*EDIT 11-19-2017: Changed CPU thermal paste from NT-H1 rev2 to CoolerMaster MasterGel Maker Nano; new CPU Temps @ 23C Ambient temp (non-delta):
25-33C Idle (-4C low end, +3C high end) 41C STABLE gaming (-14.5C average) 70C (MAX, ave. 54C!!!) stress testing (-14C average!)
I highly suggest this thermal paste!
Coffee Lake i7 - 8700K / ASUS ROG STRIX 1080 TI OC / MAXIMUS X HERO / NZXT Noctis 450 ROG
I have been a laptop user for more than a decade. I had an MSI gaming laptop that had the CPU situated just below the WASD keys near palm area, was uncomfortable to game with or use, and after some time, the ZXCASDQWE keys actually warped) - at this time, the only manufacturer that put an emphasis on cooling was ASUS, with their ROG line. I immediately took a liking. My primary work horse lasted 5 years, I bought laptops in between; but like my old car, I couldn't bring myself to hand it down.
Some time back, I decided to go back to full-on desktop computing and went with this build. I initially was going with Kaby Lake, but was convinced to wait for Coffee Lake by my friends. Procurement wise, I was in a bind, since the local distributor for Intel releases around 10 units 8700K every week, the waiting list was long but I managed to source everything in a day (I was really lucky, since someone also ditched on a 1080TI OC reservation!)
Primary use: I am using this for 40% gaming, and 59% normal stuff, 1% work.
Aesthetics: I'm pretty happy with the looks of my build. Still looking to add additional maglev fans from Corsair, but I have to be pretty solid on what color LED they should be.
Build: Pretty tight at the back (SeaSonic uses flat cables, but for some reason, the ATX 24-Pin connector is one fat bundle which made the fitting of the back panel tight; the AIO cables have a tight fit at the back, and I initially wanted to mount the VRM fan with the included fan mount (but couldn't source a proper 50mm fan) - Thinking about it now, with the radiator fans in the position they are in and the difficulty of cramming the 8-pin EATX 12V connector, I couldn't mount it anyways.
The x62's elbows would hit the card mounted on the DIMM_A1 slot, but there's not that much pressure when I tested the sticks (since I'm still waiting for shipment of F4-3200C16D-16GTZR, and the clearance was really questionable, I had to test it first) other than that, I think it manages the job successfully.
CPU - 5.0 GHz (MCE disabled) @ 1,35V / GPU @ 1758 MHz 11110 MHz
*CHECK EDIT 11-19-2017!
(Using custom CPU fan/pump & GPU fan curve) Idle: 29-30C / 29-33C Gaming: 54-57C / 57C Stress Testing: 84C / 72C
Benchmark results CPU-Z: https://valid.x86.fr/eghjwu (I have to do another run)
RealBench v2,56 Image Editing: 245,939 T: 21.6639 Encoding: 164,405 T: 32.4077 OpenCL: 114,595 KSamples/sec: 21154 Heavy Multitasking: 180,802 T: 42.2119
RealBench 2,56 Score: 176,435
EDIT: Corrected very hot, to inherently warm.
No regrets here, but admittedly the chip is inherently warm. Although a major contributing factor to this is my board.
You mostly pay a premium for the way it looks. It's basically a re-engineered Asetek AIO, with the engineering consisting of adding a custom PCB to control the LED's and custom CAM software. NZXT's email support service is crap, but I'm waiting to see if the product lives up to expectation; there's this dreaded issue of the pump dying @ 10 months, so I'm running it at a custom curve for pump speed (since the pump variably changing RPM's is basically ruining it's life, unlike say, running it at 100% full throttle, but remember, there is little to no impact at running it at full speed)
Would recommend getting an EK Predator AIO instead if you're short on cash.
Yup yup, this baby here does the trick. IMHO one of the best bang for buck options out there, performs as well or even better than US$12 or even US$15 pastes. Still, will be swapping it out for CoolerMaster's MasterGel Maker Nano when I run out.
