If you thought of building a system where you’re limited with your budget, try doing one where you have no budget limitations at all. With so many options to choose from, you will need to set your limit somewhere, because, at a certain point, you’re just wasting money. So, if you don’t want to waste money, here’s our all-out Intel build guide.
A thing to note is that we still tried to keep some things reasonable because there are some things you just don’t need. But make no mistake, this is still going to be a rather expensive build, but one that’s capable of running pretty much anything you could think of.
Aside from just the build, we’ll also be looking at what you could expect to do with this build in terms of both gaming, and productivity, and (yes, weird for an all-out rig) things you can upgrade down the line. Let’s not waste any more time, and dive into the build itself.
When it comes to gaming, this build should allow you to run pretty much any game you want, at any graphical settings and resolution, and still hit respectable framerates. On the other hand, it’s also a productivity beast thanks to a 10-core CPU, fast storage, and plenty of memory.
In terms of gaming, we won’t even mention competitive titles because you’ll be able to run them with zero problems. To add to this, most AAA titles will easily hit over 100 frames per second, even at high graphical settings, so in terms of gaming, this is a pretty great build.
To make things even better, if you also use your PC for work, our all-out Intel build comes with a powerful CPU, 64GB of RAM, and fast storage which lets you do things like video editing or 3D modeling, for example. And rendering at high resolutions will be pretty fast, too, especially if you use GPU acceleration.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s take a look at the build itself and see what you should be getting.
Intel’s Core i9-10900K is an excellent CPU for a lot of things. To begin with, it comes with 10 cores and 20 threads with Hyperthreading, so you get plenty of performance and the ability to run multithreaded apps really well. While not a lot of games take advantage of this, it’s a great thing for productivity.
On the gaming side, the base clock speed is a decent 3.7GHz, but push the i9-10900K, and it will easily boost up to 5.3GHz, which is honestly impressive. If that’s not enough, though, this is an unlocked CPU, and with the cooler we’ve got as part of this build, you will easily be able to hit higher speeds.
Overall, it’s a great CPU and while it may not be the best value, you aren’t looking for value in an all-out Intel build, are you?
The Core i9-10900K is an unlocked CPU, which means you can overclock it and get even more out of it. But to do that, you’ll need a way to keep it cool. NZXT’s Kraken Z73 takes their tried and tested cooling solution and adds a display on the AIO pump itself.
In terms of performance, the Kraken Z73 is pretty great. It has a chamfered intake and fluid dynamic bearings for a quiet, yet powerful operation. It keeps the CPU as cool as possible, and even overclocking won’t cause issues. The massive radiator comes with three Aer P fans that do a great job at keeping the liquid cool.
And that display is undoubtedly a nifty feature –it’s capable of displaying 24-bit color, and you can personalize it quite a bit.
We know – this is an insanely priced motherboard. But you’re doing an all-out Intel build, and that kind of build does deserve the best Z490 motherboard out there. The MEG Z490 GODLIKE comes with an excellent VRM solution that allows for stable power delivery while overclocking, and active cooling on the chipset, too.
Memory support is great, with four DIMM slots for up to 128GB of total memory at 5,000MHz. You do get three M.2 slots, as well as two Thunderbolt 3 ports at the back for expansion with things like high-resolution displays and daisy-chaining.
You do also get an actively cooled PCIe card for two more M.2 slots as an accessory, and an antenna that allows you to use Wi-Fi 6. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s very much worth it.
Yes, we could’ve gone up to 128GB of RAM, but do you really need it? To add to this, while there is faster RAM available, Corsair’s Dominator Platinum RGB is something your CPU will actually take advantage of and is one of the world’s best memory modules.
This kit comes with CL16 timings, which is pretty great, and it’s made of four 16GB sticks. Populating all four DIMM slots always looks nicer than just having two of them. And while we’re talking looks, the matte black color does look stunning. You have RGB lights as well, which you can control via Corsair’s iCUE software, and set them up to match the rest of your build.
Overall, with the tight screening process and patented DHX cooling system, this is the perfect memory for a high-end all-out Intel build.
When it comes to the new GPUs that both AMD and Nvidia released in the past couple of months, Nvidia’s RTX 3090 takes the win for the most powerful GPU. And while there are some great partner boards, we’re suggesting the founders’ edition in this build because it goes very well with the build’s aesthetics.
