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Build Guide

Excellent Intel Gaming Build

by manirelli

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


CPU/CPU Cooler

For the Excellent Intel Gaming Build build we selected the Intel i5-7600k as our processor. 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 1080 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 1080 is perfectly suited for VR gaming as well. When using a GTX 1080 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 NZXT S340 Elite. This case has a gorgeous red/black finish, 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

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 142W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU Cooler
No Matches Available
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
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
  • Heat Spreader: Yes
€99.00 FREE €99.00 Paradigit Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480 GB - 10000 GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 2.5"
€62.90 FREE €62.90 Paradigit Buy
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 3000 GB - 10000 GB
  • Type: 7200RPM
  • Interface: SATA 6 Gb/s
  • Form Factor: 3.5"
€114.99 FREE €114.99 Paradigit Buy
Video Card
No Matches Available
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080
Power Supply
No Matches Available
Total: €276.89
* 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.

Comments Sorted by:

mredible 4 points 21 months ago

Hi, This will be my first gaming build. I have a few questions to do with cooling. Will this PC be kept cool enough? What temperature will the GPU & CPU run at when maxed out on AAA games in this setup? And how does the temperature of the CPU and GPU affect the lifetime of the PC? Would you recommend liquid cooling for this build and if so what would you recommend? Thank you.

Hp7242 1 Build 3 points 21 months ago

I'm no expert, so do not just take my word for it. You may have to do research on the parts yourself, but it should be kept cool enough, CPU might run low 70s if you overclock it (which you should if you get a "K" series CPU), GPU may run low 80s with the blower style cooler, but you can adjust the fan curve if that does not make you happy. You should not worry about the heat affecting the lifetime of the PC. You will probably upgrade parts before they ever come close to dying, and if they die sooner than that, you can probably get a replacement for free because of a defect. I would not recommend liquid cooling for this PC unless you know what you are doing and are willing to pay a couple hundred dollars more. I think you would be fine with just the cooling the parts come with though. Hope this helps!

Anyansayo 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

If it is getting in the 70s you should probably be liquid cooling it. Not all liquid coolers require the skill to assemble like custom loops. There are AIO (All In One) Liquid coolers that come prefilled and are just about as easy to install as air coolers. I don't think that the GPU will run that hot. 80s is a super high temperature and if I saw my GPU get to that, I'd be worried something is broken.

Lordgaben2156 1 point 21 months ago

temps should be cool enough that water cooling is not required and there should be no overheating or reduced lifespan

tony475130 1 point 20 months ago

The air coller is one of the best on the market*well for air cooling anyways)

ItsMuni 2 points 21 months ago

I'm also thinking of building this as well, I'm fairly new to building so apologies if my question is a bit ignorant , but will i also need to buy a ethernet adapter for this ? or will it have one ? same thing for an audio adapter. Since that GTX 1080 isn't in stock , thoughts on this one? Its the same same build but with a different 1080 , https://pcpartpicker.com/list/gnK8BP Thank you.

Anarkhiya 2 points 21 months ago

Hey Muni,

Good news! No, you will not. The motherboard comes with an on-board ethernet adapter which, when built, will be on the back of the case. So case closed!

For future reference, when you're checking out motherboards, look on the left side under specifications, and check for the section 'Onboard Ethernet.' It being present signifies you'll find an adapter on the motherboard.

Also, the secondary 1080 you linked is actually a bit better than the one in the default build, so definitely, it will do.

Happy building!

*Edits for spelling, derp.

[comment deleted]
joeyharnois 2 points 21 months ago

Hey, so I'm just wondering on why you decided to get a 1080 with an i5, would this not create a fairly substantial CPU bottleneck. Honestly if I were buying this computer I would get an i5 6600k because it's not much difference in performance for a cheaper price. Also the storage is a huge risk because you shouldn't cheap out to get more storage, you should get 1tb for 50gb because honestly unless you own like 13453145 games you'll never use that much storage. And lastly the motherboard and power supply probably need a change too, a 550 watt power supply for something of this caliber you should at least have a 650, and with the money you would be saving with the other changes I recommended it would probably still be cheaper, and the motherboard either needs to be a higher quality or you need a more reliable PSU. I had a problem with a cheap power supply where it didn't work but it would still send power to the motherboard in short bursts and it could have shorted my board but I have a higher end board that wasn't cheap so it saved my entire system. So basically what I'm trying to say is that just research the parts and if you have a smaller budget either check the Linus Tech Tips forums or Toms Hardware because they have smart people who can help you a lot.

shreduhsoreus 5 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

I have a 2TB HDD and a 256GB SSD in my gaming rig and both are almost full...

