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Build

blewe

by sharptooth

230
133 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Nov. 23, 2015

Date Built

Nov. 7, 2015

CPU Clock Rate

3.3GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

26.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.27GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

7.01GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

32.0° C

Description

I've been using Intel based laptops for a number of years now, my current Sony Vaio is a 2011 model with an i5 and switchable graphics that have stopped working since the Windows 10 upgrade. The discovery of PCPP several months ago inspired me to build something new, from scratch. With parts purchased since September and built this month, here is my new home PC, much of which owes a lot to the PCPP community; from forum advice to comments on builds, inspiring photos, write-ups and of course reviews too. Thank you, all!

My other build listed on my profile was basically an upgrade of old parts to make something functionally useful for a specific purpose (video capture). This time I would start completely afresh, directed by several key factors: my longstanding loyalty to AMD; quality of components; budget and efficiency. These are all subjective of course, but that is the great thing about building your own PC, you are afforded that luxury.

This PC won't set any performance records, nor would I even recommend its now aged CPU and motherboard infrastructure. This said, I am pleased with the end result in as much as it's turned out at least as well as I'd hoped. Hours spent making cable extensions from scratch was, I think, worth it in the end - if only for the challenge of learning a new skill. The overall look really is better than I expected, and I really hope to get many hours of use out of this PC before considering upgrades.

Uses will include extensive photo editing (Lightroom and Google's Nik Efex), light programming (Visual Studio), light gaming, video capture and the usual web browsing, e-mail and admin tasks. The larger SSD holds my entire photo collection plus Lightroom RAW cache. I'll admit this is was an expensive luxury to add to a build like this, but given the size of RAW files that I process (25-30 MB, and size of TIFF files generated for export to Nik Efex (150-200 MB), this actually works really well for this purpose.

Aside from making the cable extensions, I also painted the metal cable management bar blue as I had originally intended to get the blue version of the S340. I found the black version cheaper one day so figured I’d paint this part blue, and it’s actually a deeper blue than on the blue version of the case.

The GTX 960 was my preferred option over the often-recommended R9 380 simply because of lower power consumption, aesthetics (that backplate) and in the end price, as I found this one for a steal on Amazon Warehouse Deals.

Motherboard and processor are obviously contentious options which I can’t defend on performance grounds at all - yes, an i5 would have been a better option for many reasons. This said, I still feel that these are inexpensive, reliable and perfectly capable parts. For £60 (USD$90) the M5A97 EVO was a steal, and will allow me to try out some moderate overclocking in the near future. I picked the 8370E purely on the grounds of it being the most recent FX model to have been released, and I also found it intriguing that so few people seem to have used this model in builds!

Once I’d seen the Megahalems on a Google Images search for black CPU heatsinks I knew that this was the one. Ridiculously expensive in proportion to my budget, this is premium air cooling that also looks the part and should continue to work flawlessly on any future build. A quick forum question on cooling for this beast ended up with me a taking a bit of a risk on these German high static pressure, PWM fans made by Alpenfohn. They’re just about right on noise, and visually they are perfect for my black/blue theme.

I think I spent the most amount of time researching power supplies, for whatever reason leaving EVGA out of my equation until the very end. I’d wanted a unit actually made by either SuperFlower or Seasonic, but in the end EVGA beat them both on price and support, with the splendid G2 550 sporting SuperFlower parts and a 7 year warranty. I cannot recommend the PSU tier list on Tom’s Hardware Forum highly enough.

As and when I attempt an overclock I’ll update this page with details. Idle CPU temperature as-is at 3.3 GHz is a constant 26 degrees celsius. If there’s anything more anyone wants to know then please leave a comment below .. this has been an absolute pleasure to build!

Comments Sorted by:

legonate416 2 Builds 32 points 23 months ago

my longstanding loyalty to AMD

Gets Nvidia GTX 960

dfour802 8 points 23 months ago

Also says, "The GTX 960 was my preferred option over the often-recommended R9 380 simply because of lower power consumption", but buys an AMD processor....lol

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Fair point, I did at least pick one of the 95W TDP models though :)

ThreeGen -7 points 23 months ago

You should also be happy because the 960 probably gets better performance, too.

legonate416 2 Builds 4 points 23 months ago

No, that is false. 380 beats the 960 in all games except nividia optimized ones. [GTA V, Warframe, etc.] However the 380 still holds it's own in these nividia optimized games, so it depends on what games you are playing, and how many games you are playing.

