Gaming build, need some suggestions!

Hello all!

I've been thinking about building a new gaming rig, and would like to see what ideas and builds everyone here can come up with that might help and or give me some part picking knowledge!

Budget - $3,000 pure gaming rig.

Water cooled CPU - AIO would be fine.

Include a 1440p or 4k monitor. Note: I will be running 2 or 3 other(1080p) monitors with it, not eyefinity(im sure you knew that) and I already have them.

Will not need keyboard, mouse.

Above link is what I was thinking so far. I need MB suggestions as you will notice I did not pick one yet. I look forward to see what others suggest!




If you go 4k, go dual 980s. They don't hog as much power and are usually the go-to in that regard. (forgot to mention, 290x compete with 970s, and 4k require higher gpu)


Also do not get the h100i as there have been a number of quality and driver issues with that model, leading to higher temps. There are a good many people that got it and were very unhappy. The h110, h105 are decent though. The kraken x61, nepton 280l and swiftech h240x are well worth it. The swiftech can actually be upgraded to a custom loop since the reservoir, pump, etc can actually handle a gpu and extra rad without a single issue.


You didn't have ram on your list, so wasn't sure if you needed, also if you plan to sli or crossfire, Asus z97-a or gigabyte z97 sli are your base mobos. Everything above is just adding features, but will not necessarily really give you more bang for your buck. The Maximus vii hero and Gigabyte soc force are oc monstrosities, but you will not likely ever need it. If you plan to run more than 2 in sli, the soc force might be a choice to consider.


When you did two of each ssd and hdd, did you do it for raid 0 or raid 1 config? If neither, a single one for each would be better. If raid 0, you might as well raid two adatas, or just have a single 1tb ssd; also raid 0 hdd is kind of needless.


I don't think you will need a 1000w, but evga and corsair are both good bets and up to you. As for case, that is also personal preference. The phanteks is just worth far more than the asking price, is a very decent full tower with good stock fans and room for rads. Fractal is also quite good.


As for the monitor, you can do either, but the question is if you want 1440, you want ips at 60hz or tn at 144hz. You can get a 1440 at 144hz ips, but those are not out yet. For 4k, you are limited to 60hz.

^ Definitely what Drew here said. You'd be way better off with the dual 980s and your two SSDs and two HDDs is a little overkill, save that money for the monitor and just get one each. (Unless you absolutely MUST have that much storage but I highly doubt you'll need it) ASUS makes amazing monitors but it comes with a price tag, you can save a lot of money and go for a Korean (I believe the brand is QNIX on Amazon) or BenQ 1440p that will do you just fine for about 20-30% less if not more! 4k honestly isn't quite worth it yet. It's so expensive and the hardware we have won't really handle it unless you're just playing like League of Legends or something thats not super graphically advanced. Good luck with your build!

 Just a bit edit to what Drew built. 

Working on what soul was talking about:


Korean monitors are lg or samsung panels, ips and 1440p. Most can oc to 120hz, but work best at or under 90hz. Since they almost all use only the dvi dual link, the input lag is near nonexistent, and the latency is about the same as any other ips. The only downside is that korean monitors sold from these sellers have a lightbleed lottery, it is not too noticeable or problematic of an issue, but you do have a chance getting one of the runts. You usually only notice lightbleed (bad or minimal) at full black screens or with no lighting in the room. Other downside is that the stands are cheap but all monitors have vesa mount compatibility. It still works, but it isn't the full swivel you would pay 100-150usd more from an asus ips monitor.

Decent brands include Qnix, Crossover, Shimian, xstar, etc. I suggest ebay sellers Green-sum or dreamseller. You can normally get a decent one at 300 usd for free shipping and pixel perfect. Look up korean monitors on youtube. Teksyndicate bought 27 monitors from dreamseller with only one bad monitor that they replaced with no trouble. I personally purchased a crossover 27qw from green-sum and had very good customer service.


I just suggest staying away from the 'multi' variations. They just add a lot more input options, which obviously increase input lag.




why wd green? I thought those are usually for surveilance applications... Black and blue are the normal fair, and red if you want otherwise, or for more nas orientation (could be wrong on red, but green isn't the best bet in my opinion). Seagate isn't bad either.


