Advice on a new build required

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  1. Calm Horizons's Avatar
    Posts : 7
    Windows 7
       #1

    Advice on a new build required


    Evening all.

    Bit of back story - due to the current Covid-19 outbreak my sister-in-law has four children at home and needs a decent computer so that they can home school on. Some friends have given her an old Gateway PC (running Vista and 2 GB RAM) which isn't cutting mustard to say the least and so I got the inevitable call this afternoon (being the only one in the family who works in IT) asking what can we do to make it better. My answer was along the lines of putting it in a field and shooting it.


    Anyway I am now looking to build a new PC (I finally have an excuse to do so) and once done I will sell them my current PC for a stipend and a nice bottle of Gin. Not worried about this one going out of date any time soon - it is an early Core i7 running 16gb RAM so I will take out the latest bits from this (Graphics card \ new SSD's) and add in some older bits I have here that will be more than adequate for their purpose and then some. However it has been probably seven years since I have built a PC from parts (this one I am typing on was the last) so looking for some advice on new parts as a first step.


    What I have come up with off the top of my head (based much idle looking over the last couple of years) is as follows. I will list my reasonings afterwards but feel free to critique:


    Case Fractal Design Define R6 USB-C

    Power Supply Seasonic Focus PX-550

    Processor Intel Core i7 9700KF 3.6GHz Socket 1151 Processor Intel Core i7 9700KF 3.6GHz Socket 1151 Processor | Ebuyer.com

    Intel Core i7 9700K 3.6 GHz Processor Intel Core i7 9700K 3.6 GHz Processor

    M2 Drive Samsung 970 EVO Plus

    Windows 10 Pro

    Water Cooling Corsair H100x Hydro Series High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler


    Case - used Fractal Design on the last build and it was a revelation. The engineering, design and thought that went into their product was a revelation to me having built into the equivalent of a Coke Can before then. New case must be fully filtered and to run as silent as possible and no clear side window is a must (I have an irrational hatred of them). If someone wants to offer up an alternative I am open to suggestions (Phanteks etc)


    Power Supply - used Corsair previously (the one in this build is I think a 600 Bronze but I would have to take the side panel off to confirm that) but it has been fine. However I have heard good things in the past re: Seasonic so have gone for that this time. Fully modular is a must and Gold minimum but other than that suggest away.


    CPU - Intel is a definite - used them many time in the past and they have been solid so I will stick with what I know. Given that I have gone for the top end i7 again (the i9 is out of budget) and I have listed two options (both 3.6GHz) but I can't see much difference between them other than a couple of quid in the price. From memory the 'k' (its in the URL's cited above) at the ends means it can be overclocked which isn't a requirement for me. Assuming I am right then what does 'kf' signify and are there other options?


    M2 Drive - been running SSD's for ages but I would like to go up to an M2 SSD as it makes sense to do so on the new build. Samsung is a definite again due to familiarity but whats the difference between an M2 SSD and an M2 NVMe SSD? Is there any benefit between one or the other or is it a different socket?


    Windows 10 Pro - Hyper V for virtual machines.


    Water Cooling - I have been running water cooling for ages and want to stay that way but would like to go double rad this time around (another reason for the Case I have opted for). Any reasons to go for something other than this?


    Fans - Noctua 14's - tried and tested so will likely stay with these but any alternatives worth considering?


    The observant will have noted that I haven't included a Motherboard or RAM in the above and that is where I am really stuck as I have no idea in this area. All the parts I have listed so far are due to past familiarity as much as anything so were easier choices but these are the two areas I am all at sea about and where I need help more than anything.


    Motherboard - the motherboard in the current PC is a Gigabyte - it has been fine, never let me down but it is seven-ish years old so I have no idea if Gigabyte are still OK. The main choices were Gigabyte and ASUS when the current device was built (and MSI maybe) but I am totally open to choice here. It will have to support M2 SSD (or M2 NMVe SSD) and USB-C (if i go for the case above) but I would assume these are pretty stock on most if not all boards currently? Would have to have four RAM slots at least - looking at running 16GB again but want to have the option to double or treble this (32GB or 48GB) in the future if i need to.


