MSI Gaming Build Part Selection
MSI has teamed up with us to provide you guys with a Z370 system build guide, and today we have it ready for you! If you are unfamiliar with building a PC, MSI's manual for the Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon/AC details the steps required to do so. It's quite easy, and this guide is an enhanced version of that, with component selection, special installation requirements, optimization of hardware, overclocking, and finally, an overview of the software provided. There are also videos included for many different operating tasks, so if you prefer a video, then you have that option as well for fan control, manual overclocking, automatic overclocking, and software.
The guide will focus on two of MSI's top products; the GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio and the MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon/AC. The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon/AC is one of the most popular Z370 motherboards, which means the support community is huge and MSI will be more inclined to prove better UEFI support over time. The motherboard is also priced very competitively, allowing you to pour more money into the GPU for your gaming rig, or storage for your production rig. The GPU we used is the MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio, which has a huge radiator, triple fans, and even RGB LEDs and an overclock.
The rest of this build was done with components I chose to reduce bottlenecks and optimize compatibility; you can change the part selection depending on your needs. I will discuss each part, why I chose it, and what you might want to change.
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700K - The 6-core 12-thread 8700K is one of the best gaming CPUs on the market. However, if you want to save a few dollars, going with an 8600K or even something like an i5-8400 are decent alternatives
- Motherboard: MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon - The MSI Z370 Gaming Pro Carbon/AC offers an excellent balance of features at a very reasonable price, it also supports a wide variety of LED technologies
- Cooler: Corsair H100i GT - I used this cooler because I had an extra, but I wanted to make sure to use a double radiator AIO. While a custom watercooling setup is typically the way to go, more users are turning to all in ones for their ease of use.
- Memory: G.Skill TridentZ 3600MHz 8GBx2 3600MHz - It's best to make sure the kit you choose is on the qualified vendor list of the motherboard, but you are pretty safe with two sticks of memory rated at 3600Mhz and below. Memory QVL.
- Video Card: MSI GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio 11GB - Based on NVIDIA's famous Pascal architecture, this GTX 1080 Ti features a beastly triple fan radiator, RGB LEDs, and comes overclocked out of the box!
- Storage - Boot Drive: Samsung 960 Pro 512GB - Samsung makes some of the fastest NVMe based M.2 SSDs, and the 960 Pro is one of them, and MSI's motherboard can take two of these drives. If you want something a lot cheaper, Intel's 600P series of SSDs offer decent performance at a very affordable price.
- Storage - Game and Movie Storage: Hard Drive - We didn't use a secondary drive as our 500GB 960 Pro was enough, but you can always use 1TB+ HDD to store games and other data if you need.
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 900D - The Corsair 900D is huge, maybe even overkill for this motherboard, but you should look at cases where a GPU can extend beyond the motherboard, as some GPUs, like the one used here can be longer than the motherboard.
- Power Supply: Corsair RM1000x - The RM1000x offers fully modular cabling, 80+ Gold certification, a 10 year warranty, and a zero RPM fan mode. Power supplies are one of the first things to go on high-performance PSUs, so look for something with a decent warranty. The RM1000x is overkill for this build unless you plan on adding a second GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio in the future for SLI, which is why I chose it. If you are not planning to upgrade down the line, stick with a 600-800W PSU with solid efficiency and a good warranty.
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Do we really have an option these days? In my opinion, it's a decent OS, and the learning curve is short if you have never used it.
- Monitor: ASUS PA328 ProArt 32" 4K - It's the monitor I use daily, and this build will replace my daily rig. The machine we are building will be able to play games at 4K (3840x2160), so a 4K monitor isn't a bad idea.
- Keyboard: Corsair K70 LUX - Also part of my daily machine. It has RGB LEDs too, and they are tastefully done.
- Mouse: Corsair M65 PRO RGB - Also part of my daily machine.
The cost of our configuration is roughly $2,500. However, our case, PSU, CPU, GPU, and even RAM could be considered overkill, but they offer a level of performance above most of what else is out there. The Corsair Obsidian 900D is one of the largest and well-built cases on the market and offers superior customization, size, capacity, and airflow options.
MSI's GTX 1080 Ti Gaming X Trio is overclocked out of the box and features a hefty radiator with triple fans. Our PSU is one of the best 1000W PSUs on the market, and our CPU and GPU configurations could get away with a solid 850W power supply. While the 8700K is excellent, looking at an i5-8400 or even an i5-8600K to save some dollars isn't a bad idea.
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