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Build Guide

Magnificent Intel Gaming Guide

by ThoughtA

Description

CPU and Cooler

At this budget, we're running an i5-8600K. This hex-core CPU features an unlocked multiplier for easy and often significant overclocking. While not all games will benefit from overclocking, games like Overwatch and Battlefield 1 can benefit significantly from a faster CPU. Overclocking can also help your CPU stave off obsolescence for a good while longer.

To take fuller advantage of the overclockability, we are including the new be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric selection of motherboards that keep with a black and white theme. The parametric selection will actively choose the best-priced motherboard of the group. All motherboards in the group use the Z370 chipset, which allows the i5-8600K 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.

Memory

For memory, we're filtering for the best-priced 2x8GB kit of DDR4 RAM that would match a black and white build and also is 2666 or faster. 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 at least 500GB capacity. Additionally, we're including a 3TB mechanical hard drive in a parametric filter for things like storing media and extra games. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to change the capacity to your heart's desire.

GPU

Our GPU is the very popular GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. 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 Ti available, but feel free to click the "From parametric filter" link to browse our listing of 1080s Tis. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1080 Ti will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

Case

All of our parts are on display in the Fractal Design Meshify C TG. This tempered glass-sporting case has a unique take on mesh fronts. The mesh is bent into a variety of angles that give a cool effect, both looking at it straight on and at various angles in differing lighting.

The Meshify C TG features 2x front panel USB 3.0 ports, and it has a PSU shroud and cable management holes and tie-offs to help your build look cleaner. It can also fit full-sized video cards.

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.

AMD Version

Here is the AMD version of our Magnificent Gaming Guide..

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 469W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $351.00 $351.00 Shopping Express Buy
CPU Cooler $136.26 $136.26 Amazon Australia Buy
Motherboard $229.00 $229.00 IJK Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3300, DDR4-3333
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
  • Color: Black, Black/Gray, Black/Silver, Black/White, White, White/Gray, White/Silver
$239.00 $239.00 Umart Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$149.00 $149.00 Shopping Express Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 3TB - 10TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$122.00 $122.00 PLE Computers Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Length: 224mm - 403mm
$1049.00 $1049.00 Scorptec Buy
Case $139.00 $139.00 IJK Buy
Power Supply $172.00 $172.00 Amazon Australia Buy
Total: $2586.26
* 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.

Comments Sorted by:

hesterj 9 points 1 month ago

I built the computer suggested by this guide and I am extremely satisfied. It was my first time building a computer, and followed the current partlist with the change of adding a more powerful PSU because I am building this for both machine learning and gaming and may and another GPU later. I also didn't buy the spinning disc drive as I have an M.2 drive on hand which the motherboard listed here supports. My only comments are that the build is quite easy except for the be quiet! CPU cooler which requires some assembly, and if you are like me and have a difficult time handling small pieces it can be a bit of a struggle.

For anyone considering doing this as a first time builder here are the difficulties I encountered: Placing the RAM and 1080 Ti GPU in to the appropriate slots can take a little more force than I was comfortable with considering how expensive this gear was. As long as you make very sure everything is lined up appropriately it should all go in to place. When I put it together the first time, the GPU wasn't fully in place and had just a black screen on booting the computer. Make sure you use the HDMI output on the graphics card rather than the one on the motherboard.

Follow the instructions the motherboard manual gives you to hook the stuff (fans, buttons, etc.) in the case to the motherboard. On the listed motherboard, I hooked the case fans to System Fan 1 and System Fan 2 on the motherboard and they work fine. The rest of the cables in the case are labeled clearly and the motherboard manual has instructions where to put them.

The instructions that come with the case are a great guideline, but if I did this again I would definitely attach the CPU power and motherboard cables from the power supply unit BEFORE attaching the be quiet cooler because the cooler on this listing is very large and can make it difficult to attach cables from the PSU if you wait till the end to do that.

If you turn the tower upright and none of the labelling on the components are upside down, you are on the right track. Make sure you don't attach the CPU cooler upside down like I did the first time. The be quiet! people are nice enough to include some thermal paste with the cooler as well.

Other than carefully following the instructions on be quiet! assembly, the only other difficult part was deciding what cords go to where in the power supply. I struggled with this for a while. The motherboard PSU cord should be clear, and the CPU power as well. I bought a different PSU than the one listed here, but I used a single cable that had two 3x2 with a 1x2 attached on each. You want to use the 3x2 and the 1x2 on the 4x2 port on the GPU, and just the remaining 3x2 on the last 3x2 on the GPU. I left the remaining 1x2 hanging. It is difficult to describe and I couldn't find a video that illustrated this well.

