Description

This is the latest evolution of my first PC build. I have been upgrading components, little by little, since I first built this PC almost two years ago. I use this primarily for gaming and streaming with a small friend group. It started with me saying "I just want something that I can play current games on", and it has evolved into a 'Hybrid-Cooled' and Overclocked Heavy Hitter. I am happy with it's current state, and plan to keep it like this for the foreseeable future (so that my loved ones might not have to roll their eyes at me for a while.)

Part Reviews

CPU

This CPU is a fast and efficient workhorse. I have had multiple videos running, several chrome tabs open, and a game running simultaneously with little to no slowdown (at base clock speed). I have had zero reason to overclock this piece, as it has been more than enough for my usage. It easily handle game physics and benchmarks. My friends and I play Starcraft 2, which is very CPU heavy when many units are active, and this CPU has had absolutely no trouble keeping the frame rate steady. Would definitely buy again.

CPU Cooler

This is a well built cooler, with a huge radiator. I totally underestimated how tight a 280mm rad was going to be in my case, but it all worked out. I love the hardware, but was having a variety of issues with the Corsair Link software. As a result, I was a bit limited in my initial use of the cooler's options. If the software was a little better, this is easily a 5 star review, but since the software is the only way to interact with the cooler, it was an issue. CPU temps are nice and cool under heavy load, and the noise level is much better than my BeQuiet Dark Rock 3 was.

Motherboard

This motherboard works fine, but has given me several issues since I have owned it. First, I was having an issue that prevented the PC from powering on after being turned off. After 2 weeks of troubleshooting and frustration, I resolved the issue by changing out the CMOS battery that shipped with the board. The second problem has never been resolved. The mobo crashes whenever any of the peripherals are overclocked. This even happens when using the motheroardb's built-in OC tool. It will "optimize" the peripherals, then fail to power on, with a prompt saying the overclock failed. The third problem (and the whole reason I will never look at ASUS boards again) has to do with the XBOX One controller support. I purchased an XBOX One Elite controller, and used it happily on my XBO with no issues. When I hooked it up to the PC, the computer would freeze/lag/crash after 15 minutes of play. After extensive (and expensive) troubleshooting steps and replacing cables/dongles/controllers, I came to the conclusion that this problem was not fixable. Thorough research into the issue lead me to dozens of other cases of people having the same issue with any XBO controllers on ASUS motherboards. It was a waste of money for me to try to figure this problem out, and I will probably be looking to replace this motherboard at some point in the future.

Memory

This is good Ram. It's red. It works as I expected it to, without failing unexpectedly. I would use this RAM again.

Storage

This SSD is the fastest Drive I've ever used. PC boots up from cold in seconds. Games load instantaneously. Media available at the click of a button. If you can afford this drive, and are looking into it, there is literally no reason I can think of to not get one.

Storage

This SSD is the fastest Drive I've ever used. PC boots up from cold in seconds. Games load instantaneously. Media available at the click of a button. If you can afford this drive, and are looking into it, there is literally no reason I can think of to not get one.

Storage

Great HDD! Very good speeds on transfers and loads. Very low noise and great price. I am very happy with the total package of this unit.

Video Card

Holy Cow! This GPU is absolutely sick. It has beaten the frames off of every last bit of software I have thrown at it. It smokes benchmarks, and makes every single game I play more enjoyable. The card runs hot (84c at full load), but that is normal. The blower design pushes it's heat out through the back of the case, so other components in the case are not exposed to the high temperatures. The heat was becoming a concern for me, so I converted the card using EVGA's hybrid cooler mod kit. Now, the card doesn't move past 60c under full load @ 2012 mHz. The hybrid kit is an absolute nightmare to install. The unit almost caused me to kill my card when a screw snapped and took out two onboard capacitors, but EVGA made it right and helped me replace the effected unit. I will happliy continue to do business with them after dealing with their customer service.

Case

I love the look of this case. Great cable management options, and a big beautiful window put it right at the top of my shopping list when I was on the hunt for a good case. My only gripes with this unit come from the lack of a fan grate cover on the top of the case, and the restrictive front panel. Corsair does have a mesh cover for the top of the case, and a 'High-Flow' front grill to remedy both of these concerns, but as I can't imagine a customer not wanting these pieces on the case, I feel they should be included with the case (even if it means raising the price a bit). It just seems they made those cuts to get the retail price down. That minor issue aside, I am extremely satisfied with this case.

Power Supply

EVGA makes a great modular PSU. 'Modular' means you only need to hook up the cables that your build requires, which is a huge help with cable management. The PSU is quiet, with solid, consistent power output. Do not cheap out when choosing your PSU. This is a great, High-Quality option.

Operating System

There are way too many updates, and I have had some compatibility issues (with microsoft hardware) that are just mind boggling. Overall, it's a good OS, but if I had any real options, I may be looking elsewhere. Not really too much anyone can do about it, so fingers crossed that my issues get fixed in a future update (because there will be many).

