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Can AMD Beat the ULTIMATE Intel Gaming PC?

We’ve built a lot of over-the-top PCs on this channel. Seven gamers, one CPU, the 16K gaming station, but all of those had something in common.


Nobody in their right mind would ever actually buy them. So today the goal is a little bit different. We’re building the absolute highest-end gaming PC that we would recommend. So it needs to be blazing fast but also stable. It needs to be, well, expensive, but also something that we could with a straight face says there’s a chance someone is gonna buy it. So we’re talking a pre-binned9900KS at 5.1 gigahertz from Silicon Lottery, we’re talking dual RTX 2080 TIs, and air cooling, because guys, it doesn’t make a difference. And this video is brought to you by GlassWire. Instantly see your current and past network activity, detect malware, and block badly behaving apps on your PC or android device with GlassWire. Use the offer code, Linus, to get25% off at the link below. (upbeat music) To help me in my quest to build the fastest gaming PC money can buy, I’ve enlisted Jake. – [Jake] Oh, oh, oh! – You got a little something on there, just go ahead, yeah, just rub that in. The challenge, though, is that due to BC guidelines, we have to stay at least two meters apart from each other. Here’s what we’re gonna do. You’re gonna take that end of our very long table and I’m gonna take this end.


You’re gonna focus on the case, I’m gonna put the motherboard and all the components on there, and then at the end, we’re just gonna (claps) you know? Really, wow. Wasn’t even me. – Hard drives, cables, I need– (Linus yells) Ah, those are– – Yeah but still!- Solid-state. – Let’s kick off with our CPU choice. Now obviously, AMD Ryzenthird-gen processors deliver a ton of value. But when it comes to absolute balls-to-the-wall gaming performance, thanks to their slight single-threaded performance edge, Intel still comes out ahead in the majority of games. Now with that said, as games start to take advantage of more processing threads, that could change, and something like a 3900Xor a 3950X with four or eight more cores than this one respectively could beat it. Maybe we’ll try out some Aphex Legends when we’re done building up the machine, but for now, the king of the roost is still the 9900KS. And this one is a little bit special. So we got this pre-binned to 5.1 gigahertz at stock voltage, pretty much, right? – [Jake] I think it’s like 1.25. – A little bit boosted from Silicon Lottery. Now we would’ve bought the 5.2 gigahertz one, for what is it, like $900? – [Jake] It’s like 1,100. – But they were out of those, thankfully for my wallet, because they did not just provide this to us, which is great. Thanks for buying CPUs on the company dime, Jake, love it. – [Jake] Well, they gave us a discount, all right? – It’s only got eight cores and 16 threads, compared to a top-entry en with up to 16 cores and 32 threads, especially for the price we paid, but in most games, that shouldn’t make that much of a difference. We will fire up some ApexLegends though, just to see. – Now obviously case the choice is a little subjective, based on, you know, what style you’re going for or how many fans you want or what radiators you got, but for us, we were basically just looking something with the most airflow possible, ’cause we’re gonna have a lot of hardware in there. That’s two 2080 TIs, 500watts, and that CPU overclocked is probably 250, maybe, so something like this, the PC-O11 from Lian Li, with nine fans. We’re gonna completely load it up with Noctuas, here we are. Should be plenty of airflow for our setup. – For the motherboard, we’re using the Maximus 11 Hero from Asus. We could have probably gone with the Code, with its cooler-looking aesthetic and better rear IO, but there’s no VRM difference, so given that this is all about performance and most of the motherboard is gonna be covered by, well, all the money we spent on performance with these graphics cards, there was no purpose to it. Now their top-end board, the Formula, has like, water-cooled VRMs and all that good stuff, but again, no real difference in performance, and we’re air-cooling anyway, so. As always the process lifts the arm, align the little golden triangle with the little dot on the motherboard or the little triangle on the cover, insert the CPU, but down the hold-down and lower the arm, this’ll pop off, hold on to this in case you retire your motherboard in the future. – If we were truly trying to be an unlimited budget with no bounds, we coulda gone with the 1600-watt, but we wanted obviously to be a little bit more sensible, so this is the thousand-wattPrime Titanium unit from Seasonic, they make awesome power supplies, totally not sponsored, we just love their stuff. – Because we’re not using subzero cooling and extreme overclocking or anything crazy like that, the only way we can squeeze more performance out of our system is by getting faster components in the first place, so we’ve gone with some 3600 megahertz CL14 sticks ofTrident Z Neo from G.Skill.


