Help me build my PC

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holycrapitsadam

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Hi all,

I am not super well versed in the PC world but I am looking at building my first gaming PC here in the relatively near future.

I will post the specs of the PC I am looking to build below. If something seems wrong, could you please let me know or recommend different things. I look to the communities expertise in this.

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

DRAM: 2x16GB DDR4-2666

Liquid Cooled CPU/GPU

Motherboard: z370 Mini-ITX

Storage: 480GB m.2 NVMe SSD, 2TB 5400RPM 2.5" HDD

PowerSupply: Corsair SF600, 80 Plus Gold

Monitor(s): Not sure yet. Open to suggestions

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nnickers

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#2  Edited By nnickers
  • My first, immediate thought:do you need a PC this powerful? Are you going to be doing any intense work on this outside of games? Otherwise, while I can understand wanting to future-proof a bit, and if you have the money and want to spend it that's your prerogative, a lot of this would be massive overkill.
    • That $500+ CPU will be utilized by, I'd wager, absolutely nothing on the market today. No games will come close to 8-threads, and, unless you're running something intense in AutoCAD or work at Pixar, it's unlikely to improve day-to-day performance outside games, either.
    • I haven't looked into it recently, but work back around its launch was that the RTX 20- series of GPUs are only incrementally more powerful than the GTX 10- series despite their significantly higher prices.
    • Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think any games on the market today can utilize 32gb of RAM, either. If you can get it for a good price then go for it as future-proofing, but last I heard RAM prices are hyper-inflated right now so you may be better off saving the money and going with 16gb for the foreseeable future.
  • I wouldn't recommend liquid cooling in your first build. It can be extremely difficult to set up and you'll already be learning everything else as you go. And, again, unless you're doing really intense professional work then you should be fine with well-positioned fan cooling.
  • I'd recommend going with a full-size tower unless you absolutely need the PC to fit in a specific space that couldn't accommodate a full-sized tower. I used a mini-ITX case in my first build simply because I liked the look of it. During the setup process, the case was tiny, dark, and extremely frustrating to work in. When I went with a full ATX tower in my next build it was an absolutely dream to work in by comparison. On top of that, a smaller case will naturally run hotter.
  • For storage, I think it's worth going fully solid-state. I bought a 1TB SSD in 2016 for $200 - if you watch for sales, they're probably dirt cheap these days. Solid-state is affordable enough at this point and, at least for me, it's worth it to remove as many moving parts as possible from a PC as each one is a point of failure. Alternatively, if you're committed to HDD's then go with 7200RPM drives. Any HDD is going to be slow in 2019, why make it worse for yourself by using 5400RPM speeds?
  • This power supply seems to be well reviewed on PCPartPicker so it's should be good, but I'll tell anyone looking to build their first PC: pay close attention to power supply reviews. A lot of people cheap out on power supplies thinking that they have no impact on performance, not realizing that a faulty power supply could destroy all those other nice, expensive components in your PC.

Woof, this is...more than I'd meant to write. Anyway, have fun with the build! Building my first PC was super empowering. It's virtually guaranteed to be frustrating and terrifying, but it's worth it.

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hmoney001

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#3  Edited By hmoney001

Get 16gigs of faster RAM instead of 32gigs of slower RAM.

Best practice for first time builders is figure out your budget first and then start specing out.

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JDP83

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Not sure if they mentioned a link above, but I do recommend price matching and ensuring compatibility using PC Part Picker if you aren't already.

I'd also agree overall with what was said above. A 9900K is a super-beast... but probably overkill. Same with 32GB of RAM. I'd go with a single super fast 16GB stick (maybe DDR4 3400 or 3600 or 4000+ if you're crazy), if you want to "future proof" and avoid having to throw away sticks if you upgrade later, or 2x8GB super fast ones, if tossing old ones doesn't bother you. Any MB smaller than ATX (I honestly prefer EATX) is a no-go for me, just because I hate having to jam stuff in and not get enough fan controllers and PCI lanes for expand-ability.

I would disagree with "going full SSD" though. Good choice with a fast SSD for OS+application installs, but I would get a 7200RPM 4-8TB drive for storage rather than a 5400RPM drive.

Regarding "liquid cooling," if by that you mean "open-loop" liquid cooling... I'd advise against it for a first time builder... as it is PERILOUS to mess up even a tiny bit and pretty challenging to do correctly the first time - and it requires intensive maintenance tasks later on. If you mean closed loop, as in like Corsair's Hxxx series liquid coolers, those are fine. I have one on my desktop and it works great!

On the subject of power supply, in addition to concurring with the "don't cheap out" principle, I'd also add by recommending going beyond Gold spending more and grabbing either a "Platinum" rated or even higher with a "Titanium" rated power supply as it will save you a BUNDLE in electricity down the road, and ends up justifying the higher price tag... especially if you end up leaving your system on for extended periods of time.

