Gaming PC, Need Advice Please

Tzblizz

Member
Hello,

Looking for some advice, I am in the market to get a new gaming PC, something capable of playing modern games with high performance at 1440p and VR ready.

I know people will recommend I build it myself but in the current climate I am still working and am struggling to find the time, energy or motivation to build it myself, I also find some parts of the build daunting.

I know there is going to be an extra cost in the fact they will assemble it for me instead of me building it myself but I was hoping to get some advice about if the build is suitable and if I'm getting massively ripped off despite it being assembled for me.
  • Operating System: Windows 10 Home (64-bit Edition)
  • Case: Corsair Crystal Series® 680X RGB High Airflow Tempered Glass Mid-Tower (inc x3 LL120 fans) (White Colour)
  • CPU (Processor): Intel® Core™ i7-9700KF - 8-Core 3.60GHz, 4.90GHz Turbo - 12MB Cache, Ultimate OC Compatible (No On-board Graphics)
  • CPU Overclocking: Pro OC (Overclock up to 10%)
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100i RGB Pro XT High Performance Liquid Cooling System w/ 240mm Radiator, Ultimate OC Compatible (Corsair CPU Water Cooling, Ultimate OC Compatible)
  • Motherboard: MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus: ATX w/ RGB, USB 3.1, SATA3, 2x M.2
  • Memory (RAM): 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4/3000mhz Dual Channel Memory (Corsair Vengeance LPX w/Heat Spreader)
  • Graphics Card (GPU): MSI GeForce® RTX 2080 Super 8GB - Ray Tracing Technology, DX12®, VR Ready, HDMI, DP - 4 Monitor Support (Single Card)
  • PSU (Power Supply): Corsair RM750x 750W 80+ Gold Modular Gaming Power Supply
  • M.2 SSD Drive: 512GB (1x512GB) Intel 660p M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD - 1500MB/s Read & 1000MB/s Write (Single Drive)
  • Hard Drive (HDD & SSHD): 2TB Seagate BarraCuda SATA-III 6.0Gb/s 7200RPM Hard Drive (1 Drive)
  • RAID (Stripe or Mirror): None Selected
  • Optical Drive (BLU-Ray / DVD / DVD-RW): None Selected
  • External And Portable Storage (USB / HDD / SSD): None Selected
  • Internal USB Hub: Built-in USB Ports
  • Wireless Networking: TP-LINK PCI-E Wireless Archer T6E AC1300 Dual Band Network Interface Card
  • Wired Networking: ONBOARD 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT -- As standard on all PCs
  • Sound Cards: HIGH DEFINITION ON-BOARD AUDIO

Total Cost: £2560.80

Thank you.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
A check on pcpartpicker using those parts puts current cost of that build at £2049.48. So you're paying £511.32 for the privilege of someone building it for you. Personally I'd be against getting someone to build a PC for me on that basis, as well as the fact that you could probably get slightly better components if you did it yourself.

On that note...here's a build you could do for £1473.64, £575 cheaper than the above build (components only). It's AMD-based, with their equivalent processor to Intel's i7-9700KF - it blows it out of the water performance wise and is also a lot cheaper. It also comes with a stock wraith cooler which are pretty highly regarded. It won't run quite as cool as an AIO cooler but would be fine for your needs - though you can always add an AIO cooler back in for ~£100. Have also added a better motherboard with integrated WiFi rather than a cheap one with a separate WiFi card. I've put a 2070 Super in there instead of the 280 Super - performance wise if you're gaming at 1440p it should be enough, but you could always add it back if you want to pay an extra couple of hundred. I also only put 16GB of RAM in, that's plenty if all you're doing is gaming. You only really need 32Gb of RAM if you're doing stuff like processing video, and if you are doing that, the AMD CPU handles it waaay better than Intel in any case. It also features a 1TB NVME drive for £10 less than the 512GB one in your build. The case I just picked at random but it still has some bells and whistles but is over £90 cheaper than your one.

If you got charged £500 to build the above PC, you would be saving almost £600 on your original cost. Even if you're unhappy with the stock cooler and the 2070S instead of the 2080S, getting them would only add about £300 to your parts cost, and still save you £300 on the build described.

You could save even more (£800-1100) if you build it yourself. ;) I highly recommend it if you can be bothered - it's fun, extremely satisfying, and you learn a ton. And there is always loads of help online, here or elsewhere.

