Description

Probably my 10th desktop since I started building about 15 years ago. My father taught me back then and have been in love with it ever since. Prices and necessity have only allowed me to build them for myself a few times, But I have made many for friends.

Upgrading from a i5 - 3570K with a 660ti to this beast. I know it still isn't the best GPU, but I just cant justify the extra $500 to the wife. I sold my old build to a friend and endeed up only coming out of pocket about 600 bucks!

Primary uses will be gaming obviously. Fallout 4, BF4 and GW2. My old computer's graphics were usually on medium to high at 30-50FPS. This computer is a nice constant 60FPS 1080 with v-sync on. I haven't done any heavy gaming yet, as i just completed it this weekend and have spent most of my time modding the fans.

I do have a couple small complaints about the parts I ordered. However, because I live in Italy currently It is near impossible to return or exchange items without incurring a hefty shipping charge, so I made do.

CONS

The Corsair 300R.
The case isn't as sturdy as I read. Its better when everything was installed, but still feels less rigid than my old NZXT Tempest 210. I could not mount the Corsair H60 with the fan on the inside. The two 140mm top fans don't leave enough space to mount the radiator fan between the rear exhaust port and the radiator. I ended up putting the fan on the outside of the exhaust. I suppose I lose a little CFM from the grate, but I'm not sure how much that matters. Similarly, I was tempted to mount a larger 280mm CPU cooler but glad I didn't because there wouldn't have been enough space to mount that either. The motherboard is too high to fit both the fans and radiator. Similar to the rear exhaust issue. Also, the top 5.25" bay prevents the 140mm fan from mounting by about 2cm. I had to drop my DVD writer to the middle bay slot to fit my fans. Lastly, the top grate where you mount the fans has pre cut holes for both 120 and 140mm fans. Once I mounted my 140's I removed the paper grommets for the 120 spots, but you can still see where it was cut. Not a huge issue and you can't notice it unless you know its there or look closely. As I built it, I noticed it, and now it bothers the perfectionist in me.

Asus Z170-K Motherboard works great, is pretty, and has an amber LED strip you can turn on and toggle how it lights up. However, the right side of the board, when mounted, seems unsupported and you will need to be careful mounting your RAM. I slid my 4 fingers under the board so it wouldn't bend much. Another small issue for me was how many fan connection points it has. Only 3, and that includes the CPU fan. To be clear, there is one CPU slot and 2 Chassis fan slots. While not a deal breaker, if you're running a liquid cooler all in one like I am, you're left with one spot for your case fans. Being from an electrical engineering background and having experience in doing this multiple times, I cut the last connector from each of my SATA power cables and soldered the +12V and GND lines to my 4 Riing fans. Leaving the 2 side fans on my window to use the last chassis slot to make it easy for removing the door.

Overall, I am very happy with my build. It has been about 5-6 years since I built my last one and have seen amazing improvements in performance and smoothness in the games I have played. I have a couple braided cable sleeves coming in the next two weeks and will update with photos and hard FPS/temp figures via CAM.

Hope this helps someone! Thanks for reading!

Part Reviews

Motherboard

Asus Z170-K Motherboard works great, is pretty, and has an amber LED strip you can turn on and toggle how it lights up. However, the right side of the board, when mounted, seems unsupported and you will need to be careful mounting your RAM. I slid my 4 fingers under the board so it wouldn't bend much. Another small issue for me was how many fan connection points it has. Only 3, and that includes the CPU fan. To be clear, there is one CPU slot and 2 Chassis fan slots. While not a deal breaker, if you're running a liquid cooler all in one like I am, you're left with one spot for your case fans. Being from an electrical engineering background and having experience in doing this multiple times, I cut the last connector from each of my SATA power cables and soldered the +12V and GND lines to my 4 Riing fans. Leaving the 2 side fans on my window to use the last chassis slot to make it easy for removing the door.

Not any good reason to remove a star. Great board IMO.

Case

The case isn't as sturdy as I read. Its better when everything was installed, but still feels less rigid than my old NZXT Tempest 210.

I could not mount the Corsair H60 with the fan on the inside. The two 140mm top fans don't leave enough space to mount the radiator fan between the rear exhaust port and the radiator. I ended up putting the fan on the outside of the exhaust. I suppose I lose a little CFM from the grate, but I'm not sure how much that matters.

Similarly, I was tempted to mount a larger 280mm CPU cooler but glad I didn't because there wouldn't have been enough space to mount that either. The motherboard is too high to fit both the fans and radiator. Similar to the rear exhaust issue.

Also, the top 5.25" bay prevents the 140mm fan from mounting by about 2cm. I had to drop my DVD writer to the middle bay slot to fit my fans.

Lastly, the top grate where you mount the fans has pre-cut holes for both 120 and 140mm fans. Once I mounted my 140's I removed the paper grommets for the 120 spots, but you can still see where it was cut. Not a huge issue and you can't notice it unless you know its there or look closely. As I built it, I noticed it, and now it bothers the perfectionist in me.

It is a nice looking case, and any ONE of these issues I would still give it 4, maybe 5 stars. But there was just too many little issues to warrant more.

Power Supply

Works great, is pretty, and all the cables are solid black. Completely modular except the MB 16 pin supply.

