The main reason I decided to go with my parts is at present i've been running a 3+ year old Dell that quite frankly wasn't the best when I got it. I did upgrade the graphics card to a 760 gtx, but with the 1k series graphics cards and the next line of processors out it was just too much for me to overlook.
To be honest, gaming for me was not an issue on my old rig. I run 2 1080p monitors, and had enough juice to get adequate framerates on just about anything. Where I really struggled was on the development side. Visual Studio literally took years to load, and Unreal was unstable at best when I tried to do anything in it (though unity worked well enough). So, this it started.. it was time.
Putting the Rig Together Ok, so i'm not new to this.. I've built a few computers, and all in all it was a breeze.. I started by taking one of those famous pics everyone takes of their parts (no clue why, but eh...) Let me preface this with these are overall quick i-really-do-not-care-much photos, so please take the amateur style with a grain of salt.
Anyway, putting the rig overall was "ok". It went fairly quickly and had no real issues. The case was overall easy to work with, but I did have a few minor complaints. First off the waterblock is a pain-in-the-*** in your way when you go to lay down the mobo. It wasn't a big deal, and i'm not sure how they would fix that other than slightly longer tubing (which could cause other problems), but I worked around it well enough.
Everything lined up well, and went in easy. There is a ton of space in the back of the case for cable management, and there are a lot of spaces to run your cables out of so its pretty low-profile and clean. The case comes with all the bolts/etc you could need as well as thermal grease and zip ties.
I opted to use arctic silver 5 thermal instead of theirs, but i'm sure theirs is fine. I also opted to use smaller mini zip ties instead of theirs. I felt theirs was a bit too big.
Temps and Testing The case comes with a bunch of 120mm fans, and it is set in a very open spacious large case so airflow is really good. My CPU @ 4ghz overclock runs sub-40 even under heavy load. I ran intel burn test, prime95, and Heaven multiple times to get a good feeling for stability and temps and everything is pretty stable.
At the end of the day I'm settling at 4ghz core clock, 2666 mhz memory clock, and 2000mhz core clock on the GPU. I could do more, but no real need.
Another note, is the noise inside the case is very minimal and much quieter than my old computer.
Critical Feedback I would say my one gripe of anything so far, is the lighting in the case. Two things: The MSI mobo has an ugly *** LED light that's RED that just never goes away. I may just take a screw driver to it! The case itself, the lighting can easily be turned on and off with a side switch, but when its on its a "breathing" light that goes on and off and its sort of retarded.. I just want a solid light. I have not researched yet if you can change that light (hopefully you can) as I've been too busy getting the important stuff on the rig done, but the default is pretty dumb. * The tubing in the front is colored blue NOT the liquid or the lighting.. for anyone wondering, so you cannot really change that. I knew that when I bought the game (I like blue anyway), but wanted to warn those who didn't know.
Case - The Deepcool Genome was a love-at-first-site kind of deal for me. The thing costs about 240 bucks, and although that's a lot for the case once you add in all the nice water-cooling components it starts to make a lot more sense real quick. For the Critical Feedback I put up top, i'm extremely happy with the look of the case (its awesome), and I know its going to be put to good use for years to come. Well worth the investment!
Motherboard - The MSI motherboard is really nice, and simply to use. Other than the annoying red LED light that i'm going to take a flamethrower to I really do not have anything negative to say. The bios is clean, easy to use, and has both a "simple" and "advanced" menu where you can overclock literally at the turn of a virtual knob (or believe it or not a physical one that's right on the mobo itself...I didn't touch that) or for the OC enthusiast there is an endless supply of menus and settings you can choose from. Using XMP is also a breeze, I simply turned it on, it loaded my memory's XMP and it was instantly overclocked... how can I ask for more?
CPU - My biggest challenge honestly was going back and forth between a 6850 and a 6800. After weeks of back and forth, I settled on the 6800. The main difference for those that do not know between the two is the 6850 uses 40 lanes of PCIe while the 6800 has 28. Why would anyone care about that do you ask? Well, with 40 lanes you are able to set up multiple video cards, as well as an item like my M.2 drive i'll talk about later, and keep full bandwidth where with the 28 lane processor it starts to cut back the lanes to accommodate.
Looking at my specific motherboard specs it says: - Support x16/ x0/ x0/ x0, x16/ x16/ x0/ x0, x16/ x16/ x0/ x8, x8/ x16/ x8/ x8 with the CPU that supports 40 PCIe lanes. - Support x16/ x0/ x0/ x0, x16/ x8/ x0/ x0, x8/ x8/ x8/ x0, x8/ x8/ x8/ x4 with the CPU that supports 28 PCIe lanes.
This means if I go with more than 1 GPU i'm doing to cut down on my lanes.
So this was my biggest question was if I wanted to expand. What I decided was instead of go all out, get a 1080 and a high end 6800 or greater, was go with a 6800 and a 1070..if down the road I want to go with a 1080 single card I can do that and give my kids the 1070. I do not plan on any high end VR or super-high res screens as of now so it really was pointless for me to spend the extra money.
Hard Drive - I decided to make my main system drive and ESSENTIAL software the M.2 Samsung Pro 950. I know I spend some money here where I could have paid 1/2 the price, gotten more hard drive space, and went with an SSD. One word..... DROOL. Guys, this thing is fast... I mean holy-crap-load-anything-you-want-crazy-fast fast. On average its over 4X faster than any ssd out there. For me not just loading windows, but I also am putting visual studio on there as well as a few other key softwares, it was WAY worth it.
Just to share published speeds:
Max Sequential Read Up to 2500 MBps
Max Sequential Write Up to 1500 MBps
4KB Random Read Up to 300,000 IOPS (4KB, QD32) Up to 12,000 IOPS (4KB, QD1)
4KB Random Write Up to 110,000 IOPS (4KB, QD32) Up to 43,000 IOPS (4KB, QD1)
So it is pricey? yes.. is it worth it? For me, loading my essential tools it absolutely is. If you are a pure gamer and you just want to see faster loading screens on 1 or 2 of your favorite games i'd say go for it, but if you are not having record speed loading and just want it to be really really fast, and SSD is going to be just fine for you... you do NOT need this.
GPU - The EVGA 1070gtx IS a very nice looking card. It has LEDs, and just an overall solid construction. I was really torn as I used to be an EVGA guy, but for the last 4+ years I've gone MSI and loved their cards. Due to a lack of availability and me being impatient though I pulled the trigger on this Evga knowing its a solid company and they do things right. I definitely recommend the card and have no negative thoughts on it.
All In All - VERY happy with my build, it looks great, it was easy to set up, and other than the few minor annoyances I really have no issues at all. In the future I plan to invest in some larger SSD's for default storage, 144hz monitors, a nice mechanical keyboard, and potentially a new mouse..other than that I think I've set for a while!
I highly recommend this build, you wont be disappointed!