And Now For Something Completely Machinima

Completely Machinima Special Podcast: How to Build a Machinima PC

April 22, 2021 Ricky Grove and Phil Rice Season 3
And Now For Something Completely Machinima
Completely Machinima Special Podcast: How to Build a Machinima PC
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

CM Special Episode April 22, 2021, Show Notes

And Now For Something Completely Machinima is a long-form podcast devoted to machinima (movies made in game engines), real-time technologies, and virtual reality.

Summary: Phil Rice and Ricky Grove discuss building a PC specifically for Machinima production and post-production. They start with the GPU and work their way through an entire PC build adding tips and techniques for making a great Machinima workstation PC.
Be sure to visit for a complete list of Phil and Ricky's PC builds and many links. Note that we are running a little behind on the links part, so stay tuned. 

If you want to see the time links click the "chapters" button above.  There's also a complete transcript of the episode under the "transcript" button. 

Ricky Grove  0:09  
And welcome to and now for something completely machinima special podcast on building a machinima PC. I'm here with my pal. Phil Rice owns a computer company and does build PCs for a living. So we're gonna defer to him on issues. I'm just a glorified amateur. Not a bad one. I've made seven cups, seven of my own last computers. I built all myself. So Wow, I love doing the research. Yeah, I started back in the middle, or late 1998 99. That's about when I started my first computer. And then I've just, of course, I remember that first experience when you're building a computer for the first time and you know, you just keep you've got your little grounding strap and you know, you've got to the thing laid out, you've got all of the instructions, everything's said you've put it together, you've taken your time you've worried about it, and you're going to press that power button. You remember that experience in the very first time prayer, you left

Phil  1:16  
out the prayer step right before pressing the power button.

Ricky Grove  1:19  
That's right. Well, being agnostic, I wouldn't do that. But I know what you mean. But that first time you press that button, and you go Oh my God, is it gonna blow you literally think it's gonna blow up? But if it works, and you go Christ, I actually did it. I put together my own computer, you know, and no, bsod No, nothing. So I've been doing that ever since. And part of the fun is doing the research on finding out various components and that and YouTube is just like, Oh my God, is it filled with people? Linus tech tips is one of the ones I like to watch. Because he is just so ferociously. What's the word ferociously? obnoxiously funny?

Phil  2:06  
You know, I

Ricky Grove  2:07  
just love that kind of kid in class who just waving their hands all the time. But they're right in everything they say, you know. And then lots of other really good ones. I discovered a lady think computer I think it is very careful and quiet. evaluations of what's going on. She's she oftentimes will make connections between things that the other ones leave out in there sort of high pitched salesman, kind of briault approach. But anyway, that world of YouTube is a great place to go to learn and do research. That's what I did when I came up with my bill for this. But as let's get started with the first question, which is, work, obviously, we're going to make a PC, we're not going to make a we're not going to use an Apple product. Even though Apple makes a great laptop and, and iMac. They're more for creatives, people who will create content like graphics, motion graphics, or photography or that sort of thing. And they don't really have much of an investment in gaming. We since machinima is so closely related to gaming, we're going to have to go with a PC, right Phil?

Phil  3:18  
Yeah, I would agree. I would agree with everything you just said there. Yeah, that Mac makes great computers. But yeah, that I think PCs because of the the do the detailed way in which you can configure it specifically. That's just something that well, from the beginning, Apple's really never set out to go after that market, the the whole paradigm that they're built on, just just that's not the strength of it. So yeah, I think a PC is the way to go.

Ricky Grove  3:49  
Right? So now the question becomes, what kind of PC Do we need in order to make machinima? Now, making mission involves playing games at a high enough frame rate, so that everything is smooth? Right? Right. And then we also need to be able to capture that footage. And then we be able to be able to use that footage to edit it to add effects to do post production to create audio mixes. So there's a certain amount of secondary activity on the PC that we need that is CPU intensive, as opposed to games, which are graph GPU intensive. Would you agree with that?

Phil  4:28  
I would, I would, it's it's kind of a unique scenario in in the world of content creation. Because Yeah, it's it's really, it's two different specifications that you ideally you would would like to be able to get it all done on on one computer. And that's got some special considerations, which we'll we'll go over here. Right

Ricky Grove  4:51  
now. We're going to be talking about building a PC workstation as opposed to a laptop, but laptops have become pretty powerful. In the last four or five years, to the point where they've actually become sort of pseudo workstations in themselves, I guess the issue there is that you don't have the ability to interchange and upgrade parts and the same ease on a laptop that you do on a PC. Right?

Phil  5:17  
Yeah, very much. So that's the case. There are people who and for some people, a laptop is going to be the right machine for them, they just need to augment it a little bit with some peripherals, the biggest challenge on a laptop, apart from getting a graphics card to perform like you can get a PC graphics card to do, which I'll remind me and I'll get into why that is. But the biggest challenge on a laptop is storage space. Because the kinds of stuff that we do generating video footage, usually, ideally, you want your your source footage and pretty high resolution to get a good end result. And that just takes up copious space. Yeah. But fortunately, storage is relatively inexpensive, you can get just enormous hard drives with a USB three interface. And while it may not, it may not be ideal for streaming your your capture straight to that device, it certainly is a place where you can offload that storage. And and do so relatively inexpensively. Seagate and Western Digital both make, I don't know 810 terabyte hard drives that are very reasonably priced compared to what they were even a few years ago. So if you're going to go with a laptop platform, you just want to plan for you're going to need more storage than a laptop can likely can likely provide to you. The biggest reason why we're going to focus on PC instead of laptop, though, does come down to the the graphics card. And to some degree, also the the processor. Both of which generate a lot of heat when they're doing their work for, frankly, just for running most high end video games, but but then if you on top of that you're trying to capture the footage right there to those chips get hot, they need to run their fans faster and laptops. They kind of have to be what's the word? They're limited by nature, into how fast those things can go. Because there's just only so fast, there's only so efficiently you can get heat out of a laptop, right? Over gotten burns, you know,

Ricky Grove  7:42  
yeah. And there's something called thermal throttling, where some laptops actually, once it reaches a certain level of heat, it throttles the performance.

Phil  7:51  
Yeah, to my understanding, almost all laptops have that to some degree or another. Now you get your higher end, specifically designed for gaming laptops. MSI makes some great ones right now, they're what I consider my favorite. But yeah, even then, the heat has to get out of there. And with a PC, you've got some, you've got a lot of ways to get that heat away from the processor faster with a laptop, because it's all enclosed like that. Limited ventilation possibilities. It's, it's, it's just that that's going to limit the possible performance, right. And and so if you want optimal performance, yeah, PC is going to be where you can get

Ricky Grove  8:35  
that Not to mention fan noise, which is going to be over 50 decibels on an absolute laptop, it's going to be blaring ways you can have to do everything with the headphone. So it's pretty obvious that the way to go if you're going to be making machinima in a serious way is to build it as a PC. So what's the first consideration while we're making this imaginary machinima PC fell?