Sound Card

This unit takes the sound in my PC to a whole new level. Blows the max volume out of the water, and maintains beautiful audio clarity when paired with a suitable driver/speaker. The customization options are pretty robust. My only complaints with using this unit stem from figuring out what everything does. The included software has a ton of optional features, but it doesn't suitably explain what some of these proprietary features can do. I strongly urge any user to familiarize yourself with setting default audio and recording devices in the volume mixer, as well as using stereo mix. These were all things that I did not know about and really caused a collection of headaches when trying to get the most out of this sound card. With all of that behind me, I can strongly recommend this card to anyone looking to enhance their audio experience on PC.

Case Fan

These fans are durable, easy to mount, and very quiet. The LEDs are bright. They are efficient and work well at moving air through the case. No complaints.

Case Fan

I used this fan to replace the stock fanS included with the AiO CPU cooler, as well as the Hybrid GPU Cooler, and am very happy I did. The Cooler keeps the CPU around 55C, and the GPU under 60C at full load now. The fan is durable and very quiet. The LEDs are bright. It is efficient and works well at moving air through the radiators. No complaints.

Case Fan

I used this fan to replace the stock fanS included with the AiO CPU cooler, as well as the Hybrid GPU Cooler, and am very happy I did. The Cooler keeps the CPU around 55C, and the GPU under 60C at full load now. The fan is durable and very quiet. The LEDs are bright. It is efficient and works well at moving air through the radiators. No complaints.

Monitor

The Dell Monitor is a great 1920x1200 monitor. The colors are gorgeous, and the little extra height allowed me to put the screen in portrait mode and use it like two mini-monitors. Good enough specs for gaming, but it really shines for me being used for webpage viewing and videos. I got a great deal on it when I was on the market for something inexpensive, and think it would be a good deal, even at retail. It was too good a deal to pass up, and I am very happy with it.

Monitor

The BenQ XL2730Z 1440p monitor is flawless. The response time from controller input is really what sold me on switching from consoles to PC, and this monitor has, far and away, the tightest response I have ever experienced. The only complaint I would have is actually against the technology itself, and not the product. TN panels are best viewed from a straight position. There is some fading when you are viewing it from an angle, that has occasionally had me struggling to find the best position. This in no way deters me from recommending this unit to anybody who wants a fast, gorgeous 1440p monitor. This is a damn good monitor.

Keyboard

The best Keyboard for gaming (if you don't need macros). The responsiveness of the keys is insane. It takes some getting used to, but is worth the learning curve. It will make you a better typist, as even light contact with a key will register as a keystroke. There were typos galore when I first started using this unit, but have since become accustomed to using it. I prefer using a console controller for most games, because I feel like they are more immersive. But this keyboard is the middle ground between controllers and traditional keyboards.

Custom

The Yeti is a really nice mic. The different settings make it very friendly to directional noise. It is very sensitive, so it will pick up pretty much any noise that is coming from the chosen direction(s), so make sure you spend some time calibrating. It is a very big mic, so make sure you have the space for it.

Comments

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Good stuff, I see people ridiculously powerful PCs but their setup is a mess of cables. I think you could sent your pictures to Setup Wars on Techsource youtube channel cause your setup has character.

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow! I really appreciate the kind words. This site is awesome for inspiration and ideas. Very cool that someone could see that in my setup. Thank you so much.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

The old x-men cartoon theme song entered my head after seeing your wallpapers. +1

  • 24 months ago
  • 3 points

Yes! Mission accomplished. I've been using that as a ringtone forever. Thank you.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

This build went above and beyond my expectations. It's simple, it's powerful, and its clean as hell. +1 for sure, I would not be surprised to see this featured, the meticulous care you put into that gamin' station really shows. And about your GPU troubles...everyone loves an underdog!!

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you very much for your kindness. It really does feel great to see positive reactions from great people. The GPU mod was definitely a learning experience. Although scary as hell, I'm glad that it played out and I was able to learn something from it.

The positive feedback really has made me feel great about sharing my build.

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Hell yeah! Now just pray another hundred people see your build lol

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

beautiful build, beautiful setup, beautiful pictures. +1 great job dude

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you very much for the positive response. It's exciting to see what you guys think of all the work. I appreciate the comment and the +1.

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

You're one well organized fellow nerd.

+1

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Delicious set up, sweet mechanical keeb, but I have to ask: Where did you get that desk?! I need that in my life

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

Thank you, sir. The desk is a 59in. Linnmon top, and pair of Alex drawer units from Ikea.

  • 6 months ago
  • 2 points

17 Months Later, still a gorgeous setup.

  • 6 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks alot, man. It's seen some upgrades since then, but it's not much different.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

With the OC...? 27fps... easy.