Along with his on-screen heroics as both Superman and The Witcher, impossibly handsome actor Henry Cavill is also considered a hero among gamers the world over, thanks to his unabashed enthusiasm for PC gaming.
Having already been quite vocal about his hobby during publicity for Netflix's The Witcher (a role he aggressively sought out thanks to his passion for the books and games), the Man of Steel has now taken to Instagram in a video that shows him building a new gaming rig from scratch.
A photo posted by @henrycavill on Jul 16, 2020 at 5:21am PDT
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Cheekily scored by Barry White's classic track 'Never, Never Gonna Give You Up' and adorned with a "viewer discretion is advised" warning, the super-cut is at once swoon-worthy and also refreshingly frank about what it's like for most people to build a gaming PC – that means a lot of staring into manuals and back-tracking on mistakes.
Given that Cavill himself is a beast of a man, it's perhaps no surprise that the muscular actor's new gaming-PC build is also something of a monster. Here's our PC hardware team's best guess at what he's using, based on what's made visible in the video:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 3900X
- Motherboard: Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Hero (Wi-Fi)
- Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32GB DDR4-3600 CL16 (2 x 16GB)
- Graphics card: Asus GeForce RTX 2080 Ti 11 GB ROG Strix Gaming OC
- CPU cooler: NZXT Kraken Z73
- Storage: Samsung 970 Pro 1TB SSDs x 2
- PSU: Seasonic Prime TX-1000
- Case: Fractal Design Define 7 case
- Monitor: Asus PG279Q ROG Swift
- Keyboard: Razer Huntsman Elite
- Headset: Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless
Want to build a gaming PC like Henry Cavill's? Here's an idea of what each of those costs, based on live pricing pulled from local retailers:
What would we have changed?
This is undeniably a premium, punchy rig that’s full of stellar parts and performance that’ll kick any modern PC game to the curb. But could it have been better? Our Aussie team put their collective heads together to assess Mr Cavill’s build – these are their quick back-of-a-napkin thoughts:
- The motherboard features a built-in 802.11ax ‘Wi-Fi 6’ adapter with a theoretical maximum of 2402Mbps on the 5GHz band, and 574 on 2.4GHz. So we hope Henry has also invested in a compatible 802.11ax router to take full advantage of that. If he’s using wired networking, the Asus Crossfire VIII Hero features a speedy 2.5Gbps Ethernet port – so either way he’s going to see outstanding network performance.
- Four PCIe SSDs is going to tie up a lot of PCIe lanes – a single 4TB or pair of 2TB SSDs would have been a more efficient approach. Each of those SSDs will consume four PCIe lanes for a total of 16. With a total of just 24 lanes to play with on the X570 chipset, plus another 16 via the Ryzen 3rd-gen CPU, that gives him 40 all up. His shiny 2080Ti is using another 16 of those lanes - leaving just 8 to spare, which may limit future upgrade potential.
- Mr Cavill didn’t need to re-install the AIO CPU cooler to see the OLED display upright, as it can be flipped in software.
- The Asus Crossfire VIII Hero has a reasonably good ESS ES9023P DAC, but for maximum audio fidelity we’d suggest installing an EVGA Nu Audio sound card, or the Sound Blaster AE-9.
- Choosing 3600MHz memory is wise – that’s the Ryzen’s sweet spot, but the C16 timing is a bit of a let down. We recommend Henry consider a kit with latency as low as C14 or even less for a truly super system.
- Henry’s choice of monitor is a no-compromise best-of-the-best Asus ROG PG27UQ, which packs in every conceivable tech, including G-Sync (nicely matching his Nvidia 2080 Ti), a 144Hz refresh, quantum dots for superior colours as well as HDR – and all running at a tasty 4K resolution, which the 2080 Ti should be able to power adequately. Well, unless he’s playing Witcher 3 at Ultra settings...
- But that said, this Asus monitor was released back in 2018 and screen tech has moved on a bit since then. We’d suggest Henry consider the new Acer Predator X38, which also offers G-Sync and HDR but in an ultra-wide 3,840 x 1,600-pixel format, with a speedy 1ms response time (vs 4ms on the Asus) and a quicker refresh of 175Hz. Sure, it's pricey, but nobody ever said having the best PC gaming setup was cheap...
Dan Gardiner and David Hollingworth also contributed to this story.
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Ben Mansill is the Editor, APC at Future Publishing Australia. He is a Consumer technology editor and writer with close to three decades of experience at the senior level. Ben is a founding editor of groundbreaking and wildly successful media brands.