Description

This build represents the realisation of a dream (how corny is that) and several months of research and comparisons. I needed something powerful that I could count on to handle everything from browser games to MatLab simulations to extensive spreadsheets to CAD drawings, to blasting through GTA V and Warframe (among others).

Frankly, I'm still a little dazed just realising what I've managed to put together.

Main point to raise with this build: Sizing. I absolutely love this case by Corsair. It's a desktop I feel that can be placed up on the desk. It's boisterous and loud and demands your attention. However, and I guess this is with all mid-ATX cases, the clearance at the top is not huge. The selected AIO cooler made building that bit tougher and required a little more care and attention than usual because of the placement of the 240mm radiator and associated fans (I installed it in a push-pull configuration as a front intake). I couldn't mount it up top because the motherboard I/O shield got in the way. I had to remove the drive cage in order to get it in the front. The next thing is the RAM. These things are absolutely massive and with experience, I might have noticed and gone for lower-profile RAM sticks. As it is, the Dominators block one of the top fan mounts.

Other than that, I have no regrets. I am thoroughly enjoying the raw power this thing throws around.

Build Updated 2018: https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/b/TcGG3C

Part Reviews

CPU

Very quick. Suitable for any consumer. Handles 1080p gaming with ease and overclocked quite well. Managed to hit 4.8 GHz with 1.27 volts in my build.

CPU Cooler

Solid cooler. My i7-7700K at 4.9 GHz peaks at 70 C under regular loads (i.e. not a stress test load, those are different). Stock fans are decent but it never hurts to change them up to higher-end fans.

Testing on my own build, I managed a 3-4 C temperature drop running it in push/pull although it becomes very bulky and makes it hard to mount anywhere, so, keep that in mind when choosing cases.

The RGB and Corsair Link sometimes glitches, usually after waking the PC from sleep, but that's just decorative and it always recovers on boot.

Memory

Blazing fast RAM. Nice design but very bulky. They will block a fan mount (or a fan will block them) in some cases so be mindful.

Haven't tried an OC on them yet so they run at stock 2133 MHz. Will report if I get any luck here.

Case

I love the angular look of this case. It's aggressive and loud and demands to be put out where everyone can see it.

Plenty of tie hooks and good room behind the motherboard tray to stash cabling.

My only gripe is that the pass-through surely intended for the CPU cable is inaccessible once the motherboard is installed. Although that might just be my first-timer lack of experience that prevented me from seeing that.

Power Supply

You got to love the stickers. As much as power supplies are hidden, it's nice to know that they're still keeping with the colour scheme of the build...

Cables supplied are plentiful and come in a flattened ribbon format but I found them a little stiff to route comfortably. They've also assumed a multi-drive setup so the SATA cables come as 4 connectors staggered along one cable. Molex, as well, comes as part of a chain of SATA and Molex connectors on one cable. For smaller builds, this excess cabling quickly gets out of hand, so watch out for that and be prepared to buy extensions/shorter alternative cabling.

Power supply itself is excellent. Quality build, 80+ Gold, modular,and with stickers, at this price point, is just fantastic.

Wireless Network Adapter

Connects to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth seamlessly.

I've taken a star off since installing it because Windows 10 no longer supports ad-hoc networks on this device, which is something to look out for on older network cards.

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Comments

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Cables need some work, but good upgrade either way

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

I was struggling a little by the end and it does look scraggly in the light.

I think that's a downside for this case (the Spec-Alpha) or others in this size: I found there wasn't much room to play with if you had some larger components. Losing the drive cage also took away a hidey-hole which I might have used.

Cheers

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

gtx 1080 is kind of overkill for a 1080p monitor but still great build

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah, I haven't managed to find something that even mildly stresses it (save Heaven benchmark). Gives me room for a higher-resolution screen later on though, which I think will come eventually.

  • 32 months ago
  • 1 point

Do the lights in your house briefly dim when you turn your computer on? Lol

Lots of horsepower in there! Well done!

  • 32 months ago
  • 2 points

That might be an idea, actually. It'll show up the LEDs better! xD

Cheers