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Showing 13 of 3 for “IFP6550-3A”
Community Article Powerspec 011d build: best header for pump? — Micro Center Powerspec 011d build: best header for pump? NedCrash ✭ April 28 in Technical Support Questions Howdy, I purchased the Powerspec 011d kit with all of the Aluminum EK parts and the front distro plate, which I think you guys build with all the time for pre-built gaming pcs. What I'm wanting to know is which header is best for the water pump on the distro-plate. I'm using an ASUS z390 strix-e and it has all of the following available: CPU FAN, AIO PUMP, W PUMP+. I note that the W PUMP+ is the only PWM "fan" header that's 3A, and obviously the CPU FAN header can be dynamic. Currently I have it connected to CPU FAN and in the Q-Fan control in the UEFI I have that set to Full Speed. I did it this way to bypass that CPU FAN ERROR on boot since originally I hooked it up direct to the PSU with the included adapter. I just want it to run at full power all the time, but not sure if swapping to that W PUMP+ would mismatch the Amps on it; especially since there' no documentation included which gives the specs on that water pump. Thanks for you help guys! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments TSTonyV admin April 28 If you can get it to boot when plugged into the W PUMP header that's technically the way you should have it set up, but most motherboards will not allow you to boot unless the CPU fan header is occupied. The CPU FAN header will work just fine, you shouldn't run into any problems with it.  1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter NedCrash ✭ April 28 Thanks Tony, I didn't have any issues booting with the direct connection, other than the CPU FAN ERROR it threw, but I figured out I can go into Monitor in the ASUS UEFI and set CPU FAN to ignore which will kill that error. It's only throwing it when nothing is on the header. So I guess I can go direct power to the PSU, but you don't think there's any issues with using that 3A header for this particular pump? Is direct power any better/worse? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSMikeW admin April 28 You can use any header that you want. This pump isn't drawing much amperage. Now you are doing the correct thing by running the header the pump is connected to at full speed. You do not want the motherboard to try to throttle your pump with DC or PWM fan control modes. The AIO and W_PUMP+ headers default to full speed. Allowing the board to control your pump speed is going to to lead to inconsistent idle and load temps. As well as inconsistent acoustics. Caused by the fan speed changing while the system is idle, due to the pump throttling and allow 1 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TS_BryantA admin April 28 @NedCrash Good evening! Thank you for your question and welcome to the Micro Center Community. The best heady for you to use after review would indeed be the W Pump+ header as this would be built specifically for water pumps that would not be just an AIO pump. If you do have any difficulties though regarding your build please let us know.  I hope this has helped, and once you've finished your build feel free to share it on our Community as we would be happy to see the final product! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter NedCrash ✭ April 29 Thanks all, I'll try to get you guys some pictures once i'm finished, especially since I bought almost everything from Microcenter. Right now I'm trying to work out the kinks with iCue and Aura Sync to get my color scheme right. It's not quite a robust relationship as I thought, especially with the Trident Z in the mix. Once I get the final cable management and color build out for the RGB I'll post up for you guys. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article ASRock B450M Pro4 5v ARGB header and RMA question — Micro Center ASRock B450M Pro4 5v ARGB header and RMA question FritzG ✭ August 10 in Technical Support Questions 1st RGB build (2nd build overall) and no other issues.  Boots fine, no crashes or instability. Bought this board last month and have found that this header on the motherboard seems to be defective.  Any 5v ARGB cable I try to plug into it (accessory/ 5v LED strip, fan, hub/controller) is loose/wobbly and any connected devices do not light up properly.  It only lights up Yellow/Green/Blue and appears to be "breathing".  When I connected the LED strip, only the first 3 LED lit up and each one was one of the three colors that a fan lit up with (1- Yellow/2 -Green/3 -Blue).  I've been searching the entire internet for the last few weeks so I know that almost all RGB firmware/software is atrocious.  That said, I have carefully followed all of the regular steps to try and diagnose/resolve the issue via configuration and updates with no luck.  I tried configuring through the BIOS instead of Polychrome, reflashed the firmware (latest and BETA versions), plugged and unplugged / rebooted in all kinds of orders.  Nothing has helped. Is this an RMA type defect?  Am I doing something wrong?  Anyone else with this board have this same issue?  I've never had to return or RMA anything so not sure how it works because when I went to the ASRock site, I see this message "ASRock provide 1 year warranty service to Authorized Distributor, users should refer to the retailer or original vender RMA & Refund policy."  Then on the Microcenter site, I see this: Return or exchange timeframes Eligible return or exchange timeframes are from the date of purchase: 15 calendar days Motherboards Does this mean I am stuck with something that doesn't work because I didn't realize it until after the first 15 calendar days? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Best Answer TSTonyV admin August 10 Accepted Answer Ah okay, I did have that backwards. Looking around online I can't seem to find anybody who has reported this specific issue with this board. Hard to say if it's just a defect and you got unlucky with a couple of bad boards in a row, or if it's an actual design flaw for these.  If you'd like, I can get a message to the managers at your local store to see if they might be willing to let you exchange it for a different board. I can't promise anything since it is outside the return period, but it never hurts to ask.  5 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Answers TSTonyV admin August 10 I looked up your email address and I found two purchases for a B450M Pro4, one from June and one from August. I assume you're referring to the one from June.  As far as the warranties are concerned, you'll want to contact ASRock directly. We cannot perform replacements for their products under their manufacture warranty. If the board is defective, they should replace it. There's very important line there after the one you mentioned that says "If experiencing difficulties in warranty service through your dealer or place of purchase, ASRock will attempt to resolve this issue." Basically what they're saying is "check with where you bought it first, see if they'll help, and if not we will." There's more than one RGB header on this board, have you tried all of them? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter FritzG ✭ August 10 edited August 10 Thanks Tony.  Yes, the one from June.  As far as trying the "other RGB headers"  the only unaccounted for header is a 12v header and so plugging in anything 5v into it is not only pretty hard to do (4 pins vs 3pin thing) but it would also fry whatever I connect to it (if not damage the board itself).  Not sure since I'm not a put the square peg in the round hole ... with a hammer kind of guy. - 1 x RGB LED Header *  (4 PIN,12v) - 1 x Addressable LED Header **  (3 PIN, 5v) - 1 x AMD Fan LED Header ***  (4 PIN, 12v) * Supports in total up to 12V/3A, 36W LED Strip ** Supports in total up to 5V/3A, 15W LED Strip *** The AMD Fan LED Header supports LED strips of maximum load of 3A (36W) and length up to 2.5M. Any other suggestions?  I was just going to toss the one from June in frustration and replace it with the new one but changed my mind when I literally just took one of the Touchaqua ARGB fans I have, the DRGB controller the 3 pack came with and an ARGB 5v LED strip I have and tried to plug them into the 5v header of the second board (unpowered).  Unfortunately, the same issue existed (loose/wobbly connection) so I didn't bother building it or plugging it in.  I just returned it.  Its such a hassle after 15 days but its my own fault for not validating every single part of the board in the first 15 days.  I decided to work through the issue instead (if possible before either selling the board as is or RMA'ing it).  Why I ended up here as well. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin August 10 Yeah, the 3-pins are a little different so unless you specifically had a fan/controller for it then there's no reason to mess with it. I was primarily talking about the 4-pin RGB header and 4-pin AMD fan LED header.  These types of headers are standardized and having a fitment issue is rare, especially across multiple boards. I'd be inclined to believe it's something with the fan/controller you're using since the issue occurred with two different motherboards. Do you have another system with RGB headers you could try plugging them into? 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter FritzG ✭ August 10 TSTonyV said: Yeah, the 3-pins are a little different so unless you specifically had a fan/controller for it then there's no reason to mess with it. I was primarily talking about the 4-pin RGB header and 4-pin AMD fan LED header.  These types of headers are standardized and having a fitment issue is rare, especially across multiple boards. I'd be inclined to believe it's something with the fan/controller you're using since the issue occurred with two different motherboards. Do you have another system with RGB headers you could try plugging them into? You kind of got this backwards.  I ONLY have 5v 3-PIN fans/controller/LED strips.  I cannot use the 12v headers.  I only have one 5v header ... which is where the problem is.  I probably should have added this earlier. My 5v 3-PIN fans which have been proven to work perfectly using the external DRGB controller does not work when connected to the motherboard. My 5v 3-PIN LED strips from a different manufacturer have been proven to work perfectly using the external DRGB controller. The external DRGB controller can act as a pass-through (HUB mode) when connected to the motherboard and when I did that, it passed the issue on to any devices connected to the controller in HUB mode. I would have to say that it is most definitely the motherboard.  Chances of me getting two motherboards with the same issue from the same Micro Center?  Maybe it is a design flaw.  I am hoping someone else with this model of motherboard either has the same problem or has one that works.  Either way, I will know it isn't just mine. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter FritzG ✭ August 10 That would be very kind of you.  No expectations of anything.  Thanks! 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter FritzG ✭ September 9 Just to tie off the post, I was contacted by a store manager regarding this (Thanks Tony).  The ending of the story is that I am stuck with the board/problem and my only recourse would be an RMA to the manufacturer.  I was told that manufacturers try to push their quality control customer service issues to resellers which is why the return window is so short (unspoken implication = so MicroCenter doesn't have to deal with that).  I always thought that any defective stock they received could be returned to the manufacturer as part of B2B sales.  Apparently, this is not the case with MicroCenter.  I guess they just take whatever the manufacturer sends them and pushes it out the door.  After 15 days, its your problem not theirs. I will most likely just deal with the problem until I upgrade my board. I don't trust the manufacturer to send me a "new" replacement board so better the devil I know. If I buy from MicroCenter again, I may just crack open whatever I buy right there in the store and check everything before I leave. This way, I don't have to rush at home to check it and then make another trip to return defective products sold in store within 15 days. I always try to support my local retailer when it makes sense to, but they don't make it easy.  Another option is to buy via Amazon Prime and get free returns for 30 days (+ if you count the amount of time you can get a credit instead of a refund).  Probably more of a risk to get gray market or used products sold as new but I can always send it back without running into a short, inconvenient return window.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSTonyV admin September 9 I know that in some situations we can extend the return period up to 30 days on motherboards from our end, but once it's past that only a manager in-store can make an exception and depending on the time frame and situation they may not always do it. Thanks for the update, and of course let us know if there's anything else you need 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment. Community Article Parts? What To Choose Tip Guide (General Planning Steps Where To Start) — Micro Center Parts? What To Choose Tip Guide (General Planning Steps Where To Start) BubbleMax MN ✭ July 25 in Help Choosing Parts Disclaimer this will apply to anyone making or choosing parts this is not going to be super part specific but a generalized part guide as a whole. The number with a letter are finer details.  1st: WHATS the budget. This is going to MASSIVELY either expand or hinder the options         1A: This will decide if you should be buying a PC or maybe its best to save up to get what you intend to get or play on.  2nd: What graphic quality FITS in your budget.        2A: Also what is the purpose of the build (Basic consumer use? Gaming or Content Creation?)              2B: make sure you check for sales sometimes you get lucky. 