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Agata's Build

by Norkay



Date Published

Feb. 16, 2017

Date Built

Feb. 15, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.5 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

27.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

67.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.632 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

31.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

69.0° C


Until now my Girlfriend has been using my old MSI gaming laptop running on a slightly scorched GeForce 570M (I had to short some burned out capacitors to make it work again - do not try that at home).

She is a sporadic gamer. However, she loves Mass Effect 2 and 3. She was devastated, when she learned that ME:Andromeda will barely work on her hand-me-down setup.

I was tasked with building a pretty, not too girly PC that she could put on her desk and have some fun. It had to be quiet, efficient, future-proof and quite compact.

While we were looking for a case (the longest stage of the part picking), she instantly fell in love with a white NZXT Manta case. To make the insides of the case more appealing (and compliment ASUS Aura: both on the board and the graphics card), I've added a BitFenix Alchemy 2.0 RGB LED strip. I've also decided to get some custom cables and cable combs from ModKit, to match the general black/white scheme. Small 3mm acrylic combs were of great help.

As for the Kraken X62, I've removed the stock thermal solution and used Prolimatech PK-3, in my opinion next best thing to the liquid metal TIM.

As for the monitor, I've opted out for a G-Sync-less, 144Hz monitor from Acer - it requires some colour calibration to get rid of the reddish defaults, but otherwise it's the best value 1080p gaming monitor I could find.

I could drone on about the build, but rather than that, I'd like to list the remarks I had while tinkering:

  • Kraken X62 fits into Manta in both positions, but the top one is a PIA to mount and the braided tubes are always in the way, so front mounting is a smarter option.

  • ASUS Strix Z270I does not have an USB 2.0 header, so when mounting an AIO that requires it (like the Kraken), one has to get a short mini-USB cable, route it outside, and stick it in one of the four back slots. (myself, I've dremmeled out a little hole at the top - see pics).

  • If you're getting a low-profile memory, you can get away with mounting the Kraken's pump so the logo is horizontal. If you're getting some tall DDR4, the tubing will not fit unless you turn the pump/waterblock unit by 90degrees.

  • The motherboard is one of very few, that can handle XMP profiles of over 4000MHz on DDR4, and getting a stable 5GHz on a 7600K is a breeze. Great OC potential, worthy of ASUS Apex motherboard.

  • It's better to mount the top 120mm fans (that you get with the case) on the outside of the case if you're using a 280mm AIO CPU cooler through the front - helps in concealing the tubes.

  • The behind-the-board cable management is optional - the amount of cable space through the back is astounding and makes you lazy.

At the end of the day, the Girlfriend is through the roof about the build, colour customisation, and sheer power of her first gaming PC. So am I.

Part Reviews


Great board with an overclocking potential of the much larger, and more expensive Apex. No USB 2.0 header for your AIO, but otherwise an absolute gem.


A true pleasure to work with. Astounding amounts of space for cable management. Sound dampened panels and exquisite looks make it an on-the-desk case. It would be wasted staying on the floor.

Comments Sorted by:

tinnn 5 points 25 months ago

Hey, nice build!

I was super surprised when I found this build of yours, because I have a really similar build (like 80% similar, I even have the Kraken rotated the same angle -- because the Corsair Dominator is too damn tall, and it gets in the way of Kraken's tubes).

Anyway, I just wanna share that this is what I did with the USB 2.0 cable problem of NZXT Kraken + Asus Z270i + NZXT Manta: Instead of drilling a hole, you could take the back panel light out and put the cable through that hole.

Here's the image of what I did: https://i.imgur.com/O2FFsgp.jpg

Hope that'd help other people with this similar build!

patrickuhoh 1 point 24 months ago

whats on the other end of the usb?

tinnn 2 points 21 months ago

mini-USB 2.0 header that is plugged into the Kraken.

limelight55 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

I'm guessing it's to power the Kraken lights, I have a similar setup for my corsair aio

Kazaryan18 3 Builds 2 points 25 months ago


Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Do you mean the cables outside of the case? If yes, I am about to fix it this week.

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 2 points 25 months ago

I am not very good with cable management outside of the case, but that's the best I could do without going to a home improvement shop (weather is dreadful in Scotland, right now). PICTURE

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EpikMark0123 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago

Oh... i just actually looked at the build, damn I'm proud.

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Velcro for life :)

comanderbham 1 Build 2 points 25 months ago

That is a beautiful mini powerhouse good sir. Your girlfriend will be gaming in true style. Just got to get a 2k quad monitor to put that GPU to good use now. +1

blockbuster4664 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

How is the ASUS aura on the Mobo and GPU, I want to make a RGB lit build in the future and I'm looking into how well Asus Aura works.

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Against the vast selection of customisation options regarding the lightning of NZXT (and Hue+) Aura's palette of options seems scarcer. It's still beautiful and very easy to change on the whim.

SwervinPersian 1 Build 1 point 25 months ago

Great build. I like how you rotated the X62 to have better routing for the AIO tubes, imo looks better compared to mine which is floating in the air.

Wolklung 1 point 25 months ago

This is looking great.

