Hello again everyone. I wanted to break the 2015 ice early on with this build. This one is for my cousin who lives several states away. He turned 13 a few weeks ago and his parents wanted something big for his birthday/Christmas. I was given $1200 to do pretty much whatever I wanted with it, as long as the Phantom 240 was the focal point. He had apparently been complaining about the lack of titles on his console. So I helped him ascend.
Goals for this build:
- Fit a gaming build into the NZXT Phantom 240
- Stick to the $1200 budget
- Work in a Dallas Cowboys theme (Texas residents).
I think it’s obvious that this is a go to choice for gaming by now. I overclocked to 4.2 @ 1.15v and temps were fantastic. Obviously I could have gone further and I did test at 4.5, but turned it back down slightly before shipping it out.
- CPU COOLER
I love Phanteks.
I was really excited to use the only black/white only motherboard. MSI has been my number two motherboard company on the Intel side for a while actually. The included software beats Gigabyte, but not quite Asus. This is a more budget friendly board with stylish appeals; overall very impressed with the bundled features at this price.
I just needed some inexpensive memory. G.Skill gets the job done here; some 2x4 GB, CAS 9, 1600 MHz goodness.
I went with a very common storage configuration with this one. The 120 GB Samsung 840 EVO paired with a 1 TB drive. Not a whole lot to comment on, just that both of these drives are very popular choices.
The GTX 970 is a really nice card. With the latest manufacturing process from Nvidia you get the low heat output and high performance you would expect. After using the EVGA 980, I scored a good deal on the EVGA 970 during black Friday sales. The card itself is very quiet and the benchmarks speak for themselves.
Oh NZXT. How I love you. They know how to make a case “budget”, but still include the features that builders expect. Those things called cable tie downs? Yeah this case has them in ALL the right places behind the motherboard tray. Bitfenix could learn a thing or fifty from NZXT. If you like the look of the Phantom line and need something easy to build in, this case is a dream come true.
I went for round two with EVGA PSUs and was not let down. A PSU that is priced under $100 that has Gold efficiency, is fully modular, has all black cables, and has more than 600 watts is hard to come by.
I threw in an optical drive since he had a little extra in the budget and he may need one for CDs or movies. As little as we do use them, not having one can be annoying, and the Phantom hides them so easily.
My cousin is very interested in learning more about computers and wants to go to school to study computer science. I realize he is young, but he is a really bright kid. Being able to take the reins on builds is really fun. This one turned out really nicely. The performance is top notch for the price, it’s very quiet, and pretty cool looking.
Questions, comments, or concerns? Post them below, in a PM, or on my Facebook page. I’m never far away from a computer and always respond!
BENCHMARKS: using latest driver
Tests ran at clocks posted above. Settings were set to the maximum settings (1080P) unless noted differently. I test only tasking segments: firefights, lots of units on screen, explosions etc.
3DMark Firestrike is apparently having problems with the 970/980. I consistently scored low in only that test
- Ave: 109.20 FPS
- Min: 18.93 FPS
- Max: 209.36 FPS
- Ave: 47.73 FPS
- Min: 40 FPS
- Max: 194 FPS
- Ave: 78.8 FPS
- Min: 60 FPS
- Max: 104 FPS
Hope you enjoy!