The main goal for this build was to balance budget and power. $1500 was the goal budget, with $500 going to the GPU, and $200 going to the CPU. Corners were cut, and then rebuilt elsewhere. All the parts were gathered in one night, the wife wanted it built that day, so we got most of the parts at Microcenter, and the rest on Craigslist.
With the system fan curve set rather lax, this system is SILENT on idle and small loads. During stress tests the fans engage full speed, and it sounds just like a desk fan is across the room, not too bad. System is used with my 4k HDR TCL 55" and two 10ft usb extensions so I can use it on my bed. One more thing to note is that before this, I'd only experienced 1080p gaming on a GTX 1060.
I ended up spending more than I wanted, but that's likely because the wife did not want to ship anything.
The only reason I'm composing this completed build is to give future builders with similar parts something to look at, and decide if the parts are the right ones for them. So let's begin.
CPU: Intel i5-9600K
Initially decided that I wanted an i5-8400, but those quickly ran out of stock/jumped in price around the turn of 2019. I nearly went with a Ryzen 5 2600X, but the single thread scores and the fact that its AMD kept me away. I've had trouble overclocking it, but i'm not sure which part is the problem, or if it's just user error.
CPU Cooler: be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4
After trying water cooling in my last build, the wife and I decided to go air-cooling. To save a bit of money, I purchased a Cryorig R1 on eBay for $50, "used but functional", and it turned out the mounting hardware was defective. It seems Cryorig or whoever refurbished it used two different size screws when they should have been the same size, rendering it unmountable. That night, we ordered the Dark Rock Pro 4 on Amazon with same-day shipping, and received it the next day to finish the build. Both the Cryorig R1 and the Dark Rock were ridiculously difficult to install, though I'd say the R1 was a tad easier. I ended up taking the fans from it and using them in my build.
Motherboard: Aorus Master Z390
Didn't originally plan for this board, but I couldn't pass up the deal. Decided to go with Gigabyte after reading online reviews recommending their Z390 series. Microcenter had the Z390 Elite for $239.99, and then I looked in the clearance boards and saw this beauty. The package was complete, and there was a bit of paste on the locking mechanism. It was actually only $231.96 for the clearanced Aorus Master, plus the CPU+Mobo combo saved $30 on top of that. I would buy this board again for any Z390 build, and if I can figure this overclocking out, Gigabyte has me for life. The motherboard BIOS is nice enough, though I need to update it from F4 to F8b. The RGB on the board is great, and the rgb strips went in no problem. Came with a wifi-dongle that has a magnet on the bottom, so it plops right on the side of my case, also has an Intel 9560 AC inside :).
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 3000
Didn't plan to go with this either, but the wife was willing to pay $30 more for RGB. The RAM is nice, though I'd prefer the solid black/silver version.
Storage: Intel 660p 1TB NVMe
We were originally going with a 1TB SATA 3 for around $130, like the MX500, but after lurking around on UserBenchmarkSSD, I decided to go with either the HP EX920 1TB or the Intel 660p 1TB, whichever was cheaper. I see no difference compared to regular SATA 3 SSD, but hey, it's NVMe. The specs help me sleep better at night. Other storage solutions were leftovers I had in the closet.
GPU: MSI Duke 1080Ti 11GB
I'm not sure if it's the regular or OC version, but I'm sure it doesn't matter. So far I've only played DOOM (2016) in 4K on Ultra with over 60fps, so i'm happy. Got it bundled with the power supply on craigslist for $640. The DUKE isn't my favorite, and the RGB on the side is rather pathetic, only single color at a time, and the only thing that lights up is the word DUKE. Wish I could have gotten the Gaming X Trio, but the wife wanted everything that night. May try and find someone who wants to trade 1080Ti's in my area, plus a bit of cash on my end, but it's not that important. Barely fits in my case, even though Fractal Design and PCPartPicker says it wont fit. Plan to SLI in the future, maybe when Elder Scrolls VI comes out. Fallout 4 looks shinier, but other than that, no difference in 4k. For around the same price as a 2070, I'd say this is a great deal, else I'd be stuck with a worse card and no SLI support.
PSU: EVGA GQ 1000W
Originally planned for a 650W/750W, but it was bundled with the GPU and has enough headroom for a second 1080TI. I do need to order another CPU Cable for it though, as it only came with one and my Aorus board uses two. From what I've read online that one 8-pin should be enough for a 5.0GHz OC. This could be one reason my system is unstable under an OC and Prime95 (yeah, I know, don't use prime95 for error testing, use RealBench, Intel's testing system, etc.). I have it setup to take air from the inside of my case, because I wasn't sure if I was using it on the carpet or on a makeshift desk. Also exceeded Fractal's recommendation of length, but it fit.
Case: Fractal Design Meshify C
We wanted to go with either this case, or the NZXT H500i RGB, but Microcenter didn't have any of the NZXT in stock, so we went with the Fractal. There was a clearance one we looked at, and found no damage to, so we got it for $20 off. I also lost one window screw when I was building it.
Keyboard: Kingston HyperX Alloy Elite
We decided against Corsair, G.Skill, and Razer for a keyboard. It was down to this, a Logitech board, and the HP Omen Sequencer. Because of bad reviews on the Omen, we strayed from that, though it's keys feel amazing. After she tried the HyperX with Blue Switches, she immediately knew it was the one. It's really clacky, but I like it.
Mouse: UTechSmart Venus
Not much special, but its a nice mouse. My wife refuses to use any other mouse, and it occasionally goes on sale from $99.99>$29.99.
If you made it this far, thanks for looking. Also, could anyone help me with overclocking? I tried to follow the guides but I went into a not-loading windows boot for six hours. Oops.
Taxes excluded from the price breakdown, as well as the faulty Cryorig R1.
My Seagate 1TB 2.5" had a SMART event, and subsequent failure after two days. To replace it, and the extremely slow Hitachi Ultrastar, we purchased a Seagate Barracuda 4TB for $99.99. After replacement, my boot times decreased from five minutes to about 10 seconds. Also added UserBenchmark scores here: https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/14005598