Description

Hello my fellow gamers!

I would like to show you my first overclocked CPU/GPU and first water-cooled PC build. This build was my 4th computer build, but the previous 3 were "plug and go" with no overclocking and air cooling. I upgraded from a Coolermaster Storm sniper case (a metal beast, but I loved it), a stock 3770K, an Asrock Extreme 6 motherboard, and a EVGA 980 FTW. I wanted a PC that could handle Star Citizen with a VR headset, The Division, and high end games for years to come. Please forgive my walls of text I wanted to include a detailed review with the build log, TL:DR in bold!

Case: Noctis 450--Aggressive case with trusted H440 layout and nice lighting. PSU shroud and Fan hub help hide the mess. Issues with paint finish and Hub setup. I loved this case when I first laid eyes on it; the trusted interior layout of the H440 with the aggressive look I wanted. It was a toss-up between this and the Coolermaster Mastercase 5 Pro. Bought for $126 from Directron on sale.

Pros: Fantastic aesthetics, above average airflow, excellent water cooling support and clearances, PWM fan hub, wire management with grommeted motherboard tray cutouts, PSU shroud hides messy cables, and nice case lighting.

Cons: Finish- A few times simply tightening the screws removed the paint

Panels- I cringed when I tried to remove the panels, I felt like they were going to break (I ended up shearing off the corner of one of the top clips on the front panel after I removed it the first time. Functionality wasn't effected).

Front dust filter- Please, NZXT, for the love of god, make it so you can slide the dust filter out from behind of the front panel on the bottom without having to remove the panel!

PWM fan hub instructions and setup-- The included instructions were not clear enough, especially with water-cooling units. I had to call NZXT twice to clarify how the hub should be setup with a cooling unit (they were very helpful). I basically was told the best way to wire this was to plug the Kraken's pump into the CPU_FAN header and attach the two radiator fans to the daisy-chain on the Kraken. You then attach all the case fans to the PWM fan hub and plug that into a CHA_Fan header. If you don't plug a fan into both the Kraken daisy chain AND the PWM fan hub "extension" (meant for the CPU fan) cable, your motherboard wont be able to read your fan's RPMs. Originally I had all of the fans connected to the Hub (leaving the Kraken daisy chain empty), the Kraken pump connected to the "extension" cable, and the Hub's PWM cable connected to the CPU_FAN header. With that setup I got CPU fan errors and no RPM feedback. Also, if you have non-PWM fans, the hub will run them at max RPM.

CPU: I7 5820K Tray Processor--Cheap 6 core with great overclocking capability.

I bought this for $320+Tax-bundle discount from Microcenter along with my motherboard. I've overclocked it to 4.4 with a core voltage for 1.25V. I've run AIDA64 and Intel XTU for 12 hours each and without any BSOD. I ran Asus Realbench for 30 minutes and it BSOD'ed, unsure why. I benchmarked a score of 130242 with Realbench. I idle at roughly 30C and after a 4 hour The Division on ultra settings session, it averaged about 44C. I wanted the 6 core for the enhanced physics score performance and future proofing. Update: Upped voltage to 1.26 for increased stability

CPU Cooling: NZXT X61 Kraken--Slightly overpriced, but the high quality is there. CAM software is decent, but uses too much resources to run.

I was debating between this, and the Corsair H110 and the H100. I decided to go with a 280mm AIO because I wanted superior cooling while running lower RPM fans. I chose this because of the terrible Corsair Link reviews and for the petty reason that the NZXT pump logo matches the case. I wish they would sleeve the tubes like Corsair's AIO units instead of leaving them bare rubber. Still, it looks good and functions great so far. Little to no pump noise. CAM could use some optimization in the resource usage department. Bought from Newegg for $140

Motherboard: Asus X99 Pro/USB 3.1 Motherboard--Hits the sweet spot for performance and cost. Lowest failure rate among all Asus X99 motherboard (yes, even the Sabertooth). This is were the nightmare started. Originally I bought an open box Asus X99 Pro from Microcenter online. When I got there, I noticed the box had about 6 million "Returned for repair: Complete in working order" stickers on it and it appeared to have bent pins that were repaired. My face looked like that Fry from Futurama meme after seeing that. I gambled and exchanged it for an open box Asus X99 Deluxe with the same stickers, but lacking the evidence of bent pins. As you can guess it didn't work after I spent a few hours testing everything. Microcenter's customer service kicked *** and discounted my above board from $340 to $260+tax for my troubles.

Memory: Avexir Raiden 4x4 DDR-4 2800 RAM--Runs at correct speeds in XMP with no issues. Unique lightning effect on top. Tallest RAM Ive ever seen. Avexir is relatively new to the RAM game from what I've gathered. They have made RAM for other companies, just a few years ago they ventured out on their own. I was wary of this, but so far they are running great. The reason why I bought them....just look at the pictures! Ram is super tall, they would block normal CPU mounted heatsinks. Bought from Newegg for $90

Youtube Link-Watch it on 0.5 or 0.25 to see the effects better if you want: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjfLfNvtqEE

Power Supply: EVGA 850w G2 Gold Power Supply--Best rated 850w supply with a 10 year warranty. Just buy it. Sorry, no wall of text here. Oh, its sleeving is nice and its fully modular. Bought from Newegg for $100AR.