On assembly, everything is running as expected including all of the case peripherals etc. Make sure you follow the step by step instructions on each part carefully. Hook up the PSU to CPU power before attaching the massive be quiet! cooler to avoid a major headache. Also make sure none of the wires are touching any hardware using the many pieces of velcro and random piping that come in the boxes you get from following this guide.

Thanks to pcpartpicker for this great list of parts at a reasonable price!

smalleybiggs 1 point 1 month ago

I’m a total noobie builder. How many USB ports will this come with? Mainly looking to hook up Oculus and it requires 4 ports, i believe at least 3 Type C.

averasko 1 point 2 months ago

why do you spend so much on the cooler? it won't be silent during gaming by any means because of the 1080 Ti. but when idle, the most noise will be coming from the case fan rather than the cooler.

MelkorsSong 1 point 1 month ago

That card dose not get too loud. Stays reasonably quiet.

yellowbear 1 point 2 months ago

Will the cooler hide the rgbness of the ram?

Leleedler 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Great build +1 My only change would be going for the NH-D15 over the Dark Rock Pro 4. The mounting system on the Dark Rock, is really awful, and the NH-D15 is a good bit better for the same price. The Dark Rock Pro does look better to most people but, I'll always take Noctua over be quiet!.

flint_1337 1 point 1 month ago

is it okay to pair the i5-8600k with a GEFORCE GTX 1080 Ti ?

MelkorsSong 2 points 1 month ago

No problem.

guilledelmo 1 point 1 month ago

What about case fans? Can somoene give me some recommendations on silent RGB fans for the meshify c and how many you can put

MoniqueTheFreak 1 point 1 month ago

So does the fan definitely leave enough room for the RAM to be installed? This is my first time building a PC and it looks kinda bulky.

tropbovin 1 point 1 month ago

How much would this build gain from a substitution of the GPU ? Let's say I replace the i5 with the i7 8700 ? Would it be a good idea ?

The_Card_Czar 2 points 1 month ago

Well, the 1080ti is top of the line right now, so you'd be hard pressed to gain anything from substituting the GPU. For your CPU question, I would say it depends. If you are not comfortable overclocking your CPU, then the i7 8700 is probably as good as it will get for you. However, if you are willing to overclock it, it would not make sense to switch out the OC able CPU (that's what the k in i5 8600k stands for) with a locked processor.

tropbovin 2 points 27 days ago

Thanks a lot ! Since I don't want to overclock, I think I'll go for the i7 8700 in the hope it will help gain some durability.

smalleybiggs 1 point 1 month ago

Piggybacking on the comment below. If I replace the i5 with a i7 8700k, would the cooling requirement change?

The_Card_Czar 1 point 1 month ago

You should be able to use the same cooler. Really though, it depends on how much overclocking you intend to do on it. The more power you try to squeeze out of a cpu, the more cooling you'll need to not blow it up.

A_PC_Enthusiast 1 Build 1 point 24 days ago

An i7 8700k would be a better CPU to handle that GPU. Otherwise, a great build!

PrivatePengu 1 point 23 days ago

No. The 8600K has no problem keeping up with the 1080 Ti.

PCFan86 1 point 19 days ago

I have a question about the CPU cooler chosen. Isn't it overkill in that the CPU has a TDP of 95W whereas the Cooler chosen has a 250W TDP?

serialcoder 1 point 2 days ago

Would you recommend spending the extra dough or waiting for a sale on the H100i to replace the cooler in this build?

Guardian974 1 point 12 hours ago

I was wondering if anyone has had problems using this big cpu cooler, does it leave enough room for most RAMs, also I was hoping to buy the ASUS ROG STRIX gtx 1080 and from what I read it’s a slightly bigger GPU than the founder’s card, worried about having enough space since I have never actually seen this case in person. I absolutely love the look of it.

mlgcrossyroad64 0 points 2 months ago

What!?!?! Only an i5 but a GTX 1080 Ti?

SavageVector 1 Build 7 points 2 months ago

Dude, coffee lake's unlocked i5 beats last gen's unlocked i7. It can keep up with a 1080ti for nearly any game you throw at it.

mlgcrossyroad64 2 points 2 months ago

Oh

MelkorsSong 2 points 1 month ago

Understandable, yet might as well shill out for the i7 if you can afford a 1080ti. But still correct.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 2 months ago

I didn't know because I usually assume bigger number=better xD but thanks for enlightening me.

SavageVector 1 Build 7 points 2 months ago

You're half right. The number following the 'i' (3,5,7, & 9) gives the series, and a general idea of the power the processor has. The four digit number (and maybe letter) after the 'i' tell you more about the processor itself.

