Question Help putting together new gaming/work build


May 14, 2012
Hi all-

Thanks in advance for any help.

I initially posted looking for recs for a pre-built computer, and a very helpful moderator introduced me to, which helped make the process of component selection a little less overwhelming, so I thought I might shift to recruiting a local shop to help me assemble a custom config. This is copied with edits from the other forum:

I'm looking to assemble a machine that is likely to last a long while (my previous build lasted 10+ years, albeit it started showing its age!) for both work and play.

For gaming, my favorite games are generally fairly processor/memory-intensive strategy games (Civilization, Europa Universalis, those sorts of games) and some graphically intensive RPGs/action games. I do play shooters occasionally, but not competitively. I play a lot of console games, so often the most graphically intense games wind up being console-bound. Being able to set the graphics on the highest settings is fun, and all things being equal I'd like to be able to do that, but not absolutely mandatory and I don't want to be gouged for the absolute best graphics card. I'm comfortable buying a new card a few years down the road if necessary. Hey, maybe prices will even be less ridiculous.

For work, I mostly do a lot of word processing, Excel spreadsheets, and video streaming. Can be processor/memory intensive. My hope is to include a high-end, large display and webcam that are good for both uses. Could be included or bought separately, though.

I haven't generally used it for streaming other media, although it's possible that could change.

I prefer Windows for my desktop. I would like the computer to be relatively easily upgradeable in the future. Ideally there would be some extra bays for the old drives from my defunct desktop.

I'd prefer for budget to be around $2000 or under for the tower, but I'm OK going above, capping at around $3000 for everything, monitor included. If someone told me the builds on pcpartpicker were generally pretty good, Ii'd probably just go with this one

That said, I took a stab at picking components based primarily on online reviews.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i7-12700K 3.6 GHz 12-Core Processor ($374.99 @ B&H)
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 82.52 CFM CPU Cooler ($109.95 @ Amazon)
Thermal Compound: Arctic Silver 5 High-Density Polysynthetic Silver 3.5 g Thermal Paste ($6.45 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: MSI PRO Z690-A DDR4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard ($219.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory ($66.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial P5 Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive ($239.99 @ Adorama)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon RX 6800 XT 16 GB PULSE Video Card ($983.09 @ Amazon)
Case: NZXT H510 Flow ATX Mid Tower Case ($89.99 @ Best Buy)
Power Supply: Corsair SF 750 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular SFX Power Supply ($173.91 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($22.99 @ Amazon)
Operating System: *Microsoft Windows 11 Home OEM 64-bit ($119.99 @ Amazon)
Sound Card: Asus Xonar SE 24-bit 192 kHz Sound Card ($39.99 @ Amazon)
Wireless Network Adapter: Asus PCE-AC88 802.11a/b/g/n/ac PCIe x1 Wi-Fi Adapter ($109.99 @ Adorama)
Case Fan: Corsair LL120 43.25 CFM 120 mm Fans 3-Pack ($95.99 @ Best Buy)
Monitor: Gigabyte G27F 27.0" 1920x1080 144 Hz Monitor ($299.99 @ B&H)
Webcam: Logitech C920s HD Pro Webcam ($59.99 @ Adorama)
Total: $3014.28
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-04-10 13:54 EDT-0400

It's pricier than I want to pay, really, so I'm considering scaling back on the GPU to a $500-$600 card, and looking for anywhere else I can get better bang for my buck.

It looks like the case can't support a full-size optical drive - which I don't use often but seems like might occasionally be necessary, so that might need to change.

I'd like for the computer to run quietly - fan noise tends to bother me a lot.

I appreciate any help and tips. Thank you!

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
I'm pretty sure I replied to your other thread .

ID-COOLING SE-226-XT- cheaper @ $45 and works great
I use Graphite pads instead of paste - $15 - you can find them in cheaper options though
NVME - I thought about the P5 but ultimately went with the SN850's from WD
PSU - EVGA g+ 850W ~$135

Do you really need to spend on a DVD drive? Optical media is dying a slow death with USB taking over steadily.
WIFI - might as well put in an AX210 based card and pigtail antennas
Using the Steel Legend you have an M2 spot for the AX210 and then just hook up the pigtails through the holes in the back. - Card $36 - antennas ~$6

or - $36 / PCIE slot
or - $35 / simplified kit w/ antennas

Sound card is optional as the MOBO has sound ports built in
Fans... Arctic PWM PST
120's 5-pack $30 -
140's 5-pack - $40


May 14, 2012
The ID-COOLING says it's not compatible with the motherboard or the intel chip. I'm not married to those if it's better/more cost effective/what have you.

I suppose I could simply buy a peripheral DVD drive. I never write discs - I occasionally have some vintage games that I want to play which came on CD/DVD, but a peripheral would serve.

I've sometimes had issues with sound quality with on-board sound - though granted it's been a long time. Is there any reason to expect quality issues with the motherboard chipset?

Thank you for the other tips!!

Tech Junky

Platinum Member
Jan 27, 2022
ID- I'm running it on a 12700K and temps are pretty good. In the past on a 8700K I used a FUMA 2 and didn't have issues with that either.

CD/DVD - why not rip them to an ISO and toss the discs? Put them on the HDD / make a backup and call it a day.

Sound - Most modern boards are decent when it comes to the chips they use to produce sound. Adding a card late on if needed is easy / cheap.

Things come together though without the added expenses i.e. the OS can be used from the prior setup as well saving another $120. Put just a little more time into looking at cheaper options / reviews to find ways to cut down on the costs. I rebuilt my system from the ground up for ~$1500 w/ a 12700K / 16GB DR4 / dual 1TB SN850 1TB / PSU / fans / MOBO / etc. The only thing I didn't need was a GPU because I use it as a headless server and don't game on it. I ported over my HDD's for the NAS portion.

Think outside the box a bit and you can bend he parts to your will for whatever you want to use them for. A couple of years ago I started off wanting to get away from consumer devices and collapse them into a single box. I rolled a router / switch / firewall / wifi / nas / dvr / VPN into this particular setup. Most of the time it's idle for power draw / utilization and when it needs the muscle for processing Video files it makes quick work of them. Consumer VPN applications tend to suck when it comes to getting bandwidth out of them due to the lack of CPU powerful enough to do the encryption but, I can get over 1gbps through VPN using wireguard based services.