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Gaming setup ~$2000 - what do you think?

Apr 7, 2020
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So I'm building a PC right now for around $2000 (+- cause I live in Europe so I'm translating the prices and they are a bit different over here) and here's what I came up with:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor ($504.99 @ Best Buy)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler ($86.46 @ B&H)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($189.99 @ B&H)
Memory: Patriot Viper Steel 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: PNY XLR8 CS3030 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($139.99 @ Best Buy)
Video Card: Palit GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB GameRock Video Card (~$750)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A ATX Mid Tower Case (~$80)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply ($114.99 @ B&H)
Total: ~$2000
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-07 08:33 EDT-0400


What would you say? The intended purpose is general usage. Mostly gaming & some work-related stuff like game development, programming or video editing sprinkled on top. Does it make sense or should something definitely be changed?
 
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You could just do a partpicker list for your / a neighbouring European country

it would help people suggest alternatives as if we suggest an alternative that makes sense with USD pricing, it may not make any sense in your local pricing :)

The big question is: what monitor will you be gaming on? What resolution and refresh rate?
 
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Oh, didn't know there were international PC Part Pickers! Regretfully, they do not show prices in my country and the neighboring ones are also lacking at least a few parts which are available where I live :/ The closest would be UK I guess cause the prices are pretty identical and there's only the PSU price missing so if it helps, here they are:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor (£497.47 @ Scan.co.uk)
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 50.5 CFM CPU Cooler (£73.98 @ Aria PC)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO ATX LGA1151 Motherboard (£159.99 @ CCL Computers)
Memory: Patriot Viper Steel 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 Memory (£74.55 @ CCL Computers)
Storage: PNY XLR8 CS3030 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (£155.65 @ More Computers)
Video Card: Palit GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER 8 GB GameRock Video Card (£679.99 @ AWD-IT)
Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A ATX Mid Tower Case (£58.65 @ CCL Computers)
Power Supply: SeaSonic FOCUS Plus Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Total: £1700.28
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-04-07 13:55 BST+0100


As for the monitor, I though about something around 34 inches, ultrawide and curved so something like MSI Optix MAG341CQ Curved for example.
 
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That would be a good match for the spec, being 1440p ultrawide.

The spec seems sound and balanced.

It's debatable whether the 9900k is worth it for your uses though. Whether a 3700x + X570 or even B450 motherboard would be just as good and cost a lot less.

Also, for the SSD, consider the SX8200 Pro instead as it's a similar or lower price apparently and may be a little faster overall
 
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Zoid

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This is a good, balanced build. I don't have any real suggestions for you.

Out of curiosity, what attracts you to the i9-9900K? It's an excellent processor, no doubt, but at that $500 pricepoint there is stiff competition. Are you sure that it will serve your needs the best of the alternatives for the price? I'll just point out that depending on where you're shopping, a Ryzen 9 3900X can come out cheaper than an i9-9900K, and for most people I think the Ryzen 9 is the smarter pick.
 
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Thanks a lot for the replies!

Also, for the SSD, consider the SX8200 Pro instead as it's a similar or lower price apparently and may be a little faster overall
Understood! In my case however, they're roughly the same price where I live - and the PNY is actually even pricier, though to a negligible amount, literally a couple of bucks. Would you go for the SX8200 Pro then, in that case?

Out of curiosity, what attracts you to the i9-9900K? It's an excellent processor, no doubt, but at that $500 pricepoint there is stiff competition. Are you sure that it will serve your needs the best of the alternatives for the price? I'll just point out that depending on where you're shopping, a Ryzen 9 3900X can come out cheaper than an i9-9900K, and for most people I think the Ryzen 9 is the smarter pick.
Yeah, this may seem a little counterintuitive but I just wanted to build something as high end as possible for my budget which is what brought me to this CPU - though you are certainly right and I'm aware that Ryzen wouldn't make any huge difference :)

