Assembling a new system

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by CrunchyBiscuit, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Hey there!

    After about ~8.5 years of playing games on my current machine, I decided it's time to upgrade.

    I would like some advice on the parts I'd need to make this work. The only thing I'm certain of is that I want an Intel Core i7-6700k processor (because it's the last and fastest line still fully compatible with/recognized by Windows 7). I'm kinda out of the loop and not sure what type of motherboard I'd need, but I want a fast one from a good brand with good parts and cooling. It doesn't need to have many available extention slots, as I'm not planning on SLI/CrossFire. I just want a good, stable, reliable and fast motherboard which can handle overclocks without too much hassle. I also want the fastest RAM available that's fully compatible with the motherboard and the processor without too much hassle or manual tweaking required (voltages, timings, etc.). I just want to put it all in and go.

    Feel free to also recommend me an SSD. I'm looking for a 1TB version, but have no idea what's what.

    PSU? Not sure what I'd need in that department either, but it needs to be powerful enough to reliably power a 2080Ti/Radeon VII.

    Case? Yeah, recommend me something.

    The video card is of less importance - I'll figure that one out myself. I do appreciate input on a new monitor though - I want one with a default resolution of 1920x1080 and support for Gsync/FreeSync (depends on what I decide to go with - Nvidia or AMD).

    Help, recommendations, advice and suggestions are welcomed! Thanks in advance.

    Current specs:
    Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 970 (3800MHz)
    RAM: 4GB Kingston HyperX 1333MHz (7-7-7-20-33-1T)
    Videocard: AMD Radeon HD6950 2GB (Sapphire, DiRT 3 Edition)
    Motherboard: Asus M4A88T-M
    Sound: Onboard VIA HD Audio
    Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    Display: Dell 2209WA (1680x1050)
    Input: Logitech G400s mouse (1000Hz), generic keyboard
    Storage: Western Digital Caviar Black 7200 RPM 1TB
    PSU: Corsair TX650W

    Future Specs:
    Processor: Intel Core i7-6700k
    RAM:
    Videocard:
    Motherboard:
    Sound: Onboard
    Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
    Display:
    Input: Logitech G400s mouse (1000Hz), generic keyboard
    Storage:
    PSU:

    EDIT: I might decide to go for a Ryzen processor instead, but I need someone who runs Win7 on a Ryzen to give me the step-by-step, so I can copy.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  2. droopy_ro

    droopy_ro Active Member

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    I would not pair a 6700k with a 2080Ti. A GTX1080/RTX2060 would be my recommended GPU for that processor and 1080p. That PSU is fine for a build like that, the whole system will pull about 300W while gaming. What motherboard do you plan on buying ? i am assuming you are going the second hand route. Do you want a 144Hz monitor ? give us more details.
     
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  3. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Hey there! Thanks for your reply.

    I would like to play all my games (even the more demanding ones) with DSR/VSR enabled at 3840x2160 downsampled to 1920x1080. To ensure good frame rates while doing so, I'm looking at the fastest of videocards (2080Ti or RadeonVII). I might even want to add some MSAA before downsampling. I've already seen a 1080Ti in action while downsampling from 4k, and it's just not fast enough to ensure a stable 60fps during many scenarios.

    I'm keeping my old system, so I'll need a new PSU, preferably one with loads of headroom for potential upgrades. The Corsair TX650W isn't available anymore, at least not where I live. I read a lot about 12V rails and PCIe connectors drawing too much power from one rail or something, causing instability. I would like to avoid such issues, which is why I want someone to recommend me a good one from a good brand, one that guarantees enough power for the fastest and hungriest type of videocards.

    I have no plans for the motherboard, since I have absolutely no idea what type of slot I'd need for an Intel Core i7-6700k. I want one of the best for the job, as fast and reliable as possible, but no fancy extras (I'm not planning on RAID configs or SLI/CrossFire).

    I'm not going the second hand route. I might not necessarily want the latest stuff, but I do want the best stuff.

    I want a good one that does at least 75Hz, preferably IPS. Depending on my choice of videocard, it needs to offer support for Gsync/FreeSync with a good range (~30Hz-90Hz). I read a lot about monitors having trouble with their ranges, resulting in black screens. I want to avoid such problems.

    Most important first steps are motherboard and RAM, SSD and PSU second. I'll decide on the videocard and monitor later.

    Any advice is absolutely welcome, but it would be cool if people could recommend me very specific products, preferably with a link to the product so I can check if it's available over here. Would be great if people actually tested or owned the products themselves, so they know exactly what they recommend me.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  4. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    There are a few points in your messages prone to start some serious arguments, and I am willing to bet that older gurus refrained to respond on this thread because of the aforementioned reasons.
    I'll explain.
    You want bits of advice, but you already have a mindset and somehow the thread feels like: I want this, it is decided, change my mind. Hint, Windows 7.

