Premium Player

Money isn't really considered an object in this build – it's for enthusiasts with deep wallets aiming for a premium VR experience or even 4K gaming. That said, we're not looking to blow money unnecessarily – this definitely isn't just about choosing the fastest and most expensive components without thought, as anyone can do that. As ever, see below for our justifications and potential alternatives.

 ProductUK price (inc VAT)US price (ex tax)
CPUAMD Ryzen 7 1800X£490$470
MotherboardAsus Prime X370-Pro£155$160
Memory16GB (2 x 8GB) 3,000MHz DDR4£120$120
Graphics cardAsus GeForce GTX 1080 Strix Advanced 8GB£560$560
PSUSilverStone Strider Platinum 850W£140$150
CPU coolerNZXT Kraken X62£150$160
Storage (primary)Samsung 960 Evo 500GB M.2 NVMe SSD£250$250
Storage (secondary)1TB SATA 6Gbps 2.5in SSD£260$240
CaseIn Win 805£140$150
 Total price£2,265$2,260

We've again switched to AMD Ryzen here. The once-£500, six-core/12-thread Core i7-6850K is now closer to £600, but for less than £500 we now get two more cores, four more threads and decent single-threaded performance with the flagship AMD Ryzen 7 1800X. This is AMD's finest silicon, and speeds here are more guaranteed than they are with lower-end parts, but there are better value Ryzen 7 chips like the 1700 if you're happy to do some overclocking. Where apps and games don't utilise many threads or cores, the deficit compared to Intel isn't too big, but the advantage in multi-threaded applications is massive.

PC Hardware Buyer's Guide Q2 2017 PC Hardware Buyer's Guide Q2 2017 - Premium PlayerThe flagship X370 chipset is the sensible choice here, and the Asus Prime X370-Pro is a fine option for just over £150. Asus's own Crosshair VI Hero[eurl] and the [eurl=]MSI XPower Gaming Titanium are both excellent alternatives if you really want to push the boat out, but the one chosen strikes a great balance between features and price, has a lovely EFI menu, and is more than capable when it comes to overclocking too.

16GB of DDR4 remains the de facto choice for memory, and this isn't likely to change any time soon. Use two 8GB sticks so you keep two more free just in case, though, and don't bother with anything faster than 3,000MHz.

Since our last Buyer's Guide, the GTX 1080 has received a price drop, which is very welcome. We continue to recommend the same model, the Asus GTX 1080 Strix Advanced. There are also models with faster memory (11Gbps versus 10Gbps) on the market now, but they are considerably more expensive. If you have your heart set on 4K gaming, you'll want to opt for a GTX 1080 Ti instead, and the Asus Strix model is again a fine card.

Based on our experience with the 1,000W model, the SilverStone Strider Platinum 850W will be an excellent PSU. Efficiency is sky high, and you get maximum cable routing flexibility with fully modular cables. The wattage is enough for any future dual-GPU setup too.

PC Hardware Buyer's Guide Q2 2017 PC Hardware Buyer's Guide Q2 2017 - Premium PlayerThis is a premium system, so we've opted for SSDs only, but you can easily bulk it out with additional HDDs. The 500GB Samsung 960 Evo NVMe SSD combines high capacity storage with blistering speeds for your OS drive. Chuck in the cheapest 1TB-class SSD going for bulk storage in a small, silent, and good looking package (well, better looking than a mechanical drive anyway).

The EKWB Predator 240 appears to be end-of-life now, so we've swapped to the flagship NZXT Kraken cooler, the X62, which is feature-rich and controlled with the excellent CAM software. It'll also support AM4 motherboards. There are cheaper all-in-one coolers out there, but we came away impressed with the hardware and software when we looked at the X52, so this one gets the nod.

The case choice is also unchanged. There were many cases we could have chosen here, but the In Win 805 is very classy and well suited to a system like this. Note, however, that your radiator will be installed at the front and there isn't much room for additional water-cooling hardware. Honourable mentions here include the new Corsair Crystal Series 460X and the older but still awesome Phanteks Enthoo Luxe. That said, aesthetics are likely to be an overriding concern for case selection here, so feel free to branch out if there's something you're in love with.

We've saved about £200 compared to our previous Premium Player build but still think this is an awesome PC. Depending on your needs and/or aesthetic inclinations, you could always splash out extra in one or more areas for even better parts, but there's no one area where this system can be said to be truly lacking.
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