The Ultimate 21:9 Ultrawide PC Build Guide

Now this is how we do it…

Support for Ultrawide resolutions has grown immensely in the past few years, and is now to a point where it is generally a viable choice for a majority of users — both for work and play. For workstations, 21:9 is much like having dual monitors, but without the bezel. In this guide we’ll be targeting three different price points and recommending a different monitor for each — all Ultrawide. All prices include the price of the monitor. Commence the 21:9 build guide!

 

Build 1 – Casual Gamer/Workstation (~$900)

This build is for those who just want to play casual games, such as Civilization V and Minecraft, both of which have a gold rating from the WideScreen Gaming Forum. This build would also work well as a workstation due to the adequate SSD and CPU, and to save some money you could even forgo the Graphics Card if work will be the sole use.

Part Name Price Comments
CPU Intel i3-7100 $120 While this CPU won’t be able to keep up with higher-end offerings, it will be plenty to hold its own in casual games and a casual workstation environment.
CPU Cooler Stock Cooler $0.00 Since this CPU is both low-power and not overclockable, the stock cooler will do just fine.
Motherboard MSI B250M PRO $66 For a workstation build, it’s useful to have spare SATA ports. This board also has 4 slots for ram, which may become useful in the future, all without breaking the bank.
RAM Avexir Core 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 $51 This RAM is nothing special, but 8GB is plenty for both casual gaming and work use. Consider upgrading to 16GB if you will be doing heavy multitasking.
GPU ASUS Strix RX 470 $170 At this price point, the RX 470 is a steal. If this machine will be used solely as a workstation, you could consider skipping this part to save money.
Storage (HDD/SSD) Crucial Bx200 250GB $69 An SSD will do wonders for keeping this PC fast. There’s even enough space to fit a few games on it.
Storage 2 (HDD/SSD) Seagate Barracuda 2TB $70 This HDD will fit tons of games or documents — perfect for this PC. Seagate are a reliable brand and are also well priced.
Case NZXT S340 Black $70 Cases are mostly a personal preference, but I went with the black NZXT S340. It’ll blend into any office environment while looking great as a gaming PC. At this price point, the S340 really is the ultimate case.
Power Supply EVGA 500 white $40 With an 80+ rating and from a reputable brand such as EVGA, this PSU will have no problems running this PC.

 

Monitor:

The monitor of choice.

And now for the monitor. For this build I’ll be going with the LG 25UM58-P. At $180, it’s a steal for an IPS 25” 21:9 75Hz monitor. At this size, 2560×1080 is still quite sharp unless you are sitting very close to the monitor.

 

Build 2 – Everyday Gamer/Prosumer (~$1400)

This build is for those who will be doing some high-end gaming, such as Battlefield 1 or Witcher 3, however still sticking with a 2560×1080 panel. This means that with just some simple upgrades from the Casual Gamer/Workstation build, this PC will be able to handle all of the latest games.

Part Name Price Comments
CPU Intel i5-7600k $243 This is a decent upgrade from the i3 in the previous build. With 4 overclockable cores, this CPU will eat up anything you throw at it.
CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo $35 Since this CPU can be overclocked, and produces a fair amount of heat at load, this CPU cooler will do great. At stock clocks it’ll keep the CPU frosty whilst being whisper quiet. There’s also room to overclock on it if desired.
Motherboard MSI Z270 Gaming PRO $166 With plenty of SATA ports, RAM slots and fan headers, this board is great. It can also overclock this CPU and looks great while doing so.
RAM G.Skill Ripjaws 4 3000MHz 16GB DDR4 $85 For this build, 16GB of ram will be beneficial. It’s also faster than the ram used in the previous build, which will help in certain workloads.
GPU GTX 1070 $380 This is the third upgraded part. The 1070 will absolutely crush any game at this resolution, all while being whisper silent. To save some money, consider dropping down to a GTX 1060 6GB or RX 480 8GB.
Storage (HDD/SSD) SK Hynix SL308 250GB $77 A small SSD will do wonders for keeping this PC fast. There’s even enough space to fit a few games on it. Consider a bump up to a larger 500gb model.
Storage 2 (HDD/SSD) 2TB HDD $59 This HDD will fit tons of games or documents — perfect for this PC.
Case NZXT S340 Black $70 Once again the case is personal preference, so I’ll stick with the S340. It’s an easy case to build in, has good airflow, and overall great looks.
Power Supply EVGA Supernova NEX 650W $80 With an 80+Gold rating and from a reputable brand such as EVGA, this PSU will have no problems running this PC. There’s also plenty of room for upgrades down the line.