    But let's go to the matter at hand:

    CPU, already decided Intel Core i7-6700k

    Case? Yeah, recommend me something.

    Difficult, because the motherboard details are missing. But I'll go on and recommend Fractal Design cases, really well built and very, very versatile.

    Fractal Design Focus G

    Motherboard

    ASUS Z170-A as the motherboard. Decent, well balanced and has almost everything you want/need.

    PSU? Not sure what I'd need in that department either, but it needs to be powerful enough to reliably power a 2080Ti/Radeon VII.

    EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G+, 80 Plus Gold 750W. Very good PSUs, their 10 y warranty should give you a hint about build quality.

    Feel free to also recommend me an SSD. I'm looking for a 1TB version, but have no idea what's what.

    SATA Crucial MX500 1 TB
    NVMe Adata XPG SX8200, or Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB

    Remember, the choice is yours. Willing to construct the gaming computer around Windows 7 is a bit odd and off in 2019. But there are multiple reasons why one will choose Windows 7 over another Windows iterations.
    If you already have the license and all, well go ahead but be prepared to avoid some updates nagging you to upgrade to Windows 10.
    If not, a middle ground can be Windows 8.1. Going in both extreme directions -Windows 10 or...Linux.

    There is the Ryzen platform as a decent alternative to Z10 chipset i7-6700k, and you can install Windows 7 on it. Just ask.
    Sorry for the possible condescending tone, but when one asks, expect the unexpected and not all responses will be on the pleasant side.
    Anyhow, I hope it helps. Just ask, and we will respond.








     
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  5. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Heya! Thanks for your reply and detailed suggestions!

    I'll look up your recommendations when I get home from work and report back.

    My old system also has a motherboard from ASUS, and it has served me very well for many years. I'm wondering (in case I decide to upgrade my processor and operating system later), does the ASUS Z170-A offer support for more recent processors as well? Or is the Intel Core i7-6700k the fastest and most recent one for the slot type? I'm totally out of the loop when it comes to slots/motherboard support.

    Well, Yeah, I want the system to be fully compatible with Windows 7, and (from what I could find), that leaves me with an Intel Core i7-6700k. That's pretty much the only thing I have my mind sort of set on (but discussions or arguments are welcomed - I'm not easily offended, lol).

    Cool, I might ask for more details about this later. I read it involves some tweaking and temporarily using PS/2 to circumvent the issue of the USB 3.0 drivers not getting recognized/installed or something. I'll keep this in mind and might opt for Ryzen.

    Not at all man, I appreciate your reply and will report back later (when I had the time to look up the specifics on your recommendations - break time is over now, back to work).

    EDIT: Okay, I looked up the motherboard (ASUS Z170-A) - looks good! They're still available over here. But I wonder if the USB 3.1/3.0 ports will be automatically recognized by Win7. Also, can I just plug in USB 2.0/1.0 devices in an USB 3.1/3.0 port? Are those ports fully backwards compatible?

    I also checked out those SSDs. Why do they look so weird? My brother has an SSD in his machine, but his looks like a regular hard disk, just flatter. These almost look like RAM sticks with a connector on the wrong side or something. I'd have to look up how to connect them. They look very fragile.

    I can't seem to find the EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G+, 80 Plus Gold 750W. I can only find comparable models, like the EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2L and the EVGA 750 GQ. Is the G2L a good alternative? What's the difference anyway?

    Any advice on RAM? Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  6. Hyderz

    Hyderz Member Guru

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    i have a 6700k with 1070ti :) runs great.. but this will be the last gpu it pairs with i think its time to move on from 4c/8t.
     
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  7. Darkest

    Darkest Ancient Guru

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    Why are you so hung up on Windows 7 if I might ask? Proprietary software or?

    I really wouldn't recommend buying into a quad core at this point in time, it just isn't a good buy especially when you're paying a premium for hardware a few generations old. You're much better off looking into the Ryzen workaround, it might be a little bit more of a faff but the end result will be a much better system with greater longevity. If you must stick with Intel I'd recommend trying to find a Broadwell-E or similar, chances are there's some knocking around second hand and you'll at least get 6c/12 out of things.

    As for the SSD's, the ones you say look like memory sticks are M.2's, most modern motherboards have a slot for them. M.2 NVMe drives are generally far faster than SATA, here's a link with a fairly short but good description of the tech:

    https://www.velocitymicro.com/blog/nvme-vs-m-2-vs-sata-whats-the-difference/
     
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  8. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Yes, proprietary software (workarounds are/can be made available, but it's a bit of a hassle), but also this:

    https://forums.guru3d.com/threads/fix-game-stutter-on-win-10-1703-1809.420251/

    That issue scares me to death. I do not want to deal with it, and since nobody seems to know what triggers it, nobody knows how to avoid it (just how to partially circumvent it). With my luck, I'm sure I will encounter the issue if I decide to go for a Win10 system.

