As 21st century gamers, we want to play the heaviest games at the highest frame rates and best settings and there's no better way to max out your settings with 4k and ray tracing than to make your very own custom-built gaming PC. And that might seem like an intimidating task. But, rest assured, if you are a PC enthusiast and can handle a screwdriver (and maybe with some help from our PC build guides), there's no PC you can't build.
Once we've built our ultimate gaming PC, you will have a brief but comprehensive outline of how to build the ultimate gaming PC. Using some of the tips laid out, you can play almost any game at the highest settings without encountering any issues. Keep in mind, though, that everything here is done without consideration for price, as the goal is to build the ultimate high-performance PC.
So, why build a gaming PC when you can buy a completed PC? There are several benefits to creating your gaming computer, with the most significant among them being that you get to save a ton on costs. Furthermore, innovations in gaming are made every day, and by building your PC, you leave room for improvement. This way, you can swap old, outdated parts for newer, more advanced ones in the future.
With this in mind, let’s dive into a high-end gaming PC build. We'll be walking through a build we've put together for extreme gaming; use this guide is as a starting point to customize and enhance, rather than a hard-and-fast set of rules. All of these components can be swapped out for others - so if you'd rather use an Intel processor or AMD graphics cards, you absolutely should - Let’s get to it!
A CPU is an essential part of any computer. While there's some debate about whether you should pick out your processor or your graphics card first, we're starting from the CPU. But, which one should you go for? There are many options out there, but none quite like the Intel Core i9 11900K.
The Core i9 11900K is perfect if you are aiming to build an extreme gaming PC. Offering lightning-fast processing and full 4k support, the i9 11900K is the beast in Intel's lineup. Featuring 8 cores and 16 thread, the 11900K packs a lot of punch in a single processor.
But, if you're more of an AMD builder, the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X offers comparable speed and power facilitated by its 16 cores and 32 threads. Please note, however, that if you do choose to go AMD while following our parts list, you will need a different motherboard, Intel and AMD require different pin types.
After you're CPU, the motherboard is the next big decision for your PC build. We'll be using the ASUS ROG Maximus XIII HERO for its capability, which means we'll be going with an ATX form factor - this will be important when choosing a case. The HERO is equipped to handle the powerful Intel 11th generation processors. The HERO delivers get four M.2 SSD slots to run your SSDs, offering ample connections for the fastest SSDs on the market. Plus two additional PCIe 4.0 slots for any extra memory or peripherals you might need. I know for a fact that gamers can’t live without good internet connectivity. Nothing is more annoying than lag hitches right in the middle of Warzone, right? Not to worry, ASUS packed the HERO with top-tier network features such as 10Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, and Wifi 6 network capability.
Without a graphics card, you won't be doing any maxed-out gaming. Good graphics cards are capable of handling heavy games without breaking a sweat and nothing entirely meets these qualifications like the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090. This is the absolute titan of Nvidia's lineup when it comes to gaming at its best. Equipped with 24GB of GDDR6X RAM, this graphics card can comfortably handle hardcore gaming and 3D rendering. It delivers jaw-dropping 4K performance and can even go the extra mile and run 8K at 60fps.
Memory is the often overlooked lifeblood of any PC build. Without it, games wouldn’t run smoothly. You need sufficient RAM for the system to retrieve game data quickly from the primary storage. And, while there are lots of options that will do this job well, the G.Skill 32GB TridentZ DDR4-3200 RGB (2x16GB) hits a little bit different. Why? While many RAM sticks offer good performance, this particular one has the perfect combination of aesthetics and performance thanks to a complete row of LED lights over an uncovered full-length light bar. And while 32 gigs of RAM should be more than enough to run anything you can throw at it, you can always add more thanks to a two-stick set.
When it comes to storage, you need something fast, durable, and efficient. This is where the Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD 2TB comes in handy. Packing two terabytes of super-fast storage in an m.2 SSD as small as a stick of gum, this is one of the best storage options you can go with right now. The m.2 SSD storage means you get a fast and spacious device to cater to all your gaming needs. And it won't even take up one of your SATA ports, so if you need more space you can expand with traditional 2.5" SSDs or even HDDs. Whether you want to capture live footage or install all your games in one location, the Samsung 970 EVO Plus will do just fine.
We're building an extreme gaming PC here and a system like that should be able to run smoothly when overclocked and under load. Which means that our components are going to be drawing a LOT of power. The i9 11900K processor and motherboard we chose for our build draw a ton of a lot of power under load by themselves. The graphics card is no joke either, and this is why we need an extreme PSU to support our equally fierce build. Weaker power supplies just are going to cut it. Luckily, the EVGA SuperNova 1000 G3 is designed to handle such loads of massive power. To put this into perspective, it delivers 1000W of power, which will make your gaming experience flow seamlessly. Plus, it's fully modular, meaning you won't be using any cables you don't need.
The danger of an underpowered or faulty power supply cannot be understated: one wrong spark or short and this single device destroys your entire gaming PC costing you thousands of dollars in damages. The EVGA SuperNova 1000 G3 PSU is 80+ Gold rated, meaning it's made with some of the best parts available to gamers and is capable of living up to your rig’s power needs.
When it comes to the case, it needs to satisfy two fundamental needs: Functionality and Aesthetics. You wouldn’t want an odd-looking case for your expensive PC, would you? After all, a house has to look good on the outside and the inside too. The Corsair Obsidian 1000D is that perfect blend of form and function for a high-end PC build.
As far as PC cases are concerned, the Corsair Obsidian 1000D is an absolute mammoth. Standing at 27.3 inches, this beast has enough space to house up to four 400 mm radiators and 18 fans. Suffice to say, this behemoth of a case is designed for the most powerful PC builds, perfect for our champion of computing. For even more epic builds, this case can house two systems simultaneously! And with only one build in it, you have a whole second chamber for optimal cable management. It even comes with a triple chamber design featuring French Door styling for easier installation.
The best part is the case has enough storage space to house five 3.5 inch HDDs and six 2.5 inch SSDs. Never worry about memory space again!
So far, we've put together a massive capable of running everything you could possibly want and more. However, it is missing one thing: a CPU cooler. Keep in mind that we are using some of the most extreme devices in the computing industry, such as the Intel Core i9 11900K processor, and under load, they will churn out some serious heat. This is exactly why we need a CPU cooler. A liquid CPU cooler, to be precise. For this, the NZXT Kraken Z73 will work perfectly. Why the Z73? Well, for starters, it comes with CAM software, which allows you to fine-tune settings to achieve optimum performance. After all, customization is at the heart of every PC build, right? It features a 360mm radiator and three 120mm fans for powerful cooling beyond the fans in our Corsair Obsidian 1000D case.
But, if you're really going all out on your system, you probably want to look into a custom cooling loop. A custom loop will cool better than most AIOs and offers far more customizability and choice, albeit with a lot more work. If you're interested in a custom loop but worried about the work involved, Micro Center does offer custom loop installation through our Service Center.
We've put together a build specifically designed to handle the heaviest games in the most extreme settings, but there's still room to personalize and improve. If you want an even more custom build, head on to Micro Center and take advantage of the custom PC builder. You get a wide selection of available parts based on your preferences. Customization has never been easier!
TFW retailers still recommend out of stock items that have astronomical prices. $2229 for a RTX 3090?!?!?
Call me "old school".
I do not need a pc that lights up. I will be looking at the screen. My attention is there. I do not need a "disco pc."
I'll stick with my CaseLabs M8 over the Corsair 1000D.
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