Hardware/2017 Windows Gaming Desktop

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My son wants to build a gaming PC. We're embracing Windows here, because the Linux desktop we have is pretty dang sweet.


In order of priority:

  1. Under $2k.
  2. Windows 10, but I will likely make it Linux in the future.
  3. Virtualization so I can run VMs inside.
  4. > 16GB memory.
  5. The best graphics card I can get for my 2560x1440 monitor, probably an nVidia.
  6. QUIET!!!
  7. SSD for the primary partition for fast boot.
  8. > 32 GB memory
  9. Secondary storage in TB.
  10. Maximize memory speed.
  11. Mazimize memory size.
  12. Maximize cores.
  13. SSD for secondary storage.

Price List

  • Windows 10: ~$100
  • Case: ~$100?
  • Cooling:
   * Air: ~$100
   * Liquid: ~$150
  • Motherboard: ~$150
  • CPU: Intel quad-core skylake? ~$300
  • Memory: ~$200 for 64GB
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 ~$450
  • Primary Storage:
  • Secondary Storage:


Full tower is probably too big.

ATX mid-towers are probably ideal.

Cooler Master MasterBox 5?


The motherboard is the backbone of the system. The motherboard determines what kinds of CPU and memory you can have.

Since I am buying a video card, I don't want on-board video, but I won't pay extra not to have it.

  • Tom's Hardware [1] lists some good boards. Expensive ones are $550, cheap ones $150 or less.


I must get virtualization in my CPU. I can't live without it.

CPU speed is not important, but I do want a lot of cores, without buying additional slots.

Graphics Card

I'll probably get the #2 nVidia card on the market right now.


Primary Storage

Windows doesn't allow you to move your system files around. You're pretty much stuck with C: for most things, and so if you want to use SSD, you'll have to make it big enough to hold the whole thing. Alternatively, one of those hybrid drives might be interesting ...


Nowadays, you can use SSD plugged into PCIe slots. This is supposed to be a lot faster than SATA. Can Windows 10 use a PCIe SSD as its primary drive? Yes, but you need to configure it.


SATA is the more traditional connection for hard drives. You can also get SSD drives that run on it.

Secondary Storage

I'll be making lots of videos so I need lots of room on secondary storage. Speed is not a huge factor, but it would be nice to have SSD.


Memory size is more important to me than memory speed. I want at least 16GB, but 32GB will make me more happy.


I am a bit of a keyboard snob. I am seriously considering a mechanical keyboard. https://www.reddit.com/r/MechanicalKeyboards/ will be my primary resource for research.

Since I plan on recording, I want a silent keyboard, but I do like the click-feel, the response.