Building a PC can be fun, but picking the right parts and spending just the right proportion of your budget on each part to maximize gaming performance is a tricky endeavor, even for veterans! With Intel’s 13th Generation Core CPU lineup, gamers now have access to a range of parts across several price points – allowing for more flexibility without the performance and platform compromises of shopping for last-gen parts.
This guide will present you with an Enthusiast, Value, and Budget Gaming build that you can use as a template to build your first gaming PC! Well, without further ado, let’s dive right in, shall we?
Best Gaming PC Build
The gaming PC that aims to be the best has no option but to use the best hardware on shelves right now. For this build, we’ll pair an Intel Core i9 13900K with an MSI GeForce RTX 4090 to create the ultimate gaming PC capable of handling even the most demanding games on the market today at even gorgeous 4K!
Processor (CPU): Intel Core i9 13900K
While Intel’s Core i9 parts have nearly always delivered top-tier performance in even the most demanding games, nothing comes close to what the Intel Core i9 13900K can do! With a whopping 24 cores (8 P-cores, 16 E-Cores) and 32 threads, it can breeze through even the most CPU-intensive tasks with its eye-watering 5.8 GHz turbo boost frequency.
The Core i9 13900K is an obvious choice when building a top-spec Intel-based gaming PC in 2023. Only something this fast can keep pace with the best GPUs on the market today – ensuring fewer bottlenecks in your brand-new gaming PC.
Motherboard: MEG Z790 ACE
MSI’s Z790 ACE would be the perfect platform for a top-tier Gaming PC thanks to its rich feature set and incredible construction. It uses premium server-grade materials, 2oz thickened copper traces, and an 8-layer PCB for uncompromising longevity, stability, and performance.
You’ll also find an aggressive 24+1+2 Duet Rail Power System (DRPS) with 105A Smart Power Stages to deliver stable power to even an overclocked Core i9 13900K. An intelligent thermal design cools these critical components using a combination of an Extended Heatsink and 7W/mK Thermal Pads – ensuring cool operation even during demanding tasks and gaming sessions.
Gamers will find ample high-speed storage expansion with a whopping 5 built-in M.2 slots featuring double-sided M.2 Shield Frozr heatsinks. The Lightning Gen 5 M.2 slot boasts incredible transfer speeds of up to 128 GB/s to leverage the full capabilities of PCIe 5.0 with the latest Gen 5 NVMe SSDs! A tool-free M.2 Shield Frozr heatsink allows you to install/upgrade high-speed storage without dealing with those tiny annoying screws.
With Wi-Fi 6E and Dual 2.5 Gigabit LAN ports on the MEG Z790 ACE, you can rest assured that you’ll get the most out of your gigabit+ internet connections on both wired and wireless.
In addition to bringing PCIe Gen 5 and DDR5 support for the best hardware today and tomorrow, the MEG Z790 ACE also offers a premium feature set at an attractive price. Since we’re going with a modern MSI motherboard (PCIe 4.0 and above) and an MSI GPU, you’ll also gain access to MSI’s FROZR AI Cooling feature. It automatically detects your CPU and graphics card temperatures to adjust the fan curve for optimal cooling. Pick between Silent, Performance, or Manual modes for more control!
Graphics Card (GPU): MSI GeForce RTX 4090
If you’re picking the best Intel CPU on the market, your GPU should be powerful enough to feed it. The GeForce RTX 4090 offers fantastic performance for professional tasks and the most demanding games with real-time ray tracing – often delivering well over double the performance of its last-gen counterparts.
In addition to terrific performance, the GeForce RTX 4090 also boasts 24GB of GDDR6X memory (VRAM) to handle even the most memory-intensive workloads and games without breaking a sweat. Whether rendering a heavy CG scene or playing the latest ray-traced games in gorgeous 4K, an RTX 4090 delivers a sublime experience like no other.
CPU Cooler: MEG CORELIQUID S360 AIO Liquid Cooler
With an advertised base and turbo power of 125W and 253W, respectively, taming Intel’s Core i9 13900K isn’t for anything second-tier in the cooling department. The more robust the cooling solution you pair with your processor, the faster it can run for longer stretches!
