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Build

Classy, Hood Ratchet, White, and Colorful

by swazitron

Description

This is a gaming, photo editing, music production and personal PC. This computer was completed in November of 2016 but I did not have a good camera to use until recently, so here it is. It does not have the latest and greatest parts, but a lot of thought and passion went into it.

I guess I'll go through my process. This is not my first computer, but it is the first one I built just for myself, rather than something work-related - hence why I went all out with the colors and everything. I wanted something fun to both look at and use.

Case

The case was the core of this build. I immediately fell in love with it after seeing a few videos of it on YouTube. I liked the simplicity yet the options for 10 different colors. Back when I got it (May 2016), it definitely had the most color options (at least that I was aware of), as full-RGB support on cases and fans was not as widespread as it is today. The fans in the pictures are all stock. It came with 2 140mm fans, one mounted in the rear, and one in the top rear - both exhaust. It also came with 1 huge 200mm intake at the front. I removed the two HDD cages as I did not need them, as well as the cage for 5.25" drive bays. I liked having all that extra space. One thing that bugs me is how I cannot change the brightness of the lights. At night, it is way too bright and I turn them off altogether while playing games. Also, no full RGB, so I may update the case in the future or at least get RGB fans and an LED strip that can be controlled via software (including brightness) and just not use the built in case lights.

Power Supply

The power supply is major overkill, but it was on sale for the same price as the rm750x, so I grabbed the 850x instead. Great, modular, power supply, 80+ Gold efficiency, quiet, what more can I ask for? Also, got me some white CableMod cables, because white.

MoBo

Motherboard is an Asus Z170 Pro. I picked this one over other brands that had the same specs I wanted due to the white accents. It has plenty of fan headers and an M.2 slot, occupied by a 256GB Samsung 950 Pro. Other storage is provided by a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB, not shown, as it is in an SSD bracket behind the motherboard tray.

RAM

RAM is RAM. But more importantly, white heatspreaders are white heatspreaders. In all seriousness, I could have bought 2666 or 3000 MHz RAM and it would not have made an appreciable difference. LPX was a good choice, as I am not sure anything bigger would have cleared the big cooler.

CPU and Cooler

The CPU is really nice. I really don't have much to say about the performance. It overclocks well, it stays cool. It's just really good. It is cooled by a beefy Phanteks heatsink/dual-fan cooler. It's quiet and comes with a color-matched Y-splitter. Mounting was a pain but the instructions were sufficient (but a tiny bit confusing). Took about 20 minutes to mount. Do not try to mount it inside the case. I would have gone crazy trying to do that.

GPU

Ah, the graphics card. This is an EVGA GTX 1070 FTW. The performance is what I expected, but a few AAA games will not run at constant 60 FPS at 1440p ultra settings, but that is expected. Turning down some of the more extreme settings just slightly fixes that. One frustrating thing is that setting the LED color to white gives off blue tones rather than white and the lighting effects offered through EVGA's Precision OC are pretty lackluster.

Wireless Network Card

The Asus Wi-Fi card made me more happy than any wireless network card should. I first tried a TP-link only to find out that I had no idea what 802.11ac was and how it was different from .11b or n. Well, I did my homework and settled on this guy, as it supported ac and was connected via pcie. I tried one other pcie wireless card that supported ac, but I was only getting 15 mbps out of the 65 offered on my home network. I thought this had to do with the distance my computer was from the router (as it is pretty far) but I had a gut feeling it had to do with the wireless card. I shelled out the dough for this bad boy and lo and behold, 65 mbps, across my entire house. It came with a nifty magnetic hub to attach to the card itself so I have some flexibility in the placement of the antennas.

My Wireless Network Card Painting Memoirs

The only issue, IT WAS RED. When I finished the build, it was bothering me so much since it was so prominently displayed inside the window. I decided that this will not stand. I got a little adventurous and removed the heatsink. I soaked it in Easy-Off, which removed the red anodized layer after some aggressive shaking in a bag and constant reapplying of the stuff. Afterwards, I washed it clean and sanded it down with some rough sandpaper and washed it off again. I then painted it with white spray paint in thin layers. The result came out great. I did NOT paint the RED PCB, which is actually not too visible in the case, nor did I paint the backside of the heatsink for fear of interfering with the heat transfer at the contact point where the thermal pad on the PCB touches the metal - not that a ton of heat is actually created by the thing... it's a wireless card after all... I was just paranoid. One thing I would have done differently is that I would have used plasti-dip instead of regular spray paint to avoid any potential issues regarding paint conductivity, especially if it was a more crucial part than a wifi card heat-spreader.

Monitor

The monitor was tough. I wanted 1440p, 27", IPS display and as high of a refresh rate I can afford. I regret not saving more money and getting these same specs with a 144 Hz refresh rate. That will be my first upgrade. That being said, this is a beautiful monitor and was well worth the price. It has a thin bezel and sleek brushed metal with a sexy round base.

Peripherals

Keyboard is cool and lights up n s***. Same with the mouse and mousepad. Mousepad was a gift. I generally don't buy razer products, especially after reading the creepy letter that came inside the packaging "WELCOME TO THE CULT OF RAZER." I never cringed so hard. However, the light effects are cool and fit the theme.

Audio

Headphones/Headphone Amp

Sennheiser HD598's are a pleasure to listen to, but the bass is noticeably anemic. Maybe my young mind has become accustomed to the bass-heavy music of today's world but it still stands out to me. Some software helped remedy that. These things are powered by a Schiit Magni 2 speaker amp. The amp looks good, is built in the USA and is priced super well for what it is.

