I built my last machine for BF4. It was great. BF1 caps out the i5-4690K from that build, and the old budget mobo wasn't cutting it. So it was time to futureproof, and I felt invigorated by the relatively reasonable prices of the i7-7700K fresh out of the gate. By reusing my HDD, SSD, PSU, Windows license, and ODD, I was able to keep the cost of this freak of nature around $1K.
My biggest challenge in planning the build was selecting a case. I wanted to stay in mATX, but wanted room for a 240mm water cooler AND the 120mm rad for the 1070. Ultimately the N200, while 30% the cost of my old DS4, seemed to fit the bill. The case accepts a 240mm rad in the most beautiful way, with the fans fitting neatly under the front shroud and the radiator sliding just so into place. There's support for a 120mm on the side, where I set up the GPU rad/fan as a third intake fan. It was a bit of a squeeze, but less than I've had to squeeze the power cables in both mATX builds I've done, and the water tubes seem at least as resilient.
I bought everything at Microcenter. They had some unparalleled deals and price-matched the items that weren't competitively priced. They even went so far as to update the BIOS for me for free so it would work with the Kaby Lake CPU when my system wouldn't post. Satisfied customer right here.
Except for the alarming occasional watery sound from the pumps (new to me), this thing is quieter than I could have imagined, even under load.
I've overclocked (by increasing the Turbo Boost cap) to a conservative 4.8GHz and it's super stable, which along with longevity is more important to me than breaking the 5.0 barrier. However, I've noticed the temperature spiking mentioned elsewhere on the interweb during Prime95 testing. I think it's possibly to do with the pump on the water cooler not complying with my instructions from the BIOS. Gigabyte's software is really ****** and if I peer through the crashes I think I can see that it's limiting the "RPM" on the water cooler. As testing wore on, core temps actually began to go down, but I had a 100-degree reading on a motherboard sensor so I shut it right down. Have to get to the bottom of this before any further stress testing. At the end of the day I'm very happy with the Gigabyte UEFI for overclocking. It's flexible and easy to approach if you have a basic understanding of overclocking. But I ******* hate their Windows companion software. Total ********.
Update: Turned off auto-voltage, lowered the voltage, and running stable at 4.9GHz. Temps <80 under real-life load.
OK, at first I experienced some of the temperature spiking mentioned around the interwebs as a result of my overclock. However, the easy-mode overclock was the culprit. When I turned off automatic voltage adjustment and set it manually, my temps dropped by 10+ degrees. Cheers!
Works great. Included fans are quiet and look good. Installation was way easier than it was with the 212 Evo.
Safe and resilient BIOS. Easy to OC RAM and CPU. Good hardware features.
Absolutely horrendous companion Windows apps. Throwing errors left and right. Neat idea to manage BIOS settings by Android. Totally broken app. Spelling errors everywhere in the UI; can't fathom how bad their actual code looks.
Couldn't OC to 3000. Happy at 2600.
Time between BIOS and Windows login is about 1 second. It's noticeably faster than SATA 3 SSD, which was 5-10 seconds.
Great storage drive.
Love it. Mounted 120mm GPU rad+fan as side intake. Mounted 240mm rad inside front, fans fit neatly under front shroud on the outside. Perfect. Why is this so cheap? My last case was $100 and didn't have enough room for all this.
You do have to screw in all your drives. Only unfortunate aspect, and a minor one.
Peace of mind for years and years is worth the extra $30.
Could be faster, but no real complaints.