That’s precisely why we’ve brought out the big guns in our arsenal to handle the mighty Intel Core i9 13900K – the MEG CORELIQUID S360 AIO Liquid CPU Cooler. It features a hefty 360mm radiator with three powerful MEG Silent Gale P12 fans and a gorgeous waterblock with a 2.4” IPS display.
However, that’s not all. While many other mainstream liquid CPU coolers have a pump and waterblock, the MEG CORELIQUID S360 Liquid CPU Cooler takes it further. It houses a compact 60mm fan within the waterblock to facilitate airflow over components around the CPU socket like M.2 slots, VRMs, and memory for even better thermals and performance.
The MEG CORELIQUID S360 Liquid CPU Cooler was designed to be robust and long-lasting with superior construction and materials. You’ll find three layers of netted plastic and a reinforced mesh exterior on the tubing to prevent evaporation from the loop.
Power Supply (PSU): MEG Ai1300P PCIE5 Power Supply
The MEG Ai1300P PCIE5 power supply adopts all the newest standards to handle next-gen hardware with zero hassle. In addition to its impressive 80-PLUS Platinum rating and 1300W power delivery, it is also fully ATX 3.0 and PCIe 5.0 compliant.
For you, this means superior stability and support for top-tier graphics cards with a single native 16-pin power connector rated to deliver up to 600W!
Not only is the MEG Ai1300P PCIE5 PSU ready for the hardware of today and tomorrow, but it’s also built with the most premium materials and components possible. Every connector terminal is crafted using alloy copper, allowing for better stability during surges. It uses only top-notch Japanese capacitors for unwavering quality and performance, even under high loads.
Its Gaming Intelligence features add another dimension to improving your gaming experience with software sync, real-time monitoring, and an intelligent Zero-RPM fan mode. It’ll make the perfect pair to power your Intel Core i9 13900K and GeForce RTX 4090 gaming rig!
PC Case: MEG PROSPECT 700R PC Case
While the MSI GeForce RTX 4090 lineup offers incredible performance and excellent thermals, it does need quite a bit of space to fit comfortably. The MEG PROSPECT 700R PC case was designed for top-tier hardware that needs to breathe and can easily accommodate even the heftiest MSI GeForce RTX 4090 on the market!
You can install up to an E-ATX motherboard, two 360mm radiators, and three 140mm case fans to meet even the most demanding CPU and GPU cooling needs. It also features a crisp 4.3” touch panel that can display a broad range of system information or custom graphics to bring a more personal touch to your gaming nook.
The Bang-for-Buck Gaming PC Build
While the best Gaming PC focuses on getting the best performance from the best parts on the market, the bang-for-buck Gaming PC needs to extract the most performance from more value-focused parts.
For this build, we’ll go with an Intel Core i7 13700K CPU due to the incredible performance it offers at its price point. We’ll also pick up an MSI GeForce RTX 4080 because it offers a lower entry point to next-gen graphics.
Processor (CPU): Intel Core i7 13700K
While Intel’s Core i9 13900K will sate the most extreme performance junkies, those looking for better value should consider the Intel Core i7 13700K instead. It features 16 cores (8 P-Cores, 8 E-Cores) and 24 threads – making it a powerhouse for both gaming and professional workloads.
The Intel Core i7 13700K offers a great value between extreme CPU performance and budget options that won’t work. Not only does this make it a good choice for this build, but it’s also an excellent CPU pick for any Gaming PC.
CPU Cooler: MEG CORELIQUID S280
Although the Core i7 13700K might ‘only’ boast a turbo power of 253W, optimal cooling is the only way to unleash its full potential. While you could opt for a full-blown 360mm Liquid AIO, MSI has a unique offering that might just do the trick – the MEG CORELIQUID S280 280mm AIO Liquid Cooler.
It features dual 140mm MEG Silent Gale P14 fans to quickly push heat out of the radiator for excellent thermals even during the most demanding workloads. You’ll also find a gorgeous 2.4” IPS display on the water block that can display critical system information like system temperatures and fan speeds.