3rd:If Gaming understand that its the CPU is what tells the GPU what to do and how much power to use to reach the graphical power needed for the graphical setting. So pick a CPU that is powerful enough for the GPU so you don't bottle neck one or both. That means sticking generally if gaming with a i7 or better. This goes with its Ryzen equivalent if you intend to play AAA new games. They NEED the hyperthreading/multithreads.                3A: DON'T buy a over powered GPU and pair it with a under powered CPU.        3B: i3 and i5 and ryzen equivalents are best matched probably with 900 and lower GTX's         3C: i7's and i9's have hyperthreading and their Ryzen equivalents multi-threading a pretty much must for HD AAA graphically intense gaming in general and are easily match with any 1000's  to 2000 GTX series cards and their AMD equivalents 4th: Power supplies, as a general rule safest to first estimate the average power draw for the CPU + GPU. Then as a general rule you want to over shoot that minimum amount of wattage usage by 200. Its better safe than sorry when it comes to powering a PC.        4A: This means for for 900 and lower GPU's and  paired with i5 or i3 and or Ryzen equivalent CPU's probably a in the 500 to 550 Watt PSU's        4B: For 1000  to 2000 series GPU's and their CPU partners on most motherboards will use 650 to a 750 watt PSU       4C:And only in rare cases should anyone consider 850 or 1000 watt PSU's unless your making a 3K to 6K or higher usd build. That is using REALLY premium parts.  5th: What memory should an average HD to 4K gaming rig should use? As of the last 5 to 10 years MHZ in terms of gaming at least frequencies do matter.        5A: General consumers only really need a max for now about 16 GB MAX and probably no higher than 3000Mhz. (I suggest 16GB cause generally Chrome enjoys large amounts of RAM and if you want extra applications you will need the extra ram capacity or run the risk of noticeable lagging.)       5B: Gamers will if they can afford it are probably the main people/consumer who will notice mhz influence what they do in terms of ram. Generally as a gamer you probably will want a min of 16 GB's and a max of 32 GB's. With mhz 3200 to 3600 you can expect for most AAA intense games a 10 to 20 FPS increase from their lower counterparts just cause of frequency. Bewarned any higher and the performance plateau's quite a bit. (Also with gaming more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS its one way to mitigate memory leaks)      5C: Content creators and or video editing and photographers if you are working with 4K or 8K projects 64 GB's Min for still pictures and higher 128GB and maybe even more if you are live image/video work. 6th: Once you know the scope of your build you want. Then compare it to your CURRENT BUDGET. And think can I afford this now or is it best to SAVE buy maybe some parts and then just save up to get a proper build. 7th: And final build tip well side tip if you are building a powerful PC that can handle 2k or 4K display dont bottleneck your PC with a low 1080P display. You are missing out on the value of your PC.  Side tip: For gamers when spec'ing out a PC DON'T use steam's suggested or recommended specs these are OFTEN low balled as being about as budget as you can get. As in what developers "barely managed" to get to be stable. I work as video game QA tester and I've experienced what a recommended spec PC is like and in short its not pleasant. Save up and get a good gaming rig. (Good rigs don't have to cost a ton 1060's to 1660's GTX's are plenty good for solid HD GPU's and i7's and their ryzen equivalents are plenty powerful enough when paired with them.) In short the era of specing and expecting budget PC's to work at the cost of a console are coming to an end. Consoles this coming gen are probably going to catch up and set the new standard for AAA gaming on PC's. Just a warning as to where gaming is going.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Comments BubbleMax MN ✭ July 25 edited July 25 Some of these tips might cost ya a bit more than you expected but it should set you up to be future proofed for at least one and if you invest a bit higher maybe 2+ generations of PC gaming. Also feel free to check my profile for a build that cost me around 2.3k runs 2k pretty flawlessly and generally has no problems what so ever with just about every game cool, chill and preped to run at high or Ultra.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Ichthus ✭ July 25 edited July 25 So I have to say, I'm pretty confused by your PSU and CPU recommendations.  I dislike making sweeping recommendations for an entire series of video cards. Within each series of video card there's a wide range of performance tiers and different power requirements. A GTX 980ti is going to have higher power draw than an RTX 2060 even though they're part of a different series. You can run a GTX 1650 Super with a 400W PSU without any problems. While I do think it's a good rule of thumb to recommend a 650W PSU, that's because 650W is enough to run basically anything except a dual GPU system or a system with an extremely high power draw CPU (Intel xtreme series, threadrippers, possibly heavily overclocked i7/i9 CPUs), NOT because of when your video card was made. 850W is overkill in any system that isn't using multiple GPUs.  I also have to question your recommendation specifically for an i7 for gaming. If you're just gaming you don't need more than a Ryzen 5 or Intel i5. The i5-10600k is nearly identical in performance to i7 and i9 parts in gaming despite it's core disadvantage. Even modern AAA titles still aren't good at utilizing all those extra cores and threads yet. Even on a budget modern CPUs are so capable that they won't be bottlenecked by anything except the 2080 Supers/2080 Ti type cards, even in AAA titles. You can pair a 3300X with something like an RTX 2060 Super or 2070 Super and it will be just fine. I feel like this also ignores how important your GPU is for your FPS. A Ryzen 3 3300X +2070 Super will outperform an i7-10700k + 2060 because of the GPU difference. If you overspend on your CPU, you're still going to have a bottleneck.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSMichaelB admin July 25 @BubbleMax, I genuinely appreciate your desire to help others with their system builds and decision making process, however it's important that we make sure the information provided is accurate. Please see my comments below on various pieces of your post. For added clarification, I've provided sources to help better understand my points. BubbleMax said: 3rd:If Gaming understand that its the CPU is what tells the GPU what to do and how much power to use to reach the graphical power needed for the graphical setting. So pick a CPU that is powerful enough for the GPU so you don't bottle neck one or both. That means sticking generally if gaming with a i7 or better. This goes with its Ryzen equivalent if you intend to play AAA new games. They NEED the hyperthreading/multithreads.                3A: DON'T buy a over powered GPU and pair it with a under powered CPU.        3B: i3 and i5 and ryzen equivalents are best matched probably with 900 and lower GTX's         3C: i7's and i9's have hyperthreading and their Ryzen equivalents multi-threading a pretty much must for HD AAA graphically intense gaming in general and are easily match with any 1000's  to 2000 GTX series cards and their AMD equivalents The information bolded above is an example of inaccurate information. In response to point 3: First and foremost, the CPU does not tell the graphics card how much power it should be using for any given setting. The CPU handles various tasks such as AI processing/calculation (most notably in RTS games or titles with NPC characters), netcode for online games (where your position is relative to your fellow players on the client side of things), some physics elements, audio processing, and most importantly; draw calls. Draw calls are responsible for telling the graphics card about everything that is to be rendered on-screen. This can range from various textures to specific objects and their locations. To fully understand the significance of Draw Calls, let's use Skyrim as an example. You walk into a building, ready to throw a bucket atop the head of some poor NPC in an attempt to loot them unnoticed. Sadly, your inventory is full, so you drop the 400 sweet rolls you were hoarding in your inventory like a lunatic, only for all of them to fall to the ground at once the moment you exit the paused inventory menu. This initial lag spike, one often blames on the GPU, but would likely end up being your CPU. You see, your CPU must now account for the object location and textures of all of these sweet rolls, and tell your GPU where they are located, so that it has the data to know what to draw. The more draw calls in a scene, the more stress on your CPU. For more information on how draw calls work (and the different methods to handle draw calls from an engine level), I recommend taking a look at Unity's page on the subject: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DrawCallBatching.html. Some of the different CPU tasks listed above can be parallelized to be processed more efficiently with more CPU cores which is why you notice an improvement with higher core processors or processors with Hyperthreading/Simultaneous Multi-Threading. Some however, can't be parallelized, or only parallelized to a certain extent, leaving you bound by the speed of your individual cores. This is known as Amdahl's law. More information on this subject can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl%27s_law This is also why your mention of gaming needing an i7 or better, or that they "need" Hypertreading/SMT is simply not true. The number of cores/threads one needs depends entirely on the game they are playing/the engine it uses. For a better understanding of performance scaling across processors, I strongly advise taking a look at GamersNexus CPU testing methdology: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3577-cpu-test-methodology-unveil-for-2020-compile-gaming-more#!/ccomment-comment=10013212. They include a fantastic suite of benchmarks, ranging from compiling to gaming and shows performance scaling through a wide range of processors.  BubbleMax said: 4th: Power supplies, as a general rule safest to first estimate the average power draw for the CPU + GPU. Then as a general rule you want to over shoot that minimum amount of wattage usage by 200. Its better safe than sorry when it comes to powering a PC.        4A: This means for for 900 and lower GPU's and  paired with i5 or i3 and or Ryzen equivalent CPU's probably a in the 500 to 550 Watt PSU's        4B: For 1000  to 2000 series GPU's and their CPU partners on most motherboards will use 650 to a 750 watt PSU       4C:And only in rare cases should anyone consider 850 or 1000 watt PSU's unless your making a 3K to 6K or higher usd build. That is using REALLY premium parts.  These PSU recommendations are worrisome as they are far too broad, and can be potentially harmful to the components of others that follow this advice as a general rule of thumb. There is only one way to correctly determine the amount of power you need. This requires researching the power consumption of the components you intend to purchase such as CPU, GPU, platform (motherboard/memory), fans & various add-in devices, then buy a PSU with large enough power rails to provide that power. Simply combining the average power draw for a CPU and GPU is not enough, as a CPU may pull far less power on average when gaming, but the amount of power pulled when an intense instruction set such as AVX is used may far exceed that value. Simply adding a 200W buffer will not suffice, and this does not factor capacitor aging or peak spikes in power consumption, depending on the specific components used. My recommendation is to determine the total amount of power you are going to consume (on average), then factor in PSU efficiency levels and buy a PSU that lets you achieve those levels under load. Understand that PSU's operate at different levels of efficiency depending on what percentage of their capacitance is being used. Let's use the EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G3 as an example. Here, you can see the efficiency level of the SuperNOVA 1000 G3 at various load levels. At 10% load, the PSU is 86% efficient. This means if your system is only using 10% of the 1000w PSU (100W), you'll only achieve 86.39% efficiency. At 20% load, this efficiency changes to 90.04%. This means if your system is using a 200W load, you'll be 4% more efficient than what you were at a 100W load. At 50% load, you can see efficiency improve to 91.43%, and starts to trail off again from there. I personally recommend taking your average power consumption and doubling it, just to maintain this peak 50% load efficiency, as it's often the most efficient load level for modern PSU's. For example: If your average power is 300W, a 600W PSU will let you run at 50% load, giving you the most efficiency. This also gives you a large enough buffer to factor in capacitor aging over time, and gives you the added benefit of quieter operation as most PSU's are designed to operate their fan based on internal temperature, and the less power used = less heat generated. For more information on your specific PSU efficiency, please visit https://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80PlusPowerSupplies.aspx and look for your power supply. Does this mean you NEED a 600W PSU for a system pulling 300W of power? Absolutely not. You can use various tips & tricks from the ATX/PCI-SIG specs to help determine "worst case" power consumption, and buy a PSU to be within that power envelope. For example: A 6 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to safely handle 75W of power. An 8 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to handle 150W of power. The PCIe slot itself is designed to provide up to 75% of power. This information helps us understand the potential peak power consumption of a card if it adheres to ATX/PCI-SIG specifications. The examples below assume that the cards have not been shunt modded, or have not had their VBIOS power limits modified. Example 1: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector. You are uncertain of it's real power consumption, but you know the 6 pin connector can safely handle 75W of power and the PCIe slot itself can do another 75W. This means that the card will not consume more than 150W of power as long as it adheres to the aforementioned specifications.  