Thanks -- glad you enjoyed it!
Simplest way is to use a USB drive. For some help, check out our tutorial from a while back where we show you how to install Windows 10 from Microsoft's digital download version. You can also purchase Windows 10 on a USB key.
The fans in this build (as filmed) are configured to push fresh air across the radiator. Push vs pull is an age-old debate, but in our experience the difference is relatively insignificant. However, sometimes due to case clearance issues with the radiator, you are forced to put the fans on a particular side of the radiator so the choice is made for you.
As for direction of airflow, we've done it both ways (internal air vs fresh air), as it really depends on the options the case offers and how well the air is going to move through the case. That said, fresh air coming in across the radiator is typically our first choice if it is reasonable to make happen.
So I took a closer look and yes, it appears (with a fair bit of care) that you can remove the front mesh by bending all the small metal tabs out (there are a bunch of them!). I'd be a bit nervous about breaking the tabs if you got too aggressive, but it seemed doable.
The punch out covers for the 5.25" drives are separate of course, so you'd have to decide to leave them as-is or work on removing their mesh as well.
The reason we typically select 2 DIMMs is to support dual channel memory configurations for improved performance. But if you're optimizing for upgrade paths and think you may add a second 8GB later, it might be worth sticking with a single 8GB DIMM. The downside of that plan though is that when you do upgrade, it may be difficult to get a matching DIMM.
The front metal mesh is not intended to be removed, but if you look closely it appears to be held in with bent tabs. I'll have to take a closer look in person at the office tomorrow to see if it is feasible (granted, with some effort) to remove it for easier painting and get back to you.
Glad you found it helpful -- good luck with your build!
The CPU and motherboard support memory speeds up to 2400. The performance difference on most games between 2133 and 2400 wouldn't be particularly noticeable, though -- at least not on Intel systems. Memory speeds can greatly impact performance on AMD Ryzen builds.
Anyway, we simply selected an option that matched our design aesthetic and price criteria over worrying about the slight speed difference. (And to be clear, sometimes the opposite happens).
Thanks for the feedback and glad you found the guide useful!
No, unfortunately it would not be since you are correct that it only has a single EPS connector. It's more typical to find in PSU's that are 850W and above.
Sorry about that -- we probably should have shown that more clearly. There were two 8-pin EPS cables coming from the PSU. One connects as-is. But for the 4-pin header, you can "split" the connector (snap it apart at the mid-point) to allow you to just connect one of the two 4-pin connectors required.
The 7800X and 7820X have the same number of PCIe lanes (28), but I'm not aware off hand if there's a meaningful difference between them for PCIe-based SSD performance. The primary improvements beyond the increased core count for the 7820X are the higher CPU boost clock and memory speeds.
I can definitely understand your thinking for future-proofing on the CPU side, and that ultimately comes down to how close to the bleeding edge you want to hedge your bets. Like any upgrade trade-off, you'll have to weigh the advantages versus the incremental cost. Also, since you're still interested in the enthusiast platforms and still a month or two out from building, keep an eye on AMD's X399 platform that is slated to release later this summer. It is intended to compete with Intel's X299 platform.
We have another 7700K / 1080Ti build coming up later this week, but the closest equivalent build that we tested with a 7700K that I can quickly show you right now is an mini-ITX build we did last month for a LAN party. The 1080 Ti we used in that build wasn't clocked as high as the MSI DUKE in this build, but you can see it's relative performance to our build above.
The 7800X leaves the 7700K in it's dust on CPU-intensive benchmarks, but overall gaming performance is well within reach of each other because the GPU is playing such a critical limiting role. You can see a slight FPS boost here over that system, particularly with BF1 and Wildlands that take decent advantage of the extra CPU performance, but that's also the impact of the higher clocked MSI DUKE card.
Now look back at our recent 2-Way SLI GTX 1080 / i7-7700K build and see that while two 1080's can reasonably out perform the single 1080 Ti in this build, even though the CPU (/physics) scores are significantly behind what the 7800X can hit.
So on balance, no -- the 7700K isn't going to hold back your performance, at least not with current generation games and GPUs.
If I recall, the temps we got at 4.7 (which is the max offered by the built in OC controls) were approaching 99C, and more importantly we started seeing a lot of crashes. I don't know that I'd want to sustain temps at 89C either, but at least the benchmarks and games we tested were running pretty stable at 4.6 GHz.
