Author Topic: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build  (Read 68495 times)

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #285 on: January 15, 2019, 10:35:32 PM »

My priorities would be:

1.  Gaming performance in moderately demanding games (no first person shooters)
2.  Productivity
3.  Aesthetics
4.  Noise
4.  Gaming performance in newer, more demanding games
5.  Content Creation
6.  Compactness
7.  $1500 price point

As for the DVD drive, I only need to burn DVDs, but it would be nice to be able to play Blu-rays.

OK, here you go:

CPU ($400):  Intel Core i7-9700K
Motherboard ($170): ASUS TUF Z390M-Pro Gaming (Wi-Fi)
GPU ($380): EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB XC Ultra
RAM ($140): Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3000
SSD ($140): Crucial MX500 1TB M.2
Case ($130): Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX
Power Supply ($80): EVGA Supernova 650 G3
Cooler ($64): Noctua NH-U14S
OS ($128): Windows 10 Flash Drive
Optical Drive ($28): Asus External DVD Burner

Total Cost: $1,660 as of 1/15/19

You're basically getting the best of all worlds here, as it uses the case you really like, but maximizes the CPU power for productivity by going with the Core i7-9700K, which is a really well-rounded CPU. I think the extra $140 it costs over the 9600K is a better investment for you than putting that $140 towards an RTX 2070 over the RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 is also a better match for the compact case. I know you said size wasn't that important, but the larger version of this case, the Evolv X, is $200 - if you're interested in that option, you can check it out here. If you go with this larger model, swap out the compact motherboard above for the Asus Z390-A.

As for playing Blu-Rays, I strongly recommend you just pick up a standard Blu-Ray player like the Sony BDPS3700 . Not only does it cost about half as much as the combined price of the drive and software you need to play Blu-Rays on a PC, but it's also a lot more straightforward to enjoy it from a TV thanks to the remote. Better yet, if you have a 4K TV, get a 4K Blu-Ray player like the Sony X700.

socal580

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #286 on: January 16, 2019, 10:33:12 AM »
OK, here you go:

CPU ($400):  Intel Core i7-9700K
Motherboard ($170): ASUS TUF Z390M-Pro Gaming (Wi-Fi)
GPU ($380): EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB XC Ultra
RAM ($140): Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3000
SSD ($140): Crucial MX500 1TB M.2
Case ($130): Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX
Power Supply ($80): EVGA Supernova 650 G3
Cooler ($64): Noctua NH-U14S
OS ($128): Windows 10 Flash Drive
Optical Drive ($28): Asus External DVD Burner

Total Cost: $1,660 as of 1/15/19

You're basically getting the best of all worlds here, as it uses the case you really like, but maximizes the CPU power for productivity by going with the Core i7-9700K, which is a really well-rounded CPU. I think the extra $140 it costs over the 9600K is a better investment for you than putting that $140 towards an RTX 2070 over the RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 is also a better match for the compact case. I know you said size wasn't that important, but the larger version of this case, the Evolv X, is $200 - if you're interested in that option, you can check it out here. If you go with this larger model, swap out the compact motherboard above for the Asus Z390-A.

As for playing Blu-Rays, I strongly recommend you just pick up a standard Blu-Ray player like the Sony BDPS3700 . Not only does it cost about half as much as the combined price of the drive and software you need to play Blu-Rays on a PC, but it's also a lot more straightforward to enjoy it from a TV thanks to the remote. Better yet, if you have a 4K TV, get a 4K Blu-Ray player like the Sony X700.

Ari--after reading your review of the full size Enthoo case, I am a little worried about noise.  I think I'm going to go with the Phanteks Eclipse that you recommend for the content creating PC, and the Asus Z390-A MB.  Please let me know if there will be any issues with this combo (particularly with regard to cooling) and the other components that you recommend.

Also, thanks for the thoughts on the Blu ray drive.  I agree.  99% of my viewing is on my 4k TV, so no point in spending $200 to have that capability on the PC.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #287 on: January 16, 2019, 10:46:53 AM »
OK, here you go:

CPU ($400):  Intel Core i7-9700K
Motherboard ($170): ASUS TUF Z390M-Pro Gaming (Wi-Fi)
GPU ($380): EVGA GeForce RTX 2060 6GB XC Ultra
RAM ($140): Corsair 2x8GB Vengeance RGB Pro DDR4-3000
SSD ($140): Crucial MX500 1TB M.2
Case ($130): Phanteks Enthoo Evolv mATX
Power Supply ($80): EVGA Supernova 650 G3
Cooler ($64): Noctua NH-U14S
OS ($128): Windows 10 Flash Drive
Optical Drive ($28): Asus External DVD Burner

Total Cost: $1,660 as of 1/15/19

You're basically getting the best of all worlds here, as it uses the case you really like, but maximizes the CPU power for productivity by going with the Core i7-9700K, which is a really well-rounded CPU. I think the extra $140 it costs over the 9600K is a better investment for you than putting that $140 towards an RTX 2070 over the RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 is also a better match for the compact case. I know you said size wasn't that important, but the larger version of this case, the Evolv X, is $200 - if you're interested in that option, you can check it out here. If you go with this larger model, swap out the compact motherboard above for the Asus Z390-A.

