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Build Guide

Magnificent Intel Gaming Guide

by ThoughtA




This build follows a striking black and white color aesthetics. In light of that, a number of part selection decisions were influenced in pursuit of this aesthetic, while impacting cost and performance as little as possible.

CPU and Cooler

At this budget, we're running an i5-8600K. This hex-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.

To make the most of the overclockability, we're adding the Deepcool CAPTAIN 240EX WHITE 240mm liquid cooler, which will really let you push the CPU.


We're using a parametric selection of quality black and white motherboards

We're using a parametric selection of motherboards that keep with a black and white theme. The parametric selection will actively choose the best-priced motherboard of the group. All motherboards in the group use the Z370 chipset, which allows the i7-8700K 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.


For memory, we're filtering for the best-priced 2x8GB kit of DDR4 RAM that would match a black and white build and also is 2666 or faster. 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 at least 500GB capacity. Additionally, we're including a 3TB mechanical hard drive in a parametric filter for things like storing media and extra games. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to change the capacity to your heart's desire.


Our GPU is the very popular GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. 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 Ti available, but feel free to click the "From parametric filter" link to browse our listing of 1080s Tis. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1080 Ti 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 TG. 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. This version of the Define C includes a tempered glass window as its side panel, rather than the older acrylic version.


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.

AMD Version

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

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 474W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $334.50 $334.50 Vuugo Buy
CPU Cooler $94.99 $94.99 Newegg Canada Buy
Motherboard $169.99 $169.99 Memory Express Buy
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3300, DDR4-3333
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
  • Color: Black, Black/Gray, Black/Silver, Black/White, White, White/Gray, White/Silver
$176.99 $176.99 Newegg Canada Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$162.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $162.99 Amazon Canada Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 3TB - 10TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$89.99 $89.99 Newegg Canada Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Length: 224mm - 403mm
$889.99 $889.99 Memory Express Buy
Case $99.99 $99.99 Newegg Canada Buy
Power Supply $122.15 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $122.15 Amazon Canada Buy
Total: $2141.58
* 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:

RandyLee 4 points 1 month ago

I think you must have gotten a bit confused while putting this together because in the description you discuss an i7-8700K but the cpu in the parts list is an i7-8600K.

Must have been a late night.

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 3 points 1 month ago

yeah.. must be a mistake here

jejones01 3 points 1 month ago

it's a i5 not a i7

residentof254 4 points 1 month ago

I guess both RandyLee and ThoughtA typed this late night.

VinentPlayz 3 points 1 month ago

How late were you up? It was an i5...

ten8yp 3 Builds 2 points 26 days ago

it was definitely a late night when whoever made this parts list. Its off in so many ways.

I5, 500GB ssd, $83 semi modular psu, 1080ti with an I5. For $1700 there have been many better systems built.

NiallMaw 2 points 23 days ago

That i5 is better than an i7-7700K

ten8yp 3 Builds -3 points 23 days ago

Maybe at stock speeds... but not overclocked.

Kyoma 4 points 17 days ago

Have you seen the new coffee lake chips benchmarks? Remember the i5 8600K is 6 core now(the i3's are now 4 cores so they are like the previous i5's), 6/6t @5ghz i5 vs 4/8t @5ghz i7= i5 8600k is obviously faster on multithread and singlethread performace than the previous generation i7‘s overclock or not. TL/DR: i3 are now i5, i5 are now i7 and i7 is just overkill.

ten8yp 3 Builds -2 points 17 days ago

You're missing my point. It wasn't that the I5 chip isn't a good or nice chip. It was that it seems pointless to pair the best gpu on the planet (for the money) with the second best cpu. For most people, if they have $700+ to spend on a gpu they should also opt for the best cpu in that line which would have been the I7-8700k for $100-$150 more (which is a very small percentage increase compared to performance increase.) Its just bad advice to pair the I5 with the 1080ti. Had he suggested the I5 8600k with a 1080 or a new 1070ti I would have been all in.

