This system is built around the 2nd-gen AMD Ryzen 5 CPU, providing a good amount of single-core performance for gaming situations. The Ryzen 5 2600X CPU is also a great option for ESports use, due to the attractive pricing for the 12 thread models.
It is configured with 16GB of very fast DDR4 RAM (helping the Ryzen CPU to reach full operational potential), a great motherboard to build on, and a powerful and efficient Nvidia Geforce GTX video card built for high-level 1440p gaming.
Zeus is also well-suited for VR gaming, due to the GTX 1080 selected.
Overall System Performance
This High-Level 1440p Gaming Computer performs well in games at 1440p resolution, at high visual settings. It is also a great foundation to build on.
Ryzen 5 2600X | Kraken X52 Rev 2 | X470 AORUS | 16GB DDR4-3200 | Blue 250GB | Blue 1TB | GTX 1080 | Enthoo Pro M TG | FOCUS Plus 650W Gold | Windows 10 Home | ML120 Pro LED
Zeus is $2700 as Currently Designed
Gaming PCs as Low as $650 are Available
System Design Rationale & Upgrade Path
We've put a fair amount of thought into how we designed this system, and would like to explain why we chose the above components. We'll also explain the various upgrades to the system, as you might desire.
We chose the Ryzen 5 2600X for its respectable single-core performance, competitive multi-core performance, and very attractive price point. In 1440p resolution, a good chunk of the processing weight shifts to the CPU, and the Ryzen 5 2600X provides enough horsepower to power through most games, and properly feed data to the video card.
The Ryzen 5 2600X also has a very attractive multi-core performance, relative to overall price. This makes it a very competitive CPU for Twitch streaming. Overall, this provides a very stable platform for a multi-year gaming system.
System Change: If you come across a need for more clock speed, or more cores, you can easily upgrade to a Ryzen 7 with no need to change the system otherwise.
The AMD Ryzen stock cooler does work very well, though we tend to favor lower noise/heat over lower system cost. As such, we selected a very good aftermarket closed-loop liquid cooler. Water has a higher specific heat than air does, and thus cools much better. It can hold more heat energy per volume, thus moving more heat away from the source.
Using water cooling allows you to push your CPU harder, while maintaining the same thermals, or run the CPU at the same settings, with lower noise (and still good thermals).
The higher-end liquid coolers such as the one selected above come with very long manufacturer warranties (upwards of 7 years), so the failure rate is extremely low.
System Change: This case has plenty of room for cooling, even via a custom loop. If you are unsure if your cooling idea will work with this case, please contact us for further review and assistance.
Because this system is a higher-end spec, we chose an X series motherboard. Gigabyte is a decent manufacturer of motherboards, and has priced this motherboard at a very attractive level.
System Change: Please ask us if you have a question about a potential system upgrade being compatible with your motherboard.
We went with 16GB of faster Ripjaws V memory due to the extremely high quality of the internal chips. The high frequency of the memory will allow the Ryzen 5 2600X to run near peak potential. 16GB of memory is a widely-accepted amount for gaming computers, and we only recommend upgrading to 32GB if your workload demands it.
System Change: If you come across a need for more memory, you can easily add in more sticks, with no need to change the system otherwise. The motherboard selected supports a maximum of 64GB of memory, in a 4x16GB array.
The SSD and HDD were both chosen for their low cost and high reliability. There are other cheaper SSDs of the same capacity, but they are not as reliable, and do not carry as long of a manufacturer warranty. We've also installed quite a few of this storage combination, and feel very confident in our choice.
System Change: If you come across a need for more storage, you can easily upgrade to a bigger SSD or HDD, with no need to change the system otherwise. If you want to add more drives, you may need to change the case.
The video card was chosen for its high performance in most games at 1440p in high quality, and attractice price point. While a GTX 1070 also does well, the GTX 1080 has more CUDA cores, allowing you to crank up more visual settings.
System Change: If you come across a need for more graphical horsepower, you can easily upgrade to a GTX 1080Ti with no need to change the system otherwise. If you want to run two video cards as one, you will need to upgrade the motherboard and power supply. You may also need to upgrade the intake and exhaust fans as well.
Note: SLI is not supported by the GTX 1050Ti or GTX 1060. The only GTX 10XX series cards that support SLI are the 1070, 1080, 1080Ti, and Titan Xp.
The case was chosen for its high build quality, competitive price point, decent size, and low weight. While the case does come with a few fans, we've replaced them with a set of high quality fans from Corsair. If you decide to change the fan configuration, no other changes to the system are necessary. As we've used this case a number of times, we feel extremely confident in the case manufacturer.
System Change: Reasons for changing the case can be very hard to pin point. If you have a question about the compatibility of the case selected with an upgrade, please contact us.
The power supply was chosen for its high build quality, competitive price point, decent size, and low weight. The power supply is right in line for a GTX 1080 rig, though the current wattage can sustain up to a GTX 1080Ti. Upgrading the wattage will potentially make the fan run slower, creating less noise overall. A higher wattage PSU than necessary will also prolong the life of the unit, as it isn't being operated near peak load.
System Change: If you decide to upgrade any single major draw of power, you do not need to change the power supply. If you change multiple draws of power, you may need to upgrade the wattage on the power supply.