Description

Hi, this is my second ever build, but my first dedicated gaming build. I am inspired to write about my build so that I may help others who are considering building their own system, as others helped me to build mine.

CPU: My old CPU was an E8400, I can't comment too much on the 4670k other than it appears to be reliable and fast. Many reviews and anecdotes steered me toward this CPU, which was favoured for its overclocking potential and performance in gaming for the price.

CPU COOLER: Originally I intended on using a Noctua D14 air cooler for this build, as I knew it would fit in the Z11 case and not block ram or slots. However, the shop needed to order it in, and after waiting a week I grew impatient, and swapped it out for the Corsair H60. I was impressed with the H60, it performs well idle and under load, was only $7 more than the D14 plus you don't have to worry about using up a stack of space like you do with air coolers. The only thing that bugged me was the fact that the fan is recommended as an intake and it could be mounted on the rear or top of the case. This goes against your typical airflow setup of intake/front and exhaust/rear&top. I had the H60 mounted on the rear of my case as an intake and after being unhappy with my GPU and case temps I rethought my approach. At the sacrifice of my optical drive, I mounted the H60 on the front of the case as an intake, and restored my rear as exhaust in combination with the top fan. I achieved a 10 degree c improvement in GPU temps under load, as the CPU fan ramps up, the GPU actually gets cooled more effectively. Also my mobo temps dropped about 5 degrees.

MOBO: Looks nice, performs well. However, things like Sound Blaster Cinema are a joke, they actually make the sound worse in some instances, I always make sure this is off. The audio manager is nice however, automatically changing the audio I/O when it detects optical or headphone jack etc. Fast boot utility is really great, as I can select boot to bios from the desktop and be there in seconds. The killer lan stuff is fluff I believe, haven't noticed any better or worse ping, however, when downloading files it seems to disable the ability to browse the web (I could probably muck around with settings but feel I shouldn't have to).

RAM: Works, looks nice, nuff said.

SSD: Samsung EVO SSD, great bit of kit. I will never game on a mechanical drive again, the quicker windows boot time and game loads are very tangible and will turn you off mechanical drive for anything other than storage. The downside is obviously price and capacity, on a 120gig EVO you get 111gig out of the box.

GPU: I haven't had much experience with expensive GPU's so can't compare from personal experience to other expensive cards. I am however very pleased with this card. I can run my games maxed (1080p) and it certainly performs over my old 7750. I always had stability issues with AMD so I am quite happy to be with nvidia. The 770 is also a lot quieter at high fan speeds than my old card, so I am satisfied with it audibly. This is a subjective matter however, some may be sensitive to noise from fans, but for me, it's way quieter than my old rig so I am very happy. The precision x software is very nice to use also. note I grabbed the 4gig model to accommodate a hi res display (future upgrade).

PSU: I was recommended this psu through a forum post, I originally considered a Seasonic but opted for less wattage at a cheaper price with Antec. Now I am no expert on psu's, and I know Antec is a reputable company, but, after unboxing the unit and peering into the guts through the grill, I noticed zippy ties everywhere and big, unsightly globs of glue. I can't comment on whether this is normal or not, but it did instill in me a fear that this unit would be doa, as it did look pretty rough.
However it does seem to run well and perform as it should. Also worth mentioning is the fan had the slightest of rattles, something my old Corsair psu did not have. This was not enough for me to want to exchange it for another however, as once the system fans are on it becomes masked. But I am thinking maybe I received a refurb unit. The cables also seem very stiff.

CASE: Not a bad case for the money. CONS: pci covers aren't reusable, a little more cable management space behind the mobo tray would be nice, the side panel fans are prone to having cables hit the fan blades when you close the case, causing a horrible sound (whether or not this will happen to you is dependent on your cable management. I actually unplugged both after mounting the H60 on the front), top panel can be a little finicky to remove, SSD management leaves a lot to be desired, top fan needs to be removed if you want to mount a radiator on the rear, this can be a finicky process. PROS, aesthetically pleasing (subjective), was able to mount my H60 on the front despite there not being any (proper) holes there, I used the perforated grill holes to my advantage here. However I did sacrifice the odd. USB and audio on the top of the case as opposed to the front.

I'll take the good with the bad with this case, for the price, I couldn't pass it up. But, if you have the cash, get something else (better).

Overall a pretty nice build, and was fun to do. Any questions or comments welcomed. Pics show the H60 mounted on the rear first, and then on the front.

Comments

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Welcome to the PC community Sumikrast. Great part choices for your system, it will absolutely smoke any console out there. Also, the description is very well written. +1 all day man.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

for that price I think you could have gone with a better case! I have that Zalman case. Nothing wrong with it. But I bought it for a low price and for $100 I would personally expect more than Zalman Z11 probably NZXT/Fractal design type. Other than the build is amazing. +1

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Sorry for the extremely late response but I also have that case and I completely dislike the cable management. I got it for $60. A also switched from a modular to a non-modular and I'm really facing the consequences. I wish I got one with better management.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Hey everyone, thanks so much for the comments, feedback and suggestions.

Regarding cable management I do agree the psu area needs tidying up, but this comes with practice, next time I open my case I'll rethink the management down there.

