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Help with finding a new PC

LeDelmo
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May 13th, 2018, 3:27 am #1

I am looking for some advice/recommendations with my search for a new PC. I know this probably isn't the first place you would go. But, I am sure there are more than just a few knowledgeable people on here on this subject. And I don't know where else to ask.

I haven't bought-en myself a nice PC in a long time. And I think I am long over do for one.

So I have been thinking about what kind of PC would I want? Allot of stuff has changed. So there is allot to learn.
I was between the ideas of building a nice compact PC or buy a nice laptop.

I like the idea of the laptop that way I could easily take it wherever I want.

But, I am pretty stubborn... I want the Laptop to be VR comparable, a large battery (75whrs or higher), No G-sync on the screen (for better battery life), 100hz panel or higher, the ability to run the graphics off the CPU instead of the GPU when the GPU isn't necessary, and compatible with external GPU's (at a later date I will buy and dedicated monitor for the laptop for home use and a external GPU for it as-well).

So far the laptops I have found are the Gigabyte Aero, Razer Blade, and Alienware. I like MSi's and Asus's computers aswell but finding a model that meets my needs for them seem really hard. Especially the Asus because they seem to love G-Sync so much. Leaving you with laptops that get 2-3 hours of use...(that's not even gaming!)

Screen sizes between 13-15"


I know building a custom compact would be cheaper. But, I really don't know by how much. As prices are still really high because of those Cryptocurrency miners.

Anyways looking forward to hearing you alls thoughts on the matter. Feel free to make you own recommendations as-well.
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kajnrig
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May 13th, 2018, 4:28 am #2

Prices are higher not just because of the cryptocurrency boom (which seems to be on a downward trend), but also because of insanely high DRAM prices. There's actually a lawsuit in the works alleging price fixing on the part of the three main DRAM manufacturers, Samsung, SK Hynix, and Micron. (A claim bolstered by Micron's claim to... investors?... some years back that they were no longer looking to maximize market share but rather to maximize profit.)

Anyway, I wouldn't be able to help you much with regards to laptops. Some of your wants do seem a bit... untenable, though. A high refresh rate monitor on a gaming laptop that doesn't have G-Sync/Freesync included is highly unlikely to exist. To even get 100+ FPS on a modern game, you'll need a higher-tier internal graphics card, which makes an external video card redundant. Heck, the internal card might very well BE a desktop card on some laptops.

I'd say get the laptop for now, see how you like it, then when you get the home monitor, test the laptop on it and see how you like that. If it just won't do, then get/build a desktop tailored to your needs.

EDIT:

What a coincidence, this just popped up on my Youtube feed:

Last edited by kajnrig on May 13th, 2018, 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LeDelmo
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May 13th, 2018, 8:27 pm #3

The MSI G65 Stealth is definitely interesting. I hear mixed reviews about it though. So, it was surprising it was number 1 on their list. But, I really do like that one. Seems to meet most of my needs like the other three on my list. But, it's still behind the others in battery life.

The Alienware 15 R4, Razer Blade, and Gigabyte Aero 15X. Still seems to be the best options ATM.

But, I also found out something interesting as-well. Apparently, external GPU's run differently depending on how they are used. I am not sure if its the laptop hardware or the way the manufacturers design the External GPU's themselves.

But the Razer Blade with its external Razer Core V2 offers very little benefit. Compared to just running to its internal GPU.
Best Desktop Graphics for your Laptop
Where as the Alienware offered substantial benefits. (I would only want to run a external GPU for a external monitor)

So, I am wondering if its something I need to watch out for in the laptop or if it just depending on the External GPU you get.
Jeez, even small desktops are just as expensive.

I like MSI's Compacts like the Trident 3 White and Vortex G25. But, Both those are between $1,500-$2,000 by themselves.

I also looked into building a custom one. I like the Lazer3D LZ7 case. But, again I think it would still be around that $1,500 mark.

Last edited by LeDelmo on May 14th, 2018, 2:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WarMachine395
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May 14th, 2018, 2:39 am #4

Apparently cryptominers really only hold 6% of the market share in GPUs with that being heavily biased towards AMD cards specifically. On the whole the situation is a bit weird and I suspect that manufacturers may be pushing the numbers a bit in their favour. That all said GPU prices are currently dropping and will continue to do so with the next generation of cards coming this summer.

