I've been out of the PC building game for about 10 years. I had to do extensive research to get up to date on what was new in the PC hardware world. After four months of planning and buying I piled up this build. It turned out great so far. OS loads in 12 seconds and everything is snappy and responsive. Haven't put the system through it's paces yet as I don't have a monitor, but plan on 1440p gaming.
Update: Added some high res pics of powered on build
Update #2: Got an overclock I'm comfortable with. Ran OCCT stress test for 30 minutes and 3 minute POVray benchmark. Been stable so far.
Update #3: Realized I had the DS Aerocool fan bolted on backwards on my Kraken x41. I'd been running it as pull blowing right back into case. I reversed it to exhaust with the other for true push/pull. This improved my temps to 23c idle and 60c load.
Update #4: Fire strike benchmark score 11,134
CPU - I chose the i5-4690K for it's reasonable price and easy overclocking. I was able to nail it down rather easily at 4.4GHz and 1.2v. Stays around 23C idle and 60C under load running OCCT
CPU Cooler - The Kraken X41 is well built and was quite easy to install once I went online and used the manual there. Save yourself the frustration and throw the crappy included instructions from the box in the trash, they are worthless. Have it running in a push/pull setup on the rear exhaust vent. Replaced the included NZXT FN V2 fan with an Aerocool DS red LED fan. My CPU stays at 27C while idle now that I've overclocked. I'll update once I have overclocked and put the CPU under load. The CAM software this comes with works, but is still buggy. The LED control doesn't always work. Fan profile management is well done
MSI Gaming 5 - Well built board and goes well with the black/red color scheme. Bios works as advertised and has full array of options for overclocking.
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 2133 - Good looking, fast memory at a great price. Make sure to check bios upon first start up. The memory defaults to 1600 speed, had to enable XMP profile 1 to get it to run at 2133MHz
Storage - quality Samsung 840 EVO SSD for OS and large 2TB seagate HDD for storage
MSI GTX 980 4G - great looking card and silent running, doesn't even spin up until it reaches 50C. I had debated between this and a reference blower card due to the closed nature of the case. Glad I chose this as it's a great card. I've had no issues so far with case temps due to aftermarket fan exhaust, will update once I put the system through it's paces.
Update: Now have a MSI GTX 1080 Gaming X.
NZXT H440 - Amazing case, the thing is dead sexy. I'm not too sure what all the worry is on the interwebs about fan constriction. You can feel the air flowing through this case from front to back. All my hardware hold great temps. Cable management took a bit more time and the back is quite tight, but it sure looks clean once you're done. Added an Aerocool DS red LED fan as intake on the top towards center of case.
XFX XTR 750 - Fully modular and has hybrid fan mode, very silent
Wi-Fi adapter - simple, internal and works
CM Storm Devastator keyboard/mouse bundle - quite surprised of the quality of this for $31, great keyboard and mouse
Acer XB270HU - This monitor is flawless. G-sync is the real deal and makes all the difference running in 1440p. It arrived with no deal pixels and has been running perfectly since March 2015.
Build issues/Tips - There were a couple things I ran into during this build that anyone using an H440 should consider:
- I read this in reviews so did this had no issues. If you use a modular power supply connect all the cables you need before installing in the case. You'd have quite a hard time getting to the connections due to the shroud.
*This is specific to the MSI Gaming 5 and H440 - the Gaming 5 USB 3.0 I/O connector is horizontal and the motherboard tray in the H440 is angled where the front side grommets are located. This combined with the stiffness of the H440 USB 3.0 cable made plugging this in with the motherboard screwed in impossible. I bent a couple pins in this connector attempting and had to bend back. I ended up unscrewing the motherboard and lifted it out to get this connector inserted. Save yourself the trouble and connect this plug before screwing a MSI Gaming series motherboard into this case.
*The H440 bottom cable management holes get pretty crowded once you run all the motherboard I/O, consider this when choosing where to place your SSD in the two 2.5in drive mounts on top of the shroud. I choose the least crowded side.