This was also just intended to show off what the motherboard's on-board easy overclock feature could do. You might be able to tweak the parameters to get faster stable results.
Understandable. That certainly bothers some folks and not others. As you mentioned, extensions could work around it nicely. Thanks for the feedback!
Indeed. Phil Coffman takes most of our post-build pictures and was pretty happy with us when he saw that extra little touch added.. Sometimes you just have to let a little light shine. :)
While beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, we liked it.. The case feels like a great value for its price.
I still believe Barry has magic zip ties. We don't always have time on live stream builds to do a cable management time lapse, so he cleaned this while it sat on his desk in between benchmark runs.
So the 7800X definitely handled everything (at stock clocks) that we threw at it. The 7820X (with 2 more cores) would certainly do no worse.
It would have been interesting to try it with SLI 1080 Ti's. We may have to try that on a future build.
To be fair, that was under load with our 4.6GHz overclock across all cores. It ran at a cool 55C under load at stock clock speed. There's probably a happy medium to be found in there with more tweaking.
Thanks for the insta-feedback and likes! :) Glad to hear you enjoyed the build as well as the video.
:) Glad you enjoyed it -- thanks for the feedback!
The X299 i7 CPUs use a different socket than the i7-7700K. If you are looking for something similar with the 7700K, you could check out MSI's Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard instead.
What is your part list? This build had a Kaby Lake CPU (i5-7600K) and motherboard (Z270 platform), so there was no issue. If you're seeing that warning on your partlist, it sounds like you have a Z170 (or older) board selected.
So the downside of switching to the 7740X is that it's only has 16 PCIe lanes versus the 7800X's 28 lanes. It also only supports two channels for DDR-4 memory instead of 4. For $40, it's a pretty massive feature downgrade from the 7800X, beyond the core count drop (quite a few motherboard features get disabled with a 16-lane CPU on these boards). If you're after CPU intensive operations, the 7800X can represent a pretty good deal.
That said, if you're really looking at a 7740X-level performance just for gaming (and don't have some other particular reason to buy in to the X299 platform), you might just want to consider a Z270 platform / i7-7700K-based system. You'll get essentially the same gaming performance and save a great deal on the budget.
You mean on the screens behind the PC? The pictures were taken in the PCPartPicker studio after a live build; a link to the live stream archive is in the description above if you'd like to check it out.
That was the load temperature while running the maximum overclock we were able to keep stable. The non-overclocked load temp was only 55C (as noted in the build details side bar).
The "under load" temperature we report from manual benchmark testing of our video builds at the moment is usually the highest temperature reached while running the 3DMark suite of synthetic benches. However, if we see higher temps during game play bench testing, we note those as well.
Thanks for your feedback!
Original idea was an all AMD build using the top available CPU and GPU. Ultimately its performance probably begs for a second RX580 to run in Crossfire to reach a better balance.
Thanks for the feedback, and glad you found it helpful!
Glad you liked it! The case is pretty sleek. It would be interesting to see it even smaller.. but we found it's ATX form-factor made it pretty "builder friendly" for beginners, which is also nice.
We noticed retailer stock on the G4560 starting to struggle as well. It's price has almost risen to it's big-brother (the G4600)'s price point, which still represents a decent deal, but doesn't feel like the same "steal" as picking up the G4560 for $60.
In our benchmarks, things seemed pretty balanced, depending on the game. We definitely saw circumstances where the RX 570 was held back by the Pentium, particularly with CPU intensive games like Battlefield 1. But in others, like Wildlands, you could see the opposite happen. In general, the balance seemed reasonable. Is there a particular game/scenario you were curious about?
Interesting. Thanks for the feedback!
On the cooler, I'd agree that if you don't mind looking at the stock cooler and are really seeking to squeeze a few more dollars out of the initial budget system purchase, then that could work. But for $20-30 the M9i is an example of a pretty good upgrade deal that improves the noise and look significantly over Intel's stock cooler. Also, by using a tower cooler we are moving airflow towards the back of the case. Without that airflow, you'd probably want to add a fan to the back of the case which will run you $15-20 anyway.