Phil  8:58  
Well, probably, for most people, the first thing that has to be considered is is how much budget you've got to put toward it, you know, because there there are, there's a, you can you can build a PC, just a general PC for, you know, under $1,000, quite easily, or you can spend two or 3000 or, or much, much, much more if it's, it's, you know, so there's a wide range there, I think we should probably focus our build on something that's probably within reach of most people. But But understand as we go through and discuss this, that these things can all be incrementally tweaked and adjusted either up or down. If you've got more or less budget to throw at this and we'll, we'll try and cover that for all the major points that we we do like where you can can save a little money or if you've got more money to throw at it where It would be best spent. But budget is the big consideration for most people, you know,

Ricky Grove  10:04  
money's budgeted myself on building my own machinima computer built around $1,000 1000 to 212 100. Right around in that area. Okay. And and my focus my splurge was on the GPU. That was where I spent most of my money. Because, well, I, if I can actually find that GPU, that's the thing. We'll talk about that in a minute. But I'm hoping, you know, I think my GPU is around 450 bucks. That's what my splurge is everything else is secondary. And I what what was your your thoughts about what your focus should be on in terms of expense and your budget?

Phil  10:49  
Yeah, GPU is going to be the deciding factor. For most people, it is the single most influential piece in terms of the overall cost of your, your build. The good news about a PC is that, like, what I did recently, we'll get into the specifics of my build, but my most recent build, I couldn't get the graphics card that that I really wanted, not because of availability. But because, you know, the the highest end or near highest end, Nvidia graphics cards are more than you budgeted for your whole PC, you can spend 13 to 15 $100 easily on just the graphics card. Let's insane you know, and even as a big time PC nerd, and as a professional in this space, even I'm like, come on, you know. So the good news is that there's a lot of leeway there. And you can still get very decent performance out of a card that doesn't cost anywhere near that much, right. And then later, if you do save up for and, and they're available for one of the higher end cards, then you can install that into your computer if you've if you've planned even a little bit appropriately. So. Yeah, the GPU is a big factor the CPU that you choose. There's also a lot of expense variance there. You know, whether it's one of the high end, Intel I nine is the highest end wood right now. They're already talking about the next generation of those, I believe it's going to be the 11th generation of Intel. And then you've also got your AMD line, the ryzen CPUs, which are generally less expensive than their Intel counterparts. But a lot of gamers really love them. That they seem like really good bang for your buck. So there's, there's, there's a lot of leeway there. Generally speaking, if you're going with Intel, you're pretty much gonna want an i seven processor minimum, you could get you could maybe scrape by and get away with Intel I five. But if you can at all do it, you want to at least go with I seven. And if you if you've really got good budget to throw at it, then go ahead and splurge for a nine nine. Yeah, it does make a difference. And on the the reasons I think the ryzen. Seven is is I think that's the highest one right now I'm not quite as familiar with, with I think there's a

Ricky Grove  13:25  

Phil  13:26  
is there a nine nine?

Ricky Grove  13:27  
Yeah, but the seven is more the price point, my build, I have a ryzen 730 700x, eight core 16 thread CPU.

Phil  13:38  
And that's a good point too, is that the it used to be and you and I can both remember the circuit from back in the early days that the most important number with regard to your CPU was that gigahertz number, you know, at such and such gigahertz, that's or when we were doing it originally it was megahertz that they were talking about it. But that was the number that was important. But since since processors went multi core, basically what when, when Ricky mentioned he's getting an eight core rise, and that that essentially means that there are eight processors in there, essentially. And so each one of those has a speed that it operates at. So the number of cores is, in my opinion, way more important to look at then the actual gigahertz speed because that doesn't look like it's if you look just at the gigahertz, it doesn't look like it's changed much in the last 15 years. But that's because the number of cores has been multiplying. So you can you know, you can get a quad or an eight core processor or you can get one that's that's you know, got double that. So those are the numbers to to look at generally and yeah, CPU is going to be one that you can spend a lot or not so much on RAM and storage and those types of things. The case those are relatively comparatively inexpensive

Ricky Grove  15:02  
and and there's a wide market for those two, there's a lot of people and they undercut each other in price and they you end up getting a real good bang for your buck on those. Because there's so much healthy competition.

Phil  15:15  
Absolutely. Even I would say motherboard doesn't really matter all that much. It used to more I feel like I think now it's good to go with a reputable brand. A Seuss is is a strong leader in that market. gigabyte makes good motherboards. There are a handful of others but but this specific motherboard isn't as important as matching it up to the processor that it's going to house you know it that's the most important aspect of the motherboard is what type of socket is on there. So that you know that that matches the type of chip you're getting. If you shop for these kind of parts on Newegg or Amazon or something like that, they almost always have some kind of configurator on there where you can match those up and make sure that they're compatible. And that's a good idea to use that. But yeah, the main the most important element of the motherboard is the what kind of socket it has for the CPU. And then beyond that, you just want to look at what other stuff are you wanting to plug into this, you're generally going to have a slot that PCI Express slot that's going to be there for your graphics card, that's gonna be fine. Do you want to have the ability to plug one of the chip based m two solid state drives right on the motherboard for a faster bus speed. Or you can just plug them in like regular old SATA hard drives. So those features you're spoilt for choice on those Yeah, you have a lot of room The important thing is is matching it up with the processor and and then knowing what sprite of, of memory or RAM plugs into it.

Ricky Grove  16:49  
Well, I suppose we should address the GPU issue which is sort of the elephant elephant in the room. I'm about every two years I do a build a new build. And so I was excited to start the process of doing a new build. Actually not so much of a build from scratch, but a sort of a transformation of my existing workstation from a 3d focus to game focus. But when I started doing research, I looked everywhere and there are no GPUs for sale anywhere you go to Newegg sold out sold out till you go to Nvidia sold out, sold out sold out. So I was looking at a list and I was thinking What the hell is going on? So I went on to YouTube and I found some people of course, Linus tech tips have is a really nice thing. And apparently they're a combination of factors but the main factor is cryptocurrency mining. Apparently the process of being able to mined for cryptocurrency can be enhanced by a very good graphics card, which fits perfectly in with the gaming world. So here you have the pandemic which causes a whole bunch of people to sit behind their computers and go well I want to make a new one. So the demand goes up. And then you have these cryptocurrency people, some of which operate on a almost a huge business scale in which they buy 100 GPUs to put in a GPU farm. So the demand is just skyrocketed for GPUs but the supply is very low, which means they're scalpers on YouTube selling $400 GPUs for 15 $100 Yes, so what do we do with this issue fell What have you been doing in your your builds in your daily work to help people build computers

Phil  18:43  
what you've been doing very very tricky, it's been very very tricky. Nvidia cards in particular are on a shortage but the AMD side has been hit as well and

