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Build

Black & White

by mikeb87

Description

I decided to build a new PC after I upgraded to a triple monitor setup. My old machine was running an i5-2500k and dual GTX 770s. It had enough power to play games at 5760x1080, but most games were definitely not at the highest settings. I'm debating on ditching the 3 monitor setup and getting a 4k monitor in the future too, so it'll be nice to be able to run that as well. I was getting tired of my black and red color scheme also, and wanted to build something in black and white.

On my previous build, I used a Corsair Obsidian 800D. This time around I went for something smaller. I was mulling over several different cases, but I was sold on the NZXT H440 as soon as I saw it. I'll admit that aesthetics played a big role in this build, and the hidden power supply, optical drive-less front, and overall design appealed to me. It's not just for looks though, and it's a great case to work in for the most part (cable management is a little tight). I did do a couple of modifications too. First, I mounted a push button switch to the top panel to control the LED strips I had mounted inside. Second, I cut out the metal between the top two cable management holes that run alongside the motherboard. My 24 pin connector didn't really line up with either hole, so I merged them into one. NZXT was cool enough to send me an entire grommet kit (free of charge too) so I could hack together one long grommet for the new hole.

As far as the LED strips go, I wanted to try something different than most people. I mounted 3 strips under the motherboard to give it an underglow effect. It sounds cool on paper, but didn't work out too well in practice. Once all the parts are installed, you can't really see the light coming through. I mounted an LED strip just in front of the side panel window too though, and it casts a decent amount of light into the case while remaining hidden from view. I also added bullet connectors to the switch wires so I'll be able to completely remove the top panel without having to cut anything. Overall I'm pleased with the way the LEDs turned out, even though the underglow effect is basically lost. The masking tape you see in the picture was temporary if you're wondering.

Component-wise, the 4790k was an easy choice. It gets good reviews and seems to have great performance for the price. For the CPU cooler I went with a Corsair H100i. I'll eventually overclock the i7, and this should be good at keeping the temps down. I picked up an MSI Z97s Krait Edition for the motherboard. It's not loaded with a ton of features like a more expensive board, but it's got the features I need and will actually use. I chose 16gb of Kingston HyperX Fury RAM in (you guessed it) white. I gave myself several options for storage. I'm reusing a 120gb Samsung 840 Evo for the OS, two 480gb Intel 530 series SSDs in RAID0 for the games I play the most, and 2 WD Black 1TB drives for general storage and games that I don't often play. The GPUs were another easy choice, with dual MSI GTX 980s. The only real downside to these cards is the cost, but they should handle anything thrown at them for the next several years. I replaced all the case fans with ones from Corsair.

Luckily it's not hard to find quality components in black and white, since that's the theme I'm going for. If the parts I got were any other color, I either painted them, or sleeved them. I ended up buying all the tools and equipment to sleeve my PSU cables myself. It would've been easier to just buy sleeved cables from Corsair, but now I have the tools and know how to do it again in the future. The GPUs were originally black and red, so I took apart the shroud as far as I could and painted the red parts white. Unfortunately, when the MSI logo lights up on the card, it casts a faint red hue from the original plastic color. It doesn't look as noticeable in person as it does in the pictures however. I had to paint the EVGA SLI bridge as well. The metal bits are held on with double sided adhesive, so I carefully pulled them off, removed the residue, and painted the metal white. I put tape that looks like carbon fiber over the EVGA logo to match everything else (that and an EVGA logo sandwiched between two MSI logos would look kinda funny IMO).

The build itself was pretty uneventful. The one thing that does stick out in my mind was getting the back panel on. The side panels have sound dampening material on them, and since it's already a slightly small case, getting the back panel on with all the wiring in was a challenge to say the least. I ended up ripping off most of the foam so I wouldn't crush anything. To be honest, my cable management in the back looks like a nightmare, but I was running out of room to put the wires. I'm sure with more careful cable routing it wouldn't be as much of a problem though.

