Description

Hey guys!

I've been looking forward to posting my build here ever since I started planning out my build. I took a lot of inspiration from many of your builds and it really helped me to form my own. Anyways, here it is!

I graduated colllege recently and got a new job offer that was going to pay well so I decided to build my own gaming rig as a graduation gift to myself. This build started off as a modest $1300 i5-4690k and GTX 970 build using air cooling. However, as I started to do more and more research (putting off studying for finals many times) I learned more and more about the best parts and I started to add to my build, and substitute parts in until I had this thing. I "fell down the rabbit hole" when it came to computer build knowledge (thus naming the build Alice) and I didn't stop until I had the most powerful build I felt I could afford. The Nuclear Reactor is what my dad calls it. I built it in my parents basement while I was waiting to start my new job and he thought it was funny and clever.

It eventually came down to deciding between a second 980 for that SLI power or creating a whole custom watercooling loop. I decided it would be easier to implement a second card in later than changing the cooling of the system to liquid so I decided to build the loop with the rest of the systemI knew the difficulty that would come from watercooling but I welcomed the challenge and did my research so i made sure I wouldn't destroy my parts and waste all of that money. Honestly I probably won't ever truly use all of the power this rig has but it was so much fun to plan and build that I'm okay with that. I'm enjoying the raw speed and power it has and that's all that matters to me.

After seeing many builds on this site and reddit that were based around either red or blue I decided to try a different scheme. I decided to go with a purple and yellow color scheme to commemorate my fraternity that I was a part of during my time at college. This affected some of my part choices which I'll explain below.

CPU: Intel i7-4790k

Originally I had an i5-4690k in here as my CPU and it stayed there even in later stages of planning. I changed to the i7 when Microcenter had it on sale for $50 less and i convinced myself that maybe someday games would utilize the extra threads in each core. So far it has held up amazingly and it overclocked like a dream. The watercooling keeps the idle temps at a pleasant 34C and ramps up to mid 60's when clocked at 4.9 GHZ & 1.27V. Beautiful.

Motherboard: Asus SABERTOOTH Z97 Mark1

This was a part that I wanted to fit into the color scheme. I looked at many of the boards that had yellow parts already built into them but through my research many people highly recommended Asus motherboards. Thus I found the SABERTOOTH which has the thermal armor which I planned on painting to add to my color scheme. Unfortunately I screwed up the first paint job (which I'm glad was just Plasti-Dip so it was removable for the most part) and was too afraid to try again so I just left it alone in the final build. It doesn't detract from aesthetic whatsoever IMO and it's a great board all around.

Storage: 2x Samsung 850 EVO

This is probably a screw up on my part due to a lack of experience. I was going to use a standard boot SSD-storage HDD set-up but with the watercooling loop and two radiators there wasn't enough space in my case (which is already massive) for the HDD cages. I decided togo with a similar set up but I substituted the HDD... with another SSD. I probably should've just gone with a single 1TB SSD and put everything on it but I'm okay with how it turned out. Games load instantly and I'll just have to manage my space intelligently. It'll also allow me to eventually upgrade the storage SSD for a bigger one once they drop in price a little down the line without having to transfer the OS files.

Video Card: EVGA GTX 980

I went with this cuz it's a beast but it's not nearly as expensive as the Titan X which came out right around when I first started planning the build. I can eventually add a second of these or if they release the 980 TI within the next month and a half I can use the step-up program to upgrade if i so please and eat the cost of the waterblock. Either way I know I'll have plenty of graphic power to play most games in the next few years at max.

Case: Phanteks Enthoo Luxe

This thing is big and beautiful. It was another big part of fitting the color scheme due to it's built in LED system. It was also a big influence on me choosing to watercool since all of the review videos on youtube talked about its amazing capacity to hold a custom loop. I somehow ran out of room to set everything up exactly how I wanted it, but in the end I'm still really happy with this case and can't recommend it enough for it's looks alone let alone its size and functionality.

Monitor: Acer XB270HU

I only recently got this but holy crap is it beautiful. It's a lot bigger than my old monitor and much clearer. I love this thing and I know it'll be a reliable monitor for the foreseeable future.

PSU: EVGA 1000W

This PSU had excellent reviews online from multiple reputable sources along with customer reviews and it had plenty of capacity for future SLI, overclocking, and the added strain of the liquid cooling components. It's worked amazingly so far.

Radiator Fans: Noctua NF-P12-1300

The reputation Noctua has is what sold me on using these. They are incredibly silent and they've kept this ******* nice and cool. They are pretty well hidden in the case too so the beautiful brown can't be seen that well though =(. I originally had some purple LED Corsair fans which I planned on putting in the front but my radiator didn't fit on the bottom since the PSU was too big so I had to scrap the purple fans.

So I honestly pulled pretty much all of my water cooling components from the Linustechtips "Water Cooled Overkill" build guide video. They have turned out well but after learning a bit more and seeing EKWB components in other builds I would probably go with them if I were to build it again.