Case Fan

Different from the typical 4 LED fans that shine on the blades. Invisible when the PC is powered down cause the fans are black. Only complaint is that when mounted to blow out (my top two) you can see the Red Black and Yellow wires. I put a thin strip of electrical tape to cover them. Also as my build is all black, the rubber mounting pads to help with vibration show through the screen. I also covered those with tape to keep a uniform appearance.

Only a 3 pin connector.

Monitor

Pretty, yet simple. Not an amazing monitor but decently priced for a 27". I do wish it was 120hz. Power LED is blue which goes perfectly with my keyboard, mouse and Riing LED fans. Input mode is picky and I had to select exactly which cable was connected to the computer. Speakers are sub-par and seem to be oriented backwards. I didn't buy it specifically for the speakers, as I will be gaming with a headset. But I did want them for watching videos or surfing the web.

Comments

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Why go GTX 980?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I was upgrading on a budget, and we are traveling Europe while I'm in Italy so thats where most our money goes. I convinced a friend to buy my old PC so only came out of pocket 600$. Another 1-200 for the 980Ti or even more for the 1080 was just out of my range. I will eventually upgrade when the prices are right.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

You could have went for an i5 CPU. The i7 is useless for gaming. That would allow you to get a better GPU, also the 980 and 980Ti are pretty close in price.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

When I did research I decided on the 6700K for not much more reason than having some "future proofing" for whatever that is worth. I know the 6600K performs very close at stock clocks. Also, when I looked at GPU's the only one close in price for the Ti was EVGA. and I have had some bad experiences with them. Most recently my friends 960 that arrived,for the lack of better terms, "broken." We were in the field and he was unable to return it RMA due to the delivery time. He didn't actually pick it up from our post office until 26 days after delivery. Which left us tight for installing and figuring out what was wrong with it. It literally gets like 40 fps playing League of Legends. And from what I understand is poor performance. (Never played it) I have always had great products from ASUS so decided to stick with them.

Also, when I put this part list together I did it in about 2 hours. I slammed a 6700K in the cart and built everything from there.

Thanks for making me feel like crap about my brand new computer though : )

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Future proofing with the 6700k and keeping it locked in makes sense as you can much more easily swap out the GPU when an upgrade is needed. My thought was with the already higher end other parts what kept you from going all out on the GPU but Italy is IMO the better spot to spend the money right now.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Locally (Vicenza) I haven't found, or don't know of any places to buy computer components. There is one store but they have very minimal stock and are expensive. If I can't purchase locally I have to pay the VAT, which is basically a 22% sales tax. Being stationed here we can have that removed if purchases are over 150 euros. But it can be cumbersome since you need to make about 3 trips back and forth. That with all the highways being tolls makes it an expensive feat of it is more than 20-30 miles away. Amazon shipped here for free so I just did that. Also the Italian postal service here has been known to "lose" mail. So ours is safer to our APO as it comes on an Air Force flight.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

I think you could've gotten a better performing CPU cooler and GPU for the same price, but by no means are the components bad or ineffective. I recommend staying up to date on all of the new components that spike interest in the media so you can find those cheaper and better performing parts.

You made a decent build for 1080p gaming, but in two or so years 4K will become the new norm. So in two or three years I think you should upgrade your GPU to the GTX 1080 and your CPU cooler to the H80i. The GTX 1080 is the best performing GPU currently on the market and it's only $600 ($700 if you get the ones with really good coolers). To put it in perspective, the 1080 is about three to four times more powerful than your GTX 980. Also the H80i CPU cooler is a really good cooler to overclock, while you can't really get good overclocks on an i7 with an H60. If you REALLY want to future-proof it you can get an H100i or better cooler for $100+ but I don't really recommend that.

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I think the biggest problem I'm going to have with upgrading coolers is the case. I didn't realize that it has so little room for radiators. It's a mistake that I won't make again as I'll be able to go to an actual store and put hands on demos.

I'm definately going to upgrade my GPU in2-3 years. Who knows, maybe I'll run a type of lease style upgrade pattern and sell this one to another friend and do it all over again.

Thanks for the reply.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

well, I definitely would have recommended better case and psu. good performing build with a few meh component choices.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

How much is the 1070 in Italy?

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

I'm US military, so I order everything through Amazon prime. It just takes a 2-4 weeks to get here. But, same price as in the US.

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

Did you really pay 485 for the 980 then? Cause, the 1079 is cheaper and is actually a lot faster than the 980. It's even faster than the Titan X. >_>

  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Honestly never even looked at the 1070. I looked at 1080 prices and they were too high. I typically use GPU Boss and it isn't listed so I guess I didn't research enough. I do see that I can get a 1070 cheaper on Amazon. Although I don't much care for the blower style fans as they annoied me with an older card I had once. Most of them seem to be that style.

Shoulda woulda coulda. I'm still impressed with my upgrade as far as how much better it performs. But I do see now I should have done more research and priced better : /

I'll give it a couple more models and I'll upgrade. Maybe it'll be a 1280 by then?

  • 40 months ago
  • 2 points

It's all good, I mean you still have a beast of a system. I'd very much recommend not using GPU Boss or CPU Boss in all honesty. They really aren't the best and don't tell the whole story.

[comment deleted by staff]
  • 40 months ago
  • 1 point

Y'all are making me second guess my happiness on this thing. Killing my dream! Lol.

[comment deleted by staff]