There are a lot of gamers and people who know their way around PC hardware here on devRant, so it makes sense to ask this question here, sort of as possible inspiration for myself.

In a month I'm gonna have saved up enough money to build a PC for gaming and programming at home. I want to dual boot Windows 10 and a Linux distro.

What are your specs? What would you recommend in terms of hardware, like a particular graphics card or a mainboard you want to buy or are particularly happy with already, CPUs with the best cost-benefit ratio, etc.

I'm not looking for stupid arguments, just your own opinions and reasons, sort of as inspiration for me. I have my new system pretty much outlined, but maybe I'll look deeper into something when I'll learn something new here.

Also, what do you think about socket 2066 systems and why?

  • 5
    @demiko Thank you! I'm going to have a lot of fun choosing hardware, waging options, building it, … that's for sure.
  • 6
    @demiko Will do :)
  • 6
    Well, your budget would be interesting. Since I know you're German, I'd also recommend you to check geizhals.de (but do not trust them too much, they don't show all stores available as they obviously don't have every store in their list) for parts that get recommended to you.
  • 13
    @ThatDude you "try out jew things"? lol! Maybe you want to correct that typo quickly, hahaha! Not that 'jew thongs' are bad, but it certainly sounds funny :)
  • 6
    Hmmm.. it really depends on how much you want to spend.
    For socket 2066 I can't say a lot, I have not used it. But I heard a lot that it is too overpriced an not worth the money compared to the new AMD socked with Threadripper.
    The 2066 socket intels only support upt to 44 PCI-E lanes compared to Threadripper's 64 lanes. If you have a lot on PCI-E like 2 GPUs on x16 and multiple SSDs on M.2 then you will get to the limit and one of the GPUs will go down to 8 lanes.

    If you are not too much about multicore or dont want to spend too much on the extreme socket (2033v3 / 2066), I can recommend to go with a 1151 socket and a Z270 motherboard. I built a lot of PCs with these and they run pretty solid. For best price/value sometimes the Xeons for socket 1151 are the best (Xeon E3-XXXX v6).
  • 7
    For your PC I'd strongly recommend to buy an SSD for M.2 socket and NVMe. They are MUCH faster than this SATA-3 junk.

    For GPU, a GTX 1060 or 1070 is great and us even enough for VR.

    RAM at least 32 GB.

    HDDs: Depending on the budget 2x 6-8 TB in RAID1 or 3x in RAID5.
  • 5
    I personally use a hex core intel i7 6800k. I have to say that I really hate intel now. Their "Process-Architect-Optimize" is just a bullshit to release useless CPUs more frequently. Who upgrades their CPU every 4-5 months? Really? And they are changing socket for breakfast.

    Check out this video where linus ranted for 15 minutes on Intel: https://youtube.com/watch/...

    If it wasn't for AMD's threadripper, I am pretty sure intel would have continued their expensive 6-8 core extreme series lineup for ages.

    I am not saying Intel is bad or anything. I am really happy with their product. But I just hate their marketing strategy.
  • 6
    Now the recommendation:

    You should not compromise on ram and SSD. You should definitely get 16GB of ram and if possible, get a NVMe SSD.

    I will suggest getting 2 SSD if possible. 1 NVMe SSD for your primary OS and 1 normal SSD for second OS or games.

    If you are a competitive gamer and want to play the latest game at ultra settings, you should get a 4 core (I will leave the choice of CPU manufacturer with you) and spend rest of your money on GPU.

    If you don't game a lot and are going to buy a new monitor, I will say go for a 4K monitor. Programming on a 4K monitor is pure joy. Everything is crisp and clear. It adds a lot to your daily productivity.

    If you don't like noise, avoid water coolers. They are noisy. Get a Be Quiet or Noctua in that case.
  • 4
    Another thing you might want to keep in mind is that I have always found extreme series motherboards to have buggy BIOS.
  • 6
    Razer laptops look reaaaally sweet.

    If I were to build though... Get a used server, dual xeon (dual hexacore) and put it in a case with some water coolers. Thats what I did. This is a couple years old now so I'll list what I have and what I would get.

    What I have
    Supermicro board dual 5506 xeon
    64 gb ram
    1 200 GB SSD
    2 4 tb hdd
    Dual Corsair h75? Water coolers
    Corsair air 540 case
    Nvidia card (removed because this is now an esxi server)

    It's been a really solid rig and I think all in I might have 800 bucks into it.

