Glory of the Absolute - Insane build for professionals and gaming enthusiasts.
Maximilian - The best build with the current technology. 'Best' meaning a combination between the following components:
Quality + Features + Performance + Price
Lord of the Wind - Overclocking build, all air-cooled.
Perfection - Great performance.
Excellence - Great value.
Power Rock - High performance packed in a MicroATX case.
Golden Mean - Balanced build, representing the best price/performance combination currently available.
Standard Gaming - All the essentials that normal gamers need.
- 128T stands for 128 thread CPU
- 64T stands for 64 thread CPU
- 32T stands for 32 thread CPU
- 16T stands for 16 thread CPU
- 12T stands for 12 thread CPU
- 8T stands for 8 thread CPU
- 4T stands for 4 thread CPU
Stock video cards component analysis and build quality comparison:
- AMD Stock Vega Frontier Edition - Buildzoid - 12+1 phase, $999
- Nvidia Stock GTX Titan X Pascal - Buildzoid - 8+1 phase, $1200
- AMD Stock Vega 64 - PC Perspective - 12+1 phase, $525
- Nvidia Stock GTX 1080 Founders Edition - Buildzoid - 5+1 phase, $550
- AMD Stock Vega 56 - Gamers Nexus - 12+1 phase, $415
- Nvidia Stock GTX 1070 Founders Edition - Buildzoid - 5+1 phase, $425
- AMD Stock RX 580 - RX 480 OC with an 8-pin power - 6+1 phase, $300
- Nvidia Stock GTX 1060 Founders Edition - GTX 1060 6GB - 3+1 phase, $300
All Glory To Air Cooling
I used to be a huge fan of CLCs (non-refillable), but they are only good for the first year. The liquid is constantly evaporating and since they are not refillable - you just have to throw them out. They are made from a copper plate and aluminum radiator which are in contact via the liquid, and that leads to galvanic corrosion, so even if the liquid lasts 2 years, the performance will still drop significantly.
The AIOs (refillable) like XSPC RayStorm, Alphacool Eisbaer and EK-MLC Phoenix are made entirely from copper and brass, and last until the pump breaks down (around 50 000 hours), but they cost $150-$300+. The chance of them leaking is always present, even with the expensive AIOs and custom loops.
Another issue with liquid cooling is the liquid remains hot long after you have returned the PC from gaming or rendering to standard load. It takes a lot of time to cool it down, because water and other liquid cooling mixtures are actually storing the heat. On the other hand - air cooling uses copper heatpipes with small liquid vapor chambers and aluminum fins, and since it's almost entirely metal based - it cools down almost immediately after dropping the computing load.
So... the liquid cooling gains are almost none, unless you are doing a 5GHz+ build on a high-end AIO or custom loop.
I've seen multiple people on this site that are using Thermalright, Noctua, Cryorig, Scythe, Phanteks, be quiet! + powerful case fans are able to cool Ryzen R5, R7 configs and even Threadrippers locked at 3.9-4.1GHz. Air coolers costing $45-$90.
All air cooled, all overclocked, all 50-70°C at max load at around 25°C ambient.
Complete air cooling setup (CPU cooler + case fans) - $100-$200 with almost zero maintenance.
Complete liquid cooling setup (CPU block + radiators + fans + pump + tubes + fittings + GPU block) - $300-$800 + constant refilling and the risc of leaking.
Gold and Bronze PSUs have somewhat worse performance than Platinum and Titanium (voltage regulation, ripple suppression, power outage shutdown time, heat durability, component quality). If you plan to overclock and/or use your build for heavy workstation loads and gaming - you will need some power headroom. Bear also in mind, that PSU components age over time and lose effectiveness. So to get the optimal PSU wattage - multiply the minimum recommended wattage shown in your PCPP part list with these ratios:
- use 1.43 ratio for Gold/Bronze
- use 1.28 ratio for Platinum/Titanium
Example - PCPP shows you need 500W. This means an optimal PSU rating of:
- Gold/Bronze PSU: 500W x 1.43 = 715W
- Platinum/Titanium PSU: 500W x 1.28 = 640W
Keep in mind that it's always good to have a little extra wattage, should you decide to upgrade in the future or add more components.
Simple Overclocking Instructions
Always undervolt as much as possible and don't push the CPU clock beyond 125% (25% over its stock speed).
If you really want maximum overclock - get a higher binned model, e.g. R7 2700X instead of R7 2700, and research the forums for the maximum recommended frequency and voltage.
Part Brand Recommendations (Quality + Performance + Price)
- Gaming - AMD Ryzen
- Workstation - AMD Threadripper
- Server - AMD EPYC
- MSI > ASRock > Asus
Air - Thermalright > Noctua > Cryorig > Scythe > Phanteks > be quiet! > Arctic
- Tier 1 (CPU 95W OC Max, 180W+): Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT > Cryorig R1 Ultimate > Noctua NH-D15 > Thermalright Silver Arrow TR4 > Phanteks PH-TC14PE > Scythe Fuma Rev.B > Noctua NH-D15S > Noctua NH-U12A > Noctua NH-U14S + a second NF-A15 HS-PWM fan > Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 > Noctua NH-U14S
- Tier 2 (CPU 65W OC Max, 95W OC): Thermalright Macho Rev.B > Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B + a BioniX F120 PWM fan > Noctua NH-C14S (bottom fan, blowing upwards) > Gelid Phantom Black > be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 > be quiet! Dark Rock TF > Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B > Thermalright Macho Direct
- Tier 3 (CPU 65W OC): Thermalright Macho 120 Rev.A + a BioniX F120 PWM fan > Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo > Cryorig H5 Ultimate > Arctic Freezer 34 eSports > Thermalright Macho 120 Rev.A > Phanteks PH-TC12DX > Noctua NH-U12S > Cooler Master Hyper 212X
Liquid - XSPC > Alphacool > EKWB
XSPC RayStorm > Alphacool Ice Bear > EK-MLC Phoenix
- Thermalright TFX > Thermalright TF8 > Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme > Phanteks PH-NDC > Noctua NT-H2 > Arctic MX4
AMD Threadripper uses a nickel-plated copper heatspreader, like all other AMD CPUs, so it is completely SAFE to use liquid metal with it.
- Liquid Metal
- Thermal Grizzly Conductonaut > Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra
- G.Skill > Corsair
- SSD - Samsung > ADATA > Kingston
- HDD - Western Digital > Hitachi (subsidiary of Western Digital) > Seagate
AMD - Sapphire > XFX > HIS > Asus > MSI > Gigabyte > ASRock > PowerColor
- Tier 1 (Custom OC capable): Sapphire Nitro+ Limited > XFX GTR-S Black > MSI Gaming X+ > XFX GTR Black > Sapphire Nitro+ Special > XFX GTR XXX > Sapphire Nitro+ > Asus ROG Strix OC Gaming > Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme > HIS IceQ X² Roaring Turbo
- Tier 2 (Custom OC NOT recommended): XFX GTS Black > HIS IceQ X² Turbo > PowerColor Red Devil GS > ASRock Phantom Gaming X OC > XFX GTS XXX > MSI Gaming X > MSI Armor OC > Gigabyte Aorus > Asus ROG Strix Gaming > HIS IceQ X² OC > Sapphire Pulse > XFX RS > Asus Dual OC > Asus Dual > MSI Gaming > MSI Armor
- Tier 3 (Bad VRMs and quality): all other Gigabytes > all other ASRocks > all other PowerColors
Nvidia - Gainward (same as Palit) > EVGA > MSI > Galax > Gigabyte > Zotac > Asus > Inno3D > PNY
- Tier 1 (Custom OC capable): Galax HOF > EVGA Kingpin > MSI Lightning > Gainward Phantom GLH > EVGA FTW Ultra > Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme > Gainward Phantom GS > Gainward Phoenix GS > MSI Gaming Z > Asus ROG Strix OC Gaming > Zotac AMP Extreme
- Tier 2 (Custom OC NOT recommended): MSI Gaming X > Galax EXOC > MSI Duke OC > Gigabyte Aorus > MSI Armor OC > EVGA FTW > EVGA XC Ultra > Zotac AMP > Gainward Phoenix > Asus ROG Strix Gaming > EVGA XC > MSI Gaming > MSI Armor > Galax EX > MSI Ventus OC
- Tier 3 (Bad VRMs and quality): all other Gigabytes > all other Zotacs > all other Asuses > Inno3D > PNY
- Phanteks > Fractal Design > Cooler Master
- SeaSonic Prime Ultra Platinum > Corsair HX (2017) Platinum > SeaSonic Focus Plus Platinum > Corsair RMx (2018) Gold > SeaSonic Focus Plus Gold
- Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Rx
- Phanteks > Arctic > Noctua > Nanoxia > Thermalright > Cougar > NoiseBlocker > be quiet! > Fractal Design > Cooler Master
- Gaming - Acer > LG
- Designer - NEC > Dell
- Topre > Filco
- A4Tech AL90 > Logitech G403 > Roccat Tyon
- Roccat Taito
- JBL > Genius