Description

Overview

My current system is over 6 yo and wont play most recent games (i7 920 | gtx 280 | 18gb ram). I mostly use it for programming anyways and does just fine doing that. Also, my first gen PS3 just YLOD and I'm in need of blowing things up in GTA V.

I already have the following parts, so you'll see those as being 0$ as the listed price:

  • monitor
  • keyboard
  • mouse

I enjoy gaming, video editing and software development on my computer.

General

I wanted a system that would:

  • cost around 2000$
  • support 21:9 gaming or triple 1440 display (when I know which setup I will prefer)
  • support SLI (again, when I make my decision on display config)
  • look good
  • not explode when I turn it on for the first time.

I went with the Z97 architecture instead of the bleeding edge X99. Its basically 1000$ cheaper and don't foresee needing the extra cpu / ram anytime soon.

Part Details

CASE:

Easy to work with, very well designed. Broke a finger a week ago so I needed a big case with lots of room. Slick design and functionality. Cable management made easy.

I added a Phanteks LED Strip (1m) inside and it makes the whole build look so much cleaner.

Regarding airflow, My h100i is setup on top as an EXHAUST. The 140 in the back is also an EXHAUST.

I moved the 140 that was originally setup on top to the bottom beside the PSU and set it up as an INTAKE. I think this helps feed cold air to the GPU and also balance things quite nicely in terms or overall airflow in the case.

Then there is the 200 in the front as INTAKE. I might replace it with 3x 120, or 140s, we'll see.

One downside to the case is that the window 'glass' is actually cheap plastic, and does not look clean with the inside lighting. I might have to hide the led better so that it does not have that weird effect on the window.

MOBO:

Read great reviews, offered all the ports and functionality I needed, was discounted, so that's that.

CPU:

The i7 4790 @ 4.4 GHz is great. I was on the i7 920 before (first gen i7) and it is still good imho. So I can only imagine what this beast can do!

Will overclock if needed, those are pretty good for that.

CPU Cooling:

Well, it does that pretty well. idle at 30 Celsius... Never got over 80 Celsius with Prime95. Corsair Link (Software) has some issues and got to be careful with it. Once your profile is created and that you have carefully set the proper fan settings, all is well. But somehow, it was setting the fans I clicked on to "Fixed" at a low RPM which is risky.

GPU:

Well, its not a Titan X, nor the maybe upcoming 980ti (6gb), but with the 3 fans and being a 980, this card is a beast. But I know I want to update my display in the near future, so we'll see how it will handle that. For now, everything ultra 60 fps no problem on GTA V and Witcher 3.

RAM: So far so good. Got it at a good price. Will invest in another 2x8gb soon (need 32gb mainly when developing).

PSU: Well, I did not get the one I wanted there. I was eyeing the corsair hx850i, but they did not have it in stock. It is part modular, which is nice.

Assembly Notes

Pain points:

  • Connecting the power to the motherboard was really hard to do with a broken finger.. Had to remove the cpu cooler to get a better grip.

Special thanks

Bought everything from NCIX. I drove to 3 locations in Vancouver to get all the parts I needed THAT Friday. q;-) All went well there, price matched pretty much everything thanks to pcpartpicker !!!!

Oh, and I got some freebies too:

  • Witcher 3
  • GRID
  • FFXIV A Realm Reborn
  • World of Tank stuff ( haven't looked into that one yet.
  • 50$ now in the hand of the Mail-In Rebates god.

Potential Improvements

  • Clean up the cabling a bit
  • Change fans to quieter ones with led
  • Change front fan to 2x 140
  • Re-position led strip
  • Make good use of that RAID card
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Comments

  • 56 months ago
  • 5 points

This is your Friday night? WTF! Can we swap Fridays?

Good build.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks man! yeah I can't believe I was able to get all the parts on Friday.. Had to run around a bit but it the end, I had a blast!

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I at first looked at the yellow lighting picture and was horrified... not realising it was not a dirty window it was ****** lighting effects. My advice? Don't use that yellow.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

The gopro stills in low light are pretty bad. I will take better shots with a different camera and upload them.

Also, the case 'glass' is actually plastic, and its not clean with the inside lighting. I might have to hide the led better so that it does not have that weird effect on the window.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Ahh.. understood.

glass' is actually plastic,

Really?

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Jeepers... you paid $179 and they make the window plastic? Feels so wrong... by the way, good work on your build!

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Some plastic might be ok, but this one feels a bit cheap.

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

I like a lot of things about this build, I like full display windows that do a good job of displaying your work. I think most of what i like about this build is how you did the lighting accents around the case and around the window. I like how you managed the soft glow where it was not to dark or to light.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! I agree the lighting strip makes the inside looks great! The build wouldn't have been worthy of this site if I hadn't added the strip inside. I was also thinking of changing the back exhaust fan to something fancier with a white led and a design that creates some sort of shadow on the wall..

To be continued...

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

I did not notice this at first. But after looking at your build name, I am from Hudson Florida, I dont know if it is any way related, but that makes it even cooler tome

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

I have a feeling that you mean X99 instead of Z99... anyway, nice build, solid, looks great.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Good catch! Fixed, thanks!

  • 56 months ago
  • 2 points

awesome all the way around. I am a big fan of that case. looks great! +1

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  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I just checked your Boreas v.2! Great guide, love the details in the build.

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  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Yep all good! I was going to ask you about making it less bloated.. :) your pics are fantastic, I will work on getting better pictures today.