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Build Guide

Magnificent Intel Gaming Guide

by ThoughtA


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 and Battlefield 1 can benefit significantly from a faster CPU. Overclocking can also help your CPU stave off obsolescence for a good while longer.

To take fuller advantage of the overclockability, we are including the new be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4.


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 i5-8600K 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 on display in the Fractal Design Meshify C TG. This 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.


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: 489W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $324.99 $324.99 Memory Express Buy
CPU Cooler $92.79 $92.79 Newegg Canada Marketplace Buy
Motherboard $194.99 $194.99 Newegg Canada Marketplace 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
$199.99 $199.99 Newegg Canada Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
$137.00 FREE $137.00 Mike's Computer Shop Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 3TB - 10TB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$99.95 $99.95 Vuugo Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
  • Length: 224mm - 403mm
$974.99 FREE $974.99 Mike's Computer Shop Buy
Case $109.99 $109.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Power Supply $109.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $109.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Total: $2244.68
* 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:

hesterj 6 points 22 days ago

I built the computer suggested by this guide and I am extremely satisfied. It was my first time building a computer, and followed the current partlist with the change of adding a more powerful PSU because I am building this for both machine learning and gaming and may and another GPU later. I also didn't buy the spinning disc drive as I have an M.2 drive on hand which the motherboard listed here supports. My only comments are that the build is quite easy except for the be quiet! CPU cooler which requires some assembly, and if you are like me and have a difficult time handling small pieces it can be a bit of a struggle.

For anyone considering doing this as a first time builder here are the difficulties I encountered: Placing the RAM and 1080 Ti GPU in to the appropriate slots can take a little more force than I was comfortable with considering how expensive this gear was. As long as you make very sure everything is lined up appropriately it should all go in to place. When I put it together the first time, the GPU wasn't fully in place and had just a black screen on booting the computer. Make sure you use the HDMI output on the graphics card rather than the one on the motherboard.

Follow the instructions the motherboard manual gives you to hook the stuff (fans, buttons, etc.) in the case to the motherboard. On the listed motherboard, I hooked the case fans to System Fan 1 and System Fan 2 on the motherboard and they work fine. The rest of the cables in the case are labeled clearly and the motherboard manual has instructions where to put them.

The instructions that come with the case are a great guideline, but if I did this again I would definitely attach the CPU power and motherboard cables from the power supply unit BEFORE attaching the be quiet cooler because the cooler on this listing is very large and can make it difficult to attach cables from the PSU if you wait till the end to do that.

If you turn the tower upright and none of the labelling on the components are upside down, you are on the right track. Make sure you don't attach the CPU cooler upside down like I did the first time. The be quiet! people are nice enough to include some thermal paste with the cooler as well.

Other than carefully following the instructions on be quiet! assembly, the only other difficult part was deciding what cords go to where in the power supply. I struggled with this for a while. The motherboard PSU cord should be clear, and the CPU power as well. I bought a different PSU than the one listed here, but I used a single cable that had two 3x2 with a 1x2 attached on each. You want to use the 3x2 and the 1x2 on the 4x2 port on the GPU, and just the remaining 3x2 on the last 3x2 on the GPU. I left the remaining 1x2 hanging. It is difficult to describe and I couldn't find a video that illustrated this well.

On assembly, everything is running as expected including all of the case peripherals etc. Make sure you follow the step by step instructions on each part carefully. Hook up the PSU to CPU power before attaching the massive be quiet! cooler to avoid a major headache. Also make sure none of the wires are touching any hardware using the many pieces of velcro and random piping that come in the boxes you get from following this guide.

Thanks to pcpartpicker for this great list of parts at a reasonable price!

smalleybiggs 1 point 9 days ago

I’m a total noobie builder. How many USB ports will this come with? Mainly looking to hook up Oculus and it requires 4 ports, i believe at least 3 Type C.

averasko 1 point 1 month ago

why do you spend so much on the cooler? it won't be silent during gaming by any means because of the 1080 Ti. but when idle, the most noise will be coming from the case fan rather than the cooler.

MelkorsSong 1 point 19 days ago

That card dose not get too loud. Stays reasonably quiet.

yellowbear 1 point 1 month ago

Will the cooler hide the rgbness of the ram?

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 1 month ago

What!?!?! Only an i5 but a GTX 1080 Ti?

SavageVector 1 Build 5 points 1 month ago

Dude, coffee lake's unlocked i5 beats last gen's unlocked i7. It can keep up with a 1080ti for nearly any game you throw at it.

mlgcrossyroad64 2 points 1 month ago


mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 1 month ago

I didn't know because I usually assume bigger number=better xD but thanks for enlightening me.

SavageVector 1 Build 7 points 1 month ago

You're half right. The number following the 'i' (3,5,7, & 9) gives the series, and a general idea of the power the processor has. The four digit number (and maybe letter) after the 'i' tell you more about the processor itself.

The first of the four numbers tells you the generation (i7-6700 is 6th gen). The next two numbers tell you the level of processor within that generation (_400 will always be the lower i5 for that generation). The fourth number is always a zero, I assume because it looks cool.

A 'k' on the end means the processor is "unlocked"; meaning you can make it work faster than it's designed, but with no promises on how much faster. A 'x' and 'xe' means the processor is overkill and super-overkill, respectively.

