$1500 UltraWide 21:9 Gaming PC Build - Black Friday, 2016

By Published November 25, 2016 at 6:30 am
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Additional Info

  • Price: 1419
  • Physical Size: Mid-Tower
  • Purpose: Desktop Gaming, Video Production
  • CPU Preference: Intel

With the gaming community migrating towards 1440p as the new resolution sweet spot, and the booming prominence of UltraWide 21:9 displays, we’ve set forth to outline a build guide that caters to both these trends in equal parts. UltraWides eschew the traditional 16:9 aspect ratio in favor of a more horizontal 21:9 aspect ratio, providing additional screen real-estate without consuming all the physical desk space. You can read more on that, alongside some UltraWide benchmarks, over here. As is the norm with PC gaming, UltraWide support deviates across titles, with games scaling differently. To help determine how your game of choice will fare in an UltraWide environment, view this list provided by wsgf.org.

The increased pixel density and pixel throughput at 3440×1440 means a capable GPU is required; especially so if hoping to approach the 60 FPS gold standard. The GTX 1070 specified below is a formidable choice for driving an UltraWide at such resolutions, and fits well given the budget. This build is also able to pull double duty of sorts, as a workstation for light content creation, video editing/rendering, or game streaming. As such, we’ve selected the unlocked i7-6700K featuring Intel’s Skylake architecture, coupled with a 16GB kit of DDR4 memory. The Z170 chipset will serve as our building platform and rounds out the focal points of this build.

This 21:9 gaming PC build is ready for games like Watch Dogs 2, Battlefield 1 at Ultra settings, and can handle YouTube content creation or Twitch streaming. The DIY build list is below, along with a tutorial for how to build a gaming PC.

 

UltraWide 1440p Gaming PC & Video Editing Rig for $1500

Gaming Parts List Name Price Promo, Rebates, etc. Total
CPU Intel i7-6700K 4.0 GHz $300 - $300
CPU Cooler Corsair Hydro H100i V2 240MM $103 - $103
Motherboard Asus ROG Maximus VIII Hero $199 $30.00 Rebate card, Free mouse pad $169
Video Card MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming X 8GB $400 $20.00 Rebate, Free game (Watch Dogs 2) $380
Memory G. Skill Ripjaws V Series 16GB 3200MHz $103 - $103
Power Supply EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2 $140 - $140
SSD Kingston HyperX Savage 120GB $65 - $65
HDD Seagate FireCuda 1TB SSHD $79 - $79
Case Corsair 400C ATX Mid-Tower $100 $20.00 Rebate Card $80
Total   $1,489   $1,419

 

Operating System & Extras

Product Price
Windows 10 Home (USB) $110
Dell U3415W UltraWide 3440x1440 $719

How to Build a Gaming PC Tutorial (2016)

Graphics Card

MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X ($380): Boasting nVidia’s latest Pascal architecture based on the 16nm FinFET process, the GTX 1070 offers better performance per watt efficiency, higher transistor density, and delivers performance superior to that of last generation's high-end cards, including the 980 and 980 Ti. The 1070 serves as the mid-range counterpart to the less attainable GTX 1080. Our AIB card is armed with 8 GB of GDDR5 memory, which will help with framebuffer-intensive settings, as well as driving an UltraWide panel with higher quality texture resolution. The device also features MSI’s revised Twin Frozr VI cooling solution, which will keep the card running significantly cooler (and quieter) than the Founders Edition model.

Straight out of the box, the MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X runs at 1582MHz base/1771MHz boost. See below for some of our benchmarks and API testing on the 1070:

CPU

i7-6700K CPU ($300): The i7-6700K Skylake chip remains a popular processor among enthusiasts. It’s of the K-SKU variety, so leveraging this chip with a Z170 board will make the build overclock-ready. With 4 cores and 8 threads, it’ll prove beneficial for games or applications that are CPU-intensive or capable of spawning more than the usual 2-4 threads. Being that this is a K-SKU processor, that means it does not ship with a factory cooler. As such, we’ve specified one of Corsair’s popular AIO liquid coolers below.

