/>
X

Build a $7,000 'sky's the limit' PC

Let's say you found $7,000 in loose change inside your old couch. What kind of PC could you build with all that money?
001-v4.jpg
1 of 10 BitFenix

Introduction

Let's say you threw out the old couch and before taking it to the dump you found $7,000 in loose change inside it, or maybe you've just got the money burning a hole in your pocket and fancy spending it on a PC.

Just what sort of PC can $7,000 buy? Let's find out! One thing I can assure you, while your wallet might be down significantly, you're going to end up with one of the fastest PCs you can build.

All that's left to add to this build are peripherals — keyboard, mouse, and display — and an operating system. Everything here will work fine with Windows 8/8.1 and should be good to go with Windows 10 too.

Total price for this build is $6,913, based on the best pricing I could find. As always, shop around for the best deals.

See also:

002-v2.jpg
2 of 10 Intel

Processor

Starting out with the processor, I've gone for the king of silicon — the Intel Core i7-5960X Haswell-E, an 8-Core, 3.0GHz LGA 2011-v3 140W part that is currently the best available.

It features 20MB of L3 cache and 8 x 256KB of L2 cache. It's built using 22-nanometer technology and comes with a three-year warranty. There's also tons of overhead for overclocking, if that's your thing. You should be able to get this part up to 4.6GHz with ease (as long as you have the right cooling).

Bear in mind that for $1,000 you don't get a cooler so you need to add that to the list and budget for it.

Price: $1,049

003-v2.jpg
3 of 10 Asus

Motherboard

We're spending top dollar on a processor so it makes sense to spend good money on a motherboard to back that up. I've gone here for the Asus Rampage V Extreme LGA 2011-v3 X99 motherboard.

Not only does this support the processor — as well as allowing for overclocking if that's your thing — but it also gives me bags of SATA and USB 3.0 ports, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0.

The board also supports quad-GPU Nvidia 4-Way SLI and AMD 4-way/quad-GPU CrossFireX technology, allowing for plenty of graphics grunt.

Price: $498

008.jpg
4 of 10 EVGA

Graphics cards

Since the motherboard supports a lot of graphics power, and the budget is pretty much unlimited, I've gone for two EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN BLACK graphics cards.

These are factory overclocked (called "Superclocked"), feature 6GB or 384-Bit GDDR5 RAM, and are bristling with connectors.

You might expect these cards — especially two of them — to be noisy, but in fact they are whisper-quiet.

Price: 2 x $1,099 = $2,198

005-v1.jpg
5 of 10 GeIL

RAM

The motherboard supports up to 64GB, but I'm limiting this to 32GB because while I want to spend money, I don’t want to throw it away (and I'd be throwing away almost $1,000).

64GB is overkill, even for this build.

That's why I've chosen to go for 32GB (4 x 8GB) of GeIL 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3000 (PC4-24000). These are equipped with the Potenza heat-spreader for superior cooling efficiency.

Price: $885

006-v2.jpg
6 of 10 Samsung

Storage

With a high-end build there's only one way to go — the SSD way. And it's a good idea to fit two SSDs to spread the load.

I've gone for two 1TB Samsung 850 Pro Series 2.5-inch SATA III drives featuring 3D Vertical NAND.

The 3D V-NAND architecture stacks 32 cell layers on top of one another rather than trying to decrease the cells' length and width to fit today's shrinking form factors. The result is higher density and higher performance using a smaller footprint and a breakthrough in overcoming the density limits of conventional planar NAND architecture.

Price: 2 x $799 = $1,598

004-v2.jpg
7 of 10 Thermaltake

PSU

All this hardware is going to need a lot of power, and the Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200W power supply unit will provide this.

This PSU is 80 PLUS Gold certified and is quad-GPU ready, supporting both Nvidia SLI and AMD CrossFireX technologies, so it's perfect for this build.

Another useful feature is the FanDelayCool technology that continues to power the fan for a few seconds after shutdown in order to cool the components and improve reliability.

Price: $250

007-v2.jpg
8 of 10 Cooler Master

Cooler

That processor needs a cooler, and rather than rely on air-cooling I've chosen a Cooler Master Seidon 120M, an all-in-one liquid cooler featuring a 120mm radiator with integral fan.

I like this cooler because it is a sealed unit, which reduces the chance of leaks and means less mucking about with liquids around a PC.

Price: $75

009.jpg
9 of 10 LG

Optical drive

You need an optical drive, and why not splash out for the LG Black 16x Super MultiBlue, a drive that supports reading and writing to CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

All things considered, it's the cheapest part of this PC!

Price: $60

010.jpg
10 of 10 BitFenix

Case

Finally, a case. I'm always hesitant in choosing a case because it's a personal thing and tastes vary. Whatever you go for, make sure that you choose one that's capable of holding an Extended ATX (or E-ATX) motherboard and has enough space for all your goodies.

I've chosen the BitFenix Colossus Black because it ticks all the boxes (although the LEDs might get on my nerves after a while and I'd probably disable them after a few days).

Price: $300

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza
img-8825

Related Galleries

Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6: Electric vehicle extravaganza

26 Photos
A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex
img-9792-2

Related Galleries

A weekend with Google's Chrome OS Flex

22 Photos
Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup
shutterstock-1024665187.jpg

Related Galleries

Cybersecurity flaws, customer experiences, smartphone losses, and more: ZDNet's research roundup

8 Photos
Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'
Full of promises!

Related Galleries

Inside a fake $20 '16TB external M.2 SSD'

8 Photos
Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup
Asian woman working at a desk in front of a computer and calculator

Related Galleries

Hybrid working, touchscreen MacBook hopes, cybersecurity concerns, and more: ZDNet's tech research roundup

8 Photos
Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup
Person seated at a booth in a cafe looks at their phone and laptop.

Related Galleries

Developer trends, zero-day risks, 5G speeds, and more: Tech research roundup

10 Photos
Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida
ca3b4019-26c5-4ce0-a844-5aac39e2c34b.jpg

Related Galleries

Drive Electric Day: A dizzying array of EVs in sunny Florida

16 Photos