Hey guys! I'm looking to build my first PC and have very basic knowledge of what I'm doing. My budget is from $1500 - $1800. I want to be able to run high graphical settings with over 60 FPS if possible. I already own a mouse and keyboard but have no monitor. Also, regarding the CPU; I have friends who swear by AMD and some who say Intel is the only/best option. Thoughts?
Thanks in advance!
Welcome to the forum Yamero77. $1500-$1800 is a very solid budget, even if we are partitioning some of that budget for a monitor. Here are a few options for you.
Option 1: https://www.microcenter.com/site/content/custom-pc-builder.aspx?load=71366aae-3656-44a5-8ea2-e4d470d21184
This option is going to be what I would recommend at the top end of your budget. It will get you an 8 core, 16 thread Intel Core i9 9900K which is currently the best gaming CPU available on the market. It's definitely far more expensive than some of the comparable AMD offerings, but if you did not want to compromise on high core count and clock speed, this is the best choice. It also includes 16GB of DDR4 3600mhz C16 memory, a 750W fully modular gold rated PSU, a 1TB NVMe SSD, a 240mm closed loop liquid cooler, an RTX 2070 graphics card and a Dell S2417DG, a 24 inch 1440p 165hz G-Sync display that will pair absolutely perfect with the rest of the component selection. After the $20 bundle discount, this will cost around $1810 before taxes and does not include the cost of an OS.
Option 2: https://www.microcenter.com/site/content/custom-pc-builder.aspx?load=505d04dc-9f2d-4abc-b525-f79bab000679
This option is going to be the budget option. It will provide the high refresh rate, high graphical settings that you requested for the lowest price. This will save you the most money now, but may require upgrading sooner as more graphically demanding games launch. The CPU is a fair bit slower than the 9900K, but for 1440P gaming, it doesn't matter all to much as the graphics card will matter more at this resolution. This gives you 6 cores, 12 threads, 12GB of DDR4 3600mhz memory, a 650W bronze PSU, an RTX 2060 KO graphics card, a 1TB NVMe SSD, and the same Dell 24 inch 165hz G-Sync monitor. The total price of this system is $1274 after the $20 bundle, but does not include taxes or the cost of an OS.
Option 3: https://www.microcenter.com/site/content/custom-pc-builder.aspx?load=1923163c-96c4-4a39-804e-e99a2e273077
This is going to be my personal recommendation. It will grant you the most price:performance of the 3 builds and should last you for quite some time. It's extremely similar to build 1, except we swapped the 9900K down to a 9700K. We still get 8 cores at a very high clock speed, we just save $130 by doing away with the Hyperthreading feature. If you are not streaming while gaming or rendering videos while multi-tasking, you will not miss this feature. The $130 savings also allowed us to move up to an RTX 2070 Super, which should give you an extra 20% faster graphics card for even higher framerates in more demanding titles, all while landing right in the middle of your budget at $1650 after the $20 bundle discount. Once again, this does not include taxes or the cost of an OS.
To answer the question about which processor is better, it's honestly subjective. AMD is in a really good spot right now because they offer very similar gaming performance to Intel, while offering much better multi-threaded performance for a lower price. With that being said, Intel still has the best gaming oriented processors on the market. If gaming is your goal and you do not want to compromise on performance, Intel is still the best option.
It all boils down to how you plan on using your system. I would say if you do more than gaming, or find yourself multi-tasking while gaming, go with AMD's Ryzen 3000 series. If you are just gaming and want the highest framerates possible, go with Intel's 9th generation processors.
Thanks so much Michael for taking the time to put these together so quickly. You've provided some great options here and I think the third build is definitely closest to my personal needs.
I have colleagues who swear by both AMD and Intel so your more agnostic and preferential explanation really helped me out! If you or anyone else that happens to see this has any tips or anything else for me, I'd greatly appreciate it!
You're very welcome Yamero. The biggest tip I can recommend would be to make sure that you enable Nvidia's G-Sync technology. It's going to be instrumental in making sure your gaming experience is extremely smooth, free of jittering and tearing. Here is a quick article on how to do so: https://www.microcenter.com/tech_center/article/10907/how-to-enable-nvidia-g-sync. Lastly, if you do decide to get that Dell monitor, tweak the color settings a little bit. While they are already pretty good out of the box, the panel looks phenomenal when properly tuned. For my panel, the best colors were achieved when setting red at 96, green at 99, and leaving blue at 100. Gamma is going to be subjective, but I like my panels dark since I often game in a dark room. I run my gamma at 0.83 and brightness at 13%, but this is going to be up to your personal preference.
One last recommendation. The LanCool II chassis comes with a spot to add a USB Type C port. It requires a cable to add and attach to a motherboard. If you need that cable, it can be found here: https://www.microcenter.com/product/616604/lian-li-600mm-usb-31-(gen-2-type-c)-cable-for-lancool-ii---black. If you have any questions, please let us know!
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