Thinking about building my own gaming computer. So many questions

It’s the cost of doing business. Happy gaming!

I blame Steep. I saw it recommended in the “games you’ve been playing” thread and then it was on sale for 80% off last month so I snapped it up for $6.

It’s incredibly fun, but my crappy chipset graphics can just barely run it: 17 fps @ 720p with all settings on lowest. The fps ranges from low teens to low 20s but generally hovers around 17. That’s painful, but it kind of works for skiing because it’s sort of like my skis are caught in ruts like in real life. (I’m more enthusiastic than skilled as a skier in real life.)

ETA: The FPS is so low that I can’t successfully complete even the easiest story mode runs or whatever they’re called. All I do is free ski around the mountains but even that is incredibly fun.

I just built a new machine and luckily had been sitting on a 3-year-old used EVGA 1080 Ti SC2 that I pulled out of a computer I’d bought from a friend for $700 in 2019. They’re priced at $1050 used on amazon and $1500 new on newegg right now.

For a moment I actually considered selling it and making a few hundred bucks, but then I wouldn’t have a GPU to put in my new computer. I was switching up from a laptop, so pulling the GPU out of that wasn’t feasible, and then I would have deal with the current market.

And Steep is an awesome game! (I think I may have been the one who recommended it) I’ve had it for a while and I still kind of suck at it but it’s still crazy fun anyways. :slight_smile:

Steep really is crazy fun. Can’t wait to improve my 17 fps @ 720p Low experience.


On Newegg there were maybe a half dozen different sellers of the card I chose, varying in price and shipping. Around half say “Shipped from the USA” and half say “Shipped from China.” One of the USA ones was tied for cheapest overall price so I picked that hoping it would ship faster. It shipped yesterday; check out this FedEx tracking info:

Ha! Shipped from USA indeed. I don’t actually care; if what I ordered arrives I’m all good. But that tracking info is pretty funny. (EDIT: Newegg says it left the origin facility in XIAMEN CN, USA.)


I’ve culled my game library down to fit on my 1 TB C: drive. With 342 GB free space left on my C: drive (I’d rather not dip below 300) I now have an installed game library of 16 titles:

98.2 Grand Theft Auto V
68.6 Doom
68.3 Hitman: Game of the Year
63.2 Halo: The Master Chief Collection
49.5 Control
27.4 Steep
25.3 Starcraft II
18.5 X-COM (full collection)
12.2 Age of Empires
9.9 Grid 2
7.7 Subnautica
6.6 PGA Tour Golf 2K21
5.6 Starcraft Remastered
1.6 Oxygen Not Included
0.8 The Ur-Quan Masters
0.1 Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved
~463 GB total

There’s some big releases in this list I’m super excited to play, most notably Hitman: GOTY. I loved the original Hitman back in the early 2000s, and I just picked up GOTY this week for 80% off. Can’t wait for that. I also grabbed the free copy of Control from Epic Store last week. I think that (plus growing Steep frustration) was what pushed me to go ahead and get a placeholder video card.

As for space, I’m thinking I’ll add a second 1 TB M.2 drive for games once the price on the EVO 970 drops to around $120. (Around $150 now; maybe later this year?) In a perfect world I would get a 2 TB games drive, but in that same perfect world both my data and internal backup SSDs would also be twice as big as they are in reality (2 TB and 1 TB respectively, where I would have preferred 4 TB and 2 TB), so a 1 TB games drive would fit right in.

Be wary of the Hitman series, they seem to offer addons for the later ones which cover the previous games, so you might be able to pickup Hitman 2 much cheaper if you’ve bought 3, and then got 2 as dlc. I ended up with Hitman as an addon to Hitman 2, as well as owning the original. I wasn’t sure what was being sold to me. Probably gave me a couple of extra missions.

The Epic Game Store version of Hitman combines all three plus DLC into one game which is pretty cool. Upgraded the older versions too.

But if you already own a game or two in the series not sure I’d spend the money…maybe.

I forget the details now. I think it was 2 & 3 in the bundle and I owned the first on Steam which they let me prove I had bought (not too difficult…a few steps) and then the first game was also bundled in on Epic to make one huge game.

Yeah, the Hitman purchase was super confusing, agreed. I can’t tell if each installment gives you all previous installments for free, or for a big discount. ($20 I think?) I think it’s a big discount.

I concluded that buying Hitman 2 and “activating” (or whatever) the Hitman 1 storyline would confuse me, and be costly if I ended up having to buy 2 and then spend more money (even at a discount) to unlock 1. Or the same thing for buying 3 and activating 1 and 2 inside it.

The complete Hitman 1 Game of the Year Edition is currently on sale for 86% off at gambillet (link to gamebillet.com), which made it a no-brainer choice for me. I strongly prefer starting with just part 1 of any series both to keep it simple and to (hopefully) enjoy lower gpu requirements and a smaller installation on the hard drive. Plus it’s a steam key, which is nice.

At a mere $8.88 after tax I was sold. I’m also encouraged because I haven’t been loving Hitman: Absolution (which I picked up for free back in 2018 I think) as much as I thought I would based on how much I enjoyed the original Xbox Hitman. Reading “rank the Hitman games” articles indicates that Absolution is a departure and that 1 / GOTY returns to the original style, which I am rather looking forward to.

The plan is to keep an eye out for similar deep discounts on 2 and 3. From what I’ve read, Hitman 1 / GOTY has tons of the replay value I loved about the first one and that seems decidedly missing from Absolution.

With each sequel, IO let you integrate the previous game’s content into the current one. So with Hitman 3, if you also own Hitman 1 and 2, you can play all 3 games in Hitman 3.

