What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?

Updated May 7th, 2019:

Along with the new site comes a new look for the HWLB, so of course we need new components.  Some of these updates will have a short life as we are expecting a variety of new AMD products in a month or so.  The PCPer Hardware Leaderboard forum is a great place to speculate on what these new components might be as well as to show off your own build ideas.

Intel’s i9-9900K continues to hold top spot for gaming a pairs well with MSI’s GODLIKE Z390 board which has everything up to and including a sink!  The RTX 2080 Ti is also the fastest GPU on the planet and EVGA’s GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra is the fastest out of the box .  For storage, Western Digital’s next generation Black NVMe SSDs give even Optane a challenge in speed, which you could test if you picked up Intel’s Optane Memory H10.  32GB of DDR-4600 ensures that your memory won’t be the bottleneck and look fancy while doing it.

Ryzen 2 has arrived and while more of an iterative leap in performance than a huge increase it is enough to challenge Intel’s processors on performance and beat them on price.  ASUS’s Prime X470-Pro eliminates some of the limitations of the X370 chipset while remaining very affordable. The RTX 2080 is now in stock and occasionally on sale, so it displaces the long lasting GTX 1080.  Corsair’s LPX 32GB 3200MHz sacrifice a bit of speed in favour of size, which should pay off in the long run.   Western Digital’s new 500GB PCIe NVME Black SSD shows up in most of these builds as the price and performance is at the top of it’s class.  As for the soundcard; at this point if you are enough of an audiophile to need one, you already know how much you will need to pay!

The Ryzen 5 2600X is a solid processor for a multipurpose machine and the fact it comes with an effective cooler makes this a superb deal.  With drops in price associated with the new HyperX Fury Black 16GB DDR4-3466MHz as well as that CPU the motherboard is upgraded to an ASUS TUF X470.  WD’s new SN750 NVMe SSD shows up quite a bit in this update thanks to it’s mix of price and performance. The RTX 2060 will ensure a great gaming experience at 1080p and lets you choose either type of Adaptive Sync display on the market.

The Budget Build will be used for more than just light gaming and that makes the four core Ryzen 3 2200G a wise choice for money conscious buyers as you can depend on the eight Vega CU’s on the chip and skip the GPU entirely.  If you need a discrete GPU immediately, try the XFX RX 570 8GB as it is a great deal.  The ASRock Fatal1ty board is almost overkill with the huge amount of features but also gives a first time builder the opportunity to experiment with a variety of configurations and doesn’t force you to pay a high price for it.  An NVMe system drive will change your life, if you have yet to use one.

Once you have all your components you can always reference Ryan’s videos covering the installation of the parts into the case as well as installing your OS and Steam so you can get right to gaming and surfing.  For those of you looking at a Vive or Oculus, the systems mostly match those covered in Ryan’s VR builds; check out your expected experience in his three guides.

Hardware Leaderboard -   29

Dream System 2019 $3292.00

This is the Dream System. No compromises, IOO.

Processor — Core i9-9900K$495

Core i9-9900K -   1 Check out our review!

 Expensive, But Very Fast
 Runs Hot. Very Hot.

With the New Year it seems we have a new supply of Intel’s flagship Core i9-9900K, which finally bumps Threadripper out of the Dream system.  What it lacks in PCIe lanes and cores it makes up for in performance, both single and multithreaded as we showed in our review.

Motherboard — MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE$600

MSI MEG Z390 GODLIKE -   2

 ddr4-4600
 bit pricey

With WiFi, dual wired NICs and audio codecs, four PCIe 3.0 16x slots, a half dozen USB 3.1 ports covering Gen. 1 and 2 as well as support for DDR4-4600 is the MEG Z390 GODLIKE overkill?  Of course it is, but this is the Dream system so you have to dream big.  You can get the ACE for just over half the price instead, if you aren’t feeling like a God.

Video Card — EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming$1400

EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming -   3

 Thicc.
 Thick.

At $1400 the EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming is a wee bit overpriced, which is hard to avoid right now.  There are cards for ~$100 less but they don’t sport a 1755 MHz Boost Clock and cooling to keep the card at those frequencies.  Mind you, if you can find something that does and is in stock at a lower price … grab it!

Memory — G.SKILL Trident Z Royal Series 16GB DDR4-4600$430

G.SKILL Trident Z Royal Series 16GB DDR4-4600 -   4

 fastest ram going
 that price

Not only does this G.SKILL kit give you the fastest RAM on the planet, it is shiny as well.  The clear part towards the top is a crystalized RGB LED light diffuser which makes your case look fancy.  There is also a gold kit if you so prefer.

