Hello PCPartPicker Community
I built my first PC back in 2008 before I knew anything about computers other than "Dude you're getting a Dell!" The PC was pretty good, but rubbish in terms of compatibility and hardware balance/harmony. Thanks to both of these communities, I was able to build a budget system back at the beginning of 2015, when my first custom PC bit the dust. However, soon the "upgrade bug" was upon me. I spent the next year contemplating the updates I would do to maximize my Core V1 build. This is the fruits of my labor. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know. If I can be of any help building in this case, I have some good practice. Enjoy my breakdown of the key components below.
CPU: I knew unless I was changing my mobo, I needed a 4790K to max out my 1150 socket. I ended up finding a Staples online price match with MicroCenter and purchased this baby for about $280. It stays wonderfully cool given that amount of stuff crammed into the case. If I wanted to maintain the 4.4 GHz Turbo Boost clock all the time, the idle temperatures would be around 35c. I have it modular based on load to bring the idle down to 30c. I have only tested the CPU using Passmark, but came up with a 100% usage at 70c 4.4 GHz on all cores.
CPU Cooler: I couldn't find the actual part on the site. What is in my computer and subsequently in the pictures, is the MasterLiquid Pro 140. This cooler was very easy to install. Some reviews talk about the difficult to understand picture by picture only guide provided by CM, but I found no such issue. It was very straight forward and simple. The cooler came with two 140mm fans of which I could only use one due to the nature of the mounting options on the case. I ended up using the stock 200mm fan in front (since it still mounts fine) as the push and the included 140mm fan in back as the pull. Bother are connected to the included fan splitter and live in the SYSfan header. The pump is plugged into the CPU fan header modified to operate at 100% at all times via the bios.
Motherboard: This mobo has been wonderful. Even though it received praise from Tom's Hardware, it only garners a 3/5 star review on Newegg and similar sites. I took the dive and have had the board for over a year. First, it ran an i3 4160 and now the 4790K. Before you say, "wait you need a z series board to utilize the unlocked chip", you do not. This board actually allows overclocking on bios 1.8 (newest one I am able to install via graphical user interface). The board has enough power to do the overclocking as well. So, no complaints there. The only point I would dock on this mobo (and perhaps many ITX ones) is the lack of fan headers. It has one CPU and one SYS header. I had to plug the two 80mm exhaust fans directly to the PSU via Molex.
Memory: I don't really know too much about memory outside of it's compatibility with the board. The only information I have is that it works and Passmark says it outperforms Crucial 8GB DDR4.
SSD: This is my first internal SSD by SP. I own two external HDDs from them for over 3 years and have been very happy with the company. the SSD is working wonderfully and is very quick. It matches up well on Passmark with other SSDs.
GPU: This is VERY IMPORTANT for answering the "can this case fit my GPU" question. The EVGA GTX 1070 FTW is the ABSOLUTE largest card (width wise) you can fit in this case without case modifications (i.e. cutting it). You can squeeze maybe another half an inch of length out of a GPU and still make it fit. To make the second 8 pin PCIE fit, I needed to special order THIS part from Hong Kong. I might have been able to do this cable mod myself if I felt comfortable with electrical, but I am not. Even with this, it is a very tight fit. However, you can see in the pictures there is very little to no mobo flex after installation. Amazing GPU with wonderful temperatures.
Case: I cannot begin to praise the Core V1 enough for the ease of building within it. There is nothing more to say. You can take off every panel and get a clear view of the entire case. You can attack your build from whatever angle you want to. The case fits ATX PSUs, 120mm or 140mm radiators, large GPUs, and most anything you can throw at it. Perhaps with better cable management, I would be able to fit two HDDs and two SSDs instead of one and one, but I don't really need it right now. So, no points docked.
Monitor: This is a TN panel, but with amazing color accuracy despite that drawback. Tom's Hardware has an excellent and in-depth review of the monitor, which I suggest all current and future owners of this monitor read. It specifically talks about getting the best color out of it. I have overclocked it to 160hz and it works brilliantly. The user interface is particularly user friendly, which is unlike most monitors I have interacted with.