$2015 High-End Gaming & Streaming PC Build - January, 2015

By Published January 01, 2015 at 12:00 am

Additional Info

  • Price: 2015
  • Physical Size: Mid-Tower
  • Purpose: Desktop Gaming, Enthusiast Tweaking, Video Production
  • CPU Preference: Intel

We've had a great year here at GamersNexus, having officially launched our brand new website and “look.” While we have grown considerably, we still consider ourselves dedicated to our readers and to PC gaming culture in general. It's time to look ahead to the new year.

This year has seen the rise of many new technologies arise, from affordable SSDs to small form factor PCs, but we also have bid farewell to a few older technologies. Even though they are still in general use, the optical disk drive and pretty much anything AM3+ is quickly becoming obsolete. With this build, we wanted to welcome the new year with new tech. We decided to post a ~$2000 enthusiast gaming PC build that not only includes the newest CPU from Intel, but also DDR4 memory, a Maxwell GPU, and much more. This gaming PC will work flawlessly for live streaming, video rendering, YouTube content creation, and playing games on ultra / near-max settings. The GTX 980 ensures a high FPS for most games on a 1440p monitor and very high FPS for 1080 displays.

 

$2015 Ultra Settings 1440p Gaming & Video Editing PC - January, 2015

Gaming Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
CPU Intel Core i7-5820K HW-E 6-Core $390 Free Shipping $390
CPU Cooler NZXT Kraken X60 280mm Liquid $140 -$50 instant $90
Video Card EVGA GTX 980 $550 Free Shipping,
Free Game
$550
Memory Crucial Ballistix 16GB 2400MHz DDR4 $270 Free Shipping $270
Motherboard ASRock X99 Extreme4 $200 Free Shipping $200
Power Supply EVGA SuperNova 750W $105 - $105
SSD PNY XLR8 Pro 480GB $240 Free Shipping $240
HDD WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM $55 -$5 code,
Free Shipping
$50
Case Corsair Carbide Air 540 $120 Free Shipping $120
Total   $2070 -$60 $2015

OS & Recommended Extras

Add-on Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
External Optical Drive ASUS External ODD $35 -$5 $30
Operating System (Disc)
Windows 8.1 Disc $94 Free Shipping $94
Gaming Headset HyperX Cloud Headset $80 - $80
Mechanical Keyboard Thermaltake Poseidon Z $70 - $70
Gaming Mouse Logitech G500s $50 - $50

How to Build a Gaming Computer - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Graphics Card

EVGA GeForce GTX 980 ($550): Powered by nVidia Maxwell architecture, this graphics card delivers incredible performance with unmatched power efficiency in our testing. This GTX 980 ships with EVGA's ACX 2.0 cooling unit – a discreet cooler with large fans for relative silence – and includes one free game (ACU, Far Cry 4, The Crew). The new Maxwell CUDA cores deliver a 40% increase in performance per core over last-gen Kepler cores, so while on paper they might not seem to match up with the GTX 780 Ti, they outperform it handily in most gaming scenarios.

With 2048 CUDA Cores and an 1126MHz base clock (1216MHz boost clock) and 4GB of GDDR5 memory on a 256-bit interface, you can play just about every game out at ultra settings comfortably. The GTX 980 allows for displays with a max resolution of 4096x2160, but don't expect to game at a high FPS at such resolutions. The 980 has support for HDMI, DVI, and up to three Display Port connections.

CPU

Intel Core i7-5820K Haswell-E 6 Core ($390): While AMD still offers a more affordable "6 Core" CPU, there is no AMD-made consumer processor that compares with this Haswell 6-Core Haswell-E processor. Based on the new LGA2011-v3 socket, the 5820K budget-friendly Extreme CPU offers 6 physical cores with a total of 12 threads (hyper-threaded). The CPU runs at a 3.3GHz operating frequency. The CPU hosts a massive 15MB L3 cache that'll assist in task management during production calculations (like video rendering).