 

Monitor:

For this build, you could stick with the same monitor as before, or upgrade to the LG 29UM68-P at $249, which offers a size increase to 29” if your budget allows. This PC will run games very smoothly when paired with the i5-7600k and GTX1070.

 

Build 3 – Extreme 21:9 Gaming (~$3000)

This build will be an all-out 3440×1440 Ultrawide gaming system with no expenses spared. It’ll crush any game you can throw at it without an issue. This build bares almost no resemblance to the previous two builds, and the monitor is completely different too. This build will have plenty of computing power and storage for even the most hardcore gamers amongst us.

Part Name Price Comments
CPU Intel i7-7700k $350 This is the fastest gaming CPU in Intel’s current lineup, and will be overclocked to squeeze out even more.
CPU Cooler Corsair H100i V2 $100 This CPU will almost certainly be overclocked, so we need a good cooler to handle all the extra heat. The Corsair H100i V2 will do this both efficiently and silently.
Motherboard Asus ROG Strix Z270E Gaming $200 This board is a great high-end gaming motherboard. It has reinforced PCIe slots, an M.2 port, and enough IO for years. Motherboard choice at this price range is really subjective on your aesthetic goals. It’s also RGB, so will match any color scheme.
RAM G.Skill Ripjaws 4 3000MHz 16GB DDR4 $85 For this build, 16GB of RAM is still plenty, and the 3000MHz speed will come in handy in certain workloads..Consider bumping up to 32GB if you will be doing moderate to heavy video editing or multitasking.
GPU MSI GTX1080 $590 This is the second best graphics card money can currently buy. The MSI is one of the best models.
Storage (HDD/SSD) Samsung 960 EVO 500GB M.2 NVMe $250 An SSD will help keep this PC speedy, and with plenty of space, it’ll last a very long time. Samsung are often regarded the industry leader in SSDs, and their 960 EVO is no exception. With up to 3200MB/s read speeds and running on the modern NVMe standard, it’s one of the fastest SSDs one can buy today.
Storage 2 (HDD/SSD) Seagate Barracuda 3TB $90 3TB will fit all the games nearly anyone could ever want at one time.
Case NZXT S340 Black $90 Once again, the case is personal preference, so I’ll stick with the S340, but this time the elite version. The elite has a tempered glass side panel, and a tad better airflow. It’s an easy case to build in, has good airflow, and overall great looks.
Power Supply EVGA Supernova 750G2 $100 One of the best PSUs on the market right now. 80+ gold rating means it is efficient and high quality, and 750W is plenty even to add another GTX 1080 down the line if you feel like it. It’s also fully modular so there won’t be any issues with cable management.

 

Monitor:

Battle of the beasts.

Now for the monitors… It’s really a tie between the Asus ROG Swift PG348Q (Left, and the Acer Predator X34 (Right) — both 3440×1440, 100Hz, Curved IPS 34″. Both monitors are brilliant choices, and it really boils down to your choice. Both are 100Hz G-Sync IPS panels, so just choose whatever you like more. The Acer has a slightly lower curve radius meaning it’s more curved, but once again that’s a personal choice.

That concludes the guide. No matter what price point you’ve chosen, I personally believe you’ll appreciate gaming with the benefits of 21:9. Enjoy!