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Build Guide

Great Intel Gaming Build

by ThoughtA

Description

CPU

At this budget, we're running the Intel Coffee Lake i5-8400. Unlike previous generations' i5s, the Coffee Lake i5s are 6-core processors. The i5-8400 will perform very well with all your gaming needs. It includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. Since we aren't overclocking our CPU, the stock cooler will be sufficient in keeping temperatures acceptable.

Note: If you'd prefer to consider a similar build, but instead using an AMD Ryzen processor, be sure to check out our Great AMD Gaming Build Guide.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric filter to constantly select the best-priced motherboard while meeting selected criteria. In this case, we are filtering for B360 chipsets and 4 DDR4 DIMM slots for future expansion. The compatibility engine will filter out anything not compatible with the build. The motherboards are also capable of using the CPU's integrated GPU, in case you need to RMA your GPU or are waiting for a sale or upgrade.

Memory

Memory needs are slowly but constantly increasing, and we want to stay ahead of the curve. To this end we're using a parametric filter to choose a 16GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications at the best price. The filter will only select 2x8GB kits, allowing us to leave room for extra DIMMs for future expansion.

Storage

We're use parametric filters to incorporate an SSD with at least 1TB of space. We have also added a parametric filter for a 2TB mechanical drive for mass storage, such as extra games and videos. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to add or remove capacity to your heart's desire.

GPU

For our GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1070 Ti will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like PUBG) at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of War. It'll also handle Fortnite with zero issues. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1070 Ti will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

To keep the noise and temperatures down, we've updated the filter to include a minimum length to avoid "mini" versions of the card, which prioritize fitting into small builds, such as an ITX case. You can choose to use this filter instead, if you want to include the smaller cards for any reason. Note that smaller cards will be louder or hotter - or both.

Case

All of our parts are on display in the Fractal Design Meshify C TG Dark. This tinted, tempered glass-sporting case has a unique take on mesh fronts. The mesh is bent into a variety of angles that give a cool effect, both looking at it straight on and at various angles in differing lighting.

The Meshify C TG features 2x front panel USB 3.0 ports, and it has a PSU shroud and cable management holes and tie-offs to help your build look cleaner. It can also fit full-sized video cards.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of well-reviewed semi or fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build.

AMD Version

Here is the AMD version of our Great Gaming Guide..

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 286W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $237.00 $237.00 Powertop Buy
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel B360
  • RAM Slots: 4 - 16
$104.99 -$10.00 $94.99 Canada Computers Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$112.99 $112.99 Newegg Canada Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 960 GB - 15360 GB
  • Type: SSD
$129.88 $129.88 Canada Computers Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 2000 GB - 15360 GB
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$67.95 $67.95 Vuugo Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
  • Length: 223 mm - 403 mm
$683.50 $683.50 Vuugo Buy
Case $114.99 $114.99 Newegg Canada Buy
Power Supply $99.99 -$20.00 $79.99 Canada Computers Buy
$20.00 mail-in rebate
Base Total: $1551.29
Mail-in Rebates: -$30.00
Total: $1521.29
* 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:

boatfullogoats 7 points 2 months ago

Using this as my first gaming PC, the last parts are coming in today. Wish me luck!

clorence 4 points 2 months ago

Good luck!

Offbrandkermit 1 point 10 days ago

Hey I'm asking because I want to buy this one, does it work fine and (it probably comes with cables but just want to make sure) does it come with cables.

ethans_universe 1 point 15 hours ago

Yes, the cables will come with the PSU

donbchristie 4 points 1 month ago

Hey, ThoughtA, thanks for this build!

My kid and I used it as a base for our first build but made a few changes given what our local store had in stock on boxing day, and we added a Wifi card. We now realize we could've picked a different mobo with Wifi (didn't ask at the store but figured out our need for Wifi while building).

This was a great learning experience for sure. My kid is 13 and had never opened a computer and I haven't tinkered in years. As total noobs (and at-home Mac users till now) it really helped to walk in with this build in hand and say this is what we're doing. Staff at the store were helpful to suggest and explain options, keep prices in check, and make sure things were compatible.

Really appreciate this forum and all the questions back and forth between new folks and seasoned contributors. That helped us get a clearer sense of what we were getting into.

This is what we ended up with: CPU - Intel - Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 6-Core Processor (we used the cooling fan provided) Motherboard - Gigabyte - Z370P D3 ATX LGA1151 Memory - ADATA - XPG SPECTRIX D41 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Storage - HP - EX920 512 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive Storage - Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive Video Card - Gigabyte - GeForce RTX 2070 8 GB WINDFORCE Case - Fractal Design - Meshify C Dark TG ATX Mid Tower Power Supply - Corsair - Enthusiast 550 W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Wireless Network Adapter - Asus - PCE-AC68 PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi Adapter Windows 10 Pro (I'll be able to do enterprise stuff with work this way)

So far it looks cool and is running great.

iChris306 1 point 1 month ago

Very cool! I've got kids that I've been itching to build a PC with, though they're a bit younger (11/8/6). We're the same - lots of Mac stuff around but I want to get into streaming my podcasts and the occasional game. Exciting to see how it worked out for you! Thanks for sharing. - Chris.

