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Build

"Little Light" AKA "The one with a wing"

by Mazeltiger

20
14 Comments

Part List View full price breakdown

Details

Date Published

Oct. 16, 2017

Date Built

Sept. 28, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.2GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.57GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

11.1GHz

Description

After adulting pretty hardcore for a few years, I had saved up enough pocket lint, IRL Karma points and gold to finally do the build I always wanted to do. The one I would make in pcpartspicker when I was feeling fancy, the one I would stare at longingly for a few minutes before closing the tab in a cloud of sadness and hope before going to bed.

You know the one i'm talking about.

THE BUILD: I spent about a month planning, then the next 2 months slowly acquiring parts as they came on sale. R/buildapcsales and pcpartspicker price drops we're incredibly helpful with this. Ended up saving me about 200 over the cost of the entire build or what I have been referring to as 2 copies of Windows 10.

In every single build in the past I've had terrible cable management so I decided to go all out with this one. I think I spent as much time rewiring, rerouting, and reorganizing the cables as I did on the rest of the build. My goal was to make it look cable-less and clean by hiding as much as possible and I am happy but not 100% satisfied yet. To quote my gf:

"There are still unused zip ties in that bag"

...I know babe, I know...

THE USE: As the name of my new computer hints at, I originally built this to play Destiny 2 however I also plan on using it to power a VR setup at some point in the potentially not so distant future depending on which new systems come out as I am not particularly impressed with either the Rift or the Vive. In the meantime, I plan on using this 70% for gaming, 20% for browsing, 1010% for totally crushing my finances in Excel and managing my portfolio.

THE PARTS: Honestly I should have called this section "THE SPOILER" because yes, my PC has a spoiler. A big fat glorious fake carbon fiber one. Specifically the spoiler from a 1/10 scale drift car that I found on Amazon for like 15 bucks. The post screws fit perfectly though the optional magnetic Corsair top dust cover. Was it required? No. Was it worth it? Yes. Does it actually benefit my PC? +5 HP at the GPU according to bench-marking.

THE PLANNED UPGRADES: Next planned upgrades include adding in another 16 GB of 3200 MHz RAM, adding a second 500 GB 960 Evo M.2 SSD as a dedicated data drive, replacing the Astro Mixamp in the pictures with a higher quality DAC from Burson to mount in one of the 5.25 bay's. Finally I've been eyeing a few of the 34/35" 100hz+ ultra-wides with G-sync but we will have to see if the price goes down a little bit first. Most of these non-essential items will get picked up during the 2017 Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales when I can get them at a bigger discount then I can right now.

Custom additions include a 3D printed and painted ghost from the Destiny universe to be as a GPU brace and hopefully finding a way to replace its built in LED with one I can connect to Aura and the rest of the systems.

Part Reviews

CPU

This processor screams and benefits from excellent single core performance which is key for games that are not built to take advantage of multiple cores.

Currently almost everything I plan on using the computer for doesn't benefit from having multi cores so I didn't see myself really benefiting from the 8700k which I was waiting to find out more info about before I finished my build. Also there wasn't anything particular interesting to me about the Z370 chipset that I thought I needed.

Add the issue with extremely limited quantities being available and it is a guarantee that I wouldn't have had a completed build by the time Destiny 2 comes out on October 24th on PC. I also have some pretty serious overheating concerns with how hot the 8700k runs as well as how Intel has been handling it's product development and road map pipeline.

I thought long and hard but the extra money and the longer wait wasint worth it especially when any performance gains would only be notable when running benchmarks. Where the 2 extra cores in the 8700K will be critical for those who need multi core performance due to specific programs or use cases, I am not one of them. I went with what I did and I don't regret it for a hot second. This processor screams and with my Deepcool AIO I have had no issue with temps even when running small overclocks.

CPU Cooler

Things have been suprisingly...chill so far. Let's hope they stay that way.

Puns aside, I've actually been very impressed so far not only by the overall performance and efficiency of the unit but also by the small details. I really ended up liking the included rail style Mobo mounting system. It looks pretty sweet but is very adjustable and easy to work with. The cooling performance has been amazing so far. Temps stay constantly cool and as part of my PC's overall ventilation system the push fans on the radiator do a surprisingly good job at helping keep my case temps down as well with a slightly more aggressive fan curve put in place.

