In the following article, we will be attempting to build one of the most optimistic builds we ever made on Premium Builds; the system will rest around the $3000 budget. Before Intel’s new Comet Lake generation we couldn’t attempt to use Core processors in such high end/enthusiast builds because we felt like even though gaming performance would be stellar, we would be forced to compromise on the multi-core performance.
This current generation Intel upped their core count and multi core performance as well as still maintain the gaming performance crown, even if by a small margin and the expense of not so efficient power consumption. The Comet Lake lineup topper has the Intel Core i9 10900K as a 10 cores / 20 threads behemoth of a CPU with 3.7 GHz base / 5.3 GHz boost clocks using Intel’s new Thermal Velocity Boost and that’s exactly the processor we’re going to be using in this build. Remember? No compromises on gaming or productivity performance.
The 10900K’s IPC (instructions per clock) didn’t change with this generation because there is no major architecture overhaul but the 14nm++ has been further refined in order to support higher clock speeds thus increasing single core performance even further. The CPU demands a new LGA 1200 socket in the form of new Z490 motherboards.
We will be pairing this mighty processor with the best graphics performance we can currently find on the market, the RTX 2080Ti. We’ve carefully analyzed and weighted every 2080Ti implementation we’ve found out there and reached the conclusion that the best one we can find with a classical air cooler is still the popular MSI GeForce RTX 2080Ti TRIO. Sure, you can go with an ultra high end hybrid / water cooler solution for the card but the little sips of additional performance you can pull out of it don’t warrant the steep increase in price. Additionally, the MSI RTX 2080Ti TRIO is already one of the best performing 2080Ti cards out there being 5 to 10% faster than the Founder’s Edition all in a package of great cooling and quietness. The TRIO was the choice for us even in cheaper builds and it remains the same with this enthusiast build.
Now we’re going to proceed with the building list that will make your work so much easier. You can check out the names of the components, additional details about them, prices and places to purchase, all in a single table. Pretty neat, right? We’ve done the extensive research for you and compile all these lists to make sure you’re getting the best performance, quietness, aesthetics and stability for your money. Here it is!
$3000 i9-10900K + 2080 Ti Enthusiast Gaming PC Build – The Parts List
|CPU||Intel Core i9-10900K||$529|
|CPU Cooler||NZXT Kraken X63||$149|
|Motherboard||MSI MPG Z490 GAMING CARBON WIFI||$259|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL14||$209|
|Storage||Samsung 970 Evo 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD||$179|
|Storage||Crucial P1 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME SSD||$104|
|Video Card||MSI RTX 2080 Ti GAMING X TRIO||$1219|
|Case||Fractal Design Meshify S2||$148|
|Power Supply||EVGA SuperNOVA P2 850 W 80+ Platinum||$199|
We are permanently focusing on offering our readers enough information about the recommended builds in a way that is both easy to understand and read while providing enough attention to detail in order for you to walk away convinced whether this build is or is not for you. We’re explaining each and every build decision that we take and we’re not leaving you in the dust with some scattered information that you may or may not find informative; we’re here for the whole journey of helping you plan and accomplish your sick build so we hope you’ll stick us us!
The Core i9-10900K is based on Intel’s new ‘Comet Lake‘ microarchitecture that made its debut with the mobile 10th generation Core series. For this generation, the blue team had to come up with an answer to the Ryzen 9 3900X part which was too far ahead of the previous generation i9 9900k in productivity workloads so they increased the core count by two, making a 10 cores / 20 threads CPU able to boost to single-core speeds of up to 5.3 GHz. The i9 9900K was regarded as a very hot and power-hungry processor and the i9 10900K is no different but Intel engineers pulled every trick out of their sleeves to avoid 10900K’s temperatures and power consumption to grow exponentially when adding the two cores and four threads. Thus, they slimmed down the CPU die (where the cores are) and thickened the IHS in order for the package to have better thermal transfer and dissipation. Thus, if you already have a cooler that can handle the 9900K, the 10900K will feel at home under the same cooler.
Besides just increasing the number of cores to ten on the Core i9-10900K flagship, Intel also added innovation with clock-speed management, using up to three separate boosting algorithms. This helps the Core i9-10900K hold on to higher clock speeds, and spread the increased frequencies among its cores better. When compared to its predecessor, the 9900K, the L3 cache size has increased from 16 MB to 20 MB and the TDP has increased from 95w up to 125w. Also like the 9900K, the 10900K has the same $488 MSRP. Generally, with Comet Lake, Intel is upping multi threaded performance across the lineup with the introduction of the 10 core die and Hyper Threading across the lineup on every i9, i7, i5 and i3 processor.
