Description

Hello! Welcome to the cumulation of about a year and a few months of part gathering/researching and waiting, hope you enjoy the rgb goodness. Note: old and busted is in the gallery, be warned!

The Story!

This build started off as a dream back in april, then I had no idea what parts did what besides gpu+cpu make game run good, I started asking around on some forums and people told me to wait for the 10xx series, then 10xx aftermarket coolers due in august. by the time august hit I was wrapped up in the glory of fancy builds, The lights! The chrome! The glass! So I decided to allocate 3000 of my savings and make something special. Around june is when I spotted the great deal for 32 gb of dom ram for a steal, which later bit me in the *** as its only a paltry 2400mhz, at the time I planned on a intel build so it shouldn't have mattered. By october I had heard rumors of 1080 ti being a much better buy then a 1080 and I thought, might as well wait for it, not to mention ryzen may also be an interesting deal, so lets hold out. By the time ryzen had rolled around I had been completely amazed by amd and the rumors of vega being a much better performer than the 1080ti could be was a tantalizing proposition, not to mention a friend of mine was edging me on about how amazing freesync is, so I splurged and bought a 144hz 1440p ips freesync monitor on sale. This decision forced me to wait 5 months for vegas arrival, and the arrival itself was just plain depressing, so I bought a lightning x (cause over 200 cheaper then a lightning z) and went **** it :D

The Build!

The aim of this build was to keep a monochrome colour scheme with as many indirect rgb lighting fixtures as possible, I always hated the way led strips looked due to the pockets of bright leds but still really enjoyed the glow and ability to change colour. I have a dedicated program ssd, game ssd and everything else hard drive, while also having a ramdisk on hand for cache's, got to use that 32 gb somehow, at least when not using it for work.

The rad on the front is in a push pull config with 4 140mm fans at normal speeds, while the 4 exhaust 120 fans at minimal speeds (managed to get around the limitations of a 3 prong fan with the built in fan hub) this allows for optimal viewing of the rgb fans while also keeping a positive air pressure to minimize dust, the only issue is that the 120 fans are much higher quality then the 140 fans, not to mention pushpull decreases airflow by approx 1/3 which is why the 140's are higher then the 120's.

Due to the ram size I was unable to place the rad on the top exhaust, and having it on the front intake meant I had to remove the hard drive cage hidden in the basement, however as I desperately need that hard drive it is currently just sitting on some wires until I can find a more permanent fixture.

Part Reviews

CPU

Amazing price to performance, 12 threads at a generous IPC leaves little to be desired, although I had seemed to have lost the silicon lottery pretty hard and can only get 3.6ghz at 1.3v, still an amazing chip though.

CPU Cooler

Won this puppy in a contest so I might be slightly biased :P The temps are low and there is much less noise than the stock amd cooler I was using. The stock fans must be run pretty low otherwise it is literally louder then a vacuum and the corsair link software leaves much to be desired. Oon the upside it looks amazing, though once again to be a downer the tubes are incredibly stiff.

Motherboard

To be honest this was the worst part in my build, on a superficial glance it is a very good motherboard, lots of io, built in lighting, all of its features seem to be top notch, however upon use you can tell it falls apart. First of all the bios is minimal and buggy, a major bug that troubled me for a month was that it reset cpu and ram frequency if the voltage was over 1.3v after not being intensely used a few minutes after system start, this has yet to be fixed. The second strike against this motherboard is that it has a glaring dark orange led in the centre of the board, I have tried to hide it with electrical tape but it is strong enough to shine through which ruins the whole point of rgb imo. The third strike is the led system, not only are they more obtuse then it would seem on video (shining bright instead of a glow) but they have a heavily limited colour scheme and CANNOT TURN ORANGE, given that orange is the color of the lighting on all of its promotional material I cannot forgive this issue, the only colors I find are particularly good are dark blue, red, purple and green. white is heavily toned turquoise and strangely enough when set to turquoise the right hand panel is a shade lighter then the other leds.

Memory

good memory with a very nice glow that persists during sleep, which I think looks fantastic, a sleeping beast as it were.

Storage

fast, reliable, and very nice software, definetely worth the premium over other ssd's

Storage

best bang for your buck ssd imo, good for storage very large programs, like doom.

Storage

this baby has been with me for years and still functions perfectly, fast (for a hard drive) large, and fairly quiet I couldn't imagine my computer without it

Video Card

A beautiful card, easily hit the 2050 max for overclocking, however the premium has it competing with liquid cooled cards, although compared to its big brother Z it's a steal at 200CAD cheaper

Case

Stunning case that can only be appreciated in person, there are a few flaws however, the motherboard is too near the top of the case, which can lead to radiators conflicting with ram, covering the back exhaust and covering the motherboard itself. If installing a rad in the front you are forced to remove the hard drive cage below, which has forced me to just have my hard drive taped down. Finally getting the back of the case closed is a real hassle with the default power cables I have, making me worry about the tempered glass breaking form the pressure. Otherwise the case is seriously top notch!

