Description

This baby got me through college and was my first built that had a real concept behind it. It all started with the announcement of the Z9 Neo from Zalman. I just loved the looks of this case and could not wait to get my hands on it! But unfortunately the release was still far away, so I used the time to save up money for parts (being the poor college student I was ^") The idea behind the design was to create kind of a gradient where it starts with blue LED fans for the intake in the front then moves over the red and blue blinking RAM to the AIO pump and tubes that are filled with red water and out of the red Riing exhaust fan.

The Z9 Neo might be a mid tower on the outside but damn is it tight on the inside! My car did not have a USB or AUX connection, so I still needed to have a optical drive to burn CDs. Plus I did a lot of camera work, so I needed a multi-card reader as well. Together with the big *** windforce and the radiator this case was packed so tightly I was considering putting an explosives-warning on the outside! But srsly, it took its toll on the temps. Especially with the FX-8350 and my sometimes 24h render-times this thing was running pretty hot. But nothing ever failed on me. It was quite a challenge to fit everything in there but I also felt really proud once I was done!

The system had to be cheap but powerful with lots of storage room since I needed it for photo & video work as well as animation.

The limiting factor obviously was money. Which is why I went with the FX-8350. Great power for the price but quite power hungry and hot. So I decided to give water cooling a try!

I would not recommend the Triton AIO, though. First one leaked but the second time was the charm! I still haven't figured out why but for some reason I still had to add water on a regular basis - I mean, it's a closed system where does it go?! Yea, but it cooled okay and looked cool shrug

After Effects is quite the RAM-eater which is why I went for 32gigs. Hardware Canucks introduced me to avexir and I went with when I got a good offer. Good RAM. Not nearly as cool as their Raiden series but then again, nothing is or will ever be.

The mobo was a carry-over from my old system. ASUS never disappointed me.

The graphics card was the best I could afford - got the money by landing a hard but sweet job as a director for a small movie...good times. I did not like the looks or the loud fans but it was the R9 280 with the highest clock speed so i went with it. Unfortunately for me one of the fans seemed to have warped after a year or so and it started to constantly grind against the shroud ugh

After having a 2TB seagate barracuda fail on me I decided to go with WDs from now on. The Reds may be a little slower but man they last forever! I still have my first 2 TB Red with well over 30.000 hrs on record.

The ProLite was also a compromise between performance and money. I would have loved to get an IPS panel but it was just too expensive... But iiyama's AMVA+ also had a great dynamic range and decent colors. The not-so-good Samsung screen was my second monitor and I used it mainly to display curves and readouts while editing or subjective color-proofing.

In the end I could not afford all the parts I wanted right away but had to upgrade every once in a while but as soon as I had it all together I was very pleased with the result!

Part Reviews

CPU

Great power for the price but quite power hungry and hot - better take care of cooling!

CPU Cooler

I would not recommend the Triton AIO, though. First one leaked but the second time was the charm! I still haven't figured out why but for some reason I still had to add water on a regular basis - I mean, it's a closed system where does it go?! Yea, but it cooled okay and looked cool shrug It still runs but there is always the subtle fear that this one will start leaking, too. Turned off of water cooling...

Video Card

I did not like the looks or the loud fans but it was the R9 280 with the highest clock speed so I went with it. Unfortunately for me one of the fans seemed to have warped after a year or so and it started to constantly grind against the shroud ugh

Case

The Z9 Neo might be a mid tower on the outside but damn is it tight on the inside! My car did not have a USB or AUX connection at the time, so I still needed to have an optical drive to burn CDs. Plus I did a lot of camera work, so I needed a multi-card reader as well. Together with the big a$$ windforce and the radiator this case was packed so tightly I was considering putting an explosives-warning on the outside! But srsly, it took its toll on the temps. Especially with the FX-8350 and my sometimes 24h render-times this thing was running pretty hot. But nothing ever failed on me. It was quite a challenge to fit everything in there but I also felt really proud once I was done!

Mouse

I thought it was perfect until the gesture button got stuck. Now I have the S2 which is even more perfect!

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Comments

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build, very consistent theme and it pays off.

  • 4 months ago
  • 1 point

Hey, thanks! Glad to see other ppl appreciate it, too ^