Example 2: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector and 8 pin connector. You know the slot will provide up to 75W of power, the 6 pin connector will provide another 75W and the 8 pin another 150W. You can safely determine that the card will not exceed 300W of power, and can plan your PSU decisions around such information. The information listed above is why I consider your PSU wattage recommendations inaccurate, as it has nothing to do with graphics generations, and everything to do with the power consumption of your components as a whole. Understand that power efficiency typically improves throughout each generation. A graphics card being a GTX 900 series doesn't automatically mean it consumes less power. A 980 Ti will consume just as much power as a 1080 Ti/2080 Ti, despite offering significantly less performance. We can never make broad recommendations of product generations alone, we must always factor in the power consumption of each component when making PSU recommendations. Luckily, we have third party review outlets to rely on for this information. It's always a good idea to check multiple sources for reviews on power consumption for the components you are interested in. Once you have a general understanding for the power they consume, pick the best PSU you can afford that meets those requirements and you'll be fine. BubbleMax said: 5th: What memory should an average HD to 4K gaming rig should use? As of the last 5 to 10 years MHZ in terms of gaming at least frequencies do matter.        5A: General consumers only really need a max for now about 16 GB MAX and probably no higher than 3000Mhz. (I suggest 16GB cause generally Chrome enjoys large amounts of RAM and if you want extra applications you will need the extra ram capacity or run the risk of noticeable lagging.)       5B: Gamers will if they can afford it are probably the main people/consumer who will notice mhz influence what they do in terms of ram. Generally as a gamer you probably will want a min of 16 GB's and a max of 32 GB's. With mhz 3200 to 3600 you can expect for most AAA intense games a 10 to 20 FPS increase from their lower counterparts just cause of frequency. Bewarned any higher and the performance plateau's quite a bit. (Also with gaming more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS its one way to mitigate memory leaks) In response to 5A: This is once again a broad generalization that can be worrisome without defining what a "general consumer" is. I am also worried about the "no higher than 3000Mhz" recommendation as there is no explanation provided as to why this would be less beneficial or potentially detrimental to their system. In response to 5B: I do not understand the recommendations here. The minimum amount of RAM depends entirely on the games/applications the individual gamer is planning to use. To say they NEED at least 16GB of RAM is not accurate. Having more would definitely be beneficial in the long run, but it's by no means a requirement. Understand there are many different types of games and types of gamers out there, not all of them have the same system requirements to engage in the content they enjoy. We cannot treat all gamers with a blanket generalization, we need to make sure we clarify the scenarios in which they'll need more memory and why it's beneficial for them to make that investment. I am also concerned with the performance claims made. There exists no specific number that one can attach to the performance benefits of faster memory because it changes depending on the situation. The performance benefit of faster memory will depend entirely on how much CPU overhead exists in a given situation, and whether it's I/O based. As the bottleneck shifts from the CPU to the GPU (4K gaming being an easy example), you'll see far less of a performance benefit, if any. It's also not just memory frequency at play. Understand that memory frequency is only a piece of the equation. True memory performance is dictated by a combination of your processors memory controller, the trace topology of your motherboard, the specific RAM integrated circuits (IC's) in your DIMM's and a combination of the aforementioned frequency of your ram alongside your primary, secondary and tertiary timings. All of this factors in to the potential performance of your memory, and as a result, the potential performance of your applications when used in conjunction with said memory.  The final claim in this section that states "gaming with more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS" is also inaccurate. Having more RAM isn't a solution to applications suffering from a memory leak, it's more of a band-aid. It also has the negative side effect of putting added stress on your processors memory controller, reducing the max memory frequency you'll be able to achieve while maintaining stability.  I hope that some of the information I've provided helps clarify things. Understand that I have great respect for your desire to help others, and I want to assist in that endeavor to make sure the information provided is as accurate and as complete as possible. I firmly believe that the information we provide is at its best when we fully understand the subject matter, and I hope you share my same desire to improve our understanding of this hobby we enjoy. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter BubbleMax MN ✭ July 25 Ichthus said: So I have to say, I'm pretty confused by your PSU and CPU recommendations.  I dislike making sweeping recommendations for an entire series of video cards. Within each series of video card there's a wide range of performance tiers and different power requirements. A GTX 980ti is going to have higher power draw than an RTX 2060 even though they're part of a different series. You can run a GTX 1650 Super with a 400W PSU without any problems. While I do think it's a good rule of thumb to recommend a 650W PSU, that's because 650W is enough to run basically anything except a dual GPU system or a system with an extremely high power draw CPU (Intel xtreme series, threadrippers, possibly heavily overclocked i7/i9 CPUs), NOT because of when your video card was made. 850W is overkill in any system that isn't using multiple GPUs.  I also have to question your recommendation specifically for an i7 for gaming. If you're just gaming you don't need more than a Ryzen 5 or Intel i5. The i5-10600k is nearly identical in performance to i7 and i9 parts in gaming despite it's core disadvantage. Even modern AAA titles still aren't good at utilizing all those extra cores and threads yet. Even on a budget modern CPUs are so capable that they won't be bottlenecked by anything except the 2080 Supers/2080 Ti type cards, even in AAA titles. You can pair a 3300X with something like an RTX 2060 Super or 2070 Super and it will be just fine. I feel like this also ignores how important your GPU is for your FPS. A Ryzen 3 3300X +2070 Super will outperform an i7-10700k + 2060 because of the GPU difference. If you overspend on your CPU, you're still going to have a bottleneck.  The point is were aging out of a entire era of cpu's and gpu's people who base of the bare minimum run the risk of buying a obsolete build.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter BubbleMax MN ✭ July 25 TSMichaelB said: @BubbleMax, I genuinely appreciate your desire to help others with their system builds and decision making process, however it's important that we make sure the information provided is accurate. Please see my comments below on various pieces of your post. For added clarification, I've provided sources to help better understand my points. BubbleMax said: 3rd:If Gaming understand that its the CPU is what tells the GPU what to do and how much power to use to reach the graphical power needed for the graphical setting. So pick a CPU that is powerful enough for the GPU so you don't bottle neck one or both. That means sticking generally if gaming with a i7 or better. This goes with its Ryzen equivalent if you intend to play AAA new games. They NEED the hyperthreading/multithreads.                3A: DON'T buy a over powered GPU and pair it with a under powered CPU.        3B: i3 and i5 and ryzen equivalents are best matched probably with 900 and lower GTX's         3C: i7's and i9's have hyperthreading and their Ryzen equivalents multi-threading a pretty much must for HD AAA graphically intense gaming in general and are easily match with any 1000's  to 2000 GTX series cards and their AMD equivalents The information bolded above is an example of inaccurate information. In response to point 3: First and foremost, the CPU does not tell the graphics card how much power it should be using for any given setting. The CPU handles various tasks such as AI processing/calculation (most notably in RTS games or titles with NPC characters), netcode for online games (where your position is relative to your fellow players on the client side of things), some physics elements, audio processing, and most importantly; draw calls. Draw calls are responsible for telling the graphics card about everything that is to be rendered on-screen. This can range from various textures to specific objects and their locations. To fully understand the significance of Draw Calls, let's use Skyrim as an example. You walk into a building, ready to throw a bucket atop the head of some poor NPC in an attempt to loot them unnoticed. Sadly, your inventory is full, so you drop the 400 sweet rolls you were hoarding in your inventory like a lunatic, only for all of them to fall to the ground at once the moment you exit the paused inventory menu. This initial lag spike, one often blames on the GPU, but would likely end up being your CPU. You see, your CPU must now account for the object location and textures of all of these sweet rolls, and tell your GPU where they are located, so that it has the data to know what to draw. The more draw calls in a scene, the more stress on your CPU. For more information on how draw calls work (and the different methods to handle draw calls from an engine level), I recommend taking a look at Unity's page on the subject: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DrawCallBatching.html. Some of the different CPU tasks listed above can be parallelized to be processed more efficiently with more CPU cores which is why you notice an improvement with higher core processors or processors with Hyperthreading/Simultaneous Multi-Threading. Some however, can't be parallelized, or only parallelized to a certain extent, leaving you bound by the speed of your individual cores. This is known as Amdahl's law. More information on this subject can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl%27s_law This is also why your mention of gaming needing an i7 or better, or that they "need" Hypertreading/SMT is simply not true. The number of cores/threads one needs depends entirely on the game they are playing/the engine it uses. For a better understanding of performance scaling across processors, I strongly advise taking a look at GamersNexus CPU testing methdology: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3577-cpu-test-methodology-unveil-for-2020-compile-gaming-more#!/ccomment-comment=10013212. They include a fantastic suite of benchmarks, ranging from compiling to gaming and shows performance scaling through a wide range of processors.  BubbleMax said: 4th: Power supplies, as a general rule safest to first estimate the average power draw for the CPU + GPU. Then as a general rule you want to over shoot that minimum amount of wattage usage by 200. Its better safe than sorry when it comes to powering a PC.        4A: This means for for 900 and lower GPU's and  paired with i5 or i3 and or Ryzen equivalent CPU's probably a in the 500 to 550 Watt PSU's        4B: For 1000  to 2000 series GPU's and their CPU partners on most motherboards will use 650 to a 750 watt PSU       4C:And only in rare cases should anyone consider 850 or 1000 watt PSU's unless your making a 3K to 6K or higher usd build. That is using REALLY premium parts.  