I'd been running an older i7 4790k system for about 3 years now. I use my system for work as I am a network engineer for a local ISP, and I love to game on my system as well. I'd been wanting to put something together that had expandability for future upgrades, and would have the grunt to get me through for a few years. I had to get this system built and ready to use for work before I could sell my old system.
I did a lot of research on the parts I wanted to use. I knew I wanted to go with a full tower case that had lots of room for a large AIO. Since I use my computer for work I wanted a mobo that had multiple ways to connect to the internet in case one of the connections flaked out on my board as it has once before. I also like the idea of RGB and knew I wanted some, not all, of my components to have this feature. I didn't want to overdo it on the RBG though because there is such a thing as too much when it comes to something like that, at least in my mind anyways.
For the case I ultimately decided on the Be Quiet! Dark Base Pro 900. I loved how big it was and how modular it is. For anyone wanting to know, if you decide to mount your AIO radiator in the front there is enough room between the hard drive bays. I removed the preinstalled case fans and put my AIO fans in their place, then mounted the radiator behind them in the case in a push config. I then moved those fans and put them on the top of my case in a pull config. I opted to not go with an optical drive and only one 3.5in hard drive for storage, so I only needed to keep one of the hard drive bays in the case. I removed the rest for better air circulation. My only two complaints about the case are:
1) No PSU Shroud to cover the cables. My cabling isn't the cleanest, and a cover would hide that a lot better. 2) I don't care much for how the power supply is mounted. I understand it's for the modularity of the case to be able to move the mobo mounts up and down, but my PSU is too long to allow for me to put the fan where I wanted it on the bottom of the case.
My mobo choice was a bit more difficult. I did a lot of research on multiple boards and decided on the Asus Maximum IX Code. I really like the option for WiFi and all the rear USB ports. I usually have absolutely no problems with Asus products, but this board wouldn't detect my RAM in DIMM slots A1 and A2. After doing my own troubleshooting and calling Asus I wound up RMAing the mobo with Newegg. The process was painless, except for having to track down all accessories to put back in the package haha. I received the board back two days quicker than expected. Props to Newegg!!
I went with the Kraken X62 because of the really cool RGB heat sink and it being a 280mm radiator so I knew the fans would fit exactly where the fans were in the front of the case. It is true what they say about the heat sink though, the tubing does stick out quite a bit and if you put it in with the logo facing right side up the tubes push up against the RAM in that DIMM slot immediately adjacent. My slot isn't blocked completely but it's a tight fit with my RAM in that slot.
The Corsair M2 SSD was available when the Samsung M2 SSD wasn't, and since the reviews looked good I decided to go with it instead of waiting for the Samsung to be available again. The read/write speeds were comparable to the Samsung, and it loads my OS lightning quick!
Finally, I went with the new G.Skill TridentZ RGB RAM. Now that Asus updated their Aura software to control the RAM's RGB I'm able to sync it to my mobo. The colors really are amazing and the Aura software enables pretty accurate color production. My case build is black/orange, so though not everything can be controlled with Aura I have most everything matching pretty well.
The last remaining update I'm going to do is add some RGB strips which I recently purchased from Newegg. The case only came with LED strips that connect to the rear fan controller and are controlled with a button on the front of the case behind the door. It doesn't have a lot of color options, so I think I'm just going to remove them and go RGB to complete my look for the case.
Please feel free to comment and let me know what you think!!!
Awesome processor!! Though Ryzen piqued my interest upon hearing about its specs and pricing, I've always been an Intel fan. I'll be upset if Intel drops its prices a lot when Ryzen comes out though...
When combined with my Kraken X62 this runs really cool. A load test I ran under full load for 5 minutes saw temps hit a max of 64c, but spent the vast majority of the time between the upper 40c - mid 50c range.
May mess with overclocking in the future to see if I can hit that magical 5GHz mark, but for now I'm happy with where things are.
Excellent cooling combines with excellent RGB! The CAM software does pretty good color production and hasn't bugged out on me yet. The fans are quiet as well.
Only suggestion to NZXT might be to rethink the design of the tubing so that it isn't so tight up against the RAM in the closest DIMM slot. I know some people have complained about it completely blocking the slot depending on the RAM they used. I didn't have that problem, but when I installed the cooler it was definitely pushing against my RAM.
It does connect have a cable for a USB type mini-B connector on the heat sink that is supposed to run to a USB 2.0 header on the mobo. My mobo only had one 2.0 header, and if I used it I wouldn't be able to use two of my four front panel USB ports. Instead I went and bought a phone cable with the same type of head on it, and connected to to one of my USB ports on the back of my computer and this works very well. An example of a cable I used would be like this one:
Works as advertised.
I applied mine with an "X" pattern across my processor. I haven't removed anything to see how well it spread, but my temps have been good from what I can tell.
I looked at a lot of mobo's before I decided on this one. What I liked about it was the Aura software, the RGB on the board, all the rear USB ports, and all the protection. This also came with built in WiFi and bluetooth, which was very important to me since I use my computer for work and if the Ethernet port flaked out or something that secondary option would be critical to continue my work.