The two included fans that attach to the radiator in particular were particularly impressive. Good looking, quiet, and most importantly effective. I went in to this build assuming they would be scrapped and replaced by some Noctuas but instead found myself wondering where I could get more.

Only issue with the cooler so far is actually the RGB. I've been having issues getting it to play nice with the rest of my system although I'm not 100% sure it's not Aura being generally terrible or an issue with my RGB header. It reacts and responds with the others however it seems the colors are always different like it is shifted around the color spectrum slightly and the default RGB inputs are different. Only thing I can imagine is either a pin is switched on my mobo, or within the female end of the RGB cable itself. More testing required.

Thermal Compound

No issues here. First time working with NT-H1 and I was happy with it.

Motherboard

It still blows me away how so little compromise can be had with a mATX motherboard. This is hands down the best, easiest and straightforward mobo I have had the pleasure of working with.

It literally has everything I need Its got great OC potential, its got 4 slots of RAM, I have the option to SLI, it has good build in AC wifi, and gigabit ethernet port, its got a 10GB/s USB port on the back, its got just the right amount of PWM and RGB headers, its got decent onboard audio and an extra USB 3.1 Gen 2 header just for laughs.

It somehow has two freaking M.2 slots for some genius reason. Yeah, two M.2 slots on an mATX form factor. I am just going to leave it at that.

If you are considering an mATX build, then this mobo should be at the top of your very short list of options.

Memory

This stuff has worked perfectly and looked damn good doing it so far. Even though my mobo has 4 RAM slots, I purchased these so at some point in the future I would be able to double down and upgrade to 32GB total by just buying this again. Extremely happy with them so far.

Storage

Hands down the best SSD I have ever owned. Fast and cool laying flat in the M.2 slot on my mobo. With my previous builds, most of my cable clutter came from having everything plugged into the SATA ports but with this, there are no cables and it was pretty much plug and play. My motherboard still has a second M.2 drive for when I add a second 960 EVO in the future making it incredibly easy to use 100% M.2 Drives for my SSD and storage needs leading to a very clean looking and organized build.

If heat ever becomes an issue for this, I can always stick on an aftermarket heat sink directly to the top to help manage temps more effectively.

Power Supply

I have found it to be incredibly...powerful. Surprisingly quiet as well.

Other

Not necessary at all, but it really added a unique and classy look to my build helping to have my cables actually add something cool to the case.

Only giving it 4/5 stars because while it did come with cable combs which admittedly was a nice bonus, it was just enough to give me a taste of how awesome they are but not even close to enough to fully organize everything which was kind of a let down. The aftermarket combs I got were slightly easier to use so I ended up not even using the ones that came with the cables.

Other

I was originally going to go with one of the very limited selection of Asus Aura Sync compatible RGB fans but as someone who values performance over form, I ended up going with Noctua fans instead. These Aura compatible fan frames were the solution.

Suddenly I could have the fan I wanted, and RGB that in my opinion looks way better then the built in RGB in most Aura compatible fans. Truly the best of both worlds. I got two for the front two 140mm intake fans.

Other

I was originally going to go with one of the very limited selection of Asus Aura Sync compatible RGB fans but as someone who values performance over form, I ended up going with Noctua fans instead. These Aura compatible fan frames were the solution.

Suddenly I could have the fan I wanted, and RGB that in my opinion looks way better then the built in RGB in most Aura compatible fans. Truly the best of both worlds. Got only one for the 120mm exhaust fan.

Comments Sorted by:

yusuf-pc7 1 Build 3 points 10 months ago

Super clean build!

Sawdog 2 Builds 3 points 10 months ago

How much extra fps did that spoiler add? ;) Awesome looking build!

Mazeltiger submitter 1 Build 2 points 10 months ago

+5 Horsepower at least.

Sawdog 2 Builds 2 points 10 months ago

Sweet. I might add one to my pc lol

HeightOfFolly 2 points 10 months ago

Fantastic cable management!

Yahtadi 2 points 10 months ago

N_E_A_T_!_!

coolasice 2 points 10 months ago

+1 for such a great build The car guy in me is screaming that you called that wing a spoiler tho lmoa

mrwilson2002 2 points 9 months ago

We almost have the same exact build. I am actually putting mine together now but we used most of the same exact parts. My question is how is the noise level and heat put off from the asus strix 1080ti in this case?

