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Build Guide

Excellent Gaming Build

by manirelli

NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.


CPU/CPU Cooler

For the Excellent Gaming Build build we selected the Intel i5-7600k as our processor. If you're not building a workstation or professional machine, this is the de facto standard for overclockable gaming builds at the moment. To cool the i5-7600k while overclocking we selected the be quiet! Dark Rock 3. The Dark Rock 3 is an excellent choice for our build aesthetically and will keep the temperature of the CPU cool while overclocking.


To allow overclocking on the processor, we set the parametric filters for ATX motherboards that support up to 64GB of DDR4 memory, six SATA 6Gb/s devices, multiple expansion cards, and crossfire or SLI functionality. With our increased budget we selected 16GB of RAM. The parametric filter finds the best price on 16GB kits of memory that are within Intel’s recommended specifications. Using the parametric filters this build will incorporate an SSD with at least 480GB of space and a minimum 3TB of mechanical storage at 7200rpm.


With this budget we decided to go all out on the graphics card. The Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the single best cards on the market right now. At 1080p or even 1440p you will not have any problems with AAA games and the 1070 is perfectly suited for VR gaming as well. When using a GTX 1070 you should consider stepping up your monitor to a 120/144hz screen for the best gaming experience.


All of our components are housed in the Thermaltake Versa C22 RGB Snow Edition. This case has a gorgeous white finish with RGB accents, a large side panel window, room for enthusiast CPU coolers, watercooling radiators, and front panel USB3.0. For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of well-reviewed fully and semi-modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified and provide more than enough power for this system while at stock clocks or overclocking.

Part List Customize This Part List

Warning: These parts have potential issues/incompatibilities. (See details.)

Estimated Wattage: 292W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $436.00 FREE $436.00 Paradigm PCs Buy
CPU Cooler
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: ATX
  • Chipset: Intel Z270
  • SLI/CrossFire: 2-Way SLI Capable, CrossFire Capable
  • SATA 6Gb/s Ports: 6 - 10
  • Max RAM: 64 GB - 1024 GB
$854.83 FREE $854.83 Paradigm PCs Buy
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
$148.34 $148.34 PB Technologies Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480 GB - 10000 GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
$96.14 $96.14 Aquila Technology Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 3000 GB - 10000 GB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
$145.00 $145.00 1stWave Technologies Buy
Video Card
Power Supply $158.00 $158.00 1stWave Technologies Buy
Total: $1838.31
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Potential Issues / Incompatibilities

  • 1 additional EPS power connector is needed.

Comments Sorted by:

Tyriden 2 points 26 months ago

Just a question as I'm looking to build something like this, why not go with a M.2 HD for the solid state OS storage?

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

I was shooting for a budget around 1200. Storage is a pretty personal choice. Some people need a lot more or less and paying for more speed is absolutely something you can do if you like.

80-wattHamster 1 Build 1 point 26 months ago

M.2 is most beneficial when space is limited (which is not the case here) or for NVMe storage (which is more expensive per gigabyte).

avishalom 2 points 26 months ago

I see that some commenters on online forums say that this cooler blocks one of the ram slots.

Can anyone who's built this comment on this issue please?

nlarkin 1 point 25 months ago

Do you know if you're still able to put it both ram cards from this build?

avishalom 1 point 25 months ago

I ended up taking the CPU from the "Great gaming build" with its own cooler.

lokien87 1 point 25 months ago

I front mounted the radiator instead of top mounting and have easy access to all 4 RAM slots.

Machigo 2 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Almost exactly the build I went with, but I have the P400S tempered glass edition and Noctua NH-D14 cooler. It's a beast of a machine, really. :)

lokien87 1 point 26 months ago

Just finished this build. When I built it, the Asus Z170-E was the selected motherboard. That mobo is notorious for DRAM issues. Mine personally had faulty A1 and A2 slots so I have to RMA it. I was a little concerned with the case causing it to be quite noisy due to how open it is, but this thing is really quiet, which is great! The only thing I changed on the build was that I upgraded to the 750W 80+ Gold. The price difference was only ~$30. The 1070 suggests at least 500w, so I wanted the peace of mind.

