1. #1

    Looking to build a Gaming-only PC. Let's say budget is $1200. Not in a rush.

    I've decided to try and build a Gaming-only PC. I've always wanted to build my own PC anyways, and it just feels like kind of the right time to invest, as my current PC is literally a decade old now, and it basically only serves to browse the web and stream shows.

    I'm going to say my budget is $1200. However, I am in *NO* rush, so I am more than willing to be patient and pick up certain parts whenever they go on sale or see price drops. Similarly, if there are new parts on the horizon, I'm willing to wait until they release. I'd say, I would like to have all of the parts for my PC in like 3-4 months. So if certain parts are cheap right now, and others I should wait on... all good with me.

    Main thing I would stress is that I don't actually know much of anything about computer parts, like what parts are compatible with others. So guidance would be much appreciated. Even if it's as strict as "Buy THIS part for $120, and buy this OTHER part whenever you see it under $200", stuff like that.

    My only stipulation is that I *DO NOT* want to mess around with liquid-cooling. I know it's supposed to be way better, but... I just don't trust myself to do it right.

    Beyond that, how important is the choice of chassis? I don't think I need anything terribly compact, but are there certain details to be on the lookout for? I'm personally not concerned about putting a ton of LED's in it or anything, but it would be nice to get something a little more appealing than a simple black box.

    Thanks in advice for any and all advice!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also; this is probably a strange shape for a chassis, but I honestly kind of dig this particular one:

    https://smile.amazon.com/Thermaltake...DDW/ref=sr_1_9

    Do you think it's size would be an issue, though? For that matter, any similar ones you might recommend?

  2. #2
    Please wait Temp name's Avatar
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    First just to answer some things:
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post
    My only stipulation is that I *DO NOT* want to mess around with liquid-cooling. I know it's supposed to be way better, but... I just don't trust myself to do it right.
    You also do not have the budget for a custom loop. They're massively expensive. ~260 dollars at the low end, and 1000+ at the high end. It's basically just a money drain. But it looks nice if you can do it properly.

    Beyond that, how important is the choice of chassis? I don't think I need anything terribly compact, but are there certain details to be on the lookout for? I'm personally not concerned about putting a ton of LED's in it or anything, but it would be nice to get something a little more appealing than a simple black box.
    Kinda important. Depending on case (Chassis as you called it), you can either have good temps, or thermal throttle. Though, modern cases can look good while still performing well.


    https://smile.amazon.com/Thermaltake...DDW/ref=sr_1_9

    Do you think it's size would be an issue, though? For that matter, any similar ones you might recommend?
    Size is fine. mATX isn't terribly hard to work with, either for building or selecting parts. That said, I'd probably say to stay away from that case. It looks horribly closed off, I don't know where your components would get fresh air from (or where it would go, if you do a rear intake). As for what I'd recommend. Phanteks P400A or the Lian-Li Lancool II mesh. They look (subjectively) good, and are incredibly well ventilated, so everything will run super quiet and/or cool. As for similar ones.. I'm not sure. I don't really keep up with Thermaltake outside of their Core P lineup

    That out of the way. What games do you play? You'll need different parts for Civilization and Monster Hunter, or maybe you just play retro games?
    What resolution do you play it? Framerate?
    Last edited by Temp name; 2020-08-14 at 06:02 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Temp name View Post
    First just to answer some things:

    You also do not have the budget for a custom loop. They're massively expensive. ~260 dollars at the low end, and 1000+ at the high end. It's basically just a money drain. But it looks nice if you can do it properly.


    Kinda important. Depending on case (Chassis as you called it), you can either have good temps, or thermal throttle. Though, modern cases can look good while still performing well.



