Question Help me build my PC? (some interesting questions)

Aug 9, 2023
Hi folks,

Thank you for your time and help.

As background, here's what I'm looking to do:
  1. Build a decent, quiet gaming desktop. I have a budget of ~$2,000. Here's my PCPartPicker link: I'm trying to optimize for "quiet" performance. (I've built my last two PCs, but my current PC is nine years old.)
  2. Easily switch my home office setup between supporting my work laptop and this new gaming desktop. I work and game from my home office. I have a desk with two screens. Currently, my work laptop is connected to a Dell D6000 dock on my desk. That dock connects my laptop to my two screens, wired internet, mouse, and headset. When I want to play games, I switch the USB-C connector from my laptop to my desktop (which sits under my desk). When I want to work, I switch the USB-C connector back to my laptop. Works easily and seamlessly right now.

Here's what I'd appreciate help with:
  • How should I set up my gaming desktop, laptop, and dock so I can easily switch between using my work laptop and my new gaming PC and preserve performance?
    • As I understand it, the D6000 dock shouldn't be utilized for gaming with a desktop because of how DisplayLink works and can harm performance (or the CPU). Relatedly, I think this dock is limited to 5 Gbps transfer rate.
    • So, one thought is that for each screen, I connect the screen to both the docking station and the desktop. And then I switch the input for each screen when shifting between my work laptop and gaming desktop (and continue to switch the USB-C for the docking station between the laptop and desktop). That way the signal is carried directly from the gaming desktop to each screen and I can continue to use the docking station for the mouse, keyboard, etc. But perhaps I'm missing something there.
    • Thoughts? Other suggestions on the easiest way to set this up while preserving performance?
  • What motherboard is suggested for this gaming desktop?
    • I don't have a good sense of what MB to use. I think I want to stay with Z790. But am getting swamped by the number of options.
    • I've been looking at the Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Master, ASRock Z790 Taichi, Asus ROG Strix Z790-E Gaming, and MSI MPG Z790 Carbon Wifi. All are $400-$500 range.
    • I think I like the MSI the most, but that MB doesn't include Thunderbolt (which I think I may need for my other issues.)
  • Any other thoughts or suggestions on this build?
Thank you so much for your time!
At the 2000 dollar level, I'd likely get a 13600K rather than 13600KF. Small price difference.

Has your research told you that some of the motherboard features you require are found ONLY on boards above the 400 dollar level?
Aug 9, 2023
Thanks! My understanding is the KF drops the integrated graphics, which isn't needed when I have the discrete GPU. Otherwise, performance is supposed to be identical and KF just cheaper.
That's correct.

But you might find that a secondary graphics capability might be worthwhile if your separate video card fails or is misbehaving. Otherwise, you would have no video capability. If you were on a very tight budget, maybe you don't spend the 20 or 30 bucks to get the K model. But looks like you have decent budget.

Personal choice, obviously.

No need for liquid cooling on a 13600, but you may have some fondness for liquid for some reason?

You can save 5 or 10 bucks on RAM by avoiding RGB, but you may be attached to it?

Nothing wrong with 990 Pro drive, but you are out a long ways on the diminishing returns curve at that price. Not a lot of difference among SSDs unless you have a peculiar use case.
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Aug 9, 2023
Good point re: secondary graphics capability. I'll think about that more.

Regarding the cooling, I plan to OC and want the cooler to be quiet. My understanding is this liquid cooler is good for OCs and is very quiet. But I didn't research many air coolers.
OC on a 13600K is of minimal value.....they are hopped up by default from the factory.

But maybe you insist for hobbyist/tinkerer reasons alone?

Liquid isn't going to be quieter than the quieter air coolers. Not to mention maintenance/longevity issues and the extra cost. You can do well on air for 60 to 90 dollars...Deepcool AK620 on up to Noctua D15. And one or two others I can't think of right now.

Only question would be if your case is wide enough for a good air cooler. Define 7 I think is plenty wide enough, so no issue on that.
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Aug 9, 2023
Thanks, Lafong. I appreciate you taking the time to help me with this. I'll give the points you raised further thought. I hope you have a great day!

I now need to figure out how to share my 2 monitors and peripherals (connected to a docking station) between my laptop and this new desktop . . .
Thanks! My understanding is the KF drops the integrated graphics, which isn't needed when I have the discrete GPU. Otherwise, performance is supposed to be identical and KF just cheaper.
True up to a point. If you ever have graphics issues, integrated graphics can keep you going.
As a plus, integrated graphics gets you quick sync which may or may not be useful.

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Spend the extra $25 for the non F version.

The rest of your parts are ok.
I would not buy an aio when a good air cooler like the Noctua NH-D15s can do the job.
NH-D15 is a tad better, but fancy trident heat spreaders would interfere.
AIO coolers do not last forever. Think of it as a 5 year rental.

I have no preference on motherboard brands.
I would look for Z790 based DDR5 motherboards. with the features you need like thunderbolt or perhaps wifi.
Not the cheapest, not the most expensive.
There will always be the possibility to buy an add in card for functions you want.
Aug 9, 2023
Thanks, geofelt. Those are very helpful comments.

Interestingly, the Noctua NH-D15 is more expensive than the AIO I include in my build.
Look at Noctua U14S

Or Thermalright Peerless Assassin

Or DeepCool AK620

Or Noctua D12L