New to PC Builds - Need some pointers

edited March 2022 in Help Choosing Parts

Hi all, looking to get some advice on some key components before I dive in. I have been spending some time researching and learning the basics, but I still have a few questions before I take my first dip into a PC build.

To start, I am looking to keep my cost around $2,000-$2,500, and I want to build rather than go the prebuilt route. I would like to focus on maximum gaming performance (FPS) given the parameters but I also want the ability to turn the graphics up on games that offer great visuals. I have typically played FPS games on console, but I am beginning to venture into other games, and I am looking for better performance than what I can currently get on console. I know the market is crazy right now, so with that said, I would also be welcome to opinions on whether I should wait a bit to see if things cool down.

Here are my main questions:

  1. CPU - Latest Gen AMD vs Intel?
  2. GPU - RTX 30XX?
  3. Motherboard - No Clue, help!
  4. Ram - 32Gig dual Channel? DDR4/5?
  5. SSD - nvme...
  6. Cooling - CPU cooler with radiator and fans vs Full water-cooled

Any input is appreciated.


  • 3van_W
    1. Latest gen Intel is very nice currently, the i5-12600k is a very nice cpu.
    2. A RTX 3060 is going to get you about 60 fps in all AAA games but a RTX 3060 ti is going to be the best for the money.
    3. With the newest gen Intel CPUs you could run ddr5 but its not really worth it so a board like the ASUS B660-CREATOR ProArt D4 or the MSI Z690-A Pro DDR4.
    4. You will probably only need about 16gb of dual channel memory meaning that you could upgrade to 32gb in the future.
    5. M.2s are the way to go for this so a 970 Pro from Samsung is going to be ur best bet.
    6. Really you only need a decent air cooler but the Lian Li Galahad 240mm is going to be the best for the money.

    Hope This Helps!

  • TAPEthan

    1.Probably get Intel. I'd recommend the Intel Core i7-12700(no overclocking though) for only $300 right now at Micro Center. You could go for overclocking with the Intel Core i7-12700K for $50 more, but you probably don't need to, as the Intel Core i7-12700 is already very good.

    2.I'd honestly suggest the RX 6900 XT(at $1400 brand new), still an expensive card, but only marked up 40% and packs better performance than the RTX 3090 in pure computing power, although for ray tracing, look around for a RTX 3080 TI probably.

    3.The ASRock Z690 A-PRO is a high-end board for a reasonable price(at $220 at Micro Center), and one of the better boards that support DDR4(which is much cheaper and provides basically almost the same(like 98% of DDR5) performance.

    4.Any type of dual channel(2 sticks of 16GB) that makes 32 GB is good for this build. Since DDR4 is pretty cheap, I recommend getting any ram that has around 3200 MHz or higher. For Micro Center, the TeamGroup T-FORCE Vulcan 32GB 3200MHZ is only $110 right now.

    5.Probably get the Inland Premium 2TB NVME SSD for only $180 right now. NVME SSDs are basically preferred for any build above $750 because of their compactness and fast speeds.

    6.Any sort of air cooler around $40(probably the Cooler Master HYPER 212 V2) should be able to satisfy the needs of this desktop.

    This build alone not including the case and power supply is $2250 or 2300(with the Intel Core i7-12700K) for basically the highest end gaming performance.

    Hope this helps you make your decision a little easier :D!

  • Notovernight
    This is all my personal opinion on best bang for the buck

    1. I would go AMD, with the current coupon you could get a 5800x for $250, this also will reduce the cost of your Mobo

    2. To future proof yourself, go with the 3080 for your budget, you can spend big on the card and still stay way under budget.
    3. If AMD I would go with the Tomahawk, it is a solid Mobo with most of the bells an whistle.
    4. 16 should be enough, just make sure it is fully compatible with processor and is at minimum 3200 mhz cl16, gskill makes a nice affordable RAM compatible with Ryzen
    5. Can get Samsung 980 or. Sabrent with pci gen 4
    6. If you aren't oveclocking water cooling is overkill, depending on processor the AMD stock cooler is sufficient. I think most important is to grab a case with good airflow. Fractal and Lian Li both make good options.

    Finally PSU, for what you are looking for, would probably go with a 800 Watt 80+ Gold.
  • Notovernight
    Oh, and optimal case fan placement is two intake in the front bottom corner, 2 out in the top corner. Any more has seriously diminishing returns
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