Intel does not include a cooling solution in the retail box. You’re expected to use any aftermarket cooler capable of handling thermal loads of up to 125 W TDP. As you’ll find out later in the building guide, cooling has a direct impact on performance, boosting and over clocking headroom.
We chose a LCS (Liquid Cooling Solution) for this build because we are focusing on elite performance out of the 10900K chip. While an air cooler would still be viable, water coolers like this one treat hot spots much better by quickly taking the heat out of the chip’s heat spreader and outside of the case.
The new NZXT Kraken X63 AIO cooler is designed for cases that with 280 mm radiator mounts. The new update Rev. 3 has subtle changes to its looks; for example, the LED ring is bigger and can be rotated to line up with the NZXT LED logo horizontally regardless of how you installed the block. This also helps with memory clearance. The fans of this water cooler are no longer controlled by the CAM software but through the motherboard so you need to connect them on the board. The cooling performance is almost identical to the previous generation X62 and that’s a good thing because even the previous model was stellar; the new X63 has a few pump and fan improvements that make it a few Db more silent than the last one, especially on high RPMs.
This cooler’s software is able to program, customize and monitor all of this AIO cooler’s features. We’ve had many other coolers in our hands like the solutions from Asetek, Corsair or Cooler Master and we must say that the Kraken impressed us the most as a quality product with solid build quality and great cooling performance. Its a great match for the Intel Core i9 10900K and the case that we chose for this build. We also had our eyes on the 360mm X73 for this build but the added cooling area doesn’t do much for the cooling performance and we don’t believe it would be worth it going with three smaller 120mm fans instead of two larger 140mm.
The overall looks are as always tasteful as far as we are concerned, all-black design with the subtle shades of grey make it an appealing product to the eyes. The fans also have been logo marked tastefully. Mind you that the 10% bigger ring and logo are configurable separately and if you don’t want to see them at all you can just turn them off from the NZXT software. The operating system will communicate with this Kraken Liquid Cooling solution through a connected USB header.
A very sophisticated name, we know but this motherboard, the MSI Z490 Gaming Carbon WiFi, has to be one of the best Z490 motherboards in its price range. The most important thing for the motherboard in a top-end enthusiast system is to make sure it won’t bottleneck the CPU in any way and this is where the MPG Carbon shines. Its VRM setup is stellar and it aces all power and delivery requirements of the Core i9 10900K.
It’s obviously not a “cheap” motherboard, but as we said, it going to be right up with there with the ultra-expensive ones in terms of performance if users want to push their system to their max. It’s certainly well equipped either way, with an impressive Enhanced Power Design for reliable over clocking. There’s also M.2 support, 2.5G LAN, AX WiFi and a Lightning Port USB with plenty more beyond. If that’s not ticking all the boxes for your next PC build, I’ll be shocked.
The I/O is nothing spectacular and that’s because the previous Z390 MPG Carbon had great I/O. This one is very similiar and that’s a good thing. It also features new DDR4 memory (official) support for up to 4800MHz, Mystic Light RGB with 16.8 million color combinations and M.2 Shield Frozr technology for cooling in even the most demanding loads in the storage department. The Lightning USB 20G port is also a highlight, offering never before seen USB speeds of up to 20GB/s with USB Type C.
It would be easy for us to just throw in the most expensive Z490 motherboard out there and call it a day but we consider that value is very important regardless of budget and this MSI MPG Carbon strikes it absolutely perfectly. It’s a great motherboard for the i9-10900K that punches well above its price range.
These must be one of the most popular memory sticks that you may have already seen in many build pictures and guides. Fairly so. G.Skills’s Trident Z lineup represents the highest binned chips and this specific kit is of the highest performance Samsung B.Die. Tweaking them will leave you impressed but if you want a fuss-free experience, just letting the motherboard “train” them to recommended speeds will work just as well.
Besides other component areas where being overkill is not a brilliant idea from budget perspectives, RAM capacity will only come with advantages for the system. The build arrangement we are proposing comes with substantial aptitudes in other areas besides gaming and the 2 x 16GB of fast B.Die CL14 3200 MHz memory will certainly help with keeping a system smooth while doing heavy tasks such as gaming + streaming + rendering at the same time. Changing memory latencies and speeds is very easy through the motherboard’s BIOS and will definitely impact your overall user experience. Dual-Channel is also a must at this high-end price point where we can also see builds running Threadripper systems with Quad Channel memory setups.
