I'm considering a self build gaming rig


#1

So I’m mid 30’s now, been involved in IT since forever. I’ve repaired, stripped down, rebuilt PC’s and whatever else along the way. One thing I’ve not done yet, is to build from scratch my own desktop machine.

My current daily driver is a Mac Mini Late 2012, bought cheap from eBay and upgraded with SSD and as much RAM as it will handle. Its my first foray into Apple OS, and despite being a bit stupid in some areas, its pretty good.

What it doesn’t do, in any capacity, is run anything gaming. I use Microsoft Flight Sim as a function of my job, and would like a setup where I can max it out without it coming apart. I’d also like to keep my existing dual-monitor setup, or even upgrade to triple-monitor along the way. So whatever I build needs to be good enough to game across up to three screens. They are only 1080p mind. 4k is probably a step too far (for me).

So if I do this, what should I build? Got any hardware suggestions?

I’m sold on water cooling so it can run ultra quiet, I have a lovely office/man cave in this house. But in the next one I’ll likely be consigned to a corner of the living room. The bonus of water cooling is it looks pretty rad too.

Budget could be about £1k/€1.1k/$1.3 (which yes, is a touch limiting, prior to later upgrade)


#2

If the budget is limited, I wouldn’t go for water cooling or use non-custom loops that exist for some CPUs and GPUs. With large enough fans a PC can be quite quiet without the need of watercooling. But since I’m not really up-to-date with hardware right now, I’ll stop here :smiley:


#3

I think there will be plenty of people to give you tips on the building process. As far as parts and specifications are concerted though, be sure to take your advice from people who have tested with MS Flight Simulator. It’s a whole different beast from ‘normal’ gaming in terms of what hardware it runs on best, and even those requirements will change depending on what add-ons you intend to run.

What makes most sense for a ‘gaming’ rig may not give you optimal performance for FSX…


#4

With such a budget I would recommend something like this:

Instead of water cooling. I have one myself and it isn’t much louder than a water cooled one. For a watercooled cpu/gpu system I would recommend a budget of 2000€. For something like you need I would say a i5 kabylake with 16gb ram and a very good gpu everything air cooled would be possible with your budget regarding you have nearly the same hardware prices as in Germany xD

P. S. For tight budget I would go with AMD instead of Nvidia


#5

First - Awesome idea and project - Building a pc from scratch and turn it on first time is an amazing feeling! :slight_smile:
I don’t want to tell you, what is the best thing to do, but I could tell you my experiences, and how I would build a machine with that budget.

  1. Mainboard: I’m really into Asus, I’ve had several Mainboard from them, and none did ever made any problems. Which one especially you want, depends on size, your need for ports etc. I always prefer some good audio capabilities with toslink output

  2. RAM: Difficult, because it is still very expensive those days. I’ve always used Corsair Vengeance, but I honestly couldn’t tell you if it’s better or worse than others

  3. Power Supply: Look for something with Bronze/Silver/Gold sign, those labels indicate silence and efficiency as far as I know

  4. Processor: Intel or AMD? This topic will start some discussions here… xD I would personally prefer i5 6600k or i5 7600k today, because of the best price/gaming performance ratio and have good experiences with both.

  5. Graphics Card: First, time should be your friend here, seems like the graphics card-boom is over and they get cheaper each day. I’d recommend a GTX 1060. I made good experiences with MSI, medium with Palit, but okay it’s definitely cheaper, and from what I heard gigabyte build quality and support is not really good, but I’ve never had one by my own

  6. Case: do whatever you want, there are many nice cases. I personally own a Nanoxia Deep Silence 3 - It is great, but very heavy, I think Corsair has lighter ones. Be sure, Mainboard, Graphics card and cooling fits in.

  7. Cooling: In this budget I would not recommend water cooling. There are enough silent and cheap fans for cpu out there. but one thing: Those corsair-led Case Fans look awesome, but they’re not silent^^ Nanoxia has silent Case fans, but they are all green,…

  8. Storage: I’d highly recommend a 256 GB SSD for Windows, and as much and big HDDs for your Data, Media, most programs etc. everything with SSDs is cool and fast, but expensive. But an operating system on a SSD is so much more fun, booting in 8 Seconds is no problem, no matter how much programs or data you have :slight_smile:

I hope this helps :smiley: feel free to contact me via pm if you want further information/my opinion to some products :slight_smile:

My #pcmasterrace machine :smiley:

