As you may be aware;
I’ve been putting the plans together to build a new PC – incorporating one of Intel’s 10th generation chips.
As with my “Idol Tower” (Which isn’t a tower.) I’m not cutting corners with the budget. What I’ve come up with is a rather powerful machine utilising an Intel Core i5 10600 4.8GHz CPU running 6 cores with 12 threads on a Gigabyte Z490 Vision G motherboard with 32GB RAM. This build will cost me just short of £1100; which is only a few pounds more than the total cost of the Idol Tower. – Who said Intel machines cost more to build? OK the AMD processors are cheaper and less stable than Intel’s offering; and yes they use a fraction less power and their multi-core performance is a bit better; but intel’s 14nm offering is so refined as to be a shining example of chip manufacture, offering stability and compatibility with pretty much all other hardware: It just works and it works well.
Check out the latest on this build – starting as a components list and eventually becoming a strong and valuable PC. See the relevant article on this website; which will be further updated as and when.
As you may also know; I’m a viewer of Carey Holzman’s channel on YouTube. Carey is an experienced computer technician. – In fact there isn’t a lot he doesn’t know about computers; and he shares that knowledge with viewers in a real-world home-based working environment in the USA. Carey has recently published a 3 hour 44 minute video detailing what he describes as “ The most common configuration he is asked to build.”, and showing people how to build it.
Now there may be a few issues arising from that video. You can check out the video in question here if you like. – Firstly; Carey is an experienced computer builder who lives in the USA. You might not live in the USA – or you might live in a different State in the USA, and you may find that computer components are differently priced and less available where you live. – That’s just one possible discrepancy. In this article I’m going to get ready to build the same design of machine, with a few variations if necessary, and find out if any other discrepancies turn up.
Let’s get the Parts Together
OK so I’m going to stick to what Carey recommends; with a couple of exceptions: –
We’ll start off with the processor. I intend to use one of the two that Carey suggested: I’ll be designing in a 9th gen Intel Core i7 9700K 3.6GHz CPU with 8 single-threaded cores. This chip has a TDP of 95 Watts and is fabricated using 14nm technology. It supports 2 channels of DDR4 RAM. Although it’s unlocked it’s not meant for overclocking. In fact it is supplied with a warning against changing clock frequency or operating voltage. – I have no intention of overclocking it anyway.
The processor is unlocked and has a 12MB cache with a Max (automatic) turbo speed of 4.9Ghz. – Overclocking that will fry it almost instantly; so don’t. (OK it’ll throttle; maybe it’ll throttle down to zero and pack up?I don’t want to try it and find out with over £300 worth of microprocessor.)
Speaking of which; this CPU is the most expensive component of all for me here in England; costing me just shy of £315 GBP Sterling. It’s reasonable; but it’s not cheap.
Carey recommended using a Gigabyte H370 HD3 as the machine’s motherboard; but besides being somewhat obsolescent, that board is a little pricey for what is to all intents and purposes a Socket 1151 board that’s been around since April 2018. I had trouble finding it; and although there were at time of writing 11 pieces available on Amazon.co.uk; I decided that at nearly £105 GBP a piece I’d rather opt for something a little more available and if possible cheaper.
I opted to use a Gigabyte H310M S2H board; which has also been around since April 2018 and is fairly obsolescent: However it’s a lot cheaper at only £50GBP on eBuyer.com; which is where I’m sourcing all the components for this build from. If you ask me it’s always a good idea to buy everything from the same place if you can. It makes a lot of sense.
Here I’m using the Intel 660p Series 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD that Carey recommended. It’s by no means the fastest kid on the block; but unless you’re looking at benchmarks and trying to squeeze extra fractions of a second out of your hardware; the Intel drive will be perfect for the job; and nobody will notice that it’s a millisecond slower at times.
With its PCIe NVMe 3.0 x4 interface it’ll be at least 16 times faster than a hard drive anyway. A sequential read speed of up to 1800 MB per second, and a thoerhetical write speed of same, who’s complaining? A whole terabyte of storage on a responsive lightning-fast C: drive will give the user ample space and more.
