4 months ago
I am wondering if I should downgrade the 9700k to 9600k then get a better monitor.
Where's your priority? Performance or visual quality?
9700K with a 1080P monitor is good for high-FPS priority across a wide range of games (basically, as good as it gets performance).
Less CPU with 1440P monitor is good for a more balanced approach to performance vs visual quality.
A 9600K, will actually run most games about on par with the 9700K, since they are both high-clocked "lake" architecture CPU's, however, I would say that the 9600K, is more likely to run into issues with stutter and lower FPS minimums in some modern games that scale to many threads due to having fewer cores and no SMT/HT.
If I were going to "step down" the CPU, and step up to 1440P, I think the Ryzen 3600 with a basic heatpipe cooler or 3600X on stock cooling is a more logical approach than the 9600K with an AIO. Sure the 3600 will fall short of the maximum FPS possible on a 9600K by a few percent, but at 1440P, that few percent advantage for the 9600K for max FPS is buried under a GPU bottleneck in most games anyway (unless you have a flagship GPU and/or turn settings way down), or in the case of esports titles, either CPU can achieve FPS way higher than the monitor refresh anyway (like 200+FPS), so again the advantage of the 9600K is buried under a different bottleneck. On the other hand, the advantage of the 3600 is a lot more raw compute throughput made available by a much wider instruction pipeline and the ability to schedule 2 threads per core (SMT enabled). That advantage steps in on the FPS minimums and stutter. The game is less likely to stutter when a background task runs, because the game threads and background tasks have more compute resources to share. The 3600 on a basic heatpipe, or a 3600X on stock cooler, are both a fair bit less expensive than a 9600K on an AIO as well. The savings could be put towards more GPU, which is going to be more useful at 1440P, especially if the driving motivation behind a 1440P is to move up the visual quality ladder. (presumably, you'd want to be able to run 1440P at settings that don't make it look worse than 1080P would have at higher settings).
Without changing your build too much this is what it would look like with both an R5-3600 and i5-9600k:
PCPartPicker Part List
I did change out the PSU and video card to something a bit lower in cost too as a 650w PSU will be ample and you are still getting a RX 5700 XT GPU. I included a freesync 144hz 1440p IPS display (instead of the VA one you selected) so that would totally be an upgrade. Now wether the 5700 XT can power your games to 144hz on 1440p is another matter but that is what freesync, adjusting settings, and worst case scenario downscale to 1080p is for. At least at 1440p on slower paced games where 60hz-100hz is more than ample you can get far more detail than 1080p and have a much more cinematic experience and when FPS matters you can make some tweaks to get higher FPS.
The i5-9600k and the r5-3600 are both very highly capable gaming CPUs. The i5 can clock higher while the r5 has more threads in case you ever get into streaming/game recording.
Better monitor? What's not good enough with the C24G1 or are you looking for an extra set of features with the likes of IPS or a denser pixel 1440p display?
Downgrading processor depends on use. For gaming the 9700K or 9700KF makes sense. I wouldn't bother with the 9600K unless you're barking mad about overclocking the splinters out of it. This could be reasoned with if you're keen on keeping the AIO cooler or a similarly priced premium HSF. Otherwise, a downgrade from the 9700K should put you on the Ryzen 3600/3600X trail.
That is why I suggested the r5-3600 as it is a solid choice for a gaming CPU at a lower cost. I wasn't sure if I should suggest a different cooler because I believe a huge buying factor for it could possibly be due to aesthetics considering his part choices. Personally I would change the cooler to a tower cooler instead but that would be my personal preference. This is the cooler I would have picked for this build if I were building it for myself. Very respectable in performance when compared to AIOs, top notch build quality and much less noise. I would not care about the loss of RGB in the cooler as I am not particularly interested in RGB.