How To Build The Ultimate PC Gaming System For 2019
Photo: ColorBlind Images (Getty Images)
It’s the start of a brand new year, and you’re looking to drop a significant bundle of cash on the latest and greatest gaming system. You’re past consoles and their upscaled 4K, slideshow 30 FPS limitations, and ready to step into the realm of gaming at 4K Ultra and triple-digit frame-rates. You want the absolute best when it comes to gaming, without being ripped off. This guide is here to cut through the noise and get you stuck right into the good stuff. Allow us to lead you through, component by component, building the ultimate gaming PC for 2019!
Intel i9-9900K CPU
First up is the CPU. If the best gaming processor is what you’re looking for, then you’ll want to go for the i9-9900K. Intel has created the best CPU for gaming which beats out the AMD competition. Intel has been forced to innovate and evolve more rapidly, due to the progress made by AMD, and it it is us the consumer who has benefitted. The i9-9900K is the beating heart of your build.
Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler
As the i9-9900K is an unlocked, overclockable processor, you’ll be wanting to invest in a cooler. Though water cooling is a very popular option, we’d still recommend the incredible Noctua NH-D15 to cool on air. (The questionable color scheme can be solved by opting for the Chromax line of fans.) This thing is an absolute unit. Slap it atop your i9-9900K and push the overclock towards 5 GHz.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS MASTER Motherboard
A Z390 motherboard is the perfect pairing for the i9-9900K. When it comes to investing in the best motherboard for 2019, you want to ensure that you’re prepared for any upgrades you make down the line. Whether you plan to push things further with customizable RGB LEDs, or add more SSDs (both M.2 and 2.5”), you want to make sure your MOBO will stand the test of time.
The Gigabyte Z390 AORUS MASTER offers a huge number of features which we’ll be taking advantage of during the initial build, and with later expansions. What’s more, this motherboard is a proven overclocking champion pushing other 9900Ks to 5 GHz and beyond without breaking too much of a sweat. (Check the ELITE and ULTRA variants for fewer features at a cheaper price.)
Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB GAMING AMP Graphics Card
For the graphics card, there’s only really one choice: the Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti. While the controversies surrounding the raytracing technology may have dampened the launch, the RTX 2080 Ti still remains the top-tier graphics card you can buy for gaming. And besides, RTX is an impressive feature and really does look fantastic in games like Battlefield 5. It’s just a little underdeveloped and not massively supported right now. We’re going with the Zotac GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB GAMING AMP variant here, mostly because it’s actually in stock and has good reviews!
While it’s true that multiple RTX 2080 Ti cards can be combined to offer insane performance in some games, we think the cons with SLI outweigh the pros. Having a single fastest graphics card is always the better option when it comes to avoiding stutter and any types of lag. The lack of support for many titles also means that those extra graphics cards aren’t utilized. Our advice would be to stick to the one RTX 2080 Ti and then upgrade to the next fastest card a year or two down the line.
G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32 GB RAM
The approach to RAM is simple: choose how much you want in GB, then pick the fastest speed from the brand that you trust. If you want it to look fancy with RGB, pick the RGB model! We’re going with 32 GB of G.Skill Trident Z RGB. The kit we’ve hunted down is rated for 3200 MHz speed. This RAM kit will look good in the build while putting out great performance.
Samsung 970 Pro M.2-2280 SSD and Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB Storage
It’s finally a good time to be buying storage, as SSD and HDD prices have seen a welcome decrease over the past 12 months. As this is the Ultimate Gaming PC for 2019, we’ll be avoiding HDDs. If you’ve got the cash for it, the Samsung 970 Pro M.2-2280 SSD is an absolute monster, boasting ridiculous speeds held within the compact M.2 form factor. Grab a 500 GB/1 TB variant for your OS, important apps, and frequently used games. A separate, 2.5” SSD will make for a nice second drive, for the rest of your programs and games, as well as offering the potential for recording high bit rate gameplay videos. A single (or pair of) Samsung 860 Evo 1 TB would be my choice.
Picking a case largely comes down to personal preference. This is what your PC internals sit inside, and so is the most important part of the aesthetic you are trying to create. With that said, it’s important to do your research and ensure that the case you choose has all of the features you’re looking for. Hoping to throw a beastly radiator into the front of the chassis? Ensure there is support for that! It might be obvious to warn users of this, but you’d be surprised at what even experienced builders can end up buying when purchasing on impulse. Remember to check those specs before dropping your dollars! We’d opt for the H700 as it’s an enjoyable build and looks fantastic. We especially love the cable management bar which adds some colorful flair to the build and closes the gap between the motherboard and radiator, which can otherwise look a little bare.
Corsair HX1000i Power Supply
Though PC components have become much more power efficient, it’s still important to purchase a power supply that will, not only power your initial build, but also have enough headroom for any additional components you add later on. We’re going with the Corsair HX1000i. You want a well-known, trusted brand to ensure that your PSU is up to snuff. This is not the place to cut costs, as a temperamental PSU that goes wrong can take down an entire system. This PSU is also fully modular, meaning it’s incredibly easy to add and remove cables, and also makes for a very clean building experience.
NZXT Hue 2 and CableMod Visual Upgrades
To help the aesthetic of your build come together, you can invest money into additional RGB components. RGB fans are the obvious suggestion here, as they can make a massive impact and are relatively cheap. HUE 2 lighting also deserves a mention here, as NZXT has provided a solution for all RGB addicts to enjoy. (If you’re considering the H700 case recommended above, as well as the HUE 2 kit, then be sure to check out the H700i case which has its own RGB controller!)
Though a little on the pricier side of things, CableMod’s set of custom sleeves allows you to turn the distracting mess of wires into part of the overall style. Combine all of these together and you’ll have a damn good-looking final build!
Acer Predator X27 Monitor
Combining this Ultimate Gaming PC Build for 2019 with a 4K/120 Hz/HDR monitor like the Acer Predator X27, as well as your favorite keyboard, mouse, and headset setup is the dream. Add in a virtual headset (perhaps via a recommendation from our guide to VR headsets) and you’ll experience maximum satisfaction. For a less expensive, but still incredible experience, opting for the best 4K/60 Hz or 1440p/144 Hz panel would save some considerable cash. The 1440p Acer Predator XB271HU includes Nvidia’s impressive G-Sync technology, which helps avoid stutter and frame-tearing, and pushes the viewable frame-rate up to a possible 165 FPS!Find more content like this at