    Size is fine. mATX isn't terribly hard to work with, either for building or selecting parts. That said, I'd probably say to stay away from that case. It looks horribly closed off, I don't know where your components would get fresh air from (or where it would go, if you do a rear intake). As for what I'd recommend. Phanteks P400A or the Lian-Li Lancool II mesh. They look (subjectively) good, and are incredibly well ventilated, so everything will run super quiet and/or cool. As for similar ones.. I'm not sure. I don't really keep up with Thermaltake outside of their Core P lineup

    That out of the way. What games do you play? You'll need different parts for Civilization and Monster Hunter, or maybe you just play retro games?
    What resolution do you play it? Framerate?
    Well, my hope is to use it as my primary gaming console. Right now, I play the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PC, and also Mortal Kombat 11. I typically dial the graphics down as low as they'll go, since I really care about a game running smoothly more than its visuals. I also play FFXIV and will likely be jumping back into WoW once Shadowlands releases.

    I'm willing to be flexible on my budget, though (especially if I'm piecing together parts over time, as opposed to dropping money all at once). I'd definitely appreciate a machine that's able to play virtually any new release over the next couple years, even if it means scaling the graphics down. Or just saying "hey use X video-card for the time being, and then maybe upgrade in like a year".

    Also, appreciate the feedback on the case! Yeah, I kind of don't know what to really look for. I've seen some reviews talk about what type of USB slots they have, and not really sure what to look for. I looked up those two you mentioned, they looked pretty okay, but maybe a *bit* plain imo.

    If it's not boring or anything, would you have any input on any of these?

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cooler-Mast...dp/B00FFJ0H3Q/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Lian-Li-TU-...dp/B07X8Z5V53/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Lian-Li-Dyn...dp/B07ZJZKXGM/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cougar-CONQ...dp/B0759PNHX8/

    That last one's a bit pricey I suppose, but I figure if this is going to be my "new gaming rig" for the next several years, I'm open to spending a bit more I suppose. Although, it might also be kind of an eye-sore if I have it setup in my living-room, haha.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post
    Well, my hope is to use it as my primary gaming console. Right now, I play the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PC, and also Mortal Kombat 11. I typically dial the graphics down as low as they'll go, since I really care about a game running smoothly more than its visuals. I also play FFXIV and will likely be jumping back into WoW once Shadowlands releases.
    Sounds like Intel build is right up your alley, but your budget is pretty low for that, and it kinda requires overclocking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post
    I'm willing to be flexible on my budget, though (especially if I'm piecing together parts over time, as opposed to dropping money all at once). I'd definitely appreciate a machine that's able to play virtually any new release over the next couple years, even if it means scaling the graphics down. Or just saying "hey use X video-card for the time being, and then maybe upgrade in like a year".
    I would say wait for Ampere

    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post
    Also, appreciate the feedback on the case! Yeah, I kind of don't know what to really look for. I've seen some reviews talk about what type of USB slots they have, and not really sure what to look for. I looked up those two you mentioned, they looked pretty okay, but maybe a *bit* plain imo.

    If it's not boring or anything, would you have any input on any of these?

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cooler-Mast...dp/B00FFJ0H3Q/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Lian-Li-TU-...dp/B07X8Z5V53/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Lian-Li-Dyn...dp/B07ZJZKXGM/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cougar-CONQ...dp/B0759PNHX8/

    That last one's a bit pricey I suppose, but I figure if this is going to be my "new gaming rig" for the next several years, I'm open to spending a bit more I suppose. Although, it might also be kind of an eye-sore if I have it setup in my living-room, haha.
    Looks like Lian Li O11 Dynamic is right up your alley.

    https://pcpartpicker.com/product/VxR...-case-pc-o11dw - the black version

    It's a bit pricey and comes with no fans (you have to buy them separately) but it's a very good case that will last you.

    Couguar Conquer is a decent "case" but it's HUGE and not really suited for an average build. TU-150 just looks like an oversized box that's only Mini ITX. Stay away from HAF XB though, it's almost 10 years old. I love my HAF X, but the times have changed.

    On USB ports on front panel - if you have no clue about a port then you dont need it.
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  5. #5
    As far as USB ports -- the more, the better imo! I just don't quite understand the differences between 2.0 or 3.0. As long as it's compatible with most USB accessories, though, those are a godsend. I typically play games (even on PC) with a controller, so being able to plug it in the front would be fantastic. My current PC has two USB ports, but they stopped working years ago, which I probably should've looked into how to fix/replace them.