These PSU recommendations are worrisome as they are far too broad, and can be potentially harmful to the components of others that follow this advice as a general rule of thumb. There is only one way to correctly determine the amount of power you need. This requires researching the power consumption of the components you intend to purchase such as CPU, GPU, platform (motherboard/memory), fans & various add-in devices, then buy a PSU with large enough power rails to provide that power. Simply combining the average power draw for a CPU and GPU is not enough, as a CPU may pull far less power on average when gaming, but the amount of power pulled when an intense instruction set such as AVX is used may far exceed that value. Simply adding a 200W buffer will not suffice, and this does not factor capacitor aging or peak spikes in power consumption, depending on the specific components used. My recommendation is to determine the total amount of power you are going to consume (on average), then factor in PSU efficiency levels and buy a PSU that lets you achieve those levels under load. Understand that PSU's operate at different levels of efficiency depending on what percentage of their capacitance is being used. Let's use the EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G3 as an example. Here, you can see the efficiency level of the SuperNOVA 1000 G3 at various load levels. At 10% load, the PSU is 86% efficient. This means if your system is only using 10% of the 1000w PSU (100W), you'll only achieve 86.39% efficiency. At 20% load, this efficiency changes to 90.04%. This means if your system is using a 200W load, you'll be 4% more efficient than what you were at a 100W load. At 50% load, you can see efficiency improve to 91.43%, and starts to trail off again from there. I personally recommend taking your average power consumption and doubling it, just to maintain this peak 50% load efficiency, as it's often the most efficient load level for modern PSU's. For example: If your average power is 300W, a 600W PSU will let you run at 50% load, giving you the most efficiency. This also gives you a large enough buffer to factor in capacitor aging over time, and gives you the added benefit of quieter operation as most PSU's are designed to operate their fan based on internal temperature, and the less power used = less heat generated. For more information on your specific PSU efficiency, please visit https://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80PlusPowerSupplies.aspx and look for your power supply. Does this mean you NEED a 600W PSU for a system pulling 300W of power? Absolutely not. You can use various tips & tricks from the ATX/PCI-SIG specs to help determine "worst case" power consumption, and buy a PSU to be within that power envelope. For example: A 6 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to safely handle 75W of power. An 8 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to handle 150W of power. The PCIe slot itself is designed to provide up to 75% of power. This information helps us understand the potential peak power consumption of a card if it adheres to ATX/PCI-SIG specifications. The examples below assume that the cards have not been shunt modded, or have not had their VBIOS power limits modified. Example 1: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector. You are uncertain of it's real power consumption, but you know the 6 pin connector can safely handle 75W of power and the PCIe slot itself can do another 75W. This means that the card will not consume more than 150W of power as long as it adheres to the aforementioned specifications.  Example 2: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector and 8 pin connector. You know the slot will provide up to 75W of power, the 6 pin connector will provide another 75W and the 8 pin another 150W. You can safely determine that the card will not exceed 300W of power, and can plan your PSU decisions around such information. The information listed above is why I consider your PSU wattage recommendations inaccurate, as it has nothing to do with graphics generations, and everything to do with the power consumption of your components as a whole. Understand that power efficiency typically improves throughout each generation. A graphics card being a GTX 900 series doesn't automatically mean it consumes less power. A 980 Ti will consume just as much power as a 1080 Ti/2080 Ti, despite offering significantly less performance. We can never make broad recommendations of product generations alone, we must always factor in the power consumption of each component when making PSU recommendations. Luckily, we have third party review outlets to rely on for this information. It's always a good idea to check multiple sources for reviews on power consumption for the components you are interested in. Once you have a general understanding for the power they consume, pick the best PSU you can afford that meets those requirements and you'll be fine. BubbleMax said: 5th: What memory should an average HD to 4K gaming rig should use? As of the last 5 to 10 years MHZ in terms of gaming at least frequencies do matter.        5A: General consumers only really need a max for now about 16 GB MAX and probably no higher than 3000Mhz. (I suggest 16GB cause generally Chrome enjoys large amounts of RAM and if you want extra applications you will need the extra ram capacity or run the risk of noticeable lagging.)       5B: Gamers will if they can afford it are probably the main people/consumer who will notice mhz influence what they do in terms of ram. Generally as a gamer you probably will want a min of 16 GB's and a max of 32 GB's. With mhz 3200 to 3600 you can expect for most AAA intense games a 10 to 20 FPS increase from their lower counterparts just cause of frequency. Bewarned any higher and the performance plateau's quite a bit. (Also with gaming more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS its one way to mitigate memory leaks) In response to 5A: This is once again a broad generalization that can be worrisome without defining what a "general consumer" is. I am also worried about the "no higher than 3000Mhz" recommendation as there is no explanation provided as to why this would be less beneficial or potentially detrimental to their system. In response to 5B: I do not understand the recommendations here. The minimum amount of RAM depends entirely on the games/applications the individual gamer is planning to use. To say they NEED at least 16GB of RAM is not accurate. Having more would definitely be beneficial in the long run, but it's by no means a requirement. Understand there are many different types of games and types of gamers out there, not all of them have the same system requirements to engage in the content they enjoy. We cannot treat all gamers with a blanket generalization, we need to make sure we clarify the scenarios in which they'll need more memory and why it's beneficial for them to make that investment. I am also concerned with the performance claims made. There exists no specific number that one can attach to the performance benefits of faster memory because it changes depending on the situation. The performance benefit of faster memory will depend entirely on how much CPU overhead exists in a given situation, and whether it's I/O based. As the bottleneck shifts from the CPU to the GPU (4K gaming being an easy example), you'll see far less of a performance benefit, if any. It's also not just memory frequency at play. Understand that memory frequency is only a piece of the equation. True memory performance is dictated by a combination of your processors memory controller, the trace topology of your motherboard, the specific RAM integrated circuits (IC's) in your DIMM's and a combination of the aforementioned frequency of your ram alongside your primary, secondary and tertiary timings. All of this factors in to the potential performance of your memory, and as a result, the potential performance of your applications when used in conjunction with said memory.  The final claim in this section that states "gaming with more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS" is also inaccurate. Having more RAM isn't a solution to applications suffering from a memory leak, it's more of a band-aid. It also has the negative side effect of putting added stress on your processors memory controller, reducing the max memory frequency you'll be able to achieve while maintaining stability.  I hope that some of the information I've provided helps clarify things. Understand that I have great respect for your desire to help others, and I want to assist in that endeavor to make sure the information provided is as accurate and as complete as possible. I firmly believe that the information we provide is at its best when we fully understand the subject matter, and I hope you share my same desire to improve our understanding of this hobby we enjoy. The main point was just to get people not to think about getting higher than what a min spec build for gaming and to go for more not less when it comes to thinking a PC build in general. If you want to make or chose parts for a build shoot a tier higher than you might think is a bare min budget cause then you can kill two birds with one PC. Kind of idea. Cause it would stink as a consumer and as a gamer to buy a PC that is under powered for a game app and then have to go back and spend even more money for what you could have spent from the start. Essentially a 300 gaming PC build could end up being a return to the store and having to deal with the hassle of rebuilding and or re-selecting parts and then also the hassle of credit card banks possibly thinking the purchase was fraudulent.  As to the memory part about more being better well memory can also wear out over time so having a bit more could allow memory to compensate if bad sectors develop. Giving the users an extra maybe 1 or even 4 months to come up with a replacement. Where as shooting for the bare minimum could mean the whole stick just fails cause there isn't anymore to page. And as to the max speed of ram ideally that idea is to give the CPU the option to run at max speed. If it can and wants to its meant like having a bit more memory to give room to fluctuate if its needed. My tips were made with the intent of a buyer would want to set up their PC build with the intent it might last more than one generation of mid to high level entertainment that could also hybidize into being slightly future proofed as well.  And to clarify what general consumer would mean someone who is looking for a build just to use for normal non gamer or enthusiast usage. But suggest maybe paying the couple extra hundred dollars so the PC will be still good even if the parts start to wear down due to heavy and or long usage. Like surfing the web and having the habit of having too many tabs. In google chrome, if you know you have this habit it would be best to then recognize the habit and then plan in the pc build to compensate. The idea with the general consumer tips is to build a PC that will last, perform well and not have them finding another PC in 1-3 years. Cause buying basic mass produced PC's can end up costing in the long term as much or even in rare cases more if you are buying upwards in terms of new parts every new hardware to price generation. As new more efficient hardware often is more expensive to equal the improved performance.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter BubbleMax MN ✭ July 25 BubbleMax said: TSMichaelB said: @BubbleMax, I genuinely appreciate your desire to help others with their system builds and decision making process, however it's important that we make sure the information provided is accurate. Please see my comments below on various pieces of your post. For added clarification, I've provided sources to help better understand my points. BubbleMax said: 3rd:If Gaming understand that its the CPU is what tells the GPU what to do and how much power to use to reach the graphical power needed for the graphical setting. So pick a CPU that is powerful enough for the GPU so you don't bottle neck one or both. That means sticking generally if gaming with a i7 or better. This goes with its Ryzen equivalent if you intend to play AAA new games. They NEED the hyperthreading/multithreads.                3A: DON'T buy a over powered GPU and pair it with a under powered CPU.        3B: i3 and i5 and ryzen equivalents are best matched probably with 900 and lower GTX's         3C: i7's and i9's have hyperthreading and their Ryzen equivalents multi-threading a pretty much must for HD AAA graphically intense gaming in general and are easily match with any 1000's  to 2000 GTX series cards and their AMD equivalents The information bolded above is an example of inaccurate information. In response to point 3: First and foremost, the CPU does not tell the graphics card how much power it should be using for any given setting. The CPU handles various tasks such as AI processing/calculation (most notably in RTS games or titles with NPC characters), netcode for online games (where your position is relative to your fellow players on the client side of things), some physics elements, audio processing, and most importantly; draw calls. Draw calls are responsible for telling the graphics card about everything that is to be rendered on-screen. This can range from various textures to specific objects and their locations. To fully understand the significance of Draw Calls, let's use Skyrim as an example. You walk into a building, ready to throw a bucket atop the head of some poor NPC in an attempt to loot them unnoticed. Sadly, your inventory is full, so you drop the 400 sweet rolls you were hoarding in your inventory like a lunatic, only for all of them to fall to the ground at once the moment you exit the paused inventory menu. This initial lag spike, one often blames on the GPU, but would likely end up being your CPU. You see, your CPU must now account for the object location and textures of all of these sweet rolls, and tell your GPU where they are located, so that it has the data to know what to draw. The more draw calls in a scene, the more stress on your CPU. For more information on how draw calls work (and the different methods to handle draw calls from an engine level), I recommend taking a look at Unity's page on the subject: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DrawCallBatching.html. Some of the different CPU tasks listed above can be parallelized to be processed more efficiently with more CPU cores which is why you notice an improvement with higher core processors or processors with Hyperthreading/Simultaneous Multi-Threading. Some however, can't be parallelized, or only parallelized to a certain extent, leaving you bound by the speed of your individual cores. This is known as Amdahl's law. More information on this subject can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl%27s_law This is also why your mention of gaming needing an i7 or better, or that they "need" Hypertreading/SMT is simply not true. The number of cores/threads one needs depends entirely on the game they are playing/the engine it uses. For a better understanding of performance scaling across processors, I strongly advise taking a look at GamersNexus CPU testing methdology: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3577-cpu-test-methodology-unveil-for-2020-compile-gaming-more#!/ccomment-comment=10013212. They include a fantastic suite of benchmarks, ranging from compiling to gaming and shows performance scaling through a wide range of processors.  