Author Topic: Buying my first Desktop PC  (Read 1678 times)

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Offline Flopsy

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Buying my first Desktop PC
« on: May 04, 2018, 02:04:22 pm »
I've had a look into this recently and discovered that there is a lot of things now to factor in when buying a Desktop PC.

I'm looking to stop relying on laptops for power now and look into buying a more powerful machine.
My current laptop is: Intel Core i5-7200u (7th Gen), CPU 2.50GHz  2.71GHz  with 8GB RAM but that is not powerful enough for me and I feel I want to upgrade to an i7 at the very least or equivalent with at least 16GB RAM.

I would also like it to be a Desktop PC (or a Gaming PC) and I am willing to splash out on it if necessary but I want to make sure I make the right decision before I bite.

I'm not the biggest tech geek out there when it comes to computer specs and some things baffle me.
- I'm not sure what the difference between a SSD and a HDD means, some even have both!
- What would the advantages of having a Gaming PC over a standard Desktop PC be?

I'm reaching out to those who have bought powerful computers already and I would like to know what kind of spec I'd need to never have any issues with streaming, recording and just never having slow down. Obviously I would make sure it is up to date with antivirus and such.

Here's some examples of PCs I've come across and like the look of

HP Pavilion 27-r007na 27" All-in-One PC - Blizzard White
Windows 10
Intel® Core™ i7-7700T Processor
RAM: 16 GB / Storage: 2 TB HDD
Quad-core
2.9 GHz / 3.8 GHz (Turbo Boost)
8 MB cache
(A typical Desktop PC - Monitor and stuff included)

HP OMEN 880-112na Gaming PC
Windows 10
Intel® Core™ i7-8700 Processor
RAM: 16 GB / Storage: 2 TB HDD & 256 GB SSD
Hexa-core
3.2 GHz / 4.6 GHz (Turbo Boost)
12 MB cache
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
(A typical Gaming PC - just the tower)

Both are around the same price (£1299-£1349)

So what do you lot think, are these specs good or should I keep searching?
Don't tell me solutions to levels which I have not solved.

Lemmings: Gotta Go Fast - My NEW (in development) Sonic tileset dedicated level pack :)
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2018, 02:31:26 pm »
Quote
I'm not sure what the difference between a SSD and a HDD means, some even have both!

In basic words: Everything on an SSD works faster.

That's why I'm 100% advising you to get a desktop pc that has both. --  Why both?

You really want to have a small SSD harddrive for your operating system and most important programs -- but only the most important ones!

Example: My windows boots up in ~ 20-30 seconds being on an SSD.

SSDs are more expensive than standard HDDs and that's why a combination is usually the best option. The SSD ensures the core systems load fast while you use a huge HDD to store stuff and run normal non-priority programs on it.

Quote
2 TB HDD & 256 GB SSD
   That for example sounds good to me ;)

Again: Do not use the SSD to store a lot of unimportant stuff. Use it to store important programs that shall run fast -- Windows is the prime example here.



I don't see the Graphic Card on the first PC's spec. Personally I got an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.
Your 2nd spec has a 1070 which is a significant boost in power but also in price (~ 200€ usually). It's the question if you need the power badly. A 1060 can run nearly all games on high graphic settings, but a 1070 can ensure you to be able to reach ultra settings on nearlly everything for longer. It's also a question what games you are aiming to play -- if you are not interested in all the AAA games from the big developers who are pushing the boundarys in graphics than a 1070 might be overkill.

Otherwise the machines seem indeed powerful. But I would tend to the 2nd one because of the SSD/HDD combination (you really wan this trust me) and the graphics card being specified (if the 1st one only has on-board graphics stay away from it if you want to run games). 

Overall, keep searching -- you do want to make a good purchase for that money and not simply take the first thing you find! Compare performance and prices among possible candidates.

Online namida

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2018, 09:28:41 pm »
The second one you've listed should be perfect for your needs. Avoid that first one; as IchoTolot said, it appears to lack a dedicated GPU. Onboard GPUs are generally very weak compared to dedicated ones, especially in Intel machines (they're not as bad in AMD machines, but still much weaker than a dedicated GPU); and a GPU is the most important factor (even more so than the CPU) for most gaming. (NeoLemmix is a weird exception here, because it renders its graphics entirely on the CPU. Most games do not work this way.)