As for playing Blu-Rays, I strongly recommend you just pick up a standard Blu-Ray player like the Sony BDPS3700 . Not only does it cost about half as much as the combined price of the drive and software you need to play Blu-Rays on a PC, but it's also a lot more straightforward to enjoy it from a TV thanks to the remote. Better yet, if you have a 4K TV, get a 4K Blu-Ray player like the Sony X700.

Ari--after reading your review of the full size Enthoo case, I am a little worried about noise.  I think I'm going to go with the Phanteks Eclipse that you recommend for the content creating PC, and the Asus Z390-A MB.  Please let me know if there will be any issues with this combo (particularly with regard to cooling) and the other components that you recommend.

Also, thanks for the thoughts on the Blu ray drive.  I agree.  99% of my viewing is on my 4k TV, so no point in spending $200 to have that capability on the PC.

The original Enthoo Evolv has a design flaw that caused some resonance, as noted in my review. That has been fixed in the new Enthoo Evolv X. It also has much improved cooling. But it is also more expensive at $200. If that is within your budget, I think you can rest assured that it will perform extremely well and look like fantastic. The smaller Enthoo Evolv mATX may have the resonance, but I can't confirm that as I have not tested it personally. The Eclipse P400S is a completely different design and is much quieter, but note that it does not have aluminum panels - it is made of plastic, which explains the much lower pricepoint. The Asus Z390-A will work fine in that case, by the way.

socal580

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #288 on: January 16, 2019, 11:07:56 AM »
The original Enthoo Evolv has a design flaw that caused some resonance, as noted in my review. That has been fixed in the new Enthoo Evolv X. It also has much improved cooling. But it is also more expensive at $200. If that is within your budget, I think you can rest assured that it will perform extremely well and look like fantastic. The smaller Enthoo Evolv mATX may have the resonance, but I can't confirm that as I have not tested it personally. The Eclipse P400S is a completely different design and is much quieter, but note that it does not have aluminum panels - it is made of plastic, which explains the much lower pricepoint. The Asus Z390-A will work fine in that case, by the way.

OK, great.  Do I need to go with the smaller Noctua NH-U12S with the Phanteks Eclipse case?  Will it be adequate cooling for the i7-9700K CPU?

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #289 on: January 16, 2019, 11:58:53 AM »
The original Enthoo Evolv has a design flaw that caused some resonance, as noted in my review. That has been fixed in the new Enthoo Evolv X. It also has much improved cooling. But it is also more expensive at $200. If that is within your budget, I think you can rest assured that it will perform extremely well and look like fantastic. The smaller Enthoo Evolv mATX may have the resonance, but I can't confirm that as I have not tested it personally. The Eclipse P400S is a completely different design and is much quieter, but note that it does not have aluminum panels - it is made of plastic, which explains the much lower pricepoint. The Asus Z390-A will work fine in that case, by the way.

OK, great.  Do I need to go with the smaller Noctua NH-U12S with the Phanteks Eclipse case?  Will it be adequate cooling for the i7-9700K CPU?

Yes, good catch. You do need to go with the Noctua NH-U12S, as the P400S case only has 160mm of clearance for a cooler. The NH-U14S is 165mm tall.

The U12S will have no trouble with a stock 9700K, but do be aware that extreme overclocking essentially requires a liquid cooler. The 9700K has little headroom on air.

Racer3513

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #290 on: February 10, 2019, 07:15:45 PM »
After doing some research, I found that there are multiple better GPUs worth considering for only $20-$30 more. Although EVGA is one of my personal favorite GPU brands, MSI and Zotac offer better cards for a $1500 build IMO. MSI's Duke OC 2070 card offers a 1755 MHz boost clock, which is significantly higher than that of the EVGA card that is listed that only comes in at 1620 MHz boost. Zotac's 2070 AMP! Extreme offers 1830 MHz boost and 1860 MHz memory clock, the latter being 100 MHz higher than both the MSI and EVGA cards. I'm using the Duke in my personal $1500 build, so I thought I'd offer my opinion.

