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Intel High-end Gaming (Build 7-I)



Updated November 26th, 2018

This build is the Intel equivalent of our Build 7 AMD. We swap out the Ryzen 2700 for an Intel 9700K and pick a comparable Z390 motherboard in place of the AM4 motherboard. This build will perform 5-20% better in most games, particularly for high refresh rate monitors (>100 FPS) than the Build 7 AMD, but will fall behind in multi-tasking in some tasks, such as streaming, video editing, and rendering (depending on your software suite), due to the lack of hyperthreading in the Intel 9700K. The 9700k is one of the very best gaming CPUs on the market and is a strong competitor for thread-heavy usage as well.

CPU: The Intel 9700K is an eight-core, eight-thread CPU. It can be overclocked, but it runs hot, so you'll want a hefty aftermarket cooler such as the Noctua included in this build, especially if you overclock.

Motherboard: The Z390 board is selected from a parametric filter, but just about any of these boards will handle general needs without a problem. If you want to reach the highest possible overclock for your CPU, check the VRM/MOSFET quality of the specific board you're considering, as some are better for overclocking than others.

RAM: This build maintains the very solid 16 GB of RAM, which should be plenty for gaming for at least a couple of years. The speed/frequency of the RAM is less important for a build using any Intel CPU, but at this budget range, aiming for higher-frequency RAM is a reasonable choice, so we're sticking with 3000 MT/s RAM.

Storage: We stuck with our M.2 SSD which uses a SATA interface. This build maintains the HDD at 2 TB. You could easily spend some money upgrading the size of your SSD, or even swap to an NVMe drive that is a PCIe or M.2 form factor, but I'm not convinced that the real-world speed increases are all that noticeable.

Video card: The 1080 Ti or RTX 2080 (whichever is cheaper) is our big change here, and boy, it is significant. These cards are solid 4K gaming choices, with only the 2080 Ti besting them. If you're only at 1440p gaming, you'll still find these cards to be a hefty improvement over the GTX 1080/RTX 2070.

Case: This is a highly personal choice. However, the Phanteks Eclipse P400 is a gorgeous case and should still be quite functional even for future builds. The two extra case fans will help maintain cooling throughout your system.

PSU: Although a 550w PSU is probably enough for this build, I feel more comfortable having a little more headroom, so we've upgraded to a 650w PSU while still maintaining full modularity and a Gold 80+ efficiency rating.

Compatibility Check: See notes below.

Edit This Part List
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $409.89 FREE $409.89 OutletPC Buy
CPU Cooler $79.90 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $79.90 Amazon Buy
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel Z390
$114.89 -$15.00 FREE $99.89 OutletPC Buy
$15.00 mail-in rebate
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, G.Skill
  • Speed: DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$78.99 FREE $78.99 Newegg Buy
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, Crucial, Kingston, Mushkin, Samsung, SanDisk, Western Digital
  • Capacity: 480 GB - 600 GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Form Factor: M.2-2242, M.2-2260, M.2-2280
$74.89 -$10.00 FREE $64.89 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
$127.00 $6.29 $133.29 Amazon Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Manufacturer: Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte, MSI
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, GeForce RTX 2080
$799.99 -$130.00 FREE $669.99 Newegg Buy
+ $100 off w/ promo code VGASAVING36, limited offer
$30.00 mail-in rebate
Case $69.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $69.99 Amazon Buy
Power Supply
From parametric filter
  • Rating: 4 stars, 5 stars
  • Manufacturer: Corsair, EVGA, SeaSonic
  • Wattage: 650 W
  • Type: ATX
  • Modular: Full
  • Efficiency: 80+ Gold, 80+ Platinum, 80+ Titanium
$84.99 -$25.00 $1.99 $61.98 Newegg Buy
$25.00 mail-in rebate
Operating System $109.39 -$10.00 FREE $99.39 OutletPC Buy
$10.00 mail-in rebate
Case Fan $26.90 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $26.90 Amazon Buy
$26.90 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $26.90 Amazon Buy
Base Total: $2003.72
Promo Discounts: -$100.00
Mail-in Rebates: -$90.00
Shipping: $8.28
Total: $1822.00
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Compatibility Notes

Part List Price History (Excluding Tax)



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Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i7-9700K 3.6 GHz 8-Core Processor 11W - 95W
Noctua - NH-D15S 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler 5W - 10W
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3000 Memory 14W
Toshiba - P300 2 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Western Digital - Blue 500 GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Asus - GeForce RTX 2080 8 GB Dual Advanced Video Card 53W - 215W
be quiet! - SilentWings 3 pwm 59.5 CFM 140mm Fan 1W - 5W
be quiet! - SilentWings 3 pwm 59.5 CFM 140mm Fan 1W - 5W
Total: 374W
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