Beginner, looking for advice on what to purchase.

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
Hello!

I'm looking for a new PC. I don't know exactly what I need due to my lack of knowledge in computers. Basically. I'm looking for a small yet powerful system. i7, 16+ gig ram (prefferably 32), "decent" GPU. Looked at Intels nucs, Gigabytes Brix, HP mini z2 g3. Most of these machines seem to be lacking in the GPU department, most of them doesn't even have a dedicated GPU, its possible that most of these devices would suffice for my needs, but I really don't know.

Since I'm not a gamer I don't need the best GPU. For what I'm going to do I probably will do just fine with something mid-range in terms of GPU (whatever that means). I'd like to run 4-6 emulators on this computer if possible. I have no clue how important the GPU actually is, I think CPU and RAM is the most important.

I'd appreciate some advice. I suspect that I might have to be more specific in order to get help from you, ask whatever you need to know. Size is very important, I don't want anything bigger than the mini-stx-pc's. I'd prefer to keep it under 1.5k$

Rusty Mike
 

jtd871

SFF Guru
Jun 22, 2015
1,166
847
There are some build logs on this site for emulator-centric builds.

The real question is: do you want to build your own or purchase a complete system from a builder? There are advantages to both approaches.

If you go pre-built or custom-built, then you get everything you want with no work required on your part. If you roll your own, you can save money, but you need to be your own tech support.

If you want to roll your own, I've found the information at the below link to be helpful regarding size/capability/price ratios for various levels of build. Hopefully, it gives you some ideas. Please also use web search to do your own research.
NB: the site uses affiliate links to Amazon (if you buy using the link(s), the website gets a piece of the action - which is how the site makes money).
https://techbuyersguru.com/introduction-building-small-form-factor-pc
 

Jordy

Trash Compacter
Sep 17, 2017
43
47
Hello!

I'm looking for a new PC. I don't know exactly what I need due to my lack of knowledge in computers. Basically. I'm looking for a small yet powerful system. i7, 16+ gig ram (prefferably 32), "decent" GPU. Looked at Intels nucs, Gigabytes Brix, HP mini z2 g3. Most of these machines seem to be lacking in the GPU department, most of them doesn't even have a dedicated GPU, its possible that most of these devices would suffice for my needs, but I really don't know.

Since I'm not a gamer I don't need the best GPU. For what I'm going to do I probably will do just fine with something mid-range in terms of GPU (whatever that means). I'd like to run 4-6 emulators on this computer if possible. I have no clue how important the GPU actually is, I think CPU and RAM is the most important.

I'd appreciate some advice. I suspect that I might have to be more specific in order to get help from you, ask whatever you need to know. Size is very important, I don't want anything bigger than the mini-stx-pc's. I'd prefer to keep it under 1.5k$

Rusty Mike
I suggest not getting intel actually, but go with an AMD Ryzen or threadripper cpu instead. You will get more cores and threads for a much lower price. 32gigs of DDR4 Ram, a GTX 1050ti or a 1060 for the gpu and i should go with an ssd for storage, it's faster than the normal hard drive.
 
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CXH4

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 18, 2016
136
87
I would recommend going with the parts that I've listed here: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/RXygGf
However, as for the size that you want is where things get kind of complicated lol
There are many users on this site that have made very enthusiast class SFF cases, and there are many I could recommend such as the NFC systems S4 mini, which require you to use a Pico-PSU for further reduction in case size. But there are also more conventional cases such as the LZ7 that offer compatibility with SFX power supplies. I'd recommend giving a look at those two cases as well as the others people have to offer here just for a little more insight to the size, or what other parts you may need. It's part of the reason why I didn't list a power supply in the list I made for you. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions I'd be glad to help.
 

wowaaa

Efficiency Noob
Jun 19, 2017
7
0
Actually depends on the emulators. The modern ones (RPCSX3, Citra, Cemu) are really greedy for single thread performance. Right now 7700k(or OC'ed 6700k) is the winner for them. In close future 8700K would be awesome because of 6 cores and similar clocks. Ryzen is also a great choice, but its single thread performance compared to intel is not that good and just trade-off for more cores. So it is your choice - cores or clocks?
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
There are some build logs on this site for emulator-centric builds.