iChris306 1 point 1 month ago

Did a quick build based on your specs w/o wifi and looks good. I still can't get over how expensive video cards are though! :)

https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/user/iChris306/saved/yJsNQ7

obiquiet 3 points 2 months ago

The reviews on the SSD are horrible on Newegg. Has anyone had any experience for over 6 months with the ADATA SU650? All of the reviews where the customer has owned it for 6 months or longer state that the drive fails.

p40warhawk1 1 Build 2 points 2 months ago

How would you rate your experience with this build?

ram0010 2 points 2 months ago

I really like this build and am thinking to build it however if you have benchmarked it based on popular games and software I am very keen to know. Otherwise very nice

iBubblegoose 2 points 2 months ago

How would this build due at max settings on games like Overwatch, Witcher, Skyrim, Froza? Is the 8400 going to be able to keep up with a 1070 Ti GPU?

Noxast 4 points 2 months ago

According to GPU User Benchmark website, all these games would get over 90-120+ fps using the 1070ti. According to TheBottlenecker, the i5 8400 paired with the 1070ti would produce just a 2-3% bottleneck, well within acceptable range. This is a good setup for the games you mentioned at 1080p ultra/max settings.

42BrandonTheCat42 0 points 1 month ago

what is being bottlenecked? the CPU or GPU

Genji_909 2 points 1 month ago

Do cables and those come with or do i have to buy my owns? If i have to buy cables where do i buy them and how do i know they fit with the parts?

Bcash 1 point 2 months ago

Just curious, Intel 9th gen came out. Would we be better of with Core i5 9th gen? Thanks for the great work Thought A.

Rick646 1 point 2 months ago

Would there be any problems with switching the video card to the gaming version instead of the DUKE version?

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 2 months ago

Nope!

Rick646 1 point 2 months ago

thanks for the quick reply

Christopher.Walsh 1 point 2 months ago

So i dont really care about SSD. I think i will wait a couple years before buying one since the load time is only a couple seconds shorter from what ive seen. Also i was wondering. Can i replace the GTX 1070ti with the MSI - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6 GB GAMING X Video Card as i think this would be better for me as the price here in canada is farely cheap. Would any of you find me a 1070ti that is cheaper and better.

P.S. This is my first build and i dont have alot of money.(1500$) and im still in my teens 15. So i want some thing that can play R6S on high or ultra. Also a couple other games. Thanks

p.s.s. Im french so pls dont complaing about my english

smoke_png 2 points 2 months ago

What kind of FPS are you looking for? The 1060 6gb will do fine, and should be able to run high/ultra @60fps 1080p. R6 is a fairly easy to run, which is even better news. I don't know how Canadian currency scales, but you may want to reference the excellent Intel Gaming Build guide, which is priced at just over $1300

Mr_Potato_Man 1 point 2 months ago

Will this be good for pretty much any game at max settings at 1440p, medium to high at 4k?

Noxast 1 point 2 months ago

Depends what you think is playable. I know that's not what you're hoping to hear. For reference, games like Overwatch, CS:GO etc will get 120+fps on max settings (generally), while more demanding games like Witcher will get high 90+fps on max, all this at 1080p resolution. Moving up to 1040 and especially 4k you'll see drop offs from there to probably mid 50-60 fps if I had to guess (haven't tested it). Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on that last bit.

Mr_Potato_Man 1 point 2 months ago

Thanks for this. My definition of "Playable" is around 40-50 fps on low-medium settings at 720p. So, this is more than enough. Also, What you said about "I know this isn't what you are hoping to hear", I'm fine with that. At least it's better than youtube comments. (Then again, anything is better than youtube comments)

Mpvette 1 point 2 months ago

WiFi?

PC_master_race21 1 point 1 month ago

The MOBO doesn't come with built-in WIFI so you will have to connect an ethernet cable or buy a USB WIFI adapter. Alternatively, you can go with a motherboard with built in WIFI such as this one from Aorus: https://www.gigabyte.com/uk/Motherboard/B360-AORUS-GAMING-3-WIFI-rev-10#kf which is a little over 100 bucks as your paying a bit more for that Wifi privilege.

j.haug1984 1 point 2 months ago

I'm very interested in building this. I mainly use Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere for my photography and videography. I am running into issues with my current system not being able to handle these programs. It's severely outdated. Any suggestions of how to make these programs run smoother on this unit or would you think it would be good for my needs just as it is? Side note, I only edit 1080p so no 4k capabilities needed.

PC_master_race21 1 point 1 month ago

If you are mainly going to use your PC for photography and video editing I would recommend a CPU with more cores and threads such as some of the offerings from AMD's Ryzen lineup or alternatively a high end i9 or i7 X series processor

Kqxer 1 point 2 months ago

Would switching the video card to Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1080 8 GB G1 Gaming Video Card cause any problems?