Ricky Grove  18:54  
what did

Phil  18:54  
in the past month I've had two different computers in for their basically custom builds and they wanted to retrofit them with the latest stuff. And in both cases, we had to outfit them with everything. But the GPU they really wanted because we just couldn't get it from anywhere. And so basically, what I've been doing and what I did on my own for budgetary reasons was I focused on the other elements of the PC to build it to eventually house one of those cards and meanwhile just had to kind of scrounge for one that would get me by and so on the the current PC that I've got, it's just a GTX 1070 which is two full generations ago, but it gets the job done it runs Red Dead Redemption, for example. Just beautifully all all features up

Ricky Grove  19:45  
and availability is still up for that particular Well no,

Phil  19:48  
no it wasn't but I just I was able to find that one a little easier than I was the new ones, the new ones, the 2000 and the 3000 series 3000 series. I mean sold out almost Immediately from when they were released. Yeah. And then the 2000 series, which was the prior generation. Yeah, those were scooped up next. So it really just comes down to waiting for the manufacturers to, to get out supply backup, that's all. That's all it is, there's no way around it, I would not recommend to anyone to buy one of the scalped ones. Use it. So that means it's important to know what these cards really are supposed to be worth. And it just takes a little bit of Google research to look up for that model. Go look at the manufacturers website, find the actual list or retail price for it. And if you got someone selling one for way more than that, it's just not a good. Yeah, it's just not a good idea.

Ricky Grove  20:46  

Phil  20:47  
first of all, it's a waste your money. But secondly, it's supporting that. Yeah, the scumbags who do that it's lousy. Yeah. So it's just gonna require some patience. If you're trying to build right now. Yeah, it's frustrating. I would recommend waiting.

Ricky Grove  21:00  
Here's an interesting alternative that I saw. One, YouTube, PC builder, he had the idea that you can find many of these hard  to find like a 3070 3080 RT x NVIDIA in pre built systems. So what if he bought a prebuilt system? And then sold everything but the graphics card?

Phil  21:25  
That's very clever. I cannot think of that. That's very clever.

Ricky Grove  21:29  
Yeah. So he took him through the whole process took them about two months. And he broke it down about how much it cost him to build everything, each individual item, how much it cost, and then how much it costs him to resell it. And how close did he come to recouping his investment? he actually did pretty well although the he didn't include his own efforts in labor to sell all this stuff cuz he sold on eBay sold on places where it's cash only where you connect with people and all that

Phil  22:02  
a lot of legwork.

Ricky Grove  22:03  
Yeah. And he came up with within $200 of his original price, he ended up spending, I think, 20 $300 on the prebuilt that had a 3080 in it. And he kept the 3080 for his own build, right and then sold everything else and he came up within about he lost $200 on the deal. Now compared to scalpers and also the moral issue, that that's not a bad way to go. So my question to you is, why not buy a prebuilt? Now? Yeah,

Phil  22:33  
I would, I would guess that his result, let's let's give it the the preface that most TV offers do which is, your results may vary. I would say that to do that kind of thing. And to do that kind of thing and come up, where you only paid, you know, only last 200 bucks, I'd say that's probably significantly better than the average person will fare to be realistic. You know. So if I would say engage in that only if you're willing to either do a lot of legwork required to sell that stuff off either piecemeal or because particularly if you were to try to sell the home, maybe you buy it and put a cheaper video card in there, and then try to turn around and sell it. It's the tricky part of selling full computers on places like eBay is the shipping.

Ricky Grove  23:29  
Yeah, you know,

Phil  23:32  
I mean, I'm gonna tell you, it's $100 shipping easy. It's 100 bucks to ship it in the continental US. And if you're, I don't even know what it is overseas. But it's it's, yeah, that's, that's a real killer there. So now, maybe you can sell them, you know, the motherboard, if you can safely extract it and sell the individual parts. But I mean, again, that's a lot of legwork. And a lot of listings to manage. And, and eBay is loaded with what would be termed used motherboards and used CPUs. And it's, it's a slow game, to sell stuff apart at a time there. So now, if you've just if you've got the budget, to buy a high end GPU, and you know, you don't mind sitting on that old equipment or thinking, well, maybe I'll make some other use for that the rest of that PC elsewhere, then that's a great way to go. But if you're hoping to, to even break even on something like that, I'd say it's pretty high risk.

Ricky Grove  24:31  
Well, what about buying a prebuilt and not selling it just buying it as the prebuilt as opposed to building your own pc? what's what's the advantage there, given the GPU situation and

Phil  24:45  
everything? Yeah, you know, some, some of the pre builds are, are pretty decent specs, you know, and I'm always being somebody who builds them. You know, myself, I'm a little bit pregnant. Probably against that, simply because you just, when I build a PC, I know exactly what I'm putting in there. I know, I know for a fact that every part in here is new, I know that, that I grounded myself properly when I installed it all and nothing got shorted out and that, you know, etc, etc. And plus, I don't have to ship it anywhere, typically. So and that's the biggie, you know, so. And when you buy one online, there's just always going to be a little bit of uncertainty from that. And if you go with a well known or established vendor that maybe supplies pre built machines with this kind of stuff, or does custom ones, well, then you pay a premium for that. Yeah, it there is a premium involved, because it does take skill to do that, right. And then to be able to deliver it properly and ship it properly. So it arrives to you on damaged. So that being said, there are some interesting deals out there. I've seen them on Amazon. And the hesitation for me is simply that. Who the heck is this vendor? You know, never heard of them? Because that's, that's the thing some people don't really understand about Amazon is Amazon isn't selling most of Amazon stuff like it's, it's a storefront for? Well, pretty much anybody, anybody who registers and can can sell on there. And you check them in their feedback rating is 72. Right? And then you go find it Well, well, this

Ricky Grove  26:29  
is the worst computer I've ever bought. But he wouldn't accept the return. I'm getting my refund through PayPal, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Phil  26:36  
Yeah, yeah, yeah, reviews are a useful tool there to vet a vendor. And just don't assume that if you're buying it on Amazon don't don't assume that Amazon backs that purchase at all, because very often they don't, they can't, it's not theirs yet, or just the vehicle. So I think a prebuilt is a good is a good situation, a good fit for some people situation. But you do get a lot more control a lot more quality control. When you build it yourself or have someone that you trust build,