Speakers/Speaker Amp

My main audio set up that I use much more often is the Micca MB42X with a s***ty Lepai amp. The speakers are great, and the amp works... fine. It's just ugly as sin and it feels really cheap - because it is. I would seriously recommend these speakers though. They're truly phenomenal for what they cost. You won't find much better bookshelf speakers for around $100 USD.

Controller

The Xbox controller... I was using a PS3 controller for certain games like Devil May Cry 3/4 and Assassin's Creed Unity/Syndicate and by god was it a nightmare. I always preferred Sony controllers but it was so frustrating getting it to work. I used Motioninjoy drivers for the longest time before it stopped working altogether. Then I tried SCP and that went to utter s*** after working for a month. Then I bit the bullet and bought this thing with a Windows 10 wireless adapter and BOOM works RIGHT AWAY and I was so happy slaying demons and stabbing Templars in their generic faces. Even the rumble worked and I'm pretty sure the plug in audio function in the controller works if you use the official Microsoft wireless adapter for windows like I did. No more fiddling with drivers and all that nonsense. Though I do still prefer the ergonomics of the PS3 and PS4 controllers, the Xbox one controller is by no means bad. Just get a rechargeable battery and a cable if you plan to go this route. Buying AAs constantly is both expensive and bad for the environment.

Things I would change.

-Snazzy LED RAM -144 Hz, 1440p, 27", IPS, <5 ms display -second GTX 1070 or upgrade to a single GTX 1080

Hope you enjoy the pictures. This is my first time with a new camera so any insults regarding photo quality or composition will be politely ignored. Constructive criticism always welcome; I'm always trying to improve my skills. :-)

Comments Sorted by:

Justiceinacan 6 Builds 3 points 21 months ago

I require a tissue

+1

esk02k 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

Nice build man. I too crumbled and bought one of those janky *** Xbox pads, can't beat the compatibility after years of hacking to get those ps2 pads working. I have that same monitor and share the same regret but it's still good for what it is, pretty similar spec too. Your pics came out pretty nice btw.

swazitron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

Thank you! Yeah it's a good monitor despite the 60 Hz. No complaints beyond that. Thanks for the comment!

steelenoose 1 point 21 months ago

Are soundcards required/better for music production? Honestly never seen a situation where someone would need one

reach231 1 point 21 months ago

They are definitely needed if you were to get into music production.

tux_computer_systems 1 Build 2 points 20 months ago

I wouldn't say so. External audio equipment will always be preferred to internal soundcards. That being said I too see no DAC, I was expecting a Schiit Modi to go with the Schiit amplifier, but I guess not; I hope the motherboard isn't being used (though I am currently doing just that :P I don't listen to music via my PC though, so everything is hunky-dory). The issue with soundcards is you're putting precious analog signals inside an incredibly electrical active environment. A PC case contains lots of digital noise, which can be reduced via shielding, or could be a non-issue by using external USB audio equipment.

swazitron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

It's not a soundcard. It's a wireless network adapter. i talked about it in the description.

steelenoose 1 point 21 months ago

I know it was a wireless network adapter, I was just confused because with all of the music production equipment you got and no soundcard

Razorwing02 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

I want that case now. Do they make it in black?

+1

[comment deleted]
adamdehaven 1 point 21 months ago

Just curious, why are you venting your CPU cooler into the bottom of your case instead of directing the exhaust out the top or even the back? It looks like you're basically dumping hot air onto your GPU...?

swazitron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

No answer to that. I made a mistake and i'll fix my fan orientation to pull it up and out the back. Thanks for the catch.

Samuel_Lopez 1 point 21 months ago

You can just rotate the fans to push air at the top. you not need to rotate the entire cooler.

markwparrish 1 Build 1 point 21 months ago

I like your Shiit. I've been thinking of getting one of those too.

swazitron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

It works. Not much I can say about it. It's affordable and looks really nice.

tux_computer_systems 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

As someone else commented, what is your DAC at the moment? I don't see any soundcard or external equipment listed and/or visible in pictures. If you're using onboard audio of your Mobo, you could definitely step up the audible quality via an external DAC. Though motherboard audio has improved vastly, I'd recommend saving up for a Schiit Modi or similar to get more out of your audio hardware :)

swazitron submitter 2 Builds 1 point 19 months ago

No DAC. I no longer use this PC with headphones. Only bookshelf speakers and the amp I have with it works well.

ten8yp 5 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

Great build! God I love the Enthoo Luxe. Such a sexy case. Love the monitor choice too.

How have you liked the Corsair Strafe and M65 pro mouse? I got a Corsair K55 for Christmas and didn't like it very much. Not a huge fan of my M65 pro either but its alright I guess.

swazitron submitter 2 Builds 2 points 21 months ago

Thank you! Appreciate the comment.

I enjoy both the peripherals. The strafe is an awesome keyboard. My first mechanical so I can't provide a direct comparison. I was concerned about mechanical switches being too clicky but the MX Silent switches are not as loud as others I have played with. The USB pass-through is also a lot more useful than I thought.

The mouse is good in my opinion. It's sensitive enough and comfortable to hold, though I don't normally game for hours on end so I can't comment on ergonomics or strain on the hand.

ten8yp 5 Builds 1 point 21 months ago

Thats exactly what I wanted to know about the keyboard. Were you reading my mind lol? I've never had a mechanical keyboard (hence why I asked for the K55 instead of the K70 or K95). I was just so worried about the obnoxious clicky noise. I couldn't deal with loud keys for sure. Good to know about the MX silents.