Radiators: Alphacool Radiator

These radiators have been excellent so far. They were nice and clean out of the box and the fins are very robust. I have the 360mm set in a pull configuration in the top of the case and the 240mm pulling in the front of the case. Like I said, I planned on having the 240mm radiator in the bottom of the case but it didn't fit once the cables came into place so it ended up in the front. My CPU and GPU haven't melted yet so they're doing they're job so far.

Water Blocks: Koolance

These blocks have been excellent but they're not as good looking aesthetically as EKWB. The GPU blocks are pretty minimalistic but they work so no real performance complaints here. Just wish they looked sexier =(.

Pump: Swiftech MCP655

Reviews really commended this pump as the best so I figured why settle for less. It's almost too quiet even at near max power. My only real issue is it's size because it was a big reason why I had to remove all of the HDD cages and opt for a second SSD. Otherwise it's the ****.

Reservoir: LF Reaction 250mm

Ohhhh man this thing is sexy as hell. I love the look and the UV light in the middle is great when I don't wan't the full LED of the Luxe going. It took a long time for the guy to make and send to me but that's because he custom makes them. Definitely order one early if you plan on getting one which I recommend. I only wish I would've gotten some UV reactive liquid since it only would've added to it's looks.

Tubing: Primoflex Yellow Tubing

Big part of the color scheme. It looks good and permors amazingly. No concern about it kinking at all.

Extras and Peripherals:

The custom sleeved cables were neccessary in my eyes since the PSU came with a red GPU cable that stuck out horribly. The headphones i just wanted a wireless headset and I love this thing so far. I've owned a Razer Blackwidow keyboard and Taipan mouse for awhile but I might change those soon.

I'm proud of my build and it's a massive step up from my pre-made Dell XPS I bought before college. My only problem now is that I have the itch to make more computers :(.

Thanks for your attention and have an excellent day! Firestrike Score

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 7 points

Tony Stark called. He said he wants his Ark Reactor back.

+1, love these builds that are a little different, at least in terms of colour scheme.

  • 59 months ago
  • 4 points

Great looking build man, what an awesome color scheme. That reservoir really adds to the whole theme too, we'll done.

Hitting 4.9Ghz with that CPU, very nice, and a little bit lucky too!

Congrats on your first build!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Lucky indeed

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Great looking build yo! Damn. I wish I could do some sick water cooling too. So envious right now. haha

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice first build Man!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Sweet build!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Umbrella corporation called, they want their computer back.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Where did you get the custom cables from? They look great, and a good price too!

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Google Icemodz. They took some time to come in but they turned out great. great price too.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

dang. its been quite a long time since I have seen somebody use a helix Res. good on ya, it looks awsome. +1

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice to see a different PC. Can't believe its your first, looks really good!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice watercooling and overclocking. But I wouldn't recommend Steelseries.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Dear GAWD!! This is your FIRST build?!?!???!!!!!!!!!!!!

Man, you hit this out of the park!! Excellent job and most impressive. I know seasoned builders who wont mess with liquid cooling and you dove in the deep end!! LOL!

You are now going to be hooked on tweeking your rig!! LOL!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha thanks man! I definitely welcomed the challenge and it was an awesome experience. I'm already looking for things to add and upgrade. Just need that $$$.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I would do the RAM as an upgrade get to 16 gigs or 32. 8 gigs is insulting your rig.. LOL!

Prolly a M.2 SSD for the boot drive.. Another GPU for SLI and liquid cool that maybe... just thinking out loud! LOL!

Seriously, good work on your build.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

All those beast parts, and only 8 GB DDR3? Will you upgrade that in the future?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't really know if there is a need for more RAM. I won't be doing any work and most games only ask for 8 or less. I'll upgrade in the future if games start requiring more but for now this is all I really need. I almost did make the jump to a X-99 board and a 5820k processor but I realized I'd be better off with 4 higher single core power rather than 6 weaker cores. Plus DDR4 RAM is expensive as hell.

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Well, it can't hurt to have 16gb. I personally wouldn't go with 8gb even on a 4690k/970 build since I keep way too many tabs open.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh god I tried to keep 7 tabs open with 4gb of RAM on my laptop... RIP

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

My school issued laptop only has 4gb of RAM, and I don't understand how people use this. I have a onetab (a useful extension, look it up if you use chrome which I have to on a chromebook) that has 70 tabs in it and has gone as high as about 300. Although, to be fair, the OS uses some of it so 8gb has more than twice as much available to the browser, but still.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a hard time believing this is a First Build

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

What are your voltage settings at 4.9ghz? I can get up to 4.6Ghz stable with a Core Voltage of 1.25 and a Cache Voltage of 1.275 but putting it up to 4.7 even with 1.3V didn't produce stable results over 4-6 hours of testing

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Fancy!

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

So... I've been thinking about buying this PC case, does it come with a bunch of pre colored led's?

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  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! I've been thinking about doing that cuz because of that little twist in the cables irritates me too. That's probably next on the list.