I actually work as a custom PC builder, so I'm a little biased in favour of towers over laptops, I just believe a tower will last you longer both in quality and performance. I will say the laptops you've listed off are pretty good ones from what I have seen and heard, so I don't think you can really go wrong there. Though maybe I would avoid the Alienware myself.

May I ask what you need the PC to be able to do, I may have some advice based on that.
https://twitter.com/WarMachine395/statu ... 1673431042

Here's my rig too, its a bit on the flashy side admittedly. It is a
[+] Spoiler
CPU: Rysen 5 1600X
RAM: 16 Gb of Trident Z RGB 3200
MOBO: ASUS Strix X370-F Gaming
GPU: ASUS Dual RX580 8 Gb
Cooler: NZXT Kraken X52-2
Case: NZXT S340
PSU: Thermaltake Toughpower 750 Watt
Storage: Samsung 960 Evo 250 Gb and a Seagate Barracuda 2 Tb
I was actually thinking about swapping to a Black InWin 101c:
https://www.in-win.com/en/gaming-chassis/101c
Last edited by WarMachine395 on May 14th, 2018, 2:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LeDelmo
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May 14th, 2018, 3:07 am #5

My main requirement will be VR compatibility. I do game but haven't on a PC is a long time. So I don't know exactly what kind of demand that would take just yet. But, the VR compatibility requirement should be enough power to run most games I would think.

Ideally, I would like to see frames at or above 120fps at 1080p. But, I am lenient on that for laptops. (however, having the faster screens is nice still to have the extra head room)

If I do go desktop, I would want a fairly small footprint. Something that could be easily moved around if need be.

And if I am being truthful the laptops are concerning me a little. The life expectancy on these things is terrible. And replacement batteries seem to be out of the question now. As it seems manufacturers do not offer replacement parts anymore.
Also thanks for the recommendation to those InWin cases. Some of them look really good.
Last edited by LeDelmo on May 14th, 2018, 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kajnrig
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May 14th, 2018, 6:41 am #6

You can cram a full-size desktop into a small space, but you'll pay a premium for the compact size. You'll want to look at Micro-ATX and Mini-ITX form factors for both the motherboard and case.

Something like the Fractal Design Node 202 (https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... 6811352059) would be a good place to start as far as the case goes. It's small enough that you can easily move it around, but also has enough space inside to fit all your essential components. Its shape is also such that you can set it horizontally or vertically however you see fit (so long as ventilation is unencumbered).

I'm with WarMachine in that I'm partial to DIY desktop builds, but there's no denying the convenience of a laptop, so it's really up to you to decide what your priorities are. Keep us up to date, though. If you do decide on a desktop build, I'd love to help with that... and maybe live vicariously. :D
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WarMachine395
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May 14th, 2018, 11:01 am #7

LeDelmo wrote:My main requirement will be VR compatibility. I do game but haven't on a PC is a long time. So I don't know exactly what kind of demand that would take just yet. But, the VR compatibility requirement should be enough power to run most games I would think.
You're not wrong to do VR right you do need some pretty solid hardware.
1500 Canadian rupees is probably what you are looking at price wise.
wrote:You can cram a full-size desktop into a small space, but you'll pay a premium for the compact size.
Yep, usually the smaller parts come at a premium and at a loss in performance and features too.
I'll leave this here too, its about the size of a shoebox and can actually fit a full size graphics card
http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Evolv-Shift.html
Last edited by WarMachine395 on May 14th, 2018, 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kajnrig
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May 14th, 2018, 12:57 pm #8

WarMachine395 wrote:I'll leave this here too, its about the size of a shoebox and can actually fit a full size graphics card
http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Evolv-Shift.html
I looked at that on Newegg a couple weeks ago and couldn't tell which side was up, down, front, back, what went where and where the outputs were and how you were supposed to access them...
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WarMachine395
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May 14th, 2018, 8:36 pm #9

kajnrig wrote:
WarMachine395 wrote:I'll leave this here too, its about the size of a shoebox and can actually fit a full size graphics card
http://www.phanteks.com/Enthoo-Evolv-Shift.html
I looked at that on Newegg a couple weeks ago and couldn't tell which side was up, down, front, back, what went where and where the outputs were and how you were supposed to access them...
Its a bit weird, it's really intended as an home theatre PC case so they've actually gone out of their way to conceal all of the IO. Essentially all the IO is coming out the "top" and then is routed out a hole in the back.

