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First Self-Built Gaming/Streaming PC - $1400 + Periphs/Accessories

by Seajae



Date Published

July 12, 2016

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Warning - Long Post, You can scroll down to Build specific info if you'd like

As the title states, I built this PC with the primary intentions of gaming and live streaming. I wanted to build something up-to-date to prolong the amount of time before I will need to upgrade. Prior to this I have never built a PC in my life.

I was really weary of dropping all this money on parts without any experience whatsoever but I more or less dared myself to do it after seeing several videos and reading many forum posts online about how "easy" it was as well as how much better a PC you can get for your money than if you bought a pre-built PC with all the bloat-software.

I started receiving most of the parts about a week ago but that damn 1070 was hard to find. It finally came in today so I waited on installing it before posting this. I'll be honest and tell you that building this PC took up the majority of my Saturday. I was just so hesitant and nervous about messing something up so I literally had all of my instruction manuals out (motherboard, CPU cooler, etc, etc) in addition to having my laptop up on the counter with some guides from youtube.

The only trouble I encountered with the hardware was installing the H7 CPU cooler. I did not pre install this on the motherboard before putting the motherboard in the tower so when I went to actually put the heat sink over the CPU I had trouble lining it up with the screws and had to make a couple of passes at it. This freaked me out because it touched the thermal paste on the CPU a couple of times and so it wasn't a clean install. I've been monitoring my temps though and everything seems fine.

Most of my issues came during the BIOS while trying to install windows from a boot drive I created (I encountered a couple of errors). Then I had to teach myself how to partition a HDD since I had never done that before... it was just a bunch of little things like that where I was constantly looking up something I hadn't expected and learning new information.

All in all it was a very satisfying experience once everything finally came together and worked. I actually couldn't believe that I had just built a computer.

Build Specs

Theme- I wanted to go with a simple black/white theme while the computer is turned off and have an RBG setup with it on. The GPU, mouse, and keyboard are all RBG. The Case has about 10 colors or so... so its not truly RBG but its still decent. I can make all of my devices match each other while gaming which I find to be pretty awesome. I'll prob even upgrade my headset to an RBG one pretty soon.

CPU - I chose the i7-6700K simply because I do plan on live streaming in addition to gaming. I may even dabble in some video editing from gameplay I record. I also wanted to go skylake just to "future proof" as much as possible. Then there's of course the ability to overclock which I have not done yet but may do so in the not too distant future.

CPU Cooler - I've heard more good things said about the Cryorig H7 in my month of PC build research than anything else. I must say, it looks aesthetically pleasing and matches my black/white theme pretty well. So far its keeping my temps around 24-28C while idle and I've only seen highs between 35-40 while playing Overwatch on ultra with a few tabs open.

Motherboard - This honestly wasn't the board I was going to get. But I went into a Micro Center after I found out there was one in Dallas where I just moved and they had a bundle going on with the CPU. I can't really complain about anything except the IO shield which is pretty cheap but it works just fine. The board looks good in my opinion and the BIOS was simple enough for a newbie like me to figure out pretty quickly. Then again, I haven't done anything complicated like overclocking yet. This board also suits the theme decently enough.

GPU - This really just ended up being the first I found available online out of the few brands that I'd buy a GPU from. The fact that it was black/white to match my build AND had RBG lighting sealed the deal. The AURA software is pretty cool, and as far as performance goes... lets just say I upgraded from a 750 TI. I'm now destroying my previous framerates while also upgrading from a 60hz monitor to a 144hz.

Case - I fell in love with this thing the moment I saw a youtube video on it. Its simple and not overly flashy looking. The little flash it has comes in the form of RBG LEDs on the sides in the shape of an L. The cable management is great... even I did an OK job at it for my first build I think. There's tons of room inside, even after I put my mammoth 1070 I still have room to spare. The fans that come with the case seem to be pretty good quality as well, and there's plenty of airflow. I also think the parts case that it comes with is great. I can't hear my fans running at all or anything from inside the case really either so the sound insulation must be decent. The lighting you see inside the case in my pics is a 2M strip sold separately from Phantek that will coincide with the lighting on the outside of the case.

Power Supply - I know I know... Its not the GS Nova, maybe one of the blemishes with my build but from all my research I've done, it still seems like a great PSU. Its semi-modular which made things easier and all the cables are roped in black so no yucky yellow/reds.

Monitor - I was using a 21" 60hz ASUS. Going to 144HZ @ 24" was a big upgrade for me IMO, and because of this monitor my GPU wasn't 'overkill.' Colors look great IMO and overall I just think its a good bang-for-your-buck monitor.

Keyboard - People will debate for ages whether they like cherry brown or cherry red or whatever. I personally upgraded to this from all razer gear and I enjoy this quite a bit more. People say the keys are weird shapes but I find them comfortable and the romer-G switches also feel great . I happen to love this keyboard.

