I don't game anymore on my PC, but I do use it for analytical tasks (optimization, simulation, etc.) and media production, so good single- and multi-threaded performance is important.
1) Intel (e.g., $410
Core i7-9700K) vs. AMD (e.g., $290
Ryzen 7 2700X)
This choice depends on whether your applications are A: single-threaded (where Intel has a performance advantage), B:multi-threaded (where AMD Ryzen offers better value) or C: embarrassingly multi-threaded and/or memory-hungry (where AMD Threadripper offers terrific value).
A: The Intel "K" processor comes without heatsink and fan, so you'll need to tack on another $30
for something like the Arctic Freezer 13 CO to cool your CPU.
B: The AMD Ryzen 7 processor comes with a quite serviceable Wraith Prism CPU cooler included.
C: A $555
Threadripper 1950X offers 16 cores and 32 threads for a very accessible price. You'll have to spend $45
more to add a CPU cooler.
2) Which mobo to get once decision 1 is made
A: For the Core i7-9700K, you will want a motherboard with Intel's Z390 chipset. Newegg has more than a dozen
suitable motheboards. The $184
MSI MPG Z390M Gaming Edge AC
seems to check most of the boxes in a micro-ATX form factor.
B: For the Ryzen 7 2700X, you will want a motherboard with AMD's Z470 or B450 chipset. Newegg again has several motherboards
from which to choose. In the micro-ATX form factor that I like, the $84
Gigabyte B450 Aorus M
C: Several good sTR4 motherboards
with AMD's X399 chipset are available. Only one is in the micro-ATX form factor, but it has just 4 DIMM slots instead of the 8 memory slots found on larger sTR4 motherboards, so take a look at an ATX option like the $325 -30MIR
ASRock X399 Taichi
3) best budget graphics card options ($150-200 range)
Without gaming, the need for a powerful graphics card is limited. A $105
Radeon RX560-896 4GB would handle only modest gaming, but it would be more than sufficient for your non-gaming uses. A $145
Radeon RX570 4GB would handle quite a bit of gaming, if you feel the need in the future. On the NVidia side, the $170 -15MIR
GeForce GTX1050Ti 4GB offers performance between those two Radeon cards but it is priced higher than either of them.
4) any new storage options and interfaces I should know about since my last build
A PCIe NVMe SSD can be even quicker than a SATA SSD. A ½ TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD may be a good choice for your system drive. $178
0.51 TB Samsung 970 Pro offers top performance for a higher price than other brands. A $290
2.0 TB Crucial MX500 SATA SSD provides a decent amount of storage for your programs, if you want something faster than a spinning hard-drive.
5) recommended cases, p/s & coolers.
There are lots of good ATX cases on the market. Choices for micro-ATX are somewhat more limited, but that's still my preferred form factor. Take a look at Silverstone
, Fractal Design Define series
The best power supplies are made by SeaSonic. Since you're not pushing a high-end graphics card, you don't need a monster power supply, but the $108½ -25MIR
SeaSonic Focus+ Platinum SSR-650PX
is a very good PSU that will handle even a power-hungry gaming graphics card.
I've decided that Noctua
case fans are about the best on the market, but they're the most expensive, too.