The real question is: do you want to build your own or purchase a complete system from a builder? There are advantages to both approaches.

If you go pre-built or custom-built, then you get everything you want with no work required on your part. If you roll your own, you can save money, but you need to be your own tech support.

If you want to roll your own, I've found the information at the below link to be helpful regarding size/capability/price ratios for various levels of build. Hopefully, it gives you some ideas. Please also use web search to do your own research.
NB: the site uses affiliate links to Amazon (if you buy using the link(s), the website gets a piece of the action - which is how the site makes money).
https://techbuyersguru.com/introduction-building-small-form-factor-pc

Well, since I'm completely lost with these things I'd prefer to buy something pre-built or pay someone that can put together a system for me. How can I get in touch with builders? Thanks for the link.
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
I would recommend going with the parts that I've listed here: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/RXygGf
However, as for the size that you want is where things get kind of complicated lol
There are many users on this site that have made very enthusiast class SFF cases, and there are many I could recommend such as the NFC systems S4 mini, which require you to use a Pico-PSU for further reduction in case size. But there are also more conventional cases such as the LZ7 that offer compatibility with SFX power supplies. I'd recommend giving a look at those two cases as well as the others people have to offer here just for a little more insight to the size, or what other parts you may need. It's part of the reason why I didn't list a power supply in the list I made for you. I hope this helps and if you have any other questions I'd be glad to help.

Thanks for the suggestions and the list. Any clue how "your" machine compares to "Intel NUC skull canyon? I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post any links to Amazon so Ill just post the specs here:

*6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-6770HQ
*Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 580
*32 gig DDR4 RAM
* Samsung 850 EVO- 500GB- M.2 SATA III internal SSD

To me the specs look pretty good but then again my knowledge is very limited. The NUC would set me back roughly 1k and I guess your build would cost me something similar.

There's this poker app that only allows you to play 1 pokertable per device, its created for tablets and phones, but with an Emu I can get past this and play multiple tables on a PC. The Emus I have tried so far are two chinese ones: MEMU and MOMO. Basically I need my PC to do the same job 4-6 Ipads would have done. I would guess that this poker app doesn't require a whole lot of prestanda since it got a very simplistic layout and it's not really doing anything sophisticated. Maybe this info can help you to figure out what I need in terms of a PC.
 

AleksandarK

/dev/null
May 14, 2017
703
773
I would reccomend something like ASRock DeskMini GTX.

It is small, compact and you could make or buy some other case for it like custommods 1.6 or 0.8l.

In your price range, getting an I7 7700K and GTX 1060 with 32 GB of ram would be pretty easy.
 

CXH4

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 18, 2016
136
87
Thanks for the suggestions and the list. Any clue how "your" machine compares to "Intel NUC skull canyon? I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post any links to Amazon so Ill just post the specs here:

*6th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-6770HQ
*Intel® Iris™ Pro Graphics 580
*32 gig DDR4 RAM
* Samsung 850 EVO- 500GB- M.2 SATA III internal SSD

To me the specs look pretty good but then again my knowledge is very limited. The NUC would set me back roughly 1k and I guess your build would cost me something similar.

There's this poker app that only allows you to play 1 pokertable per device, its created for tablets and phones, but with an Emu I can get past this and play multiple tables on a PC. The Emus I have tried so far are two chinese ones: MEMU and MOMO. Basically I need my PC to do the same job 4-6 Ipads would have done. I would guess that this poker app doesn't require a whole lot of prestanda since it got a very simplistic layout and it's not really doing anything sophisticated. Maybe this info can help you to figure out what I need in terms of a PC.

