What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?
Updated March 3rd, 2020:
Along with the new site comes a new look for the HWLB, though many of the components are going to be recognizable as we haven’t seen huge shifts in the market since AMD dropped the third generation of Ryzen and Intel dropped their prices.
AMD has swept the board, with the Ryzen 9 3950X replacing Intel for top spot for gaming which means you can eventually pick up a PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD to attach to your Asus ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Formula. That motherboard offers just about every possible feature available on the X570 chipset you can get. 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 is a more reasonable choice than CORSAIR’s Dominator Platinum RGB 16GB DDR4-4800 but that would be a compromise!
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.
Dream System 2019 $3853.00
This is the Dream System. No compromises, IOO.
Processor — Ryzen 9 3950X$739
The top end is interesting now that Intel has cut prices across the board, which makes some of their i9 line more attractive than the 3950X in certain scenarios. AMD keeps its spot on the Dream Machine thanks to the overall multicore performance on a variety of software as well as support for PCIE 4.0, which is something Intel doesn’t offer quite yet.
Motherboard — Asus ROG X570 Crosshair VIII Formula$563
This particular X570 has a lot to offer, from three M.2 ports through to 802.11ax with MU-MIMO support. You can install up to 128GB of DDR4-4800 if you can coax your system into accepting, an interesting challenge for those that are interested. ASUS’ high end boards have Aura Sync for you RGB fans along with a host of design features which should help make this an incredibly stable system.
Video Card — EVGA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FTW3 Ultra Gaming$1300
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 — CORSAIR Dominator Platinum RGB 16GB DDR4-4800$921
If you want the best then you are going to have to pay an exorbitant fee for the only DDR4-4800 kit certified (pdf) to run at full frequencies on the ASUS Crosshair VIII. If you drop down to a mere DDR4-4400 then you have more choice and a smaller bill but if you want bragging rights this is the kit for you; buy two if you dare! The timings of 18-24-24-46 are worth mentioning as well!
Hard Drive — WD BLACK SN750 1TB$150
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
Classic audio is best audio!
Power Supply — EVGA SuperNOVA 1000W G1+$180
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.
High End System $1535.00
High end gaming for around $1500.
Processor — Ryzen 7 3700X$330
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Mid Range System $973.00
You can clearly play from middle.
Processor — AMD Ryzen 5 3600$195
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Low End System $492.00
Plenty of fun still to be had on the low side.
Processor — AMD Ryzen 3 3200G$91
The Ryzen 3 3200G with a 4GHz Max Boost and Vega 8 cores running at 1250MHz, with a bundled Wraith Stealth cooler is a great start to a budget system. However Ryzen processors in this budget range are lagging behind the rest of AMD’s offerings unless you are willing to forgo the onboard GPU which does somewhat defeat the purpose of this chip. We expect to see new offerings soon, so one might consider holding off for a wee bit.
Motherboard — Gigabyte B450M DS3H$72.86
This board is compatible with all three current generations of Ryzen processors, which makes it a smart choice for those considering incremental upgrades. While it might not have all the features of a higher priced board it still offers M.2, dual channel DDR3, 7.1 sound, three PCIe slots and enough RGB headers to stand out in a bright room. Not too shabby for an inexpensive micro-ATX board, eh?
Video Card — XFX Radeon RX 570 RS XXX Edition$140
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
A pair of 4GB DDR4-2666 with timings of 15-15-17-45 will keep that Ryzen happy.
Hard Drive — Samsung 970 Evo$90
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
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
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.