As suggested by the man himself I’m using Corsair Vengeance DDR4 RAM. Remember that with the non-windowed case we’re using; nobody can see inside. – That doesn’t mean that we can make a mess and close it off from customers’ eyes; but what it does mean is that we don’t need any RGB, and any we use will be wasted. With the non-windowed case we don’t have to overly worry about colour synchronisation, nor are there any concerns from viewers that the most expensive top of the range components aren’t being used: We’re trying to build to a budget here. Price matters – which is why I’m incorporating inexpensive RAM.
It has a fairly decent CAS latency of 16, 2133MHz is good enough. Nobody’s complaining. Remember this is a budget office-type machine which is meant to last a minimum of 8 to 10 years if desired.
It’s nice to have an expensive PSU with a gold or platinum 80+ rating; but in this case we’re going to make do with a cheaper PSU.. I think this one is an 80+ white certified PSU. Although white is the lowest rating of the 80+ ratings; it’s still good. My “Idol Tower has a rather pricey PSU with an 80+ white rating and it’s fine.
The one I’ve chosen gives a full 600 watts of power. This will be useful if the optional graphics card that I’ve written into the design is utilised. – But more on that later. The Aerocool Integrator has a 12cm silent fan, active Power Factoring Correction, and decent capacitors. It’ll do in place of an NZXT branded unit any day.
The cooler I’ve chosen is a punt: I don’t know if it will be good enough. – It could well be; but ‘might turn out to be utter rubbish? The Zalman brand usually isn’t that bad – so this is a ‘Looks good: Let’s hope it is good.’ thing.
I wanted to use a Scythe Mugen 5 here; but ebuyer don’t stock it – and if the Zalman turns out to be garbage then I’ve only lost a little and I’ll have to wait for the new cooler to arrive.
The Zalman uses a 92mm fan at 1000 to 2000 RPM with a 10% tolerance factor. Airflow is 44CFM and the cooling stack is a reasonable size.
Finally – Oh be joyful! – It’s 5AM in the early hours and I’m rocking the night oil to get this thing finished off. It takes me back to when I was producing music and would sometimes spend a whole night writing a song or a melody; many of which I’ve never produced – some of which are lost forever.
– Anyway for the sum of sixty quid we are using the quality Corsair Carbide 200R case. This case has ATX and Micro ATX support. It comes armed with 2 x USB 3-0 ports on the front, has 3 x 5.25 inch bays and 4 x 3.5/2.5 inch bays internally – none of which I’ll be using – with pop-out panel for fitting of optional optical drive if desired. You’ll also be pleased to know that you can have up to 8 fans.- but unless you’re intending to build a wind-tunnel you won’t need more than a maximum of 4 including the PSU fan and the cooler fan. Maybe it would be an idea to add just one more if you’re adding an optional graphics card. The onboard graphics has a shared memory capacity of a gigabyte. (On both of the boards I mentioned.) That’s not a lot; so if you want more I suggest either a Radeon RX 580 at £170GBP, or an Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050Ti at £128GBP. – All prices mentioned inclusive of UK VAT at 20%.
So yeah – awesome: There were a few dwoiky snoiblers thrown up in that presentation; but no major discrepancies so far, other than maybe the rarity of the motherboard(s). Building it? – Yes go for it. – It shouldn’t cost you a fortune wherever you live. It costs me around £650GBP Inc VAT if I don’t include a graphics card. – £700GBP if I use a 9th generation board with a different chipset – which is another article’s worth.
Will I build it? I might if I have the time to spare as well as the money to spare; but I’m not covering that here.
[I’ll build it for you and have it delivered for something like £799GBP if you’re in the UK and if you give me a shout. – If you really don’t want to build it yourself that is.]
Carey’s video covers that comprehensively; so watch it. Do you want to build it? – Watch Carey Holzman’s channel on YouTube; then check out the video in question and follow Carey’s instructions as you watch him build it. If I’ve confused you by changing a few of the parts he uses; just ignore me and follow what he says.
That’s it. ‘No more. – ‘Happy computer building –
or not as the case may be.
Bye for now.