Stuff to Avoid
Here is a quick list of products/components to avoid. Please read further to know stuff more in detail.
|Stuff to Avoid||Remarks|
|1. CPU||Old FX series from AMD and 7th Gen intel CPUs or older. No reason to go for them unless there is a good deal and the CPU fits your current and future needs.|
|2. Motherboard||H310 board/A320 board. They are fine for low-end PCs.|
|3. RAM||Flashy RGB RAM. We are working on a budget here. One can buy if budget is not an issue.|
|4. Cabinets||Cabinets with poor build quality or poor airflow or with Top-Mount for PSU.|
|5. HDD||Any HDD with less RPM than 7200. 500GB HDD from WD or Seagate. 5400 RPM drives will be fine for storing data.|
|6. PSU||Avoid cheap PSUS (We are talking about cheaper units from big brands) as they are based on old group-regulated designs, which are not effective and good for new systems. Some of these are meant for very basic builds for browsing Facebook or surfing the web or for office work. Also, avoid PSUs that come pre-installed with cabinets. Check out the next table for PSU units to avoid.|
Things to Keep In Mind
Do not cheap out on the PSU. We are not talking about wattage here. There are more important things to keep in mind while selecting a PSU, like how well it holds the power delivery and for how long, how efficient it is, how it copes with higher temperatures, how well it can handle high temps, what quality capacitors are used, etc. On your road to building a PC, you will encounter interesting people. They will try to convince to buy cheap quality PSU because they are using one or to save some of your money. We request not to pay any attention to that. Please avoid PSU selection based on comments that talks about how well a certain poor-quality unit is doing for them for years on whatever hardware they have. There is no benchmark software to test a PSU, and they lack the physical expensive equipment to test the same. Some people who have absolutely no idea about how electronics work or what makes a good PSU will try to convince to go for cheap a cheap PSU. One should also avoid buying second-hand PSUs, as many manufacturers do not shift the warranty from the actual buyer.
Why a PSU is important?
A PSU is a small device, which is often overlooked by many PC builders and can be crowned as the most important part in a computer, as it is something that provides power to the rest of the components. Very few people know how important a PSU is, and very few of them know what actually makes a good PSU. A motherboard has filers, and even your graphics card has filters, to provide clean power to the respective processor. Putting a low-quality PSU in a machine means that these filters on GPU and motherboard will work harder and will die a lot sooner along with the hazards that come with a cheap power supply. A cheap unit, even from a reputable company, has cheap internal components that are poor at providing clean power. They cannot suppress ripples properly, they are often poorly soldered, and the quality of MOSFETs, capacitors, diodes, transistors, the PCB are cheap. Another big issue is the efficiency. Due to poor components, more power is drawn from the wall and much of that energy is wasted as heat. This is not only bad for the power supply but also for the environment and your electricity bill. A PSU with low quality internals will not last long and has the potential to damage other components like your hard drive or motherboard or other critical components. Not to mention that such PSUs are not stable, can turn off without any prior notice due to overheating, and can give system errors like BSOD. Some units have also caused fire in some cases. That is a lot to deal with, right? Well, all this can be avoided by not going for a cheap quality unit.
Another important component is the capacitors. A Japanese capacitor rated 105C will last much longer than those rated at 85C and can handle more heat. Due to age, capacitors bulge and get weaker. Cheaper capacitors will die a lot sooner and thus the manufacturer cannot provide more warranty. On good units, you will generally find warranty periods ranging from 7 to 12 years.
Thankfully, you do not have to do any research as we have compiled a blacklist of PSUs to avoid. You are welcome to do your own research but make sure you read a review from a reputable site like Jonnyguru.com.
Many PSUs are avoided here as they are based on group-regulated design, which is very old and does not go well with the new hardware.
“The load of modern PCs is +12V heavy and has little load on +5V and because on Group regulated stuff, +12V and +5V are regulated together, it can happen that one goes out of spec and that can damage the components.” – Stefan Payne
In independent regulated PSUs, each rail is regulated independently and gives stable output. Load on one rail does not affect the other.
