Novice building pc on the cheap, upgrade over time support.

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Inspireless Llama

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Dec 20, 2019
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I think there's a big difference between "efficiency" and "trustability". You even might be getting a 80+ platinum rated PSU that's garbage. I think that chance is small but still possible. I'm not sure if I understand the rating right, but as far as I know it has to do with how much power a PSU draws compared to how much it needs. The more efficient the PSU is, the smaller the difference. A PSU always draws more energy than needed, and the rating shows how small the difference is.

Here they have an example that shows it on a 500W PSU with a 80% efficiency and 90% efficiency (80+ and 80+ platinum). Point being though is, that even a very efficient PSU can have bad quality items in it and break quickly. Some PSU's will fry your PC if they break, while better quality ones usually have some kind of protection from it.

If you look in the budget segment of PSU's you should always be aware that there has been cut on costs to get the price of the PSU lower and IMO especially with unknown brands you risk that they cut on the important parts of the PSU.
 
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Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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To add to this, I just want to reinforce the fact that you should not take a risk with a power supply. You should always buy a power supply that you trust based on thorough, professional reviews, or at the very least the weight of general opinion.

The reason it's especially important not to take a risk on an unknown, potentially poor-quality power supply is because the power supply is one of the few components in a PC that can fail destructively. Best case scenario when a PSU fails is that the computer simply won't turn on. However, it's also possible for a failing PSU to fry other components on its way out, or in rare, especially bad circumstances even cause a fire.

Considering that the difference between these garbage-tier PSUs and more reliable budget units like the Seasonic S12III or the Corsair VS / CV series isn't much more than a tenner, it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
 
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Zoid

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Can i get the 450w or the 350w ones?
You could probably get away with 450W but 350W would be pushing it. These units usually aren't meaningfully cheaper than the 500, 550, or 600W versions anyway, so stick with the higher capacities.

Having the higher capacity will give you more headroom for any future upgrades to more power-hungry hardware. There's also an efficiency piece to consider. Power supplies are usually most efficient at about 50% load, and efficiency tails off as load increases. Running a lower capacity version of a power supply at, say, 85% of its max load will use more energy and generate more heat than running a higher capacity version of the same power supply at 55% of its max load.

You seem to be searching for any way to cut cost on a power supply, and I just want to once again caution you against that. This is a component that you don't want to go as cheap as possible on.
 
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Oussebon

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I'd strongly recommend against it.

The savings are not enough to make it worth it. When you upgrade the system, you'll have less headroom and spend more time trying to make sure things squeeze into a given power budget. Or have to replace the PSU, making upgrades even more expensive.

Moreover, these PSUs have much worse 'ripple' at higher % loads. Ripple gets much worse quite sharply over 50% load - especially on the 450W unit, as per this and this. A 550W PSU will be at a proportionately lower load (obviously) and so you'd expect to see less ripple. Which is good, because if the PSU isn't smoothing out ripple, then something else has to - like your motherboard or GPU. As far as my ultra-basic understanding goes.

Having less ripple (better quality power) is one of the reasons people like to buy higher quality power supplies than budget level, and buying a very large but lower quality PSU is vs a more modest and better quality PSU is often not a great idea. However, within your tight budget, and given the above point about upgrade headroom, a 550W VS series PSU seems to make more sense than a 450W one here.

Edit: edited phrasing multiple times to try to be as clear as possible.
 
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Oussebon

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We'll very quickly get out of my depth on the topic too tbh!

The short version is that lower quality power supplies deliver less consistent power and have lower standards of protections, so that they can damage components over time, or critically if they fail. So they're more likely to fail to protect or even actively damage your other stuff. They'll also be less efficient, as @Zoid pointed out, using more energy and generating more heat. Heat being what kills electronics (which is part of why people bang on about decent airflow in PCs).

Unrated power supplies - ones that lack certification of 80 white, bronze, silver, gold etc - are usually best avoided altogether. Because it means they cheaped out so hard on building it, that it doesn't even pass 80+ white. And it it's been built THAT cheaply, they probably didn't bother with making sure it delivers its advertised power under the load conditions, temperatures, etc gaming PCs would place it under. And probably didn't bother including proper protections.