In addition... performance is not as simple or linear as more core/threads = better performance. Previous AMD chips should have taught everyone that. That being said, I would also say that regardless of cores/threads (for gaming specifically) Intel chips are MUCH better than equivalent Ryzen chips (non Threadripper), even previous generations with less cores/threads. Benchmarks prove that. Ryzen chips (with their higher core/thread counts) still only shine in their multi-threaded tasks and non-gaming applications. They are capable gaming computers but still budget gaming cpu's. Coffee Lake then does it even better. Such is the cycle. CL integrates Intel's superior overclocking WITH the higher core and thread counts. Dont get me wrong, I own both Intel and Ryzen computers. I love my Ryzen computers for what they do which is budget oriented multitasking. For gaming I still go back to Intels whether more or less core/threads. Most people do the same if given the choice.

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IncognitoGamer123 4 points 1 month ago

Why not the 'MSI Z370-A PRO'? Is it a bad motherboard or just not up to par with an $1800 PC? I'm asking this because I'm probably going to get the cheapest option paired with an i3 8350k.

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 4 points 1 month ago

Well.. Intel CPUs are waay better overclockers and are better for gaming anyway (1080p at least). And with coffeelake you have a great upgrade path too.. you could also use the z370-A pro. iT has enough features for a basic PC.

LatiosGaming -3 points 29 days ago

What upgrade path? AM4 is supported until 2020 or later, so Ryzen has better upgrade path. Edit: you must also remember that Zen (Summit Ridge) is a brand new architecture that hasn't been refined yet. Coffee Lake is Kaby Lake with more cores, and Kaby Lake is just more efficient Skylake. So therefore, Zen should be given a chance with its 12nm refresh that arrives soon, Zen + (Pinnacle Ridge).

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 3 points 28 days ago

He can either upgrade to a six core i5 or 6 core i7. so yeah.. the upgrade path is bigger than kaby lakes.. And no need to tell me the same stuff over and over again.. i've heard the amd path stuff thing for the 50th time now

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LatiosGaming 0 points 18 days ago

It really doesn't. AM4 has a lot more potential than you may think.

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Outlaw_123 3 points 1 month ago

It is a low end motherboard, I recommend not to cheap out on motherboards in general. A gigabyte aorus gaming 5 would probably better imo. Honestly, if you are going with 8350k, either wait for cheaper motherboards (different model) or get ryzen, which I suggest highly. A b350 board with a ryzen 5 1600 should be good enough and same price, more value and better performance for multitasking.I don't even thing that it will be much faster, max 10 fps difference in most games. My two cents on this:)

hi_im_snowman 1 point 1 month ago

Unreal how prices/specs change so rapidly. This is a cool build and I'm sure it benches really well! @PCPP, are you to share pics of the finished build, or is it the component list only created for illustrative purposes?

residentof254 1 point 1 month ago

This is a guide. If you want to at least see the pictures of a finished build, head over the "Completed Builds" otherwise, wait till Black Friday and see those prices drop like crazy.

jejones01 1 point 1 month ago

i might buy this over my build. as it is in my budget. the thing i don't like about this is there is no monitor added to the build.other than that, this is a very good build, good selection of parts. =)

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 2 points 1 month ago

well.. the part list is only for the PC. Not for a complete setup

surefir3 1 point 1 month ago

I like this gen krait, it isn't overkill on the 2-tone and has very nice rgb high lights around the sides and the heat spreader on the bottom right. But why that ram... would have gone with vengeance to keep the brands together, corsair and MSI have a thing going.

Nater650 1 point 1 month ago

I’ll stick with my i5-7600K and GTX 1060 but thanks

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 4 points 1 month ago

there is no reason to upgrade from a 7600k to a 8600k

Nater650 2 points 1 month ago


All you get is a slight performance decrease and 2 extra cores that are completely useless for gaming

PowerPunch360 4 points 1 month ago

A lower clock rate on Coffee Lake compared to Kaby Lake or even Sky Lake, doesn't mean lower performance. There is more to performance than just clock rate. Coffee Lake is better in almost every way.