As for the PSU, that's a reasonable concern, and in our guide, we actually recommend a selection of 450-550W PSUs for this build.
But realistically, we've currently got 150W of headroom which can easily go a long way on piece-meal upgrades into say i5 and GTX 1070 territory. Even upgrading to something like an i7-7700 and GTX 1080 with this same setup (depending on the card) is workable, only drawing around 350W under max load.
Our results showed that the CPU was barely taxed for the gaming scenarios we threw at it. We were limited by the power/temperature targets we had set on the GPU.
So are you looking for a comparison to other X299 CPUs? Or compared to a similar Z270 builds?
Nice -- Glad you liked it and thanks for the feedback!
Yep, it does a good job. Given the target budget, we didn't want to spend too much, so we dropped from ATX to Micro-ATX to save a few dollars and were able to get a decently featured board for the money. The board posts fast, has reasonable expansion options for future upgrades, and of course looks pretty good -- keeping with our black/red theme we were seeking.
Thanks for checking it out -- Glad you enjoyed it!
Thanks! And yes.. It's been a crazy month for video cards!
We were definitely pleased with the M9i. It does a good job without a lot of noise, looks nice and was super easy to install. Glad you enjoyed the build!
Thanks -- timing didn't allow us to film a cable management video on this one, but Barry did a great job as usual!
Indeed. Thanks for the feedback though and glad you enjoyed checking out the build!
Thanks -- glad you like how it came out!
As you can see from the benchmarks, it performed well during our testing. It's a sharp looking card, though be sure to note it's size. At 320mm it's a bit longer than most 1080 Ti's so you'll want to make sure the case you put it in has the clearance.
The positive of the extra length is the width is only 42mm, meaning it doesn't push past the two slots needed like some Ti's that require 3 slots of room. Also be aware that it's pretty heavy (as others have noted the slight sag). It's holding up fine in the week we've been testing on it, but I wouldn't argue with the suggestion of a support bracket.
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!
There are several compatibility notes, but they are just warnings. The main one of interest is the removal of the 3.5" HDD cage to use this particular GPU due to its length. If you plan to use a traditional HDD in your build, be sure to edit the part list and find a shorter option (there are plenty -- this just happens to be a particularly long card).
Thanks for the feedback -- glad you enjoyed it!
The SSD is running cool. Just realized I forgot to post it (will update), but we monitored its temps since we wanted to see how the thermal shield was doing.
Under load and with peak temps in the system, it was running at 42C. There's a lot of air moving from the front of the system across the board, which is what allows the thermal shields to be useful at moving heat off the drive.
So.... the reason there's no HDD in the build is that we ended up removing the only included HDD mounting options to install the cooler at the front of the case. Mounting the cooler at the top would have made it possible, but just didn't look as nice, both on the tube orientation and it blocked the view of the motherboard (which honestly, we wanted to show off).
But Phanteks does offer an optional HDD mount that would sit under the shroud. And, of course, you could use the other M.2 slot or 2.5" HDD/SSD drives for additional storage.
Glad you liked it! Thanks for the feedback.
So that's on me -- usually if I notice connecting the cable will cause a bend, we'll shoot it with Ryan using one hand to hold it steady from below (though it can be quite tricky to film that and not block what's actually happening). We filmed this video pretty fast and unfortunately I didn't notice the notable pressure there as well as with the 24-pin cable until editing, so we didn't get a better take.
That said, I don't think that has much to do with the sag. The card itself is pretty heavy thanks to it's pretty substantial block/cooler.
Correct -- we had it pre-loaded on the drive so we could run a benchmark as part of the livestream. Since it takes a fair amount of time to install, update and then install software we set it up during our pre-stream testing of the components.
We do have a video you can watch to get help on how to install Windows from a USB key.
The core case chassis is metal. The front panel (with its hexagonal pattern fan filter), PSU shroud, bottom fan filters, drive mounts, feet, etc are all plastic.
It looks like the Avexir Blitz memory seems to have limited availability at the moment. Avexir makes a number of similar modules (ROG Impact, Core, Gaming series, etc) that might work as good alternatives if you like the look of these.
Sorry about that. We probably could have made that more clear. The red (as well as blue/white/black/green) variant like we used in this build is one of their special edition "Elite" models, that you have to order direct from EVGA. You can see more details on the EVGA store page.