(Not sure if it matters to you, but the above system is about 20% cheaper to run in terms of electricity costs too.)
 

Tzblizz

Member
Hey Kav,

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

That's an interesting read, I think I will take your advice on a lot of it, however if I stuck with the case I originally stated (I know its a bit more expensive but I really like the aesthetic of it) would the other components you've recommended still fit within the case? (Might be a silly question but physical dimensions and such is the part I most concerned about when it comes to building a custom PC)

Unfortunately the laptop is having some serious issue with age, and the computer is needed relatively quickly as a replacement and with my work I don't have the greatest amount of free time, so is not that I don't think I'd enjoy doing it, more that I'm on the clock to get it done and short on free time and energy more than anything.

Thanks again though! I'll have a bit more of a think before making a decision.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Couple of other points on the RAM - you could always upgrade with a further 16GB at a later date, it's one of the easiest upgrades to do on your PC. And secondly, I left the RAM in that build the same as the RAM in your original build, but it might be worth paying £10-15 extra to get 3200MHz or even higher, instead of 3000MHz - apparently AMD CPUs love fast RAM.
 

kav

Distinguished Member
Hey Kav,

Thanks a lot for your feedback!

That's an interesting read, I think I will take your advice on a lot of it, however if I stuck with the case I originally stated (I know its a bit more expensive but I really like the aesthetic of it) would the other components you've recommended still fit within the case? (Might be a silly question but physical dimensions and such is the part I most concerned about when it comes to building a custom PC)

Unfortunately the laptop is having some serious issue with age, and the computer is needed relatively quickly as a replacement and with my work I don't have the greatest amount of free time, so is not that I don't think I'd enjoy doing it, more that I'm on the clock to get it done and short on free time and energy more than anything.

Thanks again though! I'll have a bit more of a think before making a decision.
Cases go by the max size of motherboard they can accommodate - a "normal" motherboard is called ATX. You can get smaller, but the main thing to do is match your motherboard to what the case can take - everything else falls into place. Smaller builds can be tricky to get the components in neatly, but with a mid-tower size case like you want, you will have loads of room to manoeuvre.

And yes the components would all fit in the case you want. The cool thing about that pcpartpicker site is that it tells you if you are picking incompatible parts. It's worth playing around with to find the right stuff for you, don't just take my advice. There's loads of useful info out there, you just need to find what works best for you.
 

Tzblizz

Member
Great thanks that helps a lot!

I've updated the list to this: System Builder

I changed some of them to the RGB ones again for the aesthetic, the last point I'm think about is the 2070 super vs 2080 super, I'm no expert, but looking at the benchmarks and for the use of VR is the investment in to the 2080 super better for future proofing my performance?
 

kav

Distinguished Member
That looks fantastic, I'm jealous. Good luck with it. :)

I try not to get too bogged down on the whole "future proofing" thing. It's basically impossible to future proof yourself, you just need to buy what's best for you right now and then not worry about what comes out. For example, the 3000 series cards will be out in 6 months and the 2000 series will drop in price and be considered out of date. You could hold off for them and pay a premium for their performance increases over the 2000 series, or you could just go for it now and enjoy 6 months of great gaming and accept that in six months you no longer own the shiniest new toy.

Once I've got a build sorted I tend to stop tracking what's happening until I'm ready to upgrade again - it's just a personal preference as I feel like otherwise I'd constantly be suffering from buyer's remorse instead of just enjoying my kit.
 

Tzblizz

Member
Thanks for the advice! I was really feeling pretty lost with what to chose, the last time I built a PC was probably 10-15 years ago, water cooling, RGB, modern components are pretty cool but seem far more complex in nature then the old plug and play components that I remember putting together haha
 

sykotik

Distinguished Member
Got to say i would definitely go with a Ryzen build over the 9700k, and build it your self , saving you a fortune !!!

like you say it's been a while . best thing to do , watch a few viz every now and again on YT on how to build it get to know what goes where..
and unlike many years ago , it's very easy these days to knock one up.
 

Tzblizz

Member
I think I'll follow your advice about checking out some YT videos, I found one where someone is doing a build with the exact case and a similar motherboard so that should help a lot.