PC_master_race21 1 point 1 month ago

In terms of compatibility it should be fine, however the i5 8400 might slightly hinder the performance of the 1080, you might prefer to go with an i7 8600K to make the most of that 1080.

weaterson 1 point 2 months ago

Would there be any issues switching out the ADATA ssd for a Crucial MX500 1TB ssd drive? The Crucial has better reviews and I'm willing to pay a little bit more for the long-term investment. Thanks!

PC_master_race21 1 point 1 month ago

It should be completely fine!

boatfullogoats 1 point 2 months ago

After a few days of gripes and troubles here and there, I've finally assembled the PC, got the OS and got it working! It performs excellently! It's super quiet and overall wasn't much of a pain to assemble especially for a beginner like me. From browsing the internet to high-end games like GTA 5 it's just a great all around gaming PC so far.

chetm 1 point 2 months ago

Does it matter which case you put this in if you want a custom color?

RamenSchmoodle2 1 point 1 month ago

Wtf, that ram and storage company look so sketchy!?

PC_master_race21 1 point 1 month ago

I know right, I would swap out that dodgy Adata SSD for an SSD from Crucial or Samsung in an instant!

PC_master_race21 1 point 1 month ago

Just putting it out there but wouldn't it make more sense to go with a Z390 motherboard as you are given the option of overclocking a K series processor and possibly later down the line, upgrading to a 9th generation chip without any issues?

Heyimawasteoftime 1 point 22 days ago

Well the MOBO is gonna argue with you on that so I guess you could go for a overclockable CPU but then again, the 8400's turbo boost of 4.0 Ghz is hard to beat at that price range

watawep17 1 point 1 month ago

What monitor is recommended for this build?

Farex 1 point 25 days ago

Some people would go 1080p with a high refresh rate such as 144HZ and push the most FPS they can.

Other would go 1440p with either 60-75HZ or 144HZ, but with slightly lower settings and FPS.

Depends on you.

Shawncs 1 Build 1 point 25 days ago

RTX2060? Almost $100 cheaper and performs better on average.

eesti 2 points 22 days ago

the build is probably getting updated soon, and you could probably just swap one of your choosing in with no drawbacks

Heyimawasteoftime 1 point 22 days ago

Im more budget, anyone know what my 1060 6gb push out on this build?

eesti 1 point 15 days ago

there's a build for you

iDreamPixels 1 point 15 days ago

I have no idea what I'm doing and was wondering if I could use the MSI GAMING GeForce GTX 1060 6GB video card I have received with this build guide.

I tried to copy the list and change the video card option, but they only offer the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 Founders edition. But there appears to be a size difference between the MSI card (13.6 x 10.6 x 3.3 in) and the Nvidia card ( 9 x 1.4 x 4.1 in).

Am I in for trouble?

AviatorShadow 1 point 13 days ago

So, can someone put all of this in extra noob level understanding? I need a new computer, and I was wanting to build one, but I honestly don't understand 90% of what I just read up there. I want to learn more about computers, and I figured building one would help, but I'm starting to think I'm way over my head.

Offbrandkermit 1 point 10 days ago

It comes with cables correct?

eesti 1 point 9 days ago

yes

presidenchill 1 point 10 days ago

Might as well wait for the 3080 to come out and blow everything out the water

eesti 1 point 9 days ago

too bad it will cost $1400 USD

presidenchill 1 point 8 days ago

I meant the 3060 my bad. Im building a PC and stuck between the 1070 or the 2070 but I might as well wait to see what AMD is doing.

eesti 1 point 8 days ago

it would still probably cost $400 knowing nvidia, unless AMD pulls a hail mary with mid-range navi

presidenchill 1 point 8 days ago

I'm talking about the radeon 3060

eesti 1 point 8 days ago

we're talking about nvidia?

presidenchill 1 point 8 days ago

And I was talking about the amd Rx 3080. I might as well wait for that to come out for my new PC build instead of going with earlier cards

Conner5857 1 point 4 days ago

If end up wanting to upgrade to a RTX 2070 or 2080 in the future with this build would I need a stronger CPU?

Fireye04 0 points 1 month ago

Does the PSU come with a charger?

FiddyOverwatch 0 points 1 month ago

Hey, I'm attempting my first build I had an Intel build made fairly similar to this one and was going to use it for gaming. I do edit videos with davinci resolve, and use mild editing programs like paint.net. I also recently enrolled in school for computer science and I want a computer that can handle the coding ill be needing to do in my classes since all my school is going to be used online. I thought about switching to AMD I am going to dual monitor and multi task, but I will also be gaming. Mostly Overwatch, WoW, Fortnite.

cruxae 1 point 25 days ago

This PC is overkill for your needs.

Thanatos719 0 points 1 month ago

I will say that this is the first pc I will be building. Is it possible to use G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory? Also use EVGA - GeForce GTX 1060 6GB 6 GB GAMING Video Card?

This is what I've come up with: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/j2d3XP Would this be a decent build?

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Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-8400 2.8 GHz 6-Core Processor 8W - 65W
G.Skill - Value 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 11W - 11W
ADATA - ULTIMATE SU650 960 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Seagate - Barracuda 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1070 Ti 8 GB Video Card 45W - 180W
Total: 70W - 286W