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Red Dragon: First Build

by dark_knight17



CPU Clock Rate


GPU Core Clock Rate


GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate



Hello all!

This is my first build ever, with no previous experience in adding/removing/modifying parts (save for adding a 2.5" HDD into my laptop). This will mostly be used for gaming, and well as using Office for school. The build process took me a good part of the day, and was made longer due to a few mistakes (or perceived mistakes) and the lack of room; both are explained below. I do intend to overclock, but I have yet to research it. I just wanted to make sure that was an option in the future. I'll go over all the parts, and why I chose them because there's likely to be a few oddities in my build.

CPU: I got a combo from newegg on the mobo and CPU (-$30.00). Not a huge deal by all means, but I wanted the mobo and the CPU so a discount didn't hurt. I didn't go with the i7 because of the price. I realize the i7 might be a better choice considering new consoles might increase the use of hyper threading, but I didn't want to spend that much to upgrade.

CPU Cooler: Now some of you might ask: "Why not use a water cooler?". And the answer is, I was just uncomfortable doing so. As it's my first build, I didn't want to risk any leaks, closed loop or not. And because I plan to overclock, I needed a fan better than the Hyper EVO I was considering. So it boiled down to the Noctua or Phanteks. And the phanteks were red, so I chose them. As far as the fans go, they're quite quiet (not that I've done anything too demanding), but man were they a pain in the *** to install. As you might be able to see in the pictures, they're huge. And because I decided to put them in before the mobo was in the case, it made placing the cables from the PSU a huge pain.

Motherboard: Compared to other mobos in the same price range, I probably didn't choose the best one performance/feature-wise, but that didn't really matter. Going with the black/red theme (which is common, I know) was something I wanted to do, and I love dragons, so this board really stood out from the competitors. Go asthetics! The bios interface was a lot easier to use than I thought, but I wish it came with more SATA cables, and that the DIMM slots were different coloured (so I knew which ones were used for dual channel). Speaking of RAM...

Memory/ RAM: Really this comes down to colour. I made sure it was red, looked cool, and had a low speed; because apparently that's what you want in order to balance the speed of the processor. Not that the looks mattered, seeing as the fans completely cover the DIMM slots. Orginally, I had the RAM in slots 1&3 because they were closest to the CPU (and least accessible) but the mobo manual showed slots 2&4 when using dual channel. I'm not sure if there's any difference really, but to be safe I moved the RAM a slot over, which is (barely) possible because of the fan.

Storage: I wanted an SSD for the speed, this one was highly recommended. I removed the Momentus from my laptop (it had 500gb before hand), and placed it in a few places. First it was one of the trays, but then I realized it needed another SATA cable (the ones included with the mobo were used for the SSD and optical drive). So I placed it in the xdock; a sort of plug 'n play for 2.5" drives. I assumed the SATA cable running from the front IO was for the xdock (which turned out to be the eSATA). After figuring this all out, I ended up buying another SATA cable and finally connecting the xdock up. Then I had to go into BIOS and enable hot plug for SATA port 1. A little complicated (and never explained anywhere...of course), but I'm glad it's working.

Video Card: Once again red/black with dragons. I didn't buy from newegg because Memory Express was the only place that had the card <$400. I haven't had the chance to really test it yet (still need to get a long ethernet cable), but I'm sure it'll run all the games I have (minus Metro and Crysis 3) on ultra with >/= 60fps.

Case: This case was a blessing and a curse all at the same time. - Blessing: It's a full size case, so lots of room to move around. It even had room for the GPU and CPU fans. It looks awesome and fits the red/black theme well. It feels like a premium case, and had more than enough parts to fit what I needed. It was, for the most part, straightforward. And the IO fan control speed is great. Even when they're maxed, all four fans are barely audible (even with the speakers muted). - Curse: Hooking the lights for the IO panel was never clearly explained. The back fan had a PSU adapter, which needed to be removed in order to be run for fan control. And there was an extra 2 pin fan cable for no reason. Thankfully some wonderful soul put a great picture guide on how to connect everything. The case is also heavy...really heavy. Not anything unmanageable, or something I'm surprised by. I have no problem lugging around heavy laptops (like my asus g74) or desktops as long as they can game well. Thankfully it has a handle on the top for that purpose. Although the shipping was free on Amazon, I ended up getting charged for shipping (it was from the Amazon marketplace, not from Amazon directly) which I was too lazy to notice.

PSU: I chose a trusted brand, and it's 750w in case I plan on running 2 770's in SLI. Other than that, next time buying modular is super important. I had lots of wires I didn't need which took up a lot of space.

Optical Drive: Cheap and trusted brand.

OS: Kind of regretting getting 8. It'll probably be better once I configure it to something closer to 7.

Monitor: Red/black theme (this was completely unintentional though). I wanted a moderate size monitor with a high refresh rate. 1080p is fine for the time being (mostly because I haven't experienced 1440p), and it can play 3D (the GPU also supports it) so I should be good to go if I get the glasses, right?

Keyboard: Red/black theme, and didn't have tons of features I wouldn't use (I'm used to using my laptop's keyboard; no macros or anything). I could have gone mechanical, but most don't backlight in red (unless you have cherry red keys. I find brown more appealing). Plus it was rather inexpensive. It's not chiclet style like my laptop but I'm sure I'll adjust.

Mouse: Just stole the one from my laptop. Simple, without too many features. I'm getting a Corsair raptor m4 for the whole red/black theme though.

Sorry for the poor photo quality (especially inside the case). Feel free to comment! I look forward to hearing your advice (at least I think I do)!

Comments Sorted by:

Commanderquack 1 Build 2 points 44 months ago


BeardCreep 1 point 44 months ago

I smell color scheme :D

Just paint that psu... (Or rip the stickers off) and youre good to go.

dark_knight17 submitter 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

If I had done more research I could have got an Antec, which is red/black. Maybe next build

BeardCreep 1 point 44 months ago

Yeah, but its fixable. Still good looking btw

Norm101 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

You can make/get stickers to cover the psu labels. Much easier than replacing the psu.


BeardCreep 1 point 44 months ago

Ye i never meant to suggest a change in psu. Paint or stickers.

ageedb 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Very similar build to the one I'm about to purchase Sunday night. I just wish the red on the 770 was more visible you know?

ageedb 1 Build 2 points 44 months ago

Also, how do you like that monitor? I'm thinking of getting that or an IPS. Is the higher HZ really that awesome?

saw1833 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Now you just need to upgrade that toaster, err, camera!

MichaeL925280 1 point 44 months ago

I love red & black as a color scheme intentional or not that is a great color scheme.

canders 7 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Pretty good job with the cable in spite of the non-modular PSU. Nice build.

Austn 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

You should have got an AX model PSU. It's red so it would have matched your theme. They are GREAT PSUs as well.

Other than that, looks great!

usmc0811 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

very nice build.

Gigglerump 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Incredible color coordination. Great build!

burbuscus 1 Build 1 point 38 months ago

Have you played any games yet on this build. Would love to see some FPS benchmarks.

Ntress 1 point 25 months ago

How is the PH-TC14PE? do you like it? recommend it or maybe i can get the single fan version PH-TC12DX?

RaisingTheBarHD 0 points 44 months ago

I really enjoy seeing it since i have purchased the same mobo, i7, ram, gpu and amazing it all looks.

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