Current: i5-6300HQ, GTX 960M
Planned: i5-9600K, RTX 2070
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 08:06:48 PM by Ari Altman »

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #291 on: February 10, 2019, 08:11:33 PM »
After doing some research, I found that there are multiple better GPUs worth considering for only $20-$30 more. Although EVGA is one of my personal favorite GPU brands, MSI and Zotac offer better cards for a $1500 build IMO. MSI's Duke OC 2070 card offers a 1755 MHz boost clock, which is significantly higher than that of the EVGA card that is listed that only comes in at 1620 MHz boost. Zotac's 2070 AMP! Extreme offers 1830 MHz boost and 1860 MHz memory clock, the latter being 100 MHz higher than both the MSI and EVGA cards. I'm using the Duke in my personal $1500 build, so I thought I'd offer my opinion.

Current: i5-6300HQ, GTX 960M
Planned: i5-9600K, RTX 2070


Welcome to the TBG Forum, Racer 3513! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the 2070 cards. What you're seeing is the difference between reference cards, which Nvidia has decreed may sell for $500, and factory overclocked cards, which Nvidia has decreed may not be sold for $500, and for the first month were all much closer to the $600 price of the Nvidia Founders Edition.

For the $1,500 Build, it has up until this point made much more sense to go with the EVGA 2070 Black, which has always been $500, rather than go for a much more expensive factory-overclocked model. In my opinion, a factory overclock is worth paying up to 10% more for, just based on the convenience, given that all reference cards can also hit those speeds. That means I would never recommend anyone buy an RTX 2070 above $550. With that said, the Zotac 2070 AMP Extreme is currently $520, which makes it a very good deal. A few weeks ago, it was still $620. If the new price holds, it will become the pick for the March 2019 version of this build!

By the way, this will be a huge upgrade from your current laptop - you'll be able to enjoy all the latest games again!

Racer3513

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #292 on: February 10, 2019, 09:01:19 PM »
After doing some research, I found that there are multiple better GPUs worth considering for only $20-$30 more. Although EVGA is one of my personal favorite GPU brands, MSI and Zotac offer better cards for a $1500 build IMO. MSI's Duke OC 2070 card offers a 1755 MHz boost clock, which is significantly higher than that of the EVGA card that is listed that only comes in at 1620 MHz boost. Zotac's 2070 AMP! Extreme offers 1830 MHz boost and 1860 MHz memory clock, the latter being 100 MHz higher than both the MSI and EVGA cards. I'm using the Duke in my personal $1500 build, so I thought I'd offer my opinion.

Current: i5-6300HQ, GTX 960M
Planned: i5-9600K, RTX 2070


Welcome to the TBG Forum, Racer 3513! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the 2070 cards. What you're seeing is the difference between reference cards, which Nvidia has decreed may sell for $500, and factory overclocked cards, which Nvidia has decreed may not be sold for $500, and for the first month were all much closer to the $600 price of the Nvidia Founders Edition.

For the $1,500 Build, it has up until this point made much more sense to go with the EVGA 2070 Black, which has always been $500, rather than go for a much more expensive factory-overclocked model. In my opinion, a factory overclock is worth paying up to 10% more for, just based on the convenience, given that all reference cards can also hit those speeds. That means I would never recommend anyone buy an RTX 2070 above $550. With that said, the Zotac 2070 AMP Extreme is currently $520, which makes it a very good deal. A few weeks ago, it was still $620. If the new price holds, it will become the pick for the March 2019 version of this build!

By the way, this will be a huge upgrade from your current laptop - you'll be able to enjoy all the latest games again!
Thank you, I hadn't realized that the price drop was so recent. And the build is an extreme upgrade; I've been operating on an $800 Inspiron laptop for a couple years now. My budget's grown since then, and I'm trying to hold off for a bit until I can afford to squeeze a liquid cooler (EVGA CLC 240? Loud but effective) into the build. And I'd like to quickly give you a big thank you for keeping this website running, it's my favorite for reviews and builds, and I really like seeing active staff in the forums. Keep up the good work!

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #293 on: February 10, 2019, 09:35:23 PM »

Thank you, I hadn't realized that the price drop was so recent. And the build is an extreme upgrade; I've been operating on an $800 Inspiron laptop for a couple years now. My budget's grown since then, and I'm trying to hold off for a bit until I can afford to squeeze a liquid cooler (EVGA CLC 240? Loud but effective) into the build. And I'd like to quickly give you a big thank you for keeping this website running, it's my favorite for reviews and builds, and I really like seeing active staff in the forums. Keep up the good work!

Thanks for the positive feedback. Forums are becoming a bit less popular nowadays with so many people spending time on social media, but luckily some people like yourself still value them!