For ssd, I really prefer samsung 850 over crucial (preference and the 850 have better nand and performance). The intel brand is very reliable, but for price for performance, crucial and samsung are usually better value and more often on sale.

I personally use the samsung 840 evo and I love it, but I read somewhere about a firmware update that's bricking the SSD's (Unsure of how true that is) and just thought i'd save him some bucks and get him a smaller driver and beef up the storage on the HDD. 

My friend uses a WD green in his build and he said he likes it, never heard of em being used in surveillance applications? Also the Intel SSD is running on sale right now :P. 

I went ahead and edited his build again  Included the 1440p Qnix monitor if that's the route he chooses to go. Also changed it from WD green to WD Black 

The cpu cooler can go either ways, there was some models of the h100i that had problems at subzero temperatures during shipping and they did a recall on them, so it's whatever way you choose to go. 

All the WD are color coded per their best use of application. Greens are designed to stay on 24:7 and last for longer read:write lifetime, but their performance is beat by blacks in speed and efficiency. Blues are the lower end blacks and come at smaller sizes. So blues for price at 1tb each, or blacks at 2 or 3tb. Reds I think are either the cheaper version, or the one for nas. Forgot which.


850s and mx100 usually are on sale at one point or another, and are well worth the price. Samsung 850 evo/pro use 3d vnand where the dyes are stacked on top of each other rather than spread out. They also have a long warranty and just as reliable as the 730 series. I just don't think paying a premium for the 730 when both brands are equally reliable, to be as worth it.


I only suggested the 1tb due to his initial choice, but I agree. In truth, it would be better to stick to a simpler config:


125gb ssd for boot only (maybe one or two small apps/games), 250 for boot and games/apps, 500gb if you do more, 1tb if yolo. Then at least one hdd at 1tb or more, depending on personal preference. (edit: forgot to say that ssds perform best when only using 1/2 to 2/3rd of overall size)


SSD lifespan is directly related to write and overwrite. Reading from an ssd does not limit the lifespan, but there is a limit to how often you can write over the drive. This usually will not be an issue, but if you limit ssd to boot and commonly used games and apps, you should have a decent number of years for lifespan. The main difference between pro and consumer model ssds is this warranty and build quality. Sata ssds are cheaper and are slower (due to sata bottleneck) but are also not as limited in how many you can have. M2 ssds requires that connection and not many mobos have it, and if they do, it is 1 or 2 at most. Pci ssds are very fast, but again it may be hard to have that space if you are doing multiple vid cards and have other things that require that pci-e slot



The shipping issue where the aio reservoirs froze and caused backorders were the h110is. Otherwise, they were reported to be decent, but I heavily suggest not using the h100i. If anything, an aio is not necessarily needed as air coolers and heatsinks can compete quite well with aio coolers.

If not a heavy oc, hyper 212 evo is efficient and best bang for the buck, and the Noctua dh-d14 or d15 will outperform most small or thick rad aios, and even get equal to better temps than the h105 or h110. But this depends on personal preference just as much as anything else.


At this point, you dont need to oc a 4790k for a decent gaming experience. It is more for future proof than anything else.

Thanks for the reply!

To answer a few questions I was thinking raid 0 SSD at first but I was unsure about real gains vs single SSD. As for the HHD I was planning Raid 1. I use it as storage and like the recovery option of it.

My good friend has the large phantek case, that is the only reason I didn't select one. I wanted to be a different.:)

Monitor, I like the picture of the IPS monitors bit I spend a lot of time playing FPS games. So I've always been uncertain on getting one.

Oh I have 2x8gb vengeance LP available to use already. Good catch.

Ok, so then I suggest getting a single 512 or 1tb ssd, and then two WD blacks or blues at 1tb, if you wanted that route. If you really want to raid 0 ssds, go for cheaper rather than more expensive (adata ssds in particular). Raid 0 good quality ssds are rich mans game, and you might as well get a pci-e ssd at that point. A single 850 evo, crucial mx100 or intel 730 is good. Go by price as those brands won't let you down.

(Edit: forgot to mention, don't buy kingston hyperx ssds. Bad quality due to change in versions and manufacturer. They make good ram, but their hyperx and 300ssdnow are horrible ssd drives)


If you don't want phanteks, fractal is a very nice one as well, just limited on the option of optical drive storage. I would choose that as a different option, another quality case for the price.


