Hypothetical system build

So this time next year I’ll be building myself a new system if nothing else gets in the way.

I’m poking around some stuff now and wondered what a decent system in my price bracket would look like now - any one fancy a hypothetical system build thread?

Budget: £2000-£2500
Must haves:

  • NVME M2 main boot drive
  • 500gb-1tb SSD storage drive
  • 2-4tb mechanical storage drive
  • 2000 series Nvidia card in MSI Twin Frozr flavour
  • 8700k
  • 16gb RAM
  • Noctua NH-D14 cpu cooler
  • Corsair Obsidian 750D case
  • A Gigabyte or Asus motherboard
  • Windows 10 - Home? Pro?

My current system will be repurposed as something else at some point, I just haven’t decided what yet so no reuse of old parts.

So far this is what the spec looks like:

  • CPU: Intel 8700k - £389.98
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 - £69.98
  • Motherboard: ASUS Intel ROG STRIX Z370-H - £169.99
  • RAM: 16gb (2x8gb) DDR4 3000mhz Corsair - £129.49
  • PSU:
  • GPU:
  • Boot M2:
  • Storage SSD:
  • Storage HDD:
  • Case: Corsair Obsidian 750D - £133.49
  • Case fans: 3x Noctua NF-A14 ULN Case Fan - £19.99/£59.97
  • OS:

Budget: £2000-£2500
Working total: £952.90
Working remainder: £1047.10 - £1547.10

What would your take be on the parts I’ve listed and the the gaps?

I’m going to peg in some of the ideas I come up with but I’m interested to know the thoughts of you wonderful peoples!

Disclaimer: I know a year is a long time and there will be new or better options out by then, this is just a what if since I’ve not really looked too deeply in to building a system in a while and I’m a bit out of the loop.

Edit: Extended the budget a bit since the 2000 series Nvidia cards really hammer the budget.

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Join Team Ryzen! - You could even probably stretch to a Threadripper for that budget… mebbe.

On a sidenote, get a 120GB SSD to act as a dedicated cache for the mechanical drives - speeds them up no end.

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Judging by the timeframe you have, you need to weigh up:

a) volatile products that are currently at a low price points - especially RAM and SSD/M2. (worth buying early?)
b) which of those products are going to be superseded by a new standard in the next 12 months (DDR5?).
c) which of those will have massive Black Friday savings next year (Samsung kit was heavily reduced, I saved £70 on my Ryzen 2700, for example).
d) how much you care about saving a few quid vs owning the system sooner.

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a/c) I did wonder about grabbing those bits early when sales pop up across the year

b) In terms of RAM I really don’t feel like my jump from DDR3 to DDR4 really showed any noticeable difference so I’m not sure, right now at least, if I want to adopt DDR5 if it does drop next year.

d) I don’t want to be paying for expensive premium grade stuff like the Asus Maximus boards that have a bunch of features I’m not interested in, but I don’t mind spending a few quid if it means I’ll get more life out of the parts.

d) I’ve never purchased a ROG or Maximus board - but it is worth noting different chipsets decide things like how many PCI lanes are actually available to the CPU. Some boards also will do things like offer 6 SATA ports, but then use 2 of the allocated lanes to them if you use an M.2 - It is worth doing detailed investigation into what you actually get. Some Ryzen boards were found to be talking bullshit about their power recently. One thing you do get with premium motherboards generally is better cooling on your VRMs and controllers - which if you are looking to overclock, is pretty important.

b) I would imagine that DDR5 is going to be matched with a completely new chipset and socket. It might make DDR4 prices fall though. I have no idea on release dates. I agree though, for common tasks, there is bugger all difference between DDR3 and DDR4.

any/what other uses than gaming?
what display/peripherals are you using?
do you intend to overclock?
consider going 32GB ram.

board, chip, and ram you can decide in one go based on what’s available/in budget when you pull the trigger; the rest is all current standards that won’t go anywhere and anything new is unlikely to get established and be cost effective within the next/it’s first 12 months.

I try to work out my overall budget, then split it into what i’d spend on each bit, and go with whatever the best i can afford is.

I’ll avoid any brand based suggestions because everyone has different experiences of almost all of them so i figure whatever your choice it’s a lottery whether you have a good or bad time.

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Remember that at the moment there are shortages on the interl parts so you are paying a premium…
What is the usecase for the CPU?
You should be able to get 3200mhz (non rgb) ram for about the same price point. Also memory pricing is supposed to go down in 2019.
For the NVMe Samsung has come out with new larger capacity ones, but if it is just the boot drive then any 120GB model should do(what ever is cheap)

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M2 & SSD it’s got to be Samsung, I’ve the 256GB 950 Pro M2 (only has OS & some programes on it) & 1TB 850 EVO SSD. PC boots up in like 5 seconds (also using the MSI Fastboot mode). Hoping to add another 1TB SSD or maybe even a 2TB next year

I’m thinking about a new build too but going to go single white female (can we say that now days or does it have to be none committed gender fluid person) and copy Jes


So plugged some stuff in based on your selection and then changed the ram.