BubbleMax said: 4th: Power supplies, as a general rule safest to first estimate the average power draw for the CPU + GPU. Then as a general rule you want to over shoot that minimum amount of wattage usage by 200. Its better safe than sorry when it comes to powering a PC.        4A: This means for for 900 and lower GPU's and  paired with i5 or i3 and or Ryzen equivalent CPU's probably a in the 500 to 550 Watt PSU's        4B: For 1000  to 2000 series GPU's and their CPU partners on most motherboards will use 650 to a 750 watt PSU       4C:And only in rare cases should anyone consider 850 or 1000 watt PSU's unless your making a 3K to 6K or higher usd build. That is using REALLY premium parts.  These PSU recommendations are worrisome as they are far too broad, and can be potentially harmful to the components of others that follow this advice as a general rule of thumb. There is only one way to correctly determine the amount of power you need. This requires researching the power consumption of the components you intend to purchase such as CPU, GPU, platform (motherboard/memory), fans & various add-in devices, then buy a PSU with large enough power rails to provide that power. Simply combining the average power draw for a CPU and GPU is not enough, as a CPU may pull far less power on average when gaming, but the amount of power pulled when an intense instruction set such as AVX is used may far exceed that value. Simply adding a 200W buffer will not suffice, and this does not factor capacitor aging or peak spikes in power consumption, depending on the specific components used. My recommendation is to determine the total amount of power you are going to consume (on average), then factor in PSU efficiency levels and buy a PSU that lets you achieve those levels under load. Understand that PSU's operate at different levels of efficiency depending on what percentage of their capacitance is being used. Let's use the EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G3 as an example. Here, you can see the efficiency level of the SuperNOVA 1000 G3 at various load levels. At 10% load, the PSU is 86% efficient. This means if your system is only using 10% of the 1000w PSU (100W), you'll only achieve 86.39% efficiency. At 20% load, this efficiency changes to 90.04%. This means if your system is using a 200W load, you'll be 4% more efficient than what you were at a 100W load. At 50% load, you can see efficiency improve to 91.43%, and starts to trail off again from there. I personally recommend taking your average power consumption and doubling it, just to maintain this peak 50% load efficiency, as it's often the most efficient load level for modern PSU's. For example: If your average power is 300W, a 600W PSU will let you run at 50% load, giving you the most efficiency. This also gives you a large enough buffer to factor in capacitor aging over time, and gives you the added benefit of quieter operation as most PSU's are designed to operate their fan based on internal temperature, and the less power used = less heat generated. For more information on your specific PSU efficiency, please visit https://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80PlusPowerSupplies.aspx and look for your power supply. Does this mean you NEED a 600W PSU for a system pulling 300W of power? Absolutely not. You can use various tips & tricks from the ATX/PCI-SIG specs to help determine "worst case" power consumption, and buy a PSU to be within that power envelope. For example: A 6 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to safely handle 75W of power. An 8 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to handle 150W of power. The PCIe slot itself is designed to provide up to 75% of power. This information helps us understand the potential peak power consumption of a card if it adheres to ATX/PCI-SIG specifications. The examples below assume that the cards have not been shunt modded, or have not had their VBIOS power limits modified. Example 1: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector. You are uncertain of it's real power consumption, but you know the 6 pin connector can safely handle 75W of power and the PCIe slot itself can do another 75W. This means that the card will not consume more than 150W of power as long as it adheres to the aforementioned specifications.  Example 2: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector and 8 pin connector. You know the slot will provide up to 75W of power, the 6 pin connector will provide another 75W and the 8 pin another 150W. You can safely determine that the card will not exceed 300W of power, and can plan your PSU decisions around such information. The information listed above is why I consider your PSU wattage recommendations inaccurate, as it has nothing to do with graphics generations, and everything to do with the power consumption of your components as a whole. Understand that power efficiency typically improves throughout each generation. A graphics card being a GTX 900 series doesn't automatically mean it consumes less power. A 980 Ti will consume just as much power as a 1080 Ti/2080 Ti, despite offering significantly less performance. We can never make broad recommendations of product generations alone, we must always factor in the power consumption of each component when making PSU recommendations. Luckily, we have third party review outlets to rely on for this information. It's always a good idea to check multiple sources for reviews on power consumption for the components you are interested in. Once you have a general understanding for the power they consume, pick the best PSU you can afford that meets those requirements and you'll be fine. BubbleMax said: 5th: What memory should an average HD to 4K gaming rig should use? As of the last 5 to 10 years MHZ in terms of gaming at least frequencies do matter.        5A: General consumers only really need a max for now about 16 GB MAX and probably no higher than 3000Mhz. (I suggest 16GB cause generally Chrome enjoys large amounts of RAM and if you want extra applications you will need the extra ram capacity or run the risk of noticeable lagging.)       5B: Gamers will if they can afford it are probably the main people/consumer who will notice mhz influence what they do in terms of ram. Generally as a gamer you probably will want a min of 16 GB's and a max of 32 GB's. With mhz 3200 to 3600 you can expect for most AAA intense games a 10 to 20 FPS increase from their lower counterparts just cause of frequency. Bewarned any higher and the performance plateau's quite a bit. (Also with gaming more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS its one way to mitigate memory leaks) In response to 5A: This is once again a broad generalization that can be worrisome without defining what a "general consumer" is. I am also worried about the "no higher than 3000Mhz" recommendation as there is no explanation provided as to why this would be less beneficial or potentially detrimental to their system. In response to 5B: I do not understand the recommendations here. The minimum amount of RAM depends entirely on the games/applications the individual gamer is planning to use. To say they NEED at least 16GB of RAM is not accurate. Having more would definitely be beneficial in the long run, but it's by no means a requirement. Understand there are many different types of games and types of gamers out there, not all of them have the same system requirements to engage in the content they enjoy. We cannot treat all gamers with a blanket generalization, we need to make sure we clarify the scenarios in which they'll need more memory and why it's beneficial for them to make that investment. I am also concerned with the performance claims made. There exists no specific number that one can attach to the performance benefits of faster memory because it changes depending on the situation. The performance benefit of faster memory will depend entirely on how much CPU overhead exists in a given situation, and whether it's I/O based. As the bottleneck shifts from the CPU to the GPU (4K gaming being an easy example), you'll see far less of a performance benefit, if any. It's also not just memory frequency at play. Understand that memory frequency is only a piece of the equation. True memory performance is dictated by a combination of your processors memory controller, the trace topology of your motherboard, the specific RAM integrated circuits (IC's) in your DIMM's and a combination of the aforementioned frequency of your ram alongside your primary, secondary and tertiary timings. All of this factors in to the potential performance of your memory, and as a result, the potential performance of your applications when used in conjunction with said memory.  The final claim in this section that states "gaming with more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS" is also inaccurate. Having more RAM isn't a solution to applications suffering from a memory leak, it's more of a band-aid. It also has the negative side effect of putting added stress on your processors memory controller, reducing the max memory frequency you'll be able to achieve while maintaining stability.  I hope that some of the information I've provided helps clarify things. Understand that I have great respect for your desire to help others, and I want to assist in that endeavor to make sure the information provided is as accurate and as complete as possible. I firmly believe that the information we provide is at its best when we fully understand the subject matter, and I hope you share my same desire to improve our understanding of this hobby we enjoy. The main point was just to get people not to think about getting higher than what a min spec build for gaming and to go for more not less when it comes to thinking a PC build in general. If you want to make or chose parts for a build shoot a tier higher than you might think is a bare min budget cause then you can kill two birds with one PC. Kind of idea. Cause it would stink as a consumer and as a gamer to buy a PC that is under powered for a game app and then have to go back and spend even more money for what you could have spent from the start. Essentially a 300 gaming PC build could end up being a return to the store and having to deal with the hassle of rebuilding and or re-selecting parts and then also the hassle of credit card banks possibly thinking the purchase was fraudulent.  As to the memory part about more being better well memory can also wear out over time so having a bit more could allow memory to compensate if bad sectors develop. Giving the users an extra maybe 1 or even 4 months to come up with a replacement. Where as shooting for the bare minimum could mean the whole stick just fails cause there isn't anymore to page. And as to the max speed of ram ideally that idea is to give the CPU the option to run at max speed. If it can and wants to its meant like having a bit more memory to give room to fluctuate if its needed. My tips were made with the intent of a buyer would want to set up their PC build with the intent it might last more than one generation of mid to high level entertainment that could also hybidize into being slightly future proofed as well.  And to clarify what general consumer would mean someone who is looking for a build just to use for normal non gamer or enthusiast usage. But suggest maybe paying the couple extra hundred dollars so the PC will be still good even if the parts start to wear down due to heavy and or long usage. Like surfing the web and having the habit of having too many tabs. In google chrome, if you know you have this habit it would be best to then recognize the habit and then plan in the pc build to compensate. The idea with the general consumer tips is to build a PC that will last, perform well and not have them finding another PC in 1-3 years. Cause buying basic mass produced PC's can end up costing in the long term as much or even in rare cases more if you are buying upwards in terms of new parts every new hardware to price generation. As new more efficient hardware often is more expensive to equal the improved performance.  But still thanks for clarifying the finer details. @TSMichaelB 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSMichaelB admin July 26 edited July 26 BubbleMax said: TSMichaelB said: @BubbleMax, I genuinely appreciate your desire to help others with their system builds and decision making process, however it's important that we make sure the information provided is accurate. Please see my comments below on various pieces of your post. For added clarification, I've provided sources to help better understand my points. BubbleMax said: 3rd:If Gaming understand that its the CPU is what tells the GPU what to do and how much power to use to reach the graphical power needed for the graphical setting. So pick a CPU that is powerful enough for the GPU so you don't bottle neck one or both. That means sticking generally if gaming with a i7 or better. This goes with its Ryzen equivalent if you intend to play AAA new games. They NEED the hyperthreading/multithreads.                