What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?

Updated Nov 13th, 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.

AMD has swept the board, with the Ryzen 9 3900X replacing the i9-9900K for top spot for gaming which means you can eventually pick up a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD to attach to your MSI PRESTIGE X570 CREATION.  That E-ATX motherboard will provide 10GBp network connectivity, or WiFi 6 if you like performing without wires.  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, and will remain until the new generation of SSDs matures.  32GB of DDR-4600 ensures that your memory won’t be the bottleneck and look fancy while doing it.

The Ryzen 7 3700X currently offer the best performance per dollar, and is more than powerful enough for a High End machine. X570 motherboards can be impressively expensive, however the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming offers a perfect compromise between price and features, just like your CPU.  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 AMD Ryzen 5 3600 does raise the price somewhat but it is one of the best deals on the market at the moment and will give you a solid processor for a multipurpose machine.  With drops in price associated with the new HyperX Fury Black 16GB DDR4-3466MHz you can get a nice pool of fast RAM to keep that new Ryzen happy.  As this is the Mid-Range system, we are forgoing an X570 motherboard to pick up an MSI Performance Gaming AMD X470 which has all the features you might ever want on your system; besides have you seen the price of PCIe 4.0 SSDs?  WD’s SN750 NVMe SSD shows up quite a bit in this update thanks to it’s mix of price and performance. The biggest change to this build is the sale priced RTX 2060 SUPER from EVGA which does not change the price of the system but increases the graphical capabilities of this mid range machine beyond that of last year’s High End!

There is not much change in the Budget Build lately, thanks to most new releases being high end parts.  AMD’s Ryzen 3 3200G is a no brainer with eight Vega CU’s on the chip which gives you the option of delaying your GPU purchase until your budget can handle something impressive.  Prices on the GTX 1650 are coming down, but if you need a discrete GPU immediately, the XFX RX 570 8GB is a better choice overall.  ASRock’s B450M Pro gives you support for high frequency RAM as well as sporting two PCIe 4x M.2 ports, one for the 500GB Samsung 970 Evo and one for future storage upgrades.

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 $3213.00

This is the Dream System. No compromises, IOO.

Processor — Ryzen 9 3900X$500

Hardware Leaderboard -   1

 so many cores, great gaming and productivity
 shortages

The best overall CPU on the market right now is the new Ryzen 9 3950X, however you will need sharp eyes to find one for sale which leaves the 3900X on top right now. If you intend only to game and never to make use of the superior multicore performance nor PCIe 4.0 then the i9-9900K is a definite alternative.

Motherboard — MSI PRESTIGE X570 CREATION$500

Hardware Leaderboard -   2

 10GBps, plethoras of features
 e-atx is a bit big for some

You can go with the ATX sized MSI MEG X570 ACE as that series have proven to be solid and cost a little less that the Prestige but this is the Dream system.  The Prestige offers 10GBps networking and more USB 3.2 ports than any human will ever need!  As long as you shop smart, you will be able to install DDR4-4600 to pair with your new Ryzen.

Video Card — EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming$1453

Hardware Leaderboard -   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 16GB DDR4-4600$415

Hardware Leaderboard -   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.  According to the compatibility chart, you should hit full speed on the Prestige.

Hard Drive — WD BLACK SN750 1TB$190

Hardware Leaderboard -   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

Hardware Leaderboard -   6

Classic audio is best audio!

Power Supply — EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G1+$155

Hardware Leaderboard -   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.

Hardware Leaderboard -   30

High End System $1535.00

High end gaming for around $1500.

Processor — Ryzen 7 3700X$330

Hardware Leaderboard -   8 Check out our review!

 best price to performance going, great performance overall

The Ryzen 7 3700X is the best processor deal going right now, surpassing anything the competition has at this price point, barring a few esoteric features such as Optane support.  Get eight cores running at 4.4 GHz Max Boost and support for PCIe 4.0, if you have the right motherboard.

Motherboard — ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming$145

Hardware Leaderboard -   9

 PCIe 4.0, 3 M.2

We have yet to see many X570 motherboards on our test beds so it is hard to say which is the best, not to mention the wide range of prices.  This ASRock motherboard has all the important features, though it lacks some extras you can find on the $200+ models.  If you need WiFi and a billion colours of RGB then stay tuned.