    In any case, much appreciated on the feedback on cases. The Cougar looks freaking awesome, but I worry that it being "open" like that just wouldn't be practical; it will likely sit on the floor in my living room, and as clean as I try to be, I still get quite a bit of dust and stuff in my apartment. I can't imagine that being good for a PC, even if you clean it religiously.

    The Lian Li 011 Dynamic seems to have pulled up quite a few times in my searches, so that's probably a good sign. And honestly, it does look pretty sharp (although I kind of prefer the silver look, which that and black seem to be quit a lot more expensive or hard to find).

    I'm curious, though, you mention you have a HAF XB. Why do you recommend staying away from it? It's certainly less "sexy", but there's something about it that seems like it would be very practical, and presumably easier to transport (on the rare occasion you ever need to, I mean). Or is it just harder/more restrictive to get all the parts you need to actually fit in the thing? Or perhaps it doesn't cool that well?

  6. #6
    Don't get the Lian Li 011 Dynamic XL version. That one is made for custom water cooling. Get the normal version
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  7. #7
    Please wait Temp name's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post
    Well, my hope is to use it as my primary gaming console. Right now, I play the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on PC, and also Mortal Kombat 11. I typically dial the graphics down as low as they'll go, since I really care about a game running smoothly more than its visuals. I also play FFXIV and will likely be jumping back into WoW once Shadowlands releases.

    I'm willing to be flexible on my budget, though (especially if I'm piecing together parts over time, as opposed to dropping money all at once). I'd definitely appreciate a machine that's able to play virtually any new release over the next couple years, even if it means scaling the graphics down. Or just saying "hey use X video-card for the time being, and then maybe upgrade in like a year".

    Also, appreciate the feedback on the case! Yeah, I kind of don't know what to really look for. I've seen some reviews talk about what type of USB slots they have, and not really sure what to look for. I looked up those two you mentioned, they looked pretty okay, but maybe a *bit* plain imo.

    If it's not boring or anything, would you have any input on any of these?

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cooler-Mast...dp/B00FFJ0H3Q/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Lian-Li-TU-...dp/B07X8Z5V53/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Lian-Li-Dyn...dp/B07ZJZKXGM/

    https://smile.amazon.com/Cougar-CONQ...dp/B0759PNHX8/

    That last one's a bit pricey I suppose, but I figure if this is going to be my "new gaming rig" for the next several years, I'm open to spending a bit more I suppose. Although, it might also be kind of an eye-sore if I have it setup in my living-room, haha.
    The HAF evo one isn't in stock from what I can see, but it'll perform well
    And the TU-120wx you suggested is Mini ITX, which requires a more pricey motherboard than mATX or normal ATX.
    As Panser says, the O11 dynamic non-XL is probably the best bet. It's a bit cheaper and looks the same, just a bit shorter.
    The Cougar is honestly just too pricey for your budget. Unless you really just refuse anything else, then I'd suggest something, anything, else. That said, it will likely perform pretty well with all those holes in it, just be prepared to dust it out pretty often

    As for USB slots: Unless you use it for USB storage devices, it won't matter if it's USB 2 or USB 3, as long as they're type A ports.

    Quote Originally Posted by pansertjald View Post
    Don't get the Lian Li 011 Dynamic XL version. That one is made for custom water cooling. Get the normal version
    They're both made for water cooling. That said, the non-XL will probably perform better if you don't use water cooling, since you have less air in the case that needs to be moved

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymore View Post

    My only stipulation is that I *DO NOT* want to mess around with liquid-cooling. I know it's supposed to be way better, but... I just don't trust myself to do it right.
    Self enclosed liquid cooling is not much harder than putting in a heat sync. you got to bolt both to the CPU w/ paste the only difference with the liquid cooling is that you mount the radiator/fan to the case. Granted some fancier liquid cooling has a plug that you can optionally plug into a usb slot so that you can control it with software but it really isn't hard at all.

    The cooler you can keep your system, the better your CPU will perform.

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