I was confused whether to buy a laptop (which comes will all goodies) or a custom PC build (which is, altogether, an opposite of laptop). First, I thought to go with a laptop but then decided to make my own budget custom PC build on friend’s suggestion.
Disclaimer: This article is my experience / journey I went through to create my own custom PC build. This isn’t a Nutshell like article which explains everything instead it just covers things I came to know from my own requirement.
Here is the preface of what I learned. I might have missed many things but at least, I hope I covered the fundamentals:
- SLI motherboards
- Z series motherboards
- Processor with suffix “K”
- Gsync and Free sync monitors
- SSD, HDD and SSHD
- Crossfire and SLI
First or all, we just can’t take any motherboard, processor, GPU, cooler, SMPS etc and assemble to form a PC. That would be completely unethical or opposite of wise (stupid?).
Being myself a toddler in this technical field of PC components, I started reading articles where authors used to form budget and premium PCs with components which are compatible with each other. I wondered how they are selecting those components. The names of those components are also like
7600uk etc.. There might be some common pattern in that stupid names and yes there is.. read on.
I needed a fast processor which could work for at least more 3 years easily. So, in my case, I decided not to compromise and go with the latest (as of this writing) Intel processor i7 8th generation (There is also i9 category processors which are just unnecessarily premium with just more cores, makes no sense). Then I realized there are some model numbers even in 8th generation. I just chose the latest one which is
i7 8700 but there is also a variant in it i.e
i7 8700k. On my research, I realized that the suffix
k stands for overclocking feature i.e we can increase the performance speed of the processor with help of motherboard. Not with any motherboard but a
Z series one. Also, the 8th generation processors need a motherboard which is above
300 series. So while buying a motherboard, I need to look out for model number something like
Z3XX for compatibility.
Then being a gamer, I decided to go with
GTX 1050ti GPU (since it is affordable and runs my games like CS GO, Witcher 3, GTA 5 and Skyrim smooth enough for better experience). Keeping the future scope in mind where I could possibly attach more GPUs to my motherboard, I researched on this topic, where I found that pairing/bridging of two or more GPUs is known as
SLI (in case of Nvidia) and
Crossfire (in case of AMD GPUs). Not all motherboards support these type of pairing, only the motherboards which have
Crossfire mentioned in their model number does that i.e a model number like
Z3XX SLI or
Z3XX Crossfire (few motherboards have option for both
So, the motherboard to go with is
Z3XX SLI (as I opt for Nvidia). Also, I chose
DDR4 because it consumes lesser power than
Note: No matter how much you consider the future scope, these brands know how to cut it down. Take the case of introducing new 300 series motherboards which are only compatible with the 8th generation processors not the ones below 300 series (not even
X299which are premium motherboards)
Since here I am considering a processor which could be overclocked and also a beast like GPU (Rat when compared to Titan). So, it is better not to compromise on Cooling system.
Now, coming to
M.2, it is actually the latest way where the data transfer rate is faster compare to older methods like
SATA. Usually, this can be helpful to reduce boot time (~10 sec) of the system. Since, I was fine with higher boot time (i.e around 1 min), I opted not to have
SSD for now but definitely considered that the Motherboard is
M.2 compatible. There is also Hybrid version of both
HDD known as
SSHD where I didn’t look much out.
Edit: I purchased
Samsung Evo 970 M.2 NVMe 2280 SSD. I opted for this as the benchmarks are really astonishing. The boot time definitely got under 10 secs. Not only just boot time but also starting of apps got faster. You could never go back to exclude SSD once you have it in your life. FYI, the
2280 is series which states something like your Motherboard should be compatible with M.2 NVMe (check motherboard manual) and must have a 22 mm width X 80 mm of height slot on motherboard, to keep the SSD. There are other lesser length variants as well. Also, I bought a 4TB HDD (I listed below).
And when I was browsing through monitors, I came to know that there are two types of gaming monitors i.e G-Sync (Nvidia) and FreeSync (AMD). These methods are used to reduce the screen tearing because of higher FPS. I would suggest to read articles to know more about it. At last, one thing I concluded is that G-Sync monitors are too expensive compare to budget monitors which are usually FreeSync. So, decided to go with Freesync monitor.
And here is my custom build’s configuration:
|650W SMPS (= switched-mode power supply)||CORSAIR SMPS VS650 - 650 WATT PSU WITH ACTIVE PFC CP-9020098-UK||Rs.4,300|
|Cooling system||COOLER MASTER CPU AIR COOLER HYPER 212X RR-212X-20PM-R1||Rs.2,850|
|16GB RAM||CORSAIR DESKTOP RAM VENGEANCE LPX SERIES - 16GB (16GBx1) DDR4 DRAM 3000MHz BLACK (CMK16GX4M1B3000C15) CMK16GX4M1B3000C15||Rs.13,000|
|GTX 1050ti GPU||ZOTAC GRAPHICS CARD PASCAL SERIES - GTX 1050 TI 4GB GDDR5 (ZT-P10510A-10L) ZT-P10510A-10L||Rs.11,500|
|i7-8700k CPU||INTEL PROCESSOR CORE i7-8700K (INTEL 8TH GEN, LGA1151 SOCKET, 12M CACHE, UP TO 4.70 GHz) i7-8700K||Rs.29,600|
|Motherboard||GIGABYTE MOTHERBOARD Z370M-D3H (INTEL SOCKET 1151/8TH GENERATION CORE SERIES CPU/MAX 64GB DDR4-4000MHZ MEMORY) Z370M-D3H||Rs.11,300|
|1TB HDD||I had a spare||-|
|4TB HDD||Seagate 4TB Barracuda SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache Desktop 3.5 Inch Internal Hard Drive||Rs. 8,899|
|Computer case||Zebronics||Rs. 1,500|
|29” ultra-wide monitor||LG 21:9 Ultrawide 29UM59 29-inch Monitor (Black)||Rs. 20,995|
|SSD||Samsung 970 Evo 500GB NVMe PCIeM.2 2280 SSD||Rs. 11,799|
I bought most of the above components from mdcomputers.com where the prices were lower compared to Flipkart and Amazon. Also, the delivery was fast (got in two days!!).
Things I messed in above configuration are:
- I didn’t go with SLI compatible Motherboard. I came to know about SLI after assembling the components (I could have still returned the component but opted not to). Anyway, the motherboard is still compatible with Crossfire. (Edit: SLI is actually supported only with few selected GPUs, here is the list)
- I should have selected a better cooling system i.e probably a liquid cooling system because the configuration which I bought has a CPU and Motherboard which can be overclocked which means more heat. Although, the existing cooling system is fine if I don’t overclock.