I don’t think even the most committed liberal would argue with the idea of calling you a single white female


Boot M2: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/500gb-samsung-970-evo-m2-2280-pcie-30-x4-nvme-ssd-phoenix-mlc-v-nand-3400mb-s-read-2300mb-s-write-37
130 sterling

Gaming Drive: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/1tb-samsung-860-evo-25-3d-ssd-sata-iii-6gb-s-mjx-mlc-v-nand-1gb-cache-read-550mb-s-write-520mb-s-98k
160 sterling

Storage Drive: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/4tb-wd-black-wd4005fzbx-35-performance-hdd-sata-iii-6gb-s-7200rpm-256mb-cache-oem
175 sterling.

Total storage costs: 465 sterling.

Remaining dosh: 1082.

Psu: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/750w-corsair-rmx-series-rm750x-full-modular-80plus-gold-sli-crossfire-single-rail-625a-135mm-fan-atx
100 sterling

Remaining: 982.

GPU: MSI 2080: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/msi-geforce-rtx-2080-gaming-x-trio-8gb-gddr6-vr-ready-graphics-card-2944-core-1515mhz-gpu-1860mhz-bo
800 Sterling.

Remaining: 182

OS: Windows 10 Pro: https://www.scan.co.uk/products/microsoft-windows-10-professional-32-bit-64-bit-all-languages-digital-download-1-license-s-operating


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Windows 10 Pro OEM key for 6 euro.

Now everyone is going to complain to me for posting this, but I have my key from there as I had to get a new one since I replaced too many components. Flexx has also bought a good few games from that site and no issues.

There’s others much more up-to-date for advising on specific components, especially from UK-based retailers, so I’ll stay out of the melee.

My only point for personal preference would be to pick a PSU according to the tier list, if you’re not already familiar with it (https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/986897-psu-tier-list-30/)

Can be a bit tricky telling apart PSUs when the only major marketing distinctions are efficiency ratings at lower draws, but in terms of voltage ripple, quality of capacitor construction (BIG variations here, with the number of shoddy Chinese capacitors flooding the low/mid-end PSU market) and so on, it really matters. A difference of forty quid can get you a power supply you can really rely on for as long as could hope to need it, vs god knows what pain in the arse malfunctions.

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Yeah, we’ve gone through this conversation before :smiley:

There is no way, in my mind, that Microsoft who sell a product for £200 themselves give access to online key stores stock that they can sell for £11.54 (and put their own markup on) - Even being OEM, that’s too cheap.

Most likely, they are OEM for somewhere like Brazil or somewhere. Or are corporate keys sold illegally.

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Very true.

I have a Corsair HX 850W with a jury-rigged ATX cable that I soldered back together myself and it’s been working fine for the last 6 years :slight_smile:

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It’s all very well going all out on a 2080 - but unless you have a good monitor to appreciate it on (and monitors haven’t been mentioned at all thus far - although you did say nothing was coming across from your old system) then you’re probably better off spending some dosh on that.

Here’d be my (VERY quick) wishlist if I had £2k to spend:

27" 2560x1440 144Hz Monitor with an RTX 2070 would be pretty fucking epic. I’ve gone with Ryzen, but you could do a simular Intel set of parts.

Better PSU (as mentioned above as to reasons why) would be worth considering… didn’t realise that was just a Bronze rated one…

Also worth noting that the dual-fan noctua CPU fans have been reportedly noisy in a push/pull setup - they can generate resonance. I’ve gone with the 140mm fans to run slower. I love silent computers these days. (Also noted that I picked the Threadripper one by mistake - not sure if that fits AM4, there would be a varient)

Obviously all Scan. Could probably be cheaper elsewhere.


I remember actually seeing the effect of a poor quality power supply during a lab while analyzing some circuitry, which was a pretty eye-opening thing.

We were finding a lot of noise on the oscilloscope while taking readings from an oscillating circuit, and trying to work out why. Eventually we found that there was a third-party power supply on a laptop that was so badly built that it was feeding noise into the room wiring, via the sockets into the lab DC power supplies and then into the supply voltages of the comparators that were providing the oscillation in our circuit. Really bizarre to see how bad it was when electrical components are cheaply made

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Thanks for all the help guys!

I’ll respond as best I can to all of this wonderful help.

Directly to a few of @Adrock 's questions:

System usage: Primarily gaming and other than work stuff (Adobe suite/Office) I dabble in some 3D modelling and tinkering with game engines on occasion. No video editing, crypto or really anything more demanding than games. I’m going for Ultra settings and longevity.

Peripherals: Nothing special, keyboard/mouse/wireless 360 controller and a Dell 24" monitor with a native res of 1920x1200 and a 59.9999hz refresh rate. @Jester is trying to convince me to buy a new monitor further down though!

Overclocking: I’ve said I would for years and probably should on my current chip but just never get around to it even though it is essentially just clicking a button these days on a decent board (There is also the fact that my current board is fucked so I don’t want to chance it)

RAM: 16gb still feels excessive for me, especially being gimped down to 8gb and not really noticing a huge difference.