TerranTheMoose 1 point 23 months ago

"all games except nividia optimized ones." By AMD optimized games, do you mean "just Star Citizen, Sniper Elite, Metro, and Dirt"? Cause that's what I think of.

Diso 1 point 23 months ago

Incorrect, the 380 outperforms the 960

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Ropota 1 point 23 months ago

best decision EVA :)

Pcjulian12343 -4 points 23 months ago

*EVGA

only1battman 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

*Zotac ;)

TerranTheMoose 1 point 23 months ago

*Inno3D ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

ryanshome@gmail.com 1 point 23 months ago

I don't think you get the point.

Soundwaves699 -2 points 23 months ago

he meant eva. BTW i like your pic

Pcjulian12343 -3 points 23 months ago

ty :)

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vagabond139 5 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Very mature...

Ravenhelm 2 Builds 4 points 23 months ago

What was it? Seeing a 'Comment deleted by staff' always makes me curious haha.

vagabond139 5 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Something about him calling op retarded due to cpu choice.

Ravenhelm 2 Builds 3 points 23 months ago

Ah, okay. Luckily we have a great staff team ;)

Pcjulian12343 -4 points 23 months ago

:)

drumbum47 1 point 23 months ago

Free speech!! Down with censorship

Pcjulian12343 -1 points 23 months ago

No it fine chill bro

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Pcjulian12343 -4 points 23 months ago

Lelz sorry peeps

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RyRy 2 Builds 5 points 23 months ago

Been so long since I have seen an AMD build get featured! Congrats! Amazing sleeving work, and a great looking system overall! Really like you choice of parts and I hope this keeps you up and running for a long time :P +1

  • RyRy
sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks RyRy, I'm stoked to get featured build! Certainly hoping this build will last a while, yes..

pegotico 2 Builds 4 points 23 months ago

very nice build!! +1

Yep the 8370e is a better binned more efficient CPU (95 watts TDP). The 8320e is also an excellent choice for budget builds.

You really did a clean job and i really like your blue theme. I had never seen those fans.. Are they silent?

Strange you didn't go with the EVGA G2 650 which is just a couple bucks more..

Congratulations for making the featured build!!

johngerges582 3 points 23 months ago

blew is kuul.

legonate416 2 Builds 3 points 23 months ago

Other than my obvious gripe about the 960, this build is so EPIC looking. I love the high quality pictures, you would not believe how many people don't take time to take decent pictures of their builds. [Myself included, I am guilty as charged]

+1

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks legonate416, I did take some time over these photos so it's really nice to see people appreciate that aspect! For dark PC interiors, even lit ones, a phone camera really doesn't cut it unless you have full control over the ISO and preferably something to rest the phone on to keep it sturdy.

legonate416 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Yes, definitely.

evade6317 1 Build 3 points 23 months ago

I will let the link speak for me.

https://youtu.be/z1DzZ7oShl4

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Haha, thank you!

IMojoe134 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Man this is a challenge

Nice work dude

how is the cpu temp under load?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

Thanks, and apologies for the delayed response, as I'd not really had a chance to put it under load until the weekend just gone! Highest temp I recorded was 35c

Ropota 2 points 23 months ago

Nice build. like the psu sleeves alot

DizzySquirel 2 points 23 months ago

Amazing job man! i love the color scheme and the build just looks amazing! its great to see an awesome amd build once in a while. im curious where did you get those sleved cables at? amazing build +1 :D

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 3 points 23 months ago

Thanks for your comments, really appreciated! I made these sleeved extensions (24pin ATX And 6pin PCIE) from scratch using parts from E22.biz; the sleeving itself is Teleios Fusion blue/black 4mm.

SmokeDrugs 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

How long did it take you out of curiosity?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 3 points 23 months ago

Good question! The ATX cable was done in stages but I would estimate in the region of 9-10 hours hours. By contrast the PCIE cable, which I did last, took less than 2 hours - fewer actual cables, and by this time I'd mastered the process.

SmokeDrugs 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Yikes. I was afraid it was going to be something like that. I will probably just order some rather than make them myself. Thanks!

caleb2884 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

+1 Great pics! Now I'm gonna have to go take some studio pics of mine. #MakingMeJealous

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

A tripod or something to rest the camera on makes a lot of difference as you'll almost always be shooting in poor light requiring a slower shutter speed ... look forward to seeing your results ;)

JeffCheng 2 points 23 months ago

I like the build! But are you going to upgrade it? Because the AM3+ socket is pretty old, but other than that, nice build.