Overall I'm very happy with how the build turned out. I got the look I was going for without having to make any compromises, and I have a system that should be good for the next several years. Or until I decide I need a new PC, whichever comes first. Criticism is welcome, constructive or otherwise. Once I get done overclocking the GPUs and CPU I'll update this post with temps and speeds. Lastly, I don't think I've typed anything this long since high school, so forgive me if it's all over the place and hard to read.

TL;DR I built a black and white computer. It's pretty fast. Lots of cables.

Comments Sorted by:

M3RICA_ 23 points 52 months ago

I was like "Another 4790k/980 build sigh"

And then I looked at the photos and I was like "Cable management"

And then I was like...

He's hacking

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

Haha thanks man!

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SirSnugzAlot 5 points 51 months ago

I am putting this comment to forever remember just how much I love this build

Chindian 4 points 52 months ago

A Back lit Motherboard...well that is truly a first for me, your pics paint a truly epic story, nice build :)

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks! Yeah I wish the backlighting would have turned out better, but it was worth a shot I think.

TwistyTreats 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

I reccomend the ROG swift instead of a 4k monitor, Easier to run still better then 1080p, g-sync and 144hz. Best monitor imo

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I've heard that from several people. I'll definitely look into it, 144hz sounds pretty nice.

Gigglerump 1 Build 2 points 52 months ago

Welcome to the Black & White Brotherhood!

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Haha thanks. I checked out your build and it's a good looking machine.

Smk54 3 Builds 2 points 51 months ago

Overall super clean build!

I am thinking of using the Kingston Fury RAM for a new build. Your thoughts?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Thanks! I like the Kingston RAM, it hasn't given me any issues so far. I can never really tell the difference in RAM speeds so I chose it based on aesthetics. It's built really well and the heat spreaders feel solid. The finish is nice too, it's slightly textured and doesn't seem like it would come off easily.

dylanwarrior77 2 points 51 months ago

OMFG this build just topped all the other builds that thought they looked good.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 51 months ago

Haha thanks! I'm really happy with it.

Fidgit13 2 points 50 months ago

Awesome build! Im working on a Black/White creepy pasta build at the moment. Used almost everything you did but I got the EVGA 980s and Corsair 900D case. lol

Amazing looking

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Thanks! Yours ought to look pretty good when it's done!

battlefrog71 2 points 47 months ago

Very nice black and white build! I'm gearing up for a 1st build. I've been running and iMac for several years now and am getting sick of Apple's lack of support. Anyway, I really like the parts you used but am thinking about going with a Phantom because of the comments on the H440's back panel. How's the mobo doing? That's a great price for a Z97 I think. Is there anything that you feel you're missing out on because you went with the Krait?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Thanks! The back panel was the only negative experience I had with the h440. The phantom is awesome too, you really can't go wrong. The mobo has held up pretty good! Nothing negative to say about it. I probably wouldn't have used the features on a more expensive board anyways so I can't say I'm missing out. Good luck with your build!

brunoslashy 2 points 46 months ago

Really Cool !!! I really like that black and white theme

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

Thank you!

PCPickerN00B 1 point 52 months ago

Freaking beautiful man!!

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks! That's pretty much what I was going for lol.

evan_benson 1 point 52 months ago

I think your build is amazing. I love the case modding you did. I also like this build because it is so similar to one I'm planning on building. +1 http://pcpartpicker.com/p/LnXrP6

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

Thanks! Yeah our systems will basically be twins lol. Good choice in parts sir.

evan_benson 1 point 52 months ago

I'll male sure I tell you when your pc's "twin" is made.

call2die4 1 point 52 months ago

bookmarked for reference of how the inside of the case should look. Awesome job +1

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks a lot man! I appreciate it.

powellbm86 9 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Absolutely sic build. Loving the tuxedo theme. When I saw the Krait version of that motherboard, I was like "I wish I hadn't just built mine...".

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Yeah, it's definitely a good looking board IMO. You have some pretty good builds yourself. Thanks!