As for my decision on the GPU, I will admit I was quite overwhelmed with all the choices, and constantly comparing and contrasting cards became a huge task (at least for me). In the end I am happy with my choice and stand by it, even if there are other options that could have saved me money and given similar/better performance. The trick is to be happy with what you have!

My next step is to overclock the cpu, but I'll be doing some research first, as I haven't done that before.

Cheers.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice build and good description so +1 I got the same Mother Board and it is great. in fact comparable and in most cases better than other more expensive Z87 boards. I would have gone r9 280x over a GTX 770 for price/performance but great job and ENJOY!! :-)

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

nice build ,simple and and will gutstomp a console.Did you grab a 1tb or so storage drive?...a Steam account will fill up your SSD pretty quick.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I am actually running my old 500gb HDD as storage which is on its way out,will be replaced soon.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

+1 FOR MAKING A SMART CHOICE

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice build. I don't like the case, but that's a personal prefrence, great thinking by putting the h60 in the front, very smart. I actually gave me an idea. I think you might be able to mod a z11 to have a 3x120 rad in the front and 2x120 in the top, pretty funky actually. +1 for thinking out of the box.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

The 770 can't utilize the full 4 gigs of VRAM unless you run in SLI. It'll still help a bit for high res gaming, but the 3 gigs in a 280x might've been more cost effective

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

yes it can but games wont utilize it

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

It can utilize all 4 GB's of VRAM when not in sli, high resoloution gaming, and games like skyrim etc.

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

No it can't. The memory bus won't allow it to fully utilize all 4 gigs while still pushing reasonable frame rates

  • 66 months ago
  • 1 point

I didn't say it would achieve reasonable frame rates while using 4 GB's of VRAM now did I? Although in games like skyrim when textures, effects etc. are preloaded to the VRAM then it can utilize all 4 GB's without significant frame loss, say it normally runs at 60 fps, it would drop to about 50 which is only a 17% performance drop

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Grats on the build, very nice. Welcome to the Master Race!

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

I regret buying that case aswell (for the most part) and I'm glad someone else understands. Awesome build, cheers

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

PC MASTER RACE

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Congrats on coming over to the DARK SIDE!!!!+1 on good description.

  • 68 months ago
  • 0 points

Great thinking on moving your H60 to the front. You mentioned sacrificing an OD, could you shift it up or down enough to allow for a drive? It looks from your pictures that you may be able to lower it to allow for a drive up top. +1 for making it work your way.

  • 68 months ago
  • 1 point

Hi RingTail, I did consider what you have mentioned regarding the od, but if I move the rad either up or down, I wouldn't have a space to put the screws through, it only has two screws in as it is. I think I'll just enclose my od and run it with usb 3.

  • 68 months ago
  • -2 points

Nice, but you could always throw in another 770 later on and get 2 more monitors and have a pretty nice setup. Although,you would need a PSU upgrade. Also, from my experience, Antec is not known for high-quality PSUs. I would recommend not stressing it too much. Good build though, +1. EDIT: Try to do something with that spaghetti in the bottom; it will get you a cleaner look, as well as higher ratings.

  • 68 months ago
  • 11 points

Far too many people throw around unsupported opinions based on their limited experience with power supplies. Usually, it only takes a matter of minutes to overturn such anecdotal opinions. TooGood, you have no idea what you are talking about and that isn't fair to Antec in regards to their Antec HCG 620 used in Sumikrast's build.

Apparently, you are unaware that Antec’s HCG-620M is based (or largely re-badged)on the Seasonic M12II 620. I doubt you could convince us that Seasonic is "not known for high-quality PSUs"

This isn't to say the two power supplies are identical. They aren't the Seasonic has a few higher quality parts which doesn't impact it's claimed performance and reliability but it does allow the price to drop a bit and therefore meet the affordability requirement that builders like Sumikrast are looking for.

IMHO Sumikrast has made a solid decision based on tried and true patterns of quality, cost, and performance found by many reviewers of the Antec HCG-620M and the Seasonic M12II 620.

I do recognize that you did qualify your opinion that Antec is not known for high quality power supplies by saying that you based this judgment of yours based on your experience. But that doesn't save you from criticism of your viewpoint here. I have no doubt your anectdotal experience with Antec power supplies feels significant to you but in the grand scheme of the power supply business--Antec has been in the power supply business for more than 25 years--your personal claim here is meaningless.

Many of us have experienced product failures. For example, a few short years ago I had thermaltake toughpower 1000w power supply which caught fire. The replacement came DOA. Does this mean that Thermaltake power supplies are low quality hazards like certain Tier 5 power supplies? No it doesn't. (This is a rhetorical question and answer.) Enough said.

  • 68 months ago
  • 3 points

This man is my hero. I'll copy paste this since this is the greatest thing one person ever said about power supplys +1.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

^ My daily hero.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

Have to agree with you there steveroger.

  • 68 months ago
  • 2 points

The window on the Z11 is rather small, so the "spaghetti monster" is pretty well hidden when the case is together. I would recommend cleaning it up just for the sake of airflow. Edit: I'm just happy it's not a Raidmax PSU :P