The EVGA CLC 240 is a good product, and would certainly perform better than the Mugen 5 Rev. B. That, however, isn't enough for it to earn a recommendation for this build. There are two reasons for that: first, it costs twice as much as the Mugen, and for the Core i5-9600K, the extra cooling power just isn't necessary, as it's a relatively low-power chip. Second, the CLC 240 will not fit in the Thermaltake V200 case selected for this build. In fact, you'd have to spend over $100 to get a case that will properly support a 240mm liquid cooler. Many state that they offer compatibility, but you have to mount the cooler in place of (or behind) the existing front fans, which just means you blow hot air right back into the case.

In short, I'd suggest you stick with air cooling at this price point. If you really want liquid cooling just for the fun of it, consider going with the Thermaltake View 32 case currently featured in the $2,500 build.

GloriousCause

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #294 on: February 14, 2019, 05:39:32 PM »
I just copied this $1500 build (other than getting a gigabyte rtx 2070 OC for $489). However the Mugen cooler is temporarily out of stock and I couldn't find other ones that looked good that fit ththe 160mm limit stated on the case. Do you have any recommendation for a cooler that would fit the case and not block the RAM (which seems tall) within a similar budget? Alternatively, I have a question: can I build everything in the case prior to the cooler arriving and then just pop the cooler on when it finally arrives without having to take the mobo or other parts back out of the case? I've never installed an aftermarket cooler before so I don't know if you can do it with everything else already installed.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #295 on: February 14, 2019, 06:04:03 PM »
I just copied this $1500 build (other than getting a gigabyte rtx 2070 OC for $489). However the Mugen cooler is temporarily out of stock and I couldn't find other ones that looked good that fit ththe 160mm limit stated on the case. Do you have any recommendation for a cooler that would fit the case and not block the RAM (which seems tall) within a similar budget? Alternatively, I have a question: can I build everything in the case prior to the cooler arriving and then just pop the cooler on when it finally arrives without having to take the mobo or other parts back out of the case? I've never installed an aftermarket cooler before so I don't know if you can do it with everything else already installed.

Welcome to the Forum, GloriousCause!

This has been a problem all week - all the top 120mm coolers have been sold out. That includes the Mugen 5 and the Noctua NH-U12S. At this point it looks like the Noctua has restocked, however, so that's what I would get today. It's a bit more expensive with similar performance, which is why the Mugen is typically the recommended option, but the Noctua performs just as well and is even easier to install.

With that said, you can absolutely build up the entire system without the cooler installed and then install it as the last step. Just don't run the system without one!

GloriousCause

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #296 on: February 14, 2019, 06:33:35 PM »
Thanks for such a quick and helpful response! I'll order the Noctua as I don't really mind spending a bit more. My concern on building everything first was if there is somekind of a backplate or something where I need to have the motherboard out of the case to install. Or would this case have access to the back while it is installed? Or am i wrong about there being a backplate? Like I said I've never actually installed an aftermarket cooler.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #297 on: February 14, 2019, 06:39:45 PM »
Thanks for such a quick and helpful response! I'll order the Noctua as I don't really mind spending a bit more. My concern on building everything first was if there is somekind of a backplate or something where I need to have the motherboard out of the case to install. Or would this case have access to the back while it is installed? Or am i wrong about there being a backplate? Like I said I've never actually installed an aftermarket cooler.

All modern tower cases have a motherboard tray cutout to allow access to the back of the motherboard, which enables you to install or replace an aftermarket cooler without disassembling the system.

GloriousCause

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #298 on: February 14, 2019, 07:14:16 PM »
Thanks for such a quick and helpful response! I'll order the Noctua as I don't really mind spending a bit more. My concern on building everything first was if there is somekind of a backplate or something where I need to have the motherboard out of the case to install. Or would this case have access to the back while it is installed? Or am i wrong about there being a backplate? Like I said I've never actually installed an aftermarket cooler.

All modern tower cases have a motherboard tray cutout to allow access to the back of the motherboard, which enables you to install or replace an aftermarket cooler without disassembling the system.

Awesome, thanks! Now I can build this weekend and pop the cooler in on Monday. You've been super helpful.

Ari Altman

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Re: The TBG $1,500 High-End Gaming PC Build
« Reply #299 on: February 14, 2019, 07:19:58 PM »
Thanks for such a quick and helpful response! I'll order the Noctua as I don't really mind spending a bit more. My concern on building everything first was if there is somekind of a backplate or something where I need to have the motherboard out of the case to install. Or would this case have access to the back while it is installed? Or am i wrong about there being a backplate? Like I said I've never actually installed an aftermarket cooler.

All modern tower cases have a motherboard tray cutout to allow access to the back of the motherboard, which enables you to install or replace an aftermarket cooler without disassembling the system.

Awesome, thanks! Now I can build this weekend and pop the cooler in on Monday. You've been super helpful.

Have fun, and report back on how it goes!