[RndTbl] config setup

Trevor Cordes trevor at tecnopolis.ca
Thu May 11 02:09:00 CDT 2017

> === Dan Keizer asked ===
> I've attached a pdf of what they were looking at as options - not sure
> where the pricing was scraped from -- but with guys on-line who are in
> the business would have a better idea ...
> What's your guys takes on this?  I'm not into gaming machine
> configurations ...

Sure, I build gaming systems for people all the time.

First, ditch the junk $45 power supply and get an all-Japanese-caps (a
*true* one, not the myriad fake ones where just the 400V cap is
Japanese).  The best ones will last 10-20 years and since PS spec
rarely changes (like 2-3 times in 17 years) you can use it in future
boxen/upgrades.  Wattage isn't critical in modern single-VC setups, so
any 350-650W is perfectly fine (seriously, even 350W, though good ones
usually start at 450W now).  I won't reveal my favorite brand/model
unless you buy from me :-) I gotta keep some of my 20 years' experience
value add or I'll have no business!  But expect to spend $100-$150 on
the PS.

(I really can't overstate the importance of clean power.  Important for
stability.  Important to provide clean power so as to not stress the
mobo (premature failure).  I think it's the most important part of a
system and most people consider it an afterthought and skimp on it.
Good computer + bad PS is like buying a Porsche and putting $40 Walmart
bluelight special tires on it.  Cheap PS's will have bad caps after 3-5
years, and you probably won't know it until it blows things up.  Pick
up the PS in your hand and compare the weight to a good one, it's one
of those things that heavier is better, and good ones weight 2-3X the
cheapos.  Hmmm, wonder why... look inside!)

If it's major 3D gaming they want to do (vs less-intensive strategy
games, etc, for which their choices are adequate) then I would make
these changes:

1. i3 way underpowered, get an i5 minimum.  i7 for hardcore 3D FPS
games.  Always buy the sweetspot, best $/GHz in the range (as usually
the other important specs (cache size, threads) are constant).

2. H110 is a very crippled chipset, considered the cheapest/entry
level.  I would do H170 chipset for all but the most basic web/email
boxes, though the B150 (which seems to be far less abundant) might do
ok.  See:

The specs that an H170 will do better that matter here: PCI-ex lanes
and generation (16 v3 vs 6 v2), DMI3 8G vs DMI2 5G, 4 DIMM slots for
upgradability (vs 2),  The other specs won't matter for this box.

3. Spend a bit more and get the 240G SSD.  I find my Windows users
(especially 8 and 10) filling up 120's these days.  And these are
non-gamers just doing office stuff, and their data is all on external
fileservers!  And if you're not religious about telling most of your
games to install to D: (the 1TB rust) then you definitely need >120G

4. The Seagate DM series will die on you within 1-3 years, especially
if you leave it on 24/7.  I'll put money on this!  Get a WD Blue if
you're pressed for cash, Black if not.  You could also do 240 or 512G
SSD and skip the rust altogether.  <=512 SSD is now very affordable.
Also, 1TB is *not* the sweetspot: 2 or 3TB is (4 for WD Black).  Like
every $20 more gets you another TB on the cheapo DM drives.

Now, how to save some money:

A. Unless you're tweaking like mad, any Kingston ValueRAM of the max
spec your mobo legitimately supports (i.e. not OC'ing) will do fine and
save you some money.

B. Same with SSD's, if you can save money with a Kingston, Samsung or
similar well-known brand name, do it.

Second-lastly: where's the Windows license?  Or are they using Linux?
Cool (and kudos) if they are!  If not, buy Win10 legit and save
yourself a lot of grief; you can't buy the OEM version later, so if you
change your mind you'll need to buy full retail and pay 2X the price.

Lastly, almost all wifi range extenders will cut your wifi speed for
all devices on the network by 20-50%.  Extenders are a bit evil in that
regard.  Especially cheap extenders that only have 1 transceiver.  If
you're planning on gaming online with wifi, your latency will suffer
greatly compared to wired, and it'll be even worse wifi-extended!  Find
a way to run some plenum cat6 to the location (ehem, I mean *hire*
someone to do it, ehem, cough cough, thanks Selinger).

Good luck!  If you want to buy local instead of Amazon, you can always
email me separately.

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