In this post, I’m going to show you how to build the most powerful yet budget optimized gaming computer using a GTX 1080 Ti 11GB as the central component, THE only and mighty true 4K graphics card.
Unlike the Budget Builds, this one is not limited by a budget, therefore there is only one simple constraint: choosing the best components to get the most out of the GTX 1080 Ti, which means avoiding bottlenecks and getting the most optimized final price.
Finally, 4K Gaming At 60 FPS
The GTX 1080 Ti, released in March 2017, is the first graphics card capable of running 4K games at stable 50-60 FPS on its own, without recurring to a multiple-GPU configuration (SLI, CrossFire).
The Nvidia’s flagship mounts the GP104 chipset, featuring 3584 CUDA cores, 88 ROPs and 224 TMUs. It has a computing power of 11.3 TFLOPS (remember that this value cannot be directly compared with AMD graphic cards as AMD’s architecture has a higher compute performance but it’s not expressed into a real advantage over Nvidia when tested on video games), with a 484 GB/s of total memory bandwidth.
As you can see in the table below, the Ti version improves the plain GTX 1080 performance around 40%… a huge beast indeed. As for the price, it also keeps the 1.4 ratio if we compare the average GPUs prices: $550 for the GTX 1080 and $780 for the 1080 Ti.
Play all current games at 4K and stable 60FPS!
Nvidia Pascal GPU Specs Comparison
GTX 1080 Ti
8 GB GDDR5
6 GB GDDR5
ASUS GTX 1080 Ti ROG STRIX 11GBlaunch
EVGA GTX 1080 Ti FTW3 GAMING 11GBlaunch
The GTX 1080 Ti Founders Edition has a Base clock of 1480 MHz and a Boost clock 1582 MHz, but depending on the manufacturer these values could vary a little. The power consumption is (TDP) of 250W, just as the Titan X.
Compared to the previous Nvidia generation, the GTX 1080 Ti ($770) is as powerful as the latest GTX Titan X ($1200). Check the following video to see this graphics card in action in several games:
Unleashing The Beast’s Power
It’s easy to say that the GTX 1080 Ti is the best GPU in the market for playing all current games at 4K at 60+ FPS. But the graphics card won’t be able to output all its power if it’s not paired with the appropriate processor, and this single decision can make a BIG difference.
Depending on the CPU, the total FPS could range from 6 to 40 units, so it is critical to choose a model that won’t bottleneck the GPU.
For a top-tier GPU like the 1080 Ti, we need a powerful processor to future proof the whole build and squeeze every FPS out of it.
Assuming that, if you are willing to pay for a 4K-ready desktop computer, you have a substantial budget, my recommendation is to build a computer that would be easy to expand with an additional GTX 1080 Ti.
And of course, without having to replace the CPU or motherboard.
Following this approach, the best CPU I can think of is one of the latest Intel Coffee Lake’s: the i7-8600K, with 6 cores + 12 threads at 3.7 GHz and it can easily overclock to 4.0 GHz.
Now that we have settled the CPU and GPU we want to use, we can think about the remaining parts.
We will add a Coffee Lake compatible motherboard for our i7-8700K. We will also add 16GB of DDR4 RAM, a premium PSU and one of the coolest liquid systems to let the GTX 1080 Ti work at full load with no hassle.
The Best GTX 1080 Ti Gaming PC Build
MSI Z370-A Prolaunch
As of November 15, 2018
Case: Corsair Graphite 780T
The Corsair Graphite 780T is a wonderful Full tower with Premium features. Its rounded corners and the sleek design make of this case a unique model. Probably the best computer case for hardcore gamers seeking multi-GPU configurations and high-end water-cooling solutions.
It supports dual 360mm radiators for hardcore water cooling systems as well as full size graphic cards.
Other interesting features are:
- Modular tool-free hard drive cages and side-mounted SSD bays
- Built in three-mode fan controller in the front-panel
- Latched side panels for easy access
- 2x 140mm LED fans + x1 140mm fan included
Motherboard: MSI Z370-A Pro
MSI Z370-A Prolaunch
The MSI Z370-A PRO is a perfect choice if you want an overclockable system (CPU, GPU, RAM), designed to fully utilize the latest Intel Coffee Lake processors, ready to deliver a world-class gaming experience.
