We live in great times to be in the market for a new personal computer or some component upgrades. The end of 2020 is the witness of 3 big launches from the likes of Nvidia and AMD. Today we’re going to be focusing on a high performance, enthusiast gaming build that will seat you on the bleeding edge of technology and features. We’re of course talking about the new RTX 3000 graphics cards, the Ryzen 5000 CPU series and the new Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards which are about to hit shelves this month.
The Ryzen 5000 series is hitting stores on November 5th while the Radeon RX 6800 XT will become available on November 18th. These are the two most important components of this high-performance gaming build. While an argument can be made about the RTX 3080 instead of the RX 6800XT, we believe that the ~5% performance advantage, ray tracing support, lower price, better efficiency and “Smart Access Memory” (SAM) technology make a strong case to stick with the Radeon 6800XT; more on that later in the article.
The Ryzen 7 5800X reviews and official reviewer benchmarks will be available on launch day and we are thrilled to see the exact performance metrics but from what AMD has disclosed so far, this 8 core 16 thread chip (along with its Ryzen 9 counterparts) is delivering the best gaming performance for a consumer chip.
The Ryzen 7 5800X + Radeon RX 6800XT combined with great memory modules, a fully-featured motherboard and PCIe Gen 4.0 NVMe storage is the ingredients we’re basing this build on; spoiler alert, this is one of the best gaming builds that are able to get and it’s just a hair over the $2000 mark! Let’s get to the components list.
Best RX 6800 XT Gaming Build – The Parts List
|CPU||AMD Ryzen 7 5800X||$449|
|CPU Cooler||ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 280||$99|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE WIFI||$189|
|Memory||G.Skill Trident Z Neo 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3600 CL16||$173|
|OS Drive||Sabrent Rocket 4.0 500 GB NVMe SSD||$119|
|Storage Drive||Crucial P1 1 TB NVMe SSD||$94|
|Graphics Card||AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT||$649|
|Case||Lian Li Lancool II Mesh||$139|
|Power Supply||EVGA G1+ 650 W 80+ Gold||$109|
|Case Fans||Cooler Master SickleFlow 120 mm (3-Pack)||$49|
Currently known numbers suggest that the Ryzen 7 5800X may well be the best 8-core processor the market has ever seen; thanks to its impressive single-core performance and 16 execution threads, the CPU is capable of acing both gaming and workstation environments like never before.
Thanks to AMD’s big focuses on core and latency overhaul, their new Vermeer architecture is set to greatly improve core to core communication, branch prediction and features a unified cache system which allows each and every core to access the full amount of cache. Latency sensitive applications like for example, gaming, will get a huge boost in performance just from the architecture changes. The Ryzen CPUs were already the best performing multi-core CPUs even at the same core count (with Zen 2) but now with the 19% IPC improvement and respectably increased clock speeds, the 5000 series CPUs are set to dominate across the board in any application or use case.
With the new Zen 3 generation, AMD is using the same TSMC 7nm node as last year’s Zen 2 CPUs but the process is now refined enough in order for it to sustain higher clock speeds at the same power draw. Thus, you are getting the same efficiency as last year but with much-improved performance; the single-core performance uplift over the Ryzen 7 3800X predecessor is expected to be upwards of 25%, coming from the 19% IPC and 5% clock speed uplift.
The Ryzen 7 5800X is also the perfect CPU for the Radeon RX 6800XT thanks to AMD’s new feature called Smart Access Memory which works on X570 PCIe 4.0 boards. Thanks to this technology, the CPU is now able to leverage and access the full VRAM capacity of the graphics card when needed, thus improving performance in all applications and games across the board. It is not currently known how impactful the technology will be but AMD is claiming at least a 5 to 10% uplift when using it, in a large variety of games. Reviews will prove if this claim is valid but in theory, it looks very good and it would be a shame if you didn’t have the right hardware to benefit from it. That is why we’re building with the latest Ryzen CPUs and Radeon GPUs.
