Help This Dad Order His First Custom PC


I know absolutely nothing about building a computer and have no intention to learn to. I don't have time. I have a full-time job and a family. I play only about 10 hours a week and have been playing on a mid tear gaming laptop for the past 8 years. I now want the most powerful gaming PC that I can build and the price is not a concern. I want to have the best 4K gaming experience. I play FPS games like COD as well as Tarkov and Squad. I also play RTS games like StarCraft, Total War, and CIV. Additionally, I play RPG/OpenWorld Games like Red Dead2, Ghost Recon, and Assassins Creed. I want to be able to play each of these games with the most power and efficiency.

Here is what I have built-in MicroCenter as a custom PC. are there any holes or issues?

CPU:  Intel - Intel - Core i9-12900K Alder Lake 3.2GHz Sixteen-Core LGA 1700 Boxed Processor - Heatsink Not Included

Motherboard: ASRock - Z690 Steel Legend WiFi 6E DDR4 Intel LGA 1700 ATX Motherboard

RAM: G.Skill - G.Skill - Ripjaws V 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3600 PC4-28800 CL16 Dual Channel Desktop Memory Kit F4-3600C16D-32GVKC - Black

Case: Lian Li - O11 Dynamic XL ROG Tempered Glass eATX Full Tower Computer Case - White

Power Supply: Corsair - HX1000 1000 Watt 80 Plus Platinum ATX Fully Modular Power Supply

Video Card: EVGA - NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 Ti FTW3 ULTRA Triple Fan 24GB GDDR6X PCIe 4.0 Graphics Card

Internal Storage: Samsung - 870 QVO 8TB SSD 4-bit MLC V-NAND SATA III 6Gb/s 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive

Additional Storage: Inland - Platinum 8TB SSD M.2 2280 NVMe PCIe Gen 3.0x4 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive

HeatSink: be quiet - DARK ROCK PRO 4 CPU Cooler

Thermal Compound: Thermal Grizzly - Kryonaut Thermal Grease - 1g

Case Fans: Arctic Cooling - P12 Fluid Dynamic Bearing 120mm Case Fan - 5 Pack

Questions I have:

  • Linus Tech Tips mentioned in one of his videos that you can get metal corrosion if you mix the wrong metals together. I don't know how to tell if I have done anything wrong here
  • Do I need to worry about DDR4 vs DDR5?
  • I have no idea what kind of motherboard I need. I want a good one, but I have heard that there are diminishing returns after a certain point as well as some extremely high-priced options that are just as good as motherboards half the price.
  • Not sure what features I should look for in a case. I really just want a white and clean-looking case. No RGB. Is there anything I should look for in a case?
  • I know nothing about thermal compound
  • Do I need case fans? Does the case come with fans?

Any recommendations?


  • chemerik

    While I'm sure somebody will give you a great example build addressing your questions soon, I want to know if you're in a big hurry for the new gaming PC. New AMD processors are coming out late summer that will be a big leap forward as well as new NVIDIA graphics cards. If you can wait until later in the year, you'll have some much more powerful options available (or can spend less as the new technology drives the soon to be older generation of technology down). It's the higher end that gets released first in a new generation, so you're the target audience.

  • PowerSpec_MikeW
    PowerSpec_MikeW PowerSpec Engineer
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment 5 Awesomes



    I like what you're doing here. Your specs are top of the line, except for your internal drive. Get a 1TB NVME drive rather than a 2.5" SATA drive. I'd recommend the Samsung 970.

    The cooler needs to be upgraded. 12900K's boost and have no power limit. They will get hot, better thermals, means better performance. I'd change this to a 360MM AIO or I'd do a custom water cooling loop. Let me know if you're interested in the latter and we'll help you put something together.


    Mixing Metals: The only time this is likely to come into play with a desktop is if you're using a liquid metal thermal compound. Liquid metal is highly conductive unlike most thermal compounds. The other components and SMC's that are nearby need to insulated. We generally use nail polish for this. You're really only going to get into liquid metal and get a benefit from it if you're going all in and delidding your processor for better cooling performance. I'm not going to elaborate on what that means unless you would like me to. As for the 'corrosion', liquid metal is gallium. It won't corrode it, but it will migrate into it creating copper-gallium. Visually it looks stained or pitted, though it still performs well thermally.

    The other option here is with custom water cooling loops. Mixing copper and aluminum blocks will corrode very quickly.

    DDR4 vs DDR5: No doubt that DDR5 is the future, but it's in its infancy. We don't know what the best IC's are and I believe personally that the technology is still being refined. Frequency's are considerably higher, but I don't feel the frequency overcomes the high increase in latency yet.

    Motherboard Selection: Buy the board with the features you need. If you want to overclock, buy a high end board, but if you're not I wouldn't spend a ton on the board. Select a Z690 board with adequate features.

    Case: Lian Li 205 Mesh (White). Simple, it does have some RGB fans, it's well ventilated. We use it on our PowerSpec systems.

    Fans: Case above includes 3 120's.

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