GTX 980 Ti PC Build for 1440p 'Ultra' Gaming at $1747 – June, 2015

By Published June 01, 2015 at 6:00 pm
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Additional Info

  • Price: 1747
  • Physical Size: Mid-Tower
  • Purpose: Desktop Gaming, Enthusiast Tweaking, Silent PC
  • CPU Preference: Intel

NVidia's aggressive $650 price-point for the new GTX 980 Ti ensures that a build centered around it is more of a reasonable goal rather than a pipe dream. 

This $1747 GTX 980 Ti gaming PC build is versatile, with the ability to tackle a variety of high-end gaming experiences. It's useful to think of the build in terms of what monitor will be paired with it, as both 1080p and 1440p G-Sync up to 120Hz are functional pairings. 1080p at Ultra settings and 1440p at High or Ultra (depending on the game) are both achievable on the 980 Ti; as we learned recently, the 980 Ti performs almost as well as the Titan X for a significantly lower price. This build aims to take advantage of that price with a system that does such a powerful card justice while looking badass.

This PC build will easily play The Witcher 3, GTA V, and other modern, high-graphics quality games.

 

$1747 Custom Gaming PC Build for the Witcher 3 & GTA V

Gaming Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
CPU Intel Core i7-4790K $340 Free Shipping $340
CPU Cooler Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 $90 Free Shipping $90
Video Card NVidia GTX 980 Ti 6GB $650 - $650
Memory Corsair Vengeance Pro 8GB $68 Free Shipping $68
Motherboard MSI Z97 Gaming 7 $189 - $189
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 650W-M $90 Free Shipping $90
SSD PNY CS2111 480GB SSD $220 Free Shipping $220
Case Fractal Define R5 $100 Free Shipping $100
Total   $1747 - $1747

OS & Recommended Extras

Add-on Parts List Name Price Rebates/etc. Total
Operating System
Windows 8.1 $120 Free Shipping $120
Storage HDD WD Blue 1TB 7200RPM $55 - $55
Archival HDD WD Green 2TB $80 Free Shipping $80
More RAM 16GB Vengeance Pro Kit $110 -$5 $105
Gaming Controller
Xbox 360 Wireless PC Controller $42 - $42

Graphics Card 

gtx-980-ti-bench-2

GTX 980 Ti ($650): As the latest Maxwell hotness to drop from nVidia, this video card performs almost as well as the Titan X for considerably less, making it the go-to choice for any high-end machine. Its only major difference from the $1000 Titan X is the halved VRAM to a “measly” 6GB, but you aren't going to need more than that with current games anyway. The 980 Ti trounces its kid brother, the GTX 980, whose MSRP has been lowered to $500 with this new release.

While its base clock runs at 1000MHz (1075MHz boost) versus the 980's 1126MHz (1216MHz boost), the 980 Ti features 2816 CUDA cores and 96 ROPs, as opposed to the 980's 2048 CUDA cores and 64 ROPs. It's really more appropriate to compare the 980 Ti to the Titan X, especially given that both devices host the same GM200 GPU. While the 980 is no slouch, the 980 Ti is truly in a class above it. Just a few of our benchmarks can be found below:

980-ti-benchmark-mordor-1440

980-ti-benchmark-witcher-1440

As for overclocking, well, the 980 Ti easily pushes in excess of 1400MHz to yield a 19% FPS gain.

You should be set for connectivity, as the card supports 3x DisplayPort, 1x HDMI 2.0, and 1x DL-DVI ports.

This graphics card is good for 1440p gaming at high refresh rates with a G-Sync capable monitor. You'll have to turn some settings down to High or Very High for some of the most demanding games if you want around 120FPS at 1440p, but it's well worth it. You'll also be able to crush the latest games at 1080p, if 1440p isn't your cup of tea or if you already have a good 1080p monitor.

CPU

Intel Core i7-4790K ($340): This is a CPU that we know will almost never hold the GTX 980 Ti back. As a quad-core processor at stock 4.0GHz with solid overclocking potential, system builders can expect some serious performance and longevity out of the 4790K. Intel's Core i7 series has aged very well – the generations-old 2600K is still capable – and we expect this CPU to do the same. For users interested in streaming or video rendering, the i7's hyper-threading proves helpful in its doubling of logical cores to eight.