Motherboard: MPG Z790 CARBON WIFI
While the MEG Z790 ACE offers enthusiast features, it won’t make too much sense if you want to build a value-focused Gaming PC. The MPG Z790 CARBON WIFI, on the other hand, fits the bill perfectly!
It features a robust 19+1+1 Phase VRM with 105A Smart Power Stages to deliver clean, stable power to the Intel Core i7 13700K without breaking a sweat. In fact, it is built to accommodate even the Core i9, if you decide to upgrade in the future.
Gamers can enjoy plenty of high-speed storage expansion with the MPG Z790 CARBON WIFI’s whopping 5 onboard M.2 slots! One of the slots also boasts PCIe 5.0 speeds, which allows you to add blazing-fast 128 GB/s storage to your PC when you want. An M.2 Shield Frozr heatsink boasts a fully tool-free design that eliminates the need for screws and screwdrivers when upgrading or installing your storage.
The MPG Z790 CARBON WIFI won’t compromise on wired or wireless networking either – offering Wi-Fi 6E and 2.5G LAN. You’ll also find 10 USB ports on the rear I/O (2x USB Type-C) that will satisfy all but the most extreme peripheral needs for gamers.
Graphics Card: MSI GeForce RTX 4080
Since gamers only have access to three RTX 40-series graphics cards from Nvidia’s Ada Lovelace generation (as of Q1 2023), it makes sense to pick an MSI GeForce RTX 4080 for this build. It can handle even the most demanding games at the highest resolutions thanks to its 9728 CUDA cores and a boost clock of up to 2.51 GHz and 16 GB GDDR6X memory.
Although you sacrifice some performance compared to the monstrous GeForce RTX 4090, you also cut down on spending.
You’ll enjoy access to Nvidia’s latest and greatest, like next-gen Ray Tracing cores and DLSS 3.0, for a fluid gaming experience that doesn’t compromise on the incredible visual fidelity that we all know and love in the latest games.
PSU: MPG A1000G PCIE5 80-PLUS GOLD Power Supply
While combining a GeForce RTX 4090 and Intel’s Core i9 13900K requires serious juice that warrants a 1300W power supply, the more modest Core i7 13700K and GeForce RTX 4080 pairing doesn’t. Nonetheless, springing for a quality 1000W power supply like the MPG A1000G PCIE5 80-PLUS GOLD PSU is bound to make future upgrading a breeze.
Like its more powerful sibling, the MPG A1000G PCIE5 is designed with top-notch quality in mind. In fact, it only uses Japanese 105°C capacitors for an incredibly long life, even under tremendous load. Of course, it’s not just talk; we back it with a robust 10-year warranty for your peace of mind!
The MPG A1000G PCIE5 power supply comes ready to handle next-gen hardware with a native 12VHPWR connector for Nvidia’s RTX 40-series graphics cards (and any future products that use this connector). It is also ATX 3.0 compliant to ensure it can meet standards like effectively handling up to a 2x total system power spike (momentary surges of power or transient loads) and 3x GPU power spikes for unmatched stability.
The Budget (Sort of) Gaming PC Build
It’s important to allocate your resources effectively when working with a relatively lighter budget. Since gaming is the primary workload, the lion’s share should go towards your graphics card and ensuring a robust platform to accommodate future upgrades.
We’ll use an Intel Core i5 13600K and an MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Ti to maximize gaming performance within a relatively tighter budget. If you want to cut costs, you could drop down to a B760 motherboard instead of the MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI we picked for this build.
Processor (CPU): Intel Core i5 13600K
Intel’s Core i5 13600K took the market by storm when it arrived due to the incredible value it offered! This 14-core, 20-thread chip can go toe-to-toe with its more powerful Core i9 sibling in many games and is one of the best value CPUs you can buy for a gaming setup in 2023.
It only makes sense that one of the most bang-for-buck CPUs is our processor of choice for the Bang-for-Buck Gaming PC, right?
Motherboard: MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI
MSI’s TOMAHAWK lineup has become synonymous with unmatched value for money, and the MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI is no exception! Its understated all-black design gives it a gorgeous yet serious “I-mean-business” look.
The MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI can easily handle the impressive Core i5 13600K without breaking a sweat to get you all the gaming performance you need. It boasts an Enhanced Power Design with a 16+1+1 Duet Rail Power System and 90A Smart Power Stages to extract the best from even the most demanding 13th Gen Intel CPUs on the market if you spring for an upgrade down the line.
It uses the very best materials and superior construction – making it ideal for those who want a reliable platform for their gaming PC. The MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI uses a 6-layer server-grade PCB with 2oz copper traces for added stability.
The MAG Z790 TOMAHAWK WIFI also boasts 4 high-speed PCIe 4.0 M.2 slots to grant you plenty of high-speed storage expansion to store all your games without needing to pick and choose. You’ll also find a generous 10 USB ports on the rear I/O to meet even the most demanding peripheral needs.
CPU Cooler: MAG CORELIQUID C360 AIO Liquid Cooler
Since we’re trying to extract the most out of your hardware, it’s essential to have sufficient cooling. The MAG CORELIQUID C360 AIO Liquid Cooler boasts a 360mm radiator that can easily tame even the most demanding CPUs. It can easily extract the most from your Intel Core i5 13600K without holding it back.
It features a large-surface ARGB waterblock – making it ideal for gamers who want to add some personality to their build with gorgeous lighting and effects. The 360mm radiator also comes equipped with 3 ARGB fans that you can personalize to your liking.
Graphics Card: MSI GeForce RTX 4070 Ti
The Nvidia RTX 4070 Ti GPU delivers incredible graphics performance in games with features like DLSS 3.0 and next-gen Ray Tracing cores. MSI’s RTX 4070 Ti lineup has many options to pick from – from relatively simple thermal designs to high-performance silent ones. It’ll allow gamers to enjoy fluid gaming sessions when paired with a 13th Gen Intel CPU like the Core i5 13600K.
If you want access to brand-new tech like DLSS 3.0 and blazing-fast ray tracing performance, the GeForce RTX 4070 Ti offers a somewhat reasonable entry point to next-gen graphics. Spending more on your GPU while ensuring balanced allocation for other hardware parts is critical to enjoying top-tier gaming at relatively affordable price points.
PSU: MPG A850G PCIE5 80-PLUS GOLD Power Supply
Compromising on power delivery might seem tempting, but it’s a bad idea to cut corners here. When running relatively pricey components, picking a quality PSU to power them seems like a no-brainer.
MSI’s MPG A850G PCIE5 80-PLUS GOLD power supply is designed with top-notch quality in mind. In fact, it only uses Japanese 105°C capacitors for an incredibly long life, even under tremendous load. Of course, it’s not just talk; we back it with a robust 10-year warranty for your peace of mind!
The MPG A850G PCIE5 power supply comes ready to handle next-gen hardware with a native 12VHPWR connector for Nvidia’s RTX 40-series graphics cards (and any future products that use this connector). It is also ATX 3.0 compliant to ensure it can meet standards like effectively handling up to a 2x total system power spike (momentary surges of power or transient loads) and 3x GPU power spikes for unmatched stability.
Thanks to a combination of ATX 3.0 compliance and quality components, the MPG A850G PCIE5 PSU is the perfect choice to meet or exceed the demands of upcoming PC hardware products for the foreseeable future.
PC Case: MAG VAMPIRIC 300R
If you prefer a more straightforward design for your PC, you could also consider the MAG VAMPIRIC 300R PC Case. It’s a gorgeous mid-tower case with a brushed metal front and a tempered glass side panel that allows you to showcase your handiwork to all.
Even at its relatively compact size, the MAG VAMPIRIC 300R doesn’t cut corners when it comes to thermals. You can mount up to 360mm radiators on the top and in the front for ideal temperatures even when running the most demanding workloads. The MAG VAMPIRIC 300R also boasts the space needed for the largest GPUs available in early 2023 and includes a sturdy GPU support bracket to protect your precious hardware!
The top of the case features incredible front-panel connectivity options with audio, high-speed USB type-C, and USB type-A. We’ve also included a light loop button, in addition to the usual power and reset buttons, so you can control the lighting in your build with just the press of a button.