Power Supply

Cheap and good, dead silent and everything about it screams good craftsmanship, from the box to the default cables.

Case Fan

Lovely looking fans, however the lack of a pwm or 140mm option has be seriously annoyed, plus the fact you are forced to attach a switch to control the led colour, the only way to control it from the comfort of your keyboard is to buy a corsair commander.

Monitor

To be honest im somewhat disappointed, it lacks alot of the features you will see on other monitors at the price point like low framerate compensation, not to mention it falls out of freesync range quite frequently with the 580 I was using beforehand (probably because of the 2k res). On the upside it does do everything it says it will, ips 1440p freesync with nary a dead pixel and that is very enjoyable. I wouldn't recommend going to 1440p with this generation of gpu's though, too expensive.

Keyboard

Pros: versatile and vivid led controller media controls are incredibly convenient beautiful construction Cons: cord is thick and stiff absolutely abysmal to clean, especially getting dust off of the aluminum mine seems to be a bit broken as a few leds will flash to red and stay that colour unless that key's lighting is updated (eg ripple effect, or anything non static)

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Comments

  • 30 months ago
  • 3 points

Great build! I just clicked here from your link on PCMR, and I'm happy that you did a lot of reviews of each of your parts. +1

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

Your old machine looked just fine to me! ;-) Looks good- my latest build was very similar in terms of thought process- it kinda snowballed a little but love the end product.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

The front Is looking great but please, clean up those cables in the back a bit. Otherwise +1

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Here from PCMR! Got my upvote because of the old PC ;)

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for sharing your passion with such detail, great read. Linked from PCMR. Personally waiting to build a 8th gen intel sys, next month. I have a push pull with 4 140mm fans, had to kick the corsair fans for noise and lack of competitive cooling at lower rpms. Went with Noctua 140mm fans so worth it. I have them set at 500rpms and front mounted in the case. Monitor PG279Q. Gsync really makes things nice and buttery. How are you able to avail freesync without an AMD GPU/ with a Nvidia GPU? By the way how much was the Lightning X and how much was the Z? I live in Calgary, and got a Lightning Z. My Z with no OC maintains 1962mhz. It's hit 2000mhz but only for a flash. i have a custom fan curve at 25% until it hits 40 degrees hen ramps up 5% every 5 degrees and maxes out at 80%. I have a Thermaltake F51 Suppressor. My part's list: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/ZpFsTH The processor is a Xeon x5675, however it's not listed so the non-xeon part with the same specs.

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

to answer the first question I didn't find freesync to be that much superior to adaptive vsync and because this monitor is the cheapest of its kind even without freesync it wasn't a great loss (still bitter about vega though :c) here in canada the lightning z is currently around 1500 after tax, the lightning x I have was 1150, about the same price as watercooled cards

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool thanks. Keep Memory Express .com in mind in the future, they price match and beat any Canadian retailer/ e-retailer. I live in Calgary, Alberta, and they have brick and mortar locations as well as in BC and a couple of other provinces, plus they do online too. Good luck. Hope you save a buck in the future.

  • 30 months ago
  • 2 points

they used to, however with the mining craze they shut down the promotion on most components

  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

Very nice! Can you share why you chose the ADATA SSD? I've considered one just for the cool logo...

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

good speeds to competition according to tests I found, although in my personal case I feel its instant writes are pretty slow and only pick up after ten or so seconds to its full speed, which I find is odd

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Cool build! congrats :)

I got 2 questions though

how did you setup the fans for the radiator? which configuration/direction? push-pull?

where did you attach all these fans? was it to the phanteks fan controller hub only?

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

push pull with 2 of the phanteks fans and the h115i fans, I connected all of the rgb fans to the hub so I could set all of the exhaust to as low as possible easily while connecting the corsair fans to the h115i controller and the phanteks fans to the mobo, the phanteks are far more quiet than the corsair fans so I can set those high and keep all of the corsair fans low and still keep positive air pressure

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

To start off... +1 for the Gpu. And just a question... why not the AMD 1600x paired with the 1080ti?

  • 29 months ago
  • 2 points

everyone told me it could easily overclock to 4.0 and xfr was for people who didn't want to oc, so here I am stuck at 3.7 :<

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

Oh...ok, nice build nonetheless!

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 point

you are getting bottlenecked like crazy get a 10700k

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 point

That would require the motherboard to be swapped though

  • 22 days ago
  • 1 point

Idk if one exists though

  • 29 months ago
  • 1 point

I have a question, the GPU requires 3 8pin power connectors, my PSU only has 2, can I use it?

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  • 30 months ago
  • 1 point

me too and I have to live with it, but in all seriousness I couldn't figure out how to manage it any better with the default power cords, everything wanted to get to the centre gromit (which popped out from the pressure near the end