 8GB may be “enough”, but double that is better and can perceptibly improve performance in a some situations.

I’d go up to a 600-650w PS for a system of this size. I’ve actually preferred Corsair or Thermaltake 750-800s when building a game system, although that’s absolutely overkill. (What if I want to SLI a second video card? :D)

Can’t comment on CPU or mobo, since I haven’t bought an AMD since my FM2/Trinity A4 system two years ago. and that was just for the household server. Not a performance system at all.

Case in point: AMD Phenom II 965 CPU system with 8 GB ram in a Windows 7 machine. Used to run Fallout 4 horribly even at “low”; now it’s terrific at normal HD 1080p at even at “High”. The CPU wasn’t the performance bottleneck; the GPU was, which I replaced with the aforementioned Geforce 960.

http://pcpartpicker.com/p/CDdjf7

That is just my attempt at the best I could do price vs performance (you can spend more to get more from there).

There isn’t anything wrong per se with your build, but you are spending more to get less.
The biggest issues are:

  1. Intel is killing AMD right now, there is very little room to pick AMD when looking at price vs $$, especially at the space over $100
  2. You should spend more on the processor, and less on the case and motherboard, in general if you want to max your performance per $$ (why such a large, expensive case)
  3. SSD size is far more important than performance - step up to 240GB or 480GB in a cheaper, lesser known brand and you won’t feel the difference vs a different SSD but will save $$. Also, SSD get faster as they get larger, so usually 240GB slow model > 120GB fast model
  4. Power supply quality matters a hell of a lot more than power supply watts. A seasonic is top of the line and gold means less $$ for power. A good quality 450 watt like I have listed probably has at least 150 watts extra already for the system I specified. Most everything and everyone overbuys power supply watts because of crap supplies that can’t really do the watts they say.
    (I note that I personally ran a dual card 7950/i5-2500k overclocked for a while and it didn’t pull even 400 watts from the wall in actual gaming)

Personally, if you was to build your own PC, I’d try for a dual drive system. The OS and programs/applications going on the 120GB SSD, with any documents/videos/music etc going on a separate, 1TB HDD. 120GB won’t be big enough.

Personally, I won’t be buying an SSD until the price comes down a bit more, and large (i.e. 1TB/2TB) SSDs are easy to access/buy.

[ul]
[li]Go with Windows 10 Pro.[/li][li]Minimum 16 GB Ram.[/li][li]Dual hard drives, restricting C drive to just Windows and D drive to applications and data.[/li][/ul]

I agree about a dual drive system, but I would say get a 250gb or even 500gb SSD and 1tb HD. If you’re building a gaming machine, games will benefit from being on the SSD. Skimp on RAM now, if you want to pinch pennies somewhere, or on the platter HD. They’ll be easy to update later where swapping in a new SSD would be a hassle.

I don’t know why he’d want Windows Pro over Home, unless it’s for Bitlocker.

Ok, thanks for the replies. I forgot to say it, but I will also be putting a 1T HDD I already have in the system, but I also upped the size of SDD. And on the advice here, I went with an I5 processor. Here’s what I am looking at now:

OS
Microsoft Windows 10 Home - Full Version (32 & 64-bit) / USB Flash Drive
$120

Case

Rosewill REDBONE U3 - Mid Tower Computer Case - Black SECC Steel, USB 3.0, eSATA, 3 x 120mm Fans


$50

SSD

Mushkin Enhanced Reactor 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MKNSSDRE256GB


$80

Motherboard

GIGABYTE G1 Gaming GA-H170-Gaming 3 (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel H170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard


$95

Processor

Intel Core i5-6500 6M Skylake Quad-Core 3.2 GHz LGA 1151 65W BX80662I56500 Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 530


$205

Videocard

ZOTAC GeForce GTX 960 AMP! 4GB GDDR5 HDMI DVI DisplayPort Graphic Card (ZT-90309-10M)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UJ74QLS/?tag=pcpapi-20
$195

Memory

CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 8GB 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) Memory Kit Model CMK8GX4M1A2400C14R


