Description

After slowly upgrading my current PC over the last few years, I decided just to start from scratch and build a whole new rig. I did tons of research online, watched every review on YouTube that I could find and scrounged for any data that I could find on every possible part I could think of.

Processor: The 4690k was just the right fit for my needs. Great for gaming and able to be overclocked fairly easily. It's running at a steady 3.9ghz right now and is staying quite cool. The 4790k was a little overkill for my needs and a I was able to spend the extra money elsewhere. I'll probably play with the overclocking a little more in the future.

CPU cooler: I knew I wanted to go with an AIO liquid cooler. I jumped around between a few and settled on the h110 from Corsair. Lots of reviews say the fans aren't great, so I swapped them out with Noctua pwm fans.

Motherboard: I love the look of MSI gear. The Z97 Gaming 5 has all the features that a gamer might need and some that they didn't know they did. The bios software is good looking and easy to use. It also allows you to overclock & control almost anything, even within the Windows environment.

RAM: Why 16gb you might ask? Motherboard can handle 32gb total and has 4 slots. If I get more sometime in the future, I can max it out with 2 more sticks & don't have to swap anything out to do it. They look & work great. Overclockable if I get the itch to do so.

Hard Drives: I already owned the Samsung SSD and Hitachi. SSD for boot drive, WD Blue for data, WD Black for games and Hitachi for downloads so they don't gum up the other drives.

Video Card: I wanted to stick with the MSI red and black dragon theme. Initially I was going to get a GTX 970, but I was talked into a GTX 980 by friends and my work supervisor who is a big time gamer as well. This thing is a BEAST and so far I have zero regrets of spending the extra money for a 980.

Case: I wanted a full size case that had some style. I probably changed my mind half a dozen times on which case to get. My first "gaming pc" had a NZXT case and it wasn't even close to as cool and functional as the Phantom 530. The style and accessories like the built in fan controller, hidden SSD mount, modular HD cages and rear I/O port lights made this "The One" for me.

PSU: EVGA makes good gear. I was initially going to get a Corsair PSU, but the price of the EVGA pulled me over. It has an ECO mode that makes the fan stay off until it hits temps greater than 45C... so like all the time. I just wish it had flat cables to make routing them a little easier. I also wanted one that had enough power to handle a second GTX 980 if I decided to get one in the future for SLI.

Optical Drive: Gives me the option of playing Blu-rays and loading music from CDs onto my computer. Probably won't use it for months at a time though.

OS: Had Windows 7 on the old PC. Windows 8 is ok so far, no complaints yet. Installed classic shell almost immediately. Will probably upgrade to Windows 10 after the kinks have been worked out in a few months after its release.

Fans: Noctua fans for the h110. I probably switched which fans I was going to use 10 times or more. I finally decided that the quality and accessories included with the Noctua ones outweighed the awful color scheme they use. Can't really see them anyway. The Kingwin fans only have one job, to keep the case in positive pressure because every intake is filtered. They're hooked into the fan controller along with the 200mm and 140mm fans that were included with the case. I did use one of the Kingwins on the fan mount on the HD cage to blow onto the GPU area. It's there, might as well use it. Even at full speed, ALL fans in the case are quieter than my last computer. At the lowest setting, my monitors are louder... which is still damn creepy to me.

Other : The NZXT Hue lighting system is easy to install, use and looks damn cool. Mouse & keyboard aren't the most expensive, but still good for gaming as well as normal use.

Final thoughts: Tax return season can be a very dangerous time for someone who wants to build a new computer. I was going to wait until the end of the week to start the build but as soon as the final part came in on a Monday, I couldn't wait. By Friday, the build was done and I was extremely happy when it turned on the first time I hit the power button.

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Comments

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Cables nicely managed.

Thank you for tucking those noctua fans out of the way +1

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks. I didn't get a pic of it, but I spent about an hour doing the cables in the back too. Many black twist-ties were used.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

What monitors are you using?

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

The big one is a Samsung 32" 1080p 60hz TV I got at Best Buy a few years ago. The other is a 24" Westinghouse that I've had even longer.

Can't complain about gaming on something that size from 2 feet away.