They do have an ips 1440p at 144hz, but the price will be high, and wont be out for a few months. I would then suggest the korean monitor. Run it at 60, and if you want to oc it to 90 for fps, you can find decent guides online. There is a heavy fan/community base of qnix and other korean monitor users.

Great info! 

What's everyone's thoughts on W7 vs W8.1? I've been doing W7 64bit for my last two builds.

W8.1 is more efficient than w7, and it also fixes many of the w8.0 problems. I was skeptic at first, but have to respect the changes.


W7 is more familiar but w8.1 uses less resources. Look up windows 7 v 8.1 on google search for a better understanding. Either way, when you buy one, you get a free upgrade to 10 later on. (w9 was skipped, or they changing naming scheme)

Cool I'll check it out on Google. Oh I just looked more into the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe and wow I like it! Only one I've seen in person was my friends Primo.

You didn't have ram on your list, so wasn't sure if you needed, also if you plan to sli or crossfire, Asus z97-a or gigabyte z97 sli are your base mobos. Everything above is just adding features, but will not necessarily really give you more bang for your buck. The Maximus vii hero and Gigabyte soc force are oc monstrosities, but you will not likely ever need it. If you plan to run more than 2 in sli, the soc force might be a choice to consider.

How well do 980 3 way sli? And do the base MB's still do low OC?

The luxe is nice, it's the pro (maybe a bit smaller) with led strips. Just look around and see what you think.

Hardware Canucks (may have spelt that wrong), linustechtips, as well as teksyndicate will likely have some decent reviews.


For 980 sli, stick with 2, until you need 3. Heck it is better to use 1 till you have to upgrade. You never need to go more than what works for you. Since you plan to have so many monitors, 2 should still be fine. Running at 4k will require 2 but work acceptable with decent fps at 3. For 1440p, 1 will work, two will work quite well.


Gigabyte Z97-sli, ud3h and ud5h will run about the same, as will the z97-a, and a few of the other asus. The only major differences to them is the bios and stock settings that come with it, but when you oc, you are usually doing it manually anyways, especially for a devil's canyon haswell cpu (tip, do it manually or you will overvolt your chip).


The z97-wifi pro from asus is equiv to the sabretooth and the maximus series, but includes wifi built in. Personally I find getting a cheap wifi card a better deal rather than pay 250. I personally use the maximus vii hero. It is a very nice looking mobo that supports 2 in sli. The soc force will give you the option to sli 4; however, it is built to the degree that it can oc with liquid nitrogen, and so on. So when I said that it is more than you need, I wasn't joking. Just keep in mind, the more in sli, the higher the likelihood that they overheat and the more you have the greater the possible requirement to put waterblocks on said gpus, which is not cheap... The gigabyte g1 is the better of the group, but will have more airflow issues when stacked with extra cards.


For everything above the medium/basic mobos, it all amounts to the physical orientation of the board, such as number of 3.0 usb ports, placement of fan headers (how many can do pwm normally, 4-pin) bios on the mobo, capacitor quality, onboard sound drivers and how the pci-e slots are shared/matched up.


The question is how far you want to go. I doubt you need 3, but I guess you would be interested in having the option. As for actual oc, you won't really need to oc a 4790k as it won't bottleneck anything for a long while, and it will take time for more games on the market to even make use of hyperthreading. It will mainly be putting the weight on gpu performance.

Well said drewjn. Just for looks I like the Sabertooth z97, aesthetically it would be nice for what I would like to do. But that said its what ... another $100. Overall reliability is key but I find this MB eye candy. 

I found this on Newegg, like the fact it has a decent base.


This is where I'm at now. Still no monitor yet, I'm still researching on Korean monitors.

A big THANK YOU to everyone! And feel free to keep making suggestions if you feel something would work better in one way or another.

Not too familiar with seasonic psu, since I'm usually used to evga and corsair, but should be ok. Other than that it looks good.


For monitor, Id suggest not worrying about one with a stand immediately and look toward vesa mount configurations first. If you can spend half the extra amount that you would have used on the variation with a decent stand, it will be a better deal.

Seasonic is one of the best power supply manufacturers/OEMs nowadays for consumer power supplies.  Corsair and EVGA don't use Seasonic a lot(Corsair seems to love Channel Well Technology[CWT]).  I do know that EVGA's new Supernova GS is using Seasonic.