I’m want to take this chance to apologize …to absolutely nobody for the length of this edition of Behind the Mask. The Unfiltered Nerd does what the fuck he wants.
I had a blast interviewing Matt from the ToastyBros. They run a PC building channel on YouTube and, for noobs like me, they are one of the best sources for knowledge for building PCs on a budget. So, without further ado:
This is me
This is Matt
This is a GIF of the toastiest good boy you’ve ever seen.
Alright Matt, thanks for your time today! So let’s just get this out of the way…what the fuck is a “Toasty Bro”?
Hahaha, great question. Honestly, it’s a name that my friend and I (Jackson) came up with when we were in high school. Just a lot of random split balling in our PC hardware class and Toastybros was created. The story is not as interesting as people may think.
Haha, you’re all good. So the main reason I wanted to talk to you guys is you run a PC building YouTube channel. How long before you started the channel were you a PC builder?
I would say I started when I was probably 12 or 13? So about 10 years ago (I’m 22 now). Mainly as a necessity because my family computer wouldn’t run games that I wanted to play and I was forced to teach myself to upgrade it. The love for it just grew from there, always wanting to try new pc parts, build new systems, etc.
So did you never jump to console gaming?
I did play console before then. My father introduced me to gaming with a Nintendo64 that he had, and then my first gaming console that I owned was the original Xbox.
But as you moved forward you became strictly a PC gamer?
Yeah. In all honesty, I don’t play games all that much anymore. The content creation grind has consumed most of my time but part of what I do is test computers in games. So you could say I game still but not to the same extent as sitting down and grinding for hours in one game.
I gotcha. We’re gonna get into some PC building stuff here in a sec, but I’m curious, what do you think about the future of gaming right now? As the next generation of consoles is announced and all the spec rumors are floating around, where do gaming PCs fit in all of that?
I honestly believe that the hype around the next-gen consoles won’t impact the PC gaming market much. There are so many ways you can build a PC to do a certain thing, that I still think it will continue to thrive. Plus the console ecosystem is so locked down that I doubt it would ever really make someone “switch” you know?
Oh, I am. I’m currently making the jump as we speak. We’re gonna talk about my build later on in the interview, but I think right now is the absolute best time to make the move if you’re going to. Let me explain:
What’s the draw to own a gaming console? Two things: price and exclusivity. Gaming consoles used to cost around $200-400, and they were the only place you could play games like Halo, Gears of War, God of War, Uncharted, etc. That is, without emulators. But now, new consoles are predicted to cost anywhere from $400 to $600, with some rumors saying the powerful version of Xbox Series X costing $800. And both Microsoft and Sony are bringing their exclusives to PC with Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now.
So why own an Xbox or Playstation when you can play almost ALL of those games on a single gaming PC? You see what I mean?
Oh no I totally agree. My point was about the opposite. People are hyping up the consoles as being “better than what PC’s can do” and some legitimately believe that they are creating something that you can’t do on a PC. It’s a very mainstream opinion but still one that drives me crazy as a PC builder.
Well, that’s what we’re here to do! We’re informing the gaming community! Ok, let’s move onto the deep dark depths of building a gaming PC. First off, why is it so fucking hard lol?
Haha, honestly it’s easier than you think. Yes, there are a lot of parts out there which doesn’t make it easy for someone to know what to get, but the building part has become A LOT easier over the years. It would take a lot to really fuck it up.
But picking out components, trying to hunt for value, worrying that you haven’t chosen the right stuff, etc. It’s intimidating as hell.
That part I agree with, there are way too many options out there and it does scare people who don’t know what they are looking for.
Ok so let’s dive into some of those components. Let’s start with your processor (CPU). What is it’s primary purpose? And can you explain the importance of threads? Like in English?
Yes haha. The CPU is well what people like to call the brains of the computer. Most of the processing stuff that happens on a computer goes through the CPU. Threads/cores are important with a CPU choice but so is clock speed (what Ghz it runs at). Threads/cores help an application run more efficiently.
Think of it like a bunch of workers. If an application is programmed to utilize multiple workers (or cores) then it can get the job done faster. This normally doesn’t matter in gaming however because there is a line of diminishing return where games just don’t use all the core because it was not programmed to do that. That’s where clock speed comes in, that is how fast each core does a certain task.