A NUC lacks the upgradability of a regular PC and the price to performance doesn't compare when you get the parts yourself. There's a lot of factors that play into performance such as the instructions per clock on a CPU, whether that CPU is on a 22nm process, or 14nm process. There's a lot of technicalities that play into the performance of a PC. I don't know how much power you would need to play a poker game, but I doubt that it's very intensive on a CPU, so you could even downgrade the build that I made a tiny bit more. I would recommend a different type of case but I'm not sure if you're willing to compromise on the size of the PC. But there are cases the size of shoe boxes that are a bit cheaper to get a hold of than what is more enthusiast oriented/custom. There's a lot more you can do with a PC than a NUC though, and that's the reason for me suggesting a PC. Also putting it together is fairly simple and straight forward, and if you'd like I could create another list.
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,380
5,917
Can you tell us which emulators you are planning to run? If you don't need a GPU then I would definitely second the Deskmini H110 based platform as it is easy to get, easy to build in and if you're really nervous about setting things up yourself it is readily available as a prebuilt.
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
Can you tell us which emulators you are planning to run? If you don't need a GPU then I would definitely second the Deskmini H110 based platform as it is easy to get, easy to build in and if you're really nervous about setting things up yourself it is readily available as a prebuilt.

Yes. I got 2 options right now, one called "memu" and the other one is "momo". I pretty much never play games, but I'd prefer to have one if I one day decide to download something and play it on "medium settings".
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
A NUC lacks the upgradability of a regular PC and the price to performance doesn't compare when you get the parts yourself. There's a lot of factors that play into performance such as the instructions per clock on a CPU, whether that CPU is on a 22nm process, or 14nm process. There's a lot of technicalities that play into the performance of a PC. I don't know how much power you would need to play a poker game, but I doubt that it's very intensive on a CPU, so you could even downgrade the build that I made a tiny bit more. I would recommend a different type of case but I'm not sure if you're willing to compromise on the size of the PC. But there are cases the size of shoe boxes that are a bit cheaper to get a hold of than what is more enthusiast oriented/custom. There's a lot more you can do with a PC than a NUC though, and that's the reason for me suggesting a PC. Also putting it together is fairly simple and straight forward, and if you'd like I could create another list.

Alright. Playing 1 table of poker is probably not very demanding, but playing 10-12 tabs like I do, and sometimes playing on different sites at the same time def gets pretty demanding and some of the tools I use for studying the game, solvers/simulators demands a lot from the computer so I still need something pretty powerful. I'm starting to realize that my PC might end up bigger than I first wanted but that's alright.

I live in central america at the moment so ordering from Amazon/other US sites is pretty difficult. I'd prefer to not order from the US and just buy everything locally, I found a pretty decent webshop with stores in my city and most of the components you chose for the first build was listed on the site. This site seem to have most components besides smaller sized cases so I might have to order a case from the US and buy everything else here in Panama. The site is called "yoytec.com", if you got the time to check it out. Worst case Ill just go with one of the smaller cases on the site.
 

CXH4

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 18, 2016
136
87
Alright. Playing 1 table of poker is probably not very demanding, but playing 10-12 tabs like I do, and sometimes playing on different sites at the same time def gets pretty demanding and some of the tools I use for studying the game, solvers/simulators demands a lot from the computer so I still need something pretty powerful. I'm starting to realize that my PC might end up bigger than I first wanted but that's alright.

I live in central america at the moment so ordering from Amazon/other US sites is pretty difficult. I'd prefer to not order from the US and just buy everything locally, I found a pretty decent webshop with stores in my city and most of the components you chose for the first build was listed on the site. This site seem to have most components besides smaller sized cases so I might have to order a case from the US and buy everything else here in Panama. The site is called "yoytec.com", if you got the time to check it out. Worst case Ill just go with one of the smaller cases on the site.