Also, do keep in mind that gaming laptops exist too, if you prefer laptops. Just do your research with reading the reviews, to make sure they aren't overheat-prone when used for gaming. Alienware generally make very good quality, high-spec, non-overheat-prone gaming laptops, but they also come with a very premium price tag. And make sure the laptop you get has a dedicated GPU - it wouldn't matter if you had one of those 18-core Intel i9 CPUs; you'd still have bad gaming performance if the graphics are running off an Intel HD chip rather than a mid-range-or-better GeForce or Radeon. ;) (And here, it wouldn't help NeoLemmix either - higher-core-count CPUs tend to have less performance per core. NeoLemmix doesn't take advantage of multi-core CPUs to much extent - I believe that the way the sound library works, it will use a second thread (which will likely run on a seperate core) for audio, but that's it; everything else happens in a single thread, on a single core.)
« Last Edit: May 04, 2018, 09:36:30 pm by namida »
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Offline mobius

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2018, 10:34:56 pm »
Great help guys :thumbsup:

I can't say much but;
I've used HP products for several years now and they've been very good; having few problems compared to previous PC's I've had.

I wouldn't consider whether or not it has a 'package deals' when choosing one option over the other. If it only comes with the tower and no monitor/mouse etc; fine. All those things even monitor's can be bought very cheaply. I bought my 50+ cm monitor for around 20$ on ebay.
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Offline Simon

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2018, 11:20:55 pm »
I want completely silent hardware. Everything else has become secondary for me.

SSDs are silent, I didn't get a spinning drive anymore and live with 256 GB, this is too little for most people.

Streaming is CPU-heavy. Any modern CPU should be fine. If you want passive CPU cooling (large rib-cage cooler instead of small fanning cooler), you must design the tower and maybe even the mainboard around it. I got my machine from a vendor that specializes in silent machines.

I stream Jazz at 1200x800 at 60 fps software-encoded by an 1.5-year-old i5 with 4 cores at 3.9 GHz and never drop any frames. Have quality internet.

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Offline Flopsy

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 08:48:40 am »
I think building my own PC is far too advanced for me personally, I don't have the experience for it and I don't really want to entrust someone in a computer shop with it either.

The spec advice is really good though, thanks everyone for your input I can now make a more informed decision :)
Don't tell me solutions to levels which I have not solved.

Lemmings: Gotta Go Fast - My NEW (in development) Sonic tileset dedicated level pack :)
SEB Lems - My first level pack (175 levels)
Flopsy's Youtube Channel - Watch Lemmings videos/streams with live commentary
Flopsy's Sonic Graphic Sets - Download Neo Lemmix compatible Sonic tilesets.

Online namida

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 10:28:56 pm »
Quote
I think building my own PC is far too advanced for me personally, I don't have the experience for it and I don't really want to entrust someone in a computer shop with it either.

I would disagree on both these points. Provided you find a good shop, they're likely going to do a better job than most pre-built PCs. And while doing it yourself is a little bit of a learning curve, these days it's much simpler than it used to be - you'll definitely be able to pick it up. For practice, try finding an old computer, taking it apart, and putting it back together. :) The only tricky part is making sure you select components that are compatible with each other, but it generally isn't hard to figure even this out. With that being said, it often isn't as cost-effective these days as it used to be - at one point, you would save HUGE amounts by building your own (potentially as good as half price), but these days the cost is pretty comparable, and sometimes even cheaper to go pre-built.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2018, 07:15:56 am »
I would disagree on both these points. Provided you find a good shop, they're likely going to do a better job than most pre-built PCs. And while doing it yourself is a little bit of a learning curve, these days it's much simpler than it used to be - you'll definitely be able to pick it up. For practice, try finding an old computer, taking it apart, and putting it back together. :) The only tricky part is making sure you select components that are compatible with each other, but it generally isn't hard to figure even this out. With that being said, it often isn't as cost-effective these days as it used to be - at one point, you would save HUGE amounts by building your own (potentially as good as half price), but these days the cost is pretty comparable, and sometimes even cheaper to go pre-built.

For the first pc I would still advise to let the shop do the building together part, even if it comes with a prize raise. ;)

Offline Flopsy

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2018, 04:57:06 pm »
I know you guys are insisting to build my own but I really don't want to go through all that.

I managed to find another one with a good spec recently and this is just for the Tower

HP Pavilion 570-p088na Desktop
Intel Core i7-7700
Quad-core
3.6GHz / 4.2GHz (Turbo Boost)
8MB cache
16GB RAM DDR4 (2400MHz)
3TB HDD, 5400rpm
256GB SSD
AMD Radeon R5 435 (2GB) graphics card

This one is a modest £979 at the moment, I know I have to get a monitor and possibly speakers as well obviously.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 05:20:29 pm by Flopsy »
Don't tell me solutions to levels which I have not solved.

Lemmings: Gotta Go Fast - My NEW (in development) Sonic tileset dedicated level pack :)
SEB Lems - My first level pack (175 levels)
Flopsy's Youtube Channel - Watch Lemmings videos/streams with live commentary
Flopsy's Sonic Graphic Sets - Download Neo Lemmix compatible Sonic tilesets.