Without overclocking, this has ran all of the games I've thrown at it at maximum setting. Admittedly, none of those games have been extremely graphics intensive, but it's loaded Fallout 4, Ark and EVE with no problems at about 80FPS on average. The original build was definitely a good one, but with the parametric filters changing things up, I can't speak on the current state. Here was the build I did:


Other than the Mobo hardware failure, I am not disappointed!

badjazy 1 point 26 months ago

That's going to be wasting power, 550w was more than enough. Though if you sli/crossfire and overclock like a psycho, then It would make sense.

lokien87 1 point 26 months ago

That's good feedback. I'm not planning to SLI/CrossFire and I might overclock in the future, but I'm more apt to having the freedom to upgrade without worry of wattage. This mobo has 6 SATA slots and 1 M.2 compatible. There will be plenty of expansion to use more of the excess.

vajjala1986 1 point 25 months ago

MSI page says that this mobo is only CrossFire Capable - NO SLI. Are you sure about this being SLI capable?

lokien87 1 point 25 months ago

When I purchased the parts for the build the Asus Z170-E was the recommended board, which was SLI capable. I ran into a bunch of issues with OutletPC regarding the RMA. I sent the board back in with no bent CPU pins and they sent it back with RMA denial because of bent CPU pins. I can't speak for the MSI.

Rikitik 1 point 26 months ago

Could you get it shipped all at once, like a button saying buy all or am I missing something out.

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

PCPartPicker does not sell or ship any parts.

Koschmar 2 points 26 months ago

Sometimes it's better to go through and select retailers that work best for you figuring in tax charges and/or shipping (ex: Are you an Amazon Prime member? etc).

Clicking on the part and finding the best one for you shouldn't take too long.

SomeRandomProducer 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

This is what I did. Instead of buying from like 3-4 different retailers I kept it to Newegg and Amazon since I'm a prime member. Some items were technically cheaper on another site but if you added the shipping fee and tax it would've been the same amount as Amazon with free 2 day shipping.

John_Titor 1 point 26 months ago

Pretty good, but as a base guide i'd probably pare down the storage to 1TB HDD and 250GB SSD. Storage isn't essential to gaming performance. Also, needs 2400 RAM for native Kaby Lake. Cheers!

c_henderson6724 1 point 26 months ago

what's the difference between the cpu on this build (7600k) and the one on the great build (7500)

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

Higher clock and unlocked for OC on the 7600k

thelsmonster 1 point 26 months ago

Team dark has some much faster 16 GB kits for like ten bucks more.

TrYeX 1 point 26 months ago

If you live in Sweden get 1060 6gb or you will become broke

CuriousGamer007 1 point 26 months ago

Great build manirelli. Got any good and affordable, monitors, that could fit into the budget of this biuld?

ajballer51 1 point 25 months ago

why did you switch the SanDisk SSD PLUS Solid State Drive 480gb?

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

The storage automatically changes to whatever is the best price using the provided filters.

ajballer51 1 point 25 months ago

Also I have one more question, this is my first build and i'm following this one to the dot. What do you recommend for the operating system. Thanks much appreciated! Also thanks for replying to my other question.

Max1millionaire 1 point 25 months ago

I like Windows 10 personally. It feels like you are suffocating someone if you try to download another internet browser though. This build doesn't have an optical CD drive, so either buy Windows on a USB or make your own boot drive.

nlarkin 1 point 25 months ago

For someone who doesn't plan to overclock their CPU, would you still recommend this build for a Gaming PC? Or is there a different build that I might benefit more from? I'm looking for something around the same price.

alevyish 1 point 25 months ago

There's always the option of going for non OC CPUs, you could look for the non overclockable version of this CPU (i5 7600) and also look for a MoBo that doesn't support OC, which should come cheaper.

jamesssss621 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Love that case. I picked up the temepered glass version for my next build.

vajjala1986 1 point 25 months ago

MSI page says that this mobo is only CrossFire Capable - NO SLI. Are you sure about this being SLI capable? Asking as I am looking at a similar build myself.

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

The filter shows motherboards that have either CrossFire or SLI capability but not necessarily both. Since it is a parametric filter I'm not sure exactly what motherboard you are looking at but double check on the part page.

KevinM9 1 point 25 months ago

How well would a rig like this run WoW, GTA5, Total War (Warhammer, Attila, and Rome II and whatever is coming next), perhaps Mass Effect Andromeda or Star Citizen as well? I've been out of PC gaming for a while and instead of modifying my out of date laptop (which can only run WoW and Total War on the lowest possible settings) I figured its better to just build a new desktop. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to check my saved parts lists and give me any insight, thanks.

InvaderGir 1 point 25 months ago

A build like this would easily run those games over 60FPS at 1080p on high-ultra settings.

If you need help or opinions it's best to use the Part List Opinions Wanted forum to make a post with your preferred parts list.

KevinM9 1 point 25 months ago

Thanks for the tip, I took your advice and posted my build in the forum. Thanks.

dunc717 1 point 25 months ago


mrsnow13 1 point 25 months ago

can we get a video for this build??

Spladder77 1 point 25 months ago

I have several sticks of kingston HyperX beast RAM sitting around, would that work instead of the RAM listed in the build guide?

PlasmusAng 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Can ppl help me finish configing my 1900$ budget pc https://pcpartpicker.com/list/WNYzjc give me tips and improvements and edit it too

TOKYO_EVIL 1 point 25 months ago

If this is a gaming PC, you don't need an i7-7700k. Gains are negligible. Consider an i5-7600k, instead. I don't see a GPU listed, and I don't know what "2070" is.

PlasmusAng 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

the 2070 is a new rumored gpu of nvidias and I need the extra horsepower for video and photo editing

riftking 1 point 25 months ago

how good is the mushkin chronos ssd? reliable? im tripping between the 2 lowest priced 480-512 gb ssds in UK and they are the mushkin and the ocz. the ocz has great reviews about reliability but idrk about the mushkin one

kiLLerRIGs 1 point 25 months ago

Gr8 job :-)

LaserSight 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

What type of moniter did you use in your build?

kadesxys 1 point 25 months ago

Would also like to know a good monitor choice. It's a G Sync worth it going 27". Any advice would be nice. Over all I'd like 27". MAYBE 24. Thanks

Razr_beam 1 point 25 months ago

Guys, will it be okay to swap the i5 7600k with an i5 7500 and get the gtx 1080 instead?

TOKYO_EVIL 1 point 25 months ago

Sure. Ideally, you'd want to downgrade to a motherboard that doesn't support overclocking if you choose to use a locked CPU. That way you retain an efficient budget allocation. I'd generally recommend considering having an unlocked processor before having a GTX 1080, though. And in most cases, a GTX 1070 will perform just fine in comparison.

mrsnow13 1 point 25 months ago

can we get a video... ive had this build sitting here for a week now cause I figure out which cables go where. the power supply came with a ton of cables. do I need them all? do I need to plug them all in?

trixster 1 point 25 months ago

It's a good build. I think you went a bit lite on the PSU with a 1070. It might be ok since the wattage has been going down with recent gen vid cards. Fairly sure Nvidia recommends 650 though. You are also going to be off budget unless you a window license you can port in.

mrsnow13 1 point 25 months ago

I got this exact build.. my CPU temps are 40 to 44 degrees Celsius at idle.... Is this okay?????

mfvicli 1 point 25 months ago

Glad I found this, gonna use this exact build. I currently have a crappy $400 alienware that can barely run games at 60fps, was looking for something around $1,200 to fulfill my excessive skyrim modding craze. Thanks for putting together a nice build!! :)

gabeoi 1 point 25 months ago

Noob here, but why aren't you using an operating system?

GudMemes 1 point 25 months ago

I don't know to much about computers, besides the CPU, but i would really like to know what i should be looking for in a gaming computer thats $1200 to $1400. I've read plenty of articles on different computers and computer parts, but they have never really clarified anything for me. Any advice?

shaggy2922 0 points 26 months ago

Would the Corsair H100i v2 be a better option for overclocking? Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm relatively new to building PCs.

Maverick19 0 points 26 months ago

Why don't you have any optical drive ? And how will you connect to wifi with this ?

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

No need for the optical drive as you can install windows via usb. For wi-fi you would need an adapter.

Crykee 1 point 25 months ago

So, there's no option to add a optical drive or network card internally down the line?

alevyish 1 point 25 months ago

This case in particular has no room for an internal optical drive, but you sure can add a WiFi card.

Slurth 1 Build -1 points 26 months ago

I like this build guide, I must say. The only thing that I might get different is the PSU, that's not a good price for a 550 watt PSU that is not fully modular. Personally I would get this http://pcpartpicker.com/product/g63RsY/evga-power-supply-120g10650xr as it is fully modular and you get 100 more watts, but a good build none-the-less.

vagabond139 5 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

That PSU is significantly worse and is bad for its price...There is a LOT more to PSU's than what you just mentioned.

vagabond139 5 Builds 1 point 26 months ago

That PSU would look silly in that case since its SFX.

badjazy 1 point 26 months ago

It would not look that bad despite being half size, also it is cheaper and has less watts.

vagabond139 5 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

It would, there would be a visble gap and it would abnormally small. Also keep in mind that its not cheaper in all countires, it costs a fair bit more in the US which is where most people on here are from.

badjazy 1 point 26 months ago

100w would have made it even worse.

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Namnguyen 2 Builds 3 points 26 months ago

welcome to 2017

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Namnguyen 2 Builds 5 points 26 months ago

year 3000? There will be intel core i5 50600K that supports windows 1000

thesolowolf 1 point 25 months ago


manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 2 points 26 months ago

Fixed, nice catch.

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[comment deleted by staff]
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-7600K 3.8 GHz Quad-Core Processor 11W - 91W
be quiet! - Dark Rock 3 67.8 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler 5W - 10W
G.Skill - Ripjaws 4 series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 11W
Team - L5 LITE 3D 480 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Seagate - Barracuda 3 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB G1 Gaming Video Card 37W - 150W
Total: 292W