Ricky Grove  27:06  
here's a good one for you. The reason I actually went in to build my own first PC was because I went out and we have a local. This was back in the late 90s at a local sort of PC trader kind of thing. And I found a store that wasn't very far from me that had a really good rig was like 20 $200, it had the top of the line everything. And so I went in and I looked at it and the guy was really helpful. And I decided to buy it. So I bought it. I started playing it about a week and a half later the keyboard went out. nothing I could do to fix it. I checked in all the connections, everything. So I had I bought a five year guarantee from them and insurance guarantee from this company. So I knew that they were going to just replace the keyboard. So I wrapped it up, I took it down there and went back to the store. The store was gone. No, I look inside the building, no furniture, no nothing, just some old, beat up old coke cans. That's it. Wow, gone. So I contacted the Better Business Bureau. And they said, Well, you know, they just left, the guy knew that they were going to go out of business within a week. And yet he ended up selling me a 20 $200. And the five year he argued pretty aggressively for the five year coverage on it. So I was out, no five year coverage had ended up buying. And I said you know, that's it. I'm gonna build my own computer from now on. And I haven't looked back. But that's also another thing is you can end up getting ripped off by people who are just interested in making a buck. So that's the that's the downside, a positive side of making your own PC is that it's fun. It's a lot of fun. It is fun to do it. It's fun to research, it's fun to lay out your choices, it's fun to put it together and build it to your specifications. It's fun to use it. And that knowledge that you built something that works and that's good. You can't You can't get past that from from buying a prebuilt from someone else I grow. So, so let's talk about form factor, and also CPU. In my build, I chose the AMD ryzen 730 700x. Now that for a gaming PC, you don't need a big CPU factor because the game is going to run through your CPU. Most of your CPU usage is going to be from other content creation issues. But I wanted to have a slightly beefier CPU because he was a reasonable price. And AMD tends to run cooler from my understanding then the Intel processors and I'll probably overclock the processor just a little bit So I know there's gonna be a little bit of extra heat. And I wanted a CPU that would still operate in a relatively cool level for gaming. What about you, and I was also chose the mini ATX form factor, mostly because I've never tried it before, but also because the prices are good. And I like the idea of having something that's smaller than a large, I've always had these large, full, full 80x cases, when they're, they're somewhat cumbersome and big. And I wanted to try something a little bit smaller this time. And those, those are the reasons why I made my choices there. What about you, Phil,

Phil  30:37  
I have an I9 Intel 10th generation, CPU and mine, I've, I've just I'm an Intel loyalist, I'll confess it. So it's the technology I know and the brand that I know. So that's what I went with. And then I got kind of a roomy case, because I've found that one of the big challenges, like we talked about when we were discussing laptops is airflow. And this is regardless of whether you've got, you know, a liquid cooling thing with a radiator, or whether you're just using fans, it's the single most important aspect to, first of all, making the PC last a good long time and also, you know, run optimally, when you're really pushing it is getting that heat out of there. And a big case helps a lot with that a big case can also help, because some of these, the graphics cards nowadays are the good ones. Yeah, are quite large. And you know, while that only affects you, when you're putting it together, for the most part it trying to figure out how to fit everything in there, I tend to like to have a little little more room to maneuver to be able to route cables cleanly in that kind of thing. One aspect that is often overlooked with regard to case is the space behind the motherboard. Which is weird because on most PCs, there's one panel that the motherboard is mounted to and then that's just the backup panel, it's done. But if you want to route your cables cleanly, you need a little bit of room back there to be able to trace the cables behind that metal plate behind the motherboard. And when that's not there, it's there's no room to run cables neatly and tidy the tidally back there. So there are some cases that that offer a little bit more space between the back of the motherboard and the actual panel that comes off. Yeah, you actually that's helpful for cable routing purposes.

Ricky Grove  32:50  
Yeah, you run into the problem that I had in one of my builds in which I didn't have a lot of room in the back. And I tried to run the larger power cables, yes, which are generally thicker in there. And it actually made it so I couldn't completely close that side of the cup, very common thing. And I realized I had to route them inside of the, to the side of the motherboard, which also affected airflow as well. So it's something you're going to have to do consider when you're deciding on a motherboard and also the size of your GPU, you have to make sure that the case that you buy is going to be able to fit that GPU, some of these GPUs are incredibly long. Yes, yeah, if you and especially in the form factor I chose, you know, there's the Micro ATX x the mini ATX ATX form factor and then the standard large 80x form factor on specially the mini and the micro, you have to be really careful that you don't get a case that won't accept the graphics card that you get. So make sure you actually check the links. Sometimes I'll specify that on the manufacturers site, they'll they'll tell you what cards will fit and what don't. Or they manufactured in order to fit all cards like the two cases I'm interested in. I'm a real fan of the NZ XT cases. I've got one now and it's just got wonderful airflow. But I'm also really intrigued with this micro mini at x, Leon Lee 01 dynamic. It's a very wide case. And it also gives you the ability to be able to rearrange the layout inside around your motherboard. Now if you want to store like you want, if you choose to do a water cooling on your your CPU, you can actually you have two or three choices as to where to put that the reservoir and all of that stuff, right. Well I'm really intrigued with that. And I'm sort of divided about which one I want to do. But Leon Lee has always been a great casemaker or they tend to be sort of upper the higher end level but this lynley Mini was only at $9.

Phil  35:03  
Oh, that's a good price. Yeah, good price for a good case. Absolutely.

Ricky Grove  35:06  
Yeah. So you're gonna go at x and I'm gonna go mini at x. So now GPU, let's talk about the GPU. There are none to be had right now anywhere. I'm not going to play scalpers. Now, this podcast will come out after March 18. But on March 18, AMD is releasing their 6700 series GPUs. I'm going to try to get one, I don't know. One minute after midnight on the 18th, I'll be on their website, trying to buy one which 100,000 other people are going to be doing the same thing. I don't know whether I'll get one. But I chose the AMD because I wanted to try and all AMD System. I like MD I've met with him at SIGGRAPH several times, unlike the direction that they're going. The this particular GPU is going to be $449. The 6700 XT, it is perfect for Micro ATX x gaming. It's got the new PCIe four oh, and it's got the I love I'm gonna use an aces case a aces tough gaming. I like their BIOS Setup. I love like the way they do their bios. And when you overclock, there are other many other choices there. But in terms of the getting back to the card, again, it's a real good bang for your buck. People have talked about really excellent frame rates, you're not going to get the 100 plus and everything. But in the what's that wonderful game cyberpunk 2077 they were with a the similar CPU, they were getting 60 to the high 70s for frame rates at the top level of, you know, if they put the the highest level of, of graphics for the game. Right. I also like the fact that it will do ray tracing. It will include ray tracing, although it doesn't have the technology that Nvidia has, which is the dlF dlss technology. Do you know about that film? doesn't ring a bell? The Nvidia enables him to upsample a particular frame rate from say 1080 p to 2k. You can upsample. And it's a special. Yeah, it's a special AI focused method of doing that AMD is launching, they don't have that, which actually makes the Nvidia card slightly better. But AMD is moving towards it. But I just like AMD and I wanted to give them a chance in this particular bill.

Phil  38:02  
Yeah, I tend to I tend to lean towards Nvidia. If I were buying one right now, I don't know what I would do. But I I would have to be I would think more open minded because of availability. Yeah, yeah. The one that I've got in my most recent build is GeForce GTX, 1078 gigabyte card. And I paid I don't know, somewhere around 400 bucks for it. The the 2003 1000 series, actually a 3000 series is intriguing because they do have quite a bit of variance in the product line where there's some that are at that type of price point. And then of course, the the kind that are almost two grand, you know, for the founders edition card. Right? Right. So it gives you a lot of options there. Unfortunately, none of them are available at all right now. So, but when they are and when supply gets back into shape, there'll be some good options there. Yeah, yeah, AMD is a perfectly fine card. A lot of this. You know, a lot of do find it with a lot of these choices, it comes down to personal preference weighs a lot, you know, 

Ricky Grove  39:14  
yeah, well, also availability. I mean, there have ever been releasing this new card I'm keeping my fingers crossed. If not, I'm just gonna use my old GPU and the the new bill for now. I also like the fact I'm not, I don't think that the ray tracing technology in games has advanced to a level in which unless you want to pay 1000s and 1000s of dollars is significantly better. So from a machinima filmmakers point of view, do you want that just tiny little bit better luck in and Red Dead Redemption as you're looking over the valley, you know, I don't think it really makes a difference. So GTX two RT x you could save money if you did a GTX 1070 as opposed to RT x 2070. You can save yourself a couple 100 bucks, and you're still going to get really good frame rates and it's going to look great.