In terms of dividing the budget, with the price of the 2000 series, the biggest portion is going to have to go on a card, then the CPU, then mobo/ram, then everything else. I’d like decent drives but I’m not looking to push any limits on transfer speeds, just give myself a nice quick boot drive and a nice big SSD for loading games on to.

d) I’ve never purchased a ROG or Maximus board - but it is worth noting different chipsets decide things like how many PCI lanes are actually available to the CPU.

@Jester yeah I’m aware of this - the Strix board I’ve posted has a big fat asterix over the second M2 slot which I had to find out from a review meant it was a half speed slot that I could bump to a double speed slot at the expense of a PCIE lane or some SATA ports - two of which I already lose for having two M2s. I’m not really sure what features I want aside from the relevant chipset and NVME M2 support.

@BlackRaven nice shout on the 3200mhz, I hadn’t checked the pricing over 3000. The reason for the CPU choice is that I’m interested in sticking with Intel, the 9900k is silly expensive and the 8700k comes in as the default recommendation for high end gaming - bit of a sheeple choice really.

@RoGuE my default would be to look at Samsung given my experiences and the general positive opinion of their drives on the sites I read.

@Hammy I’m tempted, but I was really underwhelmed with Kate’s Bulldozer (Piledrive? 8320…) build given what it was hyped up to be and it felt like a repeat performance from back when I bought an Athlon XP chip instead of the Intel offer only to find it really didn’t measure up. I’m hearing good things from you guys, but I’ve had fewer disappointing experiences with Intel overall.

@NaloaC those drives are pretty much bang on what I had in mind! I’m really stuck with PSUs these days, touching on what @DM501 has said, I’ve heard from you guys and read elsewhere about how many of the PSUs are manufactured by 3rd parties and then branded by whichever company. I don’t know who to trust in terms of manufacturer - can the Gold/Silve/Bronze label be trusted if I just went with someone like Corsair, Antec or BeQuiet?

On the GPU, I’ve been wondering if it might be worth looking in to a 1080ti instead of a 2000 series? Those 2000s are seriously pricey and I’ve mostly heard ‘meh’ things about the performance jump from the 1000 series - how has yours faired @NaloaC ?

OS-wise, I’ve heard the main differences between editions is the amount of telemetry going on - this is a huge bugbear for me and one of the main reasons I’ve not moved on to Windows 10 already. I understand all of the arguments about the amount I’m already followed around by having Facebook, an Android phone, etc, but the telemetry on Windows 10 just seems wanton. As I understand it, I can either get a copy of enterprise which doesn’t have all that shite or I need to spend a bit of time on a fresh install neutering all of the bullshit - any informed opinions on this for a casual tinfoil hat wearer?

@Jester you dirty AMD fan boy you! :grin: I have one of the dual fan noctuas and absolutely love the gigantic thing - I looks like an important part of a Gundam or something! In the current mounting (Flipped and roated like this ) the thing is silent even under load, but I realise moving to a case with a more traditional mounting/arrangement might see me having those accoustic issues - honestly, it cools so well I’m willing to take the risk.

I’d thought about a new monitor since mine is getting on a bit, its only 1920x1080 and the refresh rate is some mutant 59.9999hz thing. The absolutely insane price of monitors these days is what puts me off - I need to get my arse down to the Scan showroom and have a look at these monitors in person to change my mind on sticking with my U2412m, I think.

As I summarised above, overall I’m looking for Ultra settings for a couple of years and an overall system life of 6+ years with a possible GPU/Drive upgrade somewhere around 3/4 years before I hit 6 and look at where the system is at before I think about gutting it and getting a new chip/DDR5 (or 6 or 7 or whatever is out).

I’ll wade in on the power supply topic again:

You’ll definitely find that PSUs are being manufactured by third parties and rebranded, and that different quality levels of PSU are being manufactured by different third parties within the same brand. That’s not necessarily a problem though, as in practice a power supply is only ever going to be an amalgamation of third-party components according to a design. In practice, the key differences are the design tolerances that the power supply was built to, and the quality of the specific third-party components being purchased to make it.

To that end, you can’t really rely on a particular brand, usually. There’s no brand of such reliable quality that they’re not purchasing components from different companies according to the pricing target for a particular power supply. In fact, you can’t even rely on the same model being consistent in quality, as third party component suppliers get switched around throughout the production run of a PSU. Generally, the marker of a decent quality level is that classic sonofabitch - how expensive it is for the max wattage provided. Not that that’s the whole story mind.

Also, while the whole Bronze/silver/gold/platinum grading is a decent marker of a ‘certain kind’ of quality it DOES NOT give the whole story. Literally what those ratings are saying is that at different levels of draw through the power supply (so, how “hard” the power supply is having to work), a higher graded power supply is able to provide more actual power compared to wasted power, thus is more efficient. This is particularly relevant to the fairly non-intuitive point that power supplies are considerably less efficient when at very low draws, and tend to be most efficient when operating at around 50% of maximal.

What that does not necessarily tell you a thing about is reliability and construction quality beyond that which influences power efficiency. For that reason, I’d strongly recommend purchasing a PSU with an eye to the tier list I linked earlier, which broadly keeps an eye on those factors and gives a good sense of what is a smart PSU purchase.