Def going Mini ITX for the next build... get that massive ugly clunker off my desk!!

kimhwmw 1 point 25 months ago

Awesome build +1. I have really similar build with same motherboard. But I noticed that there is a orange LED light coming out right underneath USB 3.0 header. I have that light coming out as well. I thought that there is a issue with the motherboard and trying to figure out what the issue is. Do u know what that orange LED light means??

tinnn 5 points 25 months ago

Hey, I have the same problem. And I tried to find that out for like the whole week last week. I did everything I could, even formatted the windows and clear the CMOS and everything.

Until two days ago, Asus replied my email. The support said this (exact word, I copy/paste from the email):

"Thank you for your response. After checking on this, the light that you are seeing is actually the standby light and this is quite normal, it signifies that power is being supplied to the Unit, once this light is not there then the Unit is not receiving adequate amount of power. I will also send you a link to the manual so that you can view the different LEDs and the purpose of them and you can search for Motherboard Layout to see the numbering and individual parts on the motherboard, have a wonderful day now."


So my effort in trying to solve that was totally waste of time, don't be like me.. And nope, he never sent the link to the manual that he mentioned.

Hope this help!

kimhwmw 2 points 25 months ago

Thanks for the info. Yea I figured that since everyone has that light, it must be some kind of indication that it works fine. But dude they put freaking ORANGE light?!?!? WTF... Orange usually means something is not working properly in motherboard. I am even thinking about putting a electrical tape on it lol. This board is so close to be perfect except the orange light and no USB 2.0.

tinnn 1 point 21 months ago

That's a good idea, I might just try to put a tape on mine too. Thanks for an idea!

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Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

I have no bleeping idea. Didn't even notice it until you wrote your query.

kimhwmw 1 point 25 months ago

I freaking try to find what the hell that light means everywhere. When I live chat with asus, they said it is motherboard issue. So I tried to clear CMOS, unplugged everything and put them back, but nothing. It seems everyone who has rog strix z270i motherboard has those orange led light...

limelight55 2 Builds 2 points 24 months ago

Yeah, its a real buz kill with a blue build..

JheyoDELperu 1 point 25 months ago

lovely.. :D nice pc guys :D!! praps +1

limelight55 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

How did you instal the aio with no usb 2.0?

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 25 months ago

Kraken has a mini-USB port on the main unit, so I've just replaced the supplied header cable with a standard mini-USB to USB-A cable, that you can find everywhere. The rest wast just figuring out where to route the cable from inside, to reach the back panel - the photo is attached.

limelight55 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

I never actually thanked you, this was essential for my build. Keep the good work up!

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 2 points 21 months ago

Thanks, I'm really glad it helped you build your machine. Your Shark Bait looks really neat and tidy. Fair winds to you.

Kirosana 1 point 24 months ago

Hi, how did you manade to boot while the watercooling plugged behind ? I'm trying this with my H100i v2, but the PC doesn't want to boot (USB Device Over Current Stats Detected error)

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 2 points 24 months ago

It's a long name for a short circuit. It's impossible to give a definite answer remotely, but I'll try to give you some ideas:

  • a bent metal tab from the rear I/O cover, or anything conductive touching the inside of the USB port.

  • a faulty or damaged port or USB plug

  • a lost screw lodged between the motherboard and the case

  • an unused or too wide stand-off screw touching the back of the motherboard where it shouldn't

  • a faulty cable

I would start by connecting everything else but the said AIO cooling's USB. If the problem persists - it's a faulty port on the board.

When you're 100% certain that it's not the cable or port get rid of any other reasons for a boot error by removing the motherboard from the case and trying to power the computer on with only the AIO connected to the USB ports.

Kirosana 1 point 24 months ago

Hi thanks for the ideas, I'll unbuilt everything this evening and try run it outside the case with just RAM and the watercooling.

The thing is, if I unplugg the H100i v2, (or plug it with my phone charger outside) the pc boot to the bios directly and work fine. If i plug the AIO anywhere (I tried every usb port) it doesn't boot. But if I plug for example my mouse or keyboard, all the USB ports are working.

I'm thinking about buying a adapter to plug the cooling on a inside header 3.0 (the one for the front ports), i don't know if it will fix the problem.

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 2 points 24 months ago

I don't think so. I would say it's a faulty usb cable or port on your Corsair pump unit. I would RMA it to seller. As for connecting it to a charger, the usb on your AIO has only one function, and it's communication with Link software. It does not need the 5V to work.

Kirosana 1 point 24 months ago

Yeah i just saw that it's just for Link software, and I don't really care about it right now. If the pump works without I'll stick with it like this. I don't really want to wait with a RMA just to be able to use Corsair Link. Many thanks !

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 24 months ago

No problem. Have fun using your PC.

Zoid13erg 1 point 23 months ago

Any Reason you couldnt plug that usb into the 3.1 on the motherboard instead of drimmeling the case and plugging it in the back?

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

First and foremost I would have to get a 3.1 to 2.0 internal port adapter (if there is such thing). A short USB-mini cable was simpler and on hand. I prefer the Ockham's razor rule when building.

yaminoob 1 point 15 months ago

I just picked up a PM961 500gb drive. Any issues or was it running smooth out the box?

Norkay submitter 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

No issues at all. Still going strong.

yaminoob 1 point 15 months ago

Sweet thanks. I've offered $160 on ebay for the pm961 500gb. It said drives have hours of testing on them. So im taking the chance, but between the 960 evos price to the 850 evo which the few pcs ive built all have, i wanted something a bit quicker. I managed to snag some nice prices recently for my 1600x build. Can't wait