Another quick question, if I go with 2080/2070 which brands are a good choice? I saw a 2080 super manufactured by MSI but its out of stock, is it worth waiting for this to come back in to stock or are there good alternatives? Does Gigabyte or Asus perform as well etc?
 

silvercue

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the advice! I was really feeling pretty lost with what to chose, the last time I built a PC was probably 10-15 years ago, water cooling, RGB, modern components are pretty cool but seem far more complex in nature then the old plug and play components that I remember putting together haha
Similar to me. I just did a build after that kind of time off, I used to do them all the time. But - it is far, far easier now, so really don't be daunted. It is a learning experience, but overall far more simple. The cases and modular PSUs are so easy to work with and if you avoid lots of big drives we tended to have you get so much more room to work in.

Regarding your build - are you overclocking? If not you do not need water cooling. In fact you don't even need after market cooling at all, though many do like it to get temps down a little.
 
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sergiup

Distinguished Member
Looks good!
A couple of purely personal opinions: I think the 3800X is only £10-20 more? If so, go for that, it has slightly better chosen silicon and for that kind of difference (if I'm right) it would be worthwhile.
You don't need an AIO, get a massive air cooler (I do keep banging on about the Noctua NH-D15) and have no worries about pumps, possibly less noise etc. But yes, it's less pretty... Oh and don't forget enough case fans.
That's all, looks like a very good system!
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
There will always be something to jump to for another ten or twenty quid. Ultimately, a 6 or 8 core CPU is about the sweet spot for gaming for the foreseeable. You are unlikely to see any GPU bottle necking too. I've gone with a 3600 for this living room gaming rig and I could upgrade the GPU to 2080Ti should I choose to. Budget b450 board gets the job done etc. Highly capable gaming builds can be done for really sensible cash now.
I've got a 3950x at my studio for video rendering and its unreal how much quicker it can turn around jobs. What AMD have done with Ryzen should be celebrated and is a great underdog story in the face of Intel's stronghold over the industry.
 

Tzblizz

Member
Thanks for the feedback everyone :) I have a quick question, I ordered a H100i Corsair radiator, it arrived and the layer of thermal paste is pre applied but is not perfect, should I order some different paste or will this be okay? I've attached a picture.
15883294565972895129728232644435.jpg
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
Yikes, I'd wipe that off and put my own on. Did the AIO not come with a plastic shield over this plate?
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Oh dear, that's a big fingerprint on there.
Guess who ever packaged it didn't do a great job.
 

sykotik

Distinguished Member
Yes clean that off and get some new paste ( i use the gelid thermal paste )
but there are others out there ..
 

Tzblizz

Member
Yikes, I'd wipe that off and put my own on. Did the AIO not come with a plastic shield over this plate?

It did come with a plastic shield but it appears to have not done a great job, also the inside of the shield seems to have some thermal paste on it too so it looks like it was pushed against the plate.

Is there any trick to getting thermal paste off properly or is it as simple as wiping it off and apply the new paste?
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
I usually use some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton bud, comes right off. I think you can get wipes that do this as well.
 

sergiup

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the feedback everyone :) I have a quick question, I ordered a H100i Corsair radiator, it arrived and the layer of thermal paste is pre applied but is not perfect, should I order some different paste or will this be okay? I've attached a picture.View attachment 1291367

That's a fingerprint, someone clearly made a mistake when it was packaged (unlikely) or it wasn't brand new, or you mistakenly touched it ;)

Get some new thermal paste and isopropyl alcohol, wipe it off thoroughtly (CPU as well), apply the new paste (there are a LOT of videos on YouTube about how to do that), and re-mount carefully.
 

Tzblizz

Member
I usually use some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton bud, comes right off. I think you can get wipes that do this as well.

Thanks for the advice, will have to pick some up as well as replacement paste thanks.

That's a fingerprint, someone clearly made a mistake when it was packaged (unlikely) or it wasn't brand new, or you mistakenly touched it ;)

Get some new thermal paste and isopropyl alcohol, wipe it off thoroughtly (CPU as well), apply the new paste (there are a LOT of videos on YouTube about how to do that), and re-mount carefully.

Luckily these are all brand new parts, currently sitting in their boxes on my floor so the CPU I would hope is already nice a clean haha

I have applied paste before but couldn't hurt to watch a few videos to brush up on technique to make sure I get decent evenish coverage.
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
I think the techniques are generally a) pea-sized blob in the middle, b) two lines forming a cross and c) two parallel lines. I went with b) and it was fine, you don't need to overthink it too much! If you fire it up and it's cool in idle and not boiling under stress then you're golden.
 

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