PC Part Picker

PC Builder is a website which helps people build a list of compatible PC parts without getting into any compatibility issues. The website is created by keeping beginners in mind, and the main goal of this website is to make compatibility easy for everyone.

PC part picker how to complete build?

CPU

Our Enthusiast AMD Gaming/Streaming Build is centered around the Ryzen 5 5600X. Since it is overclockable we have created a CPU cooler parametric selection of the different color options for the ARCTIC Freezer 34 eSports DUO. This is an excellent mid-range air cooler that will allow a modest overclock without overheating or becoming noisy.

Note: If you’d prefer to consider a similar build, but instead using an Intel processor, be sure to check out our Enthusiast Intel Gaming Build Guide.

Motherboard

We’re using a parametric filter for B550 ATX motherboards. Our compatibility and pricing engines will automatically select the best-priced motherboard that is compatible with the rest of the build.

You will likely see a compatibility warning on the part list stating:

Warning! Some AMD B550 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Vermeer CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions.

Because the Ryzen 5000 CPUs did not launch with a new chipset, all compatible motherboards will have an older chipset. This motherboard may require a BIOS update before it will be compatible with the CPU. For more information, please visit AMD’s web page about it.

Motherboard manufacturers are working on rolling out new versions of motherboards that will always have an updated BIOS for Ryzen 5000 compatibility out of the box. As these become more available, the guide will be updated to select for those only.

Memory

We are filtering for a 2x8GB kit of DDR4 RAM with a speed of DDR4-3600 and maximum Cas latency of 16 as Ryzen CPUs scale well with faster memory.

Since the parametric filter picks the lowest priced option available (regardless of color/design), click the “From parametric filter” link to view other options that might better suit your aesthetic preference.

GPU

Our GPU is Nvidia’s new GeForce RTX 3080. Consider pairing it with a high refresh rate and/or high resolution monitor to take full advantage of the card’s capabilities. The parametric filter is set for the best-priced RTX 3080 available, but feel free to click the “From parametric filter” link to browse our listing of RTX 3080, which will grow as more become available. For those interested in VR, the RTX 3080 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

For streaming, Nvidia’s NVENC encoding will offload the task to the GPU with a minimal performance hit using OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) while providing image quality similar to or better than x264 Fast quality.

To keep the noise and temperatures down, we’ve the filter to includes a minimum length and a minimum of 2 fans to avoid “mini” versions of the card, which prioritize fitting into small builds, such as an ITX case. You can choose to use this filter instead, if you want to include the smaller cards for any reason. Note that smaller cards will be louder or hotter – or both.

Because the RTX 3080 is so new, it often runs out of stock. Make sure to check back often to catch it back in stock!

If you aren’t planning on relying on NVENC for streaming, you can also explore the Radeon RX 6800 and Radeon RX 6800 XT. These are even newer than the RTX 3080 and may temporarily run into even more stock issues.

Case

All of our components are housed in the Lian Li LANCOOL II Mesh RGB. This case features a black design with a tempered glass window. It includes 2x front panel USB 3 ports, one USB Type-C port, mesh RGB front panel, a PSU shroud, and a number of cable management holes and tie-offs to help your build look cleaner. It can also comfortably fit full-sized video cards and large CPU coolers.

PSU

For our power supply, we’re using a parametric selection of well-reviewed semi or fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build.

AMD Version

Here is the Intel version of our Enthusiast Gaming Guide..

The Best Time To Buy Computer Parts?

Every year on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, shoppers scour retailers looking for the best deals on computer parts. Those two days are well known for having the largest sales and best discounts. But is it really the best time to buy?

PCPartPicker tracks prices for over 10,000 computer parts across dozens of retailers. To find out if the holiday season is the optimal time to purchase parts, I plotted out historical prices across different part categories.

Should you wait for the holiday sales? It depends…

SSDs

First, let’s look at Solid State Drives (SSDs) limited to the SATA interface and sized between 60GB-120GB.

For each part retail prices are plotted as blue points, creating an intensity plot. Gray banding represents the span from lowest to highest price. The vertical blue line represents Thanskgiving, and the vertical red line represents Christmas. The thick black line shows the overall average price.