The Ryzen 7 5800X CPU doesn’t come together with a new chipset generation and is going to work with the already widely available X570 motherboards – with our recommendation being the Gigabyte X570 AORUS Elite WiFi. BIOS updates will be provided by the respective manufacturers and most if not all of the newly purchased motherboards will come with Ryzen 5000 series support out of the box. This is a gaming-focused PC build and the gamery feel is present throughout the lines and aesthetics but it’s not something overdone but rather pleasing to the eye. Great VRMs, a very silent chipset fan and a few tasteful LED strips are well laid out on the dark board. It also includes a Wi-Fi 6 module for high-speed connectivity, a BIOS flashback feature and PCIe 4.0 ports for your graphics card and storage options; both the M.2 slots provide passive cooling through a metal heat spreader.
The excellent BIOS layout is clean and easy to use for someone who seeks basic reliable usage but also complete with all of the controls that allow you to tweak each and every aspect of your system if you’re an advanced user. The I/O consists of 2 x M.2 PCIe 4.0 slots, 6 SATA 6GB/s ports, 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 Gbps), 4 x Type-A USB 3.1 (5 GBs), 4 x Type-A USB 2.0 and a Gigabit Intel LAN port for fast network transfers. The Ryzen 7 5800X CPU has great overclocking headroom on this board thanks to its quality VRM setup that is featuring a 12 + 2 phase design.
Another great selling point for the AORUS Elite motherboard is its X570 chipset that is compatible with AMD’s new Smart Access Memory (SAM) feature. Basically, your CPU is able to access the entirety of the GPU’s VRAM in order to gain a performance edge in various workloads; this is being facilitated by the X570 motherboard thanks to the Gen 4 lanes present. Users looking for a high quality and subtle black and silver theme with dark aesthetic power delivery heat sinks and a seemingly great VRM specification will find the AORUS Elite as a great option for their build and this is why it earns our recommendation.
The Arctic Liquid Freezer II is kind of a gem in the consumer water cooling market. It slightly outperforms or matches the cooling and noise performance of other much more expensive AIOs while being sold at a much friendlier ~$100 price. While other products in the water cooling market paint a bigger focus on flashier features, the ARCTIC goes for a very ‘industrial’ and clean dark aesthetic; people who put excellent performance above looks and RGB will love this cooler for its incredible daily and overclocking potential. The radiator can use lower fan speeds to maintain the adequate CFM thanks to its thick dimensions at 317 x 138 x 38; you’ll need to pay close attention to the space in your case if you plan on pairing this cooler with a different build. The cables and wiring are very well masked by the fully sleeved tubes that contain them, thus allowing for more order inside your case and less difficulty while performing any kind of maintenance work.
The Ryzen 7 5800X has been officially reviewed and we’ve been seeing all core overclocks higher above the advertised speeds; this means that good liquid cooling capabilities will go a long way if you want to extract the most performance out of your processors and that is where the Arctic AIO shines. It’s also virtually inaudible at around 27 dB during overclocked loads thanks to the good thermal dissipation and silent pump. This AIO does so many things right and it rightfully earns its right in our high-end gaming build. Let’s also have a look at its most important specs:
- Pump dimensions: 98 x 78 x 53
- Radiator dimensions: 317 x 138 x 38
- 2 x 140 mm fans | 200 – 1700 RPM (PWM)
- 450 mm tubing length
- 72.8 CFM max airflow
- Included thermal compound (paste)
- 2 years warranty
- Launch price / Retail price: $89.99 / $99.99
Special attention needs to be paid to RAM specs when purchasing your memory kit; poor RAM can break your otherwise perfect build. We’re slowly moving into the era of mainstream 32 GB RAM kits as this high end build definitely needs the increased capacity in order to breeze through the gaming and workloads you might throw at it. 16 GB memory capacities are still enough for mid-range gaming builds and you can definitely get away with those because there are almost no games out there that could go over that. Here we’re talking about a high-end build that’s expected to multitask, game and even content creation if you wish to and a 2 x 16 GB kit becomes more of a necessity rather than a luxury; we’re also helped by the fierce competition in the memory modules market that benefits us, the consumers, with great products to choose from.
