03/18/2015 Update :
New fans, new photos.
Replaced the clicky SP120 quiet edition fans on the top radiator with LED versions. These still look great as an intake which means no rattle.
To deal with the video card sag I tied some thin fishing line from the floating corner of the card to the top of the case :P.
Really happy with the look, but I may do some more painting soon!
After completing an undergraduate degree in architecture and working for around a year, I decided it was time to finally build my first computer!
I have always been an avid gamer and knew how to work with pc's, but until now I did not have the funds to do it right. I also plan to use this PC for rendering and music production. I think it's up to the task :P.
My biggest mistake (that I am only finding out now :/) was getting an 8 series motherboard instead of a 9 series to go with the new i7. I should have done more research there. That being said I was really lucky that the ASRock Z87 did not need a BIOS update for the i7-4790K to function. It seems to be working perfectly, but if someone has any concerns please let me know! (Side note.. the optical out on this mobo is amazing. sound quality is superb).
Other than that near miss, things have gone smoothly. I decided early on I wanted a green/black look, and tried not to sacrifice any computing power chasing it. The sore thumb was the MSI GTX970 in Red/Black. The 100me green edition isn't out yet, and so I planned to paint it green myself.
Looking around at paints I couldn't find the green I wanted in the type of paint I wanted. So, I decided to introduce a lot of white accents to go with the green/black. I used white Plasti-dip aerosol (very toxic during painting, wear a mask). The back expansion slots and the GTX 970 shroud were both painted to complete the look.
To anybody who wants to paint their MSI GTX 970...
(at your own risk! :P)(and void the warranty)
it is not easy to get that plastic cover off! The side screws are T10 Torx (star head) and a real pain to work with. The wire for the LED on the side is looped through the plastic. You have to first seperate the black/red sections by removing the 5 side Torx screws. Then, you have to saw through the red plastic very carefully (I used an x-acto knife and wire snippers) which takes forever, and then pop off the LED. Once removed, the plastic shroud snaps apart into its red/black sections and it is ready to paint.
This was the only 'guide' I could find: http://www.overclock.net/t/1514085/official-nvidia-gtx-970-owners-club/3960#post_23015410
Love those green corsair cables :). I feel that I was pretty thorough with the cabling. I had an arrangement that worked early on, but as you can see in the final photos I switched it up. I think the new cabling looks much better, and it also does not pull down on the video card which seemed to be sagging slightly. Hopefully that will help.
The LEDs are a $15 strip with remote. Sadly they are separate RGB nodes so the non-standard colours look a bit odd, but I'm keeping them green anyways. You get what you pay for :P. I bought a molex to 12v DC cable to make sure it could hook up internally.
Quick run down of issues during build:
• Z87 motherboard with a current i7 CPU is hit and miss. I got lucky. Don't do what I did.
• MSI GTX 970 is a real pain to take apart to paint. If you do this be extremely careful.
• MSI GTX 970 seems to be sagging a bit as it is a large card. May be normal, but I'm keeping an eye on it.
• Corsair SP120 Quiet Edition when mounted on the top rad as an out-take can create a rattle in the fan. It is the actual fan that rattles at >1200RPM. Reading up on it it seems to be a design flaw that happens when they are mounted in this fashion. May return mine if it gets worse.
Besides those - hopefully small - problems, I am so happy with my new PC. This thing will allow me to game, render, and produce music properly and it feels great to know I built it myself.