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Build Guide

Enthusiast Gaming Build

by ThoughtA



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.


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.


Storage requirements vary from to user so we've selected both a solid state drive and a mechanical drive as a base line for this guide. Since our motherboard has an m.2 port we can avoid using a couple extra cables by adding an m.2 to the part list. The parametric selection chooses an m.2 drive at 512GB or larger which you can use for your operating system, games and regularly accessed programs. Should you need more storage we have also included a parametric filter to choose a 3TB or larger mechanical drive that runs at 7200rpm. Feel free to add more as less storage based on your usage and needs.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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: 377W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $311.25 $311.25 shopRBC Buy
CPU Cooler $179.98 $179.98 NCIX Buy
Motherboard $129.00 $129.00 Vuugo Buy
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
$124.99 $124.99 Newegg Canada Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 960GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$313.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $313.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080
$769.99 -$20.00 $749.99 NCIX Buy
$20.00 mail-in rebate
Case $108.10 $108.10 shopRBC Buy
Power Supply $99.98 -$10.00 $89.98 NCIX Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $2037.28
Mail-in Rebates: -$30.00
Total: $2007.28
* 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:

jipster69 4 Builds 2 points 6 days ago

Enthusiast Gaming Build

Enthusiast!? You call THIS enthusiast?! Bah...

A true Enthusiast Gaming Build would have more fans!


"enthusiast" is a term which can mean anything to anyone... I am only trolling joking

(trolling violates PCPP's user agreement)

Please do not debate the validity of this build against your opinion of what qualifies as "Enthusiast" Gaming

  • This has been another message brought to you by Jips Tips =P
Osaid202 1 point 7 days ago

Aren't SeaSonic, corsair or EVGA 650 W power Supplies options from parametric selection a better choice simply because of more watts adding 10$ only?

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 7 days ago

Higher wattage rating doesn't really give you anything significant if you aren't using more wattage.

Osaid202 1 point 6 days ago

I agree but, I would go with more wattage for future upgradeability.

Slurth 1 Build 1 point 4 days ago

Yes, plus they're fully modular so it's easier to build with.

rhao510 1 point 5 days ago

Hi guys, can someone help me gut check the below upgrades to this build? I want to build the below.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $338.89 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X52 Liquid CPU Cooler $139.99 @ SuperBiiz
Motherboard *Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $108.99 @ Newegg
Memory Corsair Dominator Platinum 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory $137.89 @ OutletPC
Storage Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $159.99 @ Jet
Video Card Asus GeForce GTX 1080 8GB STRIX Video Card $678.99 @ SuperBiiz
Case Fractal Design Define C with Window ATX Mid Tower Case $84.99 @ NCIX US
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA G2 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply $88.89 @ OutletPC
Monitor Asus PG279Q ROG Swift 27.0" 2560x1440 165Hz Monitor $727.99 @ Best Buy
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $2481.61
Mail-in rebates -$15.00
Total $2466.61
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-02-21 05:31 EST-0500
ThatConsolePeasant74 1 point 2 days ago

get a better motherboard that supports overclocking and you might want to hold off until amd ryzen releases

Zurus 2 Builds 1 point 5 days ago

Would it be better to spend $10 more for the kraken 62x? it's only 40mms bigger.

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 5 days ago

It's up to you if it's worth it. You'll have to take out part of the PSU shroud to fit it in the front, which in my opinion won't really be the best for aesthetics.

Zurus 2 Builds 1 point 5 days ago

I was just wondering if it would be better to have the extra 40mm as i would like to have a kraken on my personal PC

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 5 days ago

The larger radiator will cool better. The downside will be a loss in aesthetics if that's your thing. Like I said, it's really just a personal preference you'll have to decide for yourself.

Hodge05 1 point 4 days ago

Hey there, thank you so much for doing this. Quick question for you. I am hoping to get the Predator X34 and was curious if this build would be able to fully take advantage of the benefits of this beautiful monitor. I hope that is not a stupid question. Thanks!

badjazy 1 point 1 day ago

I think the Acer XB271HU bmiprz 27.0" 2560x1440 165Hz Monitor would go very well with this build. Though if anyone disagrees, I would like to hear it as I could be wrong. There could be a far better priced monitor out their that performs similarly.

SuperGuyDoesGames 1 point 16 hours ago

If you were willing to cut the case down a bit, and then cut the SSD down to 500gb and add a 1TB HDD, you could cram an i7-7700k in there. Some wouldn't notice the difference if all you do is game, and if thats you a 1tb SSD would be better for you, but for extreme multitaskers like me, or people who stream/edit video AND game, it will.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor $339.00 @ B&H
CPU Cooler Corsair H115i 104.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler $119.99 @ Newegg
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z270P-D3 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard $108.99 @ Newegg
Memory *G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory $94.99 @ Newegg
Storage *OCZ TRION 150 480GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $124.90 @ Amazon
Storage Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive $49.99 @ B&H
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Superclocked Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card $559.99 @ Newegg
Case NZXT S340 (Black) ATX Mid Tower Case $61.99 @ NCIX US
Power Supply *SeaSonic G 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply $59.99 @ Newegg
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates) $1569.83
Mail-in rebates -$50.00
Total $1519.83
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-02-26 09:02 EST-0500
KeizerKronos 1 point 1 day ago

That graphics card will run hot tho... I would opt for an after market cooler, i would go for the EVGA superclocked edition

ThatConsolePeasant74 1 point 6 hours ago

It actually doesn't run that hot under load my friend has one and while i was over we ran benchmarks and it doesn't get that hot, but yes a dual fan card would be more optimal

Slurth 1 Build -5 points 7 days ago

Enthusiast is more i7s than i5s, plus only 550 watts on a PSU seems kind of tacky for a build of this caliber

suhailskhan 7 points 7 days ago

For a PC enthusiast, sure. But if we're only looking at enthusiast gaming, the CPU and the PSU is are fine. No GPU bottlenecking on the i5's side, and so no need to add to the cost if it does its job fine.

EDIT: For a for a frequent live streamer, an i7 is a worthwhile choice over the i5.

vagabond139 5 Builds 5 points 7 days ago

550W is PLENTY

rhali8 2 Builds 1 point 23 hours ago

welcome to 2017... where GPUs don't need ridiculous amounts of power...

looks at GTX 295

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
NZXT Kraken X52 Liquid CPU Cooler 10W - 15W
ASRock Z270 Pro4 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Mushkin Blackline 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 11W - 11W
Patriot Torch LE 960GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB Superclocked Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card 45W - 180W
Total: 96W - 377W