Description

Thanks for checking this out! This is my first build and any sage advice or suggestions would be very much appreciated!

I was prodded and inspired by friends to be part of the dark side (pc master race ha). So I saved a little in order to build something powerful around the $1,500 range that I could use daily and for the coming years with little to no bottle-necking. I wanted something too that I could easily upgrade for future 4k and VR gaming.

The announcement of Nvidia's GTX 1070/1080 got me a bit hyped as I began to learn a little more about pc building, capabilities and numbers. So hopefully I can snag a 1070 soon when the funds permit!

I'm all for aesthetics if it doesn't sacrifice function and wanted to build something that looked pretty neat. I searched around for a mid size atx cases and finally settled on this baby (Phanteks Acrylic M Pro) which had decent features and a beautiful open faced glass panel for under $100!

I browsed pcpartpicker for a couple ideas and different builds that utilized this case and implemented certain styles into my build. I decided to spray paint a couple components. The 8 pci-e covers, the 5 plastic bay covers, the grate panel above the storage and the PNY SSD red line were all painted a glossy white. I went with custom sleeves (extensions actually) for the atx 24 pin, atx 6 pin and 6 pin pci-e connectors which give it a cohesive black/white look. I also wanted a cpu cooler and case fans that meshed with my build. Went with corsair's LED quiet edition fans- (1) 140mm af, (2) 120mm sps and (2) 120mm afs all of which look awesome. Searched around for a white cpu cooler to match my theme, and found this 240mm captain led white edition one for $100 that along with the white LED ram sticks, really seem to make the internals pop.

I went with cable mod's magnetic RGB LED strips that are super convenient and can be oriented around the case with no sticky residue! All the color changes look fantastic with the neutral black/white color scheme. In retrospect, I might have gone with the NZXT Hue+ as they came up to be about the same price, but more than happy with cable mod's for this build.

The rest was history. Took me a couple weeks to list, purchase and wait for all the components, and a couple hours to put it all together, while adding things along the way since then. 'Twas a really fun first experience and was ecstatic that it posted! (As the first used mobo I tinkered with didn't post t_t) Although I had a couple issues with OS installation, bios drivers and the like, I troubleshot my way through and it's been smooth sailing since. Diamond has been a blast to build and use!

Thanks for reading and thanks to pcpartpicker and it's community for all the ideas and info that help pc users of any level really build these works of art! Posted is my untrained initial experience with each component of my build and again, any comments, suggestions cough praise is welcome! :D

Part Reviews

CPU

Didn't really want to stress and overclock my cpu as I hoped to have something fast running for a couple years. As far as I can tell overclocking would be more for pushing system capabilities, oftentimes solely for the sake of cranking out high numbers or for minimal performance upgrades. Am I wrong on this? Personally, I was fine doing without the unlocked i7, and settled with the latest (at the time of purchase) i7-6700. It has been awesome so far, the performance is prime and had had only negligible hiccups as the 3.4 -4.0 ghz speed has been more than enough to handle any workload I throw at it.

CPU Cooler

Ok in this instance, I know a $30-$50 cpu fan would be more than enough to keep the i7-6700 at relatively low temperatures (20-40° C) as Intel Cores run pretty cool anyways. And don't kid yourself, even the stock fan would suffice for an unlocked I-7 (I hear you scoffing). But do these fans have a cool steam-punk glowing LED water block and an awesome 240mm radiator? Nope! So yeah, this purchase was def overkill, but I preferred it over the common-purchase Corsair liquid coolers. It can get pretty hot in San Diego and this will make absolutely sure it would be cool for years to come. Is my logic flawed? Maybe :x

Also, the included 120mm fans were really nice, but super loud like the 2nd woman I dated. At first I thought it was the cpu itself, but yea, loud fans yikes. So I replaced them with corsair's white quiet ones, like my 10th grade English teacher Ms. Ferro. Gah, I miss that as.. class.

Motherboard

Accidently ordered the non-deluxe Asus Z170-A which would have been only $15 extra for a couple extra features, but I was fine with this as I did not want to wait another 2 weeks for return and shipping. The bios was easy to use as a newcomer. I had a couple issues figuring out how to install the OS properly (The fix was downloading all the latest drivers from Asus, transferring them onto a USB and loading them through the super noob-friendly bios.)

This board was decently priced and had a bunch of cool features that I could see myself using in the future. Thunderbolt, ddr4, 3.0, 3.1 and 3.1 Type C inputs, optical, 6 sata ports etc. Although this board is geared more towards OC, which I won't be doing, I'm definitely 4-star happy with this board and digging the cool white trimmings.