Hard Drive — WD BLACK SN750 1TB$227

WD BLACK SN750 1TB -   5

You have a lot of choices for high end storage, with another coming at the end of the month.  While the 970 Pro and Evo might offer a tiny bit more performance in certain situations the price difference makes it hard to recommend.  The new WD BLACK SN750 1TB NVMe drive on the other hand offers the read speeds you want at a great price.

Sound Card — Turtle Beach Santa Cruz$0

Turtle Beach Santa Cruz -   6

Classic audio is best audio!

Power Supply — EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G1+$140

EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G1+ -   7 Check out our review!

 10yr warranty
 no silent mode

With an 80 PLUS Gold rating and 10 year warranty you can expect this PSU to be powering your system for a long time.  The PSU is incredibly efficient and stable, which you need in a system with these powerful components installed.

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High End System $1511.00

High end gaming for around $1500.

Processor — Ryzen 7 2700X$292

Ryzen 7 2700X -   8 Check out our review!

 best ryzen around
 soon extinct

The i7-8700k and the Ryzen 7 2700X are very evenly matched in price and performance but those are just two of the reasons why AMD’s new chip hit the High End.  You also don’t have to worry so much about Spectre and Meltdown.

Motherboard — ASUS Prime X470-Pro$150

ASUS Prime X470-Pro -   9

 lots of features, ddr4-3600

The X470 version of the ASUS Prime X470-Pro offers all you could want for your Ryzen processor, including two PCIe 3.0 slots, three, two Type-A USB 3.1 Gen2 and a USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-C ports. For the RGB fan there is ASUS’ Aura controller and watercoolers will appreciate the dedicated pump power headers

Video Card — Gigabyte RTX 2080 Windforce$699

Gigabyte RTX 2080 Windforce -   10

 great graphics, afterburner
 expensive

Picking up a discounted 1080 Ti will net you roughly the same performance as this RTX 2080 but as Battlefield V has shown there is some advantage to paying extra for an RTX series card. Gigabyte’s overclocked model, with the WINDFORCE 3X cooler will help you maintain that 1710MHz Boost clock!

Memory — Corsair LPX 32GB 3200MHz$195

Corsair LPX 32GB 3200MHz -   11

 no RGBs,
 no RGBs, lower frequency

This DDR4-3200 kit is worth grabbing for any system at its current price, the slow down of Flash memory might finally be reliably lowering the price of DDR4!  With timings of 15-15-15-36 you aren’t losing out on anything with this low price. If you prefer speed to volume, Patriot’s 16GB Viper Steel DDR4-3600 is about the same price.

Hard Drive — WD Black SN750 500GB NVMe$105

WD Black SN750 500GB NVMe -   12 Check out our review!

 best value, game mode
 breaks ryan's law

While this is the previous generation of WD’s NVMe SSD, that simply makes it more affordable.  NVMe offers transfer rates superior to SATA and takes up a fraction of the space as well.  Samsung’s offerings are great but they simply can’t match the price per gigabyte of the WD Black.

Sound Card — Audigy 2 ZS Gamer$0

Audigy 2 ZS Gamer -   13

Over $200 in free games and one of the best soundcards made!  Audiophiles know what they want, and they know how to get it.

Power Supply — Corsair CX Series 750W Bronze$70

Corsair CX Series 750W Bronze -   14

 price, 5yr warranty

Since you are always going to need the ATX power cables, a semi-modular is not a negative though you are free to choose otherwise.  The Bronze rating offers a balance between efficiency and cost and 750W should keep your system happy.

Hardware Leaderboard -   31

Mid Range System $985.00

You can clearly play from middle.

Processor — Ryzen 5 2600X with Wraith Spire$175

Ryzen 5 2600X with Wraith Spire -   15 Check out our review!

 multithreading, beats Intel at the price
 about to be extinct

With the price drops there is no reason not to get the 2600X with the Wraith Spire include.  There is a new generation coming soon, which you should consider before taking the plunge; though if the price is right it is unlikely to fall further upon launch.

Motherboard — ASUS TUF X470-Plus Gaming$131

ASUS TUF X470-Plus Gaming -   16

 lots of features
 soon extinct

The Mid-Range system has a bit more room, enough to include an X470 board in the build which you could further upgrade if you skip the sound card.  This upgrade brings USB-C,  three M.2 ports, a wide assortment of PCIe 3.0/2.0 and all the feature ASUS includes in their TUF series.

