First and foremost, this build is a bit different than some of the others we have done. The main focus was not on bang for your buck, but rather on a quiet build with RGB control and aesthetically pleasing components on a budget of roughly 1200 dollars.
The CPU powering this build is the newest generation Intel Core i5-6500 Skylake processor. We selected this model because the motherboard is on the B150 chipset and does not support overclocking. The i5-6500 is a powerful option comparable to the unlocked i5-6600k and will be more than enough for most AAA games on the market. We've paired this processor with the Asus B150 Pro Gaming/Aura motherboard. The Aura line from Asus adds RGB control to LEDs all over motherboard for a unique look that is adjustable at any time at the click of a button and fits perfectly with the RGB theme. Arguably the most controversial choice for this build is the CPU cooler and this is where we deviate from the bang for your buck attitude. The be quiet! Dark Rock 3 CPU cooler is one the quietest single fan coolers on the market and one of the most efficient at keeping temperatures low as well. Keeping with the theme of the build, the Dark Rock 3 is flat black with a brushed metal finish on the top which complements the rest of components beautifully.
For storage, this machine uses the PNY CS1311 240GB solid state drive for Windows 10 and commonly used games and applications. This specific drive was picked because it offered significantly improved performance over a standard platter-based hard drive and the design on the drive fit our color scheme which is important because the 2.5” mounting in our case faces the sidepanel window. For the rest of our storage needs we selected a 2TB 7200rpm drive from Seagate that should be more than enough for most user's gaming libraries and other stored data.
No gaming machine would be complete without a powerful graphics card. The Gigabyte GeForce XTREME GAMING GTX 980 is part of a new line of cards from Gigabyte that includes RGB control around the fans and on the Windforce logo. Much like the motherboard, the colors can be changed at the click of button and offer a variety of modes to choose from. This model also boasts a hefty overclock and should provide more than enough power for gaming at 1080p.
All of these components come together inside of the newly released Phanteks Eclipse P400S. Adding to the RGB theme of our build, the P400S has a controllable LED under the front panel for a soft glow beneath the case that can be adjusted with a physical button between the fan controller and the reset switch. This case is designed for silence and includes magnetic covers for both top fan mounts to minimize noise as much as possible. A majority of this case is built from steel which makes it feel extremely sturdy and high quality. The entire system is powered by the Seasonic G550 semi-modular 80+ Gold power supply which delivers some of the best performance on the market and is highly regarded among reviewers.
We hope you enjoy the guide and we will be doing a live stream of the build this coming Thursday 3/31 at 2PM Central time. If you have questions about the build please leave them here and we will either address them directly on the guide or during the stream.
Newegg has put together a SuperCombo for the core of this build with some minor adjustments and great savings: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.2815649