The Luxury System
The Luxury System is a screaming-edge machine with no hard price cap. Every component is thoughtfully scrutinized, offering the most horsepower for your greenback. If a component's premium price isn't justified, it won't make the cut.
|Processor||Ryzen 2700X or Core i7-8700K||$320 / $350|
|Motherboard||Asus ROG Crosshair VII Hero or Asus ROG Maximus X Hero||$266 / $270|
|CPU Cooler||NZXT Kraken X62 280mm All-In-One||$156|
|Memory||G.Skill TridentZ RGB 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3600||$215|
|Graphics||Gigabyte GTX 1080 Windforce OC||$530|
|Sound||Creative Sound Blaster Zx PCIe||$125|
|Storage SSD||Samsung SSD 970 Evo 1TB||$398|
|Storage HDD||WD Blue 4TB||$104|
|Power||Seasonic Focus Gold SSR-750FM 750W||$80|
|Case||be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 v2||$280|
|Keyboard & Mouse||See below|
Core System Total
Motherboard, Processor, Cooler, Memory
Intel's new mainstream flagship Core i7 processor is a beast. For gamers seeking the ultimate solution there is simply nothing better than the Core i7-8700K. Out of the box performance is incredible, overclocking is even more incredible with proper aftermarket cooling, and power consumption is impressive for a CPU running at over 4 GHz by default.
Compared to the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 lineup, the i7-8700K doesn't offer exceptional value, but you do get what you pay for -- as in, a justifiable boost in performance to pay a little extra and this is the Luxury system so definitely the 8700K is the way to go.
In picking a motherboard without a strict budget ($200 and up), we found plenty of great options, but to narrow things down we'd tell you to check out the Asus ROG Maximus X Hero, Asrock Z370 Taichi and Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7.
To ensure maximum performance we have gone with G.Skill’s Trident Z Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3600 memory.
If you're shopping for a $500+ graphics card, you're after one of the fastest cards available. Right now and for the past two years the GeForce GTX 1080 has been the obvious choice. Delivering 60% more performance than its predecessor, the venerable GTX 1080 is still a beast, however it's quite possible Nvidia will come up with some fresher and faster sometime later this year.
The GTX 1080 is one of the few single GPU solutions capable to tackling 4K gaming, it won't have any issues running modern games at solid frame rates, though neither will the GTX 1070, even if that includes playing the latest triple-A titles at more than 60fps on Ultra. With crazy demand and pricing on GPUs for the past year or so, these high-end GPUs have remained hot items. Only an eventual replacement from Nvidia will change this recommendation.
Having been so surprised by the Sound Blaster Z PCIe we've picked the Creative Sound Blaster Zx ($120) which for a little extra dough adds an audio control module with a beam-forming microphone built-in. It's a nifty little feature but if you don't require the control module then you might as well just buy the standard Sound Blaster Z for $30 less.
Samsung has introduced new 970 Pro and 970 Evo series of NVMe SSDs with sequential write speeds rated at nearly 30 percent faster than the previous 960 series, and accompanied by a five-year warranty. 2018 is also seeing more competition at the high-end NVMe segment with two competing drives: the WD Black 3D NVMe and the HP EX920.
We're in the process of testing all of these, so far what we've observed is that Samsung has finally got hard hitting competition, especially from the WD Black which is fast and just as cost effective as the 970 Evo. Given Samsung's strong record, our main pick goes to the 970 Evo 1TB, but if you can find a good deal on the WD Black at your desired capacity (both available in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB models -- Samsung adds a 2TB model on top), you won't go wrong with that either.
Seasonic’s Focus SSR-750FM ought to supply your dream PC with enough juice. Noteworthy specifications include a 120mm fluid dynamic bearing fan, 80 Plus Gold certified, semi-modular with plenty of connectors for SATA drives, PCIe graphics, and peripheral devices. What's more, you get a solid seven-year warranty.
When it comes to picking a case with a breathtaking number of features, customization options, and storage setups, as well as loads of internal space and gorgeous looks, we feel that the be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900 sits at the top of the pile. Not only that, but just this past couple of weeks be quiet announced a v2 revision of the case with a handful of improvements.
While high-end cases represent a pinnacle for PC builders, not everyone is willing or able to pay over $200 for their hardware's housing. If you fall into this category, then take a look at the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe or the Fractal Design R6 Black. The Enthoo Luxe offers incredible value for price, excellent construction, supports massive range of water and air cooling configurations, comes with reservoir mounting bracket and pump bracket.
If you want to go all-in with 4K and a top notch display, the ViewSonic VP3268K-4K is a 32" Ultra HD 3840x2160 monitor with an IPS panel featuring true 8-bit panel support. The VP3268K-4K offers gorgeous visuals and color accuracy. And while the HDR support isn't the best, titles will still look gorgeous on this screen - provided you've got the right hardware to drive all those pixels.
If gaming is your primary concern, the ViewSonic XG2703-GS is an amazing monitor that hits the sweet spot: 27-inch, 1440p G-Sync with a high refresh rate. If you can't get your hands on the ViewSonic, the Acer Predator XB271HU offers a similar feature set with a slightly lower refresh rate. It does it all at a significantly lower price as well.
For pure desktop work, the $576 LG 34UC88 is a great solution with a 34" curved display sporting a 3440 x 1440 resolution. It's an elegant, feature packed solution that won't break the bank.
Meanwhile, headphones at a reasonable price don't get much better than the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 unless you're going to spend hundreds or thousands more. Frankly, if you require better audio quality than these can provide, you probably already know what you're looking for.
Mouse & Keyboard
Between the number of possible keyboard and mouse combinations in the high-end price range, and the various uses you could be making of this system it's virtually impossible to recommend a single component. Remember we have dedicated buying sections for keyboards and mice in TechSpot's Best Of section.
Of note on the premium segment, we still swear by the Das Keyboard if you want a pro-looking peripheral. Either the Das 4 or Prime 13 with brown switches are really good choices for most. The Code Keyboard is arguably Das' closest competitor, and for a tad less money we'd check out our Enthusiast's PC pick, the Cooler Master MasterKeys L. All things considered, the best gaming keyboard for most is Corsair's K70 RGB Rapidfire with Cherry MX Speed switches.
On the mouse front, our favorite overall mouse remains the Razer Deathadder Elite which is honestly great for $50 - 60. Like the Razer, Logitech's G502 Proteus Core is legend at this point, favored by many for a long time, it's a great gaming mouse. Most recently Logitech has also been promoting the more spartan G Pro and their high-end Logitech G903 that crams the best features on a wireless mouse. Last but not least, one of 2018's new top rated mice comes in the form of the SteelSeries Rival 600.
At the TechSpot office we are fans of a number of devices which we end up renewing over and over including the aforementioned Razer Deathadder, Logitech G series mice, and Das Keyboard. Note that if you're looking for a mechanical keyboard, Das is far from your only option: Filco, Corsair, SteelSeries, and others offer respected options.