Description

Built this to replace my first-gen i7 machine, which started to develop problems. This is my primary PC. I use it for gaming, programming, and occasional streaming. All of my tech gear has a duck-based naming scheme, so EpicDuck is a carryover from my old system.

Everything was purchased brand-new, but I'm reusing a bunch of hard drives from my previous computer... Western Digital drives of various sizes.

My goal was to go for a quiet PC with clean cable management. My previous case was poor in both these aspects, and swapping hardware was a complete pain, with cables everywhere. Dust prevention was a huge concern as well. I chose the NZXT case because it looked like it fit my needs, and also has a couple fan filters built into the case. I went with a Kraken CPU cooler because I figured it was designed to work with the NZXT case, and I wanted good, quiet cooling without a huge heatsink sticking off the CPU.

My only installation issue was that I originally installed the radiator on the top, with the tubes towards the front of the case (as they did in the NZXT video), but due to the radiator tubes, you lose access to a couple of HD bays. I had a HD installed on the bottom of the case, but the vibrations caused rattling issues. I ended up spinning the radiator around so that the tubes face the back of the case, and free up all of the HD bays. This works much better, and I added a fan grille to make sure the tubes never touch the fan. I have the CPU power cable snaked through the corner of the case, between both tubes, to plug it into the mobo. It works great, even if you don't notice it, but it is a tight fit.

Everything else went together pretty effortlessly, and I've done some basic overclocking on the CPU, so it can run up to 4.5ghz, while the memory is running at the 2400 XMP profile.

The most demanding game I've found has been Witcher 3, which I'm able to run on Ultra settings at ~45fps. If I disable Hairworks and use SSAO as opposed to HBAO+, I average 60fps with very few tiny dips in framerate. The majority of other games I've played are much less demanding, and can be run at very high settings without tweaks.

2016/09/19 - I've swapped RAM from Corsair Vengeance LPX to G.Skill Ripjaws V. I've had increasing freezes/crashes and numerous other problems for a long time (artifacting on integrated graphics), and tried numerous BIOS updates and settings. There are a ton of complaints about the Skylake architecture, especially with Asus motherboards, and everybody solves their problems a bit differently. I finally just bought some different RAM and it has cleared up all of my issues. I wouldn't recommend Corsair DD4 with this combination Motherboard and CPU. There's some sort of insane incompatibility and not worth the headache. Some of my images may not reflect the RAM swap.

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Comments

  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

twitch name?

[comment deleted]
  • 49 months ago
  • 1 point

weird mounting of rad, usually its placed at the front of the case

  • 49 months ago
  • 2 points

Rads at the top are far more efficient. It blows the hot air outside of the case in the direction hot air normally travels, instead of blowing hot air from your components back into the case and onto your components.

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

Do you have any cool whine or noise from PSU in any way?

  • 47 months ago
  • 1 point

I haven't heard any noise from the PSU at all. I'm not even sure if even the PSU fan has ever needed to kick on... it's pretty silent.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

How are your temperatures? Any issues with the AIO instead of 3 fans?

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Temperatures are great, in my opinion. With Aida stress testing everything, CPU temp sits at about 50c, and GPU at ~60c. At this temperature the Kraken increases fan speeds a bit, which I can hear if I listen for it. I can't really notice the case fans increasing (at 60% speed, where as their lowest is around 40% and are completely silent to me.)

One thing to note is that one of my Kraken fans did start to make some noise over night a few weeks ago. I fiddled with it and it stopped for the most part, but is sort of noticeable (rattling sort of sound) at higher speeds. Seems like the fans going out prematurely is not uncommon. If it ever becomes a real problem I'll likely just replace them with a reputable brand fan. Something to consider. Other than that, I have no issues with the AIO cooler.

As an additional note, I did recently test the cooling, and from max load/temps, it takes 10 minutes before all the temperatures reach idle temps again. Not sure if that's typical, but seems completely reasonable to me. There's a quick decline over 5 minutes, but the remaining 5 minutes allows it to completely settle back to idle temps. I run really quiet/low fan settings.