Ok, so how many cores/threads do I need to run a game like Fortnite vs running something more demanding like say Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order? Also, how does streaming impact the CPU?
As of right now, most games don’t take advantage of more than 6-8 cores/12/16 threads. Streaming has a major impact on the CPU if you stream using an encoder that uses the CPU. There is also a way to stream by using parts of your graphics card that are not being used even when you game, and that is becoming increasingly popular to limit performance loss from streaming.
Ok so let’s move onto graphics cards (GPU) then. How should I go about picking a card, and what specs ACTUALLY matter?
Really, the only spec you should care about if you are buying a modern GPU is the amount of Vram in it. If you want to play at 1080p, no less than 3GB of VRAM, if you want 1440p/4k, ideally you want 6gb or higher of VRAM.
I highly recommend for someone looking to build a PC: just look up videos on YouTube of the graphics card/CPU combo you want on Youtube and 90% of the time you will find videos of people playing games on them, and if you don’t, honestly that should tell you that it’s probably not a good pairing.
Ahhhh that’s a great tip I’ve never really heard of. I’m gonna have to do that.
Those are the two most important components to a PC right? Like those two are your defining features.
In terms of gaming performance yes. RAM is also very important, but the rest most of the time won’t severely have an impact on your gaming performance.
Ok so let’s dive into the remaining components for a PC, and I want to ask this question in a sort of different way.
Out of the following components, what do people typically spend too much on, and what do people typically spend too little on? (motherboard, memory, storage, power supply)?
Honestly, I have seen people overspend and underspend on all of them. But I would say most people overspend and even underspend on their power supply and overspend on the motherboard. People over exaggerate how much wattage they need in a build, which is fine but can be wasted money. Also, some people buy super high-end motherboards that are double the price of what they need and don’t realize it.
Well, let me ask a follow-up question on the power supply then. My build that I’m looking at doing is estimated to be around 400W. Should I just get a 500W power supply, or is it worth getting a 600-750W supply to allow room for growth?
You could get away with a 500w, but 600 would be smart to have room for upgrades in case a new graphics card you want 2-3 years down the line requires more watts.
Ok, last thing before we go into my build: peripherals. What is your thought on monitors?
I would invest in 144hz first, it’s getting much more affordable and brings a unique gaming experience that is easy to drive.
Ok, I gotcha. Well, let’s dive into an actual gaming PC build and have an expert tare it to fucking shreds like the random people on r/build-a-pc lol.
Haha, I can easily do that.
Before I share what I build on PCPartPicker, let me tell you what I’m looking for:
I want to be able to play graphically demanding “next-gen” games like Cyberpunk and The Last of Us 2 at high graphics settings. And, I would like to stream it at the same settings or just slightly below. Finally, I may be doing just a bit of video editing as well.
What would you say the entry price point for that type of PC is based on your experience?
If you are doing all of that at 1080p I would say around $750, maybe $600 with some deal hunting for entry-level.
Oh my god lol. My build is like $1500.
You can easily spend that much and it would be worth it.
Here’s my parts list: https://pcpartpicker.com/user/UnfilteredNerd/saved/RpG7TW
Oh alright so you are getting a 1440p monitor so around a $1,000 for the gaming pc would be more ideal. That is harder to run than 1080p.
So I started with the Ryzen 5 3600 because I think it’s a good value and I wouldn’t have to change to a new processor for a couple of years.
Then, I originally chose the 2060 Super from NVIDIA, but someone said that the Radeon RX 5700 XT would be more powerful and cheaper.
There are honestly no major flaws with that configuration. Only two things you could try. One, yes the 5700XT is more powerful and cheaper BUT if you want to live stream a lot and have a great experience, Nvidia has a way better live streaming encoder like I mentioned before to where when you stream, you will lose maybe 4-5 frames compared to 10-20 doing it the other way around.
Also, the motherboard you got is not necessary but does set you up well for good upgrades in the future.
Ok so go with the 2060 Super. That’s what I’ve thought for a while but I didn’t know.
NOTE: I ended up going with the 2070 Super because the Xbox Series X/PS5 specs have been sorta announced and I want something more powerful than the next-gen consoles.
So which components would you recommend I cut back on if I wanted to drop the total build by say $300-400?