Two more questions I would have are:
1. Going back to the monitor, I did some more research I was thinking something along the lines of LG 34UC89G or MSI Optix MAG341CQ which I mentioned above. They're both ultrawide and curved but the former is also 144Hz as opposed to 100Hz. Does it make any big difference? Would you go for any of these or a different one altogether?
2. I only just now realized that PC Part Picker is flagging the Phanteks Eclipse P400A case as "incompatible" with the Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler. Any idea why? Like, it's a regular case and a regular cooler so what could be incompatible here?
3. Do you think it's a good moment to build this PC or do you think Intel is going to change the playing field when the comet lakes come out so much that it's a bad decision? And if it even makes sense to wait for them cause considering the covid situation, I really doubt we're going to see them and good mobos for them available in stores in a matter of weeks, like the leaks seem to suggest, as opposed to months.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Zoid

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Yeah, this may seem a little counterintuitive but I just wanted to build something as high end as possible for my budget which is what brought me to this CPU - though you are certainly right and I'm aware that Ryzen wouldn't make any huge difference
I know some folks enjoy simply having the highest end hardware, whether or not they use all of it, and that's completely fine! Just checking what your motivations were for the overkill were. If you want to have tops trumps in gaming performance, stick with the i9. If you want tops trumps in cores and multi-threaded computing, go for the Ryzen 9.

2. I only just now realized that PC Part Picker is flagging the Phanteks Eclipse P400A case as "incompatible" with the Dark Rock Pro 4 cooler. Any idea why? Like, it's a regular case and a regular cooler so what could be incompatible here?
Aha, good catch. Your case advertises a 160mm CPU cooler clearance. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is awesome, but it's also a great big 162mm chunk.

3. Do you think it's a good moment to build this PC or do you think Intel is going to change the playing field when the comet lakes come out so much that it's a bad decision? And if it even makes sense to wait for them cause considering the covid situation, I really doubt we're going to see them and good mobos for them available in stores in a matter of weeks, like the leaks seem to suggest, as opposed to months.

Thanks in advance!
There's always the next wave of hardware you can wait for. It's the nature of computers that they start becoming obsolete as soon as we build them. If you are satisfied with your current gaming situation, sure, you could wait. If you're itching to build a new machine now, go ahead and start enjoying it.
 
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1. Going back to the monitor, I did some more research I was thinking something along the lines of LG 34UC89G or MSI Optix MAG341CQ which I mentioned above. They're both ultrawide and curved but the former is also 144Hz as opposed to 100Hz. Does it make any big difference? Would you go for any of these or a different one altogether?
It's a trap.

The former one (the LG) is FHD ultrawide, not QHD. I.e. it's actually 2560x1080, stretched across 34". It's an extremely niche product.

The monitor is also apparently gsync, rather than freesync or 'gsync compatible' which means you can't get adaptive sync on AMD GPUs, should you ever upgrade to one in the future.

That was a much better option.
 
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Aha, good catch. Your case advertises a 160mm CPU cooler clearance. The Dark Rock Pro 4 is awesome, but it's also a great big 162mm chunk.
Ahh, I see! Is it safe to choose a case that supports fans of juuuust the right height, though? Cause for example I would happily choose a SilentiumPC Astrum AT6V over the Phanteks cause it looks really, really great and I think the reviews are rather positive (though not as good as for the Phanteks) but the producer claims that the supported cooler height is precisely 162mm. Is it alright or should I aim for more leeway?

There's always the next wave of hardware you can wait for. It's the nature of computers that they start becoming obsolete as soon as we build them. If you are satisfied with your current gaming situation, sure, you could wait. If you're itching to build a new machine now, go ahead and start enjoying it.
Makes sense, thanks a lot!

That was a much better option.
You mean the MSI? So I shouldn't worry about the 100Hz?
 

