New gaming PC to replace my circa-2011 Alienware Laptop (M17xR3) which I'd been using mostly as a desktop replacement. It still does surprisingly well, but the 7970M GPU is showing its age and can only really run less intensive games like Blizzard titles smoothly on high settings at 1080p. I'd procrastinated for the past couple years on building a replacement, but over the last few months I started building a list here. This machine will be used for gaming, and also for some occasional photo work in Lightroom.
I've had the machine together for a couple days now, and here's where I am in terms of clocks:
CPU stable @ 5.0GHz and 1.285v with no AVX offset
CPU stable @ 5.1GHz and 1.305v with no AVX offset. This is my 24/7 setting.
I tried for 5.2 but it was going to be in excess of 1.37v so there's no way it would be practical at all given the heat.
I've got the RAM overclocked from 3200 to 3600 without touching the timings or voltage.
GPU is stable @ 2130 core and 1950 memory. My best Time Spy score is here https://www.3dmark.com/spy/5450836 , currently #2 overall for this CPU/GPU combo. Load temp doesn't really exceed 70C.
Intel - Core i9-9900K 3.6GHz 8-Core Processor --- I was originally planning on getting an 8700K or 8086K and delidding, but then the new CPU's were announced and I heard they had soldered IHS's. This saves me the time/money of delidding, so it's worth a bit of extra money. Also, 8 cores and 16 threads is fun to have.
Corsair - H150i PRO 47.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler --- It's a gen6 Asetek 360mm AIO. They're all pretty much the same. I'm replacing the fans with Noctuas, so I don't care about those either.
Asus - ROG MAXIMUS XI HERO (WI-FI) ATX LGA1151 Motherboard --- I like the Asus BIOS and features, and also wanted to have Aura Sync for RGB. The HERO has the same VRM's and power delivery as the CODE and FORMULA, so I didn't feel the need to get the more expensive boards.
G.Skill - Trident Z RGB 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 Memory --- I had settled on either G.Skill or Corsair for RAM, and wanted 32GB at 3000 or 3200. I figured RGB would be fun and though the G.Skill modules looked the best, so I waited until I saw some for cheap and snagged it. The RGB looks really good, probably the highlight of the case.
EVGA - GeForce RTX 2080 8GB XC ULTRA GAMING Video Card --- I had been planning on either a 1080ti or a 2080 and decided on the 2080 once 1080ti's started disappearing and becoming more expensive. It didn't seem worth it to me to buy a good 1080ti for $750-800 when I could get a 2080 for like $50 more. I got EVGA's XC Ultra because it was the nicest and beefiest card which was available from EVGA or Asus. It's the reference PCB same as the Nvidia FE cards, but it has a massive 3 slot cooler on it so it should do much better with thermals/noise. I would've considered the FTW or STRIX cards, but they unfortunately weren't out yet.
Samsung - 970 Pro 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive --- This is the fastest SSD out there aside from the insanely expensive Optane units. This will be my boot drive, and 500 GB should be sufficient for all my currently-used applications and games as well. The 1 TB drives of this class are still too pricey.
Seagate - FireCuda 2TB 2.5" 5400RPM Hybrid Internal Hard Drive --- This will be my data drive. I went with 2.5 inch because of the case I selected. The 3.5 inch hard drive tray blocked both my bottom fan position and any 360mm radiator I might want to put in the front. So, I chose the biggest cheap 2.5 inch drive I could find which still had some degree of speed. Unfortunately they don't really make 7200 RPM 2.5 inch drives above 1 TB, so this hybrid thing will have to suffice.
Fractal Design - Meshify C Dark TG ATX Mid Tower Case --- I love the design of this case. It's small for an ATX mid-tower, so it's practical to have up on my desk without taking up a ton of space. It has great airflow with the mesh front, filters everywhere, and room for 7 fans as well as the largest radiators. The only con I can think of is that due to its shorter length you have to mind your GPU length if using a front radiator since you'll only have around 285-290mm of clearance. This excludes the longest cards out there unless you either put your radiator on top, or get creative in the front by doing some light modding and putting the fans or the radiator on the outside of the front of the chassis under the dust filter.