Memory

I was looking for white DDR sticks, and stumbled upong these babies with LEDs which was a bonus! The premium was only an extra $5-$10 over other models, so that was a plus. I wanted to go for 16 gb as it seemed to be the current sweet spot in terms of performance, price and future proofing.

Storage

This was probably the first real purchase, as my friend suggested I get an ssd to put my OS on (Hey, I had no clue back then) and yeah, the PNY brand seemed fine with positive reviews and at a lower price point than a couple other brands. I spray painted the red line white, because you know, aesthetics. I have my OS on here and a few select games. May pick another one up later if needed!

Storage

WD Blue 7200rpm, 1tb, reliable and pretty fast write speeds for only $50. Yes please. It's hidden in front of the power supply, how convenient! I'll be grabbing another 1 or 2tb from WD, as it does fill pretty fast with secrets.

Video Card

While my friends had given me their spare case, fans, psu etc. to help me start my build, this was the only thing that I ended up using for Diamond (rest was from scratch) and it's been really awesome so far! My only concern was that it got pretty hot (72-78° C) under load depnding on the game. This worried me at first as I compared this temp reading to the other temps in my system (cpu, mobo, storage) but I searched it up and most info I found explained that this is totally standard and something I shouldn't get too concenered about. Newbie days. I run Dark Souls 3 on high at around 40-50 fps. Overwatch on high @ 60-70fps, ultra @ 40-50fps. Dota 2... maxed settings at 100-120 fps. Fun fun. Will be replacing this when I can get my hands on a GTX 1070 (or possibly the latest Radeons, 480x or 490x) Yea!

Case

What a beauty to behold right? Sub $100 ATX Mid Tower with an open acrylic glass panel to see all the shiny internals! These seem to be the trend nowadays, as I often see more and more cases going for that open-faced look. This was a total breeze to build in as my first case, so I was fortunate for that. Had all the neccisary screws and then some, and even an optional 5.25 bay which I really like! Yes, you can be on either side of the 5.25 fence, some who dislike having it on their case, and some who would like multiple. Personally, 1 is perfect for me. I can pop in a Blu-ray drive, maybe a fan controller/temperature indicator, a ssd/sdhd/usb reader, pop tart toaster (This is a real thing), etc. For now though, it remains unused.

Also, while this case is a gorgeous with subtle aesthetics, the one thing that was an issue was the acrylic glass itself, which I've learned is easy to scratch! So I expect to get a few extra materials to buff the glass and make it look cover girl material again. There has been quite a bit of streaking after I lolnoob used windex/microfiber on it, as you can see in the photos ;p So a buff is incoming, as the glass got nerfed pretty hard in the beta :/

Power Supply

WhileI used a 750w psu initially to post, it was not 80+ rated, so not-so-efficient and would have sucked up a lot of electricity. I went for a 850w Platinum because $5 extra than the 850w Gold. I also went for a 850w because $10 extra from the 750w. And after checking out my system energy consumption requirements when I plugged in all my components (gtx 1070 included) onto an online wattage estimator, 650w would have been more than enough to power it safely with room to spare. but then I looked at higher wattages because $10-$20 extra.

Also wanted to go for a fully modular psu to keep things less cluttered and for compatibility with custom cables kits. Ended up using custom cable extensions, rather than custom cable replacements though ($40 vs $100+ for swappable cables)

Operating System

Bought this from the gray market, wink for a decent price. Wanted a clean install rather than an upgrade from 7-8, so went for Windows 10 Pro. Also because I'm not learned and bold enough to use Linux. Ahem Let's move on.

Case Fan

Two of these babies are situated as a push on the front of my case. Need a third one actually, to blow some cool air through the bottom area where my HDD and PSU are working out. Boy, are those two swoll. They definitely need some AC in the basement. What kind of PC gym would I be running if I didn't have cool air running through the weight room? Plus, I want their business, so the extra necessities to make them comfortable while lifting is tote worth it.

Case Fan

This acupuncturist removes all the bad chakras from the internals and releases them outside the body. Only $15.59 it says. What a deal! Susan, let's go in and check it out!

Monitor

I actually bought this on craigs for quite a deal at $130. But I left it the suggested $219 price, so it looks like I spent a little more than I actually did. Shhh don't tell anyone. No one's read this far in anyways right? It's like 4 in the morning and as you can tell, these last few "reviews" aren't very serious at all. Me needs to sleep. Will continue this tomorrow...