It includes several fan headers with full control to allow you to cool your system any way you want.
The core features of this motherboard are:
- Supports 8th Generation Intel Core, Pentium, and Celeron Processors for Socket LGA 1151
- Supports DDR4 Memory, up to 4000+(OC) MHz
- DDR4 Boost: give your DDR4 memory a performance boost
- Turbo M.2: NVMe support, up to 32 Gb/s using PCI-Express Gen3 x4
- X-Boost: A Great tool to boost your USB & Storage performance
- Military Class 5, Guard-Pro: Latest evolution in high-quality components for best protection and efficiency
- Click BIOS 5: A super easy to use and friendly BIOS interface
MSI PRO Series motherboards are optimized for cryptocurrency mining like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and more.
These motherboards come with more PCI expansion slots, perfectly placed so you can install multiple graphics cards simultaneously with ease.
Optimized Power Design and special BIOS options ensure a rock solid system for long mining sessions to maximize efficiency and coin generation.
Processor: Intel Core i7-8700K
Editor's Rating: 4.6/5
The i7-8700K is a clear improvement over previous generations, with an impressive single core AND multi-core performance, beating the AMD’s octo-core Ryzen processors.
This beast is just the best CPU you can get to reach the highest gaming standards as well as high-end productivity tasks.
The only disadvantage is that if you are looking for upgrading your current rig, you will need to also upgrade your motherboard since it’s not compatible with the previous generation’s chipsets.
Overclocking Made Easy
Under heavy loads, the i7-8700K gets a little hotter and the power consumption bumps up a little as well, so you should make sure to pair this processor with a good quality CPU fan to let it work at its full potential.
Overclocking the CPU is pretty straightforward and it can reach the 5.1 GHz effortlessly without affecting its lifespan at all.
Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 1080 Ti GAMING OC
Engineered with the same highest-grade chokes and capacitors as those of Titan X, the graphics card delivers outstanding performance and longer system lifespan.
The WINDFORCE 3X cooling system features 3 unique blade fans, 5 composite copper heat pipes, heat-pipe direct touch and 3D active fan functionality, together delivering an effective heat dissipation capacity for higher performance at lower temperatures.
Thanks to the AORUS Graphics Engine software allows you to tune the clock speeds, voltage, fan performance, and power target in real-time according to your own gaming requirement.
You can also customize the RGB LED lighting effects and color options, so you can match the color scheme for your gaming rig.
RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V 16GB DDR4-3000 CL15
As for the RAM, it is always a good idea to choose modules of the same frequency and, preferably, in groups of two. That is if you want to install 16GB of RAM, instead of buying a single 16GB module, try to find a 2x 8GB pack.
In this case, we have a high-speed twin pack 8GB ram modules, which is the minimum required for game streaming and to handle the most demanding modern games.
In order to exploit the 3000 MHz you will need to use an appropriate motherboard that lets you overclock RAM modules, such as the Intel’s Z370 (Coffee Lake).
Coming in different capacities: 120GB, 240GB, 480GB, and 960GB, the SanDisk Ultra II is a pretty decent SSD offering remarkable speeds at an unbeatable price.
On paper, the drive gives a solid 550MB/s read speed and 500MB/s write speed. This is quite a big difference if we compare it to a standard HDD that could only deliver about 128MB/s read and write speed.
That’s why I always recommend an SSD as the main storage device to run the operating system. For raw storage (games primarily), you can make use of any standard HDD.
Power Supply: Corsair HX1000i
The power supply unit is a critical component when building a high-end gaming pc. Having a good PSU guarantees you that your computer won’t burn itself with no apparent reason. And believe me, this can happen to you if you don’t have an appropriate PSU.
The Corsair’s HX series ranges from 750 to 1000 Watts and are fully modular, digital units with an 80 Plus Platinum certification.
With the highest power output of the series and outstanding performance, the HX1000i appeals to enthusiasts that wish to power high-end performance and gaming computers but not triple or quad GPU monsters.
The HX1000i is a really quiet power supply, operating without activating its fan at under 300 Watts workloads, so you won’t notice the PSU’s noise at all, not even when it’s working at full load.
How did you find this build? Do you think it can be improved in any way? What would you change? Do you have questions about the chosen parts?Comment Below!