Recommended PC Builds (2019 Edition)

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For those considering building your own PC (which I highly recommend), I’ve created these recommended builds with various uses and goals in mind.

These part sets have been devised to maximize performance per dollar, compatability, and minimal bottlenecking (where a cheap part restricts performance of more expensive components).

If you’d like to know more about how to compile a list of compatible parts yourself, check out my other guide here.

BUILDS

VR Budget/ Introductory Gamer:

CPU: Intel Core i3 8100

MB: Gigabyte H370M D3H

RAM: Corsair 8GB 2400Mhz Kit

(Updated) GPU: XFX Radeon RX 580

Storage: Samsung 860 EVO 250GB SSD

PSU: Corsair CX 450 Watt

Case: Corsair Carbide Spec 01

Pros: Provides very solid gaming performance for 1080P and 1440P monitors. Will run most VR games at medium settings or better.

Cons: Needs a Wi-Fi adapter. Some demanding VR titles will choke or require “low” settings. Limited RAM and storage capacity may require you to juggle fewer applications and games at once. As if this writing, Nvidia has yet to release it’s inevitable GTX 2060 GPU, which may offer better performance at a similar price point.

VR Mainstream:

(Updated) CPU: Intel Core i5 9600K

(Updated) MB: Asus TUF Z390-Plus Gaming

RAM: Corsair 16GB 3000Mhz Kit

(Updated) GPU: Evga RTX 2070 XC

Storage: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD

PSU: Corsair CX 650 Watt

CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H100i PRO AIO

Case: Corsair Carbide Spec 01

Pros: Will run most games at 4k very well, unless you insist on max settings or 60FPS everywhere. Will allow you to “sharpen” many VR titles by rendering at a higher resolution than your headset (supersampling).  An awsome setup that should last you for years.

Cons: Extremly demanding VR, like Vive pro on max settings, won’t run well with this GPU. Limited storage for non-gaming uses. 2070 unlikely to be fast enough at ray tracing to make the feature worthwhile.

VR Epic:

(Updated) CPU: Intel Core i7 9700K

(Updated) MB: Asus TUF Z390-Plus Gaming

RAM: Corsair 16GB 3000Mhz Kit

(Updated) GPU: Zotac Gaming RTX 2080 Ti

Main Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 500GB NVMe M.2

Additional storage: Samsung 860 EVO 500GB SSD

PSU: Corsair HX 750 Watt Full Modular Platinum

CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H100i PRO AIO

Case: Corsair Carbide Air 740

Pros: Simply a beast. This will future proof you for many years of gaming ahead. Will allow you to supersample even on the Vive Pro. Enough storage to download an extensive gaming library and some media. 2080 Ti GPU will allow for some spectacular graphics enhancements as developers implement ray tracing effects in games.

Cons: Price. Especially with the current inflated GPU pricing in the component market. RTX 2080 Ti is dramatically more expensive than the previous gen cards, without an equivalent increase in performance. Ray tracing may not be usable in VR due to performance needs.

Productivity Video/Photo Monster:

CPU: Threadripper 1950X 16 Core

MB: Gigabyte X399 Aorus Gaming 7

RAM: Corsair 64GB 3200Mhz Kit

(Updated) GPU: Zotac Gaming RTX 2080 Ti

Main Storage: Samsung 970 EVO 2TB NVMe M.2

Additional storage: Western Digital 6TB Hard Drives x2

PSU: Corsair HXi 850 Watt Full Modular Platinum

CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro H100i PRO AIO

Case: Corsair Carbide Air 740

Pros: Just look at it. Massive storage for editing or rendering large video and photo projects. Extensive motherboard capacity for add-on cards and even more storage as needed. Insane performance.

Cons: Pricey. Overkill for non-intensive CPU workloads.

Home Theater/Media Master:

CPU: Intel Core i3 8100

MB: MSI B360i

RAM: Corsair 8GB 2400Mhz Kit

Storage: Western Digital Green 120GB  SSD

PSU: Corsair CX 450 Watt

Case: Cooler Master Elite 110

Pros: Price. Nice and quiet for streaming movies across a LAN to your TV, or playing games via in-home streaming services.

Cons: If all you need is to play HD video on a screen for super cheap, a raspberry pi will do the job nearly as well for under $100.

 

Purchases made through links on this site may earn Bytegremlin a small commission. I only endorse products that I’ve personally used and loved, or thoroughly researched.

 

Updated 1/10/2019:

-Swapped GTX 1060 for RX 580 (much better value for nearly equal performance).

-Swapped Intel 8600K for the latest gen 9600K

-Swapped Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Ultra Gaming WIFI for Asus TUF Z390-Plus Gaming (previous board has limited availablity).

-Swapped Evga GTX 1070 for RTX 2070 (30% improved clock speed)

-Swapped i7 8700K for 9700k (gaming benchmarks show minor improvements with the bump to 8 physical cores, despite the removal of hyper-threading from the previous gen. 9900K’s improvements for gaming are neglible in benchmarks).

-Swapped Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti Gaming for ZOTAC RTX 2080 TI (Modest performance increase and potential for usable ray tracing in future games) Note that 1080 Ti is still far better bang for your buck.

 

 

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