CPU Cooler

Corasir Hydro H100iV2 ($103): The Corsair Hydro H100i V2 is a slight redesign of the popular H100i, featuring a slightly thicker radiator with a denser fin array. This AIO ships with fans tuned for lower RPMs at higher static pressure. All this was to achieve identical cooling performance of the H100i, but with decreased noise output. The “i” denotation indicates the compatibility with CorsairLink, Corsair’s monitoring software that enables users to view variables such as fan curves, coolant temperature, and fan speed. A 240mm radiator ensures broad chassis support at the front and top panels of most modern mid-tower ATX cases. This cooler will also serve the user well should they wish to foray into the realm of overclocking.

We recently tested the H100iV2 vs. the new NZXT Kraken X52, also a 240mm radiator. Here's a quick preview:

2 kraken-x52vsh100iv2-temperature

2 kraken-x52vsh100iv2-noise

Read the full review here.

Motherboard

ASUS ROG Maximus VIII Hero ($169): For most users, the Z170 chipset is appealing for the overclocking features aimed at K CPUs, Intel's chips with unlocked multipliers. To that end, the board we’ve chosen does not disappoint. The ROG series has long been lauded for its dedication to quality and high-end performance. The power delivery design includes an 8+2-phase power design, quality MOSFET packages, and MicroFine alloy chokes which tout a higher density. Other features consist of of PCI-e 4x M.2 slot, USB 3.1 (type A and C), and SLI/Crossfire support. Additionally, ASUS employs a clean and coherent UEFI for a pleasant mouse navigated BIOS experience. Finally, the board will receive Kaby Lake support in the form of a BIOS update, which will allow users to transition to Intel’s new processor and microarchitecture, should they elect to.

Memory

G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB 3200MHz ($103): Here, we’ve selected the G.Skill Ripjaws V Series RAM, recognized first for its 'edgy' look, then for its quality and performance. The motherboard supports 64GB of total memory natively, but we’ll stick to a 16GB, dual-channel kit. The kit supports Intel’s XMP 2.0, so enabling the profile in the BIOS will have the memory up and running at the specified 3200MHz. A typical gaming build might not utilize more than 8GB of system memory, but we’ve doubled that figure here for bolstering workstation capabilities.

PSU

EVGA 850W SuperNOVA P2 ($140): EVGA’s 850 watt, platinum rated SuperNOVA provides an excellent power source for our rig, and is one of our chosen Best PSUs of 2016. The 80 Plus Platinum efficiency rating is among the best, only exceeded by the Titanium rating (and Titanium is beyond excessive -- Platinum is just 'excessive'). This means less heat and more efficient conversion of power from the wall; after all, that is the goal of a PSU -- to convert AC to DC. The SuperNOVA P2 demonstrates excellent ripple suppression for reliable power delivery, and provides all modern protections such as over-voltage, under-voltage, over-current, over-power, and short-circuit protection. Coupled with a 10-year warranty, the unit makes for a good investment that can easily transcend our current build and transplant into a new one down the road.

Storage

Seagate 1TB FireCuda SSHD ($79): For mass/auxiliary storage, we’ve opted for the FireCuda hybrid. By implementing an 8GB cache of NAND Flash memory working in tandem with an HDD, the FireCUDA attempts to bridge the performance and price gap between mechanical and solid-state drives. The firmware on the drive monitors file usage, and subsequently loads the most frequently accessed files into the flash buffer for quick retrieval. The mechanical counterpart runs at 7200 RPM and has 1TB of storage.

SSD

HyperX Savage 120GB ($65): To serve as the boot drive, the Kingston HyperX Savage has been chosen. It’s a fierce and viable competitor in the mid-range consumer market. The Savage offers consistent read/write speeds, uses 120GB of MLC NAND, and employs a more modern Phison controller—a general improvement over the HyperX 3K models. This is a drive we reviewed some time ago, and you can read that review at length here.

Case

Corsair 400C ($80): Corsair’s 400C is an excellent mid-tower chassis. An easy access side panel, dust filters, and PSU shroud are a few appreciated features, particularly so at a sub-$100 price point. Radiator support is all-inclusive, with room for a 360mm radiator at the front panel, a 240mm radiator at the top, and a 120mm radiator at the rear. Traditional, large drive cages were omitted in the design to allow for unimpeded airflow. The case ships with an included 1x140mm intake and 1x120mm exhaust. Our review of the Corsair 400C can be found here.

For one-on-one support with PC building, visit our forums for expert advice. A quick comment below may also prove helpful!

Editorial: Eric Hamilton

Last modified on November 26, 2016 at 6:30 am

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