Building a new Gaming only PC

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#1
So after 5 very productive years the time has come to retire my exceptionally dependable and rock solid i7 3770K on Asus P8Z77-V PRO Gaming PC.

This system has been a dream to use since day 1 and has been by far the best system I've ever owned.

In fact I'd be remiss if I didn't state the excitement I feel about this new build is somewhat overshadowed by a slight feeling of loss.

I've only suffered one serious issue with boot looping and Asus Support was quick to say, "hey maybe this is a hardware thing" (although none had been reported to my knowledge) and gave me an RMA number immediately.

Even though I tripped over the answer myself Asus support was amazing and as such they will be the Motherboard vendor of choice in the new build as they were in the last 2.

Which leads me onto brand loyalty, I'm fiercely loyal to brands that perform to my expectations so much so I'll purchase even if another vendor has a superior product in a similar price bracket. In my opinion there is no value one can place on peace of mind.

Vendors that have proven their worth to me are Intel (CPU), Asus (Motherboards), EVGA (Video Cards), BenQ (Monitors), Noctua (CPU/Ram Cooling), MAX (Keyboards), Logitech (everything else).

Vendors I've experienced issues and will never deal with not just due to poor product (at the time) but poor support include AMD/Radeon (Video Cards), Seagate (Hard Drives), MSI (Video Cards), AOC (Monitors).

With that all said let's begin shall we.

...

Goal:

Build a Gaming only PC with a life span of 4 - 6 years.

Current Requirements:

Capable of playing the latest triple A titles on ULTRA 1080p @ 100 - 144 FPS.

This however may bottleneck at my 3770K so adjustments will be made to ensure smooth Streaming of 900p, 60FPS at a bitrate of approx 3500+ up on CPU priority Med - Fast.

Future Requirements:

4K Gameplay @ 60+ FPS

Monitor Setup:
  • 2 [Game + spare (new PC)] - Main monitor 144Hz Gaming Monitor + Side Monitor (Right)
  • 2 [Stream/Record + XSplit, Bots, Overlay controllers, chat (3770K)] - Left and TOP Monitor (angled downward above Main monitor).
Budget: (costs include props for Recording/Streaming)
  • Starting (barebones): $3000.00 - $4000.00 CDN. No Monitor, PSU, Keyboard, Mouse, or Speakers required at this time. Lesser PSU will be purchased for 3770K and swapped out with existing 1100 Watt Fully Modular Power Supply.
  • Future proofing: $1000 max in the first year, $1000.00 - $2000.00 CDN annually thereafter (max).
Configuration:

Air cooled, bone stock clock speeds to start. My last 2 builds didn't require overclocking at any level until year 3.

RAM purchase to reflect anticipated future overclocking needs.

Peripherals:
  • USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone (for Streaming) - hopefully there's enough money in the budget to get this sooner than later.
  • Capture Card.
Installation:

Full Tower is above floor (off carpet) to the right of my feet.

Everything else is desk mounted.

3770K Mouse and Keyboard at chair level parallel with left monitor.

Components:

Now onto the meat and potatoes of this build.

Please keep in mind that components are fluid at this time.

All components are based off Sept 20, 2018 timestamp.

1. CPU: Intel

~ Subject to change, dependent on Coffee Lake refresh Oct 2018.

Intel Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core/12-Thread Processor Socket LGA 1151, 3.7 GHz Base/ 4.7 GHz Max Turbo - $ 499.00

2. Motherboard: Asus

~ Torn between a ROG Strix and ROG Maxiumus X Hero, definitely want higher RAM frequency for future proofing.

The ROG Maximus isn't considered a good value to feature board but we'll use it as a price placeholder.

ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero (Wi-Fi AC) LGA 1151 (8th Gen CPU Only) Intel Z370 DDR4 4133+MHz (OC), PCIe 3.0, 2x M.2/NVMe, USB 3.1 - $ 329.00

3. Memory: No brand preference

When it comes to memory I have no clue what I'm doing. From what I've read and watched on YouTube, higher frequency RAM can sometimes matter in the odd Game and Applications.

For this reason I'm adding 32 GB G Skill Ripjaws @ 3000 MHz as a pricing placeholder.

G.SKILL Ripjaws 4 Series 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz CL15 Dual Channel Memory Kit 1.35V - $ 408.00

If price prohibitive I may just start with 16 GB.

4. SSD: No brand preference except omission of Seagate

I've no idea what I'm doing here either. I was looking at regular 2.5" SSD's when @Skid_Marc_ informed me that NVMe's are the way to go.