Storage: Samsung 850 EVO 1TB SSD--Reliable company that improved on their 840 series greatly. 1TB fits all of my needs and I currently does use HDDs in this case. I had a 840 EVO 250G SSD in my old build, I cant live without my OS being on an SSD anymore. 1TB more than meets my needs and only having one SSD and no HDDS cuts down on wires and allows for unrestricted airflow. Bought from Newegg for $270

Video Card--EVGA 980 TI Hybrid-- Excellent candidate for overclocking, lackluster stock shroud design. I chose this card because I wanted to keep my heat down and wanted to only use one card with a 2k setup. An overclocked 980TI seemed to be the choice and the hybrid is the easiest one to do it with lower heat exhausting into the case.

Shroud Mod-Brought you by Goo-Gone: This was a mess. I purchased the new shroud for $50 off EBay (EVGA.com was out of stock) and decided to paint it. First I had to take it apart and it turns out that those metal rails are glued with some super adhesive and I used Goo-Gone to break it down. I slightly bent the longer ones in the process. Next I needed to choose the colors. I was thinking of blacking out the shroud and painting the rails white and blue with a white backplate. I decided to go with a white shroud with black and blue rails instead. I saw a Linus video that used Plastidip and decided to try that. The finish wasn't what I wanted and the edges weren't crisp on the shroud. I used Goo-Gone again to help remove what I couldn't peel away and it worked like a charm. I researched paint again and decided to use Duplicolor's Plastic and Vinyl paint based off of the TekSyndicate video on coloring your parts. One stinky basement and 2 days later, it was perfect. I colored the rails blue and with what I thought was black. Nope, turned out it was "Dark Walnut" and it looked like a UPS truck. Goo-Gone to the rescue? No sorry, paint thinner and a poor scrape job later it as good as it was gonna get for a new coat of black. A few coats of black revealed my poor scrape job was showing through. I wanted to just be done so I glued the parts on using Loctite Plastic bonder and it worked like a charm. In my attempt to remove the old shroud, I found an over tightened screw and I ended up striping it....yea, I know. I literally ripped the shroud off in my anger and it worked, minus one ruined shroud and a stripped screw. On a side note, the cable attachment on the new shroud had a "barbed" connector and probably wasn't meant to be removed very easily. My poor attention to detail drew this project out to about 1 week, around 10 hours of labor and three trips to Home Depot. I bought the card for $615 from Jet.com, the shroud for $50 from EBay, and spent about $30 in paint. Update: Decided to keep the black rails off to see how it looks.

Monitor--Asus ROG Swift PG278Q 27" 2K Monitor--MY first monitor about 1080P, bought it used so there is minimal backlight bleed and no dead pixels. I like this monitor, I don't think that gaming right now is even marginally optimized for 4k and in my option I think there is more support readily available for 2K. I knew I wouldn't be able to power a 4k monitor on ultra setting and have 60 FPS on anything but two 980 TIs, so I chose to step down the resolution to 2K. If you win the panel lottery, this is one of the best 2K monitors out there.

Fans--Thermaltake Riing Fans: 3x 120mm and 3x140mm-- Loved the ring look instead of the normal LED fan lighting. Non-PWM, but super quiet even at full bore. These fans are supposed to be radiator fans, and my fan selection was more of a aesthetic choice rather than one based on performance, though they are excellent fans. The non-PWM is definitely a con if you want to fiddle with fan curves, but there really is no need because they are so quiet. Purchased off of Newegg and Fry's with a Google Express promo

Keyboard-Logitech G710+--Excellent keyboard. I Like the white backlighting, dislike the orange trim.

Mouse--Logitech G502--Best mouse I've ever owned, very customizable with DPI settings and weights.

Headphones--Sennheiser PC363D--Out of the 5 gaming headsets I've owned, including three 7.1 headsets, this is the best. Very comfortable, excellent mic, outstanding sound balance, good build quality. Less bass than Astros, but more balanced sound profile

Lighting Kit--NZXT Hue+-- Setup added a lot of cables to the build. Had to purchase the NZXT internal USB header extension to fit the 3 USB cables onto the motherboard. Kit has a ton of functionality and is probably the best lighting kit on the market, I'm just not sure it was worth adding all the extra cables to the build for it.