I looked at the site, and they have a few shoebox cases listed. However if you want something smaller than you would more than likely have to order from the US, or someone who makes custom cases, and that would more than likely mean ordering a PICO PSU such as a G-Unique PSU or HDPLEX PSU. Also if you're not doing much gaming I would suggest something like the GTX 1050 or 1050 ti, as for the processor I'd definitely go with a RYZEN 1600 because of the cores it will be better utilized in the workload you want to give it.
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
I looked at the site, and they have a few shoebox cases listed. However if you want something smaller than you would more than likely have to order from the US, or someone who makes custom cases, and that would more than likely mean ordering a PICO PSU such as a G-Unique PSU or HDPLEX PSU. Also if you're not doing much gaming I would suggest something like the GTX 1050 or 1050 ti, as for the processor I'd definitely go with a RYZEN 1600 because of the cores it will be better utilized in the workload you want to give it.

Yes. I'd be willing to go as big as the "Cooler master elite 130 at "9.4 x 15.7 x 8.2" inch. Seems like a decent case, it can fit most full-sized GPU/CPU's. It's kinda cheap tho, so I worry about quality. I don't wanna end up buying something with a poor construction that will lead to my PC becoming an oven. I read reviews and people complained about the lack och dust-filters (maybe I can add that?) and the cooling in general seemed so-so, maybe this is something I can improve as well?

Sure, it doesn't have to be Intel of course. As long as the chosen CPU performs at least on pair with good i7's I'm happy.

Alright, so lets say I'd go with the Cooler master 130 elite, unless you advice against it. What would you put inside it?
 

CXH4

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 18, 2016
136
87
Yes. I'd be willing to go as big as the "Cooler master elite 130 at "9.4 x 15.7 x 8.2" inch. Seems like a decent case, it can fit most full-sized GPU/CPU's. It's kinda cheap tho, so I worry about quality. I don't wanna end up buying something with a poor construction that will lead to my PC becoming an oven. I read reviews and people complained about the lack och dust-filters (maybe I can add that?) and the cooling in general seemed so-so, maybe this is something I can improve as well?

Sure, it doesn't have to be Intel of course. As long as the chosen CPU performs at least on pair with good i7's I'm happy.

Alright, so lets say I'd go with the Cooler master 130 elite, unless you advice against it. What would you put inside it?

I wouldn't advise against that decision it seems like a pretty decent case, I personally have never had a shoe box case. But the Cooler Master seems to be able to fit nearly all regular size PC components inside, the only compromise I really see with that case would be the CPU cooler, but of course you could either go with a water cooler or low profile cooler.

I'd go with a build like this if I had the budget you suggested: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/n96yYr
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
Yes. Appreciate the list but the store I'm intending to buy everything from doesn't have half of the specific components you chose. They have the GPU, CPU and RAM. Ill go over this later this week and see if they can help me put something together.

Seems like there's compatibility issues unfortunately.

https://www.screencast.com/t/g0CIev9Q4R
 

CXH4

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Apr 18, 2016
136
87
Yes. Appreciate the list but the store I'm intending to buy everything from doesn't have half of the specific components you chose. They have the GPU, CPU and RAM. Ill go over this later this week and see if they can help me put something together.

Seems like there's compatibility issues unfortunately.

https://www.screencast.com/t/g0CIev9Q4R

Ah, that's for the included CPU fan with the RYZEN processor. But I included an after market CPU in that list to negate that issue. Also, any mini-itx AM4 board will do, doesn't have to be that one.
 

Rusty_Mike_1891

Cable Smoosher
Original poster
Sep 21, 2017
8
0
Ah, that's for the included CPU fan with the RYZEN processor. But I included an after market CPU in that list to negate that issue. Also, any mini-itx AM4 board will do, doesn't have to be that one.

Alright. I decided to go for a new laptop instead. Not one of the cases in the store felt great, they were just too big and I need a new PC now. Ill buy the MSI GE73VR 7RF raider tomorrow, not quite as powerful as the builds you have created for me, but it should suffice for most of the things I do. i7-7700HQ. 32GB RAM and GTX 1060/6GB.

Thanks for the help anyways :)