What is the PC Perspective HW Leaderboard?
Updated Jan 15th, 2019:
Yes folks, it has been a long hiatus but it is finally time to update the Hardware Leaderboard again. We are starting to see new products which offer a reason to upgrade, as opposed to small iterative increases that offer only small performance improvements compared to the last generation or two. The PCPer Hardware Leaderboard forum has been active the whole time, with a wide variety of suggestions, so make sure to visit if you are looking for daily updates.
Intel seems to have overcome their supply challenges for the nonce, which means the i9-9900K gets to sit at the top of the Hardware Leaderboard. Along with the new chip comes MSI's GODLIKE Z390 board which has everything up to and including a sink! The RTX 2080 Ti is now readily available for more or less the price it should be selling at, so it now appears on the Leaderboard; though if you are nervous you can always opt for a pair of 1080 Ti's For storage, Western Digital's next generation Black NVMe SSDs give even Optane a challenge in speed. 32GB of DDR-3200 will satisfy even the most memory hungry applications, you can probably even leave a second tab open in Chrome for a while!
Ryzen 2 has arrived and while more of an iterative leap in performance than a huge increase it is enough to challenge Intel's processors on performance and beat them on price. ASUS's ROG Strix X470-F Gaming eliminates some of the limitations of the X370 chipset while remaining very affordable. The RTX 2080 is now in stock and occaisonally on sale, so it displaces the long lasting GTX 1080. G.SKILL might not be your first brand of RAM to grab but the TridentZ RGB Series 16GB DDR4-3200 has been tested and proven compatible with this setup, though there are other choices to consider. Western Digital's new 500GB PCIe NVME Black SSD shows up in most of these builds as the price and performance can't be beat ... unless someone was to review a certain BPX Pro model. As for the soundcard; at this point if you are enough of an audiophile to need one, you already know how much you will need to pay!
AMD's new chips show up in the Mid-Range as well, the Ryzen 5 2600 is an impressive beast as is the overclocked PNY GTX 1060 6GB XLR8. MSI's B450-A PRO offers you connectivity for all the current peripherals on the market and Corsair's Vengeance LPX 8GB DDR4-3200 will provide your Ryzen the bandwidth it desires without driving the price of your build too high.
The Budget Build will be used for more than just light gaming and that makes the four core Ryzen 3 2200G a wise choice for money conscious buyers as you can depend on the eight Vega CU's on the chip and skip the GPU entirely. If you need a discrete GPU immediately, try the RX from Powercolor. As for the motherboard, MSI's B450M PRO-M2 offers great performance out of the box with lots of room to grow. This build can't quite fit an NVMe SSD and remain under $500, unless you decided to choose that over a GPU, or drop the GPU altogether and get a solid workhorse for under $400!
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. For those of you looking at a Vive or Oculus, the systems mostly match those covered in Ryan's VR builds; check out your expected experience in his three guides.