    Yeah, you're probably right. I looked around a bit and checked out some benchmarks of more modern games. It seems like more and more games actually benefit from a larger amount of cores. Also, the new generation of consoles will have 8 cores (I think), so that means lots of ports with native support for more than four cores. I might decide to go for a Ryzen, but I need someone with identical hardware to give me the step-by-step (I'm afraid to mess stuff up and prefer to copy someone else). Thanks for the suggestion.

    Ahhhh I see. Cool. Thanks for the link.
     
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  9. Darkest

    Darkest Ancient Guru

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    I would say it'd make sense to go for Ryzen in your scenario, you're getting a modern system with all of the benefits that brings with the ability to run under Windows 7 for your software. I would however recommend installing Windows 10 anyway, even if that means dual booting with 7 for work purposes, if you do suffer the issues that you're concerned over with 10 it's no big loss vs a potential good gain in terms of gaming performance and general productivity.

    In regard to which PSU you should go for, here's a fantastic list of units ranked by quality:

    https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1045610-new-psu-tier-list/

    I do tend to lean toward EvGA in large due to customer support/warranty, but any of those in the top tiers will great options. I would have linked it earlier but I was a tad on the busy side.

    Memory wise you want to aim for 3200 +, more so if you do opt for Ryzen.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  10. metagamer

    metagamer Maha Guru

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    I would seriously wait for the next generation of Ryzen. You've waited a long time so rushing into an upgrade now would not be wise.

    Don't get me wrong, 6700k is a great CPU, I have a 7700k and I can't really fault it. But I wouldn't buy one now if I was looking to upgrade from an older system. New Ryzens will possibly be pretty solid for the money, I'd definitely hold out.

    • RAM - I'd look at 32gb of 3200mhz or faster RAM.
    • GPU - 2080ti is pricey, the 2080 offers great value for money compared to it and compared to the RVII. If you don't need all that power, something like a 2060 would be great for games at 1080p.
    • PSU - I'd look at XFX Dark Pro series or EVGA or a solid Seasonic.
    • Monitor - sorry, not familiar with 1080p GSYNC monitors
     
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  11. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Thanks again for the replies and suggestions.

    Will they be compatible with Windows 7 using the USB 3.0 installation workaround? Hmmm I guess nobody knows for sure yet.

    Those Ryzens are looking pretty attractive, and if it turns out they function well in Win7, I might indeed decide to wait a little bit longer before assembling my new system. I appreciate the advice.
     
  12. metagamer

    metagamer Maha Guru

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    No worries man. Like I said, you've waited so long, just hold out a couple more months or so and see for yourself. I myself am very excited about these cpus.
     
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  13. nhlkoho

    nhlkoho Ancient Guru

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    I get people like Windows 7 but don't you think that after it reaches end of life next year you are bound to run into more compatibility issues by sticking with a non-supported OS than the few bugs that exist in Windows 10? Especially if you plan to keep it for another 8 years.
     
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  14. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Eventually, yes, but I have about 5 years worth of gaming to catch up on first, lol. On the shorter term, Win10 would give me more problems than Win7 (because of the aforementioned proprietary software I need to be able to run on the system). I will probably go for a dual boot solution like Darkest suggested, but that still means the new hardware needs to be supported by Win7.
     
  15. Hyderz

    Hyderz Member Guru

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    Not to mention vendors will stop releasing updates to support for windows 7, mostly focus on windows 10 and 8.1
     
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  16. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Okay, so they're out now. Are they compatible with Windows 7 (with some tinkering/workarounds)? Or no go?
     
  17. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Hey! Thanks for your reply.

    This thread isn't that long yet, right? Anyway:

    It's not a matter of "loyalty". Also, after having basically read pretty much every thread here on Guru3D during the past years, it seems to me Windows10 is still being plagued by a ton of potential issues I do not want to deal with (constant updates which will affect performance, game bars interfering and stubbornly re-enabling themselves, DVR interference, adjustments to WDDM not playing well with older software, fullscreen/borderless windowed inconsistencies - I have a buddy on Win10 and he is being confronted with a new surprise issue nearly every month, from mouse polling rates not working properly anymore to games suddenly losing chunks of performance and third party software refusing to function). However:

    I will most likely experiment a lot in Windows 10 to become familiar with it, but in the meantime the system must still be able to function properly in Windows 7.

    I think that's a misconception. It's actually more like a mixed bag (some faster, some slower):







    I don't really care that much about future proofing (but it would be a cool bonus). I just want the hardware to be a lot faster than what I have now, while still being fully compatible with all the software I currently use.

    Now, I really appreciate all the replies in here, but they often seem to be going in the direction of "do it the way we do (Win10), and if you do not want to, we'll either try to pursuade you to do it our way, or we'll criticize your choices". While I don't really mind, it's not really helpful either. I'm building a system that's gonna be fully compatible with Win7 (most likely dual boot with Win10), and that's that. Looking for advice.