Corsair - HX Platinum 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply --- It's a power supply, it's fully modular, and it's 1000W. Should be plenty of power for this build overclocked with all the LED's. It's a bit long in this smaller case, coming up to within an inch or so of the bottom fan, but it fits.
Noctua - NF-S12A PWM chromax.black.swap 63.3 CFM 120mm Fan --- Exhaust fans. These do over 60 CFM while making under 18 db at full throttle, which is silly. Most other case fans with similar airflow make 5-10 db more noise. I payed a bit extra to get versions which weren't brown. I have two of these exhausting out the top and one exhausting out the back. I got these instead of the NF-A12's because I didn't need the static pressure for exhaust and could save a bit of noise for the same airflow.
Noctua - NF-A12x25 PWM 60.1 CFM 120mm Fan --- Intake fans. I use one of these on the bottom intake as well as three on the front radiator. These relatively new fans are probably the best all around 120mm fan on the market, especially for radiator or other static pressure applications. Much quieter than any of the alternatives, with similar or better performance.
Phanteks PH-FF120DRGBP_BK01 120mm Halos Digital RGB Fan Frames --- LOL, I may have gotten a bit carried away with the RGB but whatever, it'll be fun. I thought these were really neat and reasonably priced. They work with Asus AURA and they basically make any fan into a nice addressable RGB ring fan at the cost of 6mm of added thickness. This means that instead of using inferior RGB fans from Corsair or whoever, I can use the best Noctuas for optimal airflow/noise and still have pretty colors. I got one of these for each of my fans, except for the bottom intake which you can't really see. They look pretty cool combined with the RAM running on Asus Aura Sync, as you can see in the pics.
Dell - AW3418DW 34.1" 3440x1440 120 Hz Monitor --- It was between this and the new LG 950G which uses a one year newer version of the same size panel. The LG ended up not having much in the way of new features or better specs due to still using the old gsync module, and it was still $400+ more expensive, so I got the Dell.
You also may notice the custom cable extensions, which I got from Ensourced. I went with a spectrum design for the 24 pin, an Intel blue and white for the CPU power, and a Nvidia green and white for the GPU power.
The wire and tape you see on the back of my GPU is for a thermal probe. I have it right behind the GPU core where it gives me something within a few degrees of the GPU temp. I did this because the Asus BIOS doesn't have access to the GPU temp for fan profiles unless you have an Asus GPU. This way I can have my case fans spin up higher than their normal 40-50% when the GPU gets warm, which is what I want with the CPU under water.
Expensive, but a great CPU. Mine can get up to 5.2 GHz for benchmarking, or 5.1 GHz for 24/7 use at a reasonable 1.30v or so.
Works great. Pump is basically silent on the quiet or balanced settings. You can hear it a bit on the max performance setting, but I've only been using that during benchmarking or stress testing. I can't comment on the Corsair fans since I replaced them with Noctua NF-A12's. I wish they sold versions of these without fans...
Working well. No issues with VRM temps OCing a 9900K to at least 5.2 GHz. My only complaint is that this board has a fair amount of vdroop, even on an LLC of 7 (.05v or so). Still, there's no overshoot or anything so it's just a matter of bumping the voltage a bit. Perhaps they can improve it via BIOS updates.
Hynix memory. Cheaper than the b-die kits, but won't OC as well. Mine runs fine at the 3200 XMP, but 3400 seems like it might take more than just a bump in voltage.
On the plus side, the RGB is amazing.
Really fast SSD, no issues.
OC's pretty well, up to 2130/1950 stable in my case. The XC Ultra heatsink is amazing as well. Temps max out in the low 70's and the fans hardly have to go very high at all. If I max out the fans while running benchmarks it stay's in the 60's even with that overclock.
Great case all around. Great build quality and design for the price. The tinted glass looks fantastic in the dark when lit from the inside, it looks like it isn't even there and you can reach in the case. My only nitpick is that I wish it was maybe an inch longer so it could accommodate the longer GPU's with a front radiator and fan.
These things are amazing. 30 addressable LED's. I have three daisy chained into each header on my board. Works great with Asus Aura.