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Many thanks! You're right, it is an old architecture now but I'll see how it goes until at least Zen is released next year. I'd like to think I'd be able to re-use most of this rig if I decided to upgrade cpu/mobo next year..

TheEthernet 6 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Very nice work! Great pics.

aludka 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Very good looking build you have there. +1. Well done.

CoolTronics21 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Nice color scheme +1 for hard work

Xemjas 2 points 23 months ago

Dang son, mighty beautiful looking system. Hats off to you.

sponix 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Love what you did with this build..

Thanks for Sharing !!

Lankyhunjofjunk 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

This is stunning. Top work for a spectacular build :)

JafferAli 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

with your laptop, I think you can just clear the hdd and install a new OS then the problem will probably be fixed. if you put it into your computer as the only hdd then boot from the OS DVD, it'll give you the option to clear that hdd and install windows.

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Good to know, thanks JafferAli, I'll give this a go once I've finished copying across all remaining files to the new one!

erodayzay 2 points 23 months ago

It looks SEXY! Great job on the build and color scheme! Also nice job on the sweet photos... fancy :)

YyvoN 2 points 23 months ago

Beautiful PC build! +1

xDiiThy 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Please explain how fanless CPU Coolers work, how does your PC allow you to boot without any errors? Did you plug in a system fan into the cpu header or does the cooler come with a dud to fill the space, even though that would still freak the PC out because there would not be any RPM reporting.

Thank You,

caleb2884 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

I would assume he went into the bios and set a zero speed limit on the cpu fans. I had to do this same with my Corsair H100iGTX because the fans are controlled by the corsair link

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Incredibly it will boot with the lower RPM and without me having (yet) changed anything in the BIOS, which I will do as very occasionally it won't boot for exactly this reason! Thanks for this comment as I wasn't actually sure if this was possible to do..

aGoat 7 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

First off, his cpu cooler is not fanless. Second... it works the same way as if there was a fan attached to the heat-sink... just not as well.

snarkyCoder 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Great build! The NZXT S340 is a great case to build with :) Please tell me Is the fan in the rear exhaust at the same RPM of the 2 fans on the cpu heatsink??

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks snarkyCoder, yes definitely a good case to work with this one! Rear and top fans are definitely running at higher RPMs than the two on the heatsink as I've daisy chained the CPU ones into the CPU fan header so the RPM is much lower on these. Not sure how I'm going to address this when I start planning an overclock.

snarkyCoder 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Oh ok, I have that doubt with the case exhaust fans in my system. I don't know if setting them at the same speed as the cpu specially the rear one.

Regarding how to address what you told me, use the 'swiftech pwm splitter' it has either a molex or sata power adapter for running up to 8 fans to the same speed as the CPU header. I saw you just have one header for CPU so that splitter will work. Actually I wanted to buy it for that reason that I wanted either the exhaust or intake fans at same speed as the CPU fans... This is my build if you want to check it out tuf tux

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

That is really useful to know snarkyCoder, many thanks for this! I will look at getting one of those splitters, then the next trick will be successfully unplugging the existing splitter from the fan header without disrupting the heatsink :)

jaeshim2000 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Beautiful and Clean! Love your computer.

powellbm86 8 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

I love your theme. What paracord did you use for your cables? That's super clean.

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks powellbm86! It's Teleios Fusion blue/black 4mm, purchased from E22.biz.

NokeManzo 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Looks nice & clean. Good job!

Jovie918 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

you murdered this build(Mean that in a good way)! The combination of blues and blacks mesh together perfectly. Even those OCZ SSD's match! Like what you did with the cable management bar. Work like yours makes me want to build another rig.

P.S. - What are you shooting your photos with?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Thanks Jovie918, glad you like the theme, it took a fair bit of research to match up my parts accordingly! I'm quite sure I will want to build another rig too - the creative aspect was something completely unknown prior to this build, having previously only opted for window-less cases, etc.

All shots taken with a Canon 5D MkIII and Sigma 50mm ART lens.

mauricearis 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Great Build very clean. +1 Happy hunting

Vauun 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

This build looks like sex.

TykoTaco 2 points 23 months ago

Very smooth build man!

TheGingerBeard 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

+1 for a great am3+ build! Much cleaner than mine!

