This is my first completed build, however it is not my first gaming pc; I previously owned an Alienware Aurora R5 with an i5-6400 (not overclockable), 8gb DDR4-2133 ram, and a GTX 1060 6gb. So this is a pretty large jump for me. This new system has an i5-9600k, 16gb DDR4-3200 ram, and an RTX 2070 8gb. In short, this new gaming rig can handle basically all my games at around 60 fps; keep in mind my monitor is only 60hz so if this system is capable of more than 60 fps at ultra settings (which it almost definitely is) I can't say. If all you want to know is how well this system runs than know it can run almost all current games at ultra settings at 1080p at at least 60 fps (except for really large battles in Total War games from Rome 2 on).
Continuing will be why I picked the parts that I did but keep in mind that everything I know about building PC’s I’ve accumulated only in the past few months so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
CPU: I chose the i5-9600K for a few reasons. First of all, it was the most affordable high-endish processor with only 1-2 average FPS bottleneck with my RTX 2070 according to GPUCheck. Secondly, it is very overclockable compared to my old i5-6400 (which isn’t overclockable at all). And lastly, because it is a step above my older brother’s i5-8400 which matters to me more than it should.
CPU Cooler: This one was easy. I knew I didn’t have the will power and the want to deal with maintaining a water cooled system so I decided stick to an air cooler and I basically picked the first one I saw with a blue LED and decent reviews. Either way it works great so far although I haven’t taken note of the temps yet. (Also the GAMMAX 400 comes with thermal paste which I didn’t know until the day of building by which time I had already purchased my own).
Motherboard: Deciding on the MSI Z390-A Pro was fairly simple. It was the only mobo that I could find on Amazon (where I was looking for pc parts before I discovered this site) that was affordable, current, and could support both 8th and 9th processors which is important to me because I like the option of being able to upgrade to an i7-8700K as supposed to jumping straight to something more expensive like an i7-9700K. Side note, do not be fooled by the “pro” part of the name; setting it up was perfectly manageable for me, a first time pc-builder. Not to mention I got it for $30 off when I purchased it with a processor at Micro Center.
Memory (RAM): For memory there were a few things on my checklist. It needed to be at least 16gb, white, and have RGB. I narrowed it down to either 2x8 Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 16gb or 2x8 Team Night Hawk RGB 16gb. Originally I decided on the ladder as it is cheaper but I later made a final decision on the Corsair sticks despite the extra cost, because I simply preferred the way they looked over their Team counterparts. I also later made the decision to pay an extra $10 for DDR4-3200 as opposed to DDR4-3000.
Storage: Picking storage was probably the most convenient one for me. Originally I decided on a 500gb Mushkin SSD and a 2TB Barracuda HDD each for about $50 but my dad had an unused 1TB Samsung 860 Evo SSD which I was able to snag off of him for $100 (almost $70 less than it is on Amazon) which in my opinion was a real steal.
GPU: My pc building journey, for lack of a better word, actually began a few months ago when I decided that it was time to upgrade the GTX 1060 6gb in my Alienware Aurora R5. Originally I spent a lot of free time in school researching what GPU was best for what I was willing to pay. Originally I hoped to land a GTX 1080 Ti but those were too expensive. Eventually I decided on the RTX 2070 due to it being within my $500 price range, it performs similarly to a GTX 1080, and it has ray tracing capabilities. This was also when I learned about bottlenecking as having an RTX 2070 in a 3 year old gaming rig with an i5-6400, which is why I decided that if I was gonna upgrade my gaming rig, I would have to upgrade basically everything.
Case: For a PC case I wanted something white and sleek. I decided on the Corsair Carbide 400C pretty quickly as the only other PC case that I considered was the NZXT H500 but I preferred the Corsair Carbide as the Corsair branding was a little bit more discreet. Quick side note, I had to remove the harddrive bay in order to rout my cables in a way so that they weren’t all crammed through one tiny hole, just something to keep in mind if you plan on using this case.
PSU: I chose the EVGA 650w Gold GQ power supply for a couple of reasons. First of all, it was affordable for me at about $80. Second, the 650w gave me some wiggle room for future upgrades and overclocking, and lastly it has 80+ gold efficiency.
Extra Things: I also needed a network adapter since my motherboard does not support WiFi on its own so I chose the TP Link Archer T2UH because of its nice, clean white look and it’s relatively cheap price. I also installed a couple LED strips (which I have not posted any pictures of yet) that I ordered from amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Computer-Lighting-Magnet-Controller-Desktop/dp/B07F6755N6. So far they work well and really add to the look of my build.
This cpu has little to no bottleneck when paired with my RTX 2070 8gb (bottleneck was nonexistent once I oc’d it using my mobo’s bios) which in my new system is a big jump from the i5-6400 that my GPU was previously paired with in my last gaming system.
Already a really good cpu air cooler as it is but the blue LED makes it perfect for me.
Picked this mother board because it supports both 8th and 9th gen Intel CPUs so in the future I can upgrade from my i5-9600k to something like an i7-8700k which would be cheaper than upgrading to an i7-9700k. The only inconvenience I’ve experienced so far is the lack of SLI support which isn’t a big deal since my RTX 2070 8gb can’t support SLI either. Also overclocking my cpu using the bios is super simple.
Really nice looking and feels very sturdy when you hold it. Not entirely sure if it is worth the extra $12 for DDR4-3200 as opposed to DDR4-3000 though.
Changing from a hardrive to an SSD feels like an entirely new system. It feels very high quality and has cut my loading time to 1/5 of what they were before. Also was able to snag one off of my dad for $100 which is always nice.
This card is capable of running all of my games at 60+ FPS and stays around 55-60 FPS at ultra settings 1440p with dlss enabled in Anthem. It is also able to maintain 50-60+ FPS ultra settings with RTX and DLSS enabled in Metro Exodus. However, for future upgradability reasons I wish it had SLI support, since buying a second RTX 2070 is significantly cheaper than paying for a new 2080 or 2080 Ti (although I am aware that SLI isn’t always a solid upgrade choice which is why I’m not gonna deduct a star).
The steel frame feels like very high quality compared to my old Aurora R5 case and looks a lot sleeker too. Came with more than enough zip ties for my build and was surprisingly easy to handle cable management wise. Only thing to worry about is that it is much easier to cable manage once you remove the hard drive bays.
No problems so far. Works as expected with my i5-9600k and RTX 2070.
Wireless Network Adapter
Works perfectly so far but I’m not sure if it was worth the $31 dollars on amazon (including tax) especially since my internet caps at 22 mb/s download speeds while this network adapter from what I hear is capable of 100mb+ download speeds.