Phil  40:09  
Yeah, I agree. And there's, you know, a lot of that comes down to what your intent is with the computer if you do intend to do any work with stuff that is more raytracing intensive and not so much machinima. Then one of the I know, actually Evan Ryan, ours, our friend of the show, had me advise him on a PC builder earlier last year. And that was a point he was very interested in for his built because of some specific graphics work that he wanted to, to do some work in. Not machinima, not not running games at all. So yeah, you're right. I don't think it's, it's an important factor. Right now, even though it is. It's talked about, you know, you'll find youtubers talking about how important that is, and whatnot. But I think the reality is that yeah, it's really only just getting started games that can even take full advantage of that. You know, I mean, even Minecraft can can take advantage of that if it's modded and tweaked properly. But yeah, not a lot. Not a whole lot of people are playing the game that way. So right?

Ricky Grove  41:16  
Yeah. Alright, let's talk about RAM and RAM size. Now, I think that bare minimum, you have to have 16 gigabytes of RAM. And I think it has to be at a fairly healthy speed, maybe 2700. Or even 32, if you can afford it, but the bare minimum 16 Would you agree with that?

Phil  41:35  
I would, yeah, for gaming or machinima, PC 16, honestly, 32 gigs, would be a better solution long term for if you're planning to fully produce your work on that computer. Because ram really comes in handy. When you're doing nonlinear video editing, the more the more you can hold in RAM than the more efficiently you can work with a lot of tracks and, you know, get good playback rates. While you're previewing and prepping your video for rendering. That's where that really comes in handy. It doesn't hurt the game either. I mean, if any of these elements that even though the GPU does most of the work, the CPU and the ram both significantly impact how the game is going to run. But where it really matters is when when you're capturing footage, or when you're editing footage, Ram is is indispensable. So I mean, some people even better Yeah, 64 gigs, I feel like that's overkill for most people. Okay, but 32 gigs is a good target and 16 is, is perfectly competent.

Ricky Grove  42:43  
Alright. I think I'm gonna change mine to 32. Now I chose the GSkil rip jaw. They're the again, the market is so huge for memory for years, I use mushkin memory, which I think is really good in Denver. They make all of their own stuff. Rip jaws really good. Gosh, heard many other brands. This ends up being about 92 bucks for 16 gigabytes. It runs at 2800 2828 800 speed, which is perfect. That's a great. Yeah, that's a good speed. It can it overclock. Well if you want to do that. But I think I'm gonna up mine to 32 I think you're absolutely right on that just for long term because I plan on using my workstation to produce machinima. So I think I'm going to do that. What did you what brand of RAM Do you like to use

Phil  43:41  
I tend to look at crucial first just because I really like they're on their website, the the product configurator that they have to where you can match it up either by motherboard, or by if you're trying to, you know, find ram for an OEM computer from you know, Dell or someone like that. You can get a guaranteed match. And that can be that can be a challenging part of things sometimes. So I tend to look there first, but beyond that crucial Kingston. I don't really have any any hardcore brand loyalty there. I do. If I haven't heard of the name that I stay away from it. But

Ricky Grove  44:25  

Phil  44:26  
all things being equal. I don't I don't I don't have any particular preference amongst the majors.

Ricky Grove  44:30  
as a as a builder myself, I tend to go with the stuff that has good quality control, which is why I like to stick with asis I know gigabyte and AR has have really good motherboards, and I like them and I know crucial is very good. But I tend to go with the stuff where when I buy it, it works and it continues to work until I don't have two weeks later it all dies on you and you have to return it and it's a tedius process, you know,

Phil  45:01  
and if you don't have the kind of experience listeners if you don't have the kind of experience that Ricky or I do so because that's what we use to gauge that is this these years of experience, if you don't have that kind of experience, reviews can be your Savior, they're really thoroughly read through reviews on sites like Amazon or Tom's Hardware, Amazon in particular, Tom's Hardware is fantastic. And then tech is another cific item that you're looking at, and see what actual people who've used it are saying, that is, it's remarkably a, it's a remarkably effective way to, to determine the quality of a product you wouldn't think it would be. It's a bunch of random strangers, who knows who's whose BS in or whatever, but it again, don't just read one one review. But spend some time and do the research. And it really does pay off

Ricky Grove  45:54  
it. And it's a lot of fun to compare things when you sit down. And like when I was looking at RAM, I must have read five or six different articles and watch videos all saying Well, no, this crucial is the way you ought to go. You know what I mean? And then the talking about that quality control on it. Oh, I my first sticks weren't good. And I had to send him back. I'm not going to go with a company that does that. Right? You know what I mean? There

Phil  46:17  
are you buy from, I'll just interject this, I'm sorry. But wherever you buy from, make sure that that the vendor has a very has a good return policy. Because they're, you know, there's a window of time after you purchase something where it's the person who sold it to you that's responsible. And then after that window elapses, it comes down to the manufacturer, support and warranty of it to do return material authorization RMA, you want to try and if you're going to have a problem, you want to hope it's in that initial 3060 days, whatever period it is with the vendor, and that that vendor has a good return policy. Or if it's Amazon, make sure the vendor within the vendor because each individual seller on there has their own return policy, make sure you've got a good return policy, that can save you a ton of trouble because a lot of times if there's a problem with the part, it's going to manifest itself early, very early. And you want to generally you can get a very quick exchange or even refund depending on the policy. Whereas if you get over into RMA territory, sometimes these companies are headquartered overseas, they may not have 24, seven, you know, help desk and it can be it can be a chore sometimes to to get them to process a return for you. So having the vendor having a good return policy is very, very valuable,

Ricky Grove  47:41  
right. Oh, that leads us nicely into the next thing. Where do you buy your parts? I for years I used to go through either the vendors website themselves directly working with them, or through a broker like Newegg, I oftentimes bought stuff from Newegg, or bH photo in New York, they're shipped shipping is good, their return policies are really good. They always Pack and Ship really well. If you end up buying from somebody you don't know. And they just throw the thing in a box with no padding, and it gets all bashed around. It may be broken by the time it gets to you. And then you return it and you say hey, what was broken? They go well, No, it isn't. Then you get into this big rigor room rigmarole with them. And it's hard to return to check all of that. When you buy there's many choices. Who do you buy from, for the most part, Phil?

