My dream build. What to cut?


I already had two monitors, but adding a third onto my small desk meant using arms. They are awesome by the way.

The case is three full fans in the front, no external drive bay like in older cases. This is my first PC since 1991 to not have an internal CD drive.

YOU likely don’t, but as Armando said, I’m a streamer, and I also have external audio equipment (two MIDI modules) so I like having a separate card for that alone. Plus I’m a die hard Soundblaster purist. Ever since using my first SB (an AWE-32) with TIE Fighter back in the day, I’ll use nothing else. ;)

Dude, I just went through this a few months ago, and the advice I got here and elsewhere was INVALUABLE, so I am happy to help pay it forward. :)


I have two monitors on my small desk and had always wondered how I’d add a third. Now I know, thanks to you!

That said, running even two monitors proved to be more distraction and annoyance for me than it was worth. Then again, my second monitor is smaller than my first monitor, which probably doesn’t make sense.

Yep, I was more wondering why you have an optical drive at all. I’m guessing audio CDs to go with your awesome SoundBlaster. Also, that reminds me: your case didn’t come with enough fans, so you added more?

Yep! I have never been so happy that I started a thread here, lol. I’ve already learned a ton. Thanks again.


I play a lot of older games as part of my blog – and because a lot of games I still love to play are only on disk – so I needed SOME CD drive.

We have no air conditioning where I live, and it does get hot from time to time, so I wanted as much cooling and airflow in the case as I could cram in there.


Gotcha. I enjoy your blog a lot, by the way! It’s a real service.

My gaming room is in a finished addict, and while there is a window A/C unit up here, it gets warm in summer. So I may think about extra fans too.


Thank you so much! :)


As you already mentioned that you want your rig to be future proof, this build is perfect and will last you quite long. Also if you really wanna go with 4TB SSD, I’d suggest get 2x2TB so if one fails you don’t lose your whole data.


Like any good Internet user, I skipped the original post and went straight to the comments. I scrolled back up and it seems like a reasonable high-end build to me.

Except for storage. $1200 for 6 TB feels like a huge waste.


Thanks for the comments on storage. Yeah, I’ll probably scale it back. I’m over-reacting to my current bad storage situation.


Spock, definitely go with 2 x 2TBs to save money.

I would also go down to an i7 and maybe use the money you save on a RTX 2080Ti instead.

If you are in driving distance of SW Connecticut then I am happy to build it for you.


9700 vs 9900 is a tough call, even if you’re not price sensitive. I ended up selecting a 9700 in multiple hypothetical configs this week, and despite being noticeably less expensive, it’s actually faster in a number of gaming benchmarks. Add increased security and it seems like a win-win – unless your specific workloads really benefit from threading.


Yeah, I’ve heard people say the i7 is sometimes actually faster in games. It’s certainly cheaper.

Chappers, thanks for the offer, but I’m not in driving distance of SW Connecticut. Besides, it’s mostly fun to build a PC. Mostly. :)


It’s a relatively easy procedure to add a drive. You can get a 2TB drive for now, perhaps along with a HDD for the A/V files and such, and add another drive later if you still need more storage.

I recommend keeping an eye out for bargains on components, especially if you can afford to wait.


Thanks. Wow, there’s a subreddit for everything, isn’t there! I appreciate that very helpful link.


Can’t you borrow a transport ship?
Apollo class maybe?


I’ve already stood trial for theft of one Federation ship. I hardly think it logical to repeat that experience!


Here’s what I noticed, with the general idea that gamers get rapidly diminishing returns for additional dollars spent past a certain level.

  • The 2 solid state drives definitely caught my eye as a pricey luxury. A great compromise between performance and cost is having 1 solid state drive that houses your operating system and some amount of games, and the much more cost effective hard drive to store other large files. If you get fast internet and end up downloading most of your games from Steam et al., an SSD’s limits is pretty easy to work around for fast gaming load times. YMMV depending on how you game.
  • Many core processors tend not to improve gaming past a certain threshold. If you are also interested in content creation (which can use the extra cores) then AMD’s Ryzen line up might be more bang for your buck.
  • Are you planning on over clocking your processor? That is what the K at the end of i9-9900K means, open to overclock. If this is something you just aren’t interested in doing, then you don’t need a K series processor, probably could get away with a cheaper motherboard, and don’t need the most effective cooling option.
  • Your case features tempered glass, which is essentially a slightly expensive way to show off what is inside your case. My PC is literately placed between a wall and my old style desk, so tempered glass would have been a waste of money. However, if you do want that desktop conversation starter, realize you need to purchase good looking parts and will also want as much cable management as possible to keep that clean look inside the glass window. The case, though, looks like a solid option.
  • In terms of dollar per cooling performance unit, a well designed air cooler will out perform a closed loop liquid cooler. However, this might go back to aesthetics, as those liquid coolers tend create a more open looking case to see other components that might be blocked by a large air cooler. Liquid cooling might be quieter as well, but sound is more dependent on the quality of the fan(s) then the form. Oh, and yes, you attach the grills to your case. Usually I see them attached to the front of the case. If the front already has fans, then it is probably a matter of detaching those fans and add the grill and attaching your choice of fans (original case or what came with the cooler).
  • RAM tends to not be where you can pick up performance gains in this day and age, unless your RAM is starting pretty low. 8 is what a budget PC build will have, and the user will just need to be careful to close most tabs before playing demanding games. 32 gigs is now “upper middle class.” You are paying a premium, but for a product you will occasionally make use of.
  • What is your monitor situation? Buying a $3,000 PC and hooking it up to a $100 monitor is… missing something. For example, if your monitor has a 60 hz refresh rate, it won’t matter how many frames FRAPS tells you your system is generating, you only see 60 a second. So, you might want to consider including a monitor upgrade in your PC build.
  • You are considering an… experimental card. The RTX line just came out and is designed around a graphics feature which does not exist in many games, ray tracing. I would advise you do your research and decide if you are OK with the performance without this feature when compared to comparably priced cards.
  • More expensive motherboards will run PC your PC faster and are more about additional features, such as multiple GPU support, more overclocking options, more RAM slots, etc.


There is a battery on your motherboard that needs replaced.

That’s…That’s a very high end system you’ve built there.


Thanks for your helpful replies!

Mostly not, but I have done some work with ZBrush in the past, and that’s a pretty demanding application.

Nope, no plans to overclock. I just hate replacing a CPU, so I tend to buy a high-end chip so I can last a number of years before replacing it. My current chip has lasted me 8 years. At the time it was a high-end chip, and I’m glad I chose it. But it sounds like I could get away with an i7 now.

Actually, the glass is almost a negative for me. I just got impatient looking for cases online and settled on this one as a placeholder. My PC sits under my desk; I see it, but no one else does. I don’t really care how it looks.

I hear you. I built a liquid-cooled system a decade ago and I had a good experience with it. (And I admit it was cool to see the blue liquid running around inside.) This time I just had the impression that the liquid-cooler would be easier to install – less heavy and clunky than a big heat sink /fan thing.

Yep; this is worth it to me. But I can get away with less-speedy RAM than the RAM I listed in my original post.

Good question. It probably is time for a monitor upgrade. I have an old Dell 3007 whose native resolution is 2560 x 1600. I’m pretty sure its refresh rate is 60Hz. I am also interested in an Oculus Rift or similar VR device.

Yes, I need to give more thought to the video card. Are there nVidia cards that perform better without the raytracing support?

Thanks. Well, I haven’t built it yet! Right now I’m trying to figure out how and where to trim things to save some money. Leading candidates include storage, RAM speed, CPU, case, video card – pretty much every component I’ve chosen, lol.


I’m the same way. I wanted a black-colored tower with a few decent features. I looked at all the guides and they had see-through panels or were weird colors. I finally just picked a Corsair case at random on It was fine but probably too expensive for what I got, and I had to ping support for replacement panels due to bubbling paint (easy but whatever).

Definitely get a new monitor. That will be the biggest impact (though obviously the PC is indirectly due to driving the monitor).


There’s almost no reason to get a K series CPU and force yourself up to an after market cooler, then. If your computer room is substantially hotter than most AND you really let dust get out of hand AND you tend to run multiple cores at 100% for hours at a time, sure, an after market will keep you from throttling and maybe extend the life of your cpu, but realistically the stock cooler on a standard chip is fine if you’re just running it as intended.

For what it’s worth, mounting a clunky radiator to the case somewhere and still needing to attach a custom bracket to get the heatsink component of an AIO water solution is barely less frustration than just installing a high end fin based air cooler from Noctua or Cryorig. If you really want that ice cold chip.