Due this reason, some good units like S12II are blacklisted, apart from other issues like missing basic protections.
We thank Jon Gerow AKA JonnyGuru, Stefan Payne, STRMfrmXMN, and LienusLateTip for taking their time and help in making this list. This list would be incomplete without their supervision.
|PSU Brand||Series to avoid|
|1. Corsair||·VS (both old and new)
|2. Antec||·BP (PS)
·Neo Eco (NE)
|3. Cooler Master||·Elite
|5. Seasonic||·430W ECO
·S12II/M12II 350W/430W/520W/620W (Exceptions: M12II 750W/850W)
|6. Circle||·Every single Circle PSU (no matter how good they look)|
So, what PSU should we look for?
A PSU selection based on wattage is completely wrong. A high quality 550W is generally enough for even an overclocked system for a single GPU setup (even for 1080 TI). However, for high-end systems, 650W should be the ideal wattage to go for, as they are not much expensive compared to the lower watt model. In addition, it is wise to buy a higher wattage unit that is better than a lower wattage model in case it is out of stock; similarly, it is wise to buy a lower wattage model of a higher-class unit than going for a cheaper quality unit with more wattage.
Note: These PSUs are listed by quality. PSU at #1 should be chosen. We have excluded over-priced units. When it comes to EAG pro or TXM, buy whichever is cheaper or available. Please click on the link of the PSU you wish to buy to know how it looks, as some units look similar with cheaper quality ones. 450W is enough for GPUs till GTX 1070 or AMD equivalent, provided it has appropriate connectors. But only get 450W if your budget doesn’t allow, else get a 550W model of good quality or even 650W.
A note regarding Antec EAG Pro PSU: Beware of the older not-so-good EA550G Pro with 3 years of warranty. That model is based on FSP. The newer, better one is based on Seasonic Focus PLUS Gold PSU and is much better with 7 years of warranty. To know the difference between the two, compare the pics. Here is the new unit, here is the older unit.
Also, do not get this PSU from MDCmputers and from anywhere where they have displayed pics for the older model. Refer the links above to check how the original looks. But, according to our sources, you can find TXm in local shops.
A. Low-end system (i3/R3 1050 TI and below or equivalent AMD)
Note: CX is not only better than the ones listed here; it is also cheaper than them.
B. Mid-range PCs (i5/R5 or above. 1050 TI or 1060 or equivalent AMD.)
- Antec EAG Pro Gold
- Corsair TX-M Gold
- Corsair CS-M Gold
- Corsair CX (grey) Bronze
- Corsair CX-M (grey) Bronze
Note: While the CX is a good PSU, it is not great. If this PSU were that great, we would not be making a priority list.
C. Mid-range system (i5/R5 or above. GTX 1070/1080 [TI included] or equivalent AMD)
D. High-end System (R7/i7, 1080 or 1080 TI)
- Corsair RMx Gold
- Corsair RMx Gold
- Corsair RMx Gold
- Cooler Master V Gold
- Antec EAG Pro Gold
- Corsair TX-M Gold
E. Really high-end System (i9/Threadripper, 1080 TI or Titan)
- Seasonic PRIME Ultra Titanium
- Corsair AXi Platinum
- Corsair HX Platinum
- Corsair RMi Gold
- Corsair RMx Gold
Note: Some folks, when buying most of the components from a retail shop, usually end up with cheap quality PSU (generally) because the seller pushes it. We do not recommend that. The seller may say that a specific series/model is “good enough” or the model you are asking for is not worth it but please do not fall for this tactic. Seller will recommend cheap PSUs, specially the Corsair VS series, because they have higher profit margin on them.