Video Card — MSI Gaming RTX 2060$350

MSI Gaming RTX 2060 -   17 Check out our review!

 ray tracing, adaptive sync
 still pricy

NVIDIA’s RTX series did raise the price on higher end cards, but they do also offer improved performance from the previous generation.  If you are playing at 1080p you should be able to see some ray tracing for yourself.

Memory — Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB DDR4-3466MHz$120

Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB DDR4-3466MHz -   18

 ryzen loves fast, ryzen can be picky
 pay for hertz

A pair of 8GB DDR4-3466 with timings of 19-23-23-45 will keep Windows 10 and that Ryzen fed; Chrome on the other hand.

Hard Drive — WD Black SN750 500GB NVMe$105

WD Black SN750 500GB NVMe -   19 Check out our review!

 best value, game mode
 breaks ryan's law

While this is the previous generation of WD’s NVMe SSD, that simply makes it more affordable.  NVMe offers transfer rates superior to SATA and takes up a fraction of the space as well.  Samsung’s offerings are great but they simply can’t match the price per gigabyte of the WD Black.

Sound Card — Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX$39

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX -   20

 audiophiles
 superfluous

If for some reason you find you do need a discrete audio solution instead of the onboard Realtek ALC892 7.1, Sound Blaster offers a decent deal. This particular card sports a 600 ohm headphone amp in addition to 5.1 surround speaker support.

Power Supply — Corsair CX Series 650$65

Corsair CX Series 650 -   21

 5 year warranty
 non-modular

The Corsair Builder Series 650W PSU is on special and with its longer cables and 40A on the single 12V rail it will handle either of the suggested GPUs on this build. While it is not modular you have to make some sacrifices and function should always trump form when you are purchasing a PSU.

Hardware Leaderboard -   32

Low End System $425.00

Plenty of fun still to be had on the low side.

Processor — AMD Ryzen 3 2200G$90

AMD Ryzen 3 2200G -   22 Check out our review!

 gpu included

What is less than $100 and offers gaming prowess which occasionally rivals a GT 1030?  AMD’s Ryzen 3 2200G has 8 Vega CUs running at 1.1GHz as well as four CPU cores with a Turbo speed of 3.7GHz.  If you can spare another $50 you can increase that to 11CUs and multithreading with a small clock boost, but if not this will do you just fine until you can afford a discrete GPU.

Motherboard — ASRock Fatal1ty B450 GAMING K4$90

ASRock Fatal1ty B450 GAMING K4 -   23

 flexible,
 expensive for b450,

At the price, this ASRock board offers a lot to a new system with room to grow.  You get four PCIe 3.0 slots, another four PCIe 2.0 slots, a pair of M.2 ports for NVMe drives and you can even include the motherboard in a watercooling loop.  Essentially no matter what you might later intend to do to this system, you have the room to do it!

Video Card — XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition$150

XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition -   24 Check out our review!

 8GB, Freesync
 wee bit power hungry,

With the new prices for the 8GB version of the RX 570 it is hard to justify picking up NVIDIA’s GTX 1650 unless you don’t have any PCIe power connectors.  XFX is offering one capable of hitting 1284 MHz straight out of the box, which means it will perform even better than the one Sebastian compared the GTX 1650 to.

Memory — Kingston HyperX FURY DDR4-2666MHz$55

Kingston HyperX FURY DDR4-2666MHz -   25

 price,
 for now,

A pair of 4GB DDR4-2666 with timings of 15-15-17-45 will keep that Ryzen happy.

Hard Drive — Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB$$68

Samsung 970 EVO Plus 250GB -   26 Check out our review!

 fast, cheap

NVMe on a budget is more than just a dream,  it is quite possible with Samsung’s new 970 EVO Plus series.  If you are willing to sacrifice some speed in lieu of size, the 512GB MyDigitalSSD BPX Pro is $12 more.

Sound Card — Onboard Audio$0

Onboard Audio -   27

 Out of the box available!
 Can be noisy.

With the 7.1 surround Realtek ALC892 audio chipset onboard you don’t need to pick up a sound card, something that helps bring the price of the budget build down. The quality of sound reproduction is perfect for watching movies or listening to music and while it won’t be terribly effective at sound editing, that really is not the purpose of this build.

Power Supply — CORSAIR CX Series CX450W$40

CORSAIR CX Series CX450W -   28

 5 year warranty
 last generation

With the component list above you should stick to 400W or more, especially if you want some room for upgrades that are not your PSU.  Corsair’s CX series has been around for some time, so take advantage of that to save a few bucks .