TlDr; General rule of thumb, the the generation number (the first of the four) is the most meaningful. My i7-6700k (6th gen, two gens old) gets beaten by an i3-8350k (8th gen, current).

CPU.Userbenchmark is a really good cheat-sheet on general power, but it isn't the most reliable benchmark out there. http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/

Gacao_F 1 point 28 days ago

What about AMD ryzen CPU??

SavageVector 1 Build 4 points 28 days ago

I don't work nearly as much with AMDs, so I can't tell you nearly as much.

As with Intel, they have a four digit code, and the first digit is the generation (ryzen's currently on gen 2, TR still on gen 1). The second and third numbers represent how good the chip is within that generation, but I don't have those memorized to the '3', '5', and '7' the same way I do Intel. Finally, just like Intel, the last number always seems to be a '0'.

I have literally no idea what the 'x' on the end means, as I'm pretty sure that all ryzen's are OC'able.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 1 month ago

btw could you take a look at my build an see if there is anything I should change because you seem to know more about PC hardware. Here is the link: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/KKmcbX

Memo1010 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

you should post that in the forums

mlgcrossyroad64 0 points 1 month ago


SavageVector 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

From a quick rundown, the parts list seems perfectly fine.

The only thing I'd suggest taking a look at is maybe replacing your CPU with the Ryzen 3 2200g. It's $20 cheaper, but you likely have to update your motherboard before the CPU will work, which requires going to a store to get it done. It's a bit of extra work, but you save $20, and the 2200g is an APU; meaning you can actually play games without a GPU on medium settings, allowing you to wait until GPU prices drop before upgrading to a dedicated card.

You might need 16gb instead of 8gb with an APU, but that's an easy upgrade to make if you find you need more ram after testing. The Ryzen 5 2400g would also be a viable option over the 2200g.

Other than that, looks good; but as u/Memo1010 said, you should go to the forums if you want good criticism from multiple guys who know more than me about AMD processors.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 1 month ago

Thanks for the help.

mlgcrossyroad64 1 point 1 month ago

I will definitely take a look at the APU's

mlgcrossyroad64 0 points 1 month ago

btw one more question: If I use an APU and then I get a GPU in the future, will I need to change it to a CPU?

SavageVector 1 Build 1 point 1 month ago

Nope. The APU works the same as Intel's integrated graphics, only much stronger. When you get a dedicated graphics card, it just shuts down the gpu section of the CPU.

Just be aware that the 2400g is about half the GPU power of a GTX 1050 ti; so graphics will be bottom of the line. The reason to go for the APU is if you think you can last on what equates to a GTX 1030 until prices for better cards finally come back down.

Of course, the ryzen APUs are incredibly new things, and you definitely want more than just my opinion before pulling the trigger. Cheers!

MelkorsSong 1 point 19 days ago

Understandable, yet might as well shill out for the i7 if you can afford a 1080ti. But still correct.

Leleedler 1 point 25 days ago

Great build +1 My only change would be going for the NH-D15 over the Dark Rock Pro 4. The mounting system on the Dark Rock, is really awful, and the NH-D15 is a good bit better for the same price. The Dark Rock Pro does look better to most people but, I'll always take Noctua over be quiet!.

flint_1337 1 point 23 days ago

is it okay to pair the i5-8600k with a GEFORCE GTX 1080 Ti ?

MelkorsSong 1 point 19 days ago

No problem.

guilledelmo 1 point 14 days ago

What about case fans? Can somoene give me some recommendations on silent RGB fans for the meshify c and how many you can put

MoniqueTheFreak 1 point 11 days ago

So does the fan definitely leave enough room for the RAM to be installed? This is my first time building a PC and it looks kinda bulky.

tropbovin 1 point 10 days ago

How much would this build gain from a substitution of the GPU ? Let's say I replace the i5 with the i7 8700 ? Would it be a good idea ?

The_Card_Czar 1 point 3 days ago

Well, the 1080ti is top of the line right now, so you'd be hard pressed to gain anything from substituting the GPU. For your CPU question, I would say it depends. If you are not comfortable overclocking your CPU, then the i7 8700 is probably as good as it will get for you. However, if you are willing to overclock it, it would not make sense to switch out the OC able CPU (that's what the k in i5 8600k stands for) with a locked processor.

smalleybiggs 1 point 7 days ago

Piggybacking on the comment below. If I replace the i5 with a i7 8700k, would the cooling requirement change?

The_Card_Czar 1 point 3 days ago

You should be able to use the same cooler. Really though, it depends on how much overclocking you intend to do on it. The more power you try to squeeze out of a cpu, the more cooling you'll need to not blow it up.

zSPC -1 points 22 days ago

AMD is cheaper and better performance: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/NhfDZR

DANIEL777 -1 points 6 days ago

The CPU is a bottleneck to the powerful GTX 1080ti.

The_Card_Czar 1 point 3 days ago

The i5 8600k actually is plenty sufficient for the card. While it may not perform quite as well as an i7 8700k, there will always be a bottleneck somewhere in the system, and this one is plenty good enough as is for most users.

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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-8600K 3.6GHz 6-Core Processor 11W - 95W
be quiet! - Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler 5W - 10W
MSI - Z370 KRAIT GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard 17W - 70W
Team - Vulcan 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory 14W - 14W
Crucial - MX500 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Seagate - Barracuda 3TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Zotac - GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 11GB AMP Edition Video Card 67W - 270W
Total: 120W - 489W