What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?
Updated October 24th, 2014:
Along with the PCPer HWLB its self, you can also head to the PCPer Hardware Leaderboard forum! This forum is where you can discuss my selections and offer your own suggestions. It is also the place for you to talk about the new system build you are working on even if it's NOT based on anything here.
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Haswell-E has finally arrived to power our Dream System with the most powerful silicon on the planet, the i7-5960X. Of course that means the motherboard has to be swapped out which is why the ASUS X99-Deluxe with WiFi, BlueTooth, Thunderbolt, SEx and M.2 connectors as well as much more was chosen as the base of the system. The other big change is DDR-4, with the initial price so high and availability so low it is G.SKILL's 16GB DDR4-2400 which appears on the Leaderboard. Old favourites like the 1TB Samsung 850 Pro are still include, though if you can afford it the the RevoDrive 350 960GB PCIe SSD is faster and you will have the PCIe lanes to support it. While the new GTX 980 is a great card, the amazing $300 price tag on XFX's Double Dissipation R9 290X is just too attractive to pass up right now, pick up two for roughly the same price of an overclocked GTX 980. Corsair AX1200 PSU's seem to have disappeared but that just gives a chance for the XFX ProSeries 1250W Modular PSU to show off its capabilities.
The alternative Dream System is on hold until another Dual LGA2011 board becomes available.
The new High End system has been updated with Devils Canyon, the faster i7-4790K is paired with the inexpensive MSI Z97-Gaming 7 with an M.2 slot and and impressive array of features. The storage subsystem is upgrade to 3D with the introduction of the Samsung 850 SSD. The High End system has the same card as the Dream, the XFX DoubleD R9 290X is a steal right now! At this point a discreet soundcard is a personal choice but if you are so inclined the ASUS Xonar DSX 7.1 can be purchased, otherwise knock $57 off the price.
Our Mid-Range System has moved to Haswell, with the unlocked i5-4670K on MSI's Z97M-G43 which is both versatile and inexpensive. The MSI Gaming N760 TF OC GeForce GTX 760 will give better performance than less expensive MSI 7950 which is also a great choice. The Samsung 840 EVO is a great price for a 250GB model. This month your 8GB of DDR3-1600 comes from G.SKILL thanks to both tight timings and a great price. Corsair's solid Builder Series 500W PSU is on special and should support the new Haswell sleep states perfectly.
AMD has just release Kaveri and the new A10-7700K is the least expensive model available right now. Skipping the graphics card altogether makes even more sense than with Richland but if you want to try Hybrid Crossfire then you are looking at an R7-240 or R7-250. The new processor supports PCIe 3.0 which makes the Gigabyte GA-F2A88X-D3H a great choice as it offers both a good price and impressive versatility. 4GB of 1866MHz RAM from G.SKILL and a Builder Series PSU on special at $31 after MIR are both great for this system.
Once you have all your components you can always reference Ryan's videos covering the installation of the parts into the case as well as installing your OS and Steam so you can get right to gaming and surfing.