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June 13, 2015, 9:03 p.m.

About legonate416

Hello there! This profile is a work in progress, so bear with me in my mistakes. :P

My Bio

About Me
My PCs, Benchmarks, and the Games I Like to Play
Friend List
Favorite Comments

Helpful Links/Essays (heh)

The Parts that Power a Computer
Comparisons for the Newbie
Why Ryzen is Generally Better than Kabylake/Coffeelake

Here we go!

About Me

My name is Nathan, and I’m a 19-year-old technology enthusiast. Typically, I like working with any sort of computer, phone, tablet, whatever. I have built two computers in the past, and I have a lot of experience in disassembling/reassembling both desktop computers and laptops. I’m not really all that knowledgeable in terms of specific details on computer parts, but I will help anyone who wants to learn to build a computer (for gaming or otherwise), as it is one of my passions.

I completed my standard Associate of Arts degree in June 2017, and I now attend a university in hopes of getting a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. After graduating, I would like to focus on mobile application development, but it really doesn’t matter all that much. Coding is coding, after all.

However, the biggest aspect of my life is not technology, but my faith. I am a Christian Fundamentalist. I believe the Bible is truth to the last word. I believe that God created the universe in six days, like it is said in Genesis 1&2. I believe that Creation has fallen into sin by the disobedience of the first two humans in Genesis 3. I believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sacrificed himself on the cross, so that we may live with Him. I believe that Christ gave us a mandate to tell others about the Gospel, and here I am telling you. God loves you, no matter what walk of life you come from, no matter what sins you have committed. Some may scoff at even the existence of God. Romans 1:20-21 says:

20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God took every step necessary except one. All you need to do is accept the free gift that He offers to every human, anywhere.

My PCs, Benchmarks, and the Games I like to Play

My Computers/Benchmarks
Right now I own a single laptop, however I have built two desktops for myself previously. I sold my desktop recently to be able to afford a decent laptop I can use for general college work and light gaming/video rendering. I call it APOLLO (a reference to a book series called Dragons in our Midst. LARRY, LOIS, and APOLLO are all references to the AI computers in the books.)
Intel UHD 620
For maybe 80% of the games I play, this is plenty. More on that in the next section…

In terms of video games, I used to invest my time heavily into them. I probably played 600-700hrs/yr. Nowadays I just can’t find the time for them, or I’m just not interested in playing them. It’s probably reduced to around 200-300hrs/yr. This has allowed me to come back to PCPartPicker without a huge issue. In time, I may drop video games altogether. But enough of the dreary stuff, here are my top 3 games that I find fun and interesting, in no particular order:

Age of Empires 2RTS
Easily my all time favorite game, ever. The strategy is simple, yet engaging. But what makes it even more fun is the LAN parties that my family and friends have sometimes. This makes it a classic, and even if I stop playing video games regularly, I will still be playing this.

Again, the LAN parties make this meh-tier game great. Like AOE2, it runs even on the slowest computer these days. I can’t count how many hours I’ve put into this game just to play with my siblings.

If I had to pick a game that had good graphics as well as being a fun game to play solo, this would be it. It’s probably the best free-to-play game on the market, regardless of my many qualms with the game and the developers. Be warned, though. It’s a massive time-sink due to the many layers of RNG put in place. A point in favor for it is that nearly everything can be earned for free. (The only things that you would be ‘forced’ to pay for are cosmetics, and are unnecessary.)

Friend List

Xorex64 CF
Geekazoid CF [Deleted]
dan_castellaneta [Deleted]
Bespers [Banned]
IwannaPC CF
S0nny_WarBucks58 C
AlphaLineGaming [Unknown]
Tiny_Voices A
Chuck38 C
will_rippey [Unkown]
Geode1010 C
assimilation [Unkown]
RaspberryPiFan A
PieManCoder MU
Gorkti200 A

Key: (Worldview) [Ban/Deletion status]

Favorite Comment(s)


"Legonate's downloads and uploads are literally delivered on thumbdrives via carrier pigeons."


The Parts that Power a Computer

CPU (Central Processing Unit)
This is the most important part of the system. Anything the computer calculates or does goes through the CPU. This part will determine how fast rendering, video editing, and your framerate will be in general usage. As of October 2017, it is kind of a confusing mess of what CPU you should buy for what price bracket. And as such, it is more dependent on who you more affiliate with rather than what use cases you have (unless you need an integrated graphics card, in which case go with Intel). Keep in mind that until January 2018, Intel motherboards will cost approximately $50 more than an AM4 B350 (overclockable) motherboard. However this chart will account for CPU costs alone, so I won’t have to go back and edit it again anytime soon. :P