Oh, and that's a Nvidia Shield Tablet streaming Borderlands 2 from the PC. :)

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

hey lago,

I am torn about this case or the older more mature sibling the NZXT Switch 810 did you consider tit, I am personally leaning to the switch but the phantom was my first "I WANT IT" case, any pros and cons on this case would be excellent and thank you in advance

  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

I didn't even know about the 810 until just now. lol

My take on the 530: - The rear SSD mount is great. It's out of the way and allows me to use the 3 HD cage with fan mount only and leave more space for air flow. - The 3 speed 10 fan hub is nice and keeps everything very quiet unless I want to crank it up for increased air flow during heavy gaming. - I like the style of the 530 more than the 810. Not a fan of squarish cases. - The 200mm fan in the front of the 530 is damn quiet and moves a good amount of air. - The front "door" on the 530 is kept magnetically closed and puts ugly optical drives & controls out of sight. - I initially wanted to do a push/pull on the top of the 530, but unless I could find thin 140mm pwm fans, it was a no go because there's barely too little space for the radiator and 25mm thick fans. Not really a like or hate, it's just how it is.

Here's a few things on the 810 from the Newegg video I watched that I noticed.
- It probably has enough space for the push/pull setup that I mentioned above. (Do your own research on that before quoting me.) - The push-click stuff on it was nice. ie: fan filters. The 530 also has filters everywhere, they just don't click-release like the 810. - More I/O ports on the front including a sd card reader. - Definitely bigger internally... maybe. - No rear SSD mount hidden away. - Fewer fan ports on the hub. - 2 removable HD cages of 3 vs a 3,2,1 setup on the 530. It does have a fan mount on both of them though. - The "fin" panel at the top was "interesting"

I think at this point it's more about aesthetics. I was also on the "I WANT IT" band wagon when I saw the 530. For my needs the 530 was a near perfect fit. I even looked at the Phantom 630 as an option, but it was a little too "much". I don't think you'll go wrong with either choice.

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

Thats true and I love squarish case got the air 540 but started hating for its wideness, shortness, What you said about the Ph630 is what was in my mind it was simply too much, the thing that I hate in the Ph530 is the side panel and I already decided on the Switch 810 because it has the ext hdd and I got 6 140mm fans and 4 120 laying around, And thank you for your opinion you've been a great help fellow MASTER RACE lol

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

and I already ordered a fan controller, I will ditch the fan hub maybe give it to a friend

  • 62 months ago
  • 1 point

How To Train Your Dragon 2 sucked I loved the first one though

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

How is the h110? does it fit well to the case?

i got a Nzxt Phantom 530 case and i consider to take this cooler or the h105 or maybe air cooling Phanteks PH-TC14PE for reliability. what would you do?

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I like the h110. With the Noctua fans I got, I can't hear it at all. I also just used the thermal paste that came with it and I get temps from 27 at idle to around 50ish while gaming, and that's with ALL fans at very low speeds (<500 rpm).

I did have a little trouble installing the h110. I wanted to do a push/pull with it with both the radiator and fans in the top, under the cover. It didn't fit, and unless you can find thin 140mm fans, I don't think it's going to work that way. I still put the radiator in the top area, but had to take the top frame off my 530 in order to mount the fans to it from underneath. It wasn't very difficult, just about 15-20 little screws and the top pops off no problem.

I thought about going with the h105 for my build, but it's just too thick. I also considered air cooling at one point, but opted for an AIO cooler because I wanted to be able to see the other awesomeness inside the case. I think it's all depends on preference of looks when you find good coolers. If you can make it a feature of your build or keep it out of the way to emphasize other features, then go with what works for you.

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

yes what i was thinking too is that i want to see my mobo and all the rest and the air cooler will just hide them..

so do you recommend me to get a h105 or a h110?

  • 61 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd go with the h110. More surface area usually equates to cooler temps. I'd also get some good aftermarket (PWM) fans for it. I saw a lot of people saying the included ones aren't very good.

Because of the length of the radiator, you'll lose a little depth of the top 5.25" bay. I put my NZXT Vue there, so no big deal for me. Or you can flip it around, but I'm not sure how it fits that way though.

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  • 62 months ago
  • 2 points

Not really sure. I've had the Hitachi as a plain data drive in my old pc for a few years. All my games were stored on the Samsung SSD in my old computer until I moved it to the being the boot drive in the new pc. All I can say is that the games that are stored on the WB Black drive load pretty fast. The Hitachi has been downgraded to a junk/download-forgetting-about drive.

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