$43

OR

G.SKILL NT Series 8GB 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 2133 (PC4 17000) Intel Z170 Platform / Intel X99 Platform Desktop Memory Model F4-2133C15S-8GNT


$31

Case

Corsair Carbide Series 200R Black Steel / Plastic compact ATX Mid Tower Case
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811139018&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-PCPartPicker,%20LLC--na--na-_-na&cm_sp=&AID=10446076&PID=3938566&SID=
$60

Powersupply

SeaSonic S12II 520 Bronze 520W ATX12V V2.3 / EPS 12V V2.91 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply


$64

Most of this is based off jacobsta811’s recommendations. I changed a few things, in part because I want to stick with Newegg and Amazon and I don’t think I want to go with OEM items. DO you think I’d see any real difference in going with the cheaper memory I have listed? And again, open to changes and other ideas.

Thanks

You have two cases listed - is this a choice, or did you decide on one or the other and just forgot to leave out the other one?

Either RAM is fine. You’ll get a couple of extra FPS in some games going with DDR4-2400 vs DDR4-2133. But not a big difference. I’d probably spend an extra $5 for 2400 but not more, so whatever is cheapest on the day you go to buy it.
Everything else is fine, either of those cases are decent, and the right price bracket to be looking in.

Edit to add: Don’t buy either of those SPECIFIC modules though, unless you buy two. You want 2x4GB, not 1x8GB - the processor supports dual channel RAM so one stick is basically half as fast.

Try and afford the GTX 970 over the GTX 960.

I don’t think the i5-6500 processor can take advantage of RAM faster than DDR4-2133 so the DDR4-2400 wouldn’t give any speed benefit. Usually the price difference is negligible, though, and in general the faster the RAM is rated the better quality it is.

jacobsta811 makes a very good point about using either 2x8GB or 2x4GB sticks. That processor supports dual-channel memory, so it can read / write to two modules at a time. You get twice the bandwidth by using two. For most applications you wouldn’t notice much difference because RAM bandwidth isn’t the bottleneck, but it hardly costs more to get two smaller sticks instead of one big one.

On the case I’m going with the Corsair. I was going with the other one, but changed my mind and forgot to remove it.

And the memory, I can get a pair of 4GB sticks for around $33, or a pair of 8GB’s for $60. DO you think i’d see much a drastic difference if I go with the pair of 8GB’s? Or just add more RAM in the future if I need it? And should I go with the 2400? Like nesta said, it looks like 2133 is what it will take.

Thanks

The GTX 970 is $100 more. I just can’t justify that price difference. Thanks though.

One thing I’d say is that there’s no reason with Windows 10 not to go with OEM versions. You will not be able to transfer the license, since it’s device locked.

Definitely go with Windows 10 Pro, and don’t worry if it’s only on DVD. You can download the Media Creation Tool to make your own USB install disk, and then use the license from the DVD. Plus, that gets you the latest ISO, so fewer updates will be needed to get you up and running.

I see an OEM Windows 10 Pro DVD on Amazon for $103, cheaper than what you’re paying for Windows 10 “Basic.” And a 4 gig flash drive is what, $4? And you probably already have one.

I didn’t notice much of a difference going from 8 GB to 16 GB, to be honest, and it’s easy enough to upgrade RAM if you find you need more later. Right now the only reason I could think of for 16 GB if you don’t do a lot of picture or video editing is for futureproofing, and if you’re building on a set budget it’s probably a corner you can cut to add a larger or faster HD instead.

You are right that the 2nd specific build he proposed can’t run the RAM at 2400 - but it is because of the H170 motherboard (instead of Z170) and not the CPU itself.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-intel-skylake-core-i5-6500-review

If you scroll about halfway down this gives an idea of the changes just when the memory speed changed on an i5-6500. Not life changing, but it does make a (very small) difference.

Make sure the exact part number of the ram is spelled out as compatible with your MB. I didn’t check and 2x4gb sticks worked ok but when I went 4x4gb all executive same my system became totally unstable.

Also I’d strongly recommend a i4790k and ncis is you if you are gaming.