Phil  48:33  
Well through most of my purchases or through my business, so we use a distributor that's, you know, specifically designed to work with, they don't work directly with the public, but where I recommend people to to look is Amazon first foremost. And I know people have mixed feelings about Amazon and some of their business practices and I respect that. But they really can blow just about everything out of the water in terms of price. Yeah, you want to read the fine print carefully again on the return policy and stuff but Amazon is a good choice. Newegg is excellent, CD w out of Chicago are good, but they're not the best on price. But they do have an excellent back end support of their products and good return policy and and good support when you buy from them. So that may be worth considering. And if you're in that area by chance, you can actually order in Well, actually, I don't know if that's the case now during COVID but that used to be that you could you can order on their website and go pick it up in person and save. Save shipping that way. I think you are buying from Amazon. Go ahead.

Ricky Grove  49:41  
I think microcenter has a good there. They've got about 10 locations around the country. Yeah, there's one in there. They're pretty good. You know about some things for them. I used to buy a lot from fries. So it was a because they just love their eyes. They're themed right? That one here. Burbank was a flying saucer crashed into the floor of the building. They always had good stuff until they didn't. And then right started falling. And then you I think the last time I went into them there was like, rows of which there was nothing on the shelves. Yeah. You know, it was just this ghost town. So that little missed a lot

Phil  50:20  
of those retail stores. Yeah. What was a CompUSA? used to be?

Ricky Grove  50:23  
Oh, yeah,

Phil  50:23  
big place. And now those are all gone. Of course. tigerdirect was there their web front? That's, I find that I don't look there very often. Or don't tell people to look there very often because they're, they've kind of been overshadowed bnh I buy from certain types of things. Yeah. Their shipping is absolutely excellent vendor. Yeah, ones I would avoid would be best buy unless you have no other choice. Sometimes they do come in good on on price on things. But I've just, I've just had personal, numerous bad experiences with them as a company and have had customers of mine that have had numerous bad experiences. Just Just put a bad taste in my mouth. There's there's plenty of fish in the sea, you know, so I tend to tell people to shop elsewhere. They're your best buy may be just fine. But it's not one that I at all go out of my way for? Yeah.

Ricky Grove  51:21  
So okay, we've got all of our builds, we've got all our material. Let's close up the podcast with talking about the actual build process. Can you recommend for somebody starting out to build up? What do you what are your tips for that?

Phil  51:37  
Well, you you need to, obviously need a good, flat, clean workspace, it's going to be much more room than the case takes up. Because you're going to want to be able to kind of lay out your parts. The first thing I would do is like if you've ordered all the parts and how to come in is is go through and inspect all those parts. First, make sure that there are what you ordered that there haven't been damaged in shipping that you can see. And, you know, kind of just get yourself organized. Everything starts with the case, obviously. And I always put my motherboard in first, simply because that's that's probably the most sensitive piece that you put in in terms of you know, small components on it could get damaged if they get banged and that kind of thing. And the the mounting motherboards all sit on, on risers that keep the the circuit board elevated from the back of the case, you want to make sure that that is that every possible place that there's a screw hole to put a riser underneath that you use all of those so that the board is nice and sturdy, so that it doesn't bend when you're pushing the graphics card in and things like that. Once the motherboard is in, which part of that is fitting the, the part of the motherboard that sticks out of the case, you know, where your USB ports and your video ports and all that is you have to kind of line that up properly, there's usually a little template that you just serves as a cover for that. So once that's in, I typically do the CPU next. And whatever heat sink or fan or whatever device liquid cooling thing, whatever goes on that I typically would do that next. Thermal cooling, thermal paste between your CPU and fan or heat sink is vital.

Ricky Grove  53:33  
High quality thermal paste high quality, yes, you can.

Phil  53:37  
There's there's there's numerous brands of that everybody has a favorite. I'm not even going to name any of them. But just yeah, go with a reputable brand. Tom's Hardware would would give wonderful recommendations there. It's not expensive, but it's really really important to optimize, you know, the the the more heat you can draw away from that process or the better it's going to perform. That's what it comes down to.

Ricky Grove  54:04  
One thing I can recommend when you're snapping these parts in that took me a little while to figure out and I think you'll agree with me is that there's a difference between being forcing something and being firm. When you're putting something in absolutely a couple times when I was in my first builds, I forced things and they broke. Yeah, he couldn't happen because I just pushed too hard. And I kept thinking well, it's their problem. No, it's not their problem these their parts that are designed to fit together and sometimes they just need to be have a have a firm push on it. So it's best to do it have less pressure at first and then slowly build up the pressure until it fits right into if you have to. Yeah, if at all. Most of these belts are going to be such that it's going to fit right in but occasionally you might especially like the what is the metal sheet? that you have for the outputs of the motherboard on the back of the case. What's that called?

Phil  55:07  
Yeah, I don't know. It's it's a,

Ricky Grove  55:10  
that it snaps into place. Yeah. Essentially made up very thin aluminum. Right fits in in a very particular way. Yeah. And so you have to be you have to fiddle with that for a while until you get it fitting just right. And then also fitting the motherboards, the any protrusion like a, like the USB port or anything else, they have to fit into those holes. And so you have to be careful into laying them in so that they snap right into place. Just be firm when you do that. Now one thing that I do is I don't put in the motherboard. First, I put the motherboard on top of the motherboard box. And with a grounding pad underneath it. And I attached the CPU there. And I attach the RAM. And any cooling that I do usually, in this case, I'm just going to do stock cooling because I'm not going to be doing massive overclocking, and then I put the motherboard in because

Phil  56:08  
that's a perfectly acceptable way to do it. Yeah, it's really just a reference.

Ricky Grove  56:11  
Part of it is is that my hand I've got big hands. And sometimes trying to get in there to fit the little fan attachments to the motherboard can be really tough and tedious. Plus, my eyesight isn't what it used to be. Yeah, I actually bought a little our miners, I buy a little miners upon little miners cap,

Phil  56:32  
I have one I use it on every build.

Ricky Grove  56:34  
Yeah, that has a light in the front. So that it points right down to what I'm looking at. Because I found that having both hands free to be able to build is much easier than having one with a flashlight and one the other hand because you can't hold things. So I'd recommend going to that. How about grounding yourself when you're working on the Do you still use the wrist strap? Or do you just ground yourself to the computer when you're building it?

Phil  56:59  
Yeah, I typically use the wrist strap up until the point where I can put the power supply unit in and actually plug it in, because then you've got ground through that. And that basically transmits some degree of ground to the whole to the whole case. And you can ground ground yourself off the case. But up to that point. Yeah, I'll use some kind of grounding strap just to be careful. Yeah.

Ricky Grove  57:19  
Right. So So basically, you get the CPU, the fan, the RAM, the power supply, and then the power supply has to very large, you'll have three major power elements to that to go directly onto the motherboard and that large of a 24 pins, something like that. Typically, yeah, that takes us strong. You really have to be firm when you snap that into the motherboard that but it but it's pretty clear how to do it more to do Yep.