This CPU also supports PCI-e 3.0 and DDR4 memory. Intel Extreme-series CPUs do not include stock coolers, so you'll need something aftermarket. We'd recommend an NZXT Kraken X60, which are currently on a massive sale.

CPU Cooler

NZXT Kraken X60 280mm CLC ($90): The Kraken X60 is one of the best CLCs we ever tested, though it has been prohibitively expensive for most system builders. As NZXT continues to replace the X60 and X40 with their new X61 and X41 variable pump speed counterparts, old stock is being dumped at exceptionally low prices. We'd recommend picking up this CLC for your system, regardless of whether you're building with the above Intel processor. Note that this is 280mm, so it requires case compatibility to install.

Memory

Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR4 2400MHz ($270): Even though all of the advantages of DDR4 memory are most likely not going to be utilized in a gaming rig right now, with the advances of Haswell, we're starting to see some bottlenecking in memory bandwidth. If you're performing high-end video editing, filtration, and rendering, you'll want to run 4 sticks of DDR4 RAM to reap the full advantages of quad-channel RAM support in HW-E.

Motherboard

ASRock X99 Extreme 4 ($200): If you want to make your PC as close to being "future-proof" as reasonably possible, you should start with the motherboard and CPU (the “platform”). Since the motherboard and CPU are what every component has in common, the most advanced motherboards will allow you to utilize the newest technology and give access to features that make life easier. ASRock is a well-known brand that has risen from the depths of ultra-budget boards, but has added high-end equipment to their lineup over the past years.

This X99 board has Aluminum VRM and chipset heatsinks, Nichicon 12K platinum capacitors that are more leak-resistant, and a 12-phase power design to allow for stable overclocking. The ASRock Extreme 4 has eight DDR4 memory slots, with support of up to 3000+MHz RAM up to 128GB. If you plan on utilizing SLI or CrossfireX, this board supports up to three-way (x16/x16/x8 mode), but only has one PCIe x1 slot as well as a PCIe 2.0 x16 (@x4 mode) slot. You get 10xSATA 6Gb/s and an Ultra M2 socket.

Power Supply

EVGA SuperNova 750W ($105): EVGA has quickly gained our attention with their great power supplies. This 750W power supply is more than enough to power this build, and has some great features. Being 80 Plus Gold certified makes it more efficient, and in doing so will save on your power bill. It is fully modular as well, which helps reduce clutter and increase air flow inside the case. Custom braided cables lend a unique look. To me, the best feature of this PSU is the outstanding 10-year warranty.

SSD

PNY XLR8 Pro 480GB ($240): Now that we can find affordable SSDs, we decided to include this 480GB SSD from PNY. The PNY XLR8 Pro has an ample 480GB of storage on a SandForce 2281 controller. The read/write speeds brush against the SATA interface, logging up to 550MB/s, which will lower your load times and make waiting on programs to load a little less frustrating. If you require a bit more storage space, consider buying this WD Blue 1TB HDD for archival storage.

Case

Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 ($120): I was looking for a case with the newest tech, and came across this very innovative case from Corsair. The Corsair Carbide Air 540 was one of our favorite cases from a long-past CES, primarily for its unique design that not only makes it look good, but offers great functionality. By separating the components into two compartments, the 540 allows for much better airflow over traditional cases and better cable management / concealing.

The right-side chamber holds the power supply and storage bays, removing them from impeding the air flow of the front intake fans. This allows the rest of the components to be cooled without obstruction. Putting the power supply on the right side also allows for better cable management, making your build look better through the massive side panel. This case really does pay attention to cooling your components, with room for up to six 120mm fans or five 140mm fans and 280mm top radiator support / 360mm radiator support on the front panel.

Please visit our forums for any questions or concerns, or feel free to post a quick question below! Until next time!

- Michael "Mikagmann2" Mann.

Last modified on January 02, 2015 at 12:00 am

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