Youtube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOqjGTEj8Wk

Comments

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Sweet build, sweet deals! I think all of your troubles are paid off with such an amazing rig! Congrats!+1

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you so much, it was a labor of love chosing the right parts and putting it together. Frustrating at times, but I can enjoy it now

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

really impressed i would have never thought the nzxt case looked that good great job +1.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

The Noctis is a bit of a departure from their cleaner, more utilitarian H440 style cases. I think they did an excellent job balancing looks, airflow, and quality.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Nah, son (busta voice), nah, son, nah, son...how great is that GPU paint!? °_o
iLoveR2D2!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

My non-gamer family and friends said the case looked like a stormtrooper and the shroud looked like R2D2 haha. Good eye!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Very clean and balanced aesthetics. Thanks for sharing your story! +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

It was therapeutic to share it, after all the frustration haha. Thanks for the vote!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

It shows you put a lot of work into the build, very nice.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Great build man. My personal preference is low profile stuff but this build looks clean and edgy at the same time. Rock solid components! +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I did about 2 or 3 weeks of research and agonized about the X99 vs Z170 playform debate. I'm a stickler for wires showing, love that psu shroud on the case.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

This looks so clean and neat, terrific job. Enjoy gaming with that sexy GPU. +1.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

She's a peach, my ASIC score was in the low 80s. It stays cool even under full load for hours. I would recommend it to anyone!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

All I can say is WOW! +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Project Turbine, eh? Well, it certainly blew me away. That RAM looks just wonderful in there. +1

  • 38 months ago
  • 2 points

I got lucky with the ram, it was something like $200 for one 4x4 kit. It dropped to $90 and I ordered two kits, but before I could checkout, only one was left! They are honestly better in person than in the video, you can see the lightning bouncing around. Thank you for the vote!

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

It looks glorious in the build, so you deserved the bargain. Bravo.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO KNOCK BEFORE YOU COME IN......

I SWEAR I HAD MY PANTS ON A MINUTE A GO...

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

But honestly man, you did an AMAZING job with this build. I love the mods and little blue accents you gave to the parts, and it really is a nice build.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, the aftermarket shroud was nice, but I think the paint added extra flavor to the build.

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a pretty slick build! The RAM, fans, and Hue+ sets it all off IMO

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I wanted to try something slightly different while keeping it clean

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

This is my by far, one of the best PC builds I've seen in a while! +1

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you! Im currently working on getting cable mods and doing some case artwork. Ill be posting an update in about a month.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful build and really great description on your setup! I'm going to rebuild next year with the N450.

How has the Kraken been working out for you? I've never considered water cooling before but with 40 degree summers and the Kraken looking so good, it's hard to resist.

  • 36 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you for the compliment, it is nice to see people still looking at the build even a month after it was posted.

The Kraken is doing great so far. It is my first radiator, so I have nothing to compare it to in regards to performance. I would highly recommend it in this case, as the clearances with push fans in the H450 are acceptable. I would not put another radiator (120 or 140) in the rear fan slot though, as there isnt enough room for that and it is the reason why my Hybrid card's rad is at the front. I beleive there is room for two pull fans at the top of the case just underneath the top panel and I have been wanting to try a push/pull setup but havent gotten around to it. Most of my main points regarding the Kraken are in the description, but after just over a month of use, its working perfectly fine.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

No problem, it's a beautiful build and you should be proud of yourself for making it!

I never thought I would consider water cooling, but that was before I looked into it and learn about CLC like the Kraken. It was really good to read your write up since you are using the case I want and CPU cooler.

Is it very hot where you live? Where I live in Australia it gets to about 40 degrees Celsius a lot in summer and since I don't have air con, my PC becomes unusable for anything but web browsing....

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

It ranges wildly were I live. During the winter it will commonly be about -6C to about 27C (Its is very uncommon to have it above 32C) during the summer. That also being said, my ambient is usually 75 degrees American Units (AKA Fahrenheit, harhar) and it idles around 30C.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow I would love to live where you are haha. Here in Perth, the summer average is usually 36 degrees celcius and some nights it won't even go lower than 25. On those days I can barely even edit photos without getting beeps from my mobo about temps.

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

Beautiful pc , one question, it's possible your fan "Static Pressure" in your case? no problem? why not fan "airflow"?

  • 36 months ago
  • 1 point

The fans are radiator fans, not airflow fans. I chose them because of the looks and higher static pressure fans are quieter. Lower CFM, lower noise. Airflow fans would be a bit better, but I dont mind.

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

This is a beautiful build here. Hope you don' tmind that I use it as a partial reference for mine!

  • 35 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! Not at all, I would be humbled. If you have any questions about setup, please feel free to ask.

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  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

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  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

It was my first venture out into modding.....and it was rough haha. I'm glad it worked out and it's over though! Thanks for the comment!

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  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

Having issues with uploading at the moment, been trying for about 2 hours to upload them, all it is giving me is errors

Here is a link to the album on Imgur until they figure out whats going on http://imgur.com/gallery/nikJ9

  • 38 months ago
  • 1 point

FIXED: Reduced resolution so files sizes were below 10MB and they let me upload it. Enjoy the pictures! :)