This G.Skill Trident Z 32 GB kit is meant to be overclocked and pushed hard for the most consistent gaming performance and frame times. That’s why they have heavy heat sinks and come in a variety of colors; this is to ensure that your thematic or overclocked system gets everything it needs, both in looks and in overclocking potential. G.Skill’s Trident Z sticks are meant for those looking to push the limits, those willing to take the time to tweak settings and voltages to get the most they can, and at that, few other sticks can compare. That’s why they cost a bit more too but we know its worth it. If you want to get the most out of these sticks, manual tuning may be needed but left at stock they still put up a stellar performance. Using this set and need some help setting it up? We love to answer in the comment section below!
By carefully considering the uses of such a high end system, we know very well that such a build is expected to never slow down or hiccup regardless of what load you’re throwing onto it. This is why we’ll be using a similar setup like in our high end 10700K build, with a Samsung 970 Evo and a Crucial P1; this time though we can afford to go all out and get the 1Tb version of the 970 Evo.
As a system drive, the Samsung part is stellar in the sense that its 3.5 GB/s reading and 3.3 GB/s writing speeds will contribute to the highest level of responsiveness you ever felt in a system. Not joking around, your PC will be faster than you can think and be done before you even decide for the next move. That is the power of going from SATA to M.2. While the 500GB 970 Evo provides similar speeds, the 1Tb version will also allow you to keep all your important games, apps and other software in one place, right on the fastest storage device.
The Crucial P1 which is just a notch slower will act as a secondary and make sure that you have enough space for your other files. As an example, a content creator will need space and fast access to their footage and the Crucial P1 would definitely shine there with speeds that are no slouch at 2.0 GB/s read and 1.7 GB/s write. Its slight disadvantage is how it slows down during transfers of 50GB or higher; we know, you may never encounter that but its good that you are aware of this corner case. The Samsung 970 Evo doesn’t have such a problem, one of its key virtues being consistency and efficiency.
If you are in need of extra storage for your system (like for big files that are rarely accessed), you may want to add some cheaper SATA storage or even HDDs besides these M.2 SSDs. Go ahead, your case and motherboard certainly supports it. For this build though, the generous 2 TB of space and great speeds that the Samsung 970 and Crucial P1 pair provides is surely enough for even the most hardcore power users.
Enthusiasts will love this GPU for its top percentile 2080Ti performance that it offers, slick looks and great thermal dissipation which makes it a very silent card even if we’re talking about Nvidia’s biggest chip, the TU 102.
The MSI RTX 2080 Ti Gaming X Trio is a beast in its class since MSI has overbuilt it in every aspect; it shines in the cooling department thanks to its Gaming X Trio cooler and in the VRM department where you can find the 14+3 digital phase design – one of the most advanced that we ever have seen. Thanks to this card’s engineering, we can safely dial up the boost clocks and increase power limits without causing any chip instability or getting a loud card. The end result is a better performing product, most of the time 5 to 10% faster than the Founder Edition 2080Ti that still remains silent at good temperatures. With moderate overclocks we can get the card to sustain the 2000 MHz range depending on game title and other limiters.
Even if there’s a slight drawback in the increased power usage as the card uses 50-60 Watt more than reference, the card comes with three power connectors 6+8+8-pin, which may be a little unnecessary but this further proves that MSI built this card to be pushed to its peak performance. This is why we recommend it in so many high end and enthusiast builds.
Overall, the MSI Gaming X Trio is a solid choice for this build as it combines all the right elements into one package to make a properly designed enthusiast-class product. The card offers superior cooling with minimal noise, packs a fully custom-designed PCB with robust and high-quality VRM and with the addressable RGB lighting the card just looks gorgeous!
We could go on and on forever listing things we like about how good the Fractal Design Meshify S2 is in terms of building space, best airflow in class and features but we’re going to take it easy because we saw this coming; Fractal Design know what they’re doing and its been the same for many consecutive generations now. The Meshify S2 is an evolution to great chassis design and it shows.
This ATX case comes with the Dark tempered glass side panel. The chassis is made mostly of steel for the frame, brackets, slot covers and mesh but there are things like the front bezel and the feet which are made of very hard quality plastic. Very good sound insulation is provided by the Bitumen material placed inside the mid-tower. The case is quite large boasting 465mm height, 538mm width and 233mm depth and will accommodate our components with ease thanks to its stellar cable management capabilities.
All models have Bitumen sound deadening material placed inside of the side panels, and on the vanilla models, this goes for both side panels. For a mid-tower, this case is quite large, boasting dimensions of 233mm of width, 465mm of height, and 538mm of depth. Weight will vary between models, but on average, the Meshify S2 will weigh in at roughly twenty-six pounds.