Meithen 2 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Awesome mods! This turned out great.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks man! I'm definitely pretty happy with how it turned out.

evan_benson 1 point 52 months ago

Btw, where did you buy your psu cables

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

They're the stock cables that came with the RM1000. I used a molex removal tool to pull the wires from the connectors and I sleeved them with paracord.

evan_benson 1 point 52 months ago

That's a great idea. Did you think of this yourself or did you find instructions somewhere. If you found instructions could you give the link to it

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Nah, it's not an original idea. It's a fairly common method of DIY cable sleeving. Just look up "paracord cable sleeving" on YouTube and you'll find a ton of tutorials.

evan_benson 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks. After I sent that last reply I looked up how to do it

SuryaM 10 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Deserves way more likes

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Lol thanks. I checked out your builds, I like that gaming PC you made.

weredawg 1 point 52 months ago

Absolutely fantastic custom work. Beautiful build. +1

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks, that's a hell of a compliment!

Sed8Op8 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Wow those 980s look really nice with the shrouds painted.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you! They're probably my favorite part of the build.

bobbae 1 point 52 months ago

You just made those 980's look so freaking sweet. It looks great.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks! I'm real happy with them.

KUhawker10 1 point 52 months ago

This is what I call dedication! Beautiful build.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks, it definitely took some time and planning.

canders 7 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Nice job. +1

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks, I'm pretty fond of your hooked III build!

BrownJesus 1 point 52 months ago

Those 980 s are freaking beautiful man, congrats on the build! Also would u reccomend the msi version of the 980?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks! I haven't had enough time to put it through it's paces, but first impressions are good. The fans don't spin up until 50° so they're silent until you start to push them. I find them aesthetically pleasing as well, but of course that's subjective.

Ntress 1 point 52 months ago

can you tell what LED did you buy and how you create a button?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

I got the switch from a website called superbrightleds.com and the strips are basic white led strips from Amazon. They have bare wires on the end, no connectors or anything.

dbdev 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Looks amazing! And great components. I also have the H440 and had a ***** of a time getting that back panel on. Had to call in the wife to hold the tower while I muscled the panel in place.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thank you! I had to bear hug it and force the panel on. I decided that something needed to change if I was ever going to take that panel off again, so I trimmed the hell out of it.

Evan_AJ 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

I'm in love with this build! Especially those GPUs! I was wondering if you could tell me how you did it, What method did you use?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

Thanks! On the GPUs I had to take out several screws to dislodge the fan shroud. Unfortunately, the way the MSI logo light is wired you can't completely remove the shroud from the card. So I wrapped the card in paper and tape to keep paint off of it. Then I just spray painted the red pieces white. The black shroud pieces are able to be completely removed so i didn't have to worry about getting paint on them.

fahim_amd 1 point 46 months ago

Did you use Acrylic Spray Paint?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

I just used regular white krylon. Not sure if it's acrylic or enamel.

guysmileeey 1 point 52 months ago

Wonderful! Nice thing about all white is that you hit it with any colour lighting and it'll pop.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks, yeah that's definitely a plus if I ever decide to put different colored lights in it.

NewBornNoob 1 Build 1 point 52 months ago

Wow great

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks!

blckknight119 1 point 52 months ago

I have 5760x1080 running on one 980. I'm tempted to get another but I'm not sure about the performance boost being worth it. What do you think?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 52 months ago

I haven't had a whole lot of time to play a lot of games on it just yet, had to go back to work after the holiday break. I played a bit of BF4 though, and I'm running it maxed out on everything, 5760x1080, averaging about 110 fps. I can't say what it gets with just one card however. Hope it helps!

RxdenKyle 1 point 52 months ago

how did you paint the 980? Because dayum that looks really good.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Thanks! If you go up a few posts from here I explained (in a nutshell) how I did it. I did forget to mention one part though about the white bits on the end of the card towards the power plugs (they look like angled stripes in the pictures). They are red plastic pieces originally, and you basically have to break them off of the shroud, and I had to use super glue to put them back in place. Nothing too difficult though, just make sure you remove the paint in the areas you use glue. For some reason I didn't bother to take any pictures during the painting process, otherwise I might be able to give you a bit more help.