One thing I've been trying to increase efficiency of my 8350 is undervolting - if you are happy with the performance of your CPU this is a good option as it decreases power use without degrading performance (if stable!)

Congrats on being featured :-)

dtmb68 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

I myself have an AMD build... still rockin the same system since 2011 next year hopefully things will be upgraded. +1

Tonyvuknome 2 points 23 months ago

Even the SSDs matching +1

JuniorVid 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

+1 for a blue led nzxt s340 build!

I did one too :D

rightinthepope 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Beautiful pics

SHADOW54312 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

Very good build. Lights in all the right places.

convertedconsolegamer_92 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Beautiful build and welcome to the S340 family!

erickdiaz84 3 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

This build really rustles my jimmies.

+1

Atron 1 Build 2 points 23 months ago

With an OC you should aim for around 4.2Ghz unless those fans are better than Im guessing in which case go for 4.5GHz. Overall a great build though my only critisism is that you could have toned down the SSDs and gone for a 970/390 or even higher since a 500GB SSD can be as low as £100 and a 1TB HDD about £40 so you could have saved £160 and gone for a bettter GPU/CPU

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks for this info Atron, I did a bit of research into 8370E overclocking and came to a similar conclusion. I may well find my 550W PSU lacking if I go above 4 GHz, but we will see!

The larger SSD was bought right at the end of the build, having originally not been planned at all. A pricing mistake on Amazon made it seem like too good a deal to miss. Granted this extra value could have gone towards GPU/CPU, but I'm quite sure I will upgrade these down the line anyway so I'm happy enough with what I've got for now, and it's certainly a huge improvement over the Vaio's 4 year old i5..

mlw05 4 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Beautiful photographs +1!

Stryder8456 2 points 23 months ago

This is really good looking, and you didn't spend a fortune on custom water cooling and such. Nice.

umbra 2 points 18 months ago

Nice build, planning on getting the same case.

May I ask where did you place the NZXT sleeved LED's in the case? Are they on the side window or in the actual case? Also, do they go around the case or is it only on the top and both sides?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 18 months ago

Hi, thanks for your comment!

I fitted them in the actual case (look at the photos without the window panel on), and yes they go all the way around, starting on the bottom left corner where the control board is screwed into the bottom card extension slot, then going up the left hand side, along the top (left to right), down the right hand side, then back into the case underneath the lower front intake fan, up again on the other side of the front intake fans, then finally back along the top of the front intake fans. I hope this makes sense! This was using the NZXT 2m white kit, which comes with stick-on plastic clips, all of which I used.

VECT0R 1 Build 2 points 11 months ago

why does this build relieve my stress??????????????

auldae 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Nice sleeving work (and overall build). Wish I had the patience, time, and skill to do a set like that. +1

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

Thank you, it honestly gets easier and you get quicker!

VGears 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

+1 for AMD. Good job on the paint and sleeves. Holy ****!!!! that Heat sink looks amazing. I might just go for that, It makes everything look cleaner. Good job on your build

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

what exactly did he paint?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

The metal cable management shroud where the ATX and PCIE cables tuck in behind :)

pegotico 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

for some reason i thought you had the black and blue S340

https://pcpartpicker.com/part/nzxt-case-cas340wbb1

VGears 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Look from picture 10 to 19 that metal plate that says NZXT on the bottom section and has a little that's cut on the top section. Well that plate is suppose to be black or silver depending on supplies. You would think that this is factory. I think he did a good job.

pegotico 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

yes he did!! :) i would say excellent.

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

It took several attempts on the reverse side of this part to figure out how to get even coverage, then it was simply a case of spray, wait a minute, repeat a few times then leave to dry. Ended up spraying some of the lawn blue but it was all in a good cause!

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thank you! Cannot recommend this heat sink highly enough, note the AMD mounting plate in the photos which allows you to position it vertically or horizontally depending on user preference - very useful..

VGears 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

You are welcome and Yeah being able to rotate the heat sink depending on exhaust location is always a plus. Good jog again.

SquareOreo 1 point 23 months ago

Picture 16 doe...

What camera you using?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

a Canon 5D MkIII for all shots, with Sigma 50mm ART lens :)

SquareOreo 1 point 23 months ago

Such Skill...

AW1018 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Put it on Pimp my PC!!!