I'm also unsure of whether or not it's wise to continue the practice of Smaller System Disk and larger Gaming Disk? My guess is it's still a good idea so pricing placeholders as follows:
NOTE: Existing storage balanced between new PC and 3770K including 1 x Crucial M4 (80 GB), 1 x Samsung 860 Evo (1 TB), 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black (2 TB total).

Total storage between PC's = 5.3 TB

5. Video Card: EVGA

Based off feedback in this topic I'm using the EVGA GTX 180 Ti as a placeholder.

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC2 GAMING 11GB (11G-P4-6593-KR) 1556MHz Base/ 1670MHz Boost, PCI-E 3.0, iCX Cooler - $ 1030.00 (non sale pricing)

6. Computer Case (Full Tower): Thermaltake if possible.

NOTE: Must have easy to clean internal dust filters.

DO NOT WANT A CHRISTMAS TREE!

Thermaltake Core V71 Tempered Glass Black E-ATX Full Tower Tt LCS Certified Gaming Computer Case - $ 220.00 (non sale pricing)

7. CPU Cooling: Noctua (definitely overkill)

~ Air cooled to start. Going big on this one to give me some pricing wiggle room.

Noctua CPU Cooler NH-D15 Intel Socket 2011-0//2011-3/1156/1155/1150/1151 AMD AM2/2+/3/3+/FM1/2/2+ 140mm 12V - $ 142.00

NOTE: Noctua's are perhaps the ugliest Coolers on the market but wow is it ever quiet and dependable.

8. Tower Cooling:

Nothing fancy here, approx. 6 x 120 mm Tower Fans for pricing purposes: $20 ea. (max) x 6 = $ 120.00

9. Microphone: Audio Technica (heard good things)

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ - Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone 16-Bit Audio at 44.1/48kHz Sample Rate - $ 300.00 (non sale pricing)

10. Capture Card: Elgato most likely

Knowledge is pretty weak on this front too. I'm leaning internal PCIE as I think (perhaps wrongfully) this should provide the best balance of low latency and lowest system overhead to Stream to my 3770K.

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro - $ 500.00



So there you have it, the new build comes in a little over budget at $4117.00 CDN before taxes.

Given I'm in no rush and don't necessarily need it built prior to mid-November 2018 I'm sure I can stay under $4000.00 CDN taxes in.

I've also picked worst case scenario pricing so my guess is I can save at least another $ 200 - $ 500 CDN if I make a few sacrifices to start such as less RAM, cheaper CPU Cooling, Cheaper Motherboard, etc.

Any and all feedback very welcome.

Thank you for reading!

Ken
 
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Skid_Marc_

Staff member
Admin
#2
1. CPU: Intel

~ Subject to change, dependent on Coffee Lake refresh Oct 2018.

Intel Core i7-8700K Coffee Lake 6-Core/12-Thread Processor Socket LGA 1151, 3.7 GHz Base/ 4.7 GHz Max Turbo - $ 499.00
Just curious, what happened to the 8086K? I thought that thing is an over-clocking monster?

4. SSD: No brand preference except omission of Seagate

I've no idea what I'm doing here either. I was looking at regular 2.5" SSD's when @Skid_Marc_ informed me that NVMe's are the way to go.

I'm also unsure of whether or not it's wise to continue the practice of Smaller System Disk and larger Gaming Disk? My guess is it's still a good idea so pricing placeholders as follows:
NOTE: Existing storage balanced between new PC and 3770K including 1 x Crucial M4 (80 GB), 1 x Samsung 860 Evo (1 TB), 2 x Western Digital Caviar Black (2 TB total).

Total storage between PC's = 5.3 TB
NVMe's aren't necessary, don't quote me saying that. They're cool, but if you need to cut corners, I'd start here. You'll be perfectly fine with any standard Samsung SSD. Also, why buy a boot drive? Did you notice that your boot drive is slower than your "gaming" drive? If you want to keep them separate, just partition it, but even if both drives are the same, there is no need to have two of the same drives just to boot off of one, not to mention booting off a slower drive.. that defeats the original point of a "boot drive" iirc...

6. Computer Case (Full Tower): Thermaltake if possible.

NOTE: Must have easy to clean internal dust filters.

DO NOT WANT A CHRISTMAS TREE!
You wouldn't see it even if it were a Christmas tree.... Kappa

7. CPU Cooling: Noctua (definitely overkill)

~ Air cooled to start. Going big on this one to give me some pricing wiggle room.