Online namida

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2018, 08:11:56 pm »
That GPU is awful. The rest of the machine sounds very good though, so you could get that and upgrade the GPU (not a particularly hard task). If you do get a PC with both an SSD and an HDD (which is a good idea - I have such a laptop these days and it's awesome to have both), remain conscious of that - install important things (Windows itself, frequently-used programs) to the SSD due to it being fast, while using the HDD for less important programs and file storage because it's got heaps of space.

http://gpuboss.com/graphics-card/Radeon-R5-435

I'm not as familiar with AMD GPUs, though notice the GTX 1050 in the comparison. GTX 1050 is one of NVidia's up-to-date but budget offerings; it might be okay for playing older games or low-resolution (720p will probably be fine, 1080p probably won't). The R5 435 your proposed PC has, has significantly lower specs than the GTX 1050 and thus would very likely perform significantly worse than the GTX 1050. Also, just to be clear - I'm not at all saying avoid AMD GPUs altogether; just that specifically the R5 435 won't have very good results as it isn't very powerful. AMD do make GPUs that are powerful; their most extreme example being the RX Vega 64 (which surpassess all of NVidia's GPUs except recent Titan models and the GTX 1080 Ti).
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 08:19:39 pm by namida »
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Offline Flopsy

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2018, 11:33:53 pm »
Ok then, how about this one?

Cyberpower Warrior i7-1060 Gaming PC - Tower
Intel Core i7 7700 quad core processor - base frequency 3.6GHz, turbo frequency 4.2GHz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card with HDMI, DVI and Displayport outputs, 400W 80 plus rated power supply
16GB 2400MHz DDR4 RAM, 2TB SATA III hard drive, 240GB solid state drive, PCI-E wireless card
Thermaltake View 27 case with red lights, Windows 10 Home 64-bit installed and with CoA

This one is priced at £1113

the graphics card can be swapped for a 1070 8GB version at extra cost (about £160 extra)

I found this one on Amazon
Don't tell me solutions to levels which I have not solved.

Lemmings: Gotta Go Fast - My NEW (in development) Sonic tileset dedicated level pack :)
SEB Lems - My first level pack (175 levels)
Flopsy's Youtube Channel - Watch Lemmings videos/streams with live commentary
Flopsy's Sonic Graphic Sets - Download Neo Lemmix compatible Sonic tilesets.

Online namida

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2018, 12:11:15 am »
That one sounds great to me. My gf has a gaming PC with a 3GB GTX 1060 and it can handle every game we've thrown at it on ultra-high settings 1920x1080, and many games even at ultra-high 3840x2160. So with the 6GB GTX 1060, you should be fine - the upgrade to the 1070 won't hurt if you can afford it, but I don't think it's critical. :)

One thing to be aware of is whether the GPU's HDMI outputs are HDMI 2.0 or not. This isn't something that can be answered simply by saying "it's a GTX 1060" - most but not all GTX 1060 cards have it. If they don't, you won't be able to get 4K 60fps or 1080p 120fps output over HDMI (you can get 1080p 60fps or 4K 30fps) - I believe you should still be able to get it via DisplayPort, though. As far as I can tell, all GTX 1070's have HDMI 2.0.
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Offline IchoTolot

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2018, 06:55:06 am »
I've got a 6GB GTX 1060 and I am very statisfied with it. :)     I seem to even got the same i7 processor after looking again. :P

Indeed this machine sounds very good to me.

Offline Flopsy

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #13 on: May 09, 2018, 04:09:02 pm »
One thing to be aware of is whether the GPU's HDMI outputs are HDMI 2.0 or not. This isn't something that can be answered simply by saying "it's a GTX 1060" - most but not all GTX 1060 cards have it. If they don't, you won't be able to get 4K 60fps or 1080p 120fps output over HDMI (you can get 1080p 60fps or 4K 30fps) - I believe you should still be able to get it via DisplayPort, though. As far as I can tell, all GTX 1070's have HDMI 2.0.

This isn't exactly a deal breaker for me, I don't particularly care for 4K to be honest, I've bought into BluRays and HDMI stuff but I don't particularly need 4K.
Don't tell me solutions to levels which I have not solved.

Lemmings: Gotta Go Fast - My NEW (in development) Sonic tileset dedicated level pack :)
SEB Lems - My first level pack (175 levels)
Flopsy's Youtube Channel - Watch Lemmings videos/streams with live commentary
Flopsy's Sonic Graphic Sets - Download Neo Lemmix compatible Sonic tilesets.

Online namida

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Re: Buying my first Desktop PC
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 09:02:28 pm »
In that case, GTX 1060 6GB should definitely be plenty for you - it'll handle virtually any game in 1080p, on ultra-high settings, without problems. For the rare case where it does run into problems, drop to 720p and/or (most likely just "or") to lower settings rather than ultra-high; I don't think there's any current titles it won't be able to run at 720p ultra high / 1080p not-quite-ultra-high.
My released level packs:
Lemmings Plus Series | Doomsday Lemmings