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Build Guide

Enthusiast Gaming Build

by ThoughtA

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0 Comments
NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.

Description

This iteration of our high end build will maintain a neutral scheme to avoid detracting from the Kraken X52's RGB effect. Everyone has a different idea of what being an enthusiast means. You're welcome to share your thoughts on the word in the comments below.

CPU and Cooler

At this budget, we're running an i5-7600K. This quad-core CPU features an unlocked multiplier for easy and often significant overclocking. While not all games will benefit from overclocking, games like Overwatch can benefit significantly from a faster CPU. Overclocking can also help your CPU stave off obsolescence for a good while longer. All of that being said, if you're not comfortable overclocking, you can save money by stepping down to an i5-7600, removing the non-stock cooler, and going with a cheaper B250 or H270 motherboard. The i5-7600 does come with a cooler, so if you step down and remove the Kraken X52, you'll still have adequate cooling. Do note that you'll lose the cool RGB LEDs that are on the Kraken X52, unless you don't want them anyway.

As mentioned, we are using the NZXT Kraken X52, which is a CLC (Closed Loop Cooler) that uses an integrated pump and 240mm radiator to cool your CPU. The pump also just so happens to have a very cool RGB LED ring around it, which can be controlled by the software NZXT CAM. While it isn't included in the part list, you can choose to add a the HUE+ & Aer RGB120 Fans Bundle Pack, which, in my opinion, really match well with the pump light. This combo does not include an LED strip.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric selection of motherboards that don't have too strong of a color that may throw off the LEDs on the Kraken X62. The parametric selection will actively choose the best-priced motherboard of the group. All motherboards in the group use the Z270 chipset, which allows the i5-7600K to be overclocked. Additionally, they all have 4 DDR4 DIMM slots and are capable of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a sale or upgrade of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a GPU sale or upgrade.

Memory

For memory, we're filtering for the best-priced 2x8GB kit of neutral-colored DDR4 RAM. Feel free to click the "From parametric filter" link to see the various options and pick a color that suits you.

Storage

We're also using a parametric filter that will actively select the best-priced SSD of roughly 1TB capacity. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to change the capacity or add a mechanical drive to your heart's desire.

GPU

Our GPU is the very popular GeForce GTX 1080. This is currently one of the fastest single GPU video cards in the market - you may want to look into a 120-144Hz and/or 2560x1440 resolution monitor for this bad boy. The parametric filter is set for the best-priced 1080 available, but feel free to click the "From parametric filter" link to browse our listing of 1080s. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1080 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

Case

All of our parts are housed in the windowed version of the Fractal Design Define C. This case is kind of like the Define S or Define R5, but it has a shorter length to reduce wasted space. It features 2 USB 3.0 front panel ports and can fit pretty much any length video card. We're already going a little loud with LEDs, and the more streamlined look of the Define C will allow the Kraken X52 to draw the eye without being an eyesore.

PSU

Powering the build is a sparse selection of some of the most well-reviewed PSUs available - all without breaking the bank. All of them are certified 80+ Gold and either semi-modular or fully-modular.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 462W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $328.00 $328.00 Shopping Express Buy
CPU Cooler $89.00 $89.00 PCCaseGear Buy
Motherboard $169.00 $169.00 IJK Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
  • Color: Black, Black/Gray, Black/Silver, Black/White, White, White/Gray, White/Silver
$182.00 $182.00 IJK Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 960GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$389.00 $389.00 Shopping Express Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 3TB - 10TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$121.00 $121.00 IJK Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
$1099.00 $1099.00 Scorptec Buy
Case $136.40 $136.40 Skycomp Technology Buy
Power Supply $135.00 $135.00 Umart Buy
Total: $2648.40
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-7600K 3.8GHz Quad-Core Processor 11W - 91W
be quiet! - Dark Rock 3 67.8 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler 5W - 10W
ASRock - Z270 Pro4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Crucial - Ballistix Sport LT 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 11W - 11W
Crucial - MX300 1.1TB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Toshiba - 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Zotac - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Blower Video Card 62W - 250W
Total: 112W - 462W