And even some PSUs which claim / have attained a given certification level don't have particularly good protections in place, or aren't rated for the kind of temperatures they'll realistically be exposed to, etc.

If the price looks too good to be true - in PC hardware as with anything else - it probably is.

And with the PSU, it poses a hazard to the lifespan of other components, and indeed your own safety.

Edit: in case I wasn't clear - avoid the Novatech PSU like the plague. The Corsair VS is a solid budget buy.
 
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Oussebon

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Apr 7, 2020
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Fantastic, thank you.

my next question is, how do I tell if my motherboard has the updated bios. On pc part builder it says this.

Warning!Some AMD B450 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Matisse CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions.

was told that this shouldn’t be a problem, if it is, how do I fix? If my motherboard has been updated, how do I tell?
 

Zoid

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Fantastic, thank you.

my next question is, how do I tell if my motherboard has the updated bios. On pc part builder it says this.

Warning!Some AMD B450 chipset motherboards may need a BIOS update prior to using Matisse CPUs. Upgrading the BIOS may require a different CPU that is supported by older BIOS revisions.

was told that this shouldn’t be a problem, if it is, how do I fix? If my motherboard has been updated, how do I tell?
You can't tell just by looking at the motherboard, but most B450 motherboards being sold through high or medium volume sellers will be updated by now. Manufacturers started shipping these boards with BIOS updates already performed about 5-6 months ago. The only way you would get a non-updated board is if you got unlucky and got one that had been sitting around in inventory for months. Where did you buy that board from? Did they advertise "Ryzen 3000 ready" or something like that?

Check out this article from AMD on how to deal with a motherboard that needs a BIOS update. Motherboard manufacturers will usually let you ship the board back to them for a BIOS update to be performed. Some boards support BIOS updates just by USB without even having a CPU in the socket (it doesn't look like yours does but I could be wrong). You also might have a local computer parts store that could do a BIOS update for you for free or for a small fee. The final option would be to apply for a loaner CPU from AMD. As a last resort you could also just buy a cheap supported CPU like a used Athlon or something on eBay and use that for the BIOS update.

But I'm pretty confident your board will be updated already.
 

Oussebon

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Asrock may have put a sticker on the box / shrinkwrap that says it has the BIOS. It would probably say something like "Ryzen 3000 Ready".

There may also be a sticker on the motherboard itself that lists the BIOS version:
https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/cj1pfo/_/f0p0rlg View: https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/comments/cj1pfo/is_asrock_fatal1ty_b450_gaming_k4_ready_for_ryzen/f0p0rlg/

If that sticker says 3.20 or newer then it should support the CPU out of the box.

You may still want to update the BIOS anyway as there have been significant changes since the launch of Ryzen 3000 series, but at least you wouldn't have to straight away
 
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Zoid

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You may still want to update the BIOS anyway as there have been significant changes since the launch of Ryzen 3000 series, but at least you wouldn't have to straight away
Agreed. I would recommend updating to BIOS version 3.90 or newer at some point since AGESA 1.0.0.4 B brought with it noticeable improvements in boot times and as much as a 100MHz improvement in all-core clock speeds. But like @Oussebon said, you don't have to do this right away.
 
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Apr 7, 2020
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Even though it says 3000 not 3600?

So I shall buy the last bits soon. Just power unit and gpu. I have no idea where the memory is or when it’s due though. Had nothing to say its been dispatched... can’t remember where I got it from or what email I used to get it... I can’t find the receipt... I used PayPal so it should be okay.

I also need to find some other bits to get it running... keyboard mouse for a start... but I won’t have Bluetooth yet. So must have cables?

what’s the best guides on building the first pc? I can’t handle how Linustech speaks, so please avoid him in video please
 

Oussebon

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Even though it says 3000 not 3600?
3000 will mean family, so 3600, 3700x etc.

