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: i7 8700k, running at all core OC of 5Ghz at 1.35V, 26k\
: EVGA GTX 1080 iCX, running at 2100Mhz core OC, 25k\
: 16 GB 16CL 3000 memory. Running XMP profile, 7k\
: MSI z370, 11k CPU cooler
: Coolermaster ma620P, 4k Storage
: Samsung 860 EVO 500 GB sata SSD, 4.3k\
: Cooler master MB500, 5k PSU
: Antec 650W semi modular, 4.5k Monitor
: LG 24 inch 144hz panel. 20.5k
25k\(gpu) + 40k\
**(cpu, ram, ssd) + 45k(monitor, case, psu, mb, cooler)= Rs. 1,10,000
*bought from USA during black friday sale.
So my parents had recently bought a new flat and we were thinking of moving there. I always wanted a desktop PC in my room but because of the current room's small size and the fact that I had to share it with my brother I was not able to do that. In the new place, I would have my own room so the dream of building a PC which seemed distant before now was a real possibility and it made me really excited. I had been using an HP omen 2017 with a GTX 1050 for gaming previously but I really wanted to experience 1080p 144hz gaming, especially games like PUBG. So I began my research on the hardware and started making a PC part list.
THE GPU STORY
Meanwhile, a really good friend of mine was on a trip to the USA and told me that he was buying a second-hand GTX 1080 for himself. I seized this opportunity to convince my friend to help me out and arrange another second-hand GTX 1080 for me as well. He finally pulled it through and got me the first piece of my computer. This costed me around 25k as after the conversion charges and all. He got it for $350. Got an iCX model for me and ACX 3.0 model for himself. The pair together looked so cool. Gotta admit, the Americans really keep their tech clean.
Comparing this to the prices in India just reminded me how sweet the deal was. Though checking prices for other PC parts got my josh to a stop. Though it was high again when I got to know that another friend doing his MS from the US was soon going to come to India on vacations. So back to the PC partpicker website we were. and the research took a full swing.
THE CPU STORY
As my primary use of the desktop was gaming (and maybe streaming later), I started with an i5 8600k processor but quickly changed it to R7 2700 as it came with a stock cooler and paste. In an attempt to save money on an already expensive build. I was saving at least 12k on CPU, ram, and motherboard by sourcing them from America. The rates here are pathetic. Soon we got the news that the 9th gen processors would soon be releasing but seeing intel's stocks history, we decided not to wait for them. The 9900K had launched but it was really out of the budget. Watching reviews from the tech Jesus from GamersNexus it was clear that i5 was shitty when it came to streaming and gaming. and an R7 2700 needed around 1.4V to get a 4.2Ghz all core OC stable which could get us within 10 percent of the 8700k. I later decided to change the CPU to the x version of 2700 because of the beefy stock cooler and better binning which i thought would let me reach 4.2 all core OC without a problem with a price increase of just $50 that is around 3.5k. Chose an ASUS x470 motherboard to go along with this as it has a 6 phase VRM which we heard is really important when overclocking an 8 core 16 thread processor like the 2700X. I later read that the OC on 2700x did not improve gaming performance by much as the XFR was doing its thing really well. So, I thought of saving some cash on the motherboard by pairing it with an MSI B450 motherboard. This was also considering the weather conditions in India might not have allowed me to keep my 8 core CPU running OC 4.2 on all cores.Then came the black Friday idea and rates. This brought back the i7 8700k back to the equation again. This was because i was thinking of getting a 144hz panel and higher frame rates were easier on an i7 with a decent OC. Plus I really wanted to experiment with overclocking for fun. The 8700K was also suggested for gaming in many end of the year CPU reviews like LTTs and GamersNexus. The 8700K provided best streamer side fps while shelling out good viewer side performance for realistic encoding bitrates. And I felt I would not really utilize the 8 core 16 threads advantages on my desktop. Set a budget of $650 for the CPU, RAM, and SSD as their sizes were small and my friend could easily get those in his luggage.
the final run: Shifted a lot between the 2700x and the 8700k but went for the 8700k in the end for OC adventure, better gaming, and streaming(streamer side fps) performance, and better resale value. The decision was easier as I was getting it for 25k rather than the 40k price point in India. I got the processor for $340. Linus also had recommended the 8700k when it came to price to performance numbers. The ratio bettered when the black Friday sale rates were applied to them. Saved some money on the ram as well, going with a 16GB 3000mHz kit (got it for $100 on the sale) rather than something more which is essential for Ryzen.
