To be entirely honest 2018 has brought some rather disappointing hardware, and I wish this build could come in a better climate, but an upgrade has been needed for a while. I'm hoping that the investment in the rather pricey 9900k and 2080ti is worth it in the long run, as I'm hoping this build can last me for many years to come.
My flat is as much black and white as I can get it, it only makes sense that my pride and joy follow my favourite colourscheme! The name "The Pale King" is a Hollow Knight reference, as well as fitting quite well for the white-themed case and LEDs.
Primary use case: Gaming
Secondary use case: 3D/Game development
CPU - i9-9900k
I took a long time choosing between high end Ryzen or high end Core i7/i9, in the end I let my Intel bias win over (sue me). Potential for 5GHz overclock was just too sweet to pass up; combine this with 16 threads and it should be more than capable of handling any gaming, 3D, development or file zipping I need (I so a surprising amount of this).
Price is a little hard to swallow, but I want to be able to breeze through everything I need for years to come without needing to upgrade.
CPU Cooler - Deepcool Captain 360 EX
360mm rad to fit the case, white. Only AIO to meet these criteria, also looks good.
Swapped out the default fans for white LED Riing fans you can see in the pictures. An interesting side effect is that as these fans are not PWM, they vary in brightness as they vary in speed. This means I can judge the temperature of the CPU by the brightness of the rings.
GPU - RTX 2080Ti
I was waiting for an 11-series launch to upgrade, and the 20 series was what we got. Took me this long since the launch to come round to accepting that if I want to buy a top end card it's 20 series or nothing. Hopefully good for gaming and any 3D work I do in future.
Chose the Gigabyte version as it's the only clean looking monotone 2080ti I could find with a decent cooler. I like the minimal look, and the back-plate that (I believe) is actually functional as a heat spreader.
I plan to paint the shroud white soon.
RAM - 32GB G.Skill Trident Z
I hate RGB with a passion. Unfortunately, if I want trustworthy LED memory that looks good I don't have much of a choice. 32GB is overkill for gaming only, but I often leave work open on one desktop while I switch back to the other for gaming. This would sometimes fill up the 16GB kit in my previous build, hence the upgrade here.
3000MHz because it's all that was available at the time of purchasing. Would have preferred a little higher but not a huge issue.
Motherboard - Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro
Gigabyte's Aorus lineup is the only current gen Z390 lineup with good VRMs. I'm planning to learn how to overclock with this build (never done it before) and want to get as much out of it as I can.
The Pro was only slightly more expensive than the Elite at the time, so why not. Higher tier versions had a large price increase for features not super useful to a beginner overclocker with simply an AIO, so not worth the extra.
250GB NVME boot drive for Windows + program installations. No files go here. I don't understand how some people require 500GB boot drives, I never even nearly fill up 250GB.
250GB NVME drive for games. This is it's only purpose, loading screens are a waste of my time!
Two 1TB hard drives in RAID configuration for storing most of my files and pictures etc. RAID for redundancy as I don't want to have to download everything from backup if a drive fails. Pulled these drives from the previous build.
Case - Thermaltake Core P3
I live alone and keep my flat very clean, so figured I'd be safe with an open case. I love how it looks, and it makes building so much easier when you don't have to squeeze everything into a small box. Putting everything into (onto??) this case was a breeze, and much easier than fitting it all into a chassis. Hopefully dust buildup isn't too extreme, we'll have to see.
PSU - 750W Gold
Have used this gold rated PSU for a year or two, so moved it over to the new build. 750W is overkill but when I initially purchased it I was expecting at the time to upgrade to two 980s. As it turns out I didn't, but the 9900k and 2080ti are both power hungry, so a little extra headroom doesn't hurt here.
Some sleeved cable extensions off Amazon make a huge difference, both to aesthetics and ease of building. It's so much easier to plug the extension into the component whilst not attached to the PSU, then attach it in the back of the case afterwards. I always hated how fiddly cable management can be, and I like my cables tidy. Using extensions made this so much easier, especially when combined with the open nature of the case.
Monitor - X34P
It is beautiful! I've been an ultrawide fan for a long time and am never going back, but this is a huge step up from the small 1080p ultrawide I used previously. Needs some tweaking to get the colours looking good, Hardware Unboxed have a video showing some good settings. I based my calibration off these settings, and then adjusted a bit to values I thought looked a bit better in my setup. Love how good my games look now!
GSync is great for reducing tearing or stuttering with fluctuating framerate. 120Hz is silky smooth for gaming and unfortunately it's kind of ruined 60Hz for me. Not that I need to play at 60 any more!
The monitor is pretty huge. I used to have a triple monitor setup, but my desk doesn't have space with this one on it so have stepped down to only two. With a panel of this size, curvature really does make sense to allow you to see the sides more easily and with less distortion.
Wholeheartedly recommend this monitor, however it does come at rather a premium so if you're on a budget you could probably find some that are close but for a lot less.
These scores are with my current stable overclocks.