PC build/upgrade thread



  • Lads, seeking the collective input/wisdom of the fern about two upcoming pc builds/upgrades.

    1 - Have let the missus know that I'm getting a sweet new gaming rig for my 40th. Current pc is about 3 years old and the vid card (which was decent in it's day) is def starting to struggle with running multiple streams and games at the same time.

    2 - with my loathing for Skytv reaching a whole new level I'm keen to move to a pc based hub - taking advantage of wireless connections etc.

    For #1 has anyone run into any must-have tech for a mid-range gaming rig? I'll def be going SSD for OS, maybe even having a second SSD for high use games too. Will be sinking most of the $ into a solid graphics card - yet to do an exhaustive search but know a few sites to check out benchmarks etc. Don't need screens etc so that'll be a tricky way to spend more on the pc he he

    For #2 does anyone run a pc as their main entertainment hub? Currently we plug in the laptop (did runs of Cat5 and HDMI when we renovated a couple of years ago) and run everything, including Skytv, through an amp to the tv. But I know that can cause signal issues if the amp software doesn't play nice with the rest of your gear.

    Speakers are hardwired into the walls so I'm not sure if the pc will audio out to the amp - or if you can get pc hardware that lets you connect speaker wires?? That's one thing I need to nut out.

    Everything will be hooked up on a network/homegroup - tv is smart so we can cast to it off some devices. But stupidly when we ran the cabling for the tv we only did HDMI in (to the tv) as the amp was the hub. Since then we've gotten more devices that cast straight to the tv so that means swapping over to tv audio.

    Would also say we've got a chrome cast lying around (from my old man) but have never set it up. Worthwhile??



  • Fortunately there's a game for that now:

    PC Building Simulator

    Seriously though, the must have for me is silence. Get a decent case (Fractal Design Define series is a good price), a good and quiet PSU, a Noctua etc CPU cooler, and, most of all, a quiet GPU.

    I plug my TV into my computer via HDMI, as I use MadVR with a 3D-LUT for colour correction. Compensating with the audio delay for lag can be tricky though. Probably best to use HDMI return.

    2nd gen Chromecasts are very useful things to have.



  • @paekakboyz said in PC build/upgrade thread:

    For #1 has anyone run into any must-have tech for a mid-range gaming rig? I'll def be going SSD for OS, maybe even having a second SSD for high use games too. Will be sinking most of the $ into a solid graphics card - yet to do an exhaustive search but know a few sites to check out benchmarks etc. Don't need screens etc so that'll be a tricky way to spend more on the pc he he

    It's almost always cheaper to buy a larger capacity SSD than to get two of half the size. E.g. a 500GB Samsung is cheaper than 2 x 250GB

    For graphics cards, it's hard to go past a 1080ti at the moment.

    For #2 does anyone run a pc as their main entertainment hub?

    Yes. I used to have a dedicated HTPC, but there's no need for that these days. I simply run a HDMI 2.1 cable into my smart TV and run Kodi from my main PC. Can control it from my phone or tablet.



  • Terrible time to be buying a graphics card. Crypto mining has driven up demand and cost. I bought one a few weeks ago and settled on the GTX 1060. I just found it was a good balance between cost and quality, for the moment.



  • I have an HTPC. Here's my build, it's a few years old now. I used a Fractal Design case.

    I connect to the tv via hdmi and to my Sonos playbar via spdif, which then connects wirelessly to the other speakers. My remote interacts with the tv via FLIRC usb dongle. The pc boots straight to PLEX so it's relatively wife-proof.

    I don't have cable/sky so I use the pc for watching movies and streaming rugbypass. You're supposed to be able to use Plex for free tv as well, via your antenna, but I didn't have any luck with that.

    It's not great for streaming Netflix or Amazon Prime. A device like apple tv, xbox, chromecast would be far better if that's what you're going to be watching, in my opinion (at least that's my experience using Windows 7).



  • How did it go?



  • @Tim haven't pulled the trigger just yet - but soon!!

    Last build I looked at was from playtech



  • Figured I'd sort the gaming rig first, then follow up options for a media pc later.



  • Well it only took 8 or 9 months but I finally ordered my new rig yesterday. Happy birthday to me lol

    One of the Playtech custom builds which has pretty decent specs and will see me right for the next 4-5 years

    Added in an extra 2TB HDD and I have an existing 3TB HDD that I'll also install when the pc arrives. That should let us use the pc for a lot of vid/photo storage. At least until I sort the home media centre pc - but that's not a priority at this stage.

    Not looking forward to transferring data/games over, but at least with Steam you can do things bit more easily. Will be loading my main/favourite games on the SSD and am super excited about how well they'll run on the new pc.



  • I have a couple of mates that have set up Plex servers for streaming their media. They have given me access to those, so I can stream anything that they have using the plex player on laptop/smart tv/tablet etc.

    Providing my current work contract extends for at least another 3 months past the current end date of March, I plan to set up my own node connected to them. It will hammer my (and their) internet connections for a bit when I initially set up and sync (currently I think there are 3K movies and 2.5K tv series of content), but that is what GB unlimited fibre plans are for. Also, I can start ripping any movies/tv series that I have not currently on their servers, and they will get access to them.

    I'm aiming to go hi spec, with something with enough grunt and storage to take me through the next 5-7 years, so looking at this NAS

    Does anyone else use Plex and/or have a setup they can recommend?



  • @Stockcar86 I've had it running full time for the last 3-4 years on this, so not sure I'm in your league but it's suited me perfectly fine! Have been able to stream all around the world and used by family all over. Pretty sure what you're getting set up will cope...

    Lenovo IdeaCentre Q190 Ultra Small Form Factor Desktop PC - (Silver/Black) (Intel Celeron 1017U 1.6GHz Processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, LAN, WLAN, Integrated Graphics, Windows 😎 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00DPJZQBG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_p3ypCbAB3Z2M4



  • and the new PC runs like a rocket ship. Stoked with it. Got a couple of my fav games on the ssd and the rest will go on the hdd. Need a different dvi plug for one monitor but loving it so far. Still gotta transfer over a bunch of content but it's good to review your digital hoarding and cull some shit!



  • No idea where I'll get my decent reviews from now, for new PC parts - gutted

    https://www.pcgamer.com/hardocp-is-getting-mothballed-as-kyle-bennett-leaves-to-join-intel/





  • It’s a shame they use that image because that was an epic entrance.



  • aw hells yeah!! 20sec in and I was invested and hooked!



  • Am I going to have to buy a new GPU?



  • Tangential to the topic, I'm installing a copy of Windows 10 in a virtual machine. I haven't used Windows for years, so can anybody recommend some decent antivirus software that will run happily in the VM without grinding my machine to a halt?



  • @JC To be honest I've found Avast superior to most paid alternatives over the years. I used to manage IT for a couple of engineering firms that were doing it tough budget wise, moved all there devices across from Trend to the free Avast Business with pretty significant performance improvements on ageing computers and they also seemed better at detections. Haven't tried it in a virtual environment but for free its worth a crack.



  • Windows built in Defender is now good enough, esp on a virtual machine


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