Mouse - Its a Logitech G502.... 'nuff said.

Notes: I know my cable management isn't perfect... I tried so hard to rope that PCU cord through the back but its just not long enough if I go through the very bottom grommet. Going through one of the higher grommets also presented an issue because then the PSU shield wouldn't slide all the way against the back of the case for me to screw it in. So I used a zip tie to at least keep it around the outside of the case and not going straight up and down the middle.

My pictures aren't great... I know that. I suck at taking pictures, especially with an iPhone.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback for this build that I worked so hard on. It would help me see where I went right, and where I can improve for future builds or even for future changes to this particular build.

Comments Sorted by:

darthfutuza 1 Build 2 points 15 months ago

Looks like a great build, personally I would have opted for slightly cheaper parts myself, but that's because I'm a poor person. :P

Just FYI you mention "I've only seen highs between 35-40 while playing Overwatch on ultra with a few tabs open", if this is the highest temps you've seen while under load, your cooler is doing it's job perfectly. Granted, gaming doesn't usually put the CPU under load (unless the game is mainly CPU bound), so you may want to try benchmarking it with something like the heavy load tool: https://www.jam-software.com/heavyload/ (it's free and you can just unzip it to your desktop and then delete it when you're done). Most people can expect their CPUs to run between 50-70C and still have optimal performance, most CPUs don't usually experience problems till you're past 90C.

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you for providing that valuable information. I'll definitely do that! I did notice on the "High" section of my cpu temp monitoring program that it showed up to 55-60 but after watching the temps with my own eyes for an hour or so I never once saw the temps actually climb that high so I'm not sure where it pulled those numbers from... maybe when the programs were first starting up they spiked?

darthfutuza 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Yeah that's definitely possible, especially if you had a processor heavy process running in the background like an antivirus scan or something. Did you ever get the chance to try heavyload and see what the cpus temps were like under full load?

Matthewtina2015 2 Builds 2 points 15 months ago

Wow, this is great! Good job mate

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you very much!!

Matthewtina2015 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

No problem!!

odwillia 2 points 15 months ago

Nice build. I think you did a very good job.

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you :D

adRocZ 2 points 14 months ago

This build makes me excited! We have a lot of the same parts, GPU, CPU, MOBO, CASE (before even seeing this post). SO I am excited about how everything looks in the case when finished :)

metakortex 1 point 15 months ago

Great build and an awesome choice of parts !

I tried so hard to rope that PCU cord through the back but its just not long enough if I go through the very bottom grommet.

Why not get some cable extensions to help you out ?

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

I heard about that and will definitely be looking into it. That just wasn't something I was familiar with at the time :)

Edit: Oh and thank you!

savantfool 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

can you route the cpu cable thru one of the base cable holes behind and thru one of the tob holes?

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

I tried literally everything :/ I think the only answer is to get an extension.

tbhpcbuilder 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Have you tried turning the power supply the other way so the cables are closer to the back panel of the case? I believe your power supplies fan is facing upwards right now anyways when it should be facing down. That is of course, if there is ventilation holes under the case.

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

My fan is actually facing down as I do have ventilation holes under the case.

tbhpcbuilder 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Very odd indeed

savantfool 2 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

Yea I have the same problem but i would have made it with had my case had the top cable holes. Which it doesnt.

philphaser 12 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

My OCD is KILLING me right now...!

Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

OCD regarding what? The PCU cord? lol

philphaser 12 Builds 1 point 15 months ago

This is hell for me! : / Other then that your build is so great...

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Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Thank you very much for the kind words, I appreciate it! I'm not gonna lie... Overcoming the challenges that I encountered definitely made it all the more satisfying when I finally got everything to work!

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Seajae submitter 1 Build 1 point 15 months ago

Hmmmm, good question. Honestly I would probably say just don't rush into anything as tempting as it may be. There were multiple occasions where I almost stumbled onto a new piece of critical info mid-build that I could have easily missed.

For example I almost panicked when I couldn't find the PWR LED connector pin in my case and stumbled upon a forum where someone mentioned that this case does not come with that pin... the PWR switch is lit up by the same pin that controls the RBG lighting.

Other than that, it would just be the same things everyone else recommends first time builders such as making sure you stay grounded as to not fry the motherboard, leaving the HDD unplugged to guarantee the OS gets put on the SDD ALONE (and doesn't get split) before plugging the HDD in, and a million other things.

Manuals can be very handy too, I learned a decent amount from them that I didn't get from all the youtube vids and forum posts. A lot of those vids and posts are generic and may not be specifically geared towards the parts you selected. For example, maybe the way your MOBO wants you to configure the RAM is different than the video you saw?

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JustARandomPancake 1 point 15 months ago

I haven't actually built a PC myself...

WHAT??????? The mighty Geekazoid has not yet built a computer???


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