3A: DON'T buy a over powered GPU and pair it with a under powered CPU.        3B: i3 and i5 and ryzen equivalents are best matched probably with 900 and lower GTX's         3C: i7's and i9's have hyperthreading and their Ryzen equivalents multi-threading a pretty much must for HD AAA graphically intense gaming in general and are easily match with any 1000's  to 2000 GTX series cards and their AMD equivalents The information bolded above is an example of inaccurate information. In response to point 3: First and foremost, the CPU does not tell the graphics card how much power it should be using for any given setting. The CPU handles various tasks such as AI processing/calculation (most notably in RTS games or titles with NPC characters), netcode for online games (where your position is relative to your fellow players on the client side of things), some physics elements, audio processing, and most importantly; draw calls. Draw calls are responsible for telling the graphics card about everything that is to be rendered on-screen. This can range from various textures to specific objects and their locations. To fully understand the significance of Draw Calls, let's use Skyrim as an example. You walk into a building, ready to throw a bucket atop the head of some poor NPC in an attempt to loot them unnoticed. Sadly, your inventory is full, so you drop the 400 sweet rolls you were hoarding in your inventory like a lunatic, only for all of them to fall to the ground at once the moment you exit the paused inventory menu. This initial lag spike, one often blames on the GPU, but would likely end up being your CPU. You see, your CPU must now account for the object location and textures of all of these sweet rolls, and tell your GPU where they are located, so that it has the data to know what to draw. The more draw calls in a scene, the more stress on your CPU. For more information on how draw calls work (and the different methods to handle draw calls from an engine level), I recommend taking a look at Unity's page on the subject: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DrawCallBatching.html. Some of the different CPU tasks listed above can be parallelized to be processed more efficiently with more CPU cores which is why you notice an improvement with higher core processors or processors with Hyperthreading/Simultaneous Multi-Threading. Some however, can't be parallelized, or only parallelized to a certain extent, leaving you bound by the speed of your individual cores. This is known as Amdahl's law. More information on this subject can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl%27s_law This is also why your mention of gaming needing an i7 or better, or that they "need" Hypertreading/SMT is simply not true. The number of cores/threads one needs depends entirely on the game they are playing/the engine it uses. For a better understanding of performance scaling across processors, I strongly advise taking a look at GamersNexus CPU testing methdology: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3577-cpu-test-methodology-unveil-for-2020-compile-gaming-more#!/ccomment-comment=10013212. They include a fantastic suite of benchmarks, ranging from compiling to gaming and shows performance scaling through a wide range of processors.  BubbleMax said: 4th: Power supplies, as a general rule safest to first estimate the average power draw for the CPU + GPU. Then as a general rule you want to over shoot that minimum amount of wattage usage by 200. Its better safe than sorry when it comes to powering a PC.        4A: This means for for 900 and lower GPU's and  paired with i5 or i3 and or Ryzen equivalent CPU's probably a in the 500 to 550 Watt PSU's        4B: For 1000  to 2000 series GPU's and their CPU partners on most motherboards will use 650 to a 750 watt PSU       4C:And only in rare cases should anyone consider 850 or 1000 watt PSU's unless your making a 3K to 6K or higher usd build. That is using REALLY premium parts.  These PSU recommendations are worrisome as they are far too broad, and can be potentially harmful to the components of others that follow this advice as a general rule of thumb. There is only one way to correctly determine the amount of power you need. This requires researching the power consumption of the components you intend to purchase such as CPU, GPU, platform (motherboard/memory), fans & various add-in devices, then buy a PSU with large enough power rails to provide that power. Simply combining the average power draw for a CPU and GPU is not enough, as a CPU may pull far less power on average when gaming, but the amount of power pulled when an intense instruction set such as AVX is used may far exceed that value. Simply adding a 200W buffer will not suffice, and this does not factor capacitor aging or peak spikes in power consumption, depending on the specific components used. My recommendation is to determine the total amount of power you are going to consume (on average), then factor in PSU efficiency levels and buy a PSU that lets you achieve those levels under load. Understand that PSU's operate at different levels of efficiency depending on what percentage of their capacitance is being used. Let's use the EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G3 as an example. Here, you can see the efficiency level of the SuperNOVA 1000 G3 at various load levels. At 10% load, the PSU is 86% efficient. This means if your system is only using 10% of the 1000w PSU (100W), you'll only achieve 86.39% efficiency. At 20% load, this efficiency changes to 90.04%. This means if your system is using a 200W load, you'll be 4% more efficient than what you were at a 100W load. At 50% load, you can see efficiency improve to 91.43%, and starts to trail off again from there. I personally recommend taking your average power consumption and doubling it, just to maintain this peak 50% load efficiency, as it's often the most efficient load level for modern PSU's. For example: If your average power is 300W, a 600W PSU will let you run at 50% load, giving you the most efficiency. This also gives you a large enough buffer to factor in capacitor aging over time, and gives you the added benefit of quieter operation as most PSU's are designed to operate their fan based on internal temperature, and the less power used = less heat generated. For more information on your specific PSU efficiency, please visit https://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80PlusPowerSupplies.aspx and look for your power supply. Does this mean you NEED a 600W PSU for a system pulling 300W of power? Absolutely not. You can use various tips & tricks from the ATX/PCI-SIG specs to help determine "worst case" power consumption, and buy a PSU to be within that power envelope. For example: A 6 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to safely handle 75W of power. An 8 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to handle 150W of power. The PCIe slot itself is designed to provide up to 75% of power. This information helps us understand the potential peak power consumption of a card if it adheres to ATX/PCI-SIG specifications. The examples below assume that the cards have not been shunt modded, or have not had their VBIOS power limits modified. Example 1: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector. You are uncertain of it's real power consumption, but you know the 6 pin connector can safely handle 75W of power and the PCIe slot itself can do another 75W. This means that the card will not consume more than 150W of power as long as it adheres to the aforementioned specifications.  Example 2: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector and 8 pin connector. You know the slot will provide up to 75W of power, the 6 pin connector will provide another 75W and the 8 pin another 150W. You can safely determine that the card will not exceed 300W of power, and can plan your PSU decisions around such information. The information listed above is why I consider your PSU wattage recommendations inaccurate, as it has nothing to do with graphics generations, and everything to do with the power consumption of your components as a whole. Understand that power efficiency typically improves throughout each generation. A graphics card being a GTX 900 series doesn't automatically mean it consumes less power. A 980 Ti will consume just as much power as a 1080 Ti/2080 Ti, despite offering significantly less performance. We can never make broad recommendations of product generations alone, we must always factor in the power consumption of each component when making PSU recommendations. Luckily, we have third party review outlets to rely on for this information. It's always a good idea to check multiple sources for reviews on power consumption for the components you are interested in. Once you have a general understanding for the power they consume, pick the best PSU you can afford that meets those requirements and you'll be fine. BubbleMax said: 5th: What memory should an average HD to 4K gaming rig should use? As of the last 5 to 10 years MHZ in terms of gaming at least frequencies do matter.        5A: General consumers only really need a max for now about 16 GB MAX and probably no higher than 3000Mhz. (I suggest 16GB cause generally Chrome enjoys large amounts of RAM and if you want extra applications you will need the extra ram capacity or run the risk of noticeable lagging.)       5B: Gamers will if they can afford it are probably the main people/consumer who will notice mhz influence what they do in terms of ram. Generally as a gamer you probably will want a min of 16 GB's and a max of 32 GB's. With mhz 3200 to 3600 you can expect for most AAA intense games a 10 to 20 FPS increase from their lower counterparts just cause of frequency. Bewarned any higher and the performance plateau's quite a bit. (Also with gaming more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS its one way to mitigate memory leaks) In response to 5A: This is once again a broad generalization that can be worrisome without defining what a "general consumer" is. I am also worried about the "no higher than 3000Mhz" recommendation as there is no explanation provided as to why this would be less beneficial or potentially detrimental to their system. In response to 5B: I do not understand the recommendations here. The minimum amount of RAM depends entirely on the games/applications the individual gamer is planning to use. To say they NEED at least 16GB of RAM is not accurate. Having more would definitely be beneficial in the long run, but it's by no means a requirement. Understand there are many different types of games and types of gamers out there, not all of them have the same system requirements to engage in the content they enjoy. We cannot treat all gamers with a blanket generalization, we need to make sure we clarify the scenarios in which they'll need more memory and why it's beneficial for them to make that investment. I am also concerned with the performance claims made. There exists no specific number that one can attach to the performance benefits of faster memory because it changes depending on the situation. The performance benefit of faster memory will depend entirely on how much CPU overhead exists in a given situation, and whether it's I/O based. As the bottleneck shifts from the CPU to the GPU (4K gaming being an easy example), you'll see far less of a performance benefit, if any. It's also not just memory frequency at play. Understand that memory frequency is only a piece of the equation. True memory performance is dictated by a combination of your processors memory controller, the trace topology of your motherboard, the specific RAM integrated circuits (IC's) in your DIMM's and a combination of the aforementioned frequency of your ram alongside your primary, secondary and tertiary timings. All of this factors in to the potential performance of your memory, and as a result, the potential performance of your applications when used in conjunction with said memory.  The final claim in this section that states "gaming with more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS" is also inaccurate. Having more RAM isn't a solution to applications suffering from a memory leak, it's more of a band-aid. It also has the negative side effect of putting added stress on your processors memory controller, reducing the max memory frequency you'll be able to achieve while maintaining stability.  I hope that some of the information I've provided helps clarify things. Understand that I have great respect for your desire to help others, and I want to assist in that endeavor to make sure the information provided is as accurate and as complete as possible. I firmly believe that the information we provide is at its best when we fully understand the subject matter, and I hope you share my same desire to improve our understanding of this hobby we enjoy. As to the memory part about more being better well memory can also wear out over time so having a bit more could allow memory to compensate if bad sectors develop. Giving the users an extra maybe 1 or even 4 months to come up with a replacement. Where as shooting for the bare minimum could mean the whole stick just fails cause there isn't anymore to page. And as to the max speed of ram ideally that idea is to give the CPU the option to run at max speed. If it can and wants to its meant like having a bit more memory to give room to fluctuate if its needed. My tips were made with the intent of a buyer would want to set up their PC build with the intent it might last more than one generation of mid to high level entertainment that could also hybidize into being slightly future proofed as well.  And to clarify what general consumer would mean someone who is looking for a build just to use for normal non gamer or enthusiast usage. But suggest maybe paying the couple extra hundred dollars so the PC will be still good even if the parts start to wear down due to heavy and or long usage. Like surfing the web and having the habit of having too many tabs. In google chrome, if you know you have this habit it would be best to then recognize the habit and then plan in the pc build to compensate. The idea with the general consumer tips is to build a PC that will last, perform well and not have them finding another PC in 1-3 years. Cause buying basic mass produced PC's can end up costing in the long term as much or even in rare cases more if you are buying upwards in terms of new parts every new hardware to price generation. As new more efficient hardware often is more expensive to equal the improved performance.  I want to provide some additional clarification on what I've bolded above, as this is not accurate as well. Memory has no "sectors". It's an array of capacitors (and a paired transistor per bit) that are either on or off, charged or discharged, representing a binary 1 or 0 for the bit. You might be mistaking "sectors" with the various rows, addresses and columns, but in consumer memory, you can't have a portion of your memory not work and still have a functioning system. The memory controller of consumer processors are not designed to detect and ignore bits and pieces of broken memory, nor would it be wise to operate in an attempt to skip over portions of your memory. Even ECC memory is designed to correct single bit corruption, not skip over entire "sectors" of memory. Regardless of your capacity, if you have a failing DIMM, you will experience instability. More memory won't prolong your stability, it won't allow you to operate for an extended duration. You will crash the moment your memory controller attempts to interact with your unstable DIMM. Wikipedia, while not my favorite source, has an excellent article on how DRAM works in general: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_random-access_memory.  