I built a new PC for VR on a budget (kind of)

I built a new PC for VR on a budget (kind of)
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I saw some people sharing their building / component choosing experience, some others asking for help. I thought I may as well add one. I should probably put it in general section, but it would probably go unnoticed there, but if @moderators feel that way, I would not object.

A week ago I built a completely new PC for VR, casual gaming, and some other amusements (linux VM). It was not meant to be the most expensive build, but the most balanced one, with taking into account price/performance ratio and also my personal (technical) views on the subject. Below I am going to give my reasoning for each part.

CPU - Ryzen 5 2600X
AMD or Intel was the most fundamental question. I have been building and using Intel system for the past 20 years and could not complain. But recently I was becoming fed up with Intel marketing and the lack of technical prowess so I started thinking about switching to AMD, probably year ago.

Ryzen 1xxx was not mature enough, but 2xxx seems already solid. There is still quite a big difference in gaming performance between basically any Intel high-end CPU (8700K, 9700K, 9900K) and AMD high-end (Ryzen 7 2700X), but for my casual gaming on 60Hz flat panel I knew I should be fine with either one, and even if I upgrade the monitor, I will still be fine, and would not mind running the game at “only” 90 FPS compared to 120 FPS.

At the high resolution, the difference gets smaller and at 4K+ everything become GPU limited anyway, and both Intel and AMD are neck to neck in the performance, so for VR (and especially Pimax) I did not expect very big difference either.

The part of the reason (apart from perf/price/availability) was that Intel has been selling the same arch as the new one with each “new generation”, and I liked AMD being bold and forcing Intel to react. I also like AMD architecture at the technical level and believe that Zen 2 will eventually match Intel performance even in single-threaded apps and AM4 socket should provide an upgrade path to it. While all Intel products today (CPUs, chipsets) look like end-of-the-line products.

So I went with AMD. Originally I was set on 2700X, but later realized that for my particular use case, I actually would not need it and 2600X should cover my needs equally. The perf diff in games between the two is negligible and just not justify the price.

GPU - GTX 1080 Ti (ASUS ROG Strix Gaming)
I knew, I could not justify the price for RTX 2080 Ti. The fact that it is the fastest is simply not enough. So I was hesitating between GTX 1080 Ti and RTX 2080 as both could be had for more or less the same here. There were good reasons to get 1080 Ti (e.g. 11GB RAM, already proven, accessories, e.g. cooling, waterblocks, etc.), especially if it could be cheaper when bought used. RTX 2080 on the other hand had all the new shiny features (some of them quite important for VR as multi-view rendering and variable rate shading), but the question always was, when the devs start to use them.

I had my eyes on MSI Gaming Trio, and Duke, but finally got 1080 Ti, because I had found a used one at a good price. If the prices were the same, I would take RTX route.

I guess the rest of the components is not that important, but I will give the list anyway, I put some thoughts in them as well:

Motherboard - ASUS ROG Strix x470-F Gaming
I was basically decided to take ASUS Prime x470 Pro as it looked as a good all round board, with not so many “gaming features”, but ROG Strix x470-F Gaming had slightly better components and a better sound path and did not cost much more, so I chose this one instead at the end.

Memory - 16 GB DDR4 GSkill Flare-X 3200 CL14
Samsung B-die modules, without any useless RGB stuff. There are a bit cheaper Hynix, or other brands, at a lower freq, or a higher latency, but I did not consider the price difference so important here.

PSU - 650W (Seasonic Prime ULTRA SSR-650TR)
While there are people who still believe that we need 1kW PSU to be safe, I believe the days of P4 and dual GPUs are over, and current systems usually need far less power than the older ones. The anecdotal experience, when running ED in VR (HTC Vive) on my new machine at default settings, I observed ~ 380 W peak wall power consumption.

SSD - Samsung 970 EVO 1 TB
This should fit Windows 10, dev tools, and few games easily.

Case - Fractal Design Define R6
I have been following Fractal Design cases for several years (but never needed one) and Define R6 turned out to be their latest attempt at the case perfection. When I learned that they have recently released the updated version with USB-C on the front panel, I immediately bought it, as it was my only complain about the original Define R6. It is well thought out case, without any gimmicks.

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I’m literally in the exact frame of mind and watching, waiting to see which way I part my cash. The PC you just got or 9900k with RTX 2080ti msi trio. Prices are ridiculous. I do need to ask, why did you not just wait until 23rd November?

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Excellent PSU choice, don’t worry, you don’t need a 1Kw PSU for such a configuration, it’s way more important that the unit is gold or better titanium certified, and capable of giving off a stable current, and Seasonic is one of the best, nice ram modules too, all in all you used some of the best components, I would have spent only a little more and opt for a Ryzen 7 instead :wink:

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I must admit my ignorance here about what should happen on the 23rd of November :wink:

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Black Friday or Cyber Monday massive deals.

How much did your build come to in the end?

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assuming he’s probably not in the US - outside of the US most countries don’t do black friday, or even if they do, like here in the UK you get a few deals on EOL TV’s and stuff, but PC components pretty much not (or even if you do its like the most expensive retailers discount their stuff to the level of where you could get from somewhere else any other day of the week)

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Yeah I’m in the UK and seen very good deals last year. SSDs for example were half price.

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I live in Czechia, and while there are some attempts at “Black Friday” discounts, they are usually laughable. German Amazon tries that too, but the problem was, they were not shipping most of the parts I chose to my address, or, if they did, they were more expensive than buying them locally. So at the end I bought everything except the SSD here and paid in total an equivalent of 1850 €. Which is probably not very relevant for anyone outside Europe.

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Understandable. As long as you didn’t miss out on saving a fair amount. That’s why I asked. As for currencies and exchange rates, taxes etc; I do follow the average costs between US, UK and EU.

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Agreed far too many people go with big number (wattage) but don’t take into account the quality of the PSU, running seasonic gold and titaniums PSU in my 2 newer build myself!

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Right. I don’t buy cheap power supplies for any of our family’s PCs. That’s not where anyone should scrimp, nor should they overspend for unnecessary wattage.

I tend to buy quality PC components and assemble them myself. I move “vintage” parts to other PCs, and keep some items as spares, just in case. I rarely sell such items, but sometimes I give them to friends, like my old 980Ti.

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Indeed just also be mindful of number of rails and Amperage.

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Ryzen 5 2600X, GTX 1080 TI

I approve. This is a well balanced budget system for roomscale VR. :wink:

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