I’m a videographer/photographer so this build is 99% for editing/productivity purposes, though there may be the rare 1% occasion where I want to game (been thinking about getting God of War and Final Fantasy XV). Felt like a stealthy black look might be pretty cool so that’s the theme I went with for all my parts. Here are some notes on my parts with prices at the time of purchase (all $ in CAD):
Motherboard: Gigabyte z390 Designare ($362)
This was the only reasonably priced MOBO with Thunderbolt 3 ports I could find. As an editor who deals with large file sizes, I wanted to have a system with the latest and fastest ports to make sure it’s future-proofed. But what a challenge it was in getting this board… It’s been sold out everywhere in Canada since early December 2018 so had to ship it to New York and ask a friend to grab it for me smh. I'll definitely be getting a Thunderbolt 3 hub soon to make the most of these ports. The Caldigit TS3 Plus seems to be the most versatile and likely candidate in my eyes.
CPU: Intel i7-8700k ($480)
The i7-9700k and i9-9900k have been out at the time of purchase but I didn’t find a big enough advantage in getting the 9700k, and the 9900k is stupid expensive. I plan on overclocking my 8700k in the near future.
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken x62 ($189)
I had to have this purely for its aesthetics lol. I love the simplistic yet sleek NZXT branding on the pump.
GPU: MSI GTX 1070 Ti Titanium ($583)
I didn’t need a top of the line graphics card for my purposes but a 1070 Ti is no slouch. I also plan on overclocking it and hopefully getting 1080-type performance. Also, having OCD on aesthetics, I needed a card with a nice looking backplate lol. I don’t know why all cards don’t come with backplates considering the exorbitant prices on GPUs these days…
Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 32GB 3200MHz ($381)
Needed 32GB RAM and needed RGB. That is all. When RAM prices drop a little I plan on filling up my DIMM slots and upgrading to 64GB total (hence the reason I got 2x16GB instead of 4x8GB).
Storage: WD Black NVMe SSD 500GB ($130) & 2x Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD ($180 each)
I got the WD Black for my Windows 10 OS and all software installs, and I got two SSDs for organizational purposes (also worked out because two 1TB SSDs cost less than one 2TB SSD). One drive is for my videography projects and the other is for photography, games and video media cache/scratch disks. Potentially looking into a 4TB or larger hard drive as well in the future to store completed projects.
PSU: Corsair RMx 850W - $130
A 650W or 750W PSU would’ve been sufficient, however this motherboard has an additional 4-pin CPU connector along with the usual 8-pin, which means I needed two CPU cables. The Corsair PSUs only provide one CPU cable unless you grab an 850W or 1000W product. You don't need to connect both CPU cables, the 8-pin alone is sufficient, but I wanted to make sure I had the 2nd cable available if required in the future.
- NZXT H500 Case ($85): Since I knew I wanted Corsair fans, I chose the H500 rather than H500i (the latter comes with an NZXT fan hub and LED strips).
- Corsair LL140 RGB Fans w/ Lighting Node Pro ($99) & 2x LL120 RGB Fans ($30 each): Since I went with all black, the RGB fans were needed to illuminate the internals. These Corsair fans are the best looking RGB fans in my opinion. You need to get a 2-pack or 3-pack fan kit because they come with the fan hub and Lighting Node Pro, which are mandatory to be able to use the RGB on the fans.
- NZXT Internal USB Hub ($23): This motherboard only has one USB 2.0 header and I needed two (one from the Kraken and one from Lighting Node Pro).
- CableMod Basic Extension Kit [Black] ($40): Since I’m spending all this money on the build, I def. wanted the internals looking clean. If my back panel was visible I would’ve gotten the full cable kit. Basic kit was perfect since it’s a cheaper alternative if you want just the few visible cables (1x 24-pin, 2x 6+2 PCI & 1x 4+4 CPU) rather than the whole cavalry.
TOTAL COST: $2923 + tax = $3256 CAD
If you're interested in what I use this PC for, my Instagram page containing my work is linked below. Build video for this PC will be on my page soon.
@_faiaz | https://www.instagram.com/_faiaz/
Being a videographer, this was a key component behind my build because it has Thunderbolt 3, and is one of the few motherboards on the market currently with these versatile, high-speed ports (another one is the Aorus Xtreme, which is approx. double the price). Helps to have a Thunderbolt 3 Hub to make full use of the ports, like the Caldigit TS3 Plus. Some things worth considering when using this board are: (1) you'll need an internal USB hub if you require more than 1 USB 2.0 header, since this mobo only has 1; (2) mobo has 8+4 CPU connectors - all PSUs don't come with 2 CPU cables so if you intend to use the optional 4 pin connector as well you need to get a PSU with a 2nd CPU cable; (3) check manual to know which SATA connectors to use because m.2 shares bandwith with some SATA connectors
Sharp and incredibly bright, so I'm very happy with the picture quality. However, beware of the backlight bleeding - it's quite noticeable when you have your room lights turned off. I'm okay with it since 99% of the time I'm using my monitor with the lights on so it's not at all apparent then.