Building a Gaming PC with the i7-11700K

Intel recently launched a new lineup of chips, and one of them was the i7-11700K, an 8 core/16 threaded powerhouse with a boost clock of 5 GHz. With such specifications, this processor runs any game smoothly. As a result of the high core count, it would also be fit for workstation purposes such as video rendering.

It does have a noticeably high TDP: 125 Watts! This already tells us the processor might get a little hot under high loads. Nevertheless, the performance is astounding and makes up (slightly) for the high TDP.

In this article, we’ll be building using the new i7 to build a PC for high-tier gaming. Let’s dig in:


The Build

CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition

This cooler is a classic (updated with a sleek black finish). It is one of the most popular aftermarket coolers of the past decade, and for a good reason: it delivers stellar performance for its price. If you would like a cool and silent system without spending more than you need to, this cooler is the way to go.

Motherboard: MSI Z590-A PRO

A nice motherboard with decent VRMs. It has Pcie 4.0 support too! One that’s worth mentioning: it allows 8+4 pin power for the CPU. This does not mean you need a power supply with 8+4, though, because the manufacturer states that you would only need the extra four pins if you plan to do some overclocking on a power-hungry CPU.

Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 3060

For the GPU, I went with the RTX 3060. Yes, it’s very frequently out-of-stock. And yes, in the brief moments when it is available, its price is inflated. But a gaming system needs a graphics card, and if you manage to use your patience and your luck to get one of these for a halfway reasonable price, it will still be a very good card.

Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200

Two RAM sticks from the popular Corsair Vengeance series. In contrast to Ryzen-series processors, Intel processors don’t scale very well with higher speeds, so I opted for 3.2 GHz instead of 3.6 GHz to save some money. Other 2×8 GB 3.2 GHz sticks from different brands such as G. Skill would be fine, too.

Storage 1: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2

As the main drive for the OS and key programs of the system, I went with a fast and reliable SSD from Samsung. You can get a 1 TB version if you want to, but for most people, 500 GB should be plenty for a boot drive that holds important software. This SSD uses M.2 and NVME, making it blazing fast for boot and load times.

Storage 2: Seagate Barracuda Compute 2 TB

For long-term mass storage, I went with a 2 TB drive from Seagate, a popular brand for HDDs. You can store photos, documents, videos, or infrequently used programs here. As with the previous item, downgrade or upgrade if you want. Just keep in mind that you are not getting that much bang for the buck with anything below 1TB for an HDD these days.

Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA GA 650 W 80+ Gold

A 650-Watt Gold-rated PSU here will ensure good power for all components, as well as leaving space for some future upgrades. It’s fully modular too, making cable management and building a breeze!

Case: Phanteks Eclipse P400A Digital

This case has a cool mesh front, nice tempered glass, and is an all-around-good case for finishing off a solid system. Cable management should not pose a problem with this case.



In closing, with a bit of luck and a chunk of change (about $1600 altogether), you can build a pretty cool system for gaming and more with the new i7-11700K.

Specfically, the system will be suitable for gaming, 3D rendering work, video editing, photo editing, and just about anything else you may want to do with it. For just one more example, with its pile of cores and threads, doing some live streaming while playing your favorite game in 4K (thanks to the RTX 3060) will be possible!

But what are your thoughts on this build? Would you make any different choices? And how do you think it stacks up against a similar Ryzen 7 PC for gaming?