Cooling is one of the utmost focuses of this case and it comes shipped with three out of the nine possible locations; a pair of the X2 GP-14 140mm fans sit mounted at the front and the last one in the rear. All of them are 3-pin powered fans. These perform very well together with the mesh front and airflow will leave you amazed. There is little reason to upgrade the included case fans besides getting RGB ones and developing your themed build.
Finishing this build we have a very important component that is responsible for powering this beast in the toughest of situations. The EVGA SuperNOVA P2 can deliver up to 850W of power with Platinum efficiency and even if this build’s max power draw comes somewhere at 670W in torture tests, there’s something called “efficiency zone” of a PSU and the P2 nails this spot very accurately.
Its a sturdy power supply unit built by Super Flower and it comes with numerous protections; in case something goes bad, it is pretty much guaranteed to never damage the other components which is important in such a high budget system. As mentioned, the P2 features Platinum efficiency and modular cabling. In addition, it can deliver its full power continuously at up to 50 °C, so it can handle tough conditions without faltering. A double ball-bearing fan kicks in when active cooling becomes necessary.
All cables come in a dark stealth mesh material and have the normal round shape. Some of the cables like the ATX, EPS and PCIe aren’t very flexible and might be harder to manage but this weighs well for their excellent durability. You’ll probably keep this PSU longer than this build’s lifetime and given the platform’s top tier quality, great warranty and excellent ripple suppression performance, you won’t have a single issue using this reliably with such powerful components like the GeForce RTX 2080Ti and Intel Core i9 10900K.
Finally, the 850 P2’s dimensions are quite compact for an 850W PSU, so you won’t have compatibility problems fitting it into the Meshify S2’s PSU shroud.
What can you expect gaming-wise from this exact i9-10900K build?
While with other builds on the market are focused on a specific aspect of PC use and therefore you might compromise on the other areas, this build will have none of that. Its a gamer’s, content creator’s, video editor’s, 3D modeller’s, streamer’s and programmers rejoice; and we mean it. The 10 core 20 thread CPU in the form of the 10900K might be power-hungry when you push it hard but it will surely deliver every drop of the performance you need at any time you want it to. Paired with the great capacity and bandwidth of the memory modules together with the stellar storage setup with the 1Tb 970 Evo as a OS drive, your system won’t know what load times are. One of the many other tricks up this system’s sleeves is its ability to multi-task very well. You might get similar gaming performance numbers out of cheaper builds but those might rapidly fall apart if you have many applications running in the background. You’ll never have to think about that again because situations like gaming, rendering and streaming at the same time will result in consistent performance with no performance drops and that’s unique only to the best processors out there; the Core i9 10900K is definitely one of them.
This thing also games like a beast. As a matter of fact, you can’t get a better consumer gaming rig than this one we have here. That’s right, you’ll be the top dog in the business as no corners were cut and no performance left on the table. The MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti takes care of that with its stellar performance when paired with such a potent CPU like the 10900K. Every single aspect of gaming will delight you, from the popular average FPS to 1% / 0.1% lows and game load times. This games the best out there and it will be felt if you pair it with a fast monitor.
We compiled a small sample of demanding Triple A and eSport titles in order to assess the performance of the 10900K build when paired with the MSI Gaming X Trio 2080Ti. If you decide for this build, prepare to break the performance charts. Here are some FPS numbers together with average, 1% low and 0.1% minimums regarding frame rate consistency:
|Graphics Quality||Resolution||Average FPS||1% Low FPS||0.1% Low FPS|
|Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege||Ultra||1080p||285||248||199|
|Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege||Ultra||1440p||196||176||161|
|Ghost Recon Breakpoint||Ultra||1080p||138||117||100|
|Ghost Recon Breakpoint||Ultra||1440p||112||96||85|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||Ultra||1080p||132||117||98|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||Ultra||1440p||99||92||82|
We provide this build with a strong certainty that you are going to love it and that its going to quickly become your favorite system you ever laid your hands on; we sure enjoyed putting it together!
The focus here is breaking any performance or bottleneck barrier and this is why we didn’t cut corners or leave performance on the table. It’s true that this rig is not value-oriented (even though many other advertised PCs at this price range will perform worse than this one) and its also true that we only used carefully picked parts in order to have the best compatibility, performance and quality in one place. You may game similarly with a cheaper PC that has less cores and you may have incredible productivity performance out of a system with a lesser GPU but the purpose of this build is to do it all and that’s exactly what it excels at.
We highly appreciate that you took the time to go through this article; we hope its been a knowledgeable journey and that you found it sufficiently informative in order to make up your mind! Complete video building guides are an area we want to cover and this PC is definitely a worthy one to feature so stay tuned with PremiumBuilds!