You have to literally check this regularly since it's runny.
This almost got a 3 star rating from me, but since the ROG Forums is active, I guess I'll give it a 4. Would have got a 5 but:
At BIOS update 0505, and ISS (Initial shipment stack) it is ultra aggressive on it's voltage provisioning at STOCK frequencies to the chip. I've been seeing (and it is widely reported by users) that it provides 1,4v with optimized defaults or ISS settings. I've personally seen it throw the mid 1,5's which is definitely not good. That power level is for running at 5,4-5,6 GHz. This makes a basically stock chip that's already warm, run even hotter than normal, with idles at 50C (!)
I would recommend advanced users to manually set VCORE, LLC, and switch off MCE for this purpose. XMP settings also provide alot more voltage than is normally required by your DIMMs, but could be easily remedied. I would suggest to start off your VCORE with lower - mid 1,2V, on adaptive mode set with a negative offset. Also, remember to keep LLC @ 5 or 6 and IA DC + IA AC load lines to 0.01, to keep the voltages that you have manually set tight.
Recommendations: Would NOT recommend purchase to beginners or users who are new to overclocking. Users who also do not have confidence to fiddle with things should also look someplace else. You are looking at a coffee lake chip with a shortened lifespan here.
Would HIGHLY RECOMMEND to users who would like to make the most out of their coffee lake. The board is TIGHT. It may be entry level, but it does exactly the same thing as what the Formula and Code do, without the Croschill EK II Waterblock.
Eye candy and performance all in one!
This baby right here is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for Intel builders looking to get the most out of their ASUS Aura Sync boards.
Definitely NOT recommended for AMD builds. DO NOT BUY this chip AMD users. It is well documented to fail! (Uses Hynix dies)
If AMD users are looking towards Trident Z RGB chips, get the CL14 ones.
A bit on the expensive side, but performance wise, it rocks. I'm getting an additional PRO 960 M.2 NVMe and moving everything on this storage to that later down the line due to my experience and satisfaction with the EVO one.
Please note that when running SSDs, you effectively have a storage ratio of 50%. Performance degradation at above 50% utilization renders even high end SSD's performance price premium not worth. So decide wisely!
A proper storage dump. Fast, and hardy. I have great experience with WD products and expect this to perform the same, probably better than those 7-10 year old drives I have on other computers.
I have nothing negative to say about this card. Runs very cool and very quiet even at default profiles.
If you're looking to overclock this card even further, to maximize performance gains, I would recommend setting a user defined fan curve. On automatic fan settings, I hit around 75C - 85C on FurMark 1080 for default OC. On creating a custom fan curve that is still focused on silence, I got 67C MAX.
I highly rate this card for those who want air cooling performance.
Got this for the aesthetics and out of the box Aura Sync compatibility. A large margin for price premium just for the LED's, ROG certification, and built-in controller for an otherwise vanilla Noctis 450.
Case is 4/5, but the rear panel cable spacing ran tight for me, as seen in my initial feedback. Removing the front panel to get to the magnetic filters feels like a gamble since it feels like something would snap - not happened, and the same is being observed by other case owners.
Acrylic panel is crap. Wiping using an electronics microfiber cloth, specifically made for electronic devices' sensitive LCDs actually left scratch marks. Looking to have it either replaced with TG glass (expensive, hard to find a fabricator that can match case specs) or repolishing the acrylic and tinting it to protect it from harm.
Recommendation: Prospective buyer should first weigh pros & cons with this case. It does look good, but if you are someone who is OC (like me) and wants everything **** and span, this front acrylic panel most definitely will not be to your liking due to the ease to scratch it.
One of the most stable PSUs in the market, guaranteed*
Your PSU is one of the most crucial aspects of your build, and you should consider this an investment, together with a properly rated UPS.
I guess, SeaSonic backing it's PRIME line 80+ Titanium rated PSUs with an industry unheard of 12 year warranty is enough said.
