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 - Overclocking build for heavy gaming.
Perfection - Multithread optimised.
Excellence - Single thread optimised.
Power Rock - High performance packed in a MicroATX case.
Golden Mean - Balanced build, representing the best price/performance combination currently available. Workstation oriented, with occasional gaming.
Standard Gaming - All the essentials that normal gamers need.
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 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 Ice Bear 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.
So... the liquid cooling gains are almost none, unless you are doing a 5GHz+ build on a high-end AIO or custom loop.
On the other hand, I've seen multiple people on this site that are using Noctua, Thermalright, Scythe, Cryorig, Phanteks, be quiet! + powerful case fans are able to cool Ryzen R5, R7 configs and even Threadrippers locked at 3.9-4.1GHz. All cost $45-$90.
All air cooled, all overclocked, all 50-70°C at max load at around 25°C ambient.
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.
Gold and Bronze PSUs have somewhat worse performance than 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:
Example - PCPP shows you need 500W. This means an optimal PSU rating of:
Part Brand Recommendations (Quality + Performance + Price)
Air - Thermalright > Noctua > Scythe > Cryorig > Phanteks > be quiet! > Arctic > Cooler Master
- Tier 1 (CPU 95W OC Max, 140W+): Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E Extreme > Thermalright Le Grand Macho RT > Cryorig R1 Ultimate > Noctua NH-D15 > Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E > Phanteks PH-TC14PE > Scythe FUMA Rev.B > Noctua NH-D15S > Noctua NH-U14S + a second NF-A15 HS-PWM fan > Noctua NH-U14S > Thermalright Archon IB-E X2
- Tier 2 (CPU 65W OC Max, 95W OC): Thermalright Macho Rev.B > Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B + a BioniX F120 PWM fan > Noctua NH-C14S (bottom fan, blowing upwards) > be quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 > Scythe Mugen 5 Rev.B > Thermalright Macho Direct
- Tier 3 (CPU 65W OC): Cryorig H5 Ultimate > Arctic Freezer 33 eSports One > Thermalright Macho 120 Rev.A > Phanteks PH-TC12DX > Noctua NH-U12S > Cooler Master Hyper 212X
Liquid - XSPC > Alphacool > EKWB
XSPC RayStorm > Alphacool Ice Bear > EK-MLC Phoenix
AMD - XFX (same as HIS) > Sapphire > MSI > Asus > Gigabyte > PowerColor
- Tier 1 (Custom OC capable): MSI Lightning > XFX GTR-S Black > MSI Gaming X+ > Sapphire Nitro+ Limited > XFX GTR Black > Sapphire Nitro+ Special > XFX GTR XXX > Sapphire Nitro+
- Tier 2 (Custom OC NOT recommended): XFX GTS Black > XFX GTS XXX > Any Asus > MSI Gaming X > MSI Armor OC > Sapphire Pulse > MSI Gaming > MSI Armor
- Tier 3 (Bad VRMs and quality): PowerColor and Gigabyte
Nvidia - EVGA > MSI > Galax > Gainward (same as Palit) > Asus > Gigabyte > Zotac
- Tier 1 (Custom OC capable): Galax HOF > EVGA Kingpin Gaming > MSI Lightning > EVGA FTW Gaming > MSI Gaming X+ > Gainward Phoenix GLH > MSI Gaming X > EVGA SC Gaming
- Tier 2 (Custom OC NOT recommended): Galax EXOC > Gainward Phoenix GS > Any Asus > MSI Armor OC > MSI Gaming > Galax EX > EVGA Gaming > MSI Armor > Gainward Phoenix
- Tier 3 (Bad VRMs and quality): Zotac and Gigabyte