Ok some things to add:
16 GB Ram, of course. 8 would be okaaaaay but I wouldn’t recommend
And: I dont play flight simulator, but Elite Dangerous (which is kind of small flight simulator). I had a GTX 960, which allowed me to play it, now a 980ti, which is almost overkill, so 1060 should definitely be fine


#6

Is there any chance that the budget might increase the in the foreseeable future? The budget I am looking at is also around that margin, but for a UW 1440p monitor. And than I think you either would have to skim on GPU or CPU. For the moment the 7700K stays the gaming king, the 7600k is also a great option for pure gaming. AMD there CPU’s are more future proof as the gaming market for now is centered around 8 threads because of consoles, but the next gen consoles would have more threads so than the i7 7700K will suffer. But than we are talking about over 2-3 years or even longer. But it is worth waiting for the 8th gen Intel, there the 8350K will be a 4C4T CPU at the price of current i3 7350K so a huge price-performance improvement. And the i5 would become a 6C/6T CPU so it would also be better than the current i5 at gaming. The i7 would become a 6C/12T but i don’t think that would fit in the budget without saving costs on many other parts. I have no idea about when the AMD desktop APU’s would come, they would also offer a great starting point until you save up for a good GPU for dual 1080p setup. With intel you have the problem that you can’t really upgrade in the future since every 2 years the socket changes, so than you would have to save up for the better CPU by starting of with a low tier or second hand graphics card. When the mining bubble burst again, the second hand market will be flooded with cheap high end cards like the RX580. I can imagin that you can squeese an AIO cooler in that budget, but the chance is high that custom liquid cooling would easily be 1/4 of your budget for just a single dual rad setup. You could have a look at passive aircooling, where the CPU fan is only starts running when the CPU runs above a threshold, below that threshold it is only cooled by the circulation from the case fans at minimum speed. Kind of like hybrid passive cooled

Also big importance: what can you get your hands on free or at cheap price? For example reusing RAM from your mac mini could save a decent amount, same with the SSD. Also a suggestion to keep the costs down: instal windows without activating it yet (you can use almost all features in the ‘trial version’ so certainly a cost able to be postponed or if you don’t need the extra features of activated windows, than never to have. The other solution is hackintosh, it is free but not legal. Apple won’t sue you so not a big worry, but hardware compatibility is harder, you almost are forced to go with an intel build unless you really know your sh*t about it.

And final note: misten to other people that have done a build for MS flight simulator, since they can know if the software has a bias (intel vs amd, nvidia vs amd).


#7

For Budget gaming there are a lot f YT videos.
What i would recommend for a 1440p screen is
CPU: Ryzen 1600
Motherboard: B350 of your choice
GPU: Radeon 580 if you can get one for a reasonable price
Ram: something that can do 3200 or 3600 mhm, for risen cpus that ram is worth the money
Of the other parts needed idk that much about them, i’m mainly following cpu and gpu news.


#8

As I’ve built myself pretty recently, I think can give you some decent advice for building a machine that should be pretty inaudible.
I think the loudest part in my system is my PSU fan tbh at this point :stuck_out_tongue: And that’s just because I ditched beQuiet for a Corsair PSU that has higher wattage :wink:

As for the budget, I don’t know the exact details that FSX wants, but I’d go with something like the following (also ripping a bit off from @cmmd_mx as he’s got pretty solid advice :D)

CPU: I’d personally go with Ryzen if FSX scales well on multiple cores, something like a R5 1600. (200€)

Motherboard: Whatever tickles your fancy here - nothing too major there I got a B350 board for my build. (~100€)

PSU: Since you’re going for silence I’d go with beQuiet - those things are near silent if not at full load. (~100€)

GPU: Something like a GTX 1060 or RX 580? More likely the 1060 due to the freaking miners at this point… (~300€)

Case: Any good silenced case should do what you need. I personally got a Corsair 400Q, but Fractal Design has some amazing silent cases as well (~100€)

Cooling: Sharing the opinion with @cmmd_mx - watercooling is too expensive at this price. But a big fat CPU cooler like a HR-Macho or Alpenföhn Broken 3 should cool anything near silently (especially if you manually controll the fanspeed) (~50€ for CPU cooler - ~60€ if replacing the case-fans)

Storage: I’d go with an SSD and HDD combo - 256 SSD should be fine for most things, and a 1TB HDD for more data. :slight_smile: For HDDs I only recommend the Western Digital Blue, as I got very bad experiences with Seagate at this point. And for the SSD a 850 Evo should be just fine. (~100€ for SSD, ~50€ for HDD)

RAM: Oh right RAM… If you go Ryzen, then 2666 MHz give you a nice performance bump. 16GB is also pretty much must have for FSX I think (don’t know the exact specs) but that costs a tad bit much right now :frowning: (~150€)

All in all: ~1.2k€ from my suggestions, bear in mind that I overdid the pricing of some components so you should come to ~1.1k€


#9

Do you want it to be quiet when you play or when in daily use? If you use headphones for gaming, then no need to be extra silent anyway.