To clarify the point of my posts in this thread, I don't want you think I am ungrateful for your desire to help others in our community. On the contrary, we need more altruistic folks like yourself that are willing to go out of their way to help others enjoy this industry that we are all enthusiastic about. I just want to make sure that in doing so, we are providing the most accurate information that we can to help further promote a better understanding for everyone trying to learn and get into this industry.BubbleMax said: BubbleMax said: TSMichaelB said: @BubbleMax, I genuinely appreciate your desire to help others with their system builds and decision making process, however it's important that we make sure the information provided is accurate. Please see my comments below on various pieces of your post. For added clarification, I've provided sources to help better understand my points. BubbleMax said: 3rd:If Gaming understand that its the CPU is what tells the GPU what to do and how much power to use to reach the graphical power needed for the graphical setting. So pick a CPU that is powerful enough for the GPU so you don't bottle neck one or both. That means sticking generally if gaming with a i7 or better. This goes with its Ryzen equivalent if you intend to play AAA new games. They NEED the hyperthreading/multithreads.                3A: DON'T buy a over powered GPU and pair it with a under powered CPU.        3B: i3 and i5 and ryzen equivalents are best matched probably with 900 and lower GTX's         3C: i7's and i9's have hyperthreading and their Ryzen equivalents multi-threading a pretty much must for HD AAA graphically intense gaming in general and are easily match with any 1000's  to 2000 GTX series cards and their AMD equivalents The information bolded above is an example of inaccurate information. In response to point 3: First and foremost, the CPU does not tell the graphics card how much power it should be using for any given setting. The CPU handles various tasks such as AI processing/calculation (most notably in RTS games or titles with NPC characters), netcode for online games (where your position is relative to your fellow players on the client side of things), some physics elements, audio processing, and most importantly; draw calls. Draw calls are responsible for telling the graphics card about everything that is to be rendered on-screen. This can range from various textures to specific objects and their locations. To fully understand the significance of Draw Calls, let's use Skyrim as an example. You walk into a building, ready to throw a bucket atop the head of some poor NPC in an attempt to loot them unnoticed. Sadly, your inventory is full, so you drop the 400 sweet rolls you were hoarding in your inventory like a lunatic, only for all of them to fall to the ground at once the moment you exit the paused inventory menu. This initial lag spike, one often blames on the GPU, but would likely end up being your CPU. You see, your CPU must now account for the object location and textures of all of these sweet rolls, and tell your GPU where they are located, so that it has the data to know what to draw. The more draw calls in a scene, the more stress on your CPU. For more information on how draw calls work (and the different methods to handle draw calls from an engine level), I recommend taking a look at Unity's page on the subject: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/DrawCallBatching.html. Some of the different CPU tasks listed above can be parallelized to be processed more efficiently with more CPU cores which is why you notice an improvement with higher core processors or processors with Hyperthreading/Simultaneous Multi-Threading. Some however, can't be parallelized, or only parallelized to a certain extent, leaving you bound by the speed of your individual cores. This is known as Amdahl's law. More information on this subject can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amdahl%27s_law This is also why your mention of gaming needing an i7 or better, or that they "need" Hypertreading/SMT is simply not true. The number of cores/threads one needs depends entirely on the game they are playing/the engine it uses. For a better understanding of performance scaling across processors, I strongly advise taking a look at GamersNexus CPU testing methdology: https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/3577-cpu-test-methodology-unveil-for-2020-compile-gaming-more#!/ccomment-comment=10013212. They include a fantastic suite of benchmarks, ranging from compiling to gaming and shows performance scaling through a wide range of processors.  BubbleMax said: 4th: Power supplies, as a general rule safest to first estimate the average power draw for the CPU + GPU. Then as a general rule you want to over shoot that minimum amount of wattage usage by 200. Its better safe than sorry when it comes to powering a PC.        4A: This means for for 900 and lower GPU's and  paired with i5 or i3 and or Ryzen equivalent CPU's probably a in the 500 to 550 Watt PSU's        4B: For 1000  to 2000 series GPU's and their CPU partners on most motherboards will use 650 to a 750 watt PSU       4C:And only in rare cases should anyone consider 850 or 1000 watt PSU's unless your making a 3K to 6K or higher usd build. That is using REALLY premium parts.  These PSU recommendations are worrisome as they are far too broad, and can be potentially harmful to the components of others that follow this advice as a general rule of thumb. There is only one way to correctly determine the amount of power you need. This requires researching the power consumption of the components you intend to purchase such as CPU, GPU, platform (motherboard/memory), fans & various add-in devices, then buy a PSU with large enough power rails to provide that power. Simply combining the average power draw for a CPU and GPU is not enough, as a CPU may pull far less power on average when gaming, but the amount of power pulled when an intense instruction set such as AVX is used may far exceed that value. Simply adding a 200W buffer will not suffice, and this does not factor capacitor aging or peak spikes in power consumption, depending on the specific components used. My recommendation is to determine the total amount of power you are going to consume (on average), then factor in PSU efficiency levels and buy a PSU that lets you achieve those levels under load. Understand that PSU's operate at different levels of efficiency depending on what percentage of their capacitance is being used. Let's use the EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G3 as an example. Here, you can see the efficiency level of the SuperNOVA 1000 G3 at various load levels. At 10% load, the PSU is 86% efficient. This means if your system is only using 10% of the 1000w PSU (100W), you'll only achieve 86.39% efficiency. At 20% load, this efficiency changes to 90.04%. This means if your system is using a 200W load, you'll be 4% more efficient than what you were at a 100W load. At 50% load, you can see efficiency improve to 91.43%, and starts to trail off again from there. I personally recommend taking your average power consumption and doubling it, just to maintain this peak 50% load efficiency, as it's often the most efficient load level for modern PSU's. For example: If your average power is 300W, a 600W PSU will let you run at 50% load, giving you the most efficiency. This also gives you a large enough buffer to factor in capacitor aging over time, and gives you the added benefit of quieter operation as most PSU's are designed to operate their fan based on internal temperature, and the less power used = less heat generated. For more information on your specific PSU efficiency, please visit https://www.plugloadsolutions.com/80PlusPowerSupplies.aspx and look for your power supply. Does this mean you NEED a 600W PSU for a system pulling 300W of power? Absolutely not. You can use various tips & tricks from the ATX/PCI-SIG specs to help determine "worst case" power consumption, and buy a PSU to be within that power envelope. For example: A 6 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to safely handle 75W of power. An 8 pin connector on a graphics card is designed to handle 150W of power. The PCIe slot itself is designed to provide up to 75% of power. This information helps us understand the potential peak power consumption of a card if it adheres to ATX/PCI-SIG specifications. The examples below assume that the cards have not been shunt modded, or have not had their VBIOS power limits modified. Example 1: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector. You are uncertain of it's real power consumption, but you know the 6 pin connector can safely handle 75W of power and the PCIe slot itself can do another 75W. This means that the card will not consume more than 150W of power as long as it adheres to the aforementioned specifications.  Example 2: You have a PCIe graphics card with a 6 pin connector and 8 pin connector. You know the slot will provide up to 75W of power, the 6 pin connector will provide another 75W and the 8 pin another 150W. You can safely determine that the card will not exceed 300W of power, and can plan your PSU decisions around such information. The information listed above is why I consider your PSU wattage recommendations inaccurate, as it has nothing to do with graphics generations, and everything to do with the power consumption of your components as a whole. Understand that power efficiency typically improves throughout each generation. A graphics card being a GTX 900 series doesn't automatically mean it consumes less power. A 980 Ti will consume just as much power as a 1080 Ti/2080 Ti, despite offering significantly less performance. We can never make broad recommendations of product generations alone, we must always factor in the power consumption of each component when making PSU recommendations. Luckily, we have third party review outlets to rely on for this information. It's always a good idea to check multiple sources for reviews on power consumption for the components you are interested in. Once you have a general understanding for the power they consume, pick the best PSU you can afford that meets those requirements and you'll be fine. BubbleMax said: 5th: What memory should an average HD to 4K gaming rig should use? As of the last 5 to 10 years MHZ in terms of gaming at least frequencies do matter.        5A: General consumers only really need a max for now about 16 GB MAX and probably no higher than 3000Mhz. (I suggest 16GB cause generally Chrome enjoys large amounts of RAM and if you want extra applications you will need the extra ram capacity or run the risk of noticeable lagging.)       5B: Gamers will if they can afford it are probably the main people/consumer who will notice mhz influence what they do in terms of ram. Generally as a gamer you probably will want a min of 16 GB's and a max of 32 GB's. With mhz 3200 to 3600 you can expect for most AAA intense games a 10 to 20 FPS increase from their lower counterparts just cause of frequency. Bewarned any higher and the performance plateau's quite a bit. (Also with gaming more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS its one way to mitigate memory leaks) In response to 5A: This is once again a broad generalization that can be worrisome without defining what a "general consumer" is. I am also worried about the "no higher than 3000Mhz" recommendation as there is no explanation provided as to why this would be less beneficial or potentially detrimental to their system. In response to 5B: I do not understand the recommendations here. The minimum amount of RAM depends entirely on the games/applications the individual gamer is planning to use. To say they NEED at least 16GB of RAM is not accurate. Having more would definitely be beneficial in the long run, but it's by no means a requirement. Understand there are many different types of games and types of gamers out there, not all of them have the same system requirements to engage in the content they enjoy. We cannot treat all gamers with a blanket generalization, we need to make sure we clarify the scenarios in which they'll need more memory and why it's beneficial for them to make that investment. I am also concerned with the performance claims made. There exists no specific number that one can attach to the performance benefits of faster memory because it changes depending on the situation. The performance benefit of faster memory will depend entirely on how much CPU overhead exists in a given situation, and whether it's I/O based. As the bottleneck shifts from the CPU to the GPU (4K gaming being an easy example), you'll see far less of a performance benefit, if any. It's also not just memory frequency at play. Understand that memory frequency is only a piece of the equation. True memory performance is dictated by a combination of your processors memory controller, the trace topology of your motherboard, the specific RAM integrated circuits (IC's) in your DIMM's and a combination of the aforementioned frequency of your ram alongside your primary, secondary and tertiary timings. All of this factors in to the potential performance of your memory, and as a result, the potential performance of your applications when used in conjunction with said memory.  The final claim in this section that states "gaming with more RAM is ALWAYS BETTER THAN LESS" is also inaccurate. Having more RAM isn't a solution to applications suffering from a memory leak, it's more of a band-aid. It also has the negative side effect of putting added stress on your processors memory controller, reducing the max memory frequency you'll be able to achieve while maintaining stability.  