Man, don't give people advice on this site. You don't have a clue about tech, you just lurk forums. I bet you've never even touched a 10 series Nvidia card, let alone used one. Literally everything you've said is BS. Just stop. There is nothing wrong with this build, or any of the parts in the selections. You're just a typical forum ***** that just memorized a few name brands and specs.

Anyansayo 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

If you look at the TDP, a 550 is more than enough Wattage to supply this build by over 100 Watts.

Roofless 1 point 21 months ago

Would you be able to use this as a Hackintosh?

Aslayer360 1 point 21 months ago

Yes, if you wanted to.

wildmike85 1 point 21 months ago

When I placed my order, the only available 1080 was a Zotac mini. Is there any reason to be cautious with a mini GPU? Does it perform the same as EVGA that is available now? Am I able to overclock it? I'm definitely reading and learning a lot, but I really appreciate any help. This is my first build. Thanks, guys!

lol-m8 2 points 21 months ago

The only concern I would have with the Zotac Mini is overclocking, since it might not have the proper cooling to overclock far enough to have an effect on performance. It will though perform almost identically with the EVGA ACX 3.0 GTX 1080. I wouldn't recommend overclocking with the Zotac Mini, since you might crash or experience a lot more heat on the card. Hopefully this helps you out.

discokong 1 point 21 months ago

I'm looking to make this my first gaming build. Would there be any issues with this build if I were to swap out the case for the Fractal Define R5 ATX Mid? Would the cooler still be necessary considering the case would come with 2 fans?

leoladoudou 2 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

The cooler is for the CPU : the processor. So yep you MUST keep it ;) For the case it seems good

discokong 1 point 20 months ago

Gotcha, thank you!

fallingPC 1 point 21 months ago

need suggestions. are the components i used good? for the cooler i would be using air cooler since i may not overclock the cpu. and i really need suggestions if i should stick with the mother board or switch it over with the rog ix hero


PixelWastelander 1 point 21 months ago

Hi, I'm pretty new to the PC world, but I'm ready to get into it. I've seen a lot about Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, and I've heard that it's very demanding. Would this build be able to run PUBG at higher settings? Thanks for the help.

leoladoudou 2 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

With a gtx 1080, if it cannot, than most of the people on the planet would not be able to play this game haha. So yeah no worries. (The cpu is good as well)

TechLewis 1 point 21 months ago

I love this build and the price fits in nicely with my budget, but i was wondering if this will be able to hold up with streaming videos? From what ive been reading, it looks like its best to go with a better CPU for streaming, but I would like to spend my extra bucks on getting a 144hz monitor. Any tips are appreciated, this site and community are awesome.

Aslayer360 2 points 21 months ago

I would recommend ryzen. You get far more cores, for a more reasonable price compared to Intel. If you want your game to look smoother, and feel better, the monitor would be good. My personal preference, though, is to get a better cpu, because it will be better in the long run.

TechLewis 1 point 21 months ago

Ive been looking at that streaming, gaming, and editing rig more now. I just dont know if I stream enough to dish out another 400$ for it haha. But i feel like that build will hold up for a good while until something crazy gets released on the market. Thanks for the input!

Wafflyleader 1 point 21 months ago

would i be able to make the gpu a gtx 1080ti without problem?

Aslayer360 1 point 21 months ago

No problem if you were building this yourself.

joeyharnois 1 point 20 months ago

I would not recommend a 1080ti it would bottleneck the hell out of your i5.

shreduhsoreus 5 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

That is complete BS. There are very few games where an i7 has increased performance over an i5.

Coyote79 3 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

I use a i5 7600k oc to 4.5ghz on a tower cooler and 1080ti and it does perform well most of the time my fps is high enough for my games only thing that does not perform above 100fps are ubisoft games like ghost recon and watchdogs 2

The_M26_Pershing 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

Yeah, but you're adding an extra 200 bux. Unless you're going to mine with this, it isn't going to be worth upgrading to a TI since you already have a 1080 with this setup.

Aslayer360 1 point 21 months ago

Nice build. One thing though, on amazon as of now, a ryzen 7 1700 is going for 40 dollars more. With this, you get double the cores and double the threads. Also, Ryzen 5 1600 is another viable option if you can't afford to pay 40 dollars more.

LegendEH 1 point 20 months ago

From select sources, mainly userbenchmark, Ryzen has a slower single-threaded performance. Some games won't make do of 6 full cores and 12 threads.