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 3 points 1 month ago

well ive heard that coffeelake CPUs are way better overclockers. So thats a point for coffeelake

LatiosGaming 2 points 29 days ago

They are not better overclockers. Most 8700Ks will top out around 4.8-4.9 without delidding.

Lobsterareawesome 4 Builds 3 points 28 days ago

yeah.. and thats with 2 additional cores

LatiosGaming 2 points 29 days ago

I would suggest getting a 7700K soon because quad cores without multithreading are considered entry-level now (see 8350K). Intel will likely push for more applications to effectively use the extra cores you're given with Coffee Lake, so the hyperthreading benefit you get from the 7700K is worth it.

GM007 0 points 1 month ago

agreed, i'm also 7600k + 1060

Lexkalin 2 Builds 1 point 1 month ago

The GPU temps in this thing must be terrible. I've got ordinary Define C and EVGA 1080 FTW2 with two 140mm pwm Venturi fans as intake and one non-pwm Venturi exhaust and my temps can easily go up to high 70s or even around 80 C (e.g. witcher 3) with 78 F / 26 C ambients (fan curve tops at 70% rpm set in afterburner and it's quite audible at that point). Front-mounted radiator adds another couple degree to the restrictive front panel and dust cover. All in all the case is jut bad for high-end open-air cooled gpus.

GoatTurtle 1 point 22 days ago

The Ultra Gaming MOBO has some VRM temperature issues which would effect the overclocking so I would definitely change that one out.

ddr3forfree 1 point 18 days ago

If you want a excellent gaming build look at lga 2066 cpus

ddr3forfree 1 point 18 days ago

Not only are core i7 but core i9.I wanted a super gaming build and they use core i5.Honestly they should make it a enthusiast build.Plus they should lower the psu cost. You can buy a way cheaper one. But that’s my opinion.

NevilleDevil 1 point 15 days ago

Why did you not include the AsRock Extreme 4 or AsRock Fatil1ty K6. Those two boards are the best midrange ATX Z370 motherboards, especially based on vrms and their cooling potential?

cbale2000 1 point 34 minutes ago

IMO the price to performance on a 1080 Ti just doesn't make sense on a build like this. Would be better off upgrading the CPU to something like an i7-8700K and running a 1070 Ti or even a normal 1080.

Otherwise the build looks decent, I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to SSDs (due to some bad experiences in the past) and will only buy Samsung 850 Pros thanks to the 10 year warranty and a MTBF that's twice as long as most other drives, but that's just my preference.

davengerdann -3 points 23 days ago

Deepcool CPU cooler should be EVGA CLC 280, it's the best cooler.

PSU should be Seasonic Prime Titanium 650w, with a high end build and demanding components don't ever skimp on the PSU. It's critical for safe OCing and will last 10 years plus. The Seasonic has a 14 year warranty.

Ditch the 3tb HDD, it's obsolete. This is 2017. Replace with 1x750 gb/1tb Crucial MX300 or if budget allows for, 500gb/1tb 960 evo. For boot drive, OS and core programs use the 32GB intel Optane module. This is slower in sequential but much faster in 4k read/write which is what is important for Boot/OS/Programs.

As for the mobo. It's been objectively reviewed in a roundup and the AsRock Extreme 4 is much better for like £10 more. Again, a critical component. Don't skimp on it.

Everything else is acceptable.

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 23 days ago

I'm sorry to say that you're quite mistaken if you think that any of the selected PSUs is 'skimping.' All of them are very good, and this build's budget being fairly high doesn't mean you have to purchase the best and most expensive possible. I don't believe recommending a $70 more expensive PSU is worthwhile when the ones selected are already good quality.