SSD prices dropped slowly during Summer 2011, but then held steady from roughly October through January. Holiday sales showed up as week-long dips on the gray lower bound immediately after Thanksgiving and right before Christmas. Therefore, if you are looking to buy an SSD and aren’t locked into a specific model, your best bet to is to buy the week after Thanksgiving or the week before Christmas. If you are locked into a specific model, however, it may not matter; prices generally hold steady well into the next year.

Hard Drives

In 2011, flooding in Thailand took several hard drive manufacturing plants offline, resulting in significantly reduced production. The effect began to take hold in October 2011, when inventory shortages caused prices to rise. Because of limited inventory, sales were extremely scarce during the holiday period. As production resumed, prices gradually dropped. Looking forward to the 2012 holiday season, I expect to see much better hard drive deals as production and inventory has largely been restored.

Monitors

Next, let’s look at LCD monitors between 20″-27″. It’s a very different story here.

From the plot we can tell that LCD monitor prices are slowly trending upwards. (Monitors were added to PCPartPicker mid-July 2011.) The real surprise is during the holiday shopping period. Prices rose quickly leading up to Thanksgiving. Immediately after Cyber Monday, prices rose sharply again. Roughly a week before Christmas, there was yet another rise in prices. There is evidence of spot sales a few days after Black Friday, but overall if you are buying a monitor it is better to do it sooner than later. Waiting for specific deals could end up costing you more.

CPUs

For CPUs, I first restricted the selection to the most popular segment – Intel CPUs using an LGA1155 socket (excluding Extreme Editions).

Intel LGA1155-based CPUs held steady in price over the last year, even amid the introduction of Ivy Bridge. During the 2011 holiday period, prices were relatively immune to sales, suffering only a small price increase the week before Christmas. Therefore, if you are in the market for an Intel CPU, timing should not have much of an effect. It is worth noting that combo deals are not reflected in this plot.

Next I took a look at AM3 and AM3+ socket based CPUs from AMD:

Like Intel LGA1155 CPUs, AMD CPUs saw steady average prices with few lower-end sales.

Video Cards

With video cards, the introduction of Radeon HD 7000 and GeForce 600 series chipsets caused quite a bit of average price fluctuation. To get a better look at 2011 video card pricing, I chose to look at two previous chipsets – the Radeon HD 6000 and GeForce 500 series. The price trends are different between the two, making for an interesting comparison. GeForce 500 series cards dropped in price slowly throughout the holiday period, with spot sales at the usual times. Radeon HD 6000 series video cards also saw a steady reduction in price throughout the holiday period, in addition to typical spot sales.

Summary

When is the best time to buy? It depends on how picky you are about buying specific models. If you don’t have specific parts in mind, you should be able to pick up significant savings. But be warned: for several part types, waiting until the week before Christmas could prove costly.

To make your holiday computer shopping easier, PCPartPicker closely tracks part prices. If you have specific components in mind, subscribe to price alerts to be notified when prices drop below your predetermined thresholds.

Happy Building!

What difference does an SSD make to OS boot times?

Check out the video below to see. We used the configuration from our gaming build video to demonstrate the difference.https://www.youtube.com/embed/bIrjwx6umdg

Both sides are shown real-time and share identical configurations except for the hard drive.

TypeItem
CPUIntel Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
MotherboardASRock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3 ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
MemoryG.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Video CardAsus GeForce GTX 680 2GB Video Card
CaseCooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case
Power SupplyAntec 650W ATX12V Power Supply

For the SSD based buildCrucial M4 64GB SSD

For the HDD based buildSamsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM

Both drives have been imaged with the same base windows installation (Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit). The HDD disk has also been defragmented prior to running to ensure it boots as fast as possible.

As you can see from the video, the SSD solidly trounces the HDD in boot performance (~22 seconds vs ~42 seconds, of which almost 9 seconds is waiting for the BIOS screen to show). The tradeoff is limited storage space (64GB vs 1TB) and a higher price per gigabyte. To get the best of both worlds, use an SSD as the main boot drive and add a traditional hard drive for extra storage space.

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