I decided it was time to educate myself on PC hardware and build a rig for personal use. I'm a software engineer by trade but admittedly I was very uneducated when it came to the hardware side of things. Several of my coworkers are very informed when it comes to PC gaming and helped me out on my journey to enlightenment. I've always been an avid gamer and the thought of taking my gaming experiences to the next level was too intriguing to pass up.

I already had my Dell Ultrawide and my Das Keyboard mechanical keyboard which was a great starting point but I needed to figure out the rest. Thankfully there are great YouTube channels (Paul's Hardware, BitWit, Linus Tech Tips, Gamers Nexus, Jayz2Cents, and several others) that I watched to try and learn the tricks of the trade. I still have plenty to learn as far as the nitty gritty details go but I think these channels as well as some help from my friends/colleagues helped me to build my first rig.

I chose to build a PC in the $1500 range and I ended up spending $1487 since I already owned a few of the pieces. Here is some of the reasoning behind the components I chose.

CPU: I chose the 3700X because it provided me plenty of capability for gaming as well as productivity/multitasking. This CPU was reviewed as the "odd man out" by Gamers Nexus because for pure gaming needs the 3600 would serve that purpose just fine however I knew there was a possibility that I would utilize the extra compute power when it comes to things like video editing and multitasking. Plus it comes with a fantastic stock cooler which will serve me just fine until I upgrade to a nice AIO.

Motherboard: I went with the TUF X570 because it provides a nice platform to upgrade other components such as CPU, Memory and SSDs in the future if I want to. Bonus: It was compatible with my AMD 3700x out of the box so no BIOS update or flash was necessary, although I don't think that would've been a big issue.

Memory: Nice, fast, and a great price. I'm still figuring out how to get the full speed out of these sticks. I've gone into the BIOS and changed all the setting to get these to run at 3600Mhz but when I run the CPU-Z software it doesn't read that I'm getting the full potential out of these. Maybe someone can help me out here. All that being said, I haven't noticed any issues while gaming and have been able to get 60 FPS on Ultrawide with the handful of games that I have played.

Storage: There were some issues with my ADATA SX8200 initially (they sent me the wrong drive...long story) so I went to Walmart and bought a WD Blue SATA Drive. I used the Wester Digital Sata drive for about a month and it worked great but I finally got my ADATA SX8200 Pro 1TB and it is very fast. Both drives have served me very well.

Video Card: I went with the Gigabyte RTX 2070 Super because I wanted mid to high end performance and the confidence of the NVidia drivers. I was very close to getting a 5700XT but ended up finding a good deal on a 2070 Super and went with the proven track record of the NVidia drivers. Wonky drivers was something I didn't want to worry about. Sorry if this hurts anyone's feelings but I figured the extra money was worth it in this instance.

Case: Wow, this case was an absolute joy to build in as a first timer. The case itself looks very aesthetically pleasing to me and the cable management was a breeze. The price was fantastic and there is not much else I can say. Love this case.

Power Supply: I just read reviews and looked for a reasonable price here. No complaints, it does what I expect and was easy to work with during the build.

Monitor: I've had this monitor for over a year and love it. It's not perfect for gaming and doesn't fully utilize the capabilities of my PC but it is a fantastic 60 FPS monitor. I will definitely be keeping this monitor for my workstation but will most likely upgrade to a higher end gaming monitor for this new PC.

Keyboard: The Das Keyboard 4 kicks *** and is built to last. It's not all razzle dazzle and RGB but this thing is a tank. I'll most likely be taking this back to work to use day to day and will me looking for a "gaming" keyboard in the near future. For now, this thing is kicking *** though.

Mouse: I have no complaints, this mouse fits nicely in my hand and is buttery smooth. Definitely interested in more Steel Series products after feeling how solid this mouse is.

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  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

This seems like a really nice build. Totally agree with going NVDIA route. Yes, AMD superseded all our expectations with Ryzen 3, but their GPU division needs to pick up the pace on hardware and especially on software side. Whenever I saw an ADATA drive I assumed it was some no-name brand so I steer away from them. I wonder if they are actually worth considering compared to more 'mainstream' offerings from Samsung.

Being a software developer myself I totally agree on spending more on CPU, I would consider 3900x or even 3950x if budget will allow it when the time comes for me to build a PC. Software development varies a lot. In my experience though, you often need to run (at the same time) a local DB, docker, Visual Studio, ocasional android emulator and all of this paired with 20+ open chrome tabs with stackoverflow for the issue you are trying to solve. All of this and more eat up ram and CPU cycles like it's nobody's business.

I think my biggest roadblock right now is the peripherals, especially the monitor. With the budget I have and components I feel I'll need it seems like there is no room for a monitor (one can live at least for a while on a cheap-o mouse/keyboard combo, since it can be then put in a drawer as a spare). Getting a nice graphics and pairing it with cheap monitor seems very counterproductive (and no easy way to store it, compared to keyboard and mouse).

I think that TUF Gaming VG27AQ strikes a good balance between price and features, but even it's price tips me over the budget.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

You couldn't be more right about the developer set-up. We like to use ALL of the resources we can. As far as the Monitor goes, I really lucked out with already having that and my mechanical keyboard because my budget was topped out. Now I'm having the debate with myself about whether I go for a nice gaming monitor or go for a nicer AIO and maybe a gaming keyboard. So many directions to go and they all cost money lol.

  • 1 month ago
  • 3 points

Awesome build! Love the case and I agree, I think you made the right decision going with a better CPU. Plus you can upgrade some of your other components, like a better cooler, down the road.

I've tried several mice before and that rival mouse is still my favorite corded mouse. The ergonomics are awesome. There's also Rocket Jump Ninja on YouTube you can look at for mouse suggestions too.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Yeah I'm really happy with the Rival 310 so far. I'm interested in a Steel Series keyboard possibly but that' s a bit down the road. Thanks for the YouTube suggestion, I'll check it out. I'm hooked on all things PC and PC building now.

  • 1 month ago
  • 2 points

I'm looking to do a very similar build so thank you for sharing all the information. Just curious, did you need to get any extra fans for the case or do the standard ones get the job done?

  • 29 days ago
  • 2 points

I'm about 1.5 months in and still running the stock case fans with good temps. I'm just below 40 C at idle and maxing out at 74C while playing my most demanding titles. Some important factors: My "office" is a walk in closet so when the door is closed the ambient temp in the room is higher than more traditional office set-ups. Also I'm capped at 60fps because of my monitor, so I'm not able to test any higher. I'm not terribly interested in OCing or milking every drop of performance out of my components at the moment. All that being said. I'm definitely interested in adding more fans or possibly going with an AIO.