The G.Skill Trident Z Neo 2 x 16GB 3600MHz CL16 kit has the performance, capacity and looks to suit the gaming build we’re going for; it also doesn’t break the bank like other similar performance RAM kits out there. Whether you’re gaming at high resolutions or high refresh rates, editing, 3D modelling, compositing or just having a lot of applications opened in the background, this RAM kit will take care of any load with ease. Out of the box, performance is great and the kit is on the supported memory list of the Gigabyte AORUS X570 motherboard we’re using. The Ryzen 7 5800X loves good memory and tweaking the timings/speeds will also yield better results but this step is entirely optional because out of the box performance is already great.
This memory kits definitely deserves your consideration as it aces departments such as aesthetics and performance all while coming at a good value proposition.
Its already known how much storage performance can affect your daily tasks; from windows to application loading and from transfer speeds to fast loading screens, we’re always out looking for the fastest options for the builds we feature because we’re aware how important these devices are for the overall user experience.
We’ve chosen one of the newest Sabrent Rocket 4.0 drives for the OS drive; this device takes advantage of the PCIe 4.0 compatibility with the X570 chipset in order to provide one of the fastest peak and sustained read/write speeds. We’ve also included additional storage in the form of the 1Tb Crucial P1 which makes for an excellent secondary storage drive for your files or games library; we can best describe the Crucial P1 as excellent capacity and speed for the money.
The Sabrent Rocket 4.0 is great as an OS drive thanks to its incredibly fast read and write speeds which will make your system feel the snappiest ever. The Phison E12s controller paired with a 96 layer TLC by Micron is the key to this drive’s incredible access speeds. There’s also a DRAM chip that provides sustained performance for longer random write scenarios where the M.2 drive might otherwise slow down. We’re also pleased to find out how well the Sabrent Rocket 4.0 cools during loads thanks to its copper foil layer. Sabrent is claiming that this foil helps the drive perform at maximum speeds 4x longer than without such a heat spreader.
This M.2 provides excellent performance and enough capacity for the OS drive. We’re using a dual storage setup in order to get the best quality storage for your money. The secondary storage device is larger in capacity and slightly lower in performance but nothing to really observe in daily real world usage.
The Crucial P1 is now one of the most thought after storage devices not only because of its arguably fast overall speeds but because of its excellent value proposition for those advertised speeds. There are some very niche occasions where this drive is prone to slow down and those are during big >50GB transfers because of the limited QLC cache present on the device; other than that, the device is always ready to provide its 2,000 MB/s read and 1,700 MB/s speeds in any workload.
Thanks to its incredible price per GB, you can even go for a higher capacity variant, the 2Tb variant, if you feel like your game library will be needing more space. There are other manufacturers that make similar QLC cache M.2s but the Crucial P1 is tried and proven and that is why it’s on our recommendation list for a high-end gaming build.
With the launch of the RX 6000 series GPUs, AMD is looking to take the leader spot of the high-performance gaming GPU market. While reviewer benchmarks are not yet published as they will become available after the NDA lift on November 18, we can’t know exactly how well the RX 6000 GPUs perform but we got very good official estimates and numbers from AMD themselves here. These numbers paint a fantastic picture for the RX 6800 XT we’re using in this build. Even when compared to the top-level Ampere GPU, the RTX 3090, the 6800XT manages to match and outperform the $1,500 GPU in a considerable amount of titles while being less than half the price of the RTX 3090.
We are excited for the official review results of this GPU but until November 18, you definitely have time to think about all the other parts of this enthusiast gaming build; who knows? it might be the only gaming rig you’re going to use for the following 3+ years so each and every detail is very important. Thanks to the preliminary results we definitely recommend shortlisting the RX 6800XT for its fantastic power efficiency and performance numbers at a good flagship price. The Smart Access Memory (SAM) technology we were mentioning earlier is compatible with the RX 6000 series and a pairing between a Ryzen 5000 CPU and Radeon RX 6000 GPU will go a long way to boost your performance numbers higher than expected.