    RAM - having had a really odd issue with the RAM and timing issues at startup that took months to get sorted on this build I am pretty certain this will be dictated by the choice of MB above - get the MB sorted and then look at the RAM! Looking at 16GB again but open to choice here as to who\what is best. 2 x 8GB would still be the current\best choice I assume?


    To give you a bit of a ballpark to work within I am looking to future proof myself on this build as much as it is possible to do so. To my thinking the critical parts are MB, RAM and CPU so those need to be as good as they can be within reason - everything else can be upgraded pretty easily if necessary. I am not interested in gaming other than some old games I fire up once in a while which will run maxed out on my current hardware so i don't see I will require a super high end Motherboard here. What I am looking for is something to run Virtual Machines on (Checkpoint, F5, Linux, GNS3 as examples) but I want to have scope to run multiple instances of these should I need to as my qualifications progress so the core components have to be solid more than bleeding edge and if I have the opportunity to better these down the line thats a bonus.


    Hopefully you don't mind me throwing this out to you guys - just really out of date on the whole PC building stuff these days so just looking for some advice really as I want to get this as right as I can. Any questions please feel free to ask.


    Thanks


    Calm Horizons
      My Computer

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,225
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004
       #2

    Re K or KF

    Intel's Graphics-Free CPUs Don't Come With Discounts, Higher Clock Rates - ExtremeTech

    If you are not going to overclock you don't need a K processor.

    I like Asus MB's. That said I think all name brand boards are built well and are reliable. Check their web sites for good documentation, I've been a little shocked researching some issues people are having and finding docs woefully incomplete.

    Reasonable article on M.2

    M.2 vs. SATA vs. PCIe (NVMe) SSDs: What’s the Difference? | Performance Computer

    One thing to watch, some MB disable specific sata ports when you use the m.2 NVMe, not a huge issue unless you plan to attach a lot internal drives. (This is outlined in documentation.)

    Your case had the lettering USB-C. I would ensure MB has a header you can connect this to. Also watch the number of headers on MB for case front ports and internal goodies. Saw you were going with AIO cooler, that is one internal connection. I prefer cases with filters which I see is one your requirements.

    Going with one brand of add ins could mean simpler management. Corsair has their iCue product and you can monitor AIO and PSU. Of course PSU, if so equipped, needs an internal USB port. My Asus board came with one internal header so I needed an internal hub day one just to run case ports.


    There are a lot of really experienced builders here, hopefully they have additional comments.


    Ken
      My Computer

  3. Calm Horizons's Avatar
    Posts : 7
    Windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks for that - I had done some research in meantime and found out about the lack on onboard graphics re: the KF - will have a look at that link re: M2 later.

    Couple of slight tweaks to the proposal:

    Going for the Define 7 as a case instead of the R6 - it's the updated model of the Define R6 apparently - has all the same options but is slightly cheaper.

    Cooler has been changed to the following - Fractal Design Celsius S24-240 mm Radiator - Silent Liquid CPU Cooler - PWM - I am thinking of sticking with stock fans for now and then replacing if I need to so went for this to keep it all the same. The Fractal Design ones get good reviews so feel OK with the choice for now.

    Also been investigating Mobos and RAM

    Motherboard - was looking at the MSI Z390-A PRO 1151 DDR4 ATX as it seems to support everything I require but I will have to check out any if additional ports are required for the water cooler and the PSU and make sure that is covered off. You have also answered one of the questions I had noted down as it had been puzzling me - "The SATA2 will be unavailable when installing M.2 SATA device into M.2 slot." One thing off the list and one added.

    RAM - G.Skill Trident RGB 2 x 8GB DDR4 @ 3000MHz - a name that I remember from when I was last building so gone for that for now - loses points for LED's being attached but I can live with it. Did think about the 3600MHz but my research so far hasn't shown any real world advantage in opting for that.

    Assuming the MSI still passes muster then I will cross ref against their site to double check the two are compatible - they are both 'name brands' so should be fine but no harm in checking.