The first of the four numbers tells you the generation (i7-6700 is 6th gen). The next two numbers tell you the level of processor within that generation (_400 will always be the lower i5 for that generation). The fourth number is always a zero, I assume because it looks cool.

A 'k' on the end means the processor is "unlocked"; meaning you can make it work faster than it's designed, but with no promises on how much faster. A 'x' and 'xe' means the processor is overkill and super-overkill, respectively.

TlDr; General rule of thumb, the the generation number (the first of the four) is the most meaningful. My i7-6700k (6th gen, two gens old) gets beaten by an i3-8350k (8th gen, current).

CPU.Userbenchmark is a really good cheat-sheet on general power, but it isn't the most reliable benchmark out there. http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/

Gacao_F 1 point 2 months ago

What about AMD ryzen CPU??

SavageVector 1 Build 4 points 2 months ago

I don't work nearly as much with AMDs, so I can't tell you nearly as much.

As with Intel, they have a four digit code, and the first digit is the generation (ryzen's currently on gen 2, TR still on gen 1). The second and third numbers represent how good the chip is within that generation, but I don't have those memorized to the '3', '5', and '7' the same way I do Intel. Finally, just like Intel, the last number always seems to be a '0'.

I have literally no idea what the 'x' on the end means, as I'm pretty sure that all ryzen's are OC'able.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 2 months ago

btw could you take a look at my build an see if there is anything I should change because you seem to know more about PC hardware. Here is the link: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/KKmcbX

Memo1010 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

you should post that in the forums

mlgcrossyroad64 0 points 2 months ago

How

SavageVector 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

From a quick rundown, the parts list seems perfectly fine.

The only thing I'd suggest taking a look at is maybe replacing your CPU with the Ryzen 3 2200g. It's $20 cheaper, but you likely have to update your motherboard before the CPU will work, which requires going to a store to get it done. It's a bit of extra work, but you save $20, and the 2200g is an APU; meaning you can actually play games without a GPU on medium settings, allowing you to wait until GPU prices drop before upgrading to a dedicated card.

You might need 16gb instead of 8gb with an APU, but that's an easy upgrade to make if you find you need more ram after testing. The Ryzen 5 2400g would also be a viable option over the 2200g.

Other than that, looks good; but as u/Memo1010 said, you should go to the forums if you want good criticism from multiple guys who know more than me about AMD processors.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks for the help.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 2 months ago

I will definitely take a look at the APU's

mlgcrossyroad64 0 points 2 months ago

btw one more question: If I use an APU and then I get a GPU in the future, will I need to change it to a CPU?

SavageVector 1 Build 1 point 2 months ago

Nope. The APU works the same as Intel's integrated graphics, only much stronger. When you get a dedicated graphics card, it just shuts down the gpu section of the CPU.

Just be aware that the 2400g is about half the GPU power of a GTX 1050 ti; so graphics will be bottom of the line. The reason to go for the APU is if you think you can last on what equates to a GTX 1030 until prices for better cards finally come back down.

Of course, the ryzen APUs are incredibly new things, and you definitely want more than just my opinion before pulling the trigger. Cheers!

menker 1 point 7 days ago

Which games it cannot keep up with?

zSPC -3 points 1 month ago

AMD is cheaper and better performance: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/NhfDZR

droem 2 points 1 month ago

^ That almost sounded like a AD.

serialcoder 2 points 2 days ago

Highly dependent on what you're running. If you're pushing around a lot of files you could be right. For a lot of triple-A titles though the performance will nearly always be the same, perhaps a hair slower compared to a 2600X, but not leagues better than the i5. You're also disregarding the fact it has integrated graphics, and can perform better at single-threaded applications at a significantly lower TDP (65W vs 95W). For sheer power-price-ratio, you're definitely right though.

DANIEL777 -4 points 1 month ago

The CPU is a bottleneck to the powerful GTX 1080ti.

The_Card_Czar 4 points 1 month ago

The i5 8600k actually is plenty sufficient for the card. While it may not perform quite as well as an i7 8700k, there will always be a bottleneck somewhere in the system, and this one is plenty good enough as is for most users.

serialcoder 1 point 2 days ago

It isn't though. You'll get 4k playable quality out of this setup, but you're losing a few frames compared to the i7. This isn't a GPU bottleneck though, but it entirely depends on the game/workflow. CPU intensive games will always benefit from the extra umph in the 8700 lineup, but your GPU won't be stifled using this i5 chip.

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Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor 11W - 95W
be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler 5W - 10W
Gigabyte - Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming (rev. 1.0) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory 14W - 14W
Western Digital - Blue 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Seagate - Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Zotac - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB Blower Video Card 62W - 250W
Total: 115W - 469W