I woke up on Christmas morning 2019 to find my beloved old gaming rig from 2014 unable to boot; it just looped repeatedly. After more than a week of troubleshooting, I narrowed it down to the motherboard failing and took it apart, selling the disparate components to a friend. More info on my old rig here for anyone who's interested in some backstory.
So, long story short, I decided to build a brand new, all-out gaming rig suitable for 1440p/144hz gsync gaming with the goal of maintaining 90+ frames per second on high settings. My goal with this PC is to keep me gaming for 6+ years like my last PC did. I'll plan to upgrade the GPU in about 3 years, and see how long I can ride these base components until then.
Second to gaming is aesthetics. I don't enjoy building (too nerve-wracking), but I do enjoy having built — doubly so when the end product looks nice. I've never been crazy about RGB so I instead went with a mostly black/gray/white aesthetic, with touches of RGB provided by my keyboard, mouse, RAM sticks, and CPU cooler.
As far as personal tweaks, I've added custom sleeved cables from CableMod that I've been very happy with. They're of a far higher quality than the old Corsair cables I had in my last rig. And I purchased some black target-marker stickers from Amazon for a few dollars to put on the back of the fans so they don't have the ugly fine-print stickers showing. I also purchased a custom GPU backplate from JMMods because I hate how the exposed backplate of the stock EVGA RTX 2080 Super Black looks. Everything went exceptionally and I'm extremely happy.
Here's a YouTube video I made showing detail of the completed build running with the RGB:
And lastly, I'd like to thank all of you users who always respond to my questions and comments on your builds this past month or so. You all are the best. Thank you for always taking time out of your day to help others to learn. Cheers.
I'm sure this will be the most contentious choice of my build. I know folks love the new Ryzen CPUs, and that they're significantly cheaper, but for my purposes (purely high resolution, high framerate single-player gaming) my research continually informed me that the I9-9900 CPU from Intel suited me best.
And as a nervous nelly who prefers not to mess with overclocking, I was prepared to pay the premium to have Intel overclock the chip to 5.0ghz straight from the factory. Thus far, it's been performing admirably, and I have no complaints. For others it may not be worth the extra cost, but for me I believe it was.
Corsair can be pretty hit-or-miss with me, but this component has kept my CPU under 60°C while gaming thus far. I'm not the biggest fan of how the RGB cover looks — it resembles cheap plastic — but it gets the job done and adds some color.
Probably another overkill component on my part, but I'm a huge fan of Asus' BIOS and I wanted a board that had wi-fi and bluetooth onboard. The Aura RGB features are also a nice touch of color in what are mostly monochrome internals.
Gorgeous RGB and it gets the job done. Nice, solid build quality.
Another premium item. It cost me a pretty penny, but there's nothing like a PC that goes from off to Windows log-in screen in fewer than 10 seconds. And the 2TB storage space is more than enough for my purposes.
Despite my splurging in other areas, I settled for the 2080 Super rather than going full 2080 TI. I simply couldn't justify spending the extra $500 for the TI over the Super. So far, the Super has been performing well enough for me to hit my gaming goals. My last card was a GTX 1080 so I'm enjoying this upgrade so far.
Probably my single favorite component of the new build. This case is utterly beautiful, impeccably designed, and a joy to build in. The cable management options are superb, the PSU mount is excellent, and the way the separate panels fit together to close everything up is perfect. Every intake port has a fan filter. And the glass and brushed aluminum are of exceptional quality. This is an A+ case and I'll probably never get rid of it unless it breaks. Superb design and excellent quality materials. I'm now a Lian Li fanboy.
Coming from a Corsair 750D made me realize how poor that case was in comparison to the PC-O11 Dynamic. In the 750D I dealt with a cheap plastic window, useless drive bays, and heat pooling near the GPU. And it cost me $~60 more than the O11 Dynamic did.
This is a great case. I highly recommend it with no qualms.
It's a power supply. The least glamorous component in the entire thing. It gets the job done and it's quiet, and it's got enough wattage that I can run SLI in the future if I wish. Good enough for me.
A hold-over from my previous build. Not much to say. It's Windows. It's got tons of annoying bloatware and useless features tacked on, but it's a necessary evil.
For a while I considered going with RGB fans but eventually decided against it as I believed it would be a little too much RGB for my tastes. These are great fans. I've used them before with a BeQuiet air cooler and I'm a fan of them (no pun intended). I love the solid black look, which goes with my aesthetic scheme for this build. These move a lot of air so they get loud when the machine is under load, but there's no avoiding that. They don't whine, the mounts are solid rubber and prevent any rattling. They look good, they keep the internals cool, and the price was reasonable.
9 fans is definitely overkill, but I'm way too anal to leave all of the fan brackets in the PC-O11 Dynamic empty. So I filled them, necessary or not.
I also did a simple mod to the fans by putting plain, flat black stickers over the backs so the ugly fan back stickers are no longer showing. I enjoy the nice, clean, plain black look of them far better this way.
Another hand-me-down from my previous machine. I'm not sure why PCPartPicker has this listed as "165hz" — my monitor is 144hz. Regardless, it's a great screen. IPS panel is a must for me as I love the richer colors, and G-Sync is fantastic for gaming as well. Great monitor. It was pricey when I bought it a couple of years ago, but well worth the investment in my experience.
Carrying this one over from my previous set-up. It serves as a second monitor. I use this one when I can't hit the framerate I want to at 1440p in very new, graphically demanding games. Now that I've built a new rig, it's been relegated as a TV and Movie-streaming monitor so I can run 1080p video natively.
A carry-over from my previous set-up. Fits my hand best of any mouse I've ever used. My only complaint is that it could use a button or two more than it has, and Mouse5 is a bit too far up the side for my thumb to comfortably reach. Still, I've used far worse. Good mouse.
Another carry-over from my previous set-up. This is my primary gaming board. It doesn't type as well as my Realforce Topre, but that's not what it's for. The brushed aluminum body is gorgeous and adds a great feeling weight to it, and the RGB is a welcome splash of color onto my desktop. Recommended.