OK, so I left the desktop scene in 2011 in favour of a gaming laptop, due to my constant travels and thought a laptop could replace a desktop, it performed well but soon was not able to handle newer games due to its inferior mobile gaming video card. Long story short I have been planning this desktop build for a while now (this build started out its life as a haswell build) and I finally decided to pull the trigger.
I'm going all out for this build and going to keep I green and black in line with the razer theme. I have have tried to select parts that kept in line with the theme, however I didn't want to sacrifice performance for the sake of aesthetics, when possible. Unfortunately most parts available seem to be red and black themed, so I have to do a lot of painting and modding to get the theme right.
I'm hoping to get this rig over clocked and water cooled in the coming months.
I started out buying the case and power supply first, because I wanted to get a feel for the size of the case and see what I could fit in it. I chose the ax1200i because I wanted a modular psu to keep the build clean plus the monitoring functions it provides, I also picked the 1200i over the ax860i because I have read online that people had issues when overclocking due to lack of power, so it's good to keep an overhead of watts.
The NZXT H440 by razer is a sick case, I initially was going to use a corsair 350d and paint it, i never liked the drive bays though because i never planned to use them. then i thought i would use the NZXT S340, but after calculating the room I would need to water cooling components I decided to move up to the h440. I painted the interior of the h440 because I think it gives the bill character and allows the interior to be showcased better.
I reassembled the case after painting, then assembled the components in the case to test. At the time of writing I am waiting on the RAM to arrive then stage 2 of this build will be complete. Once it's up and running I will migrate my data and OS from my laptop to the new 950 m.2 ssd, to be used as the boot drive. I will not be using any other drives, although I might move my ssd form the laptop as a back up due to my laptop being out of service.
Phase 3 of this build will be the custom water cooling loop, I will most likely use all EKWB products and rigid acrylic or PETG tubing. I'm still debating what what rads to use, which will dictate what reservoir and pump the system will fit. When I invisioned this build I wanted to make it as compact as possible, so I really I want just enough space for components and no more. The h440 can fit a 360 rad in front, which is what I will do. The top of the case also fits a 360 rad. Problem is the won't fit in there together, depending on the thickness of the rads. Due to clearance from motherboard I need a slim rad up top, I'm not sure if I will get a 280 or 360 or 240 rad. Initially I wanted the thickest ekwb rad I could get (60cm), but the thicker the rad the more it covers up the third fan/rad slot up top. I'm going to use the ek vardar fans and acetal waterblocks, I think I'll paint the ek circle logos on the blocks green. I might use green coolant for visuals initially, but will switch to distilled water for long term use later on.
Once all that is sorted, phase 4 will be overclocking and benchmarking.
Phase 5 will be custom cabling. I have decided to use lutro0 green cable sleeving, MDPC is back in business but I don't like the colour of there green sleeving. I might use some black sleeving for secondary cables like fan cables etc.
Then the build should be finished. I'll update as things progress going forward. I hope you enjoy the build as much as I am while constructing it. Please feel free to ask me any questions about anything and I will do my best to help you other builders out there.
Note: I'm planning to add another 980ti in future to run in sli.
Although I haven't used the software yet, the hardware is top of the line. I'm not a fan of the black and red styling, although it's what's expected of msi. It was easy to mod the board colours to black, which was helpful. The red ddr4 trace lines printed on the board look cool but are red :( So until I figure out how to colour or remove them I'm stuck. The inclusion of an on board sound card and the wireless capability really sold this board for me, not to mention the other numerous functions like the easy overclock dial and the great software. The mobo armour on the back is a big plus too.
This thing is tiny! Never had a m.2 before, but the fact that it sits on the board and doesn't need a bay drive or needs to be placed somewhere on the case Is great, not to mention the speed of this thing. Has the same capacity as my previous samsung evo ssd. Cant wait to use this as my boot drive. No more internal sata cables for me!
Great case, well built from steel as such it's very sturdy and heavy. I like the exclusion of the bay drives as I don't use optical disks. This case does allocate a lot of space for hdd drives, so I had to mod the case to remove that panel. It comes with a fan hub on the back but it's not PWM so will be replacing it. A lot of great accent lights with this case and illuminated razer logos.