I give this board 5 stars because of all its features. I did receive a board from Newegg that had two bad DIMM slots. It wouldn't post with slots A1 and A2 populated, but would work with B1 and B2. I might have been okay with this had I only gotten 16gb of RAM, but I got 32gb, so I needed all four slots to work. I then went ahead and RMA'd the board to Newegg. After frantically searching for all my accessories that came with the board I shipped it back. The RMA process with Newegg is really quite good. They provided the shipping label and all I had to do was print that and an RMA label out, drop it at FedEx, and wait for it to be received. I got my replacement mobo back two days sooner than expected which made me really happy!!
This also came with an M.2 mount and screw, so no trip to the hardware store!! I appreciated this as I'd read some reviews of Samsung M.2's where the mobo didn't have any mounting hardware for it and they had to go to the hardware store to get a screw.
This RAM is amazing!! The color is really accurate with the Aura software and is really bright and vivid!!
I have the 3200MHz RAM with a CAS latency of 16. I haven't played with overclocking but since I was coming from 16gb of DDR3 RAM I'm pretty happy with this huge bump.
When installed on an Asus Maximus IX Code with a Kraken X62 AIO cooler the tubing from the cooler will push up against the closest DIMM if all four slots are populated. It isn't enough to affect that closest slot so it all fits, albeit tightly.
The RGB effect does come at a premium compared to the more standard TridentZ RAM, so if RGB isn't your thing then I suggest going with the less expensive versions. If you have an RGB theme or just like the option of adjusting colors in your case to fit your mood, this is definitely the RAM to have!
I wound up getting this because it was well reviewed and was comparable to the Samsung 960 Evo I wanted to get originally.
The 480GB was the largest that was offered, and though it wasn't quite the 512GB I wanted with Samsung it was plenty big enough to store my OS and other programs I wanted fast access to.
Its read/write speeds are as follows:
Max Sequential Read Up to 3000 MBps (ATTO) Up to 2800 MBps (CDM)
Max Sequential Write Up to 2400 MBps (ATTO) Up to 1500 MBps (CDM)
This is pretty much what the Samsung will do, and since this was in stock I got it. I love it and have no regrets!! It was instantly recognized and everything loaded to it with no problems.
My mobo did come with the mount and screw to hold it in place so that made me happy. I didn't need to make a trip to the hardware store!
I purchased this drive as a large storage drive for music, movies, games I won't play a ton, and anything else I didn't need rapid access to.
It's a bare drive, which means that it is shipped with just the hard drive and nothing else. This is typically fine for builders because cases generally always have the mounting hardware to put it in the case.
This beast is the bread and butter of my build and I was quite excited to get it!!
Though it's listed at $649.99 I didn't get it on sale and spent $700 on it. If I'd waited just a little bit longer...
My old PC had a blower style reference GTX 980 that ran very hot under load. When playing WoW during raids I was seeing my GPU temps hit about 80c-81c. I know these things are designed to run hot, but that may have been too hot and I wasn't sure if it was throttling my GPU or not.
With this build I knew I wanted something that would run cooler. I initially looked at the ACX EVGA cards, as well as Asus since I knew its RGB would sync with Aura. When I heard about the issues recent EVGA cards with ACX 3.0 had catching fire and the ICX design not yet being released I decided to look at the hybrid versions.
This thing runs MUCH cooler than my old card. In WoW I was seeing it hitting its max boost clock and running at 99%. Even with all that I never saw temps jump above 56c.
I haven't messed with overclocking, but I'm confident that this card is more than capable of running faster with no fear of high temps.
I removed my rear 140mm fan and mounted the 120mm radiator and fan inside the case in a pull config. Of everything in my case this runs the loudest under load, but it isn't obnoxious. I know the 1080TI's are releasing now that I purchased this, but I'm very happy with this card. I'm powering 3 Viewsonic 24" 1080p gaming monitors and it performs very well.
The RGB on this card isn't as robust as the offerings from Asus. It can be set to static or rotate through colors. I don't think the color reproduction is quite as good, but I set it to as close an orange as I could to match the other orange colors and I have no problems with it!
I spent a lot of time reviewing cases and ultimately picked this one!! It has the size I wanted for future upgrades/expansions, the tempered glass side panel for seeing all my RGB colors, a ton of modularity to move things around, and it's really quiet!! Honestly if my GPU fan was a little quieter I wouldn't even know this thing was on.
It has dust filters where I want them, and the wireless charger is a really neat feature. Now I just need to get a phone with wireless charging. Perhaps when the iPhone 8 comes out.
I chose this power supply because it has all the power I need now, plus more if I decide to add a second GPU.
It is gold certified and I love the modular design. This way I don't have to manage every cable and only need to run what I use. Maybe in the future I'll upgrade to some CableMod cables, but since I was already spending more than enough on my build I stuck with the cables that came with it, which are still excellent cables!
I been using Windows 10 since it came out. I use it both at home and at work and I have absolutely no problems with it.
I'd prefer not to spend $120, but when you install off a USB drive and activate through the Windows store you don't get a choice if you want OEM or not.
Honestly I probably could've done without this device. I just thought it would help with my cable management.
I give it 5 stars because it works like it is supposed to. In a build that maybe was tight on space this would be a huge benefit because you install your power cables on the side instead of on the top. I'm actually debating taking mine out and and just running my cables into the card itself.
An RGB option would be nice as it does cover part of the lighting on the card.