When it comes to building a top tier system in 2021, Nvidia’s RTX 3080 is still the way to go. While the higher end RTX 3090 and AMDs RX 6900XT will provide slightly higher performance figures, their insane MSRP price tags are simply not worth it for, well, pretty much everyone.*
*as ever there are odd exceptions, but the overall point stands
We’ve built this system inside of a really unique PC case from Antec, the Dark Cube. We’ll cover this case in more detail later on, but its a unique, Micro ATX chassis that has really impressed us!
CPU: Ryzen 5 5600X
The core of this build is of course the processor, and we picked up an AMD Ryzen 5 5600X. It is the best CPU on the market in our view – when you take in to account price, performance and availbity.
Budding content creators will want to jump up to a Ryzen 7 or Ryzen 9 (which you can do no problem in this build, with the other part choices!) AMD have nailed it with the 5600X for gaming, though – truly beating Intel out once and for all with a great gaming all-rounder.
truly beating Intel out once and for all with a great gaming all-rounder.
GPU: ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 3080
As alluded to in the introduction of this article, the graphics card choice for this build was a simple one – the RTX 3080 from Nvidia.
With different cooler options on offer, from board partners like ASUS, MSI & Gigabyte you really are spoilt for choice. We like MSI’s Suprim X card, which we reviewed here, but it is simply too large for this case.
The ASUS STRIX is a superb second choice, as their own range-topping 3080 design. The cooler looks awesome and performance is solid, to boot!
RAM: Corsair Dominator Platinum SE 32GB
When it comes to RAM for a high end system, 16GB is simply not enough anymore. 32GB makes sure we avoid any bottlenecking with our CPU or GPU – something which would restrict our gaming performance, should the memory become full.
Corsair’s Dominator Platinum SE looks good, but is on the higher end price wise. Either way, we love it – super bright Capellix RGBs, a sleek white design and some great reviews!
SSD/Storage: ADATA XPG S20G RGB 1TB
Storage in today’s build is provided by 1TB of ADATA NVMe chips. The XPG S20G is their updated RGB M.2 drive and we think it looks awesome.
The addressable RGBs can be controlled in software, too, which is awesome. A silver heat spreader, black PCB and great price point make it a big win all around.
The XPG S20G is their updated RGB M.2 drive and we think it looks awesome.
Keep scrolling for the rest of the components, but remember: we’ve uploaded a video version of this build below!
Motherboard: MSI B550M Mortar
For a Ryzen-based build in 2021, picking a motherboard is pretty simple! You want to go for a B550 motherboard, which will give you support for CPU & RAM overclocking and Gen4 NVMe SSD support.
It’s also more affordable than the dated and (in theory) higher end X570 chipset, which by now is a little long in the tooth.
Case: Antec Dark Cube
For the case choice in today’s build, Antec have shown up in a big way with the ‘wow factor!’ The Dark Cube is a case like no other we’ve ever built in. It’s relatively long and not that small for a Micro ATX chassis. But it does have a unique interior layout, decent airflow and solid cooler and graphics card support.
It won’t be for everyone, but we love it!
It won’t be for everyone, but we love it!
PSU: Antec Earthwatts Gold 750W
Antec don’t just make some great cases, but some good power supply options too! For this build, 750W is the perfect amount which is where the Earthwatts Gold comes in. Lovely stuff.
Case Fans: Antec Prizm Fans
As if this build didn’t already have enough RGB, a boost of colour is provided by Antec’s Prizm fans. They actually do a kit that also includes some RGB strips, which a nice a value add!
They’re all the standard 3 pin, universal standard, and a controller comes included in the box as well. Nice one!
Performance & Benchmarking
With the system built up, booted up and ready to go it’s time to run some performance figures. The RTX 3080 shows up in a big way at 1440p and 4K, and proves its gaming grunt nicely.
Support for DLSS is a nice plus, we’re big fans of Nvidia’s AI-backed resolution scaler. The inclusion of Ray Tracing support is also an added bonus, and the 3080 really has enough power to leverage the tech. These are two areas where AMD still lag behind in the GPU world. They won’t be deal breakers for some people, but they are most definitely worth considering.
Games tested include: Apex Legends, COD Cold War, COD Warzone, Control, CS:GO, Cyberpunk 2077, Death Stranding, Fortnite, GTA V, Rainbow Six Siege, Valorant, Watch Dogs: Legion & Overwatch!
|GTA V||114 FPS|
|Apex Legends||135 FPS|
|Doom Eternal||154 FPS|
|Rainbow Six Siege||218 FPS|
|Watch Dogs Legion||90 FPS|
|COD Black Ops Cold War||79 FPS|
|Cyberpunk 2077||58 FPS|
|Death Stranding||67 FPS|
|COD Warzone||93 FPS|
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Performance aside, one super important factor with any build is how it looks …right?! This build is a bit of a stunner if I do say so myself, and below is a gallery of some of the awesome stills we pulled from this system – take a look!