I hope that some of the information I've provided helps clarify things. Understand that I have great respect for your desire to help others, and I want to assist in that endeavor to make sure the information provided is as accurate and as complete as possible. I firmly believe that the information we provide is at its best when we fully understand the subject matter, and I hope you share my same desire to improve our understanding of this hobby we enjoy. The main point was just to get people not to think about getting higher than what a min spec build for gaming and to go for more not less when it comes to thinking a PC build in general. If you want to make or chose parts for a build shoot a tier higher than you might think is a bare min budget cause then you can kill two birds with one PC. Kind of idea. Cause it would stink as a consumer and as a gamer to buy a PC that is under powered for a game app and then have to go back and spend even more money for what you could have spent from the start. Essentially a 300 gaming PC build could end up being a return to the store and having to deal with the hassle of rebuilding and or re-selecting parts and then also the hassle of credit card banks possibly thinking the purchase was fraudulent.  As to the memory part about more being better well memory can also wear out over time so having a bit more could allow memory to compensate if bad sectors develop. Giving the users an extra maybe 1 or even 4 months to come up with a replacement. Where as shooting for the bare minimum could mean the whole stick just fails cause there isn't anymore to page. And as to the max speed of ram ideally that idea is to give the CPU the option to run at max speed. If it can and wants to its meant like having a bit more memory to give room to fluctuate if its needed. My tips were made with the intent of a buyer would want to set up their PC build with the intent it might last more than one generation of mid to high level entertainment that could also hybidize into being slightly future proofed as well.  And to clarify what general consumer would mean someone who is looking for a build just to use for normal non gamer or enthusiast usage. But suggest maybe paying the couple extra hundred dollars so the PC will be still good even if the parts start to wear down due to heavy and or long usage. Like surfing the web and having the habit of having too many tabs. In google chrome, if you know you have this habit it would be best to then recognize the habit and then plan in the pc build to compensate. The idea with the general consumer tips is to build a PC that will last, perform well and not have them finding another PC in 1-3 years. Cause buying basic mass produced PC's can end up costing in the long term as much or even in rare cases more if you are buying upwards in terms of new parts every new hardware to price generation. As new more efficient hardware often is more expensive to equal the improved performance.  But still thanks for clarifying the finer details. @TSMichaelB It's been a pleasure, thank you for your continued devotion to the community. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter BubbleMax MN ✭ July 26 edited July 26 BubbleMax said: Ichthus said: So I have to say, I'm pretty confused by your PSU and CPU recommendations.  I dislike making sweeping recommendations for an entire series of video cards. Within each series of video card there's a wide range of performance tiers and different power requirements. A GTX 980ti is going to have higher power draw than an RTX 2060 even though they're part of a different series. You can run a GTX 1650 Super with a 400W PSU without any problems. While I do think it's a good rule of thumb to recommend a 650W PSU, that's because 650W is enough to run basically anything except a dual GPU system or a system with an extremely high power draw CPU (Intel xtreme series, threadrippers, possibly heavily overclocked i7/i9 CPUs), NOT because of when your video card was made. 850W is overkill in any system that isn't using multiple GPUs.  I also have to question your recommendation specifically for an i7 for gaming. If you're just gaming you don't need more than a Ryzen 5 or Intel i5. The i5-10600k is nearly identical in performance to i7 and i9 parts in gaming despite it's core disadvantage. Even modern AAA titles still aren't good at utilizing all those extra cores and threads yet. Even on a budget modern CPUs are so capable that they won't be bottlenecked by anything except the 2080 Supers/2080 Ti type cards, even in AAA titles. You can pair a 3300X with something like an RTX 2060 Super or 2070 Super and it will be just fine. I feel like this also ignores how important your GPU is for your FPS. A Ryzen 3 3300X +2070 Super will outperform an i7-10700k + 2060 because of the GPU difference. If you overspend on your CPU, you're still going to have a bottleneck.  The point is were aging out of a entire era of cpu's and gpu's people who base of the bare minimum run the risk of buying a obsolete build.  And if devs start opting for min specs like Doom Eternal there will be needs for just about every budget PC owner to upgrade everything meaning redundantly buying an already pricy hardware. Best to spec a bit above what you think you need so you don't run into a brick wall if the games you might want to play aren't entirely out of your spec range.  And a bottleneck of a overpowered CPU to GPU  is not that bad as you still have the option to just buy the next biggest GPU then without having to catch up on a CPU AND GPU. Not to forget least you know the GPU is getting used to its absolute max. What good is a GPU that is only using half its power? If your specing right now for a i7-10700K or i9-10900K  your probably planning on the 2000 series card to keep you covered till the 3000 series cards and or the beefy Ampre cards.  As to the PSU concern you would think if someone has found the averages of benchmarked power draws for GPU's and CPU's they would notice in the data while researching the GPU's that the 980 Ti is a outlier. When it comes to the 900 series cards and maybe ask before buying like a smart consumer, ask "why out of the 900 to 2000 series GTX cards does a 980 TI draw so much power?" Well then someone could respond that the 980 Ti is a unique GPU as it was designed to need more power cause X and Y reasons and then said customer from there choose if they want to deal with the excess wattage or go with a less power hungry card. My posting was to get people to buy a PC with the right parts that it would be a build they would want to use actively and with near flawless performance. Even if at some parts maybe its not optimal but its better than low bottlenecking the system. If anything its better to over bottleneck and keep the ability to upgrade upwards without worrying the cost of upgrading 2 or 3 plus parts. Unless you got the funds to handle every 1-3 years to buy a 100 to 3K usd fancy brand new spanking PC and replace the entire unit. Which can be very costly if new gen pc's ever hit a point where every part is a premium price. Which means then the overall cost to buy a PC will be something that borders on being exotic.  The main point of this isn't to pick parts for a person but to make them aware if they want to keep up with technology improvements build the PC to be upgradeable and or future upgrade friendly. YES you can always go as "budget" as a consumer wants. But going budget build doesn't automatically mean your suddenly going to be doing much better than maybe medium or low for most games.  0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter TSMichaelB admin July 26 BubbleMax said: BubbleMax said: Ichthus said: So I have to say, I'm pretty confused by your PSU and CPU recommendations.  I dislike making sweeping recommendations for an entire series of video cards. Within each series of video card there's a wide range of performance tiers and different power requirements. A GTX 980ti is going to have higher power draw than an RTX 2060 even though they're part of a different series. You can run a GTX 1650 Super with a 400W PSU without any problems. While I do think it's a good rule of thumb to recommend a 650W PSU, that's because 650W is enough to run basically anything except a dual GPU system or a system with an extremely high power draw CPU (Intel xtreme series, threadrippers, possibly heavily overclocked i7/i9 CPUs), NOT because of when your video card was made. 850W is overkill in any system that isn't using multiple GPUs.  I also have to question your recommendation specifically for an i7 for gaming. If you're just gaming you don't need more than a Ryzen 5 or Intel i5. The i5-10600k is nearly identical in performance to i7 and i9 parts in gaming despite it's core disadvantage. Even modern AAA titles still aren't good at utilizing all those extra cores and threads yet. Even on a budget modern CPUs are so capable that they won't be bottlenecked by anything except the 2080 Supers/2080 Ti type cards, even in AAA titles. You can pair a 3300X with something like an RTX 2060 Super or 2070 Super and it will be just fine. I feel like this also ignores how important your GPU is for your FPS. A Ryzen 3 3300X +2070 Super will outperform an i7-10700k + 2060 because of the GPU difference. If you overspend on your CPU, you're still going to have a bottleneck.  The point is were aging out of a entire era of cpu's and gpu's people who base of the bare minimum run the risk of buying a obsolete build.  And if devs start opting for min specs like Doom Eternal there will be needs for just about every budget PC owner to upgrade everything meaning redundantly buying an already pricy hardware. Best to spec a bit above what you think you need so you don't run into a brick wall if the games you might want to play aren't entirely out of your spec range.  And a bottleneck of a overpowered CPU to GPU  is not that bad as you still have the option to just buy the next biggest GPU then without having to catch up on a CPU AND GPU. Not to forget least you know the GPU is getting used to its absolute max. What good is a GPU that is only using half its power? If your specing right now for a i7-10700K or i9-10900K  your probably planning on the 2000 series card to keep you covered till the 3000 series cards and or the beefy Ampre cards.  As to the PSU concern you would think if someone has found the averages of benchmarked power draws for GPU's and CPU's they would notice in the data while researching the GPU's that the 980 Ti is a outlier. When it comes to the 900 series cards and maybe ask before buying like a smart consumer, ask "why out of the 900 to 2000 series GTX cards does a 980 TI draw so much power?" Well then someone could respond that the 980 Ti is a unique GPU as it was designed to need more power cause X and Y reasons and then said customer from there choose if they want to deal with the excess wattage or go with a less power hungry card. My posting was to get people to buy a PC with the right parts that it would be a build they would want to use actively and with near flawless performance. Even if at some parts maybe its not optimal but its better than low bottlenecking the system. If anything its better to over bottleneck and keep the ability to upgrade upwards without worrying the cost of upgrading 2 or 3 plus parts. Unless you got the funds to handle every 1-3 years to buy a 100 to 3K usd fancy brand new spanking PC and replace the entire unit. Which can be very costly if new gen pc's ever hit a point where every part is a premium price. Which means then the overall cost to buy a PC will be something that borders on being exotic.  The main point of this isn't to pick parts for a person but to make them aware if they want to keep up with technology improvements build the PC to be upgradeable and or future upgrade friendly. YES you can always go as "budget" as a consumer wants. But going budget build doesn't automatically mean your suddenly going to be doing much better than maybe medium or low for most games.  BubbleMax, the 980 Ti didn't draw more power because it was a "unique GPU". The 980 Ti drew 250W of power because that is the power envelope that it was designed to fulfill for the performance it offered. Just like the 1080 Ti draws roughly 250W of power, and the 2080 Ti draws roughly 250W of power. Nvidia's flagship gamer GPU's have basically drawn the same power since the Kepler refresh in 2013. Going back to the GTX 780 Ti, we can see it's listed at 250W: https://www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop-gpus/geforce-gtx-780-ti/specifications The GTX 980 Ti also lists 250W power consumption:  This trend continues on to Pascal's 1080 Ti: https://www.nvidia.com/en-sg/geforce/products/10series/geforce-gtx-1080-ti/ Even now, the RTX 2080 Ti consumes the same 250W of power, with the only exception being the Founders Edition PCB, with a slightly higher power limit: https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/graphics-cards/rtx-2080-ti/ This trend doesn't just hold true on the flagship gamer cards either. This was the same with the x50, x60, x70 and x80 cards. In fact, we can even see this trend decrease in the lower end cards, with the RTX 2070 consuming 55W less than the GTX 770, and only 25W more than the 1070. As we continue to see fabrication improvements, architectural changes and die shrinks, we will see improved power efficiency as well as an increase in performance as newer generation of hardware comes out. We cannot claim that the GTX 900 series consumes less power than the RTX 2000 series because that would be a false statement to make, especially when we factor in performance per watt. An RTX 2060 consumes only 160W of power, but out performs both the GTX 980 Ti (250W GPU) as well as the GTX 980 (165W GPU). Rather than advise people to choose their PSU's based on GPU generations, it's always best to advise them which PSU's to look for relative to their specific choice in graphics cards. That way, the information they get is accurate, and it better serves their understanding of how to discern between their choices going forward. 0 · Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Sign In or Register to comment.