Review my build please: i7-13700k, DDR5, GPU tbd


Limp Gawd
May 30, 2008
Over the past week or so, I've been consuming as much information as I can to get up to speed on the current state of desktop computing. I've come up with the following build, hoping to get some feedback before I buy anything. I haven't decided on a GPU yet, because I'm overwhelmed by the choices and want to see what is coming out. I am budgeting around 800-900 USD for that (40% of total build cost). I will be waiting until Jan 2023 to buy anything though and I'm really hoping to get some feedback before then, so that I have some good options to have in mind as a shop around for deals.

Here's a list of the components:

Intel Core i7-13700K 3.4 GHz 16-Core Processor
ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 360 56.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler
MSI PRO Z690-A ATX LGA1700 Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-4800 CL40 Memory
Samsung 980 Pro 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 4.0 X4 NVME Solid State Drive
NZXT H7 Flow ATX Mid Tower Case
be quiet! Straight Power 11 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
4x ARCTIC P14 PST 72.8 CFM 140 mm Fans

About my use case:

This will be my third build. My current rig is from 2015. 6700k / gtx970.
I play CPU intensive games (4x, strategy, open world, etc).
Other hobbies include using photo and video editing, fusion360 designing, etc.
I tend to have a lot of programs running simultaneously and alt-tab a lot.
I'm hoping to get 5 years out of my build without any major component change, bar maybe new ram down the line if it's a big upgrade.
I'm not a hardware enthusiast, so once the new non-overclock CPUs are on the market, I may switch to a B660 mobo and one of those to save some money.
I have two HDDs (8tb each) I will be taking with me from my previous build.
I plan on using windows 11.
I won't pay extra for anything with RGB and given the choice between a product with and without it, would prefer not to have it. But if having RGB is necessary to get the best value component, then I will accept it. My desktop sits under my desk and is meant to be as quiet and dark as possible.
I want to make the step into DDR5 and not build around DDR4. I've considered this a lot over the past few days and am fairly certain that in a few weeks, I should be able to find a decent DDR5 board and sticks at an acceptable price.

My thoughts on the build:

For the case, I went with the H7 Flow because its size and shape are similar to what I use now and I like its understated clean esthetics and practical design. If I'm good with cable management I should be able to hide my HDDs next to the PSU, below the shroud. That should maximize airflow to the hottest components in the main chamber and keep thing organized. I plan to swap the two 120mm fans the H7 comes with for four p14s in the front and rear and mount my first ever AIO on the top to keep the CPU in check. The motherboard I chose because it seems to be good value. It has everything I think I need, with some room to tinker with OC, a m.2 lane, flashback for the bios update to 13th gen and a 4th gen m.2 slot. I think the only thing it lacks is a good audio codec, but I can get a DAC (what I do atm). The DDR5 ram I chose was some of the best value I could find. I reckon I can replace it with better stuff in a few years when prices come down and I feel I need more/better. I didn't think hard about the PSU. I just grabbed something that can supply 1000w and is fully modular.

If you see anything you think is out of balance with the rest or have suggestions for good/better alternatives, let me know.

Given a cursory glance, I don't see any obvious problems, just a few considerations:
  • Verify that mainboard can be flashed to support the CPU without needing an older one installed, and that such firmware actually exists.
  • That CPU supports up to DDR5-5600 RAM, but is limited to 4800 by the Z690 chipset. Also, the CAS latency of the selected set seems a bit high. Check the manual/support site for the chosen mainboard to ensure the chosen RAM is on their compatibility list.
  • The PSU is probably a bit overkill, and dropping to a ~750-850 W unit should save some cash. Also consider a unit that comes with the new GPU power connector so you don't have to use that ungainly adapter (if you end up with a 4000-series Nvidia GPU).
  • Make sure the radiator + fans fit the case properly. Too thick and they could interfere with other components.
Thanks for the feedback.

  • I'm fairly certain the driver exists for this motherboard. In this video, someone shows it being done.
  • I will double check before making a final purchase on the RAM. I didn't realize that I'd be throttling the CPU at just 4800 and was relying on pcpartpicker to check compatibility. So I'll definitely update that and verify it with the motherboard's manufacturer.
  • I agree, this is where I'll do a bit more homework. I just wanted to get the list out to start getting some feedback. That being said, I carried my PSU from 2008 into my 2015 build and still use it today. I know it's not best practice, but I may want to do the same again for builds 3 and 4. So some headroom and overbuilt quality aren't necessarily bad.
  • The radiator and fans should fit the case. I've seen others commenting on actually building this combination and having more than enough space.
other than needing to make sure the board has the bios to support the chip it seems fine. im not even worried about the psu, better to have a bit more anyways.
You can get better memory. You aren't stuck at 4800 with 2 sticks. It's just the default memory setting is 4800 (kind of like old Intel chipsets were 2400 even though they routinely went to 3200+ using XMP. I don't see any reason why Z690 would be limited to 4800. Gigabyte supposedly hit 10000 on their highend Z690 motherboard, so I'm sure MSI can hit 5600 with ease.

You could definitely get a nicer B660 motherboard if you aren't going to overclock to save some money. You can still use the XMP settings for your memory with B660.

I would think you might need a bios update to get 13700k support depending on how old the motherboard stock is from where you are buying. Maybe make sure you have a board with bios flashback just in case?