Noctua CPU Cooler NH-D15 Intel Socket 2011-0//2011-3/1156/1155/1150/1151 AMD AM2/2+/3/3+/FM1/2/2+ 140mm 12V - $ 142.00

NOTE: Noctua's are perhaps the ugliest Coolers on the market but wow is it ever quiet and dependable.
Why spend $140 on an air cooler? IMO, you'll get more performance out of an All-In-One from Cooler Master for only $12 CAD more, and this is the RGB one. There is a non-RGB varient out there (I just installed it in my little pc) that would probably be even cheaper, but I couldn't find it on this site. I just have a really hard time believing air-cooling is worth triple-digits..

Edit: Things I didn't read when glossing over this... :-o)


10. Capture Card: Elgato most likely

Knowledge is pretty weak on this front too. I'm leaning internal PCIE as I think (perhaps wrongfully) this should provide the best balance of low latency and lowest system overhead to Stream to my 3770K.

Elgato Game Capture 4K60 Pro - $ 500.00
I'm on the fence about this. I'm getting an XBOneX next month perfectly capable of 4k60, but I can't stream 4k to Twitch, I don't plan to upload 4k video to Youtube, and I don't foresee any of that changing in the next few years, so I'm really not sure of the value vs the HD60 Pro which is a whole $200 USD cheaper..
 
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Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#3
Thanks for your feedback @Skid_Marc_

Skid_Marc_ said:
Just curious, what happened to the 8086K? I thought that thing is an over-clocking monster?
I read a lot about it and it's not worth the extra dollars apparently. You get a few hundred MHz OC on this thing so price to performance it isn't as good as an 8700K (apparently).

Plus it's Limited Edition and somehow I don't feel too good about that.

Skid_Marc_ said:
NVMe's aren't necessary, don't quote me saying that. They're cool, but if you need to cut corners, I'd start here. You'll be perfectly fine with any standard Samsung SSD. Also, why buy a boot drive? Did you notice that your boot drive is slower than your "gaming" drive? If you want to keep them separate, just partition it, but even if both drives are the same, there is no need to have two of the same drives just to boot off of one, not to mention booting off a slower drive.. that defeats the original point of a "boot drive" iirc...
I did quote you because I think you were right.

As for completely separate drives for OS and Games, I've always done it that way and find comfort in it. My secondary/slave drives see tremendous amounts of read/write activity and for some reason I'm not a fan of exposing my boot drive to it even with a partition.

Superstitious or stupid, you be the judge.

Skid_Marc_ said:
You wouldn't see it even if it were a Christmas tree.... Kappa
My periphery is 20 20.

Skid_Marc_ said:
Why spend $140 on an air cooler? IMO, you'll get more performance out of an All-In-One from Cooler Master for only $12 CAD more, and this is the RGB one. There is a non-RGB varient out there (I just installed it in my little pc) that would probably be even cheaper, but I couldn't find it on this site. I just have a really hard time believing air-cooling is worth triple-digits..
I'm not ready to go liquid to be honest and the thought of it makes me uneasy. It could be yet another irrational mindset akin to my opinion of cellphones but there you have it.

I added the highest priced air cooler I could find to give myself pricing wiggle room.

Skid_Marc_ said:
I'm on the fence about this. I'm getting an XBOneX next month perfectly capable of 4k60, but I can't stream 4k to Twitch, I don't plan to upload 4k video to Youtube, and I don't foresee any of that changing in the next few years, so I'm really not sure of the value vs the HD60 Pro which is a whole $200 USD cheaper..
I'll likely never stream 4K but I do have some plans for it's usage I've not yet unveiled.

Originally I thought the same way about Elgato HD and saved the $40 in purchasing it over the HD60. Within 2 weeks I had buyers remorse about not picking up the HD60 so I don't want to go through that again.

This option is horribly pricey but I know it will satisfy my needs for years to come.
 

Skid_Marc_

Staff member
Admin
#5
Also, just a note, there doesn't seem to be a difference in quality between internal and external capture cards, nor can I find a tangible latency difference. I know people are playing games, via their external capture card, through their PC, just fine. The only difference is portability. You'll pay a bit more (up to $100 USD) for the ability to take your capture card on the go with you via an external card. Internal cards are cheaper because they lack the portability. External capture cards are basically what laptops are to desktops. They are competent at doing the job, but their portable, which comes with a fee.

The only other choice is the Aver Media Live Gamer HD 2, which is actually cheaper. One review claimed that the LGHD1 out-performed the Elgato HD60, which surprises me, considering the Aver Media LGHD2 is $20 less... Have an LGHD1 and haven't had any issues. Will really need to dig into some side-by-sides over the next few weeks.

I feel like Elgato would be more reliable, and I've always viewed my LGHD as..... lesser? But I really have no reason to believe EITHER of those things, other than it's just my (obviously potentially very flawed) perception, as I've never had any issues with mine so far...