In addition, if you are buying all the components from one shop and they do not have a PSU of your choice, do not settle for any PSU they recommend or have in stock. Check out other shops and online retailers
Just like a PSU, motherboard is critical to the system. Everything is connected to the motherboard. While it is not a problem for other components, the major component affected by a motherboard is the CPU. Just like the rest of the system, your CPU needs clean power too. This is provided by the motherboard, which further gets the power from the PSU. A good motherboard with good heatsink and phase design and internal components will provide much safer and stable energy and cooler temps for VRM. This results in more stable performance and longer life of the components (both CPU and motherboard). Selecting a motherboard is not an easy task limited to selection based on the chipset and ports and fashion show. Every board is different and is good and bad at certain tasks. A motherboard having good BIOS with all the overclocking features but with crap VRMs is not good. Similarly, a board can be good memory OC, or CPU OC, or neither or both. Please do some research according to what you need.
Buying RAM is the easiest task. You can buy any RAM as long as it made by a reliable company. Recommended brands are HyperX/Corsair/G.Skill/Adata/Crucial/Kingston. For the Ryzen builds, faster RAM will not benefit when you have a slow graphics card like 1050 TI/1060/1070. The added benefit of faster RAM is only seen when you have a high-end GPU like 1080 or 1080 TI. However, Dual-channel is always preferred for better performance. It is recommended to go for 16GB if you are doing video editing. 8GB is still good enough for now but do get another stick down the line. You can see the results here:
Samsung b-die are the best when it comes to overclocking, but any RAM should be fine. Samsung b-die are crucial for overclocking. Dual channel RAM also gives boost to performance, especially in productivity. A 2400MHz RAM should be fine for a general gamer.
For a 50k budget, we do not recommend you spend more than 3-4k on your cabinet. Cabinet for budget builds needs to be just a cabinet and nothing more. No RGB, No glass panels, no flashy gamer-esque design. If you get any of these in your budget, great, if not, do not bother spending more if you are limited on budget. Cheaper the better. Good thing is that even many cheap cases have side-window panel and look good for the price. Some things to consider when buying a cabinet are dust filters, USB 3.0 ports and decent airflow. This is the only part of the build where you can buy what you like. Of the above listed, we would recommend Cooler Master’s MasterBox Q300L and Corsair’s 100R black. Corsair Spec 04 if you like it a little flashy. Note that the MasterBox Lite case does not have good airflow.
Some cheaper options (do not go blindly for them, check the reviews first):
- Corsair Carbide Series
- Spec 01
- Spec 04
- Cooler Master
- MasterBox q300l
- Master Elite 130
A Hard drive or platter drive or mechanical drive stores all your data. A hard drive has a spinning disc inside of it that spins. RPM is revolutions per minute, which means how much rotations a disc completes in a minute. As RPM increases, the speed of your hard drive also increases. Each drive has a specific RPM speed. A faster HDD retrieves data faster than a slower drive and thus 7200RPM must be chosen over slower drives especially for boot drive.
WD, Seagate, and Toshiba all make good Hard Drives on the market.
Ryzen vs Intel.
This is a tough question to answer. Both are good CPUs overall and outdo each other in different tasks. We should be thankful enough that we have both brands that provide top of the line processors for professionals and basic users. One should not be biased towards a particular brand. In certain tasks, AMD shines, while Intel shines in other tasks. Do your research well before deciding which is better.
For single threaded workload, go the Intel way; for multi-threaded workload, go for Ryzen. To get the best processor, it is always wise to consider your main priority and decide on that factor.
Being Smart and Saving Money
Do not spend extra money on RGB. Any component with RGB LED lights will cost more money than the non-RGB component.
Please, for heaven’s sake, do not cheap out on your PSU and motherboard. They are crucial components affecting the longevity and performance of your computer.
Never become a brand fan boy. This will only hurt your wallet. Competition is a good thing. Do not be biased. If two or more brands are reputable, get the cheapest option irrespective of the brand after considering the after-sales service.
Be careful when picking RAM. Buying two sticks of 4GB, RAM on a board with two RAM slots will cost you more and hamper your upgradability plans. Buying a single 8GB stick now and another later on is a much smarter option. Difference between dual channel 2x4GB and single-channel 1 x 8 GB can vary depending upon the builds. RAM speed also will not make huge difference for budget builds. 2400 MHz is just fine. Get 3000+MHz variant only if you have that extra 400-500 lying around.
Feel free to join the discussion at our awesome subreddit r/Indiangaming.