You don’t need that CPU cooler at all unless you are going to overclock. The 3600 comes with a more than good CPU cooler. So that would save you $88.
The monitor maybe? But I think that is a good investment because 1440p 144hz is such a nice combo. You could go with a 1080p 144hz version of the Pixio monitor that is around $180 but I’d just stick with the other one if it’s not the end of the world for your wallet.
Really I don’t see any major ways to cut the price that won’t severely compromise the performance/looks of the build.
Ok sounds good. So I did pretty well for my first PC build then. Man, that feels so good to know.
Oh yeah, that is a go-to build option that I recommend right now. Ryzen 5 is the best sweet spot for gaming, made builds that total $500-$1000 using the 3600 and older 2600 which is still good.
Ok, I have one last question before we going into rapid-fire questions to wrap it all up. What’s the biggest rookie mistake you see out of first time or even experienced PC builders?
Not giving themselves enough time to do the build. You shouldn’t put yourself on a time crunch to do a PC. Take an afternoon that you don’t have anything else to do and focus on building. If you rush, you will most likely make a mistake.
Do you have a specific video that you guys or someone else on YouTube has made that you recommend first-timers watch on how to physically assemble the PC?
We don’t specifically but this has been a good video I have been showing people, it’s a three-parter that will give you all the info you need.
Awesome! And last last question before we go into rapid-fire, where do you guys hunt for deals on all these components? The ones you post on your @ToastyDeals account?
Mainly r/buildapcsales and slickdeals from time to time.
Alrighty Matt, thanks so much for your time. Let’s dive into those rapid-fire questions.
No problem! Let’s do it!
Favorite game of all time?
No problem! I would have to say Halo 1 is the one I spent the most time on. I just replayed the missions over and over again when I was younger.
I know many people that are right there with you. How about favorite game of 2019?
Hmmm, I haven’t played a ton this year but the game I keep going back to when I have some free time is the new Modern Warfare. I’m a sucker for a mindless TDM match.
Yea me and you both even though they’re STEALING OUR MONEY by making a shitty battle pass. God, I’m still so pissed that cool skin from the Season 1 trailer isn’t in the BP.
Honestly, the only reason I own the game is that I did a sponsored deal with Nvidia to show off the ray-tracing effects in the game in a video and they gave me a code for it. I am a cheapskate when it comes to buying games because I never have the time to invest in them.
Haha, the perks of being a YouTuber. I’m with you but I review/cover gaming as a whole so I end up spending way more than I want so I can try everything out.
But, back on track. What do you think is the most underrated game of all time?
Star Wars Republic Commando. LOVED that game on the OG Xbox. It’s close to being my all-time favorite but not fully.
Oh, I loved that game. How about overrated?
Hmmm, nothing crazy comes to mind but I never really liked PUBG even when it was at its peak. Felt way too clunky.
See I totally agree and I’m glad someone that has a gaming PC said that finally because everyone’s always told me it’s because I played it on an OG Xbox One. Feels like a PS2 game.
Oh yeah, I do get those vibes from it.
Game you refuse to play (for whatever reason)?
League of Legends/Dota. Never been a fan of MOBAs.
Yea I feel ya. I tried them both out and I didn’t really like them either. They’re like live RTS games with multiple players and my brain can’t handle that shit lol.
Oh yeah, it’s a bit wild and the community is toxic as fuck so I can’t get into it haha.
How about something no one else knows about the ToastyBros?
Honestly, I can’t think of anything. We have made our channel an extension of our personalities and it doesn’t hide much haha.
How about how you guys met? Or any funny stories about your beginnings in content creation?
I have known Jackson since I was in elementary school. We used to make gaming videos back in the day on older YouTube channels but eventually made the Toastybros channel and found our niche in PC building.
Ahhh gotcha. Alright, last question: what’s the biggest mistake you personally have made while building a PC?
Hmmm, I would say a time where I knew a power supply we had was defective but I kept trying to convince myself it wasn’t and eventually after trying to make it work forcefully I killed all the other working parts in the build.
Oh god. That’s literally my nightmare. Like I buy everything, plug it in, and the whole thing blows up.
Haha, yes that rarely happens so I wouldn’t worry.
Alright Matt, thanks again for your time. Feel free to stay connected and ya know, if you ever need to offload some of those parts you get paid to test out…wink wink.
See you next week for a BIG interview.