That said, if you're going 4k, then Elgato is the way to go..
 

Skid_Marc_

Staff member
Admin
#7
Thanks for your feedback @Skid_Marc_

I did quote you because I think you were right.

As for completely separate drives for OS and Games, I've always done it that way and find comfort in it. My secondary/slave drives see tremendous amounts of read/write activity and for some reason I'm not a fan of exposing my boot drive to it even with a partition.



I'm not ready to go liquid to be honest and the thought of it makes me uneasy. It could be yet another irrational mindset akin to my opinion of cellphones but there you have it.
Though I don't need to, I'm just going to go on record and say that, imo, your mindset on these things ARE dated, but I want to clarify I'm not going to tell you you're wrong if you do it your way (as you're just going to assume I am! :D ).

If this were REPLACING your PC, and you planned to have media on there such as videos and other things that can't be recovered easily, then keeping that separate from your games/boot drives is completely rational.

However, as this PC is game-oriented;
if your game drive, the one you're abusing the crap out of fails, then you're losing all of your games, which can be reinstalled via (insert launcher here)
if you're boot drive fails, you're losing Win10, which can be reinstalled via the flash drive.
In reality, the game saves are more important than the Win10 you're protecting... and Win10 isn't going to be writing anything, so it's going to last longer... It just feels like you're going with a boot drive because everyone is using a boot drive, but, more and more, WHY we started using boot drives in the first place is being forgotten.

As far as the cooler, I understand completely that you went over board to create wiggle room. If you go under-budget here, great. BUT if you do feel like spending $140 CAD on a cooler at the end of the build, just remember that an air-cooler has corrosive, conductive liquid in it too! I will admit that my AIO failed after nearly 4 years of abuse, but it was the impeller that failed, so there was no risk to my internal components from the liquid, it was just my CPU suffering because it had almost zero cooling.

Another idea, kind of a happy medium, would be to air-cool it for now, since you don't plan on over-clocking it, but consider upgrading to an AIO later, as it will buy you a lot more head-room when you do decide to crank up the voltage.
 

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#8
Though I don't need to, I'm just going to go on record and say that, imo, your mindset on these things ARE dated, but I want to clarify I'm not going to tell you you're wrong if you do it your way (as you're just going to assume I am!).

If this were REPLACING your PC, and you planned to have media on there such as videos and other things that can't be recovered easily, then keeping that separate from your games/boot drives is completely rational.

However, as this PC is game-oriented;
if your game drive, the one you're abusing the crap out of fails, then you're losing all of your games, which can be reinstalled via (insert launcher here)
if you're boot drive fails, you're losing Win10, which can be reinstalled via the flash drive.
In reality, the game saves are more important than the Win10 you're protecting... and Win10 isn't going to be writing anything, so it's going to last longer... It just feels like you're going with a boot drive because everyone is using a boot drive, but, more and more, WHY we started using boot drives in the first place is being forgotten.

As far as the cooler, I understand completely that you went over board to create wiggle room. If you go under-budget here, great. BUT if you do feel like spending $140 CAD on a cooler at the end of the build, just remember that an air-cooler has corrosive, conductive liquid in it too! I will admit that my AIO failed after nearly 4 years of abuse, but it was the impeller that failed, so there was no risk to my internal components from the liquid, it was just my CPU suffering because it had almost zero cooling.

Another idea, kind of a happy medium, would be to air-cool it for now, since you don't plan on over-clocking it, but consider upgrading to an AIO later, as it will buy you a lot more head-room when you do decide to crank up the voltage.
Actually there's a lot more to my preference than I've let on but maybe I'll share just to shed light on my thinking.

Now just to iterate, what follows displays a clear lack of knowledge and understanding of the technical aspects of Hardware usage particularly when it comes to storage. I have absolutely no idea how storage works particularly when it comes to flash memory.

Platters were far easier to understand IMHO.

The way I see it (which admittedly is probably wrong) is that if I'm to run System and Game files on the same drive I'm in fact sharing data retrieval. I'm splitting both read and write between the OS, my Games, Drivers and everything that has a dll stored in the System Registry.

So in the case of Samsung 970 Evo I can be splitting 3500 MB/s Read a minimum of 4 ways (for arguments sake).

Now again this is where my logic likely splits with reality but if I'm to put my Games on a separate drive then I believe Windows. Drivers and dll's split 3500 MB/s and my Games get their own, unshared 3500 MB/s due to being on their own drive.

Assuming this is even partially true then I'm sacrificing performance and it's irrelevant to me if it's as low as 0.5%, it's still sacrifice. If I'm going to pay $4000 up front for a new Rig I'm going to do everything I can to ensure it performs the best it can stock.