Price AMD I don’t care Intel
<$60 Athlon X4 950 Athlon X4 950 N/A
$100-$150 R3-1300x i3-8100 i3-8100
$150-$180 R5-1500X R5-1500x i3-8350k
$180-$200 R5-1600 i5-8400 i5-8400
$200-$280 R5-1600x R5-1600x i5-8400
$280-$300 R7-1700x R7-1700x i5-8600k
$300-$350 R7-1700x R7-1700x i7-8700
$350-$400 R7-1800x i7-8700k i7-8700k
$400-$500 R7-1800x i7-8700k i7-8700k

This is the piece of PCB and metal that connects all your other parts together. Directly connected to it, you’ll find your CPU socket, your RAM slots, your PCI(e) ports, your CMOS battery, and your Sata(e) connectors. This is where you’ll connect your case/CPU fans as well. There are several motherboard types as of April 2017, and I’ll do my best to explain the Prefixes (the numbers don’t mean a whole lot). Here are the Desktop Intel Chipset prefixes:

Intel Prefix Description CPU/RAM overclocking SLI/Crossfire RAID
Z The highest tier. Yes Yes Yes
Q A rare business board. No No Yes1
B A more common business board. No No2 No
H Low-tier consumer boards. No Yes3 Yes3

1: Q170/Q270 supports RAID, Q150 does not

2: Some boards support Crossfire, but you have to look at them an individual basis

3: H170 and H270 both support Crossfire and RAID. H110 does not.

And now for the Desktop AMD (Ryzen) Chipset prefixes:

AMD Prefix Description CPU/RAM overclocking SLI/Crossfire RAID
X ’Enthusiast’ tier. Yes Yes Yes
B ’Mainstream’ tier. Yes No Yes
A ’Essential’ tier. No No Yes

RAM (Random Access Memory)
This is where your data for running applications are stored. All data here is erased when the system is shut down. Thus if you don’t save a document, the data will be lost because it was not stored in the actual storage, only the RAM. DDR3 is not compatible with DDR4, and vice versa. They are completely different physically. In terms of necessary quantities, 8gb of RAM is considered the minimum for gaming. 16gb is judged as the minimum for any productivity work, such as video editing, rendering, etc. As for RAM speed (the mhz), it does in fact matter. If you plan on getting a Ryzen CPU, speedy ram can help immensely, as the Northbridge of Ryzen runs at 1:2 clock speeds of the memory controller. This can help a lot when it comes to gaming. As for Intel CPUs, there is some study on ram speed helping performance (here and here ), it’s not quite as pronounced as Ryzen’s boost.

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit)
This is the PC part that calculates what goes on with your display, the graphics and the detail. Deciding on this part will dictate what settings you will be looking at getting in your games. If you’re going to be building a gaming PC, you’ll want to spend a chunk of your budget on this. There’s a certain myth that is flying around that AMD GPUs run hotter than Nvidia’s. It’s completely false. In fact, in some cases, Nvidia GPUs run hotter. If you don’t care about gaming, it might be better to look at making sure you get a CPU with an integrated GPU. Or, if you plan on working with programs like 3DS MAX or Autocad, to get a business grade graphics card like a Nvidia Quadro or an AMD Firepro. If you’re looking at buying a GPU with the cryptocurrency craze going on, good luck. The market fluctuates so much nowadays, and it’s almost impossible to recommend a GPU based on what budget you’re working with.

PSU (Power Supply Unit)
This is one of the easiest parts to overlook and skimp on, as it doesn’t impact performance at all. However, don’t go cheap on this part. Generally a ~500w PSU is fine for the modern-day gaming build. (600-700w if you plan on using a dual-GPU configuration). The quality of the PSU’s innards are not based on the ‘gold’ or ‘bronze’ or ‘platinum’ rating, that is merely the efficiency. A popular myth that I see these days is that PSUs draw exactly what is said on the side (520w, 600w, 750w, etc.). This is false. PSUs only draw what is necessary to power the system. Which means if you have a 1000w PSU, and a system that only draws 150w, you won’t draw more than 200w (due to efficiency discrepancies. If PSU’s had perfect efficiency, you’d only draw 150w.). Some popular but good choices are:

Manufacturer Model Name/Version
Antec High Current Gamer (HCG), EarthWatts, Ture Power Classic
Corsair CXM, RMx, RMi, HXi, HX, AX, AXi
EVGA B2, B3, GS, GQ, G2, G3, P2
Seasonic G, X, S12II, M12II
Super Flower Golden Green HX and up (needs clarification)

Generally, you’ll want to stay away from:

Manufacturer Model Name/Version
Corsair CX
Diablotek ALL OF THEM

The case is a part that is unique. It can make a terrible build look fantastic, or a great build like it was some reject DOS system from the last century. I would research this part quite a bit, especially in relation to what motherboard size you are getting, in order to make the most out of your PC and make it look fantastic (or terrible, if you don’t want your system stolen). Be wary that some support 5.25” optical drives, and some don’t. If you’re looking to save money on the case, I would advise to not go any lower than $40. And if you don’t care about cosmetics all that much, don’t spend more than $60.