Oh and this monitor, pretty nice. The picture quality could be better as it's a little underpowered and has to be projected on 90+/99 brightness, but for the price point it's great. Just lacks a few feauture that I'll be looking for in future monitor purchases (display port, 144mhz, 4k etc)

Someday though, I'll be part of the 34" ultrawide master race. Then, and only then, will I become a true sith lord.

Keyboard

While I primarily use my Razer BlackWidow keyboard (Cherry MX Blues) this Logitech has been great as well (Romer-G Keys). Tons of customization with the RGBs and fast response. Has some neat macro buttons and is well designed, but as a caveat, this board has certain tactile features (convex/concave buttons) that you might have to get a little used to.

Mouse

Best mouse I've owned. The only issue though is when you're in a heated moment, flailing your mouse around, the bottom plate that covers the magnetic weights can come off (on rare occasion). It can be annoying and takes you a couple seconds to put back on. If only the G502 didn't rely on the magnetic pull for one side of the latch, and just made both insert-able slots for a stable cover hold.

Otherwise, it has an awesome feel to it, people seem to love this mouse as it's remained pretty popular over the years. There are a lot of extra buttons, high dpi, rgb customization and I definitely recommend it if you have the extra funds for gaming's sake.

Comments

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Great job for a first build. Get rid of that GTX 660 and snag a 1070 as fast as you can! Also, your build is really overkill if you don't plan on overclocking with a k suffix processor. You have all the goods so why not get your feet wet and trade that 6700 for a 6700k!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you. Yea, I will get a 1070 or other new gpus when it's available! Hopefully not the reference model gpu, and something with RGB or white LEDs actually. We'll see :)

And yea, looking back, might've just gone for the 6700k but it's already in my system and don't want to hassle with the liquid cooler remover and spending extra $. But if I decide to transfer this cpu into a build for my brother, yea I'll go for the 6700k :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice woofington you have there.

Also, you really should consider swapping that 6700 with a 6700K because of OCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC. Trust me, the chips are more durable than you claim. You can OC a chip and have it run for many years with adequate cooling. Trust me, it's worth it.

That 660 brings me back... I hope you can rid yourself of it soon!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

What's a woofington precious?

Yea, maybe you're right, the unlocked might have been the version to go for, but I think I'll be fine with the 6700 for the foreseeable future. Gonna put the extra funds for a beast gpu (1070 or 480x). Maybe when intel releases some budget ($300 ish) unlocked processors a couple years from now, I'll go for one of those and be OC master race, thanks :D

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

woofingtons are doges.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

That 600 life XD And im gonna snag an rx 480 or x version when thy come out. love the build very clean!!!

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Hahaha yeah huh. Nice, I would actually go for an 480x, but it has red trim.. xD soo... maybe a partner version with a different color scheme. But probably stickin' with the 1070 :D

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah i like to have matching colors to XD. But yeah XFX cards and Sapphire cards usually don't have red so if you are look into amd check out those guys first. But if all else fails then 1070 :)

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points
OMG so flashy!!

+1

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Much flash indeed.

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

LOL

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice looking build +1

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks!

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Love this PC color combo :p looks pleasing to the the eye

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Yea, I think I look at it too much too :x

  • 41 months ago
  • 2 points

You can never look at something you accomplish and build yourself too much. Your speaking blasphemy!

  • 42 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for the comments. I like your build better tho(Don't tell my computer.)lol. It is really clean and the color balance is nice. If I may asked how do you like your ASUS motherboard thinking of getting the same one next year.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, I tried to get a good color balance. Yes, the Asus has been great. For 1151 Skylake processors, this is a pretty popular board and is good for overclocking if you plan on doing that. It has thunderbolt and usb 3.1 type c which you can utilize now and for the coming years, and a bunch of USB ports, sound inputs, optical inputs etc on the back I/O. So totally pleased @ this price point.

A lot of times, same-socket boards are pretty similar and comes down to aesthetics and how it looks for your build. cpu and gpu I would put more funds towards :) gl.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

I pretty much im going to do the same, but with an i5. I mean... I can't buy a GPU right now so 660 it is :P

  • 39 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome man, sounds good. Keep us updated, would love to see the finished product :D

  • 23 months ago
  • 2 points

What model is that dog and where can I get it?

  • 21 months ago
  • 1 point

lol

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