Again it is very weird as PC cases go
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LeDelmo
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May 14th, 2018, 8:42 pm #10

So, I wanted to get an idea of cost to build a custom mini ITX. And this is what I came up with.

CASE:
Lazer3D LZ7 $200

MOTHERBOARD:
Asus Strix Z370-i $200

CPU:
Intel i7 8700k $400

GPU:
GTX 1080 $600

RAM:
G.SKILL TridentZ series/RGB model 16Gb x1 $200? (I cant find just 1 stick but 2x16Gb is $400)
(I am also thinking right around the 3333mhz would be a good speed)

MEMORY:
2x 512Gb M.2 cards $300 (Would only run with M.2 no other HDD or SSD will be used.)

POWER:
HDPlex $100

OS:
Windows 10 $100

COOLER:
(I have allot of options here)
Noctua NH-L9 $40
Noctua NH-L12S $50
Reeven RC-1001b $36
Cryorig M9i $20

Now I am not sure if I got everything I need. As I am not sure what my fan situation would be. But, I think that would cover almost everything if I am not mistaken.

All together looks like it would cost around $2,150. Granted I was just rounding. But, I just wanted this as a general idea of cost.

What you think. Does this look about right? Any thoughts?
Last edited by LeDelmo on May 14th, 2018, 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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WarMachine395
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May 14th, 2018, 9:34 pm #11

8700k are really hot so you need to be very careful with the coolers, I'm wondering as well if you are intending to OC? :D

I'd avoid the L9 for this config it just doesn't have the TDP for it: https://noctua.at/en/nh_l9i_tdp_guidelines

The L12S is probably a good choice but you would probably need to get low profile memory to fit it together as the Trident Z stuff is very tall and quite fat with its heat spreaders (95W) EDIT This might fit not super sure it is 66mm tall so I think it may be very tight if it does. https://noctua.at/en/nh-l12/specification

I think the Cryorig M9i is probably the best choice as best I can tell it shouldn't obstruct anything and it has the highest TDP out of all of them (120W) EDIT too tall didn't notice how the PSU fit in

And you will definitely want a 600W PSU minimum, so maybe something like this: https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.a ... lsrc=aw.ds
CPU cooler clearance is only 67mm!
https://www.lazer3d.com/product/lz7/
Last edited by WarMachine395 on May 14th, 2018, 9:52 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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LeDelmo
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May 14th, 2018, 10:11 pm #12

I really wanted to avoid using such a large PSU internally. I know you can make external ones but I also want to avoid it looking too janky.

Your probably right about the processor as-well. I didn't think about that. I don't really need to have a K chip anyways. A normal 8700 would probably be just fine. I am thinking about over-clocking to at-least 4-4.5ghz.
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WarMachine395
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May 14th, 2018, 10:42 pm #13

^You need the k series chip and a Z board to OC
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kajnrig
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May 14th, 2018, 10:48 pm #14

LeDelmo wrote: CASE:
Lazer3D LZ7 $200
Really tight case. I'd be careful about space and thermals. The 8700K runs hot, so overclocking is almost assuredly out of the question.
wrote:CPU:
Intel i7 8700k $400
Not a bad choice, but again I'd be concerned about keeping it sufficiently cool in a case as tiny as this.
wrote:RAM:
G.SKILL TridentZ series/RGB model 16Gb x1 $200? (I cant find just 1 stick but 2x16Gb is $400)
(I am also thinking right around the 3333mhz would be a good speed)
Intel chips aren't as dependent on high-speed RAM as AMD chips. You can save a good chunk of change dropping down to 2400MHz without losing any significant gaming performance. You can also split the 16GB into 2x8GB... unless you're adamant about having 16GB sticks. The 2x8GB will have the benefit of running in dual-channel mode as opposed to the single-channel of the 1x16 (which isn't that important for Intel chips, again, but in certain tasks it makes a difference).
wrote:MEMORY:
2x 512Gb M.2 cards $300 (Would only run with M.2 no other HDD or SSD will be used.)
Make sure the drive is SATA or PCI-E (NVMe) as supported by your motherboard. M.2 is a form factor, not a standard, so you can have M.2 drives that read/write at slower SATA III speeds or the faster speeds of a PCI-E interface.
wrote:OS:
Windows 10 $100
I'm no advocate, but there are sites that sell apparently legit Windows keys for extremely cheap. I wouldn't know how/where to get them and/or the veracity of such keys, but even the big, reputable tech channels have dabbled with them. Food for thought.

