Description

This is an update of my original post. Since then I have swapped out a few parts and added some more storage.

Original Description

I mainly use this for gaming and software development, although gaming was obviously the inspiration for the majority of the parts I chose.

I haven't built my own system since 4 PC's ago (about 13 years). A lot has changed since then. The research was a bit of an undertaking and I had to learn a few hard lessons by way of ordering incompatible components (mostly due to the carbide air 240), but a few returns and build guides later and I have a decent gaming machine that I built all on my own-some.

Parts that were Updated

1. Cpu Cooler I originally had a Corsair H80i gt AIO but I've since replaced it with an H100i v2 and I am happy with the decision. Not only do I get slightly better temps (especially when max load) but the H80i was very thick and was blocking a few of the wire grommets in my case making for sloppy wire management.

2. Video Card(s) I originally had 2 Zotac GTX 970's in SLI. I decided to replace them with a single EVGA GTX 980ti FTW. The benefits so far have been:

  • Cooler temps inside the case.

  • A cleaner case because less wires and more space.

  • Reduced stuttering in games and higher minimum FPS rates.

  • Slightly better performance in most games (with a few exceptions).

Overall this card is fantastic and I am getting a solid 60 FPS in every game I'm currently playing (Witcher 3, Tomb Raider, The Division). The Division is the only game I have to slightly tweak some settings to stay at a constant 60 fps.

The only downside to the EVGA FTW is the overclocking capability, or shall I say lack of. I have only been able to get a stable +60 core and +250 memory. Regardless, still a great a card.

I did want to make a quick comment regarding 970 SLI vs. single 980 ti as this seems to be a frequent topic of debate. Although I just listed all of the benefits of switching to a single 980 ti, overall there's not THAT MUCH difference between the both when playing recent AAA games. I was still getting a solid 60 FPS the majority of the time with the 970's. So if you're debating whether or not to buy that extra 970 for an sli setup or sell it and get a 980 ti, my opinion is: it doesn't make a difference really. Do what's easier/best for you.

Parts that were Added

1. Samsung 950 PRO 512 GB M.2 SSD The 850 EVO was the only storage I had purchased in the beginning. After installing windows 10 and a few games with some music and movie downloads I quickly realized 500GB wasn't going to cut it. I had been eyeing the 950 PRO for a while now and convinced myself my checking account didn't need that $320 bucks.

Now here's where the honesty comes in. When I installed the 950 PRO and cloned my existing drive to it and set it as boot, I thought I was going to see super omg holy cr@#$@!!! fast fast fast uber uber speeds yo. Instead I feel like everything loads and boots the same as the 850 EVO. Meaning I couldn't tell a perceptible difference in every day tasks/usage.
Having said that however, when copying files/unzipping/installing programs you do notice a difference.

Thank you for viewing my post. I welcome all comments, positive and negative.

Comments

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Good looking build, +1 for your part selection. I would flip over the fan below your gpu and make it an intake. That way it can help lower your gpu temps a bit.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Oh I thought I had set it as an intake. I gotta go back and check lol. Thanks for pointing that out.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Glad to help.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

1440p is an amazing resolution, but the 60 Hz cap is not all that great. Once you experience 144 Hz you can never go back.

Great build, this should keep you gaming for quite some time.

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I agree and for my next big purchase I plan on upgrading my monitor to 27" 144Hz. I'm really holding out for the Asus PG279Q as that is a beautiful monitor. A few months of Ramen noodles and I should be good to go.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a similar build (i7600k/single 980ti FTW) and with the Acer XB270HU I am consistently above 100FPS in BF4 and 80-90FPS in The Divison. Prior to getting this monitor I was playing on a 720p LCD TV, where you'd think i'd get better results due to the lower resolutions, despite being capped at 60hz, that was a wrong assumption. At 720p/60hz I was capped at 55ish FPS.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Really? Why is that?

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I am not sure, someone more versed in the mechanics may know. The only thing that changed was thr monitor.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

very nice should remain very cool with all those noctua fans in it.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Great work on the build, +1. The 6700k and Evga 980ti FTW is my combo as well. I would highly recommend making the jump to 144Hz IPS, 100% worth it.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks. Do you have any recommendations for a 2k 144hz monitor that won't break the bank? Doesn't necessarily have to have g-sync/freesync.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah I would recommend the Acer Predator XB270HU 27" IPS G-Sync 1440p 144Hz monitor. It is outstanding in terms of picture quality. IPS panels are far superior to TN panels for colour and sharpness, the 27" screen gives you plenty of working space, and 1440p is a great resolution for a single 980 TI. Some of the newer titles like Witcher 3 will give you slightly lower frame rates (60 fps) on max settings, but if you turn down the anti-aliasing slightly the frames will rise again. It is definitely worth the extra cash.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009742&cm_re=Acer_Predator_XB270HU-_-24-009-742-_-Product

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

I love the Asus and Acer gaming monitors, but I have to recommend the Dell S2716DG which you can get for under $600 now. Absolutely no complaints and 1440p gaming in 144hz is a game changer.

Edit: It is TN, not IPS, but it still looks gorgeous to me.

  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build. I was having a hard time finding a picture of an Air 240 with the rear 80mm exhausts (everyone seems to do the dual 120mm setup on top). Glad to see you used Noctua fans as well. Kudos for using the stock EVGA PSU cables instead of spending another $100 for the "individually sleeved" ones (the stock ones look great in my opinion)... Also, as somebody in the same boat as you (hadn't done a custom build in years), I can totally relate. You think you have everything ready to go, then you find out something doesn't fit (or that an EVGA Z170 mobo doesn't have a USB 2.0 header to control your liquid cooler or fan controller). Thank god for the internet and this website!

  • 45 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! Yea I prefer the window on top, just looks better to me and having your mobo horizontal instead of vertical means less bending of the video card or other components.

  • 44 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build! I'm looking to build something similar.

But I'm having a hard time deciding between a H80i and a H100i. You said your CPU temps got better, but how about your GPU? Is your GPU any hotter with the H100i and do you have any numbers with the H80i?

That's my concern, since the rad would be throwing hot air at it. I guess your side (bottom) intake fan right underneath the GPU makes it okay? Thanks!

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you.

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  • 45 months ago
  • 1 point

The pump on the h100i is pretty silent when it's set to "Quiet" mode. Even if I set it to "Performance" mode, I only hear it when I first start up my pc.

If you are seeing 28 idle then it sounds like the pump is working. If it wasn't your idle temps would be a bit higher, unless your ambient room temperature is unusually low. What is your ambient temperature in the room?

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