Beware the Epic store. I have a few games from them, mostly free ones but I bought Hitman 3 from them and it worked for about a month and now refuses to launch no matter what I do. Following their own instructions for when that occurs, I verified game files, updated my drivers, ran as administrator, updated Windows, launched from the folder and not the client, nothing worked. I still can’t play it. And of course Epic support is useless.

I hear a lot of people are doing this with the caveat that (if using Team Blue) you need to use the Intel 11600K for the UHD 750 graphics.

Yeah, I briefly felt a twinge of remorse at buying a 10400 around a month before the 11-series was released, thinking I missed out on a better chipset graphics by just weeks. But the UHD 730 doesn’t look much better based on userbenchmark “effective speed” comparisons:

UHD 730 is 17% faster than UHD 630
1050 Ti is 491% faster than UHD 630
1050 Ti is 406% faster than UHD 730

While technically faster, the difference is negligible, and I’d probably still be in the exact same position.

What’s interesting is with Alder Lake (12th Gen) coming out in the next 6 month is it worth it to wait? Some issues I see is that it is a hybrid chip. Anyone remember the Lakefield chip? Also DDR5 (coming out about the same time) is a great thing but when will it be cheap enough to be considered affordable? With 11th gen it may not be a great step forward but having PCIe4 video card and m.2 support is a plus AND it is about the same price as building a 10th gen or lower rig.

EllisDee, look at comparisons between the UHD 730 and 750. That is why if you are going sans video card right now you are pretty much locked in to the 11600K.

11th gen was not received very well at all. Some dubbing it a “waste of sand” (11700k in this case).

Let’s hope they do something with 12th gen. AMD is really starting to pull away.

I’m not sure what I’d do if I were buying a computer right now.

Because I’m locked into PCIe3 because of my motherboard, I can hopefully look forward to prices on PCIe3 components cratering in the not-too-distant future. Maybe I will be able to find a 2 TB M.2 games drive after all, since I will only need PCIe3. Same deal once DDR5 becomes the norm for grabbing another 16 GB of DDR4 ram.

But I would have trouble justifying PCIe3 and DDR4 if I were looking to start right now. I guess I’d have to go with the i5-10600k, but that would be $290 compared to the $165 I spent on my cpu. I’d probably have to subsidize that difference with less hard drive space or a crappier case with louder fans. Nooooooo! hehheh.

Oops my bad. The 750 is better, for sure, but…

UHD 750 is 51% faster than UHD 630
1050 Ti is 295% faster than UHD 750

Based on my experience with the UHD 630, if it were somehow magically changed into a 750 I don’t think it would help all that much. It could probably get Steep up to mid-20s fps @ 720p Low, but that’s hardly good. I’d still feel a pressing need to get a placeholder card.

If you want to commit to chipset graphics as your placeholder (instead of spending $400 on a budget card that only cost $150 five years ago like a sucker) I think the only real way to do that is AMD.

Googling to remember what AMD calls their chipset graphics (Vega, and they call it an “APU”) reveals an intriguing article from a couple weeks ago:

That seems to be the clear winner. If you want to stick with chipset until video cards return to the world, wait until August and pick up a Ryzen 5000G series card with Vega APU. According to user benchmark, the Vega 8 that was released in 2017 for AMD notebooks stacks up as follows:

RX Vega 8 5000 iGPU is 263% faster than UHD 630
RX Vega 8 5000 iGPU is 140% faster than UHD 750
1050 Ti is 63% faster than RX Vega 8 5000 iGPU

For a “free” placeholder that looks pretty darn solid to me. If I had a Vega 8 I don’t think I’d be buying a placeholder 1050 Ti. And will these new 5000G series chips have a better Vega version than the 2017 notebook version? Probably, right?

So yeah, if I were buying now I think I’d have to wait until August and then go AMD against my will. (My preferences for intel and nvidia are both irrational and strong.)

TeamGroup is launching some DDR5 in the upcoming weeks with a cost of $400 for 32GB of 4800 speed DDR5. You can also go down to 4000 speed to save some money but the rumored high end can be 10000 speed so who know what that’ll cost.

You can get by on 16GB of memory so I’d assume $200 for 4800-speed, give or take 25% based on brand and sales, etc. I’m just cutting the price in half since I’ve never really noticed significant saving swhen buying RAM in “bulk”.

Man, 32GB of 10000 speed DDR5 would be pretty sweet though.

I saw that along with other manufacturers announcing DDR5 will be released RSN but I haven’t seen any prices yet. Where did you see it?

That latency can be measured with a calendar. Thanks for the link.

Hopefully, once everyone else has DDR5 on the market and there’s actually consumer motherboards for it, the price will come down. But I also read recently about memory chip prices increasing due to scarcity so…

I must have built up some good karma recently. The card shipped from China to Japan to Memphis, TN, where it arrived yesterday at 11:36am. It was delivered to my door in Connecticut today at 11:27am, less than 24 hours after arriving in Memphis. That’s impressive as hell.

Popped it in, no signal. Bios says the PCIe slot is empty, so I grudgingly plug it into the psu. (I swear I read it didn’t need a power cable.) Fired right up, works great, woohoo! I updated the drivers and immediately checked Steep. The chipset had managed 17 fps @ 720p Low. With my shiny new card I have my choice of:

60 fps @ 1080p Medium
52 fps @ 1080p High
41 fps @ 1080p Ultra
39 fps @ 1080p Ultra+

Higher details look better. I can’t quite tell if I notice more responsiveness at medium than Ultra+. All of them are like night and day compared to the chipset’s 17 fps; the jump from that is so vast I’m having trouble distinguishing among them.

Should I definitely go for the 60 fps Medium, or is 39 fps enough for the graphical equivalent of a racing game? The game auto-detects Medium as the proper setting, so I suppose that answers my question. But the ultra looks so nice…