Profile

Build Legend:

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All example configs and tier lists have been heavily upgraded with the latest parts and improved combinations.

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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 - Heavy overclocking build, all air-cooled.

Power Rock - High performance packed in a Mini ITX case.

Perfection - Great performance.

Excellence - Great value.

Golden Mean - Balanced build, representing the best price/performance combination currently available.

Home and Office - Office and productivity.

Standard Gaming - All the essentials that normal gamers need.

  • 128T stands for 128 thread CPU
  • 64T stands for 64 thread CPU
  • 48T stands for 48 thread CPU
  • 32T stands for 32 thread CPU
  • 24T stands for 24 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:


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 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 who are using Thermalright, Noctua, Cryorig, Scythe, Phanteks, be quiet! + powerful case fans and are able to cool Ryzen R5, R7, R9 configs and even Threadrippers. Air coolers costing $45-$100.

Examples - 3970X, 3960X, 3950X, 3900X, 3800X, 3700X, 3600X, 3600.

All air cooled, all 50-70°C at max load at around 25°C ambient.

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Bottom line:

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.


PSU Calculator

Standard class Gold and Bronze PSUs have somewhat worse performance than standard class 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

Of course, very high class PSU series are not confined to a definite limitation. For example, having all other parameters considered, Seasonic Prime Gold actually performs like a Corsair HX Platinum, and Seasonic Prime Platinum performs like a Corsair AX Titanium. Seasonic Prime Titanium in overall performance is practically unbeatable in its wattage category.

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 performance - get a higher binned model, e.g. R5 3600X instead of R5 3600, in order to have both better core and better Infinity Fabric clocking, and research the forums for the maximum recommended frequency and voltage.


--------------------Part Brand Recommendations and Tier Lists (Quality + Performance + Price)---------------------

CPU:

  • Gaming - AMD Ryzen
  • Workstation - AMD Threadripper
  • Server - AMD EPYC

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Mainboard:

  • MSI > ASRock > Asus

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CPU Cooler:

  • Air - Thermalright > Noctua > Scythe > Cryorig > Phanteks > be quiet! > Arctic

    • Tier 1 (CPU 95W OC Max, 180W+): Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT > Cryorig R1 Ultimate > Noctua NH-D15 Black > Thermalright Silver Arrow T8 > Phanteks PH-TC14PE > Scythe Fuma 2 > Noctua NH-D15S > Noctua NH-U12A > Thermalright Archon IB-E X2 > Noctua NH-U14S
    • Tier 2 (CPU 65W OC Max, 95W OC): Thermalright Macho Rev.C > Thermalright Macho Rev.B > Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B + a BioniX P120 fan > Noctua NH-C14S (bottom fan, blowing upwards) > be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 > be quiet! Dark Rock TF > Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B > be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 > Thermalright Macho Direct
    • Tier 3 (CPU 65W OC): Thermalright Macho 120 Rev.B > Arctic Freezer 34 eSports Duo > Cryorig H5 Ultimate > Arctic Freezer 34 eSports > Thermalright Macho 120 Rev.A > Arctic Freezer 33 eSports One > Phanteks PH-TC12DX > Noctua NH-U12S > Cooler Master Hyper 212X > Noctua NH-L12S
  • Liquid - XSPC > Alphacool > EKWB

    • XSPC RayStorm > Alphacool Eisbaer > EK-MLC Phoenix

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Thermal Compound:

  • Paste
    • Thermalright TFX > Thermalright TF8 > Gelid Solutions GC-Extreme > Phanteks PH-NDC > Noctua NT-H2 > Arctic MX-4 2019 Edition

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

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RAM:

  • G.Skill > Corsair

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Storage:

  • SSD - Samsung > ADATA > Kingston
  • HDD - Western Digital > Seagate

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Video Card:

  • AMD - Sapphire > XFX > HIS > MSI > Asus > Gigabyte > PowerColor > ASRock

    • Tier 1 (Custom OC capable): Sapphire Nitro+ Limited > MSI Lightning > XFX GTR-S Black > MSI Gaming X+ > Sapphire Nitro+ Special > Sapphire Nitro+ > Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme > PowerColor Red Devil GS > XFX GTR Black > Asus ROG Strix OC Gaming > ASRock Taichi OC > XFX GTR XXX > HIS IceQ X² Roaring Turbo
    • Tier 2 (Custom OC NOT recommended): XFX GTS Black > Gigabyte Aorus > PowerColor Red Devil > MSI Gaming X > HIS IceQ X² Turbo > ASRock Phantom Gaming X OC > Gigabyte Gaming OC > PowerColor Red Dragon > Sapphire Pulse > XFX GTS XXX > MSI Armor OC > Asus ROG Strix Gaming > HIS IceQ X² OC > MSI Evoke OC > ASRock Challenger D OC > MSI Mech OC > XFX RS > MSI Gaming > MSI Armor
    • Tier 3 (Bad quality): all other Gigabytes > all other Asuses > all other PowerColors > all other ASRocks
  • Nvidia - Gainward (same as Palit) > EVGA > MSI > Gigabyte > Galax > Zotac > Asus > Inno3D > PNY

    • Tier 1 (Custom OC capable): Galax HOF > EVGA Kingpin > MSI Lightning > Gainward Phantom GLH > Palit Gamerock Premium > EVGA FTW Ultra > Gigabyte Aorus Xtreme > Gainward Phantom GS > Palit Super Jetstream > MSI Gaming Z > Asus ROG Strix OC Gaming > Zotac AMP Extreme
    • Tier 2 (Custom OC NOT recommended): Gainward Phoenix GS > Palit GamingPro OC > Gigabyte Aorus > Galax EXOC Gamer > MSI Gaming X > MSI Duke OC > Gigabyte Gaming OC > MSI Armor OC > EVGA FTW > EVGA XC Ultra > Palit Dual OC > Gainward Phoenix > Palit GamingPro > Zotac AMP > Asus ROG Strix Gaming > EVGA XC > MSI Gaming > MSI Armor > Galax EX > MSI Ventus OC
    • Tier 3 (Bad quality): all other Gigabytes > all other Zotacs > all other Asuses > Inno3D > PNY

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Case:

  • Phanteks > Fractal Design > Cooler Master

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Power Supply:

  • SeaSonic Prime PX Platinum > SeaSonic Prime GX Gold > Corsair HX (2017) Platinum > SeaSonic Focus PX Platinum > SeaSonic Focus GX Gold > Corsair RMx (2018) Gold

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Sound Card:

  • Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy Rx

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Optical Drive:

  • LG

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Case Fans:

  • Arctic > Phanteks > Noctua > Nanoxia > Thermalright > Cougar > be quiet! > Fractal Design > Cooler Master

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Monitor:

  • Gaming - Acer > LG
  • Designer - NEC > Dell

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Keyboard:

  • Topre > Filco

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Mouse:

  • A4Tech AL90 > Logitech G403 Prodigy > SteelSeries Rival 600 > SteelSeries Rival 310

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Mouse Pad:

  • SteelSerie​​​​s QcK+ ​L​i​m​ited​ H​ig​h Th​rea​d ​Cou​​nt ​Editi​on > Roccat Taito (2017)

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Speakers:

  • JBL > Genius