CPU Cooler
This is something you shouldn’t need to worry about unless you get an Intel ‘K’ CPU or an AMD ‘X’ CPU (both do not come with stock coolers), or you want to overclock your CPU. The stock cooler is fine in 99% of cases if you’re not in either of the situations listed above, and yes, it does come with thermal paste. You don’t need to buy any, unless you plan on removing the CPU cooler at any point later on.

There are three types of storage devices. One is your standard HDD (Hard Disk Drive). This is the best money per gigabyte of storage that you can get, but it is also the slowest, as it reads and writes the data onto magnetic spinning platters. The second is the SSD (Solid State Drive). This is the drive that has no moving parts, and is all digital. It is the fastest of the three, being around 5-6 times the speed of a standard HDD, but it makes up for that speed in high prices. A 1tb SSD will run you about 4-5 times the price of a 1tb HDD. The third is the SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive). This is basically a HDD on steroids, as it is a standard HDD with a small amount of SSD to complement it.

Comparisons for the Newbie

There are several benchmarking utilities I can recommend to check out when comparing PC parts.

YouTube sources:
Digital Foundry

Benchmarking Websites/Utilities:
Full System: UserBenchmark.com
GPU Intensive: 3DMark.com
CPU Intensive: Cinebench R15

What most people don’t get about Ryzen

Being familiar with building PCs for a good 2 ½ years, I’ve seen something quite ridiculous start to take form in this area. The fact that the fanboyism for both Intel and AMD is extremely strong. On one (the more popular) side, we have Intel diehards, who will do anything they can to get their hands on the newest and greatest CPUs, even if it costs them far more. They just have to have an Intel CPU, or it’s just death for them. I’ll get to their reasoning in a bit.

On the other side, we have AMD diehards who think Ryzen is the holy grail of everything and it will solve literally every problem you will ever have.

The Intel Diehard’s arguments are simple. Slightly better single core performance, (and more overclocking capabilities) at the sacrifice of more cores and a far better price/performance ratio.

The AMD Diehard’s arguments are a bit more diverse. Better price/performance ratio is definitely one of them, along with more cores, better efficiency (lower temps/power consumption), at the sacrifice of more overclocking capabilities and some single core performance.

Something easily overlooked here is the overall motherboard price. As most of you probably know, Coffeelake launched, and Intel screwed over their previous market of people who were fooled into buying into Kabylake. They released a new motherboard chipset specifically for Coffeelake. Oh, you’ve got a nice 6 month old Z270 board? Well, now it’s useless, because you’ve got to buy an entirely new motherboard if you want to upgrade to the newest hex core CPUs, because we rearranged the pins on the motherboard for “reasons”.

You know what’s really crazy about this? People were just fine with it. They grouched about it for like a couple days, and then they were all like “MUZT HAVS COFFEELAKE”. What makes this Intel blunder even more hilarious is that they didn’t even release budget motherboards for the Coffeelake platform, so you’re stuck paying $100 minimum if you want to get the latest and greatest from Intel. We were told that we would get budget motherboards around January or February. Right now, it’s almost March 2018, and we still haven’t gotten any lower-end Coffeelake motherboards, with no news in sight. But wait, there’s yet another motherboard chipset planned, Z390, for the newest 8c/16t CPUs! And whaddaya know, it’s another proprietary LGA1151 variant, and you won’t be able to use Z370 for the newest CPUs.

Absolute madness. And the Intel fanboys are just willing to go with it.

Meanwhile, Ryzen buyers are chilling with their $60-$80 motherboards that will support the next generation of CPUs with a simple BIOS update. Not to say that Ryzen is perfect, but you’ve got to hand it to AMD for making that happen, even when we’ve got a lithography change (14nm to 12nm) and the fact that their competitor is requiring you to change your motherboard every two seconds if you want to stay up to date. AMD had every reason to require you to buy a new motherboard for Ryzen 2 (or Ryzen+). But they chose not to.

Now, let’s talk about the Ryzen fanboys.

Contrary to your belief, Ryzen is not for everyone. Ryzen is a fantastic all-rounder CPU, but it’s definitely not for everyone. There are use cases that can utilize the extra single-core performance, some of those use cases make it necessary to get the absolute best single-core performance with zero regard to power consumption. And Coffeelake excels in that. So much so, that when overclocked, the 8700k (6c/12t) edges out on the 1800X (8c/16t) in multithreaded benchmarks. Which is extremely impressive. Another use case I come across occasionally is needing an integrated graphics card and more than 4 cores. Ryzen’s new APUs work sort of well in the budget market in that regard, but there aren’t any APUs with 6c/12t or 8c/16t. And that’s where Intel wins, and power consumption leans in Intel’s favor.

Anyway, that’s me! If you made it through all the way, congrats! Have a cookie.