This weekend, I placed an order for the parts for a new PC build. Having used my existing PC since June of 2017, it’s now 5 years later and time for an upgrade.
While I’ve watched the latest generation of Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs released each year, the prospect of upgrading was one I wanted to do but struggled to make it make sense financially. The PC I have works ok, but have really only made it work for as long as I have, thanks to doing much of my gaming on Xbox Series X.
I’ve definitely reached the limit of my current rig when it comes to video editing. This was best evidenced by my recent editing experience of 5.1k footage from the DJI drone. This was painfully slow and I needed to close apps and reduce the playback resolution to get it to be functional at all.
So with the decision made of what my Christmas (and birthday) present would be, I set about building a list of components to build the new PC.
While many of you will prefer to buy pre-made rigs, there’s no escaping the fact you’ll pay more for that, as part of the sticker price is covering the wages of another human to do what you could effectively do yourself if you have the knowledge.
As I said, it’s been a few years since I built a PC, but the basics don’t really change. Below is the list of components I’ve selected for the build, which aims to blend a decent level of performance, without going crazy on the budget side. I also wanted to make selections that provided a runway for upgrades in the future.
So given I’m building a new gaming/video editing rig, I thought I’d share my experience in the hope others can learn through the process and ask questions along the way. I’ll be creating lots of content around this once the parts arrive, but for now, here’s the list of products I’ve got going into the new PC.
For the case, I was on the lookout for a white case and overlight light theme for the PC after having seen a few tidy white builds on TikTok lately.
After searching for a while, I landed on the Lian Li PC-O11 Dynamic EVO Tempered Glass Case White, offering the look I was after, along with great I/O options, support for a range of motherboards (in particular ATX), and plenty of options for fans for both air or water-cooled systems.
This decision was possibly the hardest to make. While it’s not the most expensive part of the build, the big fear here is that a wrong choice will limit your abilities for future upgrades.
I went with the ASUS Prime Z690-A DDR5 motherboard which offers support for both the LGA 1700 socket I was after, DDR5 RAM support, lots of cooling, lots of I/O ports, options for multiple NVME M.2 SSDs (up to 4) and that critical must-have, a PCIe 5.0 x16 required for a monster GPU.
The board also fits with the general aesthetic for the build, while the mainboard is still black, many of the accents like the heat syncs and IO panel are white/silver.
The only obvious downside of this board is the lack of WiFi on-board. I plan on connecting this via Ethernet, so won’t be an issue, but is a strange omission.
The brains of the computer will be a 12th-gen Intel Core i7 12700 CPU. Given the workload I have planned for this, an i7 is the right balance of performance and price and while I’d love to be adding the latest and greatest 13th-gen chip, the price tipped the scales a little harder than I’d like.
Given this cheap, 12-core monster at up to 4.9GHz, it’ll be a significant upgrade from where I’ve been.
The other benefit of buying 12th-gen is you get a fan with your CPU, while the 13th-gen K series processors leave you to BYO your own cooling solution, further adding to the cost.
One goal for this rig was to increase the amount of RAM, given I run a Samsung 49″ ultrawide monitor, I’m constantly multi-tasking hard. To power multiple video streams, TweetDeck, Premiere and more, I went with 32GB of Corsair Vengeance CL40 DDR5 RAM, running at 5200MHz and it doesn’t hurt that its white in colour and has RBG lighting, also fits in with the general look and feel of this rig.
This is also being purchased in 2x 16GB modules. Given the motherboard I selected features 4x DIMM slots, I’d have the option of adding another 2 in the future to upgrade to 64GB of RAM for a relatively cheap performance boost.
Modular PSUs are a must in my book, there’s no debate, particularly if you care about the way things look (you should), so I went with the ASUS ROG Strix Gold 850W White Modular PSU. This not only looks the part but also should have plenty of power to support a fairly hungry CPU and very hungry GPU.
Now for the most expensive part, almost the same cost as everything else combined.. the graphics card. For this, I spent a long time debating about which version of RTX I was going to get, also known as could afford.
Eventually, I settled on the ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3080 OC LHR 10GB. The 3080 actually started shipping back in 2020, so it may seem like a strange choice for a computer in late 2022. The challenge is, the latest and greatest from Nvidia, the 4080 or 4090 cards are the price of a small car, just out of control crazy and not something I realistically considered.
The RTX 3080 was a beast when it came out and performance is still many, many generations over my current GTX1080, so I’ll take it.
There are a lot of RTX 1080s to choose from and I based my decision on a few important factors. Firstly it needed to be from a name brand, given the cost involved, along with an appreciation for the size and design of the cooling fans, something that shouldn’t matter as much, but it does when you’ve put so much effort into the rest of the setup.
Ultimately I’ll have to wait to see how the black/grey card looks in the sea of white that surrounds it, if it looks too out of place, I may consider an aftermarket cooler or even a full switch to liquid cooling for CPU and GPU.
For storage, I’ll be leveraging an existing Samsung 1TB SSD for the boot drive, the 970 EVOPlus for those playing at home. This helped reduce the spend on storage and for archival storage, I have a 10TB Western Digital and a pair of 2TB Seagate drives, so should be fine on that front.
So that’s it, this will be my rig. Having a modern PC should also allow me to review new hardware again.
I’m expecting the parts to arrive before Christmas, maybe even this coming week, so stay tuned to the blog, follow on the socials, there’ll be lots more content on this.
I look forward to bringing you my more content on my PC build, let us know what you think in the comments below.