Phil  57:51  
And it can only go in one way. So right. Yeah, if it if you're starting this goes into what Ricky was talking about, but don't force things. Yeah, if it's not, at least starting to slide in there. with relative ease, then don't don't force it to check and make sure that you've got it facing the right direction, right. And once it started this way, and then you do need to apply that firmness to get it to seat all the way in there. Same thing goes with all those types of power connectors, that they're all designed by the shape of the plastics to only go in the right way. But it's sometimes not always easy to tell which way that is from looking at it. Right? I would say with regard to the power supply one thing that can make your life easier and it it does mean a little bit more expense for the power supply. But for me it's worth it is to get a mod a power supply that's called modular. Yes. And what that the difference between a regular power supply and a modular one is a regular power supply. Those major cables coming off of it are permanently affixed to the power supply unit. With modular, you actually plug in only what you need. And they'll they'll send you a whole ream of cables that you can use, but you only plug in the ones that you actually need. So the big one for the motherboard, the one for the CPU on the motherboard, with one graphics card typically, and then the SATA connections for hard drives, DVD drive that kind of thing. Right and usually that is an easier situation to work with. If you want the end result to be something relatively clean looking you know is to have only the cables in there that you actually need. That being said it adds pretty decent amount of expense to the power supply. So you know if you can only get the other kind you can still make it work. You just just have to deal with that aspect of it of there not being much flexibility there and how you can can wrangle those cables.

Ricky Grove  59:47  
What do you think minimum wattage on a power supply should be? I'm thinking about 650

Phil  59:53  
Yeah, for a machinima PC with the typical graphics card. Yeah. 650 if you were if You're getting one of the really high end cards, you know, one of the founders edition cards or something like that, then you're probably looking at more like 850. Just to be safe. And it also depends on how many disk drives you're going to have in there. That's, that's a big factor. All right, power draw, solid state drives draw a lot less power than regular hard drives. Sometimes you end up needing both in a machine, you know, because you can get lots of space cheaply on a hard drive for maybe your permanent storage. And you but you want SSDs on your operating system and programs and maybe even where your your footage will be written. Because it's just going to be right that much faster, that much more lossless is cableless.

Ricky Grove  1:00:40  
It's interesting to see the modern computers have done away with a DVD and CD drive, most of them, so you use an external, same way. Storage, you use an external drive for that. So my choice of the Liang Li was partly driven by the fact that I'm only going to have one actual hard drive inside of it, although I'll have to it has capacity for two nvm ease m twos that I'm going to do as one terabyte drives will have two or three terabytes in the hard drive, I'll have an extra terabyte for storage. Plus the C drive will be one terabyte as well. So I don't need extra PCI slots for that for that just for one. One for the graphics card is just fine.

Phil  1:01:29  
I'll mention with regard to that is well first of all the basics if you don't know it, does solid state drive make a difference? Oh, my absolute, there is no thing that you can do to a computer to vault it's perform performance forward. And to get off of a hard drive and onto a solid state drive. Its minimum reads and writes 10 to 10 times faster. And you see every bit of that performance. So even if let's say you've got an existing build, and you're just looking for Oh gee, how can I spruce this up I can't afford to do a new build. I just want to get more out of this one. If it if your main disk drive and there is a hard drive. See about switching into a solid state it will change your life really now.

Ricky Grove  1:02:19  
Here's the analogy it Mad Max beyond the thunder bowl Thunderdome. The evil guy has his rig, his hot rig, and he's going along at superspeed and he reaches down and he pulls the nytro. Right, and the car suddenly goes three times faster. That's what the experience is putting an SSD on your computer is

Phil  1:02:44  
absolutely now there are solid states that look just like hard drives and plug into the same ports as hard drives and those are about 10 times faster on average, than a regular hard drive. If you look at the m two drives, and those are ones that it's just a chip that basically either mounts directly onto the motherboard taps you know right into the main line there. Or if you don't have that on your motherboard, you can actually get a PCI Express card that will let you see one of those there and you get faster bus speed. That is yet another order of magnitude faster. And you want to we didn't really talked about brand on those but you want to you do not want to skimp on quality. On your your hard drive. On your solid state drive. Excuse me. You don't want to on your hard drive either. But the main thing is the the solid state drive. Sam, Samsung's a very good manufacturer, my personal favorite is Western Digital black. Yep. There are different types of Western Digital drives that are different levels of performance. Blue is perfectly competent for normal storage. But if you want to max it out the Western Digital black m to drive Oh my fantastic. Really, really fantastic. And very reasonably priced. Very.

Ricky Grove  1:04:01  

Phil  1:04:02  
Yeah, that's that's so that's solid state drives. The only other thing I wanted to mention, Rick is you mentioned that yours has two m two slots on the motherboard. Something that I've noticed recently is some motherboards. When you make use of one or more of those onboard, empty slots, it actually it reuses the bus for one or more data ports.

Ricky Grove  1:04:29  
I see.

Phil  1:04:30  
So read the motherboard documentation carefully because if you do end up seeing two of those on there, it could be that not all your SATA ports will be live anymore and you just want to make sure so if you've got let's say an extra hard drive for more storage, or something else that's that's plugging into those those SATA or SATA ports. You want to make sure you're plugging them into the right ones, right. It's something that's not obvious what's happening and you'll you'll fire up the computer and you can't see that drive. You don't know why and that's why so it's I don't know that all of them do that. I don't think they do. Do but some do. And these are, you know, very high end good motherboards. But it's just something that they've done for efficiency purposes to make use of existing existing buses instead of adding new ones.

Ricky Grove  1:05:11  
Yeah, that's one thing I have real positive experience with aces. Computers, their motherboard manual is excellent, in fact, is you can actually use the asis manual as the template for building your computer. Because they're laser that lays out everything step by step by step, including many of the suggestions we've made here. It'll tell you about grounding, it'll tell you how to tell it what to do, how to set it all up. So in a lot of times, I don't necessarily read the mother or the manual on some items. But on a motherboard manual, especially for me, Sue's I can vouch for being high quality, they spent a lot of time on it. And in fact, I still use it as a, I recently did some work on my computer, and I went back to the manual, and I just found it immediately, the way they have it all laid out.

Phil  1:06:02  
They've clearly invested a lot of effort in that and it shows if you if you've ever tried to work with a motherboard with a badly written manual, you'll know how valuable a good witness really is doing that. Right. I've got I've got a a Seuss rlg motherboard in my current machinima build. And yeah, the manual was was indispensable.

Ricky Grove  1:06:21  
Yeah. So now, it's it's easy to find lots of videos and many websites to tell you through the whole rest of the process of building your computer. We've just given you some tips here. Why don't we close out? By talking about what you do after you've, you've built your computer, you've installed your Windows Home or Windows Pro? What sort of steps do you do after you've done that? What sort of testing do you do? Phil?