These are a combination of high speed and extremely low latency, and we’ve got 32 gigs of it, which I’m not expecting to be a bottleneck for gaming anytime for at least the next couple of years. As for why we went RGB, honestly, we wouldn’t have spent more on it, but unlike the old days, when you used to compromise some of your speed to have RGB lighting, nowadays the high-end stuff is just a lot of the time RGB. I don’t make the rules, okay? – One of the objectives we set for ourselves when planning this project is that it needed to be off-the-shelf stuff, something you could just pick up and buy or add to your shopping cart and build in a couple of days, so we went with CableMod’s Pearl Cable Kits in their carbon color, which should match our Asus board well. – That’s gonna look awesome. One area we did go a little over the top was our SSDs. We’re gonna run two Samsung 970 PROs in RAID 0, but I don’t even mind this, because compared to their 970 EVO, it uses MLC flash, so we should get extra longevity out of it, and quite honestly, the choice to go with two in RAID 0 was more just about having two terabytes of capacity and less about trying to get more performance by RAID 0ing SSDs. Honestly, it makes very little difference once you go to an SSD as we demonstrated in this video right here. – [Jake] Oh no, there’s a dent in this hard drive now. – [Linus] You gotta be kidding me. – [Jake] Just a little one. (Linus laughs) – When we’re working on a showcase build, more often than not we will use a water cooler, even if it’s an AIO water cooler, just because the amount of, whoa, hey, ho there. The amount of extra space they leave around the socket and the aesthetics of the tubes and the LED fans and all that cool stuff look great, but the cold hard truth is they don’t actually perform any better than a high-quality air cooler like this Noctua NHD15, and now that Noctua has a black version of it, (exhales) water coolers don’t even look that much better. Jaku, where’s the exhaust on this case? – Um.- Top or back? – Bottom.- Bottom, you’re going bottom exhaust, so you want me to have the fan going down? I mean I can. – [Jake] Can you? – No.- Okay, well, yeah. – The options are back and forward. – [Jake] There’s a hole here, but there’s not gonna be a fan. – Okay.- Just do it, whatever. There’s gonna be so much airflow in this case anyway, it’s not gonna matter. These are hard drives. These are gonna hold all the stuff we need. – [Linus] That’s why we chose them. – That’s why we chose them. You’re probably thinking, wow, 16 terabyte IronWolfs, those are overkill! And you’d be right. We just had two spaces in the back of this case, so we figured, let’s just use those extra drives Seagate sent us, and throw ’em in the back of the case to fill those slots.


Man, it’s kinda crazy to think that this is 32 terabytes of storage just in this little block right there. – I know, right? The first computer that I remember, our 386 or whatever it was, had a100 megabyte hard drive. And then we upgraded, we got a 600 megabyte one, and I would always have to move programs off the 100 one, ’cause my dolt family would install everything there, and I’d be like, no, we have to put everything over here! This looks stealth as F. All it needs now is GPUs. I’m wearing our GPU shirt, – I can’t imagine a situation where I’d be like, the product manager for Xmotherboard company and be like, you know what we need? Red SATA cables. This is what we’re gonna manufacture in bulk. – I just don’t understand why things are the colors that they are by default. Why aren’t they just black in the first place? – Yes! (laughs) – Why was red ever— Or these? These are worse. – Yeah, okay, you wouldn’t remember this. You were probably too young, but Gigabyte used to ship powder blue ones. – Ugh!- Yeah. It was pretty awful, and that was on their high-end stuff, back in the X58 days.- Oh, man. The best, though: DFI. UV yellow. – Oh wait, is this the Gigabyte one you’re talking about, these things? – No that’s Intel, those are sick, those are UV blue. Those look awesome. With a UV light, those things are awesome. Big PP? – Oh, they’re big PPs, they’re 3,000. – That is so unnecessary.- It’s amazing! – Here are your fans. – Oh my god, why? – Well I can’t hand them to you, can I? – Well yeah, I guess you’re right. They’re Noctua fans, so I could probably throw this at a wall multiple times and it would be fine. – You could probably throw it on a TV and the TV would break, not the fan. These are gonna be real close together, is this the right NVLink bridge? – [Jake] Yep, yeah they’re gonna be tight. – (groans) So what I’m gonna do to make my life a little bit easier is plug the eight-pin connector is now. You can’t tell, but this is my life being easier. That is such an annoying ringtone, only because it’s the one that I used to use though. That has woken me up at like four in the morning for a flight so many times in my life. – Oh my God, it doesn’t fit. – What doesn’t fit? – Oh my God. – Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me. – (laughs) What, are you kidding me? Oh no! (laughs) Oh no, that’s so bad. Let’s just switch to an AIO, I guess? – I look pretty good, you’re not even paying attention. So we got the graphics cards plugged in, got an OS loaded up, and we’ll try this thing. Got a little update for you. After we completed the build, we found that with the PCI express slot spacing of that motherboard, there was no way for us to install our two triple-slot cards in such a way that the top one wasn’t going to suffocate, so we switched to the MSI Z390 GodLike. It’s got a bunch of great features including support for overclocked memory,18 phases of power, fancy onboard audio, and most importantly, a much better slot layout so that we can get one extra slot between them for some extra airflow. With the new spacing, our cards are clocking up as expected and everything is set up for the showdown. As it turns out, our 5.1gigahertz pre-binned CPU is $750, exactly the price of a Ryzen 9 3950X 16-core.