Video Card — ZOTAC GAMING GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER AMP$730

Hardware Leaderboard -   10

 it's super!
 still pricey

NVIDIA’s Super generation of RTX cards improves your performance without raising the price.  We aren’t sure how they are doing it, but we are not about to complain!  Zotac’s SUPER AMP sports a Boost clock of 1845 MHz straight out of the box, before you start to tweak.

Memory — Corsair LPX 32GB 3200MHz$155

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$90

Hardware Leaderboard -   12 Check out our review!

 best value, game mode
 breaks ryan's law

While this is the previous generation of NVMe SSD technology, the first batch of PCIe 4.0 drives are more expensive and not really all that much faster. Stick with the best value going and think about updating your drive once the controllers mature and PCIe 4.0 becomes a more compelling choice.

Sound Card — Audigy 2 ZS Gamer$0

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$85

Hardware Leaderboard -   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 $973.00

You can clearly play from middle.

Processor — AMD Ryzen 5 3600$195

Hardware Leaderboard -   15

 better deal than the 3600X, bios update kit
 what is game cache, really

The new Ryzen has hit the market even harder than the second generation, offering significant architectural advantages and punching above it’s weight class.  The 65W TDP means that the Wraith Stealth cooler which ships with the CPU is more than enough to run a stock system quietly. You can spend an extra $40 for the unlocked if you have your heart set on it.

Motherboard — MSI X470 Gaming PRO$112

Hardware Leaderboard -   16

 3 PCIe 16x slots, 2 M.2 ports
 sorry, still no PCIe 4.0

This MSI board is on special right now and offers great flexibility in what you can do with your system now and in the future.  It isn’t the latest generation, however if you have decided to go with X570 no matter what, MSI has an X570 Pro for you.

Video Card — EVGA RTX 2060 SC Ultra Gaming$350

Hardware Leaderboard -   17

 ray tracing, G-SYNC compatible ratings, a wee bit faster

Get it while the sale lasts!  This RTX 2060 SUPER will probably go back up in price soon but for now it is essentially the same price as an RX 5700 and is slightly faster overall.

Memory — HyperX Fury Black 16GB DDR4-3466MHz$122

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$90

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$35

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$69

Hardware Leaderboard -   21

 5 year warranty
 non-modular

The Corsair Builder Series 650W PSU offers longer cables to help you route them out of the way as well as providing 40A on the single 12V rail. 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 $492.00

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

Processor — AMD Ryzen 3 3200G$88

Hardware Leaderboard -   22

 higher frequencies, same price
 still Vega 8

The higher end Zen 2 processors get the spotlight but there are new choices at the low end, such as the Ryzen 3 3200G.  This model offers a 4GHz Max Boost and your Vega 8 cores are bumped up to 1250MHz.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a cooler, this APU still ships with the Wraith Stealth cooler.

Motherboard — ASRock B450M PRO4$75

Hardware Leaderboard -   23

 cool kids use MicroATX, two M.2 ports
 sorry, no PCIe 4.0

ASRock has become a major competitor in the motherboard market, offering great quality and an assortment of features while remaining inexpensive.  This mATX board manages to squeeze in more PCIe slots than you are likely to need, proper USB 3.1 Gen 2 support and two M.2 ports.  You can also opt for a full sized version if you prefer!

Video Card — XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition$140

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$49

Hardware Leaderboard -   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$90

Hardware Leaderboard -   26 Check out our review!

 500GB of NVMe on a budget
 not the shiniest available

NVMe on a budget is more than just a dream, it is quite possible with Samsung’s 970 EVO series.  500GB of storage which can read at up to 3500MB/s for less than $100!  If your budget is tight there are 250GB models still available as well.

Sound Card — Onboard Audio$0

Hardware Leaderboard -   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 — Seasonic S12III 450 SSR-450GB3$50

Hardware Leaderboard -   28

 5 year warranty, silent fan 5
 non-modular

This Seasonic 450W PSU sports an 80+ Bronze rating and features Silent Fan Control 5 to give you the opportunity to balance noise versus cooling.  A five year warranty offers you peace of mind for the likely life of your system, the decade long ones cost a bit more.