Ryzen is still a valuable option in my opinion.

wildmike85 1 point 21 months ago

I built the pc, and everything is great, but I have a question about the RAM positioning. Does it matter what ports the RAM occupies? They are labeled slot 1 2 3 and 4, but they're staggered. Again, any help is appreciated. Thanks, guys.

leoladoudou 2 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Yep it matters if you only use 2 of 4. You want to have dual-channel, the connected slots are probably indicated on the mobo guide. Did you check inside? It's probably 1 & 3 || 2 & 4

Piyush_Gupta 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I am planning to build a new PC. Earlier I had picked i5 7600k but now since Kaby Lake X is out. Should I consider i5 7640X instead? Prices are same but X299 MotherBoard is expensive as compared to z270

leoladoudou 2 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Depend what you're planning to do, I'm pretty sure you can stick with your i5 7600k : great cpu.

LegendEH 1 point 20 months ago

i5 7640X from Intel is described as more of a placeholder for someone who wants a Core i7 7740X or Core i9.

jamin724 1 point 20 months ago

Guys I am looking for a PC that is somewhat future proof that is capable of 4k gaming. This will be my first build and I always bought a dell before this. Would this flip the bill? I am looking for it to last me at least 5 years. I do not play any FPS but I do like Dark Souls and other action games that frame rate does help.

OneSuperYeti 1 point 20 months ago

i feel like for 4k gaming you would need a better computer and within the 5 years you would probably end up upgrading it.

OneSuperYeti 1 point 20 months ago
heavykiller99 1 point 20 months ago

can this build run planetside 2 smoothly????

drychapstick 1 point 20 months ago

is this pc going to be connected by ethernet cable?

The_M26_Pershing 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I think it's ok, although I would change my power supply to atleast 750 watt from corsair, and then a cheaper case because IMO I don't like how it looks. I use and prefer seagate drives and a samsung SSD, and that liquid cooler could be cheaper at corsair for around 40$, that's what I would really change.

[comment deleted by staff]
The_M26_Pershing 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

I said I would change it to a 750, and I would choose a corsair liquid cooler. You're judging on how the specs I would change, and what's with the hostility? It's MY opinion and it's how much I want to spend.

manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Please keep feedback polite and constructive.

SForPres 1 point 20 months ago

While I do like the premise, I would use a Ryzen 7 and a GTX 1070. I've never really seen a point in the GTX 1080 when compared to the 1070, and a Ryzen 7 for slightly higher will utterly destroy the i5 you selected. and you could even get some better gear. (And by which I mean peripherals.)

Outlaw_123 1 point 20 months ago

Ryzen 7 won't utterly destroy the intel processor. You're not going to need 6-8 cores, 4 is enough (EVEN IF YOU STREAM, EDIT, GAME, ETC.). 1070s in the market currently are around 40 dollars cheaper than 1080s which is not a good of a bang for your buck.

SForPres 1 point 20 months ago

It has been proven by many 'techtubers' that streaming and gaming is better on Ryzen 7. I did over exaggerate with the 'utterly', sure, but streaming and editing/rendering is much better on Ryzen 7, and 1070s are really just 1080s with lower clock speeds, I still find a 1080 much more worth it. But, you do you, man, I won't judge.

bluefrisky 1 point 20 months ago

1080's cost $40 more for a 15-30% increase in performance across all games. That's huge if you plan on getting 144/180/240hz monitors.

randompcmrdude 1 point 20 months ago

would you need low form factor RAM sticks for that cooler and the motherboard?

Hobbit15 1 point 20 months ago

I am new to building computers and this would be my first build that I would do. I probably have a easy question for most of you, but if I wanted to switch to an AMD Ryzen 7, I assume I would have to change out the motherboard. Or would it work with this motherboard? Also would it even be worth it to do that if I would do streaming and gaming? Any help would be appreciated. thanks.

FaithSnow 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

Very nice build for good price! I am thinking to use your config, but I can't decide which CPU should I choose: 6700k or 7600k ><

drychapstick 1 point 20 months ago

Just bought all the parts for this PC. First computer! Exited to build :))

kenm 0 points 20 months ago

i5s are dead

GMANER 1 point 20 months ago


[comment deleted by staff]
manirelli staff submitter 8 Builds 1 point 20 months ago

Don't troll.

GMANER 1 point 12 months ago


[comment deleted by staff]
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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
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 11W
Kingston - A400 480 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Toshiba - X300 4 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive 4W - 20W
Total: 142W