*Check out JonnyGURU's review; for this, or any other PSU that you are into the market for. He is one of, if not the most prolific PSU testers that base reviews & results on actual, industrial grade hardware, not guesswork, software, or straight pulling ratings out of their @@@@@.)
This is only supported for Windows 10. Nowadays, cars won't run without an ECU. Unless you're a computer engineer AND a mechanical engineer at the same time.
Personal needs. Got this off my MSDN Partner subscription.
I got this monitor for cheap, and without the dreaded dead pixel issues that we have from our units (this one was straight out of the ASUS dealership in Taiwan, for a ROG Promotion).
Performs as stated, easy over clocking, and difference is astounding (when you come from a 59Hz monitor; I don't think you can go back)
Useful if you want ultra-fast refresh and low response times on games that count (such as CS:GO, Overwatch, or any MP games in general that have high tickrates.)
G-Sync (for NVIDIA 650Ti and above GPU users only) - to cut to the chase, there IS INPUT LAG. But there is also a solution. Ref: https://www.blurbusters.com/gsync/gsync101-input-lag/
Built-in crosshair (for games that have "hardcore mode" i.e. COD, Escape from Tarkov, etc.), timer (for RTS or racing games or whatever use you might have for it), FPS counter (Shows actual FPS that your monitor puts out; is NOT a refresh rate counter. Useful for games that have FPS limiters that don't sync frames with your monitor, etc), & display alignment.
Disgusting TN display. Absurd washed out colors. Requires a LOT of tinkering, and even then, you would still be hard pressed to get a satisfactory display image. I can give you my settings if you have the same monitor and run into the same problems though, it's about 2000% better than the defaults, and about 80% accurate from normal color settings from other LED panel monitors. Then again, this is a gaming monitor, and the actual target audience that this monitor caters do most commonly play in resolutions at 800x600; what do they care about washed out colors lol
If you're looking for performance and you're sure to utilize G-Sync, by all means, this is probably the cheapest G-Sync monitor on the market with 180Hz refresh rate and 1 ms resp time.
If you're looking for absurdly beautiful graphics and a pretty neat screensaver when you're not using it, don't even think about getting this monitor or any other TN display ones in general. Get an IPS monitor with a high refresh rate. Shell out almost double the price of this monitor at the same screen size.
If you're not using G-Sync or have an AMD card, get a BENQ Zowie with Freesync :D
I've got to say, this is the BEST-IN-CLASS mechanical keyboard on the "CHEAPEST" segment.
The Bad: LEDs only light up in color red. That's why I got it.
Recommendations: This should be top 1 in your list of entry level mechanical keyboards.
I like how you can change the weights around as well as where the weights are placed on the mouse. Has more than enough buttons for most games. Can sync with any LGS enabled hardware. You can store up to 3 profiles on the mouse itself as well. Pre-set custom profile will be used even without LGS. But to switch between those, you must set beforehand profile manager on the keys before plugging on another device. Capable of almost unlimited profiles with LGS.
Recommendations: Cheaper compared to other mice. Very accurate, and has useful hardware capabilities such as weight placement in select zones. I'm happy with this mouse, but can't say much (yet) for longevity. Seems nowadays, gaming mice have a 6 month lifespan. Once you're clear of that, the mice seem to last forever.
I'm actually using the Razer Kraken Pro V2 which is color black (couldn't find it here to add to the price list.)
It's about the only Razer thing that I would keep (I have no other plans on buying their products that are riddled with sub-standard parts)
Sound quality is great on the lows, and mid, but it lacks on highs. Runs great with simulated 7.1 surround via Razer Surround Pro (you get it for free on this purchase)
Mic quality is also great (according to people I speak to on VoIP)
Recommendations: Cheap, but there are cheaper headsets out there. Couldn't say much about build quality or sound quality. I leave the purchase decision to the prospective buyer.