As for the 3TB mechanical drive, everyone's storage needs differ, as stated in the guide. You may only need 500GB - 1TB, but a lot of people need more. Faster doesn't help much if you don't have the capacity for your needs, and getting several SSDs wouldn't be a reasonable substitute here either. The Optane suggestion is certainly worth considering though.

davengerdann -1 points 23 days ago

The Seasonic Prime has a 150,000 MTBF rating, which is 1.5x the 100,000 (industry standard) of the Corsair. The Prime also has a 4 year longer warranty. Shows how confident the manufacturer is of their unit eh? Aside from the obvious electricity bill savings and the fact that the PSU will be dumping less waste heat into your system, that is a pretty compelling reason to buy the best PSU you can afford. And someone who can afford a £750 1080ti can afford a £160 PSU.

It's true, everyone's storage needs do differ. Say you have 3tb of important files and you want to access them every day, or every week. A mechanical drive will fail. It just will. There are moving parts and they wear out over time. Simple as. Whereas an SSD drive, as you well know, will keep going until it's cells wear out, at which point it's capacity will just grow smaller and smaller (overprovisioning), and the longevity of those cells is a lot better than the longevity of a spinning disk read magnetically, especially in the kind of high quality SSD storage I'm suggesting. So, to clarify, not only does using any kind of mechanical drive for storage not make sense for reliability reasons, but there is also the question of access time. Say, best case scenario that drive is filled with videos and photos. These are all fairly large, one piece files. They'll copy at a healthy 100-150mb/s depending on the mechanical drive. Let's do the math. Just to run the weekly backup (if you're smart enough to), will take 5.8 hours. This is best case scenario. Whereas your average user will have some steam game data (anywhere between 100mb to 150gb per game spread across thousands of small files), maybe some program files (again, lots of small files), likely some WIP video/audio projects (guess what, more large quantities of small files) in addition to the typical rendered videos and already processed photos which are nice and singular in their file count. In this case scenario, accessing or copying any percentage of the entire drive, unless you are just creating an image, will take significantly longer overall than it would to just copy over those nice and simple vids/photos. So again, it simply doesn't make sense, if you value your time (time is money), or your work/personal files (reliability) to go mechanical.

I see so many builds which go full bore on certain components, most typically the CPU/GPU because they lead to the most obvious performance advantages, then skimp on the rest of the system. Ignoring the fact that it's the rest of the system you will typically keep long-term and from build to build, when you upgrade the CPU/GPU every few years. Sense. This makes none.

ThoughtA staff submitter 4 points 23 days ago

Clearly you and I have differing opinions on what is 'skimping' and what fulfills various needs. That's okay, and I welcome your suggestions and opinions.

davengerdann 1 point 23 days ago

It depends if you are willing to compromise the ideal to save a few pounds in the short term. Anyone can make a pc that will work fine for a few years, it's really not that hard. Making something that will "fulfill various needs" and keep doing so 5 years later is a different matter.

redblade93 1 Build 1 point 16 days ago

Davengerdann you make some good points but saying that this build makes no sense is false. Who knows what power supplies are going to look like 14 freakin years down the road? Spending almost twice as much for a PSU means you could essentially just buy another corsair in 10 years and still break even. Hell, you could invest that $70.00 and buy more components in 10 years! I agree with you on the SSD - it's clearly better in the long term, but so is an M.2 NVME drive, and if you value storage space/gaming over file/loading speed, that's totally a legitimate call to make. Now, what I really have a problem with is the graphics card - currently selected is the MSI Armor 1080ti (I know its a parametric filter so it can change). This graphics card has inadequate cooling. See the Gamer's Nexus review.

JackOfSpades789 1 point 11 days ago

You could just do the smart thing and back your data up.....I'm sitting here with multiple terabytes of data and I always make certain to backup to BackBlaze daily. Data loss isn't a big issue if you're smart about making reagular backups.

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