MatteusRawdata 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

+1 but only after deciding that the cable ties dont have to be level thats, thats just my OCD when it comes to cables :)

good job tho!

No_Nrg 1 Build 1 point 51 months ago

I currently have one MSI GTX 980 Twin Frozr in my H440 build. Have you noticed any heat issues having two in SLI? I'm going to pick a 2nd one up down the road when they drop in price.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Sorry for the late reply... So far I haven't noticed any heat issues. Running BF4 at the highest settings across three monitors averages about 100fps and the cards run around 65-70°. That number will likely go up in the summer though. Hope that helps!

paddeh 1 point 50 months ago

Wow! really awesome build, i have never seen lighting like that. Where can you buy those metal SLI bridges? Do they make them for X-fire aswell?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Thanks! EVGA makes the bridge that I have, but I'm not sure if they have a x-fire version.

kylepatrickswan 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

How does that motherboard overclock? Are temps alright? Looking for a reliable motherboard to run an OC'ed i7!

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

I still haven't gotten around to doing any overclocking unfortunately. Been working pretty non stop and haven't had much time to mess with it. I'd like to take my time when I do try (I'm a noob at overclocking).

thehobbit 1 Build 1 point 50 months ago

Very clean and awesome build! I have to say you've inspired me to make my first build a black and white one. Looks SO nice.

Couple of questions. How's that mobo working out? It's the only real black and white one on the market. And does that EVGA bridge fit well? I looks like its kinda pushing on the cards a bit...

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

Sorry for the late reply, haven't been on here in a while. The mobo is working good so far. I actually had to replace it because the sata controller was bad on the first one and kept crashing my system. But it's been great since then. The bridge fits well, if anything the cards are a bit heavy so the backs sag a bit. Good luck with your build!

IanCurrier 1 point 49 months ago

This is incredible! I was looking at this mobo and ram...you have now inspired me to build a black and white! Wow, looks so good. And the cable management..holy damn, how?

tidyshark 1 Build 1 point 49 months ago

what are the cords you used to plug everything in from the psu called? something extenders but i cant think of it lol

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 49 months ago

You're thinking of extensions I believe. I didn't use those though, I actually disassembled every cable and sleeved it myself.

Wobbleman1 1 point 48 months ago

I love your build, man! Was it easy to paint the MSI graphics cards? And what did you use? Sorry for bothering you, but I'm thinking of making a black and white theme like yours and I would like to paint a MSI GTX 970 :)

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 48 months ago

Thanks! And no worries, you're not bothering me. The card wasn't super difficult to paint. I had to pop out some screws holding the shroud on and wiggle it out. It is connected by a wire to power the MSI logo LED so I had to wrap the rest of the card in paper to prevent paint from getting on the heatsink and PCB. I had to break out the slatted parts towards the back of the card and reattach them with glue after painting, but it wasn't too difficult. Good luck with your build!

Wobbleman1 1 point 48 months ago

Thanks!

Mrzezell 1 point 46 months ago

What sli bridge did u use I would love a link :) thx

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

I used an EVGA sli bridge to start with and customized it from there. I tried to find you a link but it looks like they might not make that specific bridge anymore. Might check eBay though!

Mrzezell 1 point 46 months ago

Was it the long or short version?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

It was the one that allowed for spaced graphics cards, so I think it was the longer of the two. I'm not positive though.

fahim_amd 1 point 46 months ago

Hello. The build is awesome. May I please know where did you get the white cables and the cable combs for a more neat look?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

I sleeved the cables myself using the stock cables and white paracord. The combs came from Lutroo customs.

moethed1rt 1 point 46 months ago

One word.

Dam.