I opted for silent daily user with some power when my old PC died. I got big case from a friend, I had bought 970 Strix earlier and needed motherboard, cpu and psu. I eventually got Asus Z170 Pro Gaming, Intel i5 6600K, Corsair 550W psu(?) that doesn’t start fan with low load (less than 250W). I set the 140mm case fans and CPU fan to be on very low level until 45 degrees celsius, actually only one case fan is on when on low temps, others start after 45 degrees celsius.

This setup is extremely quiet as the Strix dual fan GPU has fans that stay turned off until there is enough load. Basically only CPU fan and one top case fan runs about 300rpm when using the PC on daily tasks, sometimes other case fans start but they’re rather quiet too. PSU fan doesn’t even start while I’m playing AAA games, because there is no need for overclocking or anything.

I shouldn’t have picked Z170 Pro Gaming or i5 6600K because for my use I could’ve just used lesser combo. So go smart early on.


#10

I’d echo @iKirin’s recommendations since I recently rebuilt my rig with some similar specs. The Ryzen 5 1600X is a very good processor, I paired it with a GTX 1060 (I opted for the 6GB variant) and 16GB of DDR4 3200 RAM and it more than exceeds both my programming and gaming requirements.


#11

I assume you play at 1080p than?


#12

I’m seeing a lot of good recommendations for all-round gaming systems. I will, however, repeat my recommendation to seek advice specific to Microsoft Flight Simulator X. It’s a title from 2006, and is notorious for not running well in some cases even on some pretty high-end hardware.

Any modern gaming rig should be able to run it. If it’s one of your main uses for the computer, you may want to gather advice on a FSX forum and pick the right hardware to run it well.


#13

Wow, what an amazing amount of info and some seriously considered responses.

I’ve always kinda been an Intel guy, so the AMD thats been mentioned is a little left base for me - but it does seem a solid choice for gaming, so I’ll make sure to give it some serious consideration.

As for budget, no its not fixed in stone. I just have a habit of looking at things and saying to myself “oh for only an extra 60 I can have this, and for another 40 I could have that” etc… before you know it, sitting on something thats excessive against the original premise.

@Helios you’re correct. FSX is old by todays standards, I might be better looking at something like Lockheed Martins Prepared 3D and building to that spec instead. Something else to consider I guess.

For now I am case hunting, so open to suggestions. I quite like some of the Corsair products, its just that some of them seem huge! With SSDs so small now, and DVD/CD drives all but redundant it seems a waste of space to get a full size tower. I use NAS in the house, so bulk storage is not a requirement for this. But the first that has caught my eye is this one from Corsair, the 780T; but do I need such a big unit?


#14

Short answer, probably not. Longer answer: most casual builders can easily fit their needs into a mid-tower ATX case or even smaller. I prefer the mid-tower because it has plenty of room without being massive in the room you use it in. Corsair builds very nice cases, I like their Carbide Q series but that is a perference thing; recently I built a computer for my parents and I used a Thermaltake Versa H22 SPCC ATX Mid Tower. It wasn’t a high end case but it was so much nicer than I expected for the price point of $40. It is also very easy to spend a healthy chunk of your budget on a case.

If you haven’t stumbled upon this site already I recommend PC Part Picker because it allows you to create builds and it will show you prices and if parts don’t work together.

@TheDestiny pretty much, I don’t do a lot of AAA title games and even then with OCing I can usually get solid performance with a mixture of high/ultra depending upon the title.


#15

I’ve been case hunting for a while like you .
Then i found corsair one , it has pretty good case but its pre build pc and its case is not available separately . After hunting more i have found phanteks evolv shift . Its a mini itx case but design like corsair one i mean they are both tower mini itx so you can cram even amd vega 64 ( big gpu ) . You can use liquid cooling in this case . I have heard that its a quality product but im not sure . I gonna buy this . Make sure check evolve shift and if you want check corsair one .