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JDP83

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Oh and as far as monitors go, I won't recommend a specific one... but I would say look at all the sorts of features there are - IPS vs non IPS - which affects viewing angle and color, refresh rates - 59hz to 240hz, anti-tearing measures like G-Sync and Free-Sync, HDR vs standard color, size, resolution, regular 16:9 / 16:10 ratio vs super wide ratio curved monitors, etc... and decide what matters most to you and then be okay with a monitor that doesn't check all those boxes.

For me, I want high resolution (4K+), IPS, ~30", HDR, and to a lesser degree - G-Sync and higher refresh rate... so this is a good option for me. It's not cheap, but it checks off all the boxes that matter to me.

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reap3r160

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#6  Edited By reap3r160

I'm going to be echoing some other people but...

I too am wondering if you are needing this for anything other than games, as has been stated this is a $2500+ PC that is WAY overkill(especially the processor).

For a top of the line CPU, an i7 8700 is more than enough. Heck my SUPER old 4790 is JUST now starting to hit RECOMMENDED specs.

Similarly, 32GB of RAM, unless you're doing a lot of design, is also overkill especially with how expensive RAM is now. Better 16GB will server you for YEARS to come.

M2 drive, also overkill, SSD is more than fast enough(and only getting cheaper).

For the GPU, a 1080ti will server you better, unless you wait for the next wave of cards and get one of those.

For the cooling, do you mean ACTUAL liquid cooled, like a custom loop or just like a corsair h100i? If the former, unless you 300% know what you are doing or know someone who does I don't recommend it. The price and amount of things that can go wrong aren't worth it IMO.

Most advice is focused on bang for the buck, but if money is no object, everything here is more than adequate.

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hmoney001

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#7  Edited By hmoney001
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mikewhy

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This PC is way overkill unless you're doing A LOT with it. I agree with everything @nnickers said.

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NexivSelecaf

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#9  Edited By NexivSelecaf

No offense, but what exactly do you plan to do with a 9900K? And I'd even question getting a 2080 Ti even with the intent on being an early adopter for real-time ray-tracing.

I'd look into either an i5 or Ryzen 5 unless you need extra power for streaming and content creation, and even at that, go no higher than a consumer grade i7 or Ryzen 7. Maybe not spend nearly two grand on a GPU unless someone mentions a decent 4K or 1440p ultrawide monitor. 16GBs of RAM unless content creation. No liquid cooling unless you're overclocking. And if you're going to get a mechanical hard drive for mass storage, 7200 RPM.

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holycrapitsadam

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Thank you everyone for the suggestions and feedback.

I was planning on using this pretty much exclusively for gaming. Just always figure go big or go home lol.

I will definitely look into not going as crazy since I will not be doing anything outside of gaming

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monkeyking1969

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Thank you everyone for the suggestions and feedback.

I was planning on using this pretty much exclusively for gaming. Just always figure go big or go home lol.

I will definitely look into not going as crazy since I will not be doing anything outside of gaming

So, my advice is go a bit more modest:

  • i7 8700K $370-ish
  • RTX 2070 in the $550 -$600 range.
  • Asus - TUF Z390M-PRO GAMING (WI-FI) - I'd go mATX instead of ITX. Why? Unless you know 110% that you won't be adding expansion cards, I'd go with the mATX . Case in point, I just bought my nephew the "wireless card" for his HTC Vive, it was good that he had the room for that expansion card for some crazy VR card.
  • 16GB of RAM but as fast as you mobo will take. I'd go with high speed rather than more memory; especially if you are not video editing/animating huge projects every day.
  • 1TB SSD - If you are building a $1300 to $2000 gaming PC you can designate a bit more $$$ to fast storage so that MANY of your games can be stored there.
  • An $80 to $100 closed loop liquid cooler is fine. Sure SOME box fan coolers are statistically better by a degree or two, but they look like a big bunch of ass in the middle of the case. 99% of the time a CLC won't leak and will be fine for 4-6 years. Closed loop cooler are easy enough to install.
  • Get a 700+ watt Gold-rated fully or semi modular PSU. Its not that much more, and not skimping on power delivery saves headaches....you mightnever need it but again liek I said about the mATX instead of the ITX...you never know what cards or power needs the future will bring.

Honestly, my biggest advice, no matter which specific parts, go a level lower than top of the line. ITX is fun because it is small...but it puts real limits on what you can have/do later. Moreover, for gaming, you don't need a 9900K or that 2080Ti. A good mATX build with a RTX 2070 , a decent amount of 'fast' ram, and more 'fast storage' will make the computer more enjoyable to build and use. JMO

I have an ITX AMD 2700 build - it is damn nice. But, I knew what I wanted and I knew that if I needed something else I could just buy it without thought or worry...not everyone can build a new system on a whim..thus my advice above. The counter example is nephew, he cannot just make a new system every year, so that why I built him a solid little mATX that he can afford to upgrade and work on himself. Truly, all the advice everyone else gave is just as good.

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reap3r160

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  • An $80 to $100 closed loop liquid cooler is fine. Sure SOME box fan coolers are statistically better by a degree or two, but they look like a big bunch of ass in the middle of the case. 99% of the time a CLC won't leak and will be fine for 4-6 years. Closed loop cooler are easy enough to install.