Will I notice the difference (assuming there even is one) no.

Does that matter, no.

See, told you, utter nonsense.

Then there's my OS'capades that I ALWAYS endure.

I'm too lazy to reformat/re-install my OS every couple of years so I ultimately end up where I am with Windows 7 on my current rig. The OS is failing which I notice every-time I try to update iRacing, Teamspeak or Origin (along with a few other Software applications).

iRacing has roughly a 25% update success ratio with Teamspeak updates never working and Origin requiring a system wipe, reboot, re-install, reboot every-time an update is released.

Leaving C: as a System Drive only means I can reinstall the OS without affecting everything else and there is a lot of everything else.

Lastly, there has never existed a system where I've not had at least 1 Main Drive and 1 Slave Drive.

This hails back to the days when I actually used Seagate. I picked up two 1 TB Seagate Barricudas and both had the exact same firmware issue. Both waited a few months until I was up and running and then started to fail a little bit at a time until much of what was on them became irrecoverable.

One of these drives had close a decade of my own and Customer Websites backups, theme's, images, layered source images, databases, server backups, etc., stored on it. I'm lucky I didn't lose that shit as it would have been lost forever.

...the only reason I didn't lose it is the other Barricuda died first, blind luck.

So now I'm left with this nostalgia, my own weird logic and the fact I can literally talk myself into believing anything if I'm passionate enough about it.
 
#9
Looking forward to seeing the news of your new build Master Ken!

Here's a useful graphic to show you the differences between each card, and I think you are right in looking at 4K to futureproof yourself.

Anyway, hope this helps, and you can see how the 1070's perform here as it's an average over 12 games.

Y3fRctRRGRxEVVBUQYvQyi-650-80.png
 
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Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#10
Looking forward to seeing the news of your new build Master Ken!

Here's a useful graphic to show you the differences between each card, and I think you are right in looking at 4K to futureproof yourself.

Anyway, hope this helps, and you can see how the 1070's performs here as it's an average over 12 games.

View attachment 4181
Perfect, thanks @little P.

It looks like going with the 1080Ti will certainly keep me happy for at least a few years.
 
#11
Good choice mate with the 1080Ti.

Also, Noctua fans are getting less ugly these days, I recently upgraded all my fans to a set of these all round and they are very, very quiet, and don't look half bad, certainly better than the Noctua's in that colour... ugh.

https://www.quietpc.com/nf-f12-pwm-...sSIjiphjRzxqsgCI9DRRGc3Pp8_DSRcxoCPJYQAvD_BwE

You can certainly save a lot of money in your build without much of a compromise, but instead of going through and nit picking I will just say I like your style. Go big or go home! Looking forward to reading about your progress, I love these build threads :D
 

Kenadian

Staff member
Site Admin
#12
Good choice mate with the 1080Ti.

Also, Noctua fans are getting less ugly these days, I recently upgraded all my fans to a set of these all round and they are very, very quiet, and don't look half bad, certainly better than the Noctua's in that colour... ugh.

https://www.quietpc.com/nf-f12-pwm-...sSIjiphjRzxqsgCI9DRRGc3Pp8_DSRcxoCPJYQAvD_BwE

You can certainly save a lot of money in your build without much of a compromise, but instead of going through and nit picking I will just say I like your style. Go big or go home! Looking forward to reading about your progress, I love these build threads :D
Agreed.

I love building PC's but I don't think you should need to do it that often if you're realistic about your near and far future needs. This is why my initial builds always cost more, I know what I'm going to need and have a good idea of where I'm going.

I don't like to constrain myself and I don't like looking at any measure of upgrade within the first 12 - 18 months where possible.

Last time around that equated to around $2500 initial purchase.

This time around I'm going bigger all around and adding elements for Streaming which were never a consideration 5 years ago.

All in all considering the addition of streaming and building around that central need an additional $1500 5 years later isn't that bad.

As for CPU Cooling I hate the look of the Noctua I have given the color scheme but it is by far the best CPU Cooler I've ever owned.

It's 120mm of no sound whatsoever. It's also offset which is the reason I picked up lower profile ram in my 3770K as the CPU Cooler actually cools both CPU and RAM.

It's amazing and helping it along (I guess) is I purchased good quality Thermal Paste separately so as to get the best thermal transfer possible.

I've been OC'ing this rig for well over a few years now and the temps have been stable, the OC has been stable all with the added bonus of no fan noise whatsoever.

I know that staying with Noctua will allow me 300 - 400 MHz OC and still remain whisper quiet.

...and to be honest, that's all I ever want to OC by anyway.
 

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