    What I would get today
    Dual hex core xeon server board (12 cores with hyper threading = 24 threads)
    Water coolers
    Max it out on ram (128 - 200 ish)
    Some really good graphics card
    Samsung SSD
    Smaller case than the air 540
  • 5
    @codePatrol may I ask what you do with that beast? Apart from running hundreds of chrome tabs...
  • 6
    @tahnik esxi server. I run a shit ton of vms on it. Some are hosting environments and others are development.

    While it is beasty, the important part is that it was cheap. 😉
  • 3
    Ryzen 7 1700x
    32GB DDR4
    3x 256GB SSD, windows/Linux/games

    I really advise an SSD for boot and one for your game installs. Short loading screens!

    The "xx60" GPUs are usually more than fine for my Overwatch and indie game needs.

    BUT: Main specs are useful, while not many people discuss the side stuff.

    Fractal Design R5 is an epic, sturdy, silent case. Great cable management. Feels like it would survive a nuclear impact. Dust filters — how did I survive without them. My 16TB of ZFS storage fits without problems.

    Corsair RMx PSU are a nice balance between price and quality. Modular supplies are awesome.

    Get a mechanical keyboard. If you have no idea about switches, pick a board with CherryMX brown, they are easily available, feel like high end "normal" keys, and work great for typing and gaming.

    And I love Dell's thin bezel 1440p ultrasharp U2515H displays so much I bought 6 of them.
  • 4
    @bittersweet I'd see no reason why to buy a GTX 960 today though. You pay 25% more for a GTX 1060 and get 75% higher performance :)
  • 5
    Thank to cryptocurrency mining, graphics cards are severely out of stock and overpriced. I'd recommend waiting a bit, just till the prices go down.
  • 7
    I would recommend an AMD Ryzen processor.
  • 2
    @aaxa Yeah my GPU was left over from the previous build. Saw no reason to replace a 960 yet.
  • 2
    Lots of really great tips so far, particularly @tahnik, @bittersweet, @ThatDude, @PonySlaystation, you guy gave me some ideas as to what to focus my research on. Keep your tips, opinions and ideal setups comin' they're really great inspiration!
  • 2
    @AlexDeLarge Also note that Asus has longer warranty on their products than most other manufacturers
  • 2
    @aaxa I think you're spot on there. 1060's have a good cost-benefit ratio and are still not too expensive. I think I'm gonna go for one of those.
  • 1
    @aaxa Really? I didn't know that, very interesting. I had some Asus products before and they never exactly blew me away, they broke early and weren't particularly powerful, but extended warranty is always good and sort of makes up for my prior experience.
  • 2
    @AlexDeLarge I'm quite sure they still have 3 years warranty on GPU's and motherboards :)
    And GTX 1060 is definitely a good choice if you want to keep it a bit budget. I mean, a GTX 1070 costs up to double of a 1060.
  • 1
    @Condor When I got my Ryzen 7 I had to upgrade my Linux Mint kernel all the way from 4.4 to 4.12rc7, mostly to get audio drivers working. From then on, everything has been stable & awesome, and I've moved to kernel 4.13 last week.

    The whole FUD thing in many distro communities that you should only use officially supported ancient kernels from their repository is bullshit in my opinion anyway.
  • 3
    Intel tends to be Linux friendly, and do not get a hard drive, get an SSD. Faster ram is better than more ram. Power supplies are important - especially if you plan on upgrading your rig in the future. Graphics card will always be your biggest bottleneck, don't go cheap here. I'm not gonna recommend specific parts because then I'm just telling you what to build, and that takes the fun out of it. Remember when I said no hard drive? I lied. Solid state for your OS and essential programs and buy a huge hard drive for anything else. I have 500 GB SSD and a terabyte HDD and I'm nowhere near full - and I boot in a few seconds using Windows.

    Also I recommend a case you can see into - it has the same effect as super thin lingerie. A little lighting goes a long way as well. Have fun, and don't overtighten anything, these parts are delicate.
  • 1
    I just have an i5 6500 and gtx750ti, B150I motherboard, it's worked great for anything I throw at it except for some bad unoptimized games
  • 1
    @tahnik I'm that case like computer case or in that case like in that case case?
  • 2
    Here's a build I'd be more than happy with for the next ~4 years (Windows, Linux friendly too) and upgrade bits after that.

