Building a PC with the i9-7900X and i7-7820X

i9 7900X and i7 7820X

The Intel i9-7900X and i7-7820X were recently released and added to the Extremist and Monstrous tiers here on Logical Increments. To get the most out of these high-performing CPUs, I put together two powerful PC builds.

Dude, Where’s My PCIe Lanes?

If you’re an avid consumer of technology news and releases, you’ll know that both before and after Computex earlier this year there has been a lot of talk about the X299 platform. These two CPUs are part of the top-end tier of new chips, labeled Extreme Performance by Intel. For the most part, they both come with the full chipset capabilities. However, the two CPUs do differ on a few important points, which I will go into in each build.

Although they are both labeled as “Extreme Performance,” I have created the builds to have very different purposes, one more around 4K and VR gaming (the i7-7820X build) and the other as a dominating workstation PC (the i9-7900X build). But make no mistake: These are both very high-end builds, and not builds designed for the average PC builder. So, let’s get to it!


The 7820X 4K/VR Gaming Build ($2,480)

Although the tagline on this CPU’s box says “For a great VR experience,” the i7-7820X is equally suitable for a great 4K gaming experience.

CPU: Intel i7 7820X ($600)

  • Cores / Threads: 8/16
  • Base Clock: 3.6GHz
  • 2.0 Boost Clock: 4.3GHz
  • 3.0 Boost Clock: 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 11MB
  • PCI Express 3.0 lanes: 28
  • RAM Support: Four channels DDR4-2666
  • TDP: 140 watts

Before we get into the build, I do want to talk about power consumption and overclocking. Although this is a fully unlocked CPU, there has been talk of massive power consumption if you want to go any higher than the 3.0 frequency of 4.5GHz. So, if you are going to go this route, please be aware that this is a new platform and there will probably be issues. Don’t melt your brand new $600 CPU!

CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D15 ($90)

The NH-D15 is the best air cooling solution on the market.

GPU: GTX 1080 Ti ($760)

The 1080 Ti is the obvious choice for high-end 4K/VR gaming.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR4-2666MHz ($125)

This 2x 8GB kit from Corsair gives us enough RAM to work with while leaving us plenty of space to upgrade.

Motherboard: MSI Pro Series Intel X299 RAIDER ($228)

An all-around great build with a full feature set, leaving you plenty of upgrade opportunities for the future.

HDD: WD Blue 2TB ($68)

Standard hard drives provide a cheap, large storage solution for the build.

SSD: Samsung 960 EVO 500GB ($235)

One of the best SSD options for the money right now. Lightning fast speeds and a good storage size for the price.

PSU: SeaSonic Platinum SS-860XP2 860W ($140)

Wanting the freedom to leave overclocking as an option, we’ve opted for this platinum rated PSU from SeaSonic. One of the best rated PSU’s currently available on the market.

Case: NZXT Phantom 820 ($235)

Finishing off our build is the high performance Phantom 820 from NZXT. Although I’m a fan of the gunmetal finish, it also has white and black finishes available.

Total Cost: $2,480

This is a big build, yet with that cost comes a PC that would handle any game you throw at it, even in 4K at 60 FPS.

All told, there’s plenty of overclocking potential and upgrade options. There are piles of additional RAM space, as well as additional PCIe space if you find yourself wanting a second GTX 1080 Ti.


The i9 7900X Workstation Build ($4,215)

With so many cores available (10 cores with 20 threads), the i9-7900X seems a perfect choice as a hardcore workstation CPU. With this build we’re going to need lots of RAM, some top-end GPUs in SLI and a top-end SSD. So let’s get started by looking at what comes with the CPU.

CPU: Intel i9 7900X ($1,000)

  • Cores / Threads: 10/20
  • Base Clock: 3.3GHz
  • 2.0 Boost Clock: 4.3GHz
  • 3.0 Boost Clock: 4.5GHz
  • L3 Cache: 13.75MB
  • PCI Express 3.0 lanes: 44
  • RAM Support: Four channels DDR4-2666
  • TDP: 140 watts

Like the smaller 7820X above, I do want to make a note about overclocking and power consumption. Although this is a fully unlocked CPU, there has been talk of massive power consumption if you want to go any higher than the 3.0 frequency of 4.5GHz. So if you are going to go this route, please be aware this is a new platform and there will probably be issues. Don’t melt your brand new $1,000 CPU!

GPU: 2x GTX 1080 Ti ($1,520)

What’s better than one GTX 1080 Ti? To allow yourself maximum flexibility in your tasks, be that editing, streaming or design, having two GTX 1080 Ti’s in SLI is a great solution at this price point.

Alternative GPU: Titan Xp ($1500)

I mean, go big or go home, right? If you’d rather have a single GPU than two in SLI, then this is the solution for you.

RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 2666 ($260)

We’re taking advantage of the four channel memory support with this 4x 8GB kit from Corsair. More than enough RAM for significant multitasking.

Motherboard: GIGABYTE AORUS X299 AORUS ($280)

Because nothing says performance more than RGB. In all seriousness, this is a superb board bursting with features.

HDD: WD Blue 2TB ($68)

Standard hard drives provide a cheap, large storage solution for the build.

SSD: Samsung 960 PRO 1TB ($580)

When you absolutely must need super fast storage, the Samsung 960 Pro is the way to go.

PSU: Seasonic Snow 1050W ($230)

With having multiple GPU’s and wanting to leave the option open for overclocking, the Seasonic Snow is a great choice.

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Primo ($275)

For when you want a little bit of style with your performance build. A superb case with good cooling.

Total Cost: $4,215

Well, the cost certainly is monstrous. That being said, you get super high-end performance to go with it. This is an excellent workstation that will power through any task you throw at it.


Go Forth and Build!

As mentioned at the start of the article, there are extras that you might need to finish off these builds:

  1. A copy of Windows. If you are a student or work for a big business, you might be able to get a copy for free or at a significantly lower cost. If not, we recommend Windows 10 on DVD ($90) or USB ($120).
  2. An optical drive – critical if you are wanting to install Windows 10 via DVD. Good thing here is DVD-RW drives are cheap these days (here’s one for $21).

We also have general recommendations for:

If you want to see other builds with even higher performance, check out the main page at Logical Increments.

There you have it, two very high performing PC builds! One should give more than enough power to enjoy 4K gaming, while the other is an excellent workstation build.

If you have any questions or suggestions about these builds, then let us know in the comments.