Its good to see AMD back in the enthusiast gaming GPU space and the RX 6000 series is definitely a big step in the right direction.
When you are building a high end build that is expected to house extreme performance components such as the Ryzen 7 5800X and RX 6800XT, you need to pay closer attention to cooling and airflow in order to ensure the components are properly in their thermal comfort zone. This way, your performance and noise levels won’t suffer from badly ventilated case setups and will allow you to also push for higher clock speeds at negligible acoustic and thermal expense.
We love the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh for that. Its mesh front and clever layout is perfect for the premium build we’re going for and it has so many positives going for it that its hard to even consider other competing cases. Elements such as the hinged tempered glass doors on both sides (that are hold together with magnets), roomy motherboard compartment, tie down hook points and solid build quality are just some of the highlights of this well thought out case. We may come out sounding as we’ve been sponsored by Lian Li but that is far from the truth; we just have to give credit to such a case that will be praised for many years as an absolute gem.
The front I/O is generous and there’s room to install 2 x 2.5 inch drives in the compartment behind the motherboard while 3 x 3.5 inch drives for extra storage can also be installed below. This case provides excellent airflow when pairing the 3x included PWM fans with the 3x Cooler Master SickleFlow 62 CFM 120 mm Fans that need to be purchased separately in order to have a balanced intake/outtake pressure. People who want a flashy case can look at other options but the ones that are looking for a well thought-out case with timeless aesthetics and great design can just go out and buy the Lian Li Lancool II Mesh. It will easily handle the building process and allow for any kind of maintenance hassle free. Its one of our favorite cases out there and a perfect match for any gaming build that features high end components.
- Dimensions: 478 x 229 x 494 mm (D x W x H)
- Compatibility : CPU Cooler Max height 176 mm | GPU Max length 384 mm | PSU Max length 210 mm
- Included Fans: Included 3 x 120 mm Front RGB PWM.
- Extra Fans (not included): Cooler Master SickleFlow 62 CFM 120 mm Fans 3-Pack
Thanks to how efficient the Ryzen 7 5800XT and RX 6800XT CPU-GPU combo is, we’re almost never going to pull over 450-500W from the wall and this high tier EVGA SuperNOVA G1+ 650W PSU will be very up to the task; if you’re looking for some more future headroom, there’s a 750W variant of the same PSU but we recommend the 650W as being safe enough.
The high-quality power rails of this power supply can easily handle any power swings during the diverse idle/max load environments you might find yourself in; the last thing you need is a PSU that becomes unstable but EVGA is a solid name that is synonymous with performance, reliability and great customer support if needed.
During the building process, full modularity allows you to just use the cables that you need for the components in this build; thus, any extra cables can go back into the PSU box and be stored for any future use while the inside of the case will become much easier to organize due to fewer cables. An uncluttered case is excellent for airflow and future maintenance or cleaning. The cables are covered in a dark sleeving material that feels premium to the touch and you can easily arrange them along the various tie-down cable management routes inside the Lian Li case we previously talked about.
The G1+ ranks at the top of popular PSU ranking lists for its excellent protection against surges and excellent build quality; at the $120 price point, we’re finding the G1+ perfect for this high-end RX 6800 XT gaming build and any upgrades that you may be inclined to add in the future.
Whether you’re looking for your new high-performance enthusiast build or are looking to start your first ever build, the experience building with the components in this list will be easy and a great way to get into PC building. Everything from the Lian Li case and additional fans to the fully-featured motherboard with its powerful chipset and powerful CPU and GPU components will be working together to provide one of the best gaming systems that money can buy at the end of 2020. This type of performance per dollar is improving year after year and as consumers ourselves, we welcome that to the market.
We find this build very well priced for the extreme performance that it can offer and we warmly recommend it to any gaming enthusiast who wants to either get back into the game or who always wants the bleeding edge in performance. If you have any questions about the components and choices in this build, we love to answer questions in the comments section below!