Behind the Scenes
This all started with my dad's computer becoming outdated and very sluggish, this was probably over a year ago. At the time I was telling him I could build a computer, him doubting I could even make one to begin with (He even doubts I made my First Build LOL). At the time I had a friend selling some computer parts he had bought to build something for himself, but quickly gave up on the project. I ended up buying some of the parts super cheap from him at the time, hid it from my father, hoping to surprise him with a whole computer. This never came to be since he decided he can survive with his current PC. I had bought the NZXT S340 Elite, the Samsung M.2 Drive and the Corsair PSU from my friend at time. I originally recommended my friend to get the NZXT S340 Elite case, since I fell in love with that tempered glass.
Fast Track Present time. A couple of months ago my fathers PC showed signs of his hard drive failing and thought this would be the perfect time to build something. Wish I bought the parts last year since DDR4 prices are out of the roof right now and GPU prices not coming down anytime soon. I basically took 2 sticks of 8Gb Corsair DDR4 - 3000 Mhz out of my personal build and my extra EVGA 980 Ti to temporarily make this computer work for the time being until prices come down. Those parts will be replaced when prices come down, hopefully with 2133 or 2400 Mhz memory and a 1050 or 1050Ti GPU. His computer is mainly used for daily office tasks for day trading and uses it heavily for photo editing with 2 monitors.
Parts and reviews
i5-8400 - 2.8Ghz - 6 Core (Coffee Lake) Awesome processor, I obviously didn't need to overclock this so i went with the budget option here. Temperatures stay nice and cool. I'm happy I didn't opt for the i7 processor. Overall rating : A
iCooler Master - Hyper 212 LED 66.3 CFM CPU Cooler I was originally going to my the ever so famous Hyper 212 Evo but this came on sale on Amazon recently for $15 and it had red LEDS so it was a win for me. When I looked for comparison videos between the two they were about the same for performance and temperatures. I didn't want to use that ugly Intel cooler either. Overall rating : A
Gigabyte Z370 AORUS ULTRA GAMING WIFI LGA 1151 ATX I was ultimately going to buy a cheap MOBO (MSI Z370 GAMING PLUS LGA 1151 ATX Intel Motherboard) which was coming out to $80 after rebates but came across this board. I'm glad i found this board, I feel like this is the best budget motherboard money can buy. I came with 2 M.2. Drives where the MSI only came with one. A WiFi adapter which I was surprised to see come with this board (The speeds are really fast), although my dad will be plugging Ethernet right into it. The WiFi antenna has a magnetic bottom so it can stick to metal easily without sliding off, and luckily the NZXT case was metal. The board has SLI capabilities as well, which I wont be using personally. And this board goes RGB crazy! It's not like the lame ones I always see where the logo only lights up or on it's sides. Like the RAM Slots light up (who needs overpriced RGB Ram sticks), the PCI slots, the logo, and the sides. The motherboard also supports RGB light strips. Everything can be controlled from BIOS or the Gigabyte RGB program, where you can change the lighting to pulsing, flashing, static, cycle, random, and theres even an option where the colors will change on different parts of the board depending on temperature (pretty cool!). The I/O Shield it looks awesome, took me like 20 minutes to get the damn thing on though (Real Struggles of the build). Forgot to mention that one of the two M.2. slots comes with a dust cover, looks ever cool if you're only going to use one M.2. Drive like I did. This board came out to $120 after rebates and with a purchase of the processor which knocked off another $30 from Microcenter. Overall rating : A+++
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory These were the Ram Sticks I took from my personal build, which will be returning there, once DDR4 prices start to decline. They are the red corsair sticks so they match the build perfectly as well. Hoping to rebuy the same model, when the price is right. Overall rating : A+
Samsung - 860 Evo 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive I only trust buying Samsung Solid State Drives and plus these are fast. I saw this for $50 Open Box at Microcenter and bought it, to fill that blank open spot in front of the NZXT Case. I'm ordering a SSD Plate from www.v1tech.com to make it pop a little more (currently shipping). This will mainly a drive for files and photos. I use this SSD on my personal computer too and have no problems with it, which holds my OS on there. Great Speeds here. Overall rating : A
Samsung - 970 Evo 250GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive Once again, only trust Samsung SSD's. This drive is insanely fast! About the same price as a regular SSD, I would opt for an M.2. Drive if your motherboard supports it! Overall rating : A+
EVGA - GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB Superclocked+ ACX 2.0+ Video Card
This is from my personal build which was in SLI. Once GPU prices decline or Nvidia releases the 1100 series this card will replaced. Hopefully with the 1050 or 1050Ti. Specifically looking to get the MSI Gaming X 4G, just so the card matches the build. Those cards will be good for photo editing plus a 2 monitor configuration. In the meantime, this beast will live inside of here.
Overall rating : A+
NZXT S340 Elite
My first build I used the NZXT Noctis 450, where I loved building inside of that. This case compared to that was a breeze in the park. The S340 is smaller than the Noctis but the room inside is plentiful compared to the Noctis. The front of the case you can easily fit an All-In-One water cooler CPU Fan and still have room for lengthy GPU's. You can probably see from the pictures how much space you have to work with, when the 980Ti is plugged in. There were lots of cable management grommets and cable tie locations. The case comes with two 120mm fans pre-installed, one on the top and one the back. 2 USB 2.0 ports and 2 USB 3.0 ports on top, as well as, a HDMI port which is meant for VR headsets. There is a pass through for the HDMI cable which is meant to plugged into your GPU. There's 3 SSD mounting locations, one in front, and two on top above the PSU cover. 2 regular hard drive mounting locations of the backside which are tucked at the bottom of the case. And there's an extra mounting location below the regular hard drive mounting location, where you can mount either a SSD or Regular HDD, there isnt any brackets for this, it's meant to be screwed in from the bottom of the case, kinda annoying but there is plentiful of storage solutions there + if you have M.2. Drives on your motherboard. And finally that glass shines nicely, make sure you clean your fingerprints off it!
Overall rating : A+
Corsair - CSM 550W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply Bought this from my friend, who bought it Open-Box from Microcenter. Great PSU. the Motherboard cable kinda peels at the end so the black cable sits a bit low. Kinda annoying to look at, but that can be replaced with a extension cable later on. It's Gold Certified so nothing to complain about here. Overall rating : B
Corsair - SP120 57.2 CFM 120mm Fans Bought these 2 fans to put at the front of the case to intake air from the front, since the top and and back fans are pushing air out. Red LED fans nothing to complain about. And they are super silent. At the time I bought this everything else was installed already. Other wise I would of swapped them with the Back and Top fans. Overall rating : A
Result Overall, I'm very happy with this 'Budget' build for the purposes for what my Dad will use it for. I just enjoyed building it.