    Thanks again
      My Computer

  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 24,225
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 2004
       #4

    Going to be a very nice, long term rig.
      My Computer

  5. Calm Horizons's Avatar
    Posts : 7
    Windows 7
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Just ordered the parts! Pretty excited to say the least.

    If i can get six plus years out of this new one like i did the old one and it still has plenty of life in it then I will not be complaining. Also have plenty of scope to upgrade if I really need (or feel the urge) to do so I am happy with the choice of parts.

    Now the 'build' side of the research starts. I have an idea in my head how I want it to put together - open case and radiator in the bottom is the way i want to go so i need to see how that will work out as a first step. Will have to check if I can find any previous examples here otherwise I am sure there will be plenty on the web to help\hinder me. Will make sure that I add a thread\pics here as well as it comes together..

    Lastly should add that the MSI QVL (Qualified Vendor List) is an excellent idea - just select the board you are thinking of and then enter the 'Mfr part code' and it tells you if it is compatible or otherwise. Would be most surprised if this is a new thing (or specific to MSI) but I am still impressed by it and while the MSI experience is not totally foolproof (the search can be a little sketchy and it really would be nice to be able to search by the first letter for the manufacturer) with a few allowances it takes away an awful lot of the potential pain out of a new build.

    Got to love building a new PC!
      My Computer

  6. Frabnkhs's Avatar
    Posts : 198
    Dual Boot: Windows 10 20H2 & Ubuntu 20.04.1
       #6

    Looks very good.

    If the 9th gen i7 does't work, update (flash) the BIOS....

    Even a year old and that BIOS may not like a 9th gen i7. My "new" system's BIOS was two years old. If I'd have upgraded the CPU (not on my list.... Yet) it may not have worked, or had been flaky

    But by all means, smoke test it to see if a BIOS update is even needed. BIOS updates are easy enough but there is that possibility of bricking that board

    BTW You will Love that M2 Drive Samsung 970 EVO Plus. It's NMVe tech and the read/right speed will make a 10 second boot an everyday thing

    Yep, just bought a new gaming system and had to play catch up myself
      My Computers

  7. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,379
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.928)
       #7

    Frabnkhs said:
    Looks very good.

    If the 9th gen i7 does't work, update (flash) the BIOS....
    FYI, out of the last five builds I did (all Gigabyte boards) I've yet to need to flash the BIOS to get the CPU working. 99.999 percent sure the OP's board will come with a BIOS supporting 9th gen Intel processors. Mine certainly did for my i9-9900K. And I built my system when these were first released See system specs.

    Point? That's a worry not needed.
      My Computers

  8. Frabnkhs's Avatar
    Posts : 198
    Dual Boot: Windows 10 20H2 & Ubuntu 20.04.1
       #8

    sygnus21 said:
    .

    Point? That's a worry not needed.
    I'm used to using older, discount stock....

    I once had a "new" motherboard where the BIOS battery was almost dead. Installed windows, everything was fine and suddenly the date wouldn't stay set and other very wierd things

    Saved over $100 on my new "open box" system and the BIOS date was early 2018 so 9th Gen CPUs might not work..

    Guess I'm not experienced with "new" suff
      My Computers

  9. sygnus21's Avatar
    Posts : 5,379
    Win 10 Pro (x64) 20H2 (19042.928)
       #9

    Frabnkhs said:
    Guess I'm not experienced with "new" suff
    when I say my last five builds on Gigabyte boards that includes my X58 from 2010. Is that new or old?
      My Computers

  10. Frabnkhs's Avatar
    Posts : 198
    Dual Boot: Windows 10 20H2 & Ubuntu 20.04.1
       #10

    sygnus21 said:
    when I say my last five builds on Gigabyte boards that includes my X58 from 2010. Is that new or old?
    I'm not expert on Gigabyte boards although I've heard many good things about then

    My computer expenditures are more the "Beer Budget" variety and though when "window shopping" for a new MB then Gigabyte MBs catch my eye the price usually is out of reach

    Probably those discount MBs I use have been sitting on the shelf for a while
      My Computers


 
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