* Mail-In Rebates:
I'd been saying "I'll be building a new gaming PC soon." for about 3 years. I finally got around to it.
My basic plan for the build was as such:
I want games to look great, BF1 I'm looking at you.
If you are already going to have spend a certain amount on something, you might as well spend a bit more on top and get something better.
I was after a clean white highlighted theme.
I had initially looked at the Phanteks Enthoo Luxe Chassis White for the case, but when I saw the the tempered glass of the Enthoo Evolv I just had to get it.
The case showed up first and I was so glad to have bought it. It is really well made, with solid aluminium pieces and that fantastic looking tempered glass. My recommendation to anyone building with this case would be to take the glass panels off, and sit them in a different room all together away from your build space as they are dust magnets.
Once I got over the just staring at the case, the only change I made to it was to remove the stock fans and replace them with their Phanteks equivalents in white, to go with my theme.
The Asus Z170 Pro Motherboard was chosen because it had good reviews, and also because it fit with my colour scheme. I could have used more USB ports, similar to the Pro Gaming version, but that was easy enough to work around with a cheap rear USB 3.0 slot that plugged into the spare header.
CPU and RAM were simple choices, the added bonus of being able to get LED's on the RAM adds a nice touch to the lighting.
The SeaSonic Snow PSU is not just white, but is silent and had some good reviews so I am glad I was able to get a hold of high-end PSU that fit my colour scheme. It looks really good in the case, with the added bonus that the silver trimmed lines and text reflect the lighting, making it look even more high-end.
The Evolv ATX Glass case comes with a removable tray that you can attach your cooling radiator to. This proved to be a godsend as I had to regularly remove it from the case as I had to adjust the placement of cables and tidy up inside during the build.
I think in hindsight I should have put the NZXT Krakon X61 on last, but since this is my first time working with water cooling, I have learnt for next time. This was only an issue due to my pedantic nature of trying to get everything nice and neatly out of the way inside, cable management for the sake of it.
The only real issues I came across during the build was that the magnets on the Phanteks LED strip are honestly pathetic. The included adhesive strips do nothing and are a waste of your time. I didn't want to just glue the strip in place in case I had to move it later or even replace it, so I went through a few various products to try and keep it from falling down from the slightest touch. I eventually settled on a silicone product that actually adhered to the rubber/silicone LED strip, and if I need to can remove it later with a bit of work.
Another issue that cropped up was that once my RX480 showed up, I noticed that the tubes from the Kraken were actually resting against the GPU. I didn't want to encourage any kind of sagging, and figured that if I could force the tubes together near the rotating right-angles coming from the block, it should point the tubes upwards, and stop them from resting on the GPU. After eventually working out that the width of the tubes was 3/8", I found some hose separators on eBay that looked like they might work. By clamping them onto the hoses as close to the right-angles as I could, it forces the tubing upwards. They still sag downwards, but they are well clear of the GPU.
All that was left was to source some nice white cables, and get it all put together. I already had a 2TB SSD, which is honestly overkill, and that completed the build. After that was a fari bit of cable management as you can see in the pictures.
The nice thing about the Evolv ATX Glass case was there is a lot of space out of the way for cables near the PSU, and the top panel is removable with a good 1.5cm of headroom to hide more cables as well as the LED strip. It's a pity the space up there was not maybe another cm more as I could have fit the radiator on one side of the removable tray with the fans on the other to give me a bit more room above the motherboard as the RAM just touches the fans.
The added benefit to using a simple white theme is that no matter what colour I rotate the LED strip to, it still looks good. I am currently using a light blue as it is less intense on the eyes at nighttime.
I am very happy with how it all turned out, it looks fantastic through the tempered glass, and it is very satisfying to be able to crank up the graphics settings on games.
The next step will be to get a new widescreen monitor to go with the build. I am just saving up and waiting until the new year to see what gets released as the monitor's coming out in the next few months are looking really good.
Easy to install, simple, works. Great product.
Only comment would be a lack of USB at the rear, but I bought it for the asthetics so I can;t complain.
Pretty LED's, great RAM.
Honestly, 2TB is just overkill.
Great card, just waiting for an update to drivers to address the fan randomly going full speed every now and then.
The silver look of the case is fantastic, and I am very impressed by the solid aluminium that feels sturdy and great. But the highlight is the tempered glass, amazing.
Very easy to build into, lots of space for cable management out of the way down near the GPU and up under the removable top cover.
It's white, and it looks great.
Feels great on the head, and looks good too. So far the microphone is nice and clear in comms. I've used Sennheiser headphones while Djing for over 15 years, so it made sense to get some quality cups to use while gaming.