Anyway, take WarMachine's advice as well. Big things to look for are cooling for that 8700K (look for TDP numbers for air coolers and/or radiator size for AIO water coolers if you decide to go that route, the higher the better) and a power supply to handle everything (the 600W suggested is a good minimum, I'd recommend 850W if you intend to overclock, want a quieter system, or even just for redundancy's sake).

Edit:

I was gonna recommend the 8700 actually, if you didn't absolutely need the overclock. You'll still need a good cooler for it, but you won't suffer as much.
Last edited by kajnrig on May 14th, 2018, 10:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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LeDelmo
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May 14th, 2018, 10:51 pm #15

Ah, never mind read it wrong. I'm not sure if the 8700k would be worth it for just the over-clocking though. Especially, if the 8700 can do 98% of what the 8700k can. Only the 8700 can run cooler and use less power.
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WarMachine395
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May 14th, 2018, 11:32 pm #16

LeDelmo wrote:Ah, never mind read it wrong. I'm not sure if the 8700k would be worth it for just the over-clocking though. Especially, if the 8700 can do 98% of what the 8700k can. Only the 8700 can run cooler and use less power.
That's a tricky question. In all honesty the 8700k would probably thermal throttle down to the same specs as an 8700 anyways. The 8700 still runs very hot and it comes with a stock cooler that is kind of crappy that no one should ever really use as it is exceedingly noisy :D

If you wanted to forgo the OC you could actually save a little more money by moving down to an H370 board as well: https://www.pcworld.com/article/3268063 ... n-cpu.html

Here's the H370-I, it has a very similar feature set minus the OC functionality: https://www.asus.com/ca-en/Motherboards ... -I-GAMING/



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LeDelmo
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May 15th, 2018, 12:31 am #17

: / even going with the normal 8700 and H370 board. I'd only save about $150. BUT, if I go with a 1060 instead of the 1080, That would save at-least $350 there alone.

So option 2 would be
i7 8700
H370
GTX 1060

So that saves about $500. Which still makes this a $1,650 build.
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kajnrig
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May 15th, 2018, 12:41 am #18

WarMachine395 wrote:The 8700 still runs very hot and it comes with a stock cooler that is kind of crappy that no one should ever really use as it is exceedingly noisy :D
Not only noisy, it also just flat-out fails at its job. The 8700 has an all-core turbo frequency of 4.3 GHz, but the box cooler will only be able to maintain 4.2 GHz... at a CPU temperature of 100 degrees Celsius... in a decently cool room.

You'll always be able to maintain a speed above the base clock of 3.2 GHz with the stock cooler, but you definitely WON'T be able to maximize its performance.
LeDelmo wrote:: / even going with the normal 8700 and H370 board. I'd only save about $150. BUT, if I go with a 1060 instead of the 1080, That would save at-least $350 there alone.
A 1060 or AMD RX 480/580 are solid choices all around, but they'll have trouble hitting 120 fps on some games, to say nothing of maintaining it.