Conquerogue 1 point 23 months ago

Could have gotten a really good Intel core with this build, yet instead chose AMD? AMD is good for 500$-600$ builds, didn't expect AMD with this build. Great color scheme, lovingthe blue Leds the best

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 23 months ago

You're right and I've even said that myself in the description, I guess bear in mind that the SSDs form a large portion of my budget, the larger one of which wasn't even in my original plans until one day it dropped to a silly price on Amazon! I'd like to think that I've future-proofed the rest of the build enough to be able to slot in a new cpu and mobo down the line, or even sooner if I really find these parts lacking. Thanks for your comments on the theme and lighting :)

mOCHU 1 point 23 months ago

absolutely no extra case fans and a fanless setup? can you keep us posted on how the temps during general usage?

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Don't let the "Prolimatech Megahelms (No Fans) Fanless" mislead you! The heatsink comes without any fans, but I've added two fans in push-pull configuration and I also switched out the stock NZXT top and rear 120mm case fans with Alpenfohn 120mm fans, and finally I added 2 140mm Alpenfohn fans to the front of the case. Certainly I will post more temperature information in the near future :)

mOCHU 1 point 23 months ago

Ah.. Ok.. I thought you went entirely fanless relying on just case fans to do the ventilation for you.. Makes more sense now..

texasmayne 4 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Hot diggity dog!

Bossyfins 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Personally, wouldn't get an AM3+ CPU because so old and terrible performance/heat, but it is your choice. I'd gone an i5 4460 or similar and beat the performance given by the 8370.

citsolutions 18 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Very Nice,

Though as mentioned, a 4GB R9 380 would of been a better buy. Ignore people when referencing Power Consumption. If you want Gaming PC and looking to save money on electric then no, just buy a console and a little SoC boxes. That PSU was more than enough for R9 380.

An X4 860K and R9 380 pulls 245 watts in total from wall that is both overclocked. X4 860K and GTX 960 overclocked 215W, 30W is not the biggest concern in the world.

Only one suggestion, as it bugs me to see but get rid of that blue HyperX ram and buy some Crucial Ballistix Sport XT. The ram will then match your board 100% as they both use same material for the heatsinks inc colour

axeldadams 1 point 23 months ago

So beautiful ;-;

SuperTailsHD 1 point 23 months ago

Wow you rich!!

eeem1214 1 Build 1 point 23 months ago

Did you polish your case its so glossy

Luigiox 3 Builds 1 point 22 months ago

WOW! +1 because is all I can give :/

Markyy88 1 point 22 months ago

How is the CPU? Just got on myself.

Zenos 1 point 20 months ago

lol no offense but for the price this is a terrible build

sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 2 points 20 months ago

How so?

Zenos 2 points 20 months ago

for more than a £1000 this pc only has a 960. also i was gonna say why no 380 but a saw your other comment.

but i understand that this pc is for looks and not bang for buck - it really does look amazing, but it isn't something i would prefer over bang for buck, and if i had a bit of higher budget, I'd try to get a mix of both.

Thanks for not being offended by my comment btw lmao

tabishahmed2002 1 point 20 months ago

O MY GOD ITS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! +1!!!

Xorex64 1 point 19 months ago

I am so confused why all of PCjulian's comments have -3 points

Most of them dont warrant a downvote.....

Anyways, nice build build man. Im not sure about the CPU but it certainly did tirn out blewe

PokeCatz 1 Build 1 point 17 months ago

Nice camera skills.

nrgtheory 1 point 14 months ago

nice bleu build :)

albertofel 1 point 7 months ago

Does this case fit most motherboards? I'm thinking of getting the Asus ROG maximus IX Hero MOBO and is there a panel covering the front of the case? I would like to purchase this case but I prefer an internal BluRay drive thank you

Pcjulian12343 -3 points 23 months ago

I think that the 380x would be better but you've published it already sooo

vagabond139 5 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

The R9 380X wasn't even out when this was built.

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sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thank you :) I really did look at a lot of options for GPU having originally thought a 750TI would suffice. In the end it really only came down to price, aesthetics and power draw. However, if I'd not found this specific 960 on Amazon Warehouse Deals then I could well have opted for something else!

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sharptooth submitter 2 Builds 1 point 23 months ago

Thanks Geekazoid, they certainly required patience to put together, but I'm pleased with how they turned out! Before I started the build I didn't even realise sleeving was a thing, then I came across this build - http://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/hpsJ7P - which was what then inspired me to make these myself. I tried using heatshrink initially but just couldn't get on with it so went with heatshrinkless.

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piemancoder 1 point 23 months ago

Did the build earn a spot on The List?

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