(In a good way).

fahim_amd 1 point 46 months ago

Hi! Did you also paint the mounting kit for the Corsair H100i? Also are you facing any problems with the ventilation of the H440?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 46 months ago

I painted the metal bracket that holds the water block to the backplate. As far as ventilation, it seems to be pretty good! It's slightly warmer than average considering all the stuff I have in there, idles at about 29°-32°C. But it's also pretty hot outside where I live and the temps are better in the winter for sure.

Trandescent 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

I have the same case/mobo/cooler and I totally didn't know what was missing until I saw your painted bracket.

What did you use to paint it? Did you use white krylon like you did with other parts? Are you happy with the result?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 44 months ago

Yep, just used white krylon. I'm definitely happy with the results, easy to do and looks good.

Trandescent 1 Build 1 point 44 months ago

Awesome to hear. How many coats did you throw on?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Two coats did the trick for me, I used semi-gloss white.

VISK 1 point 44 months ago

Very well done black and white build. Not to much of any of the two colors, well balanced. Thumbs Up.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 2 points 44 months ago

Thanks!

yate_loon 1 point 44 months ago

Is that just the standard 60mm spacing SLI bridge?

I also painted the red parts of my Twin Frozr V shroud, but I took the LED out and put a hefty coat of white paint behind it and you can't see any red bleeding through - http://s7.postimg.org/r03hqsfq3/20150327_035310.jpg

manirelli staff 8 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

Please don't use link shorteners on our site.

yate_loon 1 point 44 months ago

Edited, I hope that's ok?

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 44 months ago

I believe it's standard spacing. And I've been thinking of repainting the shrouds. I didn't take the heatsinks off the card when I first painted them, I just loosened the shrouds and wrapped the cards in newspaper. I thought I I'd be able to keep the warranty intact this way, but I contacted msi a few weeks ago and they said since I altered them, the warranties are void. So I'm going to completely disassemble them in the near future to get a better paint job.

hack3r 1 point 42 months ago

Are to gpus hand painted or spray painted? I want to use a msi 390 in my build but I want to make it all black. (Sorry I'm commenting months later but you're one of the only people to have painted your mis gpu.

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 42 months ago

They're spray painted. I ended up taking the heatsink/shroud off the card completely to make painting easier. This will void the warranty, but it makes for a much nicer paint job.

hack3r 1 point 42 months ago

cool

frostmourne7 1 Build 1 point 40 months ago

hey man.

i plan to build with most of the same specs and of course black and white theme.

how's the GPU temps with this case? does the fans pull air enough for the twins?

great build btw. excited to build mine because of this. lol

cheers!

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Sorry for the late reply, haven't been on in a while. The gpu temps for the 980s were pretty decent, but I don't have the numbers off the top of my head. I ended up getting a couple 980ti's to replace them with, and those definitely run a lot hotter than the old cards did.

DayfortheDead 1 point 40 months ago

Im going to ask why you got 2 480 gb ssds, its cheaper to get 1 1tb ssd same with the 7200 rpm hdds

mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 39 months ago

Sorry for the late reply, haven't been on here in a while. The main reason for two SSDs was so I could run them in raid 0. One SSD is fast, but put them in raid 0 and they're insane.

DayfortheDead 1 point 39 months ago

Fair enough, but you may have been better pricewise to get 1 is my main reasoning

niels.nielsen 1 point 35 months ago

Hey, does it make a big difference with the Corsair sp120 fans in the front?

nonamelegend3 1 point 35 months ago

This is literally the exact build i want case and all!!!

EduardoSheldon 1 point 34 months ago

How does the mobo and cpu work together?

frennysdlc 0 points 46 months ago

Nice overclock

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mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 52 months ago

Just checked out your build, and now I have the urge to build a micro PC lol.

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mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 50 months ago

Thanks! The H440 is definitely an awesome case.

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mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

I sleeved them myself using paracord. With the money i spent on paracord and sleeving tools I probably could've just bought a set of pre sleeved cables, but now I can make my own in the future for dirt cheap.

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mikeb87 submitter 3 Builds 1 point 38 months ago

Thanks! It took a while to get the hang of it but I liked the way they turned out.