EDIT:

GPU prices are steadily coming back down to MSRP, so that's something else to keep in mind if you're not in urgent need.
Last edited by kajnrig on May 15th, 2018, 1:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WarMachine395
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May 15th, 2018, 1:55 am #19

You could always build and run the system without the graphics card until the prices come down or the next gen cards launch :D

I would suggest the GTX 1060 6Gb if you can wrangle one at a good price, honestly Nvidia just makes a better optimized card for gaming than AMD does.
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kajnrig
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May 15th, 2018, 2:36 am #20

WarMachine395 wrote:I would suggest the GTX 1060 6Gb if you can wrangle one at a good price, honestly Nvidia just makes a better optimized card for gaming than AMD does.
Oh, and to add to this, make certain it's a 6GB (that's six gigabytes) card and NOT a 3GB (three gigabytes) card, as the latter actually has fewer compute units (ie a weaker chip with less raw compute strength) in addition to less VRAM. (For comparison's sake, the RX 480 8GB and RX 480 4GB are identical in every way except for the amount of VRAM.)
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WarMachine395
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May 15th, 2018, 2:41 am #21

So this is a very very long post I figured a couple variations on the system we're talking about and an equivalent or better performing AMD system

[+] Spoiler
Intel Core i7-8700 $302
Noctua NH-L9i $40
ASUS ROG Strix H370-I $132
Patriot Viper Elite 16GB 2400 $361
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING $300
CORSAIR SF Series SF600 600W $162
SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 500GB $200
SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 500GB $200
Lazer3D LZ7 $200

Total $1897
OR
[+] Spoiler
Intel Core i7+-8700 with Optane Storage Module $340
Noctua NH-L9i $40
ASUS ROG Strix H370-I $132
Patriot Viper Elite 16GB 2400 $361
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING $300
CORSAIR SF Series SF600 600W $162
SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 500GB $200
Seagate 2.5" BarraCuda 2TB $132
Lazer3D LZ7 $200

Total $1867
OR

This actually works surprisingly well for a small scale build because the 2700 only throws 65 Watts, and the cooler is still enough to OC it a bit :D
[+] Spoiler
Ryzen 7 2700 $295
Noctua NH-L9a $53
ASUS ROG STRIX B350-I $139 <<<This can be swapped**
Patriot Viper Elite 16GB 2400 $361
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 GAMING $300
CORSAIR SF Series SF600 600W $162
SAMSUNG 970 EVO M.2 2280 500GB $200
Seagate 2.5" BarraCuda 2TB $132
Lazer3D LZ7 $200

Total $1842


ASUS ROG Strix X470-I $210**

kajnrig wrote:Oh, and to add to this, make certain it's a 6GB (that's six gigabytes) card and NOT a 3GB (three gigabytes) card, as the latter actually has fewer compute units (ie a weaker chip with less raw compute strength) in addition to less VRAM. (For comparison's sake, the RX 480 8GB and RX 480 4GB are identical in every way except for the amount of VRAM.)
There was one card that AMD made that was misleading in that exact same way as well though I can't really remember which model (I think it may have been the 560 maybe)
Last edited by WarMachine395 on May 15th, 2018, 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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LeDelmo
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May 15th, 2018, 3:58 am #22

It seems like no matter what you do. Small form Custom desktop, Pre-built small form desktop, Mid size tower desktop, Or even a Laptop. They all seem to be around the same price range ($1,500 to $2,200) with similar specs.

Though, the GTX 1080's seem to be a rare and very expensive luxury.

I don't think I will go with AMD though. That's a whole other ordeal all together.
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LeDelmo
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June 12th, 2018, 9:00 am #23

... So, I know I said I don't think I would go AMD. BUT, I am learning new stuff every day. And it looks like the Ryzen CPU's are really incredible. There isn't much price difference from a intel i7 8th gen and the AMD Ryzen 7. (intel i7 $300ish to Ryzen 7's $250ish) And motherboards are about the same too. (Asus Z370-i $200ish to Asus X470-i $180)

So its something I am going to look deeper into. Right now I just dont know if there are any GPU compatibility issues I am not aware of. And heat output as I am looking at a small form factor. I am also going with two 8Gb Ram card instead of one 16Gb.

I am also thinking about just building it and waiting on the GPU as its hands down the more expensive part atm. If I go full 1080 that's a whole $600 right there. If I go to a 1060 it can get down to $250.

And than a price of a new monitor keyboard and mouse.
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WarMachine395
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June 12th, 2018, 11:01 pm #24

^There is one trade-off with Ryzen, they have no on chip graphics so they need to be run with a graphics card to even function, with the sole exceptions of the 2200G and the 2400G.

