Hardware Newbie needs First Build advice. Please critique my build.

  1. Posts : 113
    Win 10 Home

    Hardware Newbie needs First Build advice. Please critique my build.

    I'll make the same well worn declarations and disclaimers that everyone makes when they make this post.

    I've been around computers for decades, but I know more about software than I am likely to ever know about hardware. I am so imbalanced, that I even hate printers. I can code a bit, I am familiar with most software all the way back to the DOS era, and if you have a software related issue, I can likely help you address it (or at least know which forums to ask people smarter/better informed than I am) and I can follow instructions. I find that, that's a necessary skill (following instructions) when dealing with computers. Not everyone has that.


    I am having a terrible case of decision fatigure or choice overload.

    I've been trying to research what my first build should be but none of the chipmakers or motherboard makers, and especially graphic card makers seem to make it easy to determine what fits your use case, as opposed to what is taking a blunderbuss to a rabbit shoot. I understand they want to sell me the stuff, but they don't do a good job of explaining just how much of this stuff I need.

    I apologize if I'm coming at this backwards, but please allow me to define my use case, and then my needs list up front?

    I am in publishing. The most demanding thing I ever do with my work machine is convert video (rarely), or render a high resolution cover in some Adobe software.

    I am constantly running some program in the Adobe catalog. InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator etc. I am usually running Firefox with 10 plus tabs, and something from the Office suite: Word, Excel, Access.

    That's it.

    However, for my entire life what I've done is buy a powerful laptop that will last me about 3-5 years, and then replace it.

    I don't want to do that anymore. I want to be a PC grown-up and replace out parts as they fail, rather than the entire machine because the wire that runs from the power supply got frayed, and nobody knows how to fix it. Also no laptop will do (apparently, this could be my own ignorance) one of the things I want my computer to do--run 4 monitors.

    Hardware Newbie needs First Build advice.  Please critique my build.-35-800x533.jpg

    1. A PC that will run 4 monitors simultaneously.

    2. Will handle my workload without hiccups. Anything faster/more efficient than what I'm running now is fine. Even a marginal increase would be spectacular. I have zero complaints about the speed of my current rig.

    3. Doesn't have Intel Onboard Graphics card (unless I am wrong that Intel Onboard Graphics won't be able to run the four monitors and the games I've listed below)

    This list is pretty short too.

    I am a casual gamer. The only game I'm invested in is StarCraft 2.
    I would also like to play:
    Titanfall2 - Titanfall 2 - Ultimate Edition system requirements | Can I Run Titanfall 2 - Ultimate Edition
    Far Cry 4 - Far Cry 4 system requirements | Can I Run Far Cry 4

    And the next iteration of Far Cry when that comes out.

    I don't need the highest of frame rates, or ultra display settings. Playing these on medium is fine by me. Casual. Real casual.

    I put together a build on PC Part Picker.

    System Build - Core i7-7700 3.6GHz Quad-Core, GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB SC GAMING, ECLIPSE P400S TEMPERED GLASS ATX Mid Tower - PCPartPicker

    I have no way of knowing if this is overkill for what I want (or just the wrong build in general) but for some reason I thought I could check all the boxes on my wishlist for $600 or less and this is closer to $1200.

    Please wise veterans of the forums (and anyone else really), help me out. I have no clue what I'm looking at anymore. I'm so tired of this. I have no idea if I've gone overboard. I just keep looking at parts with no idea of what I'm doing.

    Critique this build, make me start over from scratch, whatever needs to happen. But I do need to make a purchase in the next 30 days. My current rig is indicating it's ready to kick the bucket, and my backup died last month.

    Heat will be an issue. Also dust, so please take that into consideration.

    Any and all advice I appreciate. Especially from essenbe who seems to have PC cooling solidly locked down. Not a huge issue. I regularly take a can of compressed air to all the things. But I learned the hard way that better safe than sorry with heat.

    It would also be great if I could buy a rig that checks off these boxes rather than assemble it myself. Whichever would be less money (assembly vs pre-assembled) is the way I'd prefer to go.
      My Computers

  2. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    I assume you have no intentions of overclocking. Is that correct?