    Graphics: Dual 390x (or one to begin with)
    Mobo: Asus Hero VIII (price dropped recently)
    CPU: i5 6600k (kinda cheap now, i7 if your keen)
    Tower: something by Phantex
    Ram: Name brand, best GB/$ you can get above 2666MHz
    Storage: >=256GB ssd (I like AData).. add an old disk spinner for TB's of general storage.
  • 1
    @demiko generally I would. I also suppose it would make sense to add another SSD, one for Windows and one for Linux and shared on disk.
  • 1
    @demiko cool factor and slight (but valuable) data safety advantage.
  • 1
    @AlexDeLarge in response to your latest rant:
    I'd go for something like the Asus X370 Pro as that one supports up to 64GB RAM, supports M.2 SSD and has plenty of USB ports, has a decent Network Controller and as far as I remember a decent DAC.
    I'm not an expert in AMD boards though, but I'd probably go with something like that if I would go for a Ryzen CPU
  • 1
    @aaxa I searched for 'X370 Pro' and found one that seems to be even better for my purposes.

    MSI X370 Gaming Pro:
    * 4 × 16GB DDR4 3200
    * 1 × M.2 SSD
    * 5 × USB 3.1

    Pretty much what I was after, even the other specs are good. Thanks!
  • 1
    @AlexDeLarge You're welcome :) They're very similar. The biggest difference in 2 PCIe 3.0 x16 in the MSI compared to one. If I haven't had bad experience with MSI GPU's, it would probably have been my choice as well :)
  • 0
    @aaxa Interesting and funny, because I've had bad experience with Asus. What happened?
  • 2
    I personally will always prefer Asus Strix GPU. It's frickin amazing and always stays silent. I have had really bad experience with evga gpu.
    I am also pretty sure that Samsung makes the best SSD.
  • 1
    @AlexDeLarge The GPU pretty overcooked itself because MSI has a bad habit of not upgrading everything else in their OC products. It's like, overclocked with maybe 15%, and then the cooling and the rest is SOMETIMES upgraded a bit, but usually not enough.
    I have multiple friends that would not buy a MSI GPU again.
    That's just my experience. So if you feel more comfortable with MSI, go for it :)
    Also, remember, I'm only talking about their GPU's here (aaaaaand some of their gaming laptops)
  • 2
    @tahnik I completely agree. Intel's M.2 SSD's are not bad either though (I'd still prefer Samsung)
  • 0
    @aaxa No, it's alright, I'm open for ideas, tips and experiences, tgat's why I asked and you've helped me a lot so far. That's useful information. I'll post my choices anyway, when I'm done, because there are lots of people here like you' who've got more experience with hardware than I do. I'm practically learning more than I already knew by building my.own rig, which is really fun and strangely relaxing, as long as I don't read the 'reviews', lol!
  • 1
    @AlexDeLarge haha yeah! I'm considering building a new rig for myself, but I've done it quite a few times now, so the most interesting part is to collect the data on all the parts and do a cost/performance ratio, and not the actual building phase. So tbh, I'm very close to just say cba, and get a company to do it for me
  • 1
    @AlexDeLarge I'm looking forward to see the complete specs when you're done though! Please update with a picture as well :)
  • 1
    I'm a cheap shit so my gaming rig is from 2010. Ran Battlefront 2015 on high though so.. good enough I guess?:P
  • 0
    @yusijs Hehe, I rarely have time to game (only a bit on weekends) so I haven't bothered upgrading my Asus G75VW from 2012. I'm very close to building a new rig from now and then, but when I'm reaching for the buy button I always turn back considering I'm not playing more than 10 hours a week at tops (and when I do it's usually LoL)
  • 0
    @aaxa @axxa Same here - considered upgrading several times, but I barely game anything at all, so I can never defend the cost.
  • 0
    @yusijs I'll say as much though, that if (or when?) I buy a new rig my laptop is going to be a full blown Linux machine. Probably with Arch installed.
  • 0
    @yusijs I'm still using a gaming laptop from 2013 that's slowly dying, but still runs games good enough, but I get you, I don't want to pay much for gaming either, that's why I would never buy some.monster graphocs card like a 1080 ti. A 1060 will work great for my purposes and is muxh cheaper.
  • 0
    I use an 4930k ,an old 780 TI ,16gb ram, 128 GB SSD, and some HDDs.

    Cost about 1600€ 4 years ago and still chugs along nicely
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