As far as I am aware there aren't any compatibility issues with Ryzen. Like Intel's 7th and up gen it isn't supported by Windows 7 so expect to run 10 or Linux. Beyond that there are unsupported cards from the early 2000s, but I expect that won't really be an issue here.

I've pretty much tried every combination of current gen cards, Ryzen chips and motherboards at this point, so I can pretty much guarantee everything works.

A few last things to note Ryzen thrives on higher speeds of memory, from 2666 up to 3200 can boost performance up by a good 10%, and B450 is launching very soon which has all the features of X470 but loses support for multiple GPUs (which doesn't matter for ITX) from X470 which could put the board down to $120-$150.

And next-gen Nvidia cards will be launching soon, which should shove down the market price of the current gen cards too.
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kajnrig
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June 13th, 2018, 12:31 am #25

WarMachine395 wrote:And next-gen Nvidia cards will be launching soon, which should shove down the market price of the current gen cards too.
I thought they said they weren't planning on releasing anything new anytime soon? Or was that just in terms of architecture? I remember seeing something about AMD going 7nm with Vega, but that's the only "new" thing I've seen regarding graphics cards.
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WarMachine395
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June 13th, 2018, 1:13 am #26

kajnrig wrote:
WarMachine395 wrote:And next-gen Nvidia cards will be launching soon, which should shove down the market price of the current gen cards too.
I thought they said they weren't planning on releasing anything new anytime soon? Or was that just in terms of architecture? I remember seeing something about AMD going 7nm with Vega, but that's the only "new" thing I've seen regarding graphics cards.
Not a recent announcement, the 1180 should be coming out within the next couple of months, with the rest following down the line like usual. They've got their pattern of launches, AMD is a fair bit more erratic.

They aren't up for preorder up yet as of yet, so I don't really know.
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LeDelmo
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June 13th, 2018, 2:19 am #27

Thanks for the heads up. I wasn't aware of that.

Main reason I started looking at the Ryzen chip instead was because of the future proof sockets. I really like that.
Also the Vega GPU's all seem to be crazy expensive right now but don't really offer much over the Nivida offerings. Value for performance seems to be the GTX 1070's which are still in the $400 range
Last edited by LeDelmo on June 13th, 2018, 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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WarMachine395
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June 13th, 2018, 10:20 pm #28

LeDelmo wrote:Also the Vega GPU's all seem to be crazy expensive right now but don't really offer much over the Nivida offerings. Value for performance seems to be the GTX 1070's which are still in the $400 range
The thing about Vega is that performance wise they're pretty solid a 64 is pretty comparable to a 1080 and the 56 to a 1070 and the sticker price is lower by a fair margin. But power draw and heat output is massive even given that you could get one at sticker price they would be a terrible idea in an ITX build.

Specifically those prices are jacked up by Monero miners, apparently they card can get a good return on investment even at $1500 and doubles as a space heater for the cold climates :D
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kajnrig
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June 13th, 2018, 10:51 pm #29

WarMachine395 wrote:Specifically those prices are jacked up by Monero miners, apparently they card can get a good return on investment even at $1500 and doubles as a space heater for the cold climates :D
Speaking of cryptocurrency, there was a news report just yesterday detailing how Bitcoin's price was artificially inflated last year during that meteoric rise. Coupled with the news of another hack of a cryptocurrency exchange, the value of cryptocurrency has taken a major nosedive. Hopefully that'll translate into GPU prices coming down even closer to MSRP.

Have you decided on a build, LeDelmo?
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WarMachine395
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Joined: August 24th, 2010, 2:30 am

June 13th, 2018, 11:39 pm #30

kajnrig wrote:Speaking of cryptocurrency, there was a news report just yesterday detailing how Bitcoin's price was artificially inflated last year during that meteoric rise. Coupled with the news of another hack of a cryptocurrency exchange, the value of cryptocurrency has taken a major nosedive. Hopefully that'll translate into GPU prices coming down even closer to MSRP.
Absolutely, I'm surprised it took people this long to catch on that the price had been inflated by a few "whales" as I've heard it termed. It will probably happen again.

But for now it is just as you've said they're all pretty much in a period of decline at this point and the market is pretty saturated with the current gen cards. They're still a little high but they're on the way down.
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