I've built multiple PC's, this being my 4th. Until this build i was an avid gamer with the issue of mobility constantly besetting me. Thus after a long hard summer of work I purchased a 1500 dollar gaming laptop and used it with great satisfaction as it was capable of handling itself at medium to ultra settings on AAA games at 30-60 fps. less then 6 months later i found myself no longer needing it and my gaming time drastically reduced. I began looking into building my own gaming PC and thus this project was born. I say project because its undergone some transformations since i bought most of the hardware near the end of 2014.
The original PC used the Phantom 530 NZXT case, had 8gb of ram, and a Corsair CX750w PSU, no samsung SSD and a Gigabyte Windforce G1 GTX 970. these components all eventually swapped out for different parts or were added at separate times. I also had more LED's and fans then the current build.
While the Phantom 530 proved a excellent case with amazing cable management and ample room for my long windforce video card with great airflow, i ran into the issue of dust. as a very open case with over 6 intake fans (including the H100i) it seemed to push almost as much air as my rooms air filter/purifier. originally i added dust filters to all the intake fans but due to the case design were far from convenient to clean. with or without the dust filters, the dust levels were to high for my satisfaction. Another issue i had with the case were internal aesthetics. originally i had not cared but after completing it it bugged me quite a bit how the case appeared with its components in place. it also proved a little big for my taste. i originally had my eyes on the NZXT 440 but the NZXT s340 proved to be my choice due to size and aesthetics.
With the notion of aesthetics, i began to notice with to much care how ugly the non modular PSU was and found myself hating the excess wires. Thus i purchased and fully modular EVGAS 850w G2 PSU along with individually sleeved red cables. while 850w is far more than i needed, i plan on using it again in the future and had extra cash to spend.
Somewhere between my initial build time and now, my roommate owed me roughly 100 dollars. i told him to just buy me more ram. so i got a extra 8Gb to throw in to my machine.
The 500Gb SSD came from my laptop. When i bought the laptop i initially upgraded the HDD to the samsung. Upon selling it i swapped hardrives and added the extra memory to my desktop. I left the OS on the crucial mostly because i had no desire to migrate the data to the Samsung. boot times are satisfactory.
As for the Windforce, i hated the blue led in my red and black themed machine. i had it turned off and then purchased Red LED's and performed a LED swap. I was having a blonde moment and hap-hazzardly broke the wire prongs attaching the logo plate to the PCB board. As a result i sold it to a friend of mine and used it as an excuse to get a 980. With that said the 970 was perfect for my needs and i had OC'd it to out perform my 980 on stock speeds. I wanted the best single card performance so i got the 980 (granted other aftermarket coolers might have been better for performance but i liked the reference design). but OF COURSE nivida had to release the TITAN X right after. either way i've oc'd the 980 with great results and performance with no complaints.
I used a wireless card due to where my room is in my apartment...away from any Ethernet port or my router. performs well and no complaints. personally i think it adds a flair to the case with weird prongs.
My only complaint to the build is my choice of MOBO. while i have no FUNCTIONAL issues with it, i was unaware of its obnoxiously blue LEDS on the mobo, throwing my aesthetics off. i fixed it by putting a tiny piece of electrical tape over them. perhaps i'll add a dab of non conductive paint if i get around to it. Originally i was going to go with the maximus hero 7 but the MSI was on sale at the time of my purchase. i also on hindsight should have gone with the kraken x61 but that is a small issue.
as mentioned earlier, unlisted in this build are several fans, filters, and leds that where tossed outa the build due to case specifications. i've included a picture of my old case with everything but the 980 for your reference.
As for the i7 it is OC'd moderately to 4.4 GHz. stable speeds on my 980 are around 1539MHz on the core clock with an effect memory clock of 8000Mhz. I rarely use the OC profile for my 980 because quite frankly on my 1080 PLS monitor i dont need it. This brings the idea that my machine is overpowered for the monitor, which is a true fact. i plan on getting a tri or 2-4k screen in the near distant future.
Unlisted in the part list:
W8 OS Corsair RGB K65 mechanical keyboard cherry mx Corsair Sabre RGB Gaming mouse Corsair Standard Mouse Pad
Couple this with my 2k worth of sound equipment i have some pretty decent sound.