Zoid

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Ahh, I see! Is it safe to choose a case that supports fans of juuuust the right height, though?
I can't say for sure that it'll work, and I can't say I recommend it, but my last-gen PC has a CPU cooler that literally scrapes against the side panel, so I'm not qualified to advise you on this subject ;)

If you do end up taking a fitment risk, be sure to carefully measure and test-fit things to make sure you're good before going to the trouble of getting it all installed.
 
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You mean the MSI? So I shouldn't worry about the 100Hz?
Yes I mean the MSI was a much better option, being much better resolution.

And no, don't worry about the lower refresh rate. Not nearly as much as you should worry about a low resolution stretched across a massive screen!

100hz is also plenty, though there are other 1440p ultrawide monitors out there that offer upto 120hz I think if you want to shop around for those.
 
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@Zoid @Oussebon Ahh I see, thanks a lot for all the information!

In that case, I'd still have one more question - since taking the 162mm along with the case housing the maximum of 162mm seems like a pretty big risk, would there be another, shorter cooler you'd recommend instead of DRP 4? Something that I would not need to sacrifice the quality/performance/silence with but that would also be in roughly the same price range?
 
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Be Quiet Dark Rock 4 (the not-pro one) - to which you could always mount another fan at the rear?

That cooler should fit going by the specs, and this person https://pcpartpicker.com/b/sj8Ycf appears to have built a system with the P400A and DR4

It won't be as effective, so if you intend to OC, that could be a consideration - but if you intend to OC you should also be looking at 240mm AIO coolers anyway
 
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Thanks. I'm not really planning to do any extreme overclocking but I most likely will try to do some light OC either right away or after a few months so I'd rather be future-proofed for that - so I don't know if these "flatter" coolers like the aforementioned non-pro DR4 or Mugen 5 are a good choice? :( Are there no alternatives to the DRP4 that kinda retain the same performance? Or would I just be better off changing the case to something that will easily house it (like, say, NZXT H510) and call it a day?
 
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Oh, I just saw that these DR4 and Mugen 5 aren't really "flatter" by any means, I just looked at the photos wrong, sorry for that :D But what about Noctua NH-D15S though? It seems to be only marginally more expensive than the DRP4 while still being really performant and quiet (even more so than the DR4 and Mugen from what I see?). Also, it's 1600mm high and houses RAMs up to 65mm underneath so it sounds like a good choice. What do you think?
 

Zoid

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Oh, I just saw that these DR4 and Mugen 5 aren't really "flatter" by any means, I just looked at the photos wrong, sorry for that But what about Noctua NH-D15S though? It seems to be only marginally more expensive than the DRP4 while still being really performant and quiet (even more so than the DR4 and Mugen from what I see?). Also, it's 1600mm high and houses RAMs up to 65mm underneath so it sounds like a good choice. What do you think?
The Noctua NH-D15S is an excellent air cooler with very good cooling performance and near silent operation. It is a good choice if you want to use air cooling.

The only way to go up from there would be with a good 240mm liquid cooler.
 
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Inspireless Llama

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The reason I suggested the Mugen 5 here is that it's a massive cooler (some like it, others don't) but in terms of compability, the only thing you need to take care of is the size of the cases. Whatever RAM you go for, it fits, because it's build to bent away from the RAM modules. I have Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro's, which are really high but it fit perfectly with the RAM.



In terms of cooling performance, this aircooler does run a little hotter than liquid cooling, but it's not by that much. I saw a chart with a i7-7700k under load and 66 degrees. It actually beats some Liquid Coolers with it, but the NZXT ones came arround 55. Seems a big difference, but an aircooler keeping a CPU under load on 66 degrees is very decent I think.

EDIT: Talking about Celsius here.
 
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Unless you need too I would advise waiting if you want to build an intel system. 10th gen is right around the corner and would be worth the wait. Rumor the 10700k will have the same specks as the 9900k
 
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Thanks everyone for the replies!