The 4790K also supports the latest revision of PCI Express, 3.0, along with VT-d for virtualization needs.

CPU Cooler

Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 Silentwings CPU Cooler ($90): This CPU cooler performs exceptionally well, looks great, and is reasonably priced for its performance. Be Quiet! Uses silent fans to keep noise levels down, but retains high thermal dissipation potential by using a plus-size aluminum heatsink. The Dark Rock Pro 3 will cool the i7 CPU adequately while staying true to its name and making your PC look like it was built by Batman (Christian Bale, not Val Kilmer).

Memory

CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 8GB 1866MHz ($68): You won't find this RAM holding you back, but you will find it looking great. It notably overclocks well, for those into that or who want to try for some extra performance with some workstation tasks. 8GB is all that's needed for gaming, but for some extra breathing room on production tasks, you can opt for the 16GB kit instead, which does have the benefit of being quite a bit cheaper per GB.

Motherboard

MSI Z97-Gaming 7 ($190): Lots of boards try to pull-off red and black, but this one nails it. The Gaming 7 has an impressive 8x SATA 6Gb/s ports, alongside 8x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 rear ports, not to mention headers for an additional 4x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 ports.

Its on-board audio is above average – most users will find the audio chipset commendable, though hardcore audiophiles may still want to investigate expansion cards.

The motherboard features 3x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, operating at x16, x8/x8, or x8/x4/x4 modes, depending on how many video cards are plugged into it.

Power Supply

EVGA SuperNOVA 650W GS 80 Plus Gold Modular ($90): This 80 Plus Gold rated unit matches our continuing theme of “performs great and looks great.” It's well-reviewed by a bevy of experts in the field, so you can expect it to be reliable and stable, which is the name of the game when it comes to PSUs. Its 80 Plus Gold efficiency will help save on the power bill, and its full modularity combined with its black braided cables afford a cleaner and more coherent build.

SSD & HDD

PNY CS2111 480GB ($220): This SSD is a strong combination of affordability, fast speeds, and large total capacity. Your load times will be stupidly short for the most part, and you'll get to experience that oh-so-wonderful snappiness in general computer use that's only found with an SSD.

Unless hoarding games or media, an additional drive isn't necessary. For those who require additional space, we'd recommend a media drive like the WD Green 2TB HDD for storing media and for infrequent transfers of games to and from your SSD; for faster magnetic storage, the WD Blue 7200RPM HDD is preferable for application use.

Case

Fractal Design Define R5 Black Windowed ($100): Cases are a personal choice. It's the one part of a build that's seen every day, so something that isn't an eyesore and is more “timeless” would be ideal. The Fractal Define R5 is a subtle case that won't lose its class with age.

The R5's aim has always been to provide as quiet of a case as possible without needlessly sacrificing cooling ability. As such, it includes noise-reducing padding on the inside of the case to deflect sound. One of Fractal's core approaches to silence institutes padding and case components that are designed to bounce sound waves numerous times before exiting the case; this reduces the strength and amplitude of the wave upon its exit, where it's dispatched in a slight trajectory away from the user.

Being the umpteenth revision of the same line of cases, the R5 has been refined into a quality piece of equipment. It features convenient cable management, 2x140mm fans with seven spaces for additional 120 or 140mm fans. It includes its own dust filters, and you'll find an easier time building and adapting the case to your build with tool-less fan covers and removable HDD and ODD cages, along with SSD mounts on the back of your motherboard to make your build quite a bit cleaner.

This unit comes with a window to see your gorgeous PC insides, but a windowless option is also available here and will be quieter.

If you really want to push the bounds of 1440p, high refresh rate or G-Sync gaming, this is your build. For those who'd like to give 4K a shot, you'll want to consider a second 980 Ti in SLI – just keep in mind that you'll need a beefier PSU to do so.

If you'd like any help choosing parts or building your PC, please feel free to join us in our forums, and if you have any comments or questions or just prefer to post here, you're encouraged to leave a comment below.

Have an awesome day!

- Alex Sprengle.

Last modified on June 02, 2015 at 6:00 pm

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