    I can't comment on the 4 monitor thing. Or video cards as I don't use video cards.

    I don't see an operating system in your parts list. Do you have that covered?

    Some comments:

    The first thing I noticed is a $56 H110 motherboard with a $280 i7 processor. I'd guess most here would try to steer you toward an H270 if you aren't overclocking or a Z270 if you are. Asus is a good brand. H270s start at around 105 or so; Z270s a bit higher. I'd look at Gigabyte too. Shop the board based on the features you know you will need--number and type of ports, etc.

    I noticed that PCPartpicker gives the following warning about your prospective build:

    "Some Intel H110 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Kaby Lake-S CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions."

    Who needs that worry?

    Coolers: the Hyper 212 EVO got it's reputation 5 or more years ago when it was a great "bang for the buck" if you found it on sale. Still nothing wrong with it if the budget is tight. But I'd look at Cryorig coolers near that same price point or Noctua if you can spend say $55 or more. I wouldn't think you'd need a big dual tower cooler for what you want to do, so you should be able to improve considerably on the Hyper 212 if you can spend say $40 to $70 on Cryorig or Noctua.

    Phanteks is a good brand also, but I'm wondering if you need something that large for a PC that will apparently have only 1 hard drive. The Phanteks will hold up to 8 drives. But maybe you don't care about case size or case weight?? You've also chosen a micro ATX motherboard. Nothing wrong with that either, but in most situations you would not need a case over 18 inches in depth and height for a micro ATX build.

    When choosing a case/cooler combination, you need to pay attention to the maximum cooler height supported by the case. That Phanteks can take coolers up to 160 mm, which is pretty tall as coolers go. So check that spec on cases.

    Regarding cases, you also have to pay attention to the maximum supported length for video cards. That can vary widely among cases.

    Power supply. EVGA Super Nova is a good choice, but I'm not sure you need 650 watts. Maybe you can step down 100 watts or so in the Super Nova line and save a few bucks.

    You may need to pay attention to how deep (long) the power supply is. A longish power supply, say 160 mm or more, may interfere with either the video card or your DVD drive. So pay attention to power supply length.

    If you would benefit from a shorter power supply, look at the new Seasonic Focus line. They are getting good reviews and I think are only 140 mm deep.

    Of course, get a modular power supply.

    What are your intentions regarding backups? None? To an external hard drive? To the dreaded "cloud"?
    Last edited by ignatzatsonic; 28 Aug 2017 at 11:29.
      My Computer

  3. Posts : 12,802
    Windows 11 Pro

    I like the Phanteks case. My only concern would be if it can get enough air flow from the front of the case. As for the length of the PSU, it shouldn't matter. On that case it looks like the PSU is installed on the rear of the case, behind the motherboard. I have a Phanteks case that does the same. That case will also house 4 2.5" hard drives/SSDs on the rear of the motherboard and at least some of the internal hard drive cages are removable if wanted/needed.

    I think I would prefer an ATX Motherboard as opposed to a MATX, just for more options. You can, in many cases, get more features with an ATX, simply because of space as well as have more options for future upgrades if needed. There is nothing wrong with an mATX motherboard, especially if space constrained, which you are not.

    If you go air cooling with a large air cooler, you need to consider the height of the ram heat spreaders as well. Many of the larger air coolers extend over the ram sticks. I know budget is important, but an AIO water cooler is an good solution and makes for a cleaner neater look, as well as better performance. But, if you are not overclocking, a 3rd party air cooler will do the job just fine.

    As far as the graphics card running 4 monitors, by specs it will. That does not always mean it is the optimal solution. Just because it can, doesn't mean it should. It will depend if you are thinking of surround and what resolution your monitors are. You chose the 3 GB model of the 1060. If you are going to run 4 monitors, I may consider the 6 GB model, such as this one EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6GB GAMING Video Card (06G-P4-6161-KR) - PCPartPicker
      My Computer


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