I think if you are struggling with compatibility and want strong cooling for an overclock, an AIO liquid cooler is by far and away the simplest option.
Hm, but aren't liquid coolers more demanding in terms of maintenance? Cause while I would certainly happily try out liquid cooling as that's something I never used but I also read that liquid cooling systems are far from the ease of use of air coolers which you basically only vacuum the dust off and that's it. That you need to spend time calibrating the cooling curves, maintaining it properly to regularly make sure everything is properly sealed and not airlocked and so on. Is it true?

The reason I suggested the Mugen 5 here is that it's a massive cooler (some like it, others don't) but in terms of compability, the only thing you need to take care of is the size of the cases. Whatever RAM you go for, it fits, because it's build to bent away from the RAM modules. I have Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro's, which are really high but it fit perfectly with the RAM.
Ahh I see - in that case it seems like it's a viable alternative to Noctua NH-D15S, especially with that pricepoint... Though it seems like Noctua beats it by far in terms of noise, right?

Unless you need too I would advise waiting if you want to build an intel system. 10th gen is right around the corner and would be worth the wait. Rumor the 10700k will have the same specks as the 9900k
Yeah but according to the newest info, it seems like the new generation will take a few months before actually being available and the rumored z490 mobo prices are astronomically high... This makes me really doubt if it's a good option if I'd rather build this PC in the upcoming weeks rather than in December :/
 
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Hm, but aren't liquid coolers more demanding in terms of maintenance?
No - thankfully :)

An open loop cooling solution (the kind of liquid cooling with the coloured liquid pipes everywhere that you may have seen) does indeed need more maintenance, and involves a certain level of expense.

The liquid coolers I mean, and that are by far the most commonly used are closed loop coolers (CLCs, aka All in One AIO liquid coolers).

This kind of thing:

They're sealed units that require no maintenance beyond what an air cooler does, i.e. dusting.

As for spending time managing profiles for fan/pump speeds, that's pretty well the same as customising a fan curve for an air cooler.
 
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I'm not evangelising AIO coolers btw, just arguing they should be seriously considered given what you've said :)

This article reviews the NH-D15 and other coolers including AIOs in.. a level of detail and thoroughness that one would expect from GamersNexus
 
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Inspireless Llama

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Thanks everyone for the replies!

Ahh I see - in that case it seems like it's a viable alternative to Noctua NH-D15S, especially with that pricepoint... Though it seems like Noctua beats it by far in terms of noise, right?
I'm not sure, I always found the Scythe really quiet but I have no experience with Noctua. The Scythe Mugen 5 has 2 fans which are running at a relative low speed and thus very quiet. In terms of cooling, I guess the noctua will be better, but the Scythe Mugen isn't bad at all.
 
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They're sealed units that require no maintenance beyond what an air cooler does, i.e. dusting.
Ah I see, great! Thanks for the resources linked - I looked through them but still it makes me wonder, does it really make sense to choose a 240mm AIO cooling (like, say, Fractal Design Celsius S24 Black which seems to be frequently recommended in the cheaper sections of AIOs) over, say, the Noctua NH-D15S I mentioned? I mean, even when maintenance isn't really different in either, still in case of AIO cooling I'm paying more for something which is reported to be 8dB louder than the cheaper air alternative?

Can't really find comparisons of the D15S Noctua with liquid coolings but basing on what the producers report, it looks like we have a 82,5 CFM vs 87,6 CFM circulation comparison here so when going with an AIO like Fractal, we're paying more for something 33% louder for the sake of it being 6% more performant in potential max air circulation. Would you say this is a good tradeoff? It makes me wonder cause while I'd like to probably do some OC with the CPU, I don't know if this is worth the noise and price if I'm basically an OCing noob and I'm not going to do any extreme OC anyway (for which neither the Noctua nor the low-end AIOs would probably cut it anyway). Don't know, it's just my stream of consciousness so I'd be grateful for any opinions :D
 

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