#16

Here you are i recommend this build :
Gpu : AMD x 570 if you dont like AMD then gtx 1050 TI (1080p gaming)
Cpu : intel core i3 8350k or AMD ryzen 5 1600 variant not ryzen 1600x .
Case : phanteks evolv shift mini itx.
Psu : i think 300 watt is enough but if you want future proof psu you can buy silverstone 500 watt gold for mini itx case .
Motherboard : depends on cpu go pc part picker to check compatibility
Storage : 250 GB ssd and 1TB hdd but there is thing called intel optane that can accelerate hdd go read about it maybe its useful for you.
Windows itself is 100$
You can add liquid cooling too
I think all of them are 1k $


#17

This case one looks awesome, but it is really really huge, and expensive. Midi Tower should be enough for almost every “good but not best” gaming setup.
A lot of people now told you to get some of those AMD Chips… i personally haven’t any experiences with AMD… I’m like you, an Intel guy^^ As I heard, a lot of games are developed and optimized for Intel Processors… If you choose Intel, I would still recommend some i5. i6600k or 7600k is nice for overclocking, but you may not need it, 6500 or 7500 should still be more than enough for the next few years. :slight_smile:


#18

Instead of giving you hardware recommendations, I’d like you to consider the form factor. Can the case be of any size? Or would you prefer something more compact?

ATX motherboards are the least inexpensive ones and there is plentiful of them on the market, but ATX motherboard is also relatively large, approximately 12 x 9,6 inches (305 x 224 millimetres).

The next size down is microATX (mATX, 𝜇ATX) 9,6 x 9,6 inches (224 x 224 millimetres). And a bit more expensive than an ATX motherboard (or sometimes pricewise on par with an ATX motherboard).

And even smaller is mini-ITX (mITX) 6,7 x 6,7 inches (170 x 170 millimetres). Usually a fair bit more expensive than an ATX motherboard.

Just as an example of Asus Strix B250 Gaming motherboards: ATX motherboard is just under $100, mATX is about $97 and mITX is just under $110.

Naturally the specification of these motherboards isn’t totally similar, for example usually mATX and mITX motherboards have WiFi included, ATX motherboards usually don’t.

And then the case. Again, there are plenty of ATX cases (and you can fit both mATX and mITX motherboards in them) with various prices. The selection isn’t as big for mATX and mITX cases. And these smaller cases usually also cost more, especially if you look for something special.

I built my gaming rig in mITX form factor and I used quite an expensive case for it - Ncase M1 (https://www.ncases.com). It cost me about 250 euros imported from the US (US price is $180 + shipping + taxes). But I am going to build my next gaming rigs into it too, so it’s a longterm investment. I might even build water-cooling for the next one.

Another longterm investment is the power supply unit (PSU). I recommend buying as good (and expensive) as you can afford. Preferably with a high efficiency rating i.e. at least Gold, better still Platinum (or even Titanium). And get the PSU from a renowned manufacturer like Seasonic (makes PSUs for many others), Corsair, Cooler Master etc.

I am not going to delve any further into the hardware selection as the above components (motherboard size and case) drives the rest of the specification for your gaming rig.

But last, good custom water-cooling is expensive and not really applicable for a £1K/€1,1K/$1,3K build.


#19

Thanks again for the input, I’m starting to work on a long list of potential components. Will keep an eye out for bargains along the way, and Black Friday is inbound in Nov.

As I mentioned above, the current home office daily driver is a Mac Mini, and despite being an awkward transition at first, I kind of like the simplicity of OS X. I’m going to keep the Hackintosh list of suitable parts handy in case I decide to go dual boot down the line.

This fact alone probably points me firmly at Intel again, which is a shame as the 16 core Ryzen chips looks immense.


#20

Nah, 1000$ is not limiting at all for a desktop :wink:

If you want water cooling, yes it can be limited. But contrary to a popular belief, water cooling isn’t more quiet than air cooling. Remember, it still has fans that can make the same noise and also pump(s) that make more noise. However, you can get very quiet, barely audible air cooling if you pay enough for it.

As for the components, I advise you to first build a minimum “platform” with the features you need. That should include the motherboard, case, PSU, RAM, storage etc. - everything except the CPU and graphics card. Then you will know how much you have left for the most important part :wink: which makes it much easier to choose those components. Of course, you will need to “edit” your “platform” afterwards, because you need everything to be compatible, but those edits shouldn’t affect the price significantly. Or if you’re not getting enough performance you’ll have to say good bye to some of the features you chose earlier and go for something cheaper.