This is just really an upgrade from my previous one, with the new cooler, new HDD, new Monitor, and another set of RAM. That said, also an update about the previous stuff too.
Let me just say, I adore how quiet this PC is. Honestly, with the fans set to 5v on the Define R4's fan controller (How they usually are, unless I'm rendering something or gaming), the loudest part of the PC is the 2TB HDD. I don't know if that's saying that my computer is really quiet, or my HDD is super loud, but either way.
I had intended to use this system as a 3D animation/modelling workhorse, with a little gaming potential. It kind of evolved into as much as I could afford at the time. I was originally working on the basis of "I don't care how it looks, I just want it to perform as well as it can." That was somewhat gone, though, when I saw how poorly the stock Noctua Fans look. I knew they weren't going to look good, but... Oh boy.
I probably wouldn't have taken the first step towards looking nice if it wasn't for some strange lack of voltage control in the BIOS for the fans on the cooler. Not sure what was happening there, no matter the profile I set it to, it was always on full speed. This lead me to immediately purchase their not-too awful looking redux grey counterparts in PWM. Plugging each of these into separate 4-pin headers, with the BIOS setting to silent, they're really really nice and quiet. I moved the default D14 fans to the case slots, and moved the Fractal fan down a slot, and removed the one at the back.
Onto one of the more recent looking-nice-things, which was the cable sleeving. I was really excited for these, like a kid, hoping they'd make my PC look a lot cleaner. And they do. But I was also quite disappointed, actually. They're fine, perfectly functional etc. But they're super stiff. The GPU's bend was almost as tight as I could get it (as I didn't want to potentially damage the connectors). I was expecting them to be mostly fabric for some reason, without doing a ton of research. A worry was that it might impede airflow significantly, but I've tried to reduce it as much as I can.
I added a little Carbon Fibre Wrap rectangle over the sticker on the PSU, as it was blue, which wasn't really going with the colour scheme. Because the fans definitely go with the colour scheme. Yep.
None of the apperance matters because no window anyway, so all of that is for nothing but peace of mind that it looks nice. Oops.
At some point I'm going to need to get a better GPU, partially because I NEED MORE POWER, but also, I've hit the 3.5GB VRAM cap on the 970 in Autodesk Maya with 8k textures on a couple of things in the viewport. I'm thinking 980 Ti, though I love the look of the Titan X's cooler. All black? Sign me up.
I guess I'm going to need to get an AIO cooler to replace that magnificently quiet but also hideous Noctua Cooler. I have a few concerns with that though, being mostly noise. The only real place to mount a 240mm radiator would be at the top, and I'm just worried about that being particularly loud since it's so open. A possibility could be to move my HDDs to the 5.25" bay with some kind of adapter, and the SSD there or mounted against the motherboard tray. That way, I could have a 240mm Radiator in the front with the sound dampening material stopping a lot of the possible noise.
Eventually I might upgrade the PSU to a fully modular one, so I can use fully sleeved cables instead of extensions.
At some point, I'm going to need to go X99 (or whatever else comes out) to support 64GB of RAM, and 6+ Core processors. That's going to be really irritating, because I'll need to get a new CPU, Motherboard, RAM, and CPU Cooler.
At some point I'll get a third monitor, too. Likely the same model.
Great cooler, but this thing is a mammoth. Seriously gigantic. Otherwise, fine and super quiet, great performance. Nothing bad to say about it other than it would have been nicer if the included fans were 4-pin PWM instead of 3-pin, but that's not really to be expected.
Solid Motherboard. Wish there was a little more red vs the black, but that's nothing I couldn't tell you from the pictures. Everything is working well. It slightly concerned me that the Define R4 had "A" (for ATX) next to some Motherboard standoffs beside where this Motherboard sat, but that's... not really any kind of an issue.
There's a little red lighting strip near the I/O which is a nice confirmation that it's running.
This thing is weirdly quiet. Like, doesn't make a peep. No vibration noise at all. Maybe it's just out-shadowed by the 2TB one, but still. A+ Drive.
Functionally this is a perfectly fine HDD. Works fairly quickly, didn't run into any issues with it. The docked 2 stars are for sound. This is a super loud HDD in my experience. not sure if I've just got a particularly loud one, but it's kind of ridiculous.
This GPU is wonderful. I couldn't afford a 980, and this was the perfect slight step down as it's quite a bit cheaper, but runs every game I've thrown at it at maxed settings in 1080p at 60+fps.
It does get kind of loud and kind of hot when the fans are going and you've been playing for a while, but if you're playing a game you're having audio output, which means you're very unlikely to hear anything.
Lovely looking case, great internals. One issue I ran into however was that I didn't want to tighten the Standoffs too tight, which resulted in my Motherboard being too far off. I didn't feel comfortable doing it, but tightening them further made everything fit perfectly.
Included case fans are remarkably quiet. You can barely hear them on the middle fan setting, and you can't on the lowest. I actually moved the front fan up to the higher slot, and removed the upper HDD tray so that I'd have more direct airflow. Could be a littlle better with some additional support for AIO coolers, being mounting spots, like making the HDD tray modular, but not much of a complaint.
Really solid PSU. Only issue I've had with it is that the 8pin Motherboard cord was kind of short, but it reached. The included plugs were wonderful and fit everything I needed.
Perfect for everything I need. HDMI input, looks nice, reasonable price (for NZ).