Note: This pc was built in Nov. 2018, but I didn't get around to writing this till Sept. 2019. This helps with some reflections on price and how its doing a year later.
This is the realization of everything I've lusted over in PC gaming: high refresh rate, ultrawide monitor, large SSD storage for games, a top-end GPU. Luckily I graduated and got a nice software engineering job to support this expensive hobby :) .
While this rig cost me just over $3k, it should be pointed out that similar performance can be had for a few hundred less, but I specifically built this PC with a White and Black color scheme in mind which increased the price.
Older games from 2014-2015 can play just fine at 3440x1440 at 100fps at high/ultra. Slightly newer games form 2017-2018 require me to choose between high frame rate and ultra settings. 60fps can still easily be had, but I can't reach beyond that. Playing games in 2019 has led to some compromises. The newest games like Borderlands 3 (guns... so many guns) or Control (so pretty, telekinetically throwing concrete at enemies has never felt more satisfying) need to be put in the medium-high range to reach 60 fps. I love that image reconstruction tech + TSAA has made its way from PS4 Pro and Xbox One X to the PC. The Division 2 in particular had a great implementation, letting me set the internal resolution to 80%, resulting in 90fps at high settings, compared to the 60-70fps I was seeing at 100%.
Some price wins:
- The 1080ti was got used right in the sweet spot where the RTX cards had been announced but nobody had realized that their price/performance was somewhat lackluster compared to this card in particular, and there were still many to be had on the secondary market. Even as of writing, it still is only matched by the RTX 2070 Super and beat by the RTX 2080ti (at over twice the cost for ~15% more performance).
- The monitor was got on a sale back when it normally cost around $1000 (after tax).
Some price loses:
- Memory was super expensive when this was bought. As of writing, this kit can be had for $90.
- SSD storage has gotten also gotten cheaper since purchase. A slightly better performing XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB sells for $125 today.
Shoutout to this great SSD. It remains unrivaled in $/GB even a year after launch. A great SSD for mass game storage, allowing me to almost entirely eliminate HDD from my setup (still used for backups and my Emby server).
A great case for someone who wants the normal "tower" pc building experience, but doesn't need the extra pci-e slots since all I have is a GPU.
Solid SFX power supply, but be warned, the cables are quite short (only a problem for the large ITX cases, like the NZXT H200).
This monitor is pretty awesome. It checks all the boxes: high resolution, high refesh rate, large desktop real-estate, g-sync, usb 3 hub, decent color accuracy (I'm not doing any serious color work so it wasn't super important to me). The 21:9 aspect also helps when I watch movies as most are shot at this aspect ratio, so no black bars. Games fill my vision, very immersive, especially noticeable in "Simulation" games.
The two problems I have encountered with this monitor in particular are : 1) The default stand is huge and takes alot of desk space, which is why I got a desk mount. 2) I haven't been able to reach the advertised 120hz refresh without issues. I could only get 105hz. That said I can't reach 105hz in most recent games anyways.
In general, I really enjoy the ultrawide format. I came from 2 monitors and while there are some advantages that that setup (run a game fullscreen and watch a video on the side), the whole setup of 2 monitors, stands, and set of cables can lead to alot of cable clutter. I prefer the simplicity of the ultrawide.