The RTX 3090 brings Titan levels of performance to the masses, and you get features like RT cores and ray tracing, as well as new streaming multiprocessors. It also comes with a staggering 24GB of GDDR6X memory, which is unheard of on a gaming GPU.
The Founders’ Edition card comes with a stunning subtle design, one that blends in this build pretty well, and overall you get the most powerful GPU out there, both for gaming, and GPU-accelerated workloads.
You will want fast storage for both your games and your OS and software, which is why we’d suggest going for two Samsung 980 PRO 1TB drives. Now, this is a PCIe Gen4 drive, and while the CPU and motherboard don’t support PCIe Gen4, you do get futureproofing in case you replace them down the line.
The 980 PRO does take advantage of things like a rather reliable thermal control and incredibly fast speeds – as fast as the PCIe Gen3 slots will allow. And with two drives, you can use them in a variety of configurations. You can use them as separate drives, or you can use them in RAID if you want to get higher speeds or better security.
A high-quality power supply is crucial in a high-end build, which is why we’ve gone for Corsair’s HX1000, an 80+ Platinum-certified power supply that’s capable of keeping the all-out Intel build running, with a bit of headroom for upgrades.
The 80+ Platinum certification isn’t just an indicator of quality, though. It also lets you know that this PSU will run cooler, quieter, and use less power than competitors with lower certifications. To add to this, the 135mm fan has a zero RPM mode which means when not under load, it’s pretty much silent. The 12V rail switch lets you choose between a single 12V rail or multiple, and this being a fully modular power supply, you get a bit of help with cable management.
Last but not least, even though this build could run comfortably on an 850W power supply, this way you have a bit of room to upgrade to some more demanding components down the line.
There is no denying that some of the components we picked do run a bit hot, which is why an airflow-oriented case is needed. Fractal Design’s freshly released Meshify 2 XL takes one of the best airflow cases out there and makes it even better.
The mesh at the front provides plenty of airflow, and you can have a total of four fans set up as intakes at the front. There’s a 360mm radiator slot at the top (up to 480mm, actually), as well as an exhaust fan, so you can have a balanced setup with four intakes and four exhaust fans. The dual-layout interior lets you set up larger motherboards easily, and there is ample room for cable management.
Pair this with the mesh top, tinted tempered glass side panel, and dust filters all around, and you see why the Meshify 2 XL is just perfect for this build.
Indeed, both the NZXT Kraken Z73 and the Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL come with their own fans. But what’s a build nowadays without some RGB, right? That’s why we’d suggest getting 8 Aer RGB 2 Fans, as well as a Hue 2 RGB controller.
The 120mm fans can be used as intakes on the case, as well as replacements on the Kraken Z73, which will allow you to sync them all up with each other and get the colors you’d like. The Hue 2 RGB Controller lets you set everything up with the CAM software, and you can even connect RGB strips or an underglow kit if you want. But if you don’t like NZXT, here are a few alternatives.
An all-out build and we’re talking about upgrades already? Well, yes, because even though without a budget limitation, we still tried to keep some things reasonable as mentioned earlier.
The first thing you could upgrade is more RAM. On one hand, 64GB is quite a lot for many people, whether it’s for gaming, or for memory-intensive workloads. But on the other hand, swap those four 16GB modules with four 32GB modules, and you’re set in terms of futureproofing for a good while.
Second, you could add more storage. The Fractal Design Meshify 2 XL comes with support for up to 18 hard drives, and you do get room for more M.2 drives on the motherboard. If you think that 2TB in total won’t be enough for your build, by all means, add more – here are some suggestions.
An of course, if you don’t plan on overclocking the Core i9-10900K, or pushing the build to its limits, you could maybe opt for a quieter case instead of one that has mesh panels all around. You’d be sacrificing a bit of cooling and airflow, but something like be quiet! and their Silent Base lineup of cases will be a lot quieter. We do have a list of options you can check out.
At the end of the day, there are plenty of ways to make this an even more expensive build. But if you aren’t limited with your budget, the components chosen above will get you excellent performance for gaming at high resolutions and high refresh rates, while still not costing an exorbitant amount of money.