So I'm building myself a new computer, or planning to. Oh, sure, I'd love to have one with 128 logical processor cores, but that's a tad out of my price range, even on sale. I'm more likely to spend extra on the video card, even if it, again, isn't a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. I have settled on a few things, however: it must have:

  • liquid cooling for the processor
  • PCIe 4 NVMe SSD 960GB+
  • Minimum 32GB RAM
  • USB 3 type C connector(s)

I've given up on the idea of having an internal 5.25" bay for a Blu-Ray drive. I don't use mine often, but it does get used on occasion for format shifting. I have also nearly given up on case-mounted USB 3 type C connectors. How hard is it to stick just one on the front? I may only have one type C device so far, but I'd like to be able to plug it in, rather than leave a cable attached to the motherboard full-time. I suppose manufacturers are still waiting for such a thing to get better traction. But c'mon! My video card has a type C connector already!

Primarily my machine will be for gaming. While I'm not the kind of person who has to have Fortnite running at 973 fps on a 12K display, I'd like to be able to turn the anti-aliasing up to 11 and know that all the shadows created by the game's engine will look fairly realistic (incorrect shadows, while not nearly as annoying as clipping issues, can be surprisingly distracting). Since my primary monitor is a 4K one (yes, technically it's a TV, but it works very well with HDMI 2.0 thank you very much), I definitely don't want to be running games scaled up, or worse, windowed. Unless they have to be (I'm looking at you, Mass Effect 1).

My secondary use is development. As we all may be in for the long-haul with social distancing and isolation, and programming is something I'd like to do for a living, I need a reliable system for coding. After 7, possibly 8 years, this computer is showing its age. I could probably get another couple of years out of it by nuking from orbit (erasing the SSDs and HDDs) and starting from scratch, which I may do anyway if the remains of this PC go to a friend or a non-profit organization, but I still think it's time for something new.

What I'm running right now, despite its age, is nothing to sneeze at: my Intel i7-3770K is clocked to 4.12GHz and with liquid cooling, the average core temperature hovers at around 45°C under (my) normal load. I've got an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (a more recent upgrade, though I purchased it used from a friend) with 8GB of VRAM. It's not overclocked or anything, and I'm sure you can find benchmarks out there on its performance (though I can attest to more than satisfactory performance running Diablo 3, Fallout 4, and Elder Scrolls Online). While I have a pair of SATA SSDs in a RAID0 configuration, the sequential read/write is around 970/596 MB/s, and random can be as low as 29/73 MB/s. A modern M.2 SSD can deliver (sequential speeds of) 1600/1000, and with PCIe 4, 4950/4250 (say the benchmarks). Spinning rust is...let's say, slower. While the ones I use have been performing reliably long past their projected lifespan (these are from two computers ago), sequential read/write numbers are 90/85 (68/71 on the second), with random read/write measured in kilobytes per second.

The computer I'm receiving in 5-7 business days is as follows:

Component Detail Price Newegg Link
CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3900X $449.99 link
Memory G.SKILL Trident Z Neo 2×16GB $188.99 link
Video Card MSI GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER $737.99 link
Motherboard MSI Meg X570 Ace $369.99 link
SSD Corsair Force MP600 M.2 2280 1TB PCIe 4 x4 NVMe $204.99 link
Power Supply Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 850W $189.99 link
Case Thermaltake Commander C35 $109.99 link
Cooling Cooler Master MasterLiquid Lite $88.85 link
OS Windows 10 x64 Pro $149.99 link
Keyboard/Mouse Logitech MX900 Performance $156.12 link
Total - $2646.89 -