So much this lol. When I built my PC a number of years ago the hyper 212 evo was the "top of the line budget cooler everyone should buy". But....heck no, thing looks UGLY especially if you have a windowed case. So yeah, I went with a closed loop corsair h100.

If you are having an opaque case, it's not a huge deal, but man do closed loop coolers look way cleaner and have 0 fuss of a custom loop.

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soulcake

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Hmmm doing a liquid cooled PC as your first build huh, you sure like a challenge :P.

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Fezrock

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I didn't even know i9s were a thing. I'm still using my i5 and having zero issues with playing anything on top settings. I'd imagine pretty much any of the i7s are more than enough future proofing.

I'm not much of an expert though.

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RalphMoustaccio

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What everyone else said about this build being overpowered has some merit, but if you want to spend a shitload of money on an absolute beast of a PC, don't let anyone on a forum stop you if you can afford it. It may be "wasted" now, but it'll be basically future-proof for years.

Now, the only thing I would say is if you're considering spending $3k+ on a build, is don't skimp out on the details, such as going with 2666 mHz RAM. Get the fastest that the motherboard will allow. You also might reconsider the motherboard chipset. I've read that while a z370 should work with a 9900k, the board may require a BIOS flash before it will work, and that can be complicated without a processor in place. Some boards allow it, some don't. Some may already come with an updated BIOS, but there's almost no way of knowing in advance.

And why not just go with a 2 TB m.2? Sure, it's expensive, but, again, if you're in for such a lavish spend anyway, why not get the biggest and easiest possible storage solution. You can always add an additional m.2 later (though an ITX board may only have one slot), a 2.5" SSD, or a large mechanical HDD later if you find the need for more storage.

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NexivSelecaf

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@ralphmoustaccio:"Future-proofing" is good in theory, but you're giving advice to someone that is new to building PCs and just wants to play games. So just casually saying "smoke 'em if you got 'em" is horribly misleading since you're potentially giving a beginner the archaic idea that you have to have multiple thousands in order to get into PC gaming, when roughly half of that or even less is a decent 1440p setup. Like, when are games really going to utilize eight cores? And on the graphics side, when are the majority of games going to utilize ray-tracing? The 9900K just doesn't make sense to have if you're just using it to play games, and, as if spending two grand for graphics card isn't absurd enough in its own rite, but two grand for tech that still needs time to mature... Like what's going to be the solution for the next lineup of cards? "Oh, just get the best cards on the market again."? That would be ridiculous. Both the current day diminishing returns and gambling on the future are not worth spending big.

I mean, look, I get where you're coming from. There is the tech enthusiast part of the hobby/market that has to have the best of the best for various reasons. But those people probably have years of experience and knowledge when it comes to PC building, not those like the OP that aren't super well versed and just want to play games. So maybe it's a better idea to teach this person how to walk before saying "You've got legs. Just run a marathon already."

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RalphMoustaccio

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@facelessvixen: You are absolutely right about many of the parts being overkill for just playing games. Would I build that PC? Hell and no. Should I tell someone else not to do so, if they want to and can afford it? Same answer. Which you agree with to an extent. I also whole-heartedly agree with you that it is not necessary to spend gobs of money to build a PC that will play games decently. I just rebuilt mine, in fact, with some nice mid-level enthusiast parts, because it's all I needed and could realistically afford to spend at this time. So, in terms of encouraging someone else to overspend for their stated needs, that's not my goal.

The OP said in a reply that he (and I'm very guilty of assuming a gender here) always thinks to "go big or go home." In that regard, my critique of the build is considering his thought process, and is limited to what may be issues with the actual build (e.g. the possible bottlenecking from the RAM speeds), as opposed to offering alternative parts. Maybe he just wants the bleeding edge because he is in a position to have it. Some people buy a Ferrari when a Honda serves the same core function. If the goal is to have the best possible current build, perhaps playing anything currently available at 4k/60+ on the highest settings (or at least coming reasonably close), then this gets him there. And probably beyond. Maybe having the extra horsepower on the CPU side will encourage him to try out other functions that he hasn't considered a need/want for yet.

I do think it's somewhat disingenuous to suggest that building a PC is any easier by using less expensive parts. As I mentioned, I just rebuilt my PC, and it took me less than four hours. I've built a total of three, ever. It's basically just expensive Lego these days. I agree with everyone above who said that a custom-loop liquid cooling system is shooting for the moon on one's first build. I don't think I'd ever attempt that. But outside of that, there's nothing in his proposed build that won't be relatively easy to put together with a little research. And it's clear he's done some research. Much of the enthusiast market wants the newest and the best, even if their use cases are limited. Their "years of experience and knowledge [of] PC building" does not necessarily mean they are using all of the available power that is provided by the parts they select.

To the OP, to clarify my point, as others have said, your proposed build is wildly beyond what is necessary to play games at good quality and reasonable frame rates. But, a good part of the fun is building the PC you want to build. If you want a Ferrari, build the Ferrari. I'll be over here with my Honda, still doing just fine. I'd still suggest buying the faster RAM, though. :)

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