    I wonder if the new batch of Ryzens can still make use of the USB 3.0 workaround like the previous series. If so, I'll probably go for one of those. Thanks again!
     
  18. nhlkoho

    nhlkoho Ancient Guru

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    Win10 is honestly fine. It has a few issues here and there, but I can guarantee you that you will start to encounter much more serious issues with Win7 in the near future.
    But hey it's your money.
     
  19. Evildead666

    Evildead666 Maha Guru

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    I don't think any of the new platforms support Windows 7 anymore.

    X570 has no Windows 7 Drivers, X470/B450 do though.

    I'm pretty sure the latest Intel platforms are no longer Win7 compatible either.

    Can you run your proprietary software in a Win7 virtual machine ?
    Or even just leave it on the older machine, and have the new one run Win10 ? I mean, if it works fine now, leave it be, and leave the proprietary software on that machine.
    A fully up to date Windows 10 will be fine for gaming, especially with a fresh install.

    Your best bet, as you say, would be to dual boot.
    With a fresh Win10 install, and all the proper drivers installed, you shouldn't have any trouble.
    You will just have to make very sure that the hardware you get will function on Windows 7.

    It seems your choice of an Intel 6000 series CPU was good, as that would be the last Windows 7 capable Intel chip.

    Apparently Ryzen CPU's (1xxx and 2xxx I expect so far) will work on Windows 7, but neither AMD or Microsoft will help you with any problems or support. You will be on your own with Google if problems arise.
    Microsoft allows Security updates, but you might have to get them and install them manually.
    see here : https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/987354-amd-processor-windows-7-81-compatible/
    Also, Anandtech might be able to help getting 1st Gen Ryzen working on Win7 at least.
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/11182/how-to-get-ryzen-working-on-windows-7-x64

    You are going 64bit Win7, right ? (I had to ask the question, because if you reply 32bit, that sort of creates a bigger problem.)
     
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  20. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Thanks for your post! Much appreciated.

    Yeah, so if I'm going for one of those new Ryzens, I should be looking at a X470/B450 motherboard. That's useful info. I did some searching, and came across this:

    "Windows 10 is the officially supported platform for the Ryzen CPUs, however it does appear as if Windows 7 installations will again be possible with the right drivers for those still hanging on or competitive benchmarking where every clock cycle available counts ... I was able to successfully install Windows 7 X64 on the X470 platform. My media wouldn’t work for X570 which leads me to believe that there have been some driver changes but due to a lack of time I haven’t been able to update my installation media. Below is a screenshot of Windows 7 on a Crosshair VII with the Ryzen 9 3900X CPU."

    Source: https://www.overclockers.com/amd-ryzen-9-3900x-and-ryzen-7-3700x-cpu-review/

    So I guess that's good news for me.

    I am considering it, but am an absolute noob when it comes to virtual machines. Suppose I would assemble a system that's completely incompatible with Win7, would a VM still be able to run it without issues?

    Thanks for those links! Yes, Win7x64.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
  21. Evildead666

    Evildead666 Maha Guru

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    No problem, glad to help :)

    As for virtual machines, if your proprietary software doesnt require any specific hardware, or dongles, it could work.
    We have people at work who use WinXP virtual machines for some ancient databases they have on them, but they don't need network access so we don't mind. and it just works, so they don't complain.


    Virtual machines are almost totally agnostic to the underlying hardware they are running on. All of the hardware is vitrualized, so if it works in a virtual machine, it should work on any hardware, in a virtual machine.

    If you need network access, it could throw a tantrum with the virtual network controller.
    If you have the possibility to install the software without network access, or activation (for a certain test time) then I would give it a try in a virtual machine.
    Maybe you have another Win10 machine you could try it on ? even a laptop would probably do. (Win1à as the native OS, and then install Win7 x64 in a virtual machine)
    You'd just have to remember to set up the virtual machine without a network card, to prevent any network access, unless its absolutely required.
    You'd usually get some time to install the software before you'd have to activate it anyway.

    Have you installed it on other machines previously ?
     
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  22. CrunchyBiscuit

    CrunchyBiscuit Master Guru

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    Thanks again for your time!

    The software doesn't require any specific hardware or dongles (I think), but it certainly requires network and internet access.

    Sounds promising.

    I don't have any systems I could try it on. Well, maybe one system, but that one's probably not even fast enough for Win10, lol.

    The software you mean? Yes, but only on Win7 (which was already quite the hassle, since parts of the package were originally written for WinXP, while other parts have updated support for Vista and Win7, but not for Win8 or Win10).

    I'll just let this thread rest for a bit while I consider my options. Loads of work coming up during the next couple of weeks.:(
     

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