Phil  1:06:49  
Hmm. Well,

I mean, the, the first thing is, is to inventory, everything I mean, you can physically look inside the computers case and see that everything's in there. But you want to make sure that your operating system is also seeing all of those things. And very often what won't be seen right away are any storage devices that you've got attached, that aren't the primary one, when you install Windows, it formats and you know, gives a drive letter for everything your C drive, it's there. But very often, the other drives are brand new, you know, these virgin drives sitting there, and they're not usable yet. So you have to go into the windows disk manager, and format those drives and assign them drive letters and all of that. So that's that's, that's a basic thing that I do. The other is, I tend to, to make sure that I've got the right drivers, specifically for the video card. But it's always a good idea to install the right motherboard drivers first, before you try to install any third party hardware drivers.

Ricky Grove  1:07:57  
Sometimes you

Phil  1:07:58  
have to go straight to the manufacturer, right times windows 10 just takes care of that. I mean, like I'm like I'm or not windows 10 is excellent. With hardware. And it detects them and very often puts the right one in place with Yeah, one exception for me is the video card driver. Video Card drivers are updated. So often, Microsoft cannot keep up in their catalog. And so whatever driver you're getting from Microsoft for your video card is almost without almost without exception going to be older than the newest one that's available. So even if when you start up the computer, Windows has automatically assigned in the detected your AMD video card and the model and you think oh, it's good. Go to the manufacturer site and get the latest driver from either Nvidia or AMD or whichever you're using and install that. Yeah, so those are, those are the first things that I do, I'll go ahead and push through any outstanding Windows updates. And my rationale on that some people don't don't like messing with Windows updates. But with Windows 10. You can't really opt out of them. So you're not choosing whether or not you can install these updates. It's when and I like to just get it out of the way. Yeah, go ahead and get it up to the latest version. Very often. They're beneficial. But even if they're not, they're inevitable. So go ahead and get them done on your terms. and not have it do it the next time you're rebooting the machine and are in a hurry. And that's of course when the big update is going to is going to apply itself and slow you down. So that's that's, that's typically what I do is I go through the device manager, I make sure that everything that I've got is in there, that shows up and that it has a driver that there's nothing with a yellow exclamation point saying it doesn't have a driver or isn't functioning. And then I format the drives and update the operating system and drivers. And from there it's install steam and get some game action going. Yes, exactly.

Ricky Grove  1:09:53  
I generally get a small application that's usually free that tells me what my system configuration is the Windows hasn't quite gotten to the point where they make that easy. And you can frequently get really nice. There's one that I got called specie, that is a free download. And it just tells

Phil  1:10:12  
you, I know specie,

Ricky Grove  1:10:13  
right? Yeah, you've got it, it's all laid up nicely, you can print it out, and you can have it in front of you, then, you know, there's all sorts of things you can test your graphics card, I mean, there are all sorts of list of things. But the essential thing is to get windows in shape, and then get all your drivers, especially as Phil pointed out, your graphics drivers updated. And Nvidia has made that process. And also AMD has made that process much easier than Oh,

Phil  1:10:36  
yeah. Oh, yeah.

Ricky Grove  1:10:38  
So you download the driver, you click the Install, you run it as administrator, make sure you're running as administrator as opposed to just a straight open on it. And on Windows, you can right click the ESC or the icon for the program and select Run as admin. And then just install it. It takes care of everything for you. Snip, snap, I'd say, an extra hour or two getting your system all ready to go. And then esteem time maybe.

Phil  1:11:05  
Yeah, absolutely.

Ricky Grove  1:11:07  
And remember, like, for example, Red Dead Redemption takes over 100 gigabytes of space. So you're going to have to have a fairly healthy C drive. Well, Kurt, you could, you could alternatively do it to another drive. But generally, I don't do that I stay on the C drive. So make sure yeah, I always choose and my belt, I've got a, I'm gonna have a one terabyte empty drive that I'm going to go to. I think that's enough speed, on enough size for, for the games that I'm going to use. But games have become a lot larger. I remember when people were complaining when a game was more than a gigabyte in size. Before I was I don't have the room for the

Phil  1:11:50  
good. I remember playing about that right before the first Mass Effect came game came out. And then the download size showed up is like 23.6 gigs. Like what?

Ricky Grove  1:12:03  
It was so worth it. Oh, it certainly was. Alright, let's close out with any final thoughts you might have on PC builds any advice or thoughts you could give people who are starting out?

Phil  1:12:14  
You know, I would second your most recent comment about the don't skimp on the size of the solid state drive, especially the main one, it get a little more than you think you'll need. Because Yeah, not only does windows grow over time as updates are applied, but you know, the games are big. And so you want to kind of have in mind, what you're going to install on there when you're kind of charting out how you're going to do your space. And yes, a second drive. Sometimes having two one terabyte drives is more economical than a single two terabyte drive. So that's something that's worth attention ahead of time to plan out and have plenty of space, because the worst thing in the world is to accidentally paint yourself into the corner of you've run out of space on your C drive. The computer won't function properly. And it's it's not always easy to get out of that without drastic measures. So yeah, it's it's better to just spend a little more and get a little bit more space or maybe even a lot more space to give yourself room to grow.

Ricky Grove  1:13:22  
Yep. All right. Well, hey, Phil, I really enjoyed talking to you about making PCs. I was looking forward to this conversation for many days when we first came up with it. As always, we you can contact us through many different ways. Fell can tell you all about those. But we've done it before. So I'm sure you know, we also have have shown I'm tired, I'm sorry. It's we have a we have show notes that all of the links to everything we've discussed will be in it. And if you have any questions about builds, or you wanted to certain amount of advice, please just let us know.

Phil  1:14:00  
Here's what I'd like to see too. If you're listening to this and have been intrigued by our interest by this conversation, post a comment somewhere, wherever you would like in one of our feedback methods. We'd love to see what your spec is. What do you think? What's your spec for your machinima creation computer look like? Where do you think we were wrong? on hardware recommendations, where do you think we were right? What did you pick? We'd love to see that. I know that some Reddit forums people will just post that in their signature Tom's Hardware. It's popular there too. We're just writing the signature. It's whatever the main components that are built our we'd love to see that for you. What are you what are you using and what do you use your computer for? That would be very interesting to to everybody. So we'd love to see that.

Ricky Grove  1:14:46  
And I'll update you on how I did with the weather I was able to get the ryzen AMD rx 67 XT on the 18th and also on my bill. They'll do some posts on the blog and that you know how that turns out.

Phil  1:15:02  
Yeah. Sounds great. All right.

Ricky Grove  1:15:04  
Thanks a lot. Phil's real good talking to you. Thanks. Take care everyone. We'll see you. Music is by deleted user 984625 it's MCs oh five. And if you have suggestions about their ideas about a PC build from shinmin let us know. Both my build and Phil's build will be at our blog and completely Thanks for listening. Bye bye

Transcribed by

What kind of PC do we want to build?
Laptop vs Workstation PC
First step: Budget
About the GPU
About the CPU
The current GPU supply crises
Phil on buying a pre-built PC
Ricky's sad story of getting ripped off
Ricky's CPU choice
Phil's CPU choice
Motherboards and cable organization
RAM choices
Where to buy PC parts?
The build process
Phil on solid-state drives
What to do after the build?
Phil's final PC build advice