So Jake is over on the other side at the studio there, ’cause he doesn’t have a sore throat, and he has an identically configured AMD system that he’s going to drag race against ours, telling us once and for all if we picked the right gaming system, because when it comes to other things, 16 cores, definitely a lot more than eight. So we’re not gonna be looking at anything other than gaming here. For Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we’re running everything cranked at 4K with the only exceptions being that we’re not running RTX DLSS and we have turned off motion blur. We’re using TAA for anti-aliasing and we’re ready to go. I’m at like, 80 FPS in the opening move around Laura, oh up around 90. – Drum roll. (bangs table) – Average FPS 103. – Average FPS 97, ah! – I win by, ooh, 5%! All right, here we go boys. Three, two, one. All right, I’m at 500 and change. Benchmark’s done, my average is 381, what’s yours? – [Jake] Uh, 300.8. – That doesn’t tell the whole store though. So we’re gonna check our frame view numbers in Notepad++ here. – Render minimum, 13.5. – Oof, I’m at 25.7, double the frame rate in the smoke. 99% of my frames were over 99.5. – 99% of mine were over 85.4. – Okay, so that’s a significant win, that’s about a 20% uplift. – Oh my god, this is bright, the HDR, oh my God. – Like so many games, it doesn’t have any support at this time for multi GPUs, so we’ll be using just one of our RTX 2080 TIs. We’re running everything on ultra Nightmare with HDR at 4K. What difficulty level you want, Jake? – I’m Too Young to Die. (chuckles) – Ayy got ’em. All right, here we go boys. Let’s rip up some demon baddies, oh wow, I’m gonna die. – How are you gonna die? Oh oh man, oh man. I’m looking at about 86.6on my render average, and then render 99, one, two, three, four, 69.3. – So that’s a 10% advantage here, which surprises me because Vulcan tends to favor multi-threaded processors more. With that said, the 9900KSis still an eight-core, 16-thread processor, and there’s a limit. Finally, it’s time for Apex Legends. We’re running everything insane slash maxed out, we’re running TSAA and we have no FPS target, V-sync disabled. – Pick up a second weapon, oh yeah, pick up another weapon. I grabbed the Spitfire, it’s the second on the left. Then I’m gonna switch weapons. – Wow, when you max it out, this game’s kinda heavy, eh? I average 96.8. – 87 1/2, I thought I was gonna win this one. – 10% up, I mean I guess that’s what a pre-overclocked processor does for you, but all right. Well, it looks like we did okay. We wasted a little bit of money on a second graphics card, most of our games didn’t get any benefits from that, but other than that, looking pretty good. It seems like a pre-binned,pre-overclocked CPU from Intel is still able to edge out AMD’s 3950X, which is their fastest gaming CPU. With that said, the situation might change when AMD launches their fourth-gen Ryzen processors, which are rumored to be built on TSMC’s five-nanometer node. – I didn’t hear that actually, that’s insane. – Yeah, it’s gonna be interesting. Mission accomplished then.


Without spending extra money on things we don’t need, like 18-core processors, we built the unlimited budget gaming PC and it does perform better than something priced the same but that isn’t 100% focused on gaming. With that said, I’m not recommending that anyone run out and buy this exact configuration. Particularly the second graphics card is gonna benefit very few people and only in some games, but it was a lot of fun today okay, we’re laser-focused on nothing but maximum gaming performance and just build up something based on that. Speaking of having a lot of fun, it’s fun to segue to our sponsor: FreshBooks. FreshBooks is the all-in-one accounting solution that’s custom-built for how you wanna work. It’s designed to be simple and intuitive so you can spend less time on paperwork and more time running your business. You can automate tasks like invoicing, organizing expenses, tracking time, and following up, and the best part is that everything’s stored in the cloud so you can seamlessly switch between your PC and your mobile device. Pricing starts at just $15 a month, with their $25 a month package handling up to50 billable clients. Get 50% off your first three months of FreshBooks when you sign up for a paid plan at We’re gonna have that linked below. I hope you guys enjoyed watching this video. Hey, which one did we say we’re gonna throw people to? Ah, if you want to see something that’s not entirely focused on gaming performance, where we waste a lot of money, but still do get good gaming performance, check out the AMD Compensator. It’s a freakin’ crazy machine, you guys might enjoy it. Like there’s popular culture characters named Linus. – Like who?- Like Linus. – Like Linus Torvalds.-