Description

I am always interested in electronics (and gaming too, who doesn't?) and that ultimately lead to my decision to become an Electrical Engineer when I got into college. As a kid I loved to read those DIY PC magazines which they always talked about the latest CPU/GPU architectures and performance improvement, the recent price drop trend of varies PC components, and the latest software to work on fine-tuning/over-clocking machines...etc. To my surprise, not many of my EE friends in college had experience building their own PC. And right now the industry cares more about mobile and IoT devices. Nonetheless I always want to build my own PC, but just don't have the money and time to really start building one (trust me, college costs a lot!).

Graduating from college, I got my feet into the semiconductor industry as I have always wanted. The idea of building my own PC from ground up comes into my mind. I know I would like to build something simple yet elegant, and have a good balance between performance, aesthetics and cost. The PC will be used for general purpose like web-browsing, watching streams, gaming and occasionally some of my software/engineering projects. I also want the PC to be as silent as possible with a reasonable cooling performance.

And here it is! After a few months of research and also hawking around Amazon, Newegg & TigerDirect for the best price to gather my components, I finally put them together. The building process is fun and relatively easy (hardest part is cable-management, as always). The extensive research pays off when all the components I bought are easy to install and in high quality. I am able to get it boot up for my first try. And I am really impressed how quiet it is. Just looking at it is a pure joy, and not to mention how fun it is to fine-tune and overclocking it :)

I will try to add some of my reasoning behind my choices of components in my Parts' Review. This site helps me a lot in my research and I would love to share my experience to this awesome community. Happy PC building guys!

Part Reviews

Case

There are two obvious choices on the market right now for silent case: Fractal Design Define R5 or NZXT H440. And same as countless discussion and debate over the internet, I have a hard time to choose which case I want to build on initially. NZXT H440 really has some really impressive lighting, especially the one at the rear I/O. However I eventually picked the Fractal Design Define R5 w/Window (Titanium) due to its awesome Scandinavian design and clean look. The titanium color front panel gives a level of sophistication into my first build as oppose to the high-contrast, glossy color top vent in NZXT H440 . And that ultimately lead to my consideration of the titanium/gunmetal color matching when I am buying my components. The ModuVent™ fan vent covers is an incredible design which gives builders options to balance cooling performance and acoustic/aesthetic. The abundance of rubber grommets and zip tie locations makes cable management a lot easier. The sound-damping material of the case significantly reduce the noise from the components inside and I am really glad I make this right choice.

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Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

My gosh this is freakin beautiful! :"3

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Thank you!

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Nice job! Are you happy with that ram? I am considering getting the same for a similar build.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, I am able to overclock it to 2133 MHz 10-9-10-24 with no issue.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello! I am getting a R5 case as well. Can you hear the cpu cooler a lot when it's mounted in the front? I suspect it's better and more silent than top mounting.

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Not much noise unless the i7-4790k starts working with high load at 4.7 GHz. Top mounting could provide more air flow and hence can arguably allow lower RPM fans for the cpu cooler. But the lack of dust filter on top and for aesthetic reason I decided to go for front mounting. Anyway there is always an option available for either way and that's the power of the R5 ModuVent™ fan vent covers :)

  • 57 months ago
  • 1 point

The benchmark recognizes your GTX 970 as having 4095MB of VRAM... Houston we have a problem ;-)

  • 56 months ago
  • 1 point

Haha I know. But I had no trouble running most game at 1440p for mid-high setting. And at 1080p you can pretty much run ultra any game. Honestly for now only 4K gaming would generally requires >3.5GB VRAM, but then even 980 Ti will struggle at 4K max settings.

Essentially I would think GTX 970 is a lower binned GTX 980 and thus unable to utilize the whole 4GB VRAM. However in terms of price-performance ratio, this card is totally a beast and one of the best that Nvidia has ever made.

  • 51 months ago
  • 1 point

Awesome build!

With the Corsair H110i (280mm rad) will the 5.25 model still fit at the top?

THX