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First Build

by DirtyPaws

1 Comment


Date Published

May 17, 2017

Date Built

May 9, 2017

CPU Clock Rate

4.61 GHz

CPU Temperature While Idle

45.0° C

CPU Temperature Under Load

83.0° C

GPU Core Clock Rate

1.506 GHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

8.108 GHz

GPU Temperature While Idle

40.0° C

GPU Temperature Under Load

62.0° C


I use this machine for primarily .NET development with multiple Docker containers and ElasticSearch indexes. Also a bit of casual gaming. High quality and quantity of memory was a must for this machine. I'd previously been developing on an old Surface Pro 2 and it was so slow.

I also have kids and can't escape to my man-cave as frequently as I'd like, so it was important to be able to remote into the computer from the old Surface and use a real machine when I needed to do any heavy lifting.

I bought all of the parts at Microcenter who was pretty much dead on or within $10 of the PCPartPicker prices, so I only had to do a couple of price matches (Memory and PSU).

I'm not a fan of a lot of the pre-packaged MSI software that came with the drivers. I also had to stop the drivers continuously because I kept accidentally installing the Google Toolbar after I clicked submit. On the plus side, I temporarily lost the drivers disk, so after Windows was installed the networking didn't work. Thankfully, I just grabbed the network drivers on a thumb drive and installed them manually. Once connected, Windows went and did most of the driver work after that. Then I used Live Update to update everything else.


  • Cool RGB lighting effects

  • Really fast. As fast or faster than the 6700k 64gb 500gb nvme work computer I use.

  • Assembly was super simple and short

  • Extremely quiet.

  • Still have room for expansion later


  • I don't think the 7700k has much overhead for overclocking. It's a fast processor out of the box - it would have been nice to inch a few more performance marks out of it. I'm on a stable 10% overclock now.

  • It was expensive - largely because of the RAM modules I chose. I hemmed and hawed about their cost before I finally YOLO'd and just got them. As with everything - NAND isn't going to get any cheaper anytime soon.

Part Reviews


It's a really nice processor - especially if you don't plan on trying to max out over clocks. There's some lee-way to push it, but, not as much as we used to see. A simple overclock I did for stability is at 4.6 stable. I'm not mad about squeezing another 10% out of the chip, but, I'm not overly impressed either.

I did run a couple benches at 4.8. So there's more room - but - at 5.1 it became unstable. So I decided on settling in at the 10% gain and call it stable. Maybe later I'll come back and push the chip by tweaking voltages better.

CPU Cooler

Fairly easy install. Temps are solid and fan profile is easy to tweak.


I really like this board. The aesthetics are beautiful It's a gunmetal black that just accentuates every component of the board. It was awfully sturdy too. I wasn't concerned in the least when I was installing it on the standoffs. IO shield was easy to install, nice big power and reset buttons. The RGB was just a little icing on the cake. I wasn't sure if I'd like it - but - I've found it pretty fun to tinker with.

The software, I don't like. It comes with some nice bench marking apps. Not anything you would use if you're experienced anyways. The Command Center is OK, I guess. But, I also think the Command Center is leaving some TriggerModeMonitor process orphaned on my machine and I caught it using 78% of my CPU after a 3hr game session. The gaming app can control the RGB so there's that...The Live Update keeps trying to install bloatware like the Google Toolbar everytime I try to update. The rest of the software is pretty useless, imo. Maybe the SuperCharger app has some value I haven't found yet. Overall, more than half of the software is uselss/cumbersome.

The other con I had was on the M2 "heat spreader". It's nice if it serves it's intended purpose, but, I can't find anywhere that monitors that temp #1, #2 - that heat shield is a PITA to install over the module. I probably fiddled with that tiny screw for 40 minutes, to get it in, only to realize it wasn't even holding the shield down. Grrr...


If you're looking for high capacity fast RAM, this is a very nice option. I can't imagine there's a ton of people that NEED or really care that much about the speed and CAS latency, but, for those of us who do - I wasn't disappointed. It also has very faint white LEDs under the heat spreaders. Just enough to accent - not enough to draw attention.


I was going to buy the 250gb module at first, but, my B&M had a sale on Windows 10 Pro, so it freed up some budget to upgrade my M.2 to 500. It's worth it. Works at advertised speeds - and is blazing fast.


Holy cable management. If this is your first build - you should NOT get a tower. Get one of these. It's such a breeze to work in this case. I haven't had any issues with the case fans - but - I haven't exactly stressed them either. It's as quiet as my Fractal Design R5 at work, but, prettier and easier to build in.

Power Supply

Did everything I wanted it to do. Instructions were invalid for my case (didn't get genitals stuck anywhere)

Optical Drive

It worked to install Windows.


Nothing special, nothing disappointing. It was at a fair price for what you're getting. Also, very configurable height and angle-wise.


I like it. I'm not huge on the Synapse software, but, after some tweaking - I found a profile I like and it makes it functional for me. I do like the Link software option, so if I'm launching a specific game/app, it'll switch over to the profile I created for that app.


Nothing CRAZY special about it. It has a nice USB cord. I would argue, unless you're already using a Razer accessory with RGB, you can find better mice and the RGB software is mediocre at best. I wouldn't install the software for a mouse with two settings: Wheel, logo and static or pulsing.

Comments Sorted by:

[comment deleted by staff]
DirtyPaws submitter 1 Build 1 point 20 months ago

That and trying to convince the budget committee (wife) that I needed to spend that much money. This is probably the 10th iteration over 3 or 4 years waiting for the all clear to build. Always seemed like something came up right as I was about to pull the trigger.

[comment deleted by staff]
[comment deleted]