This is my second PC build - having originally built a gaming PC for my daughter last year. The budget for that one was sub £2000 including monitor, and is a pretty good machine. Having experienced some VR gaming on a friend's PC, I went a bit Black Friday mad (triggered by a pricing error on Amazon that made me think I could by the Asus ROG STRIX X299-XE motherboard for only £167!), and bought all the components.

Need to get some pictures uploaded - will hopefully do so soon...

Part Reviews


Suspect I might have over-specified this computer - since I've been unable to stress it at all. All the games I've got play at max resolution with no problems, and without causing the CPU any temperature problems at all - though some of that may be down to the awesome Kraken AIO cooler below!

CPU Cooler

I confess I bought this AOI CPU cooler because it a) had good reviews and b) looked amazing. I'm not a big RBG fan - I like colour, but not just for having a rainbow effect. So I have my cooler set, appropriately, to show a colour that is dependent upon the temperature of the CPU. I know this cooler is good (and my CPU is overspecced) as I've yet to successfully make it go anything other than green during normal use!


Pretty pleased with the motherboard - looks OK to my eyes, and is certainly man enough for almost everything I possibly want to use it for. One disappointment - I could have done with one more USB2 header on the board, since the only one is taken up with the Kraken CPU cooler, meaning that the USB2 ports on the front of the chassis have nothing to plug into and are therefore dead. :-(

I do quite like the ASUS BIOS as well.


Would have preferred to have RGB RAM, so I could also tie the colour of the RAM to something (be it Motherboard temperature or whatever... but instead, cost ruled and I decided to go for just red LED ram instead. Looks good, and given that the other colouring in the chassis is almost always green (as the system runs so cool), the two colours complement each other (to my eyes at least!)


Nice and fast SSD. Ideally wanted to get two M2 SSDs and RAID them - but decided in the end that was definitely over the top! So stuck with just one. If I start to run out of space, THEN I'll consider getting a second.

Deliberately didn't go for a hard drive - wanted to have as few moving parts as possible in the build so as to reduce noise. Sadly, the two AIO coolers (CPU and GPU) have to have their pumps and fans running at all times, so I couldn't get to completely silent... only to a minimal low hum.

Video Card

This is the single most expensive component - a water cooled GTX 1080 Ti. And, for the games I have at the moment - much higher specced than needed... But knowing that games and applications only ever have higher requirements - I am hoping that it will future proof me for a while.

Am really pleased with the card - had considered trying to custom mount it vertically, but in the end decided to stick with the more standard mounting., Aorus logo is fairly low-key, and is colour tied to the GPU temperature. Chose this particular water-cooled GPU because a) it was AIO, with no fans on the card itself, b) had very good reviews, and c) it had an HDMI port at the front of the card that could be linked to an HDMI port on the front of the case - for VR gaming once I finally splash out on a headset.


I chose this NZXT case primarily for the fact that it was one of the few cases that had the HDMI pass-through - that and the good reviews for cable management. I had been hoping to see a review of the Gigabyte AC300W which I know also includes the HDMI pass-through, and might have gone for that had I been less impulsive on Friday.- especially as it has the ability to mount a graphics card vertically without having to mod the case. But the dearth of reviews on the case and my impulsiveness won through and I went for the NZXT case instead.

The case is clean and uncluttered - the cable management bar in the middle can be awkward to work with, but does neaten the build considerably, and gives plenty of room to tuck excess cables.

My one minor criticism is that the drive bays aren't removable. I currently have M.2 SSD only, so have no need for the extra bays and would prefer to have more space to make the cabling neater.

Power Supply

Solid PSU - that is over-specced for the system so that it will be able to run without needing to invoke its fan unless I really decide to push the overclocking on the system.

Operating System

What can I say? Windows 10.


This is an awsome monitor that makes using the computer a real pleasure! A good looking beast, and VESA mount compatible too, so I could have it on the monitor arm that I already had on my desk.


I've had this keyboard for a couple of years now - I love the fact that it is solar powered - so never need to replace any batteries! It has a good firm feel - and is NOT at all like my daughter's "gaming keyboard" which is super "clicky" - this has a quiet understated click that is good for typing - probably less good for gaming, but its OK for me.


This mouse was bought for me as a Christmas present... primarily so that when I play Elite Dangerous, I can programme more of the buttons to different features... my previous mouse - a simple wireless HP mouse was very good, but not as versatile!

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.


  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

I saw your motherboard review out of pure boredom. I suggest getting one of those NZXT Internal USB Hubs if you really want those two USB ports on your case.

  • 27 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks - I may well do that. So far, only a couple of times have I thought - "I wish those other two ports on the front of the case were live" :-) So it's not much of a priority. It wasn't a big downer on the board, and generally I'm very pleased with the whole machine. :-)

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

Very clean build! Looks great. What's your thoughts on the SSD so far? Been eyeballing that model for my 2nd drive as the port for it on my motherboard only accepts that interface (pci-e 3.0 x4).

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

Apologies for my silence, not been on the board for a while! Very happy with the SSD. Nice and speedy (like the whole computer!). The M.2 interface is a very neat way to put storage in.

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

You actually paid the inflated price for this graphics card? NOT taking you with me when I buy a new car!

  • 24 months ago
  • 1 point

LOL. Seemed like a good deal at the time... I make a point not to look at the prices AFTER I paid... when they come down it will only be depressing!

  • 25 months ago
  • 1 point

So I'm building a similar PC (different motherboard but same GPU, Case, and CPU Cooler). Can you tell me about the fan about the CPU Cooler that is on the motherboard, did that come with the case or no? Furthermore, how many fans do you think can go up there assuming you're using 120mm?

  • 24 months ago
  • 2 points

Hi, apologies for the delay in responding - confess I've not been on the board for a while!

Very happy with the CPU and GPU AIO coolers. The little fan that goes over the power distribution comes with the mother board. "1 x MOS Cooling kit (fan bracket and 40mm x 40mm fan)"

My fan set up is one case fan - at the back (came with the case), two fans with the Kraken CPU AIO cooler, and one fan with the graphics card's AIO cooler, the PSU fan (in the bottom) and finally, a tiny fan that sits on a mount over the motherboard's power management.

There is no real space for any further fans... There is only one mounting spot on the top, one on the back and two on the front...

Because the graphics card and the CPU are quite high spec, I had hoped that the machine would be almost silent... sadly, the noise from that little fan cooling the power management is not insignificant, and it seems to be a fixed speed. The two AIO units also never stop - though they do have a high and low setting. The case fan always seems to want to tick over as well, only the PSU fan actually stops completely when the system is under low load.


  • 16 months ago
  • 1 point

Where did you purchase your gpu because I am planning a build involving it and it seems really good. By the way nice build looks really clean.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks! I bought it from Overclocker's UK