I already ordered the same gpu and have the 350D as well but was torn between getting the asus strix 1080ti or the msi/corsair 1080ti hybrid with watercooling.

Let me know your thoughts and very clean build. Performance good?

Mazeltiger submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

The strix 1080 ti aside from being the most powerful GPU I have ever owned, also takes the cake for being the quietest as well. The GPU fans don't even spin up until temps get over 50 so the thing makes zero noise unless you start gaming or doing any kind of GPU intensive work. When they do finally turn on, any noise produced from the GPU fans are totally covered by the very light noise from my front two 140mm Noctua case fans. I run a fairly aggressive fan curve in my machine to keep case temps down so this is more my doing then any fault of the fans. All fan noise produced is a very pleasant low frequency whoosh vs a higher pitched drone or whine I have experienced from fans in the past. You can trade noise for temperature by adjusting this fan curve to run hotter and quieter but its up to you. I have fan profiles saved for both but almost never switch to the quieter option as it still never really gets that loud.

When researching I was torn between the Strix 1080ti oc and the Asus 1080ti Poseidon hybrid GPU but decided to keep things simple (and slightly cheaper) and ended up going with what you see here. I dont regret it for a second as even running demanding titles like Wolfenstein 2 maxxed at 144hz, I have never seen the card get hotter then 60-62 degrees even after putting a very slight overclock in place. The game runs buttery smooth, the card stays cool and quiet, and my case fans blow away any and all heat pushed out of the GPU. Performance for this card is insane with one of the highest boost clocks available going all the way up to 1708 mhz and most of the competition topping out in the mid to high 1600's. With the next gen Nvidia GPU's not being announced until Q3 2018, this is one of if not the most powerful single cards available (that isin't a Titan) for the foreseeable future.

Some awesome bonus's you may not know about this GPU that I discovered during the build process that may effect your build. Both were unexpected extra's for me and both were awesome. -It has an RGB header on the side if you are into that or limited on your MOBO or dont want to use a splitter. -It has a PMW fan header for linking up a case fan to mirror whatever the GPU fans are doing. I ended up using this to connect and control a small 40mm fan mounted directly onto the unused case slots and linked to the GPU to help exhaust any hot air pushed out from the GPU itself, out of the case. Necessary no, it literally made maybe 1 degree of temperature change in ambient case temps while making zero noise but damn if it doesn't look ******* cool. Went with the all black and white Fractal Designs silent series R3 40mm.

Good luck with the build, and awesome choices on parts, you wont be disappointed! Every single part that went into my machine was picked for a very specific reason so its good to see someone else out there also has excellent taste. Don't forget to save a little money for an ultra wide during the upcoming black Friday/cyber Monday sales!

Dstanbeerguy 2 points 9 months ago

What do you think about the CPU cooler??

Mazeltiger submitter 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

Things have been suprisingly...chill so far. Let's hope they stay that way.

Puns aside, I've actually been very impressed so far not only by the overall performance and efficiency of the unit but also by the small details. I really ended up liking the included rail style Mobo mounting system. It looks pretty sweet but is very adjustable and easy to work with. The cooling performance has been amazing so far. Temps stay constantly cool and as part of my PC's overall ventilation system the push fans on the radiator do a surprisingly good job at helping keep my case temps down as well with a slightly more aggressive fan curve put in place.

The two included fans that attach to the radiator in particular were particularly impressive. Good looking, quiet, and most importantly effective. I went in to this build assuming they would be scrapped and replaced by some Noctuas but instead found myself wondering where I could get more.

Only issue with the cooler so far is actually the RGB. I've been having issues getting it to play nice with the rest of my system although I'm not 100% sure it's not Aura being generally terrible or an issue with my RGB header. It reacts and responds with the others however it seems the colors are always different like it is shifted around the color spectrum slightly and the default RGB inputs are different. Only thing I can imagine is either a pin is switched on my mobo, or within the female end of the RGB cable itself. More testing required.

Mazeltiger submitter 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

After more testing it turns out I had a bad RGB cable with two of the pins being swapped. I replaced the cable and like magic the RGB of the CPU cooler was fixed.

Leleedler 2 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

Some say the spoiler adds as much as 10fps to every game you play...

Mazeltiger submitter 1 Build 2 points 10 months ago

Some say, a spoiler's effects on a PC can only be measured in horsepower.