So, finally bought
CPU: i7 8700K $360
RAM: 16GB 3000mHz Ram $100
SSD: 2.5" 860 EVO 500GB SSD $65
total: around 40,000 INR for CPU, RAM, and SSD. (Exchange rate was 73.23, used a FOREX card to place the orders)
BACK TO BASICS: NEHRU PLACE
No Indian build is complete without travel to the hardware paradise known as Nehru place.
: MSI z3700- 11K
Der8auer suggested the MSI z370 board as it is cheap and can overclock decently. Went with this, no fight here.
: Coolermaster ma620P- 4k
a very beefy cooler. A cooler enough to cool down a 5Ghz OC on an i7 8700K without needing to void the warranty on the chip to change the IHS thermal paste. High on LTT forum's tier wise list for CPU coolers. Almost among the best when it comes to price to performance ratio of air coolers in India. Hyper 212 EVO would not have been able to cool 5Ghz OC down.
: Went with an LG 24GM79G 144hz 1080p monitor. -20.5K
The cheapest and most color accurate TN panel with the best contrast ratios and brightness levels.
PSU and CASE
Coolermaster MB500 for case.- 5k
A good budget case with 3 stock RGB fans and dust filters.
Antec 650w PSU- 4.5k Semi modular. Who needs modular? hehe.
This was the thing that was the most exciting and fun aspect of this build. After getting the bios, the drivers and the windows update, we got to work. I will be sharing snips of my trials of various settings that I experimented with and just mention the most stable settings here. The settings that I have it running now with absolutely zero problems. I hope this data helps.
CPU and RAM
stable at 5,000mhz all core boost at 1.35V. LLC level 4 with prime95 stable. Max temps reaching around 85 degrees and max power consumption around 160W. AVX offset off.
Memory OC, unfortunately, didn't work and I didn't wish to spend a ton of time messing with the timings and the sub timings of the RAM as it would not have lead to a noticeable change in gaming performance.
First, I was not trying for small ftts to be stable in prime95 but due to games like PUBG crashing in the middle of matches, I had to increase my voltages to gain the 5Ghz OC that I wanted.
note- the performance measurements are not linear as there were some windows updates with patches that decreased the CPU performance by a bit. The temps were recorded while cinebench was rendering. Used Intel burn test for the first pass and the second pass was the prime95 small ffts test.
I think I was lucky with this chip and I think I can achieve an easy stable 5.1 if I delid it.
MSI afterburner was used.
Final OC was a manual curve modifier with freqs at max voltage reaching 2100 mhz on the core. The power consumption was 220W peak with max temps reaching only a meager 70 degrees in the uniengine heaven bench. power limit was set to 120% and voltage increased to the max. the fans autoed around 55 and the card didn't sound to be that loud.
Achieved a score of 3800 on uniengine ultra default settings.
monitor color settings if anyone is interested. Found it extremely hard to find good color settings on this panel. https://imgur.com/eULWElE
B means brightness, C contrast, G gamma. on the right are the monitor color settings with contrast and brightness set to 100.
Using this system has been really fun. I won my first PUBG solo game on this system. I am really glad that I got to build this system, but there are some learning takeaways and personal suggestions that I would like to share with you guys.
- The difference between 120hz and 144hz is hardly noticeable. So, a R5 2600 would have been enough to be really honest. I am talking about the perceptual difference and not the difference that the FPS numbers show on the screen. Please save some money and go for a cheaper CPU.
- Colors on a TN panel are actually quite disheartening and only go for such a panel if you will mostly play competitive games on your system.
- Do not go for an x series CPU if you want to go with AMD. Overclocking is very simple and you can save money by just investing very little time and energy. I did not believe that when I was buying the components but I sure believe it now.
- Prime95 small ffts stability is not essential. Intel burn test imo is enough for stability testing the CPU. If the intel burn test passes, then most likely you would not encounter any stability issues.
- GTX 2060 is a solid deal for the price. It has comparable performance to the 1080 when OCed with extra features like ray tracing and DLSS.
- SSD is essential and I am doing fine with a 500GB SSD as my only drive. You really do not need a lot of space if you just want to game. If you are editing photos or videos then its another thing. I also mostly play one game (offline story sort) at a time so space is not much of an issue.
- If you have space, do not buy a gaming laptop. Go for a medium budget gaming desktop (maybe mATX or miniITX form factor), buy a second cheap laptop (only if you really need it) with a small processor which would inevitably mean a long battery life and put an SSD on the laptop. You will be sorted.
- Offtopic but- underclock your laptop cpu and gpu using ThrottleStop and Afterburner to increase performance and battery life.
for getting the GPU and for picking up parts and building the system along with me
I would love to answer questions and listen to suggestions. Please feel free to ask as many questions as possible. Also, DM me if anyone needs help with their build or is shy to ask here.
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