Always keep receipts and emails for hardware easy to access! :) If there's a problem, now or in 2 years time, you'll probably need them for RMA. You can also 'register' a lot of products - where you make an account with the manufacturer and provide the details of the purchase and the serial number. Sometimes they offer free extended warranty if you do, and/or it can speed up RMAs to have it done in advance.

I usually keep (clear) photos of the packaging, as there are labels on there that list the serial numbers and the part numbers.

I also usually keep packing for a while after assembling the PC, until I'm satisfied it all works fine and I'm unlikely to need to return anything any time soon.


There's another video on Linus's channel that is not voiced by Linus (Anthony is a lot more sedate/even) that gives a guide:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkiIW0Twj3U



Jayztwocents has a build guide:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK51upU5bkU



Gamersnexus:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YySa723VD2Y



You'll probably notice some common themes, like putting the CPU, RAM, and cooler onto the mobo before installing the mobo into the case. Fundamentally, it's a more expensive version of Lego. The parts all connect to other parts in a standardised way.

Most important thing, before starting, is to have a large, clean, well-lit, flat surface to work on. A tidy work area helps a lot :D
 
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Oussebon

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I also need to find some other bits to get it running... keyboard mouse for a start... but I won’t have Bluetooth yet. So must have cables?
While you can get bluetooth keyboards, most keyboards connect via USB - which can be wired, or it can be wireless.

Wireless keyboards and mice come with a small receiver that you plug into a PC's USB port. As far as the PC is concerned it's just like they were wired in - all it sees is that there is an input device connected by USB. The keyboard and mouse communicate wirelessly with the receiver.

For gaming, wired can be preferable - if only because having batteries die during a boss fight is annoying.

You are likely to find the cheapest options are wired, though there are plenty of wireless KB+M sets for ~£25.
 

Oussebon

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RMA - return merchandise authorisation i.e. when you need to send things back for repair or replacement

You don't need a sound card, the mobo has onboard audio that will be fine for your uses (and indeed is fine for the huge majority of people). :)
 
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Apr 7, 2020
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Glad I don't need a sound card.

just 1 more item to buy, thats the GPU. I have brought the Corsair VS Series VS550 ATX Power Supply.

My mouse is a logitech M705 which says it wont work with linux, so I need a new mouse? I plan to have both linux and windows (in December) on my new PC, so I would need 2 mice or just 1? same for keyboards?
 
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Oussebon

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It's very likely to just work with Linux. I can see a few instances of people online saying they've had issues, but I've had multiple logitech wireless devices and unifying receivers just work with Linux.
 
Apr 7, 2020
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Okay, now bought the GPU part to my Gaming PC...
I should be ready to build it later this week.

I am looking for a wifi+bluetooth card for a later purchase, I am hoping for a birthday gift. which is better?

WiFi Card | Up to 3000Mbps with Bluetooth 5.0
AX200 BT 5.0 WiFi Card

If I connect via ethernet cable or now, until I can get the wifi card, would I be able to download linux onto the pc straight away (no downloading onto macbook pro, transferring to usb to then put the usb into pc.?
 

Zoid

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Jan 13, 2020
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Okay, now bought the GPU part to my Gaming PC...
I should be ready to build it later this week.

I am looking for a wifi+bluetooth card for a later purchase, I am hoping for a birthday gift. which is better?

WiFi Card | Up to 3000Mbps with Bluetooth 5.0
AX200 BT 5.0 WiFi Card

If I connect via ethernet cable or now, until I can get the wifi card, would I be able to download linux onto the pc straight away (no downloading onto macbook pro, transferring to usb to then put the usb into pc.?
Congrats! Let us know how the build goes.

Do you need WiFi if you're connected via ethernet? If your desk (or wherever your PC will be) has an easy connection to ethernet, that will give you better results than WiFi.

As for setting up Linux, you won't be able to download Linux straight onto your PC. When you boot up your PC it will just